Ideas about starting, practicing, and keeping on track

No Snacks, no sweets, no seconds. Except on Days that start with S. Too simple for you? Simple is why it works. Look here for questions, introductions, support, success stories.

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Common Sense M
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Ideas about starting, practicing, and keeping on track

Post by Common Sense M » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:13 pm

In terms of behavior modification procedure, I know that I will need more thorough and systematic guidance than the foundational mnemonic (for all the "but what about...?"). My idea is to try to stick to the No S plan and gradually design and put into action responses to the scenarios that trump me up. The basic format will be:

When ...... happens, my plan is to ......

The responses will hopefully be a healthy dose of common sense mixed with what I've learned from books like The Willpower Instinct. I know from experience that I need to keep it short and sweet, as simple as possible. If the response takes more than five minutes or won't fit on a half sheet of paper, then I am probably overthinking it.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

ironchef
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Post by ironchef » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:20 pm

Great idea.

Here's one of mine that seems to work:
When...someone brings morning tea to work,
I...join the group, enjoy a coffee and chat without taking any food.

This totally works and no one seems to notice.

Another one I use a lot:
When...some baked good on an N day look too good to pass up,
I...take a slice and put it in the freezer to enjoy on the weekend.

And one of the most powerful parts of No S:
When...I fail and have an S on an N day
I...mark it and move on to focus on success at the next meal.

oolala53
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Post by oolala53 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:13 am

This dovetails one of Baumeister's observations on reducing eating. Rather than choose a specific lower calorie limit, choose limits per situation.

At a buffet, I will _________.

My daily lunch (situation) will be a portion of protein, one or two portions of starch, some fat in the entree or extra, one fruit, half a plate of veggies- or less.

then all we have to do is stick with it.
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

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Post by aspencer27 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:32 pm

I actually find that if I say "When X happens, I will..." I try to rebel against it. For example, I try and eat a salad on most weekdays. When I first re-started NoS, I would find that saying I will eat a salad made me really want something on the opposite end of the extreme. Now, I've been telling myself "I want to eat a salad" because I don't want that sluggish feeling, and I want to give myself great nutrients. This really seems to help me - I've been having a lot of easy green days and my S Days have been tamer.

Common Sense M
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Post by Common Sense M » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:01 pm

Thanks for chiming in! Ironchef and Oolala, what you are describing is exactly what I want to put into action. I am glad to know that it is working for you. My planned start day is tomorrow. Yesterday at the doctor's, I was 9kg over the weight that I feel the best at, 11kg over my lowest adult weight. My waist circumference is somewhere between 36-37". I will report how it goes as I start putting my plans in place.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

Common Sense M
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Goal: moderate sweets

Post by Common Sense M » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:54 am

Goal: to reserve sweets for sometimes on Saturdays, Sundays, and Special days, in the company of others

Plans

When there is a craving for sweets on an N day, my plan is to:

-breathe deeply
-remember "I can have that on an S day".
-remember why:
1) eating sweets regularly doesn't make me feel good,
2) developing temperance towards sweets is part of getting what I want (relatively low effort weight control), failure to do so will probably lead to further weight gain
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

Common Sense M
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Goal: serenity about food, health, and weight control

Post by Common Sense M » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:55 am

Goal: to cultivate peace of mind about food, health, and weight control

Goal metric: something related to how much time I spend planning meals, reading about nutrition, maintaining my systems, and participating here
Last edited by Common Sense M on Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

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Post by Over43 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:28 am

The HabitCal works wonders.
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Common Sense M
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Sensible Baking

Post by Common Sense M » Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:59 pm

When I want to bake...

My plan is to:

-ask myself what the reason, purpose, or occasion is
-check that I have a clear, time-tested recipe (no 'just wingin' it')
-check that the recipe makes something that my family actually enjoys
-if not -> plan to get nice biscuits
-don't dwell on it, go do something

When I am tempted to use up all of a certain staple ingredient in order to 'make it easier on myself'

My plan is to:

-be clear and explicit about my reasons: I am using my willpower, in the form of not engaging in intellectually dishonest 'last supper' reaaoning and subsequent overeating, in order to get something I want, namely being able to prepare any kind of dish that I want, keep all staples in the house, and maintain a reasonable weight.
-tough love. I always have a choice. I am endowed with divine free will. I CAN exercise restraint.
Last edited by Common Sense M on Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

Common Sense M
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Post by Common Sense M » Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:04 pm

Another facet of moderating my eating is when I am cooking or cleaning up. I have the bad habit of BLTs (bites, licks, and tastes). It adds up quickly and is also just a rude bad habit. I am trying to brand the replacement habit because that idea appeals to me as being useful. Possibilities that I have thought of are:

Classy in the Kitchen
Cook like an Ironchef
Cooking with Poise

The wording is important. It needs to evoke a precise virtuous behavior and state of mind. Any suggestions?

