Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sleepless in Seattle / 186.6

My night from hell
Last night was a real struggle for me to not binge. My husband went to bed at 10 p.m. since he was exhausted from yard work. Although I was tired from pulling weeds and planting the Gerbera Daisies and Lobelia (they're beautiful), I didn't feel sleepy. This always happens when we get a nice spring day here, yard work up the wazoo. Today it's back to gray skies and rain. Although I have to admit, everything is a brilliant emerald green, hence the label of the Emerald City.

I had managed to drag myself to the gym at 5 p.m.,and got in an hour and twenty minute workout. It wasn't something I wanted to do, but I told myself, very firmly, that not going to the gym wasn't an option. I'm dying without my StairMaster, and was forced to use the elliptical again for cardio. It's not my favorite, but better than the treadmill or the stationary bike. I lifted weights for forty minutes, but noticed I felt weaker than normal. The 20-pound dumbbells felt much heavier than I remembered. Maybe it's because I was tired from the yard work, or because it was late in the day, but it was a difficult workout.

My eating for the day was pretty close to perfect, and I had entered every bite into eTools (two days in a row!). I was under by six Points  but since I had eaten five fruits I figured it all worked out okay. I'm still a little opposed to the idea that fruits are free on Weight Watchers PointsPlus. A lot of people think this is the greatest thing they've every heard of. For me, an avid fruit eater for years, I tend to overdo the fruit. Especially when that wicked little voice in my head says, "Hey, fruit is free! Eat up!". Fruit has calories too, and it's a challenge for me to not overeat on fruit.

I finally went to bed around 11 p.m. last night and couldn't sleep. When I did sleep, I dreamed about food all night. I tossed and turned, woke up several times, practically every hour. I felt like I was starving to death, but my eTools told a different story. I ate more than enough for a "normal" person. I even dreamed I was sitting in a Weight Watchers meeting, something I've never dreamed about before. All night I had to fight the urge to not get out of bed and head to the kitchen, where I could satisfy the hunger.

It was a hard-fought battle last night, but I'm happy to say I won this round. I know many of you will agree that if you can just get a day or two under your belt of healthy eating and exercise, it gets easier every day.

Cutting out all processed sugar is really helping too. I can already tell the cravings for sweets has diminished tremendously. I still use a little NuNaturals Stevia, my favorite sweetener. It doesn't have any added chemicals and is pure Stevia. The trick is to not use too much. I use a little on my fresh strawberries, especially since I can't seem to find a strawberry in this part of the country that is sweet. I also add a little Stevia and vanilla to my Fage 0% yogurt, with a half cup of frozen fruit. This is my replacement for the frozen Weight Watcher bars I was hooked on, which are essentially junk food. I totally quit buying any of the Weight Watcher products over two months ago (and proceeded to gain ten pounds, but that's not why).

Now I have to get through today. I know that sounds terrible, like I'm struggling just to get through the day, but it's the truth. This fighting the good fight against fat continues to be a battle of wills for me. I keep thinking it will get easier, but I know from my past that I can't let my guard down for any length of time or I will zoom right up to 240 pounds and most likely, even more. I could easily see myself in the 300-pound range in a matter of months.

I really did think that at this point in my life, 55 years old, this would have become easier for me. I read other blogs where the people (usually much younger than myself), have figured it out. They don't seem to struggle like I do, or at least, they don't talk about it if they do. They seem to maintain their goal weight with ease. I'm envious of them, but I have come to the conclusion that's not my lot in life. I suspect this will be a battle until my death, and one I will not give up on easily.

Another book for us fatties -- Designated Fat Girl
Right before I left for Fairbanks I purchased a book to read on the flight (no, I haven't been "Kindlized" yet). Designated Fat Girl by Jennifer Joyner. I'd never heard of this book before and just happened to see it at my local Fred Meyers (a grocery/everything store in the Northwest). It was tucked down behind some other books and didn't appear to be a best seller.

When I read the first two lines of the description on the back of the book, I knew I had to read it. It's the story about the author, Jennifer Joyner, and I could completely relate to these two sentences:

Jennifer is slowly killing herself with food. She is powerless to stop. She weighs 336 pounds.

Then the last sentence of the description:

In the end, it is also a story of recovery and survival.

