Diet Book Review: The Four-Day Win

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

The Four Day Win: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner PeaceIf you have ever had trouble with binge-eating, you need to buy this book today. Seriously, stop reading this review and buy The Four Day Win by Martha Beck. I have been dealing with my bingeing for years and this book has the best thing for me ever since I realized I had a problem.

Unlike most diet books, she starts at the beginning. Most diet books jump right into what you should eat and how you should exercise. They spend most of their pages on recipes and exercise descriptions. Not so with The Four Day Win. She spends most of the book helping you heal your brain and body from all the dieting damage you have been doing over the years.

Damage? Yeah, the psychological damage of starving yourself every time you go on a diet. THAT damage.

Remember Margaret Cho’s F**K It Diet? Martha Beck has taken it to the next level to help you heal that child within yourself who has been starved over and over.

Remember how I told you that you shouldn’t get rid of all your favorite food in the house like EVERY other fitness expert tells you that you should do? Martha tells you why that it is so important to keep lots of your favorite foods in the house.

Remember how I told you that you could eat anything you want? Martha gives you even more ways to heal yourself so that when you eat, you are able to keep yourself healthy.

This book is EVERYTHING that I knew instinctively about my own bingeing, plus a bunch of ways to make myself able to eat healthy. If you have ever had trouble with bingeing, buy this book right now.


Healthy and Happy List

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

Daily TrackingYesterday, I provided journal pages to download and use for writing your Inner Workouts and keep track of your healthy eating and exercise. In the Daily Tracking Section, I had a spot to check off my Healthy and Happy List. It took me awhile, but I have a list of things that keep me healthy and happy. The more of these things that I can do, the better my life runs and the happier I am. I wanted to explain each one here:

Exercise: Exercising every day not only helps me be healthy, it boosts my mood. After only a month of regular exercising, I realized that I needed to put it on my list.

Eat Healthy: When I eat healthy, I feel a sense of pride in myself, so it boosts my mood. Mostly, it’s on the list so that I’ll be healthy and strong.

Clean Something: I have a hard time being happy in a cluttered and messy house. All I have to do is tackle one household chore a day to substantially improve my mood.

Sleep 8 Hours: This number might be different for you, but I need at least eight hours of sleep every night to function. It’s really hard for me to be upbeat and happy when I’m struggling to stay awake.

Create Something: Allowing myself a little time every day to be creative is really important to me. All it takes is a small craft project or a few rows of crochet to make me happier.

Journal: I already talked yesterday about how regular journaling keeps me happy and less likely to binge. I find it ironic that there is a check mark in the actual journal. If I don’t journal, then I usually don’t fill out my Healthy and Happy List. It seems like if I don’t journal, everything falls apart.

Work: Work is an important part of life. If I don’t work, I don’t make money, but if life is ALL work, then I end up feeling deprived and unappreciated, even though it was me who pushed myself so hard. I need to make sure I do some work every day, but not so much that I don’t get to check off the other boxes on my list.

Play: I love to play video games. I love to read trashy sci-fi novels. I love to play with my pets. I love to watch movies. I love to watch television. I put all entertainment on such a low priority, though that I end up having binges if I don’t incorporate a little bit of play into my life at all times. I need to give myself permission to enjoy a movie or video game a little bit every day to prevent those strange days when all I do is sit on the couch and watch Star Trek: The Next Generation reruns.

Social: Sending personal emails, calling on the telephone and actually seeing friends in person are all social things. Sometimes I neglect the most important people in my life and other times, I plan so many social things that I’m sick of people. I need to find a balance to keep myself happy. That’s why social is on the list. If I do a little bit every day, I won’t neglect and I won’t get “peopled-out.”

Read: I love to read books, but that is categorized in the Play section for me. This is more work related. I need to keep up on the latest technology, fitness and travel information to do my job correctly, so I have a ton of weblogs that I read. If I am able to read them, I feel more control of my work life and it makes me happy.

