After 3 Weeks….

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I said I felt like I needed 21 days of good clean LC induction to get me back on course.  Well, I’m happy to report that I’ve got that accomplishment behind me….and a little less behind!  I didn’t set any weight loss speed records but I’m happier than a pig in slop that my scale shows a 9 pound weight loss in those 21 days.  At least I ain’t in the gaining mode and my aching ankles have thanked me for that.  And I didn’t have to terrorize my Sunday-go-to-meeting-pants this morning in order to get in em’.  And my jeans have lost their attitude as well.

It’s a start….a darn good start!  It’s three weeks of momentum that I desperately needed to propel me into the success stream.  The sugar/carb cravings have pretty much subsided but the emotional temptations still try to rear their ugly head occasionally, but they’ll always be hiding in the most unlikely places.  That’s when I have to have a little chat with myself and remind myself why I’m doing this.  Not just to lose pounds, but to be able to wear clothes that fit and to get rid of joint pain and to improve my overall health.

What’s your tips for staying on plan?  How do you kick yourself in the pants and remind yourself why you’re doing this?

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

I’m Back! Hope You’re Still Here!

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Time to dust off the old notepad, knock down the cob-webs and start blogging again.  I’ve had several faithful friends and followers of this blog send me some really nice messages wondering when I’m going to start writing about my low-carb journey again.  That’s been a real encouragement so here I am to bring y’all up to speed on what’s been going on with The Former Donut Junkie since I posted last August.

I’m thinking I may try to shorten my posts a bit.  Easier said than done, as I have a tendency to ramble at times.  OK, most times.  Seriously, I’m not a doctor, scientist, nutritionist or other dietary professional and don’t have much of an interest in writing about the technical aspects of the low-carb nutritional lifestyle.  I’ll leave that up to lots of other extremely knowledgeable bloggers to which I’ll link to occasionally when I find something that interests me and hopefully you.  My interest is to write about my day-to-day LC journey in a fun, casual, lighthearted way because that’s just how I am in the everyday real world.

So, thanks to all of you that are still following me and I will be filling you in on all the gory details soon.   I’m really trying hard to keep things short and informative.  Miracles still happen.

There Really is Life Without Donuts

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Rewind — “Willpower Doesn’t Work! Strategy Does!”

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Rewind — This is a post I wrote nearly two years ago and after going back and reading it again I felt like it needed to be shared once again.  It’s even more relevant to my situation today than it was at the time of the original post.  Let me know your thoughts on it and your ideas you use to implement successful strategies into the low-carb nutritional lifestyle.

Willpower Doesn’t Work!  Strategy Does!

First of all, eating low-carb means you don’t go around hungry all the time, unlike low-fat/low-cal.  Matter of fact, eating to fullness is one of the keys to success of low-carb in contrast to calorie counting and portion control with so many other diets.  I can say that, for me personally, the satiety factor was one of the most appealing points of the low-carb nutritional lifestyle.  The one thing that stuck in my mind was when a friend who had been extremely successful with his low-carb weight loss told me, “this is the first diet I’ve ever done that hasn’t left me going around hungry all the time.”

Willpower, as related to dieting, implies that it is the power of one’s will that is the force used to resist eating restricted food and/or super-sized portions.  Now most of us know just how strong our dieting will, or resolve, is until hunger is gnawing at your backbone and we are standing face-to-face with the forbidden fruit.  It’s when that double chocolate donut is staring us down that we become weak-kneed and our will power goes out the window.  I’ve experienced it dozens of times and so have you.  And I am weary of the advice of the skinny folks who always get preachy with their “you just need to use a little willpower” line.  Fact is, plain and simple, I don’t have any willpower when it comes to sugary, carb-laden treats.

So, what’s the answer?  How do we win?  If willpower doesn’t work, then what does?

