9.18.2012

Stepping Away

It's been two weeks since I posted...again.  I am so bad at keeping up with the blog.  I actually have been working on finding balance with food.  As you know from my last few posts, I make myself crazy over food.  Either I have to be absolutely perfect and eat only the healthiest foods in moderation or I am on the opposite end of the spectrum where I eat absolutely everything in sight.  I have realized it's a real problem that I can't hide from. 

For the last couple of weeks, I've been very conscious about my relationship with food.  I've tried not to stress too much about making sure I only eat healthy, but instead focus on managing my portion sizes and only eating when I'm actually hungry.  Stress does not equal hunger.  I haven't been weighing myself because I didn't want the number on the scale to trigger me to binge.  However, I weighed in yesterday and I've lost about 6 pounds over the past couple of weeks.  I am feeling better physically, too.

Anyway, my point is, I'm on a very long road.  I have about 120 pounds to lose to get to a "normal" weight.  I'm done with all the fads and quick weight loss plans.  I'm doing this the right way, and along the way, I hope to repair my rocky relationship with food.  The thing is, I just don't have much to say right now.  I'm working on it.  It's going to be a long, slow and steady journey.

So I'm stepping away from the blog for a little while as I try to sort everything out.  I don't want to keep posting about how great I did one week just to post about how the next week was a disaster.  I want to be done with the ups and downs of weight loss.  I just want to live a healthy and active life.  I started this blog to motivate me and push me to meet my goals.  However, it's kind of turned into something stressful for me.  I know I don't post very often, but I'm always thinking that I should post something and worrying that I haven't been a good enough weight loss blogger when I don't lose any weight. 

I will post again.  I just need to get a solid grip on this balanced lifestyle before I can share my journey with you guys.  Thanks for being there for me and all the great comments I've received up to now.  I'll keep following your blogs and being inspired by everyone!

8.31.2012

The First Big Test

I've been doing sooo good so far this week.  I made a big batch of chicken and white bean chili earlier in the week so I would always have at least one healthy option ready to go when I started getting hungry.  I've been super busy with work and I still am, so I feel really great about the fact that I've been eating healthy instead of just running out to grab fast food when work stress started getting to me.

This weekend will be the first big test for me.  For some reason, as soon as the calender changes to Friday, my brain flips a switch.  I've been so controlled all week.  I've been working hard.  I just want to let loose and eat whatever I want to.  I can get back on track Monday, right?

I realize that isn't a healthy way to live your life.  Five days of being healthy can easily be undone by a two-day free-for-all.  I'm working very hard to get out of this mindset of having a "free" weekend, but I know this weekend is going to be tough.  I already am fighting the urge to forget about the fact I have chicken breast thawing in the fridge ready for the grill and just go get the things I'm really craving.  My brain is telling me right now, "You can eat whatever you want for one more day and then start again tomorrow."  The problem is I know I'll tell myself the same thing again tomorrow, and one more day will turn into one more and then one more.

So I'm going to fight with myself today.  I'll probably have to fight with myself tomorrow, too.  I know if I can just stay on track and keep it up, one day it won't be such a fight.  One day this will all be worth it.  I already feel 100 times better than I felt at this time last week.

8.28.2012

Getting Under Control

I'm now on my second full day of being binge free.  I am so happy to have at least snapped the endless cycle of bad food I've been in every day for the past several weeks.  Just going one night without eating a ton of sugar feels like a victory right now.

I've been focusing on two things over the last couple of days. 

1. Eat something...anything when I wake up.  Breakfast is not optional.
In the past I've really struggled with eating breakfast.  The thought of eating in the morning can actually make me feel physically sick.  I didn't want to eat anything too heavy this week since I'm just trying to ease into the idea of eating breakfast.  I've been grabbing a handful of almonds and calling it good.  I still need to work on eating more in the morning, but this is a good start.

