Discovery is Recovery
Finally, I’ve made it back to blogging. For the past seven months I’ve been struggling with horrendous pain that has kept me from being able to work out. I was making such good progress on the working out end of things and had made my goal of cycling 10 miles pretty quickly. Cycling is a passion of mine and I wanted to get back out there on the road and even participate once again in organized bike rides of 20 to 40 miles. Getting up to 10 miles was so important to getting there. But then one morning, I woke up in the worst pain I can remember in a really long time. My neck felt stiff and it was throbbing. If I turned my neck to the left I’d get strong piercing pains from the base of my neck to the top of my shoulder. Yep it felt like a really bad crick in the neck. Maybe it would go away. A week later it had only gotten worse.
My doctor asked if I had done anything to hurt my neck like an accident or something like that. I hadn’t done anything like that. I just woke up to it. I tried some exercises she had given me to do but this didn’t work. A week later I got a notice that she was moving to a different office that was too far for me to follow her, so now I was out a general doctor to help me. The things I tried over those months to get better…my goodness. I sought out a doctor who specializes in bones and the first thing he did was to send me for an MRI. That MRI is a story in itself and for another time. We found inflammation in my neck but no broken bones, slipped disks or anything that would keep causing lasting pain. That was good news but why was I in so much pain? He told me he could send me to a pain management center and they could give me a shot in my neck. The world stopped moving, in a bad way for me, when he mentioned shot in my neck. I asked him if there was another way? I’m not good with shots. He said we could try physical therapy first if I wanted. I told him, “Yes, I wanted!”
Twelve sessions of physical therapy didn’t do much at all to help. I had already seen a chiropractor which just made it worse. A friend at work suggested I find a massage therapist that specializes in pain management. I thought hey why not and it was as if an angel was looking out for me because I had only skimmed google for a short time before I ran across Touched By an Angel. Brelinda is amazing. We had weekly appointments that helped a good deal but the pain was just too bad. At this point I had suffered with this pain for 5 months now. It was affecting my work, my home life and my weight was going up, up up. I was depressed. I couldn’t work out and so I ate things I shouldn’t. I had to do something, so I succumbed to meeting with the pain management doctor. Yes the man with the huge needle that was going to be put in my neck!
The doctor was great. They did put me to sleep for both times. The first time he called it a diagnostic shot that has a steroid and something that deadens the pain for a few hours afterwards. He does this to make sure we are working in the right area. The second time was to do what’s called aberration. They burn the nerves that are causing the pain. The nerves do grow back in about 9 to 12 months so they aren’t murdered forever. The doctor told me that I don’t have any lasting issues like slipped or bulging disks, it’s just that I’ve come across a rough patch and I shouldn’t need to be back in twelve months for another shot like others do. I was super worried about that. I have a fried who has had lots of shots and at some point the insurance insists you get surgery and you are cut off from the shots. This isn’t my case he assured me.
He did tell me that if I start working out again and building up those neck and shoulder muscles that this is the best things I can do for myself. I also need to keep my eyes out for other things that might irritate my neck like my posture at work, my bed and how I was sleeping. For me, after the last shot, the time clock started ticking. Some things happened prior to going to sleep for the last shot that traumatized me. It wasn’t the doctor’s fault. It was essentially my fault for being over weight. They couldn’t find a vein to put the IV into and I got stuck over and over again and… well right now the memory is too raw to talk about. Maybe another day.
With all that I’ve been through with this pain, I’ve sworn to make the most of this year. It’s not a game anymore. I can’t keep saying I’ll get back on track Monday and say this every week. I refuse to be back in that situation again. I’m back at ground zero but this has to work out. I’ve prepared some things to get going again that I’m excited to share with you in the next post. I tend to make these posts too long and don’t want to lose anyone is the length.
Until then… Eat Well and Prosper!
Dieting on vacation? Say whaatt? That question came up in my mind so many times while we were on vacation. I had only been on the new meal and training plan for a week before our week long vacation. For me and my husband, vacation means unlimited opportunities to eat tasty food that’s bad for us. I think we only once attempted to eat healthy and exercise while on vacation so I knew this would be hard.
I kept telling myself that even thought it’s healthy food that doesn’t mean it has to taste bad. We can make it taste good I’m sure. We did a good job I think. We had a lean steak one night and some scallops another night so we tried to mix it up with foods we don’t normally eat. On the physical side we went walking each day for thirty minutes. There are HUGE hills out at our little house in the country where we stayed for the week so each time we came back inside sweaty and exhausted. YAY on the physical part of the plan!
