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Successful Weight Loss - How I Lost 80 Pounds

Weight Loss How To | Meet the Food Cop | Ms. Fitness
Cake for Breakfast | Before/After

Learning to Eat vs. Learning to Diet

I was 13-years old the first time someone announced they thought I was "chubby." What a laugh. What they thought was chubby, I thought was a voluptuous Goddess. I'd always thought of myself as pretty much perfect (no self image problem there, that's for sure). But if someone else thought differently, then hey, maybe I should pay attention.

I decided to try a "diet." Naturally I turned to the wisdom of the popular press and soon discovered the latest diet craze – "The Atkins Diet," (yes, the very same Atkins Diet that is popular today). This diet appealed to me because it was 1) simple to follow (limited food choices), and 2) allowed foods I liked.

Here's the diet: All you want of fat laden meats, eggs, cheese, butter, oils, anything fat is okay, but no breads (whole grain or otherwise), grains, rice, beans and little if any vegetables or fruits. Sounded sensible enough to me (I was 13, remember).

This was my chance to eat fried burgers all day and I truly loved hamburgers

"This will be easy," I thought to myself with a smug smile. I fried up a couple nice plump burger patties for my dinner, hold the bun. I can recall the scene like it was yesterday: The grease filled pan, the greasy smell in the air. Yummy! Then I sat down to my plate of charred, greasy cattle flesh and poured ketchup all over it (a primary food group for me). No problem, I could eat like this forever.

Enough of This -- 3-Days Later

By the third day of hamburger patties I was pretty sick of that, but I couldn't think of anything else I could eat. And I was starving. All I could think about was toast. I decided to call it quits. I don't know if I lost weight. I don't remember.

How anyone could expect to stay on a diet for any length of time was beyond me. Besides, what difference would it make if I just went straight back to my usual eating habits? It seemed like an idiotic way to suffer for ultimately nothing. I decided dieting was stupid and never bothered to try another fad diet again.

Mono-Food Days: The Apple Machine

My next eating weirdness was the apple machine in high school. I received an allowance of $6 bucks a week. This money was to be spent for my extras like movies, candy, whatever, but also included any clothes I might want other than those I got for birthdays, Christmas and the new school year. I quickly learned how to stretch my $6.

I was given lunch money, and discovered the joy of the 10-cent apple. We had an apple machine in the school with big, beautiful, crisp red delicious apples. This became my lunch, and I could keep the 25 cent profit (this was when 50 cents bought a movie.)

Since I was hardly eating any lunch I'd be starving when I'd get home from school. I'd scout about the kitchen finding whatever I could get away with and spirit my goods to my room where I'd eat straight through until dinner.

I'd eat entire bags of potato chips and get in trouble for it, "I don't know why I bother buying chips, you just eat them all." I'd eat potato chips with ketchup (remember, I loved ketchup), fresh tomatoes from the garden and then I'd be in trouble for having the salt shaker in my room. Notice any pattern? Salt seemed heavily featured. Maybe what I really could have used was a big glass of water or a more substantial lunch?

Fasting > Feasting

What about fasting to lose weight

This made sense. Just don't eat anything. Of course you'd lose weight. I decided to fast for a week which turned out to be about four days. The first day was the worst, then the hunger went away and the next few days were fine. I was a little light headed but since I didn't do any kind of physical activity, it was tolerable. Then came the fourth day. Suddenly back came my hunger with a vengeance, and it was not to be denied. So okay. Fast over.

What did I do? Did I follow the advice to get back to eating slowly? Perhaps a little broth the first day, then some tiny bites the next and the next until after several days you could get back to eating a full sized portion? No, not Gusto Girl. I ate everything in sight. Stuffed it in, until I was sick, and this was the first time I'd overeaten to the extent that death would have been a welcome relief. I had cramps and stomach pains I could never have imagined. That was the last time I tried fasting.

Recapping My Dieting History

So, let's recap. One three-day diet, and one four-day fast. My dieting history so far was working out to be a joke. Meanwhile I'd go back to my usual eating habits. The mono-food style of eating stayed with me because it required the least of my attention. From that day forward I tended to eat the same foods, as most people do, on a regular basis. For an entire year I had a cheeseburger and fries at the company cafeteria, every day, without fail. I liked the taste (still liked those burgers). My weight stayed between 130 - 135 lbs., which for my height was fine.

Another year I ate a bagel and yogurt every day for lunch. Every day, day after day, until I couldn't face bagels for a very long time. There has been a Chunky Soup phase, every day for lunch in my office. I use the pop top cans and eat it cold, straight out of the can -- Hey, maybe I could make commercials like that guy who eats Subway everyday? I should call them.
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Kathryn Martyn M.NLP
Kathryn Martyn Smith, M.NLP EFT Weight Loss Coach
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