Everything in Life is a Trade Off

000eatingYou want health, you have to give up eating crap.

You want wealth, you have to give up being lazy.

You want friendship, you have to give up isolation.

You want peace, you have to quit fighting.

You want success, you have to do something!

You want to not get pulled over by the cops on your way to the dentist in the morning, you have to either have an invisibility cloak or a be the luckiest bugger in the lane.

Oh, that final one probably didn’t belong in this list, did it?

You want coherent thought now, best look somewhere else!

I’m frustrated, embarrassed, and angry!!!

No off-track eating today, but yeah, I was tempted.

I was tempted!!!!

Expectation’s Pop In the Face

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One of the hardest things about losing weight, whether you have a lot to lose or a little to lose, I think, is dealing with people. This is true of other areas of life, too, but particularly true of the weight loss journey. Everyone has expectations concerning everyone else, and no one is able to meet every one of those expectations. Normally, I am able to process all those demands made on me and sort them according to importance. The ones that are valid and necessary I address. The others, I usually let fall by the wayside. I’m having a bit of trouble sorting them out recently.

People don’t mean to be unrealistic, it just happens, but when it does, I feel like I’ve been kicked in the face and that the whole world can tell how horrible I feel because of my two black eyes.

The second hardest thing about dealing with weight loss, at least in my world, is the emotional toll it takes on me sometimes. I guess its true that these two tough aspects of weight loss go hand-in-hand: the people component and the emotional component. When people ask more of me than I am able to give, or want me to act in ways that are not “me,” it causes me stress. When I am stressed in this way, my reaction is most apt to be that I want to quickly move away from the stressors and return my world to a happy normal.

Of course, when one is losing weight, happy “normal” is constantly changing, both emotionally and externally, as in body image.

Lately, I’ve been “feeling” like I’ve let some people down. I hate that feeling. Mind you, I don’t know I have let them down, because no one has come to me and told me, “Gee, L, why did you have to do that? or Gee, L, why can’t you (you fill in the blank) for me?” Or my all time favorite: “I sure would like it better if you were  (again, fill in the blank).”

No, they don’t really say these things, and maybe they don’t even think them, but I perceive them as thinking and feeling this way.  I “think” I have these thoughts because my brain is scrambling to adjust to dietary changes I am making–changes my body has not had to deal with in a long, long time, if ever.

Emotions: they are affected when we change our diet.

Body Image: it is affected when we change our diet.

Struggles: they pop up, and we have to find a way to deal with them without overeating.

So what do I do about the emotional roller coaster that is the weight loss process? What do I do about expectations and emotional responses to them?  What do I do about hair that is again falling out, because again I have made drastic changes to the way I’m eating?

What do I do to keep my head above water and keep working to lose the weight, regardless of what is going on around me?

I pray.

I write.

I talk to trusted friends.

I try to get to bed early.

I try to eat cleaner.

I try to remember that it’s not “on me” to make others happy.

I try to get some fresh air.

I try to be more gentle with myself.

I try to not project, or analyze, or criticize everything said to me.

I try to turn down the volume on sadness.

I try to remember that food is fuel, God is love, and change is possible.

Today, I’m doing all these things.  Just sayin’…

 

No Junk July Friday Report

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Three times this week I have said to people in my circle of influence: How do you eat an elephant? Answer:  One bite at a time!

It’s a corny joke I learned when I was still young enough to hide in the cornfields around our country farmhouse, but it’s true.

Big projects call for baby steps.

No Junk July is working for me this week, and I attribute that to the fact that I have quit obsessing over the entire month and taken action to break it into bite-sized pieces, focusing on one day for my food planning and eating and when that is finished, moving on. Admittedly, last weekend I hit a few snags and fell into a pit or two, but since then I have been doing well with my food. I am being mindful of my sugar intake–practically nil–and drinking tons and tons of water. This morning, I decided to forego Splenda in my morning Joe. Woohoo, that’s progress people. I love my coffee light and sweet, but I know that stuff is no good for struggling cells and organs–both of which need all the help I can give them.

