Who Is This Guy? - The Blog

Welcome to our blog about food addiction, obesity, gastric bypass surgery and of course, Who Is This Guy? ... the book

Dodging A Bullet

 

It’s been a while since my last blog.  The long, slow comeback from a second knee replacement surgery on my right knee has taken a lot longer to heal than anticipated.  In fact, it’s been nearly ten months.  I mention this fact because those who have followed my previous blogs, know that I tend to focus on exercising in order to keep my weight in check and also as a substitute for my unhealthy eating habits when I am not focused on eating “clean”.  Well, the level of exercising that I normally pursue has not been possible for the past 10 months because of complications in my recovery and I have to say, I’ve been very concerned about gaining back the weight I’ve lost without the benefit of my usual exercise routine. 

I’m not quite sure yet how I’ve managed to avoid this dilemma of being somewhat sedentary and, so far, not gaining weight, but I currently weigh 190 lbs. without the benefit of exercising at the level I’m used to.  I still go to the gym, but not as often.  I am not able to do cardio at all so my workouts are less intense.   I am struggling with staying focused on eating right and I’m worried that eventually the lack of exercise and the struggle to eat “clean” might catch up with me.  I think that being aware of the possibility of heading down that road is half the battle because a big part in the success of the program is self awareness and a dedication to honesty.

I’ll keep you posted as my struggle continues and I’ll let you know how I’m managing my issues.   Meanwhile, if you’ve experienced this type of problem, let me know how you’ve dealt with it . . . I’m always open to suggestions.

 

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The Book is Published

 

Well, my book was finally published this month and I know some of you have already read it.  It means a great deal to me to read your positive comments and remarks showing your support.  More importantly, so many people wrote to say that they shared those same feelings that I described in the book as I fought the battle to gain control and that they could totally relate to what I was going through.  It is my hope that they will take that message and pursue their own journey to better health.

 

The past few weeks have been exciting.  Some of you may have seen my interview on Face Book with People.com.  I’ve also just finished an interview with The LA Health Examiner which is a radio station in Los Angeles and have a couple more interviews coming up soon.  I have gotten so many compliments, not only on the book, but on my appearance at my current weight of 185 lbs.  And at the same time, so many people are reaching out to me asking for help or just wanting to compare stories.  I truly feel for all of these people because I do, indeed, know what they are going through.  

 

One of the reasons why the book took almost five years to finish is because I was reluctant to acknowledge what Dr. Forse kept calling my underlying issues.  He would, very tactfully, approach me from time to time suggesting that the book, in fact, could not be successfully completed without that final piece of the puzzle.  I thought I was just a unique kind of a guy who was wired differently than everyone else.  When I finally admitted, even to myself, that okay, maybe I did have a few issues to deal with, I decided to get help.  Only then could I begin to understand why it was so important to face the issues head on.  I could finally see, for the first time, that without facing those issues, I would continue to go on diet after diet without success and at the same time increase the possibility of going back to square one with my weight, which I never, ever want to do again.  I am very thankful that I had such a caring doctor who worked with me to get me to see how important the underlying issues really are.

 

I hope you will read the book and let me know what you think about it.  It is available on Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com.  Your comments are important to me.    

 

 

 

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Trying to Understand Obesity Disease

 

Trying to Understand Obesity

 

Obesity is now a worldwide health epidemic.  It is estimated that over one third of the population of the United States is obese.  Globally, more deaths are linked to obesity than are linked to malnutrition and starvation.  According to the World Health Organization, over 1.4 billion adults are overweight with over 200 million men and 300 million women classified as obese.  In my opinion, there are many reasons for this drastic rise in obesity, and I’ll share some of them with you now.

 

The lifestyle that most overweight people lead today is extremely sedentary.  We live in a world where so much can be done without leaving the comfort of our living room chair.  We can watch television, play video games, or use our laptop computer, smart phone or tablet.  With access to millions of websites, we can shop for clothes, gifts, groceries or renew our prescriptions.  Even a college degree is possible without leaving our chair or getting out of our pajamas.  We can also turn off our lights and lock our doors with the touch of a button.

