Friday, December 30, 2011

change in obsession

Do you feel that those who are successfully maintaining weight loss tend to transfer their obsession from food to something healthier?  I'm using the word "obsession" not in a negative way, but for lack of a better word.  For example, perhaps the successful maintainer who was a couch potato now teaches an exercise class 5 days a week.  Or the former obese person that could barely walk across the room now runs marathons throughout the year.  What about the person who was overweight all of their life but is now a Weight Watchers leader?  Are there former morbidly obese folks who are motivated to obtain their degree in nutrition and become dietitians?

Perhaps this is an effective approach because the passion has been transferred from food to something positive, and the level of involvement and accountability makes completely going back to old habits more difficult?

return to the pit

I slid straight back into the pit.  No, let's be honest.  I jogged quickly back into the pit.  The seventh binge of the month.  I cringe inwardly and outwardly as I write about yet another day of compulsive eating.  It seems so stupid!  So counterproductive.  Why keep making the same mistakes again and again but expect different results?  Isn't that the definition of insanity?

By now, the Reese trees have turned into a Reese forest.  I ate six more today.  Followed by a chocolate shake, some onion rings, some cheddar cheese, and some peanut butter Oreos.

The day started out with a healthy breakfast.  Then a friend brought beautiful cupcakes to work.  I didn't eat one, but they looked and smelled so good.  A bit later, the conversation at work somehow turned to fast food.  Then someone ate chicken nuggets and french fries at their desk.  I began to think about what I should buy after work.  I didn't even really fight it.  I just did it.

I noticed that after I ate the Reese trees (all six of them), I hit a point in the sugar high where I didn't really feel guilty yet.  I felt good.  I realize that the sugar intake makes me feel so good!!! I'm sure that this is part of the reason that I keep repeating these negative behaviors.....the reward of feeling really good.  Is it worth it, though?  

There were such a variety of thoughts swirling in my head throughout the day.  "I've spent a fair amount of money on these 7 binges.  I could have done something constructive with that."  "I'm sure I've gained weight.....but overall I've still lost a huge amount of weight so it's ok.  I'll get back on track."

I know that this is a very rambling, disorganized post.  I just wanted to keep a record of what I ate, and what I thought and felt.  Ultimately, my prayer is that this journal will be helpful to myself and others.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thirsty Thursday

 I felt yucky this stomach ached and I was super thirsty from the added salt intake.  Bleck.  I'm back on track, though.  Back to normal.  I don't really have a desire to eat junk today, which is a pleasant surprise.  My guard is up, though, because I know that the cravings that follow the intake of sugar, fat and/or salt can sometimes last several days or longer.

Thanks so very much for the encouraging comments for yesterday's posts.  I can't explain how much it means to me.  :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

it takes more than six days.....

......for a habit to stick, right?  I'm still struggling.  Looking back on my posts from December 1 to now, I've overeaten/binged six days out of this month.  That is six days too many.  I can't seem to get back on track.  I don't want this to become a habit.  I still can't understand why I behave this way, when afterwards I regret it so much.  Yes, there's the emotional factor.  There's also the addictive component of sugar and fat. Why can't I be a normal eater?  I've asked myself that question so many times over the years.

Today I ate six, yes six, Reese trees.  Then about a half of a package of Oreos, then some chips and dip.  It scares me that I seem to already be able to eat more junk than I could six binges ago.  Why is it that negative habits seem easier to form than positive ones?  Why can I so easily rationalize eating junk?

I need to get out of this pity part now, and move on to healthier thoughts, a healthier attitude, and healthier actions.

Monday, December 26, 2011

back to normal

Christmas was wonderful!!  I had some precious time with my family.  It was busy, but not as stressful as some years have been in the past.  I was blessed to be able to spend time in church with my husband and both of my kids.  My son hasn't gone to church with us in several years, so this was very special.

