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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Time For a Change

Back in October I decided to start Jorge's Fast Track program again for a few weeks to get back to my goal weight. I had drifted up a few pounds. But a few weeks into it, I loved it so much that I decided to give a year. My sister is following Wheat Belly, which is basically the same thing (although she has sucralose/splenda on it) and I thought it would be a great way to support her too. Fast Track is a version of the Belly Fat Cure where we have no grains and legumes at all.

But for the last several weeks I have been floundering between meals, and clearly not eating enough during my meals. We have been doing a lot of entertaining, which means all sorts of kids snacks in the house. I thought I would be fine with it, like I have been ever since I started the Belly Fat Cure. But I wasn't. And I found myself binge eating disgusting kids desserts, that made me feel sick afterwards (honestly I wanted to throw up and was completely upset with myself). SO I decided it was time for a change. Clearly I am craving something and am not getting what I need at meal time. I am adding back grains.

Do I feel like a failure? Eh, a little bit. But it is way more important to be true to myself and maintain my weight than to stick to an arbitrary goal. Grain-free has been great for me... until it just wasn't. It is important to know when to make a change, when to switch things up a little bit. Was the problem just my will power and being lazy with meals? Possibly. I notice a pattern that I put on a little weight after each Half Marathon, but I really love doing and training for them. So I'm making a change, and switching things up. Something isn't working, so change it so it does work.

So I am back to doing strict Belly Fat Cure, just like the original blue book, and following an S/C Value of 15/6 max for the day and 5/2 max per meal. Truly I was always doing that, I just took away grains and legumes too. I am sticking to high fiber grains, making them really count. We have been going to and hosting tons of parties in May and I have not been as strict with my alcohol, so I need to really watch that this summer too.

I am also tracking on My Fitness Pal too, just to make sure I am right on track. I think every six months this is something I need to do. Get super strict, just like was doing the losing phase. No popcorn at the movies, no bites of that special gelato, not a single cookie... because the deal is I don't want a little, or a bite or just a single cookie. I want the whole tub of popcorn, the whole gelato, the whole row of cookies. Somewhere in my genes it is programmed - give her a little of those foods and she'll take it all! I'm just glad the same doesn't apply to alcohol, because it feels very similar to alcoholism but with certain foods. So here I am, relearning this lesson again. For the 3rd time? The 100th time? It doesn't matter, because I AM learning it. I am stopping myself and making a change! Maintenance is hard ya'll.

ps. We went to a Cinco de Mayo party and I was thrilled to wear an outfit that a. fit and b. was cute. I was dreaming of a white blazer with skinny jeans and a belt. I want to make sure this outfit fits me next year, and the next year and the year after that.

41 comments:

  1. You are definitely not a failure. Some grains are good and if our body can tolerate them then they are important to a healthy diet. His original plan works great!

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  2. You are looking so cute Amber! Don't feel like a failure, please. You have done so well!You really need to do what's best for your body, and if that's adding grains and legumes back, go for it!

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  3. You look great and I am excited for you! I do think we all have to find the perfect balance for us. I love the original BFC, but I have to learn over and over that carbs can do me in quickly! I know we are told that potatoes are "bad", but when I eat them, I always feel satisfied and happy. I love potatoes!!! They fit in the plan and they make me happy! There you go!!!

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  4. Amber - can you tell us more about what you are eating everyday? I really want this to work. Thanks!

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  5. Your before and after photos, and then your blog, are what convinced me to try the BFC. One thing I respect about your experience is that you are always paying attention to your nutrition and health; you have become very intuitive about your body. You've realized that FT isn't working for you in the moment and are making a shift to what does work. That's not failure. That's spectacular success. Good on you, girl!

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  6. Amber, you remain such an inspiration to me. I believe that you need to change everything modestly every so often. Boredom/complacency are the enemy.

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  7. Amber, great post! I can so relate to your words. I chose the Paleo approach in 2011 and attempted it for quite a while, with good results. But as you said in your post, I needed to stay "true to myself." I found myself obsessing about food, much like I did when I did WW or Jenny Craig. I am learning to be OK with what works for me, not stressing about every morsel and what "should be" according to someone else.

