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I'm Learning, I Really Am. What Have You Learned?

Saturday, May 07, 2011

So far in this journey of 3-4 weeks I have had many opportunities to learn. I even bothered to learn on several occasions, fancy that. I don't mean to sound preachy, if I do, you can say shut up, ignore me, quit reading, etc. It's ok, I won't be offended. It's not like people want health advice from Jumbo Jane.

Anyway, here are a few things I have picked up:

1. A hardcore detox for a few weeks (in my case no caffeine, no meat, no eggs, no dairy, no added salt, sugar or oil, and no processed foods) makes the journey to good health a lot easier. I'll be honest, the first week sucked and I wanted to gnaw my arm off, I had no idea you could have withdrawal from processed foods and sugar. The second week was better, only my fingers-not the entire arm-were in danger. By the beginning of the third week I had more energy, no cravings induced by food and the weight was falling off. At this point, eating clean is just what I do, I don't have to give it much thought any more.

Here's the thing, I was eating foods that caused me to crave crap. I honestly thought that I needed to join Overeaters Anonymous, when really I needed to give up eating crap, which made me crave crap. High fructose corn syrup is the biggie of these foods that cause me to eat badly. Humans are designed to love sweet and salty fatty things. There is a reason that junk food contains lots of fat, sugar and salt. There is a reason you have trouble resisting things with that combo package of death.

I'm not saying I don't have food cravings, I do, especially when I have PMS or stress, but they are about 10% of the cravings I was having pre-detox. They are also far easier to ignore and cope with, because I can generally isolate the cause and the emotional motivation behind the cravings.

2. I still pile my plate up with food and I need to stop that. Luckily, I am able to stop when I am full, but I'm going to have to buy a smaller plate or something. I'm still dishing food up like a fatty. This is a problem I must get under control ASAP.

3. My best diet advice: Add 1-2 pounds of raw and cooked non-starchy veggies to your diet. Less than 200 calories will keep you from eating thousands of calories in bad food, will make you feel satisfied more quickly, and lots of other fun things.

4. "Your boob to tummy ratio has changed". My weight is coming off in a unequal fashion... according to my husband my gut and my boobs are both smaller, but my boobs have gotten smaller faster. Luckily, he said this with a smile, not some cheesy look of boob mourning.

5. I bought 12 new bras in January. I actually sat in the car and cried because I was so upset with myself for spending $240 bucks (mega sale) on bras, even though I didn't have a single one that didn't stab me in the pit with the underwire or belong in the trash. Today, I'm too small for 4 of them, and I will probably be too small for all of them within a month or so. I thought I would be upset by the wasted money, but I'm pretty thrilled.

I can't wait until nothing in my entire closet fits and I am forced to give it all away. I will end up with a pair of jeans, a pair of khaki's and one other pair of pants and a few mix and match shirts to get through to the next size and I'm totally ok with that. Empty closet = major victory.

6. Give up added salt and sugar and you won't need it or want it within 2 weeks. Yeah, right. Hah! Well, it is true for me! Whodathunkit? Same is true with grease. I can't believe it myself but french fries taste too salty and slimy with grease. It's like a Mother's Day Miracle... McDonalds french fries taste like salty cardboard dipped in grease.

7. I now realize that in the past, during unsuccessful attempts to lose weight, I was missing 2 important things:
a) SparkPeople--the support, the daily feedback, the accountability, the support, the friends, the support, the trackers, the friends. :)
b) The Detox. Can't say enough about the detox.

8. I don't have to view working out as a punishment. It can be fun. I like to dance around the house with the GaGa so loud the windows rattle looking absolutely absurd. I enjoy taking new and different classes, making playlists for my IPod, harassing friends to join me, etc. make working out much more fun. Next on the list: yoga, pilates, racquetball and kickboxing.

