8/26/2014

How To Start And End Your Day With Love

By Laura Moncur @ 2:35 pm — Filed under:

I read the headline to this old Sara Lee advertisement and I thought to myself, “THAT! That was my problem for so long!”

How To Start and End Your Day With Love from Starling Fitness

It reads:

How to start and end your day with love.

Pecan Morning Love

Strawberry French Cheesecake Evening Love

That’s what we all want, right? We want to start our day with love and we want to end our day with love. The only problem with this ad is the idea that it comes in a pie tin.

I’m not villianizing pie and coffee cake, mind you. You can work a slice of pie into your diet as well as any other high calorie food. I’m just pointing out that sweets and desserts are NOT love.

Love is a hug. Love is a kind smile when we make a mistake. Love is a calm and loving response when we have a bad day. Love is NOT food.

Oh, but it can FEEL like it sometimes. That’s why it fools us. Sometimes love MAKES a pie, but it’s the person who made the treat, NOT the treat that is the expression of love. Don’t get fooled.

Or maybe love isn’t around, but there’s pie and when I eat it, it ALMOST feels like love. Yeah, that dopamine response is good, but honestly it’s not THAT good. It’s close, but a hug is much, much better.

So marketing is doing what marketing does best and fools me into thinking that a Sara Lee coffee cake IS love, but they are wrong. So how can I do it? How do I start and end my day with love?

GIVE IT AWAY.

If you want more love in your life, you MUST be the first one to give it away.

Love Isnt Love Till You Give It Away from Starling Fitness

I know it sucks that you have to put your heart out there on the line. I know that as much love as you give out to strangers, lovers and acquaintances will never come back to you in the same form or quantity. But it WILL come back. All you need to do is honestly love others and SHOW them it every morning and every night and you can start and end your day with love. No pie required…

Images via

8/11/2014

The Tools of Recovery: A Plan of Eating

By Laura Moncur @ 12:09 pm — Filed under:

What Should I Eat? by seirenn-d4ce272 at deviant artPart of the reason I have enjoyed so much success with Overeaters Anonymous is because of their tools of recovery. You can read more about them here:

Before I ever came to OA, I had a plan of eating, but the only problem was I couldn’t follow it. Having a plan of eating is essential to recovery, but it’s the one that most of us already have. It’s something that we all have been desperately trying to follow for years until the day when we realize that we just can’t do it.

Ironically, the plan of eating is what so many newcomers to OA are looking for. “What am I supposed to eat?” “What constitutes ‘abstinence?’” I remember when I first attended an OA meeting in the conference room of the physical rehabilitation hospital, I stayed after the meeting expecting the nice lady to tell me exactly what I had to eat and how to measure whether I was abstinent or not. I was very frustrated when she told me that I had to decide.

They’re all a buncha hippies.

That’s what I told Mike. They just let anyone decide what to eat to lose weight. That doesn’t make any sense. But honestly, it was EXACTLY what I needed. We have all starved ourselves. We have all jumped on those strange food bandwagons that promised us svelte figures if we only eat certain foods or swallow magic concoctions. We have been doing this for so long that we KNOW (with a capital K), what we should eat to keep healthy, strong and to lose weight. We know WHAT to do. We just couldn’t do it.

So, I showed up at OA knowing to put my weight into my Lose It! app every day and let it tell me how many calories to eat. I showed up at OA knowing that if I eat every two and a half hours, I was less likely to binge and more able to STOP eating after each tiny meal. I KNEW how to eat to lose weight, but following any program was a struggle. The plan of eating was something I could always follow for a week or two (until the end, when I couldn’t even follow it for a few hours), but I was white-knuckling it. It was sheer will-power that kept me on a plan of eating. The OTHER tools helped me stay on the plan.

Don’t get me wrong. A plan of eating is important. Without it, we would slip into day-long binges just like before. All of us know how we SHOULD be eating. We came to OA because we couldn’t do it.


Overeaters Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog.

Image via: What should I eat? :33 by Seirenn on deviantART

8/3/2014

The Dual Benefits of my Silent Refeeding Alarms

By Laura Moncur @ 8:35 am — Filed under:

I have been on a refeeding schedule for several months now. I talked about the idea here:

Back then, I wrote:

After months of not being able to follow my plan for more than an hour each morning, I finally have a tiny modicum of success. It appears that refeeding works for anorexics and binge eaters alike.

