Friday, May 31, 2013


Before Sonoma.  ;-)

As I mentioned in my last post, I am going to be starting a new dieting adventure soon, in the form of a three month dedication to eating as prescribed in The New Sonoma Diet by Dr. Connie Guttersen.  Also, I will be reviewing this book for you guys.

I thought that it would be a good idea to document this review every step of the way.

I thought about waiting until after the LSAT to begin, but I can't seem to stop my "last supper" eating, and I know how much weight I could gain by June 16th if I keep this up so I'm going to quit while I'm ahead and get right into this new way of eating on Sunday, June 2nd.

Since I am jumping head first into another diet (though I will be mostly calling it a "way of eating", which to me is less negative), I couldn't skip the most fun part.

For those of you who have ever set a start date for a new diet, you know that the most fun part of this is to engage in "last supper" eating.  So naturally, I couldn't skip out on that.  Here is what I bought today, to be consumed before the diet begins on Sunday morning (with plenty of help from Stacey, no doubt):

Jacques approved.
Not "NSD" approved, though...

Yeah...  I'm not proud of having done this, but I wanted to continue on in my honesty  here in the blog.  Whatever is left of this on Sunday will go straight to Stacey, who will not be joining me with this new way of eating, but who will enjoy the meals that I cook.

So here I am, starting a new diet.  In my progress photo outfit, I think that I look pretty good:

But that can be deceiving, so I thought that I would take some REAL progress photos, featuring myself in a sports bra.

Here are the "official" BS pictures:

BUT... I don't want anyone to think that my number one goal with this new way of eating is to get smaller.  Nope, my number one goal is health.  (Longevity is my ultimate goal, but I know that even great health cannot always guarantee a long life.)

I just want to do a thorough review for you guys, and I know that many of you will probably want to know if I lose any weight during these three months.  While I am not going to weigh in, I have no problem taking progress pictures.  And YES, I would love it if I got smaller, at least small enough to fit into my 14's again, but that is not my #1 goal with this.

Because I am reviewing the diet, I am going to have to see if it lives up to its claims.  One of the claims that The New Sonoma Diet makes is right on the cover:

"Trimmer Waist, More Energy 
in Just 10 Days".  

I pretty much call BS on that claim, but I will be posting updated photos after the first 10 days, as well as reporting on any notable differences  in my energy levels.

The first 10 days are more restrictive than the rest of the plan, but still don't seem too bad.  For me, the hard part is going to be giving up ALL JUNK FOOD.

Yes, me, the junk food queen (a recent title I reluctantly gave myself) is going cold turkey off of the stuff.

In that way, this diet is VERY restrictive.  But in actual amounts of food, it is not restrictive.  And in the fact that I don't have to count calories (or anything else), it is not restrictive.

There is a list of foods to choose from for Wave 1 (what the first 10 days are called).  This list includes unlimited amounts of "tier one" vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.

guidelines for what to eat on Wave 1

I generally call BS on the idea of making any vegetables or fruits off limits, but I am going hard core here, so will abide by the tier one boundaries for the first 10 days.

The good news is that pretty much all of my favorite vegetables to cook (peppers, onions, squash/zucchini, asparagus) are tier one veggies.  The bad news is that my favorite fruit to eat is a tier three, which means no bananas for 10 days.  But I can deal.

Okay, so my plan is to begin first thing Sunday morning, which means that I need to prepare my kitchen accordingly.

I'm planning to spend a part of Sunday preparing for the rest of the week.  Getting all my vegetables chopped up and in containers for easy access for cooking quick meals throughout the week, cooking a giant pot of brown rice to use throughout the week, same for some beans, and defrosting some fish.

Another thing that I'm going to try to do:  Blog my eats every day of Wave 1, including pictures, for you guys.

Okay, I think that I'm ready to go now.  I'm looking forward to starting this, despite the withdrawals I'm bound to have...  I will miss my chips, pizza, and cake.  But none of those should be eaten regularly by someone who wants to be really healthy.  So, I'm doing this.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

a new chapter...

Get ready for something new and exciting... or maybe not.

It's also something that I'm embarrassed to admit to you.  But I'm admitting it anyway, along with all sorts of justifications and excuses.

The truth is, I'm going to start a new diet.

(and yes, that is a copy of Leonard Nimoy's "I am Spock")

I know.  Right after I posted about not letting myself get pulled back into dieting over on This is Not a Diet.

But, I've come up with several disclaimers and justifications...  Sigh.  I just really want to try something new! And I know that one of the reasons that I'm doing this now is because I do have an addiction to dieting.  

How do I know that this is an addiction?  Just the thought of starting this diet has helped me to stop feeling so shitty about my life.  It has helped me feel better about EVERYTHING, to calm down, and to feel more normal.  And I know that it's not normal for a diet book to make one feel so much better about one's life.

