Friday, December 14, 2012

blog hiatus

Wow!!!  Has it really been almost 2 months since I've posted??  Crazy how time passes.  Unlike other times when I haven't posted, this time I'm doing very well.  This time of year my work load increases, as do family responsibilities.  Not to mention the ever expanding to do list during the holidays.

Life has been crazy, but I'm grateful to say that my eating hasn't!  I've been actively participating in my eating disorder support group, and I've gotten such wonderful help from others who struggle with the same food issues as I do.  God is good!

I'm looking forward to this weekend - I have some surprises in store for my husband.  His 40th birthday is next week.  Hard to believe.  I've known him since he was 16.  Again - crazy how time passes.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

new day, fresh start

Dear Diary,

Today I will remain binge free.  The debit card will remain at home when I go to work so that I don't have the means to by binge foods.

Dear God,

Grant me the willingness to eat healthy and make healthy choices.  Be my strength today, because your strength is much stronger than my compulsive overeating issues.  Amen

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Back to Step 1

Dear Diary,

Around mid-day the cravings began.  I'd been binge free for 10 days, and hadn't really had too many cravings to speak of.  They seemed to come out of the blue.  Maybe there was a reason, but I haven't figured it out.  I still don't know if it's important to determine a reason or if it's ultimately irrelevant.

I texted a friend from my support group, thinking that would help.  When I left work, I should have called someone, but I didn't.  I chose to stop at the grocery store and buy binge foods.  I sat in the parking lot and ate.  I ate all the way home.  Then I began to feel sick.  I made one good choice - I threw the rest of the food away, which was about 3/4 of what I'd purchased.

I'm back to step 1, but still on the path to wellness.  Still fighting.  Still aware that there are other choices when issues arise.

Monday, October 22, 2012

baby shower

Dear Diary,

I went to a baby shower yesterday, and I handled it well.  Special occasions like this are very difficult for me.  I've handled the food at such events a variety of ways, many of which are unhealthy.

Option A - Eat nothing, then feel deprived and binge later.
Option B - Eat small amounts of everything that I like.  Then the sugar causes cravings which often results in a binge later.
Option C - If everyone else is overeating, join in.
Option D - Eat small amounts of only the healthy foods. Fruit, veggies, but no dip or cheese or other fatty foods.  Feel deprived, then go to the store to purchase some of the foods that I really wanted and overeat later.

This time, I ate fruit, veggies and dip, and crackers and cheese.  No cake, cookies, chocolate or punch.  This worked well!!  I enjoyed what I ate and didn't feel deprived.  I didn't have cravings afterwards.  Great balance.

Before I went to the shower, I prayed for help and I texted a friend so that I would be accountable.  I told myself "it's easier to say no than stop"and "the sugary foods aren't there for me, I don't eat them."  Notice that I didn't say "can't" eat them.  I "don't" eat them.  Somehow this small difference can mean a lot.  It means that I'm not depriving myself, but I'm making a healthy choice.

I also made a point to enjoy the people.  At this particular event, this wasn't easy because I didn't know very many of the people there.  But my daughter went with me, so I enjoyed her company.  I treated it as a "girl's day out" because it was a 30 minute trip each way, and the countryside was absolutely beautiful.

Looking forward to putting this approach into practice during the upcoming holidays!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

positive results

Dear Diary,

I can already see some positive results after only 7 1/2 days of being binge free!  

*I have more energy and I don't tire as easily.
*I spend more time concentrating on my family and friends than food.
*I have't wasted money on binge foods.
*I've already lost some weight.
*My mood is better.
*I'm not experiencing the mood swings that tend to occur with rapidly changing blood sugar levels.  

I'm so grateful to be binge free, and I look forward to continuing on this healthy path.  The most important change that this brings is that I'm closer to God.  I'm asking for his help, strength, and accepting his love and forgiveness rather than putting food in his place.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Quote from General George Patton, revised a bit to remove profanity:

"I don't want to get any messages saying, 'I am holding my position...... we are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything......  Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy"

Are you simply holding your position, or are you learning, growing and changing?  Are you advancing toward healthy goals or are you stuck?

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Dear Diary,

I went to a retreat today with some members of my support group.  I'm so very grateful that I went.  It gave me hope.  I learned so much.  It's comforting to know that there are other compulsive overeaters that can completely relate to my struggles, and that many of them have been able, with the help of God and others who have "been there", maintain sanity.

Today was the first day in a long while that I didn't binge.  I pray that this experience will be a turning point for me.

Friday, October 12, 2012

something to think about

Saw a quote at that made me think.

“For every effect there is a root cause. Find and address the root cause rather than try to fix the effect.” -Celestine Chua

What do you think?  Does finding the root cause matter?  Is it essential to fixing your "issues"?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

hurt feelings

Dear Diary,

I attended a Revival service at my parent's church tonight because my daughter was invited to sing.  I no longer attend this church because God called us elsewhere, but I know many of the people there.  The pastor is a wonderful man.  I feel very comfortable there, because I grew up there.  I was looking forward to going, and was proud of my daughter for sharing her talent.

The first person that I saw when I entered the church was an older lady that I've known since I was a child.  Sally* warmly welcomed us.  As I walked away, I heard another elderly lady, Jean*, that I don't know as well ask her who I was.  She said "that's John Smith's* daughter".  I was a fair distance away by that point, and Jean probably didn't realize that I could hear her.  She said "oh, yes.  she lost all of that weight and looked so good.  Then she gained it all back."  

Isn't church a place where we should feel love and accepted?  Isn't this type of behavior the reason why many people don't want to have anything to do with church?  I had to immediately put the conversation out of mind.  Otherwise, I would have either burst into tears or left the church.  I stayed, but became sharply aware of how uncomfortable I felt in my own skin.  Despite being dressed nicely and fashionably, I felt fat and ugly.  

God knew that my heart was aching, though.  The speaker's sermon was based on 1 Samuel 16.  The verse that I needed to hear was verse 7  "..... The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

I know that Jean didn't know I heard her.  I don't believe she would have hurt my feelings intentionally.  But they were hurt. 

*All names changed.    

Saturday, September 22, 2012

my story

Dear Diary,

I'm having a rough day.  Realizing that I'm back to a place that I never wanted to return to is tough.  As I've gained weight so rapidly due to binge eating, the changes seem to come so suddenly.  I can't walk to the mail box without getting winded.  I have no energy.  I avoid activity.  I'm noticing some back aches and knee pain that weren't an issue when I was on a healthy path.  I hate how I look.  When I'm eating healthy and off the food, I don't think I truly remember how all of this feels.

My sister mentioned a discussion that she'd had with coworkers recently about how all of us have a story.  Your story shapes so much about you.  When I think of my life, I think about how grateful I am for God, my kids, husband, sister, nieces and parents.  Not to mention extended family and friends.  These are what is most important to me, not material things.  However, the predominant theme of my life is always somehow related to my problems with food.

The question is - do I want my story to be one of defeat and depression or one of overcoming obstacles?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I have such admiration for those who will go to any lengths to maintain freedom from compulsive overeating.  I'm not there.  Yet.  I pray that I will get there.

The sermon at church Sunday really resonated with me.  It was about Fear.  God doesn't give us a spirit of Fear, so if we're experiencing Fear it's not from him.  Imagine how David felt when he was facing Goliath!  A scrawny teenager facing a 9 foot plus warrior with muscles like Arnold.

Food/compulsive overeating is my Goliath.  On my own, I may be powerless.  But with help, I can overcome.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Catching Up

Dear Diary,

It's been almost a month since I posted!!  How time flies.  There are a few reasons for this.  1- I've been busy.  2- I finally joined the 21st century and set up a Facebook account.  This is part of my efforts to not isolate myself so much.  Food addiction is such an isolating disease.  I know there are better ways to reach out (phone, text, visiting a friend, etc.), but this is an avenue of "safely" staying in touch for someone like myself who is not a social butterfly.  I've been spending time on FB rather than blogs lately. 3- I haven't had anything good to report.

