Thursday, December 31, 2009

In My Humble Opinion

I hear people say that food addiction is worse than drug or alcohol addiction because "We have to eat, but we don't have to take drugs or alcohol." On the surface that makes sense but I don't agree. Especially now, I don't. After months of being on the new eating program and actually getting used to not eating carbs or alcohol or sugar or fruit or "treats". Here's why I don't agree:

I don't have food addiction to fruits, vegetables, lean meat and whole grains - if that's what my addiciton entailed, then I would be a healthy lean adult - but my food addiction was to carbs and sugar and diet pop. So I don't have to eat those foods - I thought I did, but I have proven that I don't. I also have proven that if I stay off those foods for a period of time, I no longer have strong cravings for them anymore. I have found that my food addiction is very similar to any other addiction - horrible cravings make you think you can't live without it, then after a period of time off the drug of choice, the cravings subside and you no longer need it in your life.

So then the reasoning goes, "That might be true, but with drugs and alcohol you just avoid it - but with sugar and carbs - they are in EVERYTHING so it's almost impossible to avoid." Again, I don't agree that it's harder. Have you ever cooked for someone that is allergic to wheat or avoiding alcohol? It's not easy - it's incredibly hard. SOOOO many things have alcohol in them - sweets, marinades - one must diligently look at labels and make sure they are cooked without real vanilla or don't have sugar alcohols added to them. People say that cooking cooks out the alcohol, but an alcoholic will tell you that it's not the case. There is always a trace amount left.

It's all about habits. Once you learn what foods are on the "safe" list, you continue to buy them. It might mean an extra trip to Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, but, seriously, a healthy lifestyle vs. an extra trip to the store. And I personally like experimenting with foods and them just ordering them directly online from the manufacturer so I have plenty and I save money that way.

I now think that the reasoning (one that I subscribed to) that food addiction is harder to overcome is just another excuse not to overcome it. I'm grateful that I don't know first hand how hard it is to overcome other addictions but I'm happy to join the millions that have overcome and live on the other side. I do feel like I have my life back. Now if I just knew what happened to the past 20 years!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Bored ... Must ... Eat ... Food

These down days are sure TOUGH!!! First, I totally miss comfort eating on "vacation" days. The days that I would usually graze on my favorite foods and revel in the time off we all have. I'd begin w/ Noah's Bagels and move on to a huge wonderful sandwich, or maybe nachos for lunch & end with eating out. Except for when it's been snowing out, I don't think I haven't eaten out on a Christmas day in forever! It's part of my tradition - eat out & comfort eat. It's part of my enjoying time off.

I guess it shouldn't surprise me as much as it did today, that this was such torture to eat at home all day on program - since this was my first winter break since I've been on plan. It did surprise me, though - I didn't expect to be hit so hard with missing my traditions. I've eased my way into the eating plan and this isn't the only "vacation" day we've all had, but WOW - today was TOUGH!! And depressing. I basically hid myself away for most of the day waiting for it to be over. I mean, I could have gone out to eat with the family and been on program, but I wasn't hungry and I kept thinking, "Why go out & waste $30 just to comfort eat?" I had a wonderful dinner waiting here for me and I just had to make it to dinner to enjoy my meal.

So I did it. I stayed on program and didn't eat out at all today & ate my wonderful steak & salad dinner. And tomorrow's another day. Maybe I'll be in a better mood tomorrow!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Comfort Foods No Longer Bring Comfort

I had another epiphany the other day. And it was a bit depressing. I've eaten bites over the past few months of things that I've been craving, pita & hummus, pancakes, corn chips and the latest was garlic bread served with my salad. They've all been small bites and they've ALL been disappointing. I, of course, had to eat a few bites to make sure it wasn't a fluke that I didn't like the first bite, but, in the end, I didn't like any of the bites. And this was very depressing.

The conclusion I came to was that those cravings that I've had through the years wasn't about the food. I can admit – in the past, I often didn't even like what I was eating, but I kept eating because it was fulfilling the carb addiction I had. I wanted to like what I was eating, but I didn't always. It goes back to what I said about eating a bite of apple pie and knowing I didn't like it but eating the whole piece anyway. It's another trick my mind plays on me - or any addict's mind - this is making me happy in some way. Of course, this is the case, but I didn't realize it until last week that this is true also of "safe" types of food, as well. I knew that was the case for sugar and things obviously harmful to me - like ice cream. Or things hard for me to control. But basics, like bread or pancakes - I have used them as well, in the past, to feed the addiction and not to enjoy my food. It's funny that when you decide to eat only what you truly enjoy eating, it ends us not being what you thought you'd eat. If I eat in a conscientious, honest way, I'm often surprised what I end up eating and enjoying!

