Saturday, July 16, 2011
I need a gold medal! And not one filled with caramel!
Is this even possible? Did someone take over my body? Even the boot that I had been sentenced to for 3 months knew how to do the 'Walgreens waddle' on down that aisle - too many times in the past.
I practically did my own personal Soul Train waltz down Candy Lane, snapping up boxes (yes, plural) of lemonheads and dark chocolate covered anything. I would envision being cheered on by life-size gummy bears and waxy-coated swedish fish, all applauding my sugar dance.
'Do the peppermint twist!',
'Shake it like that last milk dud in the carton!'
'Pucker up like a sour patch kid!!!'
Ouch, I feel the sugar headache coming on as I re-live it in my mind...
I have vivid memories of childhood trips to the liquor store a few blocks away, where I would spend my allowance on brightly colored boxes of tooth decaying treats. My parents would never allow these baubles of chemicals and sucrose to grace my lips, but they were always off at work, so I was safe. Even though I was going home to an empty house, I still would feel a bit paranoid about the contents of my jean pockets, so I would scarf them on the sidewalk right outside the store before walking home.
Growing up, my junk food fascination only grew as well, and I came to literally rely on drug stores, for my fix like a junkie: 3 boxes of king sized candy for $2.00? Heck Yeah! - my brain would reply. And so the pattern went on for decades.
My husband had become accustomed to the red vines lasso-like pull that junk food had on me too.
He knew that we simply could not go to the store for a bottle of shampoo. I would ditch him immediately upon entering. And where would he find me? Ta-da! Junk food aisle...
But the most amazing thing happened recently. I needed to pick up a prescription so I went to the drug store. I waddled myself down the candy aisle (in my boot), and got in line at the pharmacy window.
Let me repeat that: I went down the candy aisle and got in lane at the pharmacy window!
This was an AISLE people! As in, a long route, a pathway, and even sometimes felt like walking the plank on a pirate ship. This was not simply a mini cardboard box display of old fog-covered chocolate from last Easter. We're talking floor to eye level taunting from the sugar devil here!
I left the store with my prescription in hand, and nothing else.
This was an earth-shattering event for me. I had such the cheshire cat smile on my face, let me tell you.
Did I lose those cravings for partially hydrogenated, palm oil injected, artificially flavored snacks? No.
But thanks for a lot of self examination, support from Spark friends and Spark teams, the life-sized gummies are not screaming relentlessly in my ear.
Treats are fine in moderation, but not when they prey on you, and spin a cotton candy web around your thoughts until you choose to give in.
This has, and will continue to be a daily battle. But for today, I choose to create some healthier snacking habits.
Stay posted for some random blog in the future about how I fell off the tootsie roll wagon... ouch! Say it ain't so!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I am happy to say that I have learned a lot from my short time on Spark. I have been absorbing and sharing insight with other Sparkers on how to get out of my emotional eating patterns (that I have created). I am better educated on how to work out more effectively to lose the weight (that I have gained), and have built some healthy supportive Sparkly shiny friendships to cheer each other on in this journey.
But how am I supposed to take criticism from my spouse about my healthier lifestyle?
"I liked you just the way you were".
"You're curvy, and it's nice"
"I'm not sure if I like where this weight loss is heading..."
I didn't know how to reply to those statements. Was this a test? Since I would surely fail.
I felt like a 4th grader put in front of the classroom who didn't study, and therefore failed - Lose 1 point...
Was I supposed to reply? I wasn't sure. There's an awkward silence now- Lose 1 point...
My insides want to boil over like too much soda in too small of a glass. I'm upset and my time is up - Lose 1 more point...
I wanted to remind him that I have been unhappy and unhealthy for a while, and no doubt taking that out on him at times. I should have reminded him how supportive he was during my countless failed attempts in the past. So now that I am DOING instead of attempting, he's not on board anymore?
Later, I let his comments roll off my conscience since I knew that the burden was not healthy, and would likely trigger some emotional eating - Gain 1 point...
