Two Year’s Resolutions

I could tell you how this past year was a huge failure because I didn’t reach the weight loss goal I set a year ago. But then I’d be lying, about the failure part, that bit about not reaching my wight loss goal is true. In fact, I even gained some weight back. A year ago I started Weight Watchers to lose weight, obviously, but more importantly to gain health. I lost nearly 10% of my starting weight (kind of a big deal) but then my commitment became distracted by daily responsibilities, a desire to live with wonton abandon and without consequences, and worst of all, stress eating. And I gained about 75% of that loss back. While I might look like Year One was a failure, in my brain it’s been a huge success!!!

My Two Year’s Resolutions (kind of like New Year’s Resolutions, but better):

1) Continue to check myself when my inner monologue says things like “I’ll be happy once I lose this weight” and replace it with things like “I am currently happy AND especially happy that I’ve decided to take better care of myself which includes losing unhealthy weight.”

2) Continue to pay attention to how I look at food so that I can change poor habits into good choices; honestly recognizing that eating with compulsion due to stress is NOT the same as eating with intention due to hunger and basic nutritional requirements.

DFTC Carrots Two Years Resolutions

I have a habit to compulsively eat at the end of the day; without being hungry and without a specific craving, I really, really, really just want to eat. Since I’m not really eating with intention, I’ve replace my night-time snacks with frozen grapes or fresh carrots (in a dessert bowl, because presentation counts).

3) Continue to respect food as something my body needs to maintain, repair, and think RATHER than a way to pacify emotions or respond to an emergency.

4) Continue to plan ahead because there are versions of myself that CANNOT be trusted, and hungry-me is one of them. When I allow myself to get blood-sugar-droppingly hungry, I tend believe to that the only two options in the world are a) to put all of that bread into my mouth right now, or b) die. No one wants to die hungry-me, so a lack of planning on my part should not constitute an emergency on yours!

5) Continue to balance my relationship between intake and outtake. It took me years to learn fiscal responsibility, and I still learn new things about living within my means, so I’ll keep practicing nutritional responsibility AND fitness.

6) Continue to remember that I deserve good food, good movement, and good rest. If I wouldn’t stand for a life-sentence of proteins replaced with sugars, movements restricted, and sleep interrupted, then I will NOT volunteer to live that way!

Happy Two Years!

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Dear Sugar, I love you…

…but our love cannot be so secretive. I’m not leaving you, I just can’t keep sneaking you into my mouth when no one is looking. Or quickly so our affairs “don’t count.”

12.17.2012

I love you Sugar, but we have to be more careful with our relationship. I can’t ever let Diabetes come between us.

I love you Sugar, but I must love you in the open. In fact, I need to document it. Every candy-cane, ever tablespoon of cookie frosting, every Frango mint, every cup of Christmas eggnog (Fat, this letter is to you, too). I must be sure I’m not favoring you over Protein, Fiber, Vitamins, the others. I’m doing this for us, sugar.

Lost My Way & Gained Some Pounds

Sometimes restarting is just as difficult as starting.

I haven’t been to a WW meeting since…

Anxiously awaiting my first WW meeting in a month.

What I’m saying is I didn’t weigh in OR track my food all through October. A whole month of poorly thought out food-choices, stress, funerals, weddings, traveling, forgetting that every action has a reaction.

A few weeks ago, I turned to C and said “I’ve slipped. And now I’m as big as a car.” “A car?” he said. “Well, half a car.”

I do not weigh as much as half of a car!

I’ve gained 7 pounds in the last month and I’ve lost my way. But, the good news about losing one’s way, is one can always find it again.

Eighteen Days Smarter

WWDay: 18 (02.08.2012)
Pounds: 198.2 (Weigh in 02.06.2012)
Loss: 8.4

Thoughts: Today a friend asked me if I feel any better now that I’ve started this process. I almost surprised myself when I said yes. Not surprised that I feel better than 8.4 pounds ago, or even that I feel this much better. But surprised that not feeling this good had become so…so acceptable.

I’ve spent years, let’s say a dozen of them, slowly accepting a life that hasn’t lived up to my standards. I’ve slowly accepted a more sedentary life. I’ve slowly accepted more excuses to blame inertia. I’ve slowly accepted indulgent food choices. I’ve slowly ignored the nutritional needs I learned as far back as grade-school. I’ve slowly accepted a 5 to 10 pound gain a year. And I’ve slowly accepted that I should live without embracing high standards; movement; risk; balance; health; and adventure.

