Balance, Baby!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hello Friends! I hope this blog finds you shiny, healthy and happy.

So much has happened since I last blogged like oh ten years ago, so where shall I start?

Well, how about this: why don’t I tell you what I will *not* be going over in my blog:

1) All the binging that occurred since I last blogged. Nor will I gloss over the pure embarrassment of being caught by DH pigging out in my kitchen close to midnight. More than once. More than twice. Possibly more than three times. Okay so I stopped counting … Um, next!

2) How the occurrences of emotional eating strongly correlates with each of my parents’ visits.

3) That I discovered that it makes my Mom happy to me eat. A lot.

4) During my Mom’s visit, it would seem that my weight loss inspired her to not eat. Even though she weighs a hair over 100 pounds.

5) In an effort to get my Mom to eat while she was on vacation, I pigged out Kobayashi style (or would it be Joey Chestnut?). It worked. What can I say, I took one for the team.

6) If my weight was a pendulum, the arm would be broken. Since January 1st, my weight has swung in an 8 pound arc, mostly gaining within 2-4 days and losing over a pathetic span of 2 week or more. Definitely will not go into how much weight I’ve gained and lost in total since Jan 1. (In case you are wondering, I’ve gained a total of 44 pounds and lost 45.2.)

7) I developed an unhealthily obsessed with food. Says my RSS feeder of like 60 food blogs of so. Ugh.

Okay okay, it seems that I *did* get into them after all. Oops. Well, that’s enough of the baddies because I’m over it like parachute pants and hypercolor shirts. That’s right, I am DONE dwelling and ho-humming about the past because …

I’ve found my balance.

Friends, I cannot TELL you how beautiful this space is, to finally be at peace with all the craziness involving food and weight loss. It took me quite a journey to make it into this peaceful life, but by golly, I’m so glad I am here and I can NOT wait to share with you how I got here – in a million words or less, I promise.

I do not mean to start this blog off with TMI, but … alas an embarrassing medical condition is what got me on this balanced path, so if you prefer to scroll past the digestive issues I’m about to post, please feel free to do so and meet me at the row of steaks ( emoticon). I’ll see you there in a flash, okay? Oh! And take this freshly baked ZERO CALORIE chocolate chip cookie while you scroll. You’re welcome!

Okay! So for those of you who are still with me, let’s talk digestive issues.

First of all, to all the doctors who insist that I should increase my fiber and water intake, workout and sleep regularly and lead a low stress life in order to have a smooth running digestive system, YOU ARE DEAD WRONG. In fact, please leave because your recommendations made me completely miserable and basically activating my inner lunatic. After eating 8-10 servings of veggies, drinking upwards of 18 glasses of water a day, exercising regularly, sleeping 8 hours a night, you would think I would be shooting rocketships into the porcelain galaxy. Um, no. Instead, my body locked down every nugget like Fort Knox. WTH?! Would you like me to describe the pure lunacy of gaining 4 pounds in 2 days and thus burst out of my pants and shirts?

Then on one particularly day sob-alicious day, a light bulb above my head revealed that everytime I binged on fatty sugary stuff, I would take a particularly happy trip to the bathroom the very next day. And that’s when it hit me: I need fat. And after a “torrential” visit to an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ dinner (Dad was involved which mean my emotional eating button was pushed, so do the math), I realized that I needed meat too. Fat and meat. The two things I did not have much of in the diet I struggled to maintain since last year, which was approximately when my issues started.

But I still couldn’t believe it. After all, isn’t vegetarianism the healthiest diet to follow? I thought fat was bad? And isn’t sugar the enemy?

It was with these supposed thoughts I would have normally defended to the nearest Hometown Buffet as “facts,” that I cautiously started changing my diet. I cannot describe to you the amount of turmoil I experienced in my head just to allow forkfuls of meats and fats pass these Lipsmacker lips meal after meal. But for the sake of abdominal comfort – and my sanity – I opened my mouth, chewed and swallowed. I also splurged into many sugary treats, which was even harder – but I just kept reminding myself that I *needed* this, and so into the hatch it went.

How did it go? Well! My new eating commenced March 2 and I’ve since become a regular card-holder of my favorite bathroom in my house again – and not just to shower. So, my issues MUST have had something to do with my diet, yes? In addition, with my new “diet,” I even achieved my lowest weight since beginning of January. Yup!

(BTW, I did not mean to bash vegetarianism – everybody is different, and believe me, I admire those whose bodies can handle the plant-based diet, because to be honest, I am *not* crazy about meat! But this is what my 32 year old body is requesting and for the sake of … comfort and a less poofy tummy, I am abiding.)

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For those who skipped the TMI section, welcome back!

Okay so now that things seemed to be “fixed,” where do I go from here?

Well, this whole new eating style completely changed my entire outlook on how I live my life in terms of healthy living. Here are the positives:

1) Eating more meat and fat put a big white sock into my constant itchy desires to binge. HOORAY! I feel like I have to apologize to my body for repeatedly ignoring its obvious cries for different nutrients. I’m glad I finally listened.

