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Old 09-20-2013, 05:04 PM   #181
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An experiment

There's a thread in the Main Lowcarb Lobby, titled 'Panera CEO tries eating for $4.50 per day'.

He's doing it and blogging about his experience to try and raise awareness of how people dependent on food stamps eat.

I'm going to give it a try. I think it would be a valuable exercise for me, to raise my own awareness and compassion. I'll be doing it low-carb, of course, and with JUDDD, I imagine it will be a little easier, not like someone trying to feed their kids every day. But still, worthwhile.

I'm going to do some pricing next week, and plan when I will start.

I imagine some aspects of it will be HARD.

Food is very important to me. I like being able to eat what I want. Although I think I can eat well(enough) on $4.50 per day, it won't be fancy, and will likely be the same (inexpensive) things over and over.

I think the emotional component of just wanting a treat, or what I want, when I want it, will be a struggle.

I'll let you know how it goes.

I'll start with an Up Day, so I have four Up Days, and I will count the cost of my kombucha as 50 cents per bottle, since even people on food stamps could have things already started.

Hmmm, should I count the cost of tea in the mornings as per tea bag, or budget for a fresh box? Maybe I'll have to give up tea.

And what about the lemon juice/salt/sweetener for my electrolyte water? I'll have to figure out all the specifics.

Protein powder. Man, there's really no way that a person on $31.50 per week would be able to save up enough to buy that in bulk, and in smaller quantities, it will be just too expensive. So, no protein shakes that week. Not that I have a LOT of them, but there goes another option.

Any other things you can think of, that I will need to consider?
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:16 PM   #182
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Ate many delicious healthy things yesterday.

Am staying with liquids today. Tea, water, and kombucha so far. Maybe a protein shake later. I am also going to go shopping for SMALLER JEANS!
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:20 PM   #183
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Yay! Smaller jeans!
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:20 PM   #184
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I bought two pairs of size 14, and one size 12, which I could get on and ALMOST closed. They will be my aspirational jeans. Maybe by Halloween!
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:37 AM   #185
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Wooooo girl! Size 14 and 12s! You are my hero!
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:19 PM   #186
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Thanks, LoCarbGal. I'm pretty pleased. There's a definite strut in my walk.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:24 AM   #187
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SNAP Challenge

I did my planning and shopping for my week of eating on $4.50/day. That's $31.50 for the week, and the first thing I did was subtract $1.50 for the cost of three bottles of my homemade kombucha.

The SNAP guidelines say no using anything you already have, but that's impractical. Most people having to go on food stamps will still have SOME leftovers and pantry items.

So, I made these modifications:
I can use salt, pepper, and sweetener(for flavor, not large amounts as would be needed if I am baking something).
I can use one spice per dish. I can get most spices for $1.00 a packet, so I can even see replacing these at one or two per week as needed. But food stamps wouldn't allow me to have all the spices I wanted, so my compromise will be one per dish.
I can use ONE leftover dish from my fridge for this week. I chose my cauli-rice dish. I haven't even gotten to taste it yet, so that was easy!
I can use the homemade broth in the freezer. Just because you are on food stamps, doesn't mean you can't do investment cooking. I will be tossing the bones from the meats I eat in the freezer as usual, so I will be making new broth from leftovers.
Likewise, I can use my kombucha, but I will 'charge' myself the amount it costs to make, which is $.50 per bottle.

This is what I bought:

8.49 ground beef
2.50 tea
2.44 pork
1.95 chicken thighs
1.52 head of cabbage
1.00 large can of tomatoes
1.00 2 pounds of carrots
0.27 yellow onion
2.89 12 eggs
0.85 frozen spinach
1.84 cream cheese
0.75 3 lemons
0.79 can of salsa verde
1.00 jar of mayo
1.00 3 zucchini
1.50 3 bottles of kombucha

29.79 expended = $1.71 'left over' for another purchase, or to go towards a theoretical second week, perhaps to buy those replacement spices, or some sour cream, which I was sad not to be able to afford.

I made a soup from one pound of ground beef, the onion, half the cabbage, four carrots, and the can of tomatoes. And some coleslaw from 1/4 of the cabbage.

