Wednesday, July 04, 2012
So, I met with my naturopath this morning. He gave me the 10 day (actually it's only 9 days, but whatever) "fat burning" cleanse. Days 1-4 aren't so bad. Days 5-7 suck the proverbial monkey butt. Day 8 kind of stinks, but is doable. And day 9 is not so bad. Day 10 is supposed to be the "congrats you did it!" day - but I'm planning on repeating Day 1 on Day 10. Just to clean it all up and end it on a happy note.
Day 1 = tomorrow.
I'm trying to tell myself that although Days 5-7 are going to be REALLY difficult - it's only 3 days. And I will survive.
So, here it is. Biggest, scariest, least happy part of this whole thing: no caffeine. Deep breath. I know. It's terrifying. Ten days without caffeine. Oy vey. But, it's ok. My naturopath has given me Lecithin, Liquid B Vitamins, and chamomile tea to help me through the cravings and side effects. I will survive. But - eeeeep!!!
Ok...now that the "scary" part is out...let's move on with the next phases...
Day 1 - no meat, no refined sugars, no caffeine, no artificial colors/flavors/sweets.
Day 2 - same as day 1 plus no dairy and no eggs. Plus 2 scoops powdered cleansing beverage.
Day 3 - same as above plus no wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, and corn. Plus 2 scoops powdered cleansing beverage.
Day 4 - same as above, plus no other grains, no nuts, no seeds, and increase powdered cleansing beverage to 2 scoops 2x day. Meals should consists of fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Day 5 through 7 - same as above, excluding all legumes, fruits, and vegetables except: cruciferous vegetables, apples, and pears. Increase powdered cleansing beverage 2 scoops 4x day.
Day 8 - Gently add back fruits and veggies. Minimal brown rice, if necessary - but not recommended (due to amount of weight to lose). Powdered cleansing beverage - 2 scoops 3x day.
Day 9 - Add back millet, tapioca, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, teff, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Decrease powdered cleansing beverage to 2 scoops 2x day.
Day 10 and beyond - it says to "slowly reintroduce foods". I'm going to repeat day 3 or 2 at this point.
I'm meeting with my naturopath on Day 9, so we can determine what to do on Day 11 and on.
I've already come up with delicious meal plans for all the days' menus. I'm concerned about Days 5-7 though...because that is NOT a lot of option. My plan is an apple for breakfast, with the powdered shake. Lunch will be sauteed broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, with an apple, and powdered shake. Dinner will be a giant green salad, with an apple, and powdered shake. And my snack will be an apple with the last powdered shake thing.
My main concern with Days 5-7 are as follows:
1 - BORING!
2 - What if I get hungry?
3 - A girl can only eat so much broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.
4 - Will I be hungry?
5 - Snore.
6 - Have I mentioned my concerns over being hungry?
I have ways to combat hunger. I can drink more water than I normally do. If I keep pumping water into my tummy, I should be ok. Peppermint tea and chamomile tea will be flavorful and help me feel full. I will savor every bite of apple. I will get through it. It's ONLY three days.
I'm feeling GREAT about the other days though - plenty of food choices. So many delicious fruits and veggies!
I'm REALLY excited about tomorrow. The menu: Almond meal pancakes topped with fruit for breakfast. Lunch is a baked potato with fat free cheese and broccoli. Dinner is a black bean burger with grilled onions, mushrooms, sliced avocado, and a side of sweet potato - how yummy!!!! SO excited!!!!
Thursday is going to be yummy too! Steel cut oats with almonds, almond milk, and fresh fruit for breakfast. Leftover black bean burgers with sweet potato fries for lunch. Dinner is a black bean and corn salad with avocado over spring greens. Very excited to explore a semi-vegetarian, almost vegan lifestyle for a few days.
It's going to be a wonderful experiment.
Just have to talk myself through Days 5-7...
Happy 4th of July to all!!!!
Sunday, July 01, 2012
I have to start somewhere, right?
If I continue to do what I've been doing, I'm going to continue getting the same results. I'll be exactly where I am right now. Which is not acceptable at this point. I need to change. And it needs to start somewhere.
A friend of mine once said "you lose weight in the kitchen, and get fit in the gym". Exercise and Food. Those are the two keys to weight loss. Those are the two keys I need to learn to master. And I have to start somewhere.
