Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sweet and Sour

Oh. My. God.
I cannot believe how freaking amazing the strawberries I just had for lunch were. I don’t know if I just hit them at the right time, but they are “close my eyes and moan a little” good. I don’t think they’ve ever tasted this sweet and juicy since I was a kid and ate them in the field while my mom was picking them. Mmmmmmm… I’m in pink Heaven.

On a different note- I seriously have to find the motivation to exercise more. I read all these fabulous stories of folks just like me starting C25K or heading to the gym or doing a boot-camp and I just can’t see myself doing it. I know, I know. I have to make the leap and just do it. I make up excuses for myself and it never actually gets done.

I think there is something wrong with me. I don’t get a rush from exercise AT ALL. To me a “runner’s high” is about as elusive as Big Foot. I mean I’ve heard third hand stories about it, but part of believes it all to be a hoax. I can see how that could happen too. Someone tells you that they had a really great workout and feel awesome. So you in turn work harder too and exclaim that you too feel great! SO much better than before. When in reality you both are sore and tired and cranky and fighting a mental battle to dissolve into tears. How is that better than curling up in a ball on the sofa reading a good book? I just don’ t get it. And I guess that’s because I’ve never stuck with an exercise program long enough for it to stop hurting.

Like I said, I have all sorts of excuses. I have asthma and my knees hurt. I don’t have money for a gym. I have a child with special needs at home who doesn’t get enough time with me as it is. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. It’s raining outside. I have errands to run and things to do. I need to catch up on my sleep.

The problem is I’m having a hard time fooling myself anymore into believing that I can do any of this without moving my body.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Finally the numbers are moving again!

As of this morning I was at 218. So long 220's! :-)
You know- you hear about plateaus when you are dieting and always figure that you won't let them get to you but when it actually happens.... Man can it be frustrating!
I was really getting down int he dumps when I stalled out around 221. The first week wasn't bad, the second week I accepted responsibility, the third week I felt like maybe I was just naturally fat.
I mean after all, almost all the women in my family are at least a little chubby...
Just when I though I had tapped into my last little reserve of will power the scale started to budge. Thank GOD!
And thank all of you who offered words of support and encouragement. I don't think I could have stuck with my diet for as long as I have with out this wonderful community to turn to for support.

So if anyone is reading this and feeling like they have stalled and are doomed to be the chubby friend with the great personality for the rest of their lives, hang in there. Keep doing what you are supposed to be doing and the scale will start moving again eventually.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lost the battle, still trying to win the war.

I’m not sure it I can do this.

I still want to do it, but it’s so hard. I’m not sure that other people realize how difficult it is sometimes. It has been made clear to me in so many ways that my health depends on me losing weight. I have lost some. Not as much as I had hoped I would have lost by now though.

I’ve been writing posts about what I have to do to try to put myself in the right mind set, but it’s not working.

I am tired of this. REALLY tired.

I had the day off work yesterday and was watching Dr OZ. He was trying to say that the secret to losing weight was eating more watermelon. I have to tell you that I’m getting really sick of these “specials” dedicated to obesity that promise to give you the secret to permanent weight loss.

Has anyone considered the reasons that obesity is becoming such a problem lately? For myself I know that a good portion of it is stemming from the fact that I’m chained to my desk in front of the computer for 8-10 hours a day 5 days a week.

That and I can’t seem to catch a break regarding sweet treats being in the house.

I really REALLY wanted to give up this weekend. Part of me still does. There’s a voice in my head right now that is saying, “Fuck it. You’re fat, you’ll probably always be fat, so stop trying to be something you’re not and enjoy your life.”

I’d like to tell you all right now that I ignored the desire to quit and didn’t give in to temptation. I would like to tell you that, but then I would be a liar.

I’ve been kind of half-assed about my eating the last couple of weeks. And the past weekend I pretty much quit altogether. I had bread and cake and chips… and it all tasted soooo GOOD.

I don’t feel good though. I feel bloated and tired and sick. You would think that would be enough to make me never want to eat that way again, but truth is I’m craving all sorts of junk food right now.

I just called my husband and asked him to throw away the left-over birthday cake from the weekend. I asked him if he would try to diet with me since he says he wants to lose. This afternoon I’m going to go shopping to try to get some diet friendly snacks and I’m going to start over again from scratch. The good news is I haven’t really gained much, maybe a pound or two. Bad news is I threw all that great momentum I had developed out the window.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Not feeling well at the moment.

