Marmelade und Himbeereis

^The post title is a song by Grauzone (Swiss wave/Neue Deutsche Welle/new wave band).  It’s a fairly relaxing tune with a raucous ending and makes me think about summer. 

The weather is warming up and my motivation and self-control is back to “losing” mode.  There is junk food, but there is no compulsion to eat it all right now.  I can eat up to 1800 calories a day without gaining, but I don’t feel the need to.  I could slack on exercise, but I don’t want to.  As a result, my weight is back down to my pre-Christmas range for the first time in weeks.  This morning I was about 126.3 pounds, or 57.3 kilograms.  My lowest ever was 56.1 or 123.5 pounds, for one day only before bouncing back up. 

Of course I could always eat an entire pan of brownies or a huge pie or a whole baguette in one sitting.  I’ll always feel that way.  But right now carb binge urges are dormant and entirely manageable, barely there.

Work has been slow and I have been burning through my herbal tea supplies at a rather alarming pace.  Heading to the mall tonight.  I want to buy myself something luxe, pretty, sweet-smelling and otherwise unnecessary.  One hard part about growing up is allowing yourself to choose your purchases based on quality and how much you like them versus simply going for the cheapest deal. 

TGIF

I have perfected the art of salad.  The cheese and beans make it super filling, and the contrast of cheese and fruit feels very luxurious.

In other news, weight has consistently gone down every day.  Have been eating around 1550 calories a day and going to bed feeling slightly hungry but manageably so.  None of this lying there fantasizing about eating an entire cake business.  I’m still sick so no running and it’s doing my head in, I can feel my thighs expanding like two pudding-filled Gak sacks.  I’d better hurry up and get well so I can remedy that. 

A bit better.

Nothing really noteworthy to report from the front lines other than my weight is down another kilogram (2.2 lbs) overnight after just one day of eating a reasonable amount of calories.  This means the total fat-damage from my vacation is less than one pound.  I am going to miss this when I get older.

I’ve been stuck in the future these past couple days.  I just think about what I’m going to do after Japan, where I want to travel, what I’m going to eat when I’m traveling.  I never think about how I’m going to deep clean my MESS of an apartment in a way that will please my neat-freak mother when she visits in a month, what I’m going to do about the hair dye stains on the walls before moving out, or filing my taxes.  Always daydreaming, only sometimes do I remember to live in the present.

Speaking of which, I need to sort something out for my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day: Late Edition (this weekend).  He’s a sugar addict like me and it would be far too easy to just buy him chocolates or cookies, but I’m not sure what else to do in a pinch on a penny-pinching budget…

Zeppelin

The title of this post pretty accurately describes the state i will end up in if this is allowed to continue.  Seoul was all sorts of incredible, a smorgasbord of culture and crowds and beauty and national pride/identity, and about 6,000 calories a day for a three-day weekend.  Unacceptable, and it has landed me a few kilos heavier and squarely back in the crack den of chocolate. 

A quote from “Tales From the Scale” by Lori Ford: “Tomorrow I can do it, but not today.  Today I must have the brownie.”  That has been my mindset yesterday (”It’s Valentine’s Day, I can eat 3 candy bars in 10 minutes at 9 pm! Why not? I’m sick and miserable and I can’t even taste it!  And I’m PMSing too!”) and today (”I can still totally stay within my calories if I eat this! Yeah!”). 

Mantra: Nothing tastes as good as getting thin feels.  I need to kick this addiction, the fattening sugar addiction, and replace it with the addictive feeling of feeling happy and proud to see new lows on the scale.  I should be getting at the root of the evils instead of putting a Band-Aid on what is pretty much clearly a massive internal injury of some sort, but baby steps are better than no steps right? 

I’m 4 lbs down from yesterday, which tells you how much I ate in Seoul.  I’m just about 9 lbs up from my all-time low on my birthday.  Awful!

S.O.S.

All my resolve seems to melt like chocolate in the sun when there are free desserts around.  I went to a 2-hour English conversation class last night where we sit in a round table setup and discuss current events and personal anecdotes.  It’s meant to be practice for Japanese people and the subject matter is rarely stimulating.  They always bring coffee and snacks.  Yesterday was a big (300g) box of delectable chocolate cookies and another box of white chocolate “langue de chat” cookies.  I don’t want to sell myself short here; I definitely ate at least half the cookies there, and they were intended to be shared among eight people. 

