Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Operation Kick Sheniqua's Ass Update!

Hello chickens!

It’s Tuesday so that means it’s another joyous update on Operation Kick Sheniqua’s Ass.

I lost another 1.5 lbs. today.
I’m in week 12 and down 13.5 ELL BEES!
I’m ahead of schedule so far in that my goal was 1 pound per week.

My workout stats are as follows:

52 workouts in this year
41.6 hours of working out
16375.5 calories burned
135 miles gone – with 265 left to get me to my 400 mile yearly goal.

*Side note – Rambo has lost 19 pounds and hopes to get over the 20 pound mark on his Thursday weigh-in day.

As most of you know, last week I started the weight loss program that my work is sponsoring. It is a one hour video a week and a lesson book to take notes in. You take quizzes as you go along too. There are message boards and forums and at any time you can call a health counselor for help. Just basic stuff like that.

I was worried about the new program interfering with the plan I’m currently doing and one week later – I’m still confused but encouraged.

The plan I started on 1/1 was as basic as it gets. Under or below 1200 calories (no food off limits) and work out at least every other day for 60 minutes. Simple. I mean if I wanted to eat 1200 calories worth of Skittles for the day – that was totally on plan – but that’s it. I made no food restrictions – just calories.

This new work plan is heavy, heavy thinking if you ask me. The first thing it tells you to do is literally forget everything you ever learned about dieting. Once you really try to do that – is exactly when you realize diet facts and myths are engraved in your head like your home phone number.

Like this big one – eat 5-6 small meals a day – every few hours to boost your metabolism and never get over-hungry.

The program says bullshit to that. Why the hell are you eating 5-6 meals a day if you aren’t hungry? Just to PREVENT yourself from ever getting hungry? What’s wrong with hungry?

Why are we afraid to feel real hunger?

She says let yourself get to hungry (NOT famished) because THAT is exactly the precise moment that if you eat – your body will burn it. If you eat when you aren’t hungry – it will become fat and won’t be burned.

She says that every single human has a hunger manual that pertains to only them. That a single body will only get actually hungry 1 to 3 times a day. No more. And that those 1 to 3 times – are the SAME or close to each other every single day. She says most people aren’t even hungry until 4 to 6 hours after waking.

That whole “never skip breakfast” thing. She says pretty much – skip it every day – because you’re probably not even hungry then. What you are is dehydrated. We lose 2 pounds in water when we sleep.

I thought I’d put her theory to a test. I literally made a spreadsheet starting at 6am with a block to enter how I felt at each hour of the day in regards to real hunger. She gives you levels of hunger – 1 to 4 – and tells you to only eat when you are between a level 2 and 3 – because at that level your body will burn it.

So I did it. Every single hour for a whole week I charted my level of hunger or non-hunger. I ate between levels 2 and 3. I ate the way she said to – eat for 10 minutes, break for 5 minutes, eat another 10 minutes minimum. I savored my food. Really tasted it – moved it from cheek to cheek AND chewed it good. I didn’t have a limit on what I ate. Just the time. And at which level.

I’ll be damned if she wasn’t right.

She gave an example of a heart surgeon who she knows lives this way. He has figured out that he is only truly hungry once a day. He gets up early and has surgeries, then rounds, then work out and whatever and every day at 6pm he finds himself finally hungry – so he eats. Whatever he wants. Slowly for 10 minutes, breaks for 5, then eats for 10 more. He drinks water and coffee all day but is never hungry until 6pm.

She says most people get hungry 1 to 3 times a day and….

Looking back over a single week’s time , I’m a 3 a day-er. It’s a little weird. You can see on my spreadsheet that just like clockwork I get hungry the same times every single day. How weird is that? So on some other plan I was making myself eat up to 6 times a day – of which 3 I was never even hungry. Shitballs.

This is me and my body manual:

Up at 6am – get ready, kids to school, drive to work, check emails, prepare for work day and am pretty busy first few hours of each day. I don’t even begin to think about food until 10:30. Thinking back – I have “always” been this way. I have skipped breakfast most of my life and it has never bothered me. I’m just not hungry in the mornings. Never have been. I hate most breakfast foods in fact. If I’m at work and busy – food doesn’t even cross my mind for hours.

At 10:30 you can see that I start to “think” about food. Not quite hungry yet but at a level 2. By 11am, I’m planning and thinking about what I want to eat soon. I’m a level 2.5 to a 3. It’s time to eat. I eat. I’m done.

Between 11am and 1:30 – I stay at a Level 1. Not hungry at all.

At 1:30 or 2pm, I start thinking about food again. Level 2. At 2:15ish – I’m at a 2.5. I know that I want to eat soon. By 3pm, I have eaten whatever I want – following the time rules. 10 minutes slowly, break for 5, 10 more minutes.

From 3pm to 6pm – I’m finishing up at work, off at 4, drive home, talk to kids, change into workout clothes, feed kids, check emails, little things around the house, work out – busy time again. I’m at a Level 1. Food is not even on my radar.

