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The other great benefit I've seen [from SLD], the thing that makes it worth chugging my mix of oil and water twice a day in and of itself, is the change I've felt in my attitude toward myself. I no longer feel disordered and tortured and ashamed. I no longer feel that I'm daily failing at something that so many people seem to find so easy and effortless. Now this thing I've fought with my whole life has become so much easier, so very nearly effortless for me as well. It turns out it wasn't a fundamental failure of my essential being after all. Who'd have guessed? -- Daffodil-11

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Daffodil-11

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in which I no longer care about brownies
« on: July 10, 2009, 11:53:24 pm »

So, this is kind of revolutionary.

Not in the sense that it's anything you haven't heard before; most of you have lived through this first-hand. But for me the last two weeks have been one of those quiet, personal revolutions -- you know the kind -- in which everything in my life has shifted just a bit up the spectrum and produced some surprising new harmonies.

I've always been a big girl -- I was a chubby little kid, spawned from a family of large (sometimes very large) people on my father's side. I'm healthy and graced with some natural strength and athleticism, but I've spent my entire life struggling with food. I stayed at chubby through high school; my lowest weight in my adult life was 165 when I was fourteen -- a time when I was also racing bikes on the junior competitive circuit and riding upwards of 250 miles a week. In college I had a bout of serious depression and my weight rocketed upwards over 300. I've never had any major health issues otherwise -- no diabetes, no high blood pressure -- but being that big is miserable and physically painful.

Since then, no amount of work has ever gotten me very far. I've gone through years of near-superhuman discipline -- starving, exercising an hour or more most days, gritting my teeth and battling through it, managing to drop maybe 50 or 60 pounds in a year. But the mental effort required is intense, and not something I've been able to keep up for much longer than a year. The demons, they always drag me back down in the end. One holiday meal kicks off the cravings, breaks down the bulwarks, and a few months later I'm fully off the wagon, eating crap for every meal, having lost even my tenuous, fragile control over the impulse -- the drive -- to eat and keep eating; feeling tired and weak again, putting it all back on, digging out the big clothes again.

Anyway, a last month I came down with the swine flu, tested and confirmed. (For the record, I don't recommend it, it's a nasty one.) I spent just over a week lying inert in my bed, alternately sleeping and staring at the wall. And during that week, my appetite was zero -- no interest, no desire, amounting to an outright aversion. I made myself eat at least a little something every day, but for the most part I fasted for the entire week. And as I had plenty of time to let my mind consider the implications, the thing that occurred to me was this:

"Wouldn't it be awesome to just not want to eat?"

And I realized that my real problem wasn't the food, it was the desire. Why do I feel so compelled to keep eating? The impulse in my brain, once it hits, simply will not be denied -- it'll keep nagging until I give in, and then once I've satisfied it, another impulse will follow shortly thereafter, beginning the cycle again. I'm a soda junkie and a fast food addict. I crave carbs AND fats AND salt. There was no contentment to be had, no feeling of ever having had enough. Is it really supposed to be like this? Is it really supposed to be such a struggle? Lots of people I know don't appear to be struggling at all... they eat until they're done, and then they stop. Why can't I have that?

Which is all just to explain how I found myself primed for Seth's book when I found it. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic; I turn my nose up at anything faddish or extreme when it comes to diet and nutrition, having been let down too many times before. And I can't say I was without any doubts when I shelled out the few dollars for the book. But I shrugged my shoulders and decided to give it a shot because it did suggest something that no other diet I've seen has suggested: that this profound drive to eat, which is my root problem, can be managed directly, and the rest will flow naturally from there.

So, I've been doing the plan for three weeks now. I'm 33, 5'10", and have around 150 pounds total to lose to get to my "ideal" weight, but more like 100 before I get to a place where I think I'll feel reasonably comfortable and content. It's going to be a long journey, but I'm in no particular hurry. For two weeks I've been doing 5 tbs. of ELOO daily in two doses (yes, it's a lot, and I'm thinking of tweaking how I get those flavorless calories, but I'm a big girl and it's been a good start.) Otherwise, I haven't consciously changed my eating habits; I've been more curious to see how the plan affects my eating on its own. Here's how it's gone for me:

Almost immediately, my appetite was roughly halved. I became stunningly detached from eating -- I still feel real hunger, but the compulsions lurking behind it -- that little voice that says, "seriously, McDonalds, NOW" -- are gone. No more guilty batches of cookies or brownies before bed. I mean, I still like cookies and brownies, but there's just no drive to seek them out. I don't really care about them.