As for food......I ate far too much and didn't make the wisest choices.  I ate some sugary treats, and some that were far too calorie laden and full of fat.  I know that it will be hard to get back on track.  But I am doing so.  Back to normal.  However, this normal is a new normal that I intend to make permanent.  Normal is a healthy diet full of fruits, veggies and lacking in sugar and high fat, processed foods.  Normal includes exercise.  Normal includes not fixating on the foods that perhaps I should not have eaten over the past several days, and allowing the guilt to begin the cycle that ends in eating more junk food.

On another note - I learned that fat free greek yogurt really can be used as a substitute for sour cream!  I mixed 2 cups of fat free greek yogurt with 2 cups of salsa and a couple of teaspoons of taco seasoning to make a dip and it was delish!!!  Even my family members who don't like healthy foods loved it.  It can be served with veggies, whole grain tortilla chips, wheat thins....whatever you'd like.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

motivation vs. commitment

I've been thinking about motivation lately.  I read a great blog post this morning ( about different types of motivation.  This reminded me of a post that I read a while back about the difference between motivation and commitment  (

Motivation tends to ebb and flow.  Some days, I'm extremely motivated to make healthy choices.  Other days....not so much.  Weight loss/maintenance statistics seem to prove that most people have trouble with consistent motivation.

Commitment is a bit different.  You can be committed to something, and stick with it despite lack of motivation.  For example, my nightly routine involves taking vitamins, washing my face, brushing my teeth, then going to bed.  Many nights I am tired and would rather go straight to bed.  Sometimes the thought of going to bed with a dirty face and dirty teeth are enough to cause me to stick to my routine.  Other nights, I'm tired and would much rather skip it.  However, 99% of the time I will follow my routine because I am committed to it.

Are you committed or simply temporarily motivated to reach your goals?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

sane eating, day 2

Things went really well today, too!  The day started with several Christmas gifts that included chocolate.  I put them out of sight, and brought them to my daughter.  Actually, just now I'm remembering Jane's post about being a "sugar pusher" (  Am I being a sugar pusher by bringing home these treats to my daughter?  She fortunately has normal eating patterns and doesn't have issues with food like I do.  She does love sweets, though.  However, I feel that she has a good grasp on moderation and "sometimes" foods vs. "always food" as I used to call them when the kids were little.  (Amazing how you can teach someone else good eating habits/behaviors but struggle so much yourself).  Anyway, I digress.

Next, there was the pizza party lunch.  My boss was organizing this, and he knows that I've been eating healthy.  He was so kind - he made a special trip to a different restaurant to buy me a grilled chicken salad!!!  It bothered me that he did this, because the other food was delivered.  (The restaurant that was chosen had no healthy options).  I don't like always being the one who needs something special.  No one else seems to care, but it bothers me.  I suppose he wouldn't offer it was an imposition, though.

I started doing a little bit of cooking tonight for the Christmas Eve party.  No taste testing for me, though!   One bit always leads to 2, then 3, then who knows what else will end up following.

How is everyone else handling the holiday season?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

welcome back, sane eating

Today has been much better!!  The day started with a healthy breakfast.   I needed to go to the gas station before work, and I went to a small, local convenience store near home rather than one of the larger ones like Sheetz.  Therefore, I wasn't tempted to go inside to pay where I would be surrounded by junk food.

Next, one of the girls at work brought in chocolate for everyone except myself and one of the other girls.  She brought us a (semi) healthy trail mix instead because she knows that we are both eating healthy.  How thoughtful!!

Lunch was a holiday meal sponsored by the company I work for.  I chose turkey, steamed broccoli and corn.  I did not eat the mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, rolls or dessert.  The food wasn't that great, but I was able to eat with three of my friends and we had a great time!

After work, I went to the grocery store to buy some of the things I need for our Christmas Eve party.  I'm grateful that I wasn't even tempted to buy things that I shouldn't.  While shopping, I noticed a very large woman using one of the motorized carts to shop.  It made me so very sad.  I realize that I could easily be just like her.  Of course, I know nothing about her.  It's possible that she is also loosing weight and was once larger than she is currently.  I do not judge, I sympathize.

