Category Archives: My Relationship with Food

Points Life Forever

After apparently five weeks of being MIA at my local Weight Watchers meeting, I returned tonight.  Sadly, I didn’t plan accordingly and forgot that it was the beginning of the year and the first meeting at our meeting place that wasn’t snowed out since the new year.  That meant that the line was insanely long, full of fresh faces.  They all shared the same look – that look of fear as the line slowly inched forward to the grey metal square. They watched as the seasoned veterans disrobed down to the lightest layer of clothing, ritualistically preparing their weight tracker for the kind receptionist who greats those she knows by name.  Shoes come off and the line moves forward in an array of colorful socks, each pair taking a 2 inch step up at their final destination.

ww-logo1I may have shared that look today.  Even though I have been there for a long time, having been away for a month was nerve-wracking.  Add to the fact that the month I was MIA was the month of December, also known as the month full of Christmas parties, Christmas cookies, and lots of Holiday cheer.  (You can read that as I completely threw my Points tracker out the window and ate what I wanted, when I wanted.)

I knew that the scale was going to show a gain.  I hadn’t been doing anything to promote the ideals and values that a good Weight Watcher should show.  I wasn’t saying the Weight Watcher pledge.  I got a little down on myself instead.  Alright, fine.  I beat the living daylights of out myself over it.  Positive self-talk has never been a strong point for me and those who know me would claim that I’m a perfectionist and that I don’t allow myself to make mistakes. Then, when I make those mistakes, I just spiral around the crazy-go-round with them.  It’s not always pretty.  That’s why I knew I had to face the music and really get it done. Knock on wood that I don’t need any major medical things this year.

The worst thing is that I had one of those moments when the song you hear just hits you with a 2×4 across the face and you realize that it’s now your theme song.  The daughter has been on a Disney Frozen kick (along with almost every other girl from 4 years old and up) and that means I have probably heard “Let It Go” about fifty million times now.  There’s a few lines in the song that summed up my inner voice, the one that I sometimes don’t listen to when I should probably listen to that voice all the time.

frozen

“It’s time to see what I can do / To test the limits and break through / No right, no wrong, no rules for me, / I’m free! / Let it go”

I need to let it go and see what I can do.  It always looks good on paper.  I just need to figure out exactly how to do that.  Let it go.  I need to let my mistakes go.  Let go of my not so perfect days. Let go of perfection.  Someone once told me that perfection was boring anyway.  Just let it go.  Maybe someday I might fully and truly understand what those words mean.

No matter how I slice it, I have to let go of the fact that my body cannot process food the same as other people’s.  I need to let go of the fact that I will always, no matter what age, have to pay attention to what I’m eating.  I will always count points, even if I do not write them down.  Through December, I was counting points mentally.  I knew how many points I was over every day because I was keeping count.  I can rattle of points values of foods like Rain Man can rattle off a tv schedule. I’m going to just accept that.  Maybe that will help letting go of some of the other stuff a little easier.

Tomorrow is week one, for the sixth time officially.  I’m letting go of the other times.  Tomorrow is Friday. It’s a day.  It’s one day.  It’s one day in which I’m going to count my points.  It’s one day where I will make good choices and if I slip, I will forgive and move on.  It’s one day.  It’s one meal.  It’s letting go of all the other stuff and living in just the moment.  Let go of the what ifs.  Let go of the woulda, coulda, shouldas.  Let go of the maybes.  Just deal with the moment.  Let it go, let it all go but that one moment.

Let it go.

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Filed under My Relationship with Food, Weight Loss

Eating Cupcakes While Watching the Biggest Loser?

The Biggest Loser is inspirational, a little unrealistic, but inspirational nonetheless.  Watching this show, I’m reminded, for the umpteenth time, as to why I haven’t completely given up on Weight Watchers.  I may have been moving a snail’s pace, but I haven’t given up 100%.

Watching these people stand up on national television and bear it all to help inspire others is pretty amazing.  And yet, here I sit, enjoying a chocolate cupcake.

Yep.  A chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting and fall colored jimmies.  It was good.