Strategy, strategy, strategy!  Just like in real estate it’s location, location, location.  I can’t emphasize STRATEGY enough!  It can’t be said enough and most of all it can’t be practiced enough.  Strategy has helped me to win over many a donut.  And strategy will help you to win over the foods that tempt you the most.  So, what is this strategy thing Former Donut Junkie?  I’m glad you asked.

First of all, you already have a low-carb plan.  That plan is either Atkins, Protein Power, South Beach or some other flavor or variation of low-carb.  The plan is basically the science behind what makes low-carb work accompanied by a “list of legal foods”.  It’s imperative to know what foods are permissible if you are to succeed.  And most of us have the “list” memorized just like we memorized our multiplication tables in elementary school.  It’s not the “list” that’s the problem.  It’s the “how-to” stick to that “list” that throws most of us a curve.  Strategy is that “how-to”.  You have a plan, now you need a strategy to implement that plan.  Actually, we need several strategies.  Let’s talk about a few.

Search & Destroy! The first strategy is to search your house for ALL the foods that are not on your “list of legal foods” and destroy them.  Well, you could give them away.  But the Search & Destroy just sounds a bit more militant and that’s what it’s going to take to win.  At any rate, getting rid of ALL the tempting foods will remove them from your sight and you won’t need any willpower to resist them, cause they won’t be there to talk to ya!

Make a Grocery List! And stick to it!  Don’t go to the grocery store just to “look around”, especially when you initially start low-carbing.  In other words, you’re removing the temptation by not even looking at it.  And if you haven’t noticed, on low-carb you will rarely ever go down the “inner aisles” of your super-market.  You’ll be much healthier if you stick to the outer perimeter of the grocery store.  Vegetables, meat and dairy — whole, real foods!  Now isn’t that simple?  And it’ll keep you out of a lot of trouble too.

Plan Ahead! OK, this is a big one!  As a super-carber I was so used to just picking up whatever “food-like-substance” I wanted and shoving it down my throat — totally impulsive and emotional eating.  That will NOT work with low-carb.  You’ve got to PLAN!  What I mean is that you’ve got to decide not only what you’re going to eat today, but for the next few days, so you can buy it and have it on hand.  If it’s frozen, you need to lay it out to thaw.  You’re trying to prevent going to the kitchen and looking around for “something” you can eat.  Cook ahead of time.  Have it prepared or have it ready to prepare.  And you can even keep low-carb snacks on hand just in case you get caught in a situation where you need a little something to eat until you get your meal prepared.  You get the idea.

Don’t Party Hungry! We all worry about what will be served in social situations — especially parties and dinners.  Most of the time we have a pretty good idea if there will be enough low-carb food there to survive on.  If I have the slightest inkling that there won’t be, I just simply eat before I go.  I’d rather fill up on some good burgers or steak beforehand and not face the temptation of the sugary, carb-laden treats.  It’s amazing how repulsive cake can look if you’re full of good low-carb food.  And all the time, your friends will be going around wondering how you can have that kind of willpower.  Secretly, you’ll know it’s not willpower at all…it’s strategy!

Get Some Support! It’s unlikely that you’ll find a lot of folks in your world who will celebrate your new low-carb nutritional lifestyle.  What you will find is the world seems to be filled with naysayers.  What to do?  Join an online low-carb support forum.  I don’t know of any better than Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Discussion.  You’ll find it’s friendly atmosphere is only exceeded by all the helpful folks who will be more than happy to answer your questions, encourage and inspire you.  I can’t say enough about the importance of this strategy that I have previously blogged about.

Conclusion. OK, there’s five strategies to get you started.  There’s lots more that you can come up with on your own and I encourage you to do so.  You’ll find that the more strategies you have, the easier is the road to success.  Let me know in the comments below what strategies you use that have proven effective.  I look forward to hearing from you.

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Diet Etiquette — Part 1 — Introduction

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Diet Etiquette…or…How To Do Low-Carb Without Becoming a Social Outcast

etiquettenoun.  The rules governing socially acceptable behavior.

