Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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Nooming along

As of this morning, I am three pounds away from reaching my next goal of 50 lbs gone. Which means, if you’re keeping track, that I’ve lost 47 pounds since January 1st. I had a little hiccup and gain of 3 lbs which in the scheme of things isn’t that much, but it’s taken me another 3 weeks to get rid of them. I want to hit my goal of 50 lbs by July 24th, which is my birthday.

I’m still following Noom but admit I’m not exactly doing it the way I did when I started. I still weigh every morning which is actually a good thing; I don’t get freaked out by what’s there, just log it as information. And I still take measurements on the first of the month (for the record, I’m down 20.5 inches overall). And I log my food. But I don’t always read the articles which are still interesting but take more time than the ones at the beginning.

And I really try to get my steps in. That was very hard when everything was locked down for covid and the gym was closed as well. It has reopened but I haven’t tried it yet because I sprained my knee and have an insanely painful lower back right now. Just walking is as much as I can do. But this week I did actually get 8K steps one day and almost that much the next day, from walking around large stores like Sam’s. Up and down the aisles, moving fast because I don’t really want or need to buy anything in most of them. My Sam’s trips are limited to when I have prescriptions to pick up; then I get extra stuff as long as I’m there, things like berries, apples, broccoli (always broccoli) and maybe English muffins or meat.

I’m also not really doing much with my Noom group because it’s annoying to see so many posts from other group members who ride horses, do aerobics, and other energetic things that I don’t do. I have a LOT to lose, really more than anyone that I know of in my group. Mostly it’s because I’m in 2 unofficial Facebook groups for Noomers, one of them for people with 100+ pounds to lose. We have different issues and time frames, and I’m finding that one to be the one where I get the most support and can contribute.

Maybe I’m just feeling like a normal person. Normal people don’t eat a whole pizza for dinner after snacking all afternoon and noshing on donuts in the morning. And I’m not doing that anymore. I’ve learned to divide my calories really into 3 big groups + a snack, and then I’m ready to stop. I’ve learned how to tell when I’m hungry and when I’m bored. I’m drinking tons of water and am down to 1 soda/day and no coffee. I’m really hyper aware of not referring to things as “treats” or “cheating” because there is no such thing in Noom. Chocolate, while delicious, isn’t a treat now, it’s an occasional food that I fit into my plan. I’d really rather have a French Dip sandwich and enjoy it for lunch and then eat vegetables for dinner.

What I am is balanced. Part of why that’s happening is that these last pounds have come off so slowly, giving me time for my brain to catch up with my body. When I lost fast in the past, that was very hard to do because I thought I was the same person. Well, I was. But I’m not now. I’m more aware and prepared. I haven’t faced big challenges like parties but I’m confident that I can deal with them when they arise. Go Noom! Go me.


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Nooming in Isolation

One of the things I’m grateful for while under COVID Stay Home orders is that I’m on Noom and have enough time under my belt for it to have become a way of life before isolation started. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, and I know it’s far easier for me than for someone with others to cook for, or who are medical professionals now working insane schedules under intense pressure.

I asked my Goal Specialist to reset me to Week 1 when I realized I was blowing off DOING article work instead of just reading. I also wished that I’d known to start taking notes and journaling at the beginning of Noom and not two months in. I now have a beautiful journal at my side, with pen attached, and take notes as I work through the articles. Blogging is also a form of journaling but I’m making notes to myself in writing as I go.

The world has changed since January and COVID-related articles are included now. The basic ones are the same, but others talk about how to maintain mental health, making yourself a priority, and readjusting goals under changed circumstances. Sometimes working on behaviors and habits are more important than getting in a big workout (not that I ever did a big workout, but other people did).

Reading articles, planning meals, and logging my food provide a structure that continues what I was doing back when things were normal. They’re not things I’ve imposed on myself because of isolation, but they do help me in an otherwise fluid time. When our office was closed and I was working from home, I got work done but during different hours than in a pre-COVID work day, and I found myself getting all snacky and reaching for things that by themselves are not a problem but are when eaten in a fog.

My goals for last week and this week are to eliminate the snacking except as planned out, and go back to what worked in my Noom early days: sitting in early morning with a bottle of water and logging what I expect to eat at all my meals and snacks BEFORE I actually eat them. That gives me huge structure and a calm. I can plan for a Healthy Choice Fudge bar or a slider basket delivered from the club when I want to work in something special. When I follow this pattern, I feel in control and I lose. Win-win!

Every two weeks I make a huge batch of chunky applesauce in the crockpot to eat as a snack or mix with yogurt or oatmeal. I bought 5 lbs of 90% fat free ground beef at Sam’s on Friday when I went to pick up prescriptions, and will be making meat sauce today (love my crockpot!), as well as two batches of taco meat for the freezer and a package of browned meat with onions for some future recipe. I also have a rotisserie chicken to pull apart with meat for salads; some of that will go to the freezer, too, joining lots of meat, veggies, and fruit.

One thing I’m having trouble with is getting in my steps. While I’m not a gym rat, I really was enjoying being more active, and I miss at least getting in all my steps. Usually at work I’d make laps around the sanctuary a few times in a morning which helped, and would go to a big box store to go up and down the aisles even if I didn’t need to buy anything. I do better holding on to a cart or a treadmill than just walking on the streets of Emerald Bay, but I’m still getting 5K+ steps most days, even with flaring sciatica. Go me. I’ll be glad to have the gym again when it’s safe to go.

I know myself and know how I’ve reacted in the past to enforced stay home time for blizzards and surgical recovery. Usually I’d be eating all day long, feeling bloated and lethargic, and disappointed with myself. This much longer COVID time is different. I’m eating healthy, tracking my food, building in movement and meditation, and providing structure without making myself crazy.