I struggle with my nutrition - trying to eat a clean diet, and avoid giving in to temptation. Although I do have cravings, I find that if I am satisfied, or satiated, I can usually deal with the cravings. What eventually does me in are my feelings of deprivation. I can handle a craving or two, but after two weeks of telling myself "you can't have sugar, ever again!", I naturally rebel. And then - BAM! I'm off the wagon in a major way...and have to cajole myself into getting back ON the wagon....which can take days...weeks...sometimes months.
I have gotten some AMAZING and WONDERFUL suggestions from friends on how to get the nutrition aspect under control: 1) ensure I am getting adequate protein (to avoid cravings); 2) allow myself a cheat meal (instead of a cheat day - which I have a hard time controlling, and end up feeling guilty about); and 3) change my perspective.
Allowing a cheat day can help me avoid the feelings of deprivation. I get caught up in "I can't ever have a cupcake, ever again, for the rest of my life"...which leads to "I WANT, no, I NEED a cupcake NOW!" If I just change my approach to "I can have a cupcake...on my free day...and on every free day after that...for the rest of my life", maybe that will prevent me from losing my marbles. Telling myself nothing is "off limits" may help me to enjoy treats in moderation. :) And, I'm also giving myself freedom during vacations (which happen once a year, or every 15 months), or special occasions (like Christmas and Thanksgiving).
I have a black and white attitude. I think "all or nothing". And that is detrimental to getting started on my fitness goals. It's also really hard because I worked VERY hard and trained for a half marathon last October (completed it and got a new PR!!!), and was determined to NOT stop running...only to give in and stop running in November. And I didn't run in December. Or January. Or February. Or March. Or April. And so on. I've signed up for numerous C25K programs, only to not follow through. And I keep beating myself up over my "failures" and my "slacking".
But, once again - I need a change of attitude. As I mentioned before - I have to start somewhere! So, I'm back to square one, fitness wise. So, I can't go out and run 10 miles because I feel like it. So, I can't go out and run even two miles right now! Big deal! I will get there!!! I have to start somewhere. And it means I need to put on my shoes, and I need to go outside, and I need to start moving.
I need to start somewhere! And if I don't change now, then I can't complain about the fact that I'm not running next week....or next month. How can I expect to, unless I actually GO DO IT!
And I want the fitness to be a regular thing. I don't want to dread my runs. I want to enjoy my outside time.
So, my goal is to get outside for at least 20 minutes. M-F, my ultimate goal is to do the C25K program for 20 minutes. At the very least, I am planning on doing the C25K program 3x/week. AND, with the plethora of AMAZING fitness videos and resources on sparkpeople - I am going to try to do 15-30 minutes of cardio/strength training videos 2-3x/week. Lots of goals! I am going to challenge myself to do this!
I have a wonderful starting point and I am excited to challenge myself and look forward to my progress!
So, my dear, wonderful, supportive and loving friends - here is to a wonderful summer! And a wonderful start!
THANK YOU dear friends for all the amazing support and suggestions!
I have to start somewhere, right?
Friday, June 29, 2012
…and I am an emotional eater.
What exactly does that mean? It seems to be such a “catchy” weight loss category. But what exactly does it mean?
It means I have an unhealthy relationship with food. It means that I have an addiction to food. It means that eating makes me feel better. Eating soothes my soul. Eating makes me happy.
But, it’s more than that too. It’s not about eating anything – for example, eating a bowl of carrots does not soothe my soul or make me happy. Eating a bowl of popcorn does. Eating a bowl of carrots, and telling me I cannot have the popcorn makes me want to cry. It seriously depresses me.
For the longest time, I would consider the fact that I was an emotional eater, and leave it at that. So what – food makes me feel good. Big deal. I thought my weight loss journey was about eating healthy foods, avoiding the bad, exercising, and voila – I’d be skinny and sexy. I am slowly starting to realize that is NOT the case at all. I know how to make healthy choices. I know that I should have a giant salad with some protein for lunch and/or dinner.
I know that my body needs 8-10 servings of fruit and veggies a day to function appropriately! I know that a glass of juice does not even come close to counting as a serving of fruit. I know that 3500 calories = 1 lb. I know that I should omit the bread at the restaurant, pack up half my meal in a to-go box, and enjoy every bite. I know that the giant scone I am stuffing into my face is full of empty calories and not going to fuel my body with the nutrients it needs.
