Opunning about Weight Management.

20190410_075320I could say this is my opinion, but I also could say this is more (e’en) about you. Oh my word. It feels good to play with words, even if it’s at my expense.

I have been using the new WW “green” plan to track my food since the end of November. I had missed my allowable weight by .2 pounds and didn’t get a voucher for free etools.

I hadn’t been WW tracking my food much since the rollout of the freestyle plan. I had been maintaining my weight with a less carb approach to my sugar addiction management. Still only three meals a day with no grazing (my name isn’t Moo-reen). No added sugar. Very little flour (almond or coconut). A daily multivitamin. It worked quite well for me, especially when I was traveling or staying in a place with no wifi and spotty data.

But here I was at home again. Not quite at my number. I committed to tracking on green for the rest of the year: December.

Not only did I track my food in the WW app, but I also decided to go to the WW studio each week to weigh in and stay for the workshop.

This was a bigger deal than it might seem on the surface. I have a history of majorly blowing my healthy eating after WW meetings (as they used to be called). I recall weighing in for free lifetime etools and then, after the meeting, going to the grocery store across the street, buying a bag of day-old pastries, and eating them ALL in the parking lot. That was before I learned to manage my sugar addiction.

Since I stopped eating sugar, that hasn’t been a problem. But I know from experience, that an addict can find other ways to abuse food. (Well, I was actually abusing me using food.)

I embraced tracking, using my 30 points a day and dipping into my allotted weekly points as I needed or wanted them.

By the first weigh in of December I had lost over a pound and was able to get my free etools for the month.

With WW, lifetime members only have to weigh in once a month within their allowable weight to retain their free status. The free voucher is good for eight weeks. That means that weigh ins could be almost two months apart.

But I had decided that I was going to stay on the green plan (they also have purple and blue plans that are like prior plans that had left me feeling bruised).

I tracked and went to workshops every week in December. I even went to a workshop in Northern Vermont when we were on a ski trip. My weight was up for the first time that month. But it was at the end of the day and I was wearing clothes I hadn’t planned to weigh in. Totally justified. Not justavacation justified, either.

I was feeling great. I was feeling like I could do my first weigh in of the decade in a lower decade of weight. And then I was at home.

Monday, this week, was the first day I was really by myself. I found myself digging in the freezer and eating pecans (26 points worth). And that wasn’t all.

I’m not lion. Pride goes before a fall.

Look at me, look at me, look at me now! It’s great to lose weight and I know just how! That is sort of what she said. And then the feeling of dread as she emerged from a 73 point day….

I’m not the Cat in the Hat, either. But I took a deep breather and set out to clean up my mess. Track it all against the wall. Give it my very best guess. The points do matter–more make me fatter. But never I borrow from dailies. I start each day new on green, not blue. With purpose, on purpose, not maybe’s.

I’ve had two good days with downward trend weighs (though it’s not all about the scale). I must use my tools with addiction rules or I’ll end up the size of a whale.

Although that last bit sounds melodramatic, I feel fortunate that I was jolted awake sooner than later. I just weighed myself at the end of the day and I am well under my WW goal weight. Not boasting. Just thankful that my tools still work when I work them.
#sugaraddict #slipups

AAA for Sugar Addiction

It’s good to know you need help (Awareness). It’s also good to ask for the help you need and recognize when it’s the right answer for your need (Acceptance). But the best is when implementing that help changes your life for the better (Adapting). There’s AAA again!!

Continue reading “AAA for Sugar Addiction”

The Power of the Apostrophe.

My journey to good health went from impossible to I’m Possible when I added an apostrophe (a pause, trophy). A little wait in my thought process also helped me go from impatient to I’m Patient.

When I take the time to consider the trophy (good health in mind and body) it makes a big difference. Over seventy five pounds of difference!

I was headed towards being a patient of medical specialists because of my obesity. Wait loss (impatience?) had gotten in my way (weigh?) for weight loss.

When I changed my focus to feeling better (the trophy) I had more patience with the process and possibilities!

So often impatience leads to impossible. Good health is not about a quick fix or magic pill. It’s about lifetime. Think about it.

She who hesitates has gained a tiny bit of wait. Just enough time to think again–a helpful healthful trait! (The rest of that poem is in my book, The I’m Possible Journey; Learning to Live with Sugar Addiction.)

This “a pause trophy” way of thinking also helps with maintaining weight loss.

