Week of May 13, 2011:
Well, I have been awake for almost 24 hours straight. Thanks to me sleeping 12 hours yesterday during most of the morning and part of the afternoon then making the mistake of having Coke Zero when we came home last night. I’ll learn one of these days! Well, I was starting to feel drowsy around 4:30 a.m. but when I went to bed I started thinking about a lot of things that were not important enough to be keeping me awake but I was and as it got closer to 6:00 a.m. I knew that the technician would be here sometime between 9-11 a.m. so I figured I might as well just get up and stay up, no matter how tired I was. So, that is what I did. The technician was here for 3 hours. He rewired all the phone jacks and then installed the new modem including a wireless router and then the cable box. I called Dtv right after the technician left and cancelled our service with them. The csr was less than cordial but it is over with. Now, we are “bundled”; the latest in their technology. Here is hoping that there are no “surprises” in our bill except that it will be less.
I went to bed at midnight and awoke at 2 a.m. with both knees really bothering me so I got up and I have taken a double dosage of EX Tylenol. I will try to go to bed in the next half hour. I feel a lot better that the installation of the new “bundle” service is over with. I really hate having to adhere to one of these open-ended service calls because it invariably will fall a day when either I didn’t sleep well the night before or the apartment is a “mess”. Well, I hit jackpot on both accounts. Not only did I feel like a “scrub” (I need to both color my hair and wash it) but all I could see looking around was things I “should have” done before this technician came. I am going to have to keep the computer in this room because of how he wired the phone jacks. It’s a lot more limiting than having DSL but I should see quite a difference in processing speed with my computer.
I weigh every day and have been for a couple of months after joining a daily weigh in thread on 3fatchicks but I will say that I haven’t been paying much attention the past couple of days. However, the Beck book has us weigh once a week as we move through the daily exercises. I have had such horrible sleep this past week coupled with the fact that I have been eating some of my daily calories during the middle of night so when I do weigh in it is mid-afternoon and I am not sure if that is an accurate measurement of my present weight.
So, it appears that I have either not lost any weight this past week or I may have even gained a couple of pounds! One day’s lesson was devoted on how to view the number on the scale. I have come a long way regarding that although I still don’t heed the “warning” if the numbers creep up until 5+ lbs have been regained. Looking back at my food log, I feel I did very well. There was more consistency in staying within my recommended calorie range, from day to day there wasn’t much difference and the only added sugar food item I had was a small reduced fat vanilla ice cream cone earlier in the week. In other words, this has been one of my better weeks in a very long time. It is possible that because my sleeping/awakening pattern has really been off I could be producing cortisol- a stress-related hormone to be believed in inducing weight gain. It is also possible that because I have been sleeping a lot more during the day I have been even more inactive than I was before (if that is possible). Plus, it is getting closer to the time when I get a monthly period so this could also be PMS bloat. I have been craving chocolate and sugar the past couple of days.
Well, I am going to resume daily exercising. I will do my best to do something every single day this coming week and let’s see how that impacts my weight lose. I have also been drinking a lot more diet soda than water although I really think the bottom line is always less calories = weight lose. So, that is what I have to aim for always. This last assignment where we have to put our sabotaging thoughts up against 7 Questions really opened my eyes to some of the ways that I have been holding myself back. I think of all the cards that I have made up thus far those have had the most impact on how I see my own role in remaining obese. I am still full of self-doubts but there is also a Day coming up that will address that as well so I am looking forward to seeing what exactly I will need to do to overcome that hurdle.
Right now, the main thing is to just get on with all of this. Once again, it seems like I have had a reoccurring pattern of RA flare-up. This has been at least the second year in a row where I have a predictable period, usually 4-5 weeks, where my RA goes from being tolerable achy to acute pain. Ironically, it is at the two times of the year, Advent and Lent, when we as Catholics become more involved in openly practicing our faith. This has been the second year that I missed Easter. I honestly thought I could make it Easter morning so I waived going during the Easter Vigil. I am really going to have to rethink that “strategy” because it backed fired on me twice two years in a row.
