May 28, 2008

Father's Day Gift Ideas and Diet Update

I am still feeling low and sad and crabby and like everything is the end of the world: "My computer is running slow! Slowwwwwwwwwwwwwww! *flops listlessly in chair*"

Today I'm trying a depression-combating method I read about a long time ago and periodically call into service: drinking 1/4th cup of coffee every hour, as if taking medicine. It's supposed to give you a more even keel than if you drink a huge honking mug in the morning and try to coast all the way to bedtime.


If you are at a loss in re Father's Day gifts, Sundry and I each wrote a post of ideas over at Milk & Cookies. Here's hers, and here's mine. I'm chalking that up as our good deeds for the month: looking for Father's Day gifts is borrrrrr-ring.


Okay! Marie Green thinks it is time for a diet update, and I agree.

The diet and I are in a fight, but still together. I'm doing a modified Weight Watchers Core. Core basically says that if it's sugar or fat or in any way baked (crackers, bread), you barely get any of it (you have a Treats Budget you can use on those items), but you can have as much as you want of the approved food list, which is surprisingly long and inclusive. It's an excellent diet for a nursing mother, because it lets you have huge heaping helpings of nutritious stuff like chicken and vegetables and brown rice and fruit and eggs and milk and so forth, while leading you away from the ice cream and the candy and the cake.

The reason I call it "modified" Core is that I don't follow it exactly. My diet is more "based on actual events" than "the true story of." I think Weight Watchers, along with the rest of the dieting world, has gone too far on the anti-carb spectrum. I think, for example, that 100% whole wheat bread is a GOOD food, not an EVIL food. So I don't use my Treats Budget for it if I eat it. For some people, this would not be a good modification: they'd eat a whole loaf of bread right off the bat. But I don't even like bread all that much, and find I only crave it when it's forbidden, so it's a good modification for me: if I can have it, I'll barely ever eat it. If I can't have it, I'll keep sneaking it.

Another sample modification: you're supposed to use the Treats Budget for the frosting on Frosted Mini-Wheats. SCREW THAT. If I am eating SHREDDED WHEAT, I don't really care if it has sugar on it. I'm not going to sit there eating a whole box. So this, too, works for me: if I have to count the frosting, I won't eat the shredded wheat and will instead lose control with a bag of chocolate chips; but if I DON'T have to count the frosting, I'll eat the cereal and pull through the hard times. I'm not in this diet for UTTER RIGHTEOUSNESS.

I think the idea is that certain foods give some people problems, so Weight Watchers has made sweeping rules for that. But there are a lot of foods that I know are not problems for me (my problems are sweets and sweet fats, not potatoes and whole wheat bread), so I change it.

Right NOW, though---I mean, I am eating out of a bag of chocolate chips AS I TYPE. There are chocolate chips IN MY MOUTH. And I don't think I can call that a "modification." I'm finding that with the diet, as with any relationship, I have times when things are going well and times when things are not going well. "Hang in there anyway" is one of my mottos for this diet. Yes, I am eating chocolate chips right now, but I don't have three bags of candy waiting for me in the other room. SOME improvement is better than NO improvement, and perseverance is still worthwhile.

42 comments:

Nowheymama said...

Scott just left today for a four-day business trip, so I am taking careful note of the depression-combating method. Too bad I already had *two* huge honking mugs of coffee (with Tiramisu Coffeemate) this morning.

jonniker said...

I agree about the anti-carb spectrum and WW, although like you said, I think they came up with foods that you were wort of guaranteed not to abuse. Interestingly, I abuse fruit, which is "free" on the WW core program, and this is PRECISELY why I do Flex Points. But I could totally eat 4 lbs of cherries in a sitting. Totally.

With their Flex Points, nothing is forbidden, which I really like and is why I chose it. I'm the kind of dieter who needs structure -- it's never been what I eat, so much as the AMOUNT.

JMC said...

I think pretty much ALL the diets go overboard on something or other. I modify them all to practically nonexistent. :) Actually, I just follow my own when I want to lose weight and can manage the willpower to follow it (which is pretty much NEVER), and that is that you can eat whatever you want as long as, at the end of the day, the amount of calories consumed is less than the amount of calories expended. Then I take it even further and don't actually bother to figure out exactly what I am consuming or expending, I just try to exercise a little every day and eat no more than 1500-1700 calories each day, which I determine with a lot of guesswork and very little actual looking up.

So, for example, if I were to eat an ENTIRE BAG of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies with my coffee mid-morning, I would count them as breakfast and lunch calorie-wise and then try to eat a reasonable dinner. Or another half-bag of cookies. You know, depending on my mood. ;)

Tessie said...