 

You don’t have to look too far to find yet another reason for the rise in obesity.  The “fast food” establishments found on almost every corner are such a convenience in the busy lifestyles we lead.  They are a quick and inexpensive meal on the run, for sure, but at what price to our health?  Clearly, a trip to the supermarket for a supply of healthy foods will cost you more than the unhealthy variety, and that’s unfortunate.  Nevertheless, you can still have a healthy diet by making sure your trip to the supermarket is well-planned and cost efficient.  The choice is yours, and speaking from experience, I can tell you that the wrong choices have dire consequences.  Fast food and poor food choices played a significant part in my obesity.

 

In my next blog I will address the medical and psychological issues associated with obesity.  In the meantime, let me know what your struggles are and how you address them.      

 

 

 

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Getting back on track....It can be done.

If you're like me the holidays are a continuous battle. From Thanksgiving to New Years Day we are being tempted with unhealthy foods.  Candy, pie, cake, cookies, bread, gravy, potatoes, stuffing....I could go on and on. These are foods I normally wouldn't touch because I know that they will trigger my cravings.  Cravings are caused by the simple carbohydrates found in those foods. Simple carbohydrates are the quickest source of energy, but are very rapidly digested and won't satisfy your appetite for very long.

My solution to the holiday binge is to begin eating totally "clean" once the holidays are over. I increase my good fats and up my protein intake. I continue my normal exercise routine, drink plenty of water to be sure I am staying hydrated throughout the day, and cut out all simple carbs. Whereas simple carbs are bad for you because they induce cravings, complex carbs are very important to a balanced diet.  Complex carbohydrates are rich in fiber, thus satisfying and healthy. Complex carbs are usually found in whole plant foods that are high in vitamins and minerals. I eat plenty of vegetables, including sweet potatoes, and eliminate all simple carbs from my diet.  Within three or four days of eating "clean", the cravings are gone.  If I do slip and eat those "craving-producing foods, here's a tip that works for me and you might want to try; I distract myself until they are gone by keeping busy.  I clean my garage, go to the gym, take a walk or fold some laundry, and by the time I am done I no longer have that craving.  You need to be sure and do something that will keep your mind active. Sitting on the sofa and watching television or reading a book doesn't work for me.  Another way to curb cravings is to have a healthy snack like carrots, celery, cucumbers or other raw veggies. These will fill you up so you don't feel hungry anymore which, in turn, will lessen the odds of going for the "junk" foods.

So as difficult as the holiday season is, I have learned how to get through it the best I can and then make sure I start eating properly to get back on track once the holidays are over. That is what works for me.   The holidays are difficult to deal with, but if you stay positive and get back to the program in the new year, you'll be right back on track.  Don't give up.  It CAN be done!  I'd be interested in knowing how you handle the temptations of eating around the holidays and how you get back on track.  Please share your experiences.

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Know the Difference Between Hunger and Cravings

Hunger is certain to make you want to eat.  Hunger is a state where your body and brain are depleted of nutrients and your system is asking your body to resupply them.  Many people rarely get to the point of feeling hungry because they are driven to eat by what is going on in their lives and not by the actual feeling of hunger. For example, emotional eating is common in people that suffer from eating disorders because they are using food to make them feel better.  For many years I used binge eating to make myself feel better when I was stressed.  It is my opinion that many of us are driven to eat unhealthy foods because of the food and beverage manufacturers.  Processed food and sugary drinks are known to cause cravings.  The processed food makers and sugary beverage makers can accomplish these cravings with its one main ingredient, sugar.

I believe that people should take responsibility for their own actions.  I also believe that when predators like the processed food  and sugary beverage manufacturers are allowed to target advertise to children, they are no better than the makers of cigarettes, who, before they were forced to limit how they could advertise, flooded the market from teenagers to adults pushing their nicotine-laden products. They know that their products are likely to create lifelong problems for their consumers yet in the interest of sales, they continue to develop new products which hook unsuspecting users.