By Kat Kellner [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Kat Kellner [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I probably should have been doing squats or lunges.

Sometimes, I think I need Jillian or Bob to yell at me to keep my fat butt in motion.  But then I realize, that they can yell at me all they want.  If I don’t fix what is broken, it won’t matter one bit.  The broken parts will always be broken.  It’s hard work.  Having done some form of this hard work my whole life (since I was 8), I get tired of it.  It’s what’s wrong right now. I’m tired of having to weigh and measure every single bite. I’m tired of having to write everything down.  I’m tired of having to wake up thinking about it.  It wears you down.  Even if I get to a point where I’m at a healthy weight, I will still have to track, weigh, measure.  Constant vigilance.

It’s sometimes discouraging.  But, then I think about being six feet under and not being able to see the Daughter hit some of life’s major milestones…that’s even more discouraging.

It’s a constant struggle. I know that I cannot give up, but on the other hand, I have never been able to fully imagine myself at the finish line.  Either way, I’m not giving up. Time to pony up and put the cupcake down.

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Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, But Names will Make Me Fat

I read this article today from NPR, “Hating On Fat People Just Makes Them Fatter.”  It’s interesting because here we are in 2013 and it’s one of the first time a study like this has been done.  I am a little amazed by that fact but, given the state of America today compared to even 20 years ago, I suppose it’s not that shocking.

eating cinnarolls

The study observed over 6,000 people who had been discriminated for whatever reason.  Four years later, they followed up with those people and found that those who had cited weight as their discrimination factor were still obese and possibly even heavier than they had been before.  While I’d like to think America is over being racist and discriminatory, I know that it’s not.  Look in the department stores.  See if you can find the “Women’s” sizes.   If you can, how small is the section compared to the rest of the store?  Then compare the prices…

I remember having times in my life where people would tell me that no one would want me if I kept gaining weight.  Mind you I was around 13, 14, 15 when those things were said.  It makes an impact to hear words like that come from someone who thinks they are “trying” to help you.  I remember feeling like I wasn’t good enough then so what was the point?

If only that were as deep as it went...

If only that were as deep as it went…

The worst part about it all was trying to understand that what was being said was being said out of love.  I remember on time, for a birthday in middle school, I had a friend come and stay with me at my Nana’s and she made a comment along the lines that it was too bad I wasn’t thin and pretty like my friend.  It was her weird way of trying to encourage me to work on my weight.  Needless to say, that was the last time that friend did anything with me.  I wonder sometimes if I reacted badly after that comment – it’s quite possible.

I am fascinated that people needed a study to realize that these types of “motivators” are really detrimental to people who are struggling with obesity.  Some people think it’s as simple as “Just don’t eat it.”  Sadly, for some of us, it’s not that simple.

The worst part is when you are working on it, because there is no quick solution that instantly transforms your body, people don’t always know you are working on it.  People just let their mouths flap, despite the fact that you are going to your doctor every three months for check-ins and you go to your weekly weight watchers meeting.  They don’t see it.  They just see the fat person that they assume is lazy.

As I work toward my goals, I have to not get angry at those comments.  I have to let go of the hurt that was caused by those “helpful” comments.  I have to just move forward and keep working toward a better me, no matter what names are thrown my way.

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Eating the Emotions

It is not a secret, dear reader, that I go to Weight Watchers.  I do not hide that and have talked about it frequently in my blog.  I have not had the most successful year with this whole grand endeavor but, with surgeries and other glorious set backs, I have not gained everything back yet.  I consider that to be a success!

As I work through Weight Watchers and re-learning my relationship with food, I have had to do a lot of thinking and reflecting.  A great deal of that reflection always brings me back to the “why” of my eating.  The reasons that bring me my weekly Thursday night always come back to the fact that I am an emotional eater.

Makes sense to me...

Makes sense to me…

It really doesn’t matter what emotion it is that overwhelms me, I turn to comfort food.  My definition of comfort food would be ice cream, cookies, chocolate, cakes…anything filled with carbohydrates and sugary sweetness.  It’s not something I’m proud of but, it is something that I deal with on a daily basis.  I have to constantly remind myself that it’s ok to feel my emotions, not feed them.  I am not always successful.