I know that if I choose healthy items I can eat SO much more than if I chose the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or the giant bacon, egg, and cheese bagel. I am aware of all of this. Yet, on a continuous basis, I ignore the facts and reach for the cookie…knowing full well as I reach for the cookie/donut/insert whatever non-nutritious item you like, I am going to send myself into a shame spiral where the voice inside my head tells me I’m a failure and a waste of space…but my desire for the cookie/donut/fat laden food is telling the voice that it should shut up, and once I stuff my face with it the voice will quiet down…even for just a second.
And it does quiet down for a second. And then the evil scary voice comes back with a vengeance saying horrible, hateful things to me. Things I would NEVER in a million years even consider saying or thinking about anyone else! Yet, I am fair game, apparently.
A while back I made a promise to myself that I was going to really lose the weight. I was going ot stick to the plan. I was going to be healthy. I was going to stop eating processed foods. I was going to thrive on mainly vegetables, protein, and some fruits. I was going to exercise and I was going to finally learn how to eat to live.
So, I started out, again, on this journey. And after 17 days of sticking to my healthy eating plan, which was admittedly very restrictive, I became extremely depressed. I was highly irritable, and hit a very low place, emotionally. I lost any motivation to do anything. I canceled plans with friends. I isolated myself. I considered suicide. (Yes, seriously. I know – it’s just food, right. But that’s the problem. It’s not just food for me.) I just tried to get through it. And then I hit a breaking point, and I binged. And I felt SO MUCH BETTER. I was happy. I was laughing. I was able to enjoy life again.
Then, it hit me. I really, truly, am an emotional eater. It’s not just a catchy diet thing. It is who I am.
Ok – so I am aware of my disastrous relationship with food. If only being aware were enough to change it. But, it’s not. So, how do I fix it? What do I do to change my relationship with food?
I tried just sticking to a healthy eating plan, thinking that over time, my body would just get used to it and I would forget about the emotional aspect. It didn’t really work. And there could be a million reasons why – maybe I didn’t stick to the plan long enough. I know it takes 21 days to develop a habit. Maybe I needed to give it more time. Maybe it was too restrictive? Maybe I need to allow myself some wiggle room? But doesn’t that defeat the purpose of getting used to eating healthy? Maybe I’m just supposed to be fat and miserable the rest of my life? Maybe this is just who I am and I need to accept it?
Or maybe I need to deal with the emotional aspect first, otherwise I will remain in this yo-yo pattern of self hatred.
So, what’s behind the emotional eating?
Is it because I am a spoiled brat and have an adult version of a temper tantrum (which is sort of what it feels like – “you tell me I can’t eat the cake – screw you, I’m eating the cake!!!!”) at the idea of not having the foods I want and feeling denied?
Is it because my mother breastfed me until I was 2 ½? Is it because I craved her love and affection so much that I associated breastfeeding time with snuggle and love time (she would rock me in a rocking chair). She is a very loving and giving mother – I wasn’t hurting for love and affection – am I just that greedy that I always needed and craved more?
Is it because I am a survivor of childhood sexual trauma and even though I’ve gone through over 5 years of therapy, I haven’t quite dealt with all of it and am stuffing my emotions down with food?
Is it because happy family events always involved food and being part of the events made me feel loved, accepted, and happy? And now I associate those feelings with food? Maybe…
The problem is that none of these reasons ring true to me – nothing is standing out as “Yes!!! That has got to be it!!!” Maybe it’s a little bit of everything.
Earlier this week I went to see a naturopath to help me with my overall health and nutrition. I provided him with my food log from May 14th through June 25th. I explained that I am aware of healthy eating practices, but that I find it so difficult to stick to them. I did not go into details about how eating a very healthy diet makes me a) irritable; and b) depressed, but I told him it was hard for me to stick to a healthy diet.
He, being apparently void of emotion, went on to tell me that grains should not be part of a healthy diet, unless you are doing exceedingly hard physical labor – like an Egyptian building the pyramids, or an African slave stolen from their country and forced into back breaking physical labor, or like a caveman who spent his entire day hunting for food to feed his family.
And since none of those categories applied to me, grains have no place in my diet. He continued to tell me that a healthy diet should consist of plant based foods, and protein – and that was essentially it. I tried to tell him that I understood that, but I am unable to stick to that plan.
