Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Willingness to Change/ Happiness in Weight loss

If you found me through my Half Size Me interview Welcome!  I interviewed for the show on October 27th so I have had plenty of time to ponder over my answers and decide on areas that I wanted to expand upon and discuss in further detail.  This post is in direct response to my Half Size Me Interview.

During my interview with Heather on the Half Size Me show we started talking about how to let go of an arbitrary number that we all have in our heads and allow our bodies to decide where it wants to be.  I talked about how I didn't want to track calories or points for the rest of my life and that is very true.  That is not a sustainable behavior for me and I also noticed that tracking everything would make me really anxious.  If I was getting close to my limit for the day I would start to get nervous and be more likely to overeat or binge.  I also noticed that I was tracking the same things every day and that when I got really meticulous about tracking I would start trying to cut out healthier food items to save me a few calories or a few points.  Then I realized how ridiculous this was because it wasn't the chia seeds I put in my oatmeal in the morning that caused me to gain weight or prevented me from losing it.  It wasn't my glass of milk or what I put on my sandwich.  The real problem was binging and not being able to control myself around sweets and excessive snacking in the afternoon.  I knew how to eat, and I knew what I needed to eat. Unfortunately the reality is that tracking comes with a certain mindset for me.  In my mind I have paired tracking days with being "good" and non tracking days as being "bad" and my eating would sway either way based on whether or not I was tracking.  And so, a more gradual transition is going to be required for me since right now I can't let it go without dire consequences. 

Sustainable weight loss is really all about changing your habits, and for everything you take out, you need to add something in or else you will just be focusing on the things that you have taken out.  For example I have added my blog, and I have picked up a new hobby: manicures!  I also like to read blogs and listen to podcasts, and play video games.  I have also add in exercise, gym time, and more activities with the kids.  It's the days where I don't have anything planned, or I am lying around the house doing noting because I didn't plan anything that are the hardest for me.  To be happy with your new habits and your new changes you have to keep adding things into your life when you remove things, otherwise like I said, you will be focused on the things you "can't do" instead of all the things that you now get to do. 

This process of changing habits, requires me to change, obviously, and to be open minded.  It requires trial and error, there will be success, there will be failure, but as long as I keep moving forward, keep trying to set a good example for my kids, keep trying to teach myself and my kids what and how to eat and I strive to eliminate emotional eating, substituting other activities, other coping mechanisms for when I am stressed, sad, lonely, bored, or tired I know I am making progress towards a happy healthy and active life.  And that right there is the real goal.  Not an arbitrary number on the scale.  That is not what leads to happiness.  People say it all the time: we think that once we get to a magical number on the scale we will suddenly be happy and all our problems will be solved.  That is not what brings us happiness.  That is not how we become happy.  You can diet yourself to your goal weight and still be miserable.  Happiness in weight loss does not come because you hit a number on the scale, it comes because you change who you are.  Happiness comes because you choose to change the way you think about yourself, you rid yourself of all the negative self talk that is going on in your head and replace it with positive and uplifting thoughts.  Happiness comes because you no longer obsess over your weight, size, and what you look like, but you focus on your accomplishments, and your future goals and you learn to love yourself, and you are proud of yourself.  That is what leads to happiness in weight loss.  Finding balance between eating foods you enjoy, and eating healthy.  Learning what exercises make you feel good, and becoming a more positive person.  All of these things require change.

Change is one of the key ingredients to successful long term weight loss.  Right now I am still willing to change.  I am willing to continue to tweak my food, tweak my exercise, change things up, and because of that I will continue to see improvements in my body.  When I stop losing weight that is where my habits have led me.  Once I am unwilling to change any more then my weight will stop dropping and if my weight stops moving down and I am happy with myself, I am at a healthy weight, I have the energy to be active with my kids, do the exercises that I love, and I like the way I am living then that is going to be where I stay, whether that number is 140, 130 or 125.  Whatever that number is I will be okay with it as long as I am happy the life that I am living.  If I stop losing weight and I am not happy with where I am at, then I had better be willing to change something or I will not lose any more weight.  And changing doesn't necessarily mean eating less or exercising more.  Changing could be eating yogurt with lunch instead of chips, adding a vegetable to every meal, doing a different exercise.  Our bodies acclimate to the exercise that we are doing pretty quickly and we can plateau just because our bodies are used to what we are doing.  If you have stopped losing weight, your body has arrived at the place your habits have led you and if you are not willing to change, then that is where you will stay.  And I for one, like this notion. No dieting, no fussing, just living and working on becoming a better person.  Learning new things, and continuing on this journey called Life.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Feelings on Meal Replacement Shakes

I made it through yesterday and Today!  I was over yesterday though because I decided to make popcorn with Chloe in the evening while we watched a movie.  I couldn't get her to go to sleep and Matt and I were planning on watching a movie anyway and all of a sudden she goes "Mommy.  Popcorn!"  I knew she was wide awake and so I decided to let her stay up with us.  The look on her face was rewarding, she was so excited, dancing all around saying "popcorn, popcorn, popcorn!"  I was proud of myself because I didn't eat any other treats and I didn't overeat earlier in the day.  The popcorn was my treat.  Today we went to go get Korean food and I think I did really well with my eating.  I went to Body Attack this morning and was totally wiped afterwards.  It's been a long time since I have worked that hard.  It felt good, but it was really hard.  I have some work to do to get back to where I was before the holidays hit.  I am proud of myself that I was able to refrain from overeating in the afternoon.  I told myself "no we are going to be eating in an hour and a half and I want to be hungry not full when we get to the restaurant."  I had Dolsot BiBim Bap which is basically rice with vegetables.  There is a LOT of rice though, which drives up the calories.  Plus I don't know what is in that red sauce you always put in it.  Koreans aren't really into sugar though, so I hope not too many calories.  Matt translates the sauce to mean "red pepper paste" because it's made from this Korean red pepper. 
Dolsot Bibimbap

I feel like I have been doing well this week so far.  Nothing extreme and definitely nothing strict.  I'm focusing in Liveable this time.  I don't want to have another relapse because I was pushing myself too hard and trying to change too many things at once.  I am thinking of working out 4 times a week.  Two Zumba classes, then Body Attack (which is cardio with strength and HIIT) and then one Body Pump class (which is a lot of strength training).  I think that makes for a pretty well rounded workout and a well rounded week, but not spending too much time at the gym.  I think 4 days a week is something I can keep up with. 

Since the New Year is coming up and the diet season will be in full swing in about two days, maybe three, I wanted to talk about spending money on diet plans, mainly Meal Replacement Shakes.  I have a strong hatred of meal replacement shakes that stems back to my sixth grade year when I was on the slimfast diet.  Slimfast was the popular thing at the time, and it was easy.  Just buy their shakes, have one for breakfast and lunch and viola!  Instant weight loss.  My beef with meal replacement shakes for the purpose of weight loss is more involved than just the fact that it's a drink and drinks don't usually leave me feeling satisfied.  My issue with meal replacement shakes for the purpose of weight loss is that they don't teach you anything.  You don't learn about healthy food choices, you don't learn about portion control, you don't learn what foods fuel your body and make your perform well, you don't learn how to cook healthier meals, you learn nothing!  So you take these shakes, and then when you decide you are done with them you go right back up to where you were before because you go right back to your old habits and your old way of eating.  Nothing has changed, you haven't learned anything.  You haven't learned a new way of life, or a new way of eating. 

That is why I despise weight loss shakes, I feel like businesses are preying on the desires of overweight people, and taking advantage of them. It's all well and good while you are using the product, but as soon as you stop then BAM, right back to square one.  This doesn't mean I haven't fallen prey to meal replacement shakes, in fact on three separate occasions in the year 2013/2014 I used them.  1. when my sister and brother in law signed up for Herbalife, I bought some replacement shakes to support them in their business and they helped me lose 10 pounds during the 2013 holiday season.  2. When I hit my plateau and got desperate I tried 310 shakes and hated them, they left me starving about a hour later.  That one was a mistake, live and learn.  3. When I bought Turbo Fire and Chalean Extreme from Beach Body I got caught up in the hype of everything and ordered some Shakeology (That is actually a very good product, and I actually liked it the most but seriously who can afford $130 each month for it?)  These three experiences taught me something.... I don't like to use meal replacement shakes!  (So I guess really, I learned nothing.....)

