I Think, therefore I drive myself crazy

What is possible in this life? What is permanent?

What is able to be changed, and what will forever remain the same?

Is there anything we can do to improve our lot in life, or does fate have a hold on us, so that we cannot move away from harmful behaviors, to find freedom?

The_Thinker_Musee_Rodin

What about food? Can our eating habits, when changed, change us?

I believe they can and do, so why am I having so much trouble with food this week?

These are the questions that dance, prance, and stomp through the wilderness that is my mind.

I think too much about food, I know that.  I think too much, in general.  All this thinking “gets to me” sometimes, I will admit, but I have not found a way of escape from the thinking habits I have developed over the years.  Nor do I know if I will ever be free of them.

I think about things, and then I write what I think about.

I get solutions from thinking sometimes, but not all the time.  I put ideas “out there”, and people respond, but not all the time.  I grow as they share, and we all together help one another to recover, which is good.  I think the process is helping them, anyway.  I know it’s helping me.  I’m slowly learning to be free of food thoughts.  Or rather, I’m slowly learning to LET go of food thoughts.  I see the work yielding good results.

I still think, I think too much about food.

Will this habit ever go away?

I don’t want to think about food as much as I do.

I don’t want to have to handle the topic of food as often as I do.

I don’t want food to be the major companion that I travel with all my days, but neither do I know when or how we will part ways.  For now, I have to be content to keep doing what I’m doing and count the results as blessings in my life.

Today, my food wasn’t perfect, but then, neither am I perfect.  This is about progress, not perfection.

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Too Busy to Eat Right

woman eating sub    I could just scream today!

Its been a processed day all day long–Day Two of work without end, amen…busy schedules galore…and an over abundance of input from people who can’t do it themselves, but want others to get it done regardless and NOW.

Do you ever feel like you’re chasing your own tail?  I have felt that way for two days, and with no relief in sight.

Busyness is no excuse for abandoning healthy eating habits, I know that, but on days like this I can’t seem to find the energy or time to eat the right way.

I haven’t eaten terrible foods today, but I have eaten calorie-dense foods.

I haven’t eaten foods swimming in sauces or syrups today, but I have eaten foods that were shaped, stirred, flipped, fried and packaged at commercial food manufacturing plants.

ugh.

It’s discouraging.

Back in the day, I would have let this go on for months, maybe years.  Thankfully, now, I have this inner voice encouraging me to walk away from the junk and once more pick up those foods that constitute God’s bounty.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, or so they say.

I believe it.

My first stop after work today–the green grocer aisle at my local grocery store.  I am starving for something of substance.

Good food is good fuel, I know that, so my prayer tonight is that I can find some good fuel and happily “Fill ‘er up!”

What Do I Know?

I was recently asked by another blogger to write a guest blog about how I lost my weight (what’s gone so far, anyway). I said I would think about it, and maybe put some notes together.

Honestly, I feel like even though I’ve been on this weight loss adventure for years and have lost almost 90 lbs, I still don’t know enough about diet and exercise to help anyone else. Those 90 lbs have come off SLOWLY.  The changes I’ve made have given me a vitality and newness of life, it’s true, but is that worth hollerin’ about?  When I look at the health and fitness horizon and see how far I have to go, I think what on earth do I have to share with anyone else?

Maybe that’s just a cop-out, but that’s how I feel.

Here (on this blog), I feel like I get to hide from the public-which is kind of queer-because this is a public blog. But it’s not family public, or next-door-neighbor public, or the-person-down-the-pew public.  You know what I mean?

Over the next few days I need to decide what I want to share, if anything. Anonymity is precious, but is it time to step out and talk about my experience now?

Maybe the better question is, will it help anyone to hear what I’ve done, and do now, to grab the brass ring that is health?

I have a lot to ponder and a decision to make. Looking for insight and the right words to share, if any. Trusting they will come, if this is meant to be.

Eyeballs, Smaller Plates, and Steam

eyeballing

I don’t know why, but I still cannot eye-ball my foods and choose the right portion size for someone who wants to weigh 165 lbs. I need to weigh and measure more. 