He continued to tell me that my being “heavy” as he termed it (and every time he said “heavy” he looked at my protruding belly – not self conscious at all, btw!) was the result of years and years of overconsumption of the “American Diet” which is heavy in carbohydrates, and extremely unhealthy. At this point, I’m thinking “does he think I am not aware of this?”.
And then I realized it. He was not a heavy man. He probably has never had to struggle with his relationship with food. In his mind – we are overweight because we eat too much unhealthy food, and need to eat better healthy food. Simple as that.
But only if it were simple as that!
He is able to unemotionally, and very logically point out that I should be eating vegetables and protein and if I did that, I would lose weight. And since I’m not doing that, I’m “heavy” (i.e. “disgustingly obese and a waste of space”).
Next week he’s putting me on a 10-day cleanse that involves the consumption of shakes, meal replacement, herbs, and who knows what else. Yes, I am going to lose weight on it. And he will say – “see! If you stick to a healthy diet, you’ll lose weight!”. And I will say “yes, I’m aware of this! The key is STICKING TO IT!” And then I’m going to get another lecture about how healthy foods are needed to make our bodies function and carbs are the devil and should not be consumed unless consumed in vegetable/fruit form, blah blah blah.
But I will come back to square one. I cannot follow a 10-day cleanse for the rest of my life. I had a hard time following my 17-Day Diet, Phase I (which is very restrictive – very HEALTHY, but restrictive) – which by the way is what he told me I should be eating for the rest of my life – not just for 17-days.
Square One – yes, I know. Eat healthy = lose weight. Eat like Jenn normally eats = fat ass Jenn. I get it. I’m not an idiot.
But there is something emotionally and logically wrong with me. I cannot seem to stick to the healthy eating. No matter what I tell myself: “this is for your future children – you need to develop healthy eating habits so they can develop healthy eating habits”; “Think of how much better you will feel and look!”; “Finally – you will be able to wear shorts and a bikini!”; “Men will find you attractive!!!”…I continuously fall of the proverbial wagon.
I need to find something I can stick to long term. And I just haven’t found it. And it makes me so sad. I’m a smart woman. Why can’t I get my *^#& together?
Another aspect of it all is the fact that I am constantly comparing myself to other sparkers and their weight loss journeys. I think back to when I first got on this journey and really committed to it – May, 2011.
It took me 5 months to lose 17 pounds. And then I read other sparkers who have lost 50+ pounds in the same amount of time, and I feel like a failure. I try to tell myself – hey – you stuck to something that was DOABLE for FIVE MONTHS (the longest I have ever stuck to a weight loss plan) – and you CONTINUED to stick to it (although not as strictly) through March, 2012 – when I lost another 2 pounds (plus some that I had gained back over the holidays)!!!
So what if it’s going to take you 2-3 years to lose the 50+ pounds you have to lose! YOU CAN DO THIS. The plan I was using was one I thought was doable, long term, for me. I would eat healthily and stick to my calorie range (the low end) through the week. Then, on my weigh-in day, I would allow myself a “cheat” day. I could eat ANYTHING I wanted, all day long. And then, the next day I would get back on the healthy plan. The problem is that the weight loss was slow – too slow for me, after comparing myself to other sparkers, and I decided it wasn’t enough. I needed to be more strict with my plan.
I become so overwhelmed with how far I need to go, that I want to give up. But giving up will only push me further and further away from my goal.
Maybe my goal of eating to live is just never going to happen. Maybe I have to realize that I have an unhealthy relationship with food, and I will have to struggle with it forever…but finding a plan that allows me to not feel deprived, yet allows for weight loss seems almost impossible.
How do you stay motivated? How do you stay on the wagon? How do you fight the urge to give in and give it all up? How do you stick to this?! How do you not compare yourself to others and constantly berate yourself for not being as far along as they are?
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
I am spinning out of control in a shame spiral right now.
I am about to admit a few things that may be upsetting or disturbing to some people - but I feel I need to get this off my chest. I'm hoping by purging my feelings it will help to relieve some of my shame. You have been warned.
I made a commitment to myself this weekend that I would get back on track. I was going to stick to my eating plan, I was going to exercise, and I was going to be good. Healthy. Happy. On the way to thin and fit.