The third reason is the main one for my absence.  I realize that writing can be therapeutic, so avoiding doing so when my eating is out of control isn't smart.

Recently my son expressed his concerns about my rapid weight gain and return to poor eating habits.  He is such a great kid.  It broke my heart to hear him say that there isn't a day that doesn't go by that he doesn't think about my struggles.  A big burden for a 20 year old.  I admire that he loves me enough to confront me.

I considered an inpatient treatment program, but there's nothing close by (not even in my state) and my insurance doesn't cover this.  I also considered going to a counselor that specializes in eating disorders.  I haven't discounted that, but the treatment I've decided to try involves a support group of others who suffer from compulsive overeating.

So far, that's helped.  My food still hasn't gotten where it needs to be, and I have a long way to go emotionally but I'm going to stick with this group.  I'm currently trying to decide if I should join them on a retreat in October.  It is so very much out of my comfort zone.  New experiences scare me.  However, I need to seek help and perhaps this is a good avenue.

Bye for now!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Dear Diary,

Today is my 39th birthday.  Wow.  Where did the time go?  I must admit that I'm feeling kind of down right now.  I always spend some time reflecting on my life when my birthday rolls around, and I'm not sure I like what I see.  Don't misunderstand - I am definitely blessed.  I have a wonderful family, a job that I like, and most importantly a God who loves me :)  What I don't like is, of course, my weight.  I also don't feel that I've accomplished very much in my life.  Perhaps I'm just being too hard on myself.  I need to turn this pity party into an opportunity to improve.

Enough of that.  Happy Birthday to Me  :)  Here's to a great year!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

interesting weekend

Dear Diary,

I had such a great weekend!  Friday, we traveled to attend my son's first bodybuilding competition.  We had a great time, and it was far more interesting to watch than I'd expected.

I am so proud of my son.  He has been lifting weights for several years, and he's extremely dedicated.  He's disciplined with his exercise routine and his diet.  He was the youngest competitor (20 years old) and he placed in the top 5 in the men's debut category!!!!

It was wonderful to spend time with my family, and I appreciated it so very much.

Seeing all of these healthy people caused mixed emotions.  I was embarrassed at my lack of self control.  Regardless of suffering from food addiction, I still need to take responsibility for my choices.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

closet debate

Dear Diary,

As I lost weight last year, I got rid of my clothes that were too large.  If they were still nice, I donated them to Good Will.  If they weren't they were thrown away.  After all, this is what all the experts say to do, right?  Keeping clothes that are too large give you a safety net for regaining the weight.  The need to purchase new items if the scales go back up should be motivation to stay on track.

I'm beginning to think that theory is rubbish.  Hogwash.  Whatever silly word you'd like to say.  As I've written in all of my recent entries, I've gained a substantial amount of weight back.  Much of my clothing doesn't fit.  Even if I were to get my act together this very second and reverse this trend, it would still take a while to be able to wear some of the smaller sizes in my closet.  This leaves several choices.  Wear the limited items that fit, wear clothes that are too tight and unflattering, and/or buy a few things in larger sizes.  None of these are good for my already injured self esteem.  If I had kept a few of the nicer pieces as I lost weight, I'd have another choice.  I think this would be less humiliating than the other choices I mentioned.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I am more

Dear Diary,

I am more than a number on the scale.  I am more than the size of my clothing.  My self worth isn't about whether the number on the scale is going up, down, or staying the same.

My self esteem has, for many years, been directly tied to my weight.  If I'm gaining weight, my self esteem plummets.  If I'm eating healthy and losing weight my self esteem is a bit better.

When will I make the choice to not allow compulsive overeating  to consume a majority of my thoughts and actions?  When will I learn that I am a valuable, beautiful child of God, a kind person, a good listener, a good mom, friend, sister, daughter?  When will it become less difficult to even key those words without wanting to hit the delete key because it seems like I'm either bragging or not telling the full truth?  When will I not want to add a disclaimer that I could be a much better mom, friend, sister, daughter?

Perhaps if my self esteem improves the number on the scale will go down because I've learned that I'm worth not abusing my body.  I'm worth not using food in ways other than nourishment.

I'm reminded of some of the lyrics of Tenth Avenue North's song "You Are More":

You are more than the choices that you've made,You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,You are more than the problems you create,You've been remade.

Monday, August 6, 2012

don't know what you've got 'til it's gone

Dear Diary,

Last year when I'd lost 100+ pounds, I didn't fully appreciate the benefits.  I was still overweight, but I felt far more comfortable in my own skin.  I could climb a flight of steps without getting winded.  I could go into any clothing shop that carried plus sizes and purchase something off the rack rather than having to order things online.  I could even wear some things in xl or xxl from certain clothing companies.  I wasn't worried that I wouldn't fit comfortably in a movie theater seat.  I felt somewhat normal.

Now that I've gained back a significant amount of that, I miss those things.  I miss looking into the mirror and being able to find my cheekbones.  I miss looking into the mirror and realizing that I looked pretty good!  Now I'm avoiding mirrors again.  I miss being confidant when I run into an old friend; now I would probably try to avoid them.

I shouldn't let these things lead me into a cycle of despair, depression and more overeating.  These should be motivation to get back on track and make healthy choices physically and emotionally.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Good advice

Dear Diary,

I read a great article in a magazine today.  It was about Dr. Oz, and something he said really resonated with me.

"Cravings are driven by your mind, not actual hunger."  Dr. Mehmet Oz

Of course, this is completely logical.  Most everyone knows this.  However, seeing it in black and white was powerful for me.  He went on to say "This means that you don't need to eat to quell them.  Instead, call a friend - this will distract you long enough for the craving to pass."  

This is exactly what has been discussed in the support group I've been attending.  Someone mentioned that a craving will typically pass in 15 minutes.  You can choose to eat, (which may lead to overeating if you're a compulsive overeater) or you can choose to call a friend, write in a journal, exercise, or engage in some other healthy behavior.  

The question is, what will I choose to do when cravings hit?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Blog makeover

Dear Diary,

Once again I've been too ashamed and embarrassed to write a blog post.  My weight is up.  (That's an understatement).  I've continued to overeat.  I'm very rarely exercising.  From all appearances, I've given up.  Why bother posting?  What good would it do?

Then I remembered. Yes, I did begin this blog as mainly a weight loss blog.  Yes, I steadily lost weight from January to around December of 2011 for what I'd really hoped would be the last time.  However - I began this blog for me.  It's healthy to write out one's thoughts.  Especially for those like myself who tend to stuff their feelings inside rather than sharing them.  Who cares what anyone else thinks?  I only have a few followers.  For anyone who can learn something from what I have to write here, that's wonderful.  Even if it's simply that they learn that they are not suffering alone.  That is such a major lesson to learn.  For anyone who doesn't understand, doesn't care, or is frustrated by my current outward lack of progress - they can move on.  If there are those who would like to encourage or make recommendations, then I welcome that.

I changed my blog appearance a bit.  One of the main changes is that I removed the weight loss area.  I was hesitant to do this, because I do need to work on that.  At this point, though, I'm learning that my weight is a side effect of the disease of compulsive overeating.  If I don't address the tough stuff, then the weight will always return.  If I address the "issues", then weight loss will come.

Welcome to my journey; the good, the bad, the frustrations and the triumphs.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

2 small goals

I'm continuing to follow Diane's suggestion (see her comment to my 7/17/12 post) to make several small goals.  Her recommendation was three, but I'm going with two.  I want to have two reasonable solid goals that will take a bit of work, but aren't currently unrealistic for me.