I am really, seriously intrigued by this coffee-as-medicine thing, and it's not even because of my RAGING coffee habit. I'm a stop-by-10-am person, but by 10 am I have often had FOUR CUPS!

I also wonder if spreading it out throughout the day would help break the "afternoon soda" habit, which I really would like to kick.

d e v a n said...

I love your diet perspective. Very rational and a good way to make it work for you. I ate almost an entire bag of chocolate chips in my first week postpartum. I would probably be eating them right now, except I already ate them all. heh

Jess said...

At some point I think I'm going to have to switch to the Weight Watchers core plan. But it's going to be hard because not much of what I eat seems to be considered core. If I do it, I think it's going to have to be a modified version similar to yours. And I'm with you on the whole grain thing.

catnip said...

Thanks for the reminder that
1. I need some coffee!
2. Holy crap! Fathers's Day!
and 3. I'm supposed to be on a diet. ugh.

Pickles & Dimes said...

Right there with you on the shredded wheat, Swistle.

el-e-e said...

You're speaking my diet language. I think I mentioned last week that my mindset at this point is mostly, "Make better choices." Like, instead of the Quarter Pounder w/Cheese, choose the grilled chicken (barf) sandwich and don't eat the whole bun.

You're smart to know your weaknesses. My weaknesses are chocolate, baked things, creamy sauces, and pastas/potatoes. Hm. That seems like a lot of weaknesses.

Jen in MI said...

If I drink a huge cup of coffee every, say, 20 minutes, will that give me even more of a lift?

Don Mills Diva said...

SOME improvement is always better than none - chin up!

donna said...

While I think WW is the best out there in terms of teaching healthy eating for life, I've never tried the Core plan for exactly that reason. Flex works so much better for me because it's well, flexible. And you need to do what works for you or you'll never stick with it.

fairydogmother said...

Is it wrong that by the end of this post the main thing I was left with was the thought that chocolate chips would taste really good right about now? Of course there is caffeine in chocolate, so that is probably what I'm really craving. Perhaps I should make some coffee or tea and try your using it as medicine approach! That sounds like it would work really well for me, and might help me kick my diet pepsi lime addiction.

Alice said...

GAAAAAH father's day. HAATE. my dad is also the geeky (not beer-drinky / golf play-y) type, BUT doesn't actually ever USE any geeky-type stuff. it's infuriating. i can only buy him power tools so many times.

MzEll said...

My favorite part is the flopping in the chair. For seriously I would like to be as whiney as my 3 year old today. You're doing great!

Amber said...

I agree with 'modifying' as well. When I am dieting (which lately has been a joke) I like to do modified South Beach. But I just can't wrap my head around 'fruit is bad' in any way. So basically I try to eat lean proteins, veggies and fruit and occasionally eat whole grains.

Farrell said...

well said and totally agree.

Alice said...

i made it two hours... but i'd like you to know that i am now sitting here with a bag of chocolate chips. DOH.

Swistle said...

Core does give you 35 points (more than a whole day's worth of calories) per week to spend on whatever you want: chocolate, butter, etc. I can't stand the way with Flex you RUN OUT OF POINTS. Like, sure, you can eat pizza and chocolate, but that's your whole day's food and then you can't eat anything else until the next day. With Core, if I eat pizza and chocolate, I've only used up my bonus points: I can still have chicken and rice for dinner and pudding and popcorn in the evening.

Also, I think I accidentally implied I haven't had much success on this diet, when in fact I've had lots of success. I'm just currently eating chocolate chips, that's all. Which I could legally be doing if I spent my points on them, but I'm not following the diet that closely.

Saly said...

Oy, father's day....

And also- a peppermint mocha freeze from Sbux totally cured me today!

Bird said...

I don't drink coffee, but I'm wondering is sipping my diet coke slowly throughout the day would produce a more even keel. I may be wishing on stars with that one.

I love that you call your diet "based on actual events." Too funny.

I was gearing up to eat like a french woman and then I lost the damn book. Like someone else here, my problem is always the amount and not one particular food. I'm a a shoveler and the next thing I know I'm out-eating my 200 lb. husband.

laurey said...

Re the depression thing: you might want to try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Dummies. I really like it.

Linda said...

Little things, yes. Yesterday I was making brownie trifle and I ate an entire row of brownies AND a helping of the trifle, but today I sent the leftovers to my husband's work AND ate cherries for a snack AND worked out.

I tend to let myself eat as much as I want to eat for actual MEALS, like nutritionally balanced, sit at the table meals. It's the snacks where I have to be a hard-ass or I end up gaining instead of losing. Or the way I eat no lunch, but eat 10 brownies instead.

I know enough about WW that I try to follow their general idea of points. Like, if I eat a bunch of crap during the day, I shouldn't follow that up with a full dinner, dessert, a TV watching snack, and 3 glasses of wine.

