Tuesday, August 30, 2011

overcoming the odds

Despite the added stress in my life due to my husband's job loss, I've been doing quite well.  My eating has remained healthy and I have continued to exercise regularly.  For now, I've decided to alternate between walking and Tae Bo.  On the days that I've been walking, I've been attempting to increase the speed and intensity.  It will be interesting to see the results of this.  For the most part, I've been enjoying working out.  Exercise has always been something I somewhat dread, so it would be nice if I could get to the point that I really look forward to it.

My husband and I are planning a trip next month.  September 15 is our 20th wedding anniversary.  It's so hard to believe!!  This will be my next food challenge.  Do I "splurge" since it is a once in a lifetime event or do I eat the same as I have been?  I've been thinking about this for a few weeks, and I don't think I'm ready to splurge on anything sugary.  Ultimately, it's just not worth it.  And, you know what?  The thought of not eating a dessert or two (or three or four or five as during past) doesn't really bother me.  I might eat a few things that I haven't been eating on a regular basis, but only if I feel that it is something that I will not regret.  I want to enjoy this time that we'll have together, and remember it with fondness.  I don't want to associate it with the negative effects that sugar has on my mind and my body.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

on the right track

I saw a thought provoking quote today:

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there!”

It made me think of my journey to obtain good health, then maintain it.  Yes, I'm on the right track.  I'm eating healthy foods, avoiding junk food, and exercising.  However, I can't just "sit here".  It's an ever changing process.  It requires learning about nutrition and changing my exercise routine if it is no longer beneficial or becomes stale.  Once I lose all of the weight that I need to, that part of the journey will be different.  

What does this quote mean to you?  

Monday, August 22, 2011

a day of reflection

Today is my 38th birthday.  It's a good time to reflect on my past, learn from it, and move toward future goals.  It's also a great time to take note of my many blessings.

In some ways, it seems like just yesterday I was graduating from high school.  In other ways, that seems light years away.  It's amazing how slowly time seems to pass when you're in school.  After that, it passes so very quickly.

A wise elderly lady once told me that these are the best years of my life.  She reminded me to make sure that I appreciate them.  It is so easy to get caught up in work, raising kids, appointments, paying bills, and all of the other details of life that we don't stop to savor the important things.

I am blessed.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Anatomy of an eating disorder

I've struggled with cravings a bit today.  Not too badly, but I've had them.  After yesterdays binge, I fully expected it.  Why is it that our brain apparently doesn't fully remember that the binge wasn't very fun?  That the after effects aren't worth it?  That the food doesn't really taste that good?  I think if we could remember exactly how we felt after a binge, we would have an easier time resisting the urge in the future.

Whatever food it is them I'm craving, it always tastes better in my mind than it does in reality.  Yes, some of the foods I love are delicious.  But are they as heavenly as we seem to think they are when we're in the midst of an overwhelming desire to get our hands on that item, and in large quantities?

I guess maybe we are wired this way for a reason.  Protection, perhaps?  After all, if we remembered exactly what childbirth felt like would any woman have more than 1 child  :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What can I learn from this?

Note to self:  it's NOT worth it.  I feel yucky.  Ultimately, I would have enjoyed a healthy dinner much more than the silly junk that I binged on.  Sugary things are sickening now.  They do not hold the allure that they did in the past.

It's NOT worth it.....but I am worth taking good care of.  I am worth eating healthy, exercising and feeling good about myself.

Insanity is doing the same thing time after time but expecting different results.  It's time to be sane.

Why can't I be normal?

I'm home alone and just binged.  Why can I eat healthy without any problem many days, but then have such a difficult time other days?  I'm so ashamed and embarrassed and disgusted with myself.  Not to mention that I feel nauseous and sick.  Eating disorder or not, I CHOSE to do this.  In the interest of being honest with myself, this is what I ate.  Two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a small bowl full of chex mix, two pieces of toast with real butter and jelly, and a salad with real cheese, croutons and bacon bits.  Kind of weird.  Were these foods even "worth it"?  No.  I came very close to driving to the grocery store for ice cream and chips and dip.  I didn't, though.  Perhaps I should be proud of that?

It seems as if peanut butter shouldn't be in my house.  It seems so ridiculous to ask my family to not keep something so simple and basic in the house, though.  I don't feel guilty not having cookies, candy, ice cream, etc. in the house.  No one needs that junk, anyway.  But peanut butter?

I had options.  I could have not stayed home alone.  I could have sent a text/called my son or my husband.  But I didn't.  Why?  I guess because the desire to eat what I wanted to eat was more than the desire to not binge.

I've been thinking about the "diet" and binge cycle.  Is restricting myself from certain foods making the desire to binge worse?  Should I "allow" myself the foods I crave (on occasion, in small amounts) so I don't end up bingeing on them at some point?  I really don't think that's the answer.  I don't think that moderation is an option for me.

I wish that there could be a step by step process that I could put into place that would result in no binges. Something I could do when the desire to binge becomes a struggle.  I need to work on that.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

new exercise

I've been walking 6 or 7 days a week for 20-40 minutes for a while now, and it has become a pleasant part of my routine.  I don't think I would go so far as to say that I love it, but I do enjoy it.  I think it's a good stress reliever.  My son, the fitness buff, mentioned that I should do something more challenging.  My knee jerk reaction is that I'm content with the status quo.  He hates when I use the "content" word.  It is his opinion that we should never be content; we should always be challenging our fitness level and looking for ways to eat healthier.

