Monday, November 30, 2009
It all started with Thanksgiving - I really didn't do too bad with my choices, actually. I started my day with a walk, and "healthied up" some of the dishes we served. I enjoyed the turkey, cranberries, roasted fresh sweet potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes w/cauliflower, a little spoonful of apple stuffing, and jello salad. I said "no" completely to gravy, rolls and butter. I did indulge in a piece of apple pie for dessert later and some Chex mix while we played games, but that was about it. Overall I felt I did okay. Somehow I gained 4 pounds, which I figured must be mostly fluid retention, because I know I didn't eat an excess 14,000 calories.
Then "it" happened - a bridal shower I was throwing with my cousins on Saturday. This not only involved baking petite cheesecakes and banana bread, but worst of all there was a half sheet cake from Costco - white with strawberry mousse filling - my absolute favorite. And one thing I have discovered on this journey, I am a CAKE ADDICT and bakery cakes with butter cream frosting are my drug of choice. Very few people showed up at the shower, and there was still half the cake left, so I "volunteered" to take that home "for my family" (liar, liar, pants on fire...I wanted it for MYSELF!). As I left, I wasn't even a mile away and I started picking at it with my fingers in the car, and next thing you know I had downed a whole piece while I was driving home. Then I had another piece after I got home. And another after supper. What the heck? I really thought I was better than this by now. Sunday would surely be better.
Sunday morning my resolve lasted for exactly 30 minutes after I woke up, and then I pretty much had a repeat performance of Saturday. By Sunday night, the cake was gone - FINALLY!
Oh, I forgot to mention, I also have not had a good workout since last Wednesday.
So, this morning, the scale registered 6 pounds gained over the past week. I was firmly in One-derland, but now the scale says 201 - a number I never wanted to see again. Depressing, humbling, frustrating...I could go on. However, something good has come from this. Honesty - with myself. I cannot have cake in my house - I cannot be trusted with it. I confessed to my husband that bringing that cake home was completely selfish on my part and had nothing to do with thinking of him and my boys - it was a compulsive act made by an addict, and I completely sabotaged myself in the process.
So, lesson learned, and now I'm back on track. No shame, no guilt - I'm forgiving myself and looking forward, with a focus on making good choices. Protein, protein, protein. Fruits & veggies. Water. Working out. I know I can lose those 6 pounds again, so I'm not going to let them become a stumbling block that keeps me off the wagon, I'm going to use them as a stepping stone to get back onto the wagon and stay there.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Since starting my weight loss journey 11 months ago, something I have become more and more aware of is just how many areas of my life are seriously out of balance. Everywhere I look, there are extremes, most resulting from my own lack of self-discipline.
too much excess weight
too many bills/debt
too much "stuff"
too much to do
too much STRESS
too little energy
too little money
too little time
too little organization
too little BALANCE
I've had enough already!
Five months ago, I tackled the top of the list. I had adjustable gastric band surgery to deal with my chronic obesity, which I was never able to get under control on my own before. For the first time in my life, I feel more in control - not perfect (and probably never will be) but actively making progress and no longer leaving the outcome to chance. I know there are varying opinions on bariatric surgery, but believe me, this was not taking "the easy way out" - what it did was provide a tool - an opportunity for me to take back control. It requires hard work and dedication every single day, but I am doing it - I am losing the excess weight and gaining energy, strength, and health. The band has tipped the scale (pardon the pun!) in my favor and now long-term success is within my grasp.
Now it's time to tackle the other items on the list.
I learned today that, barring a miracle, we will be filing bankruptcy and losing our home. After an 8-year slide backward, we have hit bottom with no where else to go. It's devastating - I can't believe this is my life. It seems surreal. But after deep contemplation about this, I am coming to terms with it and realize that this is the financial equivalent of obesity, and bankruptcy just might be the "surgery" we need to get on track. It's like the "band" that will constrain us financially and provide the opportunity to take back control. Please don't misunderstand. I am not glorifying bankruptcy. This also is not the "easy way out" - it is going to be one of the most difficult things we ever go through and will require hard work and dedication. But it is an opportunity for redemption - to take back control, start making progress, and do it right this time.
