Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Eve


It's 6pm, and I'm sitting here in my gray banshee wig and witch costume. I'm wearing outrageous eye makeup with black eyebrows, black glitter eye shadow and red lipstick. I have black spider stickers on each side of my face. I'm waiting for the little ones to start ringing the doorbell, yelling "Trick or Treat!". I already have a headache. I hate wigs. This is the last year I'll be wearing a wig. I forgot how uncomfortable they can be (although I had on a different one last week and it wasn't this bad). 

I've never dressed up for the kids before. I don't know why I decided to do so this year. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We have a lot of kids on my street and they all know me. The last few years I made the decision that I was sick and tired of handing out candy that I couldn't eat and it wasn't good for the kids anyway. So we'd turn off all the lights and head out to a scary movie at the theater. Talk about being a Halloween Scrooge.

For some reason I had a change of heart this year. I dressed up for work last week so I had a costume (actually, I bought two - a witch and vampire). Tonight I'm the witch because I can't talk very well with the vampire teeth. Of course, now I'm thinking maybe this was a stupid idea. The wig is bugging me and the makeup is itchy.

I just answered the door to the third set of kids. They seem to be getting a kick out of me being dressed up as a witch. I love the wide eyes of the little ones. Maybe they think this is what I always look like.

My husband is still mowing the lawn (at 6pm...???). The motion detector gigantic brown recluse spider hanging over the front door is continually yelling, screaming, howling. I need to turn off his sound until the mowing stops. I'm just too tired.

Strangely the candy isn't bothering me and it's all my favorite stuff, Twix, Mounds, Kit Kats, M&Ms (no problem with the Reese cups since I have a peanut allergy). They're nice sized bars that are about two or three bites, at about 80 calories each. I really have no interest.

The caramel cake I had Thursday night has pretty much done me in on sweets for probably a long time. I can still taste the intense sweetness of the brown sugar in the frosting, the slight grittiness against my teeth. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I really didn't like it that much. I never want to have it again. It wasn't that it was a bad tasting cake, it just wasn't all that great. The same with the Häagen-Dazs ice cream. Maybe it's because I'm associating these foods with a sleepless night, filled with tossing and turning and a bad bout of night sweats. I really don't want a repeat of that night. I accept that I failed and I may fail again, but the sickening sweet taste is still too familiar. Perhaps I'm not as addicted to sugar as I once thought.

I'm 100% back on track this weekend and actually tracking my food online and drinking tons of water. Three hours of exercise between yesterday and today.

I even tried out a couple cardio machines I've never used before. I tried the recumbent bike because Bally's had a thing on their Bally TV about it, that it looks like the Lazy Boy of workout machines but you could get a really good workout on it. I hated it. After thirty minutes on the crossramp I tried the recumbent for twenty minutes. It was pure misery. I like the upright stationary bike or the spin cycle or a real bike, but that recumbent is really uncomfortable, my back is still hurting.

Then I tried the old rowing machine. It looks like an antique torture contraption, and I never see anyone using it. It has a steel chain with a bar attached to it. There are slabs of wood with straps on them that you hook your feet into and grab the bar and pull back. It's not fancy at all, but boy was it difficult. My heart rate zoomed up to 135 in about a minute (remember, I'm old and my resting HR is 49...so 135 is high for me). I did it for ten minutes and thought I was going to die. I burned 80 calories in that ten minutes according to my Polar heart rate monitor (that thinks I weigh 152 pounds because I never changed it because you know I'm going to lose that 25 pounds I gained :).

Okay, I'm ready for Halloween to be over. It's only 7:45 p.m. and the kids keep coming. About forty kids so far, and most of them I didn't know (and some were kind of old for Trick or Treating).

I'm feeling nauseous from the wig. I'm just about ready to pull it off and let my  natural hair be my witch hair. My husband is having no part of handing out the candy which really isn't like him at all. Usually when we did do the candy thing in the past he was always the one to hand it out. Not sure what's up with him this year.

Damn...the doorbell again.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's not the collapse that defines you...it's how you handle it

Post binge
After writing about my major binge on Thursday, I was astoundingly not hungry on Friday. This surprised me because usually after a binge, I'm hungrier and find it just about impossible to get back on track.

Yesterday I didn't even think about eating until about 3pm. I only ate then because I knew I really shouldn't go all day without eating. I ate lightly and slept well last night. Very unusual.

The urge, the lapse and the collapse

Today's Weight Watcher meeting seemed to be tailor made for me. The topic was how to handle a collapse, and that our secret weapon is POSITIVE SELF TALK. It's all about giving ourselves the freedom to fail. Forgiving ourselves when we do and then moving on.

Our leader, Janis (Federal Way, WA and I love her!) gave an example of how it starts. Let's say you have a bag of Halloween candy bars to hand out to the trick or treaters...

1. You have an urge to eat the candy. What do you do? You can ignore it, or do something else and fight the urge or eat something healthy or you can give into it which leads to...

2. A lapse. A lapse is you have one candy bar. Okay, now that alone isn't so bad. Not perfect, but it's okay. It's just a little lapse.  But what if you eat the entire bag of candy bars, that is...

3. A Collapse. Now you've collapsed. Totally fallen off track. You feel horrible. Guilt. Shame. You hate yourself. You call yourself names. You think you're a bad, bad person. No willpower. Lazy. And if you're me, stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid!  That's always my ultimate insult to myself, that I'm stupid.

Now this is the interesting part. How do you handle that collapse? Does it throw you into a tizzy, a week or a month long binge, or even longer? Or do you just tell yourself, okay, I collapsed. Screwed up. It's okay. I'm a human being capable of making mistakes. Where do you go from here? You get back on track. Immediately. Right now, this very minute.

I feel like this is exactly what I did. I've heard this and read this before. It's not exactly new information, but for some reason it worked this time. I immediately got back on track.

The toilet water trick

This is kind of gross, but I think this could work. Janis said if she's at someones house and they have junk to eat, such as fried chicken or fudge, she considers it the same as drinking toilet water. She said at home she wouldn't drink out of the toilet, why would she eat crap when she's at someones house. You've got to love Janis.

Now for the kind of bad news, the weigh-in

I'm not beating myself up about my weighin today. It's not great, but it could have been a lot worse.

My weight at my last meeting (7 weeks ago):

9/11/10  --  174.8

My weight today:

10/30/10 -- 178.2

Gained: +3.4 (in 7 weeks)

Total Loss since 2/12/2008:

61.0 Pounds

I'm not thrilled about this gain, but I'm also not bitterly disappointed in myself. Considering I haven't been tracking my food, and I tried the Geneen Roth plan of eat what I think my body wants and when I'm hungry, it's sort of a miracle I didn't gain a lot more weight.

I do have a new idea. It's called following the Weight Watcher plan. I've been off of it for so long that it almost feels like something new.

I have exactly 15 weeks until my three-year Weight Watcher anniversary on February 12, 2011. If you had told me three years ago that I still wouldn't be at goal by now, I would have laughed at you. I was so very determined back then. Somehow, I fell off track, lost sight of the prize, and have been playing around for far too long.

There's nothing like a good Weight Watcher meeting to set me on fire again...and I'm on fire!