Fitbit Flex from Starling FitnessI now have months of success following my plan of eating and I can honestly say that it has helped me. I’ve released 45 pounds over the last six months, taking life one healthy meal at a time.

My FitBit goes off at 7:30 am for breakfast, 10 am for snack, 12:30 pm for lunch, 3 pm for a snack, 5:30 pm for dinner and finally 8 pm for a snack. It’s a good schedule for me and I can always tell myself if I’m hungry that I can eat again when my alarm goes off. It’s never more than two and a half hours away.

My riskiest behavior is when I skip meals. My FitBit will go off and I’ll think, “I’m not hungry right now. I’ll just skip this one.” I’m usually okay if I just skip one alarm, but if I skip two, I’m too hungry and find that I’m tempted to eat way too much.

And then the intrusive food thought came…

Mike and I were going to Las Vegas last week for our anniversary. I wanted to eat in Vegas those foods that are just not available at home. That’s just fine and can be fit into my eating plan, but the bad thought came to me, “I’ll just skip breakfast and morning snack and then I’ll have more calories for lunch and dinner in Vegas.”

This, my friends, is THE definition of my binge-eating disorder. That single thought is what has undermined me time and time again. It’s the thought that triggers months of bingeing. It’s the thought that brought me to the weight of 231.8 pounds at my highest. I have gotten down to 185 pounds eating when the alarms go off, so I’m not about to sacrifice that success.

There is a dual benefit to my silent refeeding alarms on my FitBit. Not only do they keep me from eating between meals, preventing me from bingeing all day long. They also keep me from starving myself. They tell me to eat, even when I think that I can go without food. As long as I treat those alarms like a command instead of a recommendation, I am able to keep my food intake within my caloric restrictions. Paradoxically, by forcing myself to eat every two and a half hours, I eat LESS.

The Vegas trip, by the way, was a complete success. I realized that I was having an unhealthy food thought and ate when the alarm told me to. It went off at 7:30 am and I ate a small and healthy breakfast. It went off again at 10 am and I had a snack. It went off a third time at 12:30 pm and we still weren’t in Vegas, so I had another snack. Even though I wanted to “save” those calories for Vegas, I ate something. When we rolled into town, my 3 pm alarm was going off, so we had lunch then at the place we wanted. Because I wasn’t starving, I was able to share a dish with Mike, even though there was some weird ordering mistake and they gave us TWO entrees instead of one.

If I hadn’t had my breakfast and those two snacks, I would have eaten that second entree all by myself instead of sharing one with Mike. When you look at the calories, I would have eaten MORE if I skipped breakfast and snacks. Instead, we got a to-go box and put that extra entree in the hotel fridge and I ate it for breakfast over the next two days.

If you are having a hard time keeping to your plan of eating or if you feel like you are hungry ALL the time, try setting alarms for yourself every two and a half hours. EAT when they go off, without question. It doesn’t have to be a lot of food. It can be a snack as small as five almonds or a few carrot sticks, but EAT. And then, DON’T eat between the alarms. If you still feel hungry, tell yourself, “I can eat when the next alarm goes off.” It’s only two and a half hours away. You can do anything for two hours. You will be SHOCKED at how easily you are able to stay within your caloric restrictions.

Related entries:

4/23/2014

It’s Never About The Food

By Laura Moncur @ 4:09 pm — Filed under:

For the last four months, I have been steadily losing weight. I’ve been keeping my dopamine levels high without eating sugar and watching myself. I’ve learned a very important lesson in these last few months.

It’s never about the food. It’s about WHY I want to eat the food.

Whenever I start to feel uneasy or discontent, then I know that something is wrong with me emotionally. I’m scared about something, or maybe I’m worried about something. The fact that I might be tempted to eat an entire bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups isn’t about the candy. It’s about my emotional state.

This is a lesson that has taken me YEARS to learn. I’ve always known that I’ve eaten for emotional reasons, but I was never successful at stopping the never-ending eating compulsion. I am finally able to feel that feeling of hatred for myself and recognize it for what it is. I’m upset about SOMETHING and it has transmogrified into self-hatred and self-destruction, thus, the peanut butter cups.

