Sunday, January 31, 2010

The lost weekend

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for your incredibly supportive and sweet comments on Thursday's post. I was overwhelmed by your kindness.

I was really worried about posting it, but I felt compelled to get it out in the open. Someone commented the truth shall set you free. So true.

I haven't binged once since I posted "My Secret". I haven't figured out why sharing that information made a difference, but it seems to have opened a door for me. A door that might lead me to freedom from the shackles of my food issues.
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Now about my totally boring weekend....

I'm not sure where the last two days went, but I feel like I didn't even have a weekend.

Yesterday I woke up at 4am with the worst headache of my life. I rarely get headaches but this one felt like someone had taken a sledgehammer and hit me right between the eyes. I was wondering if I had a brain aneurysm or something equally fatal.

I couldn't bear to have the blinds open, a light on, or the TV. I couldn't read because it hurt too much. I took a handful of aspirin (three) and went back to sleep until 2pm. I can't remember the last time I slept that long (maybe never).

Even after I woke up at 2pm I felt like the headache was just on the verge of coming back (I still kind of feel that way). It was like my head was bruised inside, right behind my eyes.

I still managed to get to the gym by 6pm and get in an hour of cardio. That's about the only thing I accomplished Saturday, plus grocery shopping.

Today was another wasted day because my husband insisted I upgrade my laptop to Windows 7. What a fiasco that turned into (darn Microsoft and their stupid software!).

After being on the phone with four different Toshiba support techs (I was using the Toshiba upgrade CD they sent me), I finally found out that in the last two days they've been swamped with calls from people that are getting errors when upgrading to Windows 7. They thought Microsoft had sent out a Windows update that conflicted with their Toshiba Upgrade Assistant CD and it was throwing errors. Nice.

They talked me through the incompatibility issues, and after uninstalling some programs, I finally have Windows 7. They told me iTunes might not work anymore, but it does (thank God!).

All I can say is big whoop. It looks almost like Vista to me, with a couple cool new features (but totally not worth the hassle). My husband said they removed all the crappy code that was in Vista so it'll work better now. I guess the better stuff is stuff I can't see.

I went to the gym at 3pm today and did 30 minutes StairMaster and an hour of lower body strength training. Did I mention how much I hate lunges and squats?

The most exciting, yet disappointing, thing that happened this weekend is I found House Foods Tofu Shirataki noodles at my local Fred Meyers store, in the nutritional section. I was so excited because I've wanted to try these forever. Geez, I just re-read this paragraph...I get excited over tofu noodles?? I think I need to get a life.


Hungry Girl is always talking about how wonderful they are and they're super low calorie, low carb, and low fat. I'm one of those strange people that loves tuna casserole (my husband hates it, even made with real noodles). I made HG's Rockin' tuna noodle casserole with the Shirataki noodles. GROSS! Actually, super gross.


It's not that the noodles taste bad, it's the totally weird, rubbery texture of the noodles. It tastes like tuna casserole, but it doesn't "feel" like tuna casserole.

You get a huge serving for only 3 Points, but I don't know if I can ever get over the texture of the tofu noodles. It's just kind of icky.

Almost forgot, because of the headache I didn't make it to Weight Watchers on Saturday, but I weighed on my very accurate scales at home - 174.6. Up  1.6 pounds. It is what it is.

That's it, my totally boring weekend.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My secret

I may lose a few followers over this post, and some of you may not like me anymore, but here it goes....

I know why I ate like a woman possessed last night. I even knew when it was it was happening why I was doing it.

My best friend knows some things about me that very few people in this world know. They're dark, ugly things. Things I wish had never happened.

About two years ago I met someone online. A man. A funny, witty and charming man that lives in a far away city. Emails were exchanged, online chats started, then there were the phone calls, lots of phone calls. I've never met this person in real life, but I thought I was falling in love with him. It became an online affair.

Some people don't believe having an online relationship is cheating in a marriage, and they think no one will get hurt. If that's what you think, you're wrong on both accounts.

My marriage was going through a rough patch at the time. After almost a year, my husband found out about the other man by reading my emails, but he didn't know the emotional attachment I had establish with this person. We talked about divorce and went to marriage counseling.

I saw a therapist on my own and told her everything. She told me I needed to come clean and tell my best friend and be accountable to her. If I felt like calling the other man, I was suppose to call my best friend. The therapist also told me I have extremely low self-esteem (I really didn't need to pay her $150 an hour to find that out...I already knew.).

A little about my best friend. I've known her for twenty years. She's the kindest, sweetest, funniest and most moral person I've ever known. She's not a prude nor is she judgemental. She's what you would call "good people".

When I'm with her, I can't stop laughing. Last night I laughed so hard I was crying and my jaw hurt. She's a very strong Christian, but she doesn't shove it down my throat. She doesn't just talk the talk, she walks the walk. I've always wished I was more like her. I love her to pieces and consider myself blessed beyond words that she's my best friend.

When I told her my secret about a year ago, she reacted just as I suspected. She was shocked, but kind and supportive. I told her things I haven't told anyone. It was embarrassing, but it was a relief.

The last year I have slowly been trying to pull myself away from the man that I was so totally infatuated with. Because of the emotional attachment on my part, I couldn't just stop cold. I don't blame him or hate him for any of the emotions or feelings I've gone through. It was all my own fault. I pursued him, and he reciprocated. He's not a bad person, and neither am I, but we did some bad things.

The phone calls have stopped completely, as well as the online chatting. The emails are fewer and farther between, and these days they're always initiated by me. I think he's moved on to greener pastures, which is good for both of us.

I often wish I could have amnesia for that part of my life. I wish I could forget. It was against everything I believe in. It hurt my husband, it hurt my best friend and it hurt me. The other man, I don't think he really cared about me or even notices I'm gone. I was a slight diversion from his daily life, that was all.

I'm just starting to get back to being myself, to being a wife to my husband, a friend to my best friend. I've been in a strange, and often scary place for almost two years (my crazy period started in April 2008).

Last night my girlfriend kept saying over and over, "it's so wonderful to have you back! It's like you died and have been resurrected!" She must have said this at least a dozen times at dinner. I know she meant to make me feel happy, to feel loved. Instead I felt embarrassment and shame.

She said it was just like when her sister was addicted to prescription drugs and disappeared out of her life for about a year. Even after her sister went to rehab and kicked her habit, it was about another year before she was back to being her old self.

When my girlfriend kept telling how happy she was that I was back, I kept thinking about where I'd been for so long. My dark secret still haunts me. I still feel bad about it. Last night I ate, and ate, and ate some more. I'm not much of a drinker, and I don't do drugs. I eat.

If you've read this far, you're probably thinking I've totally misrepresented myself the past two years. You're right and you're wrong. Even though I did things I regret, I'm still the same person.

I'm the girl from Alaska that grew up on a homestead in the middle of nowhere. I was brought up in the Baptist church, I know right from wrong. I believe in God and in his divine forgiveness. I had the best parents and best family anyone could be blessed with. I'm married to a man that still loves me in spite of all my flaws.

I'm still the same woman struggling day after day with her weight. Speaking of weight, I feel like one has been lifted off me by sharing this with you, my dear readers, my friends. You know me a lot better now, maybe this explains some of my eating issues. I just hope you don't hate me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This little piggie went to town


My best friend and I went out tonight to celebrate her birthday with dinner and a movie. I seriously don't know what happened to me, but it was like I checked my brain at the door.

I had the evening planned, exactly what I would eat, where I would eat it, how much and how many Points I would consume. I'd had my normal breakfast and a light lunch. I'd eaten 11 Points so I had plenty left for dinner.

