In Search of Smaller

So, here’s the thing: I want to be smaller.

But I’m opposed to dieting.

It’s a dilemma.

Before my mom got sick (wow, nearly two years ago) I was strongly focused and centered on my intuitive eating, and as a result, I was steadily losing weight. Over the first two years of eating intuitively I lost nearly fifty pounds.

But that got lost. I stopped being centered, and the weight came back. Luckily – for once – I didn’t gain back the weight plus some, but about forty of the fifty pounds returned to my body.

And I hate it.

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When a new season arrives, it means putting on clothes that you wore in seasons past. At the start of the summer I brought out a denim skirt I love but two years ago hung low off my hips and was dismayed to realize it was now tight in the waist. My response was to simply put the skirt away again and try not to think about it; but then fall approached and I found myself facing the closet with fear and trepidation. Will my comfy, baggy jeans still be loose? Will that shirt still cover my belly?

It was then I realized I had to sit down and do some hard thinking about my food and my body. How could I work toward being smaller but not make myself crazy with a diet? It was time to do some research.

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I started by thinking about how my body reacts to various foods. I know for sure that my body has some sort of sensitivity to wheat and wheat products; I don’t know that I actually have an issue with gluten or not because I’ve never been diagnosed or even examined for it. But I do know that eating wheat causes bloating. So I put wheat in the “avoid as much as I can stand it” column.

Then I thought about sugar; I know for a fact that eating wheat products with sugar (sigh) cause me to feel like shit within twenty minutes of finishing them. It’s a clear cause and effect, but it’s a hard thing for me to let go of. I also know that eating things that are sugary but have no wheat can still cause me to have blood sugar plunges, but I also know that denying myself sugar – say, not having chocolate during PMS – sucks. If I was going to change my eating again, I had to be sure to make it a livable solution. So I put sugar in the “very limited” column.

I then thought about how great I feel when I eat low carb, for a while. The problem is that within ten days or so of eating reduced carbs – right after the fog lifts and I begin to feel clear and energetic – I begin having terrible abdominal cramping (like so many do) so badly that it wakes me at night. Even with extra fiber in my diet, the pain persists until I add carbs back in to my diet and vanishes within 24 hours of doing so. So I put carbs in the “what the fuck” column. (Yes, I have a WTF food column.)

Next up was admitting and coming to terms with my decreased consumption of fruit and vegetables. When I was doing a more rigid diet plan, I ate three pieces of fruit a day and two cups of veggies with both lunch and dinner, and when I was truly focused on intuitive eating I kept that practice up. But then… well, it vanished. I’d eat a banana with breakfast and a small amount of veggies with each meal, maybe. So I put fruit and veggies into the “step up and eat that shit” column.

Meat consumption has never been an issue. I love meat (yes, enjoy what your mind does with that). However, with our budget limitations I’d taken to eating crappy cuts of beef and nearly avoided fish altogether and having a lot of boring, bland chicken. I thought about how I could make this better and decided that I really wanted to add fish back in one or twice a week, eat better cuts of beef, and take the time to cook chicken in a way that was less bland. So I put meat in the “hell yeah, but eat higher quality” column.

Dairy and eggs were next. Here’s the thing: I fucking love cheese. LOVE IT. I also really love greek yogurt, sometimes enjoy cottage cheese, and other forms of dairy. But what I don’t really love anymore is just drinking plain milk, and I realize that dairy products actually. I do love eggs (scrambled, mostly) and can eat them daily. But both dairy and eggs are often full of hormones and other stuff. So I put eggs in the “hell yeah, but eat higher quality” column and put dairy in the “limited” column.

Corn; oh, this is a tough one. I think corn is likely the source of a lot of issues with weight in our culture; it’s usually highly genetically modified and it’s put into so much of our processed food in one way or another I think it’s a problem. But: I love mexican food. LOVE IT. So I put corn in the “limited” column. Which was hard.

What’s left? Well, nuts and seeds. I realized I needed to put these in the “hell yeah, but eat higher quality column.” I’ll explain why below.

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So then I began to look at eating plans that fit into my columns, and I landed on a kind of weird one: paleo. The paleo diet is controversial; in fact, I know in my anthropology courses I learned that humans in the paleolithic era didn’t really eat this way. But nonetheless, it was intriguing. It’s described this way:

Paleolithic diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

I have a few disagreements with this diet; first of all, I can’t see how on earth legumes can be harmful. The theory is that they contain lectins (just like wheat) which is designed to fight off insects, which means they are mildly toxic. I think this is bullshit, and there was no way I was eliminating legumes from my diet.

There are branches of paleo that are pretty strongly anti-carb, and there are branches that believe in “safe” carbs. I find this kind of amusing; root vegetables like yams and turnips and plenty of wild versions like jerusalem artichoke and day lilies were eating by paleolithic people. So the safe carb list is a good bet.

So I took a bit from the paleo to come up with something that is working for me: limited carbs.

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Here’s how I eat now. A typical day looks like this:

• Breakfast: greek yogurt + blueberries with stevia and some added fiber

• Lunch: eggs with fresh spinach, some lowfat bacon, and fruit (usually a banana)

• Dinner: all the meat I want, lots of veggies, and a small amount of carbs including potatoes (less than a cup’s worth), rice (even smaller amount, around 1/2 cup) or a big ol’ sweet potatoes.

Snacks include fruit and good cheese, apples and peanut butter, extra fruit, nuts in reasonable portions, and occasional treats like popcorn. In cooking I’ve switched almost entirely to using coconut oil (I love it so; it doesn’t burn like other oils).

I’ve been doing this for about a month now, with the last two weeks being very clearly similar to the above diet. I’ve had zero abdominal cramping.

Yes, I’ve lost some weight, and my belly has decreased in girth (primarily due to the bloat caused by wheat). I’m also sleeping better, more energetic during the day, and generally in a better mood.

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Does this mean I’m dieting? I’m not really sure. Diets to me are constrictive to the point of pain. Nothing out there is on a strictly forbidden list for; I just want to be more aware of the choices I make when it comes to food each time I eat. For me, that awareness was key in intuitive eating; I think for a long while now I’ve confused “not thinking about food” with being intuitive about how I ate. The awareness factor was what was missing.

So dieting? I guess. Mostly not. But I am interested in losing weight. Ultimately, I’d like to get back to the weight I was prior to infertility treatments and pregnancy. I have no idea if I’ll be able to do, or if this current eating method is sustainable. But it’s what I’m doing now, and I feel pretty good about it.

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When Charlie and I were recently discussing the stress level in our house and how we could change it (stress is a major contributor to my disordered eating, leading to binging) we realized that there was a huge thing that has been a chronic issue since my mom moved in: the dinner hour.

