Sunday, February 20, 2011
I have long known that my relationship with food is fairly unhealthy. Simply put: I eat.
Yesterday, after a delicious lunch of an overstuffed pita (veggie with humus), my boyfriend and I decided to head to the mall.
Malls are of little appeal to me – probably because I’m no longer a teenager, and am no longer able to spend my parent’s hard-earned money on whatever frivolous item is presently all the rage. Being an adult is kind of rip-off, but I digress.
The only appeal of the mall…is the food court.
Food courts are my mecca. Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, donuts, cakes, ice cream, slushies, subs, pizza…all in one central location. It is all a little overwhelming! My senses overload amidst the smells..the anticipation of flavor (not that mall-food is extremely savory, but I’m not really choosy), sugary delights, spices. Yes, I love food courts.
So naturally, in all my extreme excitement, I ask my boyfriend – “Do you mind if we get a noodle bowl at the Japanese place?”
In response, he sort of gives me a sideways glance, and asks “Are you actually hungry?”
Now, my boyfriend did not know me during my 300+lbs days. He was not there when I went through the upheaval of a major lifestyle change. Nor was he there through the emotional outburst of “HOW DID I LET THIS HAPPEN TO ME?” He did not see me cry over my disgust for my body. He does not know that I can consume enough food in one meal to adequately satisfy a family of four for two days. Nor does he know how much I crave to do so. He does not know that my basic thought pattern revolves around…food. And he still thinks my preoccupation with cake is just a cute character flaw. He doesn’t know that a slice of cake can easily become an entire cake.
So when asked “Are you actually hungry?” I admittedly had to stop and think.
In fact I was stuffed from my recently devoured lunch.
Wow. Small epiphany.
This little incident made me think…maybe it is time for me to start listening to my body. You see, I have started to believe that I have no off-switch. There has never been a point at which I would say “NO” to food. I have always tried to convince myself that I still want more, need more, would be unfulfilled unless I had MORE.
After an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, it would be nothing for me to go home and raid the fridge, looking for the next item to devour.
I am a food junkie. I crave my fix.
And yet, is it my body or my mind that is screaming “EAT, EAT, EAT. FOOD, FOOD, FOOD?”
And yes – it is my mind. Because in that moment, when I finally stopped to THINK and LISTEN TO MY BODY…I was FULL.
So really, it is mind over matter. And like every junkie looking for their next fix, this is something I evidently need to overcome. Oh ya…and right now, as I write this…I’m still stuffed from dinner, and have no reason to eat. What a realization!
Monday, February 07, 2011
(Recently found photo from 2005)
It has occurred to me that in 2011, I will be “celebrating” four years of healthy living. No…wait…it actually signifies four years of me, attempting to deal with my weight issues.
Four years of a continual struggle.
Four years of monitoring what I eat.
Four years of pushing myself to walk that extra mile, put in that extra ten minutes of weights, run, stretch, jump, etc.
Four years of constant guilt.
Four year of worry. Four years of wishing, hoping, enduring.
I want this part over before I hit the four year mark – by the time November rolls around, I want to be at the “maintenance” part of the journey.
I had not thought it would take me so long.
Don’t get me wrong – I feel great – but that constant struggle is starting to wear thin.
In November I hit my lowest weight – 160 pounds. I was thrilled, ecstatic, over-the-moon. And then, like so many times before, I hit my wall. Christmas came, and suddenly I was exhausted of the constant monitoring and working out. 320 pound ME was alive and wanted to take over again. Amazingly, at 160 pounds, I could still inhale my pre-healthy quantities of food.
I’m struggling, but I see the necessity to finish this once and for all – regardless of how much I love pizza, chocolate, cake and candy. Regardless of the new cravings that I have developed – I had not realized that when I started to clean up my eating habits, how much greater my food desires would become. I find that an increasingly large amount of my time is spent focusing on food.
Yes, I will eat healthy for a lifetime, and I need to stop sabotaging myself. I need to reestablish my accountability to myself. I have no idea how much damage I did to myself over the holidays (I am refusing to step onto a scale, for fear of the reality) – I can guess by how my clothing feels, but I need to stop this vicious cycle.
I recently found pictures of myself from 2006..and I’m embarrassed by what I became…I can’t go back to that…I’ve come to far, worked too hard….and yet I’m so exhausted.
It is time to pick myself up, and just get through this…
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Early in 2009, I saw the scale reach the lowest weight I had ever seen (as an adult) – 169. It was a moment of excitement; I was in the 160s, only 39 pounds from my goal weight. It was vindicating, exciting, and all of those other adjectives that are synonymous with relief and joy.
It was also brief.
As the summer wore on, I started to loosen up on my eating habits. I was busy training dogs for agility competitions, working, socializing and balancing life. My boyfriend loved to go to restaurants, and I was eager to indulge in the foods that I had long denied myself. By the end of August I was pushing 180 again. Not a huge jump, but still not a step in the right direction.
