Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Doughnuts

Wow. I can't even begin to thank you for all the kind words on my last post. I had no idea that my blog meant that much to some of you! Reading the feedback was actually very helpful, too. For example, I always used to think that writing a lot about my family was uninteresting to people who don't actually know us, so I tried not to stray too far off topic on my posts.

When I first started Runs for Cookies, I was basically just transferring over from another site (I used to write on Open Diary, a site that is no longer active, from 2000-2011). I had just lost 125 pounds, and I decided to start a new blog to help me with weight maintenance. I was so sure I was going to gain back the weight, as I had every time I tried to lose weight, that I wanted to have everything documented. That way, I could go back and see what went wrong.

Writing on Blogger was much easier than Open Diary, and I really enjoyed writing on my blog. I had been so used to just a handful of readers for years, I was caught off guard when I started getting a lot of traffic to my blog. It was kind of scary at first, because I shared so much of my life. I was getting a ton of questions about my weight loss, so I started responding to those as well as writing about my day-to-day life. And I was amazed at how many awesome people I've met (either in person or just via email) due to my blog.

For the past year or so, I've been feeling like I've already said everything I have to say, so I've been questioning whether it's time to close the blog. I feel like I'm writing the same things day after day. Reading all of your kind comments yesterday made me realize that some of you probably feel like you know me well from reading my blog, and if I were to just drop writing, it would feel like there was no conclusion.

Because my blog is called "Runs for Cookies", I guess I've always felt I should stay on topic (running, weight loss, maintenance, food, etc.) But the best part of having a blog is that it's MINE--I can write about whatever I want! ;)

Like I said, I don't plan to make any drastic changes. I just don't want to force myself to write something if I don't have anything to say that day. And I want to be more careful about what I post about my family (mainly the kids; Jerry doesn't mind being on the blog at all). So, I may write a little less frequently, or write shorter posts, but I'll still be here. My blog has changed quite a bit over the last five years, so this is just another subtle change.


Anyway, today is Fat Tuesday! I had never actually eaten a paczki before, because they are traditionally made with prune or jelly filling, which doesn't appeal to me. Jerry told me that Monica's had some with vanilla cream filling, so I decided to try one this morning (Monica's is a local bakery that has amazing doughnuts).


It was definitely different from a doughnut. I love Monica's doughnuts, but the paczki was just okay. The flavor of the dough was different, and denser than the traditional yeast doughnuts. I told Jerry that I liked it, but that I probably wouldn't eat one again. I'll just stick to doughnuts!

Speaking of doughnuts, Jerry and I discovered something kind of interesting this week. Jerry's favorite food in the world is doughnuts, and when he ate one a couple of weeks ago at work, he said he didn't even enjoy it because he felt so guilty for eating it (he is counting calories as well). He started counting calories when I did, but he hasn't been able to drop the 10 pounds that he's wanted to lose.

When he said that he felt guilty, I told him that he shouldn't feel guilty if he just plans the doughnut into his day. I even suggested that he buy a doughnut every single morning, count the calories in it, and enjoy every bite guilt-free. He obviously liked that idea, so that's what he's done all week. And you know what? He dropped four pounds!

Even if this is completely unscientific, I really believe that our feelings play a role in whether our body lets us lose weight. I notice that when I feel guilty for eating something, I have a hard time losing; but when I plan for it, enjoy it, and don't feel bad about it, the weight comes off much more easily. Since I started calorie counting, and I don't feel guilty for anything that I eat, I have had a fairly easy time losing the weight (I'm eight pounds under my goal weight, without even trying!). When I was on Weight Watchers, and I ate something that put me over my Points for the day, I would feel guilty about it.

Several people have asked me what I am doing differently since I started calorie counting. It's really not much! Other than what I wrote in the series about binge eating, the biggest difference is that I feel much better about myself and I don't feel bad about what I'm eating. Jerry agrees--this past week, his only change has been that he plans ahead for a doughnut every morning, and he eats it guilt-free.

I asked him why he thinks eating a doughnut helped him drop four pounds this week, and he said that the doughnut gives him something to look forward to, and it's something that he really wants. It has stopped him from eating a bunch of things he doesn't really want (he was snacking at work, trying to avoid eating something like doughnuts, when he would have been better off in the long run to just eat a doughnut and not snack).

He had been very doubtful when I suggested the doughnut idea to him, but he was surprised to see that it actually worked. He only buys one at a time, so he doesn't have a whole box staring at him all day. And he buys good quality, freshly made doughnuts from Monica's so it's satisfying to him. Feeling satisfied with his favorite food every day has made him stop eating compulsively throughout the day.


