Thursday, November 14, 2013
What do you think weighs more, brain weight or the physical weight? Sometimes I think it is both, but most of the time I think it is the brain weight. What I mean by brain weight is the weight that holds us back from shedding the physical weight.
My brain is weighed down by many things and when I don't or can't cope with them, I turn to food. It brings me comfort, joy, warmth, guilt, shame and so on. As I write these words it occurs to me that none of them have anything to do with what food is actually for. Food is fuel for your body and you need to eat to live. But when the physical weight stays with us, don't you think it is a good idea to take a look at the brain weight as well? When I joined Spark, I knew that my brain weight had been holding me back. Yes, I lost 38 pounds initially, but I have let it creep back up and then down, then up. Even though I was able to lose most of the physical weight the brain weight was still there, heavier then ever. It still is there, and so are those extra pounds I have been trying to shed for what seems like forever. Until I conquer that extra weight in my brain the physical weight is still going to weigh me down. You see, I am here almost everyday, I exercise more consistently then I ever have in my life, I eat pretty good most of the time, but I let those snags in life and my brain weight get in the way. I make no excuses, I know I do it, but, I decided to take some steps this year and seek the help of a professional. It has helped me to see what has been weighing me down. The progress has been slow, but steady, and I have been making small changes, that in the end I know will lead to bigger ones. I know that I will shed those extra physical pounds but not until I get rid of the weight in my brain.
If you are at a place in your life where the physical weight is creeping back up, or still there weighing you down, take a moment to look at your brain weight. It is worth it to take the time to figure it out, because any extra weight physical or otherwise is worth shedding....
Friday, August 09, 2013
I always say that losing the weight is the easy part but I am beginning to realize that it is a lot harder then that. Anyone will tell you that losing weight should be simple, the formula is pretty basic, eat less, move more. But if it were that simple, then everyone would be at the weight they want right? Then why does it seem so hard?
I think for me, it is hard because I have a relationship with food that is not about nutrition, it is about emotion. Sure I eat because I need to fuel my body, everyone does but I also eat to fuel an emotional emptiness. I log my food everyday here on Spark (well almost everyday) and through some therapy and reading I have also been keeping a food/feelings log. So, you log what you eat, the time and the feeling you are having, I have been so surprised at how often I go to eat something and it really is not about hunger at all. What this really helps me to do is to stop and actually ask myself if I am hungry, if I am not then I try to move on with my moment. I told myself recently you are just going to have to feel what I am deeming as uncomfortable, I said to myself, if you really aren't hungry, then as they say this to shall pass. I struggle everyday, but each day that I become more aware of why I eat, rather then what I eat, it is my goal to have this get easier instead of harder.
Why else is it so hard, not everyone is an emotional eater? Is it hard because I don't always want to follow the rules, I don't want to put in the work. I remember when I first logged on to Spark, and I lost those first 5-10 pounds, then I lost more. How did I lose my Spark? Did I get to comfortable? Do I have unrealistic expectations? I reached my goal but started to slip back into my old habits. Then I tried, low carb, not logging my food but being "mindful" of my eating, taking weekends off, you name it I have tried it. But what I know to be the truth is, you have to work at it every day, day in and day out. I have to accept the fact that I need to track my food everyday. I just do and will probably have to forever. But what is the alternative, gaining the weight back? No, I have to mean more to me then the hassle. I am a huge proponent of doing what works for you, low carb, Paleo, whatever, but again, if you don't put in the work and make it your lifestyle, things will just be hard.
I am reminded of this commercial for a diet pill that has been on the air lately, and the girl says, I am going to lose this extra 30 pounds and then watch out, I will be so sexy, blah, blah, blah. She looked fine the way she was. So, don't you think it is hard when we are constantly barraged with what people want us to think the ideal body and weight is. I have been stuck for a long time with trying to reach some sort of number on the scale, like it is going to bring me some sort of nirvana, but I know it is not. That is why I am working with someone to help me get over these body image issues I have. Because if I don't love myself the way I am, it just makes it hard.
I know there are a lot of people out there that eat way less calories then I do, an exercise way more then I do, and probably see faster results. But you know, that is fine with me. I lost weight the slow and steady way because I knew I was never going to spend 2 hours 5 days a week at the gym, or give up my pasta and wine. So, I worked out and ate in a way that was comfortable. I had to do what was best for me, not what other people were doing, regardless. This is my journey not anyone else's. Right now I am making it hard for myself because I let myself indulge to often. But I make no excuses, it is what it is. But I am here everyday, regardless if I am losing or not, because I have to work at it everyday, or it will always be hard!!
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Last week I did not make healthy eating and fitness a priority, or even a before or after thought. I ate candy from the candy jar on my desk like there was some sort of shortage. I only exercised once, and I am surprised I managed to do that. I ate when I was hungry, when I wasn’t hungry, I thought about food constantly, I wouldn’t even be done with lunch and I would be thinking about dinner. Healthy meal choices were not on the menu, in fact the worse it was for me, the more I wanted to eat it. I am not a stranger to this experience but more often than not, I try to fight, I try to explain it with things like, it must be PMS, but this time I decided to approach it from a different perspective; I just gave in. Now, each day, I would say things like, get back on track, today is another day, and then I would see the candy jar, and it seemed futile. So, by about Wednesday, I began to think, there was more going on here than just an off track day or week, but what was it?