Dinner was healthy, and I'm planning to workout soon.  It's nice to get my groove back!
Yesterday was not the fresh start that I planned/needed/wanted.  It started out well; a healthy breakfast followed by a healthy lunch.  I had to stop by the drugstore for Tylenol on the way home from work.  3 Reese trees, a Hershey's Pot of Gold box,  Mrs. Fields cookies and some chocolate milk jumped into my basket!!!  How did they get there?  Ok, ok, I'm not insane.  They didn't jump in, I put them there.  In fact, I planned doing so on the way to the store.

I ate the Reese trees, about 10 pieces of candy, and probably 3 cookies.  I then threw the rest of the candy away and gave the rest of the cookies away.  I suppose I should at least be proud that I didn't save it for later.  Because, sure enough, even though immediately after I ate all of that junk I may have been disgusted at the thought of more chocolate,  hours later I wished I still had it.

The first two Reese trees were delish.  The third was still sort of good.  By the time I started on the candy, cookies, and chocolate milk, it didn't even taste that good.  Why did I continue?

I just can't eat as much chocolate/sugar as I could in the past.  And it doesn't taste as good.  Why can't I remember this BEFORE I start??  Even just a few short hours later, I'm ready to do it again.  What am I getting out of this that I have a compulsive desire to repeat behavior that doesn't really seem to be rewarding?

I did eat a healthy dinner, but I didn't exercise.  I didn't exercise the day before, either.  I'm committed to making this a healthy day.  Anyone out there joining me?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Letter to self

Dear Melanie,

When your co-worker gives you a delightful smelling, beautiful mini-loaf of pumpkin bread for Christmas, do not leave it in an area on your desk where you can see it and smell it all day.  This is asking for trouble.

When you are driving home, put said loaf in the back seat.  If you lack good judgement and put it in the front with you, do not eat it.  If you decide to try a piece, wait until you are at home.  At home, you know that you will not be as likely to polish off the entire loaf like you are certain to do in the car.  You know that eating in the car, 95% of the time, equates to binge eating.  Secretive eating is not a good choice for you.  There is at least a small chance that if you tried a piece at home, you would have given the rest of the bread (and I use this term loosely because this was definitely more of a pumpkin cake, not bread) to your daughter who can handle sweet things in moderation.

Once you managed to eat the whole thing, it is not necessarily a bad idea to eat a small healthy snack to balance the blood sugar spike and eventual crash.  However, do not confuse this with a need to fill a bottomless pit with ham, cheese, a salad full of cheese and croutons, and whatever else you can secretly eat while your family isn't watching.

Did you realize that you could have spent some wonderfully intimate time with your husband today, but you didn't because you were disgusted with yourself so you couldn't stand the thought of him touching you?  Do you realize that you are worthy of love and affection?  Do you know that the fact that you are worthy of love doesn't change because you sometimes make  poor choices?

When you later had to spend about an hour driving by yourself, you did not need to continue the poor habits.  There are other, far better ways to enjoy some quiet time.  You can pray.  You can enjoy Christmas music and Christmas lights.  You can count your blessings (literally).  When you stopped at WalMart, God gave you an out.  It was absolutely unbelievable that you couldn't find the Reese trees or the Hershey's Pot of Gold that you were looking for.  You didn't need to buy the Reese big cups, Caramello bar, and bag of chex mix muddy buddies to replace your desired binge foods.

Congratulations for making the choice to throw away the second half of the Caramello bar and over 3/4 of the bag of muddy buddies!!!!  And all because they were sickeningly sweet??!!!  What progress.  Remember this the next time you are tempted!!!!!!!!!

Remember: man (nor) woman can not live by bread alone.  An order of Italian cheese bread is in no way, shape or form a good dinner choice.  Especially after you have eaten all of the above fast absorbing carbs.  This will insure a sick feeling.

When all of this was over, remember the guilt, shame, embarrassment and sickness.  What part of this was good?  Maybe the first bite or two? Was it worth it?

Tomorrow is another day.  You can overcome.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

7 more pounds gone!!