    With that said, I love the simplicity of the 15/6 BFC Rule and have been successful when I implement it. You have to incorporate a style of eating that you know will work for you. Please don't consider yourself a failure. You are highly attuned to what does/does not work for you. You KNOW the original BFC works for you, so why fix a great thing (rhetorical question here)?! I love how self-reflective you are, which I am sure is one of the facets of successful weight loss. You are truly a great inspiration for me as well as for countless others!!

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  8. Failure? No way - I am discovering that this is a journey :)

    Although your post does concern me a little. I gave up grains a couple months ago and have noticed benefits besides weight loss. I feel better, a chronic post nasal drip has almost disappeared, my head is clearer, I feel "lighter and brighter" (which is probably more from increased fat consumption). I have a little fear that down the road I may not be able to keep it up - currently I don't miss them (the grains) at all. Although when I do indulge I usually pick sushi since white rice is not great but not detrimental like wheat (or as addictive I think). I haven’t read Wheat Belly but I probably should :)

    I know two people who have gone “gluten free” not because they had celiac but because they just were not feeling great. They both feel much better now and plan to keep eating this way indefinitely.

    I’ve done a lot of reading lately and I’m wondering if you were eating enough fat? Fat should be our primary source of fuel and apparently if we’re not eating enough we become hungry and “crave” things. I hate tracking what I eat (feels like the old days of WW) but I do it so I know how much fat, carbs and protein I’m getting each day. Anyway, it was just a thought as you are probably correct that your body wanted something …

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    1. Of course I track my sugar too - it's almost always below 10 grams/day :)

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    2. I was 8 months into no grain and I dont think I have any real grain allergies or sensitivities that the BFC didn't already solve. I really loved it until about 6.5 months when I started struggling with my food choices. Then I found myself skipping meals and then cheating. I never cheated on BFC, so that was a concern. Then I found the little cheats turn into binge eating. For me this is a big concern! Nothing wrong with grain free at all - I love it. But I needed to change things up for myself right now is all. I think I was getting enough fat, at least MFP says so. It was protein I was probably suddenly lacking. Stress does strange things to the body and mind! I immediately felt and slept better when adding back very limited grains.

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    3. I've done alot of reading recently on the "fat" subject and it makes sense that if you are eating far fewer carb calories more calories need to come from fat (and a lesser extend from protein). This of course applies to a low carb way of eating (like Fast Track, Paleo, Primal). Both Mark Sisson and Drs. Eades have good information on the subject. You can read this link from Mark Sisson where he outlines how much of each makes sense. I manually adjusted MFP because it always told me I was eating too much fat and now it's perfect. Just an FYI for you :)
      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/definitive-guide-to-the-primal-eating-plan/#axzz1wMijsMvh

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  9. You look fabulous! Failure? No way! Not everyone has a problem with grains. If you don't, and you honestly feel better eating them, then eat them. I'm glad that you respect those of us that need to stay away from grains. How we eat is not a religion, it supposed to be comprised of food that makes us feel our best, and for each person that will be different. I'm glad you shared your struggles with us. I hope that you feel better doing so, and I'm sure it helps others as well.

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    1. BTW, I decided to increase my calorie intake, primarily through fats, because I began to wonder if my metabolism has slowed down over the years of lower calorie dieting. I've never been afraid of fat, but I have always tried to keep my calories between 1200-1500 calories. But now that I'm beginning to understand how that can lower your metabolism, more than I thought (I thought your calories had to be lower than that for you metabolism to slow down, but apparently any restriction in calories will cause your body to adjust it's metabolism), I'm increasing my calories but keeping my carbs under 100g. The hope is that it will have the twofold effect of increasing my calories while at the same time keeping my carbs within a range that will still keep my insulin down. It's just something to keep in mind if you think that you might want to increase your calories in order to increase your metabolism without gaining weight. If you didn't catch it, here's the article I read that made me decide to make this change in my eating.

      http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2012/05/24/carbs-calories-and-cruise-sized-meals/

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    2. I meant...the twofold effect of increasing my METABOLISM while at the same time keeping my carbs within a range that will still keep my insulin down.

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  10. I love how honest you are!I wonder if this new carb cycling thing Jorge is talking about is the way to go. Don't know much about it yet, waiting to see what it's all about.