Well, I need to do a couple of things that might actually help me get through those two periods easier. One is pain management. Two is use the plateau time to get a lot more things done so that when I do have one of those periods of acute flare-ups, if I ease back on my activities, I won’t feel doubly discouraged that I have all this stuff, particularly around, that needs to get done. I am still learning how to effectively manage the acute pain. One thing that will be beneficial is getting back into shape, particularly my flexibility and to strengthen the muscles that support my affected joints. The second is to just move more quickly on some of these unfinished projects. That way I will have cleared my “to do” list of things that trouble me because they are not done. Then, when the flare-ups return, those things will be done and all I have to focus on is getting through the acute flare-ups and not be preoccupied with the other stuff. I have also decided that when I am having better days/weeks/months that I will ceize the opportunity to take in a lot of social activities so that it will balance off the times when all I can do is be home, either in bed or on the loveseat watching tv.
So, moving forward, this is going to my plan on how to handle my RA.
Today, we went to Wal-mart and I was able to walk around the whole store well. My knees were only bothering me a little towards the end. When we got home, I was even able to put away what we bought without sitting down and then after briefly sitting down I was able to stand to make our supper. All of this used to be a “big deal” for me. It thoroughly convinces me that I really need to try and get as much weight off of my joints as I possibly can asap. The less weight I am carrying on my weight bearing joints the easier it will be for me to do more “sustained” exercise, which is what I really need to do to see those numbers go down.
Case in point: T,one of the women I’ve met on the BLC site has been training for several different walking fundraisers. I am not sure why she decided to start that but she has been very determined to finish these “5, 10 and 13K” walks and, by the sound of it, she has but what a price she is paying: after one such walk, she went home and took an ice bath! I used to walk 15 miles a week. I could walk 3 miles in 45 minutes. I was going up and down hills as well. I was 245 lb at the time. By the sound of it, T is doing what I used to do: being physically active but not dieting. I didn’t like reducing calories then. Who does? I shudder when I think of the kind of food choices I used to make though. A lot of fast food for one thing. When I was home, I ate very little fresh food either. It was all processed, frozen or canned. So, I was eating a lot of high fat/sodium/sugar and calories. No wonder I never budged an ounce.
My guess is that she is eating the way she usually does. I know that is what I did. I got really toned but I was still obese. Now, I have been working more on my food plan. I eat more healthy today than I ever have. As I have mentioned about me losing weight and using the Beck diet techniques, she hasn’t written me as often. I hope I don’t lose her as a diet buddy because she is a really nice person and I think that we have “connected”. However, as I lose more weight, she might begin to pull back. It happens. I value my friendships and I would really hate to lose her as a new friend but I also understand how these things work. I think that a lot of people when faced with the overwhelming task of losing a lot of weight just give up. I know that I have many times before.
Well, now that the acute RA flare-ups have subsided and, hopefully, won’t be returning for another 6-6 1/2 months, I want to really kick my activity level into high gear. However, my food plan is equally important and I now recognize that. I can’t have one without the other. I am becoming a much better shopper too. I love to try new things and if I felt that I could, I would go ahead and fill our cart with all kinds of new “organic” food items. Instead, I try a couple of new things here and there, see if I like them and, if I do, then I buy them more often. I am really proud of myself that I have managed to really pursue healthy eating with such purpose and determination. I am still tweaking the calorie part of my food plan though.
I do see that when BLC recommends eating PB, for example, they only list 1 TB rather than 2 TB. It is 80-100 calories difference. I also have a tendency to add margarine before I put on PB and that adds another 80 calories. By following their example, I could eliminate 180 calories and really not miss it either. So, that is what I need to do “moving forward”. Another big change I have made recently is to just eliminate all empty calories from my food plan. I was really surprised how easy that was to do. I have missed the taste of sugar but other than 2 reduced fat small vanilla cones that I have had at McD’s this past week, I have done remarkably well. I have really come down from a “sugar high”, so to speak.