We went to Claim Jumper, my girlfriend's favorite restaurant (and not somewhere I would chose - but it was her birthday - her choice). This is one of those places that serves portions fit for a lumberjack. It's totally ridiculous but that's their trademark, huge, unhealthy, fat laden, high calorie, delicious food.

I looked up the nutritional information and the rotisserie chicken looked like my best choice for 14 Points. I knew it would be half of a chicken, and I would eat half of the half for 7 Points. Then there's the sides, sweet potato without the brown sugar or butter. Roasted vegetables in a ton of oil (no choice here because they're already prepared). I ordered the apple-cinnamon muffin with the intention of taking it home to my husband.

All I can say is I think I went temporarily insane. I ate the entire half chicken, all of the sweet potato which was huge (518 calories!), and I ate the entire muffin. It was gigantic, like three muffins in one and it tasted like coffee cake. The meal came with vegetables roasted in oil, lots of oil. I ate all of them.

After we finished dinner, the waitress brought us TWO giant red velvet cupcakes with at least an inch of frosting, and a lit candle on each one. She said she saw us opening presents so she thought it must be our birthdays.

If you think I turned down a red velvet cupcake you're crazy. I ate it, every last bite. It was on a giant plate covered with little hearts made out of chocolate syrup which I mopped up with the cupcake. Who am I???

It gets even worse. We went to the movie, Leap Year (great movie, loved it!). I bought candy! I never buy candy. It was like I was possessed by a demon. I bought a box of Raisenettes and a box of Milk Duds. My girlfriend couldn't believe I was still hungry, but I didn't feel satisfied. It was so weird. I ate both boxes of candy by myself.

I'm home now and literally feel ill, like I'm going to throw up. It's like there's food stuck in my esophagus. I'm sweating and nauseous and kicking my own butt for being so incredibly stupid. What the hell is wrong with me?

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OH MY GOD! I just added up the calories and fat grams for that meal at Claim Jumper (it should be called Heart Attack Central!) and the candy at the movies.

3,935 calories and 78 grams of fat!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's all about the attitude

Yesterday I posted about my binging, how I obsess over it. I also mentioned how Velda's post put my problems in perspective.

What really stands out about Velda isn't the fact that her problem is worse than my problem, it's her attitude. Even though her prognosis is grim (4 to 6 months to live), she is still positive and upbeat about her life. She's fighting as hard as she can to live her life to the fullest. She has hope that just maybe she'll beat the odds.

It really is all about our attitude. None of the weight loss experts can help us if we have a bad attitude. If we constantly tell ourselves we're going to fail at losing weight and maintaining the loss, we'll be right.

That's exactly where I've been for the last few weeks. I was feeling like this was just impossible. My binging was getting the best of me.

When I got home last night I decided I wasn't going to obsess about my binging anymore. I had to let go of that thought process. If it happened, it wasn't going to be the end of the world. So I eat late at night, so what? It might mean I won't lose weight, but again, so what?

Last night I talked with my husband. I confessed my late night eating. He had no idea, which kind of surprised me. I told him it was a serious problem, and I didn't know how to fix it. Just sharing it with him was a relief. It's funny how I can tell complete strangers I'm a freak, but I struggle telling my own husband.

We didn't argue, he didn't say I was a bad person or crazy, and he wasn't judgmental. He was kind and understanding. He's never had a real weight issue himself, although he is currently 50 pounds overweight (and he hates it). He knows how hard I struggle, but I know he doesn't really get what I go through since he doesn't have food issues himself.

Afterwards I felt relaxed and not stressed out by the thoughts of binging. I really didn't care what happened. I couldn't keep fighting this thing tooth and nail, and then lose the battle every night. I decided it wouldn't be a battle. I'm not giving up, but I'm not going to war with myself night after night over whether or not I should eat.

I fell asleep early and slept through the night without waking up once during the night. It's been months since I've had a good night's sleep.

My attitude isn't super happy, with rainbows and butterflies, but I'm feeling kind of happy, hopeful. It's more of an attitude that I need to let some things go, things that aren't really that important. Things like binging.
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A shoutout to my dear friend Pamela who is back among the living. I've missed her so much. She was the first person to ever comment on my blog. She's followed me for almost two years and has helped me tremendously.

Now it's my turn to return the favor. Please stop by Pamela's blog and offer her support. She's a wonderful person and she needs help right now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A funny thing happened on my way to writing this post

I've been taking a break from my blog, stepping back and trying to figure out what is wrong with me.

As I do with most things in my life, I was over-analyzing my binging problem. To the point where I was becoming obsessed by it.

I was posting the same thing every day. I binged, I didn't binge, I wanted to binge, I need to stop binging, I don't know how to stop binging, what is wrong with me?! Over and over I repeated the same words. If I didn't actually post them, they were running through my head.

Then I'd talk a good talk: "I can do this!" "I'm going to do this!" "This will work!"

When truthfully, I'd fallen and couldn't get up. None of my grand schemes worked on me. The more I worried about it, the worse it became.

I had all sorts of theories about the reasons for my binging: my husband doesn't love me enough, my father died when I was 12, I was spoiled by my mother to make up for not having a father, I was use to getting what I wanted, my job is stressful. Or my personal favorite, I have some sort of mental disease, and I'm addicted to food.

I've been mucking about for the last few days, trying to figure out my problem, when this post by a very courageous lady named Velda popped up:

The Climb and Sometimes the Fall, My story of lung cancer that's gone to my head.

I read Velda's post, along with the last few posts that I'd missed.

Then I thought to myself, what the hell am I complaining about? Honest to God, I don't know anymore.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We are not a statistic

I hate reading this weight loss statistic: over 95% of people gain back the weight that they've lost.

I see this statistic everywhere this time of year, in people's blogs, on the Internet, in the e-newsletters I get from various weight loss groups. Even my Weight Watcher leader mentioned it last week.

Everyone quotes this statistic, but I can't find the research to back it up. I just spent 20 minutes Googling it, and although I found the statistic everywhere, I can't find out where it's coming from. My guess is that some research group did some sort of study and came up with it.

This statistic infuriates me for many reasons. First of all, I want to know how they did the research. How did they come up with this number?

Maybe they checked with Diet Center, where I lost 40 pounds in 1978 and quickly gained it all back.

Maybe they checked with NutriSystem and saw in 1992 I lost 50 pounds, and re-gained it.

Did Jenny Craig tell them about the 70 pounds I lost on their plan in 1995 and regained the 70 pounds plus an additional 20 pounds in 1996 (putting me over 200 pounds for the first time in my life)?

Or was it my doctor that told them about the 110 pounds I lost with PhenFen in 1997 and then regained it all in eight months?  

Did Weight Watchers squeal on me, telling them about my first two attempts on their plan, where I lost 30 pounds and then lost 70 pounds, and gained it all back.

I'm not a poster child for weight loss, and maybe in the past I've been part of the 95% that lost the weight and gained it back again.

On the other hand, I have manage to keep off a chunk of weight for over a year. I was 174 August 8, 2008. I'm 173 today, and I'm on my way back down. That's a 66-pound loss kept off for 17 months. Maybe I'm not a total success (still not at goal), but I'm not a failure either.

Secondly, I don't like hearing this 95% statistic because I think it hurts people more than it helps them. It gives people a feeling of hopelessness, of why should I even try if I only have a 5% chance of winning this battle?

I know that feeling because that's exactly how I use to feel. During dark moments I would take that statistic and think I was absolutely doomed. There was no way I could do this if 95% of people couldn't do it either. That is a myth. Of course I can do this.

So why should you keep trying to lose weight when the odds are stacked against you?

1.) I'm not sure that 95% is even a real statistic. Where did it come from? Let's say it was true five years ago, why would it still be true today?

We're smarter now, we have more healthy food options. Weight Watchers is better than it was five years ago. We know how to do this and make it work. We can make it a permanent change.