Sick, Sick, Sick

This is the first time I've been sick, lastingly sick, since I started the new eating regimen. And I'm not happy!! So much of my sickness is a pattern of thoughts and I'm having to fight off all the old thought processes. I tell myself that it's a good thing because this “new me” is a lot about creating new thought processes and debunking the old – but it's still not fun. So here goes – No, this will not last forever. No, this isn't because I walked last week, it's because you live with others that are sick & that's what happens when you live with sick people. No, you don't need to comfort eat – comfort eating will only make you more sick. No, you are not losing all the muscle you've built for the past year, you've only lost 1 week of working out. No, this isn't your “lot in life”, it's a cold. Yes, you will recover. No, you may not eat that!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stinkin' Thinkin'

I was thrilled this week that my walking last week seemed to pay off. I lost about 4 lbs. last week. But I woke up this morning with a cold and started to feel sorry for myself. My underlying internal voice was saying, "See? This is what always happens. You start cardio and get sick. Now you can't work out this week and you'll lose your momentum. This is what happens when you push yourself." This has been my mantra for the past 18 years with chronic fatigue. I would start a new work out plan and then get sick and lose my drive and it would take me about 2 months to re-start and the cycle would start again. But at least today I identified the thoughts right away and could logic myself out of it - "No, you weren't pushing yourself when you got sick. You were living with 3 people that were fighting viruses - this is what happens in winter. In fact, it's been MONTHS since you were sick. AND you lost 4 lbs this week which shows how much benefit the walking did." I totally understand if we don't pay attention to that darn internal voice, it can really affect our actions without even knowing it. So many of us think it doesn't really matter what our internal voice says but our brain controls our actions, so how could it not matter? We act on our beliefs so if we don't challenge those stinkin' thinkin' beliefs, how will we act any differently?

Monday, December 7, 2009

What a difference 4 months makes!

I read through my blog tonight and, even though I'm not thoroughly thrilled at where I'm at, I'm amazed at how far I've come. Take food thoughts, for instance. In the beginning my food thoughts were every 5 seconds and now they're about every 3 days (I still miss Subway after my workouts). The first trip to the beach was REALLY hard but our latest trip was easy, except for the drive home - I still wanted to eat the whole way home!! The whole getting to know myself again has been interesting and really where the blog has helped out. I actually do feel happy now. I am proud of myself and I'm not disgusted with myself anymore. I am optimistic about the future - not just the far off future, but next week, next month. I have avoided being sick for MONTHS now!! Side point, I used to get sick EVERY month during MTOTM but haven't gotten sick once in the last 4 months!! I also don't doubt that I'll succeed any longer nor am I waiting for the moment I give up or quit. I still have a ways to go & I have to focus a bit more on the daily grind - I've become a bit lax with some of the tools, but things are SOOOOOO much better. YEAH!

Plastic Surgery???

What to do. I'm making an appointment to see a plastic surgery to find out if I really want to correct what 19 years of being overweight has done to my poor body. (I know it will be late next year before I'm ready for surgery, but I'm a planner) I REALLY don't want plastic surgery, but I really don't want to be frustrated with my body every day after working so hard to lose weight. I am scared of the cost, the pain, the recovery and the possible death. All very good things to be scared about! On the other hand, I would like to wave at someone and have my arms quit moving within 10 minutes. I would like to avoid the mammary mishap, written about in the preceding blog - let's put the girls back up high where they belong! I would like to be able to access my 6 pack abs that I've been working on for the past year. So let's go to the appointment and see if I can scare myself out of it!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

What a Boob!

Through this process I've refrained from sharing my many funny intestinal distresses that comes with an eating program such as I'm on. I've refrained from sharing how I've pawned off on my poor unsuspecting boys "foofs" that I indeed were responsible for - "Aaron!! Say excuse me!" But I have to share my latest event.

I am trying TRYING! to add aerobic exercise into my routine but I hate it & I find it daunting. I can give up alcohol and sugar but can't make myself go for a walk. Baffles me. Anyway, I have been concentrating and concentrating on the task and last night mapped out my journey. I have run through the thousands of excuses and defeated them all and finally got up and donned on my winter outfit & my nano and iphone (thank goodness for google maps 'cause I got lost coming home) and journeyed out.

I had decided to wear a bra that I bought when I was pregnant w/ Em. I haven't worn it in years but it's an exercise bra so I thought it would be more comfortable. Of course, I've lost so much weight, it was quite loose, but that much more comfortable. So I went on my walk and thankfully it was horribly cold and windy so my body went thoroughly numb and I didn't feel the pain I was in. But when I was about .3 miles from my home it dawned on me that my boob had fallen out from the bottom of my bra. I looked down and I was remarkable lopsided down below! I started cracking up and thought that any neighbors looking on or hearing me must have thought I had totally lost my mind. And then I had the challenge of correcting the mammary mishap without totally exposing myself. I thought this must be the endorphins kicking in - laughing as I finished my walk.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pita & Hummus & Wine, OH MY!

