Duffy’s WFPB Journey — March 2014

Yellow PotatoesLittle Wins

Along the way to achieving my ultimate weight loss and health goals, it’s important to celebrate the little wins….

  • My pants are looser. I noticed the change in my shirts last month, and this month my pants have felt looser and even started to ride a little lower so that I continuously have to pull them up and re-tuck in my undershirt.
  • I can reach the gas cap lever in my car! It was getting pretty dicey for a while there. It is located on the floor between the pedals and driver’s seat, and when I was at my largest weight, I’d have to hold my breath and lunge for it. Now I can reach down easily and without pain.
  • I’ve stayed 100% WFPB for ¼ of the year already!
  • A coworker noticed that I’ve been losing weight.
  • I reached and surpassed my first 50lb milestone; my visiting teachers took progress pictures.
  • I came home from an appointment last Saturday having put some potatoes in my countertop convection oven and then forgotten about them. My first thought as I opened the door was “Mmm, smells like brownies.” A few minutes later when I cut into one of the still-warm potatoes I thought, “This smells delicious!” Although I never before liked potatoes any way other than mashed with butter, I may be on my way to becoming a potato lover.

Evasive Strategies

Sometimes a little evasive action is needed to avoid putting myself in the path of temptation…

  • I was dismayed to find an Easter basket filled with chocolate candy going around work (the last time was at Halloween when we took turns “booing” one another). The idea is that the staff anonymously pass the basket around, taking the treats and refilling it overnight for the next person. Of course there is no rule that it has to be candy, but that’s usually what happens. The receiver makes a copy of the “I’ve been egged” notice and posts it on their desk so the giver knows who’s already had a turn. I appreciate the little bit of service and surprise and morale building and celebration… but I did not feel strong enough to resist candies given directly to me. So I borrowed a co-worker’s “I’ve been egged” notice and posted a copy preventatively on my own desk. Problem solved.
  • I had been shopping Whole Foods and New Seasons markets exclusively because neither have the peculiar sugar/treats/yum scent that I have noticed since going WFPB in regular grocery stores, reminiscent of things I used to eat and no longer do. However recently I tried a Haagen store across the street from my work and found the peculiar scent to be present but diminished in strength… and the potatoes are way cheaper!
  • There is an abundance of candy at work. And other sweets like specialty breads, muffins, cupcakes, donuts. A never-ending chocolate supply resides in the boss’ office and periodically she dumps her stash in the lunchroom. I’ve made a habit of making sure I walk quickly past the tables and don’t linger when putting my lunch in the fridge each morning. At lunchtime I move the candy on my table out of sight or to another table if possible. Out of sight, out of mind has actually worked wonders!

Works in Progress

  • I’ve come to realize that I eat entirely too many potatoes for dinner as I eat them in the form of oven fries. I bake them, cool them, crinkle cut them into fry shapes and bake them again. They shrink, lose water content, and become more calorie dense and easier to overeat on (not at the same level of magnitude, but similar to a dried versus a whole apple). Thus I can easily eat 9-10 yellow potatoes for a single meal. Its spread over 1 ½-2 hours usually and to be perfectly honest I almost always feel satisfied (no longer hungry) after the first 2 plates/ 6 potatoes. But then I go back for more. To the point of fullness and sometimes over-stuffedness. For the love of eating. I realize I probably should eat potatoes just baked once and have the oven fries as an occasional treat. I don’t think I’d be able to eat more than 3-4 whole potatoes at most. Even adding vegetables to the oven fries would slow their consumption and my tendency to overeat on them. I’m not there yet. And I’m at peace with that.
  • I was going to start exercising in March. My good intentions came to naught in light of the fact that I rather love my sleep. I’ve also been using the excuse of a very big school assignment that’s due April 2. I suppose to validate that, I’d need to get my feet moving on April 3. We’ll see…
  • I haven’t increased my vegetable consumption beyond the initial eat-veggies-at-lunch campaign. I’ve kept that up, at least on weekdays.
  • I had a couple of times this month, both inside of a few days, where I was quite tempted to eat something off plan. I don’t remember the specifics now but at the time I felt like there was hardly anything holding me back; I felt quite weak in my resolve, a very discomfiting feeling. And then I realized I had been taking my apparent strength in resisting temptations for granted; I had stopped praying as frequently. “Pray always” has been my number one tool for success in overcoming food addiction on this WFPB lifestyle I’ve embarked on.