I do have to be honest. One night, I think it was Thursday night, I didn’t want to cook food. I’m on vacation right?? I need a break. So we went down the road and got Subway sandwiches. It could have been worse. I could have told my husband, Hey let’s go get Mexican, and we would be trucking on down the road to get my fix of melty cheese. I had the Teriyaki Chicken sandwich with the sweet onion dressing. Not too bad. I felt guilty because carbs are not on the diet for dinner. No one tell Roger please. OK, so I also had a beer. I can’t beat myself up too bad. On a week long vacation that was my one slip up so I’ll take this as a win.
My follow up with Roger went well. I spoke to him the first of the week. The plan going forward is to merge my strength training and cardio into one morning session. I get home late many times and tasks and chores vary, so trying to get in cardio at night just isn’t working. He recommended eating half a banana before working out and eating my carbs right after which is a piece of toast. The banana will give me what I need for the strength training and then while I’m doing the cardio this will burn fat. I’m excited to see how this works out. It’s a lot to get through before I even get to my pressure cooker of a job each morning. It will be challenging but I want to make it happen.
So far I’ve been doing this for I guess four weeks now? I don’t know if I’ve lost weight really. I hadn’t weighed myself until Thursday. I have a base line now to start with. I do know that I feel healthier, some of my clothes fit better, and I have more energy. The best part is that I feel very positive about the future. I have a plan to get healthy and to get back on my bike. Roger is such a blessing. He is super supportive and I no longer feel like I have to try to figure out all of this on my own.
Last week, just in case you noticed there is a week long gap in my writing, I had to get a tooth pulled and what I call the molly bolt for a dental implant screwed into my jaw. I wasn’t feeling very good and had to focus on somehow getting through the work week with that kind of pain. But I’m back now and it will be the first full week that I don’t have to deal with a stomach bug or mouth pain. I can fully devote myself to the plan.
We are heading out to see the movie Deadpool 2 so it’s time to go. Remember to add some fun into your life to make all of the hard work worth while!
Until next week,
Eat Well and Prosper!
Hi Again! Now that we know what the menu and work out plans are, outlined here https://wp.me/p8FgND-8k , let’s see how I did.
My first week was certainly challenging. I’ve been trying to get ready for vacation and get this stressful project at work to a place where I could leave it, so going out for groceries just wasn’t really going to happen. My meeting was on a Tuesday and I do my grocery shopping on Sundays. With that I decided to start the plan on the following Monday and use what groceries I had at home.
Monday went well. I ate my half a banana when I woke up, did my daily burn video, gathered up all of that food for the day and went off to work, drinking my protein shake on the way. I ate the food on the menu and nothing extra so I was happy with that. I did feel hungry 30 minutes before lunch- I’m supposed to time all the food 3 hours between each meals- so that was a little uncomfortable but luckily I’m so busy at work that it went by fast. On the way home I ate my stress apple and this helped I think. We ate dinner and I pushed through going on a one mile walk. It sounds impressive but its just about 25 minutes. I was so tired and a bit stressed because in the evenings I’m supposed to be studying for my certification exam, but now I have 30 minutes of exercise and 15 minutes of food prep time which eliminates my study time. I placed this concern on my list to speak to Roger about on my follow up. I could have emailed, him but I wanted to give it a week to see if I could make this all work somehow.
Tuesday morning I woke up and completed my DailyBurn video but right afterwards I felt like I was going to throw up. At first I thought that it was the work out because that workout had a ton of core exercises. I managed to get through getting ready for work and somehow got to work without being sick. The stomach pains were so horrible and I ended up going home an hour later. I don’t remember much of the rest of the day because I crawled into bed and slept the whole day. I remember my daughter coming over later in the afternoon to see the dogs and give me some chicken soup, which she scooped out the noodles because I can’t have them, and got me to eat. She takes good care of me. Such a sweetie. So there was no exercise this day and barely any water.
Wednesday morning I worked from home. I spent half the morning sitting up, but my stomach hurt so bad that I spent the other half in bed curled up with my laptop. I got a lot of work done actually without all of the distractions at work. I wasn’t able to produce anything that would relate to a toilet visit and wished that I could so that I might feel better. I barely ate this day. The idea of eating all that food just wasn’t a good thought.
