Tuesday, February 25, 2014
I was looking over my past blogs earlier. I've been fighting this battle to lose weight since I was in high school. So, about 10-12 years.
I don't get why this is so hard. I mean, really? 10-12 years and I've bounced between the same 20 lbs this whole time? I'm at the higher end, though not the highest right now. Back in November I decided to just do it and get from 160 to at least 145 before my wedding. Two weeks later, after successfully starting P90X and eating real food, Leonard (aka dad when I'm feeling generous) and I completely let myself fall off track because a) I hate working out with people in the house and b.) I hated spending time in the kitchen cooking when he was always around. My lack of control over my emotional response cost me two months. But he's been out for a month and I'm only just starting to get back on track.
I've been eating well for the last 5 days. I've been aiming for less than 100 carbs, but I haven't dropped an oz if the last 5 days so I think I might need to drop it lower, to maybe 50. The majority of days I've been between 1250 and 1450 Cal, with a splurge yesterday at my cousin's birthday of 2100, but 75 nc. Or maybe go all Atkins style and drop it down to 25. I'm already at a projected 30 for today. I could drop the low-carb tortilla, and get back down to 24. I could do Mark's Daily Apple 21 day challenge.
I was telling my mom earlier I was scared to get back into P90X. The time commitment is so intense, but I feel so great. But maybe if I have a plan of action in place for those days that I can't fit 1 to 1.5 hrs in, like doing Jillian Michaels 30 day shred or something. That's, like, nothing time wise.
I need to not stress this. Exercise and eating good food is just something I do, not something I have to do.
Monday, February 24, 2014
I don't understand it. I don't understand why it's so hard to believe that humans are meant to eat meat. I CAN understand not eating meat for moral reasons. That's fine. It's not the same for me because real food is to me food that I respect on a pretty deep level, but I can respect that someone else has a different mentality than I do about taking meat.
But there is so much biological evidence that humans have eaten meat, since, like, forever. There is evidence that those hominids that did NOT eat meat had smaller brains, and ultimately died out. Biologically, meat is an easily processed food source that yields a ton of nutritional gain. It provides vital nutrients like B12 that we simply cannot make on our own, and which provided for these nice big brains. There's archaeological evidence that we ate fish, deer, insects, and whatever other protein source we could get our hands on wherever our ancestors were based, in the midden heaps that were near our ancestral villages. There's strong evidence from existing hunter gatherer societies that traditionally, this is what we do, eat meat. You ask Native American populations, and you've got elders living to be in their 90s or passing 100 because they ate naturally and healthfully when they were young, and still have a strong component of a varied omnivore diet now.
We have both sharp and flat teeth for tearing meat and crushing vegetation. We have a middling long and short intestine system, nicely generalized, and a small stomach with no cesum. That means that we CAN eat vegetation, but we're not equipped to get the full benefit from it that herbivores can, and so we supplement with meat which does not require as long of digestion or as much bacterial flora. There is both scientific and anecdotal evidence that eating a low-carb diet with a variety of meat and plant based foods yield quick positive benefits to primary health markers, like weight, cholesterol, and systemic response to sugars.
To those who says that well, yes, maybe our ancestors DID eat meat, but that's because that's what was available and it wasn't necessarily the most fit food. Actually, yeah, that means exactly that it was the most fit food, or rather that it became the most fit food, because that's what evolution does for you. It adapts your population over generations to the situation around you so that you can make the best use of the resources available. So if meat was available, and we ate it, then those that were more adapted to incorporating it usefully survived better and bred more. That is the NATURE of evolution. And it takes a LONG time when it comes to complicated animals like us, not a few short millenia.
I'm fine with vegetarianism and veganism. The handy thing about these nice big brains is that we've learned to adapt our circumstances to the needs of our consciousness, rather than our bodies to our environment. We've figured out ways to make vitamin supplements, and we've figured out what macronutrients are in all our foods so we can make the best use of them to meet our dietary needs. But I guarantee, nobody was using calorimeters or synthesizing B12 10,000 years ago. They just ate what worked.
We evolved to eat meat, and it is only recently that EXTREMELY large amounts of digestible carbohydrates became the norm. If you want to eat a diet that mankind made up over the last few millenia, fine. More power to you. But a.) do research on what it means to eat Paleo before you start bashing it (e.g., it's not a free-for-all eat only meat and eggs but just means eating real food in general, both meat and plant-based) b.) try it out before you knock it, especially if you have chronic health issues that the Standard American Diet (SAD) espoused by physicians (who rarely have training in nutrition) just doesn't seem to be fixing, and c.) just be respectful of someone else's choices. Not so hard.
Tired of being called an idiot by people who haven't bothered to educate themselves. Hypocrisy irritates me.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Okay. I'm going to try a streak of something.
Maybe streaking naked down the road. Sprinting is good for you right?
