Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Status Quo

I don't really have much to report. Things are going along well with exercise and eating -- my knee is quite sore today though. I'm taking one day of rest each week, but maybe that's not enough. Now that I'm back to exercising 60 minutes 6 days a week I really don't want to give any of it up!

I wanted to eat when I wasn't hungry several times this past weekend, but talked myself out of it. I knew it was just anxiety-related -- Gary came over for dinner on Sunday, I worked Saturday -- stuff like that. I rode 23 miles on my bike before work on Saturday and it was kind of odd. I left the house at 5:35am -- exact time I left it on the day of my accident. When I biked past the accident site, I kept seeing it over and over in my mind. I was gripping the handlebars so hard during my ride that my hand was swollen all day.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Am I finally getting it?

We went out to dinner last night at a local country club with the entire M clan (30 people or so) since T's aunt, uncle, and cousin were visiting from out of state. I went hungry most of the afternoon, but with the knowledge that I really didn't want to order a dry chicken breast and plain baked potato at the restaurant rather than the idea of losing weight faster. I think it really made a difference.

I chose the first thing that really struck my fancy -- a turkey reuben sandwich with fries. I ate half a bread stick when they came because it was past 7 and I was incredibly hungry. When my dinner came, the bottom of the bread was disappointly soggy. I shrugged, took the sandwich apart, and had half a sandwich with the bread tops & the ingredients. I ate most of my fries. I was pleasantly full, but not stuffed and felt okay about the whole thing. I didn't feel gypped as I would have in the past (by not "getting" to eat the whole thing) because hey, I'm not on a diet! I can eat a reuben and fries whenever and wherever I want! Woo hoo!

I've been logging my food and exercise into for my class. In playing around with the reports, I found that if I continue to eat and exercise as I have been for the past week I should lose about 3/4 lb a week. That would be nice. I'm not going to weigh myself for at least another two weeks, but my clothes aren't any less snug yet. Of course, I've only been eating really well for two weeks. I can't forget that I'M NOT ON A DIET and will not be losing massive amounts of weight really quickly. I need to find some patience somewhere... if only they sold it online I'd be set.

Two weeks now with no Diet Coke!

Monday, June 19, 2006

It seems I can no longer fool myself (and that's a good thing!)

On Saturday, I was totally procrastinating cleaning my house (16 people for father's day dinner!) and thought "Oh, maybe I'll just make brownies for the dads to take home from the dinner with them". I quickly caught myself in my dishonesty -- I was procrastinating and wanted to eat, so thought I'd make brownies to waste time and lick out the bowl at the same time (multi-tasking, you know). So, rather than making brownies, I did dishes, laundry, and put away the new lamps I bought on Friday!

Friday night, my dh got home really late from Chicago and I was on my own with the girls. These days getting them to bed is a huge, long process that sometimes turns into a frustrating ordeal, so both of us hate to do it alone. After dinner I took them out to the mall to have R's (the 8-year-old) ears pierced. She's been asking for a couple of weeks to do it. We enjoyed a "kiddie cone" each at Dairy Queen afterward and went home, getting there around 9:15, which is late for them to get to bed. They were cranky and I was exhausted! I had gotten up at 5 to go to the gym and it was so busy at work -- when I took off my pedometer last night I'd walked 15000 steps.

I just wanted to eat, but recognized immediately that it was only because I just wanted to go to bed but knew I had the bedtime thing to get through first. Knowing that really helped -- I just did what I had to do and went to bed myself. I was fighting the urge to eat all day long on Saturday. I think because I ate half my 3-year-old's doughnut while we were out running errands and it was my day off from exercise (which gave me those irrational "I blew it!" feelings), combined with the fact that we had two food-filled social things to do in the afternoon and evening. I didn't dread them, but felt a bit nervous because of the way I'd wanting to eat all day. I was hoping that just being aware of my feelings would help me stay with them at the open house and cookout.

We got to the open house and I just had two bites of a Subway sub and one bite of C's ice cream bar. At the cookout the food wasn't fabulous -- hot dogs, Doritoes, corn on the cob, watermelon, and pasta salad. I skipped the past salad because I just don't like it all that much, and had a small helping of the other items. The only thing I regret is that I took a fudge bar for dessert -- because it was not really very good. I knew that after a few licks, but there wasn't any good way for me to ditch it and I didn't want to be rude. I need to get over being a "good girl" and just stop eating stuff that isn't all that great simply to be polite.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I lost four pounds!

I debated for a few minutes on whether or not to weigh myself. All of the non-dieting literature says not to, but I feel as though it's nice to have positive feedback and it's too easy to let myself float along thinking all is well when it's not. Of course, if the number is disappointing it's dangerous for me. I decided to weigh myself and the scale said 162.6, four pounds less than 8 days ago. I think I will weigh myself, but not more often than once every two weeks at the absolute most. I don't want the number on the scale to dictate how I feel, what I eat or don't eat, what I wear that day, etc.