Friday, October 29, 2010

It happened one night...a full-blown binge

It's strange how the harder I try to be "good", and the more I focus on thinking about always doing the right thing with food and exercise, the more obsessed I become with the idea of binging.

Yesterday was the culmination of weeks of work stress. There was some marriage stress mixed in there too but I think we've worked through that and are back on pretty solid ground. Things are winding down at work too, finally there's a feeling of calm after weeks and weeks of intense pressure to work faster and harder, along with major stress.

So what the hell happened? I don't really know how to explain it other than something just came over me. I've been feeling really hungry lately, but eating very clean, very healthy. Maybe my portions have sometimes been a little on the large side, but I haven't been gaining weight, just holding steady in the the 174-175 range. Not at all where I want to be (135).

I shop at a Northwest grocery store, Fred Meyers. It's a large grocery store, sort of a one-stop shopping kind of place. For the last couple of months they've had a big display of caramel frosted yellow cake sitting right by the check-out area. You have to pass it to get in line to check out your groceries. You can't miss this huge display of cake.

I have a thing for caramel. I love it. Anything caramel, it's my favorite. I don't really care for chocolate, but I'm in heaven with caramel. I also love yellow cake, hate chocolate cake. So this was a dangerous combination for me. Thick caramel frosting covering a tall two-layer yellow cake.

You can buy the cake in a package of two big slices, or 1/2 of the cake, or the entire cake. Every week I would look at this cake and think, no way! Poison for sure. I pass by it and head down the ice cream aisle to buy my sugar-free Skinny Cow sandwiches or the Weight Watcher fudge bars or the Dryers fruit bars (Pomegranate - 70 calories each). Week after week for at least two months.

Then yesterday happened. It was Halloween at work since most people work from home on Friday. I dressed up as a vampire in a very uncomfortable wig and lots of makeup (I'm doing it again this weekend so I'll post pictures). By mid-afternoon I felt kind of sick. The giant wig was hot, the hair from the wig was in my face all day and the makeup was itchy. I had only eaten my healthy lunch. I didn't touch the Halloween desserts or candy. I finally called it quits at 3pm and headed home.

On my way home I thought about that caramel cake. I thought about going home, ripping off the costume and washing my face and heading back to the store. I also thought about listening to Geneen Roth's "What to do in the middle of binge" CD that was sitting right there in the seat next to me in my car. I made the conscious decision that I just flat out didn't care. To hell with the diet and Geneen Roth (sorry Geneen...it's nothing personal).

I did exactly what I had planned. When I got home I changed clothes, washed off all the makeup and headed to Fred Meyers. I bought an entire caramel cake, three pints of Häagen-Dazs, a dozen bakery sugar cookies with pink frosting and a package of vanilla doublestuff Oreos, along with a gallon of 1% milk.

I ate 1/3 of the cake. The frosting was so sweet it literally hurt my teeth and it made my stomach hurt. I also ate one pint of the Häagen-Dazs. I had a miserable night. Of course, I ate all of this before my husband got home and I hid the remains. I tossed and turned all night. I had horrible night sweats, something I haven't had in weeks.

I broke every one of Geneen Roth's eating guidelines. Again, I just didn't care.

This morning was filled with regrets, but I got up and got myself to the gym for forty minutes of cardio. I'm heading back at noon for 40 minutes of strength.

When I came home from the gym I took the remaining caramel cake, the unopened Oreos and pink-iced sugar cookies, tore open the packages and dumped everything into a garbage bag. Then I cleaned the cat's litter box dumping the dirty litter on top of the food. I know that's really disgusting, but I've been known to pull things out of the garbage. The contents of the two remaining unopened Häagen-Dazs containers are now down the garbage disposal.

I just don't know how I feel about this whole thing. Why did I do that? It made me feel awful. Guilty. Sad. It didn't make anything in my life better. The entire time I was doing it I knew exactly what I was doing.

I haven't done anything that extreme for a very long time. Maybe even over a year or more. I've had a pint of ice cream a few times, but I haven't purchased a cake with the intention of eating the entire thing, along with two packages of cookies and three pints of ice cream. What the hell was I thinking? Was I even thinking anything?

I guess the difference between yesterday and my past full-blown binges is that I didn't actually eat the entire cake or the any of the cookies or all of the ice cream. In my past I would have continued the binge into today until every morsel was gone. I also would NOT have gone to the gym after a night of binging.

Maybe I have changed. Maybe I will be okay. It's just surprising to me how easily I can fall back into old, bad habits. It's disturbing that I seemed to be completely out of control yesterday.

Even though I've come a long way, I still have a long way to go...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another day, another dollar

I'm still alive! Work is kicking my butt again. Even though I promised myself only eight-hour days from here on out, sometimes it's just not possible. Considering the hours I've been working the last few months I'm probably working for minimum wage. Sad but true.

Although my manager did give me the "Parking Spot" award last week along with a $100 gift certificate for a dinner out. A nice gesture but I'm still working for minimum wage. The parking spot means I get to park in the spot of my choice for a month (next to the front door) with my name on the parking spot. I think this is the fourth time I've been given the parking spot in the last three years. It basically just tells you that I work too many hours.

I still haven't made it to a Weight Watcher meeting. This Saturday I've promised myself to go back to my favorite meeting and favorite leader. I'll have my official weighin, sit through the meeting, and once again start tracking my food. I'm just not ready at the moment to crack open the online food tracker and start tracking.

Lately I've been struggling with hunger. I'm not sure why, maybe it's the weather change, maybe it's just a problem I'll always have, but I've been feeling ravenous hunger the last few days. I'm cutting back a little. For example four ounces of chicken - weighed on the food scale - instead of eyeballing it and knowing it's really eight ounces. I've been really good at convincing myself that was okay because, you know, I work out so hard. The joke is on me.

I'm still going to the gym on a consistent basis, although not every day. Five or six times a week, last week was seven days, but I'm taking today off from the gym because of a very late night last night. I decided sleep was more important this morning.

Speaking of the gym, I was reading the Health magazine and it said if you're over fifty, you have do do a minimum of sixty minutes a day of moderate exercise...and that's just to maintain your weight! All because our metabolism is slowing down drastically now. I always do an hour, but not EVERY day. Sucks to get old.

Time to get going to work. I just thought I'd drop by and let you all know I'm still here, still struggling, but I'll never, ever give up!

~Diana
174.8

Friday, October 22, 2010

The endless journey

"The Endless Journey" might have been a better choice for my blog name. There are so many twists and turns in trying to figure out the right way to lose weight or even if there is a right way, that this journey is never going to end. It's a lifelong process trying to figure out what works. 

Some people figure out what works for them very quickly in the game, some people give up and never figure it out. Then there are people like me, learning something new every single day, that have some of the answers, but certainly not all of them.

Geneen Roth's book Women, Food and God provides a lot of the answers on what's wrong with me. It works if you follow her guidelines. If you don't, it doesn't work. It's just like every other plan, you can't just read the book, attend a workshop and then forget about it. You have to continue to work at it.