I have been having trouble sleeping. It’s allergy season in the great northeast (it’s always allergy season in the GNE), so I’m not the only one suffering with stuffed noses, clogged ear ways, or pounding heads, but man, it makes it tough to get a good night’s sleep.  I have been dragging my exhausted self to work each morning, wishing and praying I could have just one more hour of sleep before I had to get up and throw back the covers.

Did I say one hour? How about 30 minutes…or ten minutes? Maybe five minutes…

I have been reporting my food to a friend this week, hoping that would help me stay focused and accountable.  It has.  She reciprocates, which makes it easier to report next time I eat.  Peer pressure can be a good thing.  Plus, I get to be exposed to the food another person chooses to eat and in what amounts.  She is on a paleo diet, so sometimes I worry that the carbs in my plan are going to throw her off track, be a trigger for her, but she’s says its fine.  She is just beginning to emerge from the pain and inflammation carbs have been causing her for years, so she is good with foregoing them.  She feels better every day too.

It’s amazing how food and changes in our diet can aid not only digestion, but the whole of our bodies.  Why wasn’t I told this sooner?

I came across this article, that talks about the American Medical Association’s new designation of obesity as a disease, on the Huffington website.  Finally, someone who understands that medical doctors are not the best equipped individuals to deal with obesity [my strong opinion].  It might seem like they are, but my experience has proven that they don’t know how to instruct their patients regarding diet, at least not all of them.  They just pull up the government’s food pyramid, or the new food plate diagram during an appointment and say, “Do that.”

Uh, no, that doesn’t work.  It might work for some people.  It doesn’t work for all people.  We are individuals, with individual needs.

Finally, someone who is someone is saying that doctors are not going to be able to help in this area UNLESS things really change in their practices and understanding of disordered eating.  I learned much more about my condition and how to help it from reputable bloggers than my MD.  He doesn’t mean to be without the help I need, he just is–so I had to find it somewhere else.

I’m still undecided about whether disordered eating is diseased eating, but I agree with this guy about the fact that either way, doctors may not be the best people to guide patients they see in their practices to better health through eating right.

I want to finish up this week with a few questions for you.  Feel free to share your thoughts.

1.  How much fruit do you include in your daily food plan?

2.  How much fat can I cut from my diet without experiencing problems?

3.  What’s the best exercise to do at home, that doesn’t involve walking, running, or jumping?

Got My Groove On–and I don’t mean Dancing

As I am writing this post, its Wednesday afternoon following my wild weekend: The weekend where I struggled with food and suggested some dishes for dinner that I never eat anymore–among them, pizza.  And wings.  Just thinking about that now makes me wonder how much damage can be done by one meal?  Especially for a recovering body that is trying to heal from more than one ailment.

I’m glad to mark a big X through that weekend and move on to other things.

When I was journaling food years ago, if I got through the day under goal for my calorie count I would draw a big smiley face on the page.  When I went over my goal, I used a pen to draw a big X there instead.  That way, I had an easy flip through resource for determining what worked and what didn’t work on any given day.  I lost a lot of weight that way.

I love easy.  I love simple.  I love uncomplicated methods.  I also love “getting it right”.  Unfortunately, I’m also someone who can potentially get lost in details and distractions pretty easily.  It’s just how my mind works.  I am a multitasker by nature, but there are times when that habit translates into me doing nothing really well.  On those days I am a jack-of-all-trades, but master of none.  Those were the days when I used to get the old red pen out and go to work crafting my giant X.  It worked for me.

Back to my purpose for this post…

I want to report that since Monday morning I have been on-task and in-the-zone with my eating.  Back to Basics has worked yet again.  I’m eating lots of veggies, some fruit, enough protein, and no junk.

No Junk July is still on, and I’m doing okay.

I could have gotten discouraged by the bump in the road that was last weekend and allowed that discouragement to stop all efforts to forego junk of any kind for the rest of July.  Back in the day, I would have–but no more.  I wanted to write today to report that I’m back doing what I know works–what I must do to recover from food addiction and the toll dangerous eating has taken on my life, a life I want to continue to live a little longer.