I decided to ditch and go back to Their reports aren't as cool but it takes much less time to enter food intake and it's much easier to use. I feel as though I'm starting to obsess on this, and that is NOT a good thing. I think I will make it a point to log my food only twice a day and stay away from weight loss blogs except for a once-a-week check on them.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

One week without Diet Coke!

I can't believe I've made it a week. I almost caved a few times, but thought "Why do I want to drink chemically flavored water? -- just have the real thing!" I was pretty tired yesterday and the day before but work has been so busy I didn't have time to nod off.

Things are going well with, though I laugh at the number of calories they say my exercise is worth. If that were accurate I'd have already lost 5 pounds this past week. At the gym I always lie to the machine and say my weight is 130, figuring then the calorie count is fairly accurate. My calorie intake & exercise for the week has been:

1940 (elliptical machine 45 minutes on "weight loss" program & 20 minutes of weights)
1745 (stationery bike 45 minutes on levels 3 & 4)
2403 (exercise bike 30 minutes on interval program, walked 11162 steps that day)
1991 (elliptical machine 35 minutes on levels 5-9 & 30 minutes of weights)
1813 (biked 21 miles outside on my "real" bike)
1800 (45 minutes on elliptical on the cross country program (which is a KILLER!), and walked 10000 steps that day)
and today isn't over yet, but I did the exercise bike this morning for 45 minutes on level 3.

I feel pretty good about how things are going, though I'm ignoring my hunger cues too often. I still don't quite trust myself not to overeat at dinner, so I ignore my mid-morning and mid-afternoon hunger as long as I can. Then eating a bit too much at dinner becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because I'm so hungry. I always take small portions, but still end up too full because I eat it so quickly.

Mid-morning and mid-afternoon, I sort of feel as though I "shouldn't" be hungry yet (though I know that's irrational). Take this morning -- I had oatmeal (quick oats made with 1/4 cup milk, 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup oats & 1 tsp brown sugar) and an egg for breakfast. Sounds hearty, right? That was at 7:15am or so and I was physically hungry by 9:15am. By 11:30am I was so hungry I felt sick and ate a Lara Bar. Then at 1:15pm I ate my lunch salad so quickly that I ended up stuffed because I didn't stop when satiated. Even if you overeat salad, you're still ignoring your body wisdom!

So I need to start eating more often earlier in the day and trust that I will stop eating when satiated at dinner. It's a bit late to do that today since I didn't bring a snack with me, but tomorrow I will do it. I also really need to eat more dairy. I just don't see how I can unless I totally cut out any sweets (which will lead to bingeing) or eat "diet" food, which I absolutely positively refuse to do. Mark my words, I will never again eat yogurt with artificial sweetener in it now that I've had the real thing. I don't mind plain lowfat Stonyfield Farms -- actually I've found that I like it just as well as whole milk yogurt, but there are some lowfat or nonfat "food" that is just not worth eating. I'd rather eat 10 real potato chips than half a bag of baked chips. Anyway, I need one more dairy serving per day. I eat 2-3 fruit servings, enough protein, and more than enough vegetables.

I rode on my bike to Rockford and back on Sunday with Rita and Ali, past the place where I had the accident for the first time since it happened. It didn't really bring up any feelings for me beyond relief that I'm well along the road to recovery.

Friday, June 09, 2006


I started the L.E.A.R.N. class last night ( I was a bit skeptical when I saw the literature the teacher passed out, but she is a registered dietician who just got her master's degree in counseling and she is specializing in eating disorders. She is anti-diet and has dealth with weight issues herself, so I will give it a whirl. We talked about diets and compared the word "diet" to "lifestyle", discussed what we hoped to gain from the class, and got homework. I have to keep an eating log. I'm glad I started using on Tuesday or I'd be feeling stressed about that. She also weighed us and said she won't weigh us again until the final night at the end of July.

The class had about 15 people in it, and about half were repeating it. You can repeat it as many times as you want. There was one girl smaller than I am, several overweight people, and over half of the class was obese -- most very large. She asked who eats with no distractions other than conversation and I was the ONLY person who raised my hand!

I'm on day four of no Diet Coke or artificial sweeteners (except my one cup of hot chocolate). I feel great. I can't say for sure it has anything to do with the lack of Diet Coke, however, since my eating has been good and I've exercised hard every day also.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

2 days down, 40 years to go

Two days without Diet Coke. Two days of making good food choices. Hmmm.. is this a coincidence? I did actually give in and have some artificial sweetener last night. After work I was quite hungry so I ate some Granola Munch'ems and a cup of SF FF hot chocolate. I was still hungry, but knew from logging my food on that I'd eaten about 2000 calories for the day. I woke up STARVING and even after my usual whole wheat tortilla, bit of cheese, turkey breast breakfast I got really hungry by 9:30am. I ate half a packet of plain oatmeal, about 1/4 cup of plain yogurt, and half a cup of blueberries. It's 11:45am right now and I feel so hungry I could eat pretty much anything.