As if that weren’t bad enough, I went home and kept eating.  I didn’t have much around so I made due - 300 g of kimchee, 3 prewrapped Camembert cheese wedges, 3 mandarin oranges, and half a bag of konbu (dehydrated salted seaweed).  I went to bed feeling a bit dejected and sad that I keep doing this, and also sad because I knew refined sugar has reattached its hands around my throat.

Today I’m just ravenous.  I got up early to exercise, came to work half an hour early, had my normal yogurt, picked at my packed lunch, bought a processed bread roll and finished it, and finished my lunch by 11:10 a.m.  It’s not even noon yet and I already feel hungry again. 

I think I may need to shift my attitude entirely if I want to get anything done.  Perhaps if I tell myself I have license to eat whatever I want all the time, I’ll actually end up eating less than I am now.  With binge days and dieting days, I am averaging around 2000 calories a day with big spikes and dips showing up on the scale.  At this point I am no longer worrying about hitting new low weights so much as reversing the damage that overeating is doing.  I’m trying not to think about it because it stresses me out, which as you know, can result in wanting to eat more. 

Backslide

Yesterday I decided to break my moratorium on sugar.  I made it the full week and decided it would be well worth it for the homemade cookies, flan/pudding, mini parfait with blueberry and chocolate sauce, and banana nut pound cake at the brunch buffet.  It was well worth it but immediately upon the first couple bites the mania returned.  I wound up neck-deep in a flurry of sugar the rest of the day - dinner was a carrot, a slice of cake, and a candy bar - and through some moronic logic (lack thereof, really) I thought a nice way to cap off a stressful evening would be to inhale a box of chocolate truffles I’d been saving to give to friends as a souvenir from my Germany trip last month.  Eleven out of twelve; I barely tasted them.  It was manic and terrible and I have the stomachache and self-loathing to go with it this morning.

I’m definitely not ready to go back to desserts.  One day I’ll be able to feel normal around them but that day is not today.  I lost 30 pounds eating dessert several times a week, but it was only after losing those 30 when I started binging and feeling like a crack addict. 

Today I have to do better.  I must do better, because it feels so awful to be bloated with a stomachache and the lingering guilt and inward-focused disgust that comes after a binge.  I have tofu salad and an apple and dinner will be small; a salmon fillet and maybe a fried egg and a mandarin orange. 

Triggers

I would like to say Day 5 flew by without a single complication, but I ended up overeating at dinner.  It was one of those situations where everyone orders communal appetizer type dishes to share.  There were chili cheese fries, chicken tendons in yuzu (sour citrus) sauce, chicken neck with green onion, bonito flakes, and a sort of bottomless supply of dried soybeans as part of the Setsubun (Japanese holiday) tradition.  I stayed manageable with everything except the soybeans.  Of all the dumb snacks to overeat, dried soybeans seemed a funny choice.  I did my penance as they blew up in my stomach (they expand a lot when you drink water and make you feel extremely full).

Aside from that, I found myself feeling quite manic in the afternoon.  I was reading about sugar withdrawal online and found a site full of comments listing symptoms that match mine - mood instability, headaches, fatigue, and bouts of depression.  The fatigue is the killer, it’s been extinguishing my drive to run.  I went out for a 35 minute jog yesterday which felt nice, but I had maybe 30% of the energy I’d had on my longer, faster runs last week (when I was steadily pumping myself full of refined carbs…).  Trying to balance weight loss, carb consumption and energy is stupid.  If I’m eating clean and lowish-carb and losing weight I’m too tired to run.  If I’m eating crap and gaining weight I can run until the proverbial cows come home.

Today is Day 6 and I have no intention of putting myself in any triggering situations because tomorrow night is an enchilada cook-off and potluck dinner party, and Sunday is brunch buffet with Team Seoul (Did I mention I’m going to Seoul in six days?!?!?!).  I am going to keep myself off the sauce at the dinner party in hopes that I won’t go too crazy at brunch.

