Obsession Thursday: New habits

I am a fat girl, and have been so for much of my life. I’ve also been thin a few times. It never sticks. I accept my size.

But last weekend at Rhinebeck, something changed. I saw myself in pictures and video and I wasn’t even me any more. I scared myself. The past two years’ worth of divorce-based-new-life stress eating has caught up with me. I also have IBS*, and my GI tract that weekend made me feel a drastic change in my food consumption was in order.

I’ve done everything from Weight Watchers (smart but exhausting) to Optifast (doctor-monitored and crazypants). I know what works, but what works for ME isn’t the same thing. So I did some research and invented my own program.

Keep in mind that this is what is working for me now, and you should do what works for you.

This is the stuff I'm eating for 2/3 meals every weekday.
This is the stuff I’m eating for 2/3 meals every weekday.

Breakfast and lunch every weekday is a glass of this stuff: Orgain Chocolate Protein Powder. I am experimenting with different recipes, but so far have enjoyed it mixed with unsweetened coconut milk and frozen fruit. (I tried it today with 1% Lactaid and strawberries, and it’s the best so far.)

For lunch, I tried it as a chia pudding but it was much too much food and not so great. Kind of grossed me out. So it’s 2 shakes right now. I also have an iced latte every morning with 1% Lactaid milk and sweetener. It makes me feel normal and keeps me full till past noon.

Orgain also comes as a premixed shake, but it’s a totally different formula. It tastes strongly of fermented legumes (or something else gross) and is just ICK. Powder stuff is vegan (!) and tastes much better. 

For dinner, I eat dinner.  That means it includes bread, rice or pasta if I want it to. It means I don’t weigh or measure, but I also don’t go nuts. The first week, my dinners were larger than I think they should be (probably by about 30%), and I’m not surprised by that. I’ve got to adjust from eating much too much, all day long. So I’m cutting myself some slack.

If I’m hungry during the day or at night, as much fruit and veg as I want. Popcorn, of course. No crap, period. I have always found it easier to say no to an entire group of stuff rather than picking which to say yes to. Remember, I have decades of Weight Watchers-based experience.

This allows me to go out with friends for dinners. It allows me to not think about what to eat for breakfast or lunch every day, which always was a bit of a pain and ended up with me making bad choices.

I’m writing this on Sunday at lunchtime, just after deciding that I get to have a normal lunch on the weekend as well to maintain sanity. I don’t want to get sick of the shakes. So today, lunch will be steamed rice and edamame and some sort of sauce and sesame seeds on it.

In this first week, the first two days, I went mental with cravings for candy and chocolate. Later in the week, I realized they had passed. The Orgain powder is about as decent tasting as any sort of drink like this could be (read the Amazon reviews to see what others say). And it helps quell the chocolate cravings.

After just under a week doing this, inches are starting to drop off. I hate the scale but will be going to my GP’s office to let him weigh me and just announce if I’ve lost or gained. Hearing my actual weight will likely derail me and it’s not the point anyway. The point is to get back to where I feel good again, can move again, fit into my clothes again.

Regarding how this stuff reacts with IBS, so far, so good! Having less bread is probably a huge part of that, in my case. Of course, YMMV. But I’m encouraged. And already am feeling pleased with myself as I ignore the crap in the stores that I was living off of for the last year or 2. I just walk the perimeter of the grocery store instead.

PS It’s my birthday today, Thursday. Yay me!

(the links to the product are affiliate links, which support Knitty.)

*ETA: It’s now November 1, and my IBS symptoms are almost completely gone. I’m thrilled. I realized that the corn maze I walked through on the weekend is something I wouldn’t have done 2 weeks ago…how the hell would I get to the bathroom in time if I needed to? This is a huge relief. Life changing, actually.


(189 Posts)

33 thoughts on “Obsession Thursday: New habits

  1. Emily O

    Happy Birthday Amy! And I’m so proud of you for making good healthy choices and working towards a healthy lifestyle. Changes like that can be hard, but feeling good and feeling good about yourself are worth the effort. You deserve the best! Also congrats on the bunny. He’s scrumptious.