2.  Planning what I'm going to eat the night before.
If I know what I'm going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I am a LOT less likely to binge.  Any time I have been successful with losing weight and eating healthy, I've planned my meals and stuck to the plan.  When I usually go off the rails is when something happens to disrupt my plan.  If I get crazy busy with work and don't plan my meals, there will inevitably be a night when I open the fridge for dinner one night and find only a bottle of ketchup and a dried-up lemon.  That's when I binge.

It's obviously only been a couple of days, but I feel so much better already.  Some guy at the grocery store today even yelled at me from his truck, "You sure have a spring in your step!"  I have no idea what he meant by that, but I guess I'll take it as a compliment.  LOL.

I'm not really focusing specifically on weight loss right now, but I did weigh myself this morning just to see how much damage I've done this past month.  I was 282.2.  Yikes!  I'm not going to weigh myself again for a couple of weeks.  I do not need the scale playing mind games with me right now.

I'm about to jump on the elliptical and then do some meal prep for tomorrow.

 

8.26.2012

Reset

I’m really embarrassed to even post this.  I haven’t posted in a while because I am not making any progress.  In fact, I’m backsliding.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about why I’m overweight and the choices that I make when it comes to food.  I think it’s time that I face the facts.  I have a serious problem. 

I’m a binge eater. 

I have been binge eating for a long time, but lately I have been out of control.  I am scared because I feel like even though I know I have a problem and I truly want to change it, I’m still not doing anything about it.

I remember last time I visited my grandma in Florida she spent the whole time making veiled comments about my weight.  She never came out and said, “Lisa, you need to lose weight.”  No, that would be rude, according to her.  Instead, she made sure to point out other people who were overweight and talk about how dangerous it was that they were unhealthy.  She also made it a point to leave early from the beach so that we would be home in time to watch The Biggest Loser.  While we were watching, she kept talking about how she couldn’t believe “those people” let themselves get like that and how easy it is to lose weight if you just decide that you really want to do it. 

She put on a big show of counting Weight Watchers points while I was there, too.  She has never been overweight a day in her life.  She probably weighs 110 pounds and wears a Size 2, but she has been doing Weight Watchers and counting her points for as long as I can remember to maintain her weight.  While I was there, she made sure I saw her writing down her points every day, each time commenting how easy it was to stay within her points. 

She doesn’t understand binge eating.  She doesn’t understand I don’t have the same relationship with food she does.  The relationship I have with food is akin to the relationship that a drug addict has with drugs or an alcoholic has with whiskey.  I love it when I’m doing it, but I hate myself at the same time.  I hate how it makes me feel and I know it’s killing me, but that doesn’t change anything.  Apparently, that’s not enough to make me stop.

For the past several weeks I’ve been in a cycle.  Every day I binge eat thinking to myself that I’m just enjoying my last day of “freedom” before I start eating healthy.  Then the next morning I wake up feeling like crap.  The night before I had planned to work out first thing in the morning, but I feel terrible from last night’s binge.  I didn’t sleep well because all the junk I ate the night before gave me terrible acid reflux, which left me tossing and turning and ultimately propped up by three pillows in a super uncomfortable position just to control the burning in my chest enough to let me sleep a couple hours.  The last thing I want to do is eat breakfast.  Just the thought of it makes me feel sick.  So I skip breakfast, but I fully intend to eat healthy when I do eat my first meal of the day. 

I work from home, so I sit down at my computer and get to work.  Before I know it, it’s 2:00 or 3:00 and I haven’t eaten anything.  My stomach still feels sour and I still have heartburn, but now I’m actually getting hungry.  I check the fridge and realize that everything I have that is healthy is going to take some time to prepare.  Well, I’ve already been working all day and I don’t feel good and now I’m really hungry.  When I get hungry, that’s when I start rationalizing why another binge would be okay.

The conversation I have with myself goes something like this:

“I’m hungry.  The Mexican food place sounds so good right now.”

“You can’t eat that.  It’s terrible for you.”

“Well, I’ll just check the calories and stay within my calories so it won’t be that bad.  Actually, since I’m ordering from the restaurant, I might as well just get everything I want to satisfy my craving and then just start being healthy tomorrow.  I’ll just run by the store before getting my food and grab something healthy for tomorrow.”

