Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Powerful Tool For Achieving Your Fat Loss Goal


Finally,

So the scale read 122 this morning, and I'm back in my optimal range for the first time in more than two years.

Yesterday morning, Van, Colin, my young assistant Meghan, and I headed down to start shooting the follow along videos for the Six Week Bodylift program.  I started with two beginner training sessions, but videos three and four were barbell and dumbell complexes, and the db complex was followed by a TBE/ Burpee 5x5 interval.  Oh dear, after that one I was cooked!  My husband gently suggested that we should bring Melanie (finalist- women under 40 TT contest #15) in to share some of the demonstrating, so I wouldn't be out of breath.  I gritted my teeth, smiled, and admitted that would be a good idea.  Besides, I had already asked her to join us for our next shooting day on Friday the 6th.  (What I was thinking was, "You get down here and do this without breathing hard!"  But I digress.)

Afterward, the voice in my head started to tempt me to go out to dinner, drink wine, and have some treats as a reward for my hard work.

I honestly don't know where I found my resolve, but I knew in my heart that if I just stuck to my eating plan, the rewards would be greater than any feeling a glass of wine could give me.

That night, my son went skating with his friends, and Van and I watched 2 episodes of "Breaking Bad" (First season, netflix) My eating reward?  A reasonable handful of raw almonds.

So by digging down deep for intensity and form on the videos, and staying true to my eating plan, I arrived safely at my destination: Goal Range!

When friends and family, students and acquaintances ask, "How do you get the body you want and keep it?", I take the question very seriously.  As someone who was won her ideal figure, lost it, and won it back, I am passionate about discovering the answer.  Today, I'm going to say this: The Key to Permanent Fat Loss is this: Resolve in the moment.

We are all familiar with resolutions about fat loss.  We make these resolutions at the New Year, in Spring, at the beginning of Summer, two weeks before vacation, and that's all well and good.  I believe that resolve is more powerful than resolutions.  Resolve is an element of strong character that allows you to choose wisely and well in the moment when you are faced with temptation.  This is the moment when you choose between your fondest dreams... and pleasure, or relief, or numbness, or forgetting.  Last night, when I wanted that glass of wine, what I wanted it to give me was rest, and a pat on the back for a job well done.

I had the incredible good fortune, in that moment, to use resolve to help me choose a different source of rest and validation.  (I don't know how restful watching Breaking Bad was, but I did have the pleasure of watching Bryan Cranston play Walt: what an astonishing actor Mr. Cranston is.)  For validation, all I had to do was turn to Van.

To put the tool of resolve into practical terms, establish a plan for how you will eat.  Don't cut calories too hard, and choose foods that satisfy you.  Then, when the impulse to overeat or eat out of bounds comes up, breathe-
and reach out for your resolve to stay true to the path you've chosen: the path to transformation.

It is so worth it to honor your own intentions.  I can't think of a better way to say it.

You are capable of reaching your goals, by finding the right tools, and learning to use them.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sugar Freedom: What To Do After a Slip

CTT Catherine Gordon says, "Stay in the game!"
Ask me and I'll tell you, eliminating sugar and grains from my diet has made me lean at last.  When I'm eating the foods that satisfy me, in the right amounts, I feel energized and full of enthusiasm for life and work.  It's as if by leaving sugar and grains out, I'm able to let success and happiness in.

There's just one problem.  When life gets really exciting, it also gets scary, and when I get scared sugar, starches, and anything that comes in a shiny wrapper, a pretty box, or a frozen carton starts to look very, very, good.

Do you catch my drift?  Do you know what I mean?  Have you been there?

Please let me share with you what happened last night.  Wait, no, to give you the full benefit of understanding what happened, we need to start with breakfast.

Yesterday was a busy, exciting day.  Normally, I would start such a day with my favorite big breakfast:

2 organic pastured eggs, 2 strips of uncured bacon, 2 cups of mixed vegetables cooked in 1T coconut oil, seasoned with organic ginger, turmeric, and iodized sea salt, 1/4 avocado, 2T salsa.

This breakfast is huge, and it keeps me powered up until lunchtime, no matter how many classes I teach or errands I run.

Sadly, I didn't eat that breakfast yesterday.  Why?  Besides my usual 8AM Turbulence Training class, I had a phone interview about physical transformation, and my Weight Watchers weigh in.  I did eat two small hard boiled eggs at 6:30AM.