So today I had a small group of relatives over to celebrate my husband's birthday. I started out really well, but then I allowed myself to have some birthday cake. I didn't have a small piece, I had a regular large hunk of cake. And now I feel really weird. Kind of a cross between being high and being tense and anxious. I'm certain it's being caused by my blood sugar spiking. That can't possibly be a good thing. Looks like I'm going to have to get tested for Diabetes. Crap. I was really hoping that I had caught it in time and I could live a somewhat normal life by watching my diet and occasionally allowing a treat for special occasions. Now if I can only figure out what to do right now to make myself feel better....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why did I just eat that?

You aren’t human if you haven’t felt stressed out to the breaking point at least once in your life. Now it seems like more and more of us are being tested as to how much stress we can actually bear. We work harder as every department in every industry suffers from across the board lay-offs. We are told we aren’t being paid bonuses this year, our salaries aren’t being increased, and there isn’t any overtime. Our health insurance premiums are rising along with the cost of groceries. Those of us who are looking for work are finding the competition for the few jobs available to be stiff, and it feels like everyone pays less than they used to. On the way home, we get stuck in traffic as lanes are closed for construction projects as part of the national effort to get America back to work. Living paycheck to paycheck means that Thursday night dinner might consist of leftover chicken and pot roast with a side of spaghetti.

So what do we do?

For some of us the answer is we eat.

Why? Why do we turn to food when we are stressed? It’s not like a double cheeseburger is going to help us find the money to make our car payment this month. Double fudge chocolate cake won’t make your boss stop handing you special projects on top of your already full plate of work. So why do we do it?

I think understanding this phenomenon is key to getting our eating habits under control.

Constant stress causes our bodies to produce high amounts of hormones like cortisol. Cortisol and insulin combine to create cravings for so-called “comfort foods” that tend to be high in fat and sugar. We also tend to sleep poorly when we are worried and stressed out. When we are tired we often turn to sugar and caffeine to try to perk ourselves up increasing blood sugar and insulin levels. Studies have shown that being sleep deprived also lower the amount of hormones that signal satiety and increase the hormones that trigger hunger.

So first off you need to realize that it’s not your imagination that you are hungry when you are stressed out. You ARE hungrier. It’s not a character flaw that we want to eat when things get tough.

I think the key to our long term success is going to be, especially if we are emotional eaters, to control our stress levels as much as we can.

I’ve picked up a couple of tips recently that have helped me and I thought I would share. The one that works the best for me is probably the simplest of them all.


Take a deep breath through your nose. Hold it for a second and then exhale through your mouth. Close your eyes when you do this. Within seconds your blood pressure drops and you feel calmer. Do this whenever you start to feel overwhelmed. I learned this last year during a customer service training at work and, amazingly enough, it really does help.

Another good tip I received is to improve my time management skills. I’m still working on this myself, but the little changes I’ve made so far have helped tremendously. I used to laugh at the motto “work smarter, not harder” but it really does work. Being able to prioritize my tasks has really made me feel less frazzled at the end of the day. There are only so many hours in the day, so I focus on what’s really important and don’t sweat the small stuff. It gets me out of the office 15 minutes earlier on average. At home that means if the housework only gets done once a week and the bed stays un-made in the morning, then so be it.

That brings me to another point. We don’t have to be perfect. I struggle with this so much. I would say that 90% of my stress is self inflicted in my attempts to please everyone. I try so hard to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter, sister, and employee. I just can’t do it. Nobody’s perfect this side of heaven. Instead, I am trying to make a concerted effort to just be “good enough.” I’m going to try to cut myself the same slack I cut everyone else I love in my life.

So the next time I find myself pulling my hair out and freaking out from the pressures of every day, I plan to stop a minute and give myself a little mini break. I'm going to close my eyes, take a deep breath, picture myself in a tropical paradise and refocus. Then do the things that are most important, when they are done I can take care of some of the less urgent stuff, and if I can't get to it all- that's okay.

It sounds like a much better plan than skipping lunch to get it all done only to find myself digging in the back of the cupboard for something chocolate at 10 pm.

How about you? What strategies do you have when life is getting the better of you? How do you avoid stress related binges?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Cinqo De Mayo

So I"m sitting here having my second beer of the evening. So far it's been a rough week and it's only Wednesday. So I'm throwing 16 carbs worth of caution to the wind and relaxing this evening.