Dinner has always been weird with me and Charlie; I have lots of foods I love such as salmon and soups and stews that he just doesn’t enjoy at all. Plus he likes eating by 6 PM each night, and I much prefer eating around 8 PM. Years ago – back when I was rigidly dieting, and had odd hours at my job – we coped with this by eating dinner separately about five out of six days a week. Admittedly, when we did that, we often ended up at diners with friends from recovery meetings at night so we were at a table together quite often.

But my mom also has her personal food preferences, and then there’s Tori who only eats about five things in total. So dinner was basically a NIGHTMARE or trying to figure out what we could eat, who was in charge of cooking it, and what time it was happening. For over a year we’ve been trying to force the family dinner. So what ended up happening? Entirely too much takeout.

It wasn’t working.

Charlie and I spent a long time talking on Friday about this, and decided that the best thing to do is let go of family dinner. I know, it doesn’t make sense in a lot of ways, but we have GOT to eliminate some of the stress in the house. This way I can work through the regular dinner hour if I need to without guilt, and no one is in charge. Budget wise it actually works out better because it will (hopefully) eliminate takeout entirely. Best of all, I can eat the foods I love.

We have to restructure the evening so that we still get our Tori time, so there are kinks to work out. And we’ve decided to still have a family dinner on Sundays.

It’s only been a few days, but HOLY GOD the relief of not having to make dinner happen is amazing.

Oddly, this fits well into my new eating plan because I get to make the food that works best for me. It’s amazing.

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I hesitated to talk about this because I know I’ve made such a huge deal out not dieting – plus, I’ll confess, some of the inspiration to get smaller has come at the hands of the “harasshats” that discuss my body size on various places on the web. As much as I work to avoid letting what they say get under my skin, it still does. Besides: lots of criticism actually comes with a bit of truth, even when it’s said cruelly and unkindly. I did need to change my eating; it wasn’t clean or right. So this is me, eating some humble pie. And I know you’ve all watched me cycle through this time and again; I don’t know if this time will be different; but I do know that I needed to be more flexible in my no-diet stance, and that’s the first time I’ve done that in almost five years. So maybe it will. We’ll see.

The search for smaller is on.

 

Comments Closed

Comments

      • Alexicographer says

        Not that you asked (because you didn’t) but I will nonetheless share that to my utter amazement, I recently started running (er, jogging) the Doctor Mama way and I am enjoying and persisting with it . So far. This is in stark contrast to my experience with the Couch to 5K system, that many adore (and I’m sure for good reason, but it wasn’t for me). If you are interested, google “Doctor Mama Listen Up Maggots” and the link will pop up. Among her points are that you can be (very) overweight and still be a runner (her way, which, basically, is to run incredibly slowly) and ditto, with health problems e.g. knee issues (which I have had and I believe you have had? I have found her to be correct on this one … running her way hasn’t completely solved my knee problem but it has actually improved — correlation or causality I have no idea — since I started, and definitely hasn’t gotten worse). Anyway, wildly, for me this has meant that if I can find about 1 hour (allowing time to change, shower, etc.) about every other day, I can actually exercise and I actually (mostly) enjoy it. I do go out and run at night (I am *so* not a morning person) in the dark and I don’t know whether that would be practical where you live, and of course with a kid and a job (and the morning person problem) being able to do that makes a big difference, so, you know, YMMV, but FWIW.

  1. Melissa says

    The kid not eating much would drive me bonkers. I’m asking very gently: Are you adding to your stress by cooking just for her? Or worrying over what she’ll eat vs. not?

    Our kid is a good eater for 4.5 and when people ask, I say we went thru the usual food control phase of 2-2.5ish but mostly we’ve served her what we eat, plus a food we know she enjoys and is healthy (e.g. yogurt). I have food issues from disorder eating so I am trying really hard to encourage a varied diet and eating until satisfied but not stuffed.

    The husband and I don’t always eat the same food (I love fish, him notsomuch) but we meal plan on the wknd for the week and grocery shop. That keeps us on track for healthy-ish eating, and not ordering out. Before the meal planning the ordering out was out of control and sucking money from our budget. So we meal plan and try to do easily customizable dinners. For example: salad with protein. I put out greens, cheese, nuts, leftover protein (chicken or whatever, or hardboiled eggs), dried fruit. Everything is in a bowl or its original container — minimize dishes — and then people take what they like.

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      Actually, what she eats is super easy to cook. Mostly the challenge with her is PROTEIN. But I’m trying hard to be very laid back about her eating; with the history of fatness and overeating in our family I’m trying to give her as much space as I can to let her have a healthy relationship with food.

  2. Jenn (dish) says

    I hear you on the difficulty of timing a family meal. I can’t even imagine adding another adult to the mix. We have had to reduce our own stress by allowing our 7y/o to wander about during dinner, although we’ve made it a policy that what is served is dinner, and that’s that (to be fair, we’re serving things that the kids have eaten in the past or *should* eat based on past eating history).

    I wanted to add something to your comment on your body’s reactions to gluten and sugar. First, do what feels right for you and don’t ever apologize. I stopped eating gluten in February on a whim because I thought it might be making me ill–and I have never looked back because I didn’t realize how ill I had become until the ill was gone (not sure if that makes any sense). But, I did want to tell you that before I stopped the gluten, I had horrid problems with my blood sugar dropping. After I went GF, the sugar issues seemed to come to a better balance (it took a couple of weeks). I wasn’t expecting that type of change at all. And rather than be a purveyor of assvice, I was more sharing my experiences with sugar reaction in case you find that you need to reincorporate a level of sugar for sanity’s sake. The low/no wheat could shift things for you, too. Or not. Your body will tell you what you need to know (as you know well already).

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      I totally get what you’re saying, for sure. For me I find that ALL grains, not just ones with gluten, cause the bloating (sigh, goodbye oatmeal!) so I’m avoiding them right now. :)

      • Lisa F. says

        Cecily, a lot of oatmeal is contaminated by wheat for a variety of reasons. Bob’s Red Mill makes a Gluten-Free oatmeal, if you want to test it & see if it causes same problem. I couldn’t tolerate it, but it might be worth trying if you’re really missing oats!

        Good luck, I felt like crap after I gave up gluten & was really mad, because I’d hoped for a clouds parting, beams of heavenly light shining down on me moment of feeling better. In time, I felt better after discovering another health issue & dealing with it, and I’m still gluten free most of the time. One doc I saw said people w/sensitivity to gluten can sometimes find their tipping point & learn how to work around it, one patient of hers learned she could have french toast once a week, for example.

        I think I may have corn & dairy issues, but love my corn after giving up all the wheat, and CHEESE omg. At some point I’ll try to give it all up & see.

  3. Rev Dr Mom says

    I have to say that it’s a whole lot easier to eat what works for me now that I live alone and don’t have to cope with dinner for others!