For Taste Test Tuesday this week, I made this recipe for Baked Spaghetti. The recipe said it serves 8-10, but I cut it into 12, and the portions were pretty big for being under 400 calories.


Jerry, Noah, and I all liked it a lot; Eli wasn't crazy about it, because he doesn't like Italian sausage (I used hot Italian turkey sausage, not the sweet Italian sausage the recipe called for). This tasted just like lasagna, only the spaghetti noodles are much easier to work with than lasagna noodles. I'll make it again--it was good!

33 comments:

  1. Jerry's donut experience is interesting. Makes you think about the power of mindset and weight loss. Your recent success shows balance is everything. Hanging on too tight or obsessing can have the opposite effect. How refreshing!

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  2. The bit about guilt and the emotional aspect of losing weight inspire me to share a bit of my own experience. I'm not overweight; I'm just one of countless women who are a little uncomfortable with their weight, and would love to lose 10 pounds. Sometimes I'm more successful at maintaining the lower end of my weight spectrum than others. Lately I haven't been very successful at all!

    I've been doing a lot of work: getting more workouts into my schedule (and ENJOYING them), diversifying my diet and eating many more veggies and almost 100% real foods, eating reasonable portions and reassuring myself that I was doing the best thing for ME. But somehow, something didn't work -- even though I was being rational, not depriving myself, etc. I felt like I was obsessing over food. I was looking forward to my weekly treat meal in a really intense, unhealthy way. And I felt super-guilty if I ever ate an extra spoon of tahini sauce (my favorite!) or had an extra piece of cake/glass of beer on the weekend. And that guilt, or obsession, it's hard to tell quite what, led me to behaviors I did not recognize as my usual self: I wouldn't binge, but I certainly ate until I was very uncomfortably full. I started craving junk food all the time, and every few weeks I would give in and have way too much of it, until it didn't even feel good.

    The past few days I've had an epiphany... I'm just not WILLING to feel like this anymore. I'm not overweight, but this dynamic of obsessing, overeating, getting all anxious about it, could eventually make me overweight. I definitely feel that emotions have something to do with it. My best success with weight loss has been when I wasn't trying to lose weight; it had just happened. And I've made such awesome changes in my life -- from a sedentary gal who eats pasta and ready meals, I've become an active person who eats really healthy stuff, even if she still likes pizza and ice cream ;) I want to celebrate this change, even if it doesn't include becoming super-skinny.

    I've decided I'm going to use the knowledge I gained from my weight loss attempts, but not going to restrict myself too much anymore -- just eat what I consider to be normal and satisfying foods in reasonable portions. Not commit to a certain menu, not weigh myself, and not have any weight loss goals. And if I never lose another pound, that's fine. I'm going to try this during the month of February and see how it goes. I'll weigh myself again at the end of the month, and if I don't gain weight, I'll consider it a success.

    Now that I've written so much about myself I feel a little like I'm hijacking the post -- sorry about that! Just really wanted to share my feelings/experiences where people understand. I've commented here before, but I think I'll post this one anonymously. Thanks for reading! And thanks Katie for writing and inspiring!

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    1. Thank you for sharing this. I'm EXACTLY like you. Reading this makes me feel better. You inspired me to try the non-dieting approach. Hopefully it works for both of us. Good luck!

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  3. I totally agree about feelings influencing weight loss. It's so much easier to stick with something long term when we include things we really enjoy.

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  4. This is awesome and I totally agree! Sometimes I feel like thats all I do is stress and over stress on the foods I think I should never have. Then I just give in and eat it, sometimes just enough, or too much! Then this enormous guilt just spills over me and I carry it on me like what I just did made me this awful person. Balance definitely is key and reading your blog Katie has helped me see this. Thanks Katie for being real and for being so inspiring!

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  5. I actually think it just has more to do with the calories themselves. You said yourself that when Jerry didn't have the doughnut, he just snacked on stuff that ended up being way more calories than the doughnut would have been. Now that he has his one doughnut it cuts down his overall calories for the day/week.

    The same thing with your points analogy. You said something would put you OVER points (and calories), but now you plan for things to FIT INTO you daily calorie allotment.

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  6. I can't believe you've lived in SE Michigan and never had a packzi until this year! I haven't had one the past few years because of weight loss efforts and they haven't been that important to me. I would avoid a prune filled one for sure though!

    The Jerry doughnut-weight-loss info was very interesting! I've renewed my calorie counting efforts after witnessing your great success with it lately. I think you're right about guilt. I've been fitting lots of tasty indulgences into my calories lately and making great progress. I have < 1 lb to go to my doctor-considered-healthy weight, yay! I plan to keep trying to lose to get some vanity pounds off. If you stick with it, it works.

