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Thursday, August 06, 2020
Food Addiction

Food Addiction Blog

This blog is about food addiction and overcoming this debilitating disease. As one who fought with food addiction for many years, I understand how overwhelming this addiction can be. Having won my own battle, I wish to help others do the same. Feel free to register and begin posting your own entries. Together, we find strength in numbers!

Blog entries categorized under General Food Discussions

General Food Discussions

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Subcategories from this category: Supplements

I am Back

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Sunday, 09 February 2014
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

 

I know it’s been a while since my last blog.  I have been busy at work and at the same time struggling with my eating habits and the weight gain that followed after the holidays.  I did okay until the beginning of November and then I struggled mightily until about three weeks ago.

 

It has been a constant struggle and I have put on weight, but the good news is that I seem to be back on track now and slowly taking off the extra weight I’ve gained.  No excuses, but I have not been able to exercise as often and as intensely due to back problems and a problem with my wrist, knee and shoulder.   I know that is part of the reason for the weight gain.  I was not burning off the calories.  Also, I was not eating clean and consequently, the weight was slowly creeping up.

 

For now, I am once again back on the program and I have a good feeling that I will keep going in the right direction.  Three perfect weeks behind me and I’m still in the zone.  I have started researching and experimenting with foods that could help to reduce inflammation in the joints which may help me with some of the discomfort I am having in my shoulder, back and knee.

 

I’ll share the information I find on what foods are working to reduce inflammation in my next blog.  Meantime, I’m happy with my progress and my continued focus.  I feel so much better physically and mentall

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Know the Difference Between Hunger and Cravings

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Monday, 02 September 2013
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Hunger is certain to make you want to eat.  Hunger is a state where your body and brain are depleted of nutrients and your system is asking your body to resupply them.  Many people rarely get to the point of feeling hungry because they are driven to eat by what is going on in their lives and not by the actual feeling of hunger.  For example, emotional eating is common in people that suffer from eating disorders because they are using food to make them feel better.  For many years I used  binge eating to make myself feel better when I was stressed.  It is my opinion that many of us are driven to eat unhealthy foods because of the food and beverage manufacturers.  Processed food and sugary drinks are known to cause cravings.  The processed food makers and sugary beverage makers can accomplish these cravings with its one main ingredient, sugar.

I believe that people should take responsibility for their own actions.  I also believe that when predators like the processed food  and sugary beverage manufacturers are allowed to target advertise to children, they are no better than the makers of cigarettes, who, before they were forced to limit how they could advertise, flooded the market from teenagers to adults pushing their nicotine-laden products. They know that their products are likely to create lifelong problems for their consumers yet in the interest of sales, they continue to develop new products which hook unsuspecting users.

My struggle with sugar continues.  I have not had a sugary beverage in almost 13 years.  Not so with sugary foods such as candy and cakes. I work hard at it all the time and I have become educated and aware of the triggers.  What about you? How do you feel about my views on sugar?

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Proactive Lifestyle Changes

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Monday, 15 July 2013
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Day to day poor eating habits have a way of becoming the “norm” – a way of life that doesn’t merit a second thought.  During the time that I was gaining weight on a daily basis, my poor diet was always in the back of my mind, but when I got very busy with work and other commitments, I always managed to get through the day without worrying about what kind or the amount of food I consumed.  I’d just tell myself that I would start fresh tomorrow.  But tomorrow never came.  And the weight problem became more than just a problem; it became a life or death situation.

 

Letting poor eating habits go on for too long could have dire medical consequences.  Those consequences include, but are not limited to, diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and respiratory problems.  We all face the difficulties of “staying with the program”. . .  staying focused on eating a healthy diet, exercising, and dealing with your underlying issues.  I urge you to take your health seriously now and get help before the medical problems begin.  Once the medical issues take hold and the control is out of your hands, it gets more and more difficult to make the necessary lifestyle changes.  The setback of dealing with any illness saps your strength, your emotional state and your resolve.

