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!
Clumsy is my middle name. I had hoped to clean up our training room at home so that I could start working out again with Daily Burn. Sometimes the best plans don’t work out. Last week I was at work and went downstairs to pick up some food I had ordered and decided in my infinite wisdom to cut underneath the stair case to meet the delivery guy. The flooring under there is the color of marble and there is a planters ledge, without plants, surrounding the stair case that’s the same color. When looking at the floor, the colors all blended, not giving a sense that it wasn’t all flat. I didn’t see the ledge and ran right into it, sending me flying in slow mo, across the floor and landing directly on my knees. The pain was insane. A few people witnessed it, including the delivery guy. I quickly exchanged a tip for my food and went back upstairs to deal with the pain.
I hadn’t felt pain like this since breaking my toe years back. Worse than the pain was the embarrassment that I felt. People asking me if I was ok and my work mates seeing me like that was hard. The thought that maybe this fall wouldn’t hurt as much if I weighed less started plaguing my mind and still does as I write this. I don’t want to be in a situation, at my age (47), where I fall and can’t get up because of my weight. That just isn’t acceptable.
The doctor checked me out and I should be ok to work out in a week. Right now I can’t kneel down or put pressure on my knees. My work needed volunteers to help move computers this weekend and I wasn’t able to help out. This situation is not the bees knees. I haven’t had much good luck this year so far but I have to keep going. I think I can get the training room ready this week while I continue to heal so that I’m ready to get going again with working out soon. I’ve been thinking about training for a bike ride in May. A goal is always a good thing for motivation. I need to see how working out goes before I commit.
Wish me luck on getting the room ready and for my knees to heal quickly.
See you soon! Eat well and prosper!
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!
January begins a new year, and like many people, I’m starting fresh for 2018. It’s been too long since I’ve posted. I hit several road blocks that discouraged me and limited what I could do exercise wise. The flood waters of Hurricane Harvey caused a lot of deconstruction, I suffered another relapse of BPPV, and then right after I was beginning to get better I got the flu shot and had the mini flu. I know, the flu, doesn’t give you the flu, its not live, but the effects of my body building anti-bodies because of it felt very flu like. By the time I felt better the habit of working out was gone. Then I lost my damn mind during the holidays. Sheesh. But this is a new year and I have plans. I have a new job that has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and feel very optimistic.
For Christmas my husband bought me a Fitbit Charge 2. I’m not into the community aspect of it, maybe one day, but I’m really enjoying the goals that I can set and achieving them. I’m starting with goals that I know I can achieve and then setting them higher. My workplace is very healthy minded, they even have their own community site that support the fitbit, and you commonly see people out walking. It’s really refreshing to work there.
Blogging is going to also be a regular thing for me. Hopefully I haven’t lost too many of you due to my disappearance. My goal is to blog every Sunday at the very least so that my blogs are regular. I know that this is important and it’s my sincerest hope that my journey will bring hope, encouragement and the feeling that you are not alone.
My husband, daughter and I also have plans to get out and have more fun this year. Last year felt like a constant series of chores and very little fun. We hope to get our dogs to where they don’t pull on the leash when walking so that we can explore trails. I recently found out that there are some trails very near our neighborhood. Natural Bridge Caverns is on our list too as well as a trip to Corpus to see the aquarium and the beach, and a deep sea fishing trip as well. I’ll be blogging about those trips as well. I believe that getting outside and being active will help with our attitudes about living a healthy life.
I’m no longer doing the Hello Fresh plan. I did save some of the recipe cards of the meals that we loved, and I highly recommend it to those who want a boost of eating well. Instead we are shopping online with HEB and doing the curbside grocery pickup. We’ve done the delivery too but this is where it gets costly. I’ve noticed the few times we’ve done it that it not only saves us time, but it also keeps us from seeing the unhealthy items in the aisles and keeps us on track. I’m really liking it!
I fully believe that 2018 is going to be a great year and I look forward to sharing this year’s journey with you.
Eat Well and Prosper!
Hurricane Harvey turned out to be that unwanted guest that you can’t wait to leave. He came in hot, and then lingered way too long. Normally, when Houston floods, there are some well known areas that get hit, but this time no location went unscathed.
This hurricane didn’t hit us head on, a lot of people say it was the hurricane, when in fact it was the rain that placed Houston underwater. We luckily live on some high ground which saved our home, but we were surrounded by water, making us feel like we were on an island. We couldn’t get out of our neighborhood. You may ask what does this have to do with health and eating right? Everything.
The storm hit Saturday morning and we couldn’t go anywhere until Wednesday morning when one exit out of the neighborhood finally became available. I watched the devastation, heroics and kindness of people who didn’t even live here as they brought their personal boats to rescue people. It all felt so surreal, like it was happening to someone else, somewhere else.