The WORST part is that I can’t really teach someone else about this. As much as I might try to talk about it here, that feeling that starts the binge is different for every person. I can’t teach you how to recognize that feeling because I’m sure it manifests itself differently in you. In fact, it might not even manifest as a desire to binge. It might manifest as lack of hunger or the unstoppable urge to cut yourself.

It makes me feel so hopeless as a writer for Starling Fitness, because I feel like I’m healing and I don’t know how to pass on that healing.

4/8/2014

PostSecret: Soap on the Cake

By Laura Moncur @ 12:50 pm — Filed under:

This postcard from PostSecret reminded me of how I stayed in my addiction to food for so long.

PostSecret - Soap On The Cake from Starling Fitness

It reads:

I had to put soap on this so I wouldn’t eat it out of the garbage. It wasn’t even that good.

I knew that putting soap on food was a sign of disordered eating. I remember throwing away cake and thinking, “See, I’m not that bad. I can throw away cake and not have to soap on it like those poor people who are binge eaters.”

It was a way that I tricked myself. I wasn’t a binge eater because I could throw away food without getting it out of the garbage. Of course, nothing was stopping me from going to the store and buying another cake, some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and a bag of Munchos. And I did…

The worst part of that postcard is the last sentence:

It wasn’t even that good.

THAT is the wretched betrayal of this disease. The longer we live in it, the less dopamine charge we get from bingeing, so foods that used to taste divine don’t taste as good as they used to. They start to taste bland and we are ever-searching for a better dessert or salty snack.

I can’t believe how many lies I told myself about my binges. Just a few months ago, I would have smugly nodded at this postcard, not realizing that disordered eating comes in many shapes and sizes. Just because I refuse to eat out of the garbage can doesn’t mean that I’m not a binge eater.

The telling aspect of this disease is that last sentence. Wanting to binge and when I did, it didn’t even taste that good, is THE definition of the biological problems that occur with binge eating. If you are noticing this trend in your eating, get some help, because this problem only gets worse the longer you have it.


PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.

3/29/2014

Sardines – What Was I Afraid Of?

By Laura Moncur @ 8:20 am — Filed under:

Sardines - What Was I Afraid Of? from Starling FitnessA friend on Lose It! had recommended sardines. He said that they are great for protein and they were healthier for me than tuna fish. According to Wikipedia, he’s right:

Sardines are rich in vitamins and minerals. A small serving of sardines once a day can provide 13 percent of vitamin B2; roughly one-quarter of niacin; and about 150 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin B12. All B vitamins help to support proper nervous system function and are used for energy metabolism, or converting food into energy. Also, sardines are high in the major minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and some trace minerals including iron and selenium. Sardines are also a natural source of marine omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies suggest that regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids reduces the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease. These fatty acids can also lower blood sugar levels. They are also a good source of vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B12, and protein.

Because they are low in the food chain sardines are very low in contaminants such as mercury, relative to other fish commonly eaten by humans.

Cool, I thought, but a vivid memory hindered me. My grandpa used to love sardines, but my grandma wouldn’t allow them in the house. If he wanted to eat them, he had to sit out on the porch with a fork and the tin. The can wasn’t even allowed in the house. He had to throw away the tin in the outside garbage bin.

If she thought they were that terrible, how good could they be?

Sardines - What Was I Afraid Of? from Starling Fitness

It took me over a month, but I finally bought a can and tried them. Now, I feel like an idiot. They taste great. Just like tuna in oil, in fact, and no smellier. The next time I’m feeling like tuna, I’m just going to buy sardines instead. Less mercury than tuna, better for the environment and tastes the same as tuna fish. I’m sold!

3/26/2014

Give Me My BROCCOLI!!

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I adore this animated GIF I found on work sweat achieve!

Give Me My Broccoli from Starling Fitness

That first cat is all, “I’m not eating THAT!” The second cat is like, “Give me my BROCCOLI!!”

I want to be like the second cat. I want to love broccoli so much that I am willing to fight for it.

This image is from this YouTube video. You can see it in full here:

The last time I had broccoli was at Sizzler last Friday. I ordered the steak and had it with blue cheese crumbles and mushrooms. I moved the mushrooms and blue cheese off my steak onto my broccoli to make it more palatable.

