Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Last night I was dreading the scale at my WW meeting. The previous week I had an outstanding loss of 3.6 lbs. Instead of being inspirect by that, I had the worst week ever afterwards. I told a friend at the meeting that it was as if I forgot I was trying to lose weight. As I suspected, I was up 2.6 lbs. But that also meant that I still was down 1 lb. from 2 weeks ago. One pound really is a lot. Here's one pound of fat:
I am choosing to focus on that and have a good week. It's really not the pounds that count. It's about how I feel.
I was pleasantly surprised that the topic of our WW meeting was about being a vegetarian...what???!!!! I don't know, I was just a little shocked at that because I've never once heard that at a WW meeting. Our leader rattled off all the advantages very quickly; in fact, I felt like the points went over many peoples' heads when she told of the protection from cancer and heart disease that's been proven by numerous studies. Me, I hung on every word because it was exactly what I already have read about and knew. Our leader even quoted, "In Defense of Food", which is one of the many books I have in my personal library. Yes, I have read just about all of the books that advocate eating a plant-based diet, along with all of the scientific data to support it. It started with "Eat to Live" and now I own such great books as "The China Study", "The Food Revolution", "The pH Miracle", "Green for Life", "Eat for Health", "The RAVE Diwet & Lifestyle", "Anti Cancer - a new way of life", "Crazy, Sexy Diet", "The Perfect Formula Diet", "The Engine 2 Diet", The Kind Diet"...not to mention a multitude of great vegetarian and vegan cookbooks.
I care about animals and I shutter with sadness at their suffering for the sake of our dinner table. I care about the environment and hate what some of the food producing methods are doing to damage the planet. I care most about my health, especially since my sister was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I can't stick my head in the sand and pretend it doesn't matter any more.
So why am I so conflicted?? Is it the almost 60 years I've been a carnivore and old habits die hard? I don't believe it's ever too late to make positive changes. Do I still have a small shred of doubt that keeps me hanging on? I just heard on The View this am that Betty White, age 89, eats hot dogs and junk food. It's hard to explain that, but I think she's in the minority of lucky people who don't get ill from eating that stuff. I mostly blame my lack of commitment on my dear hubby. He criticizes me whenever I attempt to ditch the meat. He tells me that I'm not getting enough protein and I'm going to get sick (as he pounds down a couple of BLT's, fatty rare steak, or sausage & peppers).
I look at the menu when eating out and convince myself that I have no choice put to eat the way every one else around me eats. I'm being honest here when I say sometimes I wish I didn't know all that I know about the ill effects of the Standard American Diet because then I wouldn't feel so guilty and weak-willed when I succumb to it. We went out to breakfast with a friend yesterday and I said to myself, "if I was following a vegetarian diet, I don't think there would be one item on this menu I could order!" Breakfast is very easy for me at home, but dining out is a real problem - I would welcome any and all suggestions from you veteran vegans!!
A dear and wonderful friend I have here on SP (love ya, Mazzy) knows about my angst regarding this subject. She suggested that maybe I could "flirt" with the vegetarian diet. It's kind of along the same lines as another book I have, "The Flexitarian Diet". Our WW leader also talked about being a flexitarian and try to at least go meatless once or twice a week. I guess I'd prefer reversing that to maybe having a chicken or fish meal a couple times a week (mostly dining out or at social events) and meatless the rest of the time. WW advises you have 2 dairy items a day, but as I've read the books, I've also come to know of the health hazards of dairy. That's even harder for me than eliminating meat.
I think I've tried too many times to take a leap that's just too far from where I am. With my all-or-nothing perfectionistic thinking I tend to abandon the whole idea and go the direct opposite. I had been trying to become what Dr. Fuhrman calls a "nutritarian", and it's too daunting of a goal for me right now. I'm not even sure I can go vegan at this point. However, the truth of the matter is that over the years of attempting to go plant-based, I have to admit that I've developed a distaste for meat. I tried a steak a few weeks ago at a barbeque and I couldn't eat it. I dislike sausage and lately did not like the taste of chicken. How interesting. Maybe I'm making more progress than I think.
I know I could eliminate all meat and poultry right now if all the obstacles were cleared out of the way. It would be so much easier if I lived alone and didn't have to cook for someone else who eats a lot of meat. DH likes vegetables and healthy foods also, but really likes his beef, pork, and chicken meals. I know I can make meals for myself that can be side dishes for him, but I haven't seemed to want to make the effort yet.