I am really proud that I have made some really good choices in places you wouldn’t think you could. McD’s is a perfect example. I had a grilled chicken wrap today for lunch. I had a small french fries which was just the right amount of fat and salt for my meal. I usually get a diet soda anyway so those two and the small vanilla cone was 620 calories. The small cone was just enough to satisfy my “sweet tooth”. I left feeling satisfied. The past couple of times that we have gone to A’s I have ordered off either the WW’s selections or the “Under 550 calories” selections. So far, everything has really tasted good. It is having experiences like this that help me relax when I am eating out since I know that I can find something I like and isn’t a “diet buster”.
What I am really most proud of though is getting in the habit of eating more vegetables each day. I think for most people that is one of the more difficult parts of changing your diet. I stumbled onto a small section in the produce area of P that has smaller bagged cut up vegetables. I was originally thinking that I would use these in either salads or raw but when we were getting low on vegetables this past week I decided I would have to cook up one bag. They were amazingly much better than frozen! It made me want to eat my vegetables!
Tonight was a good example of a relatively simple meal but done in a way that both of us went away feeling satisfied. I made sloppy Joes. I have seen others load up on the condiments so I decided I would add dill pickles, yellow mustard and sliced onions. Wow, what a difference that made. It really made the burgers come to life. Then, I cooked some of those vegetables mentioned above. I added some cold fresh sliced tomatoes. We each had a light beer. I had a sugar free chocolate mint mousse for dessert. I think what this proved to me was that I didn’t need high fat chips or french fries to make this meal delicious. I think that it will help me figure out a way to have cook outs without the usual high fat, high calorie foods and, yet, still enjoy the occasion. I was struck though by how fortunate I am right now that I can buy the kinds of foods I need to eat to both lose weight and be healthy. I only hope that I can continue doing this “moving forward”.
Well, hopefully, in a few months, we will be enjoying a lot of fresh produce from our own garden. I especially look forward to having fresh tomatoes, strawberries and cantalope. My strawberries might take a few years of growth before I am really going to see an appreciable amount of fruit. I picked up a small book on “Square Foot Gardening” that emphasizes growing large amount of food in a small space. It uses raised beds that are rich in soil mixture with soil no deeper than 6″! I am really excited to see how this is done. I just planted ours the most efficient way I knew how but, after reading this book, I will make sure that my winter garden follows this format. Again, like so much else, garden smarter not harder!
Well, I have decided that I am just going to stay up until I begin to feel tired. So far, it is 2:30 a.m. and I am still holding my own. I am drinking lots of diet root beer and chewing lots of ice. It makes me feel cold but, so far, I haven’t felt hungry either, which is another nocturnal habit I would like to break: eating late at night when I am usually not hungry but restless or bored. If I can nip that recently developed habit in the bud I will be able to eat more throughout the rest of the day and I won’t be scrambling to try and eat a lot less. Right now, these two habits plus not being very active during the day are what is slowing down my weight lose. I want to try and work on countering my sabotaging thoughts and/or habits so I can expedite my weight lose or, at least, not slow it down by my own unintentional actions.
I don’t know how long it will take to lose this weight. I feel really optimistic when I see a lot of weight go and then I am left wondering when I don’t have any weight lose or even a slight weight gain. I agree with Dr. Beck that you can’t let your feelings about your progress or yourself overall be affected by the rise and fall of that number. Instead, it does pay to be more objective and see it as an opportunity to learn from it. I really have to shake my head when I think about eating all of those candy bars, chocolate chip cookies and V-day cupcakes. It is like my head wasn’t making the connection between doing that and not losing any weight. The distorted thinking I was under was overly positive fortune telling: believing that having those, even though I was including them in my food plan, was okay and wasn’t going to impact my weight lose at all. Now, looking back, I feel really foolish; like what was I thinking?
I may be in for some more reality checks before this is all said and done. I’m not even sure what that will mean either. I think about my diet blog and how that has evolved a lot differently than I thought it would. Well, I am still going to continue to contribute to that as I move through this process. Then, I can look back and see what I did, what worked and what didn’t, and the end results. That was the whole purpose of me starting the diet blog. I wanted a record of what I was doing while I was losing the weight. I plan on including some of these diary entries as well since they are from the “foxhole”, so to speak. I just hope they don’t sound too rambling.
