Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My morning ritual

OK I'm a nut. I realized this morning that my husband is right, I am a total weirdo. (Thank God he loves me anyway!)

This is what I do every single morning.

1. Alarm goes off.
2. Drag self into bathroom. Empty bladder.
3. Remain on toilet extra long just in case I can empty more before weighing myself.
4. Strip completely naked.
5. Stand on scale.
6. Scowl because it reads the same as it did yesterady.
7. Reposition scale.
8. Stand on scale again.
9. Hmmmm Now it's .5 pound more than before.....
10. Reposition scale again.
11. Aha! Found the sweet spot (there is one place in my bathroom where I weigh about 3/4 pound less. I like to think of that area as the only spot that shows my real weight.)
12. Weigh myself 3 times consecutively to assure myself that it is correct.
13. I can now start my day. - Shower, dress, go to work, eat breakfast, etc.

This happens every morning and every night before I go to bed.

I'm a total wack-job.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The only constant is change.

Okay so I received so unsettling news this week. The company I work for is being acquired by a larger company in our field. I knew something like this might have been coming, but it really sucks for me. I work in customer service and there’s a high likelihood that my job will become redundant. And even if they did offer me a position, I believe their CS department is in Florida. Not that I don’t like Florida, in fact I think it’s a lovely place. It’s just also about as far away as I can get from my whole family.

So basically I’m thinking this means I will be out of a job soon. -Probably by January as a matter of fact.

Can 2010 just freaking end already? This has been the worst year ever!!!!


I absolutely hate looking for a job. I hate everything about it. I hate searching through the paper, scanning over the ads to stuff envelopes for cash. I hate the awkward phone calls trying to set-up an interview. I hate the false cheerfulness that you have to put on your face during the job interview.

And my husband has been out of work and looking for almost 2 years so my income was the ONLY income we have. Not a good feeling when you have a kid at home, not a good feeling at all.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Finally a loss!!!

I’ll admit I was doubtful at first, but the numbers do not lie. As of the morning I am down to 215. That’s a 5 pound loss from where I was at the beginning of the week and 2 pounds down from my previous low. So the starches so far have not seemed to hinder my weight loss any, but I’m still reserving judgment until the 2 week beginning period is over. So far I’ve only added starches back into my diet; I’m still waiting another week to reintroduce fruits.

I’m feeling very motivated right now to keep going. I was honestly on the verge of quitting 2 weeks ago, but I think I’ve managed to push through it. I guess that must happen to everyone at some point, and maybe that’s what really separates the success stories from the yo-yo dieters. When we pause in our losses, how do we handle that? Do we throw our hands up in the air and give up? Curse the Gods for creating cellulite and saddle bags? Loosen our belt and eat cheesecake while watching re-runs of the Golden Girls?

Or do we stop, asses and correct our behaviors?

In the past I’ve always just given up. I’m pessimistic by nature I think, so it always seemed to me to be an indication of failure once the weight loss came to a grinding halt about 4-5 months into a diet. My inner 3 year old would start to whine and complain that it was too hard and not worth it if it wasn’t working anyway. I wanted to do that this time to. I wanted to give up so badly. I wanted to just say to hell with it and bake some brownies and drown myself in chocolate.

And even if it is a little premature to say so- I proud as hell of myself for not giving in to that temptation.

The only difference I can credit is you guys. This blogging business has been really great for keeping things in perspective for me. I’m not sure what I expected to come of it, I think I figured it would be sort of an electronic journal. I never expected to find so many wonderful people sharing the same struggles and supporting each other as I have. I love reading the stories of your own journeys. Whether you have lost a lot or still have a long way to go, I value the perspective you have given me. I know I can do this because I know that you can do this.

We can do this!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Brave enough to be afraid.

A few weeks ago I put Finding Nemo on for my son to watch. He’s seen the movie at least a dozen times before but for some reason this time it really frightened him. After fifteen minutes I had to turn it off because he was hiding his eyes and almost crying. I chalked it up to his development and gaining a better understanding of what was going on in the story.