Maintenance isn’t a destination. It is a journey that includes thoughtful planning and eating. GOAL becomes Going On And Living. And, because it’s right there, the focus can get blurred or the value of it can be forgotten. The importance of pausing to look at the trophy remains.

These are just a few things that I was thinking about this morning. I live with sugar addiction. I manage it so it doesn’t manage me. I live with people who don’t have sugar addiction. I cook and bake for them. I have even bought candy for them. I just don’t eat it. Because I have paused enough to see the trophy. And it’s worth more than sugar to me.

What do you think? Implausible? Or I’m plausible.

Exclusive Diets.

Note: I wrote the following post a few months ago. For some reason, I didn’t publish it. But a recent conversation with a friend helped me revisit and rethink into sharing it. What do you think?

When I had lost around (and was less round) seventy-five pounds a few years ago, my doctor made a comment that it would be great if I could bottle, or put in pill form, what I had done. I wasn’t extremely impressed with the comment although I’ve thought about it from time to time over the years. I would have liked to talk with him about what I had actually done, but instead, he suggested I watch Forks over Knives and consider a plant based diet. I haven’t done either. Because I had found what worked for me. And I continue to do it.

For some reason, I tend to react negatively when people start talking about diets. It doesn’t matter what diet it is, if someone claims it’s the only way to eat to feel good and be at a healthy weight, I feel a bit (or more, e’en) skeptical. Sometimes, the diet talk comes with an air of superiority. As in, I know better than you. You should listen to me and do what I am doing. It’s better than what you’re doing.

I’m that way with the thought of a Weight Watchers diet. In 2012, I finally learned (after being ON Weight Watchers as a diet many times) that Weight Watchers (now WW) was a collection of awareness tools that a person could USE to work toward health goals. I used their tracking tools and blogging community along with some sugar addiction management guidelines I adapted to work for me. When I reached my weight goal, I was asked to talk about my success story. But I was also asked to tone down the sugar addiction part of it because they didn’t want people to think they couldn’t eat sugar. That thought didn’t work for me. And I was disappointed that Weight Watchers didn’t really get the idea of people having individual needs that could be catered to with their tools. I will say that Weight Watchers has made changes to be less exclusive. But some of the changes made their tools less useful to me. So I don’t use them. And that’s fine.

So. Exclusive diets. Follow this plan. Buy these products. Do what someone else says to do. It worked for them. They look great. They’ve written a book about it. And maybe they have a line of exclusive foods or supplements. If the plan doesn’t work for you, there’s something to blame. The diet was no good. The products were too expensive. I didn’t understand what they were talking about. It’s too hard. I didn’t like it. No clue. Exclusive. Some people thrive on exclusivity. But I don’t.

Perhaps they’re not as much exclusive diets as they are excusive. It didn’t work. Or was it: I didn’t work. Or maybe the plan is for a different type of person. Someone with a different chemistry? I don’t know. I just know I don’t like diets. I’ve been on a lot of them. I have learned a lot from them. But I don’t really like them.

After I lost all that weight by paying attention, I read some books that explained some of the neuroscience behind what I’d done. I have read books and listened to people talk about nutrition. I’ve also been aware of controversies around nutrition and food studies. I’ve learned that a lot of information should be considered with a grain of salt–perhaps it keeps the electrolytes balanced?! I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I haven’t figured all of this out inside a vacuum. I’ve dusted off books and read them. I just don’t do well with sweeping statements of exclusivity about what a person needs to do. I don’t believe there’s a one size fits all plan for optimal eating and being healthy.

I’m more in favor of inclusive do-its. Like: look inside for clues. Sift through what I’m eating and how I’m feeling to find what works for me. In-clue-seive. Filter out what doesn’t work. Incorporate what does. Pay attention to moods and foods. Use tools to help with Awareness. Accept how it is. And then Adapt if there need to be changes. Have a goal of feeling better. I call it AAA and it helped me change my attire from XXL to small.

I wrote and published a book that chronicles my journey of learning to live with sugar addiction. I know that what I did won’t work for everyone. Others have said that my story resonates with them enough to give them hope and encouragement to look inside oneself and find what works to feel better and then do it.

That’s mystory. And if you don’t know yourstory, it’s still a mystery.

Look inside for clues. Sift out what doesn’t matter. Mind the things that do matter. To you. And your health.

Cheers! (Hip, hips, away!)

Tipping Point.