Thursday I was back to eating as directed, but only did an evening walk so that I didn’t push myself too hard and get sick again.
Friday was much of the same thing, but dinner consisted of me grabbing a chicken breast and eating it on the run as we packed to go up to our little project house out in the country to start out vacation.
I was really concerned that perhaps the protein shakes were causing my stomach pains so I emailed Roger. He told me that a stomach bug was going around and that was probably what happened. My husband was really sick on Sunday, and we thought it was food poisoning, but apparently he had the bug first. I was really relieved that it wasn’t the shake. I have trouble with black beans and was worried this was similar.
All together I did OK. I didn’t cheat and I lost 4 pounds, mostly due to not eating much for two days. I was a bit dismayed due to the sickness. I really wanted to kill it on my first week but my body had a different idea. Roger said that probably 2 of the 4 pounds was probably due to the meal changes. I’ll take it. I’m still struggling with the water intake. I’m supposed to drink 100 ounces of water but I’m only at half of that right now. I actually like water, it’s just not a habit to drink so much.
I think this week was a win even though I had two days down. I made progress and I really like how I feel. Next week, which is actually this week as I’m writing this, is vacation week. Our vacations are usually focused on all the wonderful foods we can eat.
How will I do on vacation? Tune in next week to find out.
Hi there! A week has passed since I had my initial meeting with Roger at http://eatrightfitness.com/ So what was the plan? Well here are the results. Drum roll please….OK that’s cheesy. Moving on.
After meeting in person, and talking about my goals, Roger sent me a menu and workout plan to get started with. As part of the initial consultation I got two weeks of unlimited emails, texts and phone calls to him for any questions, concerns or changes I wanted to make to both plans. I won’t post the actually plan he gave me, he does make a living doing this, but I will show you what I came up with for my meals based on the guidelines he sent to me, and I’ll share my journey and information that I gain as a result.
It’s a lot of food. I’ve read and heard this before about healthy meal plans and thought, OK whatever, that’s a load of baloney (my least favorite food in the world), but it’s actually true. Looking at the menu guide I have to say I was a bit overwhelmed . I had to take the guide, make a menu, and switch it over to a grocery list. I’m sure if I emailed Roger about needing help, he would have done so, but I wanted to see if I could do it on my own.
Breakfast for me is one whole egg, three egg whites, a piece of toast with a teaspoon of creme cheese and half a cup of fruit. Most mornings I had a protein shake made by https://www.premierprotein.com/ instead of the eggs. That’s a lot of eggs and I was having trouble getting through it all. Also I’m super pressed for time and the shake was the easiest and most convenient. Surprisingly, he told me that I could keep having my iced latte because it doesn’t have a lot of sugar and extras. I make a homemade decaf iced latte with three shots of espresso and 2% milk. That’s it.
Lunch that week was 4 ounces of chicken breast, a medium salad with 2 tablespoons of fat free dressing and half a cup of quinoa. Yep carbs are in my plan for breakfast and lunch but not for dinner. I’m glad the carbs are there for many reasons.
Dinner is 6 ounces of chicken breast, fish and lean steak along with 2 cups of non starchy vegetables. Wait what? I didn’t know there was a difference in vegetables. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/starchy-vs-nonstarchy-vegetables-1764.html
Morning snack was twelve almonds and half a cup of strawberries
Afternoon snack was half a protein bar and half a cup of fruit. I tried several of the Quest protein bars but only the chocolate chunk was bearable. I liked the MusclePharm combat bars the best so I’m switching to those. The bars are high in protein and low in carbs.
After Dinner snack is 100 calories of whatever I want. I don’t know what that is really yet. I didn’t do it this week. I’ve gotten into the habit of not eating desert.
Stress apple was eaten on the way home.
Weekend I’m to relax the diet. Have a few meals of what I want. I know this, and the dinner snack, are behavioral tactics so that my mind doesn’t freak out about never getting to eat the forbidden foods.
Recap- tons of food. Oh my!
Exercise is strength training in the morning with the True Beginner series from DailyBurn. He liked that I was doing those and told me I could keep doing them. And then 30 minutes of cardio in the evenings. Wow another 30 minutes? I was struggling just to do the morning ones. For that one I either walked outside or walked on the treadmill.
So that’s the plan, but how did I do? This blog is getting long so please stand by as I fire up another post.
