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Breaking Bad Habits

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wow, this past week was crazy. I had a lot of big stuff for school due, plus an insanely crazy high-pressure interview on Friday morning.

I actually did really well keeping up my nutrition tracker, and I tried when I could to squeeze in 10 mins of exercise throughout the day. I wasn't wildly successful there, but I still did more than normal (which is pretty much zero). Even driving home on Thursday afternoon for my interview, I cranked up the tunes and "car danced" for 20 mins. Imagine what my fellow travelers on I-35 just north of Ames, IA thought!

I was reminded, though, that traveling makes it super hard to eat well. Not impossible, you just have to be incredibly prepared and thinking through everything. I ended up meeting a good friend for dinner Thursday night and she wanted a margarita, so we hit a local Mexican place. They had a "low-carb grilled chicken"....salad (I think it was called??) , and I skipped the pico de gallo and added guacamole (which I could pretty much eat all day long) and sour cream. They don't have nutritional information online, and I'm sure it was more carbs than I wanted, but it was the best option I had, and I was proud of myself for not caving. (Also, go me: I shoved the basket of chips and salsa over to my friend and didn't touch them all night!)

Friday morning for breakfast I had one of those packets of ready-made tuna salad, and a string cheese while I got a little work done in Starbucks. Then I hit the road for the 2 hr drive to the interview. It went *extremely* well (deo gratias!!), and they had a luncheon afterwards, which consisted of a breaded chicken patty, green beans almondine, and a cookie. I had LOTS of green beans, and managed to peel most of the breading off the chicken (skipping the cookie, of course!).

Now, here's the part I'm really proud of: somehow or another, I've learned to conceive of "yummy food" as a reward - I suspect it has something to do with family stuff. We celebrate with ice cream or a special dinner or something. So...I was *really* pumped about this interview going really well. (It was the final interview with my church denominational leadership to determine if I can be ordained and serve as a pastor somewhere, and I had *NO* guarantee that it was going to go well...) It was incredible, and the whole thing was just an example of how crazy and outside-the-box God is. But that's a different story. So...back to the food part.

It would have been easy to have a cookie at lunch, but I didn't. After I left, I went to go visit my absolute BFF who's struggling with some bizarre family stuff. Her tiny little Iowa town has an absolutely adorable old-fashioned soda fountain, and a coffee shop. Before I told her that I was trying to (once again) be serious about low-carb, she suggested going there to grab ice cream. But I said no!! (And because she's awesome, she readily agreed.) We did go to the coffee shop, and I managed to resist all the homemade baked goods. An iced Americano with plenty of cream was good enough for me. I hung out with her for a couple hours, and as I was getting ready to leave again to go home, I started feeling really woozy, and it occurred to me that I really hadn't had much to eat all day. She gave me a big chunk of cheddar cheese for the road, to tide me over until I could get somewhere to grab dinner. Eventually, when I re-entered civilization, I found a Jimmy John's and unwiched a #9. Excellent.

So...bottom line, I had this big important thing to celebrate yesterday, and my old self really wanted to reward me with a cookie or ice cream or a beer or, at the very least, sweet potato fries. But I successfully told Old Self that Future Self would thank me for not doing so. I'm trying to break the bad habit. Instead, I'm going to hit up Bath and Body Works this weekend for a "reward" that will make me feel pretty.

Mmm-hm. Yay for me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOPHIALARA 5/5/2012 2:14PM

    Great blog! I love how your Old Self and New Self are talking. I need to do that! It's a great way to break Old Self's habits and create a New Self that eats healthy foods in healthy ways!


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SARI_GIRL 4/28/2012 11:42PM

    Wow! Congrats on everything, especially the interview and the chips! I find that if I eat the things I really want in a controlled environment at home, I do ok. For some reason I cannot eat a few chips without eating the whole bag. The only exception is plain tortilla chips. I don't know why, but I can count those out and stop at one serving. So today I had 140 calories of bite size (it looks like you get more) tortilla chips with a tablespoon of light sour cream. Delicious, and totally ok on calories!