Confession time.  As I was considering my goals, I thought of several that I knew I could handle with very little effort.  Eat a healthy breakfast every day for x number of days.  Eat a healthy lunch every day for x number of days.  With very few exceptions, I've been doing this.  If I set a goal this easy, I'm only cheating myself.

Goal #1: no binge eating/overeating from 7/23/12 to 8/10/12.  Why these dates?  I'm beginning tomorrow because I'd be lying if I said that today didn't include some amount of overeating.  August 10 is the day prior to my son's first body building competition.  I'm ashamed and embarrassed of the weight I've recently gained, and that he'll have an overweight mom at this event.  The very least I can do is go with a clear conscience that I'm making healthier choices and turning things around.

Goal #2: exercise at least twice a week from 7/23/12 to 8/10/12.  I'm staying with the same dates since it just makes sense to me to do so.  There was a time that I did some form of exercise 6-7 days a week.  Lately, the number has been 0.  Twice a week is attainable.

I'll keep you posted regarding my progress.  Any encouragement is welcome!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

following suggestions

Diane's comment on yesterday's post inspired today's post.  The reasons for losing weight sometimes seem so obvious, but having them in black and white and really examining them can be important.  Her idea for making three small goals is great too.  If I look at the long term, I get so overwhelmed that it's very difficult to realize that even small changes make a difference.

So - I might as well make this a public reminder for myself.

Reasons for losing weight:

1-God should be the number one priority in my life.  If I'm honest with myself, food is a huge priority.
2- My health.  I want to live a long, healthy life and be able to enjoy my children and any future grandchildren.  I don't want to be a burden to my family because I've made poor choices.
3- I want to look good.  Let's be honest - vanity is a big reason for wanting to lose weight.  I'm tired of being ashamed to wear short sleeves when it's 100 degrees outside.
4- Energy.  I like to have the energy to do normal things, rather than tiring easily.
5-No shame.  I hate being ashamed of my lack of control.  Yes, I believe that it's possible to be addicted to food.  However, I'm still fully responsible for what goes into my mouth.  I don't want my children to be ashamed of me either.
6-Avoidance.  I'm tired of avoiding people and events due to my weight.  When I catch a glimpse of someone I know in public, my first thought is "what weight was I when they last saw me".  How sad is that?  If I was thinner the last time that I saw them, odds are I'm going to try to avoid them.  And events?  That's another issue altogether.  How many things have a avoided due to my weight?  Water parks. Pool parties. It would take forever to mention them all.
7-Peace.  I want to feel peace rather than guilt, shame, anxiety and depression.

Three small goals will be a separate post after I've given it some thought.  What are your reasons for losing weight?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I feel like I'm in limbo right now.  I'm not actively trying to lose weight, though I definitely need to be.  The binges have slowed a bit, but haven't ended.  I haven't been exercising.

All of my choices aren't poor.  About 98% of the time I've been eating a healthy breakfast and lunch and I'm taking the vitamins that I need.  I haven't withdrawn from family and friends like I tend to do when I'm overeating on a regular basis.

At this point, I think I'd be content if I could at least maintain my weight rather than continuing to gain. I haven't posted my weight progress because I'm too ashamed to admit how much weight I've gained.

I still haven't completely given up.  To someone who doesn't understand food addiction/eating disorders it would appear that I have, but I haven't.  I've had a lot of experience in the past with days, weeks, months, even years of being in the "I don't care I'm going to eat what I want and I'll deal with the results later" phase.  I'm not there.

I need to find the motivation to get out of this part of the cycle and get back to a healthy place.  If I can't find the motivation, I need to find the determination to be healthy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

swim suit torture

Does the thought of shopping for a swim suit make you shudder?  Do you feel an urge to crawl into a hole after examining yourself in the dressing room mirror? Is there anyone of the female persuasion above the age of 13 or so that enjoys this event?

I took my daughter swim suit shopping today.  She is thin, her weight is within the normal weight for her height/frame, and she is well proportioned.  However, shopping for a swim suit was stressful for her.  The stress was probably compounded by the fact that she is going to a pool party Friday evening, and it's a boy/girl event.

We had a good discussion about the fact that swim suit shopping is difficult for most of us.  Even those with "perfect" bodies will quickly find flaws when scantily clad.  (Not that I'm letting my 14 year old buy a skimpy bikini, mind you)  I also pointed out that guys her age are also stressed about what to wear to the pool.  Most of them don't have Channing Tatum's chest.  If they're overweight, they consider wearing a t-shirt at the pool.  If they're scrawny, they consider the t-shirt option at well.  Then some of them discard that idea because they know that everyone knows why they're leaving a t-shirt on, and this will invite attention and perhaps teasing.

I proceeded to remind her that most of the people at the party are more concerned about their own appearance than hers.  Fortunately, she doesn't struggle too badly with this but it still makes me sad.  I wish that my daughter could look at herself through my eyes. I wish that she was more confidant about her body image.  She's adorable and looks great in a swim suit.  But far more important than this - if she didn't look good in a swim suit she is still a beautiful person.

In the end, my daughter decided to wear last year's swim suit.  She didn't wear it very much, it's still a great style, and she liked it better than any of the suits that she tried on.

What do you say to your daughter/granddaughter/sister/niece/friend when she's discouraged about swim suit shopping?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wind Storm 2012

It's been an eventful few days.  We lost power around 9:30 p.m. Friday night due to a wind storm   it didn't come back on until about 4:00 p.m. yesterday.  When the temperatures are between 90 and 100 degrees every day, this is tough.  It's been difficult to find ice, water, gas, and stores that will accept payment other than cash. Thousands are still without electricity, and likely will be until at least Saturday.  Many have experienced damage to their homes, vehicles, and there have even been some deaths.

I have learned that there are many things, and people, that I take for granted.  I'm so blessed and grateful.

*All of my friends and family are healthy and safe.
*My son wasn't hurt when he went outside at the beginning of the storm to make sure his car windows were up.  I sent him out there - not realizing that this was much more than an average rain storm.
*Only a few of my friends have damaged homes, and they weren't physically harmed when the trees crashed during the storm.
*I live in a rural area, which means many people don't have water if there's no electricity.  This isn't the case for us.  A cold shower is far better than no shower.
*I feel loved.  Several friends and acquaintances, including some that I really don't know very well,  offered their homes, their food, their showers......anything that we may have needed.
*Despite anxiety issues, I was able to remain fairly calm and assist my son since he was very anxious about some of the practical ways that this effected his life. Even temporary things can cause great stress to a 20 year old trying to learn how to balance life and prioritize tasks.
*I spent some fun times with my daughter.  In the evening when we would likely be each doing our "own thing", we talked and played Uno and Scrabble.  :)
*I was reminded that I need to eat to live not live to eat.

I am blessed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

one meal at a time

I'd like to say that the overeating has stopped, but it hasn't.  However, I've eaten a healthy breakfast and lunch the past two days and I've been taking my vitamins.  This may seem like a small accomplishment, but sometimes we have to celebrate the small successes.

I think I'm beginning to finally realize that the continuous diet-for-a-few-days/weeks/months/years-then-binge-for-a-few-days-months-years cycle that I've been in for at least twenty years is not just about my weight.  Yes, I probably knew that on some level but I think I need to explore that more.  Excess weight is simply a by-product of some internal work that I need to do.

It's mostly been about the weight for me.   Sure, I've examined some things over the years but it's always ultimately been about the weight.  If I'm honest with myself, if the disease of food addiction didn't lead to obesity I would probably give up and live with the other side effects.  It's not just about weight, though.

For now, I'm celebrating a few days of eating two healthy meals each day and taking the vitamins that I need.  I'm also celebrating the fact that I've continued to go to a support group.

Sometimes slow progress is lasting progress.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

not alone

I haven't been able to bring myself to post because I have nothing to say.  On second thought - that isn't entirely accurate.  I probably have plenty to say, but nothing that I'm not embarrassed or ashamed to share.