 

I was one of those fortunate people who made the decision to get help before I was forced to deal with medical problems.  But I have seen others who are not as fortunate and I can tell you, personally, that it is difficult to watch them struggle both physically and mentally trying to get a grip and take their life back.

 

Think about your own situation and ask yourself if today is the day to seek help in reaching your goal.

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The Book Is For Real

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Wednesday, 17 April 2013
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

After a year of many discussions concerning the book about my struggles with obesity that I've mentioned in previous blogs , we are finally making some traction. The long talked about book is coming together at last. To give you the gist of some of the details that you can expect to read about such as who the authors are, what the subject matter is and what target market would be best served by the content of this book, I offer the following.

The authors are myself, Nick Mirrione, who was born and raised in Massachusetts in 1950 and still resides there, and Dr R. Armor Forse, who was born and raised in Montreal, Canada in 1950 and currently lives in Nebraska.  Nick is the subject of the book and Dr Forse is the Bariatric Surgeon who performed the gastric bypass surgery on Nick on January 16, 2001 that changed his life significantly.

The book will be approximately 17 to 20 chapters in length.  The story begins during Nick's teenage years, growing up in Braintree.  You will read about  a seemingly normal life that somehow tumbles out of control as, over a period of time, his weight begins to yo-yo from an average of 180 pounds to a high of somewhere in the vicinity of 475 to 500 pounds. You will follow him through his Military days, which included two tours in Vietnam, and then the adjustment period when he returned home.  It moves on through his marriage, business successes and failures and the eventual failure of the marriage.  You will follow his struggles with doing anything at all in moderation, and as he moves into middle age and feels time is "running out" on the opportunities to get a handle on his life, you will see how he came to the decision to have gastric bypass surgery, and how that decision brought him to Dr. Forse.

Dr Forse provides background on his own life, along with the evolution of bariatric surgery from the onset, when it got so little respect as a tool in the struggle with obesity, to today's belief that the surgery is a very viable solution for a better quality of life for many patients dealing with morbid obesity.  Dr Forse will take you through the changes and improvements in the methods used over the years and will fill in details as to how the surgery relates to Nick, specifically.

We are making significant progress and our goal is to have the book proposal in the hands of a literary agent by the end of summer and published by the end of November 2013.  Let's see how it goes.

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Underlying Issues

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Monday, 11 March 2013
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Dr Forse, who is the surgeon who performed my gastric by-pass surgery in January 2011, insists that all gastric by-pass patient's need to become aware of and address their underlying issues. Dr Forse goes on to say that there are always underlying issues for bariatric surgery candidates, that is to say anyone with a BMI index ( body mass index) that's over 40 and who's tried diligently to lose weight and has ultimately failed, there is always something underneath- something psychological- that needs to be dealt with. Without getting to the root of and dealing with those issues, even bariatric surgery will not always be successful.

I am in total agreement with Dr Forse that long term success for a bariatric patient essentially requires three primary disciplines.  First, a restriction of calories along with an understanding of what and when to eat. Second, lifestyle changes such as exercise and physical activity and third, the patient needs to identify and and understand how to deal with their underlying issues. This is why diets alone don't work.  Diets are doomed to fail for a patient who ignores the psychological component of why they overeat.

Personally, I am ashamed to admit that it is only now that Dr Forse's words are sinking in to my thick skull.  He has been telling me this for quite some time, but it is only recently that I "got it" and went to see a psychologist.  I made the appointment, in part to search for a clinical diagnosis for the book that Dr Forse and I intend to write.  I thought it was time to verify my self-diagnosis of obsessive compulsive personality disorder whih, I believed showed up as an inability to moderate much of my behavior, especially eating.  I thought I was just wired differently that others and needed to learn to live with that.  I am grateful to Dr Forse for being so patient with me and moving me in the right direction toward identifying my underlying issues. I was amazed at how wrong I was in my self diagnosis.