There are hundreds of bloggers now that can help us and support us through this journey.

It's not the same world it was five years ago.

2.) Do you really have the option of not trying to lose weight? Imagine if you just totally gave up on losing weight. Where would you be in a year? In five years? Not a pretty picture is it?

I know where I'd be in five years if I gave up on trying to lose weight. I'd either be dead or in a wheelchair or trying to be a contestant on the Biggest Loser or signed up for weight loss surgery. None of those options appeal to me.

Don't let this statistic define you. If it's true (and I really doubt it is), fight it. Beat the odds. Why can't you be in the five percent that keeps the weight off forever?

Better yet, what if we all joined together and really do this, maybe we can increase that 5% statistic to 10% or 20% or 30% or maybe even 100% of the people that lose weight do NOT gain back the weight they lost.

We can't change history, but we can sure change the future.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why yoga?

I'm dead, dog tired tonight. I have no pearls of wisdom for you, I'm empty. I've been sitting here staring at my screen trying to think of something intelligent to say, or even something stupid to say, anything, but I'm just drawing a big, fat blank. It's like I've run out of words.

Why yoga?
I wanted to mention why I was thinking about a yoga class. Not so much for spirituality or chanting to the supreme guru guy (whoever that's suppose to be, I have no idea). I have my own guy I pray to, and he's not some guru in India.

The reason I'm thinking about a yoga class is because I realized last week at the Kundalini yoga that I'm totally out of touch with my body. Even though I didn't like the chanting and weird breathing in Kudalini, there was something kind of cool about actually noticing my body. Paying attention to my breathing, to the stretching, to how it feels to move my body very slowly, to acknowledge my body.

When I hit the gym in the mornings, I hit it hard. I don't stretch to start, I just jump on that StairMaster or a spinning bike and away I go. My intent is to burn as many calories as quickly as possible in 30 minutes. According to my Polar Heart Rate monitor, it's usually around 220 calories for the StairMaster or 300 for the spinning bike. My goal is to get my heart rate up to around 150 and an average of 129. My resting heart rate is 54.

Then I hit the weights, trying to go as heavy as I can manage. Recently I've backed off a little on the size of weights since hurting my right shoulder and left elbow. Today my trapezius feels kind of shredded (thanks to Seated Rows with 67.5 pounds).

I'm still lifting 20-pound dumbbells and using 50-pound barbell for my lunges, but no crazy stuff like the 25-pound dumbbells. I doubt I'll ever work up to the 25-pound dumbbells. I think maybe I'm just not built like a guy and will never lift guy-sized weights.

I rarely stretch afterwards, simply because I don't have time. I'm in a hurry and stretching is a luxury. So that's why the yoga, and that's the only reason. I don't expect it to change my life or make me happy, I thought it might help my balance and make me more limber.

Squat machine
I discovered a cool new machine at my gym today that I had never noticed. It's a squat machine. I hate doing squats (next to lunges) because I have this fear that I'll squat down and not be able to stand back up, or just fall over. It's part of a small, ongoing fear that the old lady (me) that works out with all the young, buff guys is going to embarrass herself one of these days.

The machine is a MaxiCam (one of the big boy toys) and it's called a squat/calf machine. I totally loved it and my buttocks are super sore tonight.



Binging
I guess I need to mention the elephant in the room. The binging. So far so good. Last night was fine even though I slept the sleep of the damned. In other words, I'm not sure I actually even slept last night. Yet I still didn't go crazy with the eating. I had a couple small snacks, but I didn't eat any cheese (even though I know where to find it now). Actually, it's kind of lost it's appeal. It's just cheese, not crack or something.

Strength Training Book
I bought this book at Costco a few months ago and just started using it. I love it and it was only $11.99. I have six other books on strength training but this one is my current favorite. I love that it shows you which muscles you're working, and exactly how to do the exercises. Great book for a beginner or a pro.



Long post for someone out of words.

Kundalini Yoga...no thanks

It turns out I kind of hate Kundalini Yoga. This is what I hate: the chanting words that I don't know what they mean and I can't pronounce. The weird poses that hurt my ankle bones. The breathing. Oh my God!...the breathing by protruding my belly button when I breathe out makes me light headed dizzy. I hate all of it.

At first it seemed kind of nice. It seemed comforting, relaxing in the yoga studio. The lights were dimmed, the soft Indian music, everyone spoke in whispers. We had a really pretty lady Indian yoga instructor. Then she told us to close our eyes and she started the chanting thing.

She'd given us a paper with the mantra. I couldn't prounce the words. I couldn't get down the sing-song chanting thing she was doing. It felt weird and uncomfortable. I kept wondering what the words meant.

AD GURAY NAMEH, JUGAD GURAY NAMEH,
SAT GURAY NAMEH, SIRI GURU DEVAY NAMEH

I looked it on Google. The above mantra means:

This is the Mangala Charn Mantra, and is chanted for protection. It surroundsthe magnetic field with protective light, and means "I bow to the primal Guru (guiding consciousness who takes us to God-Realization), I bow to wisdom through the ages, I bow to True Wisdom, I bow to the great, unseen wisdom."

This just isn't for me. I have three more classes but I have no interest in going. It seems like a total waste of time.

I've tried the hot yoga, you might remember my post on that one. I'd rather have my eyes poked out with a hot stick than go through that torture again.

The only thing left to try is good old Hatha Yoga. There's a cute little studio down the street from where I live. They have a good reputation so I think I'll give them a try. I don't consider yoga exercise. I think of it more of as mental calming and relaxation. I could use some of that in my life so I'm willing to give it one last try. It can't be any worse than the last two yogas I've tried.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The letter

Tonight I feel incredibly in control of my eating. I feel so in control that I started thinking, I wish I could talk to myself when I get that crazy, out-of-control feeling and want to eat everything in sight. The sane, totally in control Diana talking to the crazy, out-of-control Diana, try to talk some sense into her.

Then I had an idea. I see people write themselves letters to be opened in a year or five years or twenty years. They're letters of their current self talking to their future self. I thought why don't I write a letter to the crazy Diana. The one that can't stop herself from binging.

I wrote the letter and have put it in an envelope, with two of my fat pictures, taped to the refrigerator door. It's to be opened if I start to feel like I'm losing control of my eating.

Here's the letter, from the sane Diana to the crazy Diana:

Dear Diana,

If you're reading this letter, it means you're considering embarking on mindless eating. A binge is about to happen. At least you had the presence of mind to open this letter and read it. That's a step in the right direction.

This is your sane self speaking to your crazy self. You need to listen because this part of you knows what's best for you.

Whatever you're thinking about eating, it wasn't planned and you don't have the Points for it. You need to really think about what you're going to do. Answer these questions before you proceed:

1. Do you really want to do this? Don't answer so quickly. Think about it for a few minutes. Never mind that you may have been thinking about it for hours, seriously and honestly think about it again. Is this REALLY what you want?

2. Remember it will only be a moment of pleasure. As soon as you eat the food you'll want more, and you know you won't be able to stop. You wouldn't be reading this if you thought you could stop. You're reading this because you're feeling a bit insane and out of control.

You need to get a grip on your emotions. Calm down for God's sake and think about what you're about to do. Is it really worth it? Is it worth throwing away all your hard work for a moment of pleasure?

3. If you insist on eating the food that you shouldn't eat, do me a favor first. Prepare a low-Point snack. Make it a protein and a complex carbohydrate.Sit down at the dining table and use a real dish and utensils. Do not read or watch TV. Focus on the snack you're eating. Drink a glass of ice water with it or herbal tea. Pay attention to what you're eating. Put down this letter and go have your snack.