I made sure to be open for another opportunity to have a good conversation and restate my goals, ultimately benefitting our relationship - Gain 1 point...
I have made extra effort to reinforce my love for him each day. I will not repay fear and insecurity with the same actions - Gain 1 point...
I will stay focused on the prize; become healthier, be more calm in stressful times, rejoice in happy times, be more loving all the time - Gain 1 point...
I WILL pass this test when it comes around again (and it will). Life is full of them.
Thursday, July 07, 2011
I had a moment of clarity recently, and am now seeking to change my ways.
I am a runner, or, I was until this foot injury months ago (Good Lord has it really been since April?).
You see, my foot started to hurt out of the blue, so I went to the podiatrist. I had 2 separate bone fractures and was ordered to wear the big black boot you can see on my Spark Page for 12 weeks. Count 'em, 12...
I also had to use some bone regenerator machine to nudge my bones into healing faster, since my system is already compromised by a rare disease that I have.
Oh the thoughts that came at me from all angles were incessant.
How would I get my long runs in? What on earth can I do now to work out?
That doc is just being conservative. Surely I can at least do the elliptical right? Umm...no.
Have you ever tried to ride a stationary bike with a massive foot brace? Well I did. Not pretty.
I even had to sleep with the Bertha Boot for the first 4 weeks. Let me just say, you know that line about when the woman of the house is not happy, no one is happy? It's true.
I even went through the 8 stages of grief, I swear.
I didn't know how I had hurt my foot either. I used to joke that I needed a good story to tell people who inquired about my Bertha Boot. "How did it happen?" someone would ask. "I was running with the bulls in Pamplona" I would reply. The best story yet was that I hurt it while drop kicking toasters (ha!).
Although I had no injury to claim, and yes my body is considered a bit more fragile than others due to my disease, I am now certain that I did this to myself.
I would only run 3 days a week on the treadmill and do Insanity dvd workouts on the other days, so it seemed balanced. But it was the duration of those runs and the mindset behind the hours pounding on that hamster wheel that made me realize I had turned something beautiful into and ugly thing.
With the TV on a news channel as I spun that treadmill wheel, I would later tell my friend, "ask me the weather forecast anywhere in the country. Go on, I dare you!" It seemed funny at the time.
But I would usually run between 13-16 miles on my long runs, and I wasn't training for anything.
I was trying to un-do the damage I had caused by stuffing my face the night(s) prior.
Somehow I had twisted my runs into a caloric depletion mechanism and made my bingeing on junk food OK. How could I turn something so wonderful into an unhealthy obsession?
It hit me like a brick as I looked down at Bertha. This was not good. Not at all.
You can't fix things backwards. I needed to change to behavior behind it.
Since I joined Spark, I have been working day to day to improve my eating choices; my 'relationship with food', as they say. I guess that food and I were really tight for a while, but in an abusive way. If you've ever been in a controlling relationship you might understand that feeling. I had not only been damaging my body and spirit by allowing myself to behave this way, but also injuring my marriage at times by being too hard on myself, directing my blame on him.
So as much as I hated the foot brace and wanted to wear those 2 running shoes, I am now actually thankful for this time, since I can see the true cause of those fractures. Fractures in my spirit if you will, and how I needed emotional (and physical) healing.
I can't wait to get my body moving more and leap into cardio workouts once I get the green light from the doc. But I don't think I will jump back onto that hamster wheel for a bit. I need to re-learn some things; do some mental re-wiring.
And be grateful for this journey, without the spinning tread beneath my feet.
Monday, July 04, 2011
An elderly couple walked past my husband and I as we were waiting for one of my many doctor appointments this past week. They looked to be about in their 80's. I swear they were the same height, about 5' tall. She had a scarf over her hair, and he had a hat on. The woman in a skirt and blouse, the man had a suit on. Both were wearing huge Reebok sneakers, shuffling by, linked arm in arm. They took 2 laps around the block in front of us. It was beautiful.