Ate at my favorite restaurant the other day & my friend was drinking a glass of wine & had a BIG plate of pita & hummus in front of her. This is something that I've been craving and craving over the past few months. She says, "One glass of wine won't kill you, will it?" EVIL! So I considered it for a few minutes and thought it wasn't worth it. It takes 4 days to get back into "fat burning" mode once I get out of "the zone" of ketosis and I'm not willing to lose 4 days. I lost about 2 weeks a month ago because of eating out so much and I really want to get through with this part of my journey. I just want to be at goal. For as much as I would LOVE a glass of wine, it's just not worth it. I can drink again in 8 months.

In the end, I tore off a teeny piece of the bread and dipped it in the hummus and DIDN'T LIKE IT!! Isn't it true that we build up our expectations of food so much that when we actually eat it, it often falls short of what we were expecting? I sure do - but in the past, I would eat it anyway.

So another challenge conquered and past - KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE GOAL!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Exercise - Dang It, Dang It, Dang It!

I feel like I actually have this eating thing down, I feel like I have the dealing with my emotions down, and I feel like I have a plan for the future, even when I hit my goal. But I don't feel like I've reached my goal as far as exercise goes. I've been doing Pilates w/ a trainer twice a week faithfully for 1 year now. Within the first few months I lost a size or two, but it never helped me lose weight. I KNOW I HAVE TO ADD CARDIO. I HATE CARDIO. Well, not totally true. I like tennis, I like walking when I have nothing else to do the rest of the day, I like swimming. But I don't like how much cardio takes out of me. I don't like the clean up. I have used the excuses: If I go for a walk, I'll sweat too much & then I have to take another shower or If I go swimming, it takes hours out of my day, or It's raining so I can't go for that walk, like I wanted to. I have so many excuses it's not even funny. But if I want to conquer this battle, I have to add cardio. So my goal is to walk to Pilates twice a week, rain or shine. Until I have built myself up to be able to walk home, Kurt will pick me up. I have walked once before (last summer) and it took about 35 minutes (it's a little over 1 mile w/ a few good hills). My legs were rubber by the time I arrived, but, in the end, it was a good thing since they were numb so Pilates didn't hurt. The problems that I'm forseeing are: 1) if it's rainy, I need to bring a change of clothes which I'll have to carry 2) I have to eat more than usual since I don't eat much in the morning but if I don't eat correctly before leaving, I'll pass out for sure! 3) I WON'T WANT TO GO! Maybe the biggest problem of all. I think Friday will be my first walking day so give me encouragement & let's all witness me do another seemingly impossible feat!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nothing Tastes as Good as . . . a Chocolate Cupcake?

I discovered what it feels like to believe in the saying, "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels". I've never subscribed to that way of thinking before. I could think of SEVERAL things that tasted as good - "in fact, I think I'll go eat some now." But for the past few weeks I've been eating out a lot and I'm actually kind of sick of it. I truly NEVER thought this day would come. There are SOOOO many reasons why I enjoy eating out. And the truth is, I still miss some of those reasons but currently I'm more sick of the expense, the time it takes and the water retention. Not to mention the stomach distress if I make the wrong choice (even when I think I'm making the correct choice). So I'm still eating out on occasion, but I'm more excited to continue losing weight. Cool, huh?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tough Love

I was reminded again of how desperate we are to receive our parents' love, approval, support, aid, comfort and salvation. Even when our adult mind tells us it will never happen or when our adult mind knows of the constant heartache we have experienced already, our inner child pokes up their head and wishes for a miracle.

My friend recently told me how much she's looking forward to her mother's visit. But in the same breath she tells me how she normally survives the visits by remaining drunk most of the time. Another friend tells me the HORRIBLE things his father has told him throughout his childhood but then tells me his disappointment that he has never visited him since he's moved to Washington. My other friend tells me the total dysfunction he grew up in and the constant fighting of his parents and then tells me that he's invited his parents to stay with him for 2 weeks in his TINY house. And then complains how horrible they act.

It took me years of therapy to figure out that it's not the parents fault for disappointing us but our own fault for not accepting their limitations. I remember SOBBING when I finally had to let go of the "fairy tale" vision. I remember seeing my own husband cry when he came to the realization that things aren't going to change. It's US that need to change our expectations. And whereas we can say to ourselves or our friends that their spouses won't change or their bosses won't change, we as humans just DON'T WANT TO ACCEPT that our parents aren't going to change. They aren't going to morph into the perfect salve that will heal our missing pieces. I found it shocking the first time my counselor was harsh with ME when I was speaking of what my mother had not done - because "Why was I still putting myself in that position of setting myself up for another disappointment?" It's not the parents' fault for disappointing, it's our fault for not accepting. Tough, Tough, Tough lesson.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nice Wendy

So the other day I noticed that Kurt has been quite nice lately. I mentioned it to him & he said that I've been nicer lately and he's "not afraid of me anymore". Thought that was quite funny. I said, "But I'm still grumpy." He said, "Yeah, but all I need to do is feed you. Maybe that's it, I now know how to deal with the grumpy mood."

