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The One Serving Diet [Download PDF]

Preface

My brother was a web designer, singer/songwriter and an author. Craig had always wrote his music based on his personal experience and that's exactly what he had done with One Serving Diet. In early 2008 Craig was admitted to a local hospital and diagnosed with multiple blood clots in his lungs. He spent months in the hospital before his passing in September of 2008, and during that period he learned the true meaning of a meal created from one serving of certain foods. This is what he would have liked to pass on to you. This book also includes some of Craig's history and more importantly what had worked for Craig as he lost 150 pounds in six months using the One Serving Diet method. Sadly, Craig's journey ended in September 2008 and he passed away. He hoped he would help others by relating to them on a very personal level. Craig said, "This book is for everyone who is struggling day in day out with food addiction, weight loss and obtaining a healthy weight".

Acknowledgements

This book has been inspired by every person I've ever met who has an eating disorder whether they realize it or not. The journey as to how I came to write this book is a major part of the book and I felt it was important. I pray that everyone, no matter how much weight gained, lost or gained again will benefit from hearing my story and what I've learned worked for me.

My journey is far from over and even as I sit and write this preface I'm still only about half way to meeting my ultimate weight goal. Although my progress has been quick as you will read about in chapter one. Everyone must walk their own path and find what works best for them.

I need to thank all the doctors who have cared for me the past six months and literally brought me back to life. Without them I'm sure I would not be writing this book or telling my story in such a happy spirit.

A special thank you to Mom, Dad, Tom, Cammie and Breana my close family and my friends Dave, John, Kevin, Lisa, Vinny and Merry for supporting me this past year and a half during my illness. As strange as this might sound thank you to my ex-girlfriend Jen for which without her I would never have gone to the hospital on that fateful night in January 2008.

Well ok so maybe I wrote this book for myself as well. See I'm hoping that if I ever fall into the dark pit of uncontrollable eating I will be mindful enough to pick up this book and read and believe my own opinions. It goes along with a tattoo I had placed on my chest, which is the Chinese symbol for addict. I got it because I wanted an easy way to remind myself when I look in the mirror each morning that yes I am still addicted to food and I must do the next right thing.

My Story

It has been a lifetime of trying to understand why food was so important in my life. Until I was in my early thirties I still believed it was just because I liked food. Well it made sense since most of my family was overweight and they all seem to enjoy overindulging in it. For me though something else appeared in my life at a very crucial time and that was a memory of a 12 Step meeting I attended.

A son of my mom's friend who had also struggled all his life dropped an amazing amount of weight. When I asked him how he had done it he asked me to trust him and come to one of the meetings he was attending. He said you will probably feel one of two ways after the meeting. Either you'll think these people are nuts or it will click and you'll feel right at home. I realize now I just wasn't ready because I really thought they were crazy.

But this memory of what had been talked about during the meeting stuck with me and when I finally had hit rock bottom, which included my ex-wife getting ready to walk out, I woke up on a Saturday morning and decided to seek out that same meeting I had been to five years prior. Thank goodness for me it was still in the same place. This time it clicked and I was on my way to losing 175 pounds. I should probably state that my top weight was 475. So this weight loss didn't get me to a healthy weight but what I call average.

I quickly learned the difference between healthy and average. Healthy for my height was around 175 pounds. I got down to 313 pounds and was average. This meant that when I stood on the streets of New York City and looked around I was somewhere in between someone who I would consider fat and someone who looked like they worked out seven days a week. This thrilled me because no longer would I get stared at on the Long Island Railroad because I was taking up a seat and a half. No longer did I have to ask for the seat belt extension when I flew. This was wonderful except for one thing.

After my wife and I separated I got into another relationship after about 10 months. This relationship taught me that I was willing to give up the progress I had made and start back pedaling. I got comfortable, too comfortable. So the weight started to come back on and before I knew, and during 2 more relationships, I was back to almost were I started at around 450 pounds.

Coinciding with the last relationship, around January of 2007, I began a year of my health downward spiraling. Everyday it became harder and harder for me to breath. Unfortunately I took the stance that it would get better on its own and let it go straight through till the middle of January 2008 when I wound up in the emergency room at Stony Brook Hospital on Long Island where I lived.

It didn't take long for the bad news to come back. I had multiple pulmonary embolisms and I was told had I waited any longer to come in that one of them probably would have broken away from my lungs and wound up in my brain or heart and I would have died from a stroke or heart attack. Even with coming in when I did they gave me a slim chance of survival and said they would have to wait to see how the initial treatment of blood thinners and something called a "Clot Buster" would work.

