Lessons Learned

This week was really hit and miss for me. My goal has been to make it through a 2 week carb-free (essentially, though I do eat greens and non-starchy veggies) period w/o cheating. In the past, when I have been able to do that, it is fairly smooth sailing for me. Now, I struggle to make it four days.

I'll do really well for about four days, then I'll take a little taste of something, which turns into me derailing my entire effort. Lame-oh. I realized this week, though, what some of my big triggers are, so in a solid attempt to stop dinking around here, I'm going to try and avoid them.

The first is booze. This should be fairly obvious, but I think I can out-think her every time. Out at a bar, I'm fine, no real temptation to snack or eat (it's probably just the cheapskate in me), but if I'm at home or at a friend's house, a couple of cocktails and I'm ready to go from picking at crudite to inhaling a pizza in one fell swoop. So, for at least the next two weeks, I'm off the booze. Sadface, no? I typically don't drink that much, and get drunk like once in a blue moon (or harvest moon, as was my most recent case. Seriously, it had been many, many months. Here's to overnight babysitters, folks) but I like to have a glass of wine or two (though that's been pretty much nixed by this whole low-carb business) or a cocktail a couple of nights a week. I guess I'll just nurse my club soda and diet ginger ale while looking longingly at the Maker's Mark bottle for the next 14 days.

The second is honestly a bigger struggle for me. It's feeding the kid. Back in the day when she ate blended up sweet potatoes or rice cereal or any of the other pureed crap I could have cared less about her food (I know, I'm as surprised as the rest of you). But now, amid her mac and cheese and peanut butter sandwiches, I struggle. Kids' food is comfort food, and it is really hard for me to say no to. It's much more difficult for me to not steal a quarter of her pb&j than it is for me to say no to a plate of desserts at a restaurant. First, there's the convenience aspect of it. If I eat her food, I won't have to make something else for me. Second, it doesn't seem like a huge deal at the time. Her portions are so small that it's like taking a few nibbles. But those nibbles turn into me eating half a pan of macaroni and cheese hovering over the stove while she throws hers onto the dog's head.

I'm still not quite sure what the solution is to the babyfood problem. I mean, the kid has to eat. I suppose I could start feeding her more of the things I'm eating (eggs, string cheese, plain yogurt) but eventually the tiny one is going to eat a bowl of oatmeal or have a sandwich and I'm going to have to not eat the leftovers. One idea I have had is to put away what she won't eat immediately. For instance, she never eat's a whole sandwich, so I can wrap up half and put it away, and if she wants more, get it out for her rather than leaving it out in case she wants it.

So, I'm going to try this, folks. I will start my two weeks tomorrow, with a weigh-in, and then not weigh myself until the two weeks are over. I'm thinking I should do measurements too. I'm also starting in on my exercising. I've got quite a few dvds (Jillian Michael's 30 day shred, Barre Method, Beach Body) and I still plan on walking most days this week. Also, I'm ready for my brother-in-law to start working me out now.

Here's to working hard for these two weeks. I know that if I can make it through them, it will make transitioning to a life of low-glycemic, healthy carbs a lot easier for me to do long-term. Fingers crossed, and mind set.

Ok. Ok. Ok.

Friends, Romans, Countryladies and gents, lend me your ears. I'm a horrible blogger/weightloser/healthyperson. At least, I have been for quite a while now. Then I (pardon the grossout factor here, folks) Aunty Flo showed up, and never left. Like NEVER left. I spent 5 weeks in disgusting hell, and after an emergency room visit, a few doctor's appointments, a crapton of progesterone and birth control pills I finally have a plan of action. I knew I had PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), at least, I thought I had it, but had never had it confirmed w/ an ultrasound. Now I know, folks. It's the cause of my jacked-up lady-biz, the reason I struggle to lose weight, and a myriad of other stuff that's problematic in my life. My doctor told me that basically I'm going to need to be on a low-carb diet for the rest of my life (shocker, right?). PCOS often has insulin resistance associated with it, which means I really struggle to process sugars and the whatnot. She says if I can lose 10 percent of my body weight I should start to see some improvements, and the lower my weight gets (within reason, obviously) the fewer problems I will have. So, I've embarked. I started a few weeks ago and am fifteen pounds down (unfortunately, these are pounds I lost earlier this year and regained). I've had a few days of carbohydrate indulgence that I'm sure slowed progress (and made me feel like garbage the next day), but overall I can see the results and I feel pretty good too. I'm so happy to live in a neighborhood where I can step out of my door and go for walks. I exercise so much more now that I live here (and since I have a sister-wife walking buddy) than I have in the past few years. I haven't gotten into anything hardcore, but I'm moving almost every day. I'm getting ready to start working out more intensely, since losing weight motivates me to move even more. And, I'm hoping I'm back, here. I need an outlet, and this has always helped me in the past. Plus, it's fun when I write here, right? I think it is. No promises or anything, but I'm going to try (we've heard that before, right?)

