January 9, 2013 § 14 Comments
Did you know that it is entirely possible to run a marathon in March, but by January be unable to sustain two miles at a non-embarassing pace?
Did you know that you can eat upwards of 6,000 calories in a day and pretend that you don’t feel full or sick?
Are you aware that you can tell yourself lie after lie, like saying that you aren’t weighing yourself because it messes with your head, when the truth is that you don’t want to be held accountable for your actions?
AA says that alcoholics need to accept their issues in order to begin to fix a drinking problem, but what about when you are a food user? What about those of us who get relief from food, as opposed to those who eat solely for survival?
Tack on a lack of motivation to exercise; in my case very little running and a weekly trip to yoga, contributes to a body on the verge of total devastation.
Example of destructive behavior: Waking up early for Saturday morning yoga classes, but post savasana, rewarding oneself for a bendy job well done with visits to the hot bar at Whole Foods (their bacon is like fire works in the mouth in case you hadn’t heard).
Once a week hot bar visits is sadly not the extent of my embarrassing behavior. For months I have treated my body like a New York City trash can (full of gunk, but let’s squeeze in a little more, so that its top runneth over).
I’ve secretly hoarded sugar-laced cakes and cookies that I knew would give me a buzz. I’ve made special trips to the store for foods that are known triggers (Ghiradhelli chocolate chips, Kind Healthy Grains granola, sweetened Greek yogurt ) and feigned surprise when bags were empty, before I’d even driven back to into my driveway. Stress relief of the sweetest kind, is the pleasure a food junkie gets from jumping taste buds and a belly packed full.
I’d like to say that my awakening a few days ago happened because I truly care about my health, but I’d be telling you (and myself) another lie.
I care that I can’t fit into a single pair of pants I own. I’m scared by the sight of my backside in stretchy pants. My boobs, much like the Grinch’s heart, have grown three sizes (obviously boob growth took longer than the Grinch’s Christmas day heart swell, it’s just an analogy).
I don’t feel like myself. I don’t know who I feel like at all?
I can’t say for certain that publishing this will change what I decide to do or eat and at what time I shall do it or eat it. I hope I can keep my eye on the fruit bowl (out of the pantry) and watch the numbers on the scale decrease. I want to fit into my clothes again and maybe by summer wear the red Malia Mills that is a tiny size 10 .
This is not about being fat. Or maybe it is.
It’s about not being controlled by behaviors that hurt me. Or maybe it is.
Denial is not a river in Egypt.
Nor is it an option.
Where are you in regard to health, diet and fitness? Are you in denial or right on track?
September 15, 2012 § 2 Comments
When food is used to cope, getting sidelined can happen with just one bite.
One bite and it’s over.
You make commitments to get healthy, to cut out gluten, to run more, to be better, faster, stronger…
But then comes an angry text from a certain somebody, an email from the lawyer with a mediation date, two sick kids after only six days of school…
My girls’ Whole Foods margherita pizza looks really good as I sit here and type. It’s bubbling with gooey cheesiness and there’s that thin wheat crust with scattered bits of basil and tomato. And the smell….
The sleeves of Oreos over there look pretty tempting, too. The girl’s dad brought home a gigantic box of those suckers to make home-made ice cream. Would they even notice if I grabbed and dashed and hid in my room, back to the closed door with a crumb coated smile?
They might not.
Eating the pizza would start the inner war. Then would come the apathetic negotiating (which you will lose) for a second piece. A third piece wouldn’t seem unreasonable if the shit hit the fan at any time during that second piece.
Before the pizza had time to move on down the digestive track, the cookies would one finger wave me over and then I’d really be doomed. My soothed mood would make the decision for me; add the sugar and it will be all better. You will feel better. You will feel something other than sad, mad, had…
It would end badly, though; rubbing a sore gut and kicking an already bruised ego.
Instead of managing my stress with food I instead (just) made a bowl of mixed greens with half a pear, some sliced almonds, gorgonzola and a bit of balsamico. Clap. Please, do.
I feel momentarily better, but it doesn’t change the fact that I need to get away from the kitchen and fast.
I know it’s early for bed (6:26) but the farther I get from that room, the better I’ll be able to manage today’s out of control appetite for diet destruction!
September 9, 2012 § 8 Comments
It has been established that traditional weight loss and diet techniques do not work for me. My yo-yo has worn itself out and my quest for a healthier life and body has led me here.
Step one has been to quit getting on the scale, a strictly mental challenge. My weight on the scale has nothing to do with how I feel in my body, heart or mind. I can be up or I can be down and depending on that digital number my mood is affected, pushing me toward my coping method of choice; food (eat happy, eat sad).
