Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How to make a fresh start count.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where I went wrong lately. I started off the year with a great deal of momentum and it all just fizzled away. I think part of it was that I became overconfident of my success. When I started doing well, I allowed that nasty little demon in my ear to tell me that it was okay if I cheated just a little. Then one little cheat led to bigger cheats….

I justified it, saying that I was too stressed to worry about one more thing. I had enough important things causing me anxiety, why should I worry about what I’m eating? Something has to give and it might as well be my diet… I thought.

My extended circle of friends and family didn’t fully support or understand my decision to follow a low carb lifestyle. I had well meaning folks suggest diet killers like allowing myself one day a week to have whatever I wanted or pushing me to have that glass of wine and not count it… I know that eating too many carbs while on a low carb diet is the kiss of death. Yet somehow I always manage to let someone convince me that this time it will be okay.

So how can I make 2011 better? I need to set some rules.

1. I know that low carb is the easy, craving free, happy path to weight loss. So I am no longer going to even entertain other suggestions or criticisms. This is my plan. It doesn’t have to be your plan. I don’t care what other people think about it anymore.

2. There is no such thing as a “Free Lunch”. That means that if I am choosing to do low carb, then I must commit myself to being low-carb ALL THE TIME. Calorie counters can occasionally have a “treat” meal of higher fat/calories for a special occasion and make up for it later. Low-Carbers cannot do this. You can’t “save” carbs for a splurge. Even if I eat nothing but chicken breasts and bacon for a week solid I cannot suddenly have a bowl of pasta without bringing back all the cravings I worked so hard at eliminating.

3. I will not worry and stress about my diet, food is just food after all. If I am hungry, I will eat. I will make a conscious choice to always have food in my house that I can grab and eat that are okay on my plan. I will stock up on Jerky and make Deviled Eggs and snack on pork rinds, cheese and olives. I will learn how to make sugar-free sweets to keep on hand. I will do the work ahead of time so when a munchies crisis strikes I can easily address it without having a meltdown because I have nothing I can eat in the house.

4. I will greet my successes with renewed commitment to my plan and not reward my work with a self sabotaging food treat.

5. I will have a realistic expectation of how much weight I should lose in a year. Yes I recognize that there are people in the blogosphere who have lost well over a hundred pounds in a year. I applaud their efforts and wish them all the best. However, I also recognize now that the rate of loss they are enjoying is not healthy or maintainable for me. I will not try to be like anyone else or become jealous when others put up big weight loss numbers each week, I will simply do the best that I can do and be proud of my own effort.

I have other resolutions too. I want to focus on my personal and professional growth this year. I want to find a work/life balance that I can live with. I want to get a handle on my family’s finances for once and for all.

How about everyone else? What are you focusing on in 2011?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 is almost done

I am very very happy that this year is coming to a close. 2010 was not a good year for my family. I did manage to lose a lot of weight, but the stress caught up with me around August and I stopped losing and just really maintained for the last half of the year. I'm hoping that with the new start that the new year brings I can re-motivate myself enough to lose the rest of the fat that is weighing me down and finally get back to looking like myself again. 

I notice when I look at photos of myself that I look a lot bigger than my mental projection of myself looks. Isn't that odd? I wonder if it's like that body dysmorphic thing that anorexics get except in reverse... I hate it though because it makes me not want to have my picture taken. And at the holidays lots of pictures are being taken all the time. 

Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely holiday season, and I wish us all success in 2011!
See you soon!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

To School or not to School...

I am deliberating a lot lately over this question. My son is turning 3 in April and while my Sister in Law is watching him while she is out of work and looking for a job, I know this is a temporary fix. So pre-school is likely in the future for him, though I'm not sure I like the idea. I know he could use more interaction with children his own age and all, but I'm afraid he'll think I'm abandoning him to strangers. Then there is my husband, working a dead end job at 40 and hating every minute of it. I hate seeing him unhappy and have suggested maybe he look into going to school in the evenings to learn a new career. Ideally he would be able to watch the boy during the day while I work and attend classes during the evening/weekend. It would be tight, we would certainly miss the extra income, but (assuming I still have a job and all) I think we could make it work. Finally there is me. My company offers tuition reimbursement which means I could get my MBA on the company dime. That would mean many more opportunities for me and more money eventually too. Of course that also means adding a school flavor to my stress stew and one more thing to take my time and attention away from my family... So I don't know if the timing is right now.
If I didn't have a young child, I would do it in a heartbeat though.
So that's what's been weighing on my mind.
I've been enjoying my break from dieting this past month. I was feeling guilty about it, but now I realize that sometimes you have to let some things in life go. That means prioritizing what's important and what can wait. For me, knowing that - aside from being about 50 pounds heavier than I would like to be- I am actually quite healthy mean that weight loss (at this point) is primarily a vanity thing for me.
Sure I would love to sit here and lie and say that I'm doing it for health, etc. But at this point that's less than honest. Mainly I want to look good and feel younger. I want to have the body I had 15 years ago. I want to look hot and turn heads and not have my child ashamed of his old fat goofy mama. I want my husband to look at me lustfully and to feel jealous of me in front of other guys. He already does, but I want more of that...LOL. So next week I'm bringing out the big guns. I can boast a net loss this past year of about 25 pounds. That's roughly 2 pounds a month, it's not bad, but it's not great. I can do better than that.
I will do better than that.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Starting to turn around again...