In a previous blog I talked about how I felt like I was stuck, things in my life are just not where I want them to be, and I decided that I would seek some professional help to sort through things so I can get un-stuck. The tough part of seeking the professional help is that you actually have to start to deal with the issues and problems that got you stuck in the first place and what I am beginning to find out is, I am not good at dealing, or what I think, is processing the issues and their outcomes. Hence, the candy jar. I had one of those moments yesterday, when I was shoveling pizza in my mouth, about what had really been transpiring over the last week or so.
I know there are a lot of folks out there, who are not emotional eaters, but to me, food and emotions almost go hand and hand and I always find it ironic that the very thing that I am supposed to be conquering can bring me so much pleasure and frustration at the same time. How can pizza be so bad and so good? Why is it that food can be my best friend at times and my worst friend, and why do I consider it a friend at all. It’s food? Then yesterday when one of those issues that I had to confront recently, which I did, came into my thoughts, I realized that I wasn’t processing the outcome I was pushing it aside with food. I began to realize that each time a feeling overcame me, relating to this issue, that instead of dealing with it, thinking about it, feeling it, I got up and got something to eat. That is what happened all week, food became the focal point instead of me processing my feelings. Why deal with anything if you can make something else the focal point. Now, I know there are better focal points out there, but I did not care about any of them, I wanted to eat, plain and simple. I wanted the pizza to make me feel better, not a work out or a hot bath.
When I made the decision to seek the professional help, I knew the process was going to be hard, I knew that it was going to get much worse before it gets better, having to deal with painful issues are not easy, and not knowing how to deal with them, well, that makes it even harder. But now, since I called in the Calvary, I can take everything that happened this week and discuss it, use it to move forward so that I can get somewhere. Even though I am not sure of the how, at least I am learning more and more about the why, and I am pleased with the notion that instead of just doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome (that is the definition of insanity by they way) I am taking steps to develop a new plan and fresh plan, that I will implement because I am spending my hard earned money to do so.
Of course choosing not to eat healthy and not exercise this last week, always leads me to that dark place of mine, that gadget on the bathroom floor, who I don’t consider a friend at all. When I was walking on Saturday, I really started to think about how my emotions are tied up to what the scale says and one of the places I know I want to get to is to absolutely stop holding myself worth and identity hostage by those STUPID numbers on the scale. I am absolutely exhausted thinking about the number, what it should be, why it should be, why it can’t just be what it is.
My goals for my next session are to figure out why I use food the way I do and in turn start working on loving the number on the scale for exactly what it is. I will keep you posted!
Friday, April 26, 2013
You try to get unstuck, right? I have been stuck behind the finish line of my life for many years now. I get almost there and then I get stuck. I decided that this year was the year I was going to get unstuck, I am going to attempt to cross the finish line on a few things in my life.
The first thing, and the main reason we are all here, is to change our life styles. That can mean many things to many people, losing weight, eating healthier, running, racing, plain old exercising. I started here on Spark 4 years ago because I was overweight and not exercising and financially it made sense. In my past attempt s to lose weight, I was always successful on Weight Watchers, because it is the same concept, track your food and exercise and the rest will follow. Of course, I know if it were that easy I would not still be here day after day. Now, I have lost weight and regained it back more times than I can count over the years and that was the difference when I started here 4 years ago. I wanted to stop that cycle. So, I had to really concentrate on what I doing wrong in my past attempts. First, I would not make it a lifestyle; I would lose the weight and then go back to my old habits. The other thing I was doing wrong, not dealing with my “brain” weight. I knew that the weight was not all physical. I achieved my “weight loss” goal in November of 2010 (lost 38 pounds), but I have not been that weight since. I have not gained it all back, I did however put on about 13 pounds in 2011, lost about 7 in 2012 and have been stuck there ever since. See, I just can’t seem to get over the finish line and in this case stay there!! So, that brings me to today. I got on the scale for the first time since November 1, 2012. I am not a fan of the scale, I let those numbers seep into my self-worth, but if I am going to cross the finish line, I have to start right? Why did I get on the scale today, let’s back up a little to the beginning of April, I knew I needed to do something, say it with my, I was stuck. I decided to approach my weight with something I would never normally do, but since nothing else was working, I thought I would give it a try. I am going to preface this with saying that I don’t balk at anyone’s choice of methodology, you should do what works for you. If Medifast works for you do it, if South Beach works for you do it, if WL surgery works for you by all means do it, but if you don’t make it your lifestyle, you will be back to square one. With that being said, I decided that I needed a jolt, I was eating way to much top ramen, taking in that extra glass of wine all too often, and eating way to much candy. In this instance I needed to go cold turkey, and tell myself no, so I have been doing the Atkins plan along with logging my calories here on Spark. This plan has always been kind of counter intuitive to me. It is pretty high fat; you aren’t really supposed to worry about calories either. Plus, I have tried it in the past and just never had any success, so I always poo pooed it, (but truth be told I never really did it right and always gave up, you see, not getting over that finish line). But, I felt I was becoming completely dependent on marshmallow peeps and just need to back away. The thing is, by tracking my carbs on the Atkins tracker and by tracking my calories here on Spark, I can watch my fat intake to make healthier choices and I believe it is something I can live with for a long time. Am I ever not going to have a piece of cake again, no, but I decided I would treat sweets with exactly what they are, a “ treat” and not the daily occurrence it was becoming. I was pleased to see the number on the scale this morning was 8 pounds less than it was on November 1, 2012. I really do feel like it was the kick start I needed, it seems to be working for me, and I know that I have to continue to move forward with this lifestyle. So, good, some of that physical weight is coming off, but again, the physical weight has come off in the past, and I know it will again. That brings use the next finish line to cross, the brain “weight”
Backing up again to the beginning of April, not only did I need to give myself this little jolt on the physical weight, but I also decided that although I have been trying to work through my brain weight on my own over these past 4 years, it was time to call in a professional. I just don’t feel like I am going to cross the finish line without a coach there to help me. That is how I came up with the theme of this blog, my coach and I both decided that I was stuck, and getting to the bottom of why can indeed get me across the finish.