  2. Nicola

    Happy birthday. I feel your pain just completed two whole30 cycles with a weekend in between. Helped me realise I’m better having none of something than trying to just have a small amount. Keep going girl

  3. Kelly H

    Happy Birthday!!
    I wish I was in a place in life to make healthier choices, but pre-teen parenting makes that hard. So I’m doing the best I can to do the best I can and not stressing on it too much. I figure I’ll focus more on me when I’m able to. I envy you to have that now, and am happy for you that you’re being so good to yourself!

  4. Caro

    Yeah for you!!! It’s a pain to try so many things to find what works for you, but it’s awesome that your experiments paid off.

  5. Kath, Scotland

    Well done Amy! am on a similar journey and will be walking beside you with pride! don’t get derailed if you “lapse” 😉 and most of all……



  6. Cheryl

    Happy birthday!

    I also shop the perimeter of the grocery store -usually 60% produce, 20% meat & seafood and 20% everything else! I just make sure my portions are smaller than my husband’s. I worry more about how I feel and how my clothes fit than the number on the scale.

    Sounds like you’ve made a great start to get where you want to be. Keep up the good work!

  7. Caroline Gaudy

    Happy Happy Birthday, Amy! And yay for finding something that works. Since it’s a permanent lifestyle change, it has to be something you like. Here’s to an amazing year ahead full of self-care, self-love, and forgiveness, eh? And YARN. lots and lots of YARN. ahem.

  8. ritainalaska

    birthday greetings! thank you for sharing this! just what I need!
    an all plant protein! am a post polio survivor with a weight problem and a lactose intolerance. cannot do anything for very long and a high protein diet is supposed to help.

  9. Reney

    Happy Happy Birthday, Amy!!! Wishing you huge success with this plan, and a great year full of happiness, health, love, and lots of knitting!!!

  10. Rachelle Crosbie

    Changing your food habits can definitely be hard, I have fallen off the no-sugar wagon so many times! Starting again today and also increasing my activity levels (bike ride today, tomorrow will be the rowing machine as we’re due lots of rain). For me it’s sugar that piles on the pounds so I know that’s what I need to cut out.

  11. Rose

    Hey, thanks for aharing! I am newly separated and doing some major comfort eating but am at the point that I need to move past that and get to healthy. Been ruminating on doing a Whole30 to reset but may come back to your plan. Again, appreciate the share.

  12. Judy Phillips

    I don’t know about you, but there are vast swathes of 2016 that i am ready to set firmly behind me. I hope this birthday is the start of great new things for you!

  13. MK

    Happy birthday! I hope it’s been an excellent one.

    I was disappointed to see a post about weight loss in the Knitty blog. Many people- especially people with a history of disordered eating- really need places where they can read about hobbies without running into discussion of dieting and weight loss. While I have the luxury of just shrugging and scrolling by without it affecting my day or week, I know many folks for whom that’s just not the case.

    In any case, I hope your next year holds improved health and lots of happiness for you!

    1. Heather

      Thank you so much for making this comment. I completely agree. I was very surprised to find a post about weight loss on my knitting feed. It makes me feel like I’m not doing enough.

    2. Heidi

      Agreed! I realize struggling with body/weight can be all consuming, but I also wish for a site that didn’t make me think about my own appearance.

    3. Jennifer

      Thanks for this comment, MK. I beat my eating disorder years ago, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t landmines left, and on a bad day, this article would have been very unhealthy for me to read unprepared. No one should ever feel that they can’t address a topic at all, and the discussion is very valuable for a lot of people who need that outlet. But it’s a pretty pass if we can’t help those with scars (especially of the sort that are almost guaranteed to be represented in a given population) quietly make decisions about their own mental health by providing a heads up before getting into the subject at hand.

      I’d also add that this type of diet isn’t healthy for everyone, and shouldn’t be started without checking with your doctor first. That’s a lot of protein, especially when you add whatever you’re getting from dinner, and too much protein is as rough on your body as too little, especially if your body isn’t equipped to handle it as well as others’ might be. It can overtax your kidneys and even lead to weight gain over time. So please be smart and healthy, both physically and mentally.

