Lolly_ …. lots to lose, and everything to gain!

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Lolly_ …. lots to lose, and everything to gain!

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  • I’m fasting today, too, Dragon Fly. It’s what ALL the cool kids are doing!

    I have seen other people mention that their sleep was interrupted by having to get up more often in the night. Is that a factor? For me, I have been amazed to find my sleep hours normal for the first time in many years. Although I’m sleeping less than the recommended 8 hours, the quality of sleep is very much better.

    Anyone else with sleep problems? It makes such a difference to your day if you’re not dragging around. Let’s pool our experience resources.

    The single thing that changed for me was the elimination of sugar. Before that, I was up all night, unable to sleep until exhausted, and waking groggy. I was unreliable with appointments, never knowing how bad the fatigue would be at any given time.

    Fingers crossed we can help you find your cause, Dragon Fly!

    Good morning all – I fasted yesterday too!! Well done to us for another day done! Regarding sleep, I guess I have been lucky and have not had any disturbed sleep patterns, I seem to be sleeping quite well if I’m honest. Maybe it’s all the walking I’m doing during the day – its knocking me out at night!!! Dragonfly, like Lolly says I hope we can help you find your cause.

    Have a lovely day everyone!

    I’ve been playing with a new online toy, a daily food tracker app which is making planning a lot simpler. Beats my bits of paper hands down! I love being able to enter what I’m planning to eat for the day and seeing immediately where that puts me for calories, carbs and a bunch of other things. Adjusting amounts until I’m satisfied means I can then lock it in for the day and not think again about calculations. Excellent way to avoid temptation. No vacant-faced staring into the fridge for inspiration.

    It’s also useful for making me THINK about how my food is distributed through the day. As a former Gourmand Sans FrontiΓ¨res, breaks between meals is a novel concept. Being faced with the entire day’s line-up is an education in itself!

    All I had to do was be ready to be helped — and help is all around. How silly of me to have wasted so many years being unhelp-able!

    I’m changing my fast day from tomorrow to today, but I feel much more confident about my reasons for switching after doing it the last time. It really isn’t anyone else’s business and I do need to be protective of myself. Thanks again to everyone who got me there.

    If there were any lingering doubts that IF was right for me, today’s Wednesday Weigh-In results would kick them down the stairs. I dismissed another 4 LBS this week!!!

    This truly works and I am beyond grateful.

    20 st./6 lbs.

    So. I kept my promise for 7 days and walked for 30 minutes every day. I ought to say that this was a total of 30 minutes per day, as doing it all at once is still beyond me. But even in a week I was able to improve from 6 5-minute sessions to 2 15-minute ones, so I think that shows reasonable progress.

    Do I feel better? Actually, I do. I’m not one of nature’s physical types and never will be but I do feel more energetic. I certainly feel a pride in even doing it for a week, especially as I am SUCH a procrastinator when it comes to exercise. I wonder if that will improve?

    I know it’s only a promise to people online that I don’t know personally and I could lie to — but it’s a promise I can hold onto when I have trouble dragging up motivation on my own.

    Had a busy day yesterday, but it turned out very well despite my concerns. Perhaps because of my concerns — because they prompted me to plan ahead.

    I had family to dinner and I’d spent quite a few days trying to work out a normal-looking menu. I’m not ready for any discussion on weight loss methods, and really don’t ever intend to have a chat with them about fasting! I didn’t want to cook food I shouldn’t eat just to please others.

    As it turned out, I needn’t have worried. Low carb was easy to adapt and no-one noticed anything but delicious food. Any leftovers (and there weren’t many!) were perfectly okay for me.

    I also realised that I can pick my way through other people’s meals with a little care and some advance warning. It helps that people already know that I can’t eat wheat, so I usually have a safe out there.

    Much as I enjoyed the visit, I was relieved to wake up this morning to another fast day. I’m trying something different today, doing a water fast until dinner. Not sure if there’s more benefit to that for me than having soup all day, but it’s worth a test to see how I do with it.

    Lolly, you seem to be on such a good track, I’m really pleased you are taking one step after the other to where you want to be.

    Have your walks become more enjoyable yet?

    I don’t know if you know, you might like to check out their fitness videos. They always have a version for beginners, and the individual exercises take about 40 seconds, which is psychologically sound because even I can do even the most hated exercise for 40 seconds. Maybe something you could do on an rainy day?