4. If you're reading this then #3 didn't work. That's okay. Stop kicking yourself and beating yourself up about it. It's not the first time and not the last time. Whatever it is that's driving you nuts and you think you can't live without eating it, get one serving of it. Put it on a plate. Calculate the Points. Put them in the tracker first, then go enjoy your food...at the table.

If you still have the crazies, continue reading before you make the ultimate decision to just give up.

Whatever you're thinking at this very moment, put it aside. Let me tell you what I think. Me, the sane part of you. Food is not your friend. It is not love. It will not comfort you. It is not pleasure. It can't make you happy. It is mere sustenance to keep you alive. If you derive pleasure from it, remember it's only a momentary and fleeting pleasure.

Please take a good look the pictures in the envelope with this letter. Remember that 240-pound woman. Remember the physical and mental pain she went through every day. Remember how tough it was to get to where you are now.

I will ask you one more question:  Is whatever you want to eat at this moment really worth taking a chance on going back to being that sad woman in the pictures? The woman with the fake smile, that hurt in her heart and in her body. The one that wore her failure for the entire world to see, and who felt shame at her weakness. The one that hated how she looked and how she felt. The woman that dreaded getting out of bed every day of her life. Who was consumed by her fatness. The one that woke up every morning and thought, I've got to do something about my weight.

No, I didn't think so.

Signed,
The sane and in control Diana

Click on the pictures for a larger view, if you dare. :)

This picture horrifies me. I don't even recognize this person.




I can't believe I actually thought I was sort of cute in this picture.
Size 20 shorts are never cute.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oops



Oops. I'm not talking about an object-oriented programming system. I'm talking about acknowledging a minor mistake.

Yes, I had an "oops" last night. It involved cheese. An almond butter and jam sandwich. Cold cereal with milk.

The cheese is the same cheese from New Year's Eve that I had requested my husband hide from me. He hid it in the bottom drawer of the fridge in the garage. It was out of sight and out of mind and it didn't haunt me...until yesterday.

Yesterday my cruel and evil loving husband had a plate of cheese and crackers for a snack. He even asked me if I'd like some too, and went on to tell me how great the Dubliner Irish cheese from Costco tasted. I know this is unintentional cruelty. He knows I like cheese. What he doesn't know is that I LOVE cheese. That I could eat an entire block of the Dubliner Irish cheese if he wasn't looking.

I had been perfect on my eating all day. I had a nice dinner and thought I was fine. We went to bed. I couldn't sleep. At midnight I got up and read for a while. I had a healthy snack of fruit and yogurt. 

Then I started thinking about the cheese. I couldn't seem to use any of my newly learned skills to turn off the thought process. It was like I was possessed.

After the cheese I had an almond butter and Huckleberry jam sandwich on two slices of Dave's Killer Bread.

After the sandwich I had two large bowls of Kashi Honey Toasted Oat cereal with ice cold milk.

Next was remorse, sadness, sleep.

This morning I'm better. It was merely a blip on my radar, a minor mistake.

I woke up late and had a healthy breakfast. We're going to the gym in the next hour where I will literally try to work my ass off (lower body workout today).

Normally I would hate myself right now, feel defeated and hopeless. Although I'm not thrilled with my behavior last night, I'm not surprised by it either. I can't expect to change a lifetime of bad habits in one week. That would be a ridiculous thinking. However, it's one slip in eight days. Not bad.

There will be more slips in my life. I'm not perfect. I'm human and flawed. Normal people have "oops" moments, but they recover and move on. I'm moving on.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Eat more, move less and lose weight


My weighin today:


That was the result of one week of doing the following:
1. I tracked ALL my food.

2. I weighed and measured EVERYTHING I ate and drank.



3. I did my very best to follow the Weight Watcher Good Health Guidelines (including 3 dairy servings, 2 tsp. healthy oil and even my vitamins).

4. Stayed within my Points limit of 22, plus 5 of my weeklies each day. I ate ALL 35 weeklies.


5. I earned 35 Activity Points with 6 days of working out, one-hour sessions.I didn't eat any of my APs, although if I wanted them, I would have eaten them.

6. I ate a LOT of food, choosing mostly what Weight Watcher refers to as filling foods. There were a lot of the green diamonds in my online tracker.


This has saved my life. I felt full and satisfied most of the time. This has made a HUGE difference.


7. I cut out the night binging by saying 'no' to myself. I really thought about if I was actually hungry, or if I was lonely, bored, tired, or thirsty. Surprisingly, most of the time I wasn't really hungry.


8. Three nights I was decided I was hungry and had a late night snack.

My snack of choice was 1 cup fresh fruit (pineapple, blueberries - my favorites), six ounces non-fat yogurt, and 1/2 cup Fiber One. A two point snack versus a 30-Point binge.

9. I cut out empty calorie foods that contained sugar, such as Weight Watcher ice cream bars, Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, Dreyer's Frozen Fruit bars, and a lot of other processed foods. I also cut out most artificial sweeteners.


10. I drank at least 64 ounces of water a day.

I don't expect or even want to lose this much weight every week. I know the weight loss will slow down this coming week. My real goal is about about two pounds a week.

The best part is that I can live like this the rest of my life. For the first time since I started Weight Watchers I don't feel hungry all the time. I'm eating a lot of really good food.

I can do this...eat more, move less and lose weight. Who knew?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

On the seventh day...


Today is my seventh binge-free day. It's a miracle.

I've eaten within my Points limit and tracked every bite.

It's been months since I've had a week like this one.

It wasn't a white-knuckle week like the weeks I've had in the past several months. I didn't have horrible cravings where I wanted to eat all the time. The cravings are gone. Honestly, it feels like a miracle.

These are things I think help make this a good week :

1.) I changed what I'm eating. I'm avoiding as many processed foods as possible and eating as many of the "filling" foods as possible. I've broken off my relationship with Weight Watchers ice cream bars, Skinny Cows and Dreyer's fruit bars. They are no longer my friends and are not welcome in my home.

2. ) I've tracked all my food in the online Weight Watcher journal. My Weight Watcher leader told us last week that is the number one thing that will make a difference in your weight loss.

3.) I've been eating a lot of the what Weight Watcher calls filling foods. The ones that have the little green diamonds next to them in the food tracker. These are whole grains, whole foods, not processed junk. These foods make me feel fuller for a longer period of time. I realize I just said this in #1 but I can't emphasize it enough. This has changed my life.

4. ) As much as this gives me a big pain in the butt, I've been following the Healthy Eight Eating Guidelines. I save the healthy oil and at least one dairy to have with my evening meal. This helps satisfy me and keep me full throughout the evening.

5. ) The absolutely amazing support of the blogging community. Without you guys, I'm sure I would have totally given up a long time ago. You make a huge difference in my life. I can't even begin to thank you for all your support and constantly cheering me on.

6. ) You knew this one was coming...."The end of overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite" by David Kessler, MD. The cognitive behavioral therapy in this book has worked wonders for me. I know it won't work for everyone, but I guess I found my magic bullet. Okay, it's not really magic. I have to do all the work, but it provides me the tools to use to avoid binging and overeating.

Learning to say "no" to myself is something I didn't even think was possible.

I realize it's only been seven days, but I feel full of hope and excitement for what the future holds. I don't fear it anymore. I will not wind up a contestant on the Biggest Loser.

The guidelines (in case you forget them):

5 servings of fruits & veggies
2 servings of milk products - 3 servings if you're over 50
6 glasses of "liquids"
2 tsp healthy oils
1-2 servings of lean protein
1 multivitamin a day
Choose Whole Grains when possible
At least 30 minutes of activity a day most days of the week
Limit sugar and alcohol

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

For me, really?!

I love Amber. She's sweet, kind, supportive and has a really quirky sense of humor that makes me laugh out loud on a daily basis. I consider her one of my best blogger friends.