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ANTIOCHIA 4/26/2012 8:01AM

    Wow -- You did fantastic on your travels. When traveling it is very hard for me to eat healthy. One time I took a cooler and packed my own food for the weekend (since I wasn't meeting with friends or family to eat during the trip). All I needed to buy was water and coffee. I was surprised by my feelings as I stopped at the Tollway oasis to use the bathroom. I bought my coffee and left as soon as I could. I had extreme feelings of deprivation -- I felt like I owed myself goodies -- even though I had a cooler full of healthy food! It was an enlightening moment. Now I'm prepared for those feelings. I applaud your success!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

~Ruth Ann

Comment edited on: 4/26/2012 8:02:36 AM

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KINEPS 4/21/2012 8:01PM

    Katie --

Congratulations on an excellent interview!!! I'm sure you are still feeling the effects of such a positive experience.

Next -- good job not giving into the chips and salsa. I never ate them until my daughter discovered them. The salsa isn't bad it's the chips. If you only have 12 chips then it's okay -- but sitting around chatting with a friend could lead to serious munching - lol! So BRAVO to you for moving them away and not being tempted!

I think B&BW is an excellent place to give yourself a well earned reward. You managed to be mindful of your new lifestyle and didn't give in . . . . when it would have been so easy.

Hope you have a great weekend.



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WOUBBIE 4/21/2012 3:54PM


Go you indeed! I looked in vain for an emoticon of "jaw-dropping awe" but, well, you'll just have to picture ME looking that way instead! What a series of wins! Excellent! And congratulations on the interview as well!

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GLC2009 4/21/2012 3:51PM

    i like the idea of naming a sandwich sans bread an unwich emoticon i am going to have to remember that one.

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On-Again, Off-Again: My Relationship With Food

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ah yes, today came (one of) my biggest problems with food. Basically, I eat when I'm bored, and I don't when I'm busy.

Today I was working on a crazy long paper for one of my classes. I worked at the coffee shop on campus from 9:30-2:30, and it was pretty dead, so I was getting a lot of work done. For breakfast I had an Americano with heavy cream, 2 Hormel Pepperoni Stix, and a string cheese. So far, so good. Then I started in on drinking water, and settled in to work on my paper. And worked and worked and worked. Before I knew it, it was 6:00, and I hadn't had anything else to eat all day. So I headed for the store to pick up some salad mix and whatnot, and it was close to 7:00 before I actually sat down and ate. By then I was starving.

This is in direct opposition to last weekend when I was home for Easter. I was bored and there was food/baked goods/candy everywhere, and I ate it all the time. Like I said, I was bored. And it was there.

I need to figure out a better solution to this. Not just to the "eating all the time" part, also the "forgetting to eat" part. I'm not sure what the answer is - it's not that I'm hungry and I just ignore it. I literally don't feel hungry, so I don't think to stop and eat.

Does anybody have similar issues, or ideas on how to deal with it?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOUBBIE 4/15/2012 4:52PM

    A lot of people who eat lower carb foods find that their appetites are nothing like they used to be and worry whether they should still eat at regular fixed mealtimes or wait until they're actually hungry. I'm not sure if either answer is correct for every person every time. Sometime your body just tells you to eat more, and as long as it's on plan, you probably should. But if you're truly not hungry - rejoice!

Always make sure you're hydrated too. I find that some of my "boredom" eating is actually thirst masquerading as hunger.

Good going!

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BELLE0308 4/15/2012 1:54PM

    YES! It is tough. Tonight I will work from 6pm-6am. I sit in a control room for about 7 of those hours alone. What I tend to do is eat to stay awake. What I am trying to do is to pack my food to bring with me so that I don't over eat. I also try to keep snacks, even something as simple as a Kashi bar around to fend off the desire to eat something worse. It is really hard though and I understand. Some days I am not so great.

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KINEPS 4/14/2012 9:25PM

    I hear you loud and clear!!! Boredom sets me up for failure all the time . . . . and when I'm super busy, I also forget about food. Talk about complete opposites - lol!!