I have about 7 books from the “Biggest Loser” and I haven’t read any of them except the calorie counter! I think it is time I start delving into those and see what “gems” I can find among those pages. In fact, I was leafing through one of the first ones published and a lot of the stuff that I have discovered on my own, they had in that. OY! Talk about reinventing the wheel. Had I taken the time to sit down and read these books from the start I might have avoided a lot of unnecessary trial and error. Another thing to help me feel “foolish”. I could be thin right now if I had begun reading these books last summer! That sucks, just thinking about it!
I will give myself credit though with not eating at all during the night and that allowed me to realize a 1.6 lb lose. I drank a lot of diet soda and chewed a lot of ice cubes. I can now say that I have lost 10 lbs since I rejoined BLC. My fasting blood glucose was 107 mg/dl. In order for me to see that kind of number I have to go without any food for about 12 hours! I really have to fast. If I wanted to really get some lower numbers for a medical testing I would probably have to fast 15 hours or more to get down to where they would consider it “normal”. Or possibly not have any carbs a day or two before I take the test. Something to think about if/when I would need to take a test which would show up on my medical records for “all to see”, including the insurance companies I have term life insurance with. In the meantime, I really need to keep working on losing weight and getting some exercise in as well.
I am getting better about not straying way off my calorie range. Now, as I approach 2100 calories, I can sense it. Tonight, I felt a lot of free floating anxiety and I could feel like I wanted to eat “just because”. I didn’t but it made me wonder how long it will take for me to get over this particular behavior. It has certainly done a lot of damage to what would have otherwise been really good days when I was dieting in the past. So, I need to give myself credit for being able to both recognize the cause and source of this desire but also not to act on it either. I was able to distract myself. I got a small book about “Square Foot Gardening”. Between reading that and learning where our favorite networks are on this new channel system I soon forgot about the desire to eat.
This is something noteworthy to share with my Beck group. Just think: I am going to have to face this kind of challenge and many more for many months ahead! I don’t want to think about how many times I will be journaling about this very thing. It is too discouraging. I just want to get through today. I can’t even imagine what tomorrow will be like. I was surprised that I would be dealing with this because I had a decent sized supper with a lot of crunchy foods, salty and sweet tastes and it was both eye appealing and filling. I wasn’t tempted to snack except for a banana. Well, obviously, Dr. Beck knows how we dieters are going to react better than we do ourselves.
Once again, we seem to end up eating out somewhere when we are out doing our “errands”. This is a pattern we have had for several years. It hasn’t stopped yet. Although I wasn’t familiar with R’s menu, I knew walking in what my “strategy” would be. I did well except I had a small dish of ice cream and a delicious seasoned dinner roll with 3 pats of sweet creamery butter. I think I could have easily changed my “game plan”, had another one of those rolls and foregone the potato and rice that I had. I think, if we ever go there again, I would probably stick with the rotessiere chicken since that really looked juicy then have a couple of those rolls along with vegetables. According to their online menu, they offer reduced sugar desserts but I didn’t even go over there. I think, I owe it to myself to do so. Still, I feel satisfied that I made some good choices in spite of not knowing exactly what they had on their buffet. That was today’s “lesson” in Beck Diet Solution.
Much like the expansion of plus size clothing, I am also finding that now restaurants are trying to respond to people’s desire for healthier foods within the framework of what their menus offer. Back in the early 1980’s, it was really difficult to find plus size clothing that was attractive. Now, the choice is endless. Well, the same thing is happening with a lot of restaurants’ menus including McD’s. (although food purists may argue with me on that point of what is healthy there-so suffice to say, I will say, “healthier”) What I wear now for clothing style I will most likely wear when I am a “normal” weight. The only difference is that I will be in a smaller size and I will feel more attractive. If I would really commit myself to doing some toning exercises I won’t even have to wait until I am in the single digit sizes to look nice(r) in my clothes. I could look better in the clothes that I wear now if I would do more situps, butt lifts, hip reducers, and toned arm exercises. The same with restaurants. I will probably still be eating at the same restaurants that I do now so I might as well develop a strategy that will carry me all the way down the scales and “then some”.