What, pray tell, is Diet Etiquette? I like to say it is “the rules governing socially acceptable behavior, in spite of the fact that you are dieting.”  It is a subject that doesn’t get very much ink or airtime, so I decided I needed to give it a shot here at Life Without Donuts.

Ever been to a dinner or luncheon where someone who is dieting has the woe-is-me attitude because there is not a single thing there that they can eat, therefore they feel compelled to infect everyone around  them with their own brand of doom, gloom, despair and agony?  Or, they are constantly going over their list of taboo foods, like anyone else at the table really gives a rip about their self-inflicted state of misery.

And then there is the know-it-all-diet-expert, who attempts to impose their ‘Perfect Diet’ upon everyone else, just because they read Dr. Somebody’s Magic Diet book and suddenly begin to speak as as expert on the subject of health and nutrition.  Little do they realize that an expert is in all reality nothing more than a former spurt!  They could have spoken with much greater authority and appeal had they only stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Oh, and a favorite of everyone are the Naysayers, Pushers and Enablers.  You know who they are, and if you can’t think of one…you just might be one!  These are the folks who insist that you have ‘just one bite’ or ‘a little bit of anything won’t hurt you’.  These are usually family members who have never been on a successful diet in their life, so they feel obligated to ruin everyone else’s chance of losing a few pounds.

If you’ve never had the tortuous pleasure of enjoying an extended evening of joy and mirth with one of these Diet-Dictocrats…then you, my friend, are without a doubt an alien from another planet!

I absolutely love the low-carb lifestyle.  As far as I’m concerned it is the easiest, healthiest, most effective nutritional lifestyle and approach to permanent weight loss and maintenance on the planet today.  Low-carb just works for me!  But let’s face it…it may not work for EVERYONE!  And even if it did work for everyone…EVERYONE doesn’t necessarily want to hear about it!  That’s where ‘Diet Etiquette’ comes into play.  We must use diet etiquette in social settings if we want to keep our present friends and ever hope to make new friends.  This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but over the next few posts I’ll be sharing with you some of my very own home-spun tips that should keep us all civil and hospitable at any event…and possibly even get us invited back again.

Diet Etiquette — Part 2 — I’m Hearing Voices, and I Think It’s My Food!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

 

Overcoming The Deprivation Mindset — Part 4

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LINKS: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

When It Comes to Food….Thinking Like a Child WILL Destroy You!

One of the core messages of The Thin Commandments Diet is the need to abandon childhood food thinking.

“Adult behavior is about making choices.  Only children think they can have it all.  And if they don’t, they are therefore deprived.”  ~~Dr. Stephen Gullo

As a child I was raised to have pretty much anything I wanted to eat, anytime I wanted it, and in any amount I wanted.  My mother was an excellent cook and even a better baker!  It wasn’t the fried chicken, meatloaf and green beans that me me fat.  It was the unrestricted access to the homemade cakes, pies, cookies, biscuits and cornbread that piled on the pounds.  My life as a child did not include any boundaries or limits when it came to food, so when I grew into an adult, I still had childish thinking concerning food.  I not only wanted it ALL, I expected it ALL, and I got it ALL!

I now realize just how childish it is to think that I can have unlimited access to ANY and ALL foods without destructive consequences.  I now look at foods that “don’t work for me” in a whole new light.  I still think about the five minutes of pleasure that a donut or other sugary, carb-laden treat can bring, but I also think about the years of problems that those five minutes can create!  Realizing the long-term consequences causes me to win out over the temporary pleasure almost every single time!

The fact is, almost all of those foods that “don’t work for me” are “trigger foods”.  Foods that start the craving cycle all over again.  They are the sugary, carb-laden treats that taste absolutely wonderful, but are essentially a non-nutrient.  As Dr. Atkins said, “The ‘just this one taste’ rationalization is indeed the ‘kiss of death’ to the success of this journey to healthy living!” So right there is reason number one to leave the stuff alone.  I, for one, remember the power of sugar-induced cravings and I ain’t going back there!  It’s easier for me to “Just Say NO” than to just have a taste!