I spent five and a half weeks in the hospital eating on what the nutritionist called a cardiac diet. It's unimportant for purposes of this book exactly what that entailed but suffice it to say that it taught me two important lessons, which are the focus, serving size and sodium content.

Well as you probably guessed I did survive and I'm here writing this book six months later. My health is not 100% yet. I still spend every day on oxygen and a bi-pap at night to help with my sleep apnea, but I'm alive! I try to believe that God has kept me here because my work is not done. Maybe writing this book is part of my work.

When I finally got home there was special attention shown to making sure that my diet stayed the same or as prescribed because it was working. It didn't in anyway include counting calories or figuring out points. I just knew that I needed to eat one serving of whatever it was I was having and keep my sodium intake to a minimum.

So what has the progress been in the past six months? I've lost 140 pounds. How much more do I want to loss? Another 140 pounds. This will get me to what I've spoken about earlier, a healthy weight. It's not good enough for me anymore to be average, I must be healthy. Every doctor who saw me in the hospital all told me the same thing, right before they would try to persuade me to get gastric-bypass, the condition I have was caused by me being overweight!

Childhood

I knew from a very early age that my relationship with food was one that I didn't see other children my age having. As a child it didn't really matter but as I got into therapy later in life and really examined my core issues I realized it molded who I was and what I became. The old phrase rang true for me, you can't serve two masters, and my master was food. Everything and everyone else in my life was secondary.

An example which I would like to share is important because I think it pin points for me how far back I can remember food being that controlling over my life. I'm not sure of my age but I do know that I had just moved into the 5th grade because we change schools at that time. My grandmother, god rest her soul, would frequently give me silver dollar coins. I guess she had hoped that I would save them and maybe even pass them on.

Well at that time I would be sent to school with a brown paper bag lunch and probably given enough money to get a beverage. But something else called my name from that cafeteria kitchen and it was large peanut butter cookies. I can remember the feeling of awkwardness as I would pay for one or two cookies with my silver dollars but even that didn't seem to stop me. I spent every one of those dollars that year and food had tightened its grip even more around my life.

I think what scares me the most as I look back, and I say scares but I also mean feel grateful for, is that my choice of what to be addicted to was food. As my addiction grew throughout childhood and into my teens and eventually into adulthood, I can honestly say that at the rate I was going had it been alcohol or drugs my life would have been over a long time ago.

Of course I've also seen how my addiction can move from food into other areas but that is something that I suggest everyone find the best addictions therapist you can and get down to the core reason for the destructive behavior. No one defaces himself or herself the way an addict does for no reason. Get help finding it and life will seem to have a different meaning.

Why Me?

This is a question that I had to come to terms with before I could ever see results in my attempts to loss weight. I guess it's the question we all ask ourselves at some point, about something, why me? Why do I have to have this problem with food? Well maybe I'm the first one to tell you this but it doesn't matter why!

You have this problem with food and it's not going away. The best you can hope to do is manage it and I believe you can. With the right outside help, because we really can't do it alone and if we could we would have a long time ago, and a push in a healing direction you can start to feel normal again. You can stop wondering why me and get on with your life.

As I write this I know that every person that reads it has more important work to be doing in this world than worrying about what the next morsel of food will be they put in their mouth. Stop worrying why and put the focus on how your going to change.

Struggle, Struggle, Struggle

Sometimes it's going to feel just like that, struggle, struggle and more struggle to keep doing the next right thing for your health and weight loss but believe me it's worth it. Even as I write this I can tell you that at some point during my day food will make me angry.

It's okay to be angry by the way it's human nature. When you're out enjoying a wonderful meal with a loved one or with friends and you have gotten through the entire meal making outstanding choices there is going to come that moment when everyone else is going to be ordering desert. Now we both know that unless you're at a diner their probably not serving fruit cup. So you'll have to pass on desert.

How is this going to make you feel? Angry, resentful and lonely like you're the only one in this world that has to make that decision not to have desert. Well you're not alone, ever! I like to imagine that when I start feeling jealous about what other people are eating that it's the 5 year old in me kicking and screaming because he wants what he wants and doesn't care about the consequences. Fortunately we are not that 5 year old any more and as an adult who can see the consequences in the waistline of our pants and blood pressure readings at the doctors we can say no.

I was told that when I get this feeling I should simply sit on my hands because it only lasts a short while and sanity is quickly restored. You will feel so good about getting through situations like that! The next time you are faced with one similar it will get even easier to make the right decision.

One Serving Diet

First let me say that I wanted to wait to this point in the book to actually discuss the diet because I wanted you to understand me. I wanted you to feel comfortable with the fact that I share your struggle on a daily basis and when I recommend you try something it's because I've tried it and it worked for me.