I DON'T CARE ABOUT BROWNIES. That's the statement that rocked my world.

I developed a heightened sensitivity to salty and processed foods -- they don't taste any different, but they no longer taste good. When it came time to eat, I found myself naturally seeking out whatever seemed least offensive at the time, often fruit or salad (light on the dressing, because salad dressings can be kind of overwhelming now), with maybe a few bites of something more strongly-flavored. I found myself not finishing most of my meals. I have a new problem with food spoilage, because I'm not eating everything in the fridge before it goes bad.

It hasn't all been a stroll through the meadow -- a week in, I had a sudden craving for carbs, and I gave into it a bit; but then it went away and things got back on track on their own. I wish my appetite suppression amounted to more of an aversion; this thing where some people apparently eat 1200 calories a day and are just-stuffed-I-tell-you -- that hasn't happened for me. I'd say that so far this plan has made it easy to stay within what are realistically my actual requirements, and maybe just a bit less, but I still average about 1800 cal. per day, creeping up to 2000 now and then. Still, given that previously I was averaging more like 3500-4500 cal./day easy, this is a massive, staggering improvement. The plan has enormously reduced my appetite, but hunger is still an issue. It's real hunger, physical hunger -- headaches, crankiness, fatigue, stomach discomfort -- but as a longtime compulsive eater, I'm still learning how to interpret and respond to my body's signals rather than my brain's. I tend to wait too long to eat (a situation not helped by a job where I have no control over when I can sit and have a quick snack), which never lends itself to a measured response. But even when physically hungry, I'm now eating more to shut my stomach up -- here, have an apple and leave me alone for a couple more hours -- than to gratify my demons. It's a good thing.

I don't know how much weight I've lost. I figured out a few years ago that the number on the scale only makes me feel bad, so I've vowed not to worry about it for now. But I can say that three weeks in, my jeans suddenly have more room in them than they did before. Based on past experience, I'd guess five or six pounds, but it doesn't really matter. What I want -- what I hardly dare to hope for, though I find the hope creeping in more and more every day -- is that rather than waking up a couple of years from now and finding myself still this size or bigger, I will instead wake up and find that I've become considerably smaller, without having to obsess and struggle and fight every minute of every day in the meantime. The other great benefit I've seen, the thing that makes it worth chugging my mix of oil and water twice a day in and of itself, is the change I've felt in my attitude toward myself. I no longer feel disordered and tortured and ashamed. I no longer feel that I'm daily failing at something that so many people seem to find so easy and effortless. Now this thing I've fought with my whole life has become so much easier, so very nearly effortless for me as well. It turns out it wasn't a fundamental failure of my essential being after all. Who'd have guessed?

I do not expect a perfect diagonal line down the weight chart; I know there'll be adjustments to be made and bumps on the road. That's fine. A bit further on, I'll be looking to invoke a little more conscious order in my diet since I have this potent new tool to help me out. Once I can drop just a little of this weight -- enough so that I don't feel quite so ridiculous on my bike -- I'll get back to riding as my main mode of transportation (I'm fortunate to live in a city that's arguably best scaled to the bicycle.) I still have some minor issues to work on -- getting off the soda, introducing more whole foods and plants into my daily diet (I'm also fortunate to live in a city located in a ridiculously diverse and fertile food-growing region and the cradle of the locavore movement.) But for now, I'm just enjoying and getting used to my unexpected liberation .