This list probably has little to do with YOUR personal happiness. That’s why the journal pages are in Excel format instead of Adobe Acrobat. You can change the journal pages to match what you need every day to keep you happy. Take a few minutes and really think about what makes you happy. Make a list add it to your personalized journal pages.


Journal Pages To Download

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

My journal...As I printed some journal pages for the new year, I realized that I have never shared these with you. Every day, I write a personal journal by hand. It’s very therapeutic and one of the ways I have come to depend on to stay on track. I made these journal pages using Microsoft Excel, but you can also open them up using OpenOffice, which is free.

This spreadsheet will probably have to be tweaked to work on your printer, but it can be printed double-sided, so that you will have nice journal pages. I have it available in both paper sizes: 8 1/2″ X 11″ and 5 1/2″ X 8 1/2″. I use the 5 1/2″ X 8 1/2″ size and put them in a comb binder so that my journal is very portable. You can download the journal pages here:

Daily TrackingThese spreadsheets are really just lined paper with a Daily Tracking on each page. You can see the Daily Tracking is just a simple spot where I can record my healthy eating habits, the Points I’ve eaten each day and other things. I’ll talk about the Healthy & Happy List tomorrow.

I use these journal pages for my Inner Workouts. Every day I write out my feelings and worries. It really helps me to stay focused and keep happy. I’ve noticed that the days I’m most tempted to binge are the days when I don’t write in my journal. It has become so helpful to me that I still write every single day.


You Can Eat Anything You Want

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

Yep, it’s true.

You can eat anything you want. You just can’t eat EVERYTHING you want.

You can eat anything you want and still lose weight. You just can’t eat everything you want.

You couldn’t even eat EVERYTHING you wanted if you tried. Believe me, I tried. No matter how much I ate, I still wanted to eat more. Since I can never satisfy my bingeing, it doesn’t matter that I eat light now. I didn’t feel satisfied when I tried to eat everything, so there’s no point in trying that again.

How do I eat anything I want and still lose weight? PORTION CONTROL.

Picture provided by Worth1000

If I want a Big Mac, I get a Big Mac and I eat a quarter of it. That was unheard of for me before I started eating healthy. If I ordered a Big Mac, I ate the whole thing, even if two bites filled me up. I was so disconnected from my body that I never knew when to stop. Now, I eat a few bites and leave it at that. I can buy myself another Big Mac if I’m hungry in two hours. They’re cheap.

Sometimes I eat two bites and bring the rest home. I eat a couple of bites for a snack later and the rest for dinner. Sometimes I don’t even need to eat it. Sometimes knowing that I can have carrot cake and it’s in the fridge for me is enough. Sometimes just buying the dessert is just as fulfilling as eating it ever was.

Next time you’re feeling deprived, remember this:

You can eat anything you want. You just can’t eat EVERYTHING you want.


All I Have Is Now

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

Click here to see the video You’re still my workout buddy and I talk to the camera, imagining you seeing me workout on the treadmill. Here is a little clip from one of my workouts. I was walking during my warmup and I realized that all I have is today. I can eat healthy today. I can exercise today. I can’t change yesterday and tomorrow isn’t here yet. All I have is now.


Watch Out For That Sigh

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

Click Here To See The Video I videotaped myself exercising the other day. I talked to the camera, letting you be my workout buddy. There are so many times when I have no one to talk to when I’m exercising, so I thought talking to the camera might be interesting. After going through thirty minutes of video, this minute and a half is all that I’m willing to share with you.


Running Photos From Flickr

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

As of 04-10-2006, there are 20,590 photos tagged with the word running. A lot of them are of race participants and children, but some of them are surpisingly inspiring.

Here is a slideshow of my favorites:


Five Buck Workout

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

When I was deciding which gym we should join, I looked at the Salt Lake County Recreation Centers. The fees at our closest facility were $5.00 for a daily pass. As I look at the website right now, it seems that their rates are the same even though it has been three years.

This is the origin of my idea that a workout costs five bucks.