So what is one serving? Well this was the question I began to ask my self upon arriving home from the hospital. I knew that in the past counting calories and calculating points was just going to make me not want to care about what I was eating again. So I told myself that there must be a reason why every food product has a nutritional facts label. So I went to the Internet and found that the FDA website had a great explanation and diagram.

I knew from what I had learned that sometimes a product that might appear to be one serving was really more than one. I never bothered to every look at that fact. So when the label says "Serving Size 1 cup" and under it is says "Servings Per Container 2" this is my signal that I can't have the whole thing. In this example I can have 1 cup or half the container because it contains 2 servings.

Looking at labels in this way has really made me become picky about what I choose to eat. For example, my dad buys bake at home pizzas, which are smaller than pizzeria size pizzas, and in the past would have probably been enough for me. Well the label says that the "Serving Size is 1/3". Is it worth it for me to eat 1/3 of that small pizza or is there something else I could choose that might fill me up better and leave me more satisfied. Now I'm not saying that I haven't tried it because I have and I've learned to appreciate every morsel but that is not the case with everything.

You'll have to come to terms with how important certain foods are to you. What you're willing to give up and what you're not. It's not easy to decide and I recommend trying to eat the "Serving Size" and see how it feels. Of course share the rest of whatever it is with someone else just to get rid of it. We don't want you sneaking back for seconds, thirds, fourths, etc.

Sodium Intake

Now that we know the proper amount we should be eating we can refer to the nutritional facts label for one other thing, sodium level. It's important to realize during this discussion that the sodium level you read on the label is for "One Serving". So if the label says "Sodium 470mg" and the "Servings Per Container 2" then the total sodium for the package is 407mg x 2.

The cardiac diet, which I follow, allows me 2300mg or one teaspoon of salt per day. This may not seem like a lot and it will narrow down the foods you'll be able to eat but the foods that will be left will be better for you. Sodium is a killer and I recommended even if you do not have a heart condition to limit it to as close to the 2300mg per day as possible.

Eating Fast Food

DO NOT EAT FAST FOOD!

If you want to quickly deter yourself from eating fast food or even eating out at certain restaurants visit their websites and read all about the nutritional values of their products and meals. You'll quickly see that it's virtually impossible to loss weight indulging in their foods.

Now I'm not saying you can't eat out but be as careful as possible and make choices as you would if you were making something from scratch in your own kitchen. In the long run you will be a lot better off.

When Should I Start?

Now. How's that for an answer. It's never a bad time to lay down old habits and begin forming new ones. You have the basics of the one serving diet in the palm of your hands so why not make your next meal count towards your new life?

This is another area I can tell you from experience where I have just wasted time. How many times did I sit around, continuing to consume thousands of calories, waiting for the minutes to tick away until it was just the right moment? Maybe new years, my birthday, next Monday (because all diets should start on a Monday), when my kitchen runs out of all the bad food I bought, when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie? Ok you get the idea.

You're not unique in your thinking but perhaps this is another place we can try to affect some change. When should you start? Now!

Honesty, Know They Self

This is probably going to be one of your toughest obstacles in getting on steady footing and achieving long-term weight loss. You have to know your self. You have to come to grips with what foods you can eat without triggering an all out pig fest and what ones will just send you straight into oblivion. Now I know for me that if I just sat down and thought about my eating history I could easily pin point at least 10 foods that I just cannot have. Here let me give an example.

When I was married every night on my way home I would buy two containers of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Later I learned that I was doing this and consuming them because it acted as a sedative and would help me sleep, but more importantly it came into focus that once I start consuming ice cream I don't stop. See I'm sure it started with one container and then went to two and I'm pretty sure I can remember buying four at one point because they were two for one and eating all four in one night.

So my point is in analyzing this I realize that anything that even remotely resembles ice cream is not going to pass through these lips. Now when I made this decision did it feel like it was going to kill me, yes! But then again four containers of ice cream in one sitting was slowly killing me anyway and I really wanted to live.

One more example of this is the drive-thru window at fast food restaurants. Now for me I can have all the best intentions before I get to the drive-thru window but for someone reason as I stare into that big bright menu the restaurant must play some kind of Jedi mind trick on me because before I know it I'm ordering all types of things I won't even mention instead of my grilled chicken salad and bottle of water. So I stay as far away from drive-thru places as possible and by the way they have the same Jedi power even when I walk into their establishment so for me they are totally off limits.