    Wow, water fasts sound really strenuous and demanding – let us know how the day went!


    Thanks for the exercise recommendation, Austrian — there are some things I’d like to try out on that site. The walking is going well. I’m can do 20 minutes at a stretch now, but after that I begin to run into trouble with my back and hip (former injury) so I am not trying to push myself beyond reason. I definitely am feeling stronger though, and there’s a real sense of accomplishment in sticking to my promise. And yes, I’ll even admit that it’s — gasp — enjoyable! At least, it is once I stop procrastinating every day.

    I was surprised how easy it was to fast until dinner yesterday. I realised last week that I was already practically doing that with my soup by drinking the broth during the day and saving the solids for later. But I wasn’t quite ready to let go of that nice warm security blanket on the stove until now.

    As it turned out, I had a 22 hour fast between dinners, drinking lots of water and some tea — and I felt perfectly fine! No drops in energy, no fatigue, no hunger until about an hour before dinner. And that hunger wasn’t a crazed starving thing — just an awareness that I was looking forward to dinner. And when I finally ate it, I was satisfied with well under my 500 calories.

    And now, it’s time to review my first 4 weeks and my commitment. I can’t believe it’s already been a month!

    I began with a cautious commitment to 5:2, Monday/Thursday 500 calories. From the first week, I have been doing 4:3 and loving it. Then I let go of the sugar, followed by starches, which led me fairly naturally into lower carbs. Research took me to LCHF — and that’s where the whole picture came into focus.

    LCHF combined with IF is the winning formula for me. I feel WELL! I have wonderful food yet the weight is dropping off. And I have a hope for the future which I never thought to have. I am, according to my bemused doctor, no longer in imminent danger of diabetes.

    So, here’s my commitment for the next 4 weeks: I will continue 4:3, generally taking Monday/Thursday/Saturday for fast days of 500 calories. Further commitment will be to follow 16:8, as I’m practically doing that already.

    I can’t believe it’s actually ME being able to make such promises with confidence that I can keep them, but this has changed my life forever. And I couldn’t be more grateful.

    Hi Lolly, its good to hear you’re enjoying your walks. I should do it more, because I really do enjoy it when I get into it. I’m so lazy these days. I’ve heard others say that LCHF is a really good routine and works well.

    Have a great week, you’re doing so well.

    Together we are stronger πŸ™‚

    I’m fasting today, wish me luck!

    I’m also fasting today, Dragon Fly, so luck to us both! We are definitely the stronger for good company on this road.

    hi Lolly_, just came across your topic here and it is great to get to know you better by reading it. So far, I have only read from you in the binge discussion. So good to see you making such terrific progress with changing your whole life. What an exciting journey!
    I do have a question for you: how did you manage to cut out all (really all??) the sugar out of your food on your non-fast days? And you cut out the starch out, too? That sounds really difficult to do and while I absolutely appreciate that it is the right thing to do, I wonder about the practicalities? I cannot always cook & prepare meals for me since I am traveling a lot for business.
    Would be really useful to hear how you did that.
    Thanks so much,

    Welcome to my little corner of the forum, Karen! Always nice to have visitors. My apologies for the lack of cake with your tea but the menu here has undergone some serious reconstruction lately!

    Everyone’s needs are different, so you’ll find a pattern that works best for you, but I’m happy to share what’s working for me.

    Letting go of sugar is daunting, I know. The thing is, I’m like an addict with it. It triggers binge behaviour along with a whole range of negative stuff. So why did I persist with it? Ask an alcoholic why he/she drinks. To me, it’s the same. Some people can handle it, I only know I can’t.

    Your body can be cleared of sugar in three days. You can use willpower to get through that and then you’re free. Not saying it’s easy but it’s definitely an insight into what’s driving your appetite.

    You may be thinking that STAYING free is the hardest part, but what you don’t realise is that once you are there your body is no longer craving sugar. At that point, it’s all in your mind and now you have the upper hand.

    This is the point where you can chart a course of behaviour. Now you’re working on changing habits, creating the new responses you want to old stimuli. Reading up on cognitive therapy may be helpful here.

    With the sugar gone, it may seem impossible to imagine what to eat! Don’t panic. Things will fall into place as you progress. Be self-aware and evaluate. You will know when you’re ready to advance. Your thoughts then won’t be the same ones you have now, so don’t try to project the “today you” too far into the future!