So I thought a lot about that. Why am I nicer lately? I decided it was because I'm not as upset with myself anymore. I was definitely angry most of the time with the decisions I was making. I was angry with myself at what I was doing to myself. I was angry that I was making myself sick all the time. I was angry with my lack of self-control I'm just not as angry anymore - so I take it out on him so much less.

So note to self - "eat healthy, improve marriage". Who knew?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Off Track

Where'd everyone go? Isn't this the way for the Marathon? Apparently not. So I've been off course for the past month or so. Not horribly but I've definitely gotten into some bad habits. I've been eating out A LOT again. I've been drinking my beloved Diet Pepsi again. And I've not been drinking my water. I'm still not eating carbs or eating "off plan" but I'm eating like I'm in maintenance mode and not in losing weight mode. Then I'll go back & eat on plan again & lose 3 lbs in 3 days. So it's not like I'm eating so much to actually gain weight, but it puts water weight back on & I feel puffy again. I'm not beating myself up too badly because it's been a nice break but it's time to get serious again. It has been nice to see what it will be like when I'm in maintenance. Still pretty much the same but with a lunch and dinner on the agenda.

Time to get back on track!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Forgive Me Wendy, for I Can't Lose Weight"

So I have found that I'm needing to blog less & less because I'm not in such a self discovery mode. Also I've been incredibly busy with work once again. But this is what I think is most curious this month - I've become the confessional of the dieters. It's become quite noticable that I'm losing weight and I've encouraged at least 6 or 7 of my friends to become more dedicated to their dieting efforts so now every time I see them I hear, "I'm not losing any weight!" Or I'm being told what they are eating and I should give them some advice. Of course the advice that I give is, "Do what I'm doing." But no one has wanted to do that so far - for some reason. I'm trying not to be judgmental because I too thought it would be impossible to go off carbs and "normal" food a year ago. I remember researching, I think it was Overeaters Anonymous, and they said that they encourage being off all addicting foods, such as bread, coffee, sugar, pop & I thought, "There is NO WAY I could do that!" But look, I'm now doing it (well except for coffee - I call it my Fourth Meal). I just don't know what it is or was that made me suddenly snap into being able to do this. I know it was the sum of a hundred different things but it did all suddenly click and I made the shift. I wish I had the secret. All I know is that it was CONSTANT attention to the goal and the drive to someday conquer my issue with food. I hope my friends find their own success because it's a drag to not lose weight when you feel like you're dieting!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Diet Addiction

Have you ever met a diet addict? I wasn't really ever a diet addict because I don't like diets enough. But I sure have known my share of diet addicts - always onto the next trick & quick fix. I used to think it was just because they were naive but I found out from my own experience that it's much more than that.

Even though I don't like "dieting" I loved the pre-diet excitement - "This time it's going to be different. This one sounds like it might actually work." It's where anything is possible and you have the ability to forgive yourself from all your past food sins because it's all going to be erased in the coming months.

You can get addicted to the "start" because it's where you can have hope but no accountability. I used to think, "I'm starting my diet tomorrow so I can eat this now." Then I'd kind of start tomorrow and quit a few days after that and do the whole thing again a few weeks later. It was the pre-diet thinking that allowed me to forgive what I was doing right now.

When I began my therapy for emotional eating I actually craved going on a "diet" because it was more comforting and easier than working through my "stuff". I just wanted to follow a plan and have it work and not have to talk about mother issues. And I'm sure if going on a diet worked than I could have done that, but the problem is, I had to work through my issues before a plan COULD work! I asked my friend who had gastric bypass, prior to surgery, if she thought she should work on her issues prior to g.p. because it's really not the fix and you can gain the weight back. She said she had about a year after g.p. before the weight would start creeping back on and she was hoping to use that year to figure things out. Yep, sounds about right - it sure is easier to hope that the diet or the surgery will be the fix - but for most of us, it just isn't.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Juggling Mama!

I'm very encouraged. I'm down 40 lbs & I'm in the groove. I'm feeling better, recovering from illnesses faster, so far so good.

Since the boys have been born I have made my login name "Juggling Mama" because I feel like that's my life - juggling everything all the time. But I've expanded the view to the general rule of balance. I've heard it said that "balance is that thing you see while swinging between extremes." Isn't that the truth!

So I was contemplating juggling this morning - I personally can't juggle but Kurt can & I've heard that the key to juggling is keeping your eyes fixed somewhere above where the balls are passing through. If you fixate on one of the balls, you will drop the others. But you have to fixate on each individual ball for a while to get the hang of it. First, you bounce one ball up & down until that becomes second nature. Then you throw it between one hand and another until that becomes second nature. Next comes two balls - you must throw them across as well as with each hand individually for a while until that becomes a natural motion. Then the real trick - adding a third ball. This is where you're really tested - focusing on the general and not on the individual - trusting your sensation but not over thinking the action. Once you have the feeling of three it's easier to add four and so on - until you reach your limit and can't add any more.

