Wednesday, April 21, 2010
This is a quick blog because today I am exhausted. I did an intense 45 minutes of water jogging plus I walked to the gym and back then walked to the post office and back, which amounted to about 2 miles of walking. I'm proud of myself for doing it, too, because today was rainy and I would have been perfectly happy to just stay home cozy and warm, but NO EXCUSES! To the gym and to errands I go.
Some fun, though, too. I've been noticing that my pants have been fitting me more comfortably. So this evening I jogged upstairs to tend to laundry, then jogged back down to the living room where my husband was. As I was coming down the stairs, my pants started to slip down my hips. By the time I made it back to the living room, my pants were practically falling off. My husband laughed and said that maybe we should go clothes shopping this weekend. You couldn't have wiped the smile off my face!
Monday, April 19, 2010
Today I jogged for over 11 minutes straight!
When I joined SparkPeople, I struggled to jog for a minute. Not too long ago, I was really happy to be able to just barely jog for 3 minutes straight. Because of foot blister issues, I haven't been walking on the treadmill lately. Instead, I've been doing pilates, yoga, walking outside, and water aerobics.
Well, today after pilates class I was feeling kind of light on my feet, so I thought I'd hop on the treadmill to see if I had improved. And the answer is YEEEEEESSSSS!!!!!!!!!! Yipee! Woohoo! Yeehaw!! Yahoo! My next goal is to be able to jog for a mile.
One day at a time I move my feet in the right direction. One day at a time I make choices about what to eat and what to do. One day at a time I am one day closer to my goals.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I just read a message board thread about "AH HA" moments in relation to losing weight or getting healthy. I thought about it and realized that I have experienced a string of such moments including some mild insights and some really significant discoveries. I had kept something of a journal of my "road to enlightenment." In light of the message board question, I thought I'd post my entries here:
- I am seriously overweight and nothing I do seems to result in any lasting weight reduction. I am so frustrated.
- Read Dr. Oz's "YOU On a Diet." Began to focus on healthful choices, arranging for meals in advance, or at least a menu of choices to minimize standing in front of the refrigerator. Automated breakfast with something I enjoy that is reasonably healthy. Initially lost some weight, but when not strictly following the food plan, weight was not lost or was gained.
- Saw a clip on the Dr. Oz Show a week or two ago with an "expert" explaining to a morbidly obese woman that much of her struggle was with emotional eating. The prescription was to keep a food diary indicating when and what was eaten, hunger level before and after, and mood when eating (or what it was when eating began). I started journaling and found that I ate before I was hunger. I decided I should try to eat only when I am hungry and found that I was not eating as often as before. I just don¡¦t seem to be very physically hungry.
- Watched Dr. Drew¡¦s Celebrity Rehab yesterday. Not thinking I had much in common with drug and alcohol addicts, I watched for the entertainment and from psychological interest. Episode when Tom Sizemore enters treatment. I realize that the addicts use the drugs to numb themselves so they don¡¦t have to feel or face painful feelings and memories. How is that different from what I use food for? Then, in a group session, Dr. Drew said that each of them deserves to be loved deeply. I really cried. It hit me just how much of an addict I am, only with food, using it exactly as an addict uses his or her drug of choice. I was so sad, but a light began to shine.
- I went online and looked up OA. I don't know how I would do using the 12-step approach, but the website did have a questionnaire about whether someone is a food addict. The answer for me is: yes. Knowing that the treatment model for OA is nearly identical to that of AA, I have to believe that my insights after watching Celebrity Rehab are correct.
- Found the book by Geneen Roth, "Breaking Free from Emotional Eating" and downloaded it. I've been reading it ever since (yesterday afternoon). What she says really resonates.
- I haven't eaten without being hungry since I made the initial connection. For some reason I feel so much more in control now, even though I feared that I would be more out of control without the eating plan. I am working from internal cues instead of from externally mandated mealtimes, meal contents, and meal quantities. Instead, I am eating until I am satisfied¡Xfor the first time (I think), I consciously stopped eating dinner last night when I was just past satisfied, thereby leaving four bites on the plate. It was much more challenging than I would have expected to leave any food at all on the plate. Why am I so compelled to "lick my plate clean"?