This title is loaded. And I’m not completely sure where it’s going. But perhaps that’s the point. Or part of it anyway. (Or any weigh, if the point alludes to Weight Watchers. But I digress. (Or digest.)) But first, speaking of weighing, I reached a tipping point on the scale one day–I thought I would just be obese for the rest of my life. I tipped into the idea of just feeling better. And that made a huge difference. So huge, that my clothing size went from XXL to small.

But what I’m really thinking about is me writing a book and using marketing to promote it. I wrote a book while I was learning to live with sugar addiction. My purpose was not to write a book. My purpose was to feel better. But the tools I used to help me feel better involved writing about how I was feeling. I chose to write blog posts on the Weight Watchers community site. And at some point, I chose to let some people know that I was writing.

Something tipped me from anonymity to identity. Perhaps it was because I was making a dent in myself by losing over seventy-five pounds and people were interested in knowing how I’d done it. Whatever the reason, I did reveal myself and some people were interested in reading what I’d written.

With some encouragement from friends and family, I turned my blog posts into a book and published that book in 2016. I really wanted a paperback reference book for myself as a help in my continued journey with sugar addiction management. I also thought there was a chance I could offer motivation and hope to others who struggled with similar sensitivities to sugar. I wanted people to know that there was an alternative to yo-yo dieting, lack of impulse controls, and the misery all of that includes. Someone also suggested that my experience would be a huge help to people living with sugar addicts. It would offer insight into the workings of an addict’s thought process (or lack thereof).

I used a self publishing company (iUniverse) and quickly found that the money maker in being a self published author was the publishing house. Everything had a price tag and most of the time it was big. I worked with the company for a couple of years and finally had my book published in 2016. My friends and family were very supportive and bought my book. Some friends and family even posted glowing reviews. I started this WordPress blog and also worked on marketing my book through social media.

I made a few connections and made some new friends in the book world. And I appreciate the support I’ve had from other authors. Jena Henry (The Golden Age of Charli series) was a huge help to me before and after my book was published. She provided a blurb for the back cover of my book, a guest spot on her blog, and friendship that included a meeting at her house, hot pepper jam and biscotti. (Although I do not eat hot pepper jam and biscotti, I do enjoy making them.)

The sale price on Amazon was less than I could buy with my author discount until my book buy back program (for wholesale buyers) ran out and then they upped the cost to the cover price ($22.99). I had book re-publishers call me with lots of praise for my book and offers to re-format it with a different cover and lower price–they said my book was too expensive. They would do all the revisions for free if I bought a marketing package payable in three installments of lots of money. But I didn’t bite.

Early this year, my original publishing company called again with a marketing proposal. They said I should give my book a fair chance by giving it exposure to a larger audience. (This author-operated blog has reached readers all around the globe, but it hasn’t generated book sales.) I had given a low cost marketing company a try last year, but all it had done was assured me that the ad was eye-catching enough to generate a lot of clicks, but there were absolutely no book sales generated (conversions).

I told the iUniverse marketing rep that other companies had been calling me and had offered to republish my paperback book at a lower cost if I would purchase their expensive marketing. For some reason, iUniverse was able to offer me the same type of deal with a month long, lower cost marketing book blast email promotion that would offer my ebook for ninety-nine cents. And for some reason, I decided to do it.

I wanted the lower cost paperback to be available during the ebook sale. I worked with the publisher to lower the page count. I changed the font size and I changed some spacing. I removed the glyphs between the blog entries and took out some excess words. I also changed the cover design to better reflect me and my journey. And when all that was done, I had a paperback book that told my story and only would cost $13.99.

Once that was in place, the month long marketing program started. There were no guarantees of book sales. The only guarantee was a report of the analytics generated by the campaign–how many clicks.

I figured it wouldn’t hurt to do my own marketing while the ebook was on sale. I mentioned it on the WW Connect app, in this blog, and on Facebook. There were a few people who bought the ebook. I could tell by the sales ranking that Amazon provides in the product details that there was activity.  I went from over one millionth on the best sellers list to under 200,000. (If you’re curious, make a purchase and go back to see how much of a difference you’ve made. It’s inexpensive fun!)

Early on in my publishing journey, I heard that most effective marketing tool is word of mouth advertising. If all of my friends who bought the book told their friends about it and just one of each of my friends’ friends bought the book and told their friends about it with the same following effect, the market reach would be phenomenal. And there’s that thing called a tipping point that a Google search defined as “the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.” That hasn’t happened. Yet.