I've mentioned before that I am an "all or nothing" type of person.  To the extreme.  I'm either staying on plan, exercising, making healthy choices about everything from food to vitamins and losing weight or binge eating on a daily basis and gaining weight at an amazingly rapid speed.  Unfortunately, I'm in the binge-eating-on-a-daily-basis-and-gaining-weight-at-an-amazingly-rapid-speed mode.

No one wants to read about that.  I certainly don't want to write it.  However, I know that there are many people out there just like me.  Whether you label it food addiction, binge eating disorder, compulsive doesn't matter.  I recently read that binge eating disorder is more common than anorexia or bulimia.  But no one talks about it.

So......even though I don't want to write about how I'm struggling and the light at the tunnel is very dim right now, I'm doing it anyway.  Because about 4% of the population struggles with this too.  Hopefully there will be people who will read this and not feel so alone.

I have not lost hope.  I have not given up.  It may seem that I have based on the fact that I've admitted to binge eating on a daily basis, but I haven't.  By this point in my many, many cycles of "all or nothing" I have usually made a decision (sometimes conscious sometimes not) that I will not even try anymore.  I haven't done that this time.

One day at a time.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Burger King's new bacon sundae

When I first saw the news headline about Burger King's new menu choice, I thought it was a joke.  Then I read the article and realized that it was legitimate.  A bacon sundae.  I can't begin to fathom the thought process behind offering this.  It sounds absolutely disgusting.  Yes, I completely understand the appeal of the sweet and salty combination (unfortunately). But bacon and ice cream?  Yuck!!!!

There is headline after headline about the obesity problem in America.  Then there is the bacon sundae. The news report stated that this lovely treat  has 510 calories, 18 grams of fat and 61 grams of sugar.  Wow.  

What saddens me more than this being offered as a menu choice, after all what can you expect from fast food, but that it obviously must appeal to enough people that Burger King made the decision to offer it.  They're in business to make money, so I assume there was plenty of market research done prior to introducing this item.  

I realize that I probably look at things with a different perspective due to my food/weight issues.  I know that there are plenty of people who are capable of having an occasional treat while maintaining a healthy diet.  In fact, most nutrition experts recommend doing this.  But 510 calories, 18 grams of fat and 61 grams of sugar?  Ridiculous.  

Ok.  enough of that rant from my soap box.  As for me, I'm doing better.  Tuesday and Thursday were binge free days.  Wednesday night I didn't do so well - I wouldn't label it as a binge but there was definitely some overeating.  Today was rough, too.  Back on track tomorrow and praying to stay that way.  One day at a time.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

No vs Stop

A friend who also struggles with compulsive overeating recently told me that it is a lot easier to say "No" than "Stop".  At first, I disagreed.  When I've been binge eating on a regular basis, like I have been recently, saying no seems almost impossible.  I get to a point where I don't really even try.

Then I began thinking about how difficult it is to stop after I've begun eating certain foods.   After pondering, I decided that my friend is right.  While finding the motivation to say no to taking that first bite of a trigger food can be terribly difficult, once I've taken that first bite I can seldom stop.

Which is easier for you?

On another note, I'm proud to say that I've been binge free today!!!  This is the first day in quite some time, and I plan to continue this trend.

Monday, June 4, 2012

puzzle pieces

As I've struggled with my weight and with unhealthy eating patterns over the years, I've often berated myself for moving from one "solution" to the next, and seemingly failing at every one of them.  After all - I'm still overweight and I still have a lot of food issues, so I've failed right?

The next logical step in this thought process is the "why bother" way of thinking.  Since I always regain the weight and return to unhealthy habits, why bother?

I've begun to think that perhaps there are puzzle pieces of what I've learned from these experiences that can be maneuvered together as part of the journey to a solution.  If I can put the small nuggets of wisdom that I've gained from each experience together, perhaps I will ultimately be successful.

Let's take a look:

First diet in 9th grade - I learned that cutting calories extremely and exercising several times a day will equate to weight loss.  However, these habits can't be maintained over the long haul so the weight is quickly regained.

Six years later I tried Weight Watchers - I learned that if you stick with your allotted daily points, you can lose weight even if you eat junk that you shouldn't.  However, it gets progressively harder to control the junk food intake.  Eventually that junk food will equate to more points than necessary to lose weight or even maintain.

A few years later I happened across a movie about the gentleman that started AA.  I related so well to his story, but with food rather than alcohol.  I did some research about OA.  There weren't meetings in my area, so I purchased literature and tried online meetings.  I was still in denial, chose an ineffective meeting filled with enablers and quickly lost interest.  Lesson learned?  If the message of a program resonates strongly, try again.

Next, I went to a counselor who specialized in eating disorders.  I didn't relate to her well, and ultimately after spending probably 6 months going to her I gave up.  Looking back - I gained something very important from this.  In the process of food journaling, my anxiety and depression became evident.  I eventually began to take medication which has helped tremendously.

When I expressed to my internal medicine doctor that the counselor didn't seem to help, he recommended a psychiatrist.  I saw him for a while, but didn't really relate to him either.  Another failed experience.  But wait - he suggested an adjustment to my medication that helped quite a bit so all was not lost.

Fast forward past multiple diet attempts that typically resulted in weight loss, but then regain.  After recently reading several books about sugar addiction.  I was reminded that this is not my fault.  My issues are a result of a biochemical issue, not a character defect.  I'm still struggling, but this is a valuable piece of information.

I went to my first OA face to face meeting tonight.  I'm still processing this in my mind, so the jury is still out.

Most importantly - I'm not giving up.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


I forgot to mention in my previous post that I'm considering trying a local Overeaters Anonymous meeting.  I took the initiative to call the contact person listed on the OA web site to confirm meeting details.  (This was a HUGE step for me).

I'm still not sure if I will go, but I need to do something about this current downward spiral.

living life to the fullest

Our church is having a picnic at a local park Sunday afternoon.  For several reasons, I really don't want to go.  First, I'm not a very social person.  I'm a homebody.  Second, we've only been attending this church a few months so I don't know anyone very well yet.  For an extrovert, this would be a perfect opportunity to make friends, for an introvert a situation like this can be difficult.  Next, there's the food issue.  What do I eat, what do I not eat etc. etc. etc.

Last, but not least, I know it sounds silly but there's the "what to wear" conundrum.  My self esteem is currently rather low because I've gained some weight.  My clothes don't fit well.  It will probably be rather warm this weekend, so something cool and comfortable would be in order.  I haven't worn shorts in years and that's not an option.  It would look silly to wear jeans or pants, and I would be uncomfortable.  I considered purchasing a maxi dress, but short heavy girls don't look good in maxi dresses.  The only other option I could think of was capri pants.  I don't think capri pants look good on short, heavy girls either.  However, I suppose it's better to wear not-so-flattering capri pants then to be terribly hot and look silly wearing jeans or slacks.

Yes, I realize to many people it may seem like I'm making far too big a deal of this.  Even if I didn't have the weight issues, due to anxiety and depression issues social situations are hard for me.  Add weight issues/insecurities and it's just easier to withdraw and stay at home.  My daughter will probably want to go, and I don't have the heart to tell her no because of my issues.

All of this reminded me of a similar situation about 15 years ago.  My husband was new at the company that he was working for, and they were having a regional meeting at a park about an hour away from us.  We were expected to attend, so I had little choice in the matter. I was overweight then, too.  I was probably about the same weight that I am now, but I hadn't been overweight for very long at that point.  I had the exact same issues when facing that event as I'm having now.  Social anxiety, food stress, new situation stress, and what-does-a-fat-girl-wear-to-a-sweltering-hot-picnic issues.  I remember settling on a knee length knit skirt  and knit top.  I didn't really love the choice, but it worked out ok.

This long post is to express that I'm sad that I haven't made progress in this area.  Yes, I'm unhappy with my weight.  However, I shouldn't stop living because of it.