    As for the “diet” — we are all on a “diet” of some sort, aren’t we? It’s just whatever we eat. I think of it as my food plan. For 18 months I’ve been following WW b/c measuring and tracking what I eat works for me (I’ve lost 82 pounds and I do not in any way feel deprived; it’s just how I eat now.) I eat LOTS of fruits and veggies, some fish, tofu, beans, Greek yogurt, peanut butter. Many meals are HUGE salads with some of the above ingredients. I never wanted to follow a food plan that eliminated whole categories of food but ironically that is what I’ve ended up doing as I figured out how to best eat each day. I eat practically no bread, potatoes or rice; my main grain is my Kashi cereal every morning. And I eat very little fat and no meat (by choice).

    So I think it is awesome that you can come up with your own food plan knowing what works best for your body. I think eating higher quality really does make a difference; I buy organic fruits and veggies as much as I can and I think they do taste better (or else my body thinks they do :) And I applaud you for be willing to say what does and doesn’t work for your family and then adjust it.

    Good luck as you continue to incorporate these changes in your life!

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      That is awesome that WW has worked for you! I get SO OBSESSIVE when I have to weigh/measure/count my food, it’s not worth it. I’ll see how this goes; it might change later though. Who knows?

  4. 4katnap says

    Who said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and expecting a different result? I think you have a good well thought out plan. A plan that takes the things you’ve done successfully and uses those and takes the things that didn’t work and eliminates them. Diet is not a verb it’s a noun. It’s a tool. It’s a way to take care of your body. It’s what you chose to make it. I hope you non evil new plan gives you pleasure and success. As for the assholes out there. They can’t really be ignored BUT think about it take the good things that help and kick the hurtful, hateful to the curb. They don’t deserve your time or energy.

    Good for you and Charlie talk it out and make it work for your family. As long as you don’t lose your Tory time the stress reduction should be well worth it for everyone.

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      LOL on the insanity thing; it’s a good point. Yep, it’s been good to make these changes but I have to say having the food issue lifted allows for this other stuff to surface.

  5. Lynette says

    What I thought was a good idea and what my body responded to in my 20s is SOOOO not what I need in my early 40s. I know I work and feel better now with no white foods – sugar, flour, starches. Any time of ‘food intake modification’ I do that involves reducing or eliminating these types of food always make me feel better and drop weight – so long as I don’t cut caffeine. Then the ZOMFG MIGRAINES start and make me ill.

    We have a mixed-generation household as well, and my mom is wired differently about dinner time than my husband and I are. Even if the adults eat at different times as the kids, we make sure an adult is sitting with the kids at their dinnertime. I don’t feel it’s the actual “eating of food together” that matters as it is a family sitting around a dinner table having a conversation.

    PS – So long as none of this is due to any fucktards on the Internet giving you a hard time I say go for it. Screw the haters. ALL of them.

  6. Tiffany says

    Congrats on beginning your journey to smaller! I wouldn’t call it a diet either, it’s just conscious, mindful eating. I also looked at the whole paleo diet thing, and wasn’t happy with all of the restrictions. I basically eat lean meats, TONS of veggies, small amounts of fruit, minimal amounts of wheat (my husband is a pasta whore), and lots of water. Oh, and cheese. Because I effing love cheese and I’m never giving that shit up.

  7. Shannon says

    Seriously the biggest change in the past few weeks since I went back to trying to lose weight is not having to worry about dinner with the hubby. If I cook and he likes it and is available when I am eating he eats it and vice versa. I realized we eat out a lot or order in because we can’t decide on something we both want, time passes, it gets late, eat more if we go out, etc. I buy what I want for the fridge and the same for him. Huge change and fast. Getting regular sleep, taking correct vitamins and supplements, drinking more water and of course, doing some exercise helps too :)

  8. Mary says

    I went gluten free as an experiment in January and was SHOCKED at how much better I felt without wheat. Now if I eat something w gluten, within 15 minutes I feel bloated and uncomfortable. It’s been suprisingly easy to stay with it, one of the only food changes that I have stuck with, ever in my entire life

    Funny, I have been mentally circling the idea of going paleo…but I also love yogurt and cheese (not milk!), and beans…..we have very similar tastes.

    My daughter is also a v picky eater. Her younger sister will eat ANYTHING, so clearly it is not something I did in my parenting. Some kids have texture issues — my daughter will eat things that are very chrunchy or very soft, but not things w multiple textures. And she will NOT try new things without an act of Congress. We are imposing the “you must take one bite of one thing on your plate that you do not like rule”. And we always serve one thing that we know she will eat (noodles or rice mostly, but she will also eat strange things like miso soup, edamame, and the meatballs in chef boyardee). Hoping that eventually she will eat more things….I know how hard it is, so you are in my heart re that struggle.

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      Yep, that’s just what we’re doing too with Tori. I love the act of congress line! LOL.

  9. liz says

    You are not dieting, you are caring for yourself and your body by paying attention to how each food makes you feel physically and emotionally.

    You are caring for yourself by not eating food that makes you feel like shit.

    And if that makes you smaller, and being smaller is something you want, then more power to you!

    What’s important is that you are feeling better. I applaud that whole-heartedly.

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      Thank you. I really had to get comfortable admitting I wanted to be smaller. It’s a challenge.

  10. Fadra says

    I just checked out a book today from the library called “Intuitive Eating.” It’s anti-diet but it’s still hard. But I realize now for me, it’s hard because I care more about what I want to eat than what I want to change. So I’ve got my own box of issues I’m working on.

    But the separate dinner thing? Brilliant. We have some of the same marital strife. Totally not in sync with our eating. You might be on to something there.

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      I’ve been focused on intuitive eating theory for a while. It WAS hard at first. Seriously, when I started trying to listen to what my body wanted, all it wanted was cheetos.

  11. sizzle says

    I’ve been doing my own mash up of paleo eating for over 6 months now. It works for me. I also add in some beans now and then and some dairy- like greek yogurt and some cheeses. I mostly steer clear of sugar (stress draws me to it, damn it!) and I sometimes eat quinoa, brown rice, or steel cut oats.

    I think making your own plan and seeing what works for your lifestyle and body is the best thing.

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      Exactly. I was so sad to realize that oats ALSO make me feel bloated and gross. Sigh.

  12. moosh in indy. says

    Are you in an area that allows or supports CSA’s or farmer co-ops? We live in a small town and every Saturday I can go to the fairgrounds and get cage free organic eggs ($3 dozen), meat, veggies and cheese for the same price, if not cheaper than the grocery store. In the summer I can get a laundry basket full of vegetables and fruits for about $30, just depends on what is in season.
    Basically you commit to buying from the farmer weekly, it supports them and you get tasty, tasty food for cheap.
    This year I also bought a free range, grass fed cow, pig and lamb with a friend and we’re splitting them (no pun intended.) The lamb and cow come out to about $3 a pound. A POUND I SAY!
    It’s taken us awhile to get to this point (being able to afford a whole hog (again, no pun intended) and have the freezer space for it, but it was worth working towards.