Changes!

I have made a few changes that help me to eat better and eat less. 

I threw away my 12″ dinner plates and replaced them with 8″ plates two Christmas’s back.  I love the set of Fiestaware dishes I have now.  They clean up slick in minutes and they add vibrant colors to our dining table.  We have a mix and match set of a variety of colors.  You just have to be in a better mood sitting down to the table with these saucy plates in front of you.

fiestaware

I have switched from highly processed meals to meals that tout fresh ingredients in practically every bite.  We do still drink cow’s milk, and we do still eat beans out of a can (mostly because I work outside the home, and beans are labor intensive), we do buy bread from the grocer and we do use commercially made salad dressings, but we have moved away from the boxes, bags, cans and fast foods of the past. 

We now eat lots of raw and steamed veggies and fruit.  Our systems are working better than ever, and I am amazed at how my wounds heal when I get a paper cut or a hang nail.  Used to be nasty for days, but not any more.  Our bodies are incredibly made and they work tons better when they have the proper fuel with which to do their job.

These days the only thing we eat not sitting at the table is popcorn.  That’s real progress.

Off Limits

We do no sodas, no more casseroles, no pasta, no white bread or sugar, no fancy desserts or complicated recipes.  We keep it simple, colorful, textured and real–and wow, the tastes are amazing.

Finishing Strong

As I close out another week on this diet and exercise regimen I’m trying to keep alive and forward moving, I am resolved to make some more changes.  This is NOT a dress rehearsal–this life of mine. I need to take recovery seriously, because for me to fail, is to die.  My body needs better from me, and doggone it, I’m going to oblige, so say a prayer for me.  I’m moving into the weekend reminding myself that food is fuel, God is love and Change IS possible!

Problems that hold me back

I have learned that depriving myself of all those things others say I can never eat again is a recipe for disaster for me.

Deprived

Intuitive eating and restrictive diets don’t work. I have to eat a combination of foods that I can be loyal to over the long haul.  If I’m going to heal my body with food, it’s going to have to be food that tastes good, is loaded with nutrients, and is easily digestible. I seem to have found the right combination of foods to make health possible, but now how do I lose weight?  

What to do?

I’m eating clean these days and I feel oh, so much better.  Problem is, I’m still eating too much and not exercising enough.  I live in the northeast, so winter will soon be over for another year and that will help with the exercise, but I am really struggling with the diet.  I just want to eat portions that are too big to also lose weight. 

What do I do? 

I’ve come a long way with my eating in the last 18 months, and I want to give credit where credit is due in that respect.  I am healing my body slowly, I know that.  It takes time.  I feel the increased energy and I appreciate the fact that I don’t get winded walking up a small set of stairs anymore, but I need more. 

Change is needed

I still have 80 lbs to lose to get to a normal weight for someone my height.  That number is inconceivable to me.  I seriously can’t see my way to believing I can exist on the caloric intake it would take to reach that goal weight. I don’t want to remain “fluffy” all my life.  I want to get physical, but right now a gym membership is not in the budget, and ice is still on the road in my neighborhood so walking is out too.  Am I just whining, or is this really something people like me struggle to develop–the diet and exercise regimen needed to get healthy and trim?

I have a few problem areas I could use some help to figure out.

 What’s the Answer? 

Problem area 1:  My morning bagel.  It is whole grain or whole wheat, but still nearly 400 calories when I apply butter after toasting.  I love my butter, and it is the one thing I have not abandoned as I have changed my eating.  I’d like to try something else for breakfast, something easy, quick and portable.  Any suggestions?

Problem area 2:  Exercise.  I have not yet found an instructor for yoga in my area.  I learned many yoga-like movements when I took six weeks of Physical Therapy last year, and I use them to keep my lower back pain in check, but I do not sweat when I work out/exercise.  What do I need to do to ramp up the sweat factor? 

Problem area 4:  I don’t plan.  This explains why I don’t regularly pack my lunch, make a weekly meal plan, or record my calorie counts/weigh foods.  I don’t measure portions either.  It’s a bad habit I have, this riding by the seat of my pants mentality.