Friday, May 25, 2012


As I drove past a local bakery today, I noticed that their sign said "We sell happiness".  Hmmm.  My initial reaction to this was one of disgust.  Of course that was largely based on my life long struggle with sugar.  Then I pondered this some more.

First, there's the fact that sugar does cause "happiness".  It increases the feel good chemicals in your brain to cause a temporary high.  Then I thought about the large number of happy events that involve treats from the bakery.  Birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, Mother's Day, Father's Day......the list is endless.

This train of thought led to the southern (or perhaps even other areas of the country?) tradition of taking food to a family when there is a death.  Of course there is a practical reason for this; we don't want the family of the deceased to have to worry about the necessary tasks of life like cooking while they are in the midst of grieving.  On the other hand, this is the perfect example of comfort food.  Literally.  What do we take to grieving families?  Casseroles.  Pies.  Cakes.  Fried chicken.  Macaroni & cheese.  Does anyone take veggies?  Fruit?  Grilled chicken, perhaps.  Not really.

Does food bring happiness?  Yes.  Should it?  There's nothing wrong with enjoying food.  The problem begins when you're expecting food to do things that people should do rather than simply provide nourishment.  Like providing happiness and love.  Or perhaps expecting it to provide comfort and peace when God or a loved one should do that.

What are your thoughts?  Am I overanalyzing?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

out of control

I can't seem to get back on track.  I'm disgusted with myself, and hate even writing this.  It seems so pathetic.  But it's the truth.  I've been eating horribly and exercise has been non-existant.  I know that I've probably gained a large amount of weight, as I tend to do when I'm bingeing every day.  The desire to eat sugar and carbs, for some insane reason, is defeating the desire I have to be healthy.

There is a part of me that just wants to give up.  This part of me says "Why bother?  You know you always go back to the sugar again."  However, there is a part of me that knows that I can't give up.  If I completely give up, I will quickly gain the weight that I've lost plus more.

Why is this so hard?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Time to get serious

The past 6 months have been a wash when it comes to weight loss.  I've been the proverbial yo-yo dieter. Up and down, up and down.  The result being that I weigh about the same as I did 6 months ago.  While this is definitely a journey with no end, and it is made up of daily choices that should culminate in a healthy lifestyle, there is still an end when it comes to weight loss.  I need to get serious about this.

The past few days have included sugar.  Not huge binge amounts, but enough.  I will not accomplish my weight loss goals or my long term overall healthy lifestyle goals by doing this.  It's time to wake up and get back on track!!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Greek yogurt

I finally got around to giving greek yogurt another try.  For breakfast this morning, I mixed blueberries, greek yogurt, Splenda and almonds together.  It was really good!  I was pleasantly surprised.  I think it will be filling enough to hold me until lunch.

On another note, we're having a party at work on Tuesday for one of my co-worker's birthdays.  She is usually the party planner; since it's her party I volunteered to coordinate this time.  Not only is she the planner, she usually brings dessert, and she bakes really well.  I work very closely with her, and I want her day to be special, so I really wanted to have something home made for her.  No one else volunteered to bring the dessert, so I will be making cupcakes.  Dangerous, huh?

Fortunately, my daughter loves to bake so she will be helping me.  This will give me accountability so I won't be tempted to sample the finished product or lick the frosting off the knife.  She can do that :)  The other foods at the party will be safe.  We're getting party trays from a local deli that include sandwiches, fruit, and a cheese tray.  One of the sandwiches included is turkey on wheat.  I do need to be careful with the cheese, though.  That can quickly become a problem food.  My co-workers will hold me accountable.

Also - I went grocery shopping by myself Friday after work, and I didn't purchase junk!!!!!  Victory!!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

my 2nd 5k

I walked in my second 5K this morning!!!!  It was great.  I mentioned previously that my sister and I were walking twice a week together while my nieces were participating in Girls on the Run.  I'd never heard of this organization before.  It is extremely worthwhile.  Joining in with the girls over the past several months as they learn not only about good physical health but good mental and emotional health has been wonderful.

The 5K was held on a college campus and it was beautiful.  It was nice to have a scenic route.  It wasn't too tough; there were several hills but I did ok.  The last hill was a bit rough, but I kept pushing.  After all, most of the girls were running the 5K, so I certainly had no reason to complain about walking!

My time was 52 minutes.  I guess that's not too bad.  My first 5K was 54 minutes, so I improved a bit.  My sister and I plan to continue our routine of walking together twice a week even though Girls on the Run has ended for the season.  We found that it was great to have the time together.

Have you ever walked/ran a 5K?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

facing the music

I have definitely been avoiding the scales.  I try to weigh myself about once a month, but after succumbing to the inner sugar demon I didn't want to face the damage I'd done.  However, I know that part of this journey involves the scale.  So I did it.  I'm up 9 pounds.  While that is pretty bad, it's honestly not as bad as I'd thought it would be.

There will be no dwelling on this, no self pity, no "I can't do this".  The number reflects what I've eaten during the last month or so.  It doesn't indicate that I'm a bad person, it indicates that I made poor choices.

Moving on.

Friday, April 27, 2012

not a perfect journey

I have to continually remind myself that this is a journey.  There is no real end.  This can be difficult, because I view it as having somewhat of an end because I do want to reach a normal weight and stay there.  However, overall, this is a journey.  One meal at a time.

Last week someone stopped me at work and commented on my weight loss.  She mentioned that she was really struggling, and that her doctor gave her some advice and told her that it was simple.  I told her to find another doctor :)  I suppose in some ways it is simple.  But it's not easy.  If it were, millions of people wouldn't be overweight, and the diet industry wouldn't be raking in the dough.

Later that week, I mentioned to my sister that I feel like such a fraud when someone admires my weight loss.  I'm not where I need to be physically, mentally or emotionally.  In many ways I don't feel that I should be admired or that I should give advice on the subject.  My sister looked at me and said  "so do you think you have to be perfect to help someone?"  Hmmmm.  That made me think.

No, I don't have to be perfect to offer advice, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen.  This is a journey and it is not perfect.  There will be hills and valleys.  The important thing is to be determined not to get stuck in a valley, but to move on.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

weakness or strength?

Today was my first day without sugar for quite a while.  I've experienced the expected cravings, which resulted in a meltdown this afternoon.

I left my debit card, credit card and cash at home.  Even further, I asked my son to hide them so I wouldn't even know where they are.  No money = no sugar.  However, I needed to go by the drugstore today to pick up a prescription for my son.  He knows that I've been bingeing on junk food again, so last night he offered to go to the store with me.

As I was driving home from work, and having terrible cravings for all kinds of sugary carbs I began wondering if my son would follow through with going with me to the store.  I began to think about what I would buy if he didn't go with me.  Then I called him, and asked him if he would be ready to go when I got home.  He asked if I would be ok going by myself.  I almost lied, but I couldn't.  I told him that I really didn't think I would be ok by myself.

After I hung up, all I could do was sob.  How pathetic is it that I, a grown woman of 38, mother of two, can't be trusted to have money or go to a store alone without buying foods that I know are poisonous to me.  How sad is it that I have to rely on my child (though he is 20 years old) to hide my money and to babysit me at the store.

As I was wallowing in self pity, depression, and who knows what else, I decided to call my husband.  I have trouble reaching out when I'm struggling, but I did it.  As I explained my loser status to him, he corrected me.  He feels that I overcame today, and that my choices were an example of victory.  I didn't lie to my son.  I chose to seek help on a shopping trip that I knew would very likely end with the purchase of junk.

Perhaps asking for help is indicative of strength not weakness.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


My sister and I walked a 5K yesterday.  It was the first time I'd done anything like that, and it was fun!  The weather was perfect and the route was only slightly challenging.  Since I've severely slacked in the exercise and healthy eating department recently, I felt less prepared than I wanted to be.   I was still able to keep a good pace, though.