Between 6pm and 7pm – I start thinking about food and get to a level 3. By 7pm I’ve eaten my third time and that’s it. Until bedtime, I’m not hungry. Another busy time. Baths, bed, homework, PT work, TV, clean, etc. If I eat after this last time – it’s out of habit and my mind feels hungry – but it’s not my stomach.

Every single day these times were the same or within 15 minutes of each other.  For realz.

I’ll tell you one thing – this way of eating – sure tunes you in to how your body really feels. It also makes you understand that I need WAY less food than I ever thought in order to stay completely satisfied. Some days after 10 minutes of eating – I felt full. Why do I have to get 1200 calories if my body is saying it’s satisfied?

Who says supper is always at 5pm?
Your mind? The world? Your family? The clock?

I mean a bunch of times I’d look at the clock and think “Um, I’m *supposed* to eat right now.” Then I’d think – what level am I at? Am I even hungry? Usually it was nope. Other times I could clearly write down that my MIND was dying for food but my stomach was at a Level 1 and not hungry whatsoever.

You have to break the food rules in your head. And there are many. What times to eat. What times not to eat. How many times to eat. The calorie amount to eat. Which foods to eat. All of it….comes from being programmed that way.

How many of us simply eat whatever we want at the precise moment that we are slightly/really hungry?

 Very few.

Except the people on this plan that I work with. She has a ton of other tricks to help you do the 10, 5, 10 rule easier. Other anecdotes and tips on exactly how to figure out which level you are at. Ones about what order she wants you to eat your food in and how to chew it and even how to cut it. Sounds dumb – but no lie – all new to me. All things I’ve never heard of and will probably now use forever.

But so far – in Week 1 – that’s the jist.

She even has a snack list for someone who is at a Level 2.5 and needs to eat but knows they are going out for a fancy dinner later. She tells you how to handle every situation.

I suppose it’s freeing.
She’s basically saying eat what you want – but you have to be between a level 2 and 3.

Now yah, she doesn’t mean ice cream. She says DUH – stay away from only eating sweets for those 10 minutes and break and 10 more. But beyond sweets – there are no limits. Mexican? Yup. Italian? Yup. Whatever. At the right level and for 10, 5, 10.

So – I guess I wrote all that to say – that I’m still using parts of this plan and the one I’ve been following since 1/1. I’m eating my food in the order she says and using the 10, 5,10. I’m not limiting anything. I’m using all of her other tips. I now know my levels and like clockwork – I know what time each day my own body is actually hungry. 

This helps me immensely because if I'm eating at any time other than the 3 times that MY body established - I know it's not because I'm hungry - and for some reason it makes me think why I'm eating and it deters me.

After all - that's a good goal, right?  To ONLY eat when I'm hungry. 
That's something we all want I would think. 

I don't WANT to eat when I'm not hungry...I just have for a long time and weight gain is the result.

I’m still working out though the program says it’s not necessary. (All the people at work who’ve lost and kept off the weight do NOT work out) I’m still tracking my food calories because I’m OCD like that….even though counting and tracking is not necessary. Amount and varieties are not restricted so there’s no need to track she says.

I’m listening to my body. The funny thing is that I’ve figured out it’s actually worth listening to.
It knows how to run efficiently if I’d just let it.

The hardest thing is letting go of all the shit I’ve learned my whole life.

Never skip breakfast. Eat 5-6 small meals. Restrict carbs. Eat protein with every meal. Restrict fats. Only eat veggies. Go vegan. Gluten is evil. Sugar is the devil. Use a tiny plate to trick yourself. Track every bite. Work out every day. Blah blah blah.

I’m content. This is working for me. For the first time in a long time – I’m calm about reaching my goal. It’s not IF I reach my goal, it’s when. I know I’ll get there. Only 17.5 pounds to go.

I don’t feel like I’m white-knuckling anything. Not deprived.
Never starving or wishing I was standing in line at a buffet.

I’m content. It’s weird.

I’m not saying it’s easy. What I am saying at the same time though is that it doesn’t feel hard either.

The journey just is.
I’m no longer afraid that I can’t keep doing this. I have all the tools. I’ve had them all along.

Tonight I get to watch Video #2……we’ll see what she has to say this week!

Thoughts on this? Whaddya think?

Does any of this ring true for you or do you think it’s just another diet plan? Have you ever tracked your hunger times for a week?  Did you find a pattern?


Michelle said...

That actually sounds really interesting. I've been trying to not eat when I'm not hungry. You are definitely right about how our minds are "trained" to eat at certain times and we need to learn how to break that. Does this woman have a book I can read?

jennxaz said...

For the most part I agree with you. I really try to only eat when I am hungry and STOP when I am full...now I do have a band so there is my worry of getting enough nutrients so I do need to eat my proteins first and eat carbs last..but that is just because I may not eat enough. I aim between 800-1000 calories a day and that is my magic number for weight loss. I also make sure I enjoy what I am eating and don't eat things just to eat things. I say this is working out great for you so keep it up...really its awesome how you have been losing and sticking to it!

Angelwithatwist said...