Until then, Eat Well and Prosper!
Good Morning! I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I’ve been tackling a stressful project at work, had the stomach flu and trying to add on my new workout routine and food plan designed by Roger at http://eatrightfitness.com/
Last time a blogged I was going to have my in person initial nutritional consultation with Roger. I was super nervous and worried that he would scold me for my weight or current eating habits, kind of like a mom who practices tough love. Weeks before the meeting I had been stress eating really badly. I have a high profile project at work going on, trying to study off hours for a certification exam, trying to get everything stable before my week off (this week YAY!) and then the stress of not knowing what this meeting was going to be like. How it would change my life and how many foods I would never get to eat again. *sighs* And of course my body found ways to eat all of those foods as a sad goodbye. But my worries about Roger were completely unwarranted. He is so motivational and upbeat. I couldn’t have wished for more.
We met at his home office for the first meeting. He was super nice, strong handshake and looking healthy and fit like his pictures on his website. Sometimes people doctor up their pics, but nope, you get what you see here. I heard somewhere a couple of years back that you don’t want to take your health advice from an overweight person just like you wouldn’t want to take financial advice from a poor person- certainly makes sense- so my first impression settled me down a bit knowing I was in good hands.
The discussion started off with telling him about my lifestyle, the foods that I eat, and my goals for fitness and health. I told him I was interested in getting back into cycling and wanted to be healthy enough to do this. Some of my concerns were that my husband may not be able to cycle with me this time around because of his knee surgery, and one of the reasons I’ve been delaying is that I’ve been hoping he’d be able to go with me. Doing it alone is no fun. Roger told me that he would find some beginner groups that he could hook me up with along with some online spinning classes. For those who aren’t familiar with riding groups, beginner means 12-15 miles per hour. Many groups are racing groups that travel up to 22 miles per hour so you have to be careful. You don’t want to be left in their dust with no map to find your way back.
His knowledge of the sport really impressed me. He even knew the cycling world lingo including the term bonking. During this conversation I took the opportunity to ask what his thoughts were on the Keto diet. With all of the cardio I’m going to be doing, and sheer curiosity, I couldn’t help myself. His take on it was that this diet isn’t for everyone, and with my goals, it’s not for me and recommended not to try it. if I remember right he said the only clients he has used a variation of this diet were those with diabetes and those with severe cases of bi-polar disorder. Not sure why this is for the latter, but certainly intriguing.
Roger has merged the two worlds of nutritionist and physical training in a way I hadn’t seen before, and that I’m completely thankful for. My meal plan and exercise plan is tailored for my cycling goals and as my fitness level changes or my exercise regime changes, so does my diet plan. I could go on forever about how excited I am about this new journey. Check out his about me page. The man knows what he’s doing http://eatrightfitness.com/pages/about/
Another thing Roger does that I’m excited about is how he combines the science of nutrition with behavioral habits. We talked about when I tend to stress eat the most, which for me is when I get home. I have a happy life at home and I wasn’t sure why that would be. He explained that it could be that home is where all of the food is and that I may be worried that when I get home I’m worried about making bad choices. In order to combat this he recommended eating an apple on the way home, and then before I even walk in the door, take a walk around the block. After the confused look surely appeared on my face, he explained that chewing releases chemicals that calm you. Take for instance when you were a kid and a stressful situation arises, you may have chewed on your hair or your nails. This is a behavior to calm your mind. Fascinating!
There is so much more to talk about but I have to run for now. Tomorrow morning I’ll be talking about how my first week on the plan went and how my distance follow up scheduled at 2 pm today goes. I’m feeling very positive about all of this and hope you enjoy hearing about it.
Have a great Tuesday morning! See you tomorrow.
Eat Well and Prosper!
Diet or lifestyle? That is the question. A couple of weeks ago I attended some training, and one of the guys in the class was a Keto diet success story. He wasn’t a pusher of the diet, thank goodness, but when asked about how he lost the weight he promptly pulled out before and after pictures and talked highly about the diet. I’ve never subscribed to the popular diet plans, mostly because of the issue where you do see results for a while, but then once you stop eating that way you gain back the weight plus more. I did do some research on the diet and found out that it actually had been introduced back in the 1920s, way before the Atkins diet came out. I guess now it’s coming back, like old fashion styles do.