Why can’t I just love it for the cruciferous veggie that it is? It’s supposed to make my brain more healthy so I can enjoy life with less hits of dopamine. When am I going to start CRAVING it like the kitty in that video?

3/18/2014

Apple Juice Hater!

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I LOVE this comic talking about his apple juice. It attracted me because the first thing he says is:

“I realized recently that my judgment gets more messed up by food and juice than it does by drugs and alcohol.”

I have made that same realization myself…

I love that point where he realizes that the man is judging him differently than he thought.

“I was so caught up in the euphoria of having all that apple juice, that for like a minute, I lived in world where racism didn’t exist.”

Hannibal Buress - Apple Juice Hater from Starling Fitness

YES! Food can literally make me forget that there are other ills in the world. I can be so involved in thinking about what I’m going to eat next that I forget about everything else. THAT is the craziness about food. THAT is the powerlessness and I need to admit and accept about myself EVERY day.

Via: WIL WHEATON dot TUMBLR — aspeckamongdots: I don’t think I’ve ever laughed…

3/8/2014

Keurig Coffee Pods: Sendin’ U Packin’

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I’ve had a never ending problem with caffeine that I’ve talked about for over ten years:

I have limited my caffeine intake to a single Coke Zero every day. I’ve always said that coffee is the cheapest way to get a caffeine dose, but a cup of coffee is not consistent. What I get from a pot of coffee at a convenience store is different from my automatic drip coffee maker at home, which is also different than what I would get from the local barista.

Keurig K75 Platinum Brewing System at Amazon.comKnow what IS consistent? Keurig coffee makers.

I get the same amount of caffeine every time from that machine, if it will keep working. We LITERALLY have returned three machines because they keep on breaking.

Now, I learn that Keurig is trying to prevent people from using coffee pods from other companies in their machines.

“Green Mountain has announced a new anticompetitive plan to maintain its monopoly by redesigning its brewers to lock out competitors’ products. Such lock-out technology cannot be justified based on any purported consumer benefit, and Green Mountain itself has admitted that the lock-out technology is not essential for the new brewers’ function. Like its exclusionary agreements, this lock-out technology is intended to serve anticompetitive and unlawful ends.”

So, when my current machine breaks, (and it WILL very soon, I guarantee it because they all do) the new machine will only work with pods that pay for the extra DRM or that come from Keurig. It’s kind of a crappy thing to do to your customers, so I’m sending the Keurig machine to the thrift store.

As Wil Wheaton says: “Friends don’t let friends use pod coffee makers.”

Update 08-03-14

Folgers Flavors Hazelnut Ground Coffee at Amazon.comI DID send the Keurig machine packing. Right after writing this article, I pulled down the automatic drip machine from the top of the cupboards and started using it, leaving the Keurig unplugged, but ready for me if I wanted to go back. The thing that I liked best about the Keurig was the variety of flavored coffees. I had no idea that I could get so many varieties for my automatic drip machine, but Folgers has been VERY busy.

They also have a wide variety of roasts (i.e. French, Country, Breakfast, House) for every taste. EVERYTHING that I loved about the Keurig has been easily replaced with my old automatic drip coffeemaker and each cup costs me a few cents instead of a dollar. I haven’t missed the Keurig for the last few months, so I gave it away and didn’t look back.

3/7/2014

P3: A Truck Stop Miracle

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

We had a heinous drive down to St. George this last weekend. I was driving a big truck and my husband was following behind me in our car, hauling the camper. That would have been stressful enough on its own, but there was a torrential rain interfering with that drive that put my nerves on edge.

It was just the kind of thing that has caused me to binge in the past.

We stopped for gas in Parowan at a truck stop. I looked around the store because my alarm for dinner had gone off over a half hour ago. I was hungry and stressed, but everywhere I looked, there was food that made my intestines bleed. Bread, bread, everywhere and not a bite to eat. I was seconds away from a meltdown when I took a deep breath and decided to let Mike decide what I should eat because he wasn’t crazy like I am.

The second I decided to hand over the decision for food over to someone else, I saw it in the fridge section. It was called P3.

P3 - A Truck Stop Miracle from Starling Fitness

It was a bit of cheese, a bit of ham and some almonds. Not too much food, just enough protein to keep me fed and from freaking out. And all that for only 160 calories. It’s made by Oscar Mayer and finding it felt like a Truck Stop Miracle.

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