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    1. Also, I love that necklace in you gorgeous picture!

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    2. Thanks Beth! That necklace has gone miles - I also wore it with my purple dress on Rachael Ray ;)

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  11. First of all you look great in your picture. You are not a failure - We all have to try different things to see what works best for us.
    I love the original BFC and for me that's the way I know I can eat forever. :-)

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  12. Wow Amber!! You look so beautiful!!!

    I love that you are in tune with your body and not afraid to make a change when needed. A failure?? Not a chance lady! Look at all you've accomplished and all the people you've helped through your example and dedication.

    I'm a binge eater of sweets as well so I know how easily it can happen. (I've been known to eat 3-4 full size candy bars in one day - a true fact that I'm not proud of). With the BFC, I feel satisfied 99% of the time and I love the fact that if I get off-track it's always right there waiting for me to come back.

    Thanks for keeping it real Amber - and thank you for keeping it real about maintenance. I would hate to have a picture painted that it's a breeze and then wonder why it's not when I finally get there!! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Binge eating is so tough to overcome, but I agree that the BFC has been a true answer for me.

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  13. Thank you! :) There is a tapping technique and also a few other helpful techniques in the "I can make you thin" book. I think they may help with the binge cravings and cravings in general. It's a sort of reprogramming of thinking so you can achieve your goals. I mention it as it might help. Knowing when to make a change that is right for your body is truly listening to your body. GOOD FOR YOU!!!!
    Sally

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    1. Glad you mentioned tapping. I bought The EFT (Emotional freedom techniques) Manual by Gary Craig (garythink.com) about a week ago and I've just started tapping along with saying the following affirmation "Even though I have this_______, I deeply and completely accept myself." You have to fill in the blank. You also need to tap the specific points on the meridians. This book does not mention tapping on top of the head but he mentions this tapping point on his web site, so I've added it to the "Basic recipe". Read his book to understand the process. I swear that tapping is starting to work for me.While tapping my affirmation is "Even though I have this craving for snacks between meals and I am not hungry, I deeply and completely accept myself."

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  14. I agree with Rosalie! You're never a failure when you are trying. The great thing about this way of eating is we can switch it up. There are options. I started with BFC and moved on to the FT, first because Jorge wanted us to try it and secondly I didn't have to measure or count anything and that really worked for me. I'm not sure if eating or not eating grains accelerated my weight lost, but I do know that reducing my sugar intake did. Plus the benefits of better health.
    So for me, I'll probably stick more to the FT, but I do have my occasional grain meals (taco, fried chicken.)
    You have been an incredible help in my journey and I believe you'll be successful in future too. Stay strong!
    ps. You look great in your pic!

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  15. you look like a million bucks! sometimes we have to switch it up and be flexible like the reed instead of rigid like the oak right? whatever you do in the short run, you still have a major long run success, just look at yourself and what you have accomplished girl! I'm still trying to run a 5k!

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  16. it's so awesome that you are staying true to you! congratulations :) you look amazing!

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  17. I am completely the same way about indulging in snacks. The "just take a bite to satisfy yourself" does NOT satisfy me! Weekends are the hardest because people around me want treats, and are far too generous.

    I am just working toward the next photo op goal. I have a family reunion in three weeks? Yeah, that cookie isn't worth the shadow of a second chin in the family photos. Martial Arts competition a week after that? Pizza isn't going to make me more confident or give me more energy. Trip to Florida in September? It's still beach season there, no ice cream!

    I was caught off guard by warm weather over Memorial Day weekend and it was only AFTER a trip to Peach Wave that I remembered the ice cream maker in our spare fridge. Blast! I could have made my own ice cream and not have been a total glut at the toppings bar.

    Oh well, right? We pick ourselves back up and get back to it! You can do it!

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  18. I have always assumed that the Fast Track was meant as a 2-week jump-start, or a place to return to when you've slipped. Not something to keep up for months on end. I think the long-term ideal is to eat all of the healthy foods in good proportions for weight maintenance, with the FT in your back pocket as a quick-cure when needed. With that in mind, I am very impressed with you, the work you've done, and your ability to listen to your body and what it needs to be at its best.