Don’t Forget To Chew: Confessions and accidental lessons from my adventure.
Wish you were here.

And This Is Why We Have 49 Additional Weekly Points To Use…

WWDay: 10
Pounds: 203.4(Weigh in 01.30.2012)
Loss: 3.4
Thoughts:
Earlier today I had a minor migraine aura. Having a history of migraines that usually leave me incapacitated (and occasionally in the emergency room), I don’t use the word “migraine” lightly to describe an annoying or intense headache. I use this word when my senses are under attack. So, today when I my vision was compromised, I took my medication and drank a coke. I hadn’t budgeted for soda, but a coke delivers the caffeine differently and more efficiently than any other vehicle I’ve tried over the last twenty years.

I drank EIGHT empty points but I don’t regret it. Just glad there’s an allowance of extra points.

After work, C and I met a wonderful friend for dinner, where I was mindful of points but not portions. Hungry, I nearly finished my dinner, but didn’t leave any to take home. And as I type this before bed…I still feel uncomfortably full. The first time I’ve felt uncomfortably full in ten days. This is a feeling I used to “just live with” without recognizing what it truly represented.

Don’t Forget To Chew: Confessions and accidental lessons from my adventure.
Wish you were here.

We Went Out For Brunch!

WWDay: 8
Pounds: 206.6 (Weigh in 01.23.2012)
Thoughts: Well, the first week was hard. Very. Not memorizing equations or writing a thesis hard, but unexpectedly and surprisingly hard. I ended the week yesterday without any emotional valleys and I began this week with just one today. I suspect things will only get easier. Maybe I’ll have a week without any valleys?

Because I point-planned my breakfast, dinner, and snacks, I had enough points budgeted to stay on track, go out for brunch, and enjoy myself! We went to prasino‘s for (half of) a DELICIOUS AND THE BEST southwest black bean burger with mashed avocado, pico de gallo, arugula, monterey jack, and chipotle mayo on a multigrain bun.Then a half side of garlic wedge potatoes, a Bloody Mary, and shared sorbet!!!

Sure 19 points is nearly 2/3 my daily budget BUT amongst a point-planned day by a budget minded girl (and C), I stayed on track. A week ago today, I was positive no one could stay on track, go out to eat, AND enjoy themselves. I’m not above being wrong!

Time to Eat From Smaller Plates With Smaller Utensils

“The average size of an American dinner plate has increased almost 23 percent since 1900”

Today, C forwarded me yesterday’s NPR’s Food Blog: The Salt Deception Diet: How Optical Illusions Can Trick Your Appetite about how our brains are hard-wired to mislead us, and might be misleading us to overeat.

“As predicted by the illusion, people underserved and overestimated on small dishes, while the reverse was true for large dishes. People using the smallest dishes undershot the target serving by as much as 12 percent. But people using the largest dishes took up to 13 percent more food than they intended.”

WWDay: 7
Pounds: 206.6 (Weigh in 01.23.2012)
Thoughts: I successfully finished a week!!!

With a daily goal of 30 points and a weekly 49 points, I’ve got 18 weekly points left! My weekly activity goal was 16, and I earned 25! I ate those 25!

YAHOO

Better Living Through Chemistry? Or Stronger Food Addictions Through Flavor Science?

The most important 14 minutes and 4 seconds of my day. “The flavoring industry is the enabler of the food processing business – which depends on it to create a craving for everything from soda pop to chicken soup. It is Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory as a multibillion dollar industry; an industry cloaked in secrecy. But recently Givaudan, the largest flavoring company in the world, allowed us in to see them work their magic.”

Tweaking Tastes and Creating Cravings – 60 Minutes – CBS News

Safer: You’re tryin’ to create an addictive taste?
Hassel: That’s a good word.
Streich: Or something that they want to go back for again and again.

The entire transcript.

WWDay: 6
Pounds: 206.6 (Weigh in 01.23.2012)
Thoughts: When I feel great, I feel GREAT! Elated about planning out what I’ll eat before I get hungry; about cutting my food into smaller pieces and chewing slowly; about grazing on fruits and vegetables; and about feeling energized. When I don’t feel great, I feel like SHIT! The tears pour out and I’m sure I’ll always be hungry; I’ll never feel full again; I’ll always want to fill my face with something; and I’ll never taste deliciousness again.