Quite a number of years back, I did Tae-bo DVD's with a fair amount of frequency.  I'm not very coordinated, so the first challenge was to figure out how to do all of the steps!  I found one of my old DVD's and I did that last night.  I did better than I thought!  Even though I've lost quite a bit of weight, I'm still much heavier than I was when I was using the DVD on a regular basis.  I remembered how to do most of it, and I was able to complete most of the DVD.  I still don't know that I'm ready for it yet.  I had to modify some of it, and (warning....too much information ahead.......)  if I want to start doing this on a regular basis I would need to purchase a good sports bra because everything is far too jiggly!!!

I know....excuses, excuses.  I haven't decided yet if I will continue walking but increase the intensity and/or time  or if I will incorporate Tae-bo into my routine.

Any suggestions?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

93 pounds lost!

I've lost 7 pounds over the last month, for a grand total of 93 pounds lost!!  Every time I write something like this, my natural inclination is to mention that I still have a lot to lose.  I need to learn to celebrate without reserve!  Yay me!

On another note, the last few days have been very difficult.  Not regarding food, but life in general.  I really don't want to go into it right now, but my stress level is very high.  Fortunately, I haven't turned to food and I intend to keep it that way.

Monday, August 8, 2011

food associations

It's interesting how strong our associations can be between certain foods and a specific place, person or event.

For many years when I was a kid, my sister and I would spend the night with my grandparents every Friday while mom and dad had "date night".  Granny and Grandaddy spoiled us rotten.  As we got a little older, they set up a separate room for us with a sofa, chair and TV so we could watch what we wanted to (Dukes of Hazzard!) rather than what they liked (game shows).  

Granny was the best cook.  Her pancakes were so light and fluffy and cake-like.  She would ask us every Friday night what we wanted for breakfast Saturday morning, and fix whatever we asked for.  We would eat breakfast in our pj's, then lazily watch cartoons.

They always kept a stash of candy for us.  Back then, you could occasionally buy candy bars 4 for $1.  When they were on sale, Granny would buy enough to last until the next sale.  Every Friday night, my sister and I could each pick the candy bar that we wanted.  Sometimes she would buy the 1 pound bag of M & M's to last us for a few weekends.  My sister and I would painstakingly count out the same amount for each of us.

Even today, all I have to do is look at M & M's and I think of Friday night at my grandparents.  The smell and taste of those small candies is heavenly to me.  I would eat them one by one, and eat the candy shell first.  Then I would let the remaining chocolate melt in my mouth.  Even hearing someone mentioning M & M's makes me feel all warm and cozy inside.

Food can be so powerful, can't it?  However, we do have control over it.  We can allow ourselves to control food or food to control us.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

peanut butter

I succumbed to the peanut butter monster.  I've been craving stuff off and on for days.  Peanut butter. Pizza. And more.  This afternoon, I ate 2 peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches on white bread.  I don't even really like white bread.  I've eaten wheat bread for years.  We typically don't even have white bread in the house. For some reason, the lure of white bread and peanut butter together was very strong.

I feel guilty, but I also feel a bit relieved.  I know that probably sounds crazy.  It's sort of like, ok.  I've felt this coming for weeks.  I finally gave in.  I can move on now.  Should this tell me that I should include peanut butter in my healthy eating plan so I don't create the "forbidden fruit" that eventually causes a binge?  I'm not sure.

Not to rationalize or justify what I did, but it could have been much worse.  Two peanut butter sandwiches is nothing compared to what I've binged on in the past.  However, it's the behavior that isn't healthy.  It wasn't about hunger.  It was about cravings, and I suppose stress.  It's the sneakiness about it.  I'm mortified to admit this, but in the interest of being honest with myself I will.  As I had almost completed making the sandwiches, I heard my daughter walking down the steps.  I quickly grabbed the sandwiches and  went to the bathroom and locked the door.  I ate them in the bathroom so my daughter wouldn't see the binge.  This is one of the sad and embarrassing aspects of binge eating disorder.

I'm not proud of this, but I'm going to put it behind me and move on.

"new" clothes

Someone at work recently commented on my weight loss.  She is also in the process of trying to lose a fairly large amount of weight, so she can definitely understand this journey.

Today, she mentioned that she could particularly notice my weight loss because of what I was wearing.  I was actually wearing a cardigan and shell in a great clover green color.  It has been in my closet for probably 5 years or more, and I haven't been able to wear it for a very long time.  I tried it this morning, and at first I thought it was still a little too tight.  However, after studying my reflection for a little longer I decided that it was ok.

I think that those of us who struggle with our weight, particularly if you've been a "yo-yo dieter" and have had drastic weight changes, can sometimes have a difficult time determining if clothes fit properly.  That probably sounds crazy, but it's true.  I think we have a tendency to wear items a little too loosely to try to hide our imperfections.

It was nice to get a compliment, and it was nice to be able to wear something "new" that was apparently flattering!

Monday, August 1, 2011

pizza party results

Lunch went well today!  It didn't really bother me to eat my grilled chicken salad while everyone else ate pizza.  We ate lunch about an hour earlier than I typically do, so I wasn't starving so I think that helped a lot.

When I got home, I was hungry which is not typical.  Usually I don't get hungry until fairly close to dinner.  I think it was partially due to the fact that the salad wasn't particularly filling.  I also feel that it's partly stress related.....my husband's job loss and the related financial issues are beginning to "sink in".

I began craving peanut butter.  I'm not going down that slippery road to binge land, though!!  No need to have victory over pizza then loss over peanut butter!!!!