My struggle with sugar continues.  I have not had a sugary beverage in almost 13 years.  Not so with sugary foods such as candy and cakes. I work hard at it all the time and I have become educated and aware of the triggers.  What about you? How do you feel about my views on sugar?

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Proactive Lifestyle Changes

Day to day poor eating habits have a way of becoming the “norm” – a way of life that doesn’t merit a second thought.  During the time that I was gaining weight on a daily basis, my poor diet was always in the back of my mind, but when I got very busy with work and other commitments, I always managed to get through the day without worrying about what kind or the amount of food I consumed.  I’d just tell myself that I would start fresh tomorrow.  But tomorrow never came.  And the weight problem became more than just a problem; it became a life or death situation.

Letting poor eating habits go on for too long could have dire medical consequences.  Those consequences include, but are not limited to, diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and respiratory problems.  We all face the difficulties of “staying with the program”. . .  staying focused on eating a healthy diet, exercising, and dealing with your underlying issues.  I urge you to take your health seriously now and get help before the medical problems begin.  Once the medical issues take hold and the control is out of your hands, it gets more and more difficult to make the necessary lifestyle changes.  The setback of dealing with any illness saps your strength, your emotional state and your resolve.

I was one of those fortunate people who made the decision to get help before I was forced to deal with medical problems.  But I have seen others who are not as fortunate and I can tell you, personally, that it is difficult to watch them struggle both physically and mentally trying to get a grip and take their life back.

Think about your own situation and ask yourself if today is the day to seek help in reaching your goal.

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I made it Through the Holidays without a slip-up

Well, I can't really say that it was easy, but I can say that I made it through the holidays without falling off the wagon.  When you last heard from me with three weeks to go until the end of the year, I was all pumped up and completely focused.  As we got closer to the finish line, the temptations increased and my resolve was being put to the test.  What is it about the sight and subconscious memory of certain sugar-based foods that has such power over me that I have to use all my concentration and willpower to resist it? 

As I analyze what worked for me this year and did not work in past years, I clearly see that it is zero tolerance for trigger foods that works for me.  As I have said so many times in past blogs, I have the type of make up that has a problem with moderation.  It literally takes only one M&M or one bite of cake or pie for my system to recognize past pleasures and start demanding more of the same.  So powerful are those cravings and demands, that my mind is no match for those urges.  So, after so many years of failure at the moderation approach, this year's goal was to resist all urges and temptation by having absolutely none of those trigger foods.

I am also in the process of trying to figure out why I am like this.  What makes me different from those people we all know who are able to moderate most, if not all, aspects of their life.  I, myself, don't seem to be able to do anything in moderation.  I am going to leave it at that for now because I will  be doing a short series of blogs specifically on that subject of moderation.

In the "baby steps" concept that I try to follow, I made it through the holidays still in my groove.  Present weight 192 and hoping to keep it there.  As always, I welcome dialogue from anyone with similar problems.  I think that dialogue will be helpful to all of us.

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Three Weeks to go and Still Focused

I am so proud of my daughter Marisa who has lost 63 pounds in the last four months.  If and when she gets into an exercise program, I think she will finally understand the combination that is so critical to long term success.  This is a very difficult time of year to stay disciplined and not be tempted to try "just one special treat".   Marisa never really "got it" when it came to grasping the concept of diet, nutrition and exercise.  This is the best I have ever seen her do, and I will keep you updated on her progress.

As for me, I am on cruise control and not having any problems at all.  I love it when I am this focused because it means that I am not constantly frustrated, afraid or distracted from life while trying to get my eating back on track.

Back to Marisa for a minute.  She is so much like me, it's scarey.  I would guess that many people with overeating disorders are like Marisa and me.  She is a binge eater.  She can do nothing in moderation.  She has to learn everything the hard way.  Like me, she learns best from past failures rather than from listening to the experiences of others.  There are no filters or governors when she starts to binge eat.  Hey, she's 38 years old and if I'm right, and she does have it figured out, then she's 12 years ahead of me.