I've lost 7 pounds since I late weighed in!  That is 129 pounds gone forever!!!  Wow.  That is more than what some women weigh!

When I really think about how much food and how many calories that I was probably taking in on a regular basis in order to maintain such an unhealthy weight, it's very sobering.

I haven't really set a goal weight yet.  I still have quite a bit I need to lose, so looking too far ahead can make this seem unmanageable.  One day at a time, one healthy bite at a time.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

where is the switch?

Despite my good intentions of starting over today, it only took a few hours of a stressful workday, hearing someone talk about homemade cranberry muffins, seeing some mini Reese trees on someone's desk (I didn't know they were even made in a mini version!!???!!!)  then smelling a co-worker's calzone as she ate at her desk for me to quickly begin planning what food I would buy after work today.

After all, I had to go to the grocery store to buy some chicken anyway, why not get some chocolate?  Perhaps some pizza after that.  Then, I went to lunch and several people at work were eating some delicious looking pizza.

As I began eating my grilled chicken and fruit, I was overwhelmed with frustration.  Honestly, I just wanted to cry.  I'm so tired of fighting this battle.  Then I decided to get out of the self pity pit I was sinking into.  I texted my son and shared with him the difficulty I was having.  Then a good friend came and sat with me and we were able to eat lunch together.  She has such a positive outlook on life, and spending just that little bit of time with her boosted my spirits more than I can explain.  I didn't tell her that I was having a rough day, but she still made a difference.

From then on, the desire to eat very quickly subsided.  It was almost as if someone had flipped some sort of switch and things were drastically better.  Why is that?  Wouldn't it be nice if we did have some type of switch that we could turn off and on?  If we had that switch would we use it?  After all, I had options that I almost didn't use.  I almost didn't text my son.  Subconsciously, I know that texting him almost takes the choice away from me.  And, as much as I hate it, a part of me sometimes wants to binge despite all of the negative consequences. Once I'm accountable to someone, I'm highly unlikely to go through with a binge.

On the way home, I saw an absolutely beautiful rainbow.  Despite the fact that it was still cloudy, the colors were so defined.  Thank you, God, for sending me help in the form of my son, my friend, and the rainbow.

thought process of a disordered eater

There was a possibility that I would have to spend about 7 hours driving on December 26; half of that by myself.  I must admit, when I first found out about this I began planning a binge.  It went something like this.  "If I can avoid sugar and binges through Christmas, then that day I will indulge.  I can stop by Walmart or Target and get Reese trees.  After all, they will be on sale!!! And maybe some of that caramel Hershey's Pot of Gold candy.  After that, maybe I'll get some pizza".

I found out last night that I probably won't have to make that trip, but I may have to spend about an hour driving this Sunday afternoon.  Again, I immediately thought about eating.  As my thoughts turned to food, I realized I was a tiny bit hungry.  Not much, mind you, just a little bit.  I'd eaten a healthy, filling dinner.  I'd exercised.  (There are a few pretty good workout options on Netflix instant, by the way)  Nevertheless, I convinced myself that I was hungry.

As I began to think about food, I wondered how my weight was.  I planned to weigh myself on Saturday.  I weighed myself last night, and I had lost weight since the last time I weighed in.  Somehow, I turned this into justification for overeating.

I started with a ham sandwich on whole wheat with lite mayo and cheese.  This wasn't a horrible choice. I should have stopped there.  This lead to cheese and crackers. Which lead to graham crackers. Then chex mix with peanuts. Then bread with butter and jelly.

I'm feeling the effects of all of the salt this morning.  I'm so thirsty.  My hands are a bit swollen.  Yuck.

Somewhere during the binge planning when I originally thought I'd be driving by myself for 3 1/2 hours, I began thinking about my future.  There will be a time, probably 4-8 years from now, that I won't have kids living at home.  What if my husband still has a job like he does now where he travels a lot?  With that much time alone, how will I maintain weight loss?  Should I even bother with this?  Yes, I should.  While the reality of this is that I will likely always struggle with food, I don't have to resign myself to eventual failure.