PS: thanks for pointing me towards the habitcal
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

Common Sense M
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Post by Common Sense M » Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:22 pm

These routines that I am formulating may sound complicated, but I think that is okay. I liken it more to learning, or Eastern mind training practices. In Eastern thought, they talk about 'antidotes', which are simply consciously chosen, pre-planned, positive counter-responses to one's own destructive, antisocial, and/or painful reactions. In his book about habit, Duhigg explains how military officers are taught routines for everything, even very complex tasks like making decisions in a war zone. They train themselves until their thoughts are guided and filtered by habit. In other words, familiarization is not just for menial actions like learning to stop picking one's nose. It can be applied to higher thought processses. The 'higher brain' can also be familiarized with outlooks, values, thought pathways, decision-making tools, and so forth. It just takes time and perseverance.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

Common Sense M
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Post by Common Sense M » Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:41 pm

Goal: create and follow a school day routine that roughly spreads out my time across my various responsibilities and takes into account my children's schedule

I am exerting willpower (in the form of actually following through with the routine) in order to get something that I want (1) time gained through less deliberation as to what I should do, 2) a sense of security and competency about how my time is used, 3) healthy, predictable routines for my preschoolers.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

Common Sense M
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Post by Common Sense M » Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:11 am

So far the sensible baking habit has been deployed. I have not tackled any others formally yet, but I am keeping them in mind and developing action plans. I think 'no sweets' will be the next habit I set in motion. In any case, just practicing sensible baking seems to have a positive effect on my overall restraint.

The day schedule plan is not directly related to noS, but it is beneficial because I notice that lacking direction drains my energy.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

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Post by mitchelll » Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:27 am

Though I like sweets well enough, they are not a major temptation for me. Still, at one point, I did find myself eating them more often than I was happy with when dining out. Since I don't care enough about them to waste my calories on them, one of my set habits is:

When I eat out at a restaurant, I enjoy coffee with cream as dessert. I usually drink my coffee black, so the cream makes it a treat. I have to say that having the set idea that my dessert of choice is coffee with cream , I almost never even look at the dessert options, and with the coffee and cream to fiddle with while others are eating dessert, I am also rarely tempted to take a bite of companions' desserts either.
Last edited by mitchelll on Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Common Sense M
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Post by Common Sense M » Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:40 am

That's a great idea, Mitchell! You know, the funny thing is that, like you, I am not actually that crazy about sweets. When I really stop and taste them, I realize that I infinitely prefer a good chili or chicken soup. Sweets are complicated, a lot of social considerations drive their consumption in my case. Sweets are tied to the memories of 'aren't we being naughty' indulgence talk from overweight family members, who would proceed to go over the top. And I also still have deprivation rebound reactions to them. But, when I set all of that aside, in and of themselves, sweets are just a pleasant, different taste, but nothing life changing.

Your set plan sounds really good to me. Simple, satisfying, and not open to discussion. You get to participate and continue 'eating' with others, but no agonizing over this versus that and how much. It's a great idea, thank you for sharing!
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

Joyofsix
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Post by Joyofsix » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:08 am

I rarely post but wanted to say, that like the coffee w/cream as dessert idea, I have been most successful with pre-determined defaults. Removing decisions saves my "willpower bank" for the myriad of other decisions I must make daily.
Lisa, mom to 7

Common Sense M
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Post by Common Sense M » Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:43 am

Thanks you, Lisa! As a mom of seven, you know better than anyone about the value of saving willpower for what really matters. I've got three myself, all under five at the moment!
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

Common Sense M
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Post by Common Sense M » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:25 pm

While 2012 is still visible in the rear-view mirror, let’s take a look at a trio of books about willpower published, and/or publicized, in 2012. If you feel poor in willpower, you will get rich quick from perusing these three engaging and helpful books. Bulleted tips will help you decide which one(s) might be useful for your personal willpower challenge.