As for me, with 11 days left until Christmas, I am still doing well.  This is the week that I hit the bump in the road last year, so I am very cautious.  Dinner with friends in Boston coming up on Monday, followed by various exposures to food leading up to Christmas day.  Will keep you posted.  Current weight 192.  Anyone else who'd like to share their struggles, I'd love to hear from you.

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Made it Through Thanksgiving

Well I made it through Thanksgiving day and the weekend too, which included my granddaughter Chloe's 2nd birthday party. The fact is, I am in such a zone right now that I had no problem at all resisting temptation.  I ate all of the traditional Thanksgiving foods such as turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and an assortment of vegetables.  What I did not eat was gravy, bread and butter or the tremendous assortment of desserts that were offered.  When it came time for dessert, I was prepared.  I unwrapped my own homemade pumpkin cake which, I  know, is made with healthy ingredients and contains 130 calories.

Fortunately, my gym opened at 5:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning so I was able to get my normal workout in before I went on to give thanks at a few different locations.  I ended the day singing happy birthday to Chloe but not having any of her Mickey Mouse birthday cake.

I still have 5 weeks to go to make it past the most difficult time of the year for me.  I feel very confident that I will make it this year and am aided by the fact that I am very busy at work.  I find that the busier I am, the less I think about food and, therefore, the less I eat.  My weight right now is 193 lbs.  Last year at this time I was 192, so the week before Christmas I thought I would try various desserts.  I was in such a groove, I knew I could get right back on track.  I was wrong, though, and I am determined  not to make the same mistake again this year.  Last year's mistake caused me to battle with cravings and a weight gain of 7 to 12 pounds that I spent 6 months trying to lose in addition to trying to regain my focus.  Lesson learned!

I will keep you posted of my progress.

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Holiday Overeating Anxiety

Here we are, the week of Halloween and I'm getting anxious about my holiday eating.  I should be worried; the most vulnerable time of year for me is the five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years.  Other than the year of my surgery, 2001, I have never been able to control my eating during this period.  Some years I try harder than others to avoid the traps that lead me down the path of over eating, but let me address the post surgery era.  Every year since 2001, I have slipped up during the holiday season, but last year, I went into Thanksgiving on cruise control - six months of perfect eating.  No sugar, no cream-based foods, no white breads. Then, with two weeks left before the end of the holiday season, I convinced myself that I was so focused, I could have a piece of apple pie and a couple of chocolate covered pretzels and get right back on track.  As usual, I was wrong.  I had been wrong the last hundred times I told myself I could do this, so what made me think I would have different results this time?

As always, my plan for this year is to avoid those trigger foods that cause the problem of overeating.  I know what they are and I am afraid of them because of what they can do to me.  I have said it before, and I will remind myself again; it is a lot of work to stay focused and disciplined, but it is much more work to get back your focus once you lose it.  I will keep you posted as I navigate through the mine field of the holidays.  I can use all the help I can get, so please, if you have some ideas to share about how you handle holiday eating, I would love to hear them.

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What Causes Me To Eat

The experts say that the primary reasons why people overeat are alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation and TV watching.  According to researchers, alcohol consumption has the biggest impact, followed by sleep deprivation (less than 5 1/2 hours per night) and then TV watching.

Personally, I do not consume alcohol of any kind and I usually get 6 hours of sleep each night.  I rarely watch TV, unless it is sports related and when I do watch TV, it seems that I am up and doing things at almost every commercial.  Yet I am as inclined to overeat as anyone else. 

In my case, I think that the cause is a disorder called Binge-eating disorder.  Binge-eating disorder is a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food.  Almost everyone overeats on occasion, such as having seconds or thirds of a holiday meal, but in my case, overeating is caused by eating trigger foods, such as candy, white bread, pasta or cake, to name a few.

Over the years since my Gastric By-pass surgery in January 2001, I have, through the process of trial and error, identified the foods that I can eat on a regular basis that do not cause me to crave more food.  In fact, when I am eating right, I am never hungry and have to almost force myself to eat on a regular schedule so that I take in at least 1900 calories per day.  Among the foods that cause me to have the least cravings are:  egg whites, cottage cheese, white meat fish, chicken and turkey, canned tuna fish, fruits and vegetables, yogurt , rye or whole wheat breads, fat free cheese, peanut butter, bran cereals and skim milk.  My goal is to make sure these foods supply the biggest portion of my diet plan each day.