Three weeks ago I quit Diet Coke.
Fifteen days ago I committed to cutting out the sugary foods that plagued my every waking thought; ice cream, cookies, cakes, etcetera. Sugar (in its obvious form), I discovered, was not that difficult to subtract from my diet.
Hidden sugars, it turns out, have been more difficult to avoid as they are in everything from seemingly healthy cereals and protein bars, breads, frozen entrees, and yogurts.
Being aware has helped me to stay away from the hidden sugars, but I’m finding it all but impossible to cut the stuff out completely. Still, I try.
What, then, is the next step?
In the past two weeks I’ve paid attention to my overuse of carbohydrates (healthy and not).
As I see it I have two choices; either commit to only consuming whole grains and other good carbs or attempt a period of gluten-free to see what it might do to my body.
I don’t know much about a gluten-free lifestyle. It doesn’t have a great reputation to those who live and die by carbohydrate laden lifestyles. But every person I’ve ever met who’s gone gluten-free not only looked terrific, they themselves have praised the benefits in regard to how they feel.
I know I’ll never be a waif. I don’t care to be. But I want to feel good and so I am intrigued.
Like with sugar, I know in the future I’ll be faced with a birthday party cupcake or a morning meeting complete with a box of Crispy Cremes to fuel tired brains. With gluten, I know there will always be mom’s pasta dinners, cheese and crackers at cocktail parties, barbeques with cheeseburgers begging for rolls.
This scares me. A cheeseburger without a roll scares me!
What do you know about gluten-free? How does one prepare for the lifestyle? What changes have you made to your diet that have helped you become a better healthier you (not necessarily in regard to weight)?
August 27, 2012 § 13 Comments
One week ago I drank the last Diet Coke in the fridge and made the conscious effort to not head out to the store to buy more the next day or the next or the next.
At this time I can officially say, “I’m off the stuff,” until I am in a position where one is presented to me or in my general vicinity, upon which time I’ll be faced with making the right choice; a conscious choice to say, “No, thank you,” and drink something else.
I’ve had a hard time lately using food for reasons other than hunger. Hunger? I have no idea how that should feel.
Yesterday, sick and tired of being a slave to the pantry, I chose I to spend the day free from my biggest food challenge; sweet sweet sugar.
In order to set myself up for success some planning was involved.
Before morning yoga I headed to Whole Foods where I made myself a big green salad with garlicky kale and a boiled egg for protein. I bought a gigantic water, but decided against the little bags of mix nuts at the check out as they were full of added dried fruit (high in sugars and carbohydrates).
After yoga, I ate my salad and later had a bowl of pasta with a few turkey meatballs that Brian had made for the girls the day before. I had a scoop of peanut butter when I thought I was hungry (that hunger thing again…) and mixed up chia seeds with almond milk for later.
My goal to steer clear of ice cream and chocolate (in any form) was successful and by bedtime I fell asleep feeling a bit more confident in my ability to make better choices. I probably did eat too many calories, but I didn’t count, I didn’t get on the scale, I tried to stay present and listen to my body.
I wonder if the diet doctors would consider this approach to gaining back control of my food issues to be half-hearted. It doesn’t much matter. My conviction was strong, which is what is important.
Today is a new day and the planning has begun. Ezekiel bread, half a boiled egg, avocado, tomatoes, and some turkey sausage for breakfast. I’ve got a fridge full of juicing ingredients; spinach, kale, beets, carrots and celery. Apples are waiting on the counter for a late day snack. I haven’t figured out lunch and dinner, but I will try my best to make good choices for both.
How is your diet looking? Do you get that hunger thing? How do you know when it’s true hunger or bored/something to do hunger?
March 22, 2012 § 20 Comments
After careful consideration I’ve decided there are two things more difficult than completing a marathon.
Marriage and Getting Control Over Emotional Eating
These happen to be the two topics I am loath to write about. I never like my posts when I try to touch on them, because both are hard and can easily read depressing.
When I got married I was thirty-two and in love. Then came infertility and twins and lost jobs and new jobs, then sick babies, separate bedrooms, marriage counselors, almost divorce and now a re-commitment to the cause with a healthy amount of eye rolling.
In other words life.
It’s almost a joke how newly engaged people are nudged by smiling married people while being told, “Marriage is hard!”
I was told this often and while hard is a good description, no one gives the actual low down on how much work it is.
Work is good. Family is better. Marriage can be great if both people realize that they are in it together, but it’s a challenge to not want to run for the hills when you realize that you are committed (for the rest of your life) to a person who leaves his socks in the corner of the living room every night after work or whose idea of cleaning is to move all the clutter to another room.