9. I can't drag people with me on the journey, I mean let's be serious here, fat people are HEAVY. emoticon You can't make people do the right things for their health no matter how much you love or care about them, but you can inspire those who are genuinely interested in making changes. Choose who you want to spend your time on wisely.

10. Have one really good tip that you believe in to share with people. For me, it is the 1-2 pounds of fruit and veggies thing. It's multipurpose, you can share info with those who care and for those who don't and are just asking for the sake of asking you have a 10 second blurb to share and move on to another unrelated topic.

11. I weigh 291. I'm willing to share that with you, and be proud of that, but I will not be sharing that information at work or anywhere else. I only tell my husband because I'm winning this week, I've got him beat by at least 5 pounds. Teehee. At work they will get a # of pounds lost. :) That 291 number is so huge that it makes me flinch, so you know it makes skinny people react in horror.

12. I laugh at myself on a daily basis, and not in an unkind way. You must laugh at yourself, you must laugh at the situation you are in and at the size of your butt because crying will not help. Cry, feel bad, feed on junk, cry cuz you are fat, feel bad, feed, repeat. Laugh about it, move forward, the end.

13. Don't weigh yourself during PMS. Not only will the scale be bonkers, but see the bit about crying above.

14. Your pets, kids and spouse/SO may be your biggest cheerleaders/helpers/workout partners if you invite them in. If they are not, don't discuss your efforts with them. In the end, this is about you. Besides, if you have great danes like me, it is way easier to walk faster when they drag you down the road.

15. Perfection is pretty much impossible and aiming for it may make you nuts. A perfect day may be possible. A perfect year, not so much. Perfect your ability to start over after a bad day, not your ability to criticize yourself from small imperfections.

16. My internal voice sounds like self-hate so I developed a mantra. When I start thinking, I'm fat I'm gross I'm disgusting I'm fat I'm gross I'm disgusting, I try to mindfully switch to the mantra. Mine is, "You are headed in the right direction, good job."

17. Screw the scale. Name yours something ridiculous like I did (Captain PoopyPants), get rid of it, hide it, whatever you need to do, but do not be intimidated by an inanimate object. You know whether you are doing the right thing before you get on the scale, you are just hoping for results you didn't earn or hoping that it doesn't reflect some sort of off plan behavior. Stop. If it hinders your efforts stop. Period.

18. I will never be thin fast enough. We all want to be thin tomorrow, but the simple fact is it may be hundreds or even a thousand tomorrows before that happens. I keep reminding myself that I will be forty in two years, I can be forty and thin or forty and fat, so I picked the one that sounded like a better way to spend the rest of my life.

19. A recent study came out that said obese people have less enjoyment of sex. My first reaction to this was "No shit, Sherlock, how many millions did that worthless excuse for a study cost the American taxpayer?" How could sex not be better if you don't have a full body jiggle going on? How could sex not be better if you weren't afraid of having a cardiac arrest while making the two-backed beast? Have you ever picked up a thong and said to yourself, "there should be a law against thongs in my size!" I have.

20. I believe that the processed food industry, like the nicotine industry, figured out how to make their product more addictive. I believe that these companies want to sell as much food as possible that is made as cheaply as possible, and if it will make you obese, so be it, as long as you keep buying.

21. I really like it here.

22. I accept no excuses from myself. Eat too much at breakfast? Eat less at lunch. Eat too many calories today? Exercise longer tomorrow. Legs broken? Sit in a chair and do aerobics. Eating well too expensive? Grow a frickin' garden with a buck in seeds and a five gallon bucket. You have two choices, find ways to fail or find ways to succeed.

23. I plan to succeed. Every Sunday night I spend at least an hour setting out five days worth of gym clothes, gym towels, work clothes, underwear and socks. Every night I pack my lunch. That way at O dark thirty, I have no excuses.

24. I don't have all the answers. I'm 156 pounds from my goal weight, so I clearly have problems of my own. I just have no intentions of failing.