Today, I ate my breakfast. Healthy. On plan. I had meetings and did not get to lunch until after 2:30. I had my snack at 3:30. All healthy - all approximately 500-600 calories, total.
I walked to an appointment at lunch, and walked back. I walked to the bus stop this morning, and back this evening.
And I planned a healthy dinner.
When I got home, walked through the door, I changed my clothes and needed to sit down. I was exhausted. I logged my exercise and checked my email.
I developed an intense craving for carbs. When I say intense - I mean INTENSE. Normally, when I develop a craving, if it's not within arms reach, I can push through the craving. However, this one would NOT go away.
So, I rummaged through my pantry and found a packet of top ramen. I ate it.
And the craving was not gone.
So, I decided to walk up to the store and get junk food. Let me explain something. I hate walking. I hate moving. I hate exercise. I live down the hill from an Albertsons. So, going to the store via foot is work. Which I hate.
Yet, my cravings were so strong that I convinced myself my binge (which I knew I was going to partake in) would be ok considering that I was walking to and from the store. ..carrying junk food and a gallon of milk back to my apartment...where I would proceed to stuff my face.
I also did NOT want to move my car b/c parking at my apartment complex is a privilege (too many residents, not enough spots). My drive for junk food and a binge was so much stronger than my desire to sit on my ass. I have never before experienced this. Normally I am too lazy to do anything about the craving.
I feel weak.
I'm going to partially blame my feminine cycle.
I feel weak that I couldn't control my cravings.
I walked to the store. I purchased my junk food, and a gallon of milk. And I walked back.
And after being in my apartment for less than 30 minutes, I had shoved over 1200 calories into my face. The amount of calories I should be eating in one day...I consumed in 30 minutes.
And I forced myself to post my food.
And then the shame spiral started spinning out of control. All of a sudden I had a strong urge to purge.
So, I ran to the rest room and forced my body to give up the binge. I don't know what came over me. I don't know what I was thinking. But I felt compelled.
I do not believe I was able to purge everything, and the sad thing is that I feel badly that I was not able to get everything out.
And now my shame spiral has gotten worse.
Why can't I control myself? Why can't I stick to a healthy eating plan? Why do I give in to temptations? Why can't I grasp that being healthy and fit is so much better than 1200 calories in 30 minutes? Why? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! I am so upset with myself.
I am trying to be rational.
We all make mistakes. We all have ups and downs on our journeys. This was a down. It's not the end of the world. So, my weight loss has been pushed off a little bit. Not the end of the world. I can do this! I can get back on track tomorrow! I can be proud of my accomplishments today - healthy breakfast, lunch, healthy snacks, more exercise today than I have done all week!!! And tomorrow, I will have a healthy breakfast, lunch, snacks, and a satisfying healthy dinner that will NOT push me into a shame spiral.
And I will be ok. Mistakes are part of the process. I can do this! I WILL DO THIS! I will succeed!!!
A stumble...a fall...are just that - stumbles and falls. They're not failures. Failure is NOT rising every time I stumble...not picking myself up when I fall.
I am picking myself up. And I am heading toward success!
After this post, and the post that followed regarding emotional eating, I was able to identify what caused my binge and shame spiral. I briefly mentioned it in my emotional eating blog, but did not really think about it until I was talking to a friend about it.
The naturopath I went to see did not have the best bed side manner. When he was doing my health intake and asked me about my menstrual cycles, I mentioned I had an IUD. He asked "For birth control?" (Um...why else would any un-married woman with no children of her own insert a foreign object into her body? Why not a simpler form of birth control if simply for menstrual issues?) Anyway... I said yes.
He then questioned "You're sexually active?" His tone was one of semi-disbelief. I said yes, but in my head I was thinking: "Why would he ask that? Am I that disgusting that he's surprised that anyone would be attracted to me sexually? Am I more hideous that I originally believed and it's a completely unfathomable thought that someone would want to come near me with a 10-foot pole, let alone their body?"
His question, although innocent (I'm assuming), really brought up my feelings and thoughts of self hatred: "He's right - I am disgusting. Who would want to touch me. I don't have a husband, and no prospects in the near future. He's exactly right. No one would ever want me. My fat ass is unloveable and undeserving of love. What's the point of even trying to lose weight?"
...And cue binge eating!
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