Eating was a bit better today, but I'm still not really back on track.  I'm not giving up.  I need to move out of the all or nothing thinking.  I need to realize that there isn't an end to this.  This is a journey.  Yes, there is sort of an end when I reach an acceptable weight, but the journey doesn't end there.  The journey involves many, many choices.  Each time I pick up food or a beverage, choose whether to exercise or do something sedentary, take vitamins or not......all of these actions are choices in my journey to be a healthy person.

Monday, April 16, 2012

same old same old

I've fallen back in to the same old traps and bad habits.  I cringe as I write this post.  It's embarrassing.  I know better.  I know that I can't do the same things I've always done and expect different results.  I can't seem to find the motivation or the determination to get back on track.

This is where I am right now:

It's the all or nothing thing all over again.  I'm back to eating junk, very little exercise, I'm not wearing my pedometer or entering information in my log for the fit challenge at work, I'm not even taking my usual vitamins - what's that all about?

Back to the "I'll start over tomorrow" mentality for the one millionth time.  It's pathetic.  Apparently the sugar and fat are currently more important to me than making healthy choices.  I wouldn't be doing this if there weren't some sort of reward - right?

There is a part of me that wants to give up.  Why bother when I know I always end up back at the same place?  But......I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet.  I'm discouraged, but not defeated.

Enough rambling.  Just wanted to document where I am right now......this will allow me to see how far I've come once I get over the hurdle.

Monday, April 9, 2012


by Shel Silverstein

"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more--that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut--my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

I've always loved this poem.  I've heard it performed as a monologue by a very talented
young lady, which caused me to love it even more.  Enough of that, though.  Saturday 
I had a stomach virus.  Don't worry - there will be no details given here.  It was 
unpleasant, but definitely could have been worse.  I very seldom get sick.  In fact 
I can't remember the last time I did.  Probably two years ago I think.  
It was so frustrating to have things that I needed to do (grocery shopping, laundry,
preparing for Easter, spending time with my hubby since he's only home on weekends) 
and not being able to do a thing.
I was much better on Sunday, so I was able to go to Easter services at church, 
and then to my sister's for dinner.  There, I made a mistake.  After you've recovered 
from a stomach bug, you can eat normally right away, correct?  Wrong.  
I didn't overeat, but my appetite had returned so I ate dinner.  Dinner included
some special dishes that I don't normally eat like my sister's mac & cheese
(which is the best in the entire world) and mashed potatoes. 
Needless to say, I regretted eating something other than saltines or toast.  

Anyway.......if anything good can come out of 
a stomach virus, it will be this.  I will take advantage of the opportunity to get
my eating back on track.  My stomach can't currently handle a return to my normal 
foods at this point, but I still need to make healthy choices.
I know that I will be a bit off kilter this week because my routine will be disrupted. 
My daughter is on spring break,and I'm on vacation.  I will not use this as an excuse
to become a sugar eating slug.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bad choices equates to bad person?

A crime has been committed.  (Cue theme to Dragnet, Monk, Hillstreet Blues.....any cop/detective show will do)  Who is the perpetrator?  Me.  Who is the victim?  My body.  What is the motive?  To savor the taste of sugar and feel the (temporary) effects of a sugar high.  What is the punishment?  Weight gain, shame, disgust, guilt, a loss of control, a self imposed prison.

Yes, I've done it.  Once again I've succumbed to the allure of sugar.  Every day since Friday I've binged on sugar.  I know better.  I know the long term effects, the short term effects, the abuse that I'm imposing on my body and mind.  The list goes on and on.

Does this make me a bad person?  Does this make me stupid because I'm going down the same road yet again that I know leads to a horrible place?  I used to think so.  Sometimes I still do.  But feeling this way will only allow me to wallow in self pity and stay this course rather than going back to what I know to be best.  Healthy eating, no sugar, no whites, exercise.  

On a more positive note, I've signed up for my first 5k!!!!!  I'm so excited.  It is a walk/run, and I will be walking.  My sister plans to sign up as well, and the registration fee is given to the American Cancer Society.  My plan is to make this the first of many.  I hope that this will be a step in the right direction to help motivate me to continue with healthy habits rather than self destructive ones.

As my blog title implies, this is a journey.  I still have quite a bit more weight to lose, but more importantly I still have quite a way to go emotionally.  Once I reach a healthy weight, I realize that the journey is not over.  This will be a life long journey that I will take one food choice at a time.  I'm not going to give up.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Breakfast foods?

I've been making an effort to eat more protein at breakfast.  (Specifically, at least 20 grams) This seems to be working well.  It's very filling and it seems to last awhile, not to mention it reduces cravings by stabilizing blood sugar.

I'm a creature of habit, so eating the same thing for breakfast every day for a while is fine with me.  Eventually, I get sick of that though.  I've been eating two veggie sausage patties on a whole grain bun and a carton of low carb yogurt.  This has about 28 grams of protein and 350 calories.

In searching for some other breakfast ideas, I've experimented with 0% fat greek yogurt.  It is a "super food" with a ton of protein and many health benefits.  I had never tried greet yogurt until very recently.  I don't hate it, but I can't say I really like it very much. I'm hoping to find a way to fix it that I like though; specifically for breakfast.  So far, the only variation I've really liked was a mexican veggie dip with greek yogurt, salsa and taco seasoning, and that isn't very appealing at breakfast!

I've tried mixing greek yogurt with chopped apples, cinnamon, and almonds.  I've also tried it with pineapple.  I don't really like the tart/sour taste of the yogurt.  Any ideas?  Also - any ideas for a protein rich breakfast that doesn't involve eggs?  (I hate eggs.  Yuck.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

making the choice to fight

After I posted this morning, I made the choice to fight.  I left my debit card, credit card, and cash at home when I left for work.  No money, no food.  I ate healthy at breakfast and lunch.  No sugar, no "whites", plenty of protein for fullness and steady blood sugar.  This afternoon/evening I will take care of all of the chores I need to do around the house, go for a long walk, and eat a healthy dinner.

I've always liked the quote "insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results."  Today, I choose to be sane (at least with eating!).

Am I really fighting?

Sometimes I think I'm trying to fool myself when I tell myself that I'm fighting cravings.  After I posted last night, I ate.  And ate.  And ate.  I didn't eat sugar, well other than one of my daughter's Fiber One bars, simply because there's none in the house.  However, I ate everything I could find with natural sugar.  Fruit Spread on bread (whole grain at least), raisins, a salad with mainly cheese (fat as a substitute perhaps?)

Yes, the amount of food was smaller than binges of the past.  Yes, I basically avoided sugar.  However, I was still using food for something other than fuel which is a dangerous slippery slope into the pit of food hell.  

If I'm completely honest with myself, there is a part of me that is considering buying sugary crap today.  The same sugary crap that I've been craving for the last few days.  I know it's not worth it.  I know that if I start it will lead to more and more sugar.  But the addiction monster lies to me and tells me "it will only be this once."  

Monday, March 26, 2012

white foods

I haven't had sugar since February 17, and my cravings have almost disappeared.  Until today.  Well - actually a few days ago was when they reappeared but today has been worse.  There are several specific foods I've been thinking about.  I've tried to quickly change my thought process rather than dwelling on food that I know will do harm.

I'm trying to figure out why today was worse.  I did have a small amount of white pasta at lunch today.  It was an organic frozen dinner, and I didn't read the ingredients carefully.  (I don't really like eating processed foods, but I do eat them at lunch more than I probably should.  It's a quick, calorie controlled way to eat at work.) Anyway, the meal had white pasta rather than whole wheat as I'd thought.  It was a small portion, but perhaps it was enough to bother me.

I tried quinoa for the first time tonight.  The recipe was simple; quinoa and white beans.  It was ok, but nothing special.  I think if I try it again I need to adjust the seasonings.  It was a bit bland.