I'm putting it all out there in this blog to hopefully solicit some suggestions and support for those who have adopted the plant-based eating style. Intellectually and intuitively, I know it's what I want to do. Emotionally, I still have ties to the old familiar way of eating, even though it is not serving me well. I hope to end the conflict sooner rather than too late.
Saturday, August 06, 2011
I explained this to a friend who had asked, and then realized there may have been others who got an email regading my last blog ( titled "Just the facts ma'am") and wondered why they couldn't get to it.
This afternoon I wrote a nice, long blog about the truths regarding eating a healthy (plant-based) diet versus S.A.D. (Standard American Diet). Then hubby suggested we go out to dinner and I felt like a hypocrite because I ate the total opposite of what I had written about. So I came home and deleted it!
I struggle so much between what I WANT to do and what I actually DO. I hope to someday overcome this, but I'm just not there yet. I have the blog on Word too, so I could repost it, but right now I'm feeling like I need to walk the talk instead of just talking the talk.
Thanks so much to all who support me as I try to figure it out!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
WARNING: this blog starts out depressing, but there will be a happy ending, so hang in there with me.
I had stopped going to my WW meetings over a month ago and basically had given up on the prospect of ever conquering my emotional eating. I cancelled my Monthly Pass with the hopes I'd still keep going on my own, but who was I kidding? I continued to indulge in ice cream, candy bars, and the like while using every excuse possible not to go out and walk.
Last Sunday night I thought long and hard about what I want. What I want is what I had and let slip through my fingers. I felt on top of the world last summer. Healthier, more energetic, happier, more confident, and I'm not ashamed to say I loved what I saw in the mirror when I tried on new, smaller sizes.
Sure, I got punched in the gut with some horrible news. It has been THE most devastating thing I've ever had to deal with to hear my sister has inoperable pancreatic cancer. Even worse than losing both my parents in 1996, six months apart.
Life happens and there's not a thing we can do to control many events. It's become a clique saying, but it's true that we canít control what happens to us in life, but we can control our reactions to what happens.
Here's a review of my WW story:
I joined on 3-1-10 at 215 lbs., determined to follow the program 100%. I did just that. I tracked every single bite, stayed within my points limits, walked every single day (first 3 miles and eventually 5 miles/day). I lost 5 lbs. the first week, 3 lbs. the second week, and averaged 1.5 to 2 lbs. every single week for a total of 30 lbs. the first 12 weeks. I was on fire and it seemed almost too easy.
Things started slowing down a little bit during June and July, but I reached 174.8 (40.2 lbs. lost) by 8/2. Then I played with the same 5 lbs. for the next 4 months, up and down and up and down. I stopped tracking completely in September because I was on a mental plateau as well as a weight plateau. During that time, my eating is not good, but thankfully I am still walking 5 miles a day.
I got the devastating news about my sister on October 1. That turned my world upside down and I didnít know what to do to feel better except to distract myself from feeling the pain by turning to food.
When the new Points Plus came on board, I was excited. It was a fresh start and I had a new attitude. The week of the roll-out, 11/29/10, I was 179.4. The following week I lost 2.2 lbs. and thought, "this is it, I'm back!"
It was short lived. My sister was having so many adverse reactions to her chemo treatments that it was saddening and stressing me too much. I continued to turn to food for comfort. By 1/3/11 I was up to 183.4, a total of 8.6 lbs. gained. Not all that bad, I thought. It's a brand new year and I'll be able to get that off and keep going.
Things kept getting worse for my sister. I couldn't cope with it. I was now spiraled so far out of control, and at my weakest mental state. Instead of losing the 8.6, I was up to 192 by 4/4. Another 6.6, making my total gain 15.2 lbs. Now I'm up a size. I was a 12 and am now into my 14's. The feelings of failure and defeat are overwhelming. My walking starts to become sporadic during the winter months because it's too cold and icy to walk outside.
I see a + every week thereafter, until I reach 195 on 5/16. Now I'm up 20.2, half of what I lost is back and my 14's are snug . I resist for a while, but get tired of feeling uncomfortable so I haul out the 16's. I see puffiness back in my face and neck. I start feeling fatigued. My walking is still sporadic, even though the weather is perfect for it. I no longer feel like I can walk 5 miles, so I cut it down to 3 or 4 miles which I manage to do 2-3 times a week. Then it starts to get too hot to walk.