As it applies to dieting - I had to focus on each component of why I was overeating before I could put it all together to achieve results. Many people have one or two areas down but not all three so either they are good at exercise but still eat a package of cookies at a sitting. Or they are great at "dieting" but within months of achieving their goal they gain it all back. Or they are great at analyzing but never move out of their head to apply what they have learned and begin making changes. It's tricky but I believe the key is paying attention to all the pieces individually and then making the leap to put them all into motion at once and see what it feels like to juggle.

As it applies to life - to achieve success - either in marriage, in work, spiritually - it requires paying attention to ourselves - what REALLY makes us happy, what we REALLY want to accomplish - then paying attention to the other piece of the puzzle - our mate's needs, our job requirements, what success in a spiritual sense would mean - and then putting the pieces together and in motion all at once and see if we can find that right balance. It's tough and we never get it all right. Then you add kids - those would be balls 3, 4, & 5 & let's see how well you do! Chaos.

The encouraging part is that anyone can learn to juggle if they put their mind to it. It's going to be the rare instance that someone CAN'T learn - and that goes for life's juggling as well. It takes time and until you find the trick, it feels like it's beyond you - but you can do it, if that's what you really want.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I've Turned a Marathon Corner

I've never actually run a marathon but this is what I think it would be like: Pre-marathon - lots of training with a lot of excitement and nervousness about the actual event. On the actual day, I would think waiting at the starting line would be total adrenaline. Then you hear the shot gun & you wait and wait. There are LOTS of people that have to start before you. I've heard that it can take up to 15 minutes to actually cross the starting line after the shot gun. And then you have to pace yourself. The first few miles would be critical to pacing. And then, after a little bit I would think you hit your stride and get into the "zone". Then about half way or maybe more near the end, I would think you really need to start the self-talk - "You can do this. You can finish. Don't quit now. You've almost made it." And then you make it to the end and you feel euphoria and such a feeling of accomplishment. This is what I think running a marathon would feel like. Not sure I'll ever take on such a task so I'll just enjoy it in the figurative sense.

Before starting this plan there was a lot of excitement. "Can I do this? This sure sounds like it's going to work. Let's get everything ready in the house. Can I do this? This time is going to be different. Can I do this?"

Then I started the new plan and had to wait - it seems like forever before your first weigh in - and it's often disappointing. Thankfully with this plan, it isn't. It's exciting because you lose about 8-10 lbs. the first week.

And then I had to set my pace. You have to find how the plan works for you while dealing with withdrawals and new challenges.

But then I found my stride - and that's where I seem to be now. I no longer am nervous before events. I no longer want to stay home because I don't want to go near my favorite restaurants. I'm not craving eating out any more. I am not feeling deprived. I really have seemed to hit my stride. It's exciting. During the past month I had thoughts of "Am I really going to be able to do this for a year? I wonder when I'm going to give up and go off plan. I wonder when I'm going to start cheating." But those thoughts have gone away and now I feel like this is my new lifestyle. I do try new foods here and there and see how they affect my weight loss but I'm not going "off" plan or "cheating".

This is really exciting and I'm extremely encouraged. Of all the dieting I've done in my life - and there have been many - I've never gotten to this place - the place of "I think I can do this until the end." I know that I will hit that wall eventually where I'll have to do a lot of self-talk and convince myself that 180 is not my goal - 150 is STILL my goal. I already see that in the future - but for now, I'm going to enjoy the scenery and enjoy the feeling of "I can do this until the finish line!"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Loss of Identity

Years ago (2003) I read the Dr. Phil book “The Ultimate Weight Solution” & I remember he asks, “What is the real issue? Why are you not choosing to lose weight?” – or something to that affect. I thought, “How am I supposed to find the answer to that question?” Subsequently, I have asked myself during this current success at weight loss, “Why now? What has changed so that you are finally doing this?” This is my thought today regarding these two questions. . .

Loss of identity. I was raised to become a pioneer – a full time minister. It was my goal from as far back as I can remember. I could explain in detail some of Daniel’s harder prophecies since I was probably 8 years old. I was baptized 2 months after turning 14, I began pioneering at 16 while still in school and working evenings. I made my time once by making 170 hrs in August – or some crazy figure - of course while still working. All of this Type A personality with a Type B body didn’t serve me well in the long run and led to my getting Chronic Fatigue, in fact, the year after that exhausting August. I didn’t know at the time that I had a Type B body. I wasn’t aware enough of the need to create my own identity with what genetics had given me verses becoming the person my parents (or parent) tried to create. I was never raised with the thinking, “As long as you’re happy.” No, happiness wasn’t the goal – full time service was the goal. And, as a parent now myself, I agree with that as a goal – I just think happiness should also be touted as a tangible goal in amongst the sentence. And it’s not that 10 years of pioneering didn’t create and aid in my happiness, but the drive it created in me ended up being damaging. Pioneering wasn’t my vocation, it was my identity. I was so disappointed when we stopped getting special cards to report our time or when everyone got free food at conventions and free literature. There was something special about being “in the club”. Now the whole “being in the club” attitude didn’t come from mom – that came from my peers. There was definitely a “pioneer until you die” attitude that was encouraged and stopping was very much discouraged. After I got sick I started resenting the parts on the conventions that told of people pioneering through cancer or while having HORRIBLE life situations. I thought, “I wish they would have more parts of people that quit pioneering because of those situations that were able to go back to it years later.” After I got sick, instead of admiring those that had never quit pioneering, I began to admire those that quit because their kids needed them for a year or two or quit to help their ailing parents but then went back to it after a few years. I thought, that appears to be so much more balanced and such a better goal to strive after.