Those little irritations that were kind of cute at the beginning can mean the beginning of the end if things aren’t put into perspective.
One must also remember that men and women truly are from different planets, so rooming with an alien is difficult, for both species. It takes work for both parties to find the respect and gratitude that everyone deserves and is so often the first thing to go as children come along and life gets more complicated. Sometimes the grass seems greener on the other side and for some it is. It’s a very delicate subject; personal and important.
Weight loss is a sore subject for so many Americans because it never quite sticks. In my case I am first to admit that I am an emotional eater. I’m not as quick to admit (but here goes) that I gobbled down and entire box of Cadburry eggs yesterday before driving through Wendy’s for a cheeseburger (the one with all the mayonnaise). I did manage to cut it into fourths when we got home in the hope that one of the girls would take a triangle, but after an hour it never happened and mommy scarfed down the entire thing.
I am the same girl who juices kale and broccoli and likes it. I soak my chia seeds and know the benefits of vitamins and nutrients one gets from their foods. Potion control? I’ve got it memorized. But when you’ve been reaching for cupcakes to soothe as long as I’ve been it’s a tremendous effort to stay on the straight and skinny.
Food makes me feel better. Yucky food makes me feel better quickly. Healthy food makes me feel great, but when the stress hits the ceiling a good handful of chocolate chips or a bag of Haribo gummy bears makes it all better faster.
I have a feeling a lot of people struggle the same way and maybe I can broach the subject and find some lasting answers.
My race ended four days ago and in my quest for “what to do next” and my goal to “live a healthy and happy life,” these two subjects must be addressed.
I’m as nervous about putting this out into the world as I was about the marathon, but it is imperative that I try.
Here is the challenge:
To find the balance and to write about it in a way that is helpful and fun!
More yoga will most definitely be on the agenda, but the next marathon will be the test.
February 6, 2012 § 5 Comments
The running I’ve been doing has made my legs strong, lean and muscley. I realized this last week when my closet, in need of a good straightening, prompted me to tidy up and try on things that I hadn’t worn in ages. I was surprised that my Genetic Denim Shanes, the most perfect skinny jean on the planet, were tight on the thighs.
This compelled me to try on my litmus pants, a pair of Joe’s; trouser jeans with very little stretch. If I fit into those I’d know where I stood in the weight department without ever getting on the scale.
Horrified, I couldn’t get close to buttoning them up. But they fit in the legs so I guessed that they shrunk or maybe the running has completely changed my body shape.
The excuses turned into sad truths (yesterday afternoon) as I turned around to check the straps on an adorable bra, while locked in a very small dressing room. My opinion of dressing rooms is that they are infamous for bad lighting and mirrors too close to the body, which don’t give a person enough space to properly visualize the yay or nay. Nordstrom and Saks come close (generally bigger in size), but the lighting kills it. I’ve yet to come across a single dressing room where the image of my reflection matches exactly how I feel inside.
What I saw yesterday was the truth as only a bad dressing room mirror can hand to you. A good friend or sales girl wouldn’t dare. Even my mother would resist.
It didn’t come out and say, “You are fat!” It was worse.
It was the image of back rolls separated by the cuteness of a good bra, and then more fat rolls beneath, that didn’t smooth out as I stretched to make them go away.
Without words it said this, “Wake up Sister! All the running in the world will not make you slim if you continue to eat entire grocery store cakes (on the platters from whence they came) with a fork and no plate!”
My race is six weeks away.
It’s crazy sounding, but as I stood in that mirror all I could think about were race day pictures; not my time, not my exhaustion from carrying too much weight, not the thrill of victory as I kick 26.2 to the ground and stomp it hard.
This has been the cycle that food has played in my life. Every once in a while I get a glimpse of the truth and decide to take control of my fork to mouth response.
It’s a nuisance and I hate it. I like food and want to be able to eat what I want when I want it.
Today I have no choice but reboot the cycle and take some accountability.
I’m going to take it slow and be thoughtful about what I stick in my mouth. I am going to try to log my food into the calorie count app on my phone and am going to follow the “diet” that was given to me last Spring when my blood work came back pre-diabetic.
There was no chocolate cake on that food plan; no handfuls of goldfish, huge bowls of night-time ice cream, uneaten leftovers of my children’s pink sprinkled donuts, extra bowls of cereal to fend off the weakness of starvation. There’s no mention of “eating what I want” because I ran so far.
Just boring old food accountability.
Weight loss will most certainly be attained but it’s not going to taste great.
Good race day pictures, however, will be delicious!