in which Kitteh shrinks away oodles of fluff

Archive for the ‘Smarticle Reviews’ Category

The Solution: the Limits Cycle

To recap, The Solution has six “cures” to the underlying causes of your weight problem. The first was the NURTURING cure– in which you ask How do I feel? What do I need? Do I need help?

The Limits Cycle goes hand in hand with nurturing. The three parts are:

  • Reasonable expectations
  • Positive, Powerful Thoughts

It turns out I am great at the middle one, have used the first one to great effect and need to remember to do it more often, and the last one is hard for me.

For Reasonable Expectations, you ask–what are my expectations? (to lose weight without exercising) Is that reasonable? (no, most people have to get moving if they want to see permanent results). What would be reasonable? (To expect to have to add at least some exercise into my day if I really want to lose weight.)

For Positive/Powerful thoughts: what am I telling myself? (That it isn’t fair that I have to start over with exercise, when I used to be really fit and I got UNfit because of health issues, not because of being lazy.) Is that helpful/positive/powerful? (Nope.) What can I tell myself that would be positive/powerful? (Hey, lucky you–you know how good it feels to be fit, and your body has always responded really well to exercise. Push through the misery at the outset and you will be ft in no time–more fit every day!)

What is the essential pain (basically, what is the unavoidable underlying painful fact/emotion driving the cycle)? (I don’t want to start over, it feels unfair.) Is it passing? (Yes.) can  you move on now? (Yes, I can let that go and focus on the positive thought I just created.

Hopefully you get the basic gist.  Like I said, I do a lot of reframing (the middle bit, think about it differently) and have OCCASIONAL (accidental) flashes of “what are you really expecting? and what are you SMOKIN’ to expect that?!” but hardly ever do I work through the pain part of that first thought. Hmm, goes back to the nurturing, kinda: emotions are just TEMPORARY, and if you let them flow through you, they will go away.  How very… Zen. 🙂

zen kitteh


Whew! Things Are Lookin Different ‘Round Here

OK, long time no post. There are about fifty reasons for that, but I am going to skip them for now and plunge into “where am I” and “what am I doing” territory.

Concluded that I need a break from packets. I’ve been eating them for about 2.5 years, even when I wasn’t faithfully following the diet, because they are such an easy go-to meal substitution. I’m tired of them.

Found an interesting diet that I am trying, the Carb Nite Solution. The gist is a lot like carb cycling–ultra low carb for a week (actually 9 days the first time, to get into ketosis) then a “Carb Nite” in which you eat a proscribed carb meal (including desserts). The idea is, you don’t get out of ketosis but you pump back up the “burnallthecalories” hormones. A much more eloquent description to be found in the book, or on anything written by the physicist turned trainer/nutritionist responsible for the system. He seems like a very interesting fellow, maybe just because I can identify with the three career trajectory thing. 🙂

So I started CNS on April 25, making this Saturday my first Carb Nite. I lost 8.2 lbs just going ultra low carb (no surprise there). Saturday night I ate part of a calzone (all I wanted, after a bit of time on ULC you fill up faaast on any kind of starch; waited until after a showing of Iron Man 3 to have dessert (I’m classy – forgot all about it until time to actually eat the dessert and wound up having a left over cream filled donut from that morning that a friend had brought to the kids) and a glass of Zinfindel port (yum). Saturday night, slept like a rock –one of the explicit side effects of getting carbs in occasionally. Sunday morning, up 3 lbs, which was expected–in fact, I expected it to be worse. Sunday, NO carb cravings–most definitely NOT expected. Sat through a spaghetti, garlic bread dinner unfazed and ate a salad. No big hunger pains–it was like Carb Nite hadn’t happened. In fact, I UNDER ate all day and wound up hungry at 10:30 and (having skipped groceries this weekend, another long story) had nothing to eat but microwave-ready bacon and cheese. So I had some of that, which might as well have been sodium tablets, and today I am up FOUR pounds–but I know that’s temporary. And I feel smaller.