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      Oh, yeah, I’ve got tons of options like that and we also have a year-round farmer’s market nearby! Good reminder. But I’m not doing that HSG thing. Although I was tempted. ;)

  13. Megan says

    So this is pretty much exactly how I feel on the same exact foods. It took me two years to figure out that I was sensitive to wheat and without it I feel soooooo much better. I try to do high protein, but like you, do that too long and those cramps come in and derail me!

    I finally decided that I should talk to my doctor about it and after listening to my food grievances she said, “steel cut oats”. That one simple fix (carbs without the wheat or corn and low in sugar) made all the difference in the world. Keeps me going with what works with my body longer and helps me fight those cravings. And when I have some carbs none of it feels like a diet.

    Best of luck to you. I think you are amazingly beautiful at any size :-)

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      I LOVE steel cut oats, and was SO SAD to realize about a week into this diet that they too contributed to my bloat and discomfort. SUCKS. :)

      And thank you.

  14. Korinthia says

    I tried a strict 30 days of paleo last year and it was really interesting. I mostly just wanted to get a better sense of control over what I was eating, and the line that jumped out at me on the site I was reading when I was doing my research was “no one can make you eat anything.” I realized it didn’t matter what was being served at the birthday party or what was in front of me at a particular moment, I didn’t have to eat it. Anyway, getting rid of grains and dairy and sugar and legumes was hard, but my headaches stopped and I wasn’t hungry all the time and I lost weight. I’m glad I gave it a try.

    Now I’m just trying to focus on what kind of life I can happily live and however my weight pans out with that, fine. I’m exercising every day, still limiting sugar and grains where I can, eating more fruits and vegetables…. I still have about twenty pounds to go and for all I know I’ll never get there, but I feel better for trying. I wish you so much luck and hope and success! It’s hard, but you’re amazing and I’m sure you can do it.

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      So interesting! It’s honestly only been two weeks of being clean on this plan (some fumbling at the beginning with things like oats), so I’m interested in seeing how it goes. I’d LOVE to have it help my headaches. GOD. That would be great.

  15. Tricia Mumby says

    let go of the dinner hour! For lots of families, it just doesn’t work. My kid also eats 5 things. My husband cooks.. I generally don’t like what he’s cooked… I prefer a bowl of cereal at night! Plus, every single night, Kid has some sort of sport.. hubs has meetings.. and I have work to finish up. Why do we all feel such pressure to have “the family dinner” .. all those studies that show blah blah blah.. I love this post. Take the pressure off. I may just do that too..

  16. jane says

    I did a lot of cyclical thinking/eating you’ve talked about here. I have very little knee cartiledge (partially but not completely due to my weight) and last December learned that my blood sugars were in the pre-diabetic zone. I decided enough was enough and made changes. One of the things that has helped me is to change my thinking. Instead of thinking “I didn’t cheat today” or “I didn’t do ___”, I started asking myself “what if”. What if I walked an extra mile? Maybe my knees will hurt maybe not. If they do, I’ll take the next day off but if they don’t…well hell that would be awesome. And guess what? I went the extra mile.

    “What would happen if I ate a chicken sandwich instead of burgers and fries”? Maybe I’ll miss the burger but not experiencing the greasy-gross feeling post-lunch will be nice. Again, chicken wasn’t too bad and not feeling post-lunch gross made me do more and more.

    In times of low motivation or feeling tempted by lesser foods ask yourself What if? You might be surprised what you can do. What if you lost the weight? What if you moved more and ate better most of the time? What would happen to you Cecily?

  17. jessica r says

    There’s dieting which I equate with eating nothing but grapefruit for a month, and then there’s making a healthy, educated lifestyle change so that you feel better in your body and your head. If fitting into that cute skirt is the happy outcome of making smarter food choices for YOUR body and life then yay, but in the long run, sleeping better, not feeling foggy, having energy, all those things will keep you eating “well” more than the wardrobe.
    Good for you for taking this step! So inspired to hey back on my own healthier track!

  18. Reed Gustow says

    Hi, Cecily! Wow, serious effort here – major POTB to you! One thing that you might want to give a shot: walking 30-45 minutes 4-5 times a week. Pace – as if you are going somewhere. No need to jog or strain, just not stroll. Has amazing effect for the effort. You can start with shorter times and 3x/week and work up. All the best!

  19. Victoria says

    My brother is my best friend. And he is significantly overweight.

    Weight and food are such personal issues; it’s hard to say anything to him without it sounding horribly judgmental. Or snippy. Or destructive. Even the most well-meaning suggestion is still commentary on his body and his choices. Plus, it’s not like he doesn’t know.

    Despite all that, from time to time I try anyway. Because I love him. Because I feel compelled. I’m not sure whether family should even try to have that conversation… Whether it does any good? Or whether it just consigns me to the harasshat coalition…

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      It’s tough. It’s really hard to talk about, for sure. I’m generally very resistant to people talking to me about it… I wish I had some good advice. I at least have the addiction model to work from.

  20. Whitney says

    I’ve been doing modified paleo for a while. I feel better and once you get into the swing, it works. I basically default to no flour, almost no sugar…and those rules make it easier. Let me know if you need help- I have lots of resources and a few cookbooks

  21. Rachee says

    Hey Cecily!
    Good luck! I have been enrolled in this weight loss contest and my motivation has FIZZLED! I want to be healthy, happy and all of that happy horseness but I really want to look good.
    Thank you for sharing your plan. It doesn’t stink of rejection, restriction and seems like you can and will be successful.
    If you ever want to go to the gym let me know. I’m off Wednesday mornings and have been trying to drag my butt there. Maybe a partner will help!
    -r

  22. Heather says

    We are similar in that I love dairy products but am drinking less straight up milk.

    In our house my husband is vegan (digestive, not emotional), except for fish but wheat doesn’t do him any good, I thrive on meat and cheese, our son … eh, it moves around so much we can’t nail him down — but he trends vegetarian (loves dairy, shies away from meat — a nice combo gut).

    Breakfasts and lunches area free for all, dinner is regimented and in SUCH a rut, but is family. It is HARD with that many preferences, and congrats to you for figuring out how to make it work.

  23. Tine says

    You know what? I think it’s awesome that you took a good hard look at (a) what is stressful and (b) what makes you feel like crap, and that you’ve taken steps to fix both. To hell with what anyone else thinks about your choices. You are doing what is best for you and your family.