I feel like I am on a hormonal, emotional, and chemical roller-coaster. I feel like I’m in withdrawal. Turns out, I might be. Instead of blaming a manipulating food industry and an enabling flavoring industry, I will educate myself on industry motives and what I choose to put into my body. To keep from slipping into a passive frame of mind, I’ll be re-watching (and re-watching) this video as I conquer my addiction to excessively and artificially flavored foods. Time to conquer!

Cookies Are My Exercise Motivation. Ironic.

I have never hid my love for cookies. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten one serving of cookies. Ever. Often, I start eating cookies while I’m still walking around the kitchen so that I don’t “have to” count their calories. I like to make-believe that foods eaten while I’m still standing are calorie free. This is not honest.

Last night I did some math, pretty simple math actually. I (re)learned that if I exercise, I earn activity points (ie: burn calories) and then I can EAT those points in the shape of a cookie. Or two.  I have been ignoring this intuitive cause and effect relationship for awhile. With this re-learned lesson, I immediately turned on the Wii-Fit (for the first time in over a year) to free-step for a half-hour and then baked some cookies.

C found (the amazing and invaluable) skinnytaste’s Low Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies recipe. Quite similar to skinnytates’s delicious Low Fat Chewy Granola Bars with Pecans Raisins and Chocolate (we call them power packets in this family).

To practice my new honest relationship with food, I put two newly baked cookies on a plate. And two on a plate for C too. Then we sat down and ate slowly to enjoy one serving of cookies.

Don’t Forget To Chew: Confessions and accidental lessons from my adventure.
Wish you were here.

WWDay: 5
Pounds: 206.6 (Weigh in 01.23.2012)
Thoughts [I am writing under assumption that “perfect” isn’t defined as a subjective and unattainable perfection, but rather as a realistic reflection of perfection via unique imperfections]: I can’t unravel some thoughts that will need unraveled as I find my health. When I was 15, over half my life ago, a boy that I liked very much, told me I was perfect except that I could use to lose 20 pounds. It didn’t matter that at the time I was a swimmer and gymnast, and consequently pretty fit. What mattered was that I heard I wasn’t good enough. And this made a mark. I shared this story for the first time with C last night. I’ve kept this memory quiet for countless reasons, all of which look irrational in the light of day.

In the light I know that I am valuable, beautiful, and perfect as I am. I also know that I need to lose weight; approximately 40% of my current weight. But at this point, these pieces of information are interwoven; I feel valuable, beautiful, and perfect BUT not as good as I would be if I were 40% lighter. I’m going to learn how to unravel them.

After sharing, C looked at me and reminded me that the only ones who don’t think I’m perfect right now and need to loose the weight are my organs.

I’m Eating Carrot Sticks So That I Won’t Stab You

Since Sunday, my brain has been overwhelmed with contradictions. While I’m proud of myself for choosing to find my health again, I resent that I can’t live in a magical world where consequences simply don’t exist.

Let’s catch up:

On WWDay 1: My family and C have been encouraging me to find my health for some time now. I was enthusiastic and reluctant to join. Not enthusiastically reluctant or reluctantly enthusiastic, but both. A part of me knew the time had come; if I was going to count calories and habitually work-out without any help, I would have by now. But that other part of me dug deep into my eight-year old self and was pissed-off. As soon as I finished signing up I wanted to eat my weight in ice cream and passionately resented anyone who reasoned with me. Sure I didn’t actually eat ice cream to feel better, but I did cry.

On WWDay 2:  I was driving from school to work and called C to tell him if we hadn’t started this the day before, I’d be pulling into the McDonalds I was about to pass, and often stopped at on this commute.

I had my first meeting later that night in a pleasant and brightly-lit room. I half expected the WW meeting to take place in a small, cigarette smoke filled room in a church basement just like I imagine AA meetings do. Sitting amongst the 30 people gathered with a common goal, I noted for the first time that I was in a new situation without feeling ashamed of my body.

Don’t Forget To Chew: Confessions and accidental lessons from my adventure.
Wish you were here.

WWDay: 4
Pounds: 206.6 (Weigh in 01.23.2012)
Thoughts: I was betrayed by orange juice this morning. At three points (10% of my budget) it wasn’t THAT good. This is probably why people put vodka in it.