For most of my life I was, if not average weight a little bit skinny. In grade school almost everyone was bigger than I, when it came to the casual bump in the hall I usually lost. So when I quit smoking and my weight jumped from 145 to 160 I didn't think much about it, the extra bulk felt good. But when the weight continued to rise to 170, 180 and finally 190, I realized this had to stop and went on my first diet. Still struggling with the nicotine addiction, I attacked the situation with a three faced offense. First was diet, I kept track of my calorie intake and kept it below 2000 a day. There was a time after a few weeks that I celebrated by going out to a smörgDsbord and consumed an estimated 4,000 calories at one sitting. Second was exercises. I was already taking night classes at the local university and one of the benefits of that was a free membership to the university gym. Every night that I had class I would show up about 2 hours early and work out, swim and shower. Thirdly was spiritual (Mind, Body, and Soul). I began going to church and meditating on God, transposing my requirements to some external source. Come to find out that God was in me, so in a way it reflected back to myself but with some supernatural power. The plan worked and after several months I not only stopped increasing weight but dropped to a comfortable 165. You know what happened next, I stopped my diet and exercises program but stabilized at a slightly overweight 180 pounds. after 4 years I picked up smoking again, but somehow the reverse doesn't work, I never lost weight by smoking.
In 1998 with increasing pressure from anti smoking advocates, I began to realize that sooner or latter they would MAKE me quit smoking, so I decided to do it on my own terms. I placed 4 cigarettes with the date and a message "For Emergency Use Only" and sealed them in a glass tube, and gathered my resources, a nicotine patch, will power, and support, and just quit, cold turkey. It was a holiday weekend and so I had several days to isolate myself and not work. The second and third days I was working in the yard so hard Trying to keep my mind off smoking that I couldn't keep the patch on so I gave up on the patch and truly went cold turkey. After about a week I stopped to fill up my car with gas, and found a pack of cigarettes that someone had left on the pump. Never before in history or sense have I ever seen a pack of cigarettes left anywhere. Must have been some omen. I had already used two of my Emergency cigarettes and was determined to keep the last two for keeps sake. As I continued to fill up my gas tank my eyes kept returning to that pack of cigarettes. The pack had been opened, could they have been poisoned? would the owner show up just about the time I took one ( I didn't want to take the entire pack I knew that would start me smoking all over again, but just one, just one little cigarette). As I hung the pump up I quickly looked around, grabbed the pack and slid a cigarette out, two came out and I tried to jam the second one back in but it broke so I stuck both of them in my shirt pocket and put the pack back. On the way home I smoked the good one and really got high. The broken one I kept lighting all night and putting it out. I continue to reflect even today on how I stoled that cigarette.
After about a month I thought I should have been over my nicotine addiction, but the worst was just beginning. You can't concentrate enough to work, but not working just causes you to sit around thinking about a cigarette. One day I just had to get out of the building, so I walked around the block a few times, when I went back in my supervisor called me into his office and wanted to know where I had been. Needless to say I had to find another escape from my addiction. The addiction was so bad I was calling in sick more than I could afford, it was like being pregnant and having the flu all the time, my digestive system became so upset that I would go from constipation to diarrhea within a day and back again. For the next 10 months I didn't gain any weight because of the diarrhea. After about a year by 1999 I began the weight gain. I knew what the outcome would be but even after a year my main focus was still on not picking up that cigarette again. The weight went on 200, 210, 220, 225 if nothing else I had to stop the weight gain. In addition my doctor said that the extra weight was part of the reason for my acid reflux disease Simply loosing weight could eliminate my $100 per month prescription. Two weeks of nothing but cabbage soup. Nothing. That did it, It turned off the compulsive eating and gave me something to think about besides cigarettes, of course to this day I can hardly eat cabbage soup again, which eliminates that as a diet program again. After about 10 months I did get the weight down to about 205 but then it just wouldn't go any lower and so I finally gave up the diet. Yep you know what happened back up to about 220 where it stabilized for several years. Recently I have gradually added another 10 pounds (230). So Its got to stop. I just bought Dr. Phil's book, and just trying to exercise and hold my weight until I finish his book. So far after 4 chapters all I've gotten is that it's my fault but don't beat yourself up.
It's been about two or three weeks now that I've been exercising for about 20 minuets almost every day and then about a 30 minute walk and just generally watching what and how much I've eaten, been keeping lots of vegetables on hand and reducing chips and nuts and I haven't lost a single pound. The human body is extremely resilient. If you reduce your caloric intake the body just uses it more effectively. I know I said I would wait until I finished Dr. Phil's book but today I started my diet. yep Cabbage soup. Earlier in ch 5 I found out I'm not an emotional eater. No big surprise I already knew that it was a result of replacing one addiction nicotine with another food. Now in chapter 6 I have a couple of ideas to try. 1) he states that people who eat while watching TV gain an average of 14 pounds a year, so from now on I'm not going to eat in the living room watching TV. Secondly is the stress reducers. Even though I'm not under stress, in the evenings I watch a lot of TV to relax and listen to very little music. I've got the radio on now, taking rhythmic breaths and it seems to be helping to reduce the hunger. I never did keep food around in plain sight so can't do much to improve that. I rarely eat at fast food restaurants or even leave the house. so that's not the problem. Well we'll see how long I can eat cabbage soup, probably only a day or two.
Two days of not eating and yep I lost one pound. I could do that by taking a piss. It's a start. I have discovered a great modification to the Cabbage soup though. After one day the spicy cabbage soup was all I could take, I had some navy beans left over and mixed some in (just a couple of tablespoons full) with my bowl of soup it really looked like slop that you would take to the pigs but it really made a difference. The beans do double the calories, but they also add a lot of protein and tame down the spicy taste which is good. My recipe is: about:
2 pounds cabbage3 whole carrots diced or whatever2 Large Onions diced2 Stalks Celery1 med bell pepper1 pkg onion soup mix5 beef bouillon cubes2 cloves garlic2 basal leaves1 can tomato juice1 Qt water16 oz cooked navy beanssalt and pepper
That whole pot of soup even with the beans is only about 600 calories. and is enough for several days.