Sunday, February 28, 2010

Excercising the body and soul...

So in March I have decided to try adding excercise to my plan. I've lost a little weight now and am feeling more energized so I think I can manage it. I'm going slowly at first because I have noticed in the past if I try to do too much too soon I feel like it's too hard and I can't do it. Soon after I usually end up giving up on the whole plan, diet included. I don't have any extra money right now, but luckily there is a small workout room in my apartment complex. It's not as good as a gym, but it's far more convenient and most importantly it's free. My goal is to get myself into shape so that when the weather finally warms up and the snow finally melts I can work out outdoors without embarrasing myself. Today was my first day and I feel pretty good so far.

I'm also using the season of Lent to try to get my family back into the habit of going to church on Sundays. My husband being the big sports fan that he is was all to eager to take advantage of my exhaustion when I was pregnant and then having the baby as an excuse not to go. But our son is almost 2 now and the church has a cry room we can sit in so no more excuses. So for Lent we are giving up one hour of our Sunday to spend time with God. I'm telling you all this because I feel like this is a  part of my overall plan to get healthy.

So much of my energy is focused on the health of my body. What I eat, how much I excercise and how I relax. I think that for me to feel truly healthy I also need to start investing some of my energy to my spirtual health as well. I'm not saying that you have to go to church to be healthy spiritually. I just think that I could use some improvement in that area and Church feels like a good first step for me. Physical fitness is a big goal of mine for this year, but I'm realizing that it's only a part of what I truly desire which is to be healthy. I wan to be healthy in body, spirit and mind. Just as I need to challenge my body if I expect to improve my physical health, I need to challenge my spirit and mind if I want to have a healthy soul and intellect.

"A sound mind in a sound body is a short but full description of a happy state in this world."

-John Locke (1632 - 1704)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weigh in week 7

Today’s weigh in- 228.6

That’s a 1.2 pound loss this week and 9 pounds since I’ve started this journey. To help me visualize exactly what I’ve accomplished so far – this is what 9 pounds of fat looks like-
I’m feeling really good about my progress so far. I’m losing at a reasonable rate that will be more likely not to come back on again. It’s real hard though sometimes to stay focused on the big picture. Now that the excitement of starting a new healthy lifestyle has faded and I’m left with the ugly reality that this is going to take a year or longer before I reach my goal weight, I find myself getting a little depressed over it all. I’m trying to tell myself that it doesn’t matter how long it takes me to get there, because I’m going to be eating and living this way for the rest of my life. I can’t think of my goal as being the end of my “diet” because then it will all have been for nothing. I’m trying to change my perception of this journey to a lifestyle change. The problem is that I love food and the idea of giving it all up for the rest of my life kind of bums me out. I think that’s why I’ve failed so miserably at this during other attempts.

It reminds me of when I tried to quit smoking in the past. I must have tried to quit dozens of times. New Year’s Resolutions, Lent, Great American Smoke Out and sometimes just because. It never stuck before because I liked smoking. Sure I knew that it was bad for me in an abstract kind of way. But the bad health that came with it was always way down the road and right then I felt good and I really enjoyed sitting out on the porch with a cigarette and a glass of wine chatting with my girlfriends. My head knew what I had to do, but my heart was never really in it. It wasn’t until I met my husband who hates smoke that I quit for good. Even then I had the occasional lapse until I found out I was pregnant the first time. When I finally was successful, I wasn’t quitting for me any longer, I was quitting for my child.

I’m trying to apply what I learned then to what I am doing now. Believe it or not, it’s been almost 4 years since I smoked my last cigarette and I still have a desire to smoke. Even now writing this and thinking about it, I’m battling that inner demon that is telling me to go get a pack to keep in my desk at work. That evil voice that is trying to convince me that it will help me lose weight and manage the stress I am under. It’s the same voice that tells me the double fudge brownies in the break room are an acceptable breakfast. It tells me that I’ll never have the body I had in my youth again so I might as well enjoy the food. That voice is the devil. I will not listen to that voice. The bad foods that I have been eating all these years are poison just as much as those cigarettes that I was puffing on. I know that the cravings will never go away completely, but that there will come a day when I am not consumed by them any longer. This time I’m not doing it for me, I’m doing it for my son. This time I will be successful.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I have a problem...

As I am starting to lose weight, I am finding that my belly is starting to sag. I know this doesn't seem like a huge problem, but it's starting to make me a little self conscious. I think it's the stretched out skin from when I was pregnant, but I'm losing at a reasonable pace (1-2 pounds per week) so I really wasn't expecting it to be this bad. But it really is! My belly looks like a deflated balloon!