That was all I ate until after my weigh in at 11AM.

I'll bet you can see where this is going.  By lunch at 11:30 I was frantic and starving, but I stuck to my planned menu.  The problem was what happened in the evening.

I hadn't intended to have a snack after my evening TT class, but when I got home I opened the door and the television was blaring (at least to my ears).  I asked my husband and son, "Do you know how loud that is?"  In their defense, it was the climax of the scene they were watching, and hey, they weren't expecting me that soon.

In that moment I made a choice.  I thought, "I'm tired and annoyed, and I sound like a shrew... I'm going to eat."

It started with cheese, then avocado, a protein bar (Tastes like candy!), some beef jerky, Weight Watchers Pecan Chips (Don't ask), 2T of peanut butter, and finally- drumroll please:
Colin's left over cherries jubilee ice cream- which he had specifically asked me not to eat.

Cue the sound of evil laughter.

Oh! I forgot to tell you, yesterday, I had stepped on the scale and I had finally seen 123- the top weight of my ultimate goal range.

To sum up:  Success freaked me out, I didn't eat enough, and I used annoyance at my family as an excuse to go wild in the kitchen.

What is it about reaching a cherished goal that sends us reeling?  My best answer is that success comes with responsibilities, and it can create new expectations in ourselves, as well as from others. This is a good place to recommend an excellent book: "The Big Leap" by Gay Hendricks.  He offers good techniques for keeping your equilibrium when you reach new heights.

Now, back to the solution I offered in the title of this post.

What should you do after a slip?

1. Drink plenty of water.

Sugary, salty carbs are notorious for causing water retention, so drink up to help flush it out.

2. Stick to your training routine.

Hey, if you're in a calorie surplus, why not use it to grow some beautiful muscle?  Plus, if you've been training with resistance, some of those carbs went right to muscle development, so the news isn't all bad.
3.  Get Right Back To Eating Well.

This is probably the most important point.  If you're like me, it's a bad idea to try to over- restrict your eating the day after a carb slip.  Plan and prepare plenty of satisfying food like green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus with pastured butter or organic coconut oil for flavor.  Get some high quality protein- also for high satiety, and include whatever foods you know fill you up, without waking the trigger monster, from your personal experience.  Finally, re-establish good food behavior like sitting down while you eat, and only eating at planned meal and snack times.

2013 has been a fantastic year of goals met and dreams come true, in spite of the fact that I've messed up my eating and thinking a bunch of times.  Sure, perfect behavior might have helped those dreams come true faster, but the joy of it is that they came true at all!

So bottom line: If you slip, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. Don't quit no matter what when it comes to the dreams and goals that truly sing to you.  Stay in the game, and
you will achieve them anyway.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ten Terrific Days of Fat Loss



I made this You Tube video ten days before the TT summit, and I thought I'd share it with my readers.

Although I didn't manage to put ten perfect days of eating together before the summit, I gave my all in my scheduled training sessions, and I did my best.  I don't claim to know why we sometimes act against our best interests, and do things that move us away from our most cherished dreams.  Maybe you get tired, and preparing a healthy meal seems like to much of a chore, so you grab a fast food meal.

My trigger feelings for less than great behavior are, frustration, disappointment, guilt, and anger- to name a few.  Most of the time I'm pretty cheerful, but we all get down sometimes, and too often sugary snacks are what we choose to get back "up" again..

Hey, the news isn't too bad though.  I may not have strung together 10 terrific days, but I had three really good days going into the San Diego trip, and while there, I had an eating strategy, and I followed it.

You can do it too if you're traveling.  My top tips?  Eat a good breakfast, drink plenty of water, walk whenever you can, and have lots of fun.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

From Frustrated Overweight Mom To Trainer of the Year

What is it about the saying, "Fitness is a lifestyle."  That makes me roll my eyes, and think, "That's not it at all.  

The whole lifestyle thing makes me think of training as a chore.  Just one more thing, like brushing your teeth, putting away the laundry, or getting your oil changed, that is necessary but not a thrill.  Regular workouts can seem like just another duty to be fulfilled in order to live up to the ideal of being a good mom.