2) Yesterday and today, thanks to #1 I was craving something sweet after my savory lunch – not the scary out-of-control craving, but just… *interested* - so I rustled around DH’s candy drawer and fished out a fun pack of M&M’s. And ate it. Without guilt. Except that it was DH’s candy and Not Mine. And so I had to text him a confession. Guilt of stealing his M&Ms without asking him out the window.

3) Eating a treat almost daily frees me from the debilitating and obsessive power of sweets and baked goods used to have over me. After a couple of days of this, I decided that I actually enjoy living in a world where moist cupcakes exist and actively participate in my lifestyle. Oh toss in homemade twinkies in my world too. But don’t forget the delicious yellow cakes. And-and-and … ah you get the picture, right? (Side note: don’t worry, I am ALL about portion control! See #1)

4) Because of #3, I am no longer banking my entire days on food blogs which used to lead me to engage in or fight off binge moments.

5) Because of #4, I now have a ton of time to spend on … Facebook. Sigh. (Maybe not such a good thing.)

6) I feel so much fuller for longer periods of time, which leads me back to #4.

7) My new diet made me feel So Incredible that I started looking at other aspects in my life that I could improve. In keeping the spirit of improving quality of life, I decided that under absolutely no circumstances will I do more than an hour of cardio a day by myself. With others, it becomes a social activity so I see it as okay. But not by myself. When I give into my tendencies to workout more than an hour, I start taking time away from the things that matters, like DH, working, spending time with friends, petting my cats, doing laundry, watching movies, and making wise cracks on Facebook. Actually, ignore that last part and please re-note the part about spending quality time with DH. *ahem* Quality of life, people!

8) I recognized my honest-to-chocolate zero desire to run another half marathon. Maybe it will seem like another dynamite idea in the fall, but it’s back to the #7 thing; at this time, I am just not willing to sacrifice time in my day to run for more than an hour. And I happen to be really good friends with my left knee, so why would I blow my friend out in another half? I’m also including “forbidden” foods in my diet now, so… I can’t find more reasons to run another half. Besides, I already proved to myself that I did it and I’m pretty damned satisfied about it. (But um let’s revisit this in the fall, mmkay?)

9) Brutal Honesty Alert: I would LOOOOOVE to have Jamie Easton’s body, but I am not willing to do the work and exercise the discipline that is required to achieve and maintain it (and risk being blocked up again – NIGHTMARE!). And I’m okay with it. I actually like the parts where I am soft, but I will still do the ST a few days a week and hope that a few muscles pop out from it. And if I don’t, that’ s okay too, because at least then I can lift heavy things now like my dreaded laundry basket after coming back from a week-long vacation. Woooo that is heavy.

10) I’m already a try-the-dish-first- ask-questions-later kind of gal, so eating new things in restaurants with my new diet’s been one exciting event after another. Once in a while, I do get irrationally panicky, like when I decided to add ground beef to my regular veggie omelet at a breakfast place over the weekend. I have no idea why on earth my palms were sweaty, but once the food came, I calmed down and ate it. And was so happy about it that I started making googly eyes at DH. Aww.

So there you go. Shiny new discoveries jellyrolled in happiness and relief.

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My New Lifestyle

I hesitate to pin my new nutritional guidelines with any one diet, but I have to admit that it aligns closest with Primal and Paleo. The only thing is, I love meh bread and sugar (making Homesick Texan’s Irish Cheddar and Bacon Soda Bread this week, wot wot!), which makes my diet not so Primal/Paleo after all. I also have this *teensy* issue where I get very tired after eating meat, but it’s not really anything that having a post-meal designated driver can’t fix. And anyway, that’s where hangin with DH gets pretty handy. I knew hanging with him would earn me additional benefits.

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* Protein with every major meal
* Veggies with every major meal
* Dessert at 7 pm –ish daily unless I’m not interested (which actually happens)
* Limit white carbs, since they make me crash. Unless it’s DH’s buttered crusts from his white toast, which I will never decline because food from his plate are seriously always tastier than mine.
* Consume around 1500 cals/day (until I lose these last couple of pesky pounds, then I’ll slowly raise it to 1800/day)
* Digestive enzymes with every major meal
* Chug water like it’s going out of style!

emoticonWorkout Plan – Burn 2400 cal/week emoticon
* MWF: Run, burn 400 calories (NO MORE THAN 1 HR FOR CARDIO!), 20 minutes strength training, 15 minutes stretching
* TTh: Recumbent bike 200 calories (around 50 minutes), 20 minutes upper body strength training, 15 minutes stretching (These days are technically my rest days; I just include it in here out of routine)
* Sat: Bike ride with DH
* Sun: Hiking with DH
* Other: Little workouts with DH here and there during the week, TTh may be taken off as a rest day

emoticonMental/Emotional Plan emoticon
* Write down negative feelings every morning. Especially important for those mornings when I don’t think anything’s bugging me – that’s when it’s hidden and tucked away and most important to dig out and deal with them before they take form of emotional eating.
* Visit healthy living blogs daily
* Read a couple of inspirational quotes

Me on a brief break during one of our weekend bike rides – my favorite!