During my research I found many people who this diet into a lifestyle change. Sighs… I just don’t understand how it’s sustainable, but I can’t say much because I haven’t tried it. Wanting to get back into cycling, and having “bonked” before- this is what happens when you deplete energy that comes from carbs and get dizzy and damn near pass out- I don’t think this is the right fit for me due to the lack of carbs in the diet. What I do know is that whatever I’ve been trying to do all these years, all on my own, reading books and researching how to lose weight, isn’t working for me. So what have I decided to do about it? Diet or lifestyle? I’ve decided to hire a dietitian/trainer to help me on my change in lifestyle journey.
His name is Roger Adams, and in future posts I will refer to him as simply Roger, mostly due to the fact that I can never spell dietitian correctly. He not only does nutrition training he also does physical training as well, so I’m really happy about that. There’s so much more about him on his website eatrightfitness
We had our initial 15 minute consultation, which I felt went great, and our first meeting is this Tuesday afternoon. I’m so excited to meet him and see where we go from here. I’ve already filled out a questionnaire that asked some challenging questions such as list three short term goals along with dates that you want to accomplish. Next week I’ll be sharing with you how it goes and explain what the next chapter in my life will look like. I’ve already told my friends and work peeps and they are anxious to see what progress I can make. A lot of things in my life will change, and I’m going to face many challenges. For instance right now. It’s Mother’s Day and my mom- in-law wants fried chicken, so I’m searching the internet to see if there’s some healthy options out there. This means I’ll be inconveniencing those around me to eat the healthy things I need to eat.
Regardless of what’s to come, I’m ready for this and anxious to get started. For all the mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day. You are shaping what the future will look like through your kids. Hold them close and love them.
Check in next week to see how my meeting with Roger went.
Until then, Eat Well and Prosper!
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” That’s a quote by Napoleon Hill. It’s funny how our current emotions pick out which words stand out at the time. For me, the words continuous effort and struggle remain imprinted on my mind after reading the sentence. But what about strength and growth, which are more positive words? Maybe it’s because this past week, for me, was mostly about effort and struggle. The first week I hit my goals somewhat easily, with some adjustments to the working out goal, but this last week was a hot mess. The struggle to do them took continuous effort and struggle. I know that blogs shouldn’t go over a certain number of words or else you lose the readers at some point. A lot of things happened this week to qualify it as a hot mess, but I want to share them, so I’m going to break them out into sections. If you aren’t interested in some of it, you can skip it, or if you want, you can read all of it. Buckle Up. The ride is about to begin.
I’m a comfort eater. I’ve learned that over the past few months. I get upset and I want cheese cheese enchiladas mostly, but anything else I’m not supposed to have will do. This past week, every day at work, someone wanted to go out to lunch. We usually work through lunch, and for some reason I was needing comfort, so I went along with it. I’m not even going to tell you what I ate. It’s was a food nightmare that kept reoccurring every lunch hour this week. All I know is that it has to stop. This coming week I’m going to try to figure out what is driving me to do this, acknowledge it, and address it instead of trying to eat it away. I’m also a social eater and find myself following the leader. After I sat and thought about it a while, my in town family, husband included, and friends love to go out to eat. None of them make healthy choices and I follow along. A few times I’ve made a healthy choice and had to defend myself and keep repeatedly having to push away the appetizer dish that keeps getting shoved in my direction. I have to stand my ground and not be pushed around. It’s hard not to when the people around you don’t support you. I have to give that thought up and support myself and my goals.
Two weeks ago I blogged about either quitting sugar completely or moderating myself. I hadn’t decided which way to go yet. The first week I did OK moderating my sugar in take, but this last week I lost all control. I had candy, cookies, donuts, ice cream and more. I even bought the donuts under the disillusion that I was doing it to be nice to my work peeps and that I wouldn’t eat any of them. How on Earth did I think I could resist them? Any time I thought about never eating sugar again, it triggered a response that urged me to eat all that I could because I’d never eat it again. This is a very real fear, especially since I know sugar addiction is very close to a drug addiction. I’ve quit sugar before, and I know that once you get past the trauma and drama of it, you don’t care for sugar anymore. It becomes a non-issue. The question is how do I get to that point? I’ve done it before so I have to deep into the cobwebs of my memory to figure out how. If I remember correctly, I just did it cold turkey. I may not do it cold turkey this time since the panic of it going away for ever was very damaging to my health this last week. My plan is to only have one dessert items once a week (probably ice cream on Saturdays). The idea is that after a while I’ll not even want that ice cream. Along with working out again, hopefully my mindset will become more directed at getting healthy instead of eating badly.