A good mom sets the right example for her children by working out, but she doesn't turn her exercise into a self indulgent pleasure that takes her away from her family for too long.  It's not a sport.  It's not a game.  It's not golf.  It's part of a healthy lifestyle.  It kind of reminds me of the old tag after commercials for Frosted Flakes,

"Part of this complete breakfast."

Working out is "Part of this complete life," but is it healthy, or satisfying, of inspiring?  Not always.

For the first seven  years after Colin was born, I did Tae Bo tapes, step aerobics, weight machines, and cardio machines, religiously, as hard as I could.  Getting my weight from 185 to 160 pounds was pretty straightforward, but the battle really began at right around 155 pounds.  At 5'1" 155 is significantly overweight, but nothing I did seemed to work for very long.  In spite of attending Weight Watchers meetings, and following diets like Atkins and South Beach, I would get to 147 and then bounce right back up.  Finally, in 2008 I found Turbulence Training, entered the 2nd TT Transformation contest, and everything finally came together.
C & C at TT!


This weekend, at the 3rd Turbulence Training Summit, Craig talked about his Four Pillars of Transformation, they are:

Planning and Preparation
Accountability and Social Support
A Deadline
A Powerful Reason to Change

The contest, a commitment to sugar free eating, and powerful Turbulence Training techniques gave me the tools to succeed.  What's more, the TT Members community gave me the proof I needed that brilliant lasting change is possible without low fat- constant hunger dieting, endless cardio, or surgery.  The key to making that physical transformation permanent was the determination to pass on what I had learned to others.

I am so fortunate that my TT students, Melinda, Sandra, and Melanie had the tenacity to power through the 15th TT Transformation Contest.  My win as TT Trainer of the year is a testament to what they achieved with TT and Home Workout Revolution programs.  They trained at Gordon Studio and at home, and it worked, proving right here in Sonora that the fat loss they achieved wasn't a fluke.

Right now, five students and I are right in the middle of the 17th TT Transformation Contest.  It is so exciting to know that as we keep learning and improving our techniques for fat loss, that more and more gals are stepping up and taking a chance on TT, HWR, and themselves!  Last year at this time Mike Whitfield,  TT Trainer of the Year 2012 inspired me to shoot for the stars, and set the intention of winning myself, and although CTT nominees Brian Kalakay and Daniel Woodruff deserved the trophy too- I really did land on the moon.  And what a super moon it is today!

This year, with the help of my students at Gordon Studio, I intend to do my best to repay Craig's confidence in me.

Let it begin.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Nominated For Trainer Of The Year- Wow!

With TT Trainer of the Year Nominee Brian Kalakay CTT
I should have known that Lesa, Craig Ballantyne's beautiful assistant and head of customer service at Turbulence Training had something up here sleeve when she sent me a list of very important questions to answer for the TT Summit Manual.

I arrived in sunny San Diego yesterday, and after a great lunch in the Gaslamp quarter with my sister Mary, CTT Brian Kalakay, and his darling girlfriend Kristin, and a fantastic afternoon by the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel, I was ready to get into Summit Mode and go register.  I got up to my room and started to devour my conference materials, when I came across this heading:

TT Trainer Of The Year
        -Finalists-

It's no surprise that I see Brian Kalakay's name on the facing page.  Several of my students at Gordon Studio are fans of Brian.  He owns a gym in LaPeer, Michigan where he is changing lives every day with TT.  What's more, he filmed over 100 demonstration videos with Craig Ballantyne and TT Trainer of the year Mike Whitfield, and he created the Bootcamp Games System that brings excitement, fun, and results to trainers and fitness enthusiasts across the country, and the world.  I'm not even in Brian's league, but I admit there was a part of me that hoped I might be nominated.

I turned the page in the manual, and there it was:

Finalist - Catherine Gordon

Wahoo!  Now here's a little "Secret" "Law of Attraction" advice for you: Intentions are powerful!  Last year at the TT Summit, when Mike Whitfield was awarded Trainer of the Year, I turned to CTT Kerry Zalanka and flippantly said,  "I'm going to be trainer of the year next year."

That was kind of obnoxious, because I hadn't even finished my certification yet.  Even so, last year's summit lit a fire under me.  I finished my TT certification, opened the studio, and thanks to the success of clients like Sandra, Melanie, Melinda, Sarah, and all of the incredible women and a few men who have joined Gordon Studio, I am nominated along with Brian and CTT Daniel Woodrum.  (Can't wait to meet him by the way.)