In the fall I tried to get myself back under control, but with moderate success. Christmas came and went. More weight came and stayed. The evil voice in my WII Fit told me that I was Obese (again). That was a hard blow to take, especially after two years of hard work.
After Christmas I slowly got myself back together. Working out daily, watching my caloric intake, and becoming moderately involved with SparkPeople. By February I was back down to 175, which also meant I was below the “obese line” – and that’s when I left for Southern Ontario.
A couple of weeks later I was back to over 180.
Angry with myself, disappointed in having nearly ruined what I worked so hard for, I started basically from scratch. As I mentioned in my last blog, since April I have had to reboot myself and become more active in the Spark community (it really does help!)…
So this week…when I stepped on to the scale and saw it…there was a momentary thrill…
My lowest weight.
I weighed myself two days in a row, just to be sure…
And two days in a row, I saw it…
That is weigh loss euphoria.
This summer I am facing the same crazy schedule as last summer, except with schoolwork thrown in. I still have a restaurant loving boyfriend – who complains about my influence in causing him to be a little more health-driven. The difference is – this summer I won’t let it get away from me.
July 19th is my 30th – I want to cross that line at 165 (160 would be nice – 30 more pounds to lose on my 30th birthday, but I need to be realistic)
168, I’m coming for you!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Seven weeks ago, I started again. I blew it – big time! And I needed to.
For two years I have been working on this, rather diligently. Kicking my butt daily, continually counting calories and pushing myself to keep trudging on. It was hard work but somewhere along the way I forgot where I was going, and somehow lost my motivation.
I spent part of my winter in southern Ontario and during that time, I refused to consistently work out. I wanted to eat like I used to - and so I did. Foods were prepared in butter, fattening sauces were used, dinners were topped with high-calorie desserts. My wonderful boyfriend, who decided to pick up a part-time job in a coffee shop, would bring home high-sugar indulgences. I attended the annual maple syrup festival near Ipperwash – it was delicious – and I spent days afterwards sneaking maple-treats.
After a few months, I decided to return home for the summer (for better employment options). I knew that I had put on weight! My clothes were tighter, I could see rolls where rolls had not recently been. I tried to disguise the gain by wearing oversized sweaters – a trick that I had previously used back during the days of 300+pounds.
I saw my Mom when I returned. She looked at me with a bit of surprise…
“Don’t say it. I know…I will deal with it.”
Like a good Mother, she responded “Oh it’s barely noticeable.”
For the first week after my return, I avoided mirrors and continued to eat – though I did start to work out a bit more consistently.
I took about two more weeks to straighten myself up. I felt like a fraud – here I was preaching healthy living, trying to be a positive role model for the kids at the school, etc and I was failing miserably. I had quit weighing myself when I hit 185 (I was 170 when I left) – this very thing got me into trouble ten years ago! (Back in 1999 I quit weighing myself when I hit 214; my weight surged after that!) Now - I certainly didn’t hit 300 pounds again – but I know I did get up above 185.
I started to clean my eating habits up (again), pushing myself to work out (again), and seeking what it was that motivated me (again).
What’s the moral?
Maybe I needed to fall off the wagon. I needed to remember how hard it was to get to this point in the first place. I am not finished by a long shot, but I had to reacquaint myself with having to kick my own butt.
I also needed to remember how easily I put on weight, and how much I struggle with taking it off (and considering I’m not finished, you’d think that I wouldn’t have forgotten so easily!).
Even if I do hit my ultimate goal of 130 pounds, I know that I will continue to struggle with my weight. I know that there is a chance that I will end up putting weight back on. Ultimately I would like to think that after having worked this hard, that even if that dreaded event happens, I will have enough gumption to turn myself around again.
Oh – and the result of having to restart myself?
Over the course of seven weeks, I have started running further than ever before. I have started eating healthy because I actually feel better when I do. My clothes fit again. And last night a friend commented: “Wow you are looking good these days – I hope it’s because you are working on it, and not because you are sick.” (You know how men can be when it comes to awkward weight comments!)
I’ve also become more involved with SparkPeople – I spent the first two years trudging along alone. Spark is helping to keep me honest.
Oh yes, and the biggest result?
Reaffirming my goals.
November 2010 will be the 3 year mark. I thought I would drop all of my weight in one-year (I hadn’t realized how heavy I was). By November 2010, I want the final 45 knocked off. Gone. Never to be seen again (hopefully). I have come to terms with the fact that I will have cellulite, but I will not be obese again.
I turn 30 in July. I want to be down to the 165 pound mark.
And when all is said and done…I will travel again; It was hard to be an obese traveller; it prevented me from going to places like India, China, etc, because I took up a lot of space. It prevented me from climbing the volcanoes I wanted to climb (I wasn’t in the shape to do it). Truthfully it is a never ending battle.
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