The phrase “willpower challenge†is from Dr. Kelly McGonigal. McGonigal, a fellow PT blogger, has written The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, A good article that I don't want to forget

The Willpower Books of 2012

Willpower: Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It. McGonigal teaches a 10-week course, “The Science of Willpower,†at Stanford University; her 10-chapter book mirrors that course, complete with willpower experiments and chapter summaries. McGonigal combines a deep grounding in the willpower research with a compassionate and light-hearted take on our struggles with ourselves as we strive to reach goals that matter. The three skills that, in her view, serve as the foundation of willpower are: (1) self-awareness; (2) self-care; and (3) remembering the goals or values that matter most to you.

Takeaway tips from The Willpower Instinct:

The “willpower instinct,†aka, “self-control,†evolved so that we could all cooperate, control our baser impulses, and refrain from shouting, “I hate you,†at an annoying colleague. So you DO have willpower!
It takes self-awareness to change a habit. Alcohol, sleep-deprivation, distraction, and stress are enemies of willpower because they make us less self-aware and more prone to impulsiveness.
To train the part of your brain that’s in charge of willpower, take care of yourself in healthy ways, such as exercising, taking brain breaks, talking to supportive people, eating better, and practicing mindfulness.
Remind yourself that you are using your willpower to get something you want.
When you slip up, self-compassion will help more than self-criticism, shame, and guilt.
If you wish you could take a fun and helpful class about willpower, read this book. Wish granted!

Super-researcher Roy Baumeister, with science writer John Tierney, has co-authored Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. Baumeister’s research is the source of the much-discussed idea that willpower is a limited resource. According to this theory, willpower is like a muscle which tires with over-use. Willpower, decision-making, and being nice when you don’t want to all drain the same cognitive pool in the short run. But in the long run, practicing willpower, like exercising your muscles regularly, will strengthen it.
One practical benefit of this view of willpower is that it helps you set priorities. If you only have so much willpower energy on a given day, how do you want to spend that energy? Once you decide, you can budget your willpower and spend it where you need it the most.

Takeaway tips from Willpower:

Willpower and IQ are the two best predictors of success in life. Since you can’t do much about IQ, strengthen your willpower.
Willpower is like a muscle. Exercise it, and it will get stronger. But be aware that, like a muscle, it will get fatigued if over-used.
Using willpower, making decisions, and dealing with difficult people all drain the same reservoir of self-control. Avoid hard decisions when energy is low.
Arrange your life to minimize the need for willpower. Remove temptations. Save willpower for challenging situations.
The first step to self-control is to set a goal; the second step is to monitor your progress along the way.
The best use of self-control is to form habits that you can eventually do automatically—without willpower.
Baumeister and Tierney’s willpower insights are embedded in riveting stories of personal transformation. Unputdownable!


The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg, is now a habitual resident on the New York Times best-seller list. Duhigg also stresses that the best way to strengthen willpower is to make it into a habit. To do this, know the habit loop—the cues that trigger your habit, your resulting habit routine, and the rewards you get from your habit. Duhigg argues that you can change a habit successfully by keeping the cues and rewards the same, while changing the routine. This model seems too simple to me, in part because it ignores the "why" of a person's habit change, but Duhigg’s talent for story-telling makes his argument very persuasive.
Takeaway tips from The Power of Habit:

If you change one critical habit pattern—a “keystone habitâ€â€”you may be able to transform other related habits. Example: The decision to exercise regularly may trigger positive changes in eating routines, spending patterns, and productivity.
To save your willpower, create habits that allow your brain to work on automatic pilot.
Fight a bad habit by replacing an old routine with a new one.
Organizations and businesses can deliberately create routines that nourish good habits. For example, Starbucks employees are trained to respond calmly to complaining customers, using a method dubbed, appropriately enough, the LATTE method: Listen to the customer; Acknowledge the complaint; Take action by solving the problem; Thank them; and Explain why the problem occurred.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

Common Sense M
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Post by Common Sense M » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:25 pm

Just a quick update to say that I am doing well with this kind of tactic. I respond really well to it.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

Common Sense M
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Post by Common Sense M » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:09 am

Just another update to say that I am doing well. I am using a homemade behavior tracking sheet that works for me. I am averaging a solid B (85%) as far as compliance goes. My goal is to get up to a B+.