But right now, I desperately need to feel better, and if starting another diet is a way to do that, then that is what I am going to do. (alongside copious amounts of counseling and remembering to ask for help from family and friends when I need it, of course!)

Here are some more justifications, excuses, and ramblings:  I'm not going to call it a "diet" because for me that word is negative.  I'm going  to call it a "way of eating".  Therefore, I'm not dieting, I'm just eating differently than I used to.

Secondly, I'm going to give it a three month trial.  That seems like a long time for me, but I really think that it's the best way to do it, and the only way to give it a fair shot and see if it's sustainable.

Thirdly, I will NOT be weighing myself.  This way of eating will not be about weight loss.  It will be about health first and foremost.  It will also about getting smaller, not gonna lie, because I would love to get back into (and stay in) my 14's.  But my number one goal will not be about the numbers.  There will be no start weight for these three months.  Only a start picture.

Fourthly, I have chosen a way of eating from a book that I had lying around and had never cracked open before a few days ago, and it does seem to be VERY healthy.  And there is no counting or tracking involved.  It's one of those "food list" ways of eating.

Finally, I will be reviewing this here on the blog, which will give me a reason to blog more regularly.

I'm taking lots of notes!  This will be a
serious, journalistic review, y'all.

I'm reading the book right now, and will be back to blog more about it once I'm finished.

I've decided to start after the LSAT.  The LSAT is June 10th.  I will begin this way of eating "officially" on June 16th.  Until  then, I'm back to tracking semi-regularly on My Fitness Pal.

It's definitely not a current fad diet; it's from several years ago.  Please don't confuse it with "The Sonoma Diet", because "The New Sonoma Diet" really is less restrictive, so I have read.  It's not low carb, low fat, or low anything (except junk food - none is allowed, which will be tough for me!).  No counting or tracking required.  I will get  into more specifics soon.

Okay, so that's where I'm at.  I wanted to share this with you guys, instead of beating myself up over being sucked into another diet.  I'm only human.

I think that this will make for some interesting blogging...  Meanwhile, I will be back soon for an update on my 5K training (which is of course, not going to plan).

progress pic - 5/28/13

Thanks for understanding about this latest development!  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

5 Weeks to 5K!

Okay, so I signed up for a 5K for June 22nd...  

Sign up here if you will be in Memphis on 6/22:

And I started my half marathon training in January.  So if I had followed my plan 100% I would be able to run a 5K already.

But somewhere along the line, I stopped trying as hard.  And I'm basically back to only being able to run for 1 mile at a time comfortably.

So this won't be a real couch to 5K, since I have still be running a couple of times a week most weeks, and since I can run 1 mile comfortably...  but still.  I am going to consider this a new starting point for my running.

Since I really want to run the entire 5K on June 22nd, I need to increase my distance from 1 mile to 3.1 miles in 5 weeks.  Can it be done?

I say "YES."

Here is my entire "5 Weeks to 5K" plan:

  • Three runs every week. 
  • One or two days of cross training, too.
  • "Intervals" means that I will run the distance listed, then walk a quarter mile, and repeat if time allows.
  • "Speed training run" means that I will run the longest distance of the week as fast as possible, trying to improve every week.

Week 1 (May 19-May 25)
run 1- 1 mile intervals (walk .25, run 1, repeat)
run 2- 1.25 mile intervals
run 3- 1.5 mile speed training run!

Week 2 (May 26-June 1)
run 1- 1.5 mile intervals
run 2- 1.75 mile intervals
run 3- 2 mile speed training run

Week 3 (June 2-June 8)
run 1- 2 mile intervals
run 2- 2.25 mile intervals
run 3- 2.5 mile speed training run

Week 4 (June 9-June 15)
run 1- 2.25 mile intervals
run 2- 2.5 mile intervals
run 3- 2.75 mile speed training run

Week 5 (June 16-June 22)
run 1- 2.75 miles!
run 2- 3 miles!
run 3- Day of the race!  Run the entire 3.1 miles.

Phew.  This seems like a lot of running. 

And I also am taking a little test called the LSAT on June 10th.  Oh yeah, I am starting summer Spanish classes on May 29th.  So I'm hoping that my runs will be a good time to clear my head and to have some focused "me" time outside of all of the studying.  Running is such a good way to feel better about myself.

And making this goal would feel so great!  And give me another (way more fun) goal than acing the LSAT...

Have you ever trained for a 5K?  
Did you follow the C25K program, write your own plan, 
or wing it?

Saturday, May 18, 2013


I have survived this week.  

This was a week that I have been dreading for awhile.

Sunday was Mothers Day.  Tuesday would have been Mom's 53rd birthday.

at her 50th birthday party!