So, hello, I hope to be hanging around. I'll probably have some questions from time to time. It's lovely to meet you all. And isn't this just the coolest thing ever?
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nougat

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Re: in which I no longer care about brownies
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2009, 12:54:36 am »

hello daffodil!

wow what a post!!  you certainly have a way with words!  some of what you said could have been about me!

i really hope sld works for you!!

welcome to the forum - you're going to find a whole bunch of the nicest people you could hope to meet!  i know i have!
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LittlePlum

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Re: in which I no longer care about brownies
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2009, 03:21:39 am »

Hi Daffodil

I know just what you mean about the quiet personal revolution, and you have put it so well. I could have cried with joy the first day I did SLD and felt that detachment from the pull of food. For me that has got to be the most important bit of SLD. For me it was a bit like returning to childhood where I still lived in the moment without fear, ate when I was hungry, pushed my plate away when I had satisfied that hunger regardless of what was left on the plate...

The forums are great. I'm a newbie too and have already gleaned loads of valuable info and support on here.

I wish you well on your SLD journey!
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shovelqueen

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Re: in which I no longer care about brownies
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2009, 05:02:49 am »

Welcome, Daffodil.  What a great post!  Though my weight loss needs were miniscule in comparison, I recognize the sentiments that you express.  And I was successful, as you will be too.  Your natural athleticism will soon come shining through and once moving, you will be an unstoppable force, I'm sure!

It's the ability to move previously immovable fat weight that is so great.  And the change in your perceptions of hunger, appetite and cravings.  Learning to listen to your body like a thin person is one of the best lifelong health changes you can make, and the SLD makes that possible.

Stick around, Kiddo, you'll go far!! :D
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Clarinette

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Re: in which I no longer care about brownies
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2009, 05:11:28 am »

Hi Daffodil-11,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Your post was very interesting and I can relate to many of your emotions and facts expressed in your writting.
To me, Shangri La diet is the only diet that gives me the hope that I can actually ,one day, reach a healthy weight without torturing myself and feeling deprived. I can now enjoy food and eat without feeling guilty. I get to have this little signal that remind me that '' I AM FULL''. In time, you'll see that your food choices will change a lot. You'll be attract mostly to good food .
I did Shangri La twice and twice I had the same results which was a big lost of weight. The only mistake made the first time around was to stop taking my dose of SLD and then I gain back the weight. Now at my second try, I will stick with my SLD's calories for ever! That is for now my only chance to be thin one day. 
Welcome with us Daffodil.  I hope that we will see you around. . Your life and your body are about to change and you'll get as pretty as you want to be...I wish you a great deal of good luck and I am happy that you found us! I am drowning in my modesty here  :shock:  :lol:

Heidi 555

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Re: in which I no longer care about brownies
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2009, 05:16:51 am »

Welcome Daffodil and thanks for sharing your beautifully written and moving story.  Even though I didn't have much weight to lose, SLD has been a huge transformation for me, too.  The relief I feel at no longer being at the mercy of food and cravings is enormous.  

Have you read Karky's page or seen her pictures somewhere in the middle of her thread? http://boards.sethroberts.net/index.php?topic=6069.0
Also check out Del's posts: http://boards.sethroberts.net/index.php?topic=6644.0 (Her posts are all over the place but if click on her profile you can access her posts.) Unfortunately, it appears that her pictures are no longer up.

I never suggest this to anyone, but I would recommend that you weigh yourself on an accurate scale and take body measurments and a before picture.  I bet that you are going to be enormously successful on SLD and down the road you'll be happy to have the impressive measurments of your progress.  Much luck to you and I look forward to reading about your journey.
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It took 1 year of nose clipping
to lose 20 pounds (from about 140 to 120)
Dropped from size 8-10 to size 4
I'm 5' 4.5"

Read about my success nose clipping regular food instead of doing oil or sugar: http://boards.sethroberts.net/index.php?topic=5903.

karky

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Re: in which I no longer care about brownies
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2009, 08:14:02 am »

Welcome,
Sounds like you are off to go a good start except for the flu part.
It is very possible to lose large amounts and keep it off.