The best advice I can give you is to measure and bag some healthy snacks -- like nuts, crackers, fruit, veggies, anything that you like to munch on. This way you can grab one or two on your way out the door to have when you're at school. It will help limit temptations. They're also good to have around the house when you realize that you haven't eaten and are now starving. This way you can stop the hunger pangs while preparing dinner -- and you won't eat too much of the wrong foods and go over your calories for the day.

Hope that helps!


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STALEYK 4/14/2012 9:23PM

    Yes! I'm right there with you. With the Easter holiday and lots of food all around I ate and ate and ate...even in the evenings and I've broken my habit of eating after dinner. Have to wean myself back again. I too notice if it's slow at work I look for something to eat...boredom...and if we're busy the day flies by and I haven't had cravings for something to eat all day.

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What Counts as "Water"?

Friday, April 13, 2012

I'm really not having a hard time keeping up the "water" requirements - I really don't drink too much else. A cup - maybe 2 - of coffee in the morning, and then it's really usually only water and tea the rest of the day. Occasionally I get a hankering for a Sonic Cherry Limeade (and really, who doesn't?), and I might take a bottle of pop or a Capri-Sun on a roadtrip, but really, I drink water. Probably, actually, should drink more milk (except for the whole "carbs" thing).

But...I've never really gotten a ruling on whether hot tea counts toward the daily water goal. I've heard "some people" say that it doesn't - tea is tea, and water is water. But in my mind, it should. I rarely drink black tea; it's almost all herbal (or green+herbal) for me. It's water with some leaves stirred in, really. I don't think it's like trying to claim that Kool-Aid is water with flavor mixed in. Or that lemonade is water with lemon juice and sugar mixed in. I said, I mostly just drink water. But on days like today when it's cloudy and cool, I just want the coziness of a cup of Mixed Berry Zinger. Over and over and over again. Can I count it towards my water goal? What has anybody else around here been told?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAYPOOIE 4/14/2012 3:56PM

    I count everything. I figure once it's in my body, the body doesn't know or care that it came in with stuff dissolved in it. That's a separate issue.

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JENORA234 4/14/2012 9:49AM

    I also count all of what I drink in a day. I only drink coffee, tea, and plain water

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ADZY86 4/14/2012 3:37AM

    I drink green tea (and more recently white tea - you should try that, apparently it's a step up from green tea, health wise, and tastes yummy) every day, about 4-5 cups, all decaffenaited, and I count those towards my total. But just to cover myself, I aim to also get my 8 cups of 'plain' water, nothing added.

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KICK-SS 4/14/2012 1:07AM

    Earlier I wrote on here that I'd read that your fluid intake did not need to be water and at that time I couldn't remember where I'd read it.'

It is in Protein Power book, If y ou get a chance, it's on page 103 & 104 of Protein Power book by Dr.s Michael D and Mary Dan Eades, MD's. It also states that the coffee may have a mild diuretic effect, but not enough to make a difference to most people. So, I just wanted to clarify as to where I saw it.

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SPIRITMAMMARN 4/13/2012 10:49PM

  I count tea and crystal light in my water counts but not soda.

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LINOVER 4/13/2012 10:13PM

    I have also read that all the liquids you drink should count towards your total amount of water. I just make sure that I drink more than 64 ounces so that I have all my bases covered.

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IOWAKATIE 4/13/2012 9:25PM

  Hmm, EweFluffy! That's really interesting, and definitely good to know! Thanks for the info! emoticon

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WOUBBIE 4/13/2012 9:24PM

    The reason you might not want to count caffeinated beverages toward your hydration goals is that they act as mild diuretics, and you end up with a net zero: water in/water out. Herbal teas and tisanes generally count as neutral.

Caffeine is actually considered to be a psychoactive drug with a lot of interactions in the body. It causes you to release your body's own sugar stores, which is where you get the jolt - it's like a sustained sugar rush. It also fills the receptors where your body's "sleepy" hormone, adenosine, should go, which is why you can sometimes be wide awake at bedtime even when you're physically exhausted.