I don't get it. All of the non-dieting literature assures you that you don't have to go hungry to reach your natural weight. Somehow I don't think my natural weight is 166.6. Yesterday I ate 2000 calories and the day before about the same. Both days I spent a lot of time hungry. I ate healthfully -- 7+ servings of vegetables, 2+ servings of fruit, only a couple of small squares of chocolate and a bag of Granola Munch'ems (130 calories) each day for sweets. I ate enough protein and fat, and not too many empty carbs. True, I exercised pretty hard yesterday and this morning, but on Tuesday I woke up late and didn't do a darn thing. How could I be hungry so much of the time?

I guess I'm not really being fair to the ND approach because I'm either being "good" or overeating. What would happen if I ate when I was hungry, stopped when satiated, and ate healthy foods 99% of the time? Perhaps it's time to find out?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I am a complete fraud

I saw my therapist last week for the final time. To be honest, she can't help me until I help myself and so far I am unwilling to do that. I am a total fraud. I talked the talk to her -- all about how I was trying not to emphasize losing weight and trying to eat healthier for other reasons, just as Gillian Riley says to do in the book Eating Less. Blah, blah, blah. I've been exercising regularly but not obsessing on burning calories, blah, blah, blah. Then I went home and binged that night.

All weekend I did well on eating healthfully, eating small portions, talking myself out of eating crap -- until evening. Then I fell apart. Last night I ate a small dinner and was satisfied, but really wanted ice cream. I gave myself "the script" -- ice cream will always be around, I can eat it whenever I want, I don't need to eat it, I want to be a mature grown-up and control my greed and not have food control me, etc. I made it as far as leaving the table, going upstairs, and changing my clothes. Then I caved and had a very small dish of ice cream with chocolate sauce. I felt a bit like a failure because I had typed in my food intake into and knew that by eating the ice cream I was going over the 1800 calories I wanted to eat for the day. But I didn't beat myself up because it was a small dish of ice cream. Then we took a trip to Lowe's to buy stuff to stain the deck and T surprised us by taking us to a new ice cream store. ARGH. I got a baby cone, but still felt like a total failure. Adding to my failure was the number on the scale this morning. I tried to resist, but hopped on anyway. It was 166.6. I haven't weighed this much (unless you count pregnancy) in 15 years or so.

I'm foundering around here at a loss. I don't want to "go on a diet". It has never, ever worked for me and somehow I don't think it's going to start working suddenly after 25 years of not working. I am allowing food to control me -- perhaps because I don't have faith in myself. After all, I've never been able to leave sweets alone unless I was in the "weight loss zone" and invincible to all temptation. So why should I be able to now? Yet, I can't make the solution to never be around tempting food. That's giving food way too much power and I can't live my life that way. I refuse to live constantly obsessing about what I've eaten and when, when and what I'm going to eat next, and whether or not I ate too much. I refuse to stress over going out to eat, or to a party, or on vacation, or anywhere I can't control what is served. That is a completely ridiculous way to live.

Gillian Riley says that you need to focus on eating non-addictively for reasons other than losing weight. Losing weight is an external thing -- you really want to do it to please others. You sacrifice your desires to please others. So you lose your motivation as you lose weight and your motivation is dependent on how others are treating you. If they let you down, the thing to do for yourself will be to return to addictive eating to soothe yourself. To make lasting change you need to find more pleasure in controlling your eating than in overeating. You need to concentrate on building your self esteem by making your eating healthy for non-weight related reasons. So she said to make a list of non-weight loss related reasons you want to stop eating addictively, a list of what it costs you to eat addictively, and a list of what will happen if you take 5% more responsibility for your eating -- all non weight related. Boy, was that hard!

My list of what it means to be in control:
--feel lighter & less weighed down by being too full
--lower cholesterol
--less knee pain
--easier and freer to move
--more energy
--no indigestion or "stuffed" feeling
--feel strong and successful
--feel honest

what it costs to be out of control:
--feel heavy
--knee stress and pain
--high cholesterol
--feel cranky
--avoid social situations
--"afraid" of food
--stuffed feeling
--feelings of failure
--feel weak
--feel sneaky
--yucky "ate too much sugar" mouth taste

If I take 5% more responsibility for my eating:
--I won't mindlessly eat one chip here and one chip there
--I won't feel out of control
--I will feel strong
--I won't obsess about what I eat
--I will stop eating when satisfied
--I will choose NOT to eat sometimes
--I won't eat when I'm not hungry