Many people do this.  Most people though know when to stop and don’t feed every single emotion they feel.  Sadly, I am not most people.  It’s a tough habit to break and at the same time can be terrifying because I have to face the emotions that I sometimes don’t want to face.  I guess that’s part of being a grown up though.  Facing those feelings and knowing how to handle them is just one thing that needs a little extra work.

This post is part of the May NaBloPoMo.  This month’s theme is Comfort, though today’s post was a little uncomfortable, but that’s ok.  I did not reach for cookies to write this…  Today’s prompt was “What makes you reach for a comfort food?”

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Wasted Energy

There are times when I wish I didn’t have feelings.  I know it sounds odd.  But for someone who learned very early on in life to emotionally eat, feelings are still hard to process.  As I work on  my weight loss journey, it has made me realize that these emotions are the real causes of my eating.  I have said it many times before but it bears repeating.

I find certain emotions are worse than others.  When I’m bored, I will often be able to talk myself out of eating as a way to “amuse” myself.  It’s when I’m sad or angry that I end up having the real issues.  If I’m anxious, forget it.  There’s no stopping me short of locking the cabinets, fridge, and freezer!

At times I get sad about this and think “Why can’t I be normal and have a normal relationship with food?”  Lots of people make it through the day without having the urge to eat because they are nervous about bills getting paid on time or because they are upset that someone said something negative to them.  Normal people shrug it off, other people find they can’t eat during those times.  Why can’t I be one of those people.

This is where my energy gets wasted.  I end up going round and round in my head and end up making myself exhausted. It’s tiring to constantly be thinking about the whatifs and the could’ves.

Then, when I eat those emotions rather than feel them, I get angry with myself for giving in to the pattern.  It’s borderline insanity.  Ok, maybe not borderline.

This is the worst form of energy wasting.  This merry-go-round of emotions and eating.  If I could just re-train my brain to go for a walk or do some crunches when I feel those emotions, I will gain energy rather than continue to lose it.  But see, dear reader, this is where my neurosis kick in big time.  Will I replace my eating with exercise and go from one extreme to the other?  HAHA! Yeah – probably not, but do you see what I’m saying.

What is it that I’m so afraid to feel and allow myself to to just use my energy for more positive outcomes.  As I type this confession, dear reader, I realize that there are things that this blog has allowed me to work out and I thank you for bearing with me while I have these mini self-realizations.  One day it’s all going to click and I’m going to be able to just get everything where I need it to be!  Hopefully that day will be sometime before I’m 70 years old!

This blog is part of January 2013 NaBloPoMo. The theme this month is Energy.  Monday’s topic was “What emotion do you think is the biggest waste of energy and why?”  Even though I didn’t directly say it, I think I was trying to say guilt and anxiety were the most waste of energy.  What do you think?

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Sunday Goals

This weekend has not been the best for someone who is supposed to be on Weight Watchers.  Today alone, I had a 70 point day.  I know that I get a lot of points every day, but I dipped heavily (no pun intended) into my weekly allowance points.  For those not in the know, on Weight Watchers, everyone gets a daily points value based on their height, weight, age, and sex.  For me, I get 45 points a day.  On top of those daily points, everyone, no matter what their daily points value is, gets 49 weekly allowance points.  Think of them as your fun money, you know that little bit of your paycheck you set aside each week for something fun.  You don’t have to use them but if you have a busy weekend ahead, you can use them.   So today, I ate 70 points.  In one day.  Bleh.

17c1a81d5683bbf5e5eb77171322f539bc

Tomorrow is Monday.  It’s the middle of my Weight Watchers week so that means it makes total sense to set my goals for the week tonight.

1) Keep tracking everything.  Even those dumb 70 point days.  Track it all.  Every bite, lick and taste.

2) Start stepping again.  When I was doing really well and the weight was just melting off, I was doing steps at night in front of the tv.  The Wii Fit has a section for “free step”  and you can switch back to the tv feed, watch your shows, and it will track your steps.  It was so easy to do the steps in front of a 30 minute sitcom.  My goal this week is to start off doing 1 sitcom a night.