25. My goals are important. I'm envious of those who have goals that are like "I'd like to run my next 5k in 22 minutes instead of 23." Ok, I'm not envious, I'm a green eyed jealous monster who wants to flip them the bird and say go to hell, but only because I know it will probably take two years before I am able to have a goal like that without it being laughable.

26. I need to learn how to make a green smoothie, even though they sound revolting.

27. There is no high fructose corn syrup in any of the products available at Whole Foods. If you want corn syrup, you have to go to the baking aisle and buy Karo, because they don't have it anywhere else.

What have you learned? I would love to hear your best tips and advice.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I really enjoyed this entry- most if not all I can relate to since becoming a believer/follower of ETL. Keep up the good work!
    2542 days ago
    #2 I have been guilty of the same problem in the past, and sometimes still. Add on to that that I lived at my depression-era grandparents house every weekend as a kid and you now have a large portion and the guilt factor of starving children in China (Oh my goodness how many times did I get that line when they dished up something gross or I just wasn't hungry! Unfortunately, their sense of humor was never the same as mine and my response of, "Good! Let's send it to them!" was never met well).

    One thing I have learned this week. There's that section on the packaging for many foods that says "Serving Size." I am convinced they're lying, simply because really, who eats 3/4 cup of Mac & cheese? You just don't! Unless you're using it as a side dish. BUT I have discovered if I dish out THEIR portion size, eat it, wait a few minutes, then go back for more, I don't eat as much as I would have if I had just dished up what my eyeballs said I was hungry for when I started. Some days it works. Might be worth a shot.
    2543 days ago
    Hey Jen, I love your blogs and want to say thanks for dropping by my page. It is great to have support from others during times of struggle.
    Thanks for being there and being so motivated. That really motivates me as well.
    All the best
    2544 days ago
    First of all, I love your blogs, Jen. :) I've never done an actual detox before. We try to avoid processed foods, sugar, and salt in our house and do a pretty good job, but I don't think I could give up my eggs and dairy. And great job being able to stop eating when you are full. I am still working on listening to my body. You've learned alot, which is the key and are moving forward with a wonderful attitude. Keep up the great work! I am enjoying watching you succeed!
    2544 days ago
    Love it all. You sure have a knack with writing! Thanks for using your talent to make me laugh, make me smile, teach and inspire!

    Have a Great weekend!
    2544 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    Oh, so many things to love about this blog, and so many good lessons here to ponder. I think, first of all, that you should buy yourself some beautiful, smaller plates and enjoy every morsel of your clean food. Need smaller clothes? Consignment stores usually have some cute stuff if you spend some time looking, and are willing to pay $10-15 to a tailor to have the waist taken in or the hem taken up. I found $100 jeans for $12 and then just paid another $10 to have them taken up a bit. My biggest tip? "I am COMMITTED to losing 50 pounds and I have 29 to go." This is how I phrase it - not I "have" to, or I "need"" to, or I "should", or, the worst one, I'm trying (which leaves open the possibility for failure). I am committed to losing a total of 50 lbs and I am committed to spending time on SP tracking food and exercise and blogging and reading and commenting on blogs (which you can attest to emoticon ). I have no desire to be skinny - I weighed 100 lbs as a teenager and, while it was a lot easier to haul around and stuff into jeans, it would look ghastly now. I have no desire to look like I used to, I want to look how I am supposed to - when eating properly and exercising sufficiently and sleeping as long as my body/brain need me to sleep. Anyway, thank you for an amazing blog and you have a VERY bright future, esp as a sparkler! emoticon emoticon
    2544 days ago
    Great blog! Number 19 made me literally laugh out loud! All such great tips! I think for me it's about changing my attitude towards exercise; is it going to suck? Oh yeah. Will it make you feel better? Oh yeah! I never looked at exercise as something that would make me feel good now, as much as I really don't want to I tell myself just 10 minutes you will fell so much better, I have yet to actually stop at 10 minutes. It's a process but for me that was the #1 thing I was missing prior to spark people, I needed to move to get my metabolism going!
    2544 days ago
    I'm sorry I don't have a lot to say-- running on not much sleep (too much work, hehe). BUT... I DO want to say that you made my entire day!!! :D For real!!! Usually it is hard for me to read moderate length blogs and I wanted MORE at the end of yours! LOL Your writing is so easy to read! And your topic is fantastic! My favourite part was about giving your scale a funny nickname. ;) Hehe Thanks for sharing!! :D
    2544 days ago
  • MSPRING1987
    Awesome blog! It is so great that people on spark can share! I really enjoyed your list. I feel the same way about my # which is 236. I feel like I could NEVER have shared that before. Now I don't care on here of course. It's awesome to share with someone! Good luck and I think your detox is awesome too. I'm trying to eat as healthy as possible. In the next coming weeks, I hope to eat more fresh and less lean frozen stuff. It's just finding what I like and starting there. Very motivating! Thanks so much for sharing!
    2544 days ago
    This is a great blog! I now make all of the food I eat at home as much as possible, there are no boxed meals, frozen meals, canned food or jarred food in my house unless absolutely necessary. I keep telling myself to grow my own tomatoes and learn how to do things with them.... then I remember that last year everything on my deck got stolen by the darn raccoons... and I mean everything.