What I'm finding is that it's not easy to feel the pain instead of eating. In fact, it kind of hurts like hell. It's like ripping a band aid off of a wound and the scab sticks to the band aid and now you're in excruciating pain. I'm not sure how I feel about this type of introspection into my psyche. It's not pleasant and some days I'm just not up to it.

On the other hand, I suspect it's the only way I'll ever feel okay about food. I know this is a very slow process, undoing forty plus years of using food for comfort, not facing my reality, and it isn't going to change overnight.

I haven't posted since last Sunday, four days of silence. It was an odd week where I was extremely tired every day. Each night I came home and could barely move. I skipped the gym three days in a row due to pure exhaustion. Wednesday night I went to bed at 7:30pm and woke up at 7:30am Thursday morning, twelve hours of sleep. I guess I was tired.

I have today off from work, for no particular reason. I just felt like I needed a day off. I weighed this morning and I'm 174.6 which is oddly almost exactly the weight in my blog profile. I think that was posted a couple of months ago. Although I'm not gaining weight and I'm eating well (probably a little too well), I'm not losing weight.

I'll be honest, I don't like following Geneen Roth's eating guidelines. It's  a lot harder than it sounds. My least favorite guideline is #3. I find it almost impossible to just sit quietly and eat, without doing anything else. On Geneen's CD that I purchased at her workshop, she said you should try to do this once a day in the beginning, more often if possible, and at the very least a few times a week. It's not easy.

Geneen Roth's Eating Guidelines

1. Eat when you are hungry. (Truly hungry, body hungry not mind hungry)

2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car.

3.Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspaper, books, intense or anxiety producing conversation and music.

4. Eat only what your body wants. (Big difference from what your MIND wants!)

5. Eat until you are satisfied. (This is different than full).

6. Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.

7. Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.
I've decided on a different route to get to my goal weight. It's a hybrid of the above eating guidelines AND Weight Watchers. I realize this doesn't sound possible, but it really is possible. I can still do the above eating guidelines but also attend Weight Watcher meetings and follow their eating plan.
 
My goal is by December 31, 2010, lose ten pounds. That's not a crazy amount of weight in ten weeks, but it is the holidays which makes it a tiny bit harder than normal. I feel more at peace with this idea than just doing it on my own. I also know at my current weight that my weight loss is pretty slow, unless I starve myself. I have no intention of starving myself. Been there, done that and it doesn't work in the long run.
 
The endless journey continues...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The lost weekend

I said I'd post my driver's license pictures from the last twenty years today. I started to but after fighting with Photoshop for about an hour trying to crop them and change the blurriness I decided I'm just to tired and it's past my bedtime. Maybe later this week. They all look like mugshots anyway so I'm not sure why I want to post them. Some of them are really bad pictures. Especially the one where I weighed 240 pounds that was taken five years ago. I look like I'm wearing a fat suit.

My weekend was okay, but I worked both days. Saturday from home and today I went into the office. All I can say about that is "yuk". Not fun to work on the weekends. I want my life back.

My scales lured me back on to them today. Old habits are hard to break. I was actually down to 173.6. So I actually lost the 1.4 I gained plus another .4. In the big picture, that's really nothing. I still want to lose at least another thirty or more pounds, but I refuse to go on a "diet".
I like not being so stressed out by my eating. I even had a glass of wine yesterday without guilt. I'm cutting back a bit on my portion sizes. I know how much I should eat and this isn't a free-for-all where I can eat until I'm stuffed. The idea is still to lose weight, but not get so crazy about it. I don't want it to consume me like it has in the past.

I want to write more about the other eating guidelines, but right now, I can barely stay awake. Later, I promise.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I'm amazingly okay with my weight gain

Today is my weigh-in day. After a full week of practicing Geneen Roth's Women Food and God eating guidelines I stepped on the scales. I knew I had gained a little. Over the years I've become very attuned to the ups and downs of my weight. I always know if it's going to be a gain or a loss.

Before I looked down at the number I had a conversation with myself. It went something like this:

"Diana, it's okay. If you've gained and you probably have, it's not a big deal. This is an experiment. Something new you've never tried before. It's just a number. It doesn't define you. Remember, this was a good week regardless of what you see on the scales."

I looked down and saw 175.4. Last week I was 174.0. A gain of 1.4 pounds. Did I have just a twinge of regret? Yes, just a twinge. Not a foot-stomping, full-out "I hate myself" reaction that I would normally have over a weight gain.

I realize I don't really understand when I'm hungry. If you consider that for 42 years I've either been on some sort of restrictive diet to lose weight or on a full-out binge streak, it's not surprising that I don't know how to listen to my body and give it what it needs. I haven't been listening to it for 42 years. Things aren't going to change in a week.

Although I have made huge strides this past week. Things happened that I never thought possible. My night eating almost stopped. I slept better than I have in months or even years. I didn't feel stressed out about my eating. I felt more relaxed. I felt satisfied with my food. I ate healthy, wholesome food.

Then last night happened. It was not a good night for me. I got home late from a Toastmaster's function and then proceeded to get into a huge argument with my husband. He went to bed mad at me. I'd eaten an early dinner at 4pm before the function and it was 11pm. I was starving.

I ate until I was stuffed: a big handful of pecans, a piece of bread, a banana, a large bowl of my South Beach veggie chicken soup, 1/2 of a cantaloupe, a tapioca pudding cup and about 1/2 cup of Redi-Whip straight out of the can (I would have had more, but the can was empty). I felt physically sick and mentally hurt.

Why did I do that? It's pretty obvious. I was frustrated, angry, hurt, and feeling lost and alone. Not good emotions. I was also very tired from another incredibly stressful work week. I didn't want to feel the pain of all of it so I ate. I shoved those feelings down with food. I knew what I was doing but I did it anyway.

On the other hand I ate normally the rest of the week. 167 hours of normal behavior with food. One hour of craziness. I say that's about a 99% improvement over my past behavior when it came to food.

I didn't follow all the eating guidelines perfectly last week, but it isn't about perfection. They're guidelines, not rules.

It's more about trying to be more normal. Learning to listen to my body. More importantly, figuring out if it's hunger or something else. I was amazed at how often I identified it as something else. I think that's a big reason why I stopped eating late at night, with the exception of last night. I would consciously think, am I really hungry? Or is something else bothering me? Most of the time, it was something else.

Last night I was a little hungry when I got home since it was so late, and I'd eaten at 4pm. I was also extremely tired. Even though I was very aware that I should stop eating, and that I was actually really angry and hurt by the argument with my husband, I still chose food. I just wanted my old friend, food, to comfort me. It didn't work. I woke up today feeling like the food was still in my stomach. Feeling sluggish and more tired than when I had gone to bed.

On the exercise front I've been doing excellent. The past seven days I've hit the gym every day for a great workout. The old StairMaster at my gym finally completely stopped working about three months. It was my favorite piece of equipment. I spent many hours on it climbing the stairs to nowhere.

A couple weeks ago I asked the young receptionist if there was a possibility they could get a replacement StairMaster from another gym. A friend told me the Ballys in Bellevue had three new StairMasters. Now we had none. Why couldn't we get one of theirs? She said she'd look into it and she did!

