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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I have been struggling with food a lot for the past couple of weeks. It probably has something to do with being completely stressed out. At one point, I even thought about just quitting Weight Watchers. I felt like everything was out of control and I might as well give up the fight and accept the fat. It’s what the old me would have done. Then I began thinking. I don’t want to quit. I have fought hard for ever pound I have lost so far and I know that if I quit, I will just gain it all back and then some. There are many aspects of my life which I cannot control but the food that goes into my mouth is one that I can.

Last night, as I was lying in bed awake, I kept thinking that I was doing so well before my niece came to visit. I had found my groove and I had great momentum. Then, when I had to step out of my little corner, I started eating things and turning a blind eye to the fact that I knew that I was making poor food choices. The more bad choices I made, the easier it became to make more. As I was lying there last night, it was like someone just flipped a light switch. My old groove was broken and I had forgotten to focus on getting through one day at a time. And then it came to me. In order to get back on track, all I had to do was abandon the old groove altogether and create a new one.

I weighed in today as I was supposed to and, no surprise, I was up 1.8 pounds. Rather than panic, about a gain two weeks in a row, I decided to just focus on today going forward and I am going to change things up. From now on, my weigh in will be Friday mornings. And I am not going to keep looking at my big goal of losing 50 pounds by December 1. I am going back to focusing on small goals (as I should have been all along) and aiming for a one to two pound loss each week. I will focus on getting through one day at a time. Finally, I will not bring food items into my house that I know are poor choices even if they fit into my points. (By poor choices, I mean foods that are trigger foods for me – foods that I know I will not be able to stop at just one serving on.) I am going back to my properly prepared meals, fruits and vegetables.

Already, I feel like I am in a better place. I made it through the day today without any issues. I was not even tempted to sneak extra food in. It was nice and it felt very empowering. I know I can do this.

One day at a time. Small goals. Because I am worth it.

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Back in Black

Monday, August 18, 2014

It is possible that I may have been just a tiny bit hard on myself for my poor food dalliances while Ms. Bean was visiting. For weeks, I had been reading tales from other Weight Watcher’s members where they went on vacation, did not stick to plan and ended up gaining 6 or 7 pounds in once week. When I weighed for week one of vacation, I was up 2.2 pounds. I had stayed within my points range every single day but some of my choices were not quality foods. A few of them were high in sodium so I can probably attribute most, if not all, of that 2.2 pounds to water weight because the sodium made me retain in an unhappy way.

Even knowing that the 2.2 pound gain in week one was probably water, I felt bad about my food choices… Bad enough that I deliberately made a couple of really bad food decisions. I had visions of gaining even more so I avoided the scale on my normal weigh in day that week. Three days later, I finally worked up the courage to step on the scale and I was surprised to see that my weight was down .4 pound from the previous week.

One of the things that has made it easy for me to stay on plan thus far is that I simply do not bring foods into my house that I know are poor choices or those that I know are trigger foods for me. I go to the market once or twice a week for fresh produce and groceries and buy only enough to last a few days. This works well for me since I absolutely abhor wasting food that I have spent good money on.

While my niece was here, however, I strayed from my structure. She is the world’s pickiest eater – a vegetarian who dislikes most vegetables. Our dining out was dictated by Ms. Bean. I was forced to step outside my comfort zone and order off menus without first perusing them online or researching what options might be best for me. In addition, my house ended up full of sugary sodas, chips, fatty dips, a wide variety of cheeses, white bread and pasta – foods that are processed, processed, processed, processed. (Insert sad face here.)

It was a rough couple of weeks food-wise and it was something akin to a minefield. I had stood by for two weeks and watched Ms. Bean order food only to turn around and throw it in the garbage after eating a fraction of it. In my world, it was something akin to fingernails on a chalkboard. Then, when my niece went home, my house was still full of foods I have made such an effort to avoid. When I looked around my kitchen and saw how much food was still sitting around, waiting to go stale or grow mold, the side of me who hates to waste anything took over. This past week was my worst food week. I ate the leftover junk in my kitchen with what I felt was wild abandon and tracked very little. Having eaten the garbage, I was racked with guilt and the low quality of the food left me feeling less than stellar and bloated. I found that it did not keep me satiated as well and I started snacking at all hours of the day and night. This led to more guilt and in my mind’s eye, I could see the numbers on the scale going up and up and up.

After all of that, I finally gave up and got rid of most of the remaining poor food choices from my kitchen. Even though it goes against every fiber of my being to be so wasteful, I believe that my health is more important. I have to put me first and I have to stand by the standards I have set for myself as far as healthy food choices.

A few days ago, I went back to my better food choices and I immediately felt better because of it. As soon as I started eating better again, all of the water I had been retaining began to flush out of my system. This may be a bit TMI but I think I have spent as much time in the bathroom as out of it in the past two days. As the sodium worked its way out of my system, so too did all of the bloat that was a result of the water retention.

I feel better physically and mentally now. And the best part? This morning when I weighed in, I was officially down 7.8 pounds from last week. That is a total of 33 pounds lost since May 27. That means that I have PASSED the first goal of losing 5% of my weight set for me by WW and I have now lost 7.8% of my starting weight. Yay, me!!