  24. Karen says

    You can make your family meal time BREAKFAST. Assuming that you all agree on what you like at breakfast, or you all can get up and eat together, there’s no reason that the family meal has to be dinner.

    Also, I want you to have a separate column just for chocolate. Seriously, you can take some good dark chocolate as a therapeutic medication for PMS. And it doesn’t have a lot of sugar. <3

      • Karen says

        My husband and I are on two different meal clocks during the day, which sounds like you and Charlie (and Tori and your mom). Personally I think it is important for a family to come together for a meal on a regular basis. There is a lot of learning going on at the family table. How to serve proper portions. How to take a second helping of the right size. How to conduct a conversation with a diverse group of people. How to use proper manners. How to review your day (or week) politely and keeping it entertaining for all the listeners.

        My husband will sometimes have lunch at 3 pm. I find this personally offensive, to be honest. I think he is being disrespectful when he completely destroys his appetite for dinner, not to mention the poor modeling he’s doing for our kids. But upon a closer look I realize that he’s doing this at work so the kids don’t see, and he does sit with us at dinner, even if he’s just having a small meal. On the weekends we’re all over the place so sometimes he just has two meals/day.

        On the other hand, my husband is having trouble keeping the weight off and I think it’s partly because he is so unstructured about his meals (maybe that’s just my bias toward structure speaking?). If he eats his meals two hours later than all of the rest of us, and we go to bed at 10 pm … he’s sometimes hungry at 10 because dinner was at 7 and he hardly ate then…so what’s to eat at 10 except ice cream and potato chips?

        I realize there are a lot of different ways to do meals. I like my own plan of 3 square with snacks in between as needed. I like to get a good start to my day and I always have breakfast. I lunch at noon. I’m sounding like an old fogie but when you say your mornings are chaotic I say go to sleep earlier, get up earlier and start your day with a good breakfast, taken at the kitchen table while sitting in your chair and breathing.

        This comment got way too long and is totally off topic. Sorry to use your blog to vent! I wish you the very best on your paleo trial. I’ve been gluten free for 15 months and I’m so much happier because of it.

  25. Sunny says

    Best of luck with this. Over the years, I’ve realized the most important part is *NOT* quitting. The speed of progress does not matter. I was stuck in a dieting mentality for a long time, ie, if I wasn’t losing, then I was doing something WRONG, therefore, since I couldn’t figure out how to do it “right”, why bother? Times have changed, I don’t want to end up with a host of health problems like my father and sister. My sister was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, just like our father, and just like our grandmother. I don’t want to go down that road when I can do so much to prevent it. Continue best wishes as you figure this out. It’s damn hard.

  26. Alexicographer says

    Yes, on the family dinner thing. My DH plays pool 2 times/week and I take one “girls’ night out” (which I sometimes spend at the office! Ack! But it so nice not to have to rush home…). So we are already down to 4 family dinners (though I do often eat one of the 2 on DH’s night out at my mom’s … which she cooks … for me and my son, and herself … how spoiled am I?), and we often eat one of those out or something. When DS and I eat without DH, I often serve, say, chunks of cheese + some fruit + some carb for DS. *So* simple. Love it. Yes.

    I went truly, properly gluten free for about a year when I was ttc and then pregnant, and — though I know you have said you’re not ruling anything outright so it’s not exactly the same — it is *amazing* how much junk food not eating wheat cuts out!

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      Yes, the bonus of just taking junk food – for me, particularly fast food – is amazing.

  27. Celeste says

    Try the blog, Dinner: A Love Story for deconstructable meals for the family, if only for Sundays.

  28. Michelle Rogers says

    On Oct. 26 I celebrate my 4th anniversary of starting working out and eating better, which resulted in losing 60 lbs. For the 1st time in my life, I’ve been successful at maintaining it without gaining any back. And I REFUSE to diet (for me, dieting just leads to binging). I especially refuse to give up chocolate!! If you’re interested, I’ve written a few blog posts about strategies that finally worked for me. “My top 5 tips for success”: http://www.healthybeauty.me/2012/07/03/how-i-did-it-my-top-5-tips-for-workout-success and “My secret to successful junk food snacking while losing weight”: http://www.healthybeauty.me/2012/09/03/my-secret-to-successful-junk-food-snacking-while-losing-weight

  29. Lisa b says

    Dinner is such a struggle in my house too and stress is really pushing me to the zone you describe of mindless eating.
    Thanks for sharing your plan. I am working on this too.

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      It’s tough, isn’t it? Honestly I don’t know how to fix it other than what we’ve done.

  30. Jasmine says

    This is really really hard territory for me to navigate and coming fresh off being told I need weight loss surgery just makes it feel so overwhelming. I admire your honesty. I hope this does what you want it to :)

  31. Jb says

    What I like about your approach is starting with something that resonates and then adjusting. Paleo makes a lot of sense to me – so good luck! I would be cautious with throwing dinner out – it does sound stressful but there is so thing about coming together and being at peace with food – just wondering about the message Tori gets – inadvertently or not. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Bella1 says

    You and I have similar history of many different diets, altho i don’t have the drug past, which may screw with metabolism some. I’ve been learning from a 5’4″ friend who lost 120 over 4 years ago. Her best advice is would be to make sure to have something small 2 hours after breakfast and 3 hrs after lunch, turkey jerkey, small helping of nutz and fruit and limit portion size. hope you keep track of your migraines also, to see if food triggers it. frequent eating = more weight loss, but requires planning.

    Don’t punish yourself over PMS, i think Russell Stover Chocolate covered nuts with splenda is a phenom. no sugar burst, but tastes great and satisfying. Eat more than one bag and you will have hideous gas, tho.

    Congrats on not gaining it all back, that’s no small feat.

    This is the decade to deal with this problem, your energy is good, menopause is not close, and self knowledge and attention to the process will only serve you well.

  33. Lydia says

    You can still have time together at dinner – sit and have a cuppa and talk to Tori about her day, even if you aren’t eating for example (or have some fruit?).
    My kids are in bed at 7, we only get them at half 5 so there’s no way we get a family dinner in… we do try more at weekends.

    Secondly, I would avoid calling it a diet. If it’s lifestyle (ie sustainable in the long term) that’s great. If it’s ‘mindful eating’ or something, that’s cool. I think though that as soon as you say ‘diet’ then subconsciously you will ditch how you eat when you hit goal.. which isn’t your plan.

    Hope it goes well, and building in moving more is easy too :)

  34. Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife} says

    I think what you’re doing makes a lot of sense. I think the Paleo diet makes a lot of sense, as long as it’s not taken too far (like anything else, right?)

    And I love the WTF Column. I need one of those.

    I feel the same as you about wheat/gluten, sugar and carbs. I know I”m better off with very little of all of the above, but dangit, they taste so good!!