But no. More seriously. Maybe making it a competition with myself, topping my best efforts. I used to be very competitive with myself, when I had a goal in mind. I remember back in...like, 2nd? 3rd? grade I was the first kid to memorize the times tables and that was awesome. Not because I beat the other kids but because I kept getting faster and faster.
One streak goal that SHOULD be easy to do is drink enough water. I've been doing well the past few days. Yesterday sucked, but the weekend was good, and today is good.
I think I'm going to have to purge my pantry again. I just really can't keep high carb items in the house. Like the "low-carb" tortillas. They're only 6 nc, but they are just like white bread to me, and I'll eat like 4 of them in a day. That's still only 24 nc, but I like to eat them with things like peanut butter and jelly...yeah. No good. Though one of those with just almond butter is amazing.
I start out well, and then I do something stupid and the day is ruined for me then on. So I think maybe if I streak it should be food related, but one item of food related. Like, keeping my nc below a certain number. Or eating so many veggies servings a day, which will cut down on eating other stupid stuff. A streak of NOT eating popcorn. Popcorn slays me. I love popcorn. Mmmmmmm. With butter and salt and cheese sprinkled on top. I DON'T think I should streak by saying I WILL EAT WELL COMPLETELY AND IN EVERY WAY EVERYDAY FOR THE NEXT MILLENIA! I overwhelm myself. NC counting is the obvious choice to me because I know that leads me to eat real food, and then I end up completely satisfied with good energy besides. But, lol, I love carbs. I love them so much I could die. I'd marry carbs if I could.
So, not that it wouldn't be a good idea, just, can I do it? Well, of course I CAN do it. But WILL I do it? Maybe two things. Maybe water and carbs. It always seems to come down to that. If I'm thirsty I munch. Maybe packing my lunch everyday as a streak...I just don't know...I just can't seem to find my path. But, I need to win against myself.
I need to keep myself busy to keep from mindlessly snacking. Maybe my streak should be two hours of productivity at least every night. With my drive time and checking in on Grams and taking care of my baby dog while making sure cat gets love...two hours is a big chunk of my free evening time.
So many ways to go. Scattered.
Monday, February 17, 2014
It is again time for me to get restarted. I'm currently at a weight higher than I've seen in years. I'm having a really hard time getting restarted for some reason. It's been months. I was doing well until I let myself get derailed by the negative feelings I had for my housemate, but I never got myself back on track.
I feel gross. Like, physically gross. I squish everywhere. Maybe I'm just more aware of it, but I feel like I squish in places that didn't used to be as squishy. Maybe as I get older my weight is just redistributing itself, but I"d rather just do without the excess and not have to worry about it.
But I just can't seem to get restarted, even for a day. I feel like I'm stuck in the bottom of a ravine. The side walls are vertical, and made of crumbly rock, so that every handhold fails me and I fall back down before I evern get started. I go to bed with the assurance that I'll do better next time, and then I wake up and eat potato chips for breakfast. There's a little voice crying in the background, but I just keep munching away.
My relationship with food is not the healthiest. Well, duh. I weight 30 lbs more than I think I should. But I was talking to my fiance yesterday about favorite holidays, and I realized that Easter was my favorite because I don't associate it with food. Easter candy is not really my thing, and it's just not as gluttonous as Thanksgiving and Christmas are for me. I even think of those holidays, and though there's a lot to love, just thinking about them makes me feel heavy and unclean. It was this adjective of unclean, that fits so well, that made me step back and think about the wrongness of how I feel about eating. I feel unclean. The way I eat makes me feel sick inside. Fasting for Lent makes me feel cleaner, even the idea of it. Because eating makes me feel dirty.
And I have to do it everyday.
Everyday (or near enough anyway), I have to put food in my mouth. I feel trapped by the need to eat. I can't escape it. And to eat healthy takes time and effort away from things I'd rather do. Food consumes my thinking because I'm so tired of thinking about it. And eating crap is just easier. You don't have to think about it. It's everywhere, crappy food, easily "prepared" and available just about any time. It seems both a never ending battle and an unwinnable one, because nobody can fight it all the time. And I get things like the 80/20 rule. And it makes sense. But since I've mentally defeated myself before I even start, shooting for 80% compliance to healthy eating seems impossible becaus I can't even seem to get to 10%. If I can't win, I can't seem to start.
And I know that this kind of thinking is just wrong. Plenty of people have won the battle. My mom was doing GREAT. I am so proud of the progress she's made. But I can't seem to believe it. I know Im over thinking it, so I go back and forth between trying to calmly accept that healthy food is a liberating choice, not a confining one ( I mean, hey, I LIKE veggies), and deliberately not thinking about it at all because if I do think about it I'm going to veer off in a panic and binge eat whatever might possibly satisfy a carb craving.