What I have the most noticed is how little time I ever spend fighting with myself about food now. I think about food in relationship to what I am excited about cooking for the evening meal, but that's mostly it. It is a very significant improvement over the past. I want to thank Oolala for being active on the web. I saw her on another site and her thoughtful comments brought me here, which has in no small way changed my day to day experience of life. I have found that this way of life is self-reinforcing. I enjoy it because I enjoy how it works, the freedom, and the how much more I enjoy eating at meal times when I have an appetite.
Last edited by Common Sense M on Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

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Post by Joyofsix » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:27 pm

I'm glad it's going well.
Lisa, mom to 7

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Post by oolala53 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:50 pm

Glad I could play a part.

Enjoy every bite!
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

Common Sense M
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How to turn that frown upside down

Post by Common Sense M » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:01 pm

Dear everyone,

I have a question. Does anyone else get really crabby by the end of the week? My No S is moderate, I generally feel good about how it is working out, and I am able to stick to it, but it seems like come Friday I am grouchy and slightly depressed, and not just in an 'end of the week' way. If you've had this, how did you cope with it?
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

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Post by Blithe Morning » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:41 pm

I don't. I may have at one time. I suspect that what you are feeling is your willpower depletion.

One of the ways I have learned to combat temptation is, after a fail, to sit and notice how I feel physically and emotionally. Then, when I'm tempted, I try to recall those emotions, telling myself that I won't feel sated or comforted or treated. Rather, I will feel worse.

Do this enough and temptations become associated with negative feelings and therefore require much less willpower to overcome. I suspect this is why I'm not so "ready for the weekend" anymore.
Last edited by Blithe Morning on Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ironchef » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:19 pm

I sometimes get crabby by the end of the week. I don't think it has anything to do with No S, I think it is just working plus toddler care plus other obligations leading to stress and tiredness. The difference is that now I can't just stuff a bunch of food over the top of these feelings, so I have to feel them.

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Post by gingerpie » Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:18 pm

Hi, My kids have started referring to thursdays as my "grouchy day". :roll: I don't think it is related to no-s I think it is because I can't get enough sleep during the week and hence, I'm grouchy by the end of it. If I manage to get in an early-to-bed night during the week, I'm fine. I also exercise a lot because I'm training for a long hike (34 miles). It is especially important for me to get plenty of sleep on training days or I get really grouchy.

Good luck figuring out your needs. It sounds like you are doing a great job problem solving.

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Post by Common Sense M » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:28 pm

I am having such a hard time right now. It feels awful. My appetite feels really excessive and it seems like food is on my mind all the time. I feel a distinct sense of discontent, being ill-at-ease, because I am not snacking. I am not hungry at all - it isn't the lack of calories - I just want to eat. Where is the reset button?
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

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Post by r.jean » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:56 pm

So you are craving snacks but not hungry? For me this was best dealt with by keeping busy and distracting myself from thoughts of eating. I hate to say it, but it was also sheer will power at first. If real hunger is involved, I might drink a glass of milk or tomato juice.

After a while, it becomes habit. Unfortunately, habits can be easily derailed if you go on extended periods of S days or red days such as on vacation or during the holidays. So I try to have S events rather than full S days to combat this.
The journey is the reward.
Maintenance is progress.

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Post by kccc » Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:32 pm

The other strategy is to make your meals extra-nice. Something to look forward to. I find if my meals are very satisfying, it quells the grazing urge.

And I second Jean's recommendation to distract yourself. What do you love to do that you haven't made time for lately?

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Post by Blithe Morning » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:00 pm

Could it be the season? I have found that I am a more seasonal creature than I realize. I'm getting through the next few months by adding new fitness goals.

Also, I wrote this a few weeks ago. I don't know if anything here would be helpful but it's a good place to start.

Advice for Hard Times.

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Post by Common Sense M » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:22 pm

Hi everyone, thank you so much! To answer your thoughts, yes,the seasons do have something to do with it. I often feel more fragile during the winter. I have been taking 5000 international units of vitamin D since November to see if it might help. It seems to be helping with seasonal tiredness, but not emotional equilibrium.

I do try to distract myself, but sometimes it feels like I am always watching myself thinking and redirecting my thinking. And for some reason that seems to lead me into abstract, existential thinking and ruminating, which causes a fair degree of angst.