3) More water.  I have cut back again on the Diet Coke but it’s still too much.  I need to get rid of it altogether.

4) Less sugar.  MyFitnessPal allows you to break out your food by nutrients and lately, my sugar amount has been so high.  Need to change that.

simple-sugars

I think those goals are pretty doable and won’t make me go too crazy this week.

In non-weight loss and health related goals:

1) Get back to trying one new recipe a week.  It was fun to pick out that one recipe a week and make the family into my guinea pigs.  I’ve been going through Pinterest today to figure out what that one recipe is.  I’m not sure that was a wise decision though because now I have a million new options to narrow it down to.

2) Write two blog posts a day.  One dedicated to NaBloPoMo and one dedicated to my new schedule that I’m setting up for myself.  Fun times.

3) Write my story for at least fifteen minutes a day.  No editing, no worrying about much other than just writing.

I’m going to keep these three for now until they are back to being second nature.

What are your goals for this week?

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Filed under Food, Healthy Me - Yay!, My Relationship with Food, Weight Loss

A Loss on the Scale and a Doctor’s Advice

I have been toying with this post for a few days now and when the power went out today during Sandy, I had lots of time to really get my thoughts in order and write it.  Thursday was my weekly date with the scale.  If you’ve noticed, I haven’t posted much in this department.  Why?  Well, dear reader, the results haven’t been so great lately.  I gained back quite a bit since my surgery back in August.  By quite a bit I mean almost 10 lbs.  In the grand scheme of my personal weight loss journey, that’s a drop in the bucket.  But considering how hard I have to work for every single ounce, I was slightly devastated.  It was slow coming back on.  I am slowly backtracking.  Not good.

This week, I had a very good loss, a loss I needed to have.  Down 2.2!  That’s amazing.  Movement in the right direction.   A loss to keep me moving forward and not giving up. Why, then, was I not thrilled?

There are so many things that I allow to get in my path.  Emotions, stress, conversations, and all the small things in life get some kind of weird power over me and I let them.  It’s as simple as that.  I. Let. Them.  Part of it is because I have somehow worked it into my brain that when I talk about my emotions with anyone, I’m burdening them.  When I eat my emotions, I’m not burdening anyone.  Well, correction, I’m only putting the burden back on myself.  It’s quite ridiculous.  I have said it before but for some reason I cannot seem to make my brain accept it.

Over the past two weeks, there have been quite a few stress inducing incidents: news, doctors, tests, storms.  Normal people don’t eat through these things…or maybe they do but then they know how to stop or how to counteract it.

This past Wednesday,  I had my final appointment with the surgeon.  It was nice to finally be discharged from gall bladder issues but it was with some interesting advice.  My surgeon said that my goal over the winter months was to “not lose any weight but not gain any weight.”  I asked him to repeat it.  He did and then added that over the winter I should just maintain and then in the spring really go at my weight loss.  I was a little surprised at what he said.  Considering the amount I still have to work on getting to my end goal, it was a first to have a doctor not tell me to keep working hard.  I don’t know that I’m going to follow that advice 100% to be honest.  In my life, as far back as I can remember, I have never had a doctor tell me to not worry about losing weight for any period of time.   It was a bit of a shock.  My other two doctors are encouraging me to continue losing, though, because it will help fix some of my other issues, namely the PCOS.  I’m going to stick with two out of three doctors.  Plus, I really want to buy some new clothes.  I’m really tired of what’s in my closet right now!

Tomorrow is a new day.  A new chance to start fresh and a take today as my own.

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Filed under Exercise, My Relationship with Food, Weight Loss

Letting Go of Control

Even though the weight didn’t go on overnight, it sure feels like it sometimes.  The emotions got to me this past two weeks.  I have been stressing over things that are completely out of my control.  I like control.  It’s unnerving to me to be out of control.  I think that a lot of people have trouble not being in control but the difference is how we all deal with it.  Because I tend to internalize a lot, this often results in me being a not so pleasant person to be around when I’m stressed.  I eat which makes me upset with myself and adds to that sense of spinning out of control.