What do you do to try to avoid overeating? Please share with us.

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More About the Book

Since my recent blog in which I wrote, "I think I will write a book," I have had much encouragement to pursue this idea.  I have contacted the surgeon who performed my gastric bypass surgery in January 2001 and we are talking about writing the book together.  My story would  describe living a life with food addiction, binge eating disorder, obsessive compulsive personality disorder and a host of other"issues" and the surgeon would offer the scientific and medical logic as to why these conditions exist and how they impact patients like me; patients he has encountered in his nearly 35 years of practice in the field of Bariatrics.

My life has been a very interesting journey.  We plan to take you along as we tell my story from high school to the present day.  I am 62 years old, and in the proposed book, I will be sharing the many highs and lows that I have experienced along the way. There have not been too many periods in my life that I can remember where I seemed to have it all under control.  I am not talking just about my eating disorder, I am also referring to my business life, with its successes and failures, my personal life, where I have demonstrated that a lot of work is needed to "get it right" and my every day life and how my addictions, or compulsive behavior have had such a strong impact in all of these areas.  I was 50 years old before I even had an inkling that I had a problem that could be fixed with the right kind of help.  Now, twelve years later, I feel that maybe in another five years or so, I might have it all figured out.  Of course by the time I figure it all out, i will be entering a time in my life where I will have new things to factor into the equation of a balanced life.

I am very interested in what material you may find helpful if you were to read such a story as I've outlined above.  I would welcome your input as the doctor and I move forward in outlining the book we have in mind.  A book that, we hope, ordinary people will relate to and find help in dealing with these issues.

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Stay Away From Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome has five features. They are waist size (more than 35" in women and more than 40" in men), Blood Pressure (top number 130 or more and bottom number 85 or more), Triglycerides (a fasting level of 150 or more), Blood Sugar (a fasting level of 110 or more) and HDL (good) Cholesterol (women less than 50 and men less than 40).  If you have at least three of these features, then you probably have Metabolic Syndrome and you are at an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and several other medical conditions that would put your health and quality of life at risk.

The three primary causes of Metabolic Syndrome, putting genetics aside, are:  eating too much of the wrong foods, drinking sugary drinks and not getting enough exercise. When you eat too much of the wrong foods and drink sugary beverages and don't get enough exercise, the systems in your body cannot effectively handle the processing of fats and sugars and you become insulin resistant.  Insulin is a hormone that assists blood sugar into your bloodstream and muscles to be burned as energy and into your fat cells where it is stored.  When you are insulin resistant, this cannot happen and, consequently, your blood sugar levels rise and the other side effects of Metabolic Syndrome will then follow.

What you need to do right away is see your doctor so you can design a program for you to lose excess weight, decrease the intake of carbohydrates, stop the consumption of all foods and beverages high in sugar content and get you started on an exercise program.  If one of the side effects you have is high triglycerides, you should add fatty fish to your diet or take a Fish Oil supplement.  Again, genetics aside, Metabolic Syndrome is responsive to lifestyle changes.  Make these changes and you will improve your quality of life.

Personally, I have my blood work done on a semi-annual basis.  Being a gastric bypass patient, I am prone to occasional problems caused by foods passing through the digestive system before the vitamins and nutrients can be absorbed.  By knowing all my blood levels, I am often able to make dietary changes to avoid a problem where taking medication may be the only solution.  I urge everyone to take Metabolic Syndrome very seriously.  It is estimated that 25% of American adults have it. Don't become a statistic and if you already are, please do something about it.  It will make a positive impact on your life.

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I Think I will Write a Book

I consider that my gastric by-pass surgery as a tool to change my life has been a success.  It has been 11 plus years since the surgery and I am the same weight plus or minus ten pounds that I was when I reached my goal.  As I have written in many blogs to date, I still struggle from time to time and I am still learning about those triggers that can cause the struggles.

