Category Archives: Health

Snowed In

We had a strange, surreal and wonderful weekend. We were basically snowed in all weekend. Every event, including church, was canceled. We did a lot of shoveling and playing in the snow. It was wonderful to just be home and cozy and have time with the family. It was great to be getting exercise everyday over the weekend.

I didn’t eat intuitively all weekend, but along the way I made good choices. It wasn’t a perfect weekend eating-wise, but I felt like those good choices were affirming to me and steps forward. I keep reminding myself that it’s a journey and a process. Truly trying to focus on the positive changes I am seeing.

Most of all at the moment, I want to be healthy and I have a long way to go. I am great with exercising and will continue to get better with that, but I want to see more changes in my relationship with food. I’ve never been fearful about health before as far as weight goes. I am a bit of a hypochondriac, but I’ve never felt like my weight has been having a negative effect on my health until the last year or so.

Intellectually, the answers are easy. Emotionally, the answers are not as easy. The solution is simple, but not easy to walk out.

One day at a time!

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Good Days

I’ve had a couple of good days. By good days, I mean that I have not been obsessing about food every waking moment. I’ve felt some peace.

I haven’t actually felt hunger pains every time I’ve eaten, but I certainly have been eating less often and in smaller quantities.

To not be thinking about food constantly is an amazing thing.

I’m sure that there will be tougher days ahead and I have had some moments when I’ve been tempted to make an unhealthy choice, but I will enjoy these days while I have them.

I also forget how cold I get when I eat less! Brrr. It doesn’t help that we’re in the middle of a winter storm and we’ve been below freezing for days. Right now it is 9F!

Feeling grateful and hopeful.

Journaling

As a new week and a new month are beginning, I am once again embarking. It’s cold and crisp here with fresh powdery snow on the ground. I am thankful for a new beginning in my journey to freedom.

I’ve begun journaling about this path and I want to share some of what I write here. I’m also keeping a food journal at the same time to hopefully become more aware of what and why I eat as I do.

I wrote the following yesterday:

Tomorrow is Monday. January feels like it has been one long binge. I feel terrible. Unhealthy, uncomfortable and gross.

Issues must be addressed. Change must happen or I will eat myself into an early grave.

I’ve been waiting for some magic to happen, for me to suddenly “get it”. Instead my habit patterns and behaviors have jest become more engrained and set.

I know that there is a mix of addiction, habit patterns, laziness and fear at work.

What’s the “solution”? How can I get free? For the long-term, for the rest of my life?

I have a feeling that this will be a life-long battle. That scares me and makes me sad, but I know that it is most likely the truth.

I know that a diet is not the answer despite the fact that my biggest struggle is with food.

My ultimate dream and desire is that I will eat healthy tasty foods in moderation, in response to hunger. That I would be able to enjoy food without being a slave to food.

I am praying that if I invest the time now – the effort, the hard work – that one day I will move into maintenance mode. I don’t doubt that there will always be a struggle, but I pray that it won’t be so intense.

So, can I do this on my own or do I need help? I don’t know.

Motivation Board

When I started this journey at the beginning of June, I was looking on Pinterest for inspiration. I came across the idea for a motivation board. I love checklists and tracking progress, so I was sold.

I came up with my own ideas for the board and I love it. It’s been helpful for me, but I know that I will need to update it with new things soon so that it doesn’t lose its power.

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I really need the motivation at the moment. I am still journeying, but I am also struggling. Old demons, ways of thinking, habits.

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It is exciting to see progress and pounds lost.

Weigh In Wednesday – July 10, 2013

Down one pound this week. Slow and steady and stay motivated. I am learning so much about myself – my strengths, my weaknesses, my goals and desires for the future.

Because I have not put a time limit on this journey, because I am not on a diet, because this is about changing my mind and not just my body, I have a totally different outlook and reaction to challenges and setbacks. It’s still hard when I only lose one pound in a week, despite that being my goal, but I don’t respond by giving up. There is something that has switched in my mind and I’m not quitting.

There are still so many issues I have with food. It’s ridiculous, but I know that it will change. Like any addiction, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to be completely free from compulsion in regards to food, but I do know that in time, it will not consume me. It’s hold on me will lessen and I will be able to enjoy food for its taste, for its power to fuel me and not for its ability to momentarily numb pain or cover emotion.

I’m thankful that one more pound has gone, but mostly I’m thankful for a healthy journey that is changing my life.