I could wear a body slimmer, which are quite popular now, but I don’t want to get in the habit of having to reconstruct my figure just because I am not working out or toning my muscles. Granted, I could use them now so I can get that effect but when I think of how constricting they are and probably not all at that comfortable (especially in hot humid weather) I think it is better to just work out my core muscles and gain the sense of pride that would come with doing that instead of trying to make like a girdle is really how my body is and would look naked. I want to look good with or without my clothes one. I’ve got my work cut out for me though! That is for sure.
As for my food plan, I need the practice of eating in the real world so I feel that every time I eat out I can developing the necessary skills to do so. All the major chains have a website where they have their menus and nutrition listed so you can essentially plan what you are going to eat before you even sit down in their restaurant. In fact, you can skip getting the menu and order immediately so you aren’t tempted to eat something else. I am finding it easier and easier to do. Once I have these skills in place, I can really enjoy the dining experience without feeling tense about compromising my pre-planned decision. I’m not perfect at this but I have achieved quite a bit of finesse in this area and I feel more confident as a result.
I am also supplementing some sugar free “dessert” type foods simply because I know that if I don’t allow myself some type of “treat” within the framework of my food plan, I will start craving the sugar alternatives of those food items and that is not good for either my blood glucose or my weight lose plans. I am approaching my weight lose as also a means to lower and keep my blood glucose lowered as well. And, it has been widely accepted that diabetics do use artificial sweetners as part of their food plan. I have recently learned that agave nectar does not raise your blood glucose like other sweetners so I am going to try and substitute that in some recipes and see how I come out with both the taste and whether I end up wanting more or can settle for just one serving size. All this is a “work in progress”. I don’t know how long I will do this or where I will end up with the sugar issue.
Right now, I am thinking that I won’t have traditional sugar desserts –ever. Instead, I will tweak the best recipes I can find until they are palatable and then that is what I will do “moving forward”. Why resume eating sugary foods indiscriminately if I can cut the habit and stay away from that kind of food? It is like returning to smoking a cigarette here and there rather than giving it up for good. Having said that, I am sure that there will be times when I acquiescene but I would rather that be the exception than the rule. I just simply don’t think my body will be all that forgiving. I am treating my food plan as I should: I have elevated blood glucose and that is a strong factor in what choices I make from now on.
I went online and took the RealAge quiz. This is quite “well known” for determining what your real age vs your chronological age. Even Biggest Loser has used this to help the morbidly obese contestants realize just how unhealthy they are. RealAge had me at 63.0 years old. I fudged a little on the activity portion. I did put slow walking but whether or not any of it could be considered aerobic would be a “stretch”. I do move around the apartment during each day, with some days being more than others. Lately, I have begun to go into the grocery store or Wal-mart and walk around. I do try to seek out more movement since this latest RA flare-up has subsided.
The main detriment to my RealAge is being obese. I do have quite a bit going in my favor. I have improved my eating habits significantly and in a relatively short period of time. I am eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. I am drinking more water. I am taking my vitamins and supplements, including trying to find products that have omega-3 added to it since fish is so expensive and I don’t eat it as often as I would like. Surprisingly, they recommend eating fish only once a week. I wonder if that is because most fish has traces of mercury in them and now the new recommendation is to not eat fish more than 3x a week.
I do eat ground chuck once a week. Both P and I usually order steak when we go out to eat especially at A’s since that is really good there. I don’t mind the soy burgers on the market although those frozen products usually come with higher sodium. I am eating a much healthier diet overall than I have been in a long time. I just need to keep it up. Recently, I have decided that I am going the “no sugar” route. It is a far cry from my earliest entries on my diet blog but right now it makes sense to me and that is all that matters. If it looks like I am doing a 180 degree turn then maybe I am. I just feel a lot better and I find dieting is a lot easier when I am not eating sugar. Now, I do have some lightly sweetened oat cereal and some organic Greek yogurt with organic cane sugar (sugar is sugar!) but if sugar is not the second or third ingredient, I am going to let it go by. It does help if yogurt has a little sweetener in it because it is pretty bland without some added flavor to it. The kind of sugar that I am talking about is all the empty calories except fat and sugar that is in a lot of junk food or processed sweets. I have been weening myself away from my sweet tooth by eating a lot of fresh fruit. It works but I was starting to miss having a dessert once in awhile. That is where I am at right now.