This is undoubtedly my greatest barrier to compliance. This feeling of being both tense and quite depressed. I don't think I fit into the category of people who do well with intuitive eating. You know, the "once you stop restricting, your appetite will calm down and you will naturally settle at a healthy weight" theory. It has been quite sometime since I restricted anything at all, but I still grapple with the siren song of snacking a lot of the time. It feels more like chemical dependency. As if my brain has become dependent upon whatever chemical it is that it produces when I eat. I am more than happy to never go on a diet again and just follow the simple No S precepts, but it feels so awful right now and I don't know how to get through it without breaking down and crying at some point during the day. It's like food is my Valium.

NB: to be clear, I don't have a history of drug abuse (well, I suppose that depends on how you view Reese's PB cups), but have seen it in my immediate family
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

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Post by kccc » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:26 pm

I recently read Women Who Think Too Much, because I found myself ruminating excessively. The middle part was most helpful - included a number of strategies to pick and choose from. (Beginning is "why this happens", end is case studies in different contexts, which got sufficiently boring that I didn't finish. But the middle was useful.)

One of the reviewers of that book recommended Worry as an alternative.

Perhaps one of these would help you??

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Post by Common Sense M » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:26 pm

I am really flipping out. The kids are in bed and now I can't stop crying. I don't know what to do.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

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Post by ironchef » Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:19 pm

Oh honey, you poor thing. Is there a friend you can call, someone who can come and give you a hug and listen for a while?

I would gently suggest that this might be about more than snacks, if things are feeling so intense that you break down crying. You say you're taking Vit D, but it's not helping the emotional side - have you suffered from SAD in the past? It's not something we suffer here in Australia, but surely it is common enough in the Northern hemisphere that there are other remedies available?

Very best wishes to you.

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Post by oolala53 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:49 pm

Crying may be the perfect thing to do. I've practiced using many strategies to deal with anxious thoughts, including just trying to experience them and their attendant sensations. Sometimes the sensations and desire to be rid of them got so strong recently that I ended up crying. It was actually quite effective, similar to other strategies such as distracting, counteracting them with rational alternatives, visualizations, etc. I know it seems like we should be able to avoid letting it get that far, but it actually seemed better to just cry than having the situation continue. While crying, I did not let myself keep repeating any of the offending thoughts, as I didn't want to give them any credence. I told myself I was crying only because some pressure had built up, and the situation was appropriate. Is that cycle going to get reinforced? I don't know. But I certainly feel I can think about situations more reasonably after the release, or it ceases to be so much of an issue.

Please try to keep this in perspective as well. Yes, the sensations are very irritating. They can make you think you JUST CAN'T STAND THEM, but it is not true. They are very tolerable, though we don't like them. And the payoff is tremendous! Promise yourself you will do whatever you have to to get through this week without giving in. It is just the neurochemical pattern trying to assert itself but can ultimately be forced underground by doing other things, which force new brain patterns. Just don't take up booze, cigs, or gambling!
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

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Post by Blithe Morning » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:51 am

Unless monthly hormone cycles are involved (and even if they are) I think you need more help than what can had through an internet message board. A complete physical and emotional workup may be in order.

kccc
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Post by kccc » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:32 pm

I agree with Blithe Morning. This is a caring community, but there is a limit to how helpful we can be. You sound like you need someone IRL.

Very best wishes, and hope that you will find good local support.

Common Sense M
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Location: Europe

Post by Common Sense M » Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:24 pm

Hi everyone, thank you for the kind words and firm suggestions. I am sorry that I sent up the red flag like that. I was having a particularly hard day (work deadlines keeping me up into the wee hours of the night after being a SAHM during the day, my youngest cutting teeth), but not anything I have not been through before. That is why my reaction was so unusual and overwhelming to me. Of course I realize that an online support community cannot stand in for therapy when such is needed. I honestly don't know which direction I need to head. I am fluent in the language of my adoptive country, but I tend to feel that counseling requires 'mother tongue' fluency because the expression of the human spirit is so nuanced. Perhaps I do need to explore that avenue nonetheless. I never realized how many things food has been standing in for in my life.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

ironchef
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Post by ironchef » Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:27 am

No need to be sorry at all.
Common Sense M wrote: I was having a particularly hard day (work deadlines keeping me up into the wee hours of the night after being a SAHM during the day, my youngest cutting teeth)
This is part of what I was trying to get at - that is a lot of pressure on top of the not snacking. If you are stressed, and sleep deprived, and then can't turn to your usual coping mechanism, that's going to have an impact.
I am fluent in the language of my adoptive country, but I tend to feel that counseling requires 'mother tongue' fluency because the expression of the human spirit is so nuanced.
Depending on the type of therapy, it might not influence things as much as you suspect. My own experience of counselling was a few years ago, when I was under pressure at my own work and my husband left his job on stress leave. I wasn't at breaking point, but I wanted to be sure that I'd be able to keep supporting my partner through a rough time while still sustaining myself. To me it was a just a safe place to express myself, without fearing that I was burdening a loved one or causing them guilt or pain. The counsellor spoke infrequently, usually to ask me to explain something or to gently challenge me on some of my statements / beliefs.