liar, liar. pants a-flamin'

Remember when I was all, "I'm baaaaaaaack," and then I was like, "PSYCH! PSYCH YOU GUYS SO HARD!" Well, that was wholly unintentional. Please, forgive.

I decided to get back on the weight-loss/blogging train and then we decided to up and buy a house, so things got really crazy and I lived on nothing but Hot and Readys and Fun Macs. I don't even want to know how much weight I've gained. I wouldn't be surprised if I put back on everything I've lost. I haven't stepped on the scale, and I don't know that I'm quite ready for it. Maybe I shouldn't even worry about it. Weight loss will be manifest by loose-fitting clothes and longer distances logged.

I've got plans. Big plans, yo. Evie turned one this week, and I feel like that is long enough. A year of being lax is acceptable, and I feel more than ok blaming it on the baby factor. But after a year, that's all me. So, I'm taking responsibility. Early morning runs are coming back, as is much cleaner eating.

I'm so happy to be able to step out my door and into a beautiful neighborhood. It makes such a difference in my willingness to exercise. I already walk so much more than I did when I was in Utah County. I'm getting a few miles in multiple days a week. Nothing outrageous, and not too quick, but moving is moving, and moving is something I haven't been doing regularly since about February. I'm also hoping to add some training sessions with my brother-in-law, who just got his personal trainers license.

As far as eating goes, I'm going to give this whole paleo thing a whirl. We'll see what happens. Eliminating sugar, wheat and dairy seems like a good idea to me. A very, very good idea.

Next time? Pictures of the house!

Wherein I do not consume a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting

Beyond a Rockstar Recover (have you had those things? I bought a case at Costco today. Delicious. It's like a diet Gatorade plus caffeine and a bunch of other crap) and a sip of Vegs' mudslide I was treat-free today! I have been eating so much sugar over the past few weeks. Like, multiple ice cream treats a day (which, if you are having an ice cream craving, let me suggest the vanilla cone at Sonic. The best soft-serve from a fast-food chain...if you're looking), multiple diet sodas a day, very little water. Basically, I've been eating nothing but sugar and processed foods, and I have been feeling it. Today, though, I ate really well and I feel good and healthy.

I have befriended refried beans. When I was a kid, I hated them. Hell, up into my mid-twenties I hated them, but at some point I decided to give them a go and now they are a quick and low-calorie way to get fiber and protein. I like to roll them in a tortilla with hot sauce and a little cheese, it fills me up for a long time.

We did Mediterranean night at the Julk-Ped casa and it was divine. I cheated and bought pre-made falafel at Costco (a complete ripoff, but it saved my sanity). I made a delicious tzatziki and had some with hummus and spring mix and pickles on a pita. I also made the most delicious mediterranean salad. Orzo pasta, spinach, red bell pepper, tomatoes, kalamata olives, cucumbers and a little feta cheese. Dress with red wine vinegar, lemon juice, a little olive oil, and a little bit of dill. I have plenty left for lunch for the both of us tomorrow.

When I went grocery shopping today I didn't buy any treats. This was huge for me. Normally I buy treats for Veg (or so I like to believe), but then end up eating most of them. The only thing I bought was a thing of chocolate chips so that I can make cookies and granola if we really want treats at some point this week. I would rather that I make them and know what I'm getting than just shoving a crapload of HFCS in my gullet.