“ Since I’m going to be healthy starting tomorrow, I might as well get some “good stuff” while I’m already at the store.” 

“Since I’m getting “good stuff,” I don’t want to just have a little bit.  I’m not going to eat it again for a long time anyway, so I might as well stuff myself with it.  How about a 6-pack of cupcakes and a bag of Oreos?” 

“Yeah, that sounds good.” 

So I go home with my haul feeling excited about the feast I’m about to indulge in.  After eating as much as I can possibly eat, I start feeling horrible again.  I vow to start over tomorrow and change everything.  Then the cycle starts again the next morning.

I realize I need help.  I need to try some things I haven’t tried before because what I’ve been doing obviously hasn’t been working.  I bought a couple of books about binge eating and have done some internet research.  Over the next week or so, I’m going to try to formulate a new strategy for changing my health.  It’s not about being skinny for me anymore.  It’s about my health.  I truly am scared at the state I’m in right now.

I’m hitting the reset button.  I can’t think back on how many times I’ve tried to get healthy in the past.  I can’t think about the failures.  All of that is in the past.  I can’t change what’s already happened.  I can make the right decisions from now on, though.

My focus for this week is just to not let myself get too hungry.  This process is going to take a lot of baby steps, so I’m not going to do anything extreme.  I just need to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day instead of waiting until the afternoon and then going crazy with food.  That seems doable, right?  Oh, and no more starting tomorrow.  This starts now.

7.17.2012

Is Gluten-Free For Me?

I have to admit, when I started hearing all the buzz about everyone going gluten-free a few years ago, I wrote it off as another fad.  I thought gluten was getting a bad rap.  Now I'm starting to wonder if maybe I should try this whole gluten-free lifestyle.  So why the change of heart?

A couple of weeks ago, I decided I was spending way too much money on food.  I had a ton of meat and veggies in the freezer, plus lots of whole grains, beans, etc., in the pantry.  I figured I would save myself some money and try to eat whatever I already had in the house for that week instead of going to the store and buying more groceries.  Well, I just happened to not have any bread at the moment.  I went the whole week without touching any bread.  I ate brown rice, quinoa, tons of veggies, lots of apples I had hanging around in the fridge, chicken, beef, pork tenderloin, but no wheat.  I actually was worried that I was going to gain weight that week because I felt like I was eating a ton of food just to use it up.

But a crazy thing happened.  That was the week I actually broke my plateau in the 270s and got to 269.  Another even more crazy thing happened.  I felt incredible.  I'm talking I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E.  Now, I feel like I have to take one more step back and tell  you a little more about how I was feeling leading up to this.

For the past six years, I have had horrible heartburn.  It started one night a few years ago and never went away.  Every time I lay down for more than a minute, I can feel the fire lighting in my chest...and it SUCKS!  I have been taking acid-reducing medicine every single day for six years.  While the medicine helps a ton, I HATE being dependent on medicine.  Lately I've been noticing other health problems popping up that I am afraid are related to taking these pills for such a long time.  My nails have always been strong, and now they are breaking and chipping.  My hair was super thick when I was younger, but now it is thin, brittle, and worst of all, falling out in large amounts.  I have been really freaked out about my hair loss lately so I started reading about long-term use of acid-reducing pills on Google the other night and discovered that stomach acid is necessary for several vitamins to be absorbed properly.  If you take heartburn medicine for any length of time, you can actually become very deficient in certain vitamins.  That would explain my hair and nail problems.

After reading that, I am determined to get off the heartburn pills once and for all.

So what does all this have to do with going gluten-free?  Well, like I said, I accidentally went gluten-free for a week a couple of weeks ago and felt great.  Not only did I feel great, my heartburn completely vanished.  For the first time in six years, I slept through the night without waking up from acid reflux.  It was amazing!  Now I'm wondering, am I sensitive to gluten?  Is that why I've been having heartburn all these years?