So, so far, I’d say:

ULC portion rocks – 8.2 lbs is good by any standard.

CN rocks – it was fun to have that to look forward to all week, and know it is coming again this weekend.

Day After CN rocked (at least this time) – no cravings, no unusual hunger.

Weight loss after CN? Verdict still out. Stay tuned!



The One Day Way by Chantel Hobbs (Part 1)

I mentioned finding this book on Friday during my tire changing experience, and as promised, I finished it over the weekend Here are my major take aways (which means, it is not a proper review, just my 2 cents).

Overall, I am glad I bought and read the book. It is all focused on building a new life for yourself, one free from the overweight and whatnot. Today I will focus on two things that Chantel points out that get in the way of success (that you are to “demolish” to make room for your new life):

First, get rid of comparisons. It saps your energy to compare yourself to someone else, whether you come out on top or not. FWIW, I really 100% agree with this. One “advantage” I had last January when I started was that none of my friends were “doing this” even though there were several who wanted to lose and who had been fitness/diet pals with me at various points in time. No one else doing “it” made it very very hard to be anything but self-referential. About April (ok, on exactly April 1) one friend got “into it” again and is doing brillantly; another started WW and Couch to 5K again (I don’t recall exactly when) and is doing well. And while that is INSPIRING, and I am certainly super happy for them, it makes me impatient with my own results. Whereas (a) I told myself last January, even if you are slower/broken, you will still see success–or you won’t, but at least you will know; and (b) there was no one else TO compare to, which had its advantages! 🙂 and let’s not forget (c) I really do quite well, TYVM–I just don’t like the stress of wondering if I could do BETTER if I did what she or she or she was doing. With so much success happening, I want to tweak my plan. And that is JUST NOT A GOOD IDEA.

Second, get rid of big box thinking. OK, this one takes a bit of explaining. Chantel says we have to stop looking at the entire task (lose 100 lbs) and instead, focus on a small, measurable, do it now and rejoice in the victory goals like “don’t eat potato chips today.” I agree with this one too as being a stumbling block–and it’s funny, because as I was reading her examples (“don’t eat chips today; work out extra hard today the last 2 minutes…”) I found myself wanting to make a New Rule!! I will NEVAR EAT DA CHIPPIES!  I ALWAYS WORK OUT REALLY HARD IN THE LAST TWO MINUTES! Srsly, I did. Right then.

And THAT made me think about… well… myself. Kitteh has a terrible habit of allornothin thinking about a LOT of things. Even like in our church small group now, we are doing a devotional that has you reading the same verse as the rest of the group every day, all week. At first, Kitteh doesn’t even GET IT on how you can do it when it isn’t a Sacred Scripture Time. Just open your phone and read, done? CRAZEH PANTS.

crazeh kitteh

But what SHE wants you to do is what I am LEARNING to do in other parts of life right now: open up the LITTLE box. Take care of TODAY. Show up and don’t worry about the sixty five other things, or whether you can Keep It UP forever perfectly.

and…. a  little reflection shows that the two best (most successful) times for me in the getting healthy train were before pregnant with No. 1 (lost about 70 lbs, gained lots of muscle, very healthy); and last Jan-July (already chronicled in detail here). And they BOTH had these two things in common : I was not comparing myself to anyone–in fact, in both cases I didn’t KNOW anyone doing the same thing as me– and I was taking little baby steps and focused on just getting the day right. Not with a scheme to be perfect, not looking forward too far, but just focused on doing the best I could all day for that day.

This harrrd lesson. But VERY halping to hearz it said. 🙂

Dr. Phil wrap up and Happy Friday!

The last section of Dr. Phil’s book is called “Powerful Insights.” Its’ basically things  he wants you to understand/last thoughts. They are:

  1. weight loss resistance (health concerns) – if you are doing all his stuff and not losing, check your thyroid, etc.
  2. Weight is managed, not cured – don’t get complacent.
  3. Weight control that lasts – making habits out of these new things.