Since then though he has not stopped asking me questions about it. “Sharks bite Nemo Daddy, Mommy? Nemo fall down. Nemo hurt? Nemo scared? Nemo’s okay, Nemo hides. Where did Nemo go? Nemo got took? Nemo’s Daddy go go go! Nemo! Where are you? Nemo NO!” Seriously, he goes on and on like this over and over from the time he wakes up in the morning until something distracts him. For weeks this has been going on.

It occurred to me this morning as I was picking him up from his crib and answering his “Nemo” questions for the 100th time that when something frightens us it can be difficult to let it go. I realized that the reason he keeps asking the same questions over and over about his movie is because he is trying to make sense of it all. Often it is those things that we do not understand that frightens us the most.

So many of us on this journey of losing weight and getting fit have admitted to being afraid. I have a fear of failure and a fear of success. I am afraid that if I don’t accomplish my goals I will get sick and crippled and maybe even die. I am afraid that if I succeed and lose all this weight that I will be the object of comments and attention that make me uncomfortable. I like to hide behind my fat sometimes, losing it will be a scary adjustment to make.

Just like my son, I have a hard time letting it go. I am afraid when I eat off plan that I have forever botched my efforts, often I jump on the scale before I go to bed. I wake up and am afraid I might not have the willpower today to do what I need to do, again I check the scale. I keep asking myself the same questions over and over.

“Why did I let myself get this way?”

“What can I do to make this easier on myself?”

“How much can I lose this week?”

“What will happen if I don’t lose it all?”

“What weight will really make me happy?”

“What can I eat today, what about tomorrow?”

“Will my husband still love me if I can’t do it? Will he still love me if I can?”

“What if the damage has already been done?”

I guess I’m just trying to make sense of it all and hoping that if I can find the answers, maybe I won’t be scared any longer and can finally confront my demons.

Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared.
- Eddie Rickenbacker

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Love My Mr. Mom.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a two year old son, Sak, with some challenges. Most people who meet him can’t tell anymore, but when he was an infant it was much worse. He had neurological episodes that were very hard to deal with. When I went back to work and he went into daycare, they became even worse and more frequent. They always seemed to come on just as he was getting over a cold. Of course, in daycare he caught a lot of colds. We did this for about 2 months when luckily for us my husband was laid off from his job. Because he was able to collect unemployment and we didn’t have to pay for child care, we pretty much broke even money wise. That meant that my husband could take care of our son, take him to therapy and help him get to where he is today. Since Sak no longer got the colds, his episodes gradually decreased and now it’s been more than a year since we’ve had to deal with that nightmare.

Now my husband is running out of unemployment benefits in September. He has been looking for a job right along, but we’ve been picky hoping that we could get something for him that would pay enough so we could switch and I could stay home for awhile. If he doesn’t find something soon and has to take a lower paying job, we’ll have to go back to us both working full time, and putting our son back into daycare. And without one of us available to take him, we’ll have to take him out of occupational therapy, which is something he really needs right now.

This scares me. On the one hand I know that playing with other kids his age would be good for him. On the other I’m terrified that being around all the germs that little fingers carry will trigger the episodes to come back and undo all the progress we’ve made to date. One alternative of course is to have him get a job where he works evenings and weekends. I’m not thrilled with the prospect of doing that because it would really cut into our time to be together as a family, but if we did it for a short while, just until Sak was 3, it wouldn’t be too bad…I could live with that if I had to I guess.

This has been seething in the back of my head all summer, but for some reason today it is really causing me concern. I guess I’ll just have to pray on it and hope that God gives me the nudge in the right direction.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I know.... I've been neglecting you.....

Hi there.

I’m just checking in because I haven’t been able to post alot lately. What little time I’ve had I’ve used to read my blogroll, though I haven’t always had time to leave you comments.