The Five Buck Workout Rule from Starling Fitness

It cost five dollars, to workout at the county recreation sites, so I now judge EVERYTHING by that measure. If I look at a workout video and it costs twenty dollars, I think to myself, “Will I work out with that thing for at least four times?” I usually have a workout video memorized after two repetitions, so usually the answer is NO. Sometimes I force myself to workout with something enough times for it to “pay for itself.”

I would have to workout with a $700 treadmill 140 times for it to “pay for itself.” That would be three workouts a week for a year for it to pay for itself. Of course, if Mike can workout with it also, then it “pays for itself” faster.

I’ve used this judge of workout equipment for the last three years and it has made me feel so much better about my purchases. That stability ball that felt like such a rip-off at $20 has paid for itself at least four times. Yourself! Fitness was $40 when we bought it over a year ago, but Mike and I have exercised with Maya so many times that I couldn’t count. It was worth the cost.

It even makes me feel better about the workout videos that I HAVEN’T used. That DVD that I bought at Fry’s in Las Vegas because I thought it would be great for working out in the hotel room feels like a waste. It cost twenty bucks and I only exercised with it once. It was a $15 mistake. When I phrase it that way, I feel much better.

Next time you’re looking at exercise equipment, try the Five Buck Workout evaluation. If you are positive that you are going to run on that treadmill three times a week for a year, then it’s worth it. If you have some doubts about your ability to be that consistent, then you can pass it by without another thought.


Video Confessional

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

Click Here To Watch Video ConfessionalMike was out of the house and I was struggling. I wanted to binge while he was gone and couldn’t see me. I sat down with my camera and had a 33-minute conversation. Here is the 1:48 minutes that are worth listening to.

I wish I could say that I’m completely over bingeing, but I’m not. It’s easier today than it was five years ago, and I’m hoping that it will be easier tomorrow than it is today.


The Hidden Plateau – Part 2

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

I had figured out the reasons in my head why I kept gaining and losing the same 10 pounds for two years, but I still ran into trouble once I was able to get that under control. The second element of the Hidden Plateau was just as difficult for me to find, even though it was right under my nose:

I was lying to myself.

We are at our worst when we lie to ourselves, because we can’t even see it when it happens. I can tell if a diet pill advertising lies to me, but when I lie to myself, there is no one there to point the finger and yell, “Baloney!” Here are a couple of ways that I lied to myself.

Portion Control:

I had stopped measuring. Cereal in the morning was the worst. I had been following the program for over two years, so I thought I knew what 3/4 cup of cereal looked like in my bowl, but when I actually got real with myself and pulled out those measuring cups again, I was shocked at how much I had actually been eating. Sometimes it was twice the serving size, which had doubled my caloric intake. No wonder I was having trouble losing weight.

Risky Restaurants:

I would purposely go to restaurants that didn’t have published nutrition facts so I could estimate the calories for the meals. These estimates turned out to be hilariously less than they should have been. Even I could see through this lie, but it didn’t stop me from continuing the bad habit. For the longest time, my favorite restaurant only had minimal nutrition facts posted on their website. It wasn’t until I downloaded the full list that I found out the the bowl of pasta that I estimated at 350 calories was actually 550 calories. That sort of difference was what was stalling my weight loss.

Shoddy Exercise:

When I started exercising, I wasn’t able to do much without overloading myself. I had gotten into a routine of running the same course on the treadmill (or around the neighborhood) every day. I would “forget” to wear my heart rate monitor, telling myself that I could tell how hard I was working. It wasn’t until I started using my heart rate monitor religiously that I realized that I had been slacking. Exercise that used to be in the high intensity range was really in the moderate or light range now, but I had been counting it as high. Now, I wear my HRM every time I exercise, no matter what. If I’m going to spend time working out, I want it to actually do me some good.

Re-evaluate yourself. Have you been lying to yourself at all? If you are, that might be the reason behind your weight loss plateau. Truly looking at myself with eyes wide open helped me far more than the pat and easy answers that were handed to me by gurus.

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