So to all you mamas out there- do you know of anything that will help my skin bounce back with more elasticity? Any miracle creams or lotions?

I really can't afford a tummy tuck, though I suspect that's the only cure.... :-(

Oh well, it's not going to stop me from losing more though   :-)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weigh In Week 6

Drumroll….. 229.8

That’s a 2 week loss of 1.8 pounds.

Yes! I am finally in the 220’s. Woot Woot!

I hope that everyone had a very nice Valentine’s day last weekend. Mine was a bit low-key. I did really well though. My husband was smart and didn’t bring home chocolates this time. I was not so smart and brought candy for him and my son, which is now staring me in the face as we speak. And of course I bought all of my favorites, Reeses PB Cups, Twix, Chocolate covered pretzels… You know how many I ate? Zero! (I’m so proud of myself) I did cheat just a tiny bit though. I made one of my husband’s favorite dishes- Barbeque Ribs, and I didn’t realize how many carbs were in the barbeque sauce until they were done. So I figured as long as I was cheating, I would make it worth it and had four bites of the mashed potatoes too. I was good the rest of the day though, so I don’t feel too badly about it.

I just went out to lunch with my good friend E. It was great catching up with her. She’s started Jenny Craig and was telling me about that program. She said it’s been working, but the food is EXPENSIVE. It struck me that I always seem to gain a lot of weight when I’m poor. It’s one of those laws of the universe that you pay more for less food when trying to lose weight. If the world was fair you would pay a flat rate per calorie. Then I could achieve two goals at once, losing weight and saving money!

Will-power is a funny thing isn’t it? Sometimes I can walk right by the coffee cake in the break-room at work and not blink an eye. Other times I swear that I’m schizophrenic because there is a LOUD voice in my head that is trying to convince me to eat the friggin’ thing. When that happens I try to go to my happy place and repeat a silent mantra of “It’s poison.” On Friday the department I work in had a Valentine’s Day event where everyone brought in sweets. This was particularly hard because it all looked so good! Homemade brownies, chocolate truffles, vanilla cupcakes…. And all of it parked right next to the coffee station and water dispenser so I had to see (and smell) it all day long. I should have taken a picture to show you guys because it really was ridiculous. I did well though; I got through the day with only one (minor) breakdown where I took a tiny little taste of brownie. It was so small I can’t even say it was a bite. It was more like ½ bite. And then I decided that it didn’t taste that good. That the 10 minutes of pleasure I would get from eating it was not worth the set-back and undoing all that I worked so hard for over the last few weeks. So I tossed the rest out and quickly returned to my cubicle.

Now I’m off to get some coffee. Wish me luck, last I heard there were cinnamon buns hanging out over there……Poison! Yuck!

Friday, February 12, 2010

YUMMY video

So my husband has developed a new hobby of making homemade videos to accompany his favorite tunes. This one is particularly makes me hungry just watching it.

Savoy Truffle

Check it out and tell him what you think!

Hope everyone is doing well! I hope to have time for a lengthier post in the near future.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My story...

So a couple of fabulous bloggers I have been reading have posted their thoughts on what happened to make them overweight. This got me thinking about how I got to where I am today. It’s been difficult for me to put it all into words. I was never really fat when I was a child. If I was overweight it was never by more than a couple of pounds. I was never very athletic as a child. I was the last one chosen in gym class every time. I was slow. I was clumsy. I was made fun of even though I was trying my hardest. This eventually led me to stop trying. I guess my grade school self figured it was better in the playground dynamic to be thought of as lazy rather than incapable. I began to hate excercise and I still hate it today.

I think I had a healthy relationship with food when I was a kid. I was a good eater, but not terribly fond of sweets. I hated chocolate as a child and my Easter candy usually lasted me until Halloween and vice versa. My mother used to say I had a fast metabolism and could eat whatever I wanted and stay thin. I guess at the time she was right, I was growing so fast I never got very chubby. I also had a lot of play-mates in the neighborhood, mostly boys, who I would run around with everyday outside. We rode bikes, played tag, climbed trees and jungle gyms. So even though I hated exercise, I got plenty in the form of outdoor play.

I think things began to change as I got to middle school. My friends and I were beginning to hit puberty. The boys no longer had an interest in playing with me, and I stopped wanting to run around the playground like a little kid. I was never very popular with the girls in school. I had a bad haircut, new braces and bad acne. Plus I was a total geek. The only girls who would hang out with me were the other misfits in the school. This lasted throughout my high school years. Even though my skin cleared and the braces came off and I grew out my hair, I was always considered “unacceptable” to date. Other kids called me names, said I was ugly, disgusting… whatever. I wasn’t invited to parties and the guys wouldn’t even think of dating me. The tragic thing is, looking back, I can see that I was smoking hot back then, I just didn’t know it.