Mothers Day and Mom's birthday being so close together was so much fun when she was alive.  It was fun to spoil her so much at once, and she was so easy to please.  Just give her a little of attention and she would eat it up with a spoon.  Mom was such a sweet lady, and didn't do enough for herself.  She never expected anyone to do anything for her, either.  She seemed to live for others.

I tried several times to get her to do more things just for her.  And sometimes she would listen.  We had lots of fun together, but the last year or so we mostly sat around watching TV together.  That was our bonding time.  We watched The Young and the Restless, Buffy, Charmed, Pretty Little Liars, The Gilmore Girls, and more.  I think that this is why I've become more of a TV addict the last year, because it makes me feel close to her.

She desperately wanted to feel pretty again.  She hated what her medications did to her appearance (they caused some weight gain and also a general puffiness to her face and neck).  I thought (and told her) that nothing could make her NOT beautiful.  She was a beautiful person, inside AND out.  

Anyway... it's been almost a year since I've had a conversation with my mother.  It was May 23rd when she had surgery.  It was June 18th when her body died.  The last conversation that I had with her was on the phone as she was wheeled away for her second surgery in the middle of the night on May 24/25th.  I last spoke to her with her being conscious but unable to talk a couple of days later...  

All of those dates are coming up.  I'm not past all of these terrible anniversaries yet.  June 18th will be the last first anniversary for this stuff.  So please keep me and my family in  your thoughts and prayers for awhile, because if the rest of my family is struggling as much as I am with this one year mark, then there are a lot of people in a severe amount of pain.

I'm not ready for the one year mark.  I'm just not.  But I wasn't ready for Mothers Day or her birthday, either... and here I am on the other side of those.  Still going.

I am very depressed.  I am extremely emotional most of the time.  I think that my "fake it till you make it" face has broken down, because I am unable to just hang out and seem happy right now.  I feel like I'm oozing with sadness.

I've had 4 days of emotional eating and only exercised once this week.  I'm scared (on top of everything else) that I'm about to regain the 20 pounds that I lost this year.  

I'm not going to let that fear drag me into another diet, though.  Nope.  Instead, I'm going to focus on Mom.  I'm going to treat myself the way that Mom would treat me if she were here, witnessing my pain.  

me, Mom, and Joel

She would tell me to baby myself, to take care of myself, and to love myself.  She would remind me of all of my accomplishments, and about how proud she is of me.  She would remind me that I want to be an intuitive eater, and that it's  okay to have had one bad week.  She would tell me to focus  on the good things.  She would give me a big hug and remind me that I am loved.

I am loved.  

If you are feeling overwhelmed with life, even if you really don't think you would ever hurt yourself, please call the crisis hotline for  help: 1-800-784-2433.  I called them last night and they helped me very much.  It's okay to ask for help.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Taking a My Fitness Pal Break...

I remember a time when I was hooked on the Weight Watchers message boards.  I spent hours a day on there, getting tips, talking with "friends" (and a couple of actual friends), giving advice, and reading posts about anything and everything.

I realized that it wasn't healthy to spend so much time on a site, especially once I drifted away from Weight Watchers yet again.  But instead of quitting altogether, I found a new addiction:  My Fitness Pal.

Don't get me wrong, now, I love MFP. 

It's a fantastic tool for weight loss and calorie counting. Also, the friends that I made on there have really helped to get me through some difficult times, including this entire past year.  They helped me with my grief and validated my emotions when I felt especially crazy.  I am more honest and revealing on my MFP page than I am with anyone in "real life".  They know the REAL me. 


But, I was spending way too much time on there.  It has become an addiction, just like the Weight Watchers boards were. 

Because I don't want to feed ANY of my addictions, I am taking a break from MFP.  It will not be a permanent one, because like I said, I have made some true friends on there, and they have helped me so much.  I want to continue to be there for them as well, and MFP is a great forum to do that.

I am once again taking the plunge into intuitive eating.  This time, I am going to be truly kind to myself, and will be focusing on it from a different perspective, incorporating ideas from several different successful intuitive eaters and taking baby steps. 

In order to do this, I need to eliminate the temptation to track calories.  This is another reason that I am stepping away from MFP.  It is too tempting to track my food when I am on a site that is meant for... tracking food. 

I don't want to focus on weight loss or calories right now, and that is MFP's main purpose. 

The main reason that I am stepping away from tracking is that I truly believe that it is the next step for my EDNOS recovery, as well as eliminating emotional eating as much as possible. 

One IE tip that is helping me today is to ask myself every time I eat:  "Would I still want to eat this if I were not allowed to watch TV / play on the internet / read while eating it?"  If the answer is "yes" then I must be truly hungry.  And sometimes I do step away and eat without the distractions, but most of the time I am still eating with some distractions.  Baby steps and self-love.  I will get there.