    For me, my body is responding well to Low Carb High Fat eating. But again, everyone’s different. We can all fit whatever we do into IF, which is bloody amazing! You only have to read the experiences of so many people here to see that you can do it, too.

    I do suggest that without the sugar, whichever path you choose will be easier. It’s not an essential food by any means! Good luck to your efforts and just keep moving forward. All the pieces of the puzzle will come together for you if you do.

    Karen, I also went completely sugar-free for a year (and eat very little now). The first couple of weeks were difficult to organize; what saved me was that I never bought readymade meals and that I really baked/cooked everything from scratch as far as that was possible. But after spending an inordinate amount of time reading tiny, tiny lists of ingredients (dextrose! fructose! Watch out for the enemy, even in sausage, ketchup and the like), you soon know what you can buy and what you just can’t buy. And you soon get used to it, too. After a while all those colourful cardboard boxes and plastic bags begin to look like something that’s inedible anyway – and then you automatically stick to stuff that is as unprocessed as possible. It doesn’t take very long to get used to this new way of shopping, I promise.
    What helped me tremendously was a low carb/high fat diet. I do not remember having any cravings – on a LCHF diet, they just went away. LCHF is something you can do with relatively little difficulty even if you travel and eat out.

    I don’t think I was able to eliminate all sugars all the time, but hey, doing something well enough and being able to sustain it is better than trying to do it perfectly, and failing. I certainly did my best, though.

    Such peaceful and positive mood here. Thank you.
    I read you thread from the beginning today. “Failing to plan is planning to fail” statement hit me hard. Funny, that I am so organized and all about planning at work, but absolutely opposite at home. I do water fasts, so I thought I don’t need to learn to plan food ahead. Now I am realizing that probably some planning for eating days will not hurt.

    You talked a lot about not craving sugar anymore. Some time ago I believed that I was coffee addict, I drank about 5-6 cups per day. It was really surprised that the cravings was not to coffee but to sugar in it. After I gradually reduced my 2 tea spoons of sugar in coffee to none – I drink less than 1 cup. Still I treat myself chocolate waffles rather often. I was so impressed by your commitment of 30 min walk for 90 days, seeing how hard it was for you. and decided that my commitment should be hard for me too – no chocolate waffles for 90 days starting today.

    …I am staring at this last sentence for a while now, kind of scared to push submit button. Ok, I am doing it. Thank you for inspiring me!

    Glad you like what we’ve done with the place, coldpizza! You’re always welcome to drop in.

    I know what you mean about being so well organised about everything but food. I always thought planning meals would be confining and restrictive. Boring. And so it was — on a diet. But on 5:2 it means freedom. I choose what I want for that day, make sure I’ve got a decent balance, then no more worries. It makes sure I’m covered for those inevitable times when I’m caught off guard, tired, or busy. Also, I only choose food I enjoy — fortunately, that’s a pretty open brief! — and gives me pleasure in anticipation.

    Isn’t it interesting how we stop looking for answers when we think we already have them. Like assuming coffee is the problem — because everyone talks about caffeine as an issue. Questioning assumptions can be very useful.

    I recognise a major concession when I see one, and I’m honoured that anything we’ve said here has inspired you to give up chocolate waffles for 90 days! I could almost see your finger, hovering over that button. We’ll all be cheering you on!

    I have one thought for you to consider (since you liked my other saying!): “What you focus on, you attract.”

    By this I mean, that I have more success focusing on something I WANT to do, rather than something I want to not do. It’s the difference between my saying: “I am not going to lie around being lazy”, or “I am going to get up and do some exercise”. Apparently, my mind is easily tricked into thinking positively, and perhaps yours can be, too!

    Austrian, you’re on the money as usual. The initial confusion on what to buy does settle down. I was also thinking that LCHF would be easy to travel with. You can order an omelette or meat and veg anywhere. I really do want a plan that looks normal and can fit in, and this one does that. Just call me La Incognita. πŸ™‚

    I was trying to implement your advice and to put positive mood in my statement “I am not eating chocolate waffles for 90 days”. All I come up with was: “I will eat chocolate waffles after 90 days”, but somehow it does not sound right… πŸ™
    Perhaps, I need some help with my waffle statement. LOL! πŸ˜€

    “Chocolate waffles taste good only in months beginning with J and ending with y. The waffles I eat in 90 days will be the best waffles I’ve ever had and worth the wait.”