I walked in yesterday and there sat a beautiful, almost new StairMaster. It was like Christmas! I jumped on it even though I'd already done 45 minutes of cardio on the CrossRamp in another room, but I did 20 minutes on the StairMaster. She was quiet and smooth as I climbed her stairs and her heart rate monitor works! She could read my Polar heart rate monitor. Oh how I love thee!

So another week of trying to follow the eating guidelines. I'm still not tracking my food or counting Points or calories, although it's really hard not to add things up in my head. After years of restriction or binging, this isn't an easy process.

I still won't be weighing in every day. That's another really  hard habit to break, but it was also freeing. It felt good to get up and know I didn't have to beat myself up over my weight. I'll weigh in again next Saturday. I don't have a fear of another gain, although it could happen. I'll probably cut back a little. My bowls of soup have been about three times what I would normally eat. I probably took the "what my body needs" to more of what my mind wants instead.

Tomorrow I'm going to post my driver's license pictures from the last twenty years. I found them in a box from my decluttering my life binge I've been on lately. Kind of interesting how my weight has gone up and down during the years and how much I lied on my driver's licenses about it. The only time I told the truth was in 1995 when I weighed 126 pounds. I remember weighing that morning before I went to the DMV and thinking wow, I can actually tell them what I really weigh and not be embarrassed about it.  That was probably the last time I was actually happy with my weight. Fifteen years ago. Sad.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What it means to me: Eating Guideline #1 Eat when hungry

When I first read Geneen Roth's Women Food and God last July, I was very excited. It was all I could talk about. I was about three fourths of the way through the book when I read about the Eating Guidelines.

I couldn't wait to read the "Eating Guidelines". So I skipped ahead to page 111, eagerly reading what I just knew would change my life.

Guideline #1 - Eat when hungry.

What the hell? I was angry. Furious at this Geneen Roth woman. She must be a freaking idiot to write such nonsense. Eat when hungry? Seriously? Excuse me lady, but that's what got me up to 240 pounds. If I had kept eating when I was hungry, in a few years I would weigh five hundred pounds. I'd become a bed person and they'd have to cut down the walls to get me out of my house. Eating when hungry? Who would think of such foolishness?

I felt like I'd been scammed. Cheated. I was hungry 24 x 7. I thought of food continually. If I really ate when I was hungry, I'd never put down my fork. So much for Geneen Roth. I was done with her.

Then there was the workshop. You have no idea how much I didn't want to go last weekend. I was dreading it. Thankfully Grace decided to go too. If it hadn't been for her I may have just not showed up, and then I would have missed one of the best learning experiences of my life.

Eat when hungry.

What does that mean? Sounds pretty obvious, if you're hungry, you eat. Not exactly rocket science. But wait. There's more. When are you hungry? Do you even know? I didn't. I thought I was always hungry. I thought I had some type of mental or physical disease. Most people don't obsess about food like me. It's like there was something wired wrong in my brain, something that made me think I always needed to eat.

After the workshop I started to really analyze my feelings of hunger. Was I really hungry? Or was it something else?

Maybe I was hurt because my husband said something insensitive, or he left for work without a goodbye kiss, just a "bye, see you later!" as he ran out the door.

Maybe it was worry about my job and that stupid NY Times article about if you're unemployed now at age 55 you'll probably never work again.

Maybe it's rejection, lack of love, fear of being homeless...maybe it's none of those things, maybe I'm just thirsty or bored.

I remember once I told a coworker that I was starving to death. I was being super strict with my diet (Weight Watchers), and I was really hungry. His comment was "well, eat something!". My response, "I can't do that! I might gain weight!".

Stupid, stupid girl. I really was hungry. Why didn't I just eat? Because I was afraid of gaining weight. It's been my lifelong theme.

I'm coming to terms with the idea of eating when I'm actually hungry. What's harder is coming to terms when it's something else and that something isn't thirsty or bored. What about rejection? Or the feeling of not being loved and cherished? Loneliness. Sadness. Past hurts. Current hurts. Fear. Feeling those emotions isn't fun. It would be easier to push them down with food. It's easier to just not think about the bad stuff.

The thing I'm most amazed about is that this isn't the hardest guideline for me, although it's somewhat difficult facing all those emotions I use to smash down with food. I was sure it was going to be impossible. I was sure I'd want to go on a full out binge. Surprisingly I really have no desire to eat like a crazed, food obsessed mad woman.

For the first time in 42 years, I think I know what it's like to eat like a normal person. Normal has always been my goal. I just want to feel normal about food, and I want to be a normal weight.

I'm still early into this process, and I have a lot to learn about myself. It's only been five days and I'm sure there will be bumps in the road. I only know that in a short time I've made huge advances in how I feel about food, about myself. I feel more comfortable with my decisions of what I'm eating, more relaxed. Calm.

Eat when hungry. Apparently it is possible for me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Healing thyself

During the past four days I've come the realization just how sick I was when it came to food. I have abused it my entire life.

Tonight as I was eating dinner, distraction free, I realized this is the first time I wasn't either on a diet of some kind or in the midst of a full-blown binge. I'm a black and white kind of gal, either I'm on a diet or I'm not. If I'm not, then it's a literal food fest, eating anything and everything in sight.

For four days I've eaten like a "normal" person. I haven't binged, eaten in the middle of the night, or eaten mindlessly. I haven't stuffed myself until my tummy hurt. I haven't eaten in front of the TV or while reading reading a book or while on the laptop. I haven't had crazy cravings or felt like I was going to die if I didn't eat something or in some cases, everything.

I also haven't abused my new found freedom. I'm eating a few things I haven't eaten in a really long time. Today instead of Stevia I added honey to my Greek yogurt.

Dinner tonight was a very small piece of top sirloin steak, broiled to perfection. The piece was pretty small, but I cut it into small bites and savored each one. I had red bell pepper slices drizzled with real blue cheese dressing. Not a lot, but enough so that each piece had a small amount. I had Brussels sprouts again, but without Smart Balance, just a little sea salt. My beverage was a glass of milk of 1% milk. It was a very tasty and enjoyable dinner. I felt totally satisfied.

This morning I made my favorite soup. It's a South Beach recipe, Chicken and Veggie Chowder (the recipe is at the end of this post). In the past when I'd make this soup, I'd cook the chicken separately and then careful weigh four ounces of chicken for each serving. Today I just added all the cut-up chicken breasts in with everything else, just like the recipe says you're suppose to do. It'll all work out in the end. This is part of my healing process, to stop being so compulsive about my food, always worrying about it. Always trying to be exactly perfect in my eating. It's exhausting.

I'm trying to look at food differently. Instead of it being my main source of pleasure as well as my main source of pain, I'm trying to look at it for what it really is...a source of nutrition for my body. If it tastes good, that's a bonus, and then it also becomes a source of pleasure.

I'm also trying to listen to my body more, not my mind. Of course my mind would like candy and cake and ice cream. My body, not so much. I didn't post this last week because it was embarrassing, but Monday of last week, in the midst of my cold, I had a pint of ice cream, Ben and Jerry's Heath Bar. I ate the whole thing. The I ate an entire package of vanilla Oreos. An entire package. I was so sick I thought I was going to die. I had night sweats from the sugar. Horrible night sweats where I was drenched. I think if my body could have killed me at that moment, it would have. The funny thing, none of it tasted that good. Probably because I had a cold, but it really wasn't worth it.