 

More to come on this subject in my next blog as we learn about the traits that drive me to distraction and consume more of my energy than the should.  For now it is safe to say that I am encouraged by the information that I am gathering.  Sixty two years old and I am still learning who I am and what makes me tick.  Fascinating.

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Post Holiday Let Down

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Monday, 11 February 2013
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

Making it through the holidays was a major accomplishment for me.  I struggled the last two weeks, but I made it through without any deserts or candy or any of the other trigger foods that have a history of knocking me off my program.  But now that the holidays are over, I find that the number of calories are going up and I am having a hard time staying focused on the strict eating program that I was doing so well with from June to January.

I am trying to figure out what has changed.  It is as if I have taken the blinders off that have kept me focused for so long and now being tempted by things like pizza and sandwiches and even an extra slice of my healthy, homemade pumpkin bread that I treat myself to every day. The combination of these foods have moved my caloric intake up from my comfort zone of between 1800 to 2200 calories per day to the 2500 to 2700 range.  Although I have only gained two pounds, I feel lousy and look soft.  I prefer the lean, hard look that my clean, high protein, regular eating program provides.  All of this causes me to be anxious and I deal with that anxiety by exercising harder.  Sort of like trying to outrun the problem rather than facing it.  But if I stop and face the problem, I don't know what to do, so I keep running and hope that I figure it out before I just can't run any more.  When I was in Vietnam, we knew that moving targets had a better chance of survival than stationary ones.  There comes a time, though, when you have to stop moving, and when you do, you could have a fight on your hands.

What a distraction this causes.  I spend way too much of my day thinking about and worrying about what can go wrong if I slip any further.  I do take some pride, however, in the fact that I haven't gone off the wagon to the point where I am eating candy and cake.

Has anyone had the same experience?  Why do you think this happens?  Is there a way to keep it from happening?  Please share your thoughts.

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I made it Through the Holidays without a slip-up

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Tuesday, 08 January 2013
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Well, I can't really say that it was easy, but I can say that I made it through the holidays without falling off the wagon.  When you last heard from me with three weeks to go until the end of the year, I was all pumped up and completely focused.  As we got closer to the finish line, the temptations increased and my resolve was being put to the test.  What is it about the sight and subconscious memory of certain sugar-based foods that has such power over me that I have to use all my concentration and willpower to resist it? 

As I analyze what worked for me this year and did not work in past years, I clearly see that it is zero tolerance for trigger foods that works for me.  As I have said so many times in past blogs, I have the type of make up that has a problem with moderation.  It literally takes only one M&M or one bite of cake or pie for my system to recognize past pleasures and start demanding more of the same.  So powerful are those cravings and demands, that my mind is no match for those urges.  So, after so many years of failure at the moderation approach, this year's goal was to resist all urges and temptation by having absolutely none of those trigger foods.

I am also in the process of trying to figure out why I am like this.  What makes me different from those people we all know who are able to moderate most, if not all, aspects of their life.  I, myself, don't seem to be able to do anything in moderation.  I am going to leave it at that for now because I will  be doing a short series of blogs specifically on that subject of moderation.

In the "baby steps" concept that I try to follow, I made it through the holidays still in my groove.  Present weight 192 and hoping to keep it there.  As always, I welcome dialogue from anyone with similar problems.  I think that dialogue will be helpful to all of us.

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Three Weeks to go and Still Focused

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Tuesday, 11 December 2012
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I am so proud of my daughter Marisa who has lost 63 pounds in the last four months.  If and when she gets into an exercise program, I think she will finally understand the combination that is so critical to long term success.  This is a very difficult time of year to stay disciplined and not be tempted to try "just one special treat".   Marisa never really "got it" when it came to grasping the concept of diet, nutrition and exercise.  This is the best I have ever seen her do, and I will keep you updated on her progress.

As for me, I am on cruise control and not having any problems at all.  I love it when I am this focused because it means that I am not constantly frustrated, afraid or distracted from life while trying to get my eating back on track.