    I am afraid that January will be my major weight gain if I take your statement. And the month that nobody could buy chocolate waffles in our city (all will be mine! ). But you got me thinking.

    “The chocolate waffle tastes the best if eaten alone every 90 days” How about that?

    Still hard for me to see the positive or exciting side in that statement, kind of sad to be honest.

    Can I confess I’ve never had a chocolate waffle?


    A chocolate waffle every 90 days makes me happy.

    You can, K-Lo, and I can do the same!

    What I like about this exercise is the realisation of how we phrase things to ourselves. I had always been a “half empty” person, calling myself a realist. And yet the same cup is also “half full”. I’ve begun to appreciate that the only difference was in attitude, not in fact. A shift in perspective can change everything.

    Is it to be a white-knuckled “I WON’T have chocolate waffles, I won’t! I won’t!” or is there some version of “I’m going to have 90 days free from a trigger food” that you can work with? Whatever you do, we’ll all be cheering you on. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think in 90 days!

    LOL — and there you have it: simcoeluv wins!

    Where does one find them?

    I got hooked by our cafeteria at work. Than find them in our local food store in bigger packs for the same price. Advice – don’t find out them in your area, they are truly addictive. They are so light and crunchy, you simply cannot stop until the pack is gone. Many of my co-workers realize that they have the same problem as me. We even recognize the sound when somebody around opens the magic pack of calories and sugar.

    There is more to the story
    To my chagrin, somewhere in the middle of zumba class I realize that there are two more months that start with J. It took another half to realize that June is not ending with y. What does it tell me? When I deprived of sugar, I need to exercise to keep oxygen coming to feed my poor brain.

    I agree, simcoeluv wins! “A chocolate waffle every 90 days makes me happy” it indeed a very positive statement. πŸ˜€

    Thanks a lot, Lolly and Austrian, for sharing your experience on giving up sugar. Immensely helpful. One last question: is the LCHF way not really pushing your calorie intake?
    Again, thanks for your advice.

    I would say it is helpful to use a tracker app for a while until you get the hang of it.
    But generally, I don’t think there is a big danger of overdoing it. First, there are so many calorie-rich foods you won’t be eating on account of their high carb load. The piece of chocolate cake you can’t eat on account of the sugar and flour – that’ll be 300-400 calories you won’t have to somehow burn off.

    πŸ™‚ Then, fat makes you feel fuller, so you don’t overeat. However, I found it very helpful to make a point of eating REALLY S-L-O-W-L-Y, because if you eat very fast, you’ll eat too much fat and then you’ll feel very, very sick.

    Then, you should take the Skaldeman fat burning ratio into account; I’ll just link to it:

    I’m looking forward to Lolly’s answer, I wonder what she thinks.

    Cool! Thanks, Austrian, for the link. Keen to learn more about it. Adding Coconut oil to my jogurth to make it fattier sounds a bit counter-intuitive but might be just the way to do it πŸ™‚

    KAren, do you speak German? If you do, you could also google Suddas blog. She has lots of information, recipes and so on.

    Your question is exactly the one I asked myself when I first looked into LCHF, Karen. Even though I grasped the principle, my low-fat diet conditioned mind was saying: “How can I lose weight eating butter, cheese, cream — and BACON??”

    There are excellent authorities out there to seek out for more scientific information on why high fat works (I highly recommend Dr Jason Fung for his ability to communicate clearly) — but I’m happy to share my experience any time.

    So, here’s what I found. From the start with 5:2, I kept careful note of everything I ate so I would be able to stay within my TDEE. At first, I was eating along low-fat lines with rice, rice noodles, rice cakes, and oatmeal as my grains, beans and lentils, milk and yoghurt, veggies, fruits, small amounts of lean meat, and some eggs. Almost no oil. This was essentially low-fat/high-carb and I was calorie counting.

    When I flipped fully into low-carb/high-fat, I could scarcely believe I was being urged to eat bacon and eggs and add butter to everything! Surely that couldn’t really be right? Welcome back, my old friend cheese! Oh my goodness — avocados!! But I did it for a week, lost 4 lbs, never felt hungry, had energy to burn and felt wonderful. I had zero cravings, no desire to binge, and none of the sudden drops I was accustomed to.

    When I changed to LCHF, I continued to keep careful record of calories although my new focus was carb levels. Here’s the bottom line: I was eating fewer calories with high-fat than I was with high-carb, and feeling more satisfied.

    I can live on this food for the rest of my life and not feel deprived. I continue to monitor it, but I don’t actually need to calorie-count again. If I get the carbs right, everything else is fine.

    As I’ve said before, the sugar had to go, regardless of which direction I took. But I missed it with high-carb, and I don’t miss it at all now.

    Everyone finds what works for them. This is working for me. I wish you all the best in finding the right fit for you, Karen, and I hope this helped a little.

    Yes, Austrian, I am German. Just had a look at the blog – many thanks for the tip, this is great. Lolly, thanks also for sharing your experience. Good to hear that it worked right from the start, so as of week 1, I might then give it a try (after doing a bit more research about it). I do love cheese and butter. But also love my bread, so will need to think this through very carefully.
    Lolly, if you are saying that you need to get the carbs right, what do you mean exactly? Do you have a maximum amount of carbs that you can eat every day?

    Again, thanks much.

    Karen, there are varying levels of carb restriction, generally from below 20 at the strict end up to 100 at the moderate end. I am still working at finding my optimal point, but if you want to do a little research online you’ll find lots of information. I can recommend for their clear approach (available in multiple languages) and excellent recipes. Happy reading!

    Well, it’s Wednesday Weigh-In already and I am delighted to report a dismissal of 1.5 lbs. It’s all finally coming together and I couldn’t be happier.

    20 st./4.5 lbs.

    I’ve just read this whole thread from its start. It’s really interesting and inspiring. I’m so impressed with you, Lolly_. I didn’t take to this diet as easily as you, though 70 days in I’m improving my skills and knowledge, thanks substantially to many on this site. I too am using LCHF and find quite a bit of inspiration from Dr Michael Eades who has a blog going back about 14 years, I think. Some years back I bought his book but then didn’t use it, though I find it of some use now. But his blog is much more useful. Gary Taubes’ writing changed my understanding of dieting completely as I began to understand the “gate keeping” effects of insulin on fat cells, and now of course Dr Jason Fung, Dr MM and others have taken forward this focus plus the IF. I think for me low carb and IF are possible life plans, as you’re right, the cravings for starchy foods are more easily controlled once you’ve got going.

    I ate a lot of fruit at first to make up for no added sugar. Raspberries and clementines or oranges worked best. But now I don’t seem to need them as much. I also made little bread substitute drop scones with oat bran, baking powder, coconut, egg and yogurt, with goji berries in. They seemed to kill the bread/ carb cravings too, but I need them less now, though I have had a few oat biscuits occasionally.
    Well done again for getting into this and for your goal setting in terms of time. More helpful for this, I think.

    I appreciate your kind comments, Apricot. This site is a goldmine of experience and I’ve learned so much here. I do wish I’d known about IF and LCHF earlier, but perhaps I just wasn’t ready to see it. I certainly see it all around me now!

    I agree with you about the fruit. I thought I’d miss it more than I do. I do have some berries and the occasional apple, but more because I have some residual thoughts that I “ought to eat fruit” rather than needing to.

    I had a slight advantage with the bread issue because I was forced to give up wheat 6 years ago. I loved baking, so that was hard. At the time, I couldn’t imagine how to eat without wheat. And yet it’s quite easy once you figure it out, and that helped me see that I could adapt again to go sugar-free.

    My personal choice is to go with food that is itself, if you see what I mean, rather than a poor imitation. I’ve always disliked margarine and sweeteners. Gluten-free bread was a fail so I stopped trying to make sandwiches or toast and I defaulted to rice cakes. On the plus side, zero problems now in letting go of rice cakes!

    I want real food. Food that makes other people look and say, ooo I want what SHE’S having. I can do that now. πŸ™‚

    FD for me, and all is well.

    Listening to my body is a new experience for me. There was a disconnect between my mouth and everywhere else — a sort of manual override. I can now actually tell when I’m hungry. And I have good clean food to eat when I am.

    I believe I am ready to let breakfasts go. That goes against everything I’ve ever had drummed into me, but — I’m just not hungry then. So I’ll give it a trial run.

    I am still a little surprised at how quickly this has become my norm. This site has given me the tools to make sense of all the bits of information I had picked up but couldn’t make fit. Now I feel unstoppable!