Wait… what was that? Did I just feel… a spark? Could it be? Am I getting my groove back? Is it over?

I think I might be.

Thank God.

I’m still not quite back to my old self yet. I still feel slower, more tired, and more unmotivated than normal. BUT I feel less of those things than I did a week ago. Which is good right? I have been reading blogs, reading comeback stories. Reading about all of your successes and failures and learning all I can from it.

See the thing that most people who aren’t struggling with this don’t get is that it’s not simple. Yes there are hundreds if not thousands of diet and fitness plans. Yes, if you follow them all faithfully each one will make you lose weight. That’s not the problem for most of us though.

This journey is making me realize some things about myself. I was in complete denial about them before. For instance, on more than one occasion I have caught myself mindlessly putting food into my mouth when I didn’t want to and felt powerless to stop it. I know what to eat, I know what not to eat. I have been dieting off and on for years. I don’t need another book. I don’t need another miracle plan. I don’t need to buy the magazine at the checkout that promises I can still lose 10 pounds by Christmas.

What I need is to sever the connection between my mood and my mouth. That seems like an impossible feat at the moment. I had considered cognitive behavior therapy, but I’ll be honest, I don’t have the time at the moment and can’t really take off from work for appointments, what with the merger and all.

I think I am going to try one of those hypnosis for weight loss seminars that I see advertised every now and then at the local community college. I’ve also seen free self-hypnosis videos on You Tube, so I might try one of those if I can’t find a seminar coming up soon. Has anyone tried this yet? I’m curious to see if it might help. I know a friend of mine did it when she was trying to quit smoking and said it helped, at least for a while.

I never thought I had an addictive personality before now. I was always so proud of myself that I was able to quit smoking without much drama, I just had to want to quit. I went through a reckless phase in my twenties full of experimentation involving countless illegal items, yet never got in over my head, never found myself out of control. I have alcoholics peppered throughout my family tree, yet never felt that compulsion myself. Sure I partied, but I could always take it or leave it.

Truth be told, I always thought the idea of “food addiction” was a myth. I thought it was an excuse that fat people gave themselves for making poor food choices. I guess I was in denial. It occurs to me that there is a common thread to all addictions. They are all behaviors that we turn to for comfort when stressed or to indulge in to celebrate. Drinking, drugging, gambling, smoking, eating, sex…. They all fit this criteria. My guess is they all have similar stages of recovery as well.

So the first step is admitting you have a problem right. Well I admit it. I have a problem and I want to do something about it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm not sure I can do this right now.

I am struggling.

I just don’t have the energy for this anymore. I am going through a merger at work, so I am not even certain I will have a job in 6 months. My husband finally found a job so the slack he had been picking up at home is back on my plate. I have a child who we just found out is apparently allergic to nuts and is a picky eater as it is…I feel constantly like I am being asked to give more, more, more… And this is leaving very little left over for myself.

I am tired of reading food labels. I am tired of obsessing over how much fat/carbs/calories are in every bite of food. I don’t have the energy to pretend that “healthier versions” of “bad foods” taste just as good or are just as satisfying. Let’s be honest, fat free cheese is just nasty and sugar free stuff doesn’t have the right texture and the flavor is always a little…off. When I’m wanting to snack while watching a movie at home, I want convenience, I don’t want to have to whip up a recipe at 10PM after SAK finally goes to sleep.

So I haven’t really been thinking about my diet much lately. So I haven’t been talking about it here either. I have read a blog here or there, mainly to check in on some dear friends I’ve met online. But I see what happens when weight loss bloggers fall off the wagon. There are those among us that take this as an opportunity to jump all over them and rip them a new one. I don’t think that I could take that myself. Now I’m not saying that I expect everyone to be a cheerleader and just support all that I do yadda, yadda, yadda… But since when did our ability to lose a pound define or not define our worth as a human being?

I have gained a few pounds back the last couple of weeks. (It’s depressing how much faster and easier they come back than they go away, isn’t it?) I am well aware that the reason I gained is because I have been eating like shit recently. And yes, I will probably be one of those annoying bloggers who has a “renewed commitment” as part of her New Year’s resolution. If that annoys you, I apologize in advance. I, like most people, am just doing the best that I can. I needed the break.

I would love to tell you now that I am going to strap in for the next 3 weeks to finish off 2010 strongly. But I don’t think I have it in me right now. I’m sure that sounds disappointing to some of you looking for inspiration on your own journeys. I’m sorry for disappointing you.

I hope that I can turn it around soon. I don’t like the direction that the scale has been going in since Halloween. I am sure that I am slightly depressed, probably because of the lack of sun and warm days. I feel the biological imperative to hibernate more strongly than most people I know. I want to snuggle in warm blankets and eat warm, sweet, gooey things while watching movies on my couch, moving as little as possible.

I hope it turns around soon.