Another discovery these past few days is that I really hate coffee. I've always hated it. It's okay if you add sugar and milk, but plain coffee, yuk. Yet I've been drinking it, along with a few caffeine pills here and there and then sleeping pills at night. It's a miracle my body didn't just shut down a long time ago because of the abuse I've dumped on it. I've almost entirely cut out the coffee, and have stopped the caffeine pills and sleeping pills entirely

I've been thinking about all the diet plans I've been on in my life. The list is endless. Every single one of them was restrictive, and I would follow them perfectly, 100%. For a certain amount of time. Then, I'd reach my breaking point and all bets were off. I'd become a crazed, food obsessed nut case.

The hardest part for me is the math. Stopping myself from doing the math in my head. I know the calories, fat grams, carbs in almost every food. I know the Weight Watcher Points as well. When I'm preparing a meal I find myself adding up the items. I have to consciously tell myself to "STOP IT!". It's not important right now.

Also, for the record, I'm not following any diet. I was thinking back to when I felt my healthiest and was when I was eating the foods recommended by the South Beach Diet. Since I'm not on a "diet", I'm not following the SB Diet per se, but I did enjoy the foods on that "diet" the most. The difference though is if I want a little honey in my oatmeal or my yogurt, I'm going to have it.

I'm really curious how this week is going to end. Will I gain weight? Will I lose weight? Will I be furious if I gain a couple pounds? I'm trying to keep an open mind about this. It's an experiment, to see if I can be normal when it comes to food. To see if I can really heal thyself.

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's just the beginning

After my long, soul-searching post yesterday, I feel about a million times better about my life. I know it's only been a couple of days, but I feel so different that it's hard to put it into words.

For the first time in my life, I'm not consumed by thoughts of food. When will I eat? What will I eat? How much will I eat? Will I eat too much? Will I eat the wrong thing? Will I gain weight if I eat that? Will I have a binge today? Will I lose control?

It's like I've been under an evil spell for over forty years. A spell that was cast on me to always make me worry about what I eat. To always be fearful of food. To always have food be in control of me and not me in control of it.

It's like I found the source of my pain, which was actually compounded by how I've handled the pain, discomfort, sadness, and loneliness in my life. I avoided it. I ate to stop the feelings. I refused to face the pain because it just hurt too much. Instead, it was better to eat away the pain. The only problem with that little theory is that it doesn't work.
Today I canceled my Weight Watcher membership. I've only been going to about one meeting a month and honestly, I've lost interest in it. It's served it's purpose for me. I know what to eat, and how much to eat. I understand portion size and the Weight Watcher healthy eating guidelines. Now it's time for me to move on, to try something different. Not another diet. Not another weight loss plan. Instead, I want to stop my war with food.

Still, it's scary to leave Weight Watchers after almost three  years. I can always rejoin, however, I don't think I'll ever want to.

I weighed this morning on my scales here at home. 174.0 pounds. Afterwards I placed the scales on the top shelf in the back of my closet. I need a step stool to get to them.

I have weighed myself every day for the last 42 years. I've made myself crazy with those weighins. It's time to stop it. At least for now. I need to give the daily weighins a break. I'll weigh again next Saturday.

Today I followed Geneen's seven eating guidelines. It was not easy, but it made a huge difference. I bought her CD where she explains the eating guidelines in depth. She said it's all or nothing. You can't say you don't like doing one thing and then decide to just not do it. It doesn't work that way.

I know that's true because that's what I tried last summer when I read the book. I didn't like #3, Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music. This one is the hardest for me. I'm getting use to it now, but it was very odd the first couple of times. It really makes me focus on what I'm eating, because well, there's just nothing else to focus on. Surprisingly, it makes me feel a lot more satisfied with my meal.

Today I ate what my body wanted. I didn't weigh or measure most of my food, except the oatmeal. I didn't write down what I ate or figure out the calories or the Points. I didn't worry about it. You can't even begin to imagine how this made me feel. It was very difficult, but it also felt like freedom.

In case you're wondering, here's what I had to eat today and all of this food is really what I felt like my body wanted. I won't be posting my food every day, because that bores me pieces to write about what I eat. I just wanted to show you what I ate when trying to not be totally restrictive with my food.

1 cup of coffee with Stevia and 1% milk (maybe 1/4 cup -?)
1/2 cup oatmeal, microwaved with a cup of water
some dried cranberries, maybe 20 (?)
a few walnuts, maybe 6 halves (?)
a splash of 1% milk
1 tablespoon of Splenda/brown sugar mix. I would have used honey but we didn't have any.
1 small banana

I savored every bite and it was delicious.

I somehow missed lunch and found myself at the gym at 4pm starving to death. That was a total accident because I was running errands and forgot to eat. I had some Kashi bars in my car, some new pumpkin pecan bars. I ate two. I checked the label because I still do that, and they were 120 calories each. This was the only time I didn't follow the not eating in the car guideline, but I was parked at the gym and not listening to the radio.

I worked out doing cardio for an hour at the gym.

When I walked in the door at home, I was once again starving. I'd burned over 500 calories during my workout.

I decided to have another snack before I made dinner.

1 small banana
about 1/2 a glass of 1% milk maybe 3/4 cup

I sat at the table, slowly eating the banana, drinking the milk. I really wanted to shove it in my mouth and drink the milk in one big gulp, but I took the time to taste the banana and enjoy my snack.

Dinner was simple and it really was what I wanted, which is oddly what I eat quite often.

A large chicken breast, much larger than my normal 4 ounces, but I didn't weigh it. It was broiled with the Costco Sweet Mesquite Seasoning (love that stuff), and served with a little barbecue sauce
Brussels Sprouts, more than my normal serving, maybe 1 1/2 cups
Cherry tomatoes
A big glass of water

About an hour after dinner I had a KozyShack tapioca cup. It was not sugar-free. Topped with a squirt (a large one) of non-fat Redi-whip, which I won't be eating again. The pudding was wonderful, the Redi-whip was gross.

I'm cutting back on the sugar-free junk I've been eating. I'll still use Stevia because I don't mind the taste of it. I won't be eating a lot of sugar because it doesn't make me feel good. When I eat a lot of it, I get night sweats really bad. A small amount is okay, a lot is bad for me.

It's almost 9:30pm, and I'm going to eat a smallish Honeycrisp apple before I go to bed.

This is a lot more food than I normally eat, but I don't think I'll be getting up and gorging myself on a 500 to a 1,000 midnight snack tonight

I'm really curious if a week of eating like this will make a difference. Am I being stupid thinking I don't need to count every calorie I put in my mouth? Is this a mistake? Yes, it's that voice talking to me again, telling me I'm going to screw this up and gain a hundred pounds.

It needs to shut up.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Why I've been broken all these years

Some of what I learned at Geneen Roth's Women Food and God workshop this past weekend...

For as long as I can remember I've never understood my relationship with food. I'd read about other people struggling with food the same as me, but they always seemed to have a tragic story in their background. It made sense why they turned to food for comfort.

