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Food Allergies, Weight Gain, Fallback

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I have had weight issues for several years. When I moved back home from Minnesota, I was depressed and lost weight from not eating nutritiously. While I was single and coping, I slowly got healthier and began running to relieve anxiety and stress. This was just months after completing the DVD workout, Insanity.

Before I knew it, I was in my best shape ever. My leg muscles were bikini-worthy. My waist was tiny and I had ab muscles that showed. I had lost ALL my cellulite, and was in the single digit pants size. I was happy that way. I felt like I could conquer the world. So, I went on to grad school. Little by little, I had to put workouts on the back burner for this incredible responsibility.

I also became ready to begin dating again. I met an amazing man, and we have grown comfortable together. Now, I am at my HEAVIEST.

Here are my problems:

1. I am about to begin my new career and use all my time to prepare (or procrastinate).
2. I don't have a healthy mindset when it comes to food. I use food to cope with my constant anxiety. When I am depressed and my only company, I nearly starve myself. When I am generally happy but anxious, I engorge myself. I would like to figure out why and discover some ways to improve my use of willpower.
3. I have food allergies (wheat, eggs, and dairy) that zap my energy and cause a variety of annoying conditions like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, skin rashes, thrush, and I am about ready to blame my weight gain on them.
4. During grad school, I didn't take the time/couldn't find the time to prepare fresh, healthy meals to maintain my weight. I would opt for bagels, fast food, soda, or sugary delights to fuel my anxiety and "reward" myself for my never ending hard work.
5. I also suspect I have a yeast and/or sugar intolerance because I have bacterial and fungal infections nearly every other month. Either that, or those ingredients somehow cause a more volatile reaction to my allergens. For example, I can't eat pizza or beer without developing thrush or BV.

However. I have the choice to give those things up and manage my time and stress better. I am not making healthy choices. I feel like I need a therapist to help me discover WHY I am not making those choices. But wait... now I AM a therapist (well, counselor). What questions would I have for a person in my shoes? What exercises would I offer someone to monitor their decision-making process? It's really difficult to do this for myself, but I HAVE to take care of myself before I can provide help to someone else at my personal best.

This is a very personal and ethical dilemma.

I am a huge bargain shopper. Recently, I was inspired by really good deals on allergen-free foods and some sugar alternatives at Big Lots and Kroger. I got Agave Nectar for $4.19, rice flour for $1.80, flax mill for $2.19, and Honest Fizz carbonated beverages for $.33 per can.

I will leave this post with a few good decisions -- ok, BETTER decisions -- I've made lately and then allow myself a few seconds to appreciate the changes I've made so far:

1. Last night, I took a sugar-free Honest Fizz into the theatre instead of sharing Dax's large Dr. Pepper. (I still had red hots, though.)
2. I told my mom I would bring my own salad to the family dinner so they could order pizza. (I still might have a tiny sliver off a slice. It's PIZZA!)
3. I made sugar-free, wheat-free, cookies for dessert for the family dinner.
4. I've replaced sugar in sweet tea with agave nectar.
5. I don't have any white sugar in my baking pantry. I still have leftover brown sugar, but I have never used it half as much as white sugar.

I would REALLY like to stick with these changes and add more to it. Perhaps my new job will allow me more time to workout. I think my first year will be a little rough, but eventually I will find a balance. This is the job I'd like to do for a long while if not into my retirement. But I'd also like to meet a healthful retirement.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAPUNZEL53 6/21/2014 12:51PM

  Good Luck!

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JLAMING263 6/21/2014 12:51PM

    emoticon emoticon

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I have been in MN for almost 1 year!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

It is hard to believe how much time has passed since I wrote my last blog entry.

Before the move, my greatest concern was my job. Well, I stumbled upon the Americorps website and have been working as a Literacy Tutor in a Title I school since August. It is humbling and THE perfect way for me to spend a year of my life while I figure out what I want to do with the rest of it. I work with children from many different backgrounds in grades 1-3. My contract ends this summer. I will use the educational award money at the end of the year to pay off what is left of my undergrad student loans and have a little leftover to go towards grad school. I just began studying for the GRE -- it is TOUGH! I plan to go to back to school for Library Sciences.

My fitness goals have been all but ruined. It really bummed me out for awhile, and all I did was sulk. I am slowly moving back into healthy routines.

For a couple of weeks now, I have been logging the foods I eat at least a couple days a week. Having that accountability helps me even at the moment I need to decide what to eat. I realize I will have to log the foods I eat later, and that allows me to convince myself to make better decisions. Instead of cooking on my long days, I have a freezer full of Smart Ones to choose from instead of allowing myself to eat out just because I am tired.