      1. Amy Singer

        Yup, always check with your doctor. As I did (and he was pleased with the choice I made. I’ll be seeing him every 3 months to check in, and he set me up with a list of baseline blood tests so he can stay on top of my progress.)

    4. Jen Kubeck

      Thank you for raising this point. I look forward to posts on KnittyBlog because I am a knitter and spinner. I don’t expect to come across what feels like a snake-oil ad.

      Amy, I’m glad you have something that works for you. But I feel like I came to a knitting circle, and someone took it as an opportunity to sell Amway products. My first instinct is to unsubscribe. I’m going to think about it a bit. 🙁

      1. Amy Singer

        I’m not selling anything, Jen. I just shared something that I was excited about that happened to be food related. For me, the bigger issue is (you’ll see below) my IBS symptoms that were starting to take over my life. In making this one change, I’ve reduced them to probably 10% of what they were. That is HUGE for me. The fact that my body is getting a little smaller as well is a bonus, and one that I also needed to address for my health.

        I’ve lost more than 100lbs at least twice. This is not that. I don’t care what I weigh (I don’t have a scale and am not getting one). I care how I feel, and I’m finally starting to feel better.

        I hope you stay.

    5. Amy Singer

      Thanks, MK, for the feedback. One thing I realized I could do better is clearly label any post like this (should I write one in the future, which may or may not happen…I don’t plan on writing here about what I eat very often) as food related so those who don’t want to engage can avoid it.

  14. Ummrania

    Good for you. I just wanted to recommend two podcasts that I think are really wonderful for tackling some weight loss issues:
    Weight Loss Made Real with Cookie Rosenthal
    Half Size Me with Heather….I dont remember

  15. shannon

    I just lost some weight recently by cutting carbs to 100 grams a day or less. This is not too hard and can be a permanent lifestyle change, rather than a temporary diet. I eat about 60 grams of protein a day too (eggs and ground beef). And as much butter, olive oil, and bacon and vegetables as I want!

  16. Amanda

    Happy birthday!
    I’ve been fighting my weight for years and I know how hard it can be. Good for you for practising self care. A lot of people say the human body is a temple. I like to think it’s a mighty forest. Constantly growing, changing, and renewing. Nurture your body into the most magnificent forest you can be, full of beauty and peace.

  17. Vickie

    Happy Birthday, Amy! Good for you in making a change for better health. Wishing you continued good health and a joyful year ahead.

  18. Susanne

    Self care is sooooo important and to those who find it “different” to have a discussion about “self care” on a knitting blog…it is LIFE!
    Good for you Amy, I am in a similar situation and just might try that amazon stuff!
    thanks for sharing…and btw, Happy Birthday, may the next months be the best you have had for a while….good on YOU!!!!

    1. Amy Singer

      I’m surprised that I’m enjoying (or at least okay with) this process, but as it’s made a DRASTIC improvement in my IBS symptoms, any weight loss feels like a bonus. The two issues combined make it easier for me to stick with it. So far, anyway! 🙂

    1. Amy Singer

      I’m not sure, Katie. As I mentioned above, my IBS symptoms are WAY WAY down, like almost not an issue. This is a huge improvement over the last 2-3 years of my life. For that reason alone, I’m inclined to stick with it.

      I’m also enjoying NOT having to think about what to eat for the first two meals of the day. Sort of like having to wear a uniform. I just grab the thing I’m supposed to have and have it. Done. Moving on!

      I may mix it up a little with recipes (pancakes?), change up the fruit. But I’m okay doing this for the forseeable future. 16 meals cost $2.75 each plus the milk and fruit. It’d be cheaper if I could buy from Amazon.com (they won’t ship up here).

      One thing I’m happy about is the weekend plan, which is to have a normal lunch as well. Helps me not feel deprived.

      So the answer is I dunno! I’ll just see how it goes. For now, I’m ecstatic not to have to keep 100 metres from a bathroom at all times. (sorry, tmi)

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