So, yesterday, I bought some sugar free cookies and they weren’t half bad. In fact, they tasted just like their sugary counterparts, as far as I can remember. I bought the chocolate chip and the pecan shortbread ones. Tonight, I went on the company’s website and I ordered: sugar free maple syrup, sugar free creamy peanut butter and a 20 pack of “snack size” assorted cookie flavors. I sent two messages to one of the women I have talked with on a daily basis: one regarding what I just wrote above and also quite an impassioned plea for her to seriously consider her health first and foremost when making decisions regarding her food choices. I realize that may have no discernable affect on her but I felt compelled to tell her that she needed to start putting herself first. I woke up and continue to wake up regarding how I am eating and how it is affecting me.
I do believe that this Beck Diet Solution is a no nonsense way of saying “just do it”. I’ve been playing at dieting. Now, I am doing it. Not saying I’m dieting but eating pizza and drinking regular Coca-Cola then finishing off with candy bars. What diet is that? Now, my food plan looks and feels like a restricted calorie, healthy eating plan. I can and I hope to eat this way for the majority of my meals from now until “forever”. So, it is important that I have the right frame of mind, I practice good behavior, I eat foods that are both varied and healthy, I learn to prepare them in a way that makes me want to continue to eat them, and eventually I get back to moving again. That is the next step in this process.
Lately, when we are out, I am walking into the grocery store with P and walking the store along with him. I am holding onto the cart and I am able to make it through the store without needing to run out to the car and immediately sit down. That was something that I was doing last fall. I could do even better than that if I could 1) lose 10-20 more lbs as soon as possible 2) strengthen my leg muscles so they could take off some of the pressure my joints are “taking” as a result of being out of shape. So, what that means is that I really get diligent with how many calories I am eating and watching the sodium as well. Then, I really need to get doing as many strength exercises as I can particularly for the lower body.
Then, we had a good dinner: baked chicken, steamed asparagus and potatoes. I made a potato salad recipe from one of the diabetic cookbooks I got off of Amazon.com. I could tell it was lower fat but other than that, it tasted quite good. I tried the asparagus and I had some leftover cabbage and a slice of tomato. I am finding it easier to get my vegetables in. After dinner, I decided to catch up on some of the t.v. programs I’ve recorded in the past several days while catching up on my reading in the “Beck Diet Solution” book. I am almost done with this first printing of the book. I should be receiving the second printing in the next couple of weeks. I ordered a book on how to self-treat your knees. Again, I bought a gently used book on Amazon.com. I used the little bit of credit that I have on my credit card. A few of the people on these website groups think that some of my problems with my joints will be resolved once I get back exercising and lose the weight. I agree with that up to a point. One thing that I can not do is walk on the treadmill very fast nor for very long. That is when my knees really start to bother me. However, I will admit that having lost the amount of weight that I have lost has made it easier for me to move around when my RA isn’t flaring up. I also have to make sure that I am taking the recommended dosage for the Aleve. If I drop the ball on that then I really do feel pain when I am moving period.
I ended up going to bed later than I had planned on. I read my e-mails at the last minute and I saw that D, a woman I have met and converse with from BLC, seemed like she could use my help with figuring out a menu for diabetes. As an example, I gave her what I ate yesterday, breaking it down into macronutrients as well. I also made some notations on what I could have done to have less carbs at a particular meal. I said I was satisfied with how it turned out since I was at my lowest end of my calorie range and I was within the range for each of the macronutrients. It doesn’t always work out that way but that is the daily goal I try for anyway. I also ended up having another pound lost! So, I know what I need to do. Try to eat between 1700-1800 calories per day.
Now, just to do that.