So I quit pioneering in 1994, 3 years after getting C.F. and I basically went to bed waiting to recover. We opened a business that year which failed miserably and that led to several years of recovery and therapy. And then we finally paid off all debts in ’99 and almost immediately had to move in with my ailing grandmother, where we stayed for several years. Basically, life just continued to happen, as it does for most people. But I was used to being goal driven. My goal was to return to pioneering. Every year I would sit and evaluate when I could go back. But trying to even auxiliary pioneer would put me back in bed for weeks. We were able to go to Mexico Bethel in November and December, 2000. We came home and decided to move to Spanish in February 2001, the same month I had a miscarriage of triplets. And so learning Spanish was the goal for these many years – but I still didn’t have an identity. We had Emily in 2002 but it was really having the boys in 2005 when things began to shift for me.

I so resented having twins. I cried and cried for months when I found out I was having twins. I didn’t want more kids after Emily. I was so sick that first year after Emily’s birth that I just couldn’t fathom having more kids. I felt that she was near perfect and yet I barely could handle her, how could I handle more. But Kurt was determined that having an only child wasn’t right and he really wanted a boy so I “gave in” and agreed for one more.
But I was right – I certainly couldn’t handle it and then I had twins to boot! The day I found out I was having twins I called Kurt and he was instant messaging a friend. So he immediately I.M. his friend who responded “No offense, but Wendy can’t handle twins” – even Kurt’s friends knew I wasn’t cut out for it. Of course, I later saw that it was a blessing because it made it “okay” to have help and a live in nanny. It made it more “acceptable” to go into debt for years because I was so sick I couldn’t take care of one baby, let alone two.

But having the boys has helped me do a few things – I have an identity now. After Emily was born I kept waiting for her mom to come pick her up. Even when she was two I said to Kurt, “Look, she’s still here.” It was the strangest feeling. I have always felt more of a big sister to Emily than her mom. I’m always fascinated by her and in awe of her but in no way do I feel “ownership” of her – like I’m her mother. But I feel differently towards the boys for some reason. Probably because I worried about them so much more during pregnancy, directly after pregnancy with their medical complications, and even now with their small little issues they have. I have always felt that Emily will grow up to be an amazing woman – with or without me. She just has something about her that is special and unique. But the boys seem to need me more. And I think that having them has 1) helped me find an identity 2) helped me give up the “drive” and “controlling” spirit – because of being so sick for so many years but also because having twins will make you do that (Side point – I was in service one day with a young girl that was so self-righteous and knew it all that I left her that day with the blessing, “I wish for you twins or triplets in your future so you can become the loving adult you’re destined to become.”) and 3) having such a breakdown after having the boys – both physically and emotionally – has helped me finally focus on myself and get the help I needed which then has helped me become more like the person I’ve always wanted to become.

And the other huge gift that I’ve been given in the past year is two amazing, progressive studies. I haven’t had this satisfaction in SOOOO many years and it’s been a real gift. This has helped me balance my past identity of a pioneer with my “mom” identity and has helped me feel more balanced and rounded as a person.

The trigger to this thought process was this quote I just read, “An oak tree is brought into creation by two forces at the same time. Obviously, there is the acorn from which it all begins . . . But also from another force operating as well – the future tree itself, which wants so badly to exist that it pulls the acorn into being . . . In this respect it is the oak tree that creates the very acorn from which it was born.” Although more Zen-like thinking that I subscribe to, it did make me think – I believe that there was a better Me wanting very much to come out – that’s a lot what this losing weight is about for me. Becoming the better version of Wendy and being a person that I can believe in and admire – and I feel like it’s this force that has drawn me from where I was to where I am now heading. Who knew, I am an oak tree (take that Katharine Hepburn).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm a Who