I can identify my triggers no problem - it’s handling them gracefully that knocks me around.  The following situations are all what I consider my triggers:

-Being offered sweets at work
-Any party or event with communal dishes or “family” style
-All you can eat buffets (duh)
-Going to supermarkets/convenience stores any time other than directly after a meal
-The hours of 2-5 pm
-Traveling/being on vacation; surely calories eaten on planes, at airports, in new places/abroad aren’t real, right? ;)
-Alcohol and anything pertaining to it: drunk munchies, hangover hunger, etc.

The sanctity of mealtime

(Progress: Day 4 is easy breezy!  I am thrilled to report that I don’t feel cravey or hungry at all today.)

One observation I’ve made along the way is that when I’m eating consciously, I HATE being disturbed during meals and the idea of eating a bad or dissatisfactory lunch or dinner boils my blood.  Today’s lunch was a little on the disappointing side and it made me so upset I felt a lump in my throat.  Like a small child who cannot express itself in words, I just wanted to cry.  The noodles were overcooked and the curry was watery and it was much smaller than I expected it would be.  I suppose the lesson learned is “make your own damn lunch and free yourself from the possibility of disappointment.” 

Tonight I’m off to the mall for some light shopping and dinner with friends.  I normally get Baskin Robbins or a Subway cookie for dessert on these weekly mall ventures, but I’ll have to deviate from the norm and regretfully decline tonight.  I hope that doesn’t muck my vibe.  It’s never anything important or major that throws us off course is it?

Surviving

Day Three is coming to a close.  I felt exhausted and fatigued all afternoon and skipped out on exercise.  I think it’s okay not to exercise seven days a week, though my first inclination is to feel really guilty about it.  The lack of candy is going all right, though I am craving carbs.  I have noticed that things like Soyjoy bars and nuts and even plain yogurt taste much sweeter than they usually do.

I’m in a funny place in terms of “life” at the moment.  I realized this afternoon that I have just about six months left in Japan.  Six months to deep clean my “Hoarders”-esque apartment (fine, it’s not that bad) and accomplish everything I’ve been meaning to do for the past two and a half years.  The pressure of job hunting seems a distant reality still, and I’m kind of okay with not knowing where I’ll wind up living.

My boyfriend’s band has seen relative success in recent days, including a cover story on a local magazine and invites to play rock festivals in Europe, and he is now seriously considering trying his luck in the Netherlands working alongside and living with his drummer/producer.  I’m invited too and I wouldn’t turn it down, seeing as I’ve been dreaming about living in Europe ever since I first set foot in Edinburgh airport on my first trip overseas at 19.

I really don’t know where I’ll end up and that’s okay.  I would like to be smaller and healthier, no matter what.  Keep your eyes on the prize.

Taking back control

Seems a blog has been made, out of necessity and also out of a desire to express my thoughts in words.

Time to wrestle this grizzly bear of sugar-crack addiction to the ground and pound a big ol’ stake into its heart!  Seriously, I didn’t devote the past eight months to losing 30 pounds just so I could eat them back via Tim Tams and stale mango chocolate cookies at work.  It’s not about the small gains I’ve seen in the past week, it’s not about kilograms or pounds or scales.  It’s about control.  My weight should be something I am in charge of, not a wildly unstable and ever-changing monster that controls me.  If I never get to my target weight but can maintain with stability a weight that’s a little higher, I would feel okay about that.  It’s the zig-zag pattern of disordered thinking and mindlessly hoovering up all the sugar in sight that I find terrifying and a disappointing locus of weakness within myself.

Saturday was a bad, bad day for eating.  I probably ate something like 4,000 calories of which almost 3,000 were extraneous crap.  It was pretty embarrassing - there were Tim Tams after midnight McDonalds, multiple trips to different ice cream shops, and sneaking Danish butter cookies while my boyfriend was in the shower.  He generally finds it endearing or cute that I eat a lot and talk about how much I like eating, but by the end of the night even he admitted it grossed him out how little control I was showing as I scarfed down a friend’s leftover burger that she couldn’t finish.

I’m taking a one week break from sweets and desserts.  On Day 2 now.  Day 1 was okay but I kept finding myself reflexively gravitating toward the candy/cookie section at the shops.