So why did she do this to me? Award me the Beautiful Blogger award. I kind of don't like awards, because they make me feel like a dork. I don't feel good enough or smart enough or interesting enough to get an award. I don't feel worthy.

That's why I usually pretend I don't see them when someone gives me one. I know, that's kind of rude of me. I mean, someone thinks they're doing a nice thing, then I ignore it. So in my efforts to be a nicer person this year, I'm accepting this award from Amber. Thank you Amber. I think you're a beautiful blogger too!



Of course, there's always a condition with these awards. Something you have to do, in this case, I'm suppose to tell seven things about myself. That right there almost caused me to ignore this award. I read Amber's list and thought Dang! She's so fascinating and interesting. What am I going to say about myself that anyone would ever want to read? I pretty much spill my guts on here on a daily basis. There's really not much you don't already know about me.

So I'm doing something different. Instead of seven boring facts about me, how about what I've learned about losing weight (and of lot of it I learned this last week...believe it or not).

1. Buying a weight loss self-help book isn't going to help me lose weight. Buying a weight loss self-help book and just reading it isn't going to help me lose weight. Buying a weight loss self-help book, reading it, studying it and actually doing what they suggest will help me lose weight.

2. It's not necessary to work out two hours a day, seven days a week. In fact, it's a little insane. I can work out five days a week, one hour a day and still lose weight.

3. As a woman, I need to be careful when I lift weights. It really isn't necessary to lift two 25-pound dumbbells over my head 24 times (three sets of eight). I can and have hurt myself. On the other hand, lifting 5-pound dumbbells is a waste of time. Heavier is better, too heavy is bad.

4. The Weight Watcher Healthy Eating Guidelines will help me lose weight if I follow them. They won't help me lose weight if I just think about them and are afraid to "waste" Points on things like healthy oil and milk. I need to just "waste" the Points because it will help me lose weight.

5. I can say 'no' to myself. I can tell myself to shut up. I can tell myself to not think about certain things and redirect my thoughts. I can listen to myself and follow my own advice. (who knew?!)

6. I will not starve to death if I go to bed slightly hungry.

7. I will not gain weight if I eat a healthy low-Point snack at 11pm and then go to sleep. In fact, I will avert a binge and actually lose weight.

8. Attending Weight Watcher meetings is not optional. Tracking my food is not optional.

9. Food will give me only momentary satisfaction. Then I'll want more food and even more. It's just food. It isn't love or comfort or entertainment. It won't make me happy, except maybe for a brief moment...then it will make me sad. It won't solve any of the problems in my life.

10. I have to believe in myself, believe that I can lose weight permanently. No one can "fix" me except for me. It's my life, my body, my choice. I can't blame anyone else for the food I eat. No one is holding a gun to my head and making me eat. Ultimately, it really is all up to me.

Now for my chosen 7 (I actually could have come up with 70---I read a lot of blogs and love them all!).

1. Tony the Pink Panda
2. Dawn
3. Kelly!
4. Mary
5. Roxie
6. Helen
7. Ida
8. Sarah
9. Ron
10. Graciela

I know, there are more than seven. If I had the time, there would be even more.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Still on fire

It's 10:18pm. I'm just about ready to go to bed and sleep. Tomorrow I have my workout in the morning, work all day, and then Kundalini yoga at night .

I almost hesitate to write about not binging. It's like I'm afraid I'm going to jinx myself and totally screw up. I can't remember the last time I was "clean and sober" for four straight days. Although even if I do mess up, I know it'll be okay.

"The end of overeating" Chapter 44, Avoiding Traps: On obsession and Relapse
(page 231)

"Some people find it especially hard to stay in control when they are the highest end of their weight spectrum--at that point, the goal of a weight loss may just seem too remote to be achieved. For others, the greatest challenge comes after reaching their, when they recognize that their struggle will never be completely over and that the battle with conditioned hypereating is lifelong. Accepting those realities helps to keep you vigilant. Keeping relapse at bay is not about being strong enough to beat the temptation of eating stimulating food, but about being smart enough to deal with it."

When I was 240 pounds I just couldn't seem to get my head in the right place to actually try to lose weight. I'd think about it every day, sometimes every waking moment of every day. I remember how difficult it was to even start trying to lose weight.

When I finally did get thisclose to my goal weight, I wasn't vigilant. I wasn't being smart on how I handled the "cue-urge-reward" habit cycle. I have tools now, I'm ready for it if my brain tries to take me to places I don't want to go.

I'm right on with the tracking ALL my food (four days!), trying my best to meet the Good Health Guidelines (Lord help with this one, it's almost impossible!). In other words, I'm on fire!

Food, Inc.
We watched Food, Inc. last night. Actually, my husband watched it. I had to go into a different room halfway through the movie. I was so incredibly angry watching it that it made me intensely uncomfortable, mentally and physically.

I'm not going to review the Food, Inc. since I'm sure there are hundreds of great reviews out there already. Most people have probably already seen it.

If you haven't seen it, I strongly advise you to watch it. There's a lot of very horrifying information about the food industry and our food chain. I had already read a lot about this in Michael Pollan's book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma". Seeing the visuals that the book is based upon literally made me nauseous.

If you see this movie, you'll never look at your food the same again. Great educational movie but highly disturbing.

Update at 5:15am Tuesday, 1/12: I made it through the night without binging. It's 5:15am and just getting ready to head out to the gym. I didn't even have a snack last night and only 21 Points all day. I didn't have to fight myself over wanting to eat. It's such a weird feeling not to have that huge fear of overeating. It's like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Today is day five. :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Just say no!


Tonight I tried some cognitive behavioral therapy on myself. I'm surprised how well it worked.

Earlier tonight I had eaten a nice dinner of a chicken breast with spicy barbecue sauce, roasted Brussels sprouts with olive oil and sea salt (my favorite), and a cup of milk (I'm really working on trying to get the Healthy Eight).

I have a planned snack for later of fresh pineapple and yogurt. My plan is to eat this snack at 11pm, my normal bewitching hour, but only if I'm hungry. I want to be prepared to stop a binge if all my resolve falls apart. I've had two good nights, I'm going for three.

After dinner I was reading some blogs and saw someone had a Kashi granola bar for a snack. It reminded me of the nut & fruit bars we bought a few months ago at Costco. They're mostly nuts and seeds, with a little dried fruit. They're delicious but very high in calories and fat (6 Points each). Earlier today I saw my husband eating one. I remembered how good they tasted. I was leaving for the gym and didn't give it another thought. Until I read about the blogger's Kashi bar.

My mind immediately started thinking about the nut & fruit bars, how good they tasted. I thought one would really be good right now. It would kind of be like a dessert since they're a little sweet, and I love nuts. I thought maybe I'll have one. Forget about trying to lose weight, I feel like having one right now.

Then I remembered reading this in "The end of overeating" (pg. 182):

"Effective intervention draws us away from the conditioning power of a stimulus before it triggers its usual response. It reminds us that it's possible to say no. Intervention begins with knowledge that we have a moment of choice--but only a moment--to recognize what is about to happen and do something else instead.

The cornerstone of treatment for conditioned hypereating is developing the capacity to refuse the cue's invitation to the brain in the first place. That refusal must come early, and it must be definitive. It's only at the very beginning, when the invitation arises that you have any control over it. At that point it's still possible to turn away from the stimulus. Once we get started, a cascade of events--stimulation, response, and more stimulation--is likely to drive behavior."

I immediately told myself NO! I'm not screwing up my entire day by eating one of those stupid nut & fruit bars. I don't have the available Points, I don't even like them that much anyway, and I'm not even hungry. I just had dinner. I told myself to stop thinking about it because I wasn't going to happen.

I refused the cue, the mental stimuli I had in my head. Instead I had a glass of ice water. Easy to do? Not totally. Impossible? Of course not.

