Wednesday, January 21, 2015



When you give up something that is bad for you, it's not quitting.

This was one of my mantras back when I was first recovering from my anorexic symptoms during my EDNOS treatment.  (In that scenario, quitting = failing.  Technically, when you quit, it is quitting, obviously, but it's not FAILING.  Anyway.)

It helped me to eat, even when I felt like I was a failure for doing so.  It helped me to not do any cardio workouts, even when I felt like a quitter for not sticking to my routine.  It helped me to survive.

These days, I don't need to learn to eat more and exercise less.  My EDNOS has changed, along with my needs and goals.

But there are things that I still need to quit. 

This morning, I cancelled my Weight Watchers account for the 5,000,000th time (slight exaggeration). 

I did it for a couple of reasons.  One is that I feel like I've learned all I need to learn about the Simply Filling Technique in order to remain successful.  I don't feel like I need the online tools to continue eating this way.  One month subscription was plenty.  Two is that I don't want to spend $20 a month on this.  That money could go towards the gym membership that I have my eye on for the February budget.

However, it still felt like quitting. 

It feels like I should have stayed a paying member for at least a couple of more months, just so that I'm not "a quitter". 

So I'm proud of myself for recognizing the need to cancel the subscription, and for not caving into the disordered thoughts telling me to keep the membership that I no longer need.

I plan to lose plenty of weight this year, with or without Weight Watchers, and definitely without returning to any EDNOS behaviors. 

I recently ordered a food journal that doesn't require calories or any other macronutrients to be tracked.  It is a place to write down what you eat, and what exercises you do, and also to be a little artistic.  I think that it will be really good for me.  As soon as it arrives, I will post about it in further detail.  It's called the Diet Doodle Diary.

Seems like a good fit for someone with a history of EDNOS who is trying to lose weight without returning to any bad ED habits.  If that's not true, I will admit it, obviously.  But I look forward to seeing what this cute little journal has to offer.  I think that it will help me to become a more mindful eater, while still helping me to lose some weight in 2015.

What have you quit lately?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Why am I not exercising regularly yet?!

As you probably know, I spent the second half of 2014 recovering from a very bad leg break and the leg surgery that followed it. 

I spent months telling myself and anyone who would listen that I couldn't wait to be able to walk again, and that as soon as I could do so, pain free, I would be walking and exercising constantly because it really sucked being forced into stationary lifestyle.  It's one thing to choose it, it's quite another to have no say in it whatsoever.

A couple of weeks ago, I was told that I was now allowed to exercise regularly.  Around that same time, walking stopped hurting (for the most part, I still limp some days - mostly due to my new superpower ankle that predicts the weather with PAIN!).  And yet...  I am still not exercising.

Why did I assume that as soon as I was given the green light from my doctor to exercise, that I would be able to easily get right back into it?

That's a head-scratcher.  I should have probably known from experience that whenever one takes time off from any activity, getting back into it is HARD. 

I have never been in THIS situation before though.  Yeah, walking short distances (say, around the office or house) doesn't hurt.  But walking for longer periods of time (say, around a gigantic shopping mall for hours of holiday shopping) HURTS LIKE HELL.  And not just in my leg.

My entire body is not used to being upright without support.

My leg hurts and is swollen by the end of a heavy-walking day, but that's just the tip of the painful iceberg.  My back KILLS.  My neck ACHES.  My shoulders WANT TO DIE.  It's all very bad.

So I realize that I cannot just pick up where I left off. 

I actually am going to have to start completely, 100% over.  From the beginning.  I have to start with a ten minute walk around the block, and build myself back up over time.  And I have to learn to be okay with that.

My all-or-nothing brain is pretty pissed off right now.  But I need to stop choosing "nothing", and get on with my exercise routine.  It may not look like the awesome training schedule I had in mind for this year, but it will be something. 

I am going to start by writing a different kind of training schedule, one not meant to train me for a race or event, but to train me to get back into a regular exercise routine filled with the longer cardio sessions that I miss.