My grandfather passed away on the first of the month, so last week was crazy. Family coming into town, the wake and funeral, arranging childcare for my 2 year old, being strong and supportive for my mom and sisters, grieving on my own at night…. Needless to say with all of that my diet went to shit.

The fall out wasn’t major, a modest gain of about 2 pounds putting me back to 220. I’ll take it, it definitely could have been worse.

I’m taking this opportunity to try something a little different. I recently read a book called The Sugar Fix by Dr. Richard J Johnson. Dr. Johnson is nationally and internationally renowned for his work on mechanisms of renal injury and progression, including diabetes and hypertension. I originally picked this up at the drugstore because I thought it would mesh nicely with the low-carb thing I was trying to do. I’ve been sitting on this plateau for some time now and thought maybe this book would give me a little nudge or tweak that I needed to get moving again.

Well….I was wrong. It’s not a low carb diet book. It’s a low Fructose diet book. I was a little disappointed, but I decided to read it anyway (after all I did just spend $7.99 for the paperback at Walgreens!) figuring maybe I could learn something from it anyway.

Basic premise of the book is that while researching hypertension, Dr. Johnson found a connection between a rise in Uric Acid in the blood, high sugar diets and insulin resistance. He then realized that it was the fructose component of sugar that was causing the insulin resistance.

Table sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) are both essentially half glucose and half fructose. Glucose is what causes our blood sugar to spike. Normally insulin would be able to then shuttle the glucose to our cells to be used for energy. It’s is only when insulin stops working efficiently that sugar begins to build up in the blood causing our pancreas to churn out more and more insulin and causing “metabolic syndrome” including high blood lipids, high blood pressure, type 2 Diabetes and abdominal obesity.
What Dr. Johnson is proposing from his research is that it is the Fructose component of sugar that causes the cells to stop responding to Insulin. He believes that in the absence of fructose our bodies should be able to tolerant glucose without much problem. If the fructose wasn’t making our cells insulin resistant, we should be able to process the energy from starches (glucose) efficiently and thus avoiding the associated weight gain and diabetes associated with insulin resistance. He says that low-carb diets work because you eliminate Fructose.

Dr. Johnson points to cultures throughout the world that have had high starch staples in their diet for thousands of years- Rice, Potatoes, Taro, Yams, Grains etc. Obesity was not a problem and found only in the very wealthy few who could afford to eat sugar. Once HFCS was invented it suddenly made sugar affordable for the common man and began to infiltrate our diets. We became fatter and heart disease flourished. Enter the low-fat diet revolution. When Fat was removed from food it was replaced with sugar to make it palatable.
Long story short- We now are eating approximately 3 times as much sugar as we did in 1950.

His recommended fix is to eliminate fructose as much as possible for 2 weeks to get the excess fructose enzymes out of our cells. Starch is okay to eat as is lean meat and low-fat dairy. There’s a list of vegetable that are okay. No fruit during this time though and no sugar. One caveat though - you have to watch your calories if you are doing it for weight loss. Once you are beyond that first 2 week period you are encouraged to add in one or two servings of fruit a day. He has charts and lists in the book listing fructose content in certain foods. He wants you to stay at or below 25 grams of fructose a day which is about half of typical consumption.
You have to read labels because HFCS is in everything these days. He recommends avoiding packaged foods as much as possible. Over all it seems to be a very balanced, healthy diet. I’m already used to avoiding sugar and reading labels. So I began to wonder…. Could he be right? Could this diet work for me? Is it possible for me to really be able to eat bread and pasta (in moderation) without gaining weight? I don’t know. I am skeptical, yet intrigued. The science seems to make sense…. And I’ve already been eating off plan….. So I’ve decided to experiment and give it a try. Like I said, he does have calorie recommendations which are the one part I really don’t like, but I suppose they are necessary until you re-learn how to eat right.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!