Login
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!

Viewing entries tagged Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior Subscribe to feed

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
User is currently offline
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

0 votes

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
User is currently offline
on Monday, 02 September 2013
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

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?

0 votes

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
User is currently offline
on Monday, 11 March 2013
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

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.

0 votes

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
User is currently offline
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.

0 votes

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
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 08 January 2013
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

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.

0 votes

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
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 11 December 2012
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

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.

0 votes

Made it Through Thanksgiving

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 02 December 2012
Excercise 0 Comments

Well I made it through Thanksgiving day and the weekend too, which included my granddaughter Chloe's 2nd birthday party. The fact is, I am in such a zone right now that I had no problem at all resisting temptation.  I ate all of the traditional Thanksgiving foods such as turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and an assortment of vegetables.  What I did not eat was gravy, bread and butter or the tremendous assortment of desserts that were offered.  When it came time for dessert, I was prepared.  I unwrapped my own homemade pumpkin cake which, I  know, is made with healthy ingredients and contains 130 calories.

Fortunately, my gym opened at 5:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning so I was able to get my normal workout in before I went on to give thanks at a few different locations.  I ended the day singing happy birthday to Chloe but not having any of her Mickey Mouse birthday cake.

I still have 5 weeks to go to make it past the most difficult time of the year for me.  I feel very confident that I will make it this year and am aided by the fact that I am very busy at work.  I find that the busier I am, the less I think about food and, therefore, the less I eat.  My weight right now is 193 lbs.  Last year at this time I was 192, so the week before Christmas I thought I would try various desserts.  I was in such a groove, I knew I could get right back on track.  I was wrong, though, and I am determined  not to make the same mistake again this year.  Last year's mistake caused me to battle with cravings and a weight gain of 7 to 12 pounds that I spent 6 months trying to lose in addition to trying to regain my focus.  Lesson learned!

I will keep you posted of my progress.

0 votes

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
User is currently offline
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

0 votes

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
User is currently offline
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.

0 votes

How Physical Acvtivity affects Me

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
User is currently offline
on Monday, 17 September 2012
Excercise 0 Comments

Physical activity does four things for me.  First, it speeds up my metabolism so that I burn more calories; second, it suppresses my appetite; third, it increases my energy level, and fourth, it makes me feel good about myself and the way I look.

Exercise, depending on its intensity and how long it lasts, will elevate your metabolism anywhere between one and several hours after you have finished your workout. In other words, you will continue burning calories at a faster rate than normal after you have stopped working out.  One of my goals over the past 11 years since my surgery has been to change my body composition by increasing my muscle mass and reducing body fat. I have accomplished this through strength training (weight lifting).  Increased muscle mass increases your body's fat-to-muscle ratio which boosts the rate at which you burn calories all the time, not just after exercise.

In my case, exercise suppresses my appetite.  I am just not as hungry as I am on the days I do not exercise.  Plus, you have less time to eat if you are in the gym for two hours.  I choose to exercise early in the morning for two reasons:  I am never too busy at 4:30 in the morning and it jacks me up for the whole day.  I feel great after exercising.  Of course the exercise alone will not work if you don't employ a sound eating plan along with it.

I encourage you to see your doctor before starting an exercise program.  Start slowly and get proper instruction on the use of the equipment to  avoid injury.  Let me know how physical activity affects you.

 

0 votes

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
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 06 September 2012
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

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.

 

 

 

0 votes

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
User is currently offline
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.

0 votes

I Think I will Write a Book

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 08 July 2012
Excercise 0 Comments

I consider that my gastric by-pass surgery as a tool to change my life has been a success.  It has been 11 plus years since the surgery and I am the same weight plus or minus ten pounds that I was when I reached my goal.  As I have written in many blogs to date, I still struggle from time to time and I am still learning about those triggers that can cause the struggles.

I have been in communication with the surgeon who performed my by-pass surgery back in January 2001 and we are planning to write a book together. The book will basically be a story of my life and the struggles with obsessive compulsive behavoir generally and obsessive compulsive eating specifically.  Controling my behavior as it relates to eating has been a problem all my life and at age 38 I had a life changing moment that made me commit to do something about it.

I tried and failed at many attempts to figure out the problem and to find a soloution and never hit the mark.  In late 2000 I finally decided I could not do it without help and some extreme measures.  That led me to the decission to visit the surgeon who immediately inspired my confidence that this was a problem that could be solved initially through surgical means in conjunction with permanent life style changes.

The book will outline and highlight those life style changes and the successes and failures since surgery to try to manage my life so that I can live my life.  Even as I write these words I know that I still have a lot to figure out if I am to remain on the right track as life is very dynamic and many of the life style changes that are working for me now will have to be changed as I get older.

Stay tuned, more info about the book will follow in the next few months.  Anyone with questions or ideas that would make this book more readable please comment

 

0 votes

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
User is currently offline
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.

0 votes

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
User is currently offline
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.