    Also, as huge a proponent as I am for family dinners, I think you made a good decision to let go of it. If it is causing stress, it defeats the purpose. xo

  35. Jenn says

    Sounds like a great PLAN, not a diet at all! Whole foods, nothing in a box, lots of veggies and fruit – all sounds great.
    When I’m “in the zone”, this is exactly the kind of plan I also try to follow. But, for one reason or another, I tend to stray…but I always come back eventually!

  36. Annie @ PhD in Parenting says

    In my books, making changes that make your body feel better is not dieting.

    My approach is that I can eat as much as I want and anything that I want. However, I can’t eat as much of anything as I want. That way I don’t have to deprive myself of the things that I love and I don’t have to feel hungry, yet I know that having four brownies is not the best way to deal with being hungry. So if I’m hungry, I’ll eat something healthy. If I want a brownie, I’ll have a small piece.

    Dieting that involves deprivation has never worked for me. But just being more conscience of what I’m putting into my mouth has allowed me to make slow but measurable improvements to my health and weight.

    A while ago, I used “Tweet What You Eat” (it doesn’t actually tweet it to your followers — just refers to the ability to enter things via DM as you eat them) for about two months, just to become more conscious of the number of calories in different types of foods that I was eating. Not because I wanted to restrict myself to a specific number, but just because I thought it would help me to make better choices. It isn’t something I have time to do long-term, but doing it for a couple of months taught me a lot.

  37. Laura says

    Thank you for sharing your struggles with food. It is such a difficult topic for so many of us, and your voice is so refreshing to hear. I can remember feeling so defensive and defeated (once even breaking down into sobs) at appointments with nutritionists and eating counselors. I know it must be incredibly difficult to describe your own struggles, but I, for one, find it so comforting to know that I’m not the only out there struggling with this. And what you’re eating sounds absolutely yummy, for body, mind and tastebuds.

  38. nancy says

    if you want to eliminate the stress from dinner try reversing it with lunch have your bigger sit down meal at miday with charlie and let everyone fend for themselves at dinner. fix tori her food then eat when you are ready and the same for charlie and your mom. my family does this a lot in the summer to beat the heat. when my dad worked 2nd shift when i was growing up we also ate this way on weekends and during the summer. i actually prefer this way. you have more time to burn off that big meal before bed and i tend to eat less at night.

  39. Celeste says

    I think the best gift you could give yourself is just to eat what you need to be healthy and GIVE UP on trying to fit into an ideology about food. They are everywhere, and some of them become a total neurosis. Most humans are too complex to fit perfectly into any given box, checking each idealized compliance off of a checklist. If you give yourself permission to be a feminist that wears makeup, you can give yourself permission to be a lowcarber who eats oatmeal. It’s just that simple. In these situations, we are our own jailer. Unlock that door and be free.

    I also think you need to find a way to let go of the past where diets are concerned. Write the experiences all down, print them out, and then set fire to it. It happened, now let it be in the past rather than holding you back any longer. It would be analagous to taking a new class and going into an exam feeling all of the stress of every test you ever took. It’s not helpful when you need to focus on what’s before you now, KWIM?

  40. Shandra says

    I resisted dieting for a long time, but as I approached 40 I found working out just wasn’t compensating for the extra weight I was carrying at that time (about 30 lbs.) My blood pressure was up a bit so at work they had a WW group and I joined thinking that it was unlikely to work for me and with a lot of baggage about it. In fact that helped me realign my relationship to portion size, etc., which I needed to do as my metabolism had slowed down a bit. I’m not saying this to promote WW but more to say that I think our needs and understanding change and grow and it’s excellent for you to find whatever works for you that is healthy.

    About the family meal stuff…I admit I am saddened to read it. Not because I think dinner is sacred exactly (our ‘family meal’ has sometimes been breakfast to accommodate commutes), and I definitely don’t think everyone has to eat the same thing all the time. (Although Ellyn Satter’s books really have helped with my kids so far…but #2 is young so we’ll see.)

    But because it says quite a lot about the expectations and rhythms in your life (along with the world in general) if that is stressing both of you out so much. I am sad to read you need/want to work during that time because I think breaks are so important not just to life balance, but to creativity and making good choices in work, and because I think for my kids I hope that they learn that there is literally room at the table for families to come together every day and talk and maybe even eat in a structured, focused way without electronics going off etc.

    I don’t say that in a smarmy way. I have turned down work events and it has impacted my career some, but my kids are little and I’m okay with that (but am fortunate that both my DH and I have good jobs right now). It is tough, tough, tough to find all the lines. But for me holding the line at that 45 minutes a day has been a big benefit. It’s easy for other people to understand – “I don’t check social media or answer the phone during dinner” – and my kids can count on it. I hope you do find a way to work that in.

    I am just sharing my response; I totally get that you are sharing your family’s unique path.

  41. Rachel says

    I recently heard Dr. Sara Gottfried talking about women, hormones, weight, adrenals, STRESS, and the way the bio chemistry of it all links. She had practical recommendations for PMS, low libido, all kinds of stuff. She has a book coming out in the spring – but I listened to her on a link of the Jenny Hutt show. Maybe check it out. http://jenniferhutt.com/audio/ I started taking the chaste berry and upped my vitamin C. She also recommends paleo, but I am a confirmed vegetarian, so it doesn’t work for me.

  42. meleahrebeccah says

    “So I put carbs in the “what the fuck” column.”

    that made me laugh.

    As someone with so many issues to food, thanks to allergies, I can relate to how frustrating it can be to simply eat a meal that will make you feel good and NOT like shit.

    I like your daily meal schedule and it’s GREAT that it’s not causing you any intestinal pain, and making you look and feel better. WINNING.

  43. Naomi says

    So many smart things in here, I’m not sure what to address first. Probably the most impactful to me: do what works for you. If that means nixing sit-down family dinners, so be it. What a stress lifter that must be. I need to work on our schedule and see how to shake things up hereabouts.

  44. Molly says

    I just wanted to say that we have never done a family dinner hour, and it really does seem to prevent a lot of stress (even though I know it’s very “in” to eat as a family around the table right now). The reason for this is that neither my older daughter or I really like to eat dinner (she consumes most of her calories during breakfast and lunch, and a full dinner almost always gives me a stomach ache–has since I was a teenager), and because my husband doesn’t arrive home till after they have eaten. So, we do things like PB&J, hummus and pita/carrots, Greek yogurt with honey and granola, sweet potatoes with butter, Mac ‘n Cheese (packaged), etc, during the week and a real home-cooked meal on Saturday and Sunday nights, which my husband cooks (and he and I choose, based on what we like–we just try to avoid anything overly spicy). My younger daughter does prefer a big hot meal for dinner but thankfully is not picky at all and easy to please in that department. It works out very well for all of us and we get to still do the “family dinner” thing on the weekends (we used to do this by eating out a lot but then our kids got to an age where it was too hard to eat out easily with them and we discovered that my husband is a much, much better cook than I).

  45. mama lola says

    what an inspiring post! i too have struggled with weight and the dieting and not dieting and then dieting. doesn’t matter what you call it… all the best!!!

  46. Sara says

    I’m with you wanting to be smaller (well–after this baby comes of course!). I tried Paleo for a week. I dropped 5 lbs and honestly felt like sh*t the entire time. I completely cut dairy and I love (as in LOVE) a glass of milk. It was painful and the idea of even attempting it again makes me sick to my stomach. I hope it works for you!!

  47. JLR says

    Good for you! I wanted to let you know about another resource you might like that I’m trying to get into – it’s called the Self Compassion diet by Jean Fain. It’s not a diet – it’s about learning to cut yourself some slack and treat yourself with self-compassion. if you are interested, here’s the link: http://www.jeanfain.com/selfcompassiondiet.html

  48. Tiffany says

    I get this. So hard. I too feel a desire to be smaller, but the whole idea of dieting (again) sends me for a loop. Honestly, I have anxiety just thinking about it. I have been eating intuitively per the HAES model, but can’t seem to really get on board with my NEED to be gluten free (due to a sensitivity) – turns out I heart gluten.
    I HATE that asshats are part of your motivation, but I get that too. Thanks for articulating my feelings so well.

  49. Elle says

    I started eating this new “paleo” way around six months ago. I too stumble over the name, but the principles behind the diet make a lot of sense to me. Really low carb diets that tell you to avoid fruits and vegetables make no sense to me, those things are so good for you.

    Anyway I do have some dairy, but very little, and no sugar and no wheat/potatoes. Pretty much no processed foods (excepting dairy). I never thought I could eat this way long term and I have been shocked by how much I love what I’m eating, how flavorful fresh food tastes, and how great I feel. I used to scoff at friends who ranted about gluten, but the terrible eczema I’ve always had on my hands (cracked and bleeding and gross) cleared up about a month in and never returned.

    I also started running, training for a race. Exercise has become a regular part of my life– something I look forward to, me time. And I’ve lost 40 pounds overall, which has done amazing things for my confidence and self-esteem.

    I too am conflicted by “diets” and the weight loss industry, but everything we eat is a diet. It’s all a choice. As good as it tastes, the fact is that sugar is neither good for us nor a necessary part of any diet, so eliminating it was an easy and good decision in my opinion. I wouldn’t not brush my teeth before bed, for instance, so why would I marinate them in sugar all day? Approaching my health from the table was the best decision I ever made.

  50. BelindieG says

    While eating healthily for your body type is certainly important, I also think that the family dinner–no matter who eats what–is vital, especially for kids. Even if one person’s not actually eating, sitting together, sharing news of the day, and so on lays a foundation for adulthood, as well as practicing conversation, table manners and so on. When else can a child share her story of her day if not with her whole family? I think there’s a creative way to set aside this time. Having the ingredients for big salads or antipasto platters made ahead of time–protein, veggies, and so on makes life easier for the grazing eater, and it’s not hard to scramble an egg or two. Maybe your daughter would enjoy learning to cook a simple dish or two? I don’t eat any simple carbs, so when it’s pasta for everyone else, I make myself something else–I lost 70 lbs by cutting out carbs and after 3 years, I’m not going back.

  51. Leila says

    This is so awesome, that you really sat down to figure out what worked for you. And of COURSE you are dieting. That word has such bad connotations, but really, all a diet IS, is an eating plan. And that’s what you did; all your columns added up to an eating plan that makes sense for you personally, and it’s not just about the weight, but all the other things that were going on. So kudos to you! I’ve also heard about the Paleo diet; people who do CrossFit, which my husband is SO into, seem to think that it’s an eating plan sent down by the Almighty. LOL. We have NOT implemented it into this house; as much as I love meat I also think it takes a lot of work to digest it, and there are some excellent grains out there, quinoa among them, couscous, that can add variety and have great nutrients. For you personally they might not work, but I think for the Paleo diet to rule those out is a bit drastic. At the end of it all, it’s whatever works for you. I should do this for myself and the hubby and the kids…hubby is very gassy. (shh…don’t tell him I told you. LOL)

  52. Davida says

    Cecily, I noticed in your approach this time that you were loving toward yourself, thinking things through, being kind to yourself and what you like to eat, and not being punitive because of how you “let things get.” I think that will definitely be a positive for your success.

    Wishing you the best!

  53. Shannon says

    Great Post! It helps to get me motivated again.
    I favor Michael Pollan’s common sense approach – Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants. Unfortunately I don’t think I could commit to it fully unless Michael Pollan himself moved into my house and kept an eye on me.
    I find this time of the year to be particularly difficult with all the Halloween candy and pumpkin pie. But, then I think if I could just practice some self control during this difficult time of the year – just get over that hump – then the rest of the year would be cake (oh the irony – cake!).

    • Tami says

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  54. Ninotchka says

    I’m on a non-diet too and have been since August. When weight is an issue, it’s an issue and there’s no getting around it. Some people are effing lucky that they don’t have to think twice about it except when they want to step up workouts for bathing suit season or lose 5 vanity pounds for a special occasion. Sadly, my body doesn’t work that way. But enough about that.

    My non-diet goals:
    - journal my food every day (I’m using the Lose It app), working toward a healthy average on caloric intake but nothing crazy
    - STOP GAINING
    - get regular exercise (which I pretty much always do because I’m one of those freaks who love it)

    I’m good with this and it’s working in every way above with the added benefit of losing some pounds without really trying which is kind of amazing. I’ve spent my life hating and fighting my body and I’m done with that nonsense. It’s a fact that I feel exponentially better physically and emotionally when I exercise regularly so that’s at the top of my list.
    Also, find a good thrift store. They’re a great place to find clothes for the changing body (whether you’re on the way up or on the way down) without breaking the bank. I’m talking $4 Old Navy jeans. I love a good deal! :)

    Good luck to us both, sistah. And keep right on ignoring the haters because that’s exactly what they are. As I always tell my girls, “Would happy people behave that way? NO. They’re miserable and that automatically discounts anything they have to say, sting though it might.”

    xo

  55. Keri says

    Have you considered doing one or two nights where you eat vegetarian? The reason I ask is that I was doing a very similar kind of thing a year or two ago, and I found that having just one or two nights where I had to come up with entirely new recipes and flavours completely changed my relationship with food. It’s a delight when you find a recipe that’s totally new, leaves you feeling AWESOME afterwards and tastes great, and it takes the emphasis off “must eat good food and feel guilty when I don’t” to “find new recipes and mix it up” and changes the relationship with food to a positive one where you are completely in control.