Daily Burn and Exercise
Sadly I didn’t start my Daily Burn program back up yet and that was a mistake. I can’t beat myself up over it, but I can make it right. I’ve been having trouble getting myself out of bed in the mornings. I’ve gotten stuck in old routines of hitting the snooze button on the alarm and having a slow morning. The bad thing is, my brain needs the training as much as my body does. The good old brain thinks its OK to eat whatever it wants because it has no other reason not to. The problem is I’m supposed to be in control of what I’m eating. I certainly lack the drive to get back into it. I have plenty of motivations. My knees still hurt when I put pressure on them and when I go up and down the stairs. My clothes don’t fit right. I’ve been wearing what Iv’e started calling my fat clothes on Mondays so that I don’t feel like a stuffed sausage. This is because I was totally bad on the weekends. I have made some progress though, and I have to applaud those and not just focus on the bad. I’ve walked twenty minutes each day, some days more. I’ve started parking my car in the space that’s the farthest from the building, and forcing myself to walk up the stairs. Whew, there are some days that I’m super grouchy about doing it too. It’s sometime discouraging because it’s just one flight and I’m sucking air. Also, a co-worker mentioned that his fiance is interested in bicycling and wanted to meet up to talk about it. It would be great to have someone I can ride with and help get into it. There is so much to learn about the sport and really nothing out there you can read. My husband and I had to learn it the hard way. I’m super excited about it. With me being the only motivator in the house, and not feeling motivated at all, not much is happening. It’s hard, but living a healthy life is a daily commitment. I just have to find my way.
This past week I’ve been thinking about my self-image. My daughter sent me a picture from a lady she follows on Instagram, @fatgirlfedup. She showed a two-sided picture of her and her boyfriend–may have been her husband–and they were both very much overweight. The second half of the picture showed them both after two years and they were very healthy looking. She had mentioned that she never intended the larger picture to ever be seen but it made her realize the truth of what she really wasn’t. The words what she really wasn’t stuck with me. The image I have of myself is of a woman who is overweight but not too bad. I have a confident gait and hold myself well but I don’t see myself as obese. This image is probably part of my problem. My brain has an attitude of Hey, you aren’t obese so you got time. Well Ms brain, according to the scale I AM obese. Friday my back was hurting and I noticed that I was sitting slouched down in the chair and my thighs were higher than the arms of my chair. Now I have to have the arms low enough to slide under my desk but still. Then I started thinking…that’s pretty much how I sit. My thighs and butt have always been the biggest part of my body and they made it hard to sit straight up sometimes. My under arms can wave at you, and at this point my stomach is uncomfortably tights in my pants. I’m able to cover all of this up with clothes but this doesn’t cover up that the issue is there. I need to accept what I really am not so that I can get to where I want to be.
I continue to dig deep into my subconscious mind to find the reasons why I do these things in an effort to bring a stop to the after effects.
I stand up to the food bullies no matter how strong the pressure.
I work out and continue to climb those stairs even if I don’t want to.
I understand that I can make it to the self-image that I want.
I focus more on the words strength and growth in the quote instead of continuous effort and struggle.
I have faith that I can do this.
If you read the whole thing, thank you being a trooper and taking the time to follow me through this journey. Sometimes its a long one. If you didn’t have time to read it all, thank you for reading some of it. Maybe that section helped you in some way. I hope you come back to read the rest when you have time.
Another goal I haven’t posted is to write something, even if it’s one sentence, on the weekends no matter how busy I get.
Until next week. Eat Well and Prosper!
For the love of sugar! It’s my kryptonite. For some people it’s pasta, others it’s bread, and for my daughter it’s potatoes. My first memory of losing control with sugar was when I was twelve years old. My grandmother bought these mini ice cream sandwiches and stored them in the freezer out in the garage. We were only supposed to have one, but my sister and I would sneak outside and eat I don’t know how many at a time. I would call myself a sugar-aholic. Eating just one piece of sugar is just the beginning. There’s no such thing as eating just one. If I start the day eating sugar, then I’m eating it all day.