A cup or two a day is probably fine, maybe even beneficial, but large quantities can cause problems.

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KICK-SS 4/13/2012 9:06PM

    I read somewhere in one of the low carb type books that all liquids you drink are considered counting towards your daily totals. That includes coffee, tea, flavored water (such as with Crystal Light) etc. They said just count your liquids (it didn't say about alcohol tho) but it all adds up towards your 8 cups a day.

Also, they said that 8 cups of water/liquids per day isn't really necessary that somehow that amount got started as a recommendation somewhere, they said it was more accurate to check your urine, if it's clear or nearly clear, then you're getting enough fluids in your body to flush toxins out.

Now... I didn't make that up and I did read it, not too long ago, but for the life of me cannot remember where. Sorry~~~

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GLC2009 4/13/2012 8:25PM

    if you want to drink more milk, but, not carbs, try almond milk. unsweetened vanilla almond breeze is delicious. with 40 cal and 2 carbs in a glass.

as for water, i would count teas without caffeine as water. i don't drink hot drinks, but, once in awhile if i'm chilled i have a cup of plain hot water. i like that just fine.

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    Great question. I've often wondered when I add Crystal light into my water, does it still count as water?

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LIVINMYDREAMS 4/13/2012 6:49PM

    Some people would count it because it is decaffinated. I don't get all legalistic about that stuff.

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Long Day Today

Friday, April 13, 2012 was a long day. I had the opening shift at the coffee shop on campus, and was "food-trapped" by 7:30 am! Ack!

Walking through the kitchen to pick up the morning pastries we sell, I saw a cookie sheet full of things I hadn't seen before. I asked the chef what they were, and he said, "try one." Before my brain could even register "No!" I had popped it in my mouth. Turns out it was a deep-fried brownie bite covered in frosting. So...that was my breakfast. It was really good, obviously, but I've been kind of annoyed at myself all day... Did much better the rest of the day, but definitely not enough veggies... Goal for tomorrow!

I also got my exercise in! It ended up being a gorgeous day outside, but me and my friends' class schedules are radically different on Thursday. I really wanted to play outside, so I grabbed my glove and a softball and bounced the ball off the side of the building for 25 mins. I even opened all the windows and sunroof in my car and stuck in a fun CD, and just enjoyed the day. It was fantastic, except that it really tore up the cover of my ball. :(

I was surprised to see how many people here on Spark were so immediately friendly and supportive. It's awesome to be surrounded by so many wonderful people!

One of the students on my campus is a single dad who is struggling with some pretty major health issues, and so he needs a lot of help with the kiddos. The school has been awesome about putting together a whole calendar of what's needed and when - meals, trips to the doctor, rides to school, etc. I signed up to take one of the kids to play practice tonight, which ended up running super-long, because it was actually the dress rehearsal. But it was a lot of fun - the play is The Wizard of Oz, and the kid was one of the Munchkins with a more prominent Munchkin Role. He did a great job, as did the entire cast. Also, it was fun just to do something different, to be with kids, and to be "good" at something besides school. I would have sat there all night with that kid - his life is so crazy right now! :(

But...all the homework I thought would get done sitting there at play practice didn't, since the lights were down and we were watching the whole thing. Glad I did it, but now to get to some "systematic theology."

♪ The wicked old witch at last is dead! ♫

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAKEMAKERMOM 4/13/2012 2:07PM

    One brownie bite won't kill you. Anything can be fit into your calories for the day. Keep up the good work!

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WOUBBIE 4/13/2012 9:19AM

    Good for you for getting back on track! It's funny how you can suddenly forget about your eating plan that way. I don't have carb cravings anymore, but when my sons have friends over and I'm flinging bowls of munchies at them I still reach for a couple of chips or pretzels mindlessly until I almost eat them and have to stop short. You just forget sometimes!

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Here Goes Nothin'!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Alright...I goofed around a little with SparkPeople in undergrad, but kind of got out of the habit. So here we go - for sure this time!

