Well, my kiln is sold... I loved the romance I had with it, but like a high-maintenance SO, it was too expensive to feed. I'm still crocheting, and I still love beads, so I'm on to making the two compatible in ways seldom thought of. (Sorry about the preposition...)

In the weight-loss area, I'VE LOST 75 LBS!! I'm not sure the months-long plateau has broken for good, but I keep on doing what I have been (more about that later). I think the magic moment was when I decided I didn't care if I lost weight or not, but I wanted to hunt down and destroy what was sabotaging my lifelong efforts. I won't go into it, since it bores even me, but I did find what buttons I was knee-jerk-pushing and how to leave them alone. It's a personal quest; everyone has to find their own path. No compass directions here, sorry.

That said, I do have some do's and don'ts... I shop for the month (being single that's easy), and there are certain aisles I just won't go down. No chips/dips or other 'snacks.' I'm still obsessive-compulsive about snacks...it's a 'clean your plate' mentality. If I must have a candy bar (haven't in several years), I know to get one regular bar, not the little pillow-packages of miniatures to put away for when I want one. There will be none left within the hour. So - I leave that aisle alone, and if I still need one when I get to checkout, there's always 'point of purchase' displays of anything I could want.

Popcorn. Couldn't do without it. Those convenience bags of microwave popcorn are killers in more ways than weight. I use my air-popper, and --ready?-- PAM. I get the butter flavored variety and spray it liberally on my air-popped popcorn, and there is more fiber than calories in each huge bowl. Maybe 300 calories in one huge salad-bowl sized 'helping' and if nothing else it feeds my compulsion.

I've only had one 'can't do without it' moment, and that was with pizza. The craving went on for days, and was causing me frustration and anxiety, so I ordered a large veggie thin-crust pizza, had it delivered around noon, and just grazed on it all day. It had light sauce and light cheese and was SO yummy! Lots of crystal-lite later, I was pizza-satiated and months later have not had a craving again. I think it was because I allowed myself to have it, and fit those calories into the day. At any rate, it wasn't going to put the skids on anything, and life went on.

I do that with 'eating out' also, although if I had a car I suspect that "75" wouldn't have happened. Learning to delay gratification is extremely difficult, and it's been tough to learn when to delay and when not to. Since I can't get to restaurants and fast-food joints at will now, I allow myself whatever I want when I go out with friends, which is not all that often. I even allow myself dessert - the last one was a banana-creme cake, and it was yummy. Not feeling guilty about it was crucial; it allowed me to not enter into a eat-in-frustration/guilt loop for a change.

Most important, I eat only what I like. Dieting and martyrdom don't mix. In fact, as you can see from the above, I don't consider myself 'dieting.' Just eating. If I 'need' quantity, I find what I like (for me it's kale) and dig in. I eat a whole bag of salad, maybe two, THEN have a portion of pot roast that I've cooked, portioned out, and frozen. A quick zap in the microwave AFTER I've had my fill of quantity-food... hey, maybe I don't really even want it now...

Plateaus? The pits. I've just come from one that lasted over a month. But since I've adopted the attitudes outlined above, I just learned to be philosophical about it. Where it would have put me into an 'I'm not losing so f***it' mode, I've learned to just keep on living life, one day at a time. Good slogan. Not original.

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