I have been in communication with the surgeon who performed my by-pass surgery back in January 2001 and we are planning to write a book together. The book will basically be a story of my life and the struggles with obsessive compulsive behavoir generally and obsessive compulsive eating specifically.  Controling my behavior as it relates to eating has been a problem all my life and at age 38 I had a life changing moment that made me commit to do something about it.

I tried and failed at many attempts to figure out the problem and to find a soloution and never hit the mark.  In late 2000 I finally decided I could not do it without help and some extreme measures.  That led me to the decission to visit the surgeon who immediately inspired my confidence that this was a problem that could be solved initially through surgical means in conjunction with permanent life style changes.

The book will outline and highlight those life style changes and the successes and failures since surgery to try to manage my life so that I can live my life.  Even as I write these words I know that I still have a lot to figure out if I am to remain on the right track as life is very dynamic and many of the life style changes that are working for me now will have to be changed as I get older.

Stay tuned, more info about the book will follow in the next few months.  Anyone with questions or ideas that would make this book more readable please comment

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Back on Track

I have now completed 14 days of perfect eating.  I feel so much better physically and I am more relaxed mentally. The damage done, over the past four and a half months that I struggled, added up to a total weight gain of five pounds. I lost four of those pounds in the last two weeks, so I expect that by next week I will be back to 193 pounds,  This is what I weighed the week before Christmas when I foolishly let myself wander away from my structured eating program.  I don't know why I thought that this time there would be a different result from eating sugary desserts and chocolate than the results I saw the last 50 times I ate those foods.  

The difference these past two weeks in my attitude and in my success is that I am totally focused again.  That is the key.  I am sure of it  That means no more than 2000 calories a day except for one day every two weeks when I add 300 to 400 extra carbohydrate calories to the day's total.  My eating program is the same one that has worked for me in the past.  It is based on foods that I like, that fill me up and that do not create cravings.  It took me years to figure out what foods met these requirements and I feel so much better when I am eating this way.

This begs the question, why do I stray from the program?  I have no idea.  It seems that my personality is such that when things are going well, I, for some reason have to try to step outside the program just to see if I can come back and gain control again.  Am I challenging myself?  Is it part of my attraction to risk?  Can someone offer some insight? Just another of those things about me that I don't understand. But for now I will stay focused and enjoy today's success.

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Trying to figure me out

For fifty years I tried to figure out why I could not control my eating.  Early on, I felt that it was because I was weak and lacked the discipline and self control that others had that enabled them to eat in moderation.  For quite some time I thought that I was born with more fat genes than most people and was just inclined to put on weight easily.  I saw myself as big boned, thought I had a slow metabolism and a bigger frame than others.  There was no question that I ate more than most people and that I ate an unhealthy diet, but I had to keep trying to rationalize it in my mind and come up with a reason for my problem.

It has taken a while, but I have made a lot of progress in the never ending pursuit of trying to figure me out.  In the past ten years I have come a long way.  I now know that I am not big boned and that my metabolism works the way it is supposed to work and that my frame is a normal size.  The problem is that I have a food addiction, or as I prefer to see it, an obsessive compulsive eating disorder.  When I allow myself to consume one of the trigger foods, I lose control and the cravings push me to overeat, which is when the struggles begin.  And then the race to see which behavior, controlled eating or out of control eating, will prevail.

I now know that this will happen to me every time I let myself have one of the trigger foods.  In my case, sugar, and especially sugar in the form of  chocolate, is my biggest enemy.  I am not forced to have these foods.  I am exposed to them visually whether in a store, a restaurant or at someone's home, and it is completely my choice whether I have them or not.  When I fool myself into thinking that one little taste won't hurt, I always, and I mean always, regret it.

The key to success when this happens is to get back into my comfort zone as soon as possible.  I need to be eating foods that I like and that make me feel full but don't trigger the cravings that cause me to overeat at best, and to binge, at worst.  I know the pattern well.  I drive myself crazy because for some reason, when things are going well, I will foolishly test my mettle again and see if the results will be different this time.  They never are.  So, I ask myself and anyone out there who may be experiencing the same problem, to share your insight.  Why do I keep repeating this same pattern?  I can't figure it out.