The next step will be joining a gym, which I have scheduled for February in my budget.  :-) 

For the next couple of weeks, here is my training schedule:

16-Jan Walk to apartment gym, 10 minutes eliptical, walk home.
17-Jan Rest.
18-Jan Walk to apartment gym, 10 minutes treadmill, walk home.
19-Jan Walk to apartment gym, 10 minutes eliptical, walk home.
20-Jan Rest.
21-Jan Walk to apartment gym, 10 minutes treadmill, walk home.
22-Jan Rest.
23-Jan Walk to apartment gym, 10 minutes eliptical, walk home.
24-Jan Rest.
25-Jan 20 minutes stationary bike at home.
26-Jan Walk to apartment gym, 15 minutes treadmill, walk home.
27-Jan Rest.
28-Jan Walk to apartment gym, 15 minutes elipitcal, walk home.
29-Jan Rest.
30-Jan Walk to apartment gym, 15 minutes treadmill, walk home.
31-Jan Rest.
1-Feb 20 minutes stationary bike at home.

Maybe by writing down a plan and calling it a training schedule, I will begin to exercise regularly again.  I sure hope so!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

3 Food truths that I didn't realize before...

Damn my ED brain.  Sometimes I discover little things that I do and little thoughts that I think are not "normal".  A decade since my recovery, and this stuff still comes up.

Here is the latest bunch of things that I honestly did not know were true until recently, when my brain had some moments of lucid ED-freeness.  I will post more about these thoughts as they come, but for now here are three:

1) I can put chocolate chips in my oatmeal.

Not only can I do this sometimes, I can do this EVERY time if I want to.  And it in no way cancels out the nutrition of the oats.  Instead, I get to enjoy chocolate-y goodness AND reap the benefits of whole grains.

For years, I have literally thought that I had to have either chocolate-y goodness or something  healthy for breakfast.  It NEVER occurred to me to have both.  It was either Pop Tarts or plain jane oatmeal (I would sometimes put peanut butter or fruit in it, but it wasn't really what I wanted for breakfast).  I have been obsessed with chocolate for breakfast for years, and now I can have it whenever I want it, and it's actually filling.

2) If I'm not hungry, I don't have to eat.

Say what?!  In theory, I have learned this many times.  But it only recently really clicked for me.  A couple of days ago, I was hungry for popcorn right after work, so I ate some popcorn right after work.  Meanwhile, I started a crock pot meal, figuring that I would be hungry for it before bed and enjoy a late dinner. 

Instead, I was tired at 9, and not hungry at all, so I put the crock pot meal in to-go contianers for lunches and went to bed. 

I actually had to think about it for a few minutes though, wondering if I should go ahead and eat, since that was the plan, and since it was all Power Foods.  Then I had the brain click moment.  It's okay to just go to bed and accept that this was a light hunger day.  Maybe tomorrow will be a heavier hunger day.  My body is usually worth listening to.

3) I can mix beans with meat.

Again, literally never occurred to me.  Since I started to eat meat again, my old staple of beans has become less popular.  For whatever reason, I had it in my head that my meals had to be either vegan or completely bean-free.  Yeah, that's just not true.

A couple of days ago, I was looking for more stuff to throw in the crockpot for dinner.  I had put in some frozen fish, some frozen vegetables, and a can of tomatoes.  Then I saw it:  a can of black beans.  So I threw it in.  And I'll be darned if that wasn't the best fish meal I've ever made.  I look forward to experimenting more with this!

During my years of vegan eating, I developed a real taste for beans, and I still love them.  I still eat a lot of vegan, bean/veggie/grain bowl meals like I used to eat.  But now I know that I can throw beans into meat dishes, too.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Simply Filling Technique - how I am following it

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have started to follow Weight Watcher's Simply Filling Technique, which is basically  healthy intuitive eating, with minimal tracking for foods that are not on WW's list of "Power Foods".

I also mentioned that I was going to be following it kind of loosely, and that I would be making it fit into my lifestyle, not the other way around.  So I thought that I could write a post further explaining that, and how the first couple of weeks have gone.