Problem area 5: I get discouraged easily.

I’m hoping that admitting to my problem areas will help me come to terms with them and take action to correct them.  I’m looking for my next good read to help me develop some of the strategies I need to fix the problems I have. 

Oh, and Problem 3 above is missing.  It was Fatigue, and I would have talked about it but I didn’t want to exceed my whine limit for one day.  🙂

A Couple Things…

dog walking

It seems like forever since I wrote about my weight and fitness efforts, and don’t you know it, the date of my last post proves that it has been almost forever!  Apparently, I’m no good at being consistent with this discipline.  I need to do better.

The Stretch Receptor Works
I obtained the book Unprocessed a few weeks ago, and in it Chef AJ talks about stretch receptors. I’m not sure if mine went MIA a couple of decades ago, or if I was born without such a thing, but whatever the case I have not felt like I a stretch receptor for years before today. Today, I sat at my desk with a bowl of home-made beef stew and a plate of grapes in front of me and felt full before it was all gone. AMAZING! I actually felt full before I had finished eating. Will wonders never cease?  I’ve been praying about my food obsessions for a while now.  God is good.

I also been reading another book that has done me some good lately, in addition to Unprocessed.

Compulsive Overeater
I am a compulsive overeater and I’ve known that for a while. I’m also a sugar addict, so you can guess how hard it is to say NO to food of any kind, but sugar in particular.  It’s difficult for me to stop eating when warm, hearty, tasty food is sitting right in front of me. It’s HARD. One technique I learned about eating from Compulsive Overeater is to leave one bite of food on my plate at the end of every meal. I’d used this strategy before, but was never able to get completely free of sugar doing so. Today, I admit that even if I could be completely clean of sugar, it wouldn’t last for long. I have a sweet tooth and it gives me fits. I am learning, however, that I can control the type, amount, and frequency of sugar that I eat, and thereby escape the power it holds over me to some extent.

I refuse to live in a sugar-less dungeon all my life, but neither do I want to be snorting the stuff every day. Hopefully, by using this method of leaving something behind, I will find some balance between slavery and bliss.

Stressful Food Events
This weekend there is a couple’s event being sponsored at my church.  A candlelight supper will be followed by a movie aimed at romance in marriage, or at least that’s what I am expecting.  My hub wants to go. I have mixed feelings.  I feel like there are two aspects to this event that can set me up for failure in life.  First, eating with other people in a romantic setting feels weird and forced to me.  I have learned how dangerous it can be for folks like me to set the stage of life with food.  To do so gives it too much power in my life.

I like to keep food in its place: at home, on the kitchen table.  I’m self-conscious about eating in candlelight. I am definitely not a romantic.

The second uncomfortable component attached to this event comes from the fact that I did not sign up for the project, but instead had tickets given to me by a friend whose cousin died, keeping her from attending.  Actually, my husband was given the tickets by her husband, who is obviously not going to go without his romantic partner by his side. Do men ever enjoy this type of event, really?  I think my guy just hates to say NO to anyone, so he gets roped into this kinda thing from time to time.

Again, eating by candlelight with other people in the room feels weird and forced to me–these are the type of occasions when food can take me down.  I’m not sure what we will decide to do about this event. 

Frustrations with the Scale
I have plateaued and it’s really beginning to bug me.  I have lost and gained the same three pounds over and over again for at least two months, maybe three.  I was excited about spring coming, and now believe I have a case of Plantar fasciitis.  Fun!  My heel hurts so much that I am afraid I cannot walk this spring.  I’m trying to do whatever I can to get this injury healed before the snow abates. I want to walk, but if the heel doesn’t heal, I don’t see how I can.

So frustrating!

Clean Eating Continues
I’m continuing my search for more ways to eat clean and live a healthy lifestyle. I can’t stop or I know my blood sugar levels will rise once more.  I have to stay the course, but with so many distractions, it’s hard.  I’m looking for a good book to read on the topic, and would encourage feedback from anyone reading this post.

What do you do to lose weight, when you can’t do what you want to do? What are your plans for outdoors exercise this spring?  Which exercises seem most nature to you?