Back to Marisa for a minute.  She is so much like me, it's scarey.  I would guess that many people with overeating disorders are like Marisa and me.  She is a binge eater.  She can do nothing in moderation.  She has to learn everything the hard way.  Like me, she learns best from past failures rather than from listening to the experiences of others.  There are no filters or governors when she starts to binge eat.  Hey, she's 38 years old and if I'm right, and she does have it figured out, then she's 12 years ahead of me.

As for me, with 11 days left until Christmas, I am still doing well.  This is the week that I hit the bump in the road last year, so I am very cautious.  Dinner with friends in Boston coming up on Monday, followed by various exposures to food leading up to Christmas day.  Will keep you posted.  Current weight 192.  Anyone else who'd like to share their struggles, I'd love to hear from you.

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Holiday Overeating Anxiety

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Friday, 02 November 2012
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

Here we are, the week of Halloween and I'm getting anxious about my holiday eating.  I should be worried; the most vulnerable time of year for me is the five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years.  Other than the year of my surgery, 2001, I have never been able to control my eating during this period.  Some years I try harder than others to avoid the traps that lead me down the path of over eating, but let me address the post surgery era.  Every year since 2001, I have slipped up during the holiday season, but last year, I went into Thanksgiving on cruise control - six months of perfect eating.  No sugar, no cream-based foods, no white breads. Then, with two weeks left before the end of the holiday season, I convinced myself that I was so focused, I could have a piece of apple pie and a couple of chocolate covered pretzels and get right back on track.  As usual, I was wrong.  I had been wrong the last hundred times I told myself I could do this, so what made me think I would have different results this time?

As always, my plan for this year is to avoid those trigger foods that cause the problem of overeating.  I know what they are and I am afraid of them because of what they can do to me.  I have said it before, and I will remind myself again; it is a lot of work to stay focused and disciplined, but it is much more work to get back your focus once you lose it.  I will keep you posted as I navigate through the mine field of the holidays.  I can use all the help I can get, so please, if you have some ideas to share about how you handle holiday eating, I would love to hear them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Causes Me To Eat

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Monday, 15 October 2012
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

The experts say that the primary reasons why people overeat are alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation and TV watching.  According to researchers, alcohol consumption has the biggest impact, followed by sleep deprivation (less than 5 1/2 hours per night) and then TV watching.

Personally, I do not consume alcohol of any kind and I usually get 6 hours of sleep each night.  I rarely watch TV, unless it is sports related and when I do watch TV, it seems that I am up and doing things at almost every commercial.  Yet I am as inclined to overeat as anyone else. 

In my case, I think that the cause is a disorder called Binge-eating disorder.  Binge-eating disorder is a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food.  Almost everyone overeats on occasion, such as having seconds or thirds of a holiday meal, but in my case, overeating is caused by eating trigger foods, such as candy, white bread, pasta or cake, to name a few.

Over the years since my Gastric By-pass surgery in January 2001, I have, through the process of trial and error, identified the foods that I can eat on a regular basis that do not cause me to crave more food.  In fact, when I am eating right, I am never hungry and have to almost force myself to eat on a regular schedule so that I take in at least 1900 calories per day.  Among the foods that cause me to have the least cravings are:  egg whites, cottage cheese, white meat fish, chicken and turkey, canned tuna fish, fruits and vegetables, yogurt , rye or whole wheat breads, fat free cheese, peanut butter, bran cereals and skim milk.  My goal is to make sure these foods supply the biggest portion of my diet plan each day.

What do you do to try to avoid overeating? Please share with us.

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What I've Learned about Weight and Fat Cells

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Thursday, 06 September 2012
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If you gain weight, you are probably gaining fat.  If you then lose the weight, you may not be losing the fat.  Therefore, you may weigh less, but be fatter. When you gain weight and fat and then lose the weight, fat cells shrink but don't go away. Try to avoid putting on weight that is a result of increased calorie intake, even for only a short period of time. The reason being that the extra fat cells you add will stay with you and signal your brain that you are hungry.