First of all, I am following it mostly as written.  Here's how it works, as written:

There is a list of Power Foods provided by Weight Watchers.  Most of these foods everyone would agree are pretty healthy, but some of them would be questionable to the "true" clean-eaters of the interweb.

Here's a simplified version of the list (please don't let me be breaking any copyright laws by posting it...):

  • Fruits (except dried and juice)
  • Vegetables (except avocadoes, olives, plaintains)
  • Whole Grains - including hot cereals, brown and wild rice, pasta, ready-to-eat cereal wish less than 1 gm sugar & more than 3gm fiber/serving, etc.
  • Fat free dairy and dairy substitutes
  • Lean proteins - including: beans, meat with skin removed, eggs, lentils, reduced-sodium luncheon meats, meat substitutes w/ 2g fat or less, fish, organ meats
  • Breads - including light English muffins, light hamburger/hot dog rolls, light breads in general
  • Soups - including reduced/low sodium broth, tomato, and vegetables based
  • Desserts - sugar-free gelatin
  • most condiments - If fat-free or is an option, always choose fat free.  With soy and teriyaki sauce, choose low-sodium
I'm actually glad that I just wrote that out, because I didn't realize about the soup options, and I LOVE ME SOME TOMATO SOUP.

So to follow the Simply Filling Technique, one does not have to track or count points for any of the Power Foods.  How do you figure out how  much to eat?  Listening to hunger signals!  Of course, you are allowed to track these foods if you desire to, but it is not required, and either way they are 0 PointsPlus.

Also, much like with the non-SFT route, you have 49 PointsPlus weekly to use on whatever you want (probably best to keep listening to the hunger, but I guess with these ones it's not as important?  Couldn't really find information about that in the plan as written...).  You also earn PointsPlus every time you exercise, and again, get to eat "off list" with those.

I almost forgot about healthy oils!  You can have two teaspoons of a healthy oil every day, 0 points, but after the first 2 tsp, you count points.

In summation, no tracking required for Power Foods, tracking required for non-Power Foods (use your weeklies and activity points), and listen to your hunger signals.  Also no counting points for first 2 tsp of EVOO.  That is the Simply Filling Technique in a nutshell.  There are also all these Good Health Guidelines to follow, but if you eat from the power foods list and eat your oil, you will get them without even trying.

So obviously, because I'm me, and refuse to make my lifestyle fit into a plan or obsess about food anymore, I have to make a few simple changes in order to make this plan fit my lifestyle, food preferences, and logic.

Let's start with the Power Foods list.

Fruits (except dried and juice)
Okay.  I'm okay with this.  Mostly because I don't drink a lot of juice or eat a lot of dried fruit, so I'm fine counting points for them when I do.  Oh wait.  One exception.  To me, if the juice is pure fruit juice, not peeled or anything, just an entire fruit put into a blender or juicer, that will not have to be counted.  Again, I don't drink a lot of juice, but I will not count for "pure" juice.

Vegetables (except avocadoes, olives, plantains)
Nope.  I will not count for avocadoes or plantains.  If I can eat a pineapple with all that healthy fruity sugar in it, then I can eat an avocado with all that healthy fruity fat inside.  Avocadoes are Power Foods for me.  Olives too, same reason.  Plantains, also okay, because potatoes and bananas are both Power Foods, so should be plantains. 

Whole Grains - including hot cereals, brown and wild rice, pasta, ready-to-eat cereal with less than 1 gm sugar & more than 3gm fiber/serving, etc.
My main change here is that I will also  not be counting points for rice, pasta, or cous-cous that is not brown.  My reasoning here is that I simply never overeat these things, and find them to be a good part of a healthy meal.  If I eat cous-cous that is not whole grain and have to track it, it may discourage me from eating it or make me overeat it.  Because that's how my brain works.  I will still opt for whole grains most of the time.  The cereal one I will also not be quite so picky on.  If it says "super healthy whole grain fibery goodness" on it, I will call it a Power Food, even if it does not meet the sugar/fiber requirements (unless it is so tasty that it makes me want to binge - fine line sometimes).