Salad Days

Let’s talk salad. I eat a lot of salad. I love salad. I love the tastes, the crunch, the variety, and I will admit that I love that I can eat a lot of it for a few calories. I am not far enough along on my journey to a healthy relationship with food that I don’t still desire to feel like I’m eating a lot, feeling full.

Most days for lunch, I have a salad. Not everyday, but most days. It’s easy, convenient and lovely in the Summer. I start with a base of lots of lettuce – usually romaine. I add a couple tablespoons of salad dressing – I make my own or I buy one without hundreds of calories. Then I will add some other vegetables – celery, bell pepper, tomato and green onion are some of my favorites. Sometimes I’ll add canned or bottled other things as well – hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, beets. Finally, I add my favorite thing – protein! Meat! I love meat. I use canned tuna and chicken, leftover meat from dinner, chicken breast strips, lunch meat, ham. It’s all good.

This is what a usual salad looks like along with the calories.

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salad calories

So, the other day, we were at Walmart at lunch time and I wanted a quick, convenient lunch. I let the boys pick out some Lunchables – bleh! They enjoyed it. I decided to get a packaged salad – I was kind of excited about it – different flavors, all calories counted for me. So I started looking. There were three ranges – small, medium and large. Pretty much three flavors in each size – cobb, chef and southwest. I looked at each of them and eventually chose the smallest. It only had 190 calories which is much less than I usually have at lunch. It tasted pretty good, mostly due to the creamy, Ranch dressing I imagine. I do miss creamy dressings – cannot justify those calories. Anyway, the medium size was barely bigger than the small size and had 50 more calories. Here’s the kicker, the large size which looked to me to mostly just be more lettuce and a bit more toppings was 540 calories! I am not going to spend that many calories on a store-bought salad. Arg. I have no idea what jacked up the calories so much – dressing? a bit of creamy dressing?

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From now on, unless I’m desperate, I will stick with my own salads.

Summer Party Pooper

So Summer is my least favorite season. There are things I like about it – plants growing, lots of fresh fruit and veg, swimming, barbecues, relaxed schedule. Now if we could have all those things while never going about 65F, I’d be a happy camper.

I am super blessed to live in an area where Summer comes late, as in, it’s only starting right now for us. Many houses, including ours, don’t have air conditioning because it usually cools down quite nicely at night and doesn’t stay super hot for long throughout the year. Still, it’s not my favorite.

I don’t like being hot. At all. My exercise suffers – I still do it, I just don’t push as hard. I feel uncomfortable. Bleh. Whine, whine, whine. Let’s not even go into finding Summer clothes that are 1. Attractive, 2. Cool (temperature) and 3. Cool (style). Sigh. I wish I could enjoy Summer more. I know that dropping pounds will help that some, but even if I could walk around in a bikini all day and look amazing – I still don’t like being hot.

Anyway, at three and a bit weeks into this journey, I’ve lost 8 pounds. I didn’t do a Weigh In Wednesday as this week has been super busy. It feels good. I still haven’t noticed a big difference in my size, but I certainly feel better health-wise. My gut doesn’t hurt at night, I have more energy – not heaps more, but more and I just feel good.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is a slow and steady journey – one that will not end, no matter what size, weight or shape I end up at. I simply can’t go back to that life of bingeing and fear. While I know that I set out to have a slow and steady journey, I still want it all to happen so much quicker than it is happening and that is with pretty impressive losses so far. I just want to be able to wear all my clothes!

I continue to move forward. Eat less, move more, but mostly eat less. It’s simple, but not always easy. I’ve had some issues with hunger lately that I’ve never encountered before and I’m not entirely sure what to do about it. I don’t want to ignore my actual physical hunger, but I also want to stick with my plan. I need to think about it some more.

Also frustrated with the fact that I was on my plan the other day, had a skinny mocha with friends and still gained weight that day. I guess that’s part of the problem with weighing everyday. I may give that up at some point, but I’m not ready yet.

I’m still here, I’m still motivated, I’m still excited about the future.

Summer’s Coming

I really dislike exercising when it’s hot. I live in Central Oregon and it doesn’t get terribly hot here, at least not for very long. Many houses, including ours, do not have air conditioning. I get up at 5:30 am to ride my stationary bike for 30 minutes. It’s definitely warming up and it’s about 74 degrees in the living room in the morning. I open the doors and windows and it helps, but it’s still too warm.