    Keep up the great work!
    2544 days ago
  • KNOX50US
    You keep on girl - love the list - I have managed to lose about 13 pounds in a little over a month - my biggest tip: weigh and measure everything and use the nutrition tracker - it keeps me honest.

    If I am going into any of the aisles in the supermarket it is for cereal, rice or non food items. I stick to the perimeter. And last, after 4 weeks of eating clean, I can honestly say my cravings for sweet and salty is diminishing.

    Good luck, girl - keep the faith!
    2544 days ago
  • 55WALKER
    Thank you!
    And we are really glad you really like it here!
    2544 days ago
    I have so much love for your list.

    I've learned a few things too.

    1. Fruit smoothies are every bit as good as a big bowl of ice cream, if not better.

    2. If I let myself list excuses, then I will fall for one of them. I am learning to stop myself when I start to make the list.

    3. Pretty much anything can be turned into exercise - grocery shopping, cleaning, walking up stairs to work, etc.

    4. I don't need to be afraid of people making fun of me at the gym. I always hated that I was bigger than them, but for the most part they admire me for working hard.

    5. Those who mock/make fun of me are not worth my time. They are insecure and jealous of my energy and motivation.

    6. SparkPeople is my greatest tool and the day I stop using it will be the day I start moving away from my goals instead of toward them.

    I'm sure there's more, but I'm thinking that I might turn it into a blog instead of cluttering up your comment page! Thank you for making me think about this!
    2544 days ago
  • MAND8301
    Loved this blog! You've got great insight! My faves:

    15. Perfection is pretty much impossible. A perfect day may be possible. A perfect year, not so much. Perfect your ability to start over after a bad day, not your ability to criticize yourself from small imperfections.
    ***I'm starting to learn this***

    20. I believe that the processed food industry, like the nicotine industry, figured out how to make their product more addictive. I believe that these companies want to sell as much food as possible that is made as cheaply as possible, and if it will make you obese, so be it, as long as you keep buying.
    ***OH so TRUE!!!!!***


    8. I don't have to view working out as a punishment. It can be fun. I like to dance around the house with the GaGa so loud the windows rattle. Taking new and different classes, making playlists for my IPod, harassing friends to join me, etc. make working out much more fun. Next on the list: yoga, pilates, racquetball and kickboxing.
    ***My personal favorite fun workout is dancing to the radio in my car to my favorite can get a decent ab workout in by just shaking and shimmy-ing your torso while you drive....Granted, I look like an idiot to passers-by, but I'm having a blast!

    Those are key for me! Thanks for the uplifting blog! Have a great weekend! emoticon
    2544 days ago
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