Searching for a solution, I came across two trains of thought. Quit sugar completely. Cut it out of your life forever. The other thought was eat it in moderation. If you cut it out completely, then it will become the forbidden fruit and you are more apt to lose it one day and smother yourself in a mountain of chocolate iced cupcakes. My nutritionist had allowed 100 calories of chocolate in my eating plan so that can’t be a bad thing.
A couple of years ago I decided to take the route of quitting sugar altogether and even did it cold turkey. I had already done it with smoking, and caffeine, so why not? If I can’t control myself, then quit it. I had actually read a story a bunch of years back about a lady who was a pasta addict and she decided to quit. I remember thinking, “Oh my goodness. What a horrible idea!” Then I turned the concept on myself but with sugar instead. The horror and shock of such a horrendous idea was too much. I would sometimes think about it over the years and quickly shove the idea away. But, I did do it and was successful at it for a year. The thing I found though was that I had been using sugar to make myself feel better, and as a reward for achieving goals. Now, when I wanted to feel better or reward myself, I became depressed. I had nothing to help me now. I’d even get a cake pop and try to eat it, but found the taste repulsive which made my depression even worse.
I’ve also tried eating sugar in moderation, as my nutritionist had suggested. This worked for a little while, until that big hit came. The one where a co-worker upsets you, or you catch a bad cold and just want comfort food. I lose it every time. I was really sick this week with allergies and had a really bad week with unhealthy choices. It makes it much worse when you are a sugar addict.
Both options have their challenges. Deal with the emotional loss of sugar after quitting cold turkey, or try to find some control and will power to only eat it in moderation. My daughter has been a great inspiration to me. She’s been making a ton of progress with her weight, eating and self control. Growing up with a sugar addict for a mom hasn’t made her transformation easy. So I decided to chat with her and try to come up with a plan. She asked, “What food do you eat for comfort that is not sugary? ” My answer was,”Cheese enchiladas and grilled cheese sandwiches!” Hmmm…not healthy, but a start to finding a solution.
After some inner searching and conversation we came up with this plan. Bring some string cheese to work, which is where I’m usually weak, to deal with the stress and comfort eating. For the sugar, try to eat a healthy sugar. So I’m getting some small oranges and splitting off the wedges. When I want sugar, I’ll eat one of the wedges. I’m also going to try to take a walk if i’m having a really bad struggle When I quit smoking I drank some water when I wanted to smoke. I imagined that with each drink I was cleaning away some of the damage I had done. Want sugar? Then walk.
Which option would work best for you? Quitting cold turkey or eating sugar in moderation?
Until next week!
Eat Well and Prosper!
I haven’t written in a while because I’ve been pondering some things, and I’m worried that my blog will not be a source of encouragement as I intended it to be. I have to accept that this is real life. Not some fairly tale weight loss story that you see in the book stores. You know the kind. The person was seriously overweight, and they made all these changes, and it was so easy, and this is all you have to do to have their success. “If it worked for me then it will work for you.” I want that too, but they don’t work for me. I’ve come to realize that it’s not an educational thing, or even a physical one. I do have physical issues that I have to work around, but I can do it. I have all the training I need to be successful. I’ve seen a dietician and worked with a physical trainer in the past. I know the magic calorie number to stay under to lose weight. I know that cardio alone isn’t enough. I’ve come to understand that this is an issue with my mind.
Last time I wrote I compared how my struggle reminded me of my issue with cigarette smoking. All it took was about a week to get over the physical addiction of the nicotine. After that it was all in my mind. At least quitting smoking is easier. You have to smoke in designated places, and even when you do people give you horrible stares. But eating is everywhere. It’s at work luncheons, fast food restaurants that are everywhere you drive, birthday parties, the frozen food section at the grocery where they keep the ice cream. I know that eating bad things is bad for me, but I do it anyway. I’ve come to think that I have a lot in common with the people on the show My 600 Pound Life. Many of the things I hear on there can be applied to myself. So why can’t I say no to the temptations all around me?
After some pondering I think the issue is because I’ve never had healthy role models growing up. My grandma, bless her heart, was a country girl who worked in the fields with her other eleven siblings, and at the end of the day they ate chicken fried steak with gravy and mashed potatoes. The calories didn’t matter because they worked it off all day long. So this was how we ate, and on top of that, food was a gift and reward to us for more reasons than one. No one emphasized eating healthy, or working out regularly. We had veggies because grandma grew them, but they weren’t pushed upon us to eat them. So today it’s an effort to include them in my meals. I’m good with meat and fruit, but veggies aren’t on my radar.