Maybe this is the wrong motivation, but: I'm so tired of fighting with my mom about my weight. We've been doing this since I was in the 2nd grade. I want to lose this weight so that it is no longer something she can criticize me about. I'm taking the power back.

But it's also about something more: the Holy Spirit class I'm taking this semester is absolutely fantastic. The professor is wonderful! One of the things she keeps emphasizing is that living in the Spirit means you are free to be who you really are. That the patterns of the old world no longer define you - Christ defines you. Look, I know this is like Christianity 101, but she's saying it in a way that I am actually hearing, and that is clicking in my heart.

I'm also a childhood cancer survivor, and an amputee. I know that those two things play into my identity a lot as well, and last week, another professor who is a double amputee (due to childhood cancer) told a story in class about, after his second amputation, being afraid - not of dying, but of living. That really hit home for me, because I think I've been living in that "fear of living" for a really long time now. I've never heard anyone articulate it that way before.

So that ties into my Holy Spirit class and realizing that life in the Holy Spirit means I am free to be who I really am - fun, spunky, bubbly, nerdy, intellectual, cancer-surviving, low-carb (except for wine!) loving, and more! Losing weight is part of that, because "overweight" is no longer a physical descriptor me, it's my identity. And I don't want it to be. Sometimes I'm not really sure who "I" am - I think I've buried it for so long, and it might take a really long time to get back and find it, but I want to do that.

I know that low-carb is what works well for my body, so I've set my nutritional goals with that in mind. My other SparkBreak (?) is 10 mins of exercise/daily. I'm super busy with school, but I think I can fit that in, and it would be good for me (obviously).

Now though, it's 1 am, and I have to work at 7. So I should go to bed.

But here goes nothin'!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KINEPS 4/12/2012 1:42PM

    Isn't it amazing that when you least expect it, God finds a way to talk to you? When you heard what your professor said -- at that moment -- your whole being . . . mind, body & soul . . . were open to Him! The best part is that you listened!!! How many times He tries to get our attention, but we just turn away . . . we're too busy!

So now that you've heard Him and feel empowered by Him -- the sky's the limit. Nothing and no one should hold you back. Be proud of who you are and what you have to offer to the world. Don't let the word 'disability' define you . . . embrace being a survivor!!

I would love to follow you on your journey and watch you become the person you know you are!! We're all glad you came back to SP!

Here's to success . . . . . .



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MNNICE 4/12/2012 1:32PM

    There are some great inspirational and motivational blogs and articles in SP from people who have overcome many physical challenges and overcome them so that they are no longer obstacles. Be sure to read them and know that you, too, can become a motivator to others.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 4/12/2012 12:29PM

    You need to really be doing this for you and not because your mom finds fault in you. I doubt that she'll be happy that you're taking care of yourself. 2nd grade? Really? It goes deeper than a little weight then...

I just hope that you can find the way to love yourself without your mother's voice criticizing you the whole time.

You are worth being healthy! You are good! You are loved! You are worth finding out who you are!

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LIVINMYDREAMS 4/12/2012 12:20PM

    I love what you have shared and agree that this won't be fulfilling for you if it is just about your mom. That is a contributing factor. I want to invite you to read some of my blogs. I think I have gone through some of the same things that you are going thru. God has used Romans 12:1-2 in the Amplified version of the Bible to start and work transformation in my life. It is all about the Holy Spirit. I love that you want to be who you were created to be. I struggle a little bit with what you say about the cancer and being an amputee playing into your identity. That is a physical disability or whatever but who you are is your spirit, soul, emotions, mental capacities, personality etc. I don't mean that to be harsh. I just want to encourage you further that God cares about that but it isn't who you are to Him. I don't know if I am wording all of this well...

I really would love to communicate with you more. Feel free to sparkmail me.

Hope and blessings to you,

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IMA24GIRL 4/12/2012 7:12AM

  Congrats on making the decision to get healthy. The more you do and are on the site the more your motivation will be about you and not your mother. Congrats on what you have accomplished so far in your life. The Holy Spirit is awesome and can lift you up like no one else can. Keep that in mind when you get overwhelmed.

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