Goals & Rewards

If you're like me you grew in a house where food may have been a reward for a job well done or for winning a ball game or getting good grades. Well this just another habit that needs a little changing. I don't know about you but I like to eat when I'm happy or sad. If something good happens in my life it's a reason to go to dinner and celebrate. If something bad happens it's a reason to order in something full of calories and hopefully they deliver because I want to get right into my expandable sweatpants.

Well believe it or not I have even thrown my weight loss off track trying to reward myself with food for losing weight. Now that may sound crazy but I have a feeling to most of you reading this book it won't. So how do we change this behavior?

First we need some goals and I would suggest those goals not be based around your weight loss. Let the weight loss just become some that naturally happens in your life as you live occupying yourself with other things. Set goals for anything else, whatever you want. Then set some rewards, no not food rewards!

How about a weekend getaway or that new motorcycle you've always wanted. See there are other things that can bring us joy instead of just the momentary joy we get out of consuming high calorie foods. So today set one goal and set the reward and I'm sure this will help you on a daily basis move your focus away from the food and back onto life.

Riding Plateau's Wave

Plateaus are the worst speed bump any person trying to lose weight can face. They can make us feel defeated and just give up on all the success we have already achieved. The worst part is that for some strange reason we seem to be able to gain the weight back faster than we ever took it off. But hitting a plateau is just the bodies way of saying okay I need to take a rest.

Many people when they hit a plateau, maybe not losing any weight for a week, decide it's time to change the game plan. Don't change anything! I've done this and it only sets up falls hope of ever braking through the weight you're stuck at. I can promise you this though, if you just stay the course for two weeks the plateau will brake and you'll be on you're way to losing weight again.

A trick to not really noticing plateaus, and I know this can be difficult, would be to not weigh your self on a weekly basis. Unless you have a medical condition which requires you to watch your weight closely I would say try weighing yourself only one a month. If you do this you may have hit a plateau sometime during the month but stayed the course and never even noticed it and you'll still see significant weight loss.

Slip, Fall, Get Up!

This is probably the one chapter in this book that I want to tell you require brutal honesty. We all slip from time to time with what we eat. No one can tell me that they haven't made a wrong choice from time to time. Our food choices are based on so many factors starting with how we feel, what's available to us, what people around us are having and so on.

Yes sometimes we fall completely off the wagon and how long it takes us to get back on track is up to ourselves. No one telling me to straighten up is going to make me straighten up and get back to make good food choices. It's ok to feel bad about getting off track but you must get back up and continue to walk down the path that will eventually lead you back to healthy eating.

This past year before I had gotten admitted to the hospital I watched the movie Rocky 6. There is a scene in this movie where his son comes to ask him not to fight because it would embarrass him. I was so moved by the dialogue in this scene that I actually bought the DVD and edited out just that scene and watch it from time to time. But here is what Rocky said to his son. I think it might hit home with you as well.

"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that! I'm always gonna love you, no matter what. No matter what happens. You're my son, you're my blood. You're the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, you ain't gonna have a life."

If you get the chance rent this movie even if just to watch this scene.

Exercise

Ok so here's were everyone gets to yell at me. I've lost 140 pounds in six months following what I've described in the previous chapters. I have not exercised one bit. Now I don't recommend this and my lack of exercise is really due to the fact that my body is still healing and is not ready for it. I can tell you that in the past I did work in some time of exercise on a regular basis even if it was just walking around the mall before hours.

I'm actually looking forward to starting a good regiment and I know that I will not be able to achieve that healthy weight unless I do. Depending on how much weight you need to loss will determine how soon and how hard you should be working out. If you are obese and find it hard to walk or easily get out of breath I would say concentrate on the food intake and I'm sure you will begin to see results.

If you feel up to beginning exercise then find some friends to do it with you. Having company will always motivate you. If you feel uncomfortable working out at a gym at first go to your local mall before they open. Every mall in the country opens its doors and you will see faithful walkers working their way around the mall.

Don't Preach, Achieve Results!

So many people as soon as they see results from starting any diet want to run out and start telling everyone they think it will help to get on board. Well as the author of this book I'm probably going to kill my sales by saying this but don't do that! I can almost guarantee you that the moment you start telling people about the one serving diet that you will begin to fall off track.

I don't know this is but trust me I've done it more than once! Maybe it's because I want to do it with other people and I'm not saying it's not exciting to see the weight fall off but sometimes shooting our mouth off about how we are doing it is really shooting ourselves in the foot.

What I would suggest is that you wait until at least two to three people have asked you if you have lost weight. If you can do this I believe you are truly leading by example and probably have created a lifestyle change that you will continue despite all the wonderful comments.

Okay now go share my book with the world!

Resources

Nutritional Facts Label






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