So I'll preface this by saying that's it's been since April 2008 that I've been so sick but I thought I'd share my experience. I'm not usually a very "feel sorry for myself" kind of gal. I know there are MANY that have it harder than me so why wallow in self-pity. And even those that might not have cancer or debilitating disease, might have a sucky attitude and negative spirit - so they still have it worse than me. But the one thing that will always get me to sing the "poor me" blues is a hefty bout of chronic fatigue. I will also add that I have often said that if I had to choose an illness I would choose chronic fatigue, so even in that, I try to keep a glass half full attitude. But how my chronic fatigue shows itself is basically a total breakdown of immune system. I get the normal bug that’s going around and then it becomes worse and worse until it eventually turns into pneumonia or a sinus infection or strep throat. It finally goes away after about 6 or 7 weeks and then I’m fine for about 3 weeks and then I get another bug and the cycle repeats itself. During the first 3 years after the boys were born I was sick in bed and in need of antibiotics about 7 months out of every year. After Emily was born I had strep throat 3 times during the first year – but it never turned into full out chronic fatigue. Other symptoms of C.F. are a low grade fever all the time. I’d drive home from every meeting having a fever – too much stress with all the kids. And I usually have gross nightmares with C.F. Mine usually is bloody horrible car crashes on the freeway with family members being run over by semis. Nice, huh? I only have those when I’ve been sick for a while. But I’ve talked with others with C.F. and they also have horrible nightmares. Not sure how that fits into things. I usually do okay at first by thinking that this can’t last forever – it will either fade or I’ll die – so in either case, I will be done with this eventually. But the last time I found a wonderful coping tool.

So I’m sitting in my chair crying and feeling sorry for myself, seeing that I’m sick again for the hundredth time in 3 years. But we had just seen Horton Hears a Who and I’m thinking to myself, “Happiness is a choice. It isn’t dependant of your circumstances or your physical self. It’s a choice. Happiness is available to you right now – you just have to choose to find it in your circumstance and latch on.” So I just kept repeating to myself, “Contentment and happiness is available to you right now, if you choose to have it.” Over and over. And then I had the vision – I’m a Who. I am merely a traveler of this world on a floating clover and I have no control where the clover goes. It goes in and out of circumstances and for each of us it travels a different direction. For me it has been floating amongst sickness but I am not the clover. I needed to quit defining myself as my sickness but rather see it as a temporary wallpaper of my life. Life is nothing if not constantly in flux. My clover would not always be amongst sickness, and the truth is, this might be a welcome change compared to where it will float in the future. So I really had a defining “out of body” experience in that I began to be able to see myself as apart from my sick body and I was actually able to find some peace amongst the illness.

I’m not sure if this attitude change helped me finally snap out of the illness or if my wonderful nose lavage with colloidal silver made the difference but basically, I got healthier and haven’t been in that state now for almost 2 years. I’ve always found it a fascinating human study how people in horrible situations (not me, I mean horrible situations) can be so upbeat and focus on what’s wonderful while others with health and family can find life so troubling and depressing. I’m sure a lot of it is hormones and genetics but it’s probably also what we choose to concentrate on. Someone was complaining about something, I can’t remember what it was now and they turned to me and asked my opinion – and always one with an opinion to give, I said, “I think your life must be wonderful seeing that this is what you have the time and energy to complain about!”

Saturday, September 19, 2009

3D Puzzle

Remember those 3D Magic Eye puzzles that were all the rage in the early 90's? You were supposed to focus somewhere beyond the picture & blur your eyes a bit & then the real picture came into view. I never could do it. Not once. I spent hours staring at those darn puzzles & never could see the picture. I'd hear those around me saying, "OH! I see it now. Don't you see it Wendy? Just squint your eyes . . . " Nope.

I think this whole weight loss journey is like that. I keep waiting (I almost wrote weighting) for it to click. Why does it seems that so many people just understand the balance of eating good food, eating healthy food & exercise and don't have the issues I have. I wonder that for about a second until I really look around and, really, how many are getting it? How many aren't 30 or more pounds overweight? So at least I'm not alone, but I'm still waiting to have it click. For me to say, "OH! Now it makes sense. Now I understand how it feels." Because once you know the trick, you can always find the solution in the puzzle. I'm hoping that this plan is the solution. It's not the solution I wanted. I wanted to eat what I wanted every day & lose weight magically - that's the solution I was hoping for. But those that have been successful with this plan for years use this plan as their puzzle solving solution.

Just keep looking past the puzzle & squint - Do you see it yet?

The Great Toast Debate

Should I have a piece of toast with breakfast tomorrow morning? What a simple idea & yet what a huge debate. I could forgo the potatoes but the toast with jam - YUM! I could taste it, I could smell it. And it goes so nicely with the egg breakfast that I wanted. So I discussed this extremely life shattering question with Kurt.

On the one hand, some that have gone off the plan have said that once you go back onto higher carbs, it's REALLY hard to go back. But they didn't eat a piece of toast with jam. They went off for a while or a few days. On the other hand, if I go off the plan, it takes about 3 or 4 days to get back into the zone & have your hunger & cravings subside. So it's like starting all over again. On the other hand, is it reasonable to expect that I am going to be off "outside" carbs (the plan's food has carbs so I'm not off carbs) for a whole year? And isn't this why people lose so much weight & once they can go back onto food, they go CRAZY? Hmmmmm, I make so many good points. What to do?