I'm eating a healthy breakfast this morning and moving on.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

keeping focus when overwhelmed

It's so easy to be overwhelmed this time of year.  There is so much to do!  Christmas shopping, Christmas cards, my daughter's birthday and my husband's birthday are both in December, I'm hosting a large gathering on Christmas Eve, taxes are due, bills are piling up, my son is struggling with some college decisions, spring tuition is due in December, my workload at my job is increasing this month......the list is endless.

How do we stay focused on continuing to eat healthy and exercising when there are so many thing vying for our attention?  I think it's even more important at times like this to eat healthy and exercise to maintain sanity!!  Even though we know this, it's so easy to let all of our other responsibilities get in the way.  Before we know it, exercise is non-existant and we're reaching for fast food because we're too busy to prepare something ourselves.

I'm committed to making healthy choices this month.  What choices am I making to help keep this commitment?

*I normally make an insane amount of sweet desserts during the holidays.  This year, I'll make 2 at most.  These will be desserts that I don't really like, so they won't tempt me.
*I'm planning all of the things that I possibly can in advance, so that I make room for exercise.  I'm a routine oriented person, so I will use that to my advantage.
*I've been open with some family members about my choice to avoid cooking sweet things this year.  This is hard for me; I don't like sharing.  I'm doing so anyway for my sanity.

What conscious choices are you making to come out of this holiday season weighing less or the same as you did going in, rather than being at least several pounds heavier?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

birthday parties

 My sweet little girl turned 14 on December 5.  We had a "family" party for her on the 4th, and she's having her "friend" party this evening.  She didn't want the traditional birthday fare at either party, so no cake to deal with.  When we were celebrating with family, she wanted marinated ham sandwiches, cracker candy, 7 layer bars, little smokies in sauce, and fruit salad.  How's that for an interesting combination of birthday snacks?  But that's fine - it's her birthday so I always fix what she wants.  I added pretzels to her menu so that anyone that wanted to eat healthy could snack on pretzels and fruit salad.

I didn't eat anything at her party, or before the party when I was fixing everything.  Oddly enough, I was ok with that.  I did miss eating these treats, but overall I didn't have a problem.  I could have eaten fruit salad and/or pretzels, but I wasn't hungry so I didn't bother.  Instead, I enjoyed spending time with family.

On her actual birthday, she wanted to have dinner at Panera.  Easy enough to eat healthy there.

At tonight's party, we're having pizza, chips, and s'mores.  (We're planning to have a bonfire.)  I'm not a fan of marshmallows, so the s'mores shouldn't be a temptation.  I tried to buy the exact amount of Hershey bars that we'll need so there wouldn't be leftovers.  The pizza may bother me a bit.  I will likely grab something at Subway so I will still get to eat something that I don't eat often and I didn't have to cook myself, but it's healthy.  Sometimes I have to play mental games with myself!  :)

Thankfully, I've been on plan this week.  It's been a tough week, though.  As can be par for the course during the holiday season....stress abounds.  That's ok, though, I can handle it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

shift in thought process

I'm allergic to beef.  I's a weird allergy.  I've never been a big fan of meat anyway, so about 2 years ago when this allergy was diagnosed I wasn't too upset.  However, occasionally a big juicy steak sounds appealing.  Not to mention that sometimes a completely unhealthy double cheeseburger or Big Mac from McDonald's is so very tempting.

Since I'm allergic to beef, I wouldn't even begin to contemplate eating it.  No matter how good it looks or smells.....I wouldn't dream of taking a chance at a potentially life threatening reaction.  I was thinking about this.  Could I possibly think of sugar in this way so that I would avoid it?  Of course not.  Sugar isn't life threatening.....or is it?  What happens to my body immediately after eating refined sugar?  Sure, some of the effects may be pleasant.  It does give me that temporary high.  Then there's the crash.  None of these immediate effects are as bad as a potential anaphylactic allergic reaction.

What about the long term effects of eating a lot of sugar? The list is endless.  Perhaps I could shift my way of thinking and avoid sugar just like I avoid beef.  Something to think about.