Now there is one situation where I don't think meal replacement shakes are a bad idea and it revolved around one simple idea: you aren't using them for weight loss.  So here is an example: my sisters do not like to eat breakfast.  They know breakfast is important, but they have a hard time eating a full meal in the morning, and besides that they are busily getting out the door and off to school or work.  A great solution to this is a meal replacement shake that has lots of protein, fiber, and vitamins in it.  It's easier and faster for them to drink their breakfast and makes them happier.  So they can be beneficial... just not for weight loss.  I actually keep protein powder in the house so that I can make a protein drink for myself occasionally because occasionally, that is what I want.  Maybe my stomach isn't feeling too great, or maybe I'm still full from the day before (Thanksgiving!) or maybe I just want a protein shake because I like the way they taste.  The point is, I'm not using it as a meal replacement to lose weight, it's just my breakfast or lunch for that day. 

So as 2015 rolls around lets all focus on losing weight the healthy way: Through changing our habits, and changing our minds to reflect a healthier way of thinking, a healthier way of living.  Remember, Slow and Steady wins the race. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Made it past Day 1

Christmas is over, the new toys are put away, the house has been cleaned, chaos has subsided, and I have successfully made it past day 1 (woo hoo!).  Something about the holidays being over makes it easier to focus and and get back on track (although technically I suppose they are over until after New Years Day, but I'm going to start a little early.)  Of course, having most of the baked goods out of the house (because they were devoured) helps.  However there is still plenty of candy lingering.  I know now that if I want to eat something sweet I just have to plan on it being extra.  Before, I would eat something sweet and try to use it as a replacement to stay on track which never seemed to work.  I couldn't eat cookies and not have an afternoon snack, I couldn't eat cake and then not eat dinner.  Turns out sweets don't keep you very full.  I also know now that I am not one of those people who can give it up all together, so I will just have to regulate it.  Allow myself something small every day so I don't start feeling deprived.  I also realized feeling deprived can be a choice.  It's about your mindset, instead of feeling deprived and sad that you can't eat something, I tell myself "I am choosing not to eat that because there are things more important to me than eating a whole lot of candy/cake/desserts".  This works well for me especially if I do let myself have some treats, I just need to make sure I work it into my day.

Speaking of working it into my day, now that I am back the biggest lesson I learned during my floundering was that I need to make sure that I am making liveable choices.  This summer I was doing really well, got down to 143, but I was working out 6 times a week.  That isn't really something I could maintain, it was part of the reason why I fell so hard.  I was just tired of working that hard.  With eating my ultimate goal is still intuitive eating.  I would love to be free of tracking, but I have to be able to keep the mindset of being "on" when I'm not tracking in order for this to work, so a much more gradual transition is going to be required.  After I've lost this holiday weight, maybe once I've switched to maintenance I will slowly start to switch.  Starting with one day a week and working my way up to full time. 

Here are some photos from Christmas, and now begins Day 2

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Fitbits and Manicures

Wow, this month has been going fast.  I feel like I am really excited for Christmas to get here but I know that as soon as it does, it will be over so fast, and then you have the post Christmas blues to deal with.  I went to see The Hobbit last night with my in laws.  As a Lord of the Rings fan, I loved it.  I do wish they had tied up some of the threads of the storyline a little better but of course that would just have made the movie longer, and as it stands it is already 2.5 hours.  Still, I'm sad that its now come to an end.  The movies started coming out when I was in high school. 

Changing focus, I got a new fitbit!  I wish the Charge HR was out, but it doesn't come out until next year, but I got the Fitbit Charge.  Super cool!
This one stays on my wrist so hopefully I won't forget to un clip it from my sports bra and throw it in the washing machine.  My old one never recovered from that.  Besides, with the fitbit one I always felt like you could see it through my shirt.  There wasn't really a good fashionable place to clip it to your bra.  I don't know if any of you have had that experience but that is what it seemed like to me.  I like how this one buzzes when you have a phonecall coming in, and also how you can double tap the screen to turn it on.  It's the simple things that make you smile.

I've come down with some sort of cough :-( so my steps are low today, but I still got in close to 8,000.  Not too bad all things considered.  I would love to have more friends to compete with anyone out there want to be fitbit buddies?  I haven't looked at the interface in a while since my old one went through the wash, but now you can actually orchestrate official challenges with your friends such as who can get the most steps in a 24 hr period and who can get the most steps in over the weekend (I would totally fail that one, Sunday is always my lowest step day), and you can also do week days.  You can now change your focus from steps to stairs climbed, or mileage too.  I like the new updates they have been doing, makes it more fun.

Changing focus again, wow I'm scatter brained tonight, or maybe I just can't think of any graceful transitions... that's what happens when I get sick and my brain isn't thinking too poetically.  I decided to treat myself to a manicure for the holidays since I had some money from some Pampered Chef shows I had done last month.  I found some cool holiday styles on Pinterest and this is what I ended up going with.
I went over to my neighbor's house today because Lily saw their little girl playing in the backyard and wanted to go play, and as we were talking I noticed we had the exact same manicure!  Ha!  We both saw it on pinterest.  I guess there is a reason why we are friends.  We think alike.

Speaking of Manicures, I've been thinking about picking it up as a new hobby.  Whenever you take something out of your life (such as eating too much food) you are always supposed to add something in that you enjoy so that you don't feel empty or like there is a void.  Besides exercise, which I added in purely for the purpose of losing weight, I never added anything into my life when I was losing weight.  I've been trying to take things out without putting anything back in.  It's been a very long time since I picked up a new hobby, and I think now would be a good time.  I ran it by my husband and he actually agrees with me.  Hot Dang and Hallelujah.  If he agrees then it must be a good idea.   This is something I've gone back and forth with throughout the years, I will get really interested in doing my nails, and then I will leave it, then I will go out and buy a whole bunch of cheap nail polish and then I will leave it.  And back and forth the cycle goes.  This time I am going to actually buy the salon quality stuff so I can actually do a real manicure at home instead of just putting some cheap nail polish on that peels off within 24 hours.  I have some money built up from working as an office assistant for my Pampered Chef Director and I've decided that when I get paid I will buy a Gelish starter kit and an LED lamp curing light.  Also some of the other basics for manicures such as the soaking bowl, the soap, the lotion etc.  In case you are wondering, because I know you aren't, I chose Gelish over Shellac.  They are both very similar products but I chose Gelish for three reasons 1. they use an LED lamp instead of a UV lamp (faster cure times and something about exposing myself and my kids to UV rays that frequently doesn't sit right with me).  2. The colors!!!  Gelish has a ton more colors than Shellac 3. Gelish is easier to get ahold of as Shellac pretty much only sells their products to salons, although I've found some stuff on Amazon.  Gelish sells their products to the consumers (me!)
I want to learn how to do French Tip and maybe even airbrush eventually.  I've been looking on pinterest too much probably (and we all know what happened the last time I tried something I saw on pinterest- if you don't all you have to do is look at the post right before this one ;-)

I'm really excited about it, then I can invite my friends over and we can do manicures!  It's perfect, something to be social with, and Lily is totally into doing her fingernails and toenails.  So that will be coming in January.

That's all I've got for today, Unless something totally awesome happens I have to blog about or I get struck with a brilliant idea lets just assume I won't be posting again until after Christmas.  Merry Christmas everyone!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Birthday Weekend

Today is Lily's birthday and she is turning 4!  We had her birthday party on Saturday and then on Sunday it was my Father-in-Law's birthday.  So I was partying all weekend.  For Lily's birthday I wanted to make her this rainbow cake I saw on pinterest because she is really into My Little Pony and we had a My Little Pony birthday theme.  She was so excited for her cake.  "I'm going to have a rainbow cake just like Rainbow Dash!"  She would say.  She helped me make the cake, dying each of the six layers, and had a blast.  And then came time for me to put it together....
So I went back to the store and bought cake mix without pudding in it and the second attempt turned out much better.
The party was great, we had about 8 kids there, which was perfect.  We played Pin the cutie mark on Pinkie Pie, and I cut out these ponies from the foam sheets we had and they all got to decorate a pony with the sparkely stickers that have been lying around the basement for a year.  Then of course cake and presents.  It turned out great. 