One day at a time. Small goals. Because I am worth it.

For anyone else with the song running through their head now:
4VA .


The Dirty Truth

Saturday, August 16, 2014

All I have to say about my decision to stay on plan while my niece was visiting is: The best laid plans and all that jazz. The dirty truth is, it all started off well enough. For the first 10 days or so, I was SOLID with my eating plan. Somewhere in the neighborhood of day 11, I slipped a little bit and ate something that was a little off plan because we were snacking on the fly. After that, it all went downhill.

On day 12, I sent my husband and my niece to a soccer game while I went to the grocery store. On the way out of the store, I tripped on my pant leg and fell in the parking lot – right in front of the store. I was HUMILIATED. A complete stranger had to help me up because I smashed my (formerly) good knee. Embarrassed and upset at injuring my knee, I slipped in a major way. I ate an entire meal that was completely off plan.

The next day, we had to make a road trip down to Portland and we planned to stop at Voodoo Doughnut. Because of that, I completely threw caution to the wind. I ate snacks and meals that were far from healthy choices. By the time we made it home that night, I was exhausted, sore from having spent an entire day in the car and not feeling well from the poor food choices I had made in the previous days.

Each day after that until Friday night, I started out my days trying to make proper food choices and failed horribly. Before my niece arrived, I was careful to keep foods out of my house that I knew were not good choices. My niece, however, did not really care about what anyone was interested in eating but herself. My house ended up full of a ton of food and drinks that were all horrible choices. On one hand, I knew that the foods residing in my kitchen were not good choices but on the other, I hate to be wasteful. That would be why I ended up eating so much of it before I began tossing things in the garbage.

At any rate, last night, I let my husband pick one last meal from a local restaurant that literally has NOTHING that could remotely be considered a good food choice. Don’t get me wrong. The food in the restaurant is delicious but EVERYTHING is deep fried. Bad. Bad. Bad.

I have already announced to my husband that starting in the morning, I am going back on plan. I felt better and I was losing weight at a good, healthy rate. While my niece was here, my weight went up three pounds one week and down one the next week. This past week, I have made one bad food choice after another. I am a little afraid to step on the scale on Monday. No matter what, though, I will be back on track by that point and heading in the right direction. I just have to keep one thing in mind…

One day at a time. Small goals. Because I’m worth it.


Kicking Through the Wall

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Since the cloud of dust surrounding my mad cleaning frenzy has been sucked up into my vacuum and my house is now ready for my little Bean to visit, I have had a bit of time to reflect on my emotions and fears surrounding her visit. The more I think about it, the more I have to laugh at the idea that I should keep my healthier food choices a secret. I mean, really? I spent years and years hiding a lot of the garbage that I was eating because I knew that it was not healthy and I knew that it was just contributing to my problem. Why in the world would I need to hide when I am making healthier food choices? It is not like I am ashamed of the healthier food choices. When it comes down to it, who is going to really care if I turn down something that is not good for me? And really, I do not need to justify my food choices to anyone. It is no one’s business but my own when it comes to the food that goes into my mouth.

Quite honestly, I am not the least bit worried about the cheese making or the Italian dessert class that Bean, the husband and I will be attending. I can take cheese or I can leave it and I have never been a big fan of desserts no matter what the occasion. I love fresh fruits and vegetables and I always have. That is nothing to be ashamed of! And furthermore, I love cooking healthier. In addition to it tasting better, it is so much easier to clean up a pan that is not full of grease and oil.

Now that the clouds have parted and I can clearly see that I do not have anything to hide when it comes to healthier eating, I can focus on what is causing my anxiety about food choices while my niece is in town. Really, it did not take a lot of thinking for me to see where these fears were coming from. I have it narrowed down to two points.

First, up until now, when my boy and I have dined out, I have carefully studied menus online so that I can make the best possible food choices prior to ever setting foot in a restaurant. Sightseeing and road trips are going to mean an occasional meal out at unknown restaurants where I cannot look over menus in advance. It is going to mean trusting myself to make good decisions regarding the food I consume at the time I actually sit down to the meal. OK. This one is really a silly thing to be worried about. My husband and I have dined out at a wide enough variety of restaurants that I have a good list of choices I can make at just about any type of restaurant.

My second point delves a little deeper into my past. I live over 2000 miles from my closest family member. I have not even seen some of my siblings in close to a decade. My entire life, I have been overweight and I do not believe there is a single family out there where a thinner sibling has not at some point make fun of the fat sibling. I put up with A LOT of ridicule about my weight in my family. It is rough when you are the fattest out of six kids. With the help of Weight Watchers, I really feel like reaching a healthy weight is finally an attainable goal for me. I really, really want to live the fantasy I have in my mind where I finally see my siblings after all the years apart and they expect to see the same old fat, frumpy me and instead get the new and improved version of me. I have always been the fattest member of my family and I am tired of being identified as the fat one. I am ready to be the healthy, stylish one. Well, that and I just love popping up when no one expects it and shocking my family.

Anyway, food panic solved. I know I can do it and I know that I have nothing to worry about. My fears are like a wall in my head. I have kicked through this wall and I am proceeding on down the road.