I look in adoration at couples who have been together for decades and are still happy. Key words: still happy. I often wonder if each feel that their partner has changed, and as a result, their relationship was even better. Was she slim and perhaps a a knock out beauty years ago? Did she ever struggle with her image? With her weight? Was he supportive of her efforts; loving her regardless?
In the past I know I have been told in a heated argument, "you've changed" when I might not feel the same way about something anymore. My husband and I used to stay up late and then sleep until lunchtime the next day in our courting period. Somehow I morphed into a morning person. I was never into running, but decided to start 8 years ago. Not sure how that happened, but there it is.
Aren't we supposed to change? Was I supposed to retain the naiveté about the all of the things I did when I was married at 24? Should I whip out the canned veggies, ranch dressing and shake n' bake tub to make tonights dinner since this was what I considered a gourmet meal as a new bride?
People mature. Taste buds evolve. What once required American cheese to constantly reside in my dairy shelf now has real cheddar (light of course), and the cupboards are no longer stocked with sleeves of chips a'hoy cookies and fruity pebbles for that afternoon snack.
Educating myself with tid bits about health has encouraged me to keep healthier options for well, everything in my home. From sunflower seeds to SPF 30, I want to lengthen our years as healthier people, and not retain the same summertime behavior as I did years ago (too many cocktails by the pool and baby oil - eeks!)
I think that the evolution of my marriage was first met with strong resistance. Some people don't like change, but how else does one grow?
Growth in relationships with spouses, friends, strangers, even how we relate to food shows growth within ourselves.
After all, I speak for myself personally when I say that my relationship with food needs desperately to grow and mature, far from the adolescent behavior I have had with it for too many years. How else did I gain so much weight? How else will I attain my goal in the long term if I don't change?
How many times have you ruined an otherwise nice evening since you felt bad about yourself, and then dragged your significant other over the coals for it? I've got my hand held high here. That's definitely something that needs to change.
When (and I do mean when) I do change my behavior around food, I know I will be better (and lighter) for it. That healthier relationship is something I have struggled with (and lost to) for years, but I know it will transform other areas of my life, my weight, and my marriage for the better.
As I drink my tea and type away, I can see that little note on my Yogi tea which says, "Realize that the other person is you".
Now where do I order 2 pair of oversized Reeboks???
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Yep, and I need EVERY SINGLE PAIR baby!
Tell me I am not alone. I have at least 8 pair of jeans currently. Actually, even though some might rotate in and out of that stack (acid wash, zippers, etc.), I think I have always had about 8-10 pair of jeans.
Have I become some chipmunk of denim, and my closet is the knot hole in the tree, waiting for winter?
I really do think I have a pair for every occasion.
Need help painting your room? I've got a beat up pair that are so stretched out that I can actually breathe AND paint, which is useful.
Going to a cute-but-casual event? Darker washed longer jeans so I can wear heels. By the way, what is cute-but-casual anyway?
If there is a work related event that is considered casual, I have a rarely worn pair of jeans with a waistline that would not dare threaten to show my bum cleavage (embarrassing!)
Then there are two pair of the exact same size/length of jeans, that seem to be an oddity. One pair is comfortable, and the other is too big and too short in length (???), but I can't remember which one's which, so I have them both...
Waaaay at the bottom is the pair of jeans that I hope I never fit into again, since they were bought when I was at my highest weight. These are a reminder to me.
I think we all hold onto a pair of jeans that there is just no way possible in the physical universe that they will ever fit again. You know, that pair from college or even high school, but for some reason you cannot get rid of?
Lastly, I'll bet you have that pair you really really want to wear soon. The goal weight jeans. They were not cheap, the color is spot on gorgeous, and you use them as a good gauge to see how you are doing with your new lifestyle. Those would be the 'holy grail' pair.
I hang those puppies right on my closet door as a reminder to keep up the hard work.
Maybe I won't need all those jeans in my closet, but for now, let's just call them my blue cotton dyed security blanket, OK?
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