Not much exercise today, beyond a lot of walking while shopping (so, so much shopping) but the food went so well I feel like I'm starting to get back on track.

The beginning

Remember when I started this little bloggyfrenemy? I was chockfull of motivation. I was hauling my ass to the gym at 5:30. I was eating so well. I don't know what happened. Ok, I kind of know what happened. I became obsessed with numbers and not health. Real shocker there, I know. I just went back (again) and read through those early posts, looked at what I was eating, how I was exercising, and though the weight loss was slow, it was still a loss. I have to go back to that.

What I need to do is eat like I was eating in the beginning (whole foods, mostly vegan) and do Weight Watchers rather than count calories. Basically, I need to eat healthily and not like a stoner (if you could see what/how I've been throwing down for the past few months you would be convinced I was a big old pot-head). I need to nix the sugar. It's been killing me (literally. We all know about how sugar is just poison, right?) and I have to stop. I can feel it in my body. I ache, I'm stiff, I'm swollen, and I know it's mostly the sugar.

The tiny screamer is so incredibly mobile now that I'm starting to understand all the people on The Biggest Loser when they would talk about not being able to play with their kids. She wears me out, and I want to be healthy and strong enough that she doesn't do that to me anymore (at least physically...and I know that she will always take it out of me, but I can't handle it to this degree).

I'm not ashamed to admit that the majority of my eating the past couple of months has been emotionally driven. We started a house-hunt in May, and are currently under contract (which I cannot wait to be through with) and Vegs started a graduate program that had him gone two nights a week. Basically, me + stress + loneliness = ridiculous food choices/no exercise-y. He's finished with his classes for the summer, and we should be closing on our house in a little over a week, so I'm hoping a lot of the feeling eating will move to the back burner. Though, I have been mentally making excuses for myself: "I'll start eating better when we move." "I'll exercise once we're in the new house." Waiting to live is such a sad and useless way to spend our days on earth. We don't/can't know the future, all we have is now, which means its time to make the changes that will make me feel good NOW, not waiting for health and happiness at some yet to be determined point in the future.

I'm not making any promises of what will come next on this blog. Every time I try and commit to something--food diary, food pictures, clothing pictures, 30 day writing challenges, etc. I come up short. So for now, I'm just going to try to stay on top of things, and slowly try to figure out what that means.

A not so triumphant return

Let's not get the trumpets a-blarin' just yet folks. I'm back, but I don't really know what that means yet. I can tell you one thing, it means I'm fatter than ever. Ok, that's hyperbolic, but I have managed to gain back ten of the 20 lbs. lost in the past couple of months. Perhaps this whole not moving my body/eating like a fifteen year old boy with a great metabolism thing wasn't really meant for me.

I felt so overwhelmed when I left. So much pressure to do x, y or z. Real or imagined, it was impacting me in a really negative way. I felt really conflicted about my desire to love myself and my desire to change myself drastically, and I still don't know what the balance is for me in that regard. The two seem so oppositional it makes it really hard to wrap my head around what I should do. I know, I know, the whole "you're losing weight because you love yourself" and blahblahblah. I can say this much, that doesn't ring true for me. Rather, I function on its inverse, I want to lose weight SO I can love myself, but that seems to be 1) unhealthy, and from past experience 2) untrue.

So, I'm confused, to say the least. I don't know what to do with myself. I've been scouring the early entries, trying to re-discover that motivation, and it seems to be helping a little bit, but not enough.

I have hopes that coming back here, trying to flesh out what I'm feeling/doing outside of my dangerous, lonely little brain cave, will help me find what I'm looking for.

So yeah, I'm back(ish). I don't know if anyone is still reading, but if you are: Hey, how are you? How have you been? Did you miss me? Thanks for sticking around.

Trying to Change

First of all, I’m sorry I disappeared on you all. I didn’t intend to, but I think this break has been really good for me. 

After my birthday, I had a really hard time, not just with trying to lose weight and exercise, but a real mental and emotional struggle that went way beyond calories in and calories out.