I decided that I am going to shoot for 135 lbs instead of 140 lbs. The idea came to me last night as I was writing up my response cards from “Beck Diet Solution”. All during high school and my early 20s I seemed to hover between 135-138 lbs easily. I did diet back then, at times quite stringently, to lose additional weight and if I remember, it was a lot harder to maintain a lower weight than that. I think that with that weight and what we now know about burning fat/building muscle, etc. I could be both very fit and lean at that weight and also be healthy as well.
So, I think the way that I am finally going about losing weight now will get me there. How long that takes will depend on how willing I am to really tow the line and do what I need to do to get there. As I just said, I noticed that without exercising I need to reduce my calories to at least 1750 calories per day. It wasn’t all that bad yesterday but it can easily be blown by making the wrong choice when I am eating out, especially if I make an impulsive decision to eat a dessert that I hadn’t planned on. I would like to say that I could also gain the same advantage by exercising but right now it is all I can do to get the sleep that I need. In fact, although I managed to stay in bed between 3:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. I have been fighting the urge to go back to bed and get some more zzzzs for the past couple of hours. So, in a few minutes that is what I am going to do. However, resuming exercise is definitely something that I plan on doing asap. I know that I can make progress in both how I look but also strong I can become if I will only do what it takes. I used to be able to but right now fatigue has been the main reason why I haven’t done so.
Already, I have had comments from different ones on how well I am doing. That is nice to hear. I realize that in order to pull away from the pack you need to do all of the things we all have either not tried to do more diligently or have refused to do. I know that I was resistant to doing some of these things before. I really did want to “have my cake and eat it too”. I still can but I choose not to have the sugar version right now since I know that it triggers overeating, craving and even binging when I do. I have discovered that metabolically, chemically or whatever you want to ascribe it to; that is how my body processes sugar and, to some extent, high glycemic foods. I could fight this and refuse to believe it but I have seen evidence in how it changes my behavior around food. It is almost like I am an addict craving heroin. I am not joking! So, although it may sound drastic to do what I am doing, I believe that I have finally found the key to opening up the possibility of me finally shedding the rest of this weight. Since I have seen both the before and after of just how much calmer I feel around food in general after removing as much sugar as I can from my diet; I’m sold. I don’t need any more evidence. So, now that I have realized this in a more deep and profound way, I am more willing to accept this as” my reality”.
It is almost 1 a.m. Yesterday was an emotional day. I knew that as I worked through the Day designated for Emotional Eating that it would be. For as long as Nicole has been alive, I have struggled with first my weight and then food issues. That is a very very long time. It started out losing the weight I had gained from pregnancy. I was unaccustomed to being so large. I was used to being a size 7-8 and here I was leaving the hospital wearing M:18 tops and they were tight. Granted, I still had breasts full of milk which diminished by the time she was 3 months old but I was not prepared for my body to be so large. I lost the extra 68 lbs I had gained during pregnancy and then I quickly went back up to 140 lbs. However, it was the first time that I had to face that my naturally thin figure was not going to cooperate in a way that it had previously. I wasn’t overweight by any means but my perception of my body image had changed and I began to feel uneasy about my weight.
Unfortunately, the struggle with my weight began then. I managed to stay around 165 lbs which is still considered the top of my normal weight range but it was anything but normal for me. I was accustomed to being 130-138 lbs up to that point. I stayed around 165 lbs for about 5 years until I met Chet when all of my former insecurities and anxieties seemed to surface strongly. He enjoyed eating out. I wasn’t used to that up to that point and, suddenly I found that it was something I would enjoy too. I think, I wrongly assumed that we were building intimacy every time we ate out. I believed that for a very long time. It took me years later to realize that he simply had a penchant for restaurant-prepared food and I was a “tag along”. I remember towards the end of our marriage constantly urging him to go out to eat because that was when I most felt like we were a couple. However, those meals were not intimate or memorable other than the fact we were both gaining weight; me more than him. Towards the end of our marriage, I was eating alone often and I was also compulsively binging and overeating probably 5000 calories or more at times. I was also desperately unhappy in that marriage.