My basic meal plan for Down Days is to continue my plan of water, tea, and kombucha, with some soup instead of a protein shake or green smoothie if I want more.

On Up Days I will be having a breakfast of ground beef patty topped with one or two eggs. There will be two dinners of chicken, and two of pork. Vegetables will be one or more of these: carrots, coleslaw, creamed spinach, zucchini. I will be doing any frying in the leftover hamburger grease. Lunches will be soup, creamed spinach with poached eggs, and/or leftovers.

I don't think I will be hungry, but I can see how it could get tedious. And if I was not doing ADF, the amounts, spread over 7 days, instead of four, would be small. I DO think I might get hungry then.

Last edited by Sirtain; 09-24-2013 at 10:26 AM..
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:11 AM   #188
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Oops, I was mistaken. $4.50 is not the HIGHEST amount one can receive on food stamps, it is the AVERAGE. Thank goodness, because I was wondering how a teenage boy, pregnant woman, or nursing mom would make it on this!
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:23 AM   #189
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Day 1

And I'm off!

I could already feel the difference this first day. As I was packing Littlest's lunch, I realized I wouldn't be allowed to taste the kiwi berries I was putting in. If I was feeding my family on SNAP, of course, I wouldn't be BUYING these little treats, not at $2.99 per package. Food stamps means no experimenting with little fun things that cost 1/10th of your budget. Well, no, of course not, food stamps are for hard times. Experimenting is a luxury. But still, it made me sad. I like for my kids to be adventurous in their foods. Glad that Littlest is not doing this with me.

Next realization: although my breakfast of 1/2lb ground beef with 2 fried eggs filled me up, I missed my A-1 sauce. Or other options of some blue cheese, fried onions, or a sliced avocado. Sigh.

By lunch time, I was definitely thinking of food. I wasn't HUNGRY per se, but I was food-bored: I wanted something to eat. Something fun. I began to think I had made a serious mistake in not planning for a treat for each day. Maybe I will use that $1.71 to buy some jello. I sipped up my 2 cups of meat and vegetable soup very slowly, to make it last. I could have had some creamed spinach with eggs, or coleslaw, but I felt that first nagging worry: if I eat that NOW, I might not have it for LATER.

I got busy in the afternoon, and didn't think about dinner until almost 6:00. Fried up my chicken, used some chicken grease to make my zuccini( again with just oregano), and heated up my cauli-rice leftovers. The cauli-rice recipe was okay, nothing special, I wouldn't make it again, but I found myself scooping up extra. It was there, and it was filling. The chicken and zuccini were delicious. But when I was done with them, I was DONE. I wrapped up the rest of the chicken and put it into the freezer to eat on Sunday. I realized I couldn't afford to have them hanging out in the fridge. What if they went bad, and there was nothing to eat on Sunday? What if I ate them beforehand, and there was nothing to eat on Sunday? What if someone else got them, AND THERE WAS NOTHING TO EAT ON SUNDAY?! Man, it doesn't take long to become protective about your food, does it?

Littlest snacked on some cheese to round out her dinner( well, why not, there was no extra-creamy goodness WITH it!) and offered me some, before realizing I couldn't have any. She was sorry, and so was I ...that cheese looked and smelled good! (Gouda.)

I went to bed not hungry, but sightly edgy. I felt like I was missing something. I think maybe I was nervous about heading into a Down Day not feeling satisfied. I woke up this morning a little hungry, but ready mentally for my Down Day. I have good habits now. I am counting on them to carry me through. And I have that soup waiting, in case I need something. And carrots. And 1/4 head of cabbage. I can make it!

Interesting note: my weight was down two pounds this morning. After an Up Day. I usually swing UPwards.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:58 AM   #190
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This morning I weighed in at 170, and Honey was 175. This is likely temporary, as he worked out last night(water retention) and he has been 'cheating' on is Down Days if he weighs less than I do, and my 170 was a rather unexpected dip down that will likely vanish as the morning mists. But...

This morning I weighed five pounds less than my Honey!!!! That has never happened before.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:10 AM   #191
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Hi Sirtain - first congratulations on the weight!