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Well, there really isn’t any, unless you count my new lifestyle plan above.

Oh wait, I did think of one!

Have I told you that I started waking up at 4:45 am for workouts? I love it!

*ahem* NOT. Especially on the Monday after Daylight Savings Time, at which time my alarm blared at what my body thought was 3:45 am. Gross and completely unacceptable unless it’s to catch a flight to Paris to taste those flaky croissants or to some sandy white beach where I can sip on fruity drinks like it's my job.

Getting up that early was not by choice, but by necessity since my workload has vacuumed any available time to workout during the day (and I am pooped by nighttime, so that is a no can do either).

Anyway, it turns out that working out before the birds tweet has enough benefits to woo me back daily for more 4:45 am torture. Look for an upcoming blog about that.

Digressions aside, my main goal is to wake up at 4:45 am Monday through Friday for workouts throughout the month of March. Well, except for this morning, when I woke up completely and utterly exhausted mentally and physically. After realizing that it was my 200-calorie burn day, I shut my alarm off and fell back into the deepest sleep that I actually desperately needed. But it’s back on tomorrow, promise!

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In case you are not in the know, I made the decision to go sober on July 25, 2011 as a one year experiment. I wasn’t drinking much anyway, but I thought it would be fun to see what it would be like to actually take alcohol off the table as options.

The results thus far surprised me. The first seven months were a breeze; it was like alcohol never existed for me. Suddenly, however, this month (my eighth month) I started craving alcohol about three times a week. I even tried to negotiate myself out of the pact! I’m not sure where it all started, but I just remember being a bit miffed at myself for making the stupid pact. All the cravings ended well though and I do intend on seeing it to the 365th day. (Or being leap year, would it be 366th day?)

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I fell off my bike on the bike path to avoid an accident on Saturday. OUCH! The fall took off a hunk of skin in my right palm and bits of other limbs on my right side. Basically, my right side is out of commission, which makes things like washing my hair an extraordinary task. Also affected: my ability to do planks, tri dips, and push ups – just when I was getting excited about starting a new upper ST routine. At any rate, for the first time, I am actually trusting myself to get back on track after my injuries are healed instead of freaking out about the possibility of me getting back into my lazy days of no working out. Nope. I know I’ll get back to it, when my palm grows some skin. This is news, people. For once in my life, I can actually count on myself!

Well! I hope I didn’t bore you with all the details of my new dynamite life. If you are still here (which is Page 7 going on 8 in Word, btw), I am eternally thankful to you for sticking it out with me. You must be very patient! Or bored. Whichever, I’ll take it.

All seriousness here: as you click off my blog, I would like to thank you for your support. I would not have gotten into this very nice place if it weren’t for you Sparkies! This place is the best, I swear. Okay now, group hug!

Kittyroxx, out.

With my little sweetheart, Zack!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    LOVED reading this blog!! The fats/ sweets in the diet seems so weird but its true! Especially when your body isn't used to having something for a while, when it does it cleans it self out! Just like when some people start eating fruits and veggies instead of meat and potatoes (works both ways!) I'm so happy you found your balance! I'm still trying to reach mine but having difficulty getting to just 1000 calories! I probably shouldn't worry so much about counting my calories? But it DOES help me go for the healthier choices.. hmm.
    Anyway I hope your weekend is going well and I may get my boyfriend to take bike rides with me on the weekend too! Thank you for sharing and keep it up girl!!
    2277 days ago
    Good plans! I especially liked the the emotional/mental health part
    2280 days ago
    I am glad you were able to find what works for you. Keep up the good work. I hope you have healed up from your bike accident. emoticon
    2282 days ago
    Amen, amen, and amen you beautiful woman, you. I love your blogs, it's like a more articulate version of myself blogging... er, at least about the binging part. Am glad to hear that you aren't killing yourself to look like Jamie Easton-- we only live once and where is the fun in restricting ourselves from food? Your plan sounds great and you look so purty in your pics. Hope you feel better from the injury. HUGS.
    2284 days ago
  • DAWNO64
    Oh, Annie, how I've missed you!!!! I'm so glad you figured out what moderation means for you and have a great plan in place!!! You can do this, I KNOW, because you can do anything you put your mind to!!
    2287 days ago
  • KEM0727
    Great blog, you are in a fantastic place it sounds! I am 100% in agreement with eating treats. If I can't have treats, I won't be successful. I have something sweet almost every day and that keeps me from binging because I haven't had something sweet in a long time. As long as you plan for it, no problem in my book!

    Great job, keep it up!

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    2288 days ago
    I am so glad to see you were able to find balance! emoticon Love the pics! You are lookin smokin hot mama! emoticon So sorry to hear about your biking accident. I hope you heal fast so you can get back to the norm again. emoticon emoticon
    2289 days ago
    Good for you!
    2289 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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