I need to learn to drink fluid to curb this (I'm always dehydrated), and I need to have healthy snacks available that I can binge eat, like chopped celery. I am trying to learn in general that a little bit of work at the start can mean a lot of saved effort in the end. So, folding my laundry straight out of the dryer instead of letting it sit and get all wrinkly, or putting the dishes away from the dishwasher so I can just start refilling it again instead of letting dishes pile up. And prepping veggies and food is a good way to save myself the trouble later, so I can just go for it and eat healthy when I need food. I just need to do it.
That's the key, the one I can't seem to make fit. I just need to do it.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Been in a bad slump. Feeling hopeless, dragged down, not believing it's possible to meet my goals. I've been trying off and on for so long, but have lacked whatever it is to make it work. Don't know if I lack courage, discipline, energy, or what else. But whatever, I'm not doing it.
I WAS doing well. Until Leonard moved into my house. Leonard is my male progenitor. My mom finished divorce proceedings with him while she was still pregnant with me, and we didn't have a lot to do with each other after that. A few visits. Usually, but not always, a call on Christmas and my birthday. It was no big thing, because I have an amazing family on my mom's side, including both my grandpa and my uncle for father figures in my life. I can honestly say, after a lot of thought and poking at it, that I was just fine without Leonard, and would have continued to be fine. Rarely did he enter my thoughts, I never missed him, and if he ever DID blink into my life for a minute, he faded away after the brief interaction.
Until I was 22. Which is when he decided to move north from LA to here. By this point it had become clear to me from our phone conversations that he was basically an amount-to-nothing sort of guy. Generally negative, everyone he EVER worked for was a complete idiot, always having a reason something that was good for him wouldn't work, spending money wastefully when he never had much to spend. Not an inherently bad guy, but irresponsible and unwilling to be proactive about his problems. It wasn't a big deal, cuz hey, he lived in LA and I lived almost in Oregon. But I knew it wouldn't be good when he moved up here, claiming that he wanted a better relationship with me. From what I gather, his rent just got raised too much and he'd already tapped out his sister and his best friend borrowing money, so, as his last "family" he decided to come up this way. And maybe he was sincere in wanting a better relationship. Everybody needs somebody and the others in his life were more or less done with him. But it's nothing I wanted or needed.
But, as expected, he's been calling on my mom and me both since he moved up here for help. A place to stay, thousands of dollars in "loans" that he'll never be able to pay back (and which he wouldn't have needed if he hadn't wasted him money), help with getting things done. He joins us for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, even though he's not really family because my family knows that he has no one else to have dinner with. No one's really fond of him because he sucks up our energy and time, and he never supported mom or me financially or in any other way, despite the fact that he was supposed to be paying child support.
I was fine with him not being there, but I'm incredibly bitter about him being here now. I know I need to be less so. He is a help. He watches my animals when I go to Aaron's every other weekend in Oregon. His negativity was a plus when I went to buy a car because he found every little thing wrong with the car and talked the salesman down...and I think that's about it. I get irritated with him because he insists the doctors tell him his health is fine, when he can't walk across the room or get up without panting and wheezing (heavy smoker all his life), and he's huge because he has no care for what he eats, primarily eating fast food, pizza, and ramen from what I can tell. I can see that at some point he's probably going to need care because his health is so bad he's going to end up in an assisted living place. And he won't have the money to pay for it, so I'm afraid I'll be on the hook for it. I would have more sympathy if he would just admit he had a problem and try to do something about, even if he failed, but his insistence that everything is fine just pisses me off for some reason. I've been talking to a counselor about it. Basically because I don't want him leeching off my life, but my family raised me to not leave someone in need, which is how I got mixed up with a user like Samir before. But there's a difference with giving someone some help up, and being dragged down by someone who won't take care of himself. I'm torn in two directions. Wanting to have nothing to do with him, and finding him too pitiful to not help because I know that the decisions he's made will land him in a bad situation.
My counselor tells me that he's not my responsibility. That I am the offspring and he the father, and it shouldn't be for me to take care of him when he is in what SHOULD be the prime of his life, SHOULD be a time he can take care of himself. He's not my responsibility because he's an adult who should be able to manage his business on his own, and this neediness is a pattern that I'm only enabling by helping him out. He needs to learn responsibility for himself. But there's this constant cloud over my head because at any point he could just stop by and ask a favor. And I don't want to give him any favors. I spent almost two years taking care of Samir, who was another person who was self-destructive, but also ultimately abusive, who only knew how to make himself big by making other people small through manipulation and degradation. Leonard is not that, but I feel manipulated because I feel forced to do something to save him from his own pitifulness.
