Monday, March 04, 2013
i shouldda had just one glass of wine
i shouldda stuck to my plan
i shouldda not eaten that guilt-edged cookie and then its not so guilt-edged neighbor.
i shouldda not eaten that diet ice cream.
But i did.
i did and that's just the way it is.
today my palate is fresh and clean, and i get to start again.
today i won't have that second glass of wine, or cookies guilt or not.
today even diet ice cream is off the plan and whole fresh food is in.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
How many of us can go through our ENTIRE life by how much we weighed "then." I can. Every big event in my life, I can tell you how much I weighed, and with a little bit of ruminating, declare why/how I got to that weight. Every pound/ounce has been chiseled into my brain folds. And the accompanying emotions that reside right along with it.
I'm at the point in my journey where I have to release the power that the scale has on me. I've lost 80 pounds and I know the thrill of watching the scale slip down down down. But now, my body wants to move MUCH more slowly, goes up and down, up and down. It doesn't necessarily work like a machine. It doesn't seem anymore to be an equation where calories in being less than energy out equals weigh loss. Why? Because my body thinks things are going wrong. It thinks that I will not survive the next great famine, it's desperately trying to save my life, it sees this weight loss as a huge time of starvation and clings frantically to every ounce it can.
But I am a great "plugger." I keep plugging along, weighing and measuring my food, counting calories, eating more protein and fewer carbs (good carbs even), and trying very hard to get some fitness in. I know these are the keys to the kingdom. The kingdom of "One-der land," where a woman happily lives under two hundred pounds.
Now is the time for me to look at things other than the scale to get positive feedback. I weigh every day and, even though I am not "desensitized" to the scale yet, I hope to be someday. Now, however, I still have to talk myself down each time the scale goes up a bit. But, as I said, I'm a great plugger. I plug along.
The next big thing for me is to find some form of exercise I can get into that doesn't hurt, and that I can enjoy. I wish I could walk, I really do, but with a plethora of physical impairments, it is difficult to walk for any length. However, I can now do an exercise bike, and water aerobics, and weights--something that was terribly painful 80 pounds ago. Now, like weighing and measuring my food, and keeping a food journal, it has to become part of who I am.
Wish me luck!
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
When I was first single, Valentines Day was a celebration of self. I just felt so good to be unfettered, unattached, and did not feel a need to "belong" to someone. I still feel good about myself, and I do not feel that I am "incomplete" for not "belonging" to someone. The difference between then and now is only that I am actually willing to be in relationship should I meet the right person.
I do know that I am not doing much to meet another partner, but I'm not adamantly opposed to it as I was before. And I am in a much better place now, I am peaceful within myself. I've learned to think differently about many things (including food and men and relationships) than I have in the past. It's a good change.
Now I give my love to all those in my life, though there is no mate. I'm kind to everyone at work. I love my kids, my friends, my siblings. That is what being a Valentine is all about--showing love.
Happy Valentines Day, fellow Sparkers. May every day brighten for you with the glow of love.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
So, for the New Year I do NOT have to make "lose weight" one of my resolutions. Why, you may ask? Because this year I've lost nearly 75 pounds! I know I am on the right track, and weight loss and exercise are part of me now. I no longer have to attain, seek or struggle with getting there.
What is my secret? I will tell you my friends. I took a college level class in 2011; it was titled "The Psychology of Eating Disorders and Obesity." That class opened my eyes. I learned that, first of all, being overweight is not all your fault. It is not a lapse in morality. Nor is it a weakness of character.
Thirty percent of obesity is genetic. Seventy percent is environmental. And much of that environment is not changeable by us. Large portions, huge amounts of calorie dense foods, colas that used to be 6.5 ounces are now 20 ounces. Our minds have not changed. We see a portion of food and think that it is a portion. No matter that 40 years ago, that would have been two portions! Our bodies cling to every ounce of fat it can. It is only trying to save energy (in the form of fat) for the next famine. It is only trying to survive. Our primal selves, our bodies, do not know that food is now abundant.