So to all of my readers and students, I want to ask you: what do you really want in the coming year, and what could you achieve if you gave it your all?  Take some time to sit quietly and listen for the inner voice that will encourage you to grow farther in your current direction.  Maybe that voice will tell you to take a new road that makes your heart leap with excitement.  One thing I know is that it's a lot easier to make your dreams come true when you eat food that nourishes and satisfies you, and you move in away that makes you stronger and more vibrant.

Once again, to everyone who trains at Gordon Studio- you made this nomination happen, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sugar Freedom: Part 2

Insanity: Doing The Same Thing Over And Over, And Expecting A Different Result.

I have seen the quote above attributed to Albert Einstein, and I think it confirms his genius, and his sense of humor.

When it comes to physical transformation this quote applies, not only as fat is released,  but in the weeks, months, and years afterward when maintenance is the goal.

Actually, when it comes to maintenance, this may be an even better quote:

Insanity: Finding what works, then doing something different because it's the latest thing.




The photos on the left show my transformation during the fall and winter of 2009.  At Christmastime that year, I read Tim Ferris' book,  "The Four Hour Body."  Now, even though I had just finished transforming my body by following a low carb, high quality fat, moderate protein food plan, I was intrigued by the idea that an all-out cheat day once a week could help me keep the body of my dreams.  So I tried it.  Each Saturday for four weeks I ate all of the sugar, flour, and vegetable fats I wanted.  Candy, cake, doughnuts, they were all on the menu, and I chowed down.

It was an unmitigated disaster.

I felt sick, bloated, achy, and out of control.  What was even worse was the fact that once I started eating sugar, flour, and junk fat every Saturday, I couldn't stop eating them on the other days of the week.  I gained 15 pounds so fast it made my head spin.  I was riding a runaway sugar train, and I only got back on track by switching to a ketogenic diet: i.e. the induction phase of Atkins.  In January of 2010, I began exploring the possibility that I was a compulsive overeater with an addiction to sugar and starches- especially when those sugars and starches were mixed with trans fats and processed vegetable and soy bean oils.

For the past two years, every time I've come within five pounds of what I consider my authentic ideal weight, the insidious voice has come into my head, urging me that I'm cured of my compulsion and obsession, and that it's safe to try sweets again.

The voice has plenty of experts to back it up.  From Dr. Oz with his love of whole grains, to successful trainers who have seen countless clients cheat their way lean, to the most famous weight loss club in the world:  Weight Watchers, that assures us that no food is off limits, and that giving up sweets for good is unrealistic, there is a powerful chorus of voices in my head that tell me complete elimination of sugar and grains from my eating plan is wrong.

Perhaps the biggest barrier that stands between me and my own wisdom is the fact that true food addicts make up a small percentage of the population.  15% is one estimate I have seen, and that means that the majority of people who are dealing with overweight and obesity are not afflicted with the "allergy of the body, and the obsession of the mind" that characterized food addiction.  Sadly, I have always wanted to be liked and understood by as many people as possible.  That's one of my weaknesses.  I wanted to come up with a diet and exercise plan that was right for everybody, and become a hero of transformation.  I understand now that I can't help anyone until I have resolved my own overeating.

Honesty demands one simple thing of me now.  I am resolved to stop playing games with sugar, and to commit to a sugar, grain, and vegetable oil free eating plan from now on.  It may be that I need to give up my desire to inspire and influence the 85% of the population that doesn't share the strange and sad way I react to some foods.

Over the past few years, I have met several individuals who react the way I do to certain foods.  It is very encouraging that those who have confided to me that they have eliminated their compulsive trigger foods, are at an ideal weight.  I've also noted that they look unusually youthful.  Could it be that avoiding sugar slows visible aging?  I certainly hope so, because it is my intention to eliminate sugar, flour, and processed oils from now on.  My experience may now be of much use to the majority of people who want to transform physically, but if I can achieve health and peace of mind, than I will be more than happy to write and speak for my 15%.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Sugar Freedom


 

"You have to eat grains."

"You have to eat wedding cake."

"Giving up sugar is unrealistic."