But anyway. He moved into my house. He moved into my house because he didn't take care of his own, in any way shape or form, so that when he was gone on an extended stay to a hospital (because he doesn't take care of himself either) his ceiling caved in and the place got waterlogged beyond repair. I got a call the day before I was to go to Portland to shop for a wedding dress saying he needed a place to stay. Which put a damper on my whole trip because I don't like him in my life and I knew that he'd be in my space, making my animals smell like smoke, and there'd be nowhere for him to go after I got home so he'd just BE there. He was just there for two weeks, and did jack squat in that time to figure out his life and situation. Eventually my mom and I (and I'm so grateful for her), had to sit him down and basically bully him into doing something. And literally, and I mean LITERALLY every step after that either she or I had to prod him to do it, or physically drag him out of the house to go do it. And every time we made a suggestion for how to fix his problems, he IMMEDIATELY negated it as "it won't work" for some fabricated reason. Guess what, everyone of our suggestions worked once we prodded him into doing it.
But in the meantime, I haven't felt comfortable with this virtual stranger in my house. I basically hid out in my room for the first two weeks, hoping he'd do something and get a move-on. I didn't exercise in the living room, because I hate having people around when I exercise,even though previously I had been doing well with my P90X. I didn't cook good food because that left me vulnerable in the kitchen for meaningless small talk. I avoided talking to him because I KNEW I'd get pissed off and lay into him for being a lazy ass. Which wasn't fair, because hey, his life sucked right then and unkindness on my part wasn't going to help. I knew for this to be true generosity I had to be kind and gentle to him, but I was too bitter, and so was only passive-aggressive instead, which I hate. I was constantly angry that he was intruding on my life, when he hadn't earned the right to do so, which carried over into my care for myself, my work, and my relationships as I bitched about his cigarette butts left around, or how he wasn't doing jack diddly, or how my animals always smelled like cigarettes.
/Sigh. I hate that I'm so bitter about this. I hate that my first response when he said he needed a place to stay was self-absorbed anger. I would force myself into phases of compassion where I tried to empathize with his situation, but then I'd fall out of it the next time I noticed he hadn't made any move to rectify his situation for days on end, wasting time. He really isn't a terrible person. He claims to love me. He's just a leech. I'm not sure what to do. I would be entirely happy if he went someplace else again. But I can't quite tell him to go take a flying leap to that someplace else because I don't want to deliberately hurt him. He really doesn't have anybody else and I don't want to cut his last tie to his family (though he still does talk to his sister on the phone, she lives in Arkansas.) But I'm bitter and angry and passive-aggressive, which are all extremely obnoxious traits, and not who I want to be. Not only do I feel like a mean and nasty person, but I allow these negative emotions to control how I interact with the rest of the world, and how I take care of myself, for the worse.
We did move him out today. It relieved a lot of my stress not only because he's not there anymore (and lo and behold I got the urge to exercise as soon as I walked back into my now empty house), but because he found a place that's actually nice and decent. For the last two weeks prior to him finding this place, I couldn't sleep at night worrying that he couldn't find a place to live within his means. Trying to figure out a way to put aside money to save him from his next disaster because he wouldn't have any money to save. Even though I didn't want to be his crutch any more, I literally couldn't stop stressing about how it would be the next time he would call on me and I wasn't getting more than 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night because I couldn't stop worrying.. But this place is decent, and within affordability, primarily because utility is paid. It's older, but it's in good repair, on a nice property, with adequate space for a guy on his own. It's attached to the owner's house (they live in a house on one side of the garage, and he's on the other) so he's not living off entirely on his own and he says they're nice people "so far."
But I need to make the decision of what to do next time he comes asking for help, which will probably require a monetary donation, either directly, or by buying him stuff. I either need to be putting aside now on a "save Leonard" fund or I need to honestly and earnestly decide that he's not getting any more help from me. He is entirely capable of saving up funds for himself, a little at a time. He should not NEED my help. And if he does in the future it's because of his poor choices, which I am not responsible for. I hate that there's this self-imposed pressure on me, and this fear.
But I am glad that he's got a nice place. And because he's renting, not owning as he did before, hopefully he can call on them to keep things in repair, since he doesn't do it himself. He does have a bum knee which makes things difficult, but some of the stuff he definitely could've done to keep his house sound and he could've saved an emergency fund for anything else that needed to be done.
I feel like a wretched person with a cold heart, but I really don't think this is something I can get past. I don't think it's something I want to get past because I don't want to be his crutch, and I don't like how his connection to my mom through me causes her to be impacted. She divorced him 29 years ago for goodness sake and shouldn't have to support him either. I want him to be self-sufficient. I'm afraid that will never be the case.
He's in a safe place, and I'm in my own place again after two months. Hopefully this means both our fortunes will be on the mend again. Today is the first day I ate healthy in weeks, and I'm not exhausted from emotional roller coasters. I feel better equipped to deal with the other needs in my life, both for myself, and for my family. And speaking of which, I need to go to my aunties and feed their animals while they are out of town for the night.
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