Overall – I’d say the book has some key nuggets but deals with each rather shallowly. Not that shallow can’t help – sometimes you need a sound byte instead of a pile of angst and self reflection. If you want straight shooting and bottom line (without a lot frills, why, or hows) this is a good choice.

Now, for my happy Friday photo! Remember this picture from this post?


Those are my size 30 yellow shorts from last year, on top of my coral size 24s from May. Well, yesterday I wore my new Avenue size 22s:


Can I get a w00t, peeps? 🙂 Scale says 279.4. Happy Friday!

Dr. Phil’s Key No. 7: Circle of Support


News from Kitteh world: after four nights of dinner after 9:30 pm (Vacation Bible School week), leaving me bloaty and unhappy the next day (who knew I would grow to infinitely prefer sleeping on an empty or mostly empty stomach?!) I am at 280.0 this morning. However, I am fully aware that this is bloat and not-yet-digested ahi tuna and salad from my 10:15 nosh – and if I wasn’t sure of it, my other news would make it clear: I am wearing Avenue size 22 capris today!!

They are tighter than the 24s (naturally) but comfy enough to sit and walk in, and they look FINE. So! I’m down from toobigforAvenue28 (???!!!) to 22 since January – that’s 4+ (28-26-24-22) sizes. I happy kitteh.

OK, so – back to Dr. Phil, for his last KEY – unlocking a “circle of support.”

The steps are:

  1. Sort out the saboteurs from the supporters
  2. Assemble your support team (coach, teammate, cheerleader, umpire)
  3. Reopen negotiations with your family (if they haven’t been supportive)
  4. Create accountability

This reminds me of the most recent Extreme Makeover Weight Loss that just came on (don’t know when, DVR found it for me) with Chris Powell (who is worth watching no matter what the subject, rrwawr). The episode started with the (400 lb) guy engaged to a somewhat overweight woman who theoretically supported him but (as evidenced by the probably selectively chosen screen shots) thought she could be supportive and he could lose weight without making any ACTUAL changes in their lifestyle. She grew increasingly upset with his lack of attention to her and focus on exercise. After the first Phase (3 months), he was lighter by 104 lbs and one fiance. The END of the episode, he was down 200+ lbs (in a year) and proposed to another girl as the epilogue – one who supported him and what he wanted to do (but was not super thin, her own self).

I am very lucky in that my live in family is very supportive. Hubs somehow perfectly walks the line between being happy and excited that I am losing (and giving me lavish compliments) and yet never making me feel unpretty at any size. Do not ask me how he accomplishes this, for I do not know. But he does. My kiddos are really still too young to be a factor as far as daily support goes – my oldest does occasionally notice I am smaller and say sweet things, and I have brought her into the loop from the beginning (as discussed in earlier posts). But she is certainly too young to be a saboteur!

Friends and family for weight loss support can be a mixed bag, yes? They seem to fall into four camps:

  1. The ones with NO weight problem who have never had one, can’t usually figure out what the big deal is. These are folks who never had any emotional attachment to food. They are aliens. They can be super supportive, though – if you can look past their alien-ness – they want to cheer you on and they have no personal stake in how you do it, they are just happy for you. (NOTE: Unless they are the type of “friend” who has used “you are heavier than me” as the “I’m better than you in this area” crutch to be friends with you up till now. Those people, no matter what their weight, have a vested interest in keeping you fat. Ditch ’em and ditch ’em fast.)
  2. Then there are the ones who used to have a weight problem that they have conquered. They can also be great supporters and full of tips – but they also sometimes think that they have the magic answer and that if you would just do what they did, you would lose it too. This is especially tricky to navigate when you aren’t able to do what they did, for whatever reason, and/or when they lost a significant amount of weight (say, 30+ lbs) and therefore THINK they know what being heavy is like – but really have no CLUE about what the 100 Club is like.
  3. Then there are those who currently have a weight problem. If they are actively working on that, it can be good or horribly horribly bad. What if you are having success and they are not? What if THEY are having success and you are not? It can be hard to share suggestions without sounding prescriptive, and even more so if the advice is coming from the one currently in a losing mode.