Yesterday I made some Oreo truffles for my Father-In-Law's birthday and we had a good time seeing them.  Today Lily wants to go to the indoor water part at our Gym so when the open at 10 we will be heading there for two hours (they close again at noon then open later in the day).  Lily wanted cake for breakfast and is currently playing on the Ipad.  Whatever floats her boat, it's her birthday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I am a nice shark

"I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine.  If I am to change this image, I must first change myself."- Finding Nemo
As I was talking to my husband about New Years and what we are doing for that day, I started talking about how much I love eating shrimp curry (the only day of the year we get shrimp curry) and I made the comment "where shrimp curry is, that's where I will be".  And he goes "You and food". 

Hmmmm.  Makes me wonder if everyone in my family thinks I am a mindless eating machine.  A family of people who pretty much could care less about food.  I went over to my parent's house last week to help my younger sister with her Chemistry homework.  I was there from 3:30-7:30, we spent three hours working on chemistry, my parents left for the evening and there was no food in the house.  Chloe ate two avocados, and Lily refused to eat avocados or bananas.  There was nothing to make for dinner.  Unconcerned with food, the whole lot of them.  What do they think about someone like me?  I have this memory from waaaaay back, sometime in elementary school. I was at a girl scout camp and some of the kids were divvying up the snacks and I remember one of the girls making the comment to give me the largest bag because I eat the most.

When I was in college and was going out to eat with my family at an Italian restaraunt my younger sister says to me (she was maybe 5 at the time)  "Jenna you need to workout more because you're fat".  I guess that is less of an overeating remark and more of an exercise remark.  But the point is still the same.  I am not a mindless eating machine.  At least, I don't want to be, and if I am to change this image that my family has of me, I must first change myself.  There are two ways to go about this, the healthy way and the unhealthy way.  One way is of course to just not eat anything around others which leads to binging in private.  Totally unhealthy, and the other way is to make doable, liveable, healthy changes.  I'm tired of being thought of as the bottomless pit, tired of being the one who everyone thinks is obsessed with food.


151.2 pounds today :-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Get back to Work

This last Sunday was the first Sunday of the month and for those of the LDS faith, that means Fast Sunday.  We fast for two meals (usually breakfast and lunch).  I have always had a hard time with Fast Sunday and in general I usually don't do it.  I have fasted a grand total to three times in my whole life of being an LDS member.  This Sunday however I decided that it was just something that I needed to do.  I needed to prove to myself that I am stronger than food, I needed to prove that I can have power of food if I want to claim it.  (And yes, this last Sunday is included in that count of three).  And so, being completely terrified I fasted.  And you know what, I actually did pretty well.  I am proud of myself for showing self control and for proving that I can conquer food.  Yes it was hard, I had a pretty flat affect throughout the day but I did it.  I was successful, and no one can take that away from me.  I proved that I do have the power and strength to change my life, to life healthy, and to life a life free from food addiction.  It might not be easy, in fact I know it is not easy, it is down right hard.  You have to work for it, constantly.  Over time things might begin to become second nature to you, but while losing weight, and for the first while maintaining, it is hard work and requires constant effort.  I am now ready to go back to work. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Slowly, Slowly, Slowly Said the Turtle

This morning I was 152.0 so that is .8 pounds down from my last weigh in, woo hoo!  In the right direction.  It has been a rocky week, my motivation has been up and down.  I had one really really good day, and one really bad day and a few eh days.  I am slowly pulling myself back together and for now slowly is good.  I have some new goals to work towards.  I definitely do better when I actually set weight loss goals and give myself a timeline.  I have a new OBGYN I am seeing in January and I would love it if for the very first time in FOREVER I could actually be in my healthy weight range at a doctor's appointment.  Which means I have to get to about 142ish, since I will be up a few pounds from my morning weight after breakfast and all that jazz.  I am not entirely sure if I will make that one since we are still in the throughs of the holidays and I have two birthday parties to get through (my daughter's and my father in law's).  But I would still like to be as close to 145 at my doctor's appointment as possible.  Also, our one ski trip of the year falls in the middle of February and I would love to be about 140 for that trip.  It was when I got over 145 that I started having problems with my feet skiing.  Namely, they go numb.  I have no idea why, but it never happened until my weight got over 145.  It might have to do with aging, but it might have to do with weight, and in case it does have to do with weight I really really want to be below 145 for this ski trip.  I was trying to hit that mark last year but right at the beginning of the year I hurt my foot and that was out.  So I am going to really try hard to hit it this year.

That's all I've got right now, this is more of just a check in post to let you all know I am still here and getting this figured out.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Well, I tried and I failed.  I have come to accept the fact that I just can't live like a naturally thin person.  I don't think or behave like a naturally thin person because I am not a naturally thin person.  My relationship with food is not normal which is why I have a weight problem in the first place.  If I am not constantly on guard and if I am not constantly trying then I end up going haywire.  I can't sustain anything and I find I am in a crazy food spiral that leaves me feeling depressed, angry, and frustrated.  I wish with all my might that I could just live like naturally thin people, that eating healthy was second nature to me.  But no amount of wishing is going to change that.  Now I am at a crossroads.  I have a decision to make and I have to make it now.  My pants almost don't fit me anymore, they have become really tight.  I have been a terrible example to my kids and I can see how it affects their choices of food.  We have been in junkfood and sugarland for quite some time.  I realize now that if I want to change that and get my kids to develop healthy habits I have to teach them, I have to be the example for them, and that is going to require effort, and hard work.  I have to work for it.

At a crossroads.... down one path I have made a decision to get back to the basics, accepting the fact that I just have to live my life differently than naturally thin people do.  I have to plan, I have to be aware, I have to be constantly on guard and watching myself.  I can't eat whatever and whenever I want because that is the path to emotional eating.  Down this path I can live the life of a thin, active, healthy person.  I hope to fully engage in life, and be active with my family when we go skiing, hiking, and all sorts of other activities.  Down the other path, I say screw it all I no longer care, and my weight goes back up and up and up over the next several months and years until I am right back to where I started, and then further.  I stop exercising, I stop living.  I am cranky, and angry and unhappy and miserable with myself. 

Two paths, the choice is clear.  I don't really have a choice, I can't go back.  I don't want to be the person that I was.  I want to be able to do things, I want to be active.  I want to be happy.  So it's back to the basics.  What was I doing when I was losing weight that made me successful?  I was weighing in daily, that kept me focused and gave me something to work on every day.  I was exercising 5x a week, lately I have been lucky to get in three times a week.  I have a gym now for goodness sake!  It should be easier not harder for me to exercise.  And lastly I was tracking.  Good old tracking.  I have a love/hate relationship with tracking which I am sure you probably know by now.  But it is something about the mentality of tracking that does it for me.  I can't just make healthy choices, if I am not tracking then it's a free for all.  I know that this isn't correct and it's faulty logic but that doesn't help with the emotional side.

And what to do about sweets?  I think I will just have to be extra prepared.  I will look at the calendar and plan my desserts and quantities so that I am not caught off guard.  If desserts present themselves and it's not on my calendar I will just have to say no.  I will just have to accept the fact that I will have to make some sacrifices.   Its either desserts or health and fitness and a happy life.  And I'm not cutting them out, just controlling them instead of them controlling me.  I have to learn to say no, and not feel deprived and not feel upset about not being able to eat them all the time. 

Today's weight: 152.8

Friday, November 28, 2014

Effort, Motivation, and People

So I'm lying in bed trying to fall asleep and I'm writing this blog post in my head and obviously not falling asleep.  So I decided to just get up and write it so I can get it out of my head and not worry about trying to remember it tomorrow.

Three things I have been thinking about over the past few days.  So someone says to me today "just don't gain any weight."  What the heck kind of crap comment is that anyway?  Thanks for that motivational jibe, what is wrong with people anyway?  I'll tell you what is wrong, that comment came from someone who has never been overweight in their life.  They don't know what it is like, they don't know the mindset, the problems, the terrible cycle, the warped logic, the feelings of desperation and depression.  That is part of why this is so hard for me.  I am the only one in my family who has struggled with weight issues, no one else knows what it is like.  Not my parents, siblings, husband, or in-laws. So they see me now struggling after doing so well and they don't know what to say, they don't know how to react.  Being thin is natural, expected.  Abusing food is a foreign concept to them, and being fat has always been a threat ever since I was young.  "Don't eat that, you will get fat, if you keep eating that way you will get fat, you need to exercise more because you're getting fat."  Pish, skinny people.  They just don't get it.