Fat cells appear most often as upper-body subcutaneous fat ( belly fat) , which is the fat just under the skin.  Fat also can be stored as visceral fat, which is also called deep belly fat or internal fat. Then there is lower body fat which is usually found in the hips, inner thigh and buttock areas. None of these types of body fat are good for you to be carrying around. Excess internal fat will put tremendous pressure on your stomach, pancreas, intestines and other organs. Your organs and glands are responsible for producing hormones. The added pressure from belly fat causes hormonal imbalances and deficiencies found in diabetes and many other health conditions.

When people slim down through diet and exercise, rather than just calorie reduction alone, fat around the organs will disappear twice as fast in comparison to other body fat. Proper nutrition and as little as three days a week of high intensity exercise for 30 minutes per session, can reduce your belly fat and reduce your risk of diabetes significantly. I think that the size of your waist is far more important than what you weigh. Weight does not distinguish between muscle and fat.  Check the Body Mass Index Charts. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.  Check the U S Department of Health and Human Services web site for more information on BMI and to calculate where you stand versus where you should be on body mass.

 

 

 

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Stay Away From Metabolic Syndrome

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Tuesday, 31 July 2012
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

Metabolic Syndrome has five features. They are waist size (more than 35" in women and more than 40" in men), Blood Pressure (top number 130 or more and bottom number 85 or more), Triglycerides (a fasting level of 150 or more), Blood Sugar (a fasting level of 110 or more) and HDL (good) Cholesterol (women less than 50 and men less than 40).  If you have at least three of these features, then you probably have Metabolic Syndrome and you are at an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and several other medical conditions that would put your health and quality of life at risk.

The three primary causes of Metabolic Syndrome, putting genetics aside, are:  eating too much of the wrong foods, drinking sugary drinks and not getting enough exercise. When you eat too much of the wrong foods and drink sugary beverages and don't get enough exercise, the systems in your body cannot effectively handle the processing of fats and sugars and you become insulin resistant.  Insulin is a hormone that assists blood sugar into your bloodstream and muscles to be burned as energy and into your fat cells where it is stored.  When you are insulin resistant, this cannot happen and, consequently, your blood sugar levels rise and the other side effects of Metabolic Syndrome will then follow.

What you need to do right away is see your doctor so you can design a program for you to lose excess weight, decrease the intake of carbohydrates, stop the consumption of all foods and beverages high in sugar content and get you started on an exercise program.  If one of the side effects you have is high triglycerides, you should add fatty fish to your diet or take a Fish Oil supplement.  Again, genetics aside, Metabolic Syndrome is responsive to lifestyle changes.  Make these changes and you will improve your quality of life.

Personally, I have my blood work done on a semi-annual basis.  Being a gastric bypass patient, I am prone to occasional problems caused by foods passing through the digestive system before the vitamins and nutrients can be absorbed.  By knowing all my blood levels, I am often able to make dietary changes to avoid a problem where taking medication may be the only solution.  I urge everyone to take Metabolic Syndrome very seriously.  It is estimated that 25% of American adults have it.  Don't become a statistic and if you already are, please do something about it.  It will make a positive impact on your life.

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You can't outwork or out run a bad eating program

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Saturday, 16 June 2012
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

If you are a reader of this blog, you or someone you know is probably obese or at the very least, overweight.  No doubt you have read the numerous articles that are being published now about the risks of excess weight as it relates to cancer, diabetes, heart disease and a host of other medical issues and you are considering life style changes to improve your quality of life.

I know people who think that its just a numbers game and if they simply cut calories, they will lose weight.  I know others who make no diet changes at all but start an exercise program and expect that to be the answer.  And while they may see some short term gains from those actions, they more often than not fall back into their old ways and reverse any gains they may have made.