I like your experiment - you might find the blog "Hillbilly Housewife" interesting and useful as well as the book "Tightwad Gazette". There's a few cookbooks out there for the budget minded, one that comes to mind is $5 dinners (title is something like that) - most recipes serve 4 and she also has a blog. I enjoy the blog Budget Bytes and have made a few of her recipes - they've all turned out well. For a few years, my monthly grocery spending for 3 of us + large dog + cat was under $400/month (I was focused on saving for early retirement at the time) and we live in Canada where costs are much higher. It's definitely do-able.
Here's another post on the challenge: http://www.bettertimesinfo.org/foodchallenge.htm

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Old 09-26-2013, 11:27 AM   #192
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Sirtain way to go on the weight AND the jeans. I look forward to reading how your experiment goes!
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:28 AM   #193
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I admire you for trying it. Me, I work for the luxuries I have. I understand the issues of Food Stamps not providing enough, but I also see SO MUCH waste here from those on Government assistance. I mean, the ones I KNOW, have all the brand new Iphones and Xbox games, while my family doesn't. KWIM?
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:28 AM   #194
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Thanks for the link, Jacqueline. A good article.

I know what you mean, Zipp. I just hate the idea of anyone not having enough to eat, regardless of their other spending habits.

I remember a program I saw once about drug policy in the Netherlands. One thing a doctor said, really struck with me, both for the drug situation, but also for other things. He said their focus on providing such good medical care, free needles, free methadone, food, etc, was that they want to keep their people healthy in the hopes that they would make it through their addiction, and come out on the other side as healthy, productive members of society, and not be crippled or killed by other things that their addiction made them unable to deal with(starvation, illness, stealing for drugs-getting thrown in jail, etc).

If you can't feed yourself, or your family, I want you to get help to do that. Whatever failings you might have, being hungry, or getting sick form poor nutrition, can't make them better.

Okay, that got a little deep. But I guess that is what a journal is for.

I think I will get through this week with good nutrition, and maybe even some leftovers, but it is definitely stressful, worrying about your food so much. Since I try to live by primal principles, maybe that good for me, though. We didn't evolve knowing there would always be food to eat.

But I still don't like it!

Woke up hungry again this morning. Not my preferred state. I was very glad it is an Up Day. I had a good breakfast of ground beef patty and two fried eggs, and my tummy is happy.
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:37 AM   #195
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Monica, I have made the exact same observations. In fact, I am acquainted with a few of them and see the luxuries they have that I don't. And they can afford beer and cigarettes somehow, but their kids don't have new clothes.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:49 AM   #196
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Quote:
I know what you mean, Zipp. I just hate the idea of anyone not having enough to eat, regardless of their other spending habits
I agree with you on that. If they can have the latest Iphones, Xbox, stop at QTrip constantly for pop or such....they are choosing to go hungry (or so they say)! I admire you for trying to feel / learn from the experience!

Carol, I have seen the EXACT same thing! See, I think the majority of them smoke. I can't even imagine spending $$$ like that. My sister smokes and when she complains about being broke, I always respond, QUIT! She just rolls her eyes and puffs away!
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:31 PM   #197
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I do not see how ANYONE can afford to smoke. The price is outrageous, and seems like most smokers go through at least a pack a day. Mercy.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:28 AM   #198
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A surprise

My weight went down after an Up Day...for the second time in a row. I'm wondering if this SNAP challenge is responsible. I HAVE been waking up hungry every morning.

In terms of the SNAP challenge, it makes me feel sorry for the people living like this. I do NOT like being hungry on a continual basis. Hunger when I am fasting, I expect, and since it goes away in cycles, I can live with. But waking up hungry EVERY morning? And feeling hungry at night too? Not cool. And I am eating a fairly satiating diet. How do those who are eating higher-carb, and having sugar crashes do it?

In terms of weight reduction, of course, I like the result. But, I will NOT be keeping on with it after this week. I would rather lose slower, and have a happy stomach/mind.

And there is always the background worry that if I am going down too quickly, something might be wrong. (Cancer! Intestinal! Thyroid! I have a good imagination.) At 1-2 pounds per week, with a stall now and then, I never feel that.

Something I am doing to deal with it: When I feel hunger, or sorrow that I can't have sour cream or cheese, or a handful of nuts, I say a prayer for those who live like this, or worse, every day. I am still so lucky. It is making the challenge a bit of a spiritual/solidarity exercise, and I like that.
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:10 AM   #199
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In which I whine

This is hard!

I got hungry last night. Enough that it was going to keep me awake. I ate some of the meat and veg soup that I had for just such an occurrence, but I didn't like having to do it. It felt like the hunger was controlling me, not the other way around.

And then I STILL woke up hungry this morning. It is Sunday, and I have the opportunity to sleep in, but I got up instead so I could have my breakfast NOW! (Just waiting for the patty to cook! )

And, of course, it is gratifying to see my weight down after a Down Day (another half pound). But I have plans to eat a lot today, trying not to worry that I will be short of food on Tuesday. I do NOT want another drop after an Up Day. Three times in a row would be too much for my peace of mind.

I really don't see how people handle being hungry long-term. I guess I am just a baby, but I REALLY dislike this. Mecker, mecker, mecker.

Okay, enough of that. I am still enjoying myself when I get my mind off my stomach and fridge. Honey and I went to a movie yesterday, and held hands. I hung out with Littlest. Made granola and practiced German together. Worked on some projects(the petticoat is almost done, and looks good). I felt thin and enjoyed feeling thin. All good stuff.
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:19 AM   #200
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Day 5 done!

I DID eat a lot yesterday:

Ground beef, 2 eggs, and coleslaw for breakfast.
Creamed spinach and 2 eggs for second breakfast.
Coleslaw for a light lunch.
Carrots with dip and meat-and-veg soup for a snack.
Cauli-rice, 2 chicken thighs, creamed spinach, and jello for dinner.

I was full when I went to bed(But hungry by the time I got up. Really?!?).

Had somewhat of a panic when I couldn't find my zucchini for dinner, but I set my fears aside, and ate the spinach instead. (I will look for the zucchini today.)

Looking forward to my kombucha today. It is a real treat. And very much looking forward to tomorrow being the last day of this challenge. It really has been a CHALLENGE for me. I am learning a lot about myself and my feelings about food.

Hey, I just noticed I ate 8 servings of vegetables yesterday. Yay! Even divided over an Up and Down Day combination, that's pretty respectable.

My weight was up one pound from yesterday, so I am relieved. I'll post my numbers after the full week. I AM going down more than I usually do.
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:24 AM   #201
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I agree with you on hating to think of anyone being hungry. What gets me more than anything is CHILDREN being hungry. It makes me so mad to see the kids that get help money and meals and see their parents smoke/use their Iphones or such. That $$$ Could be used on food!

You did great girl! I am proud of how you have done!
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:50 AM   #202
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I know what you mean. A friend I told about my challenge yesterday, said some of her sister's friends SELL their food stamps! Jerks. I guess that's how they get their phones or smokes. That kind of fraud and abuse makes my blood boil.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:25 AM   #203
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I'm so impressed how you've handled this challenge! I'm sure it really does open your eyes.

Evidently the market for food stamps is a very active one, and is also highly involved with the drug trade. Lovely. Our tax dollars at work. I am 99% certain I know of one such person - she has 5 kids by the way.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:00 AM   #204
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Still struggling

I went to bed hungry last night, and woke up hungry. I even woke up in the middle of the night, and thought about eating something then.

This is very different for me.

Doing JUDDD, I have been hungry at times. I've even woken hungry on some of my Up Days. But there are big differences.

On my regular-life Up Days, I knew I could eat. And I did. What ever I wanted, as much as I wanted. Not this week. When I woke up at 3:30, wanting to eat, I knew any bite I took would be something else I couldn't have later today. I rolled over, and tried not to think about food until I fell asleep again. (It took a while.) I have not been sleeping as well this week, and I think it is from hunger.

The type of hunger is different as well.

