Discovery is Recovery

Diet or Lifestyle

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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!

 

Dig Deep

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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.

Food Nightmare-

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.

Sugar Insanity

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.

Distorted Self-Image

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.

What now?

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

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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?

OR 

Until next week!

Eat Well and Prosper!

Real Life

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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

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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?

Until then…

Eat Well and Prosper!

 

 

What’s your Motivator

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I hope everyone had a great couple of weeks! I missed my post last week, partly due being really busy, but deep down I know it was because I was feeling guilty. Food was not my friend and I ended up gaining three pounds and felt so defeated. This week I’m back on track and was able to lose two of those, which got me thinking. Are my motivators just not strong enough? What drives a person to be strong enough to turn down that friendly offer of a hostess chocolate cup cake? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate them.

Originally my motivators were being able to live a healthy life, lose weight, gain strength, and to be able to have fun in the outdoors like hiking, camping, getting better at kayaking and jumping back into cycling. Those are a lot of motivators so what’s wrong with them because they don’t seem to be keeping me from eating that cupcake?

In my effort to try to get a better understanding I decided to ask a few people what motivates them. My first target was one of my co-workers who has decided to get back into kick boxing. His classes ranged between 30 minutes to an hour and 30 minutes and he IS able to turn down the cupcakes. We also have some peer pressure from another co-worker who likes to say, “You have to treat yourself sometimes”, as he hands over that cupcake that he wants to share. And still my kick boxer says no thanks. His motivators are to look good for his fiance and to be able to protect her. Those were such strong motivators and to the point.

Another co-worker said his motivation was to be healthy, but he has been having a hard time getting to the gym. I plan to talk to others, but I think this gave me a good start to figuring this out. My kick boxer included just two things and to were to the point. As I’m looking back at mine I have quite a list, and just now realized as I’m writing this, that the second part of my sentence after the word strength are things that I have not been doing. Why am I waiting to have fun? Those things will help me achieve losing weight, being healthy and gaining strength.

After some contemplation I’ve decided that my motivators are strong enough, I just need to get busy doing the fun things and realize that they are just like the kick boxing. They enable me to achieve my goals and are even rewards for doing a great job.

I’ll be back next week, and until then, Eat well and prosper!

Schlotsky’s Hack

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Back in the day, when I ate freely without a care in the world, I liked going to Schlotzsky’s and getting The Original sandwich. Oh how yummy that was. And the bread? To die for. You can imagine the shock that surely registered on my face when I checked the calories on MyfitnessPal and learned that The Original was 780 calories! For me that would count towards my breakfast, morning snack and lunch. I was devastated. Would I never get to eat Schlotzsky’s again?

After I was able to settle down from the shock and despair- ok that’s a bit dramatic, but the idea of not getting to eat it again was sad- I decided to check on the calories for the small. The small Original still comes out pretty high at 540 calories. This is still quite a bit. I guess I could forgo my afternoon snack to make up for it, but I usually get hungry around 3pm, so this still didn’t work.

I’ve been on a quest to find a way to eat the things I love, but to do it in moderation, so I started devising a way to make this happen. As it turns out, the majority of the calories are in the bread. No surprise there really. If it’s scrumptious,then it’s usually the culprit. Once I realized the bread was somewhere around 200 calories by itself, I decided to alter it by taking the meat from one side and adding it to the other side, making the now half sandwich feel like a deluxe original. I just didn’t eat the other half of the bread.

I didn’t feel cheated by doing this and actually felt full when I was done. I even did this in front of co-workers, conquering my peer pressure eating, even after answering the question, “What the heck are you doing do that sandwich??”