No matter how hard you work in the gym or how many miles you walk or jog, if you don't eat right you won't lose weight or get rid of that soft, puffy look. A sensible diet and exercise go hand in hand.  They fuel each other.  That's not to say that if you don't eat right you are wasting your time exercising.  Exercise has many benefits to your health. What I am saying is that if you are hoping to loose weight and improve your health, exercise alone or diet alone is not the long term answer.

What works best for me is a structured, disciplined exercise program combined with a proper diet that provides enough calories for me to maintain my energy. It is important that the eating program you choose allows enough protein so that your body burns fat and not muscle and that you consume enough of the right type of carbohydrates to maintain energy but not trigger cravings.  The amount and quality of fats you consume is also very important.  You should consult your doctor or a nutritionist before you start your program because we are all different and the program you should use will be based on age, health and/or physical restrictions.

If you are committed to changing your life, find out more about the diet and exercise that's right for you.  Be sure to get plenty of rest so that you have the energy and stamina to stick with the program.  It will make a big difference in the outcome.

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Back on Track

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Saturday, 26 May 2012
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

I have now completed 14 days of perfect eating.  I feel so much better physically and I am more relaxed mentally. The damage done, over the past four and a half months that I struggled, added up to a total weight gain of five pounds. I lost four of those pounds in the last two weeks, so I expect that by next week I will be back to 193 pounds,  This is what I weighed the week before Christmas when I foolishly let myself wander away from my structured eating program.  I don't know why I thought that this time there would be a different result from eating sugary desserts and chocolate than the results I saw the last 50 times I ate those foods.  

The difference these past two weeks in my attitude and in my success is that I am totally focused again.  That is the key.  I am sure of it  That means no more than 2000 calories a day except for one day every two weeks when I add 300 to 400 extra carbohydrate calories to the day's total.  My eating program is the same one that has worked for me in the past.  It is based on foods that I like, that fill me up and that do not create cravings.  It took me years to figure out what foods met these requirements and I feel so much better when I am eating this way.

This begs the question, why do I stray from the program?  I have no idea.  It seems that my personality is such that when things are going well, I, for some reason have to try to step outside the program just to see if I can come back and gain control again.  Am I challenging myself?  Is it part of my attraction to risk?  Can someone offer some insight? Just another of those things about me that I don't understand. But for now I will stay focused and enjoy today's success.

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Trying to figure me out

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Wednesday, 16 May 2012
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

For fifty years I tried to figure out why I could not control my eating.  Early on, I felt that it was because I was weak and lacked the discipline and self control that others had that enabled them to eat in moderation.  For quite some time I thought that I was born with more fat genes than most people and was just inclined to put on weight easily.  I saw myself as big boned, thought I had a slow metabolism and a bigger frame than others.  There was no question that I ate more than most people and that I ate an unhealthy diet, but I had to keep trying to rationalize it in my mind and come up with a reason for my problem.

It has taken a while, but I have made a lot of progress in the never ending pursuit of trying to figure me out.  In the past ten years I have come a long way.  I now know that I am not big boned and that my metabolism works the way it is supposed to work and that my frame is a normal size.  The problem is that I have a food addiction, or as I prefer to see it, an obsessive compulsive eating disorder.  When I allow myself to consume one of the trigger foods, I lose control and the cravings push me to overeat, which is when the struggles begin.  And then the race to see which behavior, controlled eating or out of control eating, will prevail.

I now know that this will happen to me every time I let myself have one of the trigger foods.  In my case, sugar, and especially sugar in the form of  chocolate, is my biggest enemy.  I am not forced to have these foods.  I am exposed to them visually whether in a store, a restaurant or at someone's home, and it is completely my choice whether I have them or not.  When I fool myself into thinking that one little taste won't hurt, I always, and I mean always, regret it.