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  7. Love this! I definitely need to let go of the guilt of eating a treat and just work it into my plan.

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  8. I've started reading "How to Eat Your Cake and Have Your Skinny Jeans Too" and it has been very eye-opening. Thank you for recommending it! What's had the most impact so far is that dieting causes an obsession with food and I can totally see that. I'm attempting to get away from it. Thanks for the book suggestion Katie!

    -Christie S, Indianapolis, the one who bugs you about the Mini haha!

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  9. I 100% agree with you on the Jerry/eating guilt-free topic. I'm glad you shared this story with us!

    I'm equally as glad that your readers helped you feel a little bit better. Blogs are so crazy--readers really do feel close to you even when they've never met you! (Me included!) I've been hearing about Jerry, Eli, and Noah for the past 6 years now...so when I think about it, it's like of course I feel close to you! Thanks for keeping it real with us through the thick and thin. You are very appreciated.

    Also, this is going to sound so nerdy: as a gal with an English degree, I appreciate your writing SO much. You've always written very well--used appropriate punctuation and spelling--and I can't tell you how nice it is to read your blog without getting hung up on grammatical errors. Just had to throw that in here. :)

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    1. Hahaha! I thought I was the only one who appreciates her spelling and grammar!

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  10. Eating what I love and what makes my body feel good when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm satisfied WITHOUT GUILT is my goal. I'm having trouble with the part about dropping the guilt, which has messed with my head enough to interfere with the other parts of mindful eating. Thanks for the reminder and congrats to Jerry on curbing the snacking.

    I didn't comment yesterday, but wanted to add my Kudos! to you for this blog. Reading it has really helped me get more active (including a shiny new half marathon PR on Sunday!) and put a lot of things in perspective. Plus, I love hearing about your family's adventures. :)

    Thanks for being willing to put it out there! You're definitely appreciated!
    -Martine

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  11. I love your blog, Katie. It's been very helpful and inspirational to me. You have done so much to help pull other people up by writing this blog. You should be very proud of yourself!

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  12. Love your theory on feelings, food, and weight loss. Love your blog, too!

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  13. Thank you so much!this explains how I managed to lose weight last week even though I had a price of cake every day. I looked forward to the cake so I aye less all day and ate it gilt free savoring every bite :)

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  14. I never realized how important food is to me until a few weeks ago. Three things about myself: I hate cooking, but I have to do it for the family on weekdays, I love running although I've never been good at sports, and for reasons that can't be explained by "lifestyle choices" I've never been overweight, but I gained a few kg during the last year. In order to facilitate the healthy cooking, I recently tried a menu plan I found on the internet, supposedly healthy, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and a ready to go shopping list. Perfect, I thought, and tried to follow it for a week. After three days I was a crying mess. Then I (re-)started menu planning with a new cookbook I found (Jamie Oliver's everyday superfoods, in case you are interested). I knew that his recipes work for me in general, so I made my own healthy plan, and as you did, I planned for snacks (although to be honest, it was more like: ...and if I feel like chocolate, I will eat chocolate!). SO. MUCH. BETTER! Just feeling like it is ME who decides what to eat, and when, makes it easier to make healthy decisions and also to take responsibility for it, in a sense. I know when I eat chocolate, I can cut back on something else. I don't know whether that will have any impact on my weight, but honestly, I'd rather stay a bit bigger and enjoy life than being as miserable as I was while trying to stick to that plan. It also made me obsessed with eating, so much so that I didn't feel like I could concentrate on other areas of life as much as I want and need to.

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  15. Boom! I feel like my head just exploded with realization! THANK YOU! Making a healthy relationship with food is just as important to eating healthy food. I can tell I'm going to be mulling this over all day. Thanks so much! I love your blog!

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  16. Not post related, but what app do you use to track your habits? I would like to do something similar, but haven't found an app that works for me...help??

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  17. An opposite donut experience in my home.

    My husband LOVES donuts. Favorite food in the world. He hasn't had a donut in a decade, and in that time has maintained a 70lb weight loss.

    He determined that for him - donuts are a "gateway" food, and a huge trigger. So now, he's simply stuck with the philosophy of "I don't eat donuts". He will eat other bakery on occasions, but he says for him donuts are like a drug and even giving in to one will eventually lead to bad things. I asked him if he ever felt deprived and he said since he had more donuts in 35 years than most normal people would have in a lifetime, he's good ;-)

    I admire his attitude. It's not really willpower per say because he doesn't feel like he's resisting the donuts, he just made a decision that it's a food he doesn't eat. And it's been very successful for him - and obviously much better for his health - for 10 years.