Before me                                   now me
 

Just remember some patience is required.  I have seen people come and go, and I suspect some of them disappear because they wanted a magic bullet.
Just keep taking your dose every day no matter what.   8)  8)
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goblyn

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Re: in which I no longer care about brownies
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2009, 06:57:05 pm »

Your post was awesome.  So very true.  I agree with Heidi though, you should totally weigh yourself (or at least take measurements) as depressing as that is, because, trust me, this diet works so well and so quickly that you're going to be very curious as to just HOW effective it is.  I wouldn't recommend turning into someone like, say, me, who weighs themselves compulsively every time I get a chance (though I'm trying to weigh myself less and less), but maybe a once a month weigh in (or measure in) can at least motivate you (because, as I'm sure you're aware, especially in the "bigger" sizes, it can take a significant amount of loss to go down a clothing size, and that can be rather discouraging, I personally have been waiting for the time when I can stop taking XXL size shirts, and almost 50 lbs later, I still don't quite feel comfortable in just XL shirts, sigh).

Keep up the good attitude and continue to post!
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Daffodil-11

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Re: in which I no longer care about brownies
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2009, 08:33:26 pm »

First, thanks to all of you for the welcome. The reason I decided to go ahead and sign up for the forum -- rather than just go it alone as I've often done in the past -- is because I know a little outside support and encouragement will sometimes keep me going, and because I expect there'll be days when I just want to share and discuss this process with others who understand.

This is definitely not the first dbig change I've ever made (I'm reluctant to refer to SLD as a "diet," since it seems like more of a tool to me than a diet in itself). Over the 25 years in which I've been dieting, I have no doubt I've lost a couple of hundred pounds cumulatively (why couldn't they all have been lost all at once, and stayed lost?), so I'm no stranger to the work involved and how the process generally plays out for me. Been here, done this, have quite a collection of variously-sized t-shirts. The only reason I'm even talking about this out loud is that so far this has been completely, qualitatively different from all my previous attempts -- it looks the same from the outside, but from the inside it feels like a whole other world.

I know that I'm very, very prone to obsessing over the numbers on the scale, and taking them much too seriously, so I've learned to avoid them completely. I rely more on body measurements, but more than anything on the fit of my clothes. I have to be extra-patient, but trying on old clothes after three or four months and seeing how they hang off you is the sweetest reward imaginable.

And I also know very well how long this takes, and the commitment required. I don't expect my daily doses of ELOO to do the work for me, but I'm hoping they might make the work more manageable. I find it all entirely straightforward and easy, so it doesn't feel like any big deal to assume I'll be knocking back the oil every day for the rest of my life. Considering I am one of those who has previously considered quite seriously the prospect of being cut open and having my guts reworked, my oily lips and greasy water glasses seem a small sacrifice to make.

But still, it's only been three weeks. I have no doubt the coming months have some surprises in store for me -- hopefully mostly good ones.

I'm still in the learning-to-trust phase -- the first week, my AS already going, I had a dream in which I awoke (in my dream) to the realization that none of this was true, that I had dreamed (in my dream) the entire SLD premise, that the whole thing was some cruel mirage. This literally happened -- I think that says something about how deeply these anxieties run. But then I woke up for real, grabbed my copy of the book and flipped through it for a few minutes, and then went to the kitchen and got my first dose of oil for the day. First time in a long time I'd woken up relieved that the whole thing hadn't been a dream (except for the dream-in-a-dream part, which I was glad was a dream... I'm having trouble following my own story now.  :lol:)

PS: Karky, those pics are staggering. Thank you.
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karky

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Re: in which I no longer care about brownies
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2009, 08:59:44 pm »

Thank you Daffodil.
Hopefully before long, my pics will be really staggering, but I am taking each day as it comes along.  8)
Today is way better than it was 2-1/2 years ago.
And tomorrow will be better than yesterday.

~says the eternally optimistic karky  8)
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VeganKitten

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Re: in which I no longer care about brownies
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2009, 10:16:24 pm »

Hi Daffodil,
I was very unhappily obsessed with the scale when I used to weigh myself in pounds ... so I switched to Kilograms. (Since I'm from the U.S., kg is unfamiliar -- the "pounds" number carries so much more baggage. Plus, kg is always a smaller number!)

I find I can track kilograms without getting so down on myself.

I actually tried going back to pounds for a few weeks, thinking 'it's only a number, why should it bother me' but it was actually depressing and I gained weight(!) ... so I switched back. Luckily my bathroom scale has a little switch on the bottom that changes it to kg.