The key to success when this happens is to get back into my comfort zone as soon as possible.  I need to be eating foods that I like and that make me feel full but don't trigger the cravings that cause me to overeat at best, and to binge, at worst.  I know the pattern well.  I drive myself crazy because for some reason, when things are going well, I will foolishly test my mettle again and see if the results will be different this time.  They never are.  So, I ask myself and anyone out there who may be experiencing the same problem, to share your insight.  Why do I keep repeating this same pattern?  I can't figure it out.

 

 

 

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Starting to get some Traction

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Wednesday, 11 April 2012
General Food Discussions 2 Comments

Have had two good weeks in a row but not a great day on Easter Sunday.  So on Easter, I used one of my 7 "cheat" days that I allow during this 13 week program.  Easter was tough.  I ate too much of the good foods and also had some jelly beans and a small piece of the most fantastic vanilla cupcake with cream cheese and coconut frosting that I ever tasted.  I also had a couple of bites of a bunny cake with butter cream frosting.  Other then Easter day, I have been doing fairly well at avoiding the trigger foods.  When I avoid the trigger foods, it is easier for me to stay on the program.  When I am doing well on the eating program, I feel the results immediately; more energy, sleep better, I'm more relaxed and I feel better about myself.

The results also showed up on the scale.  During the three months that I have been struggling, I gained about 5 pounds.  Last week, the week ending Easter Sunday morning, I lost 3 of those pounds.  I have to be extra careful right now because there is a lot of stress involved in my life.  Business is not good and there are some health issues in the family that add to the stress.  It has been established that stress is a factor for those with eating difficulties, and I can attest to that.  Usually, I am able to counter balance the effects of stress by sticking to my regular exercise routine.

Nevertheless, the bottom line is I feel more in control of my eating now than I have in the past three months.  Not totally in control, but making progress and closing in on the struggle.  If anyone is having similar issues, please feel free to share with us how you are dealing or not dealing with it.

1 vote

Struggles Continue

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Monday, 26 March 2012
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I am now into my third month of trying to regain my focus.  I have good days and some that are not so good, but I have, for the most part, been able to avoid the out of control days.  A good day is one where I am able to stay within my comfortable range of 1800 to 2200 calories and a bad day is when I am eating 2200 to 2800 calories.  An out of control day means I have consumed over 2800 calories that day.

Was having dinner last month with my friends Buzz, Tom, Leo and George.  Buzz made the comment that he admired my discipline.  My initial response to that statement was to say that I had no discipline at all, which was why I had such a severe eating disorder.  I told him that what he was, in fact, witnessing was my obsessive compulsive behavior being used to my benefit to help me control my eating problem, rather than my eating problem controlling me. The fact is that I cannot do anything in moderation.  After forty years of trying to understand why I could not control my eating, I finally realized that there is no answer to that question.  My obsessive compulsive personality disorder is not curable, but I have found that the solution to this disorder is in redirecting my energy and focusing it in a positive way.

I have directed my obsessive compulsive behavior toward exercise and obsessing over my eating program.  Even when I am not entirely on track with my eating, as has been the case for the past three months, I am still focusing on what my eating habits should be and trying to get back on track. For some reason, my exercise program never seems to be a problem as it relates to desire or intensity of the workout.  I never seem to lose my focus as it relates to exercise.

Can anyone out there relate to what I am saying?  Please share your thoughts and experiences so we can get some dialogue going on the subject.  Maybe then, we can all understand it a little better.

 

 

0 votes

Holiday Struggles

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Tuesday, 17 January 2012
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Typically, I would stray from my strict eating plan between Thanksgiving and New Years. I would convince myself by rationalizing that it was all about moderation and not deprivation.  Each year I would struggle to get back on track after the holidays ended. Some years I would accomplish this during January and other years I would battle to get back into my eating plan for four to six months, having experienced weight gain and frustration in the process.