Also in early May, my sister ends up in the hospital with dangerously low potassium levels. It keeps getting worse and 2 days later she's rushed to the ICU. The doctors tell her husband to call the family together because they don't know if she'll make it through the night. She did pull through, and began a very slow, difficult recovery over the next 2 months. I spent so much time at the hospital and did things I never knew I was capable of doing in order to help my sister. It was hard on all of us - gut wrenching to see her struggle and suffer.
In mid-June I stop going to my WW meetings. I've given up. I tearfully cancel my Monthly Pass mid-July because I feel like it's a hopeless situation and I'm wasting my money. I can't seem to pull myself together. I'm falling apart. I feel hopeless, helpless, and a complete failure.
The reason I wanted to review all of this now is that I want to memorialize how things can turn on a dime if I'm not vigilant. Last summer I was on fire and was convinced I'd reach my goal weight by December, maybe even sooner at the rate I was going. But then Life stuck its big fat toe out and I tripped over it big time and fell flat on my face. It was much harder this time to get back up.
For the past 10 months, I had allowed my sister's struggles to become my own. It's hard not to when she and I are so very connected in every way. But I've come to realize that it doesn't help Janet and it most certainly harms me. There's no amount of self-imposed suffering that can take away Janet's ultimate destiny. I cannot give up on my health goals and throw in the towel just because supposed insurmountable obstacles are thrown in my way. I can overcome them much better if I stay true to my deepest desires and carry on despite of it all.
Last Sunday was my turning point. I happily bought a Monthly Pass. After 6 weeks away, I was glad to rejoin and attend my WW meeting last Monday. I was only up 1.4 pounds from my last weigh-in, which I didn't think was too bad since I'd not been walking regularly, tracking, or watching what I ate. I believe I needed to hit bottom before I began to rise again. I'm feeling that newbie excitement again. Iím ready to get back to tracking. I'm ready to start feeling better. Iíve tracked consistently so far this week (not that painful after all), have made good food choices, and walked 4 miles Monday, 5 miles Wednesday, and 5 miles today.
Another piece of great news is that my sister is doing better and better each day. It's hard to believe we almost lost her a couple of months ago. It's been a very long and difficult recovery, but she did recover and is now enjoying her days. She and I have had some wonderful quality visits the past few weeks. Her son and his family are here for the week. Sheís feeling well and able to do a lot. She hasnít had any treatments in a little over 2 months and will need to resume them again at some point. But sheís talked to me about delaying them until September so she can enjoy the summer. I hope she does just that.
I spent last Tuesday at Janetís and here are some of the pics of her and I, Janet and her son Mike, and the last pic with her husband plus Mike, his wife and 2 stepdaughters.
I'm feeling better now too and am ready to get back on the path of reaching my goal.
Sunday, July 03, 2011
I saw this pic in a Sparker's photo gallery and it really spoke to me. Sometimes it seems so hard to lose weight and even harder to maintain weight loss. But I believe that being overweight and feeling unhealthy tops it as far as being the very hardest.
I switched from an upward spiral last year during March-September to a downward spiral that began last October 1 to the present day. It baffles me how things can change so drastically on a dime. True, my sister's terminal cancer diagnosis last October is what started it. But I can't keep using that as an excuse. Life IS hard and I have to start learning how to deal with it without drugging myself with food. There's always going to be disappointments, tragedies, hardships. Life is a series of ups and downs and one must ride the waves without crashing and burning each time.
It was a slow process. First I started having trigger foods once in a while, then more often, then in larger quantities. Now I'm addicted again. When I started eating more, I stopped tracking my food. Even though I started out eating more I was still walking regularly 5 miles a day. Then I walked 5 miles maybe 4-5 times a week. Then it was twice a week. This morning I didn't feel like I could even do 5 miles so I walked 3 miles. All of my positive feelings and momentum went right out the window and I find myself thinking negatively. I am fearful about my health again. I am worried about clogged arteries and uncontrollable high blood pressure. My cholestrol was high last Feb. and yet I'm eating too much saturated fat and sugar every day.
I keep repeating patterns. In 2007 when I first discovered SparkPeople, I had lost 37 lbs. I gained it all back and struggled all throughout 2008 & 2009. I joined WW in March of 2010 and lost 40 lbs. I thought I had it solved. I thought NO WAY would I ever go backwards again. And now here I am, having gained back 21 lbs. and struggling again.