For me, it just didn't make any sense at all. I've had a fairly good life. My childhood was the life of a princess. I was loved and cared for, I was told I was the most beautiful and the smartest girl in the world. I was told I could do anything, be anything. I was spoiled and showered with not only love, but worldly possessions as well. I thought we were rich when I was a kid. I learned later in life that my parents were of modest means, but they sacrificed a lot so I could have whatever I wanted. I was blessed with a loving family and a good life.

Since I was about thirteen years old I've had an unnatural relationship with food. I've struggled with my weight my entire life. I've often said that I was "broken" when it came to food. I've felt like something was wrong inside of me. That food was too important to me. I wasn't normal when it came to how I thought about food. I didn't understand why. I kept searching for answers but always came up empty.

I even wondered if maybe I was sexually molested as a child and didn't remember it. I've read about how sexual molestation sometimes cause women to turn to food for comfort. I knew for me that was ridiculous. I lived a charmed life and nothing bad had ever happened to me. So what the hell was wrong with me?

Friday night Geneen had us do a visualization. It involved imagining our mother being there and what she would say to us at the weight we were now. My first thought was, "Oh God, she's going to blame our problems on our mothers! No way in hell my mother caused me to be fat and compulsively overeat."

I went along with the visualization, imagining my mother being there, telling me how beautiful I was and how healthy I looked. She'd tell me I was smart and I could succeed at anything I put my mind to. She always said those things to me, no matter how fat I was or how ugly and stupid I felt. I knew she would hug me, and love me just as I am today. It wouldn't matter if I was 125 pounds or 240 pounds.

As I was imagining my mother, picturing her there with me, something clicked inside my head. Something I've never thought about before. Something that explains the broken Diana.

When I was thirteen there was a terrible event that changed my life forever. My father died of a massive heart attack. He was 51 years old. My mother was 48. They had been married for thirty three years. Their marriage was the kind people dream about. They were best friends and lovers until the end. They held hands, they always greeted each other with a kiss and always said goodbye with a kiss. They never yelled at each other, and I don't even remember them ever having an arugment. They would sit at the kitchen table at night and talk for hours. They enjoyed each other's company. They did everything together. They were in love. I honestly can't even remember hearing a raised voice between them.

My father died at home, suddenly and very unexpectedly. My mother and I were home and we witnessed my father's heart attack and watched him dying in front of us. By the time the ambulance arrived he was already gone.

Life changed dramatically. My mother went into deep grieving for a year. I've never seen anyone weep so hard. It was like her heart was shattered into a million pieces. It was just my mother and myself. My brother and sister are much older and lived in other states with their families. All my aunts and uncles, cousins, and all our relatives lived outside of Alaska. It was just my mom and me, together to face the world alone.

After a year on the homestead we moved to Fairbanks so my mother could go to work. She had never worked outside the home. I was fourteen. I left all my friends I'd known since the first grade. In high school I was painfully shy. I made a few friends, but I wasn't popular. I didn't fit into the big city life. I was scared. Scared of everything. I didn't join any clubs or do any school activities. I never had a boyfriend or even dated in high school.

My mother and I became best friends. We did everything together. All through high school I'd rather hang out with my mom than anyone else. I remember many weekends where we would eat all weekend and watch TV. Friday night we'd go to the store and buy anything we wanted to eat. T-bone steaks, potatoes, sour cream, buttered vegetables or salads with thick full-fat salad dressings were all on the menu. Desserts were anything we wanted and as much as we wanted, cakes, pies, cookies, ice cream. Nothing was off limits.

My mom always had a weight problem and her weight climbed up to 260 pounds during those years. I was fighting my weight all the time, with intermittent crash diets but the fattest I ever got in high school was 145 pounds. Thankfully I had the metabolism of a teenager and even though I was abusing food I somehow managed to maintain my weight around 135 most of the time (I was 5' 6").

Still, we ate like pigs. It was fun. It was something we shared, that we loved to do together.

Now let me back up to something that Geneen talked about before the visualization on Friday night. She talked about pain, about eating compulsively to block out the pain. We don't want to face the pain because it hurts too much. So we stuff it down with food. Momentarily this blocks the pain. In the end though we still have the original pain as well as the pain from the overeating. The guilt. The weight gain. The self-hatred for overeating. We have now essentially doubled the pain. We need to feel the pain, let it wash over us, because it can't kill us. It's unpleasant, but not deadly. Even though we may think we're going to die from a broken heart, most likely, we will not die.

Geneen also spoke about how we often live with rules and ideas we learned twenty or thirty years ago. Even though they are based on false principles, we still follow them.

Back to 1968 through 1973. My mother and I never discussed my father's death. Even though we were both deeply wounded by it and missed him like crazy, we never talked about it. In those days (1968 is when he died) there wasn't any grief counseling. No one ever came to me and asked me how I felt, how I was dealing with my loss. The only thing I heard from anyone was that they were sorry. As a thirteen year old girl I had to deal with it on my own. I cried myself to sleep every night for about a year, and sometimes even to this day I cry about the unfairness of the entire situation, for both my mother and myself.

Friday night this all suddenly clicked in my head. I learned the way to deal with pain was food. I learned that lesson at thirteen years old and have been following it for the last 42 years.

When I came home Friday night I really gave this a lot of thought. I thought about how when my husband and I argue and I feel rejection that I turn to food. I never think about the pain of the rejection or the feelings of not being loved. That's too painful, it hurts to much. It's easier and safer to push it down with food. It's easier to not think about it.

It suddenly made sense to my why I've been broken so long. It was a true "aha!" moment for me. As Roxie put it, a moment of clarity that explains my life. My sick and obsessive relationship with food.

Last night after the second day of the workshop, I came home and did something I haven't done in years. First, I made myself go to the gym. Now that's not unusual, but this time I made a promise to myself and kept it. I was exhausted, mentally and physically. I told myself thirty minutes of cardio, no more. I went to the gym and did thirty minutes of cardio, no more, and came home. Even though I was feeling better and could have done more cardio and some weights, I told myself a promise is a promise. Even one to myself shouldn't be broken.

When I came home from the gym my husband had made dinner. It was on the stove. Grilled steaks. Frozen mixed vegetables that had been microwaved and half of a sweet potato. It was 7pm, and I was starved. Normally I wouldn't have touched this meal with a ten-foot pole. The steak was well-done because that's how he likes his meat and he knew I wouldn't eat it anyway. I never touch beef and can't even remember the last time I had a steak. The vegetables had corn and carrots, mixed with green beans and Lima beans. Too many starchy vegetables for me. They looked like they had some Smart Balance on them. He always adds it to his vegetables. Still, it looked tasty. I was hungry.

I wanted to feed my body what it needed. It needed fuel. I hadn't eaten much all day. Grace and I had packed our healthy lunches for the conference, and I'd had a light breakfast. I looked at the meal my husband had made and thought okay, maybe 500-600 calories. No idea how much that steak weighs. Kind of small, but no idea.