    I'm new to this and sorry if I'm off the mark. Keep us informed!

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  19. I haven't read all the comments yet, so someone may have said this, but you look fantastic! Healthy and vibrant. I wonder about having grains at maybe one meal, or alternating days. Keep the insulin response always guessing. Just a thought. I have read a few things on the subject of alternating low calorie days with higher calorie days to get the burn without the interruption to your metabolism. I say all's well that ends well. Bingeing obviously is never good, but a tiny indulgence once a week or every couple of weeks seems like decent management to me.

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  20. I happen to KNOW that if you look up SUCCESS in the dictionary, you will see a picture of AMBER there. This journey - what a great journey it is, is inspirational, and OH SO clearly, not about the destination. BIG hugs from BIG sis! You motivate me every day, whether we talk, text or I just read your blog.

    I need a WWAD bracelet.

    LOVE YOU! Can't wait for my weigh in FRIDAY!

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  21. Amber you are a great role model! Your pictures say it all! I too am struggling without the grains, I have 1/2 marathon in Canada this week & a mini triathlon in July. I'm thinking of going back to Jorge original 15/6 as well. Thank you for your honesty. Do you think having grains only before 3pm comes into play at all?

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    1. This time I did some of Mark Sisson's ideas for marathon training grain free. I added a little potato, sweet potato and beans back in the last week. http://www.meandjorge.com/2012/04/running-grain-free.html

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  22. I am so inspired by you and look forward to your blogs! I use MFP too, but how do you keep up with the 5/2 BFC rules for each meal using the app?

    I always have to delete a prior meal to know if I am in the 5/2 range for the next meal.

    I just wanted to know if I am missing out on a trick. :)

    Thanks for any tips!
    Janna

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    1. Janna, it takes a little setup but it does track per meal and day for me. Follow this post and see if it works, although Ive heard someone else say theirs doesnt do a meal subtotal too: http://www.meandjorge.com/2012/01/my-fitness-pal-and-belly-fat-cure.html

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    2. Thank you so much for responding! I did follow that post and changed my total carbs and sugars, but you are right I cannot get mine to subtotal... Any idea how to set that part up or how to get there?

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    3. Wait! Are you looking on the actual website or on the iphone app? I am using the iphone app and it won't subtotal.

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  23. Amber, I have to be a bit of a dissenter and admit... I am kind of glad that you are going back a bit more towards the original BFC. Your blog's one that I looked to for guidance around the time I began BFC. But when you went to FT, I kind of wasn't able to relate so much anymore. I understand there are naysayers whether you include limited grains/legumes or exclude them completely, and I understand enough the reasons behind either choice. But if the point of doing either is to ultimately feel good, you do what feels good to you! I think you are beautiful and know what an inspiration you are to many people - thank you!

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    1. Thanks for your honesty Becky! I actually really thought bought my BFC readers when I made the switch long term and hoped you all would stick with me - so thank you!

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  24. Amber, I so agree with what you said. Sometimes you have to change things up a bit. It's like keeping your body guessing. I need some grains, although I try to limit them too.You look great, and just the fact that you are aware and monitoring yourself is important. That's how I got to be overweight. I wasn't checking in with myself or paying attention to what was going on with my body. Sending hugs and love for your continued success!

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  25. Amber, this is the first time I'm actually posting to your blog. I have been following you for quite some time and found you an inspiration. I was upset when Jorge started FAST TRACK. It was so much like Atkins to me I felt discouraged. For 1-1/2 years, I followed Atkins and lost quite a bit of weight until the time I decided to eat just one Girl Scout Thin Mint and wound up eating the whole box. Yes my body was crying out for carbs and found myself cheating. When I happened upon your blog, it was like a breath of fresh air. I was disappointed when you started Fast Track. I feel you can't deprive your body of certain foods because it will catch up with you in the end. I'm happy your back on BFC! I look forward to following you on your journey back. Thank you for your insights, your recipes, products, etc. Good Luck. J. Wilson

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  26. I'm so glad I read this post! I feel the same way! I tried cutting out grains and definitely felt deprived and now I don't feel so bad going back to the original 15/6. You look amazing Amber!!

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