I really believe we can retrain ourselves to react differently to food stimuli. The trick is that we have to make a conscious effort to do this. We can't waver, keep thinking about the food, should I eat it, should I not?

Just like we'd be assertive with someone that wanted to do something harmful to us, to hurt us, we need to be assertive with ourselves.

Shut down the thought process immediately. If it's not something you planned on eating and you don't have the Points for it, think about something else. The immediate and temporary gratification isn't worth it. Just say no to yourself.

Another night of freedom


I'm talking about freedom from the binge monster. I made it through another night without going crazy on food. Two nights in a row. I feel stronger than I've felt in months.

Last night I used the tip to have a preplanned snack. I knew I wasn't going to be tired enough to go to bed early and actually sleep, so I allowed for a three-Point snack at 11pm.

It was a really simple snack but very filling. One orange, 1/2 of a small apple, one container of Light Vanilla Activia yogurt and 1/2 cup Fiber One (which I haven't eaten in months).

I ate my planned snack at 11pm with a big glass of ice water, while I was reading "The end of overeating." It completely satisfied my urge to eat.

My total Points for yesterday was 24.5, and I tracked every bite. I'm allowed 22 a day, plus the 35 weeklies (and activity Points which I try not to use, but will if I feel like I really need them). I also managed to get in most of my Healthy Eight, first time in months that I even tried.

The end of overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite
by David A. Kessler, Md


I recommend this book. I didn't start with Part One, Sugar, Fat, Salt. I also skipped over Part Two, The Food Industry. I already know that sugar, fat and salt are bad for me, and that the food industry is out to get us. I've read the Omnivore's Dilemma, I know what's going on with the food industry, although I did skim this section and he had some new information that was even more disheartening.

The heart of the book for me are the following: Part Three - Conditioned Hypereating Emerges; Part Four - The Theory of Treatment; Part Five - Food Rehab and Part Six - The End of Overeating.

A lot of what this book is about is basically a lot of what we're taught in Weight Watchers. Mental rehearsing, food isn't love, cognitive behavioral changes, but Dr. Kessler goes into a lot more depth and research, and offers some new ideas on how to stop hypereating.

I was particularly interested in how part of the population has issues with Conditioned Hypereating. When eating actually becomes dangerous to us and the culture of overeating. His theory on "cue - urge - reward -habit cycle" makes sense. I'll expand on both of these in future posts.

I'll leave you with my favorite paragraph, Chapter 48: Fighting Back (page 245).

"If they could, many food companies would likely be satisfied with making conditioned hypereaters out of all of us so they could sell more product. Yet the power to resist ultimately rests with us. While a combination of human biology, personal experience, and a determined industry may explain why we overeat, we still have the ability to make choices about whether we allow this triumvirate to dominate our behavior. The fact that the industry helps create this problem, and takes advantage of it, doesn't render us helpless."

Touché.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

No more excuses

This was kind of a funny/sad sign I saw at the gas station this morning. Notice the poor guy in the contest looks like he needs to lose a few pounds.

Then check out the meal combo they offer for $3.75. I calculated the calories for this little snack. If you ordered a regular Coke for your 44 oz. Thirstbuster drink and had a small packet of mayo with your hot dog, it would be 1,008 calories! The cola alone is 526 calories. Unbelievable!

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Your comments about my 180.2 post yesterday really touched me, and they made a huge difference in my life. Everyone had great advice on how I can stop the binge monster from attacking me every night. Thank you all so much.

Because of all your support and because some of you said you suffer from the late night eating/binging problem, I was determine to beat it last night. I thought if other people can conquer this demon, I can too. I had a binge-free night last night, the first one in months.

Even though I wanted to eat last night at around 11pm, I made a conscious effort not to binge. Instead, I read some more of "The end of overeating". I'm in the "Rehab" chapter which was perfect.

I put a lot of thought into Tony's post: "Why are you binging at night? Once you figure this out you can solve the problem."

I came up with a long list of reasons why I eat at night. Things like job stress, my imperfect marriage, feelings of loneliness, not feeling loved, boredom, lack of self worth were a few of the things on the top of my list. Unfortunately, it was a very long list.

Then it hit me, I can't fix all this stuff. I can work on some of these things, but I can't fix them overnight. Some of these things I'll never be able to fix.

The bottom line is that I'll always have issues in my life. The trick is to not use these issues as an excuse for my overeating. Therefore, no more excuses.

Weight Watchers
My meeting rocked today! I LOVE my leader, Janis. She is funny, informative, supportive, sweet, honest and a wonderful person. Every time I go to one of her meetings I leave inspired.

Here's my weighin for today, the first for 2010. This is up 4.0 pounds from my last official weighin on 11/19/2009. I'm not going to dwell on my past mistakes. What's happened has happened. It's time to move and start fresh.



The meeting today focused on tracking our food. I've been extremely lax about this for the last several months. Almost everyone in the meeting (which was packed with newcomers) agreed to track for this entire week, myself included.

The second task was to set a goal weight for February 20, 2010. That's six weeks from today. My goal is to lose 10 pounds in six weeks, or 1.7 pounds per week. I'll weigh 170.4 on February 20. I'm adding a countdown on the right sidebar with today's weight and my weighin each Saturday. I feel more determined than I have in months.

Yoga
I'm starting yoga on Tueday night. One of my girlfriends is really into yoga. In fact, she's retiring in a couple years and going to yoga instructor school. Her plan is to teach yoga during her retirement.

I tried hot yoga the summer of 2008. I hated it! I loved the yoga moves, but couldn't stand the heat. My friend promised me I'll love the class she goes to, she said there's a lot of "chanting" and to keep an open mind about it. She says it's changed her life. :)

It's called Kundalini Yoga - “The Yoga of Awareness" uses movement, breathwork, mantra and meditation to help relax and heal the body and mind.

I'll still be going to the gym in the mornings. I don't really consider yoga "exercise". It's more for the mind.

The end of overeating

I'm still reading this book and the jury is still out. It talks about setting up rules to follow to control your overeating. This is what I read last night right before I fell asleep, page 191/192:

"Rules aren't the same thing as willpower. Willpower pits the force of reinforcing stimuli against your determination to resist, a clash of titans that can become very uncomfortable."

Then it talks about the difference between using willpower to resist food and having a rule.

"If you develop a rule, that will allow you to better inhibit the behavior, because you'll have a context that provides some kind of reason for inhibiting in the first place. A rule makes explicit the negative consequences of giving in to your impulses and the positive consequence of not giving in. Without any kind of context or motivation, there's really no reason that you would inhibit the response of wanting it."

I don't know if this is really all that helpful. It kind of sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo. However, it was so boring I did fall asleep and not eat. So I guess you could say the book is helping me.

Kelly - Pounds for the Prom

There's a new blogger I started following recently. Her name is Kelly and her blog is Pounds for the Prom.

Kelly started her journey December 1, 2009, and she's on the Weight Watchers plan. From the title of her blog you've probably already guessed, she's still in high school and living at home. Some of her problems with losing weight are unique to her age and living situation, yet some of them are exactly the same as the rest of us.

Stop by her blog and say hello. Just like the rest of us, Kelly needs all the encouragement she can get. :)

I'll post later today with my official Weight Watcher weighin. The first for 2010.

Friday, January 8, 2010

180.2

Argh! 180.2...really????

What can I say other than I'm a dismal failure at this weight loss stuff. Instead of losing weight this week, the first week of the new year, I gained 3.8 pounds! That's just the weigh in on my home scales, tomorrow at 7am is Weight Watchers. Since I'll actually have clothes on when I weigh in it'll be even more (unless I amputate an arm tonight and trust me, I'm tempted!).