When I got to college, I wanted to make a fresh start of things. I figured that no one knew me and I could be anyone I wanted to be. I started by trying so hard to be one of the “in” girls. My freshman year I spent a fair amount of time going to fraternity parties and learning to flirt. I got drunk for the first time in my life and kissed my first boy. My lack of experience in previous years made me a little naive about how to handle the combination of alcohol and guys. One day I found myself in a high pressure situation where a guy I thought liked me tried diligently to get me to undress. I knew deep down in my hear that this was not the way I wanted my first time with a guy to be, so I said no and pushed him away. He got so angry about the whole thing. He called me horrible names and made me feel like a worm again. Then he told the whole school that we had sex anyway and made up embarrassing stories about the whole event.

By my second semester I realized that I didn’t want to be a part of that scene. I found other people who I considered to be part of my “tribe”. These folks were smart and friendly and a ton of fun to be with. I had conversations about deeply meaningful things. We wrote and read poetry together. We had our own parties where the music was good and the beer was cheap. We looked out for each other and because of that we felt comfortable taking risks that we would have been too afraid to take on our own. I fell in love for the first time, albeit secretly, with my best friend, Pete.

I was having such a great time, parties, food, alcohol… I started to gain a few pounds. Not so much that anyone would notice. I had such a huge crush on Pete that it nearly broke my heart. Like I said he was my best friend and I spent nearly every day with him. He of course loved me back, but in a different way. He had girlfriends, with whom I became friends with too. For the most part, they respected my place in his life and I tolerated the heartache and jealousy I felt knowing that they were receiving a part of him that would never be mine. During our senior year, he began dating the woman who would later become his wife, and that’s when I realized that eventually, one day, I would end up losing him.

To help mask the pain that my self-perceived inadequacies were causing me, I partied even more, I drank more than I should have. I guess my rational was my heart couldn’t possibly be breaking if I was having so much fun. After college I made the decision to move in with an old roommate of mine in Vermont rather than moving back in with my family. This was a good decision, but we were poor and ate a lot of bad food during this time. I stayed in touch with Pete, but since he was living in New Jersey, I was able to get out from under the crush that I had on him for so many years. I began dating, finally lost my virginity and had a pretty great life for awhile.

If I had to pinpoint when the weight really began to pile on, I would have to say it was around this time. I was eating out a lot. I was drinking a lot. It was COLD outside for 10 months of the year so we spent a lot of time sitting inside drinking beer and eating pizza and watching movies. I still pretty much maintained a decent figure; I think I was about a size 12 at this point in my life. I fell in love for the second time in my life with Bryan. This was a very unhealthy relationship for me. We started out as a romantic couple. He dumped me after we had sex the first time. Then he insisted that we become friends. But there was still a LOT of chemistry between the two of us. We spent every waking moment together for 3 years. We were friends and we were lovers but he would never commit to a relationship. We both dated other people, and we both hated seeing the other with someone else. He didn’t want me but he couldn’t let me go either. I wanted him to be “the one” for me so badly. He never felt he deserved to have that place in my future. I think he could have loved me, but I don’t think he knew how to love me. We went on like this breaking each other’s hearts for years. Even moving half-way across the country to Colorado didn’t end it. Finally while visiting him in Texas I told him that I loved him and wanted to be with him. His response was “why?”

I was living in Denver and hurt beyond description. I swore off men and I think I subconsciously began to take steps to make myself as undesirable as possible. I used food as a balm to sooth my wounds. I didn’t care that I was gaining weight. I surrounded myself with gay men who told me I was beautiful and flirted with me and took me dancing. I had all the benefits of male companionship without any risk of falling in love. I grew to 195 pounds and a size 16 during this time, and I didn’t care. I tried half heartedly after awhile to lose some weight. I would lose 5 or 10 pounds and then put it back on. Then I turned 29 and realized I was a year from turning 30 and my life was not at all what I really wanted it to be. I realized that while I loved my friends dearly, I was using them as a shield from the real world and as an excuse not to put myself at risk. I made the very difficult decision to leave the safety of my little bubble and move back to New Jersey.

Back in Jersey I fell in love for the third and last time with Hubby. I remember the night I met him I had taken a huge risk and gone to a party I was invited to by one of the guys at work. I had only been back in Jersey for 5 months and didn’t really know anyone. I was questioning whether or not I had done the right thing. I prayed for a moment and asked God to show me who he wanted me to be, to show me who he wanted me to be with. I asked God that night to show me my husband for life. Then I walked into the bar and it was like a light was shining down on Hubby from above. We connected instantly and I knew as I drove home that night that he was my forever love. For the first time in my life someone I had given my heart to loved me back. My husband adores me and inconceivably thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world just as I am. And I cannot fathom what my life would be like without him. As much as I adore him for his quiet acceptance of me for who I am, I think knowing that his love was completely unconditional allowed me to continue to eat as I had grown accustomed to during my “get fat” years.