"You have to use cheat days to get lean."

"If you eliminate foods you're a restricter, and you'll gain all the weight back."

"Food addiction doesn't exist.  It's an excuse for people who have no willpower."

Some of these statements are simply things I read that were written by nutritional experts.  Some  were pronounced right to my face.  Some led to behavior that hurt me deeply, and all of these statements made me angry.

For the past four years, I've been writing my blog:  Beauty Building.  I've tried to be reasonable and open minded about eating and training for permanent fat loss.

Now I've had enough.

 Every time I go back to the sugar and the grains, eating disaster strikes.  I have heard from diet experts, most of whom are male and have never had a weight problem, that my problems with sugar and grains come from the very fact that I avoid them and try to restrict them.  They claim that the solution is calorie balance, and that I really should cheat regularly to achieve low body fat.  They have case studies galore to prove that they are right about this.

I don't care.

I have the conviction and wisdom of my own experience, and what I know for sure is that when sugar and grains are out, beauty, freedom, and peace of mind are in for me.

Do you want to know the truth about the before and after pictures you see above?  The best body of my life, the body of my dreams, was achieved on the Atkins Diet.

Now Atkins is politically incorrect because of it allows, even encourages, the consumption of saturated fat.  I do my best to eat pastured butter, eggs, meat, and cream in order to get the greatest benefit from these fats, and to avoid the damage that can come from consuming processed fats and the foods that contain them.  Believe me, I'm not chowing down on bargain bologna.  I am also aware of the fact that a living creature had to give its life every time I eat meat,  so I do my best to consume no more than I need to be healthy and feel satisfied.

In addition, I consume serious amounts of organic vegetables, especially leafy green ones, and I add low sugar fruits in moderation.  In the past, I have kept my nutritional cards close to my chest, but after my last two bread and sugar nightmares, I realize that I have to start telling it like it is if I honestly want to help other people create the figure of their dreams.

I am so grateful to the researchers who are studying food addiction right now.  Dr. William Davis, Dr. Robert Lustig, and Ashley Gearhardt at Yale University are just a few of the doctors and researchers who are asking why some of us go completely nuts when we eat sugar, flour, and the treats that are made with them.

Perhaps the greatest barrier to understanding those of use who experience the pain and fear of food addiction is the fact that we are not in the majority of people who are overweight or obese.  The research currently underway at Yale indicates that 15% of the population may be dealing with a drug-like response to sugary foods.  In addition, Ms. Gerhardt discovered in her research that you don't have to be overweight to suffer from food addiction.

In my case, I achieved a normal BMI back in 2008, but when I eat sugar or flour, especially with fat mixed in for good measure, madness ensues.  I am writing this blog for those of us who want both physical and emotional recovery from sugar addiction.

Your story may be very different.  If you've part of the 85% of the population that can handle eating sugar and grains, you may think I'm a little bit nuts.  (Hey, at least I can eat nuts!)  But I have to stand up and tell the truth about how I made my transformation stick.  In the past, I wanted to be liked, and I was so afraid of negative judgement and comments that I was willing to censor my beliefs.  Now I realize that it is time to write this blog for the 15% of people who are like me, and hopefully for the people who love and care for them as well.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Lose The Last Five Pounds: With Your Goal and a Deadline.

The trouble with the last five pounds of fat is that they come off slowly if you're committed to nourishing your body properly as you release them.  When I was 50 pounds overweight, I found that shedding fat was as easy as hitting the side of a barn with buckshot.  I could move a little more, eat a little less, and voila'...success!

Now as I've reached the point where I only need to show 2 more pounds of scale less to reach the happy dance, abs showing, short short wearing, sweet spot, my very best strategies will be required.  I'd love to share them with you.  By the way, I think the last 5 pounds require a little magic to shuffle them off and here it is:

We Receive What We Want For Others.  (If you want to feel beautiful, spend time recognizing the beauty of the people around you.)

That being said, you need a strategy, and here it is:  Give your goal a deadline, and use an acceleration period to reach it.

We've all heard the argument over whether it's best to use a diet or a lifestyle change to lose fat.  I say we should use both, and here's how.  If you're within five pounds of your goal weight, I believe that the lifestyle change has already happened for you.  If you've already released 10, 30, 50 or more pounds, I'll bet that you have a fitness practice and an eating strategy in place that is effective.