Denial is NOT the cause of binging, in my opinion; it is rather the continual and repeated ‘tasting’ of trigger foods that is the cause of binging!  So the next time I pass up a donut, don’t try to convince me that I’m deprived, ’cause I’m gonna’ have to ask you, “deprived of what…uncontrollable cravings?” “I don’t think so!” After 50+ years, I think my adult brain is finally kicking in.

Cravings make us “Food Hostages”…then convince you that you are deprived without that food!  Refuse to be “hostages to a piece of food, taking orders from cravings and suffering froom a gnawing feeling that we’re missing out on something,” states Dr. Gullo.

Learn How to Talk Back to Yourself!

So, tell me again how a donut is a treat!  If it consistently triggers overeating and endless uncontrollable cravings, then it’s NOT a treat….it’s an enemy!  That’s when I begin to tell myself things like, “I don’t like it well enough to wear it…All they’ve ever done for me is made me fat…refuse to be held hostage by a Donut!” I am sooooo done with the deprivation mindset!  It has nearly killed me!

Now, I know I’m not the only one who talks to themselves.  Sometimes that’s the only way to have an intelligent conversation, so they say.  For real, you don’t have to do it out loud, but next time you find yourself faced with some forbidden food that’s screaming your name, think about the consequences, not the momentary pleasures…then tell yourself off!  Instead of telling yourself all the reasons you should eat it…tell yourself all the reasons you WON’T eat it!  Talk Back to Yourself!!!

Here’s a couple of examples.  “I’m missing out on the fun…What fun?  You had that junk for years and it didn’t make you happy, it only made you fat!”  “Everybody’s eating it…True or not, you’ve already had enough for three lifetimes, now Shut-Up!”  “What’s wrong with just one taste…It’s like an ex-smoker lighting up a cigarette, and besides, it’s the Kiss of Death to your success!”  “I’ve just gotta’ have it…Do you gotta’ have it bad enough to wear it?”  “It’s soooo hard resisting this stuff…Yeah, but being fat is harder!”

It may seem silly at first, but the more you say it, the more it will become a conditioned response, and the more convincing you will be to yourself.  Remember, you learned the deprivation mindset, now let’s learn the Winning Mindset!  Dr. Gullo even recommends making and listening to a tape or CD with positive messages that reinforce your successful weight control strategies.  You can also write some of these messages and strategies on Post-It-Notes and post them where you will see them often.

Why Should Anyone on Low-Carb Feel Deprived?

The low-carb nutritional lifestyle is just the best if you ask me!  It’s loaded with foods that are rich in flavor, extremely filling and very healthy.  It’s hard for me to feel deprived when I eat foods like steak, chicken, pork roast, pork chops, ham, sausage, bacon, eggs, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, Caesar salad, cheese, butter, real mayonnaise, heavy cream and fruit, just to name a few.  With food choices like that, I feel like those poor souls who are eating all that “carb-age” are the ones who are deprived!

I just can’t feel sorry for myself eating low-carb.  But I still know that I could end up in a tempting situation, so I’m trying my very best to prepare myself to be vigilant and always prepared to respond in a winning way.

I encourage all my fellow low-carb friends to, first of all, do everything you can to reinforce the positive benefits of low-carb in your own mind.  Secondly, stop thinking like a child when it comes to food!  And start making smart food choices like an adult — thinking about consequences and not just about a moment of pleasure.

By the way, this is the last in this series!  Aren’t you glad?

I Am Soooo Done With The Deprivation Mindset!  And I Hope You Are Too!

LINKS: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 3

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Having a Plan is NOT Enough…We Need Strategies Too!