Anyway, along that note though it made me realize that motivation for me has always been internal.  I am the only person that can motivate myself.  I have always been internally motivated, which is why I have been able to experience success when I am doing it all on my own.  Recently I haven't been feeling very motivated and that's because I've been trying to do things that other people want me to do.  I'm not staying true to myself, true to the things I love doing, true to the exercise I love, true to the way I like to eat and I've let all the outside stress rule over me and allowed myself to turn to food.  Along that line is effort.  I realized that I'm not putting in much effort anymore, and I feel like I can spare some more effort.  I realized this when I was eating breakfast with an old friend who was in town for the holidays and he congratulated me on my weight loss (hasn't seen me since before I lost the weight), and told a story about how he started getting into weight lifting but then got really stressed at school and work and stopped exercising and his weight went right back up to where he began.  That story is so similar so many others but as I thought about it, the thought entered my mind "If you don't make time for it, and if you don't make it a priority it won't get done.  When things get stressful often the first thing to go is your exercise and healthy eating habits.  It is possible to keep those things going, they just have to be important enough to you to keep them going. "  I didn't say that to my friend because I didn't think of it at the time (that and right after he told me the story Lily drug me off to the bathroom because she needed to go).  But it definitely applies to me now.  I haven't been making healthy living much of a priority, and I think it is about time I start to do that again.

As I was wrestling with my brother over a broom to sweep my parent's kitchen this evening I realized how weak I have gotten.  Granted he is a man and I am a woman, but I have lost a lot of the strength I had worked hard to get at the beginning of the year, and if I had kept working on that aspect I probably wouldn't have lost that fight so miserably.........maybe.  Anyway, I've really become bent out of shape and I need to light my own internal fire and do things because I choose to do them, not because someone else tells me it would be a good idea to do them.  I do the best when it is my idea, and my choice.

On a completely unrelated note, I have of course been thinking about food over the past two days since we just had the biggest food consuming holiday probably in the whole world.  I realized something very important about myself which is this: I enjoy the eating experience so much that I do almost everything I can to prolong it.  And by everything I can I mean eat more food.  One of the biggest reasons why I overeat is because I don't want the eating experience to come to an end.  Since I have always been a fast eater, this has always meant eating more food.  There are only two ways to lengthen the eating experience: 1. eat more food (my historical method) and 2. slow down your eating pace.  If you eat slower, you will be eating longer.  It's the same desired effect but you don't eat as much as method 1.  I am going to be working really hard from here on out to slow my eating.  I know I like eating, and I want to eat longer, so therefore if I can just slow down enough so that by the time I finish I feel like I have been eating long enough, that would be a huge help.  Hopefully that will give my hunger signals time to catch up to my brain, and also psychologically satisfy my need to eat and prolong the eating experience.

Oh yes and I've decided to do another round of Chalean Extreme weight lifting at home before going to the gym.  I've gotten so weak, I am driving myself nuts. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Loving myself

I am tired of despising myself.  Tired of comparing myself to others, tired of trying to look like certain people at the gym, and tired of chasing the worlds idea of beautiful and "the perfect body".  You see I binge eat because I don't like myself and I try to escape from my reality in various ways.  I stuff myself full of food because I can't face the stress of trying to be something I am not, of trying to look like someone I don't, and trying to do things I hate.  You know what.  I'm so over it now.  I'm not saying that I don't want to improve myself, or that I am not going to be setting any goals or that I don't want to continue progressing.  I do want to continue to be the best person I can be and keep working on becoming a better person.  Continue making choices every day to live like who I want to be, but who I want to be is not who society tells me I should be.  THAT was the disconnect.  I am tired of hating my body and wishing I looked like someone else.  I am tired of depriving myself of things I like to eat.  That was a huge fear that was holding me back from progressing and getting back on track.  I figured that once I got back on track I wouldn't be able to eat what I wanted anymore so I just kept overeating and overeating telling myself I would start tomorrow or next week. 

Well I'm through with that.  I am just going to let it be for now, love my body for what it can do, congratulate myself for the progress I've made, do the exercise I love, and eat what I love.  After a few months we will see where that leads me and then re assess the situation

Monday, November 24, 2014

Live like who you want to be

Last week was a tough week for me.  I've been struggling and after much thinking, I believe it's due to stress.  Since my younger daughter is growing up some and getting bigger, she can now fight back, and it seems there is naught but constant screaming, fighting, yelling, and crying coming from my girls.  They do great when they are separate but they have been terrible the past several weeks when they are together.  I can pinpoint it to one event: daylight savings.  Oh how I hate daylight savings.  The kids now get up at 6am instead of 7am and they go to bed at the same time, so they get less sleep at night now, and I can tell that it has taken a toll.  It has been incredibly stressful and I have not adapted well since I am also getting less sleep and then dealing with more stress during the day.  My emotional eating has been way out of control and I have been avoiding the scale (which always happens when I get off track).  In my mind I had gained a ton of weight and I thought everything was lost.  I decided to face reality this morning and step on the scale, I decided it was time to get back to work, and take charge again instead of letting myself drift and be defeated by my own kids and my own mind.  This morning I braced myself for the scale to flash as high as 160, but it seems our minds are good at exaggerating and blowing things totally out of proportion.  My weight was 150.4, a whole ten pounds less than I thought it was.  I wasn't seeing straight that is for sure, and I didn't know what to write about or how to write it when I was floundering and my own thoughts were twisted and confused.  Maybe though those are the times I should be writing because those are the most critical times.  But it is always easier to write about it after the fact than when you are living through it.

This past week I made another realization.  I was thinking back on my weight loss a year ago, thinking about how I was living.  It was hard for me to choose to be active with the kids.  I would have much rather put on a movie in the evening or stayed inside during the summer instead of playing in the pool.  It was hard for me to choose to do activities that benefited them.  I'm not talking about taking them out to the park, or taking them to the zoo.  I'm talking about the nitty gritty day in and day out everyday activities.  What do you do EVERY single night?  What do you do EVERY single afternoon?  You can plan on day trips, morning trips, activities and events.  Those are easy, its every other moment that is hard.  But I chose to fill those moments by playing with the kids, dancing to music, and being as active as I could.  It was hard then, and guess what, It's still hard now.  I had hoped it would get easier as time went on, but it hasn't yet and I hit a wall and I stopped doing those things.  I started giving into my natural lazy self, and letting the kids watch more tv and play more games so I could go do something else.  But that isn't who I wanted to be.  I don't want to be a lazy person who is consumed by food, and always chooses to be sedentary over being active.  This is definitely a prime example of "fake it till you make it".  I'm not who I want to be yet, but every day is filled with choices.  I see the person I naturally am now, the things I naturally desire to do, or maybe a better way to describe it is the things my body want to do.  Because mentally I want to be that person who lives a active, healthy lifestyle, among other things, but physically I want to sleep, be lazy and eat food.  There are two halves of me that are constantly battling and every day I make hundreds of choices, but they are my choices and I can choose to live like the person I want to be or I can choose to live like the person I was.  It will not be easy to make the choices to live like the person I want to be, because that requires effort, work, change, and most importantly time.  The hardest thing for me to accept is that I will not be perfect.  We are only human and we can't be perfect all the time.

So let's start choosing today to live our lives like the person we want to be.  If you want to be more generous, then make choices that lead you to be generous.  If you want to be more active, then make choices that lead down the path to becoming a more active person.  Every day, hundreds of choices, and not all of them easy.  It's hard to change, there will be setbacks, challenges, mood swings, but if you persevere then you will eventually arrive at your destination.  It might take a lifetime, but that is the greatest test of all isn't it.  Endure to the end, hold on and enjoy the ride.
   P.S. thank you to anonymous who left a comment on one of my last blog posts and pulled me out of my anti-blogging streak. (I wrote this blog post within an hour of seeing that comment!)  I am glad that I can help others and inspire others and motivate others.  When I struggle I tend to forget about blogging, and it does help to get my thoughts all out there so they aren't so jumbled up in my head.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Not an Emergency

Today marks four days of being binge free and I am going to do absolutely everything I can to keep it that way.  I have been having a lot of success with the rule "no sweets until after dinner".  By the time dinnertime comes around and I've eaten the urge to binge is usually gone.  Yesterday I took the kids to the splash and play pool at the gym and they absolutely loved it.  I took them one at a time so we were there for a looooong time.  We had lunch at the cafe and I would put one in the daycare there and take the other to the pool.  By the time Chloe had her turn though she was super tired, but she still managed to play for a whole hour.  Next time thought I will take Chloe first.