In my case, I have a weensy little competitive streak (/wink) that I have worked to squelch in a lot of areas. I can now play board games and MOSTLY not care if I win or lose – by which I mean I can pretend to be a good sport. I know how to act – even if I’m inside a little irritated at losing. 🙂 Or maybe I should say, I have learned not to have temper tantrums. But when I get around other competitive people who are full-on smack talking, I get mad at them for not behaving themselves, too – and all of that healthy competition that I boarded up comes ROARING out as unhealthy nastiness.

Naturally, when it comes to weight loss, I seem to have an abundance of competitive friends – from the inyourface competitive ones who want to have a COMPETITION to the passive aggressive ones who share success and never discuss problems and that (and this is hardest of all to deal with) you can just tell (because they don’t hide it very well, or possibly because I am very empathic) take at least a little bit of happy out of your oopses or lack of success – because that means they are ahead/better/whatever.

Mind you, these people are REALLY my friends – lovely people! – but it is like something weird happens to women around weight. Or maybe that’s just me. 😉

You know, when I think about it, this dumping of weight that I am doing in 2012 (and as long as it takes) differs from Every.Other.Attempt. of my life in one major respect: I have not tried to do it with anyone. I have not tied my success to theirs. I have very little chance for comparison and competition. I report results here, and and sometimes talk strategy with a close friend (who happens to also be my nanny and so who I see daily and eat 5 out of 7 “real” meals with) and we are mostly successful in being supportive. (IMHO, anyway.) She started on a similar plan (for herself, and very different) on April 1 – and is also having great results. I am now TOTALLY REFUSING to calculate any comparisons 🙂 but she is down over 20 lbs and I am genuinely happy for her. 🙂 But if she stops, or gets derailed, or whatever –  it will have no bearing on me. Conversely, I am not going to get wound up – as hard as that can be – in how well she is doing or obsess about whether she is doing better and whether that is “fair” because she is working as hard or harder. (Don’t you HATE that?) Because? It has no bearing on me . Well, other than I am trying to sweet talk her out of her old pants as she replaces them 😉 (She is between one size and one and half size and a half  “ahead” of me, or maybe I should say behind me? – smaller than me, anyway!) so that’s perfect. 😉 But this plan is mine. It works. Doing it is between me, myself and I – a commitment to me. Dependent on me. And that kinda feels great. 🙂

So yeah, Dr. Phil. I see your point about support. But at the moment I am really relishing in being accountable to myself, first and foremost.

Dr. Phil’s Key No. 6: Intentional Exercise

Sorry for missing yesterday – short day due to sick kid AND doctor visit for myself. Sheesh, I am tired. 🙂

This key “unlocks the door to a state of body control, a state of fitness in which your body is metabolically geared for losing weight and keeping it off, and is flowing with energy and vitality.”

Here are the steps:

  1. Make it motivating (something you enjoy)
  2. program in an active life style
  3. “consequate” your exercise behavior (tie something you want to working out – i.e. no wine with dinner unless I worked out today, or putting your clean clothes at the gym so you HAVE to go there to get dressed in the morning)
  4. monitor progress
  5. maximize your weight loss (don’t bother going to the gym and half heartedly peddling at the bike, go all out and make the most of the opportunity)

These are good rules. I have struggled with this for a couple reasons. First, foremost, and you need go no further, I have not COMMITTED to it. I have talked about it, I have planned to think about maybe trying to commit to it (a very Kitteh state of mind) but I have not been willing to say, I WILL DO THIS. Why not? well, partly because I don’t know what “this” is. I don’t know what activity I am willing to commit to, or what time of day/pattern I am willing to commit to doing. So, for my own reflection, here are the things I am considering, with pros and cons, and how they stack up with Dr. Phil’s “key”:

Walk Away the Pounds (WAtP) videos (Leslie Sansone)