Diet-wise I had no loss this week. But I didn't really gain either and mother nature dropped by this evening for a visit so I'm not going to sweat it too much.

I'm about to get into it with my son's occupational therapist soon. Since my husband is the one home at the moment, he's usually the one to take him to his appointments. I always call him when they are done. Those calls go something like this.

Me: So how did he do?
DH: Good I guess.
Me: What did he do today?
DH: Some swings and climbing over stuff.
Me: Really? Swings?...
I'm thinking I could have him take my son to the park for that and save the 30 co-pay each week.
DH: Yeah. and some other stuff too.
Me: Oh okay, like what?
DH: I don't remember... Oh yeah he was stacking some blocks.
Me: Oh...hmmm...Well what did the therapist say?
DH: He's doing good.
Me: OK but is he getting better?
DH: She didn't say, but she said some things we can do at home with him.
Me: Oh good! What does she want us to do?
DH: I don't know, she said to take him to the park.
Yeah that's what I was thinking too...

So, since I obviously wasn't going to get the scoop from my dearest love, I asked him to ask her to send home a note at his next visit. Well Monday he came home with said note, and (without getting into details) I was not happy with what she wrote. I came away with the distinct impression that she had drawn conclusions in advance of working with my son that he had certain disabilities that just are not truly present.
I was pissed. I wrote a letter.
4 pages.
It's going to turn ugly, I can see it now.
It didn't help any that mother nature was on her way to town for a visit. Mama bear was feeling grouchy.

Only slightly more irritating than Mother Nature's visits are those by my mother in law. I just found out she is coming back to town soon. I guess she's leaving MO on Friday so she'll be here just in time to monopolize to celebrate Mother's day.
OH joy.
One small secret happiness I have though is that my low carb diet is really going to irritate her to no end. I know it's totally wrong to be happy about that, but that evil part of me is totally snickering inside.
I'm so going to Hell.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I have working-mom guilt

Any other working mommas feel this?

When I’m at work, I spend half my time taking care of personal business, making appointments, paying bills, shopping on my lunch break, calling to check on my son…… And then when I finally get home I’m rushing to get dinner ready and feeling burnt out from a long day at work. I get frustrated by my two year old son tugging at my hand, begging me to come play with him, when really that is all I want to do myself.

I dedicate the weekends to spending quality time with my family to try to make up for being absent so much, but two days is just not enough. By the time I get my son to bed I’m able to get about an hour of relaxation and snuggle time with my husband before I head to bed and start all over again the next day.

My house is a mess most of the time because I don’t have the time or energy to clean it the way I would like to. I have clothes that my son has out grown and toys that are too young for him cluttering his room because I haven’t had a chance to go through them yet.

I’m tired and cranky and sad today.

I know that people say you need to make “me time” for yourself. I’m told I need to force myself to find the time to exercise. When can I exercise? Do I give up my morning cuddles with my son to squeeze in a 20 minute workout before I head to the office? Do I go to the gym on my way home from work pushing dinner back to 7pm? Do I dare to work out on my lunch break and gain a reputation for being the sweaty sticky lady in the office? On the weekends, I have to choose between exercising and cleaning my house while my child sleeps. I’d prefer to exercise, but housework is usually more pressing by then.

Does wrestling with your kids count as exercise? I try to take him for walks, but does walking at the pace of a two year old actually help any?

I'm becoming a clock watcher at work. I can't wait until 5:00 rolls by and I can finally leave for the day. I call home several times to check on my son, even though I know his father is doing a terrific job with him.

I’m jealous of those who have the opportunity to stay home with their children. I know it seems boring at times, but I honestly would trade places with them in a heartbeat.

There’s not much I can do to change my position at the moment though, so I just have to suck it up and deal with the lot I’ve been dealt. My husband is out of work at the moment, so that leaves me to be the one to bring home a steady paycheck and keep our health insurance current. A small secret part of me resents the feminist movement. Right now, the whole 50’s housewife thing is looking pretty attractive to me.

I don’t know why this is bothering me so much today. Maybe it’s because my son was clinging to me once he realized I was leaving this morning. Maybe it’s just the Monday blahs. I do like my job; I just wish I could do it part time or from home or something. But they aren’t options for me.

So how do you supermoms do it? How do you stop feeling guilty all day? How do you give enough time to your families and still manage to carve out some time for yourself? When do you find time to exercise?