Eventually, we will be moving from our four bedroom home to a much smaller rental. With this will come the final purging of all the extra "stuff" that clutters up our home and our lives. A lot of it we could live happier without, and maybe if we would have said "no" originally, we wouldn't be in the situation we're in now. It is all life-draining - taking our time and money to manage and keep up. I'm ready for it all to be gone. I long for simplicity now.
I know none of this is going to be easy - neither is losing weight - but it has to be done. Just like I had fears before surgery, I am nervous now, wondering if I have what it takes to do the "heavy lifting" that is coming ahead. I wonder what the outcome will be. I wonder how my kids will adjust to the changes. One baby step at a time, and I will get through this.
It is said what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I think I'm going to be pretty ripped when I get on the other side of this.
Friday, November 06, 2009
I don't like to whine about my problems, but I'm feeling like I need to open up about some challenges I'm dealing with in my life lately:
- Finances - pay cut and loss of income, some "bad" financial decisions, mounting credit card debt with increasing minimum payments and interest rates, medical bills, an adjustable mortgage we can no longer afford for a house we now owe more on than it's worth by about $50,000. We are losing ground each month, and bakruptcy and foreclosure may be in our future.
- Major family conflict and deteriorating relationships with my two teenage boys, even after a year of family counseling. This week I had a major clash with my 16-year-old son--an honor student who is a good kid but is extremely manipulative and arrogant toward me. He told me he doesn't respect me because I am too controlling and absusive with my "power" as a parent. On Thursday he left town for a 4-day trip with his high school band and wouldn't even say good-bye. He lost his cell phone the day before he left, so we have no way of communicating with him while he's gone.
- My sister-in-law is upset with me and I have no idea why--she won't speak to me. I called to wish her a happy birthday and she passed the phone immediately to her husband and wouldn't even say hello.
- Juggling crazy schedules between work and kids--long days and not enough sleep.
- My 1-1/2-year-old boxer dog has had problems with daily vomiting for over a year now, and we can't figure out why. Even on his special food (which is expensive!) he still vomits several times a day. We don't know what to do anymore to help him and are wondering if we need to give him up.
I'm trying to just take life one day at a time and not get too down. Some days are worse than others, and this week was a real doozie with all the tension between me and my son. I am a person of faith, and I know God will see me through this. Even with all these challenges, I know I still have a lot to be thankful for, and I am counting my blessings. I know things could be a lot worse!
One thing I am very thankful for is that in spite of all of the stress, I have NOT been eating emotionally. I even baked chocolate chip cookies and never even had one. I started going back to the gym again this week, and I think the exercise and "me time" is really helping with stress management. I really look forward to my workouts now.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
I have never made this recipe - just received it in an email today and wanted to share. I'm definitely going to try it. I often skip the crust and just bake the filling in custard dishes. It's a very healthy treat that tastes great too!
The Best Light Pumpkin Pie
This pumpkin pie saves 100 calories per slice from the traditional version and it tastes identical!
1 cup ginger snaps (about 16 cookies)
16 oz can pumpkin
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4)
1/2 cup sugar (or substitute 1/4 c sugar + 1/4 c Splenda)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (1.25 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves)
12 oz can evaporated skim milk
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grind the cookies in a food processor. Lightly spray a 9" glass pie pan with vegetable cooking spray. Pat the cookie crumbs into the bottom of the pan evenly. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Pour into the crust and bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Store in the refrigerator.
Allow to cool and slice in 8 wedges. Optional: serve each wedge with fat free whipped cream.
Serves 8. Each slice: 165 calories, 1.5 g fat, .5 g saturated fat, 1.5 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 6 g protein. Diabetic exchange: 2 bread.
Pumpkin Pie Calorie Facts:
· Store-bought pumpkin pie: About 260-290 calories per slice
· Use a traditional pie crust in place of ginger snaps for this recipe: Increase from 165 calories to 220 calories per slice
· Use 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup Splenda in place of 1/2 cup sugar for this recipe: Decrease from 165 to 150 calories per slice
· Cut this pie in 6 instead of 8: Increase to 202 calories per slice
· Cut this pie in 10 instead of 8: Decrease to 120 calories per slice
· Add light whipped cream from the can: 15 calories per 2 tablespoons
This recipe is excerpted from the 2004 Holiday Presentation Kit (www.foodandhealth.com).
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