The author tells about her life as a morbidly obese woman, and tells about her journey with gastric bypass surgery. It's strange because I had just read an article that gastric bypass cures diabetes in 95% of the people that had the disease when they went into surgery. It cures it by the next day. It cured Jennifer's diabetes by the day after her surgery. That alone is a miracle. If I had diabetes, I'd seriously consider gastric bypass.

Her story is interesting, and I could completely relate to her secret eating of massive amounts of food. Unfortunately, I think it may have done me more harm than good. Knowing there was someone else out there just like me wasn't as comforting as I thought it would be. It made me just that much more aware that I have a serious illness when it comes to food. I'm still on the fence about being a food addict, which Jennifer talks about. I'm just not sure if someone can actually be addicted to food.

It's still a great read, and she's very honest about her struggles. I would highly recommend it, especially if you're considering gastric bypass. Unfortunately for Jennifer, she almost died from complications after the surgery, yet she still said she'd do it again. I don't think I could ever agree to be surgically altered to lose weight, whether gastric bypass or the lapband. Neither of these paths are an easy way out, and although I understand they're the answer for a lot of other people, it's just not for me.

By the way, I've seen several blogs recently where people that weigh less that me, in the 170 to  180 range, have had lapband surgery. Personally, I find it odd that someone that needs to drop 40 pounds is undergoing surgery and that a respectable doctor would perform the surgery. That's just my opinion, maybe they had a reason for it that I don't understand (and they never mention on their blogs). I'm not against it, it's just that surgery of any type is always my very last resort.

Lazy Sunday
I'm feeling super lazy today, and only have a couple things on my agenda. One is to make my most favorite soup in the world, Veggie Chicken Chowder (a South Beach recipe), and then hit gym before noon (which means I'd better get going!). Afterwards I'm going to catch up on my blog reading. A nice, lazy Sunday afternoon, my favorite kind.

Postscript:  I just went to Jennifer Joyner's blog. I read some of the reviews on Amazon about her book, Designated Fat Girl, and someone mentioned that Jennifer never tells us her weight in her book. Whether she's 5' 1" or 5' 11" makes a huge difference in her weight of 336 pounds. They also mentioned she has a blog, which I wanted to look at. What I found on her blog, posted Friday, May 13, 2011, was a little troubling. Jennifer is struggling big time. Even though her gastric bypass surgery helped her lose a lot of weight (I can't remember for sure, but it was over 100 pounds), she's still fighting her inner demons. Interestingly, she says she's tired of fighting and just wants to  "be". Hmmm...where have I heard that one before? Oh yeah, inside my own head. :) 


bbubblyb said...

It really is about our inner demons it's not about the food. I wish I could figure it out too. We are working on it though. Problem too is new stuff comes up or old stuff resurfaces so it seems to be a never ending battle sometimes. Hopefully we will figure it out and it will get easier. Thanks for your comment the other day :) *hugs*

HopefulandFree said...

The hardest challenge for me involves staying present in this moment, now, during those times when life feels like a STRUGGLE or a BATTLE or a FIGHT. It is crucial to gently reassure myself, as soon as I realize what I'm experiencing, that what I'm feeling is only happening right now, this moment...I don't need to project this current difficulty into the next 5 hours, or 5 days, or 5 months...because that only and almost always makes me feel worse (scared!) and it practically guarantees that the struggle will be re-created over and over, almost like a self-sustaining loop of misery. A struggle in this hour of my life is a struggle NOW. I can face it now. I can only act now. That's all I have to do.

I don't have to worry about facing it in some endless forever that exists in my mind.

The struggle does diminish. Trust that, whenever you are able. Trust can grow.

I actually asked my best girl friend and my husband to PLEASE remind me about certain ideas, such as those just mentioned, which are specifically helpful to me, whenever either of them hear me starting to go down that road of YIKES! or PANIC! or I'M GONNA HAVE TO SUFFER FOREVER!

I CAN do this, but I CAN NOT do this all alone.

I CANNOT do this without the support I need. It's up to me to cultivate and then reach out for the support I need.

I find much support in your honest sharing. Much more than if you pretended that everything is easy.

And the insomnia. Ugh. Yes. Another challenge to try and make peace with.