When I went back and read my birthday post, I couldn’t help but feel saddened by how much importance I had placed on food, how I let myself feel like crap over a few cookies, and how I’ve been really going down that road, rather quickly, as of late.

I do not doubt that I have an eating disorder, I have had a complex and disturbing relationship with food my entire life, whether eating too much or too little, getting high off restriction, feeling out of control with binges, facing deep depressions in the aftermath. I got frustrated when I started realizing how much my relationship with food affected my emotional/mental state, and I got even more frustrated when I realized how many women are plagued with a similar struggle.

I know plenty of women who fight disordered eating. Most of them, in fact. Which, lets face it, is f*cking ridiculous. I’m not saying dudes don’t deal with this, but it’s a much bigger problem for women, one that is killing us, inside and out. It’s not just Americans, and it’s not just Westerners (anymore). Women are under attack, and we’re doing the biggest part of the fighting against ourselves. 
What a sad state of affairs it is when we cannot love ourselves fully because of something we have eaten. What heartbreak that women deny themselves value because of soft bellies, thighs that rub together, breasts that are too small, breasts that are too large, big asses, flat asses, and any other bullshit reasons we find to hate ourselves. What is this? And it’s not just that we hate our bodies, but that we let our hatred of our bodies go deeper, infect our very cores. 

So, I had to take a break. I had to give myself space from a world where using tricks straight from pro-ana websites are acceptable simply because I’m fat. I couldn’t help but be upset over the fact that I’ve always had such positive responses when I lost weight, even though I’ve done it in such unhealthy ways, simply because I’m fat. That it’s ok for my doctor to prescribe me speed because I’m fat. Faking diseases I know I don’t have so I can get adderall because I’m fat. That I’ve gone days with having nothing but coffee, cigarettes and xenadrine, and no one is the wiser because I’m fat. That I went a year of my life eating nothing but meat, eggs and cheese, and people would commend me for having such “strong-willpower” because I’m fat. A thin person with these behaviors is unhealthy, and so was I. Weight loss isn’t always a good thing, but in our world, it seems to be.

I’m upset that fat is a bad word, when really it’s a statement of fact. I’m mad that little girls are terrified of becoming fat, like it’s the worst thing in the world, that it’s worse to be fat than stupid or boring or bitchy. I hate that rather than looking at the hyper-consumer society we live in and critiquing it we blame the individual for letting things get out of control. I hate that the war on obesity is being fought while companies like Monsanto get government subsidies. We are being killed by our culture, and then we’re supposed to feel bad about it.

So, I’m done. Done hating my body. Done feeling like a bad person because of chubby cheeks and flabby arms. Finished with the restrictions and binges and depressions. 
I haven’t stepped on a scale in a couple of weeks, and at first it made me crazy. I wanted to know how much the number had spiked so I had a reason to feel bad. Now? Over it. I think I started struggling with Weight Watchers because I only know how to function in the restriction/binge economy of eating, and because it is a moderate plan, with guidelines directed toward healthy eating rather than restrictive eating, I couldn’t work, which meant my binges became more extreme (because I started making the non-restriction seem restrictive).

I’m starting back up with Weight Watchers again tomorrow, because ultimately, it’s been the best, most moderate way of controlling my eating that I’ve found. I’m not able to do it on my own, and I think that it might be a way for me to wrap my head around what it looks like to eat a balanced diet, and eventually, I’ll be able to do it on my own. I’m going to be exercising because I like how it feels when I do it, and how I feel afterward, not because I have to burn a certain number of calories. When I have to exercise, I dread it, when I choose to exercise, I thrive. 

Basically, I still want to lose weight. Still near a hundred pounds, but I need to change my motivation, need to feel good about who I am even if I never lose another. My desire to change my body needs to be about overcoming my unhealthy relationship with food, and taking on physical challenges that help me become stronger. It cannot be about how few calories I can get by on, or what I’m going to have to do to make up for all the “bad” foods I just binged on. 

I will get better, and I hope that those of you who are on similar journeys, or who have similar struggles can join me in changing our relationships with our food and our bodies, so that we can live the happy and healthy lives that we deserve.