I put the food on a plate, sat down at the table by myself, no book, no magazine, no music, no TV, no laptop, no distractions. Just me and my food. It was a strange experience. I ate each bite slowly. It tasted exquisite. The steak, although a little overdone, was perfectly seasoned. The mixed frozen vegetables were yummy (and yes, I could taste the light Smart Balance that tasted like butter), and the sweet potato was soft and flavorful. It was a delightful meal.

What was difficult was being alone with my thoughts. Rehashing everything I'd learned about myself in the workshop.

I feel like I've only uncovered the tip of the iceberg, but at least I know it's there. I have a lot of work to do on myself. Not only how I look at food, but how I deal with pain, discomfort, and rejection. I have a long road ahead of me but it's one I'm willing to travel.

I went to bed last night at 10pm. No wine and no sleeping pill. My husband was already asleep. I didn't toss and turn like normal, but I was asleep within minutes. I slept through the night until 6am. I woke up feeling like life is good and that I'm not broken anymore. I felt refreshed, alive. That is the first time in years that I didn't wake up at 3am and toss and turn until it was time to get up. It's also the first time in weeks, maybe months, that I didn't get up and stuff my face with food in the middle of the night as my husband slept.

My life has definitely taken a turn for the better. Getting to know me isn't quite as bad as I had imagined. It's painful, reliving things from my past and how they affect my present. It hurts to face the pain instead of eating it away with food. It feels good to know I'm not broken beyond repair and can finally come to a place of peace with food.

*******************

Please note, I do not in any way, shape or form blame my mother for anything that is wrong with me. She was an angel and loved me more than life itself. It's just something that happened to both of us, but it's something I can repair in myself.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Geneen Roth's workshop - Day 2

Grace and me at the Women Food and God workshop


I got a lot more out of this workshop than I expected. I don't even know where to start. I learned things I didn't expect to learn, and I didn't learn things I thought I would learn. The workshop isn't just about our relationship with food, it's about a lot more. It's about our relationship with ourselves.

I have a lot I want to write, but I'm exhausted. It was extremely emotionally draining. Looking inside of myself isn't exactly a fun thing to do. There's a lot of pain involved. I promise I'll write more details about this later. I've been jotting down notes all night, but can't quite get my thoughts together on it yet.

Also, Geneen isn"t "skinny", she's just a very small, petite woman. She's very healthy looking.

I loved hanging out with Grace all day. She's just a total kick in the pants, and she made what could have been an intensely emotionally unpleasant day into a fun day. I love her sense of humor and her laugh. We did get in trouble from Geneen about talking too much. I felt bad about that and didn't realize we were disruptive. I felt like I was in grade school again. Oh well, I'd do it again. We had a lot of fun (in between the crying stuff).

The best part of the Geneen Roth workshop

It's midnight and once again, I can't sleep. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever sleep again. Insomnia sucks.

Tonight I attended the first three hours of the Geneen Roth "Women Food and God" workshop. Tomorrow is eight more hours. Remember I read the book last July and got on the G.R. bandwagon. Quoting the book. Saying it was the best thing since sliced bread.

You may have (or may not have) noticed I stopped talking about her and the book. I sort of fell out of love with the whole idea of intuitive eating and Geneen.

I almost didn't even go to the workshop. Luckily I was able to make contact with a fellow blogger that lives in the area. I knew she was also attending the workshop. We'd never met but had exchanged a few emails over the last couple of years.

Meeting Grace was absolutely best part of the evening! Grace from Grace's Notes (and formerly from 55 Alive and Losing It). OH. MY. GOSH. I love her! It's like I've know her my entire life. She's funny as heck, super easy to talk to, and it was just like I had run into an old friend. It was super cool. Plus she's gorgeous! Beautiful blue eyes that sparkle, gorgeous strawberry blond hair. Sweet smile. And she's thin, but in a good, healthy way. Other than Geneen (who I think is too skinny),  I think Grace was the healthiest looking person in the room of 800 women.

It's so funny to see pictures of someone on their blog, read about their thoughts and struggles with weight, read about their life and then to actually get to meet them in real life. Truly one of the best experiences of my life.

About the workshop, well, so far, I'm not sure what I think. Some of the things Geneen talked about make a lot of sense. Some of the visualization stuff she had us do made me cry. I think I sort of had a revelation about my compulsive overeating. All these years I said it was just because I love food. Something she had us visualize made me go holy cow! Okay, I really said "holy crap!" but I'm try to clean up my vocabulary. I think I know why I'm like this and have serious food issues. I'm still trying to absorb the whole thing and will write more about it later, once I figure out what it means and if having this new knowledge about myself is valuable. It's something I never thought about before, until tonight. Like I said, more on this later.

I guess I'll try to sleep now. I'm exhausted but not sleepy. I have to be back at the Seatac Hilton at 8am for the workshop. Hopefully I'll find a way to fix what is broken in me when it comes to my relationship with food.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Today was a little piece of hell

I just got home. It's almost 11pm. Our beta software release (that I was in charge of the deployment) literally went to hell in a handbasket. I won't bore you with details but we had a rollback after major problems and then I spent ten hours with various developers and my manager trying to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. The list of what went wrong is long. A shorter list would be what went right. As one dev said, it was a major FUBAR. Don't know what that means? Google it. :)

I have my alarm set for 4:50am. I am going to the gym come hell or high water. Actually, today was sort of like hell. Major high stress. I didn't realize until 8pm I had not gone to the bathroom or drank any water or had a bite to eat...all day. Today, of all days, I skipped breakfast and skipped the gym. I just wasn't hungry and I was tired so slept in until 7am.

Little did I know I wouldn't be eating anything until 8pm. My manager brought me a turkey Subway at 2pm but I didn't have time to eat it until 8pm. The best sandwich I've ever tasted in my life!

I'm actually a little excited about my Geneen Roth workshop this weekend. I've emailed Grace so I sure hope I hear from her. I'm sure I'll learn something and meet some interesting people. I'm actually sort of looking forward to it. At least I won't be at work!

Not much else to post. I'm going to bed and hoping to sleep (if I can just calm down and turn off my brain...please...sleep would be a blessed release right now).

Graciela...Grace...where are you?

Help! Does anyone know how to contact Grace? She had two blogs, 55 and Losing It, and a newer blog, Grace Notes. She hasn't posted anything since August 24. I miss her blogging, but I really need to talk to her.

We were suppose to meet up at the Geneen Roth workshop in Seattle this weekend (the Women Food God workshop). Unfortunately after searching my emails I can't find the email with her contact information. Which is odd because I rarely delete emails, and I remember specifically when we exchanged emails (I was on vacation in July).

If you know how to contact Grace, please let me know. I'm actually more excited about meeting Grace than hearing Geneen talk.

Speaking of the workshop, I'm not as over the top about the book God Food and Women as I was back in July. I wrote several posts about how wonderful it was and how I felt like Geneen was speaking to me.

Perhaps at the workshop I'll gain some new insight I didn't get from the book. I think it'll be interesting, but after giving the intuitive eating a try for a month, I'm not so sure this old dog can learn that new trick. It seems to me that eating exactly what I want when I really want it has been my problem my entire life and what helped me gain 100 pounds. Yes, I know there was a lot more in the book than what I just put in that one sentence, but that's the jest of what I remember (perhaps I should review the book before this weekend).