It’s not just me though. My husband grew up with food being a reward and a way for his mom to show her love. Especially today this continues to be the case. We don’t have friends who are conscientious of healthy food habits, and we don’t’ have that background to draw from, so we both continue our bad habits from childhood. On the other hand, my sister-in-law grew up with good food and health habits from her mom, and she hands this down to her kids. From my view, she makes it look effortless. It’s just the way it is. And it probably is. She grew up that way. They live four hours away, so they aren’t close enough to make a visual impact on how we live.
After all this thought, the new questions for the week are these. How does living a healthy life become second nature for people who didn’t grow up with healthy role models? How can we make eating right and working out just something we do? To say no thanks, without batting an eyelash, when offered a cup cake? What does it take to change our mindset?
I’ve contemplated quitting this blog and taking this journey offline. This is real life, very personal, and not always happy. I fear also that one day while I’m looking for a new job, a possible employer will stumble upon this and say uh no. I’m not hiring this person. She’s a food junkie with no control. Employers today look you up online sometimes before making a decision. But I have to stop being afraid. That’s one of my issues. If I have at least one person who is finding this helpful, it’s worth it to me. I mostly feel very alone in this fight. I don’t have much support to be successful. Hopefully this will help at least one person feel like they are not alone. If you stumble onto this blog and find this journey interesting, please like it so that I know it’s helping someone out there.
I hope you have a great week.
Eat well and prosper!
Casting stones is something we all do to some extent whether we want to be honest with ourselves or not.
“Look at that person smoking. Just put it down and stop. That’s all it takes.”
“Man, getting a flat so soon? I’d just quit.”
These are things that have been said to me. It’s been more than a decade since I’ve smoked, and the second comment was made when my bicycle had a flat just one mile into an eighty mile ride. That one was rough. People kept passing by snickering and pointing and making horrible comments. I finished that ride but their comments were demoralizing and really hurt.
And even though I know how comments like that can hurt, I’ve caught myself doing it too. I’ve found though, that if you turn the comment back on yourself, you may find things out about yourself that needs fixing. For example, the most common place for me to cast stones is while watching the show My 600 Pound Life. Sure, they can’t hear me so what’s the harm right? Uh… no. I can hear me. I’ve found myself saying things like, “Why are you eating that? Don’t you know you are killing yourself?” For this person it may be true. The doc is always telling them that they don’t have much longer to live if they stay at this weight, but couldn’t this apply to anyone of any weight? Not just someone who is 600 pounds? I mean, how many useful calories are there in a pint of ice cream? And don’t say, “Hey, there’s milk in there.”
Ever since that revelation dawned on me I’ve turned the question back on myself when I’m eating badly. “Why are you eating that? Don’t you know you are killing yourself?” I’ve noticed that it reminds me of something back when I used to smoke cigarettes. I remember going to bed and asking myself, “Why did I smoke so many cigarettes today? I feel horrible. Why do I keep doing this?” And then then next morning the first thing on my mind was getting outside so that I could smoke a cigarette. It makes no sense. Smoking is an addiction and you can get caught in a logical loop that gets you nowhere when you try to solve the question. Addictions aren’t logical. Recently I’ve started asking myself at night why I ate like I did that day and that reminded me of my smoking days.
Maybe this is the way to battle my love of food. Treat it like my smoking addiction. The idea alone tires me out. It’s a hard road full of mental arguments. For me, quitting smoking was 20% physical addiction and 80% mental addiction. I had to figure out what made me want to smoke and decide what I could do in place of smoking. I smoked because I was bored, it was time to smoke (work breaks), I was angry or frustrated, I was driving, I deserved it as a reward, and of course the popular one, after sex. With smoking I replaced the cigarette with a drink of water and imagined that the drink of water was cleansing my body. With each drink I was getting healthier. Hey, it worked.
So what are my triggers to eat? And what can I do in place of eating? I’m going to work on listing these out this week and post them along with my plan next week. I’m also going to do some research as well. I’ve realized that even though I’m not 600 pounds, that I too am killing myself with food and that I have a long road of mental re-programming, but it feels good to have a plan that seems to click for me.
If you catch yourself casting stones this week, try turning it back around, and see if you learn something about yourself. How can you use that to improve?
Eat Well and Prosper!