I've been working on managing my hunger over the past several days and I've had a realization.  Hunger is just another form of discomfort, like having to pee or getting a papercut.  If you have to pee you know it, it's uncomfortable but most of the time it's not an emergency (unless you ignore it too long).  Same thing with hunger.  If you are hungry you know it, it is uncomfortable but it's not an emergency (unless you ignore it too long).  We are use to all sorts of discomfort in our lives, but for some reason can't stand the discomfort of being hungry.  So that is what I have been working on over the past several days is realizing that yes, I'm hungry but I'm not going to die if I don't eat now.  In fact I'm not going to die if I don't eat for an hour or so.  Stick to the plan and don't go crazy.

This is one of the best pieces of advice (or at least the piece that has really stuck out to me) in the book "The Beck Diet Solution".  Every time I think of the phrase "Not an emergency" I think of that scene in Tinkerbell- Secret of the Wings when the visit the healing talent fairy and the receptionist says "Oh! Snapdragon right?  Not an Emergency, Plant it over there".  Now everyone who has young girls is laughing and everyone who doesn't has a blank look on their face and is going "okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay".

Focus on eating food to live life, not living life to eat food.  Every time I start thinking about eating food when I'm not really hungry, eating junk food, or eating sweets I go and involve myself in something else.  Either playing with the girls, doing a craft, something proactive.  Anything to get my mind off of food and on my life.  I'm tired of living for food, always waiting for the next meal or the next opportunity to eat.  Food needs to be in its proper place, fuel so that I can live my life.  This morning instead of lounging on the couch watching TV I played with the kids all morning, we spent time together as a family instead of me making pancakes and cleaning the kitchen and then sleeping on the couch.  I ate oatmeal for breakfast and I feel really good right now. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Easier Said than Done

When I realized I was a binge eater about six months ago and I declared my war on binge eating and trying to nix that behavior I had no idea what was in store for me.  I had no idea it would be so incredibly difficult.  Over the past several days I have really been down in the dumps.  I eat just to have something to do, I eat to distract myself, I get "in the zone" and I go from one bad food choice to the next, plundering the kids Halloween candy, and countless other sources of food.  I thought I was making progress, addressing my emotional issues, which I honestly feel I have resolved.
  1. I made peace with my 6th grade self, and decided to just let the past go.  My parents love me and were trying to help me when they put me on the Slim Fast diet and had me run the treadmill.  They were trying to prevent exactly what I am going through right now, only I was too stubborn to just go along with everything, I had to lash out and resist.  But I have made peace with that past.
  2. I have made peace with my present.  Ever since deciding to be a stay at home mom and giving up the "dream" of being successful in the workplace (doctor, teacher, dental hygienist, physical therapist... I bounced around a lot of different professions), I have been kicking at the pricks.  I had to overcome my own feelings of uselessness because I wasn't contributing to the household income.  I had to overcome my feelings of inadequacy, maybe even a little bit of resentment.  I have finally humbled myself enough to accept the fact that THIS is where I am needed, THIS is where I am supposed to be.  My kids need ME to raise them, not a daycare. And the value of my soul is not measured by how much money I can make.
  3. I relieve stress through exercise, or by going to find a quiet place for a few minutes where I can decompress instead of going to find a cookie.
So why then do I still still struggle so much with binging?  Perhaps because it's habit.  I've noticed that the worst comes in the afternoon.  We have been busy all morning and around 1:30-3:00 we have some down time.  Chloe is taking a nap and there is a lull in the day.  I get tired, so I want to eat.  Lily still need attention but I'm tired so I try to get a break by eating.

Maybe what I really need is to plan a nap for myself.  When Chloe gets to bed maybe Lily can watch a move and I can relax.

One thing I have learned about tackling the problem of binge eating... It's definitely easier said than done.

I managed to get through yesterday without binging, although I did overeat.  Today has been promising, and I have my plan in place to prevent myself from binging and I will be out this evening so I won't be home to stuff all the food in my face.  I am sticking to my no desserts until after dinner rule, and it has been difficult.  The afternoon is prime baking time, but it is more important to me to stop stuffing myself with food to the point of feeling sick and to become healthier, and happier. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Overcome Cravings

There is a whole section in "The Beck Diet Solution" that tackles the issue of overcoming cravings, or to go along with the theme I've had this week: making weak things become strong, and mastering yourself.  Just because you are searching for self mastery and trying to gain self control doesn't mean you can't get as much help as you can find.  Cravings are a normal part of dieting and we have to learn to overcome them.  There are a few key points that Dr. Beck makes in her section about overcoming cravings
  • "To weaken the intensity and reduce the frequency of cravings you have to stop giving into them" page 127
  • "Cravings don't usually go away by trying to satisfy them with just a taste." page 127
  • "Waiting out a craving increases your ability to tolerate cravings and also increases your confidence that you can do so.  The more often you wait out your cravings, the less intense and less frequent they'll be in the future." page 127
  • "Once I stop giving into cravings and they become much weaker and less frequent, dieting will be easier." page 134
Then Dr. Beck gives you some different techniques to try and help you deal with cravings.  She details many mindfulness techniques.
  1. Label it (tell yourself it is a craving, it is not an emergency, and you can overcome it)
  2. Stand Firm (decide immediately that you will not give into it)
  3. Don't give yourself a choice 
  4. Imagine the aftermath of giving in (the sick feeling in your stomach and the low self esteem)
  5. Remind yourself you want to learn to withstand cravings
After you run through these five points then it is time to take action:
  1. Distance yourself from the food you crave (for me it's leaving the kitchen)
  2. Drink some water or a no calorie beverage 
  3. Relax- meditate? 
  4. Distract yourself
That last one is huge.  Distracting yourself is key to overcoming a craving.  You have to get your mind off of the craving.  My cravings and mindless eating always comes in the afternoon around 3:00 so from now on 3:00-4:30 is movie time, and I am going to be working on my cross stitch.  Get involved in some sort of activity to take your mind off food.
Overcoming cravings also goes right along with stopping unplanned eating.  Making a food plan the night before and sticking to it and making a rule that you have no choice to deviate from your food plan will help when you are feeling indecisive.  You remember that you have no choice, and stick to your food plan.  Dr. Beck suggests making a few rules that you can live with that will help, these are going to be specific for you and your needs.  I have been really wish washy about desserts over the past year.  I have tried to take them out completely, tried to eat them in moderation all to no avail.  I know I don't want to give them up forever, and every time I cut them out it backfires on me.  But I know that sweets trigger binges, so the rule I came up with for myself is this:

No desserts until after dinner.

That will prevent binges during my most vulnerable time: the early afternoon before dinner.  Plus I won't be hungry from not having eaten anything for the past three or four hours so I am going to give this a try and see how it works.  Hopefully I will be back to making progress!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

That Your Weaknesses May Become Strengths

“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27)

I suppose I should mention here that this quote comes from a set of scriptures called "The Book Of Mormon".  And since I know you are going to ask: Yes I am Mormon, Yes I read and believe in the Book of Mormon, Yes I also read and believe in The Bible, No I do not believe that all Non-Mormons are going to Hell, and Yes I believe in Jesus Christ and that he is our Savior and our Redeemer.  Now that we have that out of the way we can get onto the point.

 At its heart, isn't this the root of what we are trying to achieve?  Here we are, overweight, lethargic, addicted to food, emotional eaters, and lacking self control.  Take away all the fancy names, all the fancy programs and what do you have left?  We have a weakness, and that weakness is food.  It is something we struggle with, something that has been causing us distress, discomfort, discouragement.  It is one of our (okay: MY) greatest weaknesses.  And what exactly is this journey all about?  It's about learning to eat healthy, become more active, and break our food addiction.  In essence it's about turning our weakness into a strength.  Look at anyone who has succeeded in this journey, and more specifically those who have succeeded in maintenance.  They are able to control with mastery their food intake, their exercise, food preparation and planning, they can navigate the buffet table, the holiday desserts, and the party trays with finesse.  Their weakness has become one of their greatest strengths.