This year I stayed focused until the last two weeks of the year when I got weak and had small helpings of deserts on three occasions. That was all that it took. I am now struggling to stop the cravings and variations in my eating habits that leave me feeling uncomfortable. The "hungry horrors" have driven my usual 1900 to 2100 daily calorie consumption to 2300 to 2800 per day. That means I've put on a few pounds and I look and feel softer.

As usual it was the sugar that got me started. On one occasion I had some chocolate covered pretzels, on another it was a very small piece of apple pie and one other time it was three bites of cake with frosting.  I was also having more bread than usual and adding snacks more often because the cravings were calling for more junk food. The impact of these trigger foods is immediate. They sabotage my efforts to eat clean and stay on track. First of all these trigger foods do not satisfy my appetite and, more importantly, they interfere with the signals that indicate that I am full.

I am not capable of putting the brakes on without difficulty. I am struggling right now to regain the strict clean eating program that I was on before the holidays. I was completely focused for six months before this hiccup. I will get back on track.  I am just concerned about the damage I may do before I am back in control. Do you have the same problem? If so, please share with us how you deal with it.

 

 

 

0 votes

Starting The New Year Off On The Right Path

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Thursday, 29 December 2011
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Whatever disappointing events happened to you health wise in 2011 is behind you now. Let's look ahead to 2012. First we need to set our wellness goals. Goals could be in the form of weight you want to lose, inches you want to trim or habits you want to change. Goals can be a combination of these, all of these or something completely different.

I find that once I outline my goals, it is easier to break them down into smaller components and create a plan to accomplish the goals. I find that breaking my goals down into 13 week segments works best for me. Longer than that and I find I lose focus and shorter goals leave me feeling like i didn't really get into it.

All my goals have three major components. They have an eating plan, an exercise plan and a monitoring plan. The monitoring plan includes critical measurements such as waist, chest and biceps. It also includes weekly weigh ins (once a week at the same time and on the same day) and keeping a food log, an exercise/activity log and sleeping and bathroom habits. Also important is how I feel each day (sluggish, hyper, tired, sore hungry etc.) This is all very important information because it allows you to see what effects different foods and/ or exercises have on your progress and your moods.

I find that if I create a plan that I am comfortable with and that allows me to stay totally focused and totally committed and in tune to what is happening to me, I have the best chance of being successful with my 13 week plan. I have to like the food I'm eating and not feel like I am depriving myself, I have to feel challenged by my exercise and activities and I have to feel well-fed, energetic, and well rested.

As we move into January, I intend to post my eating plan and my exercise plan for the first 13 weeks. I may also periodically share the log book/journal that I keep so that you can see the type of information that I consider important and which will give you some guidance in creating your own journal using some of my ideas. Remember, I have been at this for almost 11 years and have made a lot of adjustments along the way.  You will probably not get it "right" the first time either and will need to make changes.

I invite comments and the sharing of ideas. Let's hear from you.

0 votes

Getting The Message

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
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on Wednesday, 07 December 2011
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Seems like everywhere I turn lately I am confronted with people who are self destructing. Causing harm to their own health and quality of life. Some, like my brother Steve, my sister Diane, my father John and my lifelong friend Leo have even had the benefit of warning signals that got their attention for a little while. Unfortunately, once they start to feel better, they go back to their old ways. I know that no one wants to be preached to by a neophyte.

But I get frustrated because I have been there and I can feel their pain. I know how overwhelming the task can be. I also know the consequences of continuing along the same self destructive path that they are on. I also know the solution to the problem. Just like in the old days when the doctor would say rest, take two aspirin and call me in the morning, I say adjust your eating habits, get some exercise and if you smoke,quit. For most people it is that simple.

This blog is not to give," how to", advice. I am writing this to share my deep concern and frustration for those who I care about and to hopefully initiate some dialogue with others who know people on the same path. How do you get through to your loved ones? We and they all know what lifestyle changes need to be made. We even know the potential consequences if the changes are not made. If you are like me, it is painful to watch someone spiraling out of control. Please share your comments and help me and others get some insight.

 

0 votes