Fat free dairy and dairy substitutes
Get ready to have your world rocked, because I am going to be considering low-fat dairy to be a Power Food!!!  I will choose the fat free options when it's something that I like (milk, yogurt) but with cheese, it's gotta be reduced fat.  And I don't want to count for it, same reasons as white rice.

Lean proteins - including: beans, meat with skin removed, eggs, lentils, reduced-sodium luncheon meats, meat substitutes w/ 2g fat or less, fish, organ meats
This is mostly fine.  I will probably still eat the skin on a baked chicken sometimes, and not count it, and I will probably consider ALL veggie burgers/meat subs to be Power Foods despite fat content, but otherwise, yep.

Breads - including light English muffins, light hamburger/hot dog rolls, light breads in general
Here's one that may surprise you:  I am cool with the muffins and buns, but light bread is REMOVED from the Power Foods list for me, because it is a trigger food.  If I allow myself to not count light bread, I will eat the entire loaf within a day, defeating the purpose of the not counting.  Light bread is NOT filling to me, and is a trigger food, so no thanks.  But the light English muffins are fab, and the hamburger buns are great with my veggie burgers.

Soups, deserts, and condiments are fine as written.  But just because I can eat unlimited (within hunger!) sugar-free gelatin does not mean that I have to.  So I won't.  That stuff is pretty gross.  If I want a sweet, I will count points or eat fruit or yogurt.

I would love to mess with the healthy oil requirement, but I won't... just yet.  Don't worry, that change will come, because it's a great idea.  Just don't feel like tweaking that at the moment.

Another way that I am only following this loosely, is that I am not super strict about the counting.  I don't have the WW app on my phone, so if I'm out and about and eating point-y foods, I just guesstimate and try to remember to track them later.  I try to ALWAYS listen to my hunger signals, even when I eat non-Power Foods, which I think is why even when I go over my weekly points, I lose weight.

I am not concerned unless I go 20 points or more over my weeklies.  I may even raise that number in my online tracker to 68 instead of 49.  Here's why:

I'm trying to ALWAYS listen to my hunger signals.  Therefore, if I eat a non-SFT dinner one day and all of my points were already gone for the week, it really is okay because I didn't overeat.  It's not like I had a big Power Foods dinner, then ate a second non-PF dinner.  It's still just one dinner, and the calories may be higher, but probably not twice as high.

Anyway, that's how I'm following the Simply Filling Technique.  It's not how Weight Watchers wrote it.  It's how I am making the plan fit into my life, and not the other way around.  It's how I'm on WW but I'm not.  It's how I have some structure, but not too much.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My Simply Filling Confession...

So, since I've given into my desire to lose weight this year, hopefully a substantial amount by November 1 (in time for a dress fitting for my December 4th wedding), I figured that I needed a plan.

Not a temporary plan, but one that I can potentially stick to for life.

As in, I need to be able to lose weight, while learning how to eat forever; instead of my usual "eat like this to lose weight, then figure out how to maintain the weight loss later!!!" way.

I hesitated to go down this route again, because I really want to be an intuitive eater and to never diet again, since dieting DOES NOT WORK long term (which basically means that it doesn't work at all, because who wants to lose weight only short term?).

Because of my EDNOS history, and because of my self-diagnosed "diet addiction", I really was reluctant to follow any sort of plan.



But I really want some structure from an outside force, to help me along the way this year.

And I needed it to be something that can easily transition into intuitive eating one day, while also allowing me to lose weight without making weight loss THE central focus point of my life.


I am going to try out Weight Watchers again, this time only ever using the Simply Filling Technique.

I have a friend who is a WW leader in NYC, and she told me a while back how WW worked for her.  Basically, she counted points for everything for awhile, then switched to Core and now she is just an intuitive eater who runs a lot.  She's maintained her happy weight for years now, and leads WW meetings.  Yeah, that sounds pretty nice.

I'd like to do something similar to that.