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Starting to get some Traction

Have had two good weeks in a row but not a great day on Easter Sunday.  So on Easter, I used one of my 7 "cheat" days that I allow during this 13 week program.  Easter was tough.  I ate too much of the good foods and also had some jelly beans and a small piece of the most fantastic vanilla cupcake with cream cheese and coconut frosting that I ever tasted.  I also had a couple of bites of a bunny cake with butter cream frosting.  Other then Easter day, I have been doing fairly well at avoiding the trigger foods.  When I avoid the trigger foods, it is easier for me to stay on the program.  When I am doing well on the eating program, I feel the results immediately; more energy, sleep better, I'm more relaxed and I feel better about myself.

The results also showed up on the scale.  During the three months that I have been struggling, I gained about 5 pounds.  Last week, the week ending Easter Sunday morning, I lost 3 of those pounds.  I have to be extra careful right now because there is a lot of stress involved in my life.  Business is not good and there are some health issues in the family that add to the stress.  It has been established that stress is a factor for those with eating difficulties, and I can attest to that.  Usually, I am able to counter balance the effects of stress by sticking to my regular exercise routine.

Nevertheless, the bottom line is I feel more in control of my eating now than I have in the past three months.  Not totally in control, but making progress and closing in on the struggle.  If anyone is having similar issues, please feel free to share with us how you are dealing or not dealing with it.

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Still struggling

Two more weeks have gone by and I am still trying to get back on track. The mornings start out good, but by noontime I start to feel the cravings begin and  have not been able to control the urges to eat those foods which are not included in my planned eating program.  I am at the point where I am getting angry with myself for being so stupid as to think that this time would be different; that this time I could stray from the plan just a little bit and get right back into it when I was ready. Didn't ever happen that way before, and there's no reason to believe it will happen that way now.

I think that because I at least understand what is happening to me now, I can catch myself before too much damage is done. I am holding right now at 194 pounds, which is up two pounds.  I am deeply concerned about this problem and this little slip-up is very distracting. I devote way too much of my time each day to resisting temptations and cravings and I am having only moderate success.  I have been eating sandwiches and pizza in addition to my cottage cheese and tuna for lunch and one morning I had a bran muffin.  After dinner, I have been eating nuts and pretzels in addition to the normal bowl of bran based cereals.

I am desperately trying to get my focus back.  I know that if I can just get six or seven perfect days in a row, the cravings will go away and I will be back to focusing on eating right.  I am most comfortable when I am on the plan.  I am able to spend more time improving my business, enjoying my family, friends and hobbies and improving my relationship rather than worrying about loosing control. 

Do you have the same problem?  Please share how you deal with it.  I need help and any new insight I may gain from others is always appreciated.

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The importance of routines

I drive myself and everyone around me crazy. I am so rigid and find any disruption to my routine very hard to deal with.Recently we had some visitors at our house and my regular dinner time was caused to go off schedule. I reacted and behaved poorly because my routine was disrupted. People look at you and talk about you like you are ridiculous, and of course you are. People no matter how close to you they are or how much they think they know you have no idea how this disruption affects you.Even when explained it is difficult for someone who is not obsessive compulsive or  an addict to fully grasp the concept of our need to be rigid. I actually need to be this way, because left to just wing it, outside of my routine, history shows that I will take the path that more often than not leads me to places I would rather not go anywhere near.. I have a routine for everything. I have a morning routine. I have a routine at night to prepare for the morning. I have a sleep routine which is just the preparation of getting into bed relaxing and falling asleep, but if varied, I am not able to sleep as well as if I follow the routine.I have an eating routine and an exercise routine, which may vary from day to day but each variation is just a different routine within a routine. I even have a routine for how I wash my car.This strange behavior works for me and it may work for you if you need to replace the behavior which is not working for you now. Lets talk about it.

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