That, my friends, is my March update. It’s maybe a bit shorter than others I’ve written or will write. This month I’ve had quite a bit on my plate both at work and school and consequently other parts of my life have existed at status quo as my mental energies have been focused elsewhere and not concentrated on making forward gains in my WFPB lifestyle. Nonetheless I am pleased to be still on plan and in the company of such incredible people.

Thank you for your support.

Duffy, less fluffy by 55.4 lbs


  1. Good for you! Changing one’s lifestyle is difficult and sometimes lonesome. You must be doing well if you’ve lost 50 pounds! Wow! Hurray!

    I wouldn’t cut back on the potatoes unless you see your weight loss stall. Sometimes learning to get over the emotional part of eating takes time. Just don’t go hungry to loose weight. It will come back to bite you if you do. Baked potatoes are more filling than roasted potatoes. With vinegar and pepper on top, they taste a lot like vinegar and pepper chips; they’re my go to snack/meal/lazy food.

    My husband struggles with the junk at work, too. I like how you handled the candy basket. This is what my husband does to stop the cravings. He noticed if he is eating lots of greens, he doesn’t crave junk as much. Each day I make him two quarts of green smoothie with 3 c water, 1 lb spinach, napa cabbage, or other mild green, a banana, an orange, and 10 oz. frozen fruit. It’s so filling, and the whole pitcher is about 400 calories. I pack this in a soft sided cooler with his other lunch stuff. He drinks these mid morning and mid afternoon. No, he’s not perfect, but it helps a lot. Lately, I also send a pound of home grown sprouts (130 calories). He eats them in the car on the way to work. He said it makes even more difference and clears his thinking like crazy. He said he has no appetite for the junk now. Sprouts and smoothies don’t taste as much like vegetables as traditional presentations. These are only a couple benefits from increasing greens, but for him they are big. Anyway, hope these ideas help.

  2. Congratulations, Duffy! I know what a great day for me it was when I walked into a regular grocery store for produce, walked past the bakery section and didn’t even mentally “taste” the items I went past. Today, I can honestly say I can’t remember what those things taste like! Justme is right…the more nutrients you are giving your body, the easier the cravings get. The body partly craves because it hasn’t gotten the vitamins/minerals it needs to function when we eat those “other foods”. I also really had to work with someone who could help me address the feelings that came up when I stopped medicating myself with food and started getting more of a normal body size. You are really an inspiration! Thanks for being willing to share your journey.

  3. Duffy, you are making good progress. Congratulations! I have just one suggestion which I think will help you continue your progress. Try working some whole, unrefined grains into your diet on a daily basis. Although I will turn 83 years of age next February, I exercise for 50 minutes on an arm and leg elliptical at the local Rec. Center and I have all of the energy I need eating like you now do plus eating a good portion of several different whole grains daily. I go for the equivalent distance of about two and a half miles during that session and I’m never “pooped out” at the end. I actually feel energetic! I never get sick! Before I began this diet I had type two diabetes, diverticulitis and high blood pressure. I am very healthy now! I do have a flu shot, but I never am sick!

    Keep up the good work of dieting! When you get to my age you will be an example to many! Best wishes, Neil Birch

    • Every time I read one of your replies, I cry. It’s so wonderful how you supported your daughter by giving her ideas a try. Now that you’ve seen success, you shout it from the roof tops. Good for you. You have a very lucky daughter.

  4. Wow … you are such an inspiration Duffy. Good on you! 55.4 lbs is quite an achievement and rather than this just being a number what it actually means is that you are extending your life and becoming healthier and stronger with each passing day – mentally & emotionally. It’s all about short term pain for long term gain. I think you are doing just fantastic and really look forward to your April update! Kevin

  5. Brest wishes, Duffy. Every time I go shopping, I feel like an alcoholic in a beer hall. It still feels like a toxic environment, even after going WFPB almost two years ago. Tomorrow, I board a cruise ship, with food temptations beyond imagination. We’ll see how things turn out.

Leave a Reply