Day 68 with Blue Hair and (mostly) Bright Lines

Another three weeks and I am still making progress. Steady weight loss but also steady improvement in overall happiness and well being which may be more important!

Today I am wearing size 16 pants and weigh 215. I am 17 pounds from my next goal which is Onderland – meaning under 200 pounds. 199.9 will work!

I’ve been shopping and buying a few key items in size 16, 14, 12 and 10. When I get to 12 I might buy a few 8’s – how crazy is that? Also believe I saved some smaller clothes out in the garage. Will have to figure this out soon.

On the non-weight side of life – I dyed my hair blue this week. The spray on kind which thank goodness washed right out as advertised.

It was so much fun! Skinny jeans, chunky high heeled boots and a blue sweatshirt that says “Trust me, I’m a Jedi”.

Things at the Greenhouse are going well. Got a consulting gig or two to make some real money (gotta buy smaller pants!).

Going to celebrate my birthday and 100+ days on BLE with a visit to London. Can’t wait to see my friends!! IMG_20180130_200450808.jpg

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Bright Line Eating – Day 41

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow will begin my 7th week eating with Bright Lines. I have lost 15 pounds. Dropped another 2 full sizes. In the world of yo-yo dieting where I once owned property and held a high office, that’s nothing.

But in the world I live in now – no dieting, no binging, no whacking off parts of your body to make the scale move – that’s just short of a miracle. Doing that since Thanksgiving? Through two trips cross country 4 airport days), two weddings and assorted rehearsal and other family events, two big holiday parties, Hannukah, New Year’s Eve party and New Year’s Day dinner? Miraculous seems just  right.  (Until you know the science!)

The biggest, bestest part of all is that I feel amazing. Energetic after so long forcing myself to move. Clear headed from the brain fog that has started to lift. My memory is improving.

My mood is also up – so up I had to reduce my SAD meds and then titrated right down and off them. First time in 20 years I haven’t been medicated for New Year’s. (And not suicidal…but HAPPY!)

I am rarely hungry. My biggest problem is eating all the food  – awesome, fabulous food – that I am supposed to eat. My second biggest problem is not jumping into an exercise program, because we are not supposed to until we pass the 90 day detox mark. (Unless you were already doing regular exercise.)

Yep. Doctor says “Don’t exercise. It will impede your weight loss.” Whoa!!!

I am using my energy to start digging out from under the staggering clutter that has built up in my house.

Cleared out my closet yesterday. Selling or donating a 3 foot high stack of clothes that are now too big.

So – when your current New Year’s plan starts to falter, we are here for you!  The plan is simple (though for some reason people think this is more extreme than weight loss surgery):

1. No sugar and no sweeteners of any kind, natural, artificial – nothing sweet but fruit.

2. No flour of any kind. No healthy non-gluten flour. Whole grains, yes, but just for breakfast during weight loss phase.

3. Three meals a day. Period. Full stop. 5-6 hours apart. No snacks. This one was harder for me than the other two!

4. Weigh all your food on a digital scale. (While traveling, I did the one plate method where you pile up your salad and vegetables, add one piece of fruit, a card deck size amount of protein and. Thumb tip amount of fat.

I did the 14 day challenge – lost 7 pounds. Went on a 3 day binge and regained 3. (Thus helping to convince myself that my brain and body are addicted to flour and sugar.) Started the 8 week boot camp on December 20th. I am halfway through week 3. Have a wonderful Facebook group for support. Have daily coaching modules from Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson (my hero). I eat beautiful meals filled with flavor and texture and color. And now that I am home and the holidays are over, I am losing about a pound a day.

And you know what? I don’t care if it slows to a pound a month. This feels RIGHT.nucleus accumbens.jpeg

 

 

The Myth of the Premium Gaming Laptop (aka Alienware Lemon)

alienware-logo-white-213731.jpgI have been struggling with my Alienware laptop for over a year. One repair after another. Service techs to the house. Walking us through dismantle and repair. Shipping it back to Dell. Just arrived again – for the 3rd time – today and it doesn’t work right out of the box. $2800 for a laptop that stops working every few weeks is ridiculous. We purchased premium support which we we’re assured would help, but am getting the run around – big time. When I suggested it was time for a refund, they generously offered to replace it – finally! No thanks you. For what? Another year of stress??

 

Update: after dealing with a complete jerk in executive support for a few weeks, I took to social media and filed a police report with the Houston Police. Then I called CSAT, who owns the CATS repair Depot in Houston. I called and left messages for every single member of the executive team there.

On Thursday a wonderful woman from support at Dell called and arranged for a replacement drive to be installed on Friday. The laptop is working as of 3pm Friday.

Thank you, Linda Kelly and all the great folks at CSAT who escalated the call.

Week Two – Done!

Except for the “honeymoon” period after weight loss surgery, I have never lost weight so easily without drugs. The Bright Line Eating style has kept me losing steadily for two weeks now – 9.4 pounds in 13 days. I am not hungry. I am not craving. I am not obsessing about what I can’t eat. I am not cheating or even very tempted to do so.

It seems too simple. Too inexpensive. I had weight loss surgery (and complications) that cost over $70k. I lost 151 pounds but gained all but 40 back. I have spent thousands of dollars more in the last 40 years on diets and programs and books and food and supplements and trainers and gym memberships and so on and so on, ad nauseum.

I paid $17 for the book. I splurged and paid $29 for a two week challenge to get a more detailed meal plan. I may save up and do the 8 week boot camp for $400.