    Hi Lolly, thanks so much for keeping us updated on your progress. So glad to hear it is going so well for you.
    I did quite a bit of reading over the last days on the LCHF. Even got the book from the Scandi who invented this Skaldeman Index. While it does make a ton of sense and it seems to work really well, I decided that it is probably not for me. I would not want to give up on carbs quite so radically. I do consider though to find out whether I can live with a reduction (bread! I need to eat less bread!). Totally understand that the LCHF approach makes a ton of sense when carbs trigger binging. But while I do love my bread, I can still somehow control the amounts I eat.
    Before starting 5:2 I did the fructose free diet and before that I even was vegan for almost a year. So for more than 1,5 years I was cutting out certain type of food from my diet. My main motivation for 5:2 is that I do not need cut out any type of food at all. I can eat whatever I want, but not whenever and not in endless quantities. This is a great new experience for me, I am re-connecting with certain food, like the occasional sweet. Sure, it is a never-ending challenge to control the amounts. But right now, I enjoy the food that I eat so much (and celebrating it!), that I would not want to start a diet that cuts out anything.
    Anyhow, I see the beauty of your chosen way and I am very happy for you that it works so well. My route will most likely be a bit different and I am also very excited about this new journey.

    I am so pleased for you, Karen! I can’t stress enough that not everyone will have the same needs, issues or goals. Our solutions must be right for us, and I applaud the work you’ve put in to research options. What you’ve learned has helped you to gain insight into the right direction for you, and I wish you all possible success. 5:2 will support us both.

    Like you, I read everything I could, tried things on for size, listened, accepted some, rejected others — so when I hit my the magic spot there was no doubt for me. I am clear on what I need to do to overcome my insulin resistance. But that’s ME. Your situation is different and your solution will be, too. I’m glad to have had a small part in helping you clarify what you want to do.

    Enjoy the process. You’re creating a foundation you can build on for the rest of your life!

    I prepared a dish two days ago, a glorious casserole of aubergines, pork and cheeses. Absolutely within low-carb and caloric limits. It was so delicious, and I set aside half for today’s non-FD although I didn’t really want to stop. For the first time in weeks, I found myself thinking too much about food — and what I wanted was those aubergines!

    I’m going to listen to my “Warning, warning, danger, danger!” meter on this one, and gently release aubergines back into the wild for now. No other food I’ve tried recently has had that effect, and I am on high alert for anything remotely connected to a binge trigger. Plenty of other fish in the sea.

    That’s interesting…aubergines have a very low glycaemic index, so it can’t be that…maybe it’s the cheese? Altogether more addictive than aubergines, I think…

    I mean, it can’t be the glycaemic load that triggered you, sorry if that was not expressed clearly.

    I quite agree with you, Austrian. Aubergines aren’t inherently dangerous! But I’m not craving either cheese or meat. My life doesn’t depend on aubergines, so I’ll just put them to one side and continue observing.

    Just one of those idiosyncratic quirks!

    Oooh, Lolly…while I getting the baby to bed, I suddenly had this absurd, vivid fantasy about aubergines…their silky smoothness in a curry with coconut milk…their softness under a crunchy layer when deep fried and so on – I had to sing an extra long lullaby to get them out of my mind. Evil, evil aubergines.

    Get thee behind me, aubergines!

    Please do not click on the link provided by Caroline85. It’s promotional, and I have asked for it to be removed.

    Thanks – Lolly

    A thought is not an action.

    On previous attempts to lose weight, I always knew that the end was coming once I began to obsess about a food, which was always something sweet. It was almost a relief to fail — things could return to normal and I could binge. The pressure of walking the tightrope of being “good” was over. With a vengeance.

    Aside from giving me a good laugh at the prospect of holding a vegetable responsible for falling off the wagon, my recent reaction to that aubergine dish gave me literally food for thought. It was the merest echo of the same sort of obsession as before, but the pattern was the same.

    It was a gift, to be able to hold up this strange thing, have a good look at it, and figure out how to defuse the bomb. No harm done, and quite a bit learned.

    Anyone using 5:2 knows that they have an effective way now to lose weight. But we are complex and contradictory creatures, and our needs are more than physical. I appreciate the peace and the clarity of mind I have on my food plan, and I will protect that by only having non-triggering foods on my plate.

    Thoughts can come. But I choose my actions. It’s as simple as that.

    Its been good catching up with everyones updates, I do love this thread πŸ™‚

    Sorry I’ve not got time to reply individually, I just wanted to let you know that I think your all amazing πŸ™‚

    Keep up the good work, we are strong.