I'm perfect every day, all day until about 11pm. Then it's like I lose my ever-lovin' mind! All sense of what's important to me disappears into thin air. I even hear myself saying that I just don't care damnit! I'm hungry! And then I proceed to stuff my fat little face with an abundance of healthy food.

A banana, broiled chicken, low-fat graham crackers and non-fat milk was my feast last night at 11pm. Not even fun food.

All the self-help books' advice, all the weight loss bloggers' advice, all my own knowledge of overeating and weight loss seems to just evaporate into thin air. I'm majorly frustrated with myself right now.

180.2. Yes, kind of hating myself right now.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Is it really a choice?

After all my "let's be positive because it's a choice" I had a really lousy day today. I woke up late, missed my morning workout, and was late to work. Then I was assign two awful projects to manage.

I worked out after work and it was difficult. The extra 22 pounds feels like an extra 50 pounds, especially on the tricep pushups and chin-up assist machine.

On my way home I called my husband and asked him to get rid of the cashews he bought at Costco and the four different kinds of cheeses he got for New Year's Eve. They've been calling my name every night, and I can't take it anymore. He said he'd get rid of them.

When I got home after my workout you'll never guess what was in the kitchen. Pizza! Seriously Jack, are you freaking kidding me? Pizza?! I swear he wants me to be fat.

Although I'm trying to be positive and optimistic, I'm just not feeling it tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I never do these questionnaire things but a friend sent this to me so I thought what the heck, I'll do it so I can email it back to her. Then I had the bright idea to post it here so you all can get to know me a little better. Because I'm sure you're all just dying to know what color of socks I'm wearing tonight. ;)

1. What is your occupation right now? Applications Analyst / It Project Manager

2. What color are your socks right now? Blue

3. What are you listening to right now? Cobra Starship on People's Choice Awards - Hot Mess. They sound off key and kind of horrible.

4. What was the last thing that you ate? Pizza. Blame my husband.

5. Can you drive a stick shift? No

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Jack (my husband)

7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yes :)

8. How old are you today? 54

9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? Ice skating or sometimes football if it's one of my teams (Seahawks or Broncos).

10. What is your favorite drink? water

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? yes

12. Favorite food? Cheesecake

13. What is the last movie you watched? It's Complicated (loved it!)

14. Favorite day of the year? My birthday (because I get what I want that day and I always take off work)

15. How do you vent anger? Scream...seriously, I do. Probably need anger management classes or something. Unless I'm at work. Then I just walk away...then I scream. :)

16. What was your favorite toy as a child? My first bike, the brand was Firestone and it was a sparkly kelly green

17. What is your favorite season? Spring

18. Cherries or Blueberries? I love both but probably Washington Rainier cherries

19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? Yes

20. Who is the most likely to respond? Twila

21. Who is least likely to respond? Linda

22. Living arrangements? Married

23. When was the last time you cried? Really cried - my brother-in-law's funeral in November. Just a few tears, stupid BL show last night.

24. What is on the floor of your closet? Oh man, too much junk...Shoes/two suitcases/cat kennel/a lamp/an empty tripod box - yes I need to clean my closet. :)

25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to? Twila

26. What did you do last night? Watched Biggest Loser

27. What are you most afraid of? Becoming a homeless bag lady or a contestant on BL

28. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburger? cheese

29. Favorite dog breed? mutt from the Humane Society

30. Favorite day of the week? Saturday

31. How many countries have you lived in? 1

32. Diamonds or pearls? Pearls

33. What is your favorite flower? Iris

35. What is your favorite color? aqua

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Your Choice

I'd written a really negative post earlier today. It was titled "What happened to my happy?" I expressed my frustration with myself about my weight gain of 22 pounds.

After reading through it tonight I decided I didn't like my attitude and tone of the post. My words made me feel worse than I already do about my weight gain. I imagined someone else reading it, how they might feel. I deleted the post before it was ever published. I really want to focus on the positive, even though it's really hard at times (especially when my pants don't fit!).

Tonight is my TV night, and I'm watching The Biggest Loser. I've never actually watched an entire episode of BL. I've caught a few episodes in the past years, but it's too emotional for me. All the crying and the sad stories break my heart. No one ever says, 'gosh, I'm just thrilled I gained all this weight, my life is so much better now'.

Being overweight really does suck. It's horrible. It destroys people, mentally and physically. The good thing though, there's a cure. It's called diet and exercise. Most of us have the ability to cure our fatness. It's very hard work, probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.

Continuing on a positive note, I've been wanting to post something here. It was written by someone from my work who has retired. It's applies not only to work, but also to weight loss and life in general. I especially love the last paragraph. It's so very true.

I'm not a fan of Wayne Dyer but his quotes below are pretty good. I didn't get permission to reprint this email. However, I think the author would get a kick out of it being on a weight loss blog.

Your Choice
I've noticed the Water Cooler is getting a bit philosophical these days. I think it's fine if people want to use this forum as a place to vent. The primary reason for the Water Cooler is to provide a place to anonymously ask a question. When there is a question, I will do my best to answer it.

I think all of us are vulnerable to getting 'down', perhaps some more than others. I admire the eternal optimists and I really try to be one. I vividly remember the presidential election of 1980. The year before, Jimmy Carter, who some have said was one of the smartest men to ever hold the office, gave a nationally-televised address in which he identified what he believed to be a "crisis of confidence" among the American people. This became known as his "malaise speech" and it characterized his leadership for me. His despair was contagious and it was reinforced by recent memory of the Vietnam war and by current gas lines. The year 1979 got even gloomier when Iran captured and held 52 American citizens hostage and a military action to free them ended in disaster. There was a lot of negativity in the air and of course the press seemed to be amplifying it to the maximum extent.

In 1980, President-elect Reagan, on the night of his landslide victory, met the press with a smile and his jaunty manor and when asked what he thought of the state of the nation and our future, he reply was something like "I'm confident and excited about our future". To me it was tremendously refreshing to hear leadership in a positive direction. In his inaugural address he said "facing our challenges ... does require, however, our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds..." Now some have said Reagan wasn't capable of knowing how bad things really were, but I disagree. My sense was, instead of choosing despair he chose to be optimistic and to give the nation reason to feel confident. And it was contagious. There are a range of opinions about the Reagan years but even most of his harshest critics would agree that his optimism never faltered and his ability to communicate that optimism was legendary.

I don't want to sound preachy here because I sometimes need to pull myself up by my bootstraps and do an attitude check. Many years ago I heard a tape of a presentation by Wayne Dyer, the popular psychologist. One thing that stuck with me was his comment; "Our lives are a sum total of the choices we make".

Your team, this division, this company, this nation, and this world will never be perfect. You can choose to spend your time pointing that out, or you can choose to spend your time to make things better and to inspire those around you. Both choices are contagious.

Three more Dyer quotes:
Everything is perfect in the universe - even your desire to improve it.
There's nothing wrong with anger provided you use it constructively.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Monday, January 4, 2010

What you think, is true.

In the recent Weight Watcher magazine there's a success story about a woman that has lost 159 pounds. Her yoga instructor's mantra is "What you think, is true."

I love this saying, and I completely agree with it. If we think we're a big, fat slob, a failure at weight loss and that we'll always be fat and even if we lose the weight, we'll probably gain it back, then it's true.

I'm a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. By believing in myself I can make things happen, things like losing weight and maintaining the loss.

No talk about "it's too hard" or "I'm tired of this." or heaven forbid "I want to quit!". That will get me nowhere except back to weighing in at 240 pounds.

I've gained 22 pounds since February 2009 to now (ten months). I was 154.6 for a brief moment on February 17, 2009. Am I sad about screwing up and basically wasting the last year? Hell yes! Am I going to do something about it? Double hell yes!