But maybe not. I might not need it.

Less than $500, easy weight loss and serenity with food – that is a pretty good deal. 51ESNgw1lQL._SX342_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Day 1:Bright Line Eating 14 Day Challenge

BLE5DayOatmealAfter just 5 days following the 4 BLE mantras, I feel AMAZING. My mood is sky high and I’ve got energy to burn. Plus, I lost 4.4 pounds in five days.

Despite my fears, I did manage to eat just 3 meals a day, no snacking and had no real issues. I did get hungry, and that freaks out my lizard brain, but the cognitive part of my brain shut it up. It really helped with all of Dr. Susan Pierce Thompson’s book in my head so I understood the root of that fear.

The hardest stretch for me is post-dinner about 7 PM to break-fast at 6:30. I wake up REALLY early, like 4 AM, so waiting to eat until 6:30 PM is very hard for me. I plan to try to sip water, herbal tea and read or write or hey – I could even get some chores done!

This morning brought back excellent memories of my post-bariatric life: making the week’s oatmeal. The scent of the cooking apples and cinnamon and the creamy texture of the steel cut oats and peanut butter made me feel very happy and peaceful. It was what I imagine the aftermath of a victorious battle would be – wounded, but at peace with the outcome and proud to have made it this far.

It’s more than a little heartbreaking that I have been battling food and my weight for over forty years.

40!

FORTY!

Okay. Moving on.

Clearly I’ve gotten a lot more sane about it with help from so many groups and so many special people – particularly Dr. Rebecca Moore who I miss every day. But the war continues to rage. Right now, we have a shaky armistice that may or may not hold.  I truly don’t know if Bright Line Eating will be the answer forever, but for today, it’s a really hopeful option.

BLE Five Day Oatmeal:

  • Bring to a boil:
    • 3 cups of water
    • 1 tsp salt (I like Himalaya Pink)
    • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
    • 5 apples (30 oz) chopped (1 fruit for each day)
  • Add:
    • 5 oz (dry measure) of Steel Cut Oats (1 oz grain for each day)
    • 2.5 ounces all natural peanut butter (1/2 the protein for each day)
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes
  • Start checking for your desired consistency (I like mine a bit chewy so 24 minutes)

Divide into 5 equal portions and refrigerate when cool. When you eat it, heat for 30 seconds in the microwave and add 1 oz of raw pecans or other nut/seed to each serving to get the other half of your protein serving.

Enjoy!

 

 

Back in the Saddle Again

backinthesaddleagain

The Fall funk got me baaaaad this year. Got fired in August and spent a month worrying about why. (That’s right – they didn’t tell me until I finally went to talk to the person who fired me and asked why.) Wasn’t my work. Just my attitude. I disagreed with something and that was not what they wanted.  I guess they really just needed a yes woman.

Well, that ain’t me.

Still…months have passed. I sank pretty deep by the end of September. Finally dragged myself into the doctor for meds. The ones I should have started in August. But, like I said, I was distracted.

In my search for a real job, I came across a job for a greenhouse worker. I applied. I got it. I make over $100k less than I usually do, so money is tight. But being outside and working with plants and the sheer physical labor involved has helped to spring back.

Another bit of serendipity: I stumbled across an Audible early bird cyber Monday deal on Sunday night for Bright Lines Eating. It was only $5 so I bought it and started listening to it on the drive into work.

Susan Pierce Thompson, the author, tells her story in the book and it resonates with me so much. I’ve listened to it twice now – all 12 hours of it. I may listen again tomorrow. But what I’ve learned so far, is lots of science (valid, I hope) about why it is so hard for me to stay on track.  Leptin resistance in the brain stem, damaged dopamine receptors, addict-able personality traits (take the quiz!) and more.

Hi, my name is Karen and I’m a food addict. I think that’s more accurate now than compulsive overeater. It isn’t that I’m eating that much at any one time, but I have gone back to the dark side and I graze on sugar and flour products far too much.

Bright Lines, or BLE, focuses on planning, journaling and tracking everything. Checklists, even. The four “bright lines” or four things you must do are: no sugar, no flour, 3 scheduled meals and no snacks and weighing and measuring your food.

Ok, they had me at planning.

So I’m back in the saddle again. (The great Gene Autry, though most people will remember it from Sleepless in Seattle.)

My son and husband are NOT excited.  Understandable. Like many addicts I latch onto one idea after another but none of them ever seem to work or work for long and then I’m back in the bark-o-lounger with a bag of chips and chocolate.

I have to keep reminding myself that success is falling down 9 times and getting up 10.

So I’m getting up again. I’m going to sign up for the Bright Lines 14 day challenge and see what happens. I’ve made it two days with no flour and no sugar. Tomorrow will be hard but –  I have a plan!

If it ain’t broke…

Of course I tried to improve on the plan this week. Didn’t do as much prep work. Didn’t have the variety. Didn’t stick to the rules – more sugar, more fat, some dairy, somewhere milk. Fewer greens on my plate and more starch.

I also cranked up my exercise dramatically which made me hungrier, so I ate more.

Results?

Blood sugars were back up. (130’s)

Weight fluctuated up and down. Gained half a pound instead of losing.

Tummy measurement – well, I am afraid to check. Posting will encourage me to do that!

Also do not feel as energetic – either physically or mentally.

Tomorrow I am shopping, cooking and prepping to get back on plan. 

Again.

And again.

Whatever it takes to get back to THIS: