The Diet Diary

The Diet Diary

A journey back
This website is not selling or promoting any any diet products! This is my real life diary.

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This is me (190 pounds) with my kids<<<---- Me & kids, not so long ago. Click for larger image

You can also click here if you want to see what we look like today (july 1999)
(This page was created one night in july 1998. I sat down by the computer and wrote it off, not knowing if I would keep this journal online or not. I was very depressed, sad and almost desperate. Once again I had decided to try a diet since the scales had hit another high. I was more than 50 pounds overweight.
Now a year has passed and I don't diet anymore. I keep this site online anyway, because I have recieved lots of feedback saying I am encouraging others to diet... well... if you want to know what happened, read on.... ;-)

(This text might look a bit sad but... this is actually a success story!)
Me before my diet... *shudder*
This is me in May 1998... *shudder*
Click here to see what I look like in april 1999.

July 27 th, 1998: Ok, enough already!
Just look at me. 83 kg again.
That's apprx. 183 pounds. (I'm average height, 168 cm) I have been up to 85 kg/187 pounds this summer but I refused to accept what the scales told me. But I know now it's about time I get my act together.

I have a history of being fat. I grew up a big girl. When I was 13 years old my weight was about the same as today, 80 kg. I'ts a lot of weight for a young girl. But I did it then, I lost the weight and I want to do it again now.
The difference is that it seems harder today. I have tried to lose weight for five years now, but only gained instead. No, I can't say I have really put my mind to it... I have always been giving up too fast, saying "I'll diet later" And it has left me feeling depressed, sad, feeling unattractive and almost bitter.

20 years ago I went on a diet and exercise program with ease, and about a year later, age 15, I had dropped to my goal weight 60 kg/132.2 pounds. It was a wonderful feeling. Imagine, of my body weight had just disapperared! And it was not very hard either. In fact I kept losing some more weight before my body seemed to settle at 57 kg/125.6 pounds.
I never saw it as a big deal, though people around me were astounded. But losing weight is probably easier when you are young and active...? Or is that just a lie I keep telling myself in order to justify my present lazy lifestyle?

What did I do then, back in 1978?
To accomplish my weight loss, and to stay on target weight? I ate regular meals, lots of soups, vegetables and fish, almost no meat, no fried food, only boiled. And I never had any cooked food after 6 pm, I exercised almost every day (swimming and bicycling), did situps *sigh* But I didn't stay away from all the sweets. I have always been fond of chocolates and sweets, and I did allow myself to have some candy occasionally.

I kept my weight for over ten years
This was the thin me in 1988.
So I forgot how it was to be fat. For over ten years I kept that weight and didn't think much of it. Of course, I was almost anorectic... In fact, I sometimes forgot to eat. (Thinking back, I suppose this makes it even harder to start a diet again, knowing I almost starved myself then, and I really enjoy food so much these days. I love cooking and I can't stand the thought of starving myself or dieting.)
But I was used to being thin. Clothes looked great on me, Boys fell in love with me, (sheesh, I was not just vain, I was spoiled rotten)
Being young, pretty and in excellent shape I felt it was only the way things should be. I was a happy girl. Gawd, I miss that! I suppose I still am happy in ways... We find other pleasures in life, but I am definitely not happy with my present weight, body and looks.

Today, after two pregnancies, I have put on all those pounds again, and then some... After a couple of unsuccessful diets causing more fat to grow on my butt, this time I'm afraid the fat is back to stay unless I do something now and it can't be the same effortless attempts as I usually start on mondays and end on thursdays so I can "enjoy the weekend" (Never being able to get back on track again...)

I have kept telling myself that being a full time working mother of two leave very little time for exercise, which caused me to chose to cut down on almost all physical activities. (=being a lazy slob) To be honest I haven't done anything even similar to exercise for a year. It's much easier to sit half asleep in the sofa with a snack and a beer, than to get out and jog at 8.30 pm.
Knowing myself I am not aiming very high to start with, when it comes to the exercise bit.
I might go swimming sometimes. Maybe go for a walk once a week. Apart from that there should be a training bicycle somewhere around the house, I don't know if I will use it. It's a scary thing, indeed...

Of course I 'm not dreaming of getting my youth back if I lose weight, but I hope to be able to be more happy with myself. The last years I have lived like a zombie, always putting life on hold, saying "later, when I'm thin again". Never buying any nice clothes, never going out, and my lovelife is absolutely suffering. I don't like my body, therefore I can't accept that my husband can find me attractive. My self esteem is down the drain, and I escape into more eating. I guess I have to love myself in order to allow other people to love me.

So this is what I want to do:

  • Lose 15 kg/33 pounds in a year. My goal weight today is 65 kilo/143.3 pounds, since I'm not a teenager anymore. After two child births I don't think I need to look like twiggy... Um.. ok, I'll revise it. To be completely honest, I know I won't be satisfied until I weigh 60 kg/132 pounds again, but I doubt I will get that far.
  • Get a completely new wardrobe since I hate my present ugly "tents" and just die to wear a tiny black dress again.
  • Get a new swimsuit, I used to love buying swimsuits, unfortunately I have my own bar-code on the tummy these days after two pregnancies, so it will have to be a one-piece...
  • Travel with my husband on a honeymoon (no, we never had one) and make up for the years he loved me, my moodswings, my undressing in the dark and all and my extra weight, even though I hated my body myself. He is the greatest man in the world and I love him dearly.
  • Update this diary daily or weekly so you all can follow my struggle against the fat. Hopefully it will be online for a long time, but if I fail I will probably remove all traces of it... We will see...
  • Post pictures, tables and diagrams showing how I'm doing.
  • And finally, add pictures of me from that second honeymoon... slim, tanned, and.. well.. if not pretty, hopefully smiling. I bet my husband will be smiling too... ;)


    What do you say? Do we have a deal?
    Ok, let's get going then!
    It's now july 25'th 1998 and I aim to be at my first goal weight: 65 kg/143.3 pounds around christmas. While dieting I'll try to make a list of things to do I find works for me, and things that don't. Hopefully more people will find it useful.

    If you have thoughts, comments or just plain encouragement....

    E-mail me

Wiew my guestbook Sign my guestbook My Diet Diary My list of do's and don'ts Before and after pics Links




That was then...... This is now!





50 pounds gone
This is me in April 1999... 50 pounds gone


August 6, 1999: 50 pounds vanished since I wrote the text above.
By march 18, my 35'th birthday I reached 60 kg/132 pounds and I have stayed at 60-61 kg/132-134 pounds since then. (No, I didn't get Brad Pitt for my birthday, but I don't mind... I'm so happy anyway!) You can follow my struggle... No.. scratch that, because it wasn't really that hard.. but you can follow my diet in the diary pages and see pictures of me on the pics page.

Many people have been with me since day 1 and sent me a lot of feedback. Some say I should give out the secret, the key to my success and I must be honest with you all. Maybe this is disappointing but there is no secret. No shortcut. No magic trick. No drugs, pills or Herbal scams. I have gone through a change of life style. A plain old fashioned "eat less and get thinner"- diet!
But to comfort all who can't stand the thought of giving up the good things in life for celery twigs and endless aerobic sessions, I haven't sacrificed anything and I haven't exercised myself to death either! I haven't starved and I haven't tortured myself. Still I'm here, 50 pounds lighter and I feel ten years younger today than I did one year ago.
I have tried to think of what tips might be useful and if this can help anyone out there, I will be more than happy...


Val's story

Who is Val (Valkyrienne a.k.a Helene) and how did this start ?
I am swedish. Not that it matters, but it might explain some strange words in the diary, weird names of food and of course - the grammar... ;-)
I live in Stockholm and I am 35 years old.

I started dieting in july 1998, not too confident in believing I would make it this time either. It wasn't my first attempt... more like my 101'st.
I had been 50 pounds overweight for 6 years. Weight I put on during pregnancy and then kept on.. and added to.

What triggered my dieting this time was a bunch of holiday pictures.
I saw a beach picture of my tanned husband, my cute children and some huge woman with her back turned to the camera and it took me a while before I realized it was me there on that picture. I can't describe how sad I felt when I saw myself. I have avoided cameras whenever I could, and large mirrors weren't present in our home. I hadn't really taken a good look at myself for years.
I think I still had an image in my head of myself as the petite woman I once was but now I had to face the truth. I had lost control of my weight.
So I decided to diet. Again.
I can admit now that those previous attempts were not "real". Maybe because I never saw myself as that big. I never did put my mind to it and I always found (looked for) reasons to give up in order to return to the old way of living.
Food can be such a comfort.

The start and the webring...
Since I enjoy eating and food, my geatest fear was that I would give the diet up too soon, like before. To prevent that I allowed myself "diet-free" weekends. I was very strict during the weeks, sticking to my diet, but come saturday - I didn't think for one second about calories. Then on monday morning, I went straight back on track again.
This was a trange behaviour according to all "experts" but I felt comfortable with it. I never felt I had to miss any of the good things in life since there was always another saturday around the corner...
It helped me to turn away from temptation to know I had a chocolate bar in the fridge and it was only two days left before I could taste it.
Strangely enough I haven't had much will power before when it comes to this kind of sacrifices but as I said, I was very determined to make it this time.
One of the first differences I noticed this time was that my cravings for sweets soon went away (maybe because of all the fruit I ate?) and was replaced with the urge for "real food" or salty stuff.
Next change was the great help I had from the daily journals I kept online.
It was not my own idea in the beginning, The same day I went on my diet I found a web page of a swedish woman who had an online diet journal and I thought to myself "this is great, I must try it" So I sat down and created this site. And from that day, the journals were something I rushed home from work to tinker with.
One of the reasons I found the journals helpful was that so many people sent feedback and mailed me support. It was a great way of connecting with others in the same situation, but doing it on my own time.
Knowing other people "check in" on you on regular basis is probably doing the same for me as WW meetings are doing for Weight Watchers.
Within a couple of days I had added the Diet Webring to my pages. I started it, in order to make it easier to check on the "friends" and to find new diet buddies.

What did/do I eat?
I have now reached a stage where I don't need to lose more weight so I eat "more" than I did during the actual diet. I still allow myself whatever I want during the weekends but stay on diet meals and salads from monday to friday. I have found a balance where I don't gain weight and that is very important for me since I don't exercise much... yet.
I removed all the fattening stuff from my diet. Now, I allow myself a bit more, but I still watch carefully what goes into my mouth.

  • I have a light breakfast. Often dark wholegrain bread or swedish crispbread. No butter but a load of fresh vegetables on top. Sun dried tomatoes or "ajvar" spread, cottage cheese and fresh herbs replace the cheese, ham or whatever I had on my rolls before...
  • I drink much water, mineral water, energy drinks and coffee, tea, diet soda etc. I use lots of milk in my coffee and tea but never any sugar.
  • Each day I have 2-4 fresh fruits but never more than 2 bananas a week.
  • Lunch is and was always very low on calories. Frozen Weight Watcher or Lean Cuisine meals with a calorie content below 300 turned out to be perfect for me. With the additional fruit and coffee I felt content during the working day and didn't get hungry until dinner was served.
  • Lunch could also be a huge salad from the buffet restaurant. No dressing but lots and lots of fresh vegetables. I never touch the cole slaws with cream or mayo, the heavy pasta-mixes or the other calorie bombs containing sour-cream, mayo and such, that often are part of the salad buffet. I don't sprinkle the salad with toppings. Instead I use lemon, balsamico vinegar or apple cider vinegar and top the salad with parsley, fresh onions, leeks or green pepper etc.
  • I didn't eat the same dinner as my family when I was on the diet. Now I sometimes do but I still often make me a separate plate when my family has something fattening for dinner.
  • Dinner can be a fresh salad with no dressing, or a clear vegetable soup and wholegrain bread.
  • I don't even like the taste of greasy food anymore so the truth is I prefer something else. But it hasn't always been like this. In fact, it took me weeks before I could even sit down and watch my family eat their food. The first weeks of diet there were times when I sat by my computer, alone, eating my soup while the family had their pizza, creamy pasta or steak with fries. I was too afraid I would fall back into the old habit of "having just a bit" then another one, then ending up licking the plate...
  • I totally avoided all visible fat, sugar, butter, cream etc and I still avoid most fattening things.
  • I didn't eat much meat (and still don't) and certain things, like potatoes and pasta were not welcome on my plate at all.
  • I know I could have had heavier meals if I had exercised more, but I must admit I haven't stretched myself very far when it comes to sweating, and I did want to lose the weight before my 35'th birthday so I kept my meals very light but regular. Never skipped lunch or dinner.

    Here is my favourite lunch sandwich by the way:
    1 "Ciabatta" bread. (Italian large white bread roll) no butter but a tad of olive oil instead. Fill with lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and sliced red onion. Mix "feta" cheese (goat cheese? Low calorie) with yogurt and spices. Fill the roll with the feta-mix and 3-4 sliced black olives. I just love that one!

    Exercise... hmmm...
    When I was on the "real" diet. I figured the diet was enough to handle. Why torture myself with hard exercise at the risk of giving up? I was a good girl. I was doing well. When I felt like I wanted to be an extremely good girl I exercised some, but most times I felt the "must exercise when dieting" created feelings of guilt somehow. So after some time I slowed down on the training bike. (And I still lost weight pretty fast, but I still felt guilty for not exercising...) I think people should let the diet do them some good before they add more pressure. When you feel like moving, and you will when you re-gain your self confidence and feel lighter, then start slowly, and you will find the exercise adding some bonus.
    Gradually I have started to move around more, walk more instead of using the car, run up the stairs instead of using the elevator, not because I feel I must exercise, but more like it's so easy now. I also love to engage in physical activities these days. I play with the children, run, jump, bicycle, carry things....I don't sweat as much and I feel so light. I also feel very strong and I have better muscles than I dared to hope for. Perhaps the muscles inside a fat body are quite strong after all, I mean, look at the weight we have to carry! I attempted to carry my 6 year old son up the stairs last week, he weighs about 50 pounds... I almost fell over before I found the balance... Imagine I had all that extra weight on my body before!
    The only thing still sad is the skin on my tummy. It's flabby and wrinkled still, from the navel and across that little pouch... It's a bit better now but the skin feels almost dead in a way. Pregnany causing stretch marks is one thing, but the constant stretching of the skin for ages caused more damage. A doctor friend of mine told me it might take up to two years before we know how much better it will look, and if it's too bad still... he suggested the scalpel... ;-)
    However, I don't feel the need for that, I won't be wearing those tiny g-strings anyway... I think ;-)

    More tips?
    I also want to mention the fact that I weighed myself every day. I know It's not recommended since many people are afraid they'll focus too much on the scales but I did it in order to get to know my body.
    I created an excel diagram and made notes of my daily weight.
    We often fear we will lose control and if (when) we do, we immediately give up the diet, believing all is ruined anyway. At least I did. "I'll start again monday" is probably the most common line among dieters... right?
    So I figured "if I weigh in only once every two weeks, what if I happen to do it on a "bad" day?" (Women retain water, women have their cycles) I will probably believe the diet isn't working. So I gave it a try. I weighed myself the same time every day.

    After a couple of weeks it was very clear to me. The diet was working!
    The diagrams were showing a pattern I soon learned to love. I soon learned what I could allow myself. And even more important, I never felt like giving it up since I had proof the "letting go" during the weekends wasn't as dangerous as I had feared it would be. Of course it had an effect on the scales, but it was a very short term effect, and by tuesday I would be back on track again.

    I also learned how I would, once a month gain a little bit more, but it would all come off without any extra effort after my period. If I hadn't kept such close track of my weight I might have felt this temporary "uphill" too hard to handle and given in to chocolates and other well known "medicines"

    Finally, today I find so much more pleasure in eating than I used to during the last years. Food has been connected with guilt when I was overweight and perhaps I cooked quickly and ate fast in order to get it over with, or maybe so that noone would notice I went for seconds?

    Now I spend more time not only cooking, preparing and creating the meal. I spend extra time looking for healthy alternatives, I read the labels and I count calories. And for me as a person, I think this diet has been a great victory. Not only in the battle with the weight, but also in the change of lifestyle that I never really believed in before. Being overweight I always saw "healthy people" as weird health freaks, while now I realize that opinion was only a way of justifying my own unhealthy lifestyle.
    Well friends... That's it. No secrets, no magic pills or miracle diets. If my diet can help any of you guys out there I will be very happy. It worked for me and I hope I can inspire more people to make their mind up. I think it's all in the head. You have to diet for you. Not to please anyone else.

    Before I finish, I want to add one last thing. Remember my best tip:
    When I get tempted during the week, I think to myself 'this is not the last time life I get a chance to taste this,' and it's much easier to walk away from it.

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The New Toddler Miracle Diet [from Brian Myers, via UGA Humor List] An individual residing somewhere on the other side of the Atlantic, and suffering from that most American of diseases, obesity, reached the point of despair recently. Having tried almost every diet going (and being unwilling to haul themself off their oversized arse to do some exercise), this individual decided to try a different approach to development of a dieting plan. So was born the new Toddler Miracle Diet! Over the years it had been noticed that most two-year-olds are trim. After consultation with paediatricians, X-ray technicians, and distraught moms, the new diet was formulated. It is inexpensive, offers great variety and sufficient quantity. Before embarking on this diet, however, be sure to check with your doctor ... otherwise you might have to see him afterward. Good luck! DAY ONE Breakfast - One scrambled egg, one piece of toast with apricot jam. Eat 2 bites of egg, using your fingers; dump the rest on the floor. Take 1 bite of toast, then smear the jam over your face and clothes. Lunch - Four crayons (any color), a handful of pre-crushed crisps, and a glass of milk (3 sips only, then spill the rest). Dinner - A dry stick, two pennies and a 5p, 4 sips of stale beer. Bedtime Snack - Toast piece of bread and toss it on the kitchen floor. DAY TWO Breakfast - Pick up stale toast from kitchen floor and eat it. Drink half bottle of vanilla extract or one vial of vegetable dye. Lunch - Half a tube of "Pulsating Pink" lipstick and a cigarette (to be eaten, not smoked). One ice cube, if desired. Afternoon Snack - Lick a lollipop until sticky, take outside, drop in dirt. Retrieve and continue slurping until it is clean again. Then bring inside and drop on the rug. Dinner - A rock or an uncooked bean, which should be thrust up your left nostril. Pour coke over mashed potatoes; eat with a spoon. DAY THREE Breakfast - Two pancakes with plenty of syrup, eat with fingers, rub in hair. Glass of milk: drink half, stuff pancakes in glass. After breakfast, pick up yesterday's lolly from rug, lick off fuzz, and put it on the cushion of your best chair. Lunch - Three matches, peanut butter and jam sandwich. Spit several bites onto the floor. Pour glass of milk on table and slurp up. Dinner - Dish of ice cream, handful of crisps, some wine, coffee. FINAL DAY Breakfast - A quarter-tube of toothpaste (any flavor), bit of soap, an olive. Pour a glass of milk over bowl of cornflakes, add a half-cup of sugar. Once cereal is soggy, drink milk and feed cereal to dog. Lunch - Eat crumbs off kitchen floor and dining room carpet. Find that lolly and finish eating it. Dinner - A glass of spaghetti and chocolate milk. Leave meatball on plate. Stick of mascara for dessert.



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