Forgive my ignorance, but isn't quinoa a "brown" food rather than a "white"?  If so, I assume that the white pasta is the culprit.  I've examined the emotions that sometimes cause cravings, and none of those seem to be the problem.

It's amazing how such a small amount of a "white" food can make such a big difference!  Is this your experience?  Or does a small amount make an even bigger difference when your body isn't accustomed to it?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Peace in the Valley

Do you remember that old song?

"There'll be peace in the valley for me someday,
There'll be peace in the valley for me.
I pray no more sorrow and sadness or trouble will be,
There'll be peace in the valley for me."

Over the years, I've prayed for peace more times than I can count. Peace from an eating disorder/sugar addiction.  Peace from the constant tug of war of dysfunctional eating patterns and habits.  Peace and relief from yo-yo dieting.  Peace and happiness can't be found in food, in a bottle, through drugs, gambling, excessive shopping.....nothing material.  This peace can only be found in God.

For some reason this song came to mind today.  I don't even really like the song that much, so I'm not sure why.  I began thinking about peace.....the peace that I've had with food recently.  I long for this to remain, and I need to be constantly aware of the choices that effect this.  

Then I began wondering why the lyrics talk about peace in the valley.  After all.....valleys describe the low, difficult places in life.  Why isn't the song about peace on the mountain tops?  You know - those times when everything is smooth sailing?  The bills are paid, the kids are healthy, the job is secure?  Duh!!  What a silly question!  Of course we long for peace in the valley!  That's when we need it!  

Have you been able to find peace in your valley?  

Friday, March 16, 2012

busy week!

Wow!  This week has been very busy, but things are going well in the area of food and exercise.  I took Monday off because my daughter got her braces off.  After the appointment, I took her to her favorite place for lunch - Panera.  I love Panera too, and it is possible to make relatively healthy choices there.  (As long as you avoid the baked goods!!!!)  I chose the pick two, and got ham on whole wheat with lettuce tomato and spicy mustard along with a grilled chicken caesar salad with light ranch dressing.  Yum!

I've been a bit stressed about some issues with my son, but it hasn't caused me to stray from healthy eating. It can be so difficult to have an adult child at home!  He will be 20 at the end of this month.  He is such a great guy, and I'm proud of him.  He's working part time and taking classes at our local community college.  He plans to transfer to a physical therapy assistant program (hopefully) in fall of 2013.  College has been tough for him.  I've seen him mature quite a bit in the last year or so, though.  It is so difficult to balance allowing him to make his own choices and deal with the subsequent consequences, and assisting him when/if we think he needs some guidance.

On another subject, an area that I thought would be extremely difficult for me hasn't been so far and I hope it stays that way!  Easter candy.  Sigh.  The candy that is offered at Easter is probably the most tempting for me than any other holiday.  There are certain things that you can only find at Easter.  I won't even start naming them or else I will drool on the computer.  

My strategy is as follows:  if in a store that offers Easter candy, DON'T GO DOWN THE AISLE!!!! With the exception of a few things for my daughter and the Easter bunny that I buy for my sweet hubby every year, I don't need to buy Easter candy. Therefore, why torture myself by going down the aisle?  When I do purchase the items for my daughter and husband, if I think I need to I will ask my son to go with me for accountability.  If I'm certain that I'll be ok, I'll still wait until the last minute to buy the items so they're not in the house.  

Part 2 of operation avoid Easter candy is a continuation of my recent habit of leaving the bank card that I use for the majority of my purchases at home.  No random stops for chocolate. This has been helping, so I'll stick with this.

Part 3, and probably most important, is remembering the significance of Easter.  Easter is not about candy and bunnies.  Easter is about the fact that God sent his son here to this earth to die for my sins.  He was crucified, then was buried.  He arose, and is alive today!!!!  Makes candy seem rather insignificant, doesn't it?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

15 pounds gone!!!

I've lost 15 pounds in the past four weeks!!!  After my  recent gain, I actually thought it would take much longer for the weight to come off.  I assume the speed at which I was able to lose was due to water weight, etc.  Regardless of the reason, I'm very happy that I've lost 15 of the 21 pounds I gained.

Since the weight is coming off, and most importantly to me, I'm not having the incessant overwhelming sugar cravings that I dealt with during December and January I'm going to continue with the new habits I've made.

I tweaked my plan (low fat, low/no sugar, no "whites") a bit based on "Potatoes Not Prozac" by Kathleen DesMaisons, which I've found to be an excellent resource on sugar addiction.

Here is a quick look at my current plan:

1. Eat breakfast with protein.  (also add a complex carb, eat within an hour of waking, and never skip breakfast)
2.  Eat three meals a day that include protein.  (I know many people feel that six mini meals are best.  For the addict in me, eating more than three times a day causes problems.  That's just three more meals a day to have difficulty saying "no" when I'm full)
3.  I added Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex and Zinc to my existing Vitamins, which were Vitamin D and Calcium.
4.  Eat a potato about 1 hour before bedtime.  (This increases the serotonin in your brain)

That's my plan in a nutshell.  Sounds fairly simple, doesn't it?  Of course, there are other details but these are the main components I suppose.  It's pretty obvious that cutting out sugar tremendously cuts down on cravings, but how does some of these other aspects of the plan help?  Apparently it's all about biochemistry for sugar addicts.  All I know right now is, it's working so I'm staying with it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

pizza after your workout?

I heard something at work today that astounded me.  A local gym offers free pizza on the first Monday of every month.  No.  I'm not kidding.  Are you as astonished by the irony of this as I am?  That offer makes no sense to me at all.  Why would an establishment that is encouraging good health offer something like that?  Is it to ensure that the members stay - either because they like the free pizza or because they eat the pizza then need to work out more?

Why not offer a free massage, free bottled water, free protein shakes (yes, I know they're not all healthy)?

What surprised me almost as much as the free pizza offer was other people's reaction when this was mentioned.  As I was lifting my jaw up off the floor, I heard comments like "that's cool" and "wow!".  When I began expressing my dismay, the response was "well, you don't have to eat it if you don't want to" or "you could probably choose a veggie pizza".  The person that was sharing this lovely tidbit of news said that the pizza was from a chain that is right beside the gym, and to my knowledge it doesn't have a single healthy option.  (Yet another irony....this gym is located in a mall right beside the food court!).

Am I overreacting or is this crazy?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Too good to be true??

The past two weeks have quite likely been the best weeks I've ever had (in relation to food).  The cravings are easily kept at bay.  I feel good emotionally, physically and spiritually.  I also feel very confidant and optimistic that I can make sugar addiction a part of my past, and a healthy relationship with food a part of my current life and the future.  Yes, I am of the opinion that once an addict always an addict.  However, I also believe that a person can overcome an addiction and have a lifetime of success at this.

There is still a small part of me that says "you've had similar feelings before."  "Do you really think you can maintain sane, healthy habits for the rest of your life?" "Can you avoid sugar for the rest of your life?"

I don't know the answers to these questions.  I can only take things one day at a time.  Actually, it's more like one food choice at a time.  I don't have to decide if I'm going to avoid sugar for the rest of my life.  All I have to do at this very minute is make a decision about dinner tonight.  And my decision is to treat my body with respect and eat black bean soup, some veggies, and some fruit.  Tomorrow morning I only have to decide about breakfast.  One food choice at a time.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

sugar-free sanity

Today marks one week and one day since I've had sugar, and I feel so much better!!!  Healthy eating and exercise are now back in my routine.  I've continued with the habits that I mentioned adding to my daily routine based on the Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program.

I feel sane (at least when it comes to food!) and at peace.  The cravings have diminished tremendously. The guilt, shame, mood swings and depression have lifted.