Weight Watchers
There's a 10-week Momentum challenge starting this week at Weight Watchers. I missed my meeting Saturday (I had numerous excuses, all of them bad). I'm going to a lunch meeting this Wednesday. I'll have my official post-holiday weighin and start the challenge.

Looking at my last official weighin I was 176.4 on November 19. I think I'm still pretty close to that. That's not really a great thing, but at least I didn't gain anything over the holidays.

If you have access to the Weight Watcher website, here's a link to the New Year, New Resolve Challenge Week 1. It looks interesting and even a little fun.

Book: The end to overeating
I'm still reading it, and I'm in the Rehab section. I'm working on a couple of the behavioral changes. Stay tuned for more on this book. I still think the premise is good and it makes sense. It's the "doing it" part that's difficult (isn't that always the case?).

Exercise of the day


I hate lunges. Like really, really hate them. They hurt like heck, and I feel like I'm going to fall over when I do them. I'm so worried about making a fool of myself that I mainly focus on my balance, not really working my butt and thigh muscles.

Now I use the Smith machine with two 25-pound plates, so I'm lunging with 50 pounds. It's difficult but with the machine I can focus on my form and not worry about falling over.

Check out this instructional video for the Smith Machine Lunge. If it comes up with a start button, just click it. Don't worry about the gender/height thing.

Picture of the day
My assistant while taking down the tree on Sunday.



Current favorite workout song
Hot Mess by Cobra Starship

Sorry Amber! I'm sure this will insult your ears. The official video is kind of disgusting, but it's a great workout song.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bastille my heart


Bastille my heart is the name of my OPI nail polish. Not really much to do with this post...I just like the sound of it. :)

I'm in an unusually happy place tonight, in fact, I've been there all day. I can't really remember the last time I felt this happy and hopeful about life, and just that feeling that all is right with my world.

I'm actually following through on some of my new year resolutions. One of the things was to work on my marriage. I'm married to an unusual man in that if I'm kind to him, he's doubly kind to me. If I'm a bitch to him, he's doubly an a-hole to me. It's always been like this, for the past 21 years.

Even though I know this to be true, I will still make the biggest deal about the smallest thing. The last few days I've been picking my battles wisely.

Emptying the dishwasher, a task I abhor, isn't really that big of a deal. In the big picture of life it's really not worth arguing about. He does a lot of "boy" stuff, like the lawn and the cars and the trash and the bills (his list is actually endless). I can empty the freaking dishwasher and not make a big stinking deal about it. It's kind of like keeping the peace, it makes everyone so much happier.

He loves board games. I don't. Yet I agreed to a couple games of Scrabble this afternoon (I know, we're such an exciting couple). I beat the pants off of him, so it was kind of fun, and he was really happy that I wanted to do something with him.

I've also cut back to watching very little television. That was one of my goals I didn't mention, less TV and more books. I've been reading, something that use to be a passion of mine. I love to read but the past couple of years it seemed to get put on a back burner. I'd buy books but never actually read them (unless I was on an airplane, so I did read a few books last year).

This limited television viewing is making a huge difference in my attitude. I really don't need to know every little detail about Tiger and Elin's life. Or how about those Kardashians? Or watch another re-run of Law and Order: SVU. Or how about the news, hearing about yet another police officer shot in the Seattle area (six in the last five weeks). Seriously, I just can't take it anymore. It depresses the hell out of me.

Back to the reading thing, the book "The end of overeating" is really good. It just makes so much sense to me, like why didn't I think of this on my own? After all, I have over forty years of experience in trying to lose weight and keep it off, you'd certainly think I would have figured this out by now (obviously I haven't).

It's based on cognitive behavioral therapy, similar to the Beck Solution (which I read and never really followed through on). Except this book makes more sense to me than the Beck book. I can relate to it more, the problem with hypereating defines my problem.

Of course, the point with all these self-help books is you have to do the stuff they suggest, regardless how tedious or painful it appears to be. Just reading the book and not following through with the behavioral changes doesn't do a thing.

I really like this book and will go into more details about it in future posts. This is really only day two so I need to give it some time to see if it really works. So far, I'm impressed, but time will tell.

Bastille my heart. For some reason, that just makes me smile. :)

Disclaimer: that's obviously not a picture of my fingernails. I have real, extremely short nails. I can't stand long fingernails. Although it is my nail color, and I love it.

Oh, and I did another two-hour workout today. I've created a fun, new routine for myself and I'm loving it. For details, so My Workouts".

And I know what you're thinking. Who is this chick and what have you done with our sad Diana? :)

The end of overeating

I love the book I'm reading, "The end of overeating." by David A. Kessler, MD.

pg. 145 "conditioned hypereating: "conditioned" because it becomes an automatic response to widely available food and it's cues, "hyper" because the eating is excessive, driven by motivational forces we find difficult to control."

pg. 146 "Why should a cookie be anything more than just a cookie?"

pg. 150 "Because a cookie makes me feel better, it's easy to develop the habit of seeking it out when I'm sad or angry. Over time, as neural pathways link the change in my mood with the experience of eating the cookie, the association grows stronger.

These products have some kind of hedonic, calming effect, said Koob. In other words, they relieve the itch. The problem is that the itch comes back."

pg. 147 "Behavior-activating messages that urge pursuit clash with internal messages demanding control. Our brains become battlegrounds.: <--- this is me every night.

pg. 155 "Many people like and want a food, but only some of us develop elaborate thoughts about it, or a preoccupation with it." <--- this is me! I knew there was something wrong with how I think about food. It isn't normal.

pg. 152 "Is there any evidence that food really makes you feel better after you've eaten it? Absolutely. People feel better after eating it. They eat for anxiety. And it soothes anxiety. It really does work like a Valium. But that effect, of course, is momentary."

pg. 156 "Focusing single-mindedly on not eating eventually pushes us to eat more. Feeling deprived only increases the reward value of food, and then usually gives way to indulgence, and often to abandon." <---no kidding?! This explains so much. This is why I always gain back the weight I've lost. I use restraint. Guess what, it only works for a limited time, then I fall into indulgence and abandon. I could be a case study for this little tidbit of research.

I'm on page 185, the section on "Reversing the Habit". I can't wait to read how to reverse this horrible habit of overeating.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Doing what I know best, resolution #3

Resolution #3 is Lose Weight. Easy peasy, right? I've done it before, many times over the years. The problem is really two-fold: losing the weight is only half the battle, keeping off the lost weight is part two of the battle. Part two is where I always struggle. Not that losing weight in the first place is easy, it's not, but maintaining the loss, now there's a real challenge.

I've been watching my weight creep up the last few months, now I'm 22 pounds above my lowest weigh-in last year. I have all kinds of excuses but none of them matter. What matters is where I am right now.

How am I going to get "there" from "here"? Here being 178 pounds and there being 145pounds (my new goal weight). That's 33 pounds of fat that I need to lose.

1. Journal. I know it sounds easy and it is easy. It's also a big old pain in the butt, but at the same time, it's a necessary evil. Journal and lose weight, don't journal and gain weight. Hmmm...which shall I chose?

2. Back to the Weight Watcher meetings. Tomorrow I'll be back, along with the multitudes. I'm dreading the official weighin, but it is what it is.

3. Actively try to figure out what is wrong with me. I have food issues, and I don't know why. I do know I'm not normal when it comes to food. I don't look at food as sustenance, but as pleasure, which is a totally screwed up view of food.

I'm reading a new book, The end of overeating. It talks about "hyereating" and I totally get what the author is talking about. Not everyone can relate, but I do. I can't wait to get to the Food Rehab section. Maybe I'll find some answers.



That's just a start. I have a long way to go to get this figure out. I thought I knew it all, when actually, I know practically nothing.

Just a little crazy

I'm a little bit disappointed in my weigh-in this morning, but I know why it's not better than I expected: My last Weight Watc...