This makes a lot of sense and I think I may try it. But like you I want to move as well, because I know I do not get enough of that in my day. I know I eat out of boredom or frustration, I know I do. Now breaking that pattern is the key..

Laura Runs a Latte said...

I think a lot of this makes sense and is pretty much how I eat. I'm not hungry when I first wake up either, so I don't have my first meal until about 4 hours later. Usually something small. I'm almost always HUNGRY around 3pm, every day! That's when I eat my "main" meal. If I get hungry later I have something smallish. I've been maintaining a 100+ pound weight loss for about 4 years now, so yes, it really does work!

And for the working out part: while I was in weight-loss mode, I really didn't work out at all. I started running after I reached goal weight. However, I don't recommend that for every one else. Had I started working out sooner, I probably wouldn't have as much loose skin :(

RockBand Barbie said...

I totally agree with this and it is pretty much what I have been doing for over a year. My lapband doctor told me to only eat when I am hungry and stop when I am satisfied...not full. I eat pretty much whatever I want...I eat chocolate every single day. I never eat breakfast. I do eat a "low" gluten and "low" sodium diet, because those two things have a huge impact on my blood pressure. For the first 8 months after being banded I busted my butt to log every single thing that went in my mouth. I don't do that at all any more. I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am not hungry...I don't wait until I am full.

Cheri said...

I think what matters is finding what works FOR YOU. I've found over the years I've grabbed bits and pieces from lots of places. Even when I was a WW leader I didn't exactly follow the plan (shh!) I tweaked it to fit.

Personally, I really like the intuitive eating - eating when you are hungry, and what you are hungry for - if that can work for you. I also believe in being able to (and sometimes needing to) retrain things like hunger and sleep cycles. For instance if I start snacking late at night, I learn to crave food then, or if I start eating breakfast, I start to crave it. I'm not certain if having breakfast helps me later in the day. I mostly get into trouble if I get busy and after skipping breakfast, don't get my first meal in until 1 or 2pm...which is not eating at the hunger level you are describing. :-) My natural hunger cycles are actually just like yours - 11, 3, 7. I tend to believe (based on scale results) I do benefit from protein first thing in the morning, however. For me. Not sure if it is because I eat less later/cheat less, or if it revs my metabolism? I just know I do seem to lose at a better clip when I add that in, even though I'd just as soon skip it. Maybe it just starts my day of eating, mindfully? ?? I might try to figure that out, now that you have me wondering, lol.

Wow, you are SO CLOSE to your goal, and you are doing TERRIFIC!!

Mari said...

You're doing a great job, I'm so glad you've found a plan that suits you! x

Sarah Kopf said...

Hey there, cupcake! You're doing AWESOME! So proud of you! Hopefully Rambo pulls through this week too!


Fit Mom said...

Hmmm...very interesting "diet". I cant wait to hear what the next one tells you to do. You are doing a great job. Very proud of you. It is all about finding something that works for you and something that you are able to live with and make a lifestyle change. :)

Mrs Swan said...

Very interesting to read. Ty for typing this up. If your hunger times the same on your days off? I can go for hours without food on days off without feeling hungry but on work days my tummy wants food at certain times. It is really odd to me actually how different it is.

Angela Pea said...

One of my favorite things to say to myself..."Hungry is NOT an emergency!"

Sandy said...

Woo Hoo. What a great weight loss so far. Sorry I haven't been commenting much as I can't do it from work. I'm off today so am trying to do it now. I know I don't eat from hunger. Rarely feel it. Truly don't feel hunger until my stomach is growling and I start to feel weak. So if you can figure out and be aware of why we want to eat you will have mastered something many others haven't. We still do the clean the plate even if we are forcing in the last few bites because we are so full. I panic now when I have to eat on a big plate. It helps me with portions. But stress or just life still make me reach for that chocolate bar. I'm not hungry, but my brain wants something. Gotta feed it some other way than with food--exercise, yoga, relaxation. And sometimes chips are the only way to sooth. So keep on keeping on. And learn as we go. Hugs and kisses.

Sunshine's Heart said...

Very informative post. It does make a lot of sense. When I get my head together enough to try a plan I will check into this. Right now I'm not counting I'm just trying to be careful and watch my portions. I've never heard of your plan before but it seems to have a lot of value. I wish you the best as you continue with it.

Robyn's Nest said...

Sadly I know that I eat often when I am not really hungry. I need to really pay attention to what my body is saying.

Didi said...

I have always thought that eating five or six times a day to "boost metabolism" was complete garbage. I don't know who came up with that fad, but the truth is that it takes the body days and days to make metabolism shifts. Eating small meals six times a day doesn't do anything to the metabolism at all.
This year I am trying to unlearn all the dieting rules also. It's tough. I've spent the last six and a half years dieting and going back and forth, and obviously that doesn't work. It's hard to teach ourselves a new way though.
I may try this out, since it goes along with other things I am doing with my diet. After my boyfriend moved in I got into the habit of eating when he eats, but I just end up eating more. (Which is why I weigh ten pounds more than when we met) I need to pay more attention to my own hunger signals.

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