Now.  The million dollar question.  How do I stay here?  It would be completely logical to stay in this place. I feel better, my moods are stable, I'm eating enough protein and fiber that I'm not constantly hungry......I can't even begin to describe the difference in my state of mind when I'm not binge eating.

Addiction isn't logical, though.  When addiction tries to rear its' ugly head, it reminds you of how good certain foods taste.  How enjoyable it is to curl up with a good book or an I Love Lucy marathon and eat junk.  

Through a combination of nutrition, exercise, prayer, asking for help when needed, and other healthy resources/habits, I can and will overcome this.  Sugar-free sanity is a great home, not simply a temporary vacation spot.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

ice cream

I think I've mentioned before that my daughter loves ice cream.  One of her favorite gifts to receive is a gift card to Cold Stone Creamery.  She received several of these for her birthday and for Christmas, so I take her there every few weeks or so.

Yesterday, I promised I would take her there after her orthodontist appointment this afternoon.  I wasn't really worried about taking her there; she knows that I haven't been eating sugar so I knew that I wouldn't be tempted to purchase ice cream for myself.

I've actually never purchased anything there.  Cold Stone is relatively new to our area, and I feel that there prices are rather high.  Before I began this journey I didn't go there because they were expensive.  Now I don't buy anything because I don't eat sugar.

That doesn't mean that it isn't difficult going in there, though.  Just because I haven't eaten there before doesn't mean that I can't imagine what everything tastes like.  This visit was made harder by the fact that in recent weeks when I was binge eating, ice cream became a regular purchase.

I could have waited in the car, but my daughter likes me to go in with her.  (She's not particularly shy, but for some reason when ordering at restaurants, etc. she tends to prefer that I do it for her. )  I almost immediately began the pity party.  You know the drill...."this isn't fair"  "why can't I be normal"  "why can't I eat ice cream"  "why do I have to deprive myself".

I tried to quickly switch my thought process to a healthier direction.  I'm not depriving myself....I'm treating my body with respect.  Maybe it's not fair....but I have plenty of blessings in my life to be upset about not eating sugar.  It's hard though.

How do you change your thought process when you feel deprived?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

eating disorder and sugar addiction

Yesterday didn't go well - I binged on sugar.  It's over now, and I'm moving on.  I asked my husband to go grocery shopping with me this morning so I wouldn't buy junk that I shouldn't.  Taking such an action, which is likely logical and simple to others, is a foreign concept to me.  I don't like asking for help.  I don't like facing the reality of sugar addiction.  Even if I comprehend that sugar addiction is real, I feel like others don't.

I had a long talk with my husband this morning, and it helped tremendously.  While he can't relate to food issues, he's watched me struggle long enough that he understands more than I thought he did.

I've known for many years that I have binge eating disorder.  I diagnosed it myself before I was ever "officially" diagnosed.  For the most part, I fit the textbook definition.  However, over the years I've always thought that there was some elusive aspect of my struggles that didn't make sense.  Yes, I could somewhat understand that an eating disorder isn't about the food.  "It's not about what you're eating, it's about what's eating you"  makes sense to me.  But only to a certain point.  I've always felt that there was something different about me.  When I'd read about BED and someone's trigger foods, I didn't understand why their list was so much shorter than mine.  Perhaps their trigger foods were 3-5 items.  If I were to list my trigger foods, the pages would likely rival the number of pages in War and Peace!!

In this way, it was about the food.  I love food.  Especially sweets, breads, and cheese.  I could never quite understand how, if an eating disorder wasn't about food, why I would binge at times where there were seemingly none of the "normal" triggers.  I wasn't sad, bored, lonely, anxious, etc.  Then I concluded that I was probably just severely in denial.

Now that I'm finally comprehending that sugar addiction is real, and not a figment of my imagination, I feel that I can move forward!!  It's not my fault!   My brain chemistry may be a bit kooky, but that doesn't make me a bad person.  I am not weak.  I am not severely lacking in will power.  My ability to say no to sugar is simply broken.  There are ways to overcome this brokenness, and I intend to find them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I'm continuing to eat healthy and exercise.  I'm using a pedometer to track my daily steps as part of the fit challenge at work.  I've switched to a higher protein breakfast, and I'm making sure that I eat protein with lunch and dinner to maintain stable blood sugar levels and decrease cravings.  I'm not eating refined sugar or white flour.  I was doing most of this before my recent relapse, but I'm getting back into the swing of things.  As mentioned earlier, I've also added certain vitamins to my daily routine as recommended by "The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program."

I'm also trying one more recommendation from the book.  I've struggled with taking this step, because I'm skeptical.  About three hours after dinner and one hour before bedtime, I'm eating a white potato with the skin.  Yes, a white potato.  The reason for doing this is to increase the serotonin levels in your brain.  Here's the explanation on the web site (  

The potato creates an insulin response that effects the movement of the amino acid tryptophan from your blood into your brain. Your body uses tryptophan to make serotonin, the brain chemical that makes you feel mellow and happy. Serotonin also helps you to "just say no" to sweets and other things by putting the brakes on your impulsivity.

In some ways, eating a white potato every day sounds too simplistic to help.  In other ways, it seems like a crazy thing to do when I'm avoiding refined carbs.  However, the research in the book and the credentials of the author are persuasive, so I'm giving it a try.  

Has anyone else tried this?  Any feedback?  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

tips for overcoming temptation

I've had some trouble with cravings today, but I have not given in!!!!!!  I noticed that there didn't seem to be near as many treats at work as I expected on Valentine's Day.  Perhaps this is due to the fit challenge.  I don't really care why - I just know that it made my day easier!  I saw a few cupcakes, which made me long for sugar.  I immediately stopped those thoughts in their tracks by reminding myself that it just isn't worth it.  A few minutes of pleasure isn't worth the pain.

A tip I read in a book recently said to "play the tape to the end".  (Anyone remember tapes?  Wow.  that seems so long ago.)  This means that rather than focusing on how good something will taste, and how good it might make you feel temporarily, it is best to remember how you will feel after eating it.  Another recommendation I've read is that when you first have a craving, immediately tell yourself that you will not succumb to the temptation.  As soon as you begin that "should I or shouldn't I" conversation in your head, your chances of giving in and eating the food increase exponentially.

Along with that idea, it was mentioned that you should have certain rules in place.  Apparently our brain responds better to rules than vague thoughts.  For example, if craving ice cream your thought process could be "I don't eat sugar" rather than "I shouldn't eat ice cream because it's bad for me."  Not sure what I think about this particular recommendation yet.  Any thoughts?

Monday, February 13, 2012

turned the corner

Today has been so much better.  I've turned the corner and am back into a sane, healthy world.   This is what I've done to begin healing from the abuse that I've put my body through over the past few weeks.  Actually, months if I'm honest with myself.

*I vented to my son and my husband this weekend about my sugar addiction.
*I admitted to my husband how much money I've been spending on my addiction.  He already knew, though.  Somehow I thought I was hiding it.
*I began modifying my healthy eating plan to incorporate some of the recommendations in "The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program".  (increased my protein intake at breakfast, added Vitamins C, B complex and Zinc to my daily vitamins)
*No refined sugar today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*Today was the first day of the Fit Challenge at work. I wore my pedometer.  I also discussed healthy choices on several occasions with co-workers.  It's nice to be in this together!
*I walked about 40 minutes with my sister.
*A friend at work was very encouraging to me.  She reminded me that I've come too far to give up!
*My husband send a bouquet of beautiful roses to work!! This made my day.  I've never had a flower delivery before, and this was particularly special because he knew that I've had a really rough few weeks and I needed some encouragement.
*I turned over the bank card that I usually use for purchases to my husband.  I have an emergency card in my wallet, but it is for an account that we keep extremely limited funds in.  Since I seldom, if ever, keep cash with me the lack of the bank card will mean that I don't have money to buy junk food.

Will keep you posted on more healthy choices!