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Blithe Morning
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Post by Blithe Morning » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:05 pm

Common Sense M wrote:I never realized how many things food has been standing in for in my life.
Most of us don't. Putting food in its proper place takes longer and is harder than you would think. And unfortunately, the work is hardest and biggest at the beginning when you have the fewest resources to tackle it.

kccc
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Post by kccc » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:29 pm

Blithe Morning wrote:
Most of us don't. Putting food in its proper place takes longer and is harder than you would think.
Quoted for truth. Food does stand in for so much else!

When I stopped grazing all evening, I realized I was doing it because I was tired, and resisting getting up and cleaning the kitchen and doing All The Things that grownups have to do. Yet, if I just did them, I would actually have more time to relax, and would be less tired. That was a hard pattern to break... and it was one of the easy ones! There were other places where food was being used to stuff down Big Ugly Emotions that really needed to be worked through.

Which is why everyone needs a lot of support while trying to change food habits, because they're connected to so much else.

Be gentle with yourself. And remember that it's okay to ask for help.

oolala53
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Post by oolala53 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:10 am

Just catching up.

I'm grouchy ALL the time at my work. Or almost all of it. And I live alone, or someone would probably notice I am other times, too.

Just saw KCCC's last post. That is me, except that I STILL don't do the things I don't want to do, and I pay a price. Even when I've experience satisfaction and some pride from changing some habits, such as keeping the bathroom straightened and making my bed most days, which has also helped me end up keeping my bedroom more tidy, it doesn't lead me to generalize. Yet even as I write this, it seems all my fretting in the past wasn't what actually got me to take action in those rooms. Or did it? I can't tell. I just know my kitchen and dining area is about 75% a wreck and I almost flipped out today dumping things in a box in my car when I had to give a friend a ride.

And I've been getting Flylady's newsletter for years.
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

Donnadolittlemore
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:18 pm
Location: Ohio

I've been there!

Post by Donnadolittlemore » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:08 pm

I have been where you are! It sounds like your kids are little, you are not close to home (no proverbial village) and your close friend and therapist is a big bowl of pasta (insert your own food friend). And you just recently broke up with your best friend. That is a lot. My kids are teens now and I am 40 pounds lighter. But mentally I can go back 10 or 12 years and be right there.

Here is some advice I wish I had then:
1. Find a new friend! Find something that will give you a good feeling like the food did. A walk with the kids. Calling someone back home. Start a blog about your recent experiences and feelings. Who cares if anyone reads it.

2. If you didn't do the blog then start journaling a little each day. Feelings look different on paper.

3. Meditation a few minutes a day can be a chore, but a real lifesaver. There are free apps and there are some decent ones on YouTube.

4. Keep up with the No S so you can feel like something is in your control and you can make your health a priority. But, maybe don't be so hard on yourself. I'm sure some of the more experienced people on this chat can give you better advice in this area.

5. Find some other stay at home moms to spend time with. They are everywhere. Playgrounds, malls, baby music or gymnastic classes.

6. Also a trip to your Dr. may be helpful. It is worth a visit to let him/her know what is going on. They may have some wonderful suggestions.

Sorry to be so lengthy. I have not posted in a while but I was hearing a younger me and I can't go back in time to change the past, but maybe it will help you a little.

LookingForSanity
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:40 pm

Post by LookingForSanity » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:51 am

Somewhere I read that building self-control is like building muscle. The more you use it, the more of it you'll have. Makes sense to me.

A friend pointed me to an article in Woman's World magazine, about a woman who lost a lot of weight. For a visual of her progress she made a paper clip chain, adding a paper clip for each pound of weight loss. I liked the idea so much that I bought myself some coloful paper clips and can't wait for my next weigh-in. I'm hoping to get that chain started soon!

earl7z
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Post by earl7z » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:28 am

LookingForSanity wrote:For a visual of her progress she made a paper clip chain, adding a paper clip for each pound of weight loss.
That is such a cool idea!
All you can do is all you can do.