Here's how I'm going to make WW work for me in 2015:

  1. Follow the Simply Filling Technique exclusively.  No need to ever count points for everything, no need to track any foods on the "Power Foods" list.  Listen to hunger signals 100% of the time.  Only track non-filling foods.  Modify plan as needed to fit my lifestyle.
  2. Don't consider myself to be on Weight Watchers.  I really don't.  I am not telling anyone about it (except you guys, my brother, and Stacey) because I will not really be a "Weight Watcher".  I am using the Simply Filling Technique as a guide for healthier eating for weight loss, but I am not a slave to WW.  I don't have a WW app on my phone.  I will not turn down a mini-muffin at work if I'm hungry because "Weight Watchers".  I will never be a "success story" for their site or magazine, and I will not spend hours browsing their message boards or recipe pages.  Nope. 
  3. Weigh in once a week.  No more, no less.  This will help me to stay on track with my weight loss goals. 
  4. No specific wedding weight loss goal.  I am following SFT relatively loosely, and will consider whatever weight loss "success" that I have by my dress fitting to be just that: successful. 
  5. Use it as a transition into true intuitive eating.  Seriously, listen to my hunger signals, and honor my hunger.  Use power foods and good health guidelines as a roadmap to healthier eating, but also enjoy non-power foods in moderation.  No weekly WPA binge.  Probably will take special days off, but not to binge, just to not worry about tracking anything.

So that's what I'm doing for now.  I will probably post some  helpful SFT tips now and then, for anyone who is also eating this way.  I don't think that I will do weekly weigh-in posts, but I will probably do monthly SFT check-in posts or something. 

I hope that none of you judge me for technically dieting again.  If you do though, you're probably not the type of supporter that I care for anyway.  You probably stopped following this blog when I stopped being vegan, or stopped being vegetarian, or quit and began any number of diets before, so aren't reading it anymore anyway, right?  ;-) 

To my super supportive no-matter-what readers:  KISSES! xoxoxoxo!

Monday, January 5, 2015

my (cliche) Wedding Weight Loss Goal

I have officially found my newest "before" picture.

Yes, unfortunately I have given into the temptation to set a wedding weight loss goal.  It's pretty lofty, but I'm not going to do anything extreme.  Wherever my body is on November 1 (about a month before my wedding, when I plan to get my dress fit) is where it will be.  But I really don't want it to be like the above picture.

But in all fairness, that was taken from a very bad angle.  Two days before that was taken, this was taken:

I think that in the first picture, I actually look 100 pounds overweight, but in the second one, maybe 50 or 70 pounds overweight.  It's all about the angles.  Unfortunately, I actually am 101 pounds overweight.

Of course, that's going by the BMI standards, which I disagree with.  I am 91 pounds overweight by my personal standards, because my happy weight is 165.

Anyway, I'm going to do nothing crazy or too diet-y to lose this weight, but I am going to be actively working towards a weight loss goal again, which I have mixed feelings about.

Is it possible to both improve my relationship with food and my body while actively trying to change both things?  I am going to try.

Healthy eating, reasonable portions, honoring my hunger, listening to my body and mind, getting in some regular activity in fun ways, stopping overeating and binge eating, and regular blogging will all help to get me there.

So what are my specific wedding weight loss goals?  I'm not really sure of any specific numbers.  My main two goals are to lose as much weight as possible while sticking to the following goals and techniques. :

  1. Improve relationship with food
  2. Improve relationship with body
  3. Lose weight
  1. Healthy eating
  2. Reasonable portions
  3. Honor my hunger
  4. Listen to my body and mind
  5. Get regular activity that I enjoy
  6. No more overeating/binge-eating
  7. Regular blogging
No crazy goals.  No crazy techniques.  Just hopeful that by doing these things, I will get closer to my happy weight, and that no matter what my weight does, I will be a lot healthier inside and out by the time I'm married.

Start weight: 255
Goal weight: ???

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Recap

So many good things happened in 2014, and I'm going to stick with the good memories exclusively for this post, as I don't feel like reminiscing about the bad at the moment.  Plus, one day years from now when I re-read this post, I will think that maybe only good things happened!  Except one bad thing that has sort of come to define the second half of my year will just have to be mentioned.  

Here's what happened in my life in 2014:

1) I finished my final semester of school at the University of Memphis!

I love being a student, and I miss it fiercely.  And more importantly, I planned my final semester out well, finishing most of my least favorite requirements *cough*foreign language and natural sciences* cough* earlier.  

I took an acting class, a legal writing class, a gym class, and more.  I discovered a passion for African American history.  The only "difficult" requirement that I had left was statistics, and I ended up doing very well.  This was the first straight A semester since Mom died, and I was very proud of myself for boosting my GPA back up enough to earn a cum laude beside my name in the graduation program.

2) I went to Grief Camp for adults.  

the stepping stone that I made for Mom

It was a weekend program offered by the hospital where Mom died.  I spent two days surrounded by others going through the same thing as me, and it was truly the turning point for me in my grief journey.  Just knowing that there are so many other people in real pain, missing loved ones who died too soon... something about that feeling of community really helped me.

I'm not saying that everything immediately got all better, but since that weekend, things did start to finally seem... well... not so unbearable.  And even though I will probably never see those folks again, just knowing that they exist helps so much.  We talked, we cried, we laughed, we made crafts dedicated to our loved ones, and we just plain bonded in such a special way.  I will never forget that weekend.

3) I graduated cum laude from the University of Memphis!

I freaking did it.  This is an accomplishment that became even more impressive somehow after Mom died.  Because I could have quit, but I refused to give up.  Even though I spent the better part of a year both crying constantly and going to class, I stuck with it.  And I'm so glad that I did, because even though I hate the grades that I got that first semester back, I wonder if taking a semester off to grieve would have not just pushed my graduation back, but made me decide to never go back.

I love that I graduated.  I love that I am now a political scientist.

4) Stacey proposed to me!  We are engaged!!!  

And in less than a year, we can stop living in sin.  It's hard to believe how long I've had this man in my life sometimes.  We met in late 2007, and started dating in early 2008 (the year that we moved in together, too).  We've had our ups and downs like any couple.  We ALWAYS have each other's backs.  I think our biggest strength as a couple is our mutual respect and support.  I love this man, and I look forward to having a big party celebrating that love with our friends and family.

5) We moved to Nashville!

After graduation and getting engaged, we packed up a u-haul and moved a three hour drive away from Memphis, to a part of Tennessee that I actually really love.  This city is filled with progress, and diversity, and entertainment.  I love it here!  For the first time in my life, I can actually say that I'm happy to live in this state. To each their own, but for me: Nashville rules, Memphis drools.

6) I broke my leg.  

Yep.  Badly.  I was about to start a new job, and instead, two days before the start date I roll my ankle in a parking lot hole and crash down so hard that I needed surgery.  I had my final follow up appointment today, nearly 6 months later.  I was just now given the go-ahead for regular walking.  It's been a rough few months, to say the very least.

I was unable to walk for two and a half months.  During this time, I was also unemployed, having lost my job before it began.  So on top of the severe pain and handicap, Stacey and I suffered badly financially and almost lost our home.  Thankfully, some friends and family helped us get through it.  Seriously, if you are one of them, and are reading this, once again THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU SAVED US.

7) I visited Joel and we went to Central Perk!

For my 30th birthday, Stacey got me tickets to see my brother!  Joel is an amazing composer/lyricist who lives in NYC, which is my favorite city ever (so far).  We went to Central Perk and sat on the big orange couch.  If any of you don't know the significance of either thing in the previous sentence, I just don't even have words for you.  You are either really young or don't appreciate one of the best TV shows ever created.  It's okay, though. I'll be there for you.

9) I got a really good job that I love.

I work for a personal injury law firm here in Nashville, and I love it so much.  My coworkers are amazing people.  And my boss is supportive and encouraging.  I have never worked in an environment like this before, and I love it.  I'm the intake coordinator, which basically means I talk to potential clients first, and pitch the cases to the attorneys for review.  I love it, but hope to work my way up in the company one day.

So that's my 2014 in a nutshell.  It was a pretty good year, if you go by the saying "all's well that ends well".

How was your 2014?