I definitely don’t/can’t work out as hard as I usually do. Sigh. Still, I’m doing it. I have never regretted a workout that I can remember. Even when it’s difficult, it’s always worth it.

Still feeling good about this week. Thankful that it’s been “easy” so far – it’s a nice way to start out.

You’ve probably seen this quote flying around on blogs and Pinterest: “It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends to notice, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice. Give it 12 weeks. Don’t QUIT!”

I actually think it’s a great quote though I seriously doubt there’s much science behind it and who knows who actually said it in the first place. I’m not feeling a lot of change in my body as far as size goes, but my gut sure is happy. I usually have stomach pains most nights and that is gone. I am certainly sleeping better and have a better outlook on life.

I’m excited to see more changes in my size though. I have a wardrobe full of clothes that are just waiting to be worn.

I’ve actually mentioned a couple more of my reasons for losing weight. The health of my gut and to be able to wear every item of clothing in my wardrobe. I seriously have some amazing clothes – I love vintage and unique items. Whatever my size, I always try to dress creatively, but I could do so much more with all the rest of my cool clothes.

I’ve had a few stressful things happen this week and I wasn’t overly tempted to eat in response. I am definitely an emotional eater – it’s my go to drug of choice. That will be the hardest thing for me, I know. Working on different coping skills.

First Week Euphoria

I’m having a great week! The first week of making changes is often pretty good. I feel motivated, my body is responding, I feel healthier. I need to remember these feelings when things get tough.

I thought I would talk a bit about my goals. In one of the diet books I read, I believe it was the Beck Solution, it talks about making a list of reasons why you want to lose weight. I did this ages ago, but got the list out again recently and updated it. I’ve been wrestling, recently, with the whole idea of losing weight and why I want to do it. I follow a couple of Fat Acceptance blogs and I appreciate the idea that society has imposed a false sense of beauty and acceptability on us. I truly believe that people who are fat can be healthy, athletic, beautiful and happy. I am trying to accept myself more in light of this. I also know that I am not healthy at the moment – I feel it. I’ve always been very healthy even when I’ve been on the heavier side, but I can feel it in my body that I am not healthy right now. I’m at risk for various diseases and disorders. There are several things that make me uncomfortable and unwell that I know would be dealt with if I lost weight.

My desire is not to be tiny. I’ve never been tiny, but I have been healthy and that’s what I am aiming for. Health is at the top of my list of reasons to lose weight. I have two young sons, ages 6 and 3. I had children at a later age and I need to be as healthy as possible so that I am around to see them grow and hopefully spend time with my grandchildren.

I want to lose 58 pounds. That still puts me in the overweight category, but it’s where I’ve been really comfortable. I’ve been at the high end of “acceptable” weight before and I was quite emaciated. I think I am just a heavy person and I’m ok with that.

There are other reasons that I have as well and I’ll go into some of those later. For now, I am feeling good and strong and able.

Making Changes

I’m tired, I’m weary, I’m fed up.

I’ve struggled with my weight, my relationship with food, myself for so long. I have read and tried so many diets/plans/lifestyle programs and I am worse off than ever I was.

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After looking into intuitive eating and the damage that is caused by dieting, I am terribly afraid of going on a diet. The last one I went on was a competition-based diet. I lost 13 pounds and have since regained all of it and feel like I am still responding to it by bingeing and compulsive eating. That was six months ago.

I’ve been waiting for something to click in my head and just “get” it. To be able to eat naturally and intuitively. Nothing has clicked. I am 41 years old and I haven’t figured this thing out.

I have so much knowledge and yet I feel like I fail so miserably in this area of my life.

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I was talking to my husband yesterday about this and my renewed determination to change. I am going to be counting calories and tracking my workouts. I am going to work on good habits and focus on this area of my life. I said to him that although this new way of doing things isn’t “natural”, I didn’t become this heavy in a natural way either. It was the result of out of control eating. So for now, I am imposing some control on myself.

I am taking lessons learned from all the diets I’ve tried, all the books I’ve read and I’m making my own plan. I’ll outline that in a future post. While I do believe that diets are unhealthy overall and that they do more damage than good, there are things I’ve read and learned along the way that are helpful and healthful for me.

I am taking charge and doing the things that I know I can do, things that will move me forward. I know I don’t have all the answers now and I will face things in the future that I’m not sure how I’ll deal with, but I am doing something now and we’ll see where it leads.