That is what I think about when I think about self mastery around food.  It is hard now, it is hard to resist the extra food, it is hard to make and then eat healthier food when what you are craving is a pizza, or burgers and fries, or whatever it is you are craving.  It's HARD!  But the more you work on it, the less you give in the easier it becomes, your desires may start to change, your palate may start to change, your thoughts may start to change, and whether you rely on God or not to help you change, your weakness, slowly, over time can and will be turned into your strength as you allow your spirit to control your body instead of your body to control your spirit.  By admitting your weakness and becoming willing to work, becoming teachable, becoming open to suggestions and change you are humbling yourself.  If you believe you can change, if you believe in a better future for yourself then you have faith.  I know I can beat this.  I know there will be setback, missteps, and pitfalls.  Goodness knows I have had hundreds of them already.  But I keep picking myself, try to learn something, try to change, and move on facing forward.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Self Mastery

Well, I didn't even make it one week tracking.  I fell back into old habits of tracking and doing really well for one week, and then the two days after that were definitely sub par, and yesterday was almost a free for all.  I really thought I could make it work this time around but obviously I was wrong.  I am just not in the same place now that I was almost two years ago.  If I want to progress from here, I have to do something differently, and it isn't going to be tracking.  Tracking makes me freak out, I get really nervous when my available points or calories get really low, I immediately develop that whole "diet mentality" and it's not helping. 

In light of my realization a few days ago that so much of my problem is simply a matter of impulse eating and eating from boredom I have decided to focus on something that has become stigmatized in the weight loss community: self control.  I have read many diet books, blogs, and articles and so many of them start off by bashing self control.  We start a diet (many of them restrictive) and then blame ourselves for not having enough self control to stay on it, then the literature goes on to tell us that it's not our fault that we can't stay on these diets.  To an extent that is true.  Going on a crash diet or a highly restrictive diet is not a good choice, and leads to severe deprivation and your body goes into starvation mode and who would have the self control to stay on that long term?  However, there is something that needs to be said for self control.  If you don't have any self control, how are you going to stay on any plan?  If you have no self control how will you continue making healthy choices, how will you make any changes at all?  This is an area that I have ignored long enough.  It's time to start controlling my impulses, and mastering myself.  I once heard self mastery explained like this:

We are made up of our spirit and our bodies.  You have heard it said "mind over matter" but phrased a little differently we can create "spirit over body".  Self mastery is the process of making the body subject to the spirit.  In other words, we can control our thoughts, actions, desires, and passions.

And I heard addiction explained like this:
When we are entangled in the treads of addiction our spirit is trapped and enslaved to the body.  The passions of the body are allowed to run wild.  Our spirit has become subject to the body.

I feel like this a lot when I am around food and can't control myself.  That is exactly it, my spirit which is saying "I shouldn't be doing this" is trapped, completely controlled by the demands of my body "eating this tastes so good and I want to eat more and more of this".  When really I need to be doing the exact opposite and saying "I am in command of my body, and I know that eating that food is not going to help me in any way, so I am going to show mastery of my body and my passions and show some self control."

Self Control, Self Mastery, whatever you want to call it, I think that is where my path now lies.  I have the reasons, I have the desire, I have the knowledge, I have the motivation, but all that seems to fly out the window when I get cravings.  Learning to endure and overcome cravings is essential for me to progress on this path.  And no matter how you word it, learning to overcome and endure cravings and talk yourself out of them.... that is self control no matter what spin you put on it or what way you look at it.  If you want to lose weight, if you want to progress, you have to have self control.  That is what I am going to focus on now.  Controlling myself: stopping when I am satisfied, not overeating my desserts, not binging.  I feel like I have addressed many of the issues that lead me to eat, and now its time for one more very important step.  It's time to bridle my passions, and stop giving in.  In the book "The beck diet solution" she calls it strengthening your resistance muscle, and it's something I have been avoiding for a long time. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Impulse Eating

I have solved another piece of the puzzle.  I realized today that I am an impulse eater.  Or in other words, I am very much a part of the whole instant gratification mindset that plagues our world today.  Tonight as I was in the middle of a mini binge (it could have been much worse) I was asking myself why I couldn't wait to eat more sweets until tomorrow, or until a few days from now.  I didn't want to stop, I wanted sugar, and I didn't want to argue with myself.  (It's very hard to talk yourself out of a situation when you don't want to be talked out of it).  The answer I gave myself in that moment was "Because I want it now!"  Which was revelatory for me.  I can be a very impulsive person, and I get very strong impulses (usually around shopping or when I want something new, like a dog, or computer game, or whatever the new thing is) and not only are they very hard to resist but I actually have no desire to resist them.  Of course that means that most of the time I end up giving into my impulses, and hence another eating issue has emerged.  Realizing that; no amount of self talk is going to get me off the ledge when I don't want to come down from it.  And so I have been approaching this particular part of eating the wrong way.  I know about eating when I'm bored, or stressed: emotional eating, I have been trying to find better coping mechanisms, but solving my impulse eating and my instant gratification mindset is a whole other animal. 

This is something I need to work on as a whole.  I need to recognize my impulses, label them as impulses and the hard part is to not give into them.  When I have an impulse the draw is incredibly strong, it's time to start exercising some self control.  I do have a few ideas.  For eating, allow myself two treats a week, and these are going to be planned in advance.  It's not Thanksgiving DAY or your birthDAY or Christmas DAY that causes trouble, it's all the other days in-between.  I need to shake off this instant gratification mindset, become more selfless, more humble........ Maybe I should think up some service projects to do, start thinking about others, become less of a consumer and draw closer to God.  For the longest time I figured that when my weight loss journey was done, I could work on other things like spirituality.  But now I realize that I can't continue on in my weight loss journey until I start taking care of my spirituality.  I am too obsessed with food, thinking about weight loss and food and exercise all the time.  I don't want to be obsessed with it.  If I can change my focus, stop thinking about it so much then I will have made a significant step towards living a life free from my crippling addiction to food.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tuesday Weigh In

As promised I am doing an official weigh in today now that I know all the sodium is out of my system.  I was hoping to be around 146 so you can imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scale this morning and it said this:
Woo Hoo!  Down 1.2 pounds from my previous lowest of 146 and down 2.2 pounds from my Friday weigh in of 147.  That my friends is the power of tracking.  I didn't change a single thing with my workouts, I have continued to do Zumba, and work on my triathlon training.  I did make progress doing intuitive eating, I have to give myself credit because I did pull myself out of a really bad mess I had created when my weight went all the way up to 153, and I was able to get back down to about 146.5, but so many times when I am not tracking I think I can cheat, and I start snacking a lot.  Tracking helps me to be more aware of what I am putting in my mouth.

I am making sure that this time I use everything I have learned over the past few months so as not to let myself feel deprived, or starved.  I really want to make this a real lifestyle change, a liveable lifestyle change.  Get food back into its proper place, stop obsessing over it so much.  Seriously I used to think about food every waking moment, always living for the next meal, or the next snack.  Food is something to be used to fuel your body so you can do everything else you want to do!  I needed to stop living for the food.  I'm making sure my snacks are balanced and filling, I'm making sure my meals are the same.  I'm making sure to eat until I'm satisfied, and listen to my body.  What does my body want?  Not what does my head think my body wants.  I am tired of feeling sick from overeating, tired of feeling sick from eating too much sugar.  I have discovered that my tolerance for sugar is actually much lower now, after I cut it out for three weeks (that's all I lasted but I think it was enough).  Sugar gives me a raging headache and popcorn has lately been giving me stomach aches.  I am also working on the thought side of it.  Instead of saying "I wish I could eat those five cookies like my husband"  I tell myself "I am glad I am not eating those five cookies, because they would make me feel sick, give me a headache and hinder my weight loss."  Another thing mentioned in "The Beck Diet Solution" about thinking was hunger and saying "I recognize I'm a little hungry right now, but it's okay, I'm going to have dinner (or my next meal or a snack) in just a little bit.  My meal is only an hour a way, I can wait"  And then you go get involved in something else and before you know it it's time to eat.  Life isn't about food, it's about being active, participating, living.  And food is the fuel that allows you to do other things. 