I still laugh at your "fun-size diet" from a while ago.

Swistle said...

Laurey- Adding to Amazon shopping cart!

Sarah said...

I can totally relate...Candy is my downfall I have it stashed all around my house. I'm known for it.

Alice said...

OK - you may have inspired me to seek out Weight Watchers. And I'm all about screwing the frosting on Shredded Wheat. My sentiments exactly!

Katie said...

I remember you mentioning the coffee trick a while back and I seriously think about that EVERY morning now. I only pour a half cup in the morning and then periodically have more throughout the day. I LOVE that techinque!!

Manager Mom said...

I have been on a big Jelly Belly bender. they look so tiny, so innocent, with just four calories per Jelly Bean, and the next thing you know I've eaten two bags, with five servings per bag. Oh well.

Stacy said...

I agree with you and dieting "based on actual events". I have been craving brownies lately, thanks for your tip about adding kosher salt...yum. I just try to healthy them up a little, whole wheat flour, added flax meal and light butter. Granted, I am not losing any weight, but at least I don't feel guilty.

Mairzy said...

Well, there's dieting, and then there's living. Your approach sounds a whole lot more like living.

I've discovered that at Certain Times of the Month I develop massive cravings for snacks. Granted, I can ALWAYS put away something sweet and crunchy, but usually can be happy with a small something. Unlike today, when I simply couldn't stop thinking about Snacks. Now, at 10:00 pm, I finally feel sated... but only after I actually deliberately walked into a 7-11 and bought a Skorr bar. It was real good.

Penny said...

Like the bible, weight watchers is best if used as a guideline, not a recipe for daily life. Your diet puts me to shame. I would totally not count shredded wheat as a candy.

Michelle said...

I'm all about the moderation. That's why I still have five more pounds to go. And I had a blondie tonight and I'm soooooo trying to stay away from the banana split salad I made last night for the neighbors.

The modifications you're making sound perfectly sensible to me. Moderation is key in everything -- including those 4 pounds of cherries that I could also eat in a single sitting :)

Oh, and I think you solved my five year anniversary dilemma -- wooden barbeque tools and the grill mate thermometer thing! Yay!

anna said...

Is that coffee trick working?

How long does it usually take to finish the weaning?

My sister told me that she read about taking cold showers to combat the blues, and she tried it, and thought it kind of worked.

Marie Green said...

hey, a link- THANKS!... too bad I had that LONG (boring) post about garage sales up...

Also, I love how you and you're diet are in a fight, but still together. I'm in that same place. Best description EVER.

HollyLynne said...

1/4 a cup of coffee an hour . . .genius!!! GREAT tip! I hope thinks perk up for you soon . . .and enjoy that chocolate :)

laurey said...

Swistle - Oh good! I wanted to write more before but didn't have time. This book is my latest obsession. Probably the biggest thing it helps for is overcoming social anxiety, but it really covers everything, and there's a whole section on getting out of feeling depressed. I found the whole book really helpful & I hope you like it too!

Swistle said...

Anna- I can't tell yet if it's working, because I keep forgetting to take my "dose." I should set a timer---but I keep forgetting to do THAT, too. Clearly a system is needed.

Weaning can go fast or slow. I've been going down a nursing at a time, which is the "slow" way; I didn't seem to have emotional upheaval until I got down to two nursings/day.

Swistle said...

Laurey- I see there's a book and also a "workbook." Which one is the one you like?

Amy said...

You know, if those chocolate chips are unsweetened or bittersweet you're actually better off than milk chocolate candy bars or something. And isn't chocolate good for you anyways?! :)

laurey said...

Swistle - I bought the book, which includes a lot of sample worksheets that can be photocopied and used over and over again - but I just looked through the sample pages of the workbook and I think that might actually be a better choice. It seems to explain everything too and it also has checklists and charts all along the way to work through the process... maybe both? If you buy from the "used and new" section, you can get them for about $10 each... so I think that's what I'd do. I'm thinking about buying the workbook now.

Shoeaddict said...

I am just about to start WW. I am FAT, no really, really FAT. I need to drop a lot of weight and I should probably do everthing they tell me. I am starting with a personal trainer, too. My problems are that I don't know what to buy or what to eat or when. I don't have a great schedule. I hope to get all of that under control.

Good Luck!

Mommy Daisy said...

I like your approach to the diet. It sounds more do-able. I can't do extreme diets that are terribly limiting. I find myself getting frustrated and bored with what I CAN eat and I end up eating NOTHING and then feel totally crappy.

(Sorry, I'm just now catching up with blog reading. I guess I missed some juicy bits. I didn't read all your comments on some posts though, maybe I'll go back when I'm caught up with current posts. I hope by now the weaning/hormones are doing OK.)