One of my goals is to enjoy biking for the
sake of biking, not for the calories burned. 

One final reason that I'm stepping away from MFP for a bit is the LSAT!!!  I have fallen behind in my studying, and the most important test that I will ever take (until the bar, I suppose...) is only five weeks away!!!  Yikes.

Also, if you guys want to read more about intuitive eating from another blogger's perspective, you should check out my friend Marie's blog The Dancing Paralegal.  She has recently taken the IE plunge, too, and is doing really great.

Have you ever been addicted to a website? 
If so, how did you get over it?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Intuitive Eating as a diet?? (book review, too!)

I have blogged about intuitive eating before.  Several times, in fact.

If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you likely know that I have a strong desire to be rid of my food obsession, and also that I have thought for years that the best way to do that is to become an intuitive eater.

I have read several books on the subject, and have tried it several times.  I have failed every time.  Sometimes, I have failed miserably, gaining several pounds in just a few weeks of intuitive eating.

What was my problem?  Why can I not be an intuitive eater?  Why do I continue to go back to dieting, tracking, etc.?

Well... because.

No, seriously, there are reasons for this.

I thought that the reason was that I still wanted junk food in my life, and because junk food is so super nutritionally void and also addictive, and therefore hard to stop eating when satisfied, that I could not stop tracking my calories until I eliminated my desire for junk food.

After reading yet another book on the subject of Intuitive Eating, I have realized that this thinking is false for me.  Also, the reason that I have failed so many times may be because I was looking at it as a diet, which really flies in the face of what intuitive eating is all about.

The book that I'm talking about is not a popular one yet.  It's a book written by someone who started out recording her intuitive eating experiences on a YouTube channel.  Jose Spinardi is not a doctor or nutritionist, but is someone who has been where I'm at, so the book was very easy to read.

Since I am practically an expert on the subject (hahaha), a lot of the beginning of this book was repetitive for me.  Lots of good background intuitive eating information is covered in the first couple of chapters.

Then came some stuff that was almost the same as Intuitive Eating by Tribole and Resch, but a little bit different.  Instead of calling it "intuitive eating", Spinardi calls it "Hunger Directed Eating" or HDE. 

She talks about eating without distractions, but gives really specific and fun tips about it, which made me hate the thought slightly less.  One tip that she gives to accomplish this is to look at whatever you usually do while eating as a reward for finishing eating.  Like "no Buffy until dinner is done", which may sound like you should rush through eating to get to Buffy, but that is not how I interpreted it.  It's more like if you separate these activities, you will soon start to think of TV as something that you do after a meal, not during. 

She also hit on something that is not really said in the IE book:  This is NOT the "Eat When Hungry, Stop Eating When Satisfied" diet.  WHAT?!?!?!?!  It's NOT?!?!?!?!

She says that looking at intuitive eating as a "food rule" is just another way to keep on dieting, and by constantly berating myself for breaking the rule, by obsessing about whether or not I am truly hungry or truly satisfied every time I eat, I have been treating IE as a diet.

Instead, a newbie to HDE should be gentle with oneself, and kind and loving.  Every step is part of the process, and no one is perfect.  It's okay to not be perfect with this, because it is NOT a diet. 

WOW.  For me, this was an eye-opener. 

Another great point that she makes later in the book is that to truly break the dieting cycle, you must break the exercise cycle, too.  No more associating exercise with weight loss.  WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Exercise should be used for so many beneficial reasons, but one of them that should not make that list is weight loss.  Stop counting exercise calories, stop exercising just to eat more, stop making up for overeating with exercise, etc.... that is one of her points.  And I am starting to agree! 

The thing that I loved most about this book is that the author doesn't make any real rules about intuitive eating.  She says that when you see things as rules, you start thinking like a dieter again.  She talked about how one should treat oneself as one would treat a toddler learning to walk.

"If the child wobbled off balance and fell after a successful couple of days of walking, would you attack her with the venemous words you're about to unleash on yourself?  Not in a million years!  No, if it was a minor fall you'd probably give her a warm smile and make a fun acknowledging comment like "Oopsie" and laugh together about it as you encouraged her back to her feet.  If it was a bad fall, you'd drop everything and rush to clutch her up into your tender, soothing arms, cradling her with soft, loving words as you gently tended to her pain."
This was a great book for me.  If you enjoy books about intuitive eating, or if you, like me, have tried to eat intuitively and "failed", this may be a good choice for you.

***EDITED TO ADD the bad stuff.  This book was not perfect!  It's not very professional, because I don't think it was every really published by a big firm or anything.  There were a couple of typos, but I have found typos in almost everything I have ever read.  Another annoying thing is that she kept mentioning a 2nd book, which is not published yet, which will supposedly cure emotional eating.  I will definitely keep you guys updated on that second book, because I will be getting it.