One day at a time. Small goals. Because I am worth it.


The Crazy Cleaning Monster Strikes Again

Monday, July 28, 2014

Can I just start by singing, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah? This week, I lost another 2.2 pounds. That makes my total lost 27 pounds thus far! I will so take that!!

I was really unsure that I would lose again this week. I have been doing a lot of deep cleaning around my house which really set off the ol’ allergies and asthma. I am always worried when I have to take medicine that I am going to have some sort of adverse reaction that will cause me to gain weight. Obviously, this was not so.

I feel so horrible for my poor husband and I have apologized multiple times for my poor temperament over the past weekend. There is just something about cleaning that takes me to a bad place. No matter what, I always seem to turn into an ultra-moody, obsessed monster. I think it may have something to do with house cleaning as a child.

When I was young, every Thursday was house cleaning day. My mother would sit in her chair and tell us kids what to do. If we had been bad in the past week, we had to do extra cleaning while the other kids got to go out and play. (I spent a lot of time cleaning while the other kids got to play.) I have very vivid memories of carefully removing everything from the lower shelves of the table in front of the window in our living room. It was an octagon with wrought iron scrollwork sections on four of the sides. It had a giant Christmas cactus on top that hung half way to the floor. I remember dusting it over and over because it was never perfect – pushing the cleaning rag through the spirals on the scrollwork, trying to make sure that there was not a speck of dust on it. Or there was always the windows. They were always hell. I could never get them quite right and I always had to wash them inside and out multiple times because there were tiny streaks just out of reach. No matter what, nothing was ever cleaned well enough for my mother even though I never once saw her clean anything herself. And I am not talking about doing the house cleaning as a teenager, here. I remember having to dust spindly table legs over and over before I ever started kindergarten.

My mother’s obsessiveness about the quality of cleaning her children did resulted in my very great displeasure in the chore to this day. I do it because I do not want to live in filth, HOWEVER, I find myself doing certain things over and over because I can clearly see that they are not perfect. I do not think that I am quite so anal about some of the cleaning as I used to be even when I am deep cleaning. For example, I no longer get down on my hands and knees and scrub the tile floors in my house with a brush. (Yes, I do remember scrubbing the tile floor in the bathroom of the house I grew up in with a one of my own old toothbrushes.) Instead, today, I just spray a little cleaner on the floor and use my steam mop. So much faster and easier on the knees.

I am a list maker. If you can believe it, I have a checklist that I have saved on my computer that lists everything that needs to be done when deep cleaning so I am sure to not miss a thing. It is broken down by room and has a column for the chores, a column to fill in the date I plan to do the chore and a space to check it off when it has been completed. Deep cleaning in my house is usually a week long process so I can take the time to pay extra close attention to detail to each item on the list. And yes, I also color code it by day so I am extra sure not to miss anything on the list.

The obsessive cleaning kind of makes me sound like a bit of a nutter but honestly, I am not. I normally only deep clean the house once or twice a year or only when we are getting out of town guests. The rest of the time, I am good with a quick window washing (no big deal if there are a few small streaks), a quick vacuum and a light dusting with a Swiffer or one of my husband’s old socks. Bing-bang-boom and I am done.

So why the freak-out deep cleaning now? You may remember from a previous post that I mentioned that my niece is coming for a visit this summer. Well, her visit is almost here. Just three more days until she arrives! I cannot even begin to say how excited I am for her to arrive. The poor thing and my sister have had the wildebeest (AKA my mother) move in with them in the past year or two and she is even crazier than she ever was. This is something I would not wish on my worst enemy. EVER.

That brings me to my next worry. My little Bean, who is in reality 19 years old now, will be here for two weeks. We are going to be doing a lot of running around and site seeing and dining out in addition to making homemade farmhouse cheese and taking an Italian dessert cooking class. I am so freaked out about eating while she is here. I am going to do my best to stay on plan. I have been doing so well with Weight Watchers. In the past, little slip ups have led to major backslides for me. I know that slip ups are just part of life and I need to learn to deal with them as they come. Two weeks is a big test of the lessons I have learned from WW so far, though. It is really the first test of what I have learned from WW since I started. I am just not ready to come out and announce to everyone around me that I am on WW yet. Hello? I have not even “announced” it to my husband yet. I mean, he knows. I pay for it out of our joint checking account and I am pretty open about when I log my food on the website. And I mention the amount of weight that I lose each weeks. I just have not said plain and simple, “Hey, honey. By the way, I joined WW.” I did not really feel the need to do so. I know that he knows and he knows that I know that he knows and that is good enough for now.

I know I can stick with my plan no matter what. I have learned a lot and I am committed to seeing this through. Anyway, WW is supposed to be about learning to make healthier choices in everyday life, not about doing a strict diet for a while to lose a few pounds and then going back to eating the same garbage as before. I can do this.

One day at a time. Small goals. Because I am worth it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VAINVT 7/28/2014 11:29AM

  How very sad to hear your story about your troubled mother. You must have a big heart to take your niece for two weeks and to get her away from her grandmother. Best wishes to you.

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