Monday, August 30, 2010

elimination vs. moderation

Touchy subject, I know - with as many opinions as there are people with opinions.  For me, I've tried moderation - and it works.  Short term.  6 months or so I can eat in moderation.  I've done it before - many many time.  I bet most of us have. 

So I'm trying something new.  I'm going to start eliminating the foods that I have the hardest time moderating. 

I started with candy and it's been 3 weeks.  3 weeks since I've had ANY candy.  It's hard.  There are cues everywhere.  Stopping for gas, taking a walk, strong emotions - all bring up the neon "buy candy" sign in my head.  Still.  But it's only been 3 weeks.  And it IS getting better.  Slowly, oh so very very slowly.  But I'm determined. 

I've maintained my weight loss - but my binging is still not completely under control.  So while candy is off the menu, chips, and other sweets (cookies and ice cream) are the main culprits.  So I will eliminate them as well.  But not all at once.  That just sounds like a nightmare.  Today is my first day chip-free.  NO chips, no crackers, nothing that fits into the crunchy/salty/snacking category as I define it. 

I feel a bit like an alcoholic (it IS an addiction) who's no long drinking whiskey and now tequila and slowly eliminating the other drinks that end in waking up face down on the lawn of a stranger.  I don't know if it will work.  But I do know that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing and expecting different results. 

I've tried moderation.  And while I'm the first to admit that maybe someday it WILL work, I'm just tired of falling off that wagon.  Last month candy, this month chips/crackers, next month refined sugar.  We'll see how I'm feeling after that.  Mostly I'll see what my brain tries to substitute - if it DOES try to substitute - or if this is truly a way of conquering my addiction.

Call me crazy...or call me clever...either way I'd love to hear what you think:  Is this rational or am I grasping at straws and making excuses?  Is this something you've tried?  Success or disaster? 

Ultimately I'd like to end up eating a very clean 'diet' (meaning menu more than calorie restriction).  Whole foods, wholesome foods, I don't know exactly what it will end up being - but I'm a little excited to see.

Exercise wise - I'm doing ok - been swimming to get ready for this week's race (1,000m swim/8k run) and then I need to get ready for my sprint triathlon on Sept. 18th (really need to get some biking in - the course is SUPER hilly - I've done it before and nearly cried at how hard the hills were!).  I haven't been running - making every excuse in the book, mostly just because even after all the running I've done, I still hate it.  But I volunteered to help my daughter lead a group at church of teen runners so now Tuesday and Thursday evenings there WILL be running.  And I'd better do some the other 5 days a week or the teenager are all going to laugh at this old mom!!  Nothing like a little pressure to get me moving!!

Ok - looking forward to every one's opinions (it's ok to call me crazy, just be a little gentle...)

Tonight's my first wedding anniversary - Husband's got a dinner out planned - steak and lobster (no butter) - and then the top tier of our wedding cake when we get home.  I've got a great red dress to wear that I'll have my kids take a picture....until tomorrow!



RockStarTri said...

I think trying to do it all by boiling the ocean is a recipe for failure and that your approach is solid. Keep on keeping on!

Findingfitme said...

Have the butter. More later. Have fun.

Todd M. Shackelford said...


I noticed you following my Lazy Drafter blog and clicked on your link. You are very brave and inspiring. I am totally cheering for you and your family!

Findingfitme said...

My 2 cents - If you find you can't eat just a small amount, move on guilt free than yes maybe elimination is the right choice. I am a fan of moderation myself but there are foods I cabn't moderate. I can't eat just one cupcake. So in that case I do aviod as much as I can. I reccomend "Eat Clean" by Tosca Reno.

Katy said...

I say try it...and let us know how it's working. And if it doesn't work, try something else. So often, I'm afraid to try something different because in my mind a small part of me thinks that I'm trying something NEW because the old thing failed. Ultimately though, we're only failing ourselves and our health if we don't continue to try new things. Whatever works, right? Great job!

Anonymous said...

I'm w/ Katy; try it. If it doesn't work try something else. I've been eating clean since mid-August (nothing processed... sugar/meats/grains etc).
So far so good. It's changing my palette and I certainly feel nourished.
For the salty/crunchy snack (when I'm not in the mood for a crunchy apple or crunchy veggies), I like air popped corn. It's a whole grain. It's low cal, filling with fiber/protein and tasty. People forget many grains & vegetables have natural traces of sodium. I can moderate the portion size without issue but if that's gonna be your new addiction without chips, you may wanna steer clear a while.
Have fun with all the "new" foods you'll be eating.

John B. said...

"Call me crazy...or call me clever...either way I'd love to hear what you think: Is this rational or am I grasping at straws and making excuses? Is this something you've tried? Success or disaster?"

Sounds like a good plan...myself, I'm still in the "moderation" phase, but would think of elimination if mod'ding didn't work. Good luck on your races and fitness goals! :)

LauraLynne said...

John - I'm actually doing a combination - I'm moderating the foods I'm still allowing but definately eliminating some of my foods that I can't seem to control. It's definately hard - but I believe it's working. One month no candy, one week no chips.
But I struggle every day with both. Which tells me it's working.