Tipping point evokes a few different images in my mind. One is at the end of a restaurant meal. Another would be that off balance rain barrel that topples over when just one more drop of water was too much for it to stay upright. And then there’s that balance beam scale that used to be at the doctor’s office until they went digital.

When I started this marketing campaign, I was thinking a positive response could be the tipping point for me to seriously work on publishing more books, including an already started cookbook of no sugar added entrees, sides, and desserts. It was also possible that a less than enthusiastic response could be the tipping point for me to withdraw from publishing anything else.

I have been a little concerned that a less than enthusiastic result of marketing could be a tipping point for me to feel that this whole book project was a waste of time. (Insert mental image of an herb dieter with a waist of thyme.) I have to remember that this book has helped me regain control over a serious sugar problem more (e’en) than once. That’s worth a lot on a personal level. No. This book project is not worthless. And neither am I.

By the way, this isn’t a manipulative attempt to get you to buy my book so I won’t slip into deep depression. I’m okay either way. (But not either weigh. I like being healthy.) I have, by writing and paying attention to how I feel, continued my I’m Possible Journey of Living with Sugar Addiction. It’s priceless.

I think the ebook promotion ends tomorrow. Today is your last day to download it for only ninety-nine cents.  The normal price is $3.99. The paperback version, however, will still be a mere $13.99 to purchase. You might find either version priceless if it helps you have hope and inspiration to get control over sugar. Or even if it just makes you smile.

UPDATE ON THE EBOOK PRICE: The price will return to $3.99 in the next week or two. I’m not sure why, but you’ve got more time!

Thank you for reading this. I’ll let you know how things go.

Can you Afford to Pay Attention?

Can you Afford to Pay Attention?

Perhaps the better question is, “Can you afford to NOT pay attention?” I saw a documentary this past week. It had to do with detrimental effects of food on health.  (And beneficial effects of eating “properly”.) Poor nutrition is not just a problem for mental health. It’s a problem for physical well being.

I was quite interested in the film until it took a definite turn toward vegetarianism. And then the tone turned to the possiblity that climate change is because we eat meat. Sorry. I don’t get involved in blanket statements about the climate or what people eat.

But I do recommend paying attention to what one eats. And how one feels. During the eating and also afterward. Some people can eat anything and feel great. Other people find that eating sugar makes them feel great while they’re eating it, but after the last swallow, they feel fowled up.

I’ve paid attention enough to know that sugar compromises my health. My mental and physical health. I suspected that for years before I actually did anything about it. Well, I thought it was impossible to get control over sugar. But, by paying attention to what my mind and body were trying to tell me, I found out I’m Possible.

In the past month, I’ve gotten a little bogged down by diet mentality. Eat this. Don’t eat that. You should eat in the Keto style. Or the Paleo style. Vegan. Vegetarian. Plant based. Low Carb High Fat. No pork. No tuna. Only eat by the light of the luna. No sugar. No dairy. No gluten. No berry. Fast. Slow. Tick. Talk. Use a wok. Always set up cookie block. Whole 30. Whole hog. Oil. Foil. Artery clog.

It starts to feel like a Dr. Seuss book gone haywire. (Speaking of hay, I actually had a week of grazing. Not on hay, and not on sugar, but on lots of other stuff. When I finally paid attention, I realized I felt lousy and stopped grazing. Eventually.)

What works for me works for me. The other stuff turns into sensory overload and a meltdown (which should not be confused with a melt-away).

So. Sensory overload. Sense Or Why? When I go with the Why? I tend to overload my plate and my senses go numb. What makes sense for me is to pay attention to labels, ask for help with menu selections, keep to three meals a day and, and not forget to take a multivitamin.

I know a few people who are trying to be healthier. Well, they’re trying to lose weight. I hope they become healthier. I can’t know what will work for them, but I can encourage them to pay attention.

And speaking of paying, my ebook is on sale until May 6. Would you pay 99 cents for motivation to pay attention? I won’t tell you what to do. But I can encourage you to look at things from a different angle. The try-angle. I will encourage you to not use tools if you try them and they don’t work for you.

Eating healthy and being healthy don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. But you might want to pay attention.

 

 

Home from the Range! The I’m Possible Journey Continues.

Home from the Range! The I’m Possible Journey Continues.

I’ve been traveling for the past two weeks. Most recently, I spent a week in Wyoming. I didn’t see any buffalo, but I saw antelope playing on the range. Continue reading “Home from the Range! The I’m Possible Journey Continues.”