In other news, I figured out why I have been having such a hard time drinking my water over the past month.  My tumbler I was using broke, so I bought a new one:
I drink so much more water when it is in something like this.  I just have a hard time remembering and drinking my water when it is in a water bottle or a cup.  Another thing that has really been helping me lately comes out of "The Beck Diet Solution" where she says (and it's nothing new, I've heard it before, I just haven't taken it to heart until now) "Sit Down EVERY time you eat."  That means that if you are preparing food, you cannot mindlessly snack on the food you are preparing because you are standing, so it eliminates snacking while cooking.  It eliminates rummaging through the pantry or fridge and popping things into your mouth, it makes you focus and be more aware of what you are eating and actually make the decision "yes I am eating this".  It has helped me a lot to stop the mindless snacking and all the food sneaking that I was doing throughout the day previously, it is a very good habit to develop and keep for the rest of my life.  I don't really need to be standing up when I eat, it's not necessary so I think this is a very good habit to have and implement for the long term.  Right now I am on one of the highs of this roller coaster ride, and I hope that this high can last a while because goodness knows I've been in a low long enough. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Ruminations

I know I'm supposed to weigh in today, but Matt wanted Vietnamese food yesterday and that means Pho.  I have learned not to weight myself for two days after I eat Pho because I am always up a pound and a half or so because of the high sodium content.  So I will do my official weigh in on Tuesday instead, and I will give you my Friday weight: 147

Yesterday went really well, I used exactly the number of points I was supposed to and I used all of my activity points, but then again, the first day always goes really well.  We have the missionaries coming over for dinner tonight and that means hamburgers!  We always feed the missionaries hamburgers.  They say they don't get those very often, and they are fed a lot of Mexican food and casseroles.  I bought the smaller hamburger buns that have 140 calories per bun which I figured was better than the 210 calorie buns.  There will be chips and guacamole, home made french fries and I'm making up the asparagus I found in the fridge this morning.  I had completely forgotten about the asparagus and they need to be cooked pronto!  I will probably end up going into my weekly points today but I am planning on eating as much zero point food before dinner as possible to save as many points as I can for dinner.  I'm not exercising today so I don't have that to give me more points.  Ah, yes back to tracking, no wonder why I stopped doing it.  It can get stressful.  But it keep you aware of how much you are eating and prevents me from overeating.

This morning I unintentionally reorganized the pantry.  I was looking for potatoes for tonight and after pulling everything out of the bottom of the pantry I ended up doing a complete makeover:
I didn't take a before photo because I wasn't originally planning on reorganizing the pantry
A little higher up are the nuts and all the baking and sweets are up at the very top in a box.  I tried to put the healthier stuff at eye level, but we don't have a lot of packaged snacks, so I've got the quinoa and chia seeds there and the croutons are to remind me to eat more salads.  I always forget about the raisins, and the kids love raisins.  I took out all the kitchen towels and moved them to a different location along with my mess of cookbooks.  I think I am going to get a box to put the cookbooks in and put them next to the baking box, then when it's time to menu plan and I want a cookbook I can take the box down.  That could backfire though if the box is too heavy. 

Lastly I want to try to explain a little better why I decided to go back to tracking for a while and get out of the 140s.  I still believe in everything I've been doing up to this point, the mental progress I've made, the positive thoughts about myself and my body, learning body acceptance.  My father in law was down for Halloween and said "ok, so before Thanksgiving dinner we will swim a mile together and then go eat, nap and then eat dessert!"  He has really been cheering me on with training for the Triathlon and he has really helped motivate me to continue and to do better.  I am no where near close to being able to swim a mile and I know that I need to get a little more serious about eating right and training if this is something I am actually going to do.  So I have about four weeks to get up to being able to swim a mile, meaning I will be increasing my physical activity and I know that my current weight is hindering my athletic progress.  And my mindless eating is hindering my weight loss, therefore I need to implement tracking again to make sure I am eating food that will fuel my body for training and optimize my athletic progress, and allow me to shed some more fat so I can have more energy to swim longer, bike further, and run faster.  I'm going to shoot for 135 and see where that puts me in how I feel, and how my athletic ability has improved.  If I'm happy with that, I will switch to maintenance then (note: a whole 14 pounds above my original goal weight of 121).  I just want to be healthy, and happy and right now, the tool I need to get me there is tracking.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tired of the 140s

As I have been changing things up over the past month or so, I feel like I have become better at eating more naturally, I haven't binged which is good, but I also feel like I have been stuck here in the high 140s for a long time and I for one am sick of it.  As you know I haven't been tracking.  I really think that I have reached the limits of what tracking can teach me.  I know how many calories are in the foods I eat and how many points, I know what foods are good and what foods I should avoid it is just a matter of doing what I am supposed to be doing.  Now, while I may not learn anything new from tracking, I do think that there are still things I could benefit from tracking.  First of all I know that I have not been eating as well as I should be.  I have been snacking a lot and I have been eating a lot of extra food. I feel like I have been doing an excellent job maintaining my weight, but that can be very frustrating when you are trying to lose weight.  I'm also hovering right outside my healthy weight range which is infuriating.  And so I am going to use the I Track Bites app to help me be more aware of exactly how much I am eating.  Also when I am tracking my food I tend to snack less as I don't like going over my points/calories.  The challenge comes when being persistent.  I need to make sure that I don't deprive myself, forbid any foods, and even if I go over for the day I need to write it down and not think I have blown my whole plan and throw away the day.  Every piece of food you put in your mouth counts and the best time to start fixing overeating is right after you have done it.  Just get right back on track and don't make things worse.  That is something I really need to get good at doing.

I've also just started reading a book that I absolutely love called "The Beck Diet Solution" by Judith S. Beck.  If "how to have your cake and your skinny jeans too" is about how to eat like a thin person and "food triggers" is about finding and fixing the emotional roots to why you emotionally eat, then this book is the third piece to the picture and is all about teaching you how to think like a thin person.  How to think about food and how to think about dieting.  It is retraining your brain to think differently about food.  Some of the examples given in the very beginning I just love.  It's about talking back to your self sabotaging thoughts.  Here is a great example "When you hear that little voice in your head say 'Oh, just eat it, it won't matter.' You will be able to tell yourself 'Yes, it does matter, I want to be thin, every time I eat something I'm not supposed to, it makes it more likely that I'll give in again in the future, it matters every single time,  I'm just trying to fool myself.  If I eat it, I'll get a few seconds of pleasure but then I'll feel bad, I can resist this, I want to lose weight much more than I want a few seconds of pleasure." page 18

Talking back to your self sabotaging thoughts is one of the big things she talks about, but you also learn to change your thinking from "I wish I could eat that" to "I'm sure glad I didn't eat that!"  What an amazing mental transformation!  This book doesn't teach you how to eat but how to think, and that was a big missing piece of the puzzle for me.  I'm also just tired of spending every waking moment thinking about weight loss.  I need to start thinking about other things, and only think about food at appropriate times like when I'm food planning or hungry.  I'm ready to change, and ready to progress.  If you are not happy with where you are now or what you are doing then you need to change, and change I am.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Carving

A few months ago I realized that I no longer crave feeling full, and in fact I don't like the feeling of being full.  That feeling where your stomach is stretched to capacity and you don't want to eat another bite.... except that you do because what I have recently discovered about myself is that 75% of the time my desire to eat has absolutely nothing to do with my physical hunger.  SAY WHAT?  That is right.  I realized this the other day when I was eating, and eating, and eating some more and I was very full.  I was so full that I didn't was starting to get that sick stretched feeling but I psychologically wanted to eat more.  I couldn't stop eating although I was clearly full and didn't need any more food.  That is when I realized that so much of my eating is not due to being hungry or being afraid of getting too hungry, but its actually due to other psychological reasons.  Those are the things I am trying to uncover so that I can start living better and not being so dependent on food and stop my binges and stop all the crazy snacking that goes on in the afternoon.  I'm not sure if I am discouraged by the fact that most of the time I eat when I am not hungry or if I am enlightened.  I suppose right now I am conflicted.  But with each new revelation I am one step closer to my goals and one step further in my progression to having a healthy normal relationship with food. 