I'm not sure if going gluten-free is going to be the answer to my problems or not, but I felt so great that week that I am willing to give it another go.  For the next month, I'm going to be gluten-free.  It's going to be hard at first to find things I can substitute, but if I really do continue to feel this good, it will definitely be worth it.

Have you given up gluten?  Do you think it's just a fad?  

Any easy gluten-free recipes or websites with recipes would be MUCH appreciated!

7.03.2012

A Quick Weigh-In

Do you guys weigh yourselves every day or only once a week?  

I've been weighing myself every day for the past couple of weeks.  I know they (whoever "they" are) say you should only weigh yourself once a week to keep from letting the scale rule how your day is going to go, but for me, I stay a lot more motivated day to day if I weigh in every morning. 

If I only weigh in once a week, it is just too easy for me to eat badly the day after my official weigh-in day.  I always tell myself, "I have a whole week to lose weight before the next weigh-in.  I can take today off."  Then one day turns into two days and two days turns into three, and before I know it, it's time for my next weigh-in and I've gained.

I think the last time I posted my weight here I was at 273.8.  For some reason I got stuck there for a while, but last week the scale finally started moving down.  It's a great feeling to look down every morning and see a lower number.  Well, today was the best number yet because I am FINALLY back in the 260s!! 

Today's Weight: 269.8
Total Weight Loss To Date: 24.2 pounds

Over the past year and a half that I've had this blog, I've gotten into the 260s before.  Right before my trip to Orlando last year I got down to 264.4.  Once I get below that number, I'll be entering new territory that I haven't seen in at least 5 or 6 years.

My goal for July is to get into the 250s, so I need to lose about 10 pounds.  I know with the work I've been putting in, that goal is very doable.  I also have some clothes that are SO close to fitting.  I am looking forward to trying them on again on August 1st and having them fit!

Speaking of clothes, I decided to sort through the mess in my closet and sort everything this past weekend.  I have TONS of clothes.  I realized I have everything from Size 12 to Size 24.  I boxed up everything that was currently too small and donated everything that was too big (not going back there, so I don't need them).  Right now I'm mainly wearing Size 22, but now I basically have a new wardrobe waiting for me each time I lose a size.  I am going to go through my stash of clothes and try on everything once a month and continue to donate the stuff that gets too big.

I have to say, one of the best feelings is pulling on a pair of jeans and having them fit perfectly when you could barely get them over your hips in the past.

Happy 4th of July!  Stay safe and make healthy choices!  :)   

6.27.2012

Taking It To The Streets

I'm on a roll.  For the past couple of weeks, I have been eating healthy and working out every day.  I feel so motivated to continue down this path right now.  My problem is figuring out what kind of workout I'm going to do every day.  I get bored really, really easy when it comes to working out.  I've done a few workout DVDs in the past, and I just can't stay motivated enough to stick with them.  I hate having to watch the same DVD over and over again.

This summer I've been trying to mix things up.  I've been taking my workouts outside, and I am loving it!  Maybe it's just the heat, but I feel like I'm really doing something when I work up a sweat outside.  I feel like I'm getting so much stronger day by day.

My brother came down to visit me last week, and we decided to spend the day at a state park near my house.  There's a swimming beach and a hiking trail, so I figured I could get a decent workout in.  I wore my heart rate monitor just to see how my calorie burn was.  I burned over 900 calories just by enjoying myself outside! 

We started out doing a 2-mile hike through the woods.  It was gorgeous.  I worked up a sweat and was definitely huffing and puffing through some of the climbs, but I barely noticed it because I was too busy admiring the beautiful flowers and taking in the jaw-dropping views from the top of the bluffs we were standing on.  Then we went swimming at the public beach to cool down.  It was a perfect day and a perfect way to work out.

I want to incorporate more real-world workouts into my routine.  This is the reason I want to get fit in the first place.  I am an outdoors girl at heart, but my weight has been keeping me from doing the things I love for so long.  I absolutely cannot wait until next summer when I'm closer to my goal!

What's your favorite outdoor activity?