I still know what my weight translates to in pounds, what my goal translates to in pounds ... but I don't see that number when I weigh  myself, so I can accept it in a more abstract way.
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shmooth

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Re: in which I no longer care about brownies
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2009, 12:26:59 pm »

props Daffodil!

i'll be curious to see how it all works out for you. and me!

i'm a big bike rider, and i've been contemplating the whole 'personal training' thing, at least as a part-time career. i'm a big wannabe-hippie, and i feel like i know how ineffective humans can be when they're all miserable/depressed about their weight (i'm often there), etc., so i want to help. people keep telling me to become a personal trainer -- prob b/c i have the build, even in spite of having more than a few extra pounds -- and i thought i might some day combine Shangri-la with some type of career/life coaching, as well as integrating daily exercise into one's routine -- meaning bicycles and public transport (active transportation).

best of luck to you, and everyone here!
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Daffodil-11

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Re: in which I no longer care about brownies
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2009, 12:32:29 am »

Hi Shmooth,

I love my bike so much. When I was young, as I said, I rode a hell of a lot -- to be honest, I never particularly wanted to race (I was kind of pushed into it by my dad), and once I got the opportunity to quit, I did. And then I didn't get on a bike again for about twenty years.

But last year, having moved to one of the foremost bike culture capitals of the US, and wanting to get rid of my car, I finally gathered up all my courage and went bike shopping. My first test-ride was absurd -- not quite as bad as the first time I learned to ride a bike, but that thing about "you never forget how to ride a bike?" Yeah, that's not strictly true. The good news is that you remember pretty quickly. But I wanted to start riding again purely for pleasure, as I had before I ever started racing. So I plunked down a decent chunk of cash for a lovely silver hybrid commuter bike, and started working back up to it.

I think cycling is possibly a perfect form of exercise for the very-out-of-shape. It's low-impact, the bike supports much of your weight, you improve startlingly quickly, and you get a sense of speed and grace that big people have often forgotten is even possible for them. And as someone who has spent hours upon hours power walking and doing various kinds of aerobics, I can swear that an hour spent on a bike goes by much faster than an hour spent doing anything else. Riding a bike is just FUN.

Sadly, this last year we had a completely uncharacteristic heavy snowfall followed by months of gravelly bike lanes, and I sort of forgot to keep riding. You know how it is. And then I put on a few pounds -- not really enough to make much difference, but enough that I'm now back to feeling self-conscious on my bike in this city of trim hipsters on fixies -- so I've been slow to get back on. But I shall. Nothing will keep me from my bike forever.

My self-promised reward for getting back on the saddle and working up to heretofore unknown distances -- I plan to work my way up to a century ride within a few years -- will be a brand-new custom built road bike, and a bike touring trip in Europe. I assume it'll take years because that's how long it'll take me to save up for all that.

But yeah, short version: I'm a fan of bicycles. Best thing ever.
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karky

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Re: in which I no longer care about brownies
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2009, 07:18:48 am »

I got my bike out this spring too. 8)
My little 3-speed Huffy.  :lol:
I also got an odometer/speedometer for it, which is pretty awesome!
And a rear-view mirror.  :lol:
And some no-puncture/never goes flat innertubes.  I wish I had had some of those 25 yrs ago.
Next I am considering a wicker basket,
but mostly all I see are those little girl-y white/pink ones.  I do not want. :lol:

Now all I have to do is build my stamina up so I can leave the top of the hill, because of course going down the hill is awesome fun, it's coming back up it that is a total drag.   :P
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Daffodil-11

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Re: in which I no longer care about brownies
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2009, 06:49:21 pm »

So, it's been about a month now. Taking my oil twice a day has become a habit, and things have begun to settle into a pattern. In the end, I found that this works best for me if I take my first dose immediately upon waking, and the second dose when I get home from work (which can be anywhere from 5pm-10pm).

I admit that I took most of a week off about halfway through -- I had house guests, and the big change in my daily routines knocked me off my schedule. But I picked back up a couple of days after my guests left, and didn't suffer any apparent ill-effects.