One of those things lines in my life I need to cross and or really cross out has everything to do with why I am here, my body image. That number on the scale, that quest for weight loss has permeated my life but not in a good way. You see when I was a teenage I had anorexia. That teenage girl has been a thorn in my side ever since because that skinny girl has always been who I have been trying to be for all these years. No matter how many times I say it to other people, that number on the scale does not define you, I don’t believe it, because the image I have in my head of how I am supposed to look is the skinny girl I was at 17. No matter what I do, or what my weight is, I am still trying to be that skinny girl. So, my coach asked me a great question, “ok, that girl might have been skinny, but was she happy” Hum, it really has got me thinking and will soon be another blog once I have the chance to really think it through, I hope you will tune in.
Anyways, the ultimate finish line for me is to get my brain weight dealt with, so the girl I am today can be happy, not that girl I was (we don't even know if she was happy). That way I can get cross the finish line in the other areas, including a healthy relationship not only with food but with a man.
I am not a runner, so I am not planning on running across the finish line; I just want to get across it, one step at a time!
Until next time…
Monday, April 08, 2013
Last week I posted two goals on my feed, one was to stay out of the candy dish at work and the second one was to track my food every day. I stayed out of the candy dish (by the way, the candy dish is on my desk and I am the one that keeps it full). Friday was the hardest day to stay out of it, it was slow at work and I was having an emotional day, but I made it through with no candy from the candy jar. Quite an accomplishment wouldn’t you say? Not really and here is why. I also tracked my food for 6 ½ of the 7 days. I gave up yesterday evening, not a good food day, which brings me to my point, even though I stayed out of the candy dish, my food intake was nothing to be proud of. Now, as I wrote the goal to track my food every day, I purposely did not set the goal of “staying within my calorie range”. I wanted to stay within my calorie range, but lately, I have wanted food more. So, this was my way of trying to see the good vs. the bad.
The bad part was, for instance, at Panda Express, my norm is steamed rice, steamed veggies and teriyaki chicken. Now, I asked them for only one scoop of rice, extra veggies and usually when they say, “do you want double meat”, I say no. Last week, I said sure, why not. I knew I shouldn’t have, I knew I was going to go over my calories for the day but I did it anyways. I wanted to food more. However, if I look at the bigger picture, or the good part, I still chose the healthier option, I could have chosen a million other bad for me items, but thinking about the tracker and my calories always brings me back to reality.
Now, I said my food was less than stellar last week right which brings us to Wednesday, when I was trying to figure out what to have for dinner, I thought Carl’s Jr. If I am being bad, why not go all out right? Yes and no. I wanted a burger, but I opted for the charbroiled fish sandwich, but instead of passing on the fries, not only did I have them, when the person asked me if I wanted medium or large, what do you think I said, large. My mind wanted food more, but the tracker brought me back to reality. Now, as I was sitting in the drive thru waiting for me food, I also asked myself another important question, “you are trying to solve a problem with eating, what is really bothering you?” You see, I know I am emotionally eating; I just don’t seem to ever get to the bottom of the why? So, I started thinking some things through and realized that I was worried about something with a friend, and instead of actually dealing with the emotion I was not only eating, but I was lying in bed each night when I came home from work. At the end of the day, the something with the friend turned out to be absolutely nothing, and the rest of the week with food was much of the same. I did manage to get myself up and out of bed this weekend and exercised, but in the end I still wanted the food more.
I will say, that even though I did not want to track the food because I did not want to see the damage I was doing, I did it anyway. If I am not being honest with myself, then I am never going to reach my goals. So, that brings us to today, Monday, a new week. In my feed I posted, “a new week, gonna make it a good one” and I intend too. My goal for this week is to start digging into the issue of “why do I want the food more?”
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