While depressed and attempting to eat myself into spinsterhood, I developed a craving for food. I began to enjoy to company of the dinner table. I loved to eat at fine restaurants for dinner with friends. I looked forward to brunch on Sunday mornings with the gang. I began to equate eating rich food with having a rich life. I confused the abundance on the table with abundance in my life. Naturally that association with food equaling happiness stayed with me and now that I had true happiness for the first time in my life, the food came with it.
I did see what was happening after awhile. After moving in with Hubby I tried to diet again. He supported me without ever making me feel fat. I lost about 15 pounds in time for our wedding and looked better than I had in years. I became pregnant a few months later and our joy was immeasurable. Then I lost the baby 4 weeks later. My depression was crushing. Like I had so many times before, I turned to food to ease my sadness. I gained back all that I had lost and then some. When I got pregnant again a few months later, we found that I had a hormonal imbalance. I had to take progesterone for the first 12 weeks. I also felt very sick and found that the only thing that made the nausea go away was eating carbs. The combined result was that I gained close to 20 pounds the first trimester. By the end of my pregnancy I weighed in at a whopping 265 pounds. After delivering my son, I halfheartedly tried to lose the weight. I had a c-section which made exercise difficult at first and provided me with a great excuse to avoid it even when I could have done it.

My son had some difficulties as an infant with low tone and these strange neurological episodes that took awhile to figure out. Luckily everything turned out okay, the episodes were a type of infant migraine and the low tone is improving with physical therapy. At the time though it was extremely stressful not knowing what was going on with him and at the same time having to return to work. I was so exhausted by work and taking care of my son that I neglected to take care of myself. Then when he turned one last year I saw myself in the videos of his party and I wanted to cry. Part of me wanted to erase the video of my son’s first birthday party because I was so gross looking in it. And I thought to myself, how ridiculous is that? That I would rather erase all the memories of my time with my son than to just suck it up and make the changes that I needed to make?
So here I am - finally making the changes to myself that I should have made years ago. I can see after writing this all out that it wasn’t one moment in time that made me fat. It wasn’t just one person or one heartache. It wasn’t genetic or bad parenting. It was me. I did it to myself. Everyone experiences pain in life. I chose to respond to that pain with food. I have every reason to believe that I will have pain enter my life again at sometime in the future. Right here and right now I am saying that I am going to chose NOT to respond the same way I have always done. I will find a different way to comfort myself. I am committed this time to making the change mentally as well as physically.

Whew……….! Sorry for the long post, I think that writing it all out like this really did help. I didn’t realize I had all that bottled up inside me!

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's the little things that make me happy.

Today I’m celebrating a little victory. I can take my wedding ring on and off without having to soap up my finger. I haven’t been able to do that since I was about 8 months pregnant, at which point I had to go out and buy a cheap fake ring for my swollen hand.

So hooray for me!Now I’m off to the store. My husband wants us to stock up on supplies and I have to try to find a shovel before the snow hits tonight. I’m hoping that it comes later then they are saying. I hate driving in bad weather.

Although, I have to say the idea of being snowed in and not having to go anywhere sounds mighty appealing right about now!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Weigh in week 4

231.6. That's a loss of 2.4 pounds from 2 weeks ago.

That means I get to pick out some earrings today! :-) And I get a nifty new badge for my page~
I'm doing the dance of joy... whoop whoop!

I'm so happy to be losing again. I think part of that last stall had to do with it being my TOM.
I really wanted to quit for a couple of days. I pushed back against the voice in my head that said "this just isn't worth it" and I'm glad I did.
Its true that I would probably be losing faster if I was following a strict eating plan like Atkins or South Beach instead of doing a casual "low carb" approach.
But I just don't think I would be sticking to it as well for the long term. I mean, who can eat like that for the rest of their lives? Plus I find that when I have a lot of "rules" about what I can and cannot eat I get kind of obsessed with food. And the last thing I need to do is spend my waking hours thinking about what I want to eat.
Also- I still have not managed to fit in excercise. Unless chasing my 21 month old son around counts (that kid can really wipe me out sometimes!) I know I have to find a way to make this happen, even if it is only on the weekends. So that's going to be a goal this month. To try to find at least 2 hours of excercise time a week.

So that's my update. I know I still have some work to do and improvements to make. It's going to be a hard year, but I CAN do this and I AM worth it.