Now it's time to use an acceleration period to get all the way to goal.

What is an acceleration period?  It's simply an amount of time when you give your eating, training, and recovery strategy the very best you've got.  I've had the great privilege of winning a transformation contest, and the even greater privilege of seeing my students win and place in them too.  One of the most powerful tools for change in these contests is the deadline to the after pictures.  You know that you're going to stand in front of the camera in 12, 4, or 2 weeks, and that focuses your attention- believe me.  By the time you get within striking distance of your goal, you know what works for you, and the deadline gives you focused motivation to actually do what works.

Here are some examples of what works for me:

1. 3 Turbulence Training or Home Workout Revolution training sessions per week.

2. Prepare all foods at home.  The good thing about an acceleration period is that it's short enough to eliminate eating out for a time.

3.  Drink that water!  I put a piece of paper on the refrigerator and check off each glass until I get to 8.

4.  At least 15 minutes of meditation/visualization a day.  It is important to relax the body and mind and get in touch with what you truly desire each day, or your sub-concious will pull you off track.

5.  Be accountable.  Whether you write what you eat and how you train in a diary, write a blog, or call a friend each day,  transformation works better with support.

6. Don't cheat yourself.  By now, you should know if cheat days work for you, if they do, that's fine, but the acceleration period is a time for pure commitment and honesty.  As you plan your strategy, be completely honest about what foods and behaviors work for you, and which ones don't.  Remember, we are biochemically diverse.  Don't let anyone mess with your plan if you know in  your gut that it's the right plan.

How long should your acceleration period be?  That depends.  Mine will last for two weeks, as that will take me through the 3rd Turbulence Training Summit.  You can make yours as short as three days, (I have found a three day commitment to an eating strategy to be long enough to reduce cravings and boost confidence and motivation), or as long as three weeks.  It really is up to you.  This isn't going on and off a diet or exercise program.  This is about giving your personal strategy everything you've got to reach a goal and a deadline.

The truth is that, for me and for many of my students, this strategy has worked wonders, especially when it comes to the wonderful feeling of reaching your goal.




Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lose The Last Five Pounds- With Accountability

First or Last: A Challenge
The last five pounds are as challenging to release as the first five.  In the beginning, when it comes to fat loss, we have to overcome inertia, make some new eating choices, and get moving.  We have to face the fear of failure, and we have to sacrifice some things that have given us pleasure or solace in the past.    Many of us, myself included, have to find a new way to soothe our feelings of fear, frustration, and irritation.  I also believe that, for a certain percentage of the overweight population, it is crucial to get un-hooked from foods that drive our over-eating behavior.

This is challenging enough, but as we approach the goal we've set for the scale, the tape measure, or the jean size, outward pressure and urgency to change eases, and the old voices of complacency get louder.  To make it just a little harder to stay the course, you are most likely at a healthy weight and fitting into society quite nicely, thank you very much.  Perhaps friends, co-workers, and loved ones have begun to ask,

"When are you going to stop?"

May I suggest that you stop at your goal?   There is something powerful about actually reaching the goal that you set.  I f you were climbing a mountain, can you imagine getting two footholds from the top and saying,

"That's enough, I'll just head back down now."  No?  I didn't think so, but the final distance will take your best efforts when it comes to fat loss.  Although I found that I could wing it and follow my food plan only 80% of the time when I had 40 pounds to lose, and still make progress week after week, now as I close in on "Ideal"  there is less wiggle room in my eating strategy.

That's why accountability is crucial at this stage.  A few days ago after Turbulence Training class I was talking to my friend Peggy about stalls in fat loss.  Both of us had been less than committed to tracking everything we eat.  We made a pledge to each other that we would track every bite and taste of food for the next three weeks.  We shook on it and Peggy said,  "I'll bet we lose five pounds."  Music to my ears.

There is solid research available that shows that people who keep a food diary lose more weight than those who don't, but many of us aren't willing to write everything down for our own sakes.  Why not add a friend or ally to your team by telling them about your plan to keep a food diary?  All of a sudden, your record keeping isn't self absorbed or obsessive anymore.  It's a way of helping a friend.

Here's the You Tube video I made on this topic.  My skills are a work in progress.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wneS-MXQK8E