This week, I have done the 1st rotation of my DVD workout three times. I am so out of shape that I cannot even do the whole DVD like I used to. The 8 lb weights are also too heavy for me now, but I think it will only take a couple more days to be able to use them comfortably again.
We walked around St. Paul on Wednesday for about an hour at a brisk pace. Today, we tried going ice skating, but my skates do NOT fit correctly. Before meeting Forrest and moving to Minnesota, I never dreamed of buying ice skates, so its not a surprise to me that I picked an ill-fitting pair. We walked for 2 hours around the Minneapolis Institute of Art and I did the DVD, so I got a decent amount of physical activity in today.

However, I am back up to my heaviest.

This past summer, I traded in a regular workout schedule for some more extreme bouts, like long mountain bike rides one week, a Boundary Waters canoe trip another week... nothing consistent. We also let our eating habits go to hell in a handbasket.

Here's my bazillion-th weight loss goal: I want to reach 140 and toned by the end of June. That's going to take the reintroduction of consistency.

I have tried working out after school and in the morning before school, but I am not sure which I like best. I think I will try to mix it up. Once it warms up a bit here, I am going to try riding my bike to school. We made the bike ride once this summer and it wasn't unbearable. It will probably be very calming to cycle instead of drive, actually.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMMANYC 2/6/2011 7:28PM

    Library Sciences sounds like a great plan. I have a friend who got a Master's in Library Science and she has one of the coolest jobs among my friends - she's the senior research librarian for a major national newspaper. She gets to satisfy her insatiable curiosity every day, help reporters pull stories together - and then she gets to go home (great work-life balance).

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Friday, February 05, 2010

So instead of doing my DVD workout, we are going bouldering at Climb Nashville. I am excited. I wish I was a more confident belayer so we could do some wall climbs, but I am still pretty bad at that. But bouldering is a good strength workout, takes major stretches to make some of the moves, and burns a LOT of calories per hour. I will get a better workout today than if I had done my DVD.

Minneapolis is also rated one of the five most healthy places for women to live. It has a bunch of lakes for water sports and trails to run around those lakes. I am excited for this adventure. I have never lived anywhere but Clarksville.

Had a wonderful time with auto mechanics today ( that statement comes coated with sarcasm). Why do they always try to get more money out of you?

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CYCLINGSANDY 2/6/2010 10:53AM

    *I hate heights too! So, I cannot imagine enjoying what you actually chose to do! I am glad you are going to a great city to live. I did hear that it is kind of pricy though. You'll make the best of it , I am certain of that.

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SAPHIRE196 2/6/2010 7:36AM

    I used to rock climb with my Dad, down at Queen's Bluff in Clarksville. He was a member of the group that climbed there regularly and leased the land after a fence and lock was put up. I'm not sure he even goes anymore and I quit going after getting married and getting a new full time job (at that time). I loved rock climbing and I am afraid of heights. But I hear you, I wasn't that great at it. Just enjoyed it a lot though. And time with my dad.

Glad to hear that your new state is a healthy one! Hope it is a great adventure!

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SAPHIRE196 2/6/2010 7:33AM

    How come it seems like February is always too busy? And it's a short month! I am finding it harder to get in work outs too! I am day three of not getting one in!

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Bad Weekend

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday morning I had to trudge my way through the snow to work. That meant waking up an hour earlier than usual just to get there on time. So I did, but I skipped breakfast. I cannot be at work and be hungry. It drives me to the brink of insanity. I cannot focus and am not a nice person to deal with. But I work at a place with a limited selection of food, and most everything that is healthy for you is expensive and/or awful tasting. So I got a six pack of donuts and a fruit punch. I won't lie -- they were good.

Then, my aunt hurt herself sledding. After she got home from the hospital, I went over to join her brood for movies. The roads were fine by then, and I wasn't as stressed. I didn't work out at all. While there, I ate a mini moonpie and almost a whole bag of popcorn to myself. Not to mention dinner. I was trying to make a healthy chili dog. To my knowledge, there is no such thing. I had two turkey dogs with a modest amount of chili and cheese, and my dinner was almost as bad as my breakfast. I went way over my limit yesterday. But I figured out that I will eat half the amount of chili I used yesterday, half the cheese, and only one bun for 2 dogs because there is always too much bread in chili dogs in my opinion. So I will just split the bun in half between the two. That and cutting my portion of chili and cheese should knock off about 200 calories. I don't eat the beans, either, so I don't even know why I got the bean chili. Its been awhile since I've shopped for more than convenience foods. Chili dogs are gourmet compared to what I've been "cooking" for the past few months.