I’ve got my groove back, and I’m going gangbusters on this clean eating thing.  It feels good.

No Junk July is not awash in defeat–not yet.  It just looked that way for a while.  Today, I can see clearer what needs to be done, and with God’s help I’m doing it.  Yay!  I’m hoping to finish the month strong, because as you know I BELIEVE that CHANGE IS POSSIBLE!

Truth, Lies, and Unique Reasoning

Did you ever play Truth or Consequences when you were foolish?  I say foolish instead of younger, because a little time and some maturing changes your desire to play the game.  This is especially true if you have ever had what you said or did during TORC video-taped and then released on any number of social media sites.

I have not had any silly admissions by me video-taped and released into cyber space, yet.

Thank you, God!

In the spirit of TORC, I’m going to tell you a few things about me today that I think will probably also apply to others.  Early on, you won’t know if they are true or false.  Further down the line, I will reveal the truth or falsity in my statements.  Here we go, let’s see what I can tell you about me.

I’m confident I can quit overeating any time I want, no problem.  Truth or Lie?

I don’t have food dreams.  Truth or Lie?

I hate counting calories.  Truth or Lie?

I love counting calories.  Truth or Lie?

I’m convinced I might never get to my goal weight. Truth or Lie?

I’m afraid I might loss all this weight, only to gain it back again.  Truth or Lie?

I’m never 100% sure if the choices I’ve made with food and food planning are right or wrong. Truth or Lie?

I think I am unique when it comes to the struggles I have with food.  Truth or Lie?

The true answer to these statements are:  Lie, Truth, Truth, Lie, Truth, depending on the day, Truth, Truth, Lie.

Most important of all of these statements is that last one, and it’s the one that I most want to talk about today.  For years and years, and yes, years I thought that no one struggled to be thin the way I struggled to be thin.  I believed no one gained weight as quickly as I gained weight.  I thought that no one was as affected by the taste, sight, smell, and luscious experience of eating meat-drenched pizza pie as I was, but I was wrong.

I was also wrong when being foolishly young I thought I could eat, and eat, and yes, eat again and it would not affect my health.  For some reason, I thought I was uniquely gifted for eating huge amounts of sugar, salt, fat, and flour and that I would never develop diabetes or other systemic illness I now understand are linked to obesity.

Wait, that statement is a lie.

I knew the possibility that I would develop diabetes was high:  My maternal grandmother, my aunt, my mom and my sister already suffered with the disease. I knew I was high-risk, but I just kept eating and eating and yes, eating, oblivious of the consequences.

I have people I love who are deceiving themselves the same way I did for years.  Maybe they, too, think they are unique.  I fear for them.  I want to help them, but I still have some self-help that needs doing before I can be a mentor for them.

Truth is, I am not unique when it comes to deception or overeating.  There are many of us out there playing food games.  Something is going on in America, something has slipped into our food, our lives, our psyche, and that something is killing us.  We are eating ourselves to death.  No kidding. We need to stop.  We need to realize that this desire to lick our plate clean is not healthy.  It causes more harm than good, and we need to stop it.

I’m trying to develop a strategy for stopping the abuse I put my body through for years.  Part of being successful in this way is wrapped up in understanding that I am not unique in my eating habits.  Uniqueness separates me from the help I need.  Uniqueness urges me to turn away from good food mentors that are out there ready to help.  A feeling that I am uniquely fashioned so that I can do this one on my own, by myself, without the assistance of others is a faulty notion.  I’m not unique when it comes to food and eating.  What has worked for you, will most likely work for me.  It’s simple math, and math doesn’t lie.  If I eat less and move more, I will lose weight.  That is true of all of us, and if we don’t take it seriously, there will be real and painful consequences.  I know, I live it every day.

How about you, what fallacies did you maintain about yourself before you started addressing the lies and telling the truth?  What truths do you have yet to proclaim?

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.

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?