Now you may be asking yourself, kind reader, if I can recognize this behavior, why not simply change it?  Good question.  A lot has to do with the fact that I learned to be an emotional eater at a very early age.  It was the only thing I could control – what I put in my mouth.  And since emotions were not something we were encouraged to talk about (I should note that it was only by one of my parents who unfortunately had too big of an impact on all of our lives), I learned to control my emotions by feeding them.  It took me years to realize this and accept it.  But if I have accepted it and recognize it, why do I fall back into that pattern so easily?

Because I am human and prone to mistakes.

That’s the only answer I can come up with.  I get scared and even if I have been doing well, that fear is almost paralyzing so I go back to old habits.

Today is weigh in.  Last week was a terrible gain.  Today is most likely going to be another gain.   I am bracing for it.  It’s a mental blow every week there is a gain.  I know I deserve it but it still just hits that spot in my heart where I have let myself down.  The fact that I’m even going to go to weigh in tonight is a victory.  In the past, I would have blown it off and just written it off as a bad week.  I can’t afford to do that any more.  It’s part of breaking the habits.  It’s part of changing life.  It’s part of being in control of the right things.  Gaining control of the things I can control.

There is a saying in many of the 12-step programs:

Let Go and Let God

For years, I heard this saying from people and kind of just would shake my head in a “yeah, yeah, sure” kind of attitude.  This past year, however, I have really come to a full understanding of this.  There are things that are completely out of our control.  There are things that we cannot change simply because they are things we cannot change.  But, there are some things that we can change.  There are some things that we can improve on.  All the rest, we have to let it go.  We have to have the courage to say that it is not something we can control.  It is not something that we have the power to change.

All the fears, the doubts, the worries…they are not something you can control.  All you can do is trust in whatever you believe in and know that “it will all be ok in the end and if it’s not ok, then it’s not the end.”

Call it a realization of Faith.  Call it common sense.  Call it an awakening.  Call it whatever you are comfortable with.  When you get there though, to that point in life where you fully and truly embrace this thought, you will feel a sense of peace that is so precious it will be your beacon  for those days when you need to hit that mental reset button.  I know that the struggles have been partially built up by my own mind but it’s my own mind that I need to quiet.  By letting it all go and realizing that the fears are not in my power to control but what I put into my mouth is; what I do for exercise is; how I treat others is all within my control, I can be a little less upset with myself and this gain and move forward.

 

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Confession Time: My Affair with Rolos

This week, I did not go to my weekly Weight Watcher’s meeting.  I knew it wasn’t going to be a good week and it was the first time in a LONG time that I did not want to see that scale number go up.  Let me rephrase that, I never want to see it go up but this week, I didn’t think I could handle it going up.  It would just upset me too much.

That would have been me last night had I gone to Weight Watchers.

I can hear you asking “How did you know it would be bad?”  I knew.  I tracked halfheartedly this week and when I did track, I was over.  I didn’t move as much as I should have and then there was Wednesday.  The Husband, thinking he was being kind and thoughtful, brought home a bag of Rolos.

Chocolate and Caramel in one delicious bite-sized candy = Bliss.

There is a time in every woman’s life when chocolate is necessary and a time when I crave it more than any other time.  Chocolate and salty foods – never fails.  I can mark my calendar as to when the craving will hit.  So the Husband heard me muttering about wanting some chocolate.  This was his attempt to help.  Now, I have been in Weight Watchers for almost 2 years.  I appreciate the fact that he thought of me, but why the bag? Why not just the little candy bar size?  Didn’t he realize that I have no will-power?  Didn’t he realize that I am most likely a food addict?  Didn’t he know that the bag would not last very long (which it didn’t)?

Now the trick is to minimize my shame over that fact.  Forgiveness is something I do not handle lightly.  I have been working on it as I make this journey.  Forgiveness is key.  If I cannot forgive myself when I make a mistake, I will never be able to succeed.  If I beat myself up over every Rolo I eat, then I will not succeed.  I am a master at guilting myself, convincing myself that it’s my fault.  Again, I could explain my past but that matter of sending you my therapy payment gets in the way every time, sorry.