Food doesn't make you fat. Too much food makes you fat.

Common Sense M
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Location: Europe

Post by Common Sense M » Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:22 pm

Hi all, struggling, perpetually struggling, but hanging in there. Who wants to weigh-in on a trivial matter that paradoxically feels potentially life-changing right now:

-typed
-hand-written on index cards
-hand-written on letter paper
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

oolala53
Posts: 9642
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:46 am
Location: San Diego, CA USA

Post by oolala53 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:30 pm

Not sure if there is a question asked? Do you want feedback?

I know you are struggling, but I affirm you can get from meal to meal without eating, though you may have to build up to it. Perhaps a week of just getting from breakfast to lunch? Or lunch to dinner? It can be motivating to build some success. Martha Beck recommends making the goal easier to meet, if it eludes us. Maybe taking the pressure off doing the whole shebang at once would help.
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

Common Sense M
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:30 pm
Location: Europe

Post by Common Sense M » Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:55 am

Hi Oolala! Thank you, you are right and I am glad that you are there to remind me. If it seems crushingly difficult, then I need to take it more slowly. This leads directly into the question that I was asking in the sense that I once knew about that (strategy of small wins), but forgot it and couldn't find it in my pile of notes on helpful ideas to remind me and breakup the logjam in my mind.

I asked the question because I couldn't decide how to organize the notes. Typing them out is the quickest and makes it easier to revise them or reorganize them. But then I feel a special sort of connection to my notes when I read handwritten notes. Research also supports handwriting as being the most effective way to take notes for learning purposes. Something about the physical act of tracing out the shapes of the letters activates more areas of the brain, imbeds the information in spacial memory, and seems to resemble the activity of visualization which, I'm sure you know, is helpful for learning new tasks and habits. The problem with handwritten notes is that any revision requires completely redrafting each time. That's the appeal of using index cards, so that revision isn't as time-consuming. But the drawback of index cards is that they cannot be organized in book format with a binder, or at least not with anything that I've seen in the office supply stores here where I live. It's really silly to get hung up on such a small detail. What I really need is probably a strategy for working around this kind of question in the first place. I think that I've said it here before. I am really prone to getting bogged down in the details. Font, page layout, colored pencils or no color. At the time it always seems really important, as if I just need to get this last detail out of the way and then I'll be all set to go.

In this specific instance I probably need to commit to typed notes, because they fall under the category of reference material, and reference material is almost universally typed, not handwritten. Textbooks, handbooks, articles online, all of these things are typed.

I am sorry it was so cryptic, I was trying to type very quickly with a baby on my hip.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

Common Sense M
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:30 pm
Location: Europe

Post by Common Sense M » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:59 am

PS: thank you for directing me to the Four Day Win à la Martha Beck. It seems like a really concrete example of using small win strategy to move forward!
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

oolala53
Posts: 9642
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:46 am
Location: San Diego, CA USA

Post by oolala53 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:27 pm

Could you not get sheet protectors that you could slide index cards into? You could have more than one on a page or just one. Yeah, a card would look small, but it's an option.

I used to lust after sheet protectors to "file" papers into and arrange in binders instead of using files in drawers. All I ended up with is binders full of unorganized papers. And now I'm getting rid of most of them because so much of what we do is online. I can't bring myself to throw out the page protectors, but I don't think many other teachers will want them, either. But I'll put them in a common place for now. I wish I could send them to you.

Are you using habitcal while you figure things out?
Last edited by oolala53 on Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

Common Sense M
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:30 pm
Location: Europe

Post by Common Sense M » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:19 pm

Knowing me, I probably wouldn't be satisfied with how it looked. It would not look tidy and the little cards would be shifting around in the pockets. I would get fidgety about it. But, I think perhaps if I make this my first 4 day challenge, practicing one each day and making a decision on day 4, then maybe I will get some peace about it. And if I don't get peace about it, then my next 4 day challenge can be building an inner dialogue around commitment and being satisfied with my chosen methodology!
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

Common Sense M
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:30 pm
Location: Europe

Post by Common Sense M » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:43 am

Just an update to say that I am still alive and kicking and that NoS is still a part of my life.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.â€

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