This kind of appetite suppression is a funny thing. It's so invisible. The most concrete effect I see is that I have almost entirely lost my taste for sweet things -- where I used to be compelled a couple of times a week to buy a too-large quantity of some treat and then binge on it, now I find myself completely indifferent to candy, cookies, cake, ice cream, etc. They still taste good; I just don't really want any. That has become my benchmark for AS, and my primary reassurance that it really is working when I find myself confused and wondering.

The other big effect is somewhat more illusory -- I still have hunger, still have an appetite, am still not one of the lucky ones who can no longer bear to eat more than 1200 calories a day. But I find that I am consistently eating about half what I would've eaten before SLD. Of course, what I would've eaten before SLD was easily twice as much as I ever should've, so I still wouldn't necessarily call this a weight-loss track in itself. But the fact that I no longer scarf down a whole box of mac and cheese and then still want a second whole box afterwards is a pretty amazing thing. These days I eat about half and lose interest. Still not the all-time best choice, but so much better than my old pattern. And even on the days when I feel like I've done nothing but eat all day, if I sit down and tally up what I've actually eaten, I find that it's a perfectly reasonable amount -- it seemed like a lot, but it really wasn't. It's no longer a case of thinking "I probably ate 3000 today" and then adding it up and finding it was really more like 5000 or 6000; now I think "I probably ate 3000" and then add it up and it was really more like 2000. Maintenance levels are my new binge days. :)

A month on the oil has given me a better idea of what my real challenges are -- I still guzzle soda (though, to be fair, it's been a brutal summer and up here we have no AC -- I'd like to see anyone sit through a few days of 106F with no AC and not be prone to chugging sweet, cold, fizzy relief in a bottle). I still have a taste for some fast food, but even that has changed -- where I used to eat half-pound double-cheeseburgers (extra cheese) and secretly yearn for more afterwards, now I have one or two of the small, standard hamburgers, without fries, and feel perfectly content. By my calculations, that's about 800 calories saved effortlessly, and 800 calories I've fought against my whole life. American cheese, something for which I've always had a regretful weakness, has lost almost all of its attraction now; I can barely stand to imagine eating the stuff. Cheese in general has gone by the wayside -- pizza doesn't sound so great anymore, grilled cheese makes me queasy. I tend to do cheese more with pasta now -- I think my fondness for carbs remains entirely intact, for good or ill. But it's a little grated cheddar now -- the good stuff -- or some parm. reg., and much less than I used to use.

In any case, having spent a month or so getting used to this new arrangement and feeling things out, I think I'm about ready to start imposing a little more structure on my eating using SLD as a tool to help me keep it together. And I was wondering whether anyone had any particular suggestions? I've done enough eating plans in the past to know some of what doesn't work for me, but I haven't yet found the plan that really does.

My biggest challenge to overcome with SLD may be that I am inclined to be a very habitual eater -- that is, I eat the same few things over and over and over again. It's not out of any lack of adventurousness, it's just that on a day-to-day basis I don't tend to want to put a whole lot of effort into shopping and cooking or spend a lot of time preparing my meals. Breakfast will be the same every day for a month or two, lunch will cycle between four or five options, and dinner will do the same. A lot of my usual options have gone out the window since I started SLD -- they just don't sound good anymore -- and if anything this has restricted my daily diet further. But I know that any plan that has me constantly cooking probably isn't going to last very long (South Beach and I were definitely not a good fit.) I tend more to cook a whole lot of something over my days off, and then eat from it for the rest of the week.

The Zone sounds good in theory, but again, I know I'm not going to have a lot of patience with the precision required. My job doesn't allow for much snacking or grazing, so plans that rely upon me eating every two to three hours probably aren't going to work out. What carbs I do eat are generally better-quality (at least now that so much of the sugar is out of the picture) -- I've been a brown rice/whole-wheat person for a long time now, and I do pretty well that way. And the one thing I definitely know from years of trial and failure is that a diet without some meat in it isn't going to make the cut. I don't need a whole lot of red meat, but I do need some.

I've had decent results in the past with dietary structure imposed from the outside -- a simple "eat this for breakfast, this for lunch, this for dinner, and you're done" kind of plan, but a lot of those plans are more aggressive than I currently want. I'm mostly looking for something simple, with a little flexibility, but clear guidelines. Anyone know of a plan like that?
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