    Just another way of going about the donut problem ;-)

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  18. I have not heard of a paczki, but that thing looks huge. Maybe it's on a small plate? But since there's no frame of reference in the photo it looks like the size of a cake! I'd try it for sure :)

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    1. Hahaha! It was big, but that was a very small plate. It was about the size of my palm plus my fingers up to their knuckles.

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  19. Tell Jerry I'll eat donuts with him any time!! :)

    Thanks for sharing your blog with the world. You may think you have nothing left to say, but your words still inspire!! Maybe even more so now than ever, because you have succeeded, failed (to an extent), and succeeded again. So few people can provide that kind of real-world experience! :)

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  20. I had my first paczki yesterday too...not a fan, but then I realized I am not really a regular doughnut fan either. I love that the doughnut plan is working for Jerry - I am convinced we will never achieve long term weight loss if we never have the foods we love.

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  21. Hi there - I have been reading your blog for, oh, a year or two, but I've never commented. My bad! Anyway, thanks for your candor in your recent post about feeling squeegy about continuing to write. I, for one, love your blog - your authenticity, your ups and downs, your experiences.. I really appreciate being able to read it and totally enjoy it! Thank you! I think you strike an excellent balance between enough and not too much when it comes to personal tidbits. Just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your stories and I hope you won't stop writing. Try to shake off the BS that comes your way - so ridiculous. Cheers, girl!

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  22. So I've been following along on and off for probably a year or more now. And secretly, I was relieved (and totally ashamed saying it) that you put back on some weight. So when you started losing all of this weight I stopped reading and was kind of angry. I wasn't losing weight of course and I was just mad at myself. However, it's a whole lot easier to be mad at someone else, especially a stranger. I'm really sorry I felt this way towards you! Then you posted those wonderful binge posts and everything you've been saying lately about how to eat well and not deprive yourself. It is all so beautifully written and I just know you've cracked the code. I hope I can follow in your footsteps. So please accept my apologies. Thank you for what you do here.

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    1. Thank you so much for your honesty! I think a lot of people probably feel that way toward anyone who has been successful (not only at weight loss, but other areas as well). When I find myself thinking that way, I keep in mind that the person probably worked really hard for it, and if I was willing to work that hard, I could have it, too (running PR's, for example). I appreciate the comment!

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  23. I've used Jerry's strategy very successfully with ice cream treats. If I plan for one every day, I know I have a treat to look forward to. It may be a yasso bar (which I love) or it may be full-fledged ice cream, but I choose it and log it. That was a great idea for him.

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  24. Hi Katie,
    I didn't get around to putting together my thoughts on your last post, but I too am glad that you're keeping your blog up for the time being. I only started reading late last year when I'd been on WW for a bit and you came up in a Google search. I have gained and lost and gained again on WW, and I find your blog so helpful and inspiring. In fact, I find you significantly more helpful than the Live Chat function on WW. ;)
    I'm sure some of the stuff may feel rehashed for you, but being newer to the blog it's all new to me. I have trimmed my feed down to really only a handful of blogs, including yours. So I would be very sad if you went away but also respect anyone's decision to walk away (after all, the blog my id links to here is dead since 2013 I think??).

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  25. You aren't the only one who has never had a paczki. I have managed to make it 60 years without one! Glad you are going to keep the blog going. I would miss it and I enjoy reading about your family. Some of the things your boys have done in the past have made me laugh out loud... and they are both such great kids. Keep it coming.

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  26. I really hope you will keep blogging! I always look forward to your posts.

    Your comment about Jerry and his donuts was thought provoking. I've been obsessing about my weight and eating so carefully and not moving downward at all. I'm going to try to let go. It's honestly not hard to eat this way so I just have to let go of the idea that I can control the outcome. Maybe that will help it move in the right direction. Even if it doesn't, I'll be a lot happier!

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  27. I absolutely love how free you sound when you talk about food now. I know it may always be a struggle (for all of us ;)) but it's really encouraging to know all that you went through to get to this point, and that it can be "normal" and fun at the other end. I found the bit about Jerry's donut really interesting, and the whole "pre-counting = eating guilt-free" thing, is definitely something I want to try out. Thanks, as always, for sharing :)

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  28. Dude, I want a donut now. Doesn't Monica's have those peanut butter fluffy filled ones? Maybe I should come to Detroit with my frequent flyer miles. Just for the donuts. (crazy eyes.)

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)