I have been feeling like a runaway train heading very close to derailment. I wish I knew the answer. I read my same story on so many SP blogs and WW blogs. If anyone out there does have an answer, I would love to know it. I won't give up, I can't give up. I guess that's the best I can do right now. I need to work on my attitude and become determined again. I once felt so committed to health and unstoppable. I can be again.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I woke up this morning at 6 am. Instead of rolling over and sleeping another hour, as I often do, I got out of bed and made the decision to go for a 5 mile walk. Great decision, because it was already 68 degrees and by the afternoon got extremely hot and humid.
But more than that, it set the tone for the entire day and started a chain reaction, a domino effect whereby one positive thing led to another. When I returned from my walk, I quenched my thirst with a tall glass of cold water with pure lemon juice. Iíve read that itís the best thing you can do for yourself first thing in the morning is drink a large glass of water because your body is always a bit dehydrated at that time. The lemon juice makes your body more alkaline, which is good for health as well as weight loss.
I felt so good after that, I prepared a healthy breakfast Ė lots of veggies (garlic, onion, carrots, green & yellow peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes) in an egg white scramble tossed into a whole wheat wrap.
While I ate my breakfast, I went on SparkPeople and was reading blogs and pages. I came across numerous ones that uplifted and/or motivated me.
I read a blog written by TEMPEST272002 that totally blew me away! She has overcome so many challenges and confirmed to me that anything is possible if you think it is, even the most seemingly insurmountable goals. (see link at bottom to read blog)
Then I read this on SWAZY33ís page:
Whatever our hands touch---
We leave fingerprints!
On walls, on furniture,
On doorknobs, dishes, books,
As we touch we leave our identity.
Oh please where ever I go today,
Help me leave heartprints!
Heartprints of compassion
Of understanding and love.
Heartprints of kindness
and genuine concern.
It made such an impact on me to have a goal of leaving heartprints of love and kindness wherever I go.
Then I read a comment from CHRYS13 on one of my friendís page:
ďAnd finally, I want to acknowledge that making changes in your life is never an easy task. The key, however, is not to get caught up in the distance you have to go to get to where you want to be. Nor should you despair over the amount of control you have over your circumstances. Progress is made in the small, intentional steps, and chances are, you have more power than you think. By focusing on little steps you can take every day, the progress you make will motivate you to continue your journey, and eventually, you can go wherever you want to go. The important thing is simply to begin. ...Stephen Cherniske, M.SĒ
WOW! How powerful is that !!!!
All of these positive messages lifted me up and kept in motion my positive path. After finishing breakfast and reading, I went outside and did some yard work and mulching. Not only does that sort of work give me a sense of satisfaction after Iím done, itís also great exercise. A goal of mine is to stay active and do less sitting (more often done at the computer or in front of the TV).
While I was outside working, I was listening to a Wayne Dyer CD titled ďMaking the ShiftĒ. It was also exactly what I needed to hear. There were so many great insightsótoo many to even mention. But some that stuck into my mind was that instead of pushing outward (i.e., resisting against what we donít want and struggling to achieve something), we must realize that the door swings inward. All we have to do is step back, go within, connect to our Source and our original nature...then everything we desire comes to us, we donít have to go after it. We now have the guidance that wasnít there before. As we ask for whatever is in our highest good, the answers come, the right people and situations show up, the right idea comes along, etc. He related it to losing weight and overcoming any addiction. He says if you correct your mind, everything else falls into place, and you correct your mind by NOT doing; keep your mind detached, quiet your emotions and abide in serenity. He talks about Patty Davis, who overcame her cocaine addiction. She at first tried not to disappoint herself, then not disappoint her father (Ronald Reagan) or her mother. She overcame her addiction once she got to a place of not wanting to disappoint God and her highest self. When you re-align with your original God-like nature, you correct your mind. When you correct your mind, the temptation is gone because you are now in a place of well-being where all things are possible.
This CD is so excellent, I must listen to it again tomorrow.
My main epiphany today is that each positive thought creates a positive action, which stimulates more positive thoughts and more positive actions. As the hours turn into days and into weeks and months, the results are positive changes that occur without conscious effort. It all just flows and you enjoy each moment along the way. What a wonderful way to live!
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