I am used to what I have called TrueHunger on JUDDD and on 3 days fast that I have done previously. (For autophagy, if you are interested.) It comes, makes its presence known, and if I don't eat, disappears after about 15-30 minutes, and tries again a few hours later. The hunger I have been having this week is more of an all the time, nagging ache in my belly. MeanHunger. It does not politely go away and try again. It is poking me all the time. Not really forcefully, but ALL THE TIME. It wears me down.

No wonder people go off diets! I would NEVER do this as a diet to lose weight. I think the only reasons I have kept to this so long is that praying has helped and I am doing it for an emotional reason.

I feel I really do have, even after 6 days, a different understanding and compassion for people living on the food-edge.

Some may think that it is the JUDDDing that is making this so hard. I'd like to stress that JUDDDing with eating what I want, had NEVER made me feel like this. And the amount of food I am having, divided over 7 days, instead of four, is so small I don't even want to contemplate it. I think JUDDD is the only thing that has made it manageable. At least while staying low-carb. I may have had more volume if I added rice and potatoes, but that would have brought up a whole different set of issues, including feeling like crap! And sugar cravings. No thanks. So, I guess I still have choices on SNAP. Just between different difficulties.

Okay, enough talk for now. I still have a day to get through! I'm off for breakfast. Yay!
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:59 AM   #205
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You are doing great, Sirtain. It's an interesting challenge.

Having been on food stamps, I have to say that the majority of people who go hungry are wasting their money on items they don't need. We always ate very well.

Currently I have even less money ($150/week for 7 people...averages to about $21 per person) and we still eat well.

I think a big difference is that I use and eat potatoes. We have them *a lot*. Thankfully I can eat them and not have problems!

Sorry that you are hungry! Good luck today!
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:23 AM   #206
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I'm sure I would learn tricks to make my food stretch more, if I were to do this for longer. But...I am so glad I'm not!

I think the food I am eating is good stuff. I should probably run the calorie count compared to my regular meals to see how much the difference is. But I HATE to count calories.

I also think part of the hunger is mental. I don't do well with deprivation. Mental hunger is just as bothersome as physical hunger, though, maybe even more so. (Aside from the extremes of, you know...starving to death!)
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:23 AM   #207
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Start Date: Sept. 2013
As a newbie interested in learning, I've been reading some of these Journals and found yours particularly interesting and informative. I so admire your self-discipline in being able to follow the JUDD approach. And I wish you much success with it.

I also was very moved by your decision to try to live within the guidelines of the SNAP budget. I, like you, have much sympathy for the struggles endured by the poverty-stricken.

Although I understand the comments some have made about the financial irresponsibility displayed by some users of food stamps at the same time I am well aware that most people using food stamps are doing so due to circumstances beyond their own control. Many people have been made vulnerable by job losses, illnesses and other crises in their lives despite the fact that they are responsible and worthy individuals. I have great sympathy for them and find their suffering heartbreaking.

I try always to remember 'What you do for the least of these, you do for me'.

Anyway, good luck to you dear. I wish you a fruitful and serene journey.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:50 AM   #208
Way too much time on my hands!
 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Kansas
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WOE: JUDDD
You know, I agree. Part of hunger is mental. I honestly think for me, KNOWING it's a DD makes me more hungry! KWIM?
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:26 PM   #209
Major LCF Poster!
 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: DFW area
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WOE: Paleo+JUDDD
Start Date: March 2013
Thanks for stopping by my journal, Lola. I'm pleased that you've enjoyed it. I love reading journals of people who are going through the same steps I am. It really helps.

It's funny that you should mention self-discipline, though. I do not feel like a disciplined person, but I think that JUDDD has improved mine. I don't need discipline to follow it, because every day is a 'start-over'. However, I CAN now wait until tomorrow for things, so I guess I am getting better.

The only way I have gotten through the SNAP challenge, though, is to pray, and focus on the emotional reasons I am doing this. I would never make it on a deprivation diet for DIET reasons, though. Weight loss is just not worth it. (Though, of course, I am going to revel in every extra pound I have dropped during this. Full report tomorr0w.)

Zipp- mind over matter, right? If only my mind were a little stronger!
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:40 PM   #210
Blabbermouth!!!
 
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WOE: JUDDD
Sirtain- I admire you for doing this challenge
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