Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Putting the binge monster to sleep

I haven't had a binge for five nights in a row. The solution, which many of you suggested, was so simple that I can hardly believe it worked.

I've changed a few things, but the one thing I think is the key is I'm in bed and asleep by 8:30 to 9pm every night. I know that sounds insane because it's so early, but it works, and I feel about a hundred times better. I think it's a combination of getting eight hours of sleep that makes me emotionally stronger, and the mere fact that I'm asleep during my peak eating hours.

I thought this wouldn't matter, and I'd just choose some other time of day to stuff my face, but I don't. In fact, it's actually changed how I look at food. I feel like I'm in control of my food, not that my food is in control of me.

A few other changes recently that are helping, in addition to the sleep:

1. Water - I'm back to guzzling the water. Sure, it's inconvenient, more trips to the kitchen at work for water and more trips to the bathroom, but it's my health and that's a priority.

2. Healthy oils - I'm getting at least two teaspoons a day. I've always thought it seemed like a waste of Points but it's necessary.

3. Dairy - I'm drinking two cups of milk a day. It should be three because I'm over 50, but I take a calcium pill so I think I'm covered.

4. Snacks - this one is big and I think has really made a difference. I'm been following Lyn's blog, Escape from Obesity, as she writes about MediFast. First of all, I'm not an advocate of using MediFast long term. However, I think what Lyn is doing is perfect for her. What's even better is she's sharing tips on what she's eating. For example, the snacks should be a combination of a carb and a protein. I've known this for years (from a nutritionist friend), but I chose to ignore it.

It makes a huge difference in how satisfied I feel with my snacks being a "complete snack". Instead of just blueberries or just an orange, I'll have half the portion of fruit I use to have and add some protein, like 1/4 cup of cottage cheese or some yogurt, or even a couple ounces of sliced turkey.

5. My lunch and dinners are smaller, but I eat more snacks and eat more often. I think this one is huge too. If you're following Lyn's MediFast diary, she eats often. Usually every three hours she eats something. Always something low in calories, but high in nutrition and fiber. All the food has added fiber.

I've found about three hours after eating I'm feeling hungry. After four hours I'm starving. If I get to the starving mode, all bets are off and I lose control. The key is to not get to that "I'm starving to death and am going to chew off my own arm" stage. Eat something for God's sake! I can't believe the difference in how this makes me feel less out of control.

6. Cutting out the crap - this one was tough for me, really tough. When I say "crap" I don't mean cakes and cookies and candy, I mean "diet" crap. Like diet sodas. I may only have a couple a week, but I cut them out totally. Weight Watchers ice cream bars are banned from this house. Sugar-free Coffeemate, I poured it down the drain. I like my sweets but I switched from Splenda to Stevia. I don't know if that's really better for me, but at least taste a lot better. I only have a packet once or twice a day in my tea and it seems to satisfy my sweet tooth.

So far, so good! The giant monster called my out-of-control hunger is resting peacefully.

None yesterday! My gym was burglarized (all TVs stolen) and vandalized. It was closed for a police investigation when I got there at 5am. Then my iPod that's three years old completely died. Not a dead battery, it's just frozen and I can't reset it (I think my sweat finally destroyed it). I can't workout without music so no evening workout either.

I'm now the proud owner  of a new 5th generation pink iPod that I bought last night. It makes movies, has a built-in pedometer and an FM radio. Now if it only worked out for me. :) No wonder when I tried to buy a new armband for my old iPod last week the guy at Best Buy laughed at me, saying, wow, they don't even make those anymore! It was "only" three years old. In technology world that's like 20 years. Anyway, love the new iPod!

Have a totally awesome day everyone. And tonight, get to bed early so you're not so darn tired tomorrow. :)


Roxie said...

Brilliant strategy! Honest to God, if I am tired, I spend the day fighting my body's craving for "energy" and what is quick energy? Well, we all know the answer to that one. Well done you.

Helen said...

I laughed when I read that you go to bed "early" because that's my bedtime almost every night. Mostly because I do my best running in the early morning and I need my 8 hours. I am so happy to see these simple changes are so effective for you!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not awake yet (dang this daylight savings time). I thought you wrote that your gym was closed for a "polite" investigation. What??? I thought treadmills were meant to be rude!!!

Great job girl! Thanks for the super ideas too!

I envy your ability to sleep. I've had insomnia for about 12 years now and zzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzz zzzzzzz.............

Suzy said...

EXCELLENT!!! I am so happy for you!!! :)

Sandra said...

Very excellent choices Diana, glad they are working for you. I have to get to bed as early as you are just to function the next day. I get up early so in order to even get 7 hours of sleep, I'm in bed by 9. Makes a world of difference.

spunkysuzi said...

Good for you!! Sleep is definitely a must for me, if i don't everything else goes down the tubes.

stephanie said...

I have tried another way to lose
weight. I tried adipex and it is
really effective. i have lost lots
of weight. I ordered it online from
www.medsheaven.com I highly
recommend this, and this didn't
require a prescription! ST

Mary Joy said...

8 hours of sleep - what is that?! LOL. I *know* I need to get more sleep. I've been told so many times that getting more sleep is a key to losing weight. Just haven't had much luck putting it into practice. I've been getting up at 5:30 for the last 10 days (except weekends - slept a little longer) and really need to get to bed earlier. Guess I'll have to work on that goal soon. All of the great choices you are making are awesome!

Debbie said...

I too go to bed between 8:30 and 9:00 and it seems to help. I feel better when I wake up. Sorry to hear about your gym being broken into. I am going to have to get me a MP3 player or an Ipod. You are doing great keepup the good work.

Lyn said...

Awesome! We are on the same wavelength with the sleep posts :)

You're SO right about the Medifast. I never, ever would have thought I would like it, succeed with it, think it was a decent plan (even for short term). But I have learned so much doing it... things you mentioned that I will take with me always. Portion sizes, frequent eating, protein... all things that I think were missing before and contributing to my weight stall.

We can all learn from each other and I love it that we can share our stories!

Christina@Health Foodie said...

Wow, this is so awesome! Glad going to bed early works for you! :)

That about your gym is terrible... :(

M Pax said...

You go! Glad to hear you've found a path.

I eat often, too. Usually. Unless running around like a crazy person.

I'm waiting to see if I'm allergic to kumquats. Is that just an itch or allergies? LOL

Do you think your need for the intake later in the evening was because you were tired and your blood sugar was getting low? You know, that makes a lot of sense.

Donna B said...

Greatr post! Thanks so much for the ideas, I intend to put them to use tonight! Off yo bed early and NO snacking!

Graciela said...

I'm so glad you are doing better. Going to bed early not only keeps me out of the kitchen, I always feel better when I get enough sleep.

My old Nano started acting up, so before it crashed, I ordered a new one from the apple store. It's RED and I love it. It matches my car. Someone at work had to show me that it takes video! And...OMG...until I read your post, I had no idea it is also a pedometer! Thank you! I'm so stuck in the past.

Ron said...

Friggin theives!!!! That sucks,,, hope your gym is back to normal soon!

Pamela said...

Congratulations on finding things that are working for you, Diana! You've also given me lots of new ideas!

bbubblyb said...

I need to start working your plan of early to bed I know it would do wonders for me too. Glad things are going so well Diana.

Anonymous said...

Don't throw out the old IPOD. When the battery runs out and it dies, it might reset itself. Mine has done this 3 times. Even if you have a new one, you might be able to pull your library off of it to put on your new one.
I am pretending the part about your sleeping is not there. I should be getting more sleep and I know it :)