Yeah – that was how I looked after throwing away the empty bag of Rolos.

So, the Rolos are gone.  Today has been good.  No processed foods.  No added sugars with the exception of my one cup of coffee this morning.  If the Rolos come back into the house, I will kindly ask the Husband to remove them or hide them.  They are not worth it.  Did I enjoy them?  Yes.  Did I enjoy what number the scale at home showed me?  No.  Were the Rolos, therefore, worth it?  Definitely not.

I am hoping that next week, I can report a loss.  I am hoping that next week, I will have not gone over any of my daily points allowances or gone over my calories one single day.  I am hoping that next week, I will have earned 14 activity points.  It’s the little things that make the biggest difference.  That being said, every day is a tracker day.  Every day is a good health guidelines day.  I cannot lose sight of that no matter what.  I know it sounds like a broken record but it’s important that I keep reminding myself of these things.  They seem like small steps to someone who has only a small amount to struggle with but for someone like me who is looking at losing a full-grown person – these small steps are crucial.  Talking about them is necessary.  Keeping them in my forefront is the only way I can ensure that my next snack or meal will be one that is on program.

There’s a quote someone on the Weight Watcher’s message boards used to share:

It’s time that I stick to my choice.

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Mission Completion: One Rag Quilt for One Satisfied Customer!

I finished it.  It’s not a major accomplishment because it’s really a small little quilt but it’s finished nonetheless! (Sorry about the somewhat blurry pics!)

The Daughter and her new quilt!

It was a fun little project.  I used her old baby receiving blankets so it really is one of the softest quilts ever! The top is fraying nicely because of the cotton squares.  It’s going to look great once it really gets a little more frayed on top.

The Front

I had a helper and I’m sure that’s why the pattern on the front is a little off.  I didn’t notice it until this morning.  I guess I was just so focused on finishing that I somehow missed it.  It adds character though so I’m okay with it.  Beside, the Daughter isn’t too upset about it.  Just my OCD is a little bothered by it.  Oh well.  It could look a lot worse!

The back ended up being a little different from the original pattern called for only because I didn’t have enough squares for the back.  So my improvisation was to just make larger squares and patchwork them across the back.

The Back

I had slightly different receiving blankets for the back but thankfully they sell those soft blankets in sets of three and usually in some kind of matching color scheme so they all look good together.

The Daughter has spent the morning with the quilt wrapped around her, just enjoying it so much which is good enough for me.

Using the machine did make for quick work and did make me feel a little better about the construction.  I don’t know why I always doubt my hand stitching abilities but I do and for some reason, I feel like the machine makes it more durable.

I think this little quilt will become the daycare nap time blanket.  The Daughter’s daycare does not allow fleece blankets so this cotton blanket will fit the bill perfectly!

An example of a Sampler Quilt

I think I’m going to start figuring out what is needed for the sampler quilt I’m going to tackle next.  That one is going to be a lot more intense and a lot more time-consuming but I’m excited to do it!  I need to really work on my skills.  My cutting skills in particular.  I guess I know a few things I’ll be asking for at Christmas!

It will be fun though and I’m excited for it.  It’s always fun for me to learn something new and actually have something to show for it in the end.  Who knows, maybe I’ll enter one in the Barnstable County Fair some day, though this past year, there were some pretty amazing quilts in the exhibition house.   Either way, it’s a fun hobby and it keeps me from grazing through the kitchen at night so that’s a MAJOR plus in my book.

I keep thinking of when I quit smoking.  I had to relearn how to do things in a way.  Like starting my car did not mean lighting a cigarette.  It’s the same thing with my relationship with food.  I need to relearn that even though I’m bored or stressed about something, I do not need to eat.   I need to do something else.  Quilting at night is perfect.  So is writing. It’s something that makes me forget about the kitchen.  I wish I could explain why I feel the need to eat when I get bored or stressed.  I am not sure I am ready to put that into words or even if I can put it into words now but, I can say that I’m happy to have a new hobby that will help me battle my bulge during those nighttime problem times.

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