    I would highly recommend even if no meat once a week is undoable or just not your thing that you cook one new thing a week. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and it can be a ten minute meal, but I think adjusting your relationship with food seems important to you, and this is one really easy way of doing it with no gimmicks, no restrictions, no dieting AT ALL. Just spend ten minutes once a week googling new recipes and cook one.

    (My personal favourite is vegetarian Harira. It’s full of flavour, low fat, low GI and a snap to cook quickly, and freezes like a champ)

  56. Megan says

    Ain’t nothing wrong with wanting to feel better, mentally and physically.

    My feeling about ways of eating/dieting is this: If you find something that works for you, something that you can continue to do forever, it’s all good. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for others. For me, nothing’s strictly off limits. I eat “good” carbs, protein and veggies six times a day, six days a week, then take Sunday off so I can eat french fries and ice cream. I’ve been at it for 11 years. That plus exercise keeps me feeling good and at a healthy weight. And not deprived.

    About family dinner: While I’m a fan, if it causes too much agita, it ain’t good for anybody. Things will change and you certainly revisit it then. Good for you guys for having the balls to let go of what’s not working.

    Happy new you!

  57. Catherine says

    just wanted to say that some of your sugar issues remind me of reactive hypoglycemia, where your fasting blood sugar is fine, but quick carbs on an empty stomach starts a rollercoaster ride. Reasons I mention it: reactive hypoglycemia reacts poorly to grazing, because it increases reactivity, and because fat can make sugar more tolerable. If I have a hot cocoa with 2% milk, it damn near kills me. A hot cocoa with whole milk is pure pleasure, no pain. I tend towards big portions because it keeps my sugar stable, and I used to think that I had a deep psychological issue because grazing made me sick and angry. Just thought it might interest you, you know, food for thought. ;)

  58. Marija says

    Absolutely amazing! I think the whole point of “diet” is to be MINDFUL about what you consume and how it makes you feel (both short and long term). You do what is right for you and your body will follow. Yes, yes you will probably take some time to cut down in size, but exact size does not matter, as long as you are aware of your health and feeling better each day.

    One thing that my husband pointed out is that complex proteins (like eggs, meat) tend to keep you “feeling” fuller for longer, simply because they take longer time to process in the intestines. Another thing that works for me is along the lines of the old folks saying from my hometown: eat your breakfast yourself, share lunch with friend and give dinner to your enemy. My main meals are (roughly, and certainly not without 1-2 weekly exceptions) weighted that way: most quality and biggest size for breakfast, least amount and lightest fare at dinner.

    Since I still insist on family dinners (family dinner nazi?), I cut down in stress by preparing weekly supply of dinners (or lunches) in advance. That way the stress of it all is limited to one day, the fact that I’m preparing in advance works strongly in favour of planned vs. impulsive, and only stress left is occasional “rebellion” by my kids if they don’t feel like eating something. But since they are kids, I know they will not starve themselves, and there is certainly no shortage of food in the house.

    You are taking control of your health by knowing what works and what does not for you – and your introspect will pay off.

  59. Amelia Sprout says

    I think that “diet” gets a bad rap. Sure, there is the verb, but everything that you eat is your “diet”. You can improve your “diet” without dieting. Damn I love language.
    If you are overweight, you can want to be healthier. Part of that can involve eating better and yes, losing weight, but that doesn’t have to have a bad connotation. It isn’t the same as going to an extreme which can be hard to maintain.
    I should take a look at how what I eat impacts how I feel, but right now it is just about portion control and getting exercise in for me. Yes, I want to lose weight. Yes, I want to be smaller. More than anything though, I want to be healthier. I want to be able to run a 5K again. I don’t see how anyone can tell me that is wrong.

  60. Eileen says

    This sounds like “common sense” to me (researching diets and choosing one, keeping what works for you and ditching the rest, combining that with what you know of your own body…imagine that!)

    I am a vegan for health and compassion reasons, but do I think this is the One Right Diet For Everyone? Of course not. It works for me and my body and my spirit and that’s all I can really know. But I spend a lot of time in spaces where people argue to the nth detail about what diet is the “right” one, and it drives me bonkers because people forget the fact that every body is different.

    Not to mention, arguments over diets (paleo, vegan, omnivore, whathaveyou) distract us from the conversation that doesn’t seem to be happening, which you touch on when you talk about the quality of your meat and dairy: the abysmal state of our modern food supply.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say good luck! (And PS I read your blog all the time but never comment…I lost twin boys in 2004 right after you did, and I wrote you an email a long time ago. Your response was very kind. I’ve had lots of twists and turns since then and had a baby boy in 2010. I have been so happy watching your success as a blogger! Sending lots of love and support to you!!)

  61. Danielle Certa says

    Firstly, don’t eat that humble pie, it’s not Paleo! ;) Secondly, there is nothing to apologize for, this is your space and we’re here to cheer you on because you are one of the ones we can still relate to. It sounds to me like you are self-aware enough to recognize that you’re at your best when you’re mindful about what goes into your body, as well as how to continue to adapt to your family life as time goes by. Every now and then we all have to put the brakes on and say, “Hey, this really isn’t working for me.” Where we run into trouble is when we refuse to brake. I see this as a huge step forward for you. You hit the brakes before you crashed. You examined, you researched, you soul-searched, and now everybody benefits. Including your readers! <3

  62. juliag says

    Deprivation is what makes it feel like a diet to me. I do better on low/no carb. But it’s hard to follow (easier for me because one of my sons is severely allergic to wheat, so we always have gluten free options with our meals). The thing that works for me is to do “two days of no/low carb and then whatever carbs I want on every third or fourth day”. It’s nice to have it pretty often, but then when I have it I can be reminded that it’s not all I dreamed it would be and it doesn’t make me feel great. Plus, we eat out twice a week and it’s nice to feel like I can have no restrictions on those meals. I actually think the body responds well to mixing it up, you know? The way I see it caveman probably ate a bunch of one thing when it was in season and then a shit ton of meat when a herd of buffalo traipsed through…and then gourds in the fall, etc. The human body is meant to have a seasonal “diet”….mostly fruits and veggies and then some big old doses of meat or carbs or whatever.

  63. Rebecca Einstein Schorr says

    You’re not dieting; you are eating foods that make your body feel its best. While the end result might be the same, it’s not the same thing at all because the motivation is different.

    Thanks for sharing this…even though it seems as though it was hard for you to do. Because it shows me that there are others out there who share a similar struggle.

  64. Steph A says

    Girl – kudos. And never apologize for doing what you need to do for YOU, to be BETTER, to be HAPPIER. Not even to the harrasshats. I’m cheering you on!