Those of us who suffer from the medical condition known as obesity, must recognize it as such. And what does one do when one is stricken with a serious medical issue? We seek help. Here is what I've learned:
The obese patient can lose weight and keep it off. It is not easy, just as dealing with a broken leg, pneumonia, or diabetes is not easy. But it can be done. I've been going to the Washington Center for Weight Management and Research (WCWM&R). It is run by a superb doctor, Dr. Domenica Rubino. Dr. Rubino has done research on obesity, and is still doing research in addition to the clinic she runs. There is a three pronged approach. I see a dietician, the doctor and a therapist. There are group classes for the dietary and emotional issues as well. There is a meal replacement approach, a partial meal replacement approach and one in which the patient eats their own food. If you work this program, it will work for you.
The program does not end once you've lost the weight. It only really begins there. We all know that most people gain back the weight they've lost within a few years. What I learned in that college class on weight issues, is what is being done at WCWM&R. One study that I read about had obese people in Sweden do a "very low calory diet" (VLCD) and attend group therapy sessions for 1 year. After the diet, they continued to do Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for two more years. A large percentage of those in the program KEPT the weight off years later! Once I attain a weight that I can manage, I will continue at WCWM&R for probably a couple of more years. I want to cement the new relationship I have with food, and I want to continue to treat this condition for the rest of my life.
The take away here: this medical condition called obesity must be managed...for the rest of your life. CBT is a good way to manage the way you deal with food and eating and thus assists you in changing your relationship with food. Just like any other chronic condition that does not have a cure, you must manage it. I hope to go into remission sometime this year. But I will be managing obesity for the rest of my life, no matter what I weigh.
Instead of being unhappy about all this, the fact that I've found a way to manage it, finally, after thirty years of struggle is so empowering and joyful, I just can't keep it to myself! I will forever manage this condition, and by doing so, overcome the ravages of the disease known as obesity.
Friday, August 24, 2012
We've all experienced it. A friend that we've "outgrown" and somehow we slowly (or not so slowly) drift apart. So many foods have been my old friends for so long. I celebrated with them, I mourned with them, I sat around bored with them, and they were there when I was anxiety ridden and nervous. They comforted me, and (bonus) made me invisible.
Since March, I've been working on changing my thinking about food--what it is for, what it is NOT for and how I relate to hunger, appetite, and emotional eating. On March 6, I started a medical weight loss program, one with a meal replacement--a shake that I drank four times a day. Only the first 2 days were really tough. After that it was easy...except I reacted to them. I had diarheaa for six weeks! My gastroenterologist gave me super strong diarheaa meds, but to no avail. Eventually, I had to stop the shakes. What those weeks without food did for me, though, was break the cycle I was in with food.
The first thing I put in my mouth was a piece of melon. It was amazing! The flavor burst onto my tastebuds like a splendid sunrise. Then spring greens: who needs dressing! My tastebuds were reset. I liked real food and lost interest in foods that did not sustain me.
Now, I am on a new program, one that incorporates all three very important components for weight loss: medical monitoring, nutrition counseling and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It feels like I am on a medicine that takes away pain. Because dealing with the emotional aspect of obesity is seldom done. It is almost NEVER done with a professional (most diets). My obesity specialist has done obesity research at NIH, and she knows so many aspects of dealing with patients who are obese. This is not your average doc! My nutritionist has worked with patients customizing a program that suits their individual needs, what a difference! The therapy--skills classes and emotional strengthening classes--are phenomenal! Not only am I getting a handle on how to eat, emotional eating, and following the ideal path for me. The group sessions have enabled me to move forward and face difficulties in other areas of my life. I am learning to manage my medical condition.
It feels good to say goodbye to these old friends, these old ways of eating and these old attitudes and beliefs that have held me back from being the person I wanted to be...the person who was invisible to those around me.
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