So, now, fast forward to today. I have done so much work in individual and group therapy. I have joined and followed the 12 Step program, which I have embraced wholeheartedly, and I have joined and dropped out of a lot of diet programs over the years. Now, three decades later, I am working yet another program to help me lose the weight. So, what is different about this? I am almost finished with this book and I have about 3 dozen recipe cards filled with statements on how to overcome most of the “typical” hurdles most dieters, including myself, need to overcome to successfully lose weight. Maybe, this will work simply because I am ready to “draw a line” and not cross over it; at least, intentionally. My conviction is stronger right now after having worked through this book than I have felt since last summer when I had it for about five weeks.
I think that this CT will help keep me motivated and focused on what I want to accomplish until I have accomplished it. That is what I think this will do for me. It will be making a conscious decision over and over again so that I make choices that will support me losing weight until I am the goal weight I want to be. If anything, this book provided with a motivational kind of “you can do it” push that I needed to get back on track. I don’t want to keep falling off the wagon and getting back on. The longer and more often I do that the more demoralized I become. What I think this book will do for me from now is give me specific strategies that I can use when I am confronted by some of the common “obstacles” that most dieters face. It will help me work a better and more effective food plan. I am not saying that I will diet “perfectly” but I think I will have more hits than misses.
For example, in the past three weeks, I have had three unplanned “desserts”; all ice cream but I chose the smallest cone and I included it in my daily food log. I decided about two weeks ago that I was going to go with minimal amount of added sugar to my food plan. It just evolved one day and I realized that it would help me deal with a lot of the extra hunger, cravings and impulsiveness I had surrounding food. I now believe that most if not all of those difficulties that I was experiencing before were because of my addiction to high glycemic/sugar foods.
However, the challenge is not over yet. I have one other hurdle to overcome: eating less so that I can see, at least, a two pound weight lose every week. I began three weeks ago today so this is my “official” weigh in day for BPD but I had D’s for dinner and my sodium was over 3000 mg. If it looks like I have gained from yesterday’s weigh in, I will take yesterday’s weigh in as my weekly weigh in. What it will mean for me is becoming more active and to really watch my portions when I am eating throughout the day. I’m not overeating but I am also eating more than I am burning off. Then, the next challenge will be doing this over and over again for the next 15-16 months, or possibly longer through whatever life throws at me! I would have been intimidated before reading this book but after going through what I have gone through, I do believe I will be able to do it.
I am wondering if this woman I have befriended from BLC will be able to pull herself together and get back on track. I have been as encouraging and helpful as I can be but she hasn’t mentioned reading the book after the initial first three chapters or even whether she is going to follow its premise. It sounds like she is really grasping at straws at this point. Since we have been conversing back and forth, she has bought several books and just as quickly as she buys them she drops following them. I am wondering if she will do the same with BDS. Well, I need to step back and allow her to find her own way, even if it is not what I am doing or feel works for me.
The only thing I am wondering is since our relationship began on a mutual desire to support the other person I am now wondering how we will make the shift if one of us is really struggling and the other seems like they “are on their way”. Well, I thought that I had a diet buddy when I met A and then I am afraid I might have scared her off. She was already struggling just to start her food plan and I was charging right out of the gate. However, I wonder how she would have been had I been able to re-connect with her when I was struggling as well. It all began when I wanted to “celebrate” my birthday and it ended up being a three day overeating which derailed me from then on. I was really on a roll. I felt so bad about that because it is really nice when you have someone whom you can talk unending with about all of the nuances of dieting. It would probably get boring to anyone else but when you are both dealing with the same struggles, it forms an instant bond.
Well, I am going to do my best to give her some “breathing space”. I have inundated her with a lot of information and she might feel overwhelmed at this point. She did seem to be confused about what she should do next. And, I need to remember that is how I felt before I actually cracked open this book and really began to do the work the author suggested. Had I skimmed through it like I did several years ago and how I hear some people do, I am sure I would be writing something entirely different.
[Note: I have been keeping a ongoing private journal separately from this diet blog which I am now incorporating some of that material into this blog. Dates written are actual although published at a much later date.]