We all need a ‘plan’ or ‘blueprint’ by which we eat; that is, foods that we can eat and foods that we can’t eat.  In my case, I’ve chosen the low-carb nutritional lifestyle as my ‘plan’ or ‘blueprint’.  It’s a plan that just really works for me because I absolutely love the ‘allowable’ foods that are on it.  They taste great and are very filling and healthy.  But loving the foods is only part of the formula for weight control success.  Even if you love your ‘plan’, you need some ‘strategies’ in order to execute it.  It’s easy to learn the list of ‘acceptable and unacceptable’ foods, but what happens when a chocolate donut is unexpectedly shoved in your face?  All that list of foods tells you is that you can’t have it!  It’s forbidden, and all of a sudden you’re now feeling deprived, and it’s that ‘Deprivation Mindset’ that can send us down the slippery slope to binging or ‘pigging out’ on the very foods that made us fat to start with.

How to deal with those kinds of situations has been the missing link in weight control success for myself…and maybe even you!  As wonderful as Atkins, Protein Power and Sugar Shock are, they don’t really deal with the battle for the thought life in nearly enough detail.  This is in no way intended as a slam against any of these fine plans, since they do exactly what they’re designed to do…give us a ‘plan’ or ‘blueprint’ for a healthy nutritional lifestyle for weight control.  That’s why I’m so excited about what I’ve learned from The Thin Commandments Diet!  And it’s actually not a ‘diet’ in the strictest sense of the word…it is more of a book of strategies for executing YOUR plan!  Only the discovery of low-carb itself has impacted the success of my nutritional lifestyle more than The Thin Commandments Diet!  I encourage anyone who has discovered that willpower doesn’t work to pick up The Thin Commandments Diet and learn the strategies that actually do work.

I’ve still got lots more to share with you about Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset, so stay tuned for more.

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 1

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 2

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 4

There Really is Life Without Donuts

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 2

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Did Eating All The Forbidden Food You Wanted Make You Happy?

Before I started the low-carb nutritional lifestyle I had all the foods I wanted, whenever I wanted them and in whatever amounts I wanted them.  But the fact is, that kind of freedom didn’t really make me happy…it just made me fat!  And if we’ll all be truthful with ourselves, the more we ate, the worse we felt.  That few minutes of enjoying the seductive taste and texture of our favorite forbidden foods was swiftly followed by guilt, shame, remorse, embarrassment, disgust, regret and failure, just to name a few.

“Objectively, the state of deprivation may be a myth, but the feeling is very real.  What many people don’t realize is that it’s also a learned response.  And what has been learned can be unlearned.” ~~Dr. Stephen Gullo

Every action begins with a thought!  But every thought does not have to lead to an action!  We, as humans, have the ability to take charge of evil, damaging, destructive thoughts and extinguish them before we act on them.  And I know some of us are already saying, “thinking a bad thought is just as bad as doing it…so I may as well just go ahead and do it.” So, does that mean if I think about shooting you, that I should just go ahead and shoot you…merely because “I thought about it”?  I don’t think so!!!  I think you’ll agree that thinking about shooting you is not nearly as bad as actually shooting you.  It’s an extreme example, but you get my point.

So, just because you think…or even obsess, about eating something that’s not “on plan” doesn’t mean you might as well go ahead and eat it, and it certainly doesn’t mean that the thought is as bad as eating it.  That is self-serving, self-justifying thinking and it is in the end, self-destructive!  If your kids even suggested doing something stupid just because they thought about it, you’d be all over them like ugly on an ape!  You’d immediately give them ten reasons why you won’t ever allow it to happen.  And those reasons will be the “consequences” of their action!  Consequences…now there’s a word you’d never hear me use when I was an over-eater!  Ya think it might have something do with the fact that I wouldn’t allow myself to think beyond the momentary pleasures of the chocolate covered donut in my hand?  In order to overcome the Deprivation Mindset we’re all going to have to switch our thinking from the “pleasure mentality” to the “consequence mentality”!

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 1

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 3

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 4

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

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