 

 

 

0 votes

Fear of Getting Hurt in the Gym

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
User is currently offline
on Monday, 30 April 2012
Excercise 0 Comments

A major element in the continued success of managing my weight and eating habits is my exercise program, which, as I've mentioned before, is self written.  I am as ridiculous about getting to the gym and performing my scheduled exercise program as I am about the eating program itself.  As always, I break my program into 13 week segments.  Over the past several years I have pre-habbed (prepared for surgery) and rehabbed from three shoulder surgeries and a bilateral knee replacement surgery.  I have worked through various ailments such as stiff necks, sore backs, wrist pain, forearm tendonitis, pinched nerves in the thumb, hamstring pulls and other problems with my feet and ankles.  Each and every time, I have been able to make adjustments at the gym to my grip, gait or the level of weight I use, to find a way to keep going until I have worked out the aches and pains and the problem disappears.  I find that I feel better and the ailment improves more quickly if I stick with my program and continue to use the affected joints or muscles. 

About five or six weeks ago, I suddenly developed a problem that, at first, I thought was a hip problem. I have never had a problem with my hip before.  I tried working through it for a couple of weeks and when it didn't get any better but, in fact, got worse, I made an appointment to see my doctor and he scheduled an x-ray and an exam on my hip.  I told the Orthopedic doctor that it seemed to move from the hip to the lower back to the glute muscle and sometimes to two areas at the same time.  He said the good news was, the x-ray showed that I did not have a problem with the hip but that it was also the bad news because now I need an MRI to see if it is a pinched nerve, a disc problem or something else.

However, I am still going to the gym.  My workouts are less intense due to the restrictions I must impose on myself to minimize the resulting pain caused by the workout.  I feel pain for most of the day after my morning workout, which is something I've never experienced before.  I try to adjust my schedule and not go to the gym on Friday if I am playing golf that day(again, a new adjustment to my schedule) because the combination of exercising and golf causes me severe back pain.

As always, I am fearful of any changes in my routine.  The only changes I have made so far have not been made by choice, but out of the necessity of dealing with my medical problems.  The current routine works, and I don't want to take any chances by changing to a different routine if I can help it. What would you do? Please share.

0 votes

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
User is currently offline
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
User is currently offline
on Monday, 26 March 2012
General Food Discussions 0 Comments

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

Holding on but still struggling

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 04 February 2012
Excercise 0 Comments

I am now five weeks into this struggle of staying focused.  I haven't lost it, but I am certainly out of the groove I had been in since early July of 2011.  I have given in to temptation and eaten some things that I consider "trigger foods" which I had been staying away from completely for the last six months. The struggle goes on, with a couple of good days followed by a bad one. A good day is a day of strict eating, taking in around 1800 to 2000 calories of clean foods.  On a bad day I may hit 2700 to 2800 calories by eating stuff like a cookie or toast with butter and peanut butter or pizza in addition to lunch rather than for lunch.

I have kept my weight at 192 to 193 pounds, but it is not easy anymore.  When I was focused last year, it was effortless to maintain. The non-trigger foods that I ate exclusively did not make me crave the wrong foods.  I was never hungry, and, in fact, I had to eat at scheduled times to make sure that I ate enough each day to reach my proper caloric intake.  Now, I have this energy drain.  A person only has so much energy to expend each day. I probably have more energy than most people my age, but I am more at ease when that energy is directed at improving relationships with loved ones, improving my business or focusing on recreational activities. When I am struggling, that energy is used to fight off urges and I become consumed with fear and concern over loosing control.

It's a lot of work to stay focused, but it can be much more work to get your focus back if you loose it. I will keep you posted on how I am doing and I welcome any input, ideas or methods you or someone you know may have that has helped.

0 votes

Sugar is the Enemy

by Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione
Nick Mirrione is the co-author of the book, Who Is This Guy? The story of a 500
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 19 October 2011
General Food Discussions 1 Comment

 

Sugar is the enemy. Refined sugar and beverages sweetened with sugar (including fruit and vegetable juices) is the number one contributor to weight problems, gout, diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer; not to mention what it does to our teeth. Some even think that excess sugar can contribute to Macular Degeneration in older adults.  There is nothing good about sugar and beverages sweetened with sugar. They drive up your daily calorie intake and provide no nutritional value. They leave your body screaming for more of the same. Some say that artificial sweeteners are just as bad as or worse than sugar.  We’ll take that up at a later date. Personally, I would rather eat my calories than drink them so I choose to stick with water, coffee, tea or on occasion, I drink a limited amount of 4C or Crystal Light.

  As a gastric bypass patient, I have an increased sensitivity to sugar.  Too much sugar, which in my case, is more than a small candy bar or a few bites of a piece of cake during one sitting  can cause “dumping syndrome” which affects me in the following manner: cold sweats, a racing heart, which can cause speech impediments, headaches, nausea and in some cases, diarrhea.  In general, you feel like crap for a couple of hours and on every occasion, you say to yourself, “that piece of cake or candy bar wasn’t worth it”.  That’s how it affects me ten and a half years post surgery.  It is much more severe immediately following and shortly after surgery. 

 

0 votes