  • ADV: easy, I like it, I used it successfully before so I have confidence in it and that it will increase my fitness level, lots of options as to time and distance, I already own it. It’s primarily cardio, so I will burn calories and building muscles is more incidental (so my weight loss shouldn’t slow way down). It can take as little as 20 minutes. I can do it at home, at work, with the kids, solo.
  • DISADV: it doesn’t build muscle as fast as the other options.
  • KEYS: I do enjoy it and expect results, so it is motivating. I could easily tie it to something concrete (PB with my brownie at night, etc.) It would maximize my weight loss. Only negative here is No. 4 – although your fitness gets better there’s less to “measure” other than it getting easier. Suppose I can deal with that by measuring my body’s progress (inches, etc.)


  • ADV: takes 20 min, is set routine, really improves overall health, builds muscle fast, seemed to almost work miracles in terms of helping keep my spine aligned and my body less fatigued. Works my abs, which are still in sorry shape from all the surgery. Already own it, too. Have the rehab level and think I may even be ready to ramp it up and try the second level. But see disadvantage, maybe not…
  • DISADV: harder to do, so harder to motivate myself. May slow down weight loss.
  • KEYS: the motivating part is harder but would have to come from the results, which really are phenomenal. The rest is the same.

Weight lifting with hubby

  • ADV: WITH HUBBY. I love lifting weights. Fastest way to add muscles, which I need and which will be smaller and burn more calories even at rest. Much easier to track progress.
  • DISADV: has to be in the morning. Will slow down rate of pounds lost (because adding muscle).  Hubby not a “get ‘er done fast” kind of guy and it makes me a bit crazy to wait on things – I want to get in there and finish up quickly, he moves from thing to thing a lot more chilled.
  • KEYS: same.
Some sort of walking/run program (i.e. couch to 5K) I’m not even going to bother analyzing this right now. If someone gives me a FREE treadmill, I would try it. Once it is cool again outside, I MIGHT try it. 🙂
Pilates in the basement
  • ADV: in basement, most of the same advantages as T-Tapp but could do with hubs – IF I do it in the morning.
  • DISADV: have to remember how, it’s been 10 years (YIKES).
Pilates at a studio 
  • ADV: time, once purchased, WILL happen, I could get back in the swing and remember everything and then carry on at home, I could get help with these ab issues after surgery (scarring causes cramping, I will leave it at that)
  • DISADV: expensive.


So overall, I have SEVERAL good options. And as to times, I could get up and do it right away (especially now, with no car pool). I could bring the portable DVD to work and do on a break, at various points in the day (if WAtP or T-Tapp). I could do when I first get home in the evening. I could do post-kid bedtime.

All of that means, too many CHOICES! I just can’t commit. Thoughts?

Dr. Phil’s Key No. 5: High-Response Cost, High-Yield Nutrition

Happy weekend, everybody! After Monday’s 279, I’ve been holding steady pretty much all week at 280.6 – so I am hoping virtuous waiting will lead to a regular 270 reading soon. 🙂

Here’s the Fifth Key to think about over the weekend:

High response cost foods are the ones that “require a great deal of work and effort to prepare and to eat.” This means that they “defeat impulse eating and therefore support control.”

By contrast, low response cost foods are the grab and gos/fast foods/etc. Stuff like that is not only generally worse for you nutritionally, they are so low effort that it is super easy to grab them and have a binge.

High yield foods have a lot of nutrients with (relatively) few calories. Nutrient dense, calorie low.

This is the “meat” (excuse the pun) of Dr. Phil’s weight loss plan. Choose foods from his list of HRC/HYN foods ONLY and you WILL lose weight. Each day have 3 servings of protein, 2 servings of low cal dairy, and lots of fruits and veggies. There’s a specific food list, several days (a week or more) of menus, etc. I glossed over this because I have my meal plan, but it seems very solid and quite simple, really. Nothing revolutionary, except the idea of making the commitment to eat foods that are hard to prepare and eat for the very reason that they are more trouble and so you can’t impulse eat. 🙂

In all, great advice!