- I reviewed my journal entries for the past three weeks or so and noticed that about 50% of the time at dinner I eat until I am stuffed. I was shocked! I think it is a combination of a large dinner plate with large portions and my compulsion to clean my plate. I also noticed that the time I tend to eat when I am not even hungry is at night after my husband goes to sleep. I'm not sure if my late night eating is for recreation or to sooth stress or anxiety or for some other reason, but I realize that I need to reduce or stop eating for reasons other than hunger or I am never going to be able to maintain any weight loss that I may achieve.
- Sometimes I am hungry, but not for anything specific, only for some food. I may want something hot or cold, but that's about it. Instead of trying to figure out exactly what I want, I think this is an indication that I am not needing to fill any emotional need and can just eat something nutritious to satisfy me nutritionally. I can at that time make a healthful meal and enjoy it until I am satisfied physically. At times when I have a specific craving and am genuinely hungry, then I would agree with Geneen that it is probably better to eat what one craves and be satisfied than try to be "good" by eating a substitute only to find one's self still having the same craving. In those instances, it would probably be better to just eat what one craves until satisfied. This is my opinion, but it has not yet been tested, so I will learn whether it is true at some point in the future, I imagine.
- I have been working on reducing portion sizes to be more in line with a healthful meal size, then eating until I am satisfied. Sometimes I eat everything on my plate, but I try to stay conscious of my satisfaction level and stop eating when I am satisfied, which sometimes means that I leave some food on the plate.
- I have been using the nutrition tracker on SparkPeople and have made some eye-opening discoveries. I thought I had been eating healthfully regarding type and quantity of food. I thought that I was eating in such a way that I should be losing weight, especially given the amount that I have been exercising. Turns out that some foods I thought were good choices are amazingly high in calories, such as walnuts. I know walnuts are a good food, but not eating 1/4-1/2 cup at a time on top of Greek yogurt with fruit and a couple tablespoons of honey. Wow! I have been kidding myself about what is a reasonable portion, too. A 3/4-lb chicken breast is not one portion of protein. Good grief! I was deluding myself and had no idea. Since being shocked into reality, I have been more conscious of truly reasonable serving sizes. As a result, I am FINALLY starting to lose weight, and the strange thing is it doesn¡¦t seem to be nearly as difficult as past diets when I obsess continuously over food, wondering what I would have for my next meal while still eating the current one. Now, I eat. I enjoy. I live my life.
- I feel relieved. I feel as though a pressure is lifting. I feel like I can stop and look up for once and notice the world around me. I don't need to obsess about food any more. I can focus on other things knowing that once I am truly hungry I can eat and I can eat what I want to eat until I am satisfied. I can focus on me. More importantly, I notice how incredibly introverted my gaze has been, but in a very unhealthy direction. I have been obsessed about a tiny, ugly bit of real estate within me instead of focusing on the bigger picture, which includes me as a whole person, but also includes my husband, my family, my friends, my pets, my community.
- Not using/abusing food for emotional reasons has been a challenge. I have slipped a few times, but the numbing effect I used to experience doesn't seem to work as well now that I am more aware of what I am doing and why. Also, I find that I can forego the food now most of the time when I am trying to deal with uncomfortable emotions but, without using food, I feel like I've regressed in age in relation to my ability to cope with the emotional challenges I am faced with regularly. I'm not sure how best to cope now that I am not avoiding my feelings. Maybe I'm finally going to grow up emotionally by feeling my feelings and working through them like "normal" people do.
- I feel like I have just begun a journey of discovery. I don't feel afraid for the first time in a long time. I feel anticipation and curiosity. I wonder where it will lead and where I will end up. I am excited.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Today is, I hope Hope HOPE, the end of the grey cloud that has been the Retaliator. But no matter what, during this very trying week, I have found amazing support from some unexpected places. Thanks to all my SparkFriends who offered encouragement and kind words. I also met several wonderful, compassionate, and supportive people who were willing to mentor me, being generous with their time and wisdom.
I'm not usually one to ask for help. I'm stubbornly independent. I don't need help! I can do it! Maybe, but just because I don't NEED help doesn't mean that I can't gain a lot from help that is offered to me. And not just about the issue, but from the very interaction with others.
So that's the usual. But I found that I really did NEED help at times during this very stressful past week. And when I did, people really came through for me. I am blessed.
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