    I’m fasting today.

    Good luck everyone x

    I’m joining you in that fast day, Dragon Fly, and very glad to be home again to do so.

    There are food triggers and there are emotional triggers in our personal minefields — disarming or avoiding them takes time, practice, and the occasional bit of guile.

    I spent a weekend with family. (I officially apologise to aubergines everywhere for casting aspersions, now that I know what was really causing the wobbles!) I knew there would be lots of good food to go with the good company but I prepared in advance, suited up, and made it through.

    Notes to self for future play-dates away:

    1. Plan ahead. Have a clear picture of what food is on your plan. Bring gifts of food you can eat.

    2. Blame someone not in the room, preferably someone with unassailable authority. “Wow! You’re outdone yourself with that gorgeous (fill in the sweet treat)! My doctor’s got me on this no sugar thing… mean doctor!”

    3. Distract. When questions get to the “You’re looking well, what are you doing?” point, smile and mention their children/grandchildren/pets/new cars. If all else fails, enthusiastically discuss very technical online course to cause immediate glazing over of every eye within earshot.

    With a few minor adjustments, my meals looked perfectly normal. I ate well and had no sense of deprivation, thanks to LCHF. There was no planning my binge for when I got home. There was, however, a planning of a day of QUIET…

    Love the aubergine story! So I looked it up on MyFitnessPal and was surprised at how low carb and low cal they are. So green curry with aubergine coming up later this week!
    I ended up eating quite a bit of cake at the weekend at a couple of parties. I don’t mind occasionally doing that, now I know how easily I can go back on low carb high fat. Though today’s fast has been harder because of it.

    I’m interested in what you say Lolly about craving particular foods. It seems to me that there are two things going on sometimes: one is that your body knows what it needs, the other is that there can be cravings led by other things, like low blood sugar, the hypothalamus saying it rather fancies sugar and so on. Knowing a bit more about nutrition is so helpful, as you can distinguish between these two. So when I really craved some fried herrings I knew I could just go with it, but if it’s cheese on toast I need to deflect it, so courgettes and tomatoes with toasted cheese on top. Or aubergine…….

    Green curry with anything sounds great, Apricot! Well, maybe not cake. Amend that to “almost anything”.

    One of the best selling points of 5:2 is the ability to eat up to your TDEE on a non-fast day if you choose, and with what you choose. Those choices will change as you do, and there’s always a fast day to recover from less than ideal meals. There’s no breaking of a diet, because there is no diet. So much pressure and guilt relieved.

    In practical terms, my focus right now is weight loss. My food plan is a work in progress, so being able to hear and interpret what my body is telling me is so important. Especially as I’ve ignored it to the point of near-diabetes. Cravings are a sign to me that something’s wrong. You raise an excellent point about good cravings for something the body actually need — I was wanting vinegar on things, and it turns out that’s not a bad idea.

    I’ll continue to treat any hint of craving as an early alert. Eventually, I’ll have enough experience to make a quicker judgment call. Now that my brain isn’t being controlled by sugar, I might as well make it useful in applying a little problem-solving analysis!

    I’m adding herrings to my next shopping list…

    Apricot, thanks for the reminder that cravings can be a good thing, a way of the body to communicate its needs – but how to distinguish the “healthy” from the “unhealthy” cravings? I think a useful rule of thumb would be “A Craving For Sugar Is Never A Good Thing”.

    My only cravings today are for weight loss, and as this is Wednesday Weigh-In I am in luck. Another pound forever dismissed.

    Wonderful food, bags more energy, feeling cheerful — and losing weight! Finally released from diet hell.

    20 st./3.5 lbs.

    All this energy I seem to have found is leading me to seriously bizarre behaviour — like cleaning out closets. Where did all this stuff come from?? And why am I holding on to things I don’t even know I have?

    With back issues, housework isn’t exactly my favourite activity. Waist-height up all is tidy, but there’s ALWAYS something more amusing to do than clean floors. Or closets.

    Closets exist to hide things away. But today, it looks like my sitting room was attacked by an exploding charity shop. WHY do I have a toaster when I haven’t eaten bread for 6 years? Do I really need a third tea service? Did I think that this hideously yellow jumper would improve with age? Fifty pens. None working. Presents I bought for Christmas and forgot to give.

    Some rubbish, more to donate, and a few old friendships to re-visit. Now my closets can be pounds lighter, too.

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