I'm sure I wasn't doing the intuitive eating thing right because it seems to work for a lot of people. The people in Geneen's book, and people in blogs that I read, it just didn't work out very good for  me.

Maybe it's 40 years of guilt I've felt from eating "forbidden" food. I just can't get past the idea that it's okay to eat a cookie when I really want it, because in all honesty, I ALWAYS want a cookie. With me one cookie turns into a dozen cookies. I especially can't get past the idea it's just wrong to eat cookies when I need to lose 40 pounds to get to my ideal weight (175.6 this morning...ugh!).

I'm still excited about the workshop. Hearing a famous author speak is always interesting, especially when it's about something that seems to be my life's work...weight loss. Kind of sad that I even think that way. One's life's work should have a higher purpose.

Not much else to report. My cold was almost a non-event. I was only sick for two days. I drank NyQuil and stayed in bed. I slept about 20 hours Sunday and Monday. Tuesday I was almost back to my old self and went back to work.

I was actually going to the gym this morning after a three-day absence, but after a bout of insomnia last night I decided to sleep in for an hour. Then when I realized I can't find Grace, I'm hoping someone out there can help me find her. It would be very sad if I miss the opportunity to meet her at the workshop.

Today's our beta software release, after a week delay. It's the one we've been cranking on for the last few months. Beta for us means pushing the software to production in one city. It's nerve wracking to say the least. I always worry about what if the testers didn't catch some big, bad bug. Something that could delay flights and bring some very unwanted attention to our team. It's happened before. It's not the end of the world when that happens, although it kind of feels like it when you're in the moment. I'm hoping for the best.

I also have my mid-year performance review today with my manager. And I have my Toastmasters meeting. I'm VP of membership now which means I have a bunch of new responsibilities. Does it sound like I wish this day was already over? :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It's not allergies

I woke up this morning feeling extremely tired. My nose was itchy and stuffy. I thought it was just allergies.

It really didn't occur to me I might have a cold. Even though my coworkers and my husband were sick this past wwek with a cold, I just assumed because I'm so strong and healthy it wouldn't take me down.

I was wrong. I'm beyond miserable right now. You know the feeling. Stuffed up nose, sore throat, agony.

Other than that, I had a good day.

1.) I restarted my scarf.

2.) Read another chapter in "Such A Pretty Face". The further I get in this book the more I love it.

3.) Grocery shopped.

4.) A great gym workout (36 minutes cardio, 40 minutes weight lifting).

5.) Stopped fighting with my husband. Last night we had a very bad disagreement. That always seems to happen when one of us gets totally wrapped up in work. We've made our apologies and things are good.

6.) Dropped off another bag of junk treasures to the Goodwill. My closet is looking good with almost bare floors and empty shelf space. I love getting rid of stuff. It's so freeing to just let go of things. They're just things, not treasures to me.

7.) Had a go-around with my pharmacist. Long story but it didn't end well for me. Someone messed up my asthma prescription and the pharmacist said I'd already picked it up today. Not true. Insurance wouldn't pay for a second prescription in same day. If I wanted it then I needed to fork over $340 dollars for a one month supply (Advair). Um, no, I don't think so. Hopefully I don't stop breathing over the weekend. My mistake for letting it run out...I guess.

8.) This is BIG - I tracked all my food today! Every single bite. 20.5 Points. I earned 7 Activity Points. I get 21 Points a day and usually eat the extra five (35 weeklies), plus lately, a bunch more. Today, I'm just not hungry.

9.) I discovered the Honeycrisp apples I've been eating, the gargantuan are actually 4 Points. Ouch.

And with that last thought, I'm going to bed.

The non-weight loss goals

I'm trying not to put all my attention on my weight loss efforts because, well, because it makes me nuts. Totally and absolutely nuts. Not to mention it's as boring as watching paint dry.

For three years it's been my focus. Oh heck, it's been my focus for the past forty plus years. Off and on for all those years I worried about my weight. I'm still concerned about it, but I can't give it 100% of my attention 100% of the time.

The two non-weight loss goals for the week were knitting and reading. It turns out I love both! I knew I loved reading, but the knitting is a bit of a surprise to me.

The knitting is so much more rewarding than I remember. It's fun to actually create something useful with my own two hands. Sadly though, I was half-way done with the scarf when I realized there was a problem. Way back on about row four (I was on row fifty) it appeared I had dropped a stitch and there was a hole in my scarf! I counted the stitches and sure as anything I only had eleven on the needle, I was suppose to have twelve. I don't know how I didn't notice it before but I noticed it this morning. I had to rip the entire thing out and start over. Oh well.

The book I'm reading is one that I can't put down, and it's not about diet or exercise or intuitive eating. It's completely fictional, a novel. What a "novel" idea for me. The last few books I read that weren't health related were non-fiction murder stories by Ann Rule. I decided it was time to branch out on my reading and read something a.) non-fiction and b.) non-violent.

The book is "Such A Pretty Face" by Cathy Lamb. It's a story about a 32-year old woman that has lost 170 pounds through bariatric surgery. It's not about the weight loss or the surgery, it's about her life afterwards, and her crazy family, as well as about her life that led up to her gaining 170 pounds. It's entertaining, funny as heck, and I'm loving it. In fact, I could barely put it down today. I finally had to force myself to set down the book, put on my workout clothes and now I'm just about ready to walk out the door for the gym.

Thank you
I want to thank each and every one you that leave comments on my blog. I've been really bad lately about visiting other blogs and leaving comments, which I fully intend to rectify this weekend. I just want you to know that I read every comment, and I'm amazed at the kindness and consideration of strangers. But you aren't strangers to me at all. You're real people, and I greatly appreciate your comments. Your encouragement and your kind words mean the world to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The longer I do this the harder it is to do

I know it just doesn't make any sense, does it? Given all my knowledge about weight loss and Weight Watchers and South Beach and Jenny Craig and NutriSystems and every other diet I've ever tried, this should be a walk in the park by now.

So tell me, why does it seem harder now than ever before in my life? I simply don't get it.

In the last three years I went from 240 pounds down to 152 pounds, then up to 174, then down to 156 then again up to 174. It's like I'm stuck in a rut and I can pull my self out of it. 

Honestly, I'm just sick and tired of myself and my weight. Every day all throughout my day I think about my weight. They say guys think about sex every 30 seconds, I think about food at least that often or more.

It's like I've broken whatever it was in me that was doing so well. It's like I almost don't even care anymore. My size 12's are snug. Not unbearably tight, yet. They could be with another 10 pounds. They're not loose and falling off of me like they were at 152 or even at 166.

I can't say I'm totally miserable. I still exercise on a consistent basis, cardio and weight lifting, but I eat too much. Therefore, I'm not happy with my body. I feel fat. I am fat.

I don't expect anyone to have the answer for me. I know I have to find it inside myself. Somehow. I just haven't figured it out yet. After a lifetime of doing this I still don't have the answers. It seems like the longer this goes on, the harder it is for me to keep doing it.

I'm not giving up and throwing in the towel. I'm just saying I feel kind of defeated at the moment. Like there's something terribly wrong with me that I can't beat this thing.

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...