Today we finally got around to carving our pumpkins.  Yet another difference between my two kids is very apparent in the way they reacted to carving the pumpkins.  Lily didn't want anything to do with the inside of the pumpkin and refused to touch it.  Chloe on the other hand absolutely loved putting her hand inside the pumpkin and pulling out pumpkin guts and seeds.

Now we are all ready for Halloween tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rediscovering my favorite activities

Finally I am feeling back to normal.  Yesterday I went to a Zumba Toning class and it was the first time I didn't feel like I wanted to lie down and go to sleep in the middle of class.  I actually had energy to do the workout.  Good thing too because that was a hard class!  Much harder than I thought it would be.  My arms were shot afterwards, surprisingly thought it's my legs that are sore today. 

Lily has been testing my patience lately, she has been stool holding again.  There is nothing that stresses me out quite like when she refuses to poop.  After a 20 minute tantrum, which is relatively short when it comes to this topic, I decided to bribe her and I said that if she would poop we could make cookies together.  30 seconds later, she complied and we were off baking cookies.  I am definitely not above bribing my kids, and it seems to work the best with Lily anyway.  It turned out to be an unexpected bonus because I didn't let her eat any of the cookies we made (she was able to eat some cookie dough) until after she ate her dinner, and she had to eat all of her vegetables before she could eat her cookies.  She is such a picky eater and it all depends on her mood, she likes peas and corn and green beans and carrots and broccoli but a lot of the time she just refuses to eat them.  It is infuriating.  Lately I have been making sure she eats at least one fruit and one vegetable a day, and I am determined to keep that up because her diet has become pretty poor over the past year with how picky she has been with eating.   Last year I was pulling teeth just to get her to eat something that I didn't care so much what that something was.  That has led to other problems such as hard stools and constipation from not enough fiber in her diet.  I also decided that it was time to start educating my kids on food groups and what is in the foods they eat and why we need to eat certain foods.  So when we were making cookies I was talking to Lily about solids and liquids (wet and dry) ingredients, and when we were playing we were naming all the fruits that she could think of.  Then we played a game where I said a food and asked if it was a fruit or veggie and she had a really great time with that.  I've also been checking out food books from the library and Lily and Chloe both love to look through those books and tell me which foods they have eaten and which ones they have not.  I decided that if I want to instill a love of eating healthy and get them to establish good eating habits I need to start now.  And you know what they say "there is no time like the present" or something along those lines. 

After the kids went to bed I was reading on and she talks about how she is busy with her activities and she loves being busy.  That got me thinking.  I don't think I have enough things to do during the day, I get lethargic in the afternoon and in the evenings I peruse the internet.  Not very productive, or fulfilling.  So I decided to start working on something that is recommended in the book I've talked about recently "Food Triggers".  She says to go and discover things about yourself.  You know what kind of food you like, you know what your favorite dessert is and your favorite candy, but what kinds of music do you like?  What genre of books are your favorite?  Do you enjoy making things with your hands, or would you prefer to dance.  Learn how to do something new, take your mind off of food and discover yourself.  In this case I chose to rediscover a hobby I haven't had time or felt like doing for two years: Cross Stitch!  My mom made all of the kids cross stitch stockings and I wanted to carry on the tradition to my family, so about 5 years ago I made Matt his stocking (I will post a picture of it once we get the stockings out ha!) and I bought stuff for Lily's stocking before she was born but never got very far on it.  Two years ago Matt bought me a stitching station for Christmas (I picked it out in the catalog and he sneakily bought it for me) and I hadn't even set it up yet.  So Last night after the kids were in bed, out it came!
It is soooo coool!  much better than the little hoop I was using.  An unexpected consequence is that I now have to learn to cross stitch with my left hand as well as my right because one hand stays on top and one stays on bottom.  So even though this is an older hobby that I am rediscovering, I am also learning something new!  I'm training my left hand how to cross stitch! Now I know you are wondering what the heck that is that I'm making (isn't it obvious?).  I told you I didn't get very far on it before I put it away.  Babies have a tendency to make crafts go into the closet and never come out.  This is Lily's stocking and here is what the finished project will look like:
Except the name will say Lily instead of Alexander of course.  I think I did a good job picking out the pattern, I bought it before Lily was born but Lily loves animals so I think this is a good one.  Since Christmas is coming up soon now is a good time to buy Chloe's stocking pattern too.  I suppose I could wait until next year since I doubt I will be finishing this project any time soon but I've never been very good at waiting.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sweet 16

I decided to clean my house today, mostly because my sister turns 16 today and we threw her a surprise Birthday Party at my house!  It all was pretty busy today since I had to go pick up balloons, Ice Cream Cake, and run a few other errands like getting church shoes for my younger girl because of course we don't have any of Lily's old shoes that fit her.  Turns out she is a size six and we have size 5 and size 7.  She picked out Frozen shoes of course.  They are cute.  Flats that are silver with little sparkles on the toes.  I think they will look nice and they will be easier to walk in than the little heels they have on the more formal little girls shoes.  I don't know whose idea it was to put heels on toddler shoes. 

I felt sick all morning, but that didn't stop me from getting the house tidied up.  (I did start feeling better at about 1pm)  Lets see, there was the laundry, sweeping the floor, cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming the carpets, tidying up the living room and cleaning off the mantle and top of the entertainment center, cleaning all the yogurt and food off of the chairs, cleaning off the table so I could put the party tablecloth and balloons and presents and cake on it.  I finished everything I needed to to at about 3:45 and then got ready for my..... Half Size Me Interview!  Woo Hoo!  Heather, the host of my now favorite podcast (on account of it is the only podcast I listen to) contacted me a while back and asked if I wanted to interview for the show.  I was pretty nervous as the time came closer to interview but I got over my nerves pretty quickly after we started talking.  Heather is really easy and fun to talk to and I really enjoyed talking.  I did feel a little nervous going so much into my past with my parents, mostly my mom making me diet and exercise back in 6th grade, but I knew that I had to tell the truth and I had to tell my whole story and that time was when it all started and is a huge contributing factor to the rest of my past.  The interview won't air until January so it's going to be a while. 

I've been thinking a lot about food of course as I usually do.  This morning I was feeling queasy and when I opened up the fridge the thing that called out to me was the strawberry cheesecake pancakes I had made for breakfast yesterday.  I stood there and started to think to myself.  Why do I want to eat those so badly?  Goodness knows my stomach and my body doesn't want them.  Why am I so programmed to jump for sugar?  It is so frustrating.  Here I am feeling sick and mentally I am wanting to eat something sweet that will probably make me feel even sicker.  I remember one time growing up when I had the flu and I ate a packet of sweet tarts and then promptly threw them up.  I ate them because I saw them.  My body didn't want them, but I mentally wanted them.  Why?  This is the thing that is the most perplexing to me.  It is also the thing that I have not been able to resolve for myself.  I feel like I am programmed to automatically reach for sugar.  After lunch I want a treat, after dinner I want a treat.  In the afternoon I want a treat.  I feel like my body is craving sugar all the time.  When I get hungry the first thing I want is something sweet.  Since I have not been eating sweets, I have loaded up on refined carbs, eating crackers and chips in place of sweets.  A better replacement would be fruit or veggies.  I am not entirely sure how to tackle this beast, and a lot of books on the topic are usually pretty harsh calling sugar a poison and saying that we should cut it out of our diet all together.  But I really don't want to do that.  Sugar is a part of our culture, our society, our life.  Take today for example, Ice Cream Cake at a birthday party.  Cake at a wedding, desserts at every holiday, family gathering, event, activity.  You name it, food and desserts are a part of it.  How do we navigate this?  How do we stop ourselves from binging around these foods?  Is it even possible for someone like me to have a healthy relationship with desserts?  The answer: honestly..... I don't know.

To end on a light note, here are a few pictures from tonight's birthday party with my sister.  She was super surprised and we had a great time.  The kids were a little fussy and had to be put to bed in the middle of it, fortunately though they went to bed easily.  Also, I did have a piece of birthday cake since it was Blizzard Ice Cream cake from DQ.  But that does not mean that I have given myself a free for all pass, in fact I am going to stay away from all desserts for another good long stretch.  Maybe until Thanksgiving or another big event comes up where something irresistible is available.  So maybe I am making progress in this area after all.

Lily couldn't hardly stand not opening the presents.