Today I made lunch for the brood at my aunt's house. I had a chicken breast and broccoli cheese rice -- too much of the rice stuff, obviously. my calorie count for the day is already at about 900 with just that and the soft serve cone I had when I went grocery shopping for my aunt. I know I didn't need that. But something told me to just go for it. I need to identify that something and snuff it out with a quickness. A soft serve cone would not normally bother me at all. They are 150-200 calories depending on where you go and less than 8 g of fat. But after yesterday, I feel like kicking myself over it.

I have yet to eat dinner and will probably have just a small nutrigrain bar and some beef jerky. I hate the way this weekend has went.

To top it off, I still don't feel like exercising. When I popped the mental question just now -- to exercise or not to exercise -- I realized that if I don't, my guilt over not exercising for two days in a row is going to make me literally cry and feel like a failure. I do not think this is healthy.

I need to get myself back on track, back to a healthy mindset about this lifestyle change thing, back to my spark. A snowy weekend in a town where people do not know how to handle it (myself included) sure didn't help. I am also afraid of how my boyfriend coming home from training is going to affect my recent changes.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAPHIRE196 2/2/2010 2:04AM

    Did you manage to get a work out in? I am so with you. I let myself go way too much this weekend. I had my nieces and nephew over for two days in a row. Blew my calorie points and skipped working out Saturday. The weather has made me want to sleep alot. I had to make myself (and I mean kick myself) to get back to working out Sunday. Plus I am still going over my calories and didn't even get all my tracking onto the computer. So I felt really guilty too. Today, I had to push myself just to get a 45 minute work out in. So we deserve a little time off every now and then. Hope you were able to get back to it! I am determined to eat better tomorrow. Maybe when you boyfriend comes home from training he will be in such good shape, he will want to support you in whatever way you need. Good luck!

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JULIEWATSON1 1/31/2010 6:47PM

    You will be ok--just get back on track. You CAN do it--one step at a time--one exercise and one less chili dog at a time.

Don't give up--we have all been there in one form or another.

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I am a grazer.

Friday, January 29, 2010

So I have realized my eating style: Grazer.

As soon as I wake up, I usually eat something light, 200-300 calories before a workout. If I am not hungry, I go straight into my workout. Then, I drink a lot of fluids until I can prepare my lunch, usually something hearty but light. For example, a bit of pot roast and one cup of vegetables has been my lunch the past few days, weighing in at a little over 200 calories. After showering and getting ready for work, I have a snack on my way out the door. At work, I have two hours to chew gum and drink more fluids until my lunch break. I eat a light dinner, another 200-300 calorie meal, and then for the rest of the night I munch on roughly 400 calories' worth of snacks and drink more fluids. I try to make my daily tally about 1200-1300, but I have set my maximum at 1500.

The majority of my calories come from snacks, which I do not mind at all. It makes me feel like I am getting what I want, which is to be able to have the munchies. If I were to cut snacking out, I would want something more filling during mealtime, thus running the risk of going to my most fulfilling place: fast food.

So far, so good. I am getting tired of grapes. I think bananas and mangoes sound like a good replacement. A bit more calories and more work (on the mango's part), but I have got to find something before I get to the burnout point and choose something spontaneously that's bad for me. I barely eat fruits and veggies as it is, so grapes were doing good things to my body, I am sure. My bearded dragon liked them too =)

I am dying to try some of the recipes I have found on here. I need a day off and for my boyfriend to come back into town so I'm not just cooking for one.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIGGLES1588 1/30/2010 12:41PM

    I was never that much of a snacker, but I would eat one big meal in the evening. This was not working out for me since by the evening I would be hungry and over size my portions. Now I do eat snacks in the day, but healthy ones. I bought some unsweetened apple sauce, in the small packs, so i know exactly how much I am eating of it. It works for me, I love bananas and eat one every morning. I have naval oranges too that I eat, seedless and good. I wish u the best of luck, and keep up the great work.

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SAPHIRE196 1/29/2010 3:29PM

    I try to save some calories for snacks too! And I chew gum too to keep from snacking too much. It has helped me. Love the iguana (it is an iguana right). I had a pet boa for three years named Nicoma (I got that from the bear movie, The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams). It was the name for his American Indian friend. Nicoma was a female and moved to California and back with me in 1986. My 22 year old daughter had an iguana (I can't remember what she and her boy friend called the Iguana). What is your iguana's name?

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CYCLINGSANDY 1/29/2010 10:42AM

    I graze too if my day at school is not too busy. Those 100 calories bags are my downfall if I eat too many. I love most fruits and vegetables. I am determined to eat more of them to fill me up.

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