Noom works for me, with daily readings and accountability steps. And as of this morning, I’ve lost 41 lbs since January, 8 lbs since COVID became something to factor. I’ve got this.


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Three Months Later

I now have three months of Noom under my belt – but that belt fits differently now. I weigh every day but on the first day of each month, I also take measurements. It’s a non-scale way to measure change.

And as of today, I’ve lost 36.6 lbs and 13.5 inches. I’m down two sizes in clothes. Even jewelry fits differently; necklaces are longer, bracelets actually dangle instead of strangle. Shoes will be next.

My closet is mostly purged of things that are too big and I’ve added clothes that fit or will soon be wearable from eBay and strategic purchases before we were in Stay-Home mode. I even have some Lands End pants from my working days that now fit.

Right now under the stress of COVID-19 and restricted movements, the only thing I can really control is what I put in my mouth. I am so very grateful that Noom has given me tools to change how I eat and how I relate to food. It’s not a diet, it’s a new way of eating. And it works. Who knew?


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I went shopping

My clothes are starting to fall off, which is a good problem but honestly, I have to have something to wear. Most of the smaller things in the closet are for warmer weather which will get here eventually, but I haven’t really wanted to try on sleeveless dresses when I’m cold. But yanno, I need something to wear.

In the back of the closet was a beautiful gored black knit skirt from Coldwater Creek. I loved it too much to give it away even when it sadly became too tight to wear. But guess what? I wore it to work this week! With an aqua knit top from Kohls and a multi-colored kimono as a jacket. Got lots of compliments, felt confident, and kept looking at myself in the bathroom mirror just to be sure I didn’t look fat.

Then I finally did try on the sleeveless dresses, purchased in Connecticut and not worn much here, and guess what? They FIT! I was ready to wear them outside when I remembered it wasn’t sleeveless dress weather and all the little knit bolero jacket things I had were TOO BIG and looked silly.

Yesterday I went to a few discount stores looking for things in sizes I don’t wear now so I can maybe have something to wear when I get into them. If that makes sense. For not much money, I picked up 3 tops. Didn’t try anything on, because hey, they were too small. That was the idea. But when I got home, well, I had to try them on anyway.

And guess what? TWO OF THEM FIT NOW!!

Alright, they will look better with a little more weight gone, but still. I’ve been the same size for so long, and have worn clothes purposely loose because anything clingy made me just feel so fat, that I have no idea what size I really am. It doesn’t help that each of the items I bought was made by a different company and in a different style; you have to actually try on clothes to know if they fit and who wants to do that?

Obviously I am getting there.


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Let me tell you about Noom

Almost nothing about a diet/weight loss program surprises me anymore, having been on a zillion of them in my life. Most boil down to being legalistic and rigid, and the second you tell me that I can’t eat something is when it becomes the only thing I want to eat. I don’t really like being in groups or classes and prefer working through this on my own, though I did like the accountability of having someone else weigh me – except when I’d gained.

On the other hand, they didn’t work long-term. None of them, even when I lost over 100 pounds, which I did several times. I’m good at losing when I want to pay attention to what I eat; I’m not very good at keeping it off and maintaining a target weight. Why? Because I was paying attention to the food and not to my inside self and the triggers that were setting me off.

Noom is a different kind of program. It’s app-based so you and your phone become very close. You weigh yourself once a day in the morning and record it in the app, and you also log food in the app. Those aren’t all that different; lots of plans do that, and tracking food is pretty essential to actually being accountable for what you eat. The app also has a pedometer to track your steps; many of you already do that with FitBit or other program, but this was new for me and it was nice to have it integrated.

Food tracking is common to all weight loss programs; each puts its own spin on it. In Weight Watchers, you count points. In others you’re counting carbs or grams of protein or fat. Noom does it with color groups based on caloric density. Foods are Green, Yellow, and Red. But you can eat anything, as long as you account for it, and you do look at the calorie count. Green food has a different caloric density than red food; you get filled up with food that has more water and fiber.

I’m a visual person and thinking of food by color groups makes it easier to picture and then make a choice between a Green Food snack such as fat free yogurt and a Yellow Food choice of 2% yogurt. Chicken is a yellow food; steak is a red food. Grapes are green, raisins are red. Mostly I just pick what I want – but then I use their food analysis tool to give me feedback on the choices. And since I log my food BEFORE I eat it, I can (and do) swap out one thing for another to keep things balanced.

But what’s really different about Noom is the psychology components. Each day has several small little articles on related things, such as mindful eating or breaking habits. Some of the style is a little cutesy but the information itself is sometimes new, or at least presented in a new way. And there are little quizzes to see how much you retain. It’s actually a lot of information in small enough bites that I’m absorbing more than in a lecture or reading a book.

You’re also assigned a goal coach, and after the first 2 weeks, are put into groups with a coach to help work through and respond to the articles. I’m honestly not finding that to be that much help because I found another option that works for me and that’s two Facebook groups for Noom users, a general one and one for those with large amounts to lose. I prefer typing on a keyboard over using thumbs on a phone, and like the more instant gratification of responses to questions from other users.

The thing is, I know my goal and I know how to break it down into smaller bits. I know there will be plateaus and slips as well as progress. I have a realistic idea of where I want to end up and how to celebrate the NSV’s (non-scale victories) along the way, things like behavior changes that become new habits or fitting into clothes another size or in a different store.

For me this is about getting healthier, and as of this morning I’ve lost 18 lbs; my BMI has already dropped 3 points. I got on a scale at the doctor yesterday and saw a number I haven’t seen since I retired. I’m happy with this program, how it’s working for me, and what I’m learning about myself and my habits.

Want to read a more detailed review of Noom? Check out this review in USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/reviewedcom/2020/01/09/noom-review/4422490002/