We woke up Sunday morning to sirens, and diesel trucks passing by our house relentlessly. After a couple of hours of strong storms, the rain subsided and we decided to see what we could. We passed so many trucks towing boats going the opposite direction and we wondered why there were so many going in the direction of our home. When we turned back around we saw that the bridge that crosses a nearby creek was flooded like I had never seen before, and further down, the other bridge was flooded as well. Our daughter lives in a subdivision behind us, near where all of this water was going, so we decided to go check on her.
Just three streets behind hers, there was a police officer and several trucks with boats waiting in line for their turn to enter this raging river. The sight was so eerie and frightening, especially since I knew there were houses where the river had erased their rooftops, now no longer visible.
For months now I have been so good with my eating habits. It’s true that I was at a plateau, but I was feeling stronger, and because of that I didn’t linger on that for too long. I have so many obstacles to jump over when it comes to the reasons why I eat too much, but I had mostly overcome them. Peer pressure eating, not wanting to waste food, bored eating and most of all stress eating. But how do you deal with the prolonged stress of this flood, not being able to do anything or go anywhere? I’m sad to say that I cheated more than once.
True, it was a hurricane induced catastrophic flood event, no one had expected that. It’s a perfectly valid excuse, but I don’t like making excuses for myself. One day we went to the grocery store and came home with a can of pringles chips, a snickers, the small reese’s peanut butter cups and Twix, We ate it ALL. Today is weigh in day and I haven’t weighed myself because I’m afraid of the damage I may have caused.
You would think, now that the storm has passed and we can actually see the sun, that the stress would have gone away, but it is still there existing in another form. Yesterday was my husband’s birthday and we managed to find a restaurant that was open, which was very fortunate. Later during the meal I found myself thinking, “Here I am eating a nice meal when so many others don’t even have a home left.” I felt so guilty. I wanted to ask the waiter how he did through the storm, but felt like that might be rude. He’s working when he may really need to be home helping his family. I’d bet that one in every five survivors we come across are going through something really bad as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
Today was the first day that Starbucks was open. There are three of them in the area and I drove by two before I spied people in the drive through at the last one. I always get an iced latte, which is just coffee and milk. I like it, and it’s one of the lowest calorie coffees you can get there. While waiting in line I looked back at the car behind me. The lady at the wheel looked even more stressed than I’ve been feeling. That’s when I thought about something I heard a long time ago. You never know what people around you may be going through, so treat them like you want to be treated. So I told my barista I wanted to pay for hers. I hope it helped. I like to do this anyway from time to time because once in awhile someone pays for mine and it makes my day and puts a smile on my face.
I’m doing better with the stress today. I bought a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit at McDonald’s this morning, wanting to find comfort in food, but by the time I got home I decided to reduce the 450 calories by only eating half of it. I have to remember to take and applaud one victory at a time. I was able to work out the past two days and I’m going to do it again today. There’s two more victories. I got this.
I’m so proud of Houston and to be able to call it my home. Please remember to think of others. If they are rude or on edge, remind yourself that they may be going through something that you are unaware of.
I apologize if this post seems off topic. How can I not talk about something that devastated our city. I also faced the ultimate stress eating test, and in the end I got back on track.
I also heard this on TV this morning. It goes something like this. “Be kind to those around you. You may be able to put your shoes on this morning, but you don’t know who will be taking them off tonight.”
Eat Well. Live well. Be a survivor, and prosper.
Hi there. Things have been so hectic lately that I haven’t been able to blog much. Good news though, my husband is on the mend from his knee surgery and is doing really well, and I’ll be hanging around the house all weekend so hopefully I can get caught up. That is is we have power. Hurricane Harvey is coming into the gulf coast and the rain is going to be crazy.
For the past four weeks I’ve been at the same weight, reaching my first plateau. Part of it is my fault. I’ve been good during the week, working out in the mornings religiously, altering my Hello Fresh meals to the right calorie count, but the weekends have been hard. I haven’t been sleeping well either and it got so bad that I experienced a TFM (Total Food Meltdown). More on this in another post.
With all that said, my weight is currently 218. I went through all of the denial talks with myself, and trying to make excuses. The first week of the plateau I became really sad. I search the internet for answers and actually found an inspirational blog post. It was about this guy who was focusing on getting healthier. He showed a picture of himself four years ago at a certain weight, and then a current picture where he is at the same weight, however he has more muscle tone and looks a lot better.
It was then that I realized I needed to reconsider just why I decided to do this. I wanted to be stronger, healthier and to hopefully live longer. I can see my legs taking on more shape, my tummy getting smaller, my knee doesn’t hurt as bad on the stairs and the last time I took the kayak out I was able to handle lifting it a lot better. Sounds to me that I should be celebrating my success, not berating myself over a number on a scale.
After realizing all of that, I told myself, “Self, don’t focus on the scale, focus on your goals and the rest will come in time.” I think my self got the hint. I’m going to keep pushing through this. I can still make this happen!
There are mornings where I don’t have time to assemble my lunch. Normally lunch consists of chicken that we grilled on the weekend, veggies and quinoa. Here lately though, we haven’t even had time to even grill the chicken. When this happens I need something quick to grab out of the fridge or freezer to stuff into my lunch bag. I’ve eaten Lean Cuisine’s before in desperate times, but usually end up hungry in an hour. The sodium in these are also sky high. I’ve even tried the Perfect Fit meals that are refrigerated and vacuum sealed. They were just ok and many times the chicken was so dry I could barely get it down.
I had all but given up on finding something healthy, and already prepared, until one day I walked down the frozen aisle looking for something else and found a bunch of meals from a company called EatingWell. They are also vacuum sealed and have a cut out in the box so you can see the ingredients, which looked really fresh and yummy. Intrigued, I took one out of the freezer and turned it over to see what the calories were and was pleasantly surprised to find it was just 300 calories. I blinked a couple of times to make sure I was seeing it right -I’ve had some trouble with my contacts lately- and read the same 300 calories. The sodium was also half of what the Lean Cuisine meals were. Convinced this was just luck of the draw I checked out three more and the highest calorie count was 350. This was perfect for my calorie limit for lunch so I grabbed two different ones.
Now, yes they checked out on nutrition and calories, and they looked great in the box, but what would they actually taste like? The first one I tried was Korean Inspired Beef and it was fantastic. I hesitated on writing a blog post because again this could be luck of the draw. Excitedly I pulled out the Creamy Pesto Chicken meal from my freezer, stuffed it into my amazing lunch kit, and ran off to work. I have to say this meal was just as good as the first one I ate. Lunch was a blissful 310 calories, 22 grams of protein and only 4 grams of sugar and 450 mg of sodium. The freshness of the food that shows through the little window of the box even remains fresh looking after heating up and tastes so fresh when eating it. Below are some pictures of what the meal looks in the box, out of the box before microwaving, and lastly after heating. I’m so excited to have found these. I encourage you to try them out.
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??”
Chocolate had always been my achilles heal. I didn’t even discriminate. Chocolate can be in cookies, cakes, cupcakes, candy bars, cake pops, I don’t care. I want it. Half a year ago I decided to detox from sugar all together and quit cold turkey. I had no choice. I was an addict, and there was no limiting myself. Once I had sugar, it was on. One time my daughter and I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing from a box. I don’t know what happened. Maybe I blacked out, because in an hour’s time, half of them were gone. After some detective work we came to the conclusion that I was the perpetrator. Yep it was that bad.
After the initial melt down of detox, the cravings were manageable. I really don’t crave sugar that much anymore. That’s both good and bad. I used sugar and chocolate as a reward and crutch, and now it’s kind of sad because what do I do now? I have to find a new way to reward myself or deal with stress, but that’s a whole other blog post.
So, today when I walked into the Randalls grocery store, I was surprised when my thoughts instantly darted to the idea of getting a chocolate iced donut. Now where did that come from? You might say to yourself, “If I’m going to eat those calories I’m getting a real donut from Shipley’s or Krispy Kreme. Might as well do it right.” Oh no my friend. Try one from Randall’s if you have one near by. You will be shocked. That’s where it’s at.
Thankfully, after peering longingly into the donut case – it was really getting kind of creepy from an outsider’s point of view- I walked away. In my infinite wisdom, I rationalized with myself. If I was going to be bad, then how could I still have chocolate, but minimize the damage? Great thinking! My brain is learning to think myself out of unhealthy situations. I hadn’t had a chocolate cake pop from Starbucks in forever, and I know they are 160 calories, so why not do that? Score! So I go up the elevator – yep lucky me there’s a Starbucks right upstairs- and asked for a chocolate cake pop. Guess what? They were out!! I was horrified. After all of that? Wow. I was speechless. The barista tried to help me by telling me they still had birthday cake pops available. But you know that feeling when you have your mouth ready for something and you can’t have it? Where nothing else is good enough? Once the shock subsided, and I was able to speak again, I kindly told her no thank you.
In the end it was for the best. I’ll take it as a win, even though the forces around me were what saved me from myself, and not me doing it.
I used to love chocolate iced donuts so much that I can tell you from looking at this picture from google images, that this fine specimen, is from Krispy Kreme.