Here's the thing - it's a no win situation. Either I eat the toast w/ jam (YUMMMM) & have a horrible time going back on & waste 3 days getting back into the zone & perhaps lose my momentum - or perhaps never get my momentum back. Or I eat the toast w/ jam (YUMMMM) & go back onto the plan perfectly & don't lose my momentum but then feel like it's okay to cheat because the consequence wasn't so bad after all. I could already feel the thought forming, "Well if it's not that bad, then every month you can treat yourself to . . . "

In the end, no toast w/ jam, no breakfast out, shake, shake & shake. Stick to plan - it's working. Why mess with what's not broken. TRUST THE SYSTEM.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Slippery Slope

It’s funny how rationalization works. For every diet (except for this one) I rationalize my way out of it until it’s unrecognizable. And if it’s not about food, it’s about exercise or diet pop or anything. For example, I’m trying to stay off diet pop but it’s hard – it’s technically on this eating plan & I love it so it’s hard not to “treat” myself when I’m out & about & want something. So I’m great for about a week & then I think, “Well, one every once in a while won’t necessarily kill me. I mean, if I die from a brain tumor it will be most likely due to the years of diet pop, not today’s.” Wow! I totally relate to EVE!! Rationalizing your way into doing whatever you want to do. It used to be, “I am trying to be off sugar but it’s your black & white way of thinking that has gotten you into this mess so balance is more reasonable. What would balance be? One thing a day? One thing a week? Until you decide, I’m eating this.” Exercise, “Go for a walk today, it’s beautiful out. Well, you could walk to pick up Emmy from school. But then I would have to walk back too & that would be 2.5 miles & it’s too much for the boys. And you should start slow anyway. You always overdo it. Wow! I’m suddenly not feeling very well. I better not head out right now.” Then 3 hours later it begins to rain – “Oh too bad, I was going to try to walk today.” Seriously, this is the stupidity that goes through my mind. Now, even while the thoughts are forming I know how stupid & irrational they are. I don’t buy into it but I can’t stop the thoughts from forming either. It’s a good thing I’m not a smoker – I’d NEVER quit!

Kiss the 90's Goodbye!!

YEAH! I'm officially done with the 290's. Can't tell you how thrilled that makes me. I'm still in awe of my success with this. It doesn't seem real. Maybe I'll go celebrate with a Hot Fudge Sundae! Just kidding - I'm calling right now to schedule a massage . . .

No Bites!

I've been finding myself being more tempted to take 'bites' from my kids' food. This morning I was putting crackers out & I almost ate one. It's instinctive. When I made a cake a few weeks ago I had to be SOOOOO conscientious not to lick my fingers. Kurt had to taste the frosting & taste everything & I had to continually remind myself not to lick fingers. It goes to show that if I can do it, those Chopped chefs should be able to! :)

So I was hoping that I would find some friends & family to join me on this plan & I could ease my way into being a Health Coach but instead I've motivated 3 or 4 of my friends to either go back to their old diets or try something new. I think the meal replacement idea scares a lot of people - not being able to eat what they feel like. And if eating what you feel like works consistently to lose weight then that's great - but I sure can't do it. I just think between the huge portions & the lack of self-control, it's too difficult to lose weight. I'd rather do this, see weight loss daily, know it's working & know that I'll be done that much sooner. But I say this after trying everything else first for 18 years. I'm a slow learner!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Darn You Food TV!

So it used to be that I would be thrilled to have the house to myself - kids are off to school, Kurt's off to work & I have nothing horribly pressing to do. I still love the quiet but I REALLY want food to keep me company on these days. And my normal passing of time by watching the Food channel really isn't helping!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How Long??

First, I want to report that eating every 3 hrs has done the trick!! I've lost 2 lbs. in about 4 days & I've eaten out in restaurants 3 of those days!! (Salads w/ chicken - but BIG salads) So if I had eaten at home it would have been much more. So point proven to all of you out there that eating every few hours really does help the metabolism kick in!

Second, I've heard some interesting comments lately. One person asked me "How long do you think you can stick to this plan?" She had done the shake diet a few years ago & lost tons of weight but once life got hectic again & she stopped exercising, it all came back. And it seems like a very logical question - because we've been taught that "diets" are temporary & then we can go back to eating "normal" once we lose the weight. So I explained my new found philosophy - this is how I'm going to eat forever - with the exception that I will eventually add back a few carbs & fruits throughout the day, in extreme moderation. (I didn't tell her how scared I am about this & how I am worried that I will eventually go back to my old patterns & gain the weight back - but that's more for the therapist anyway)

And the other comment yesterday was from my mom. My dad was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago. Side story - a few years ago my dad lost about 30 lbs. & no one was sure why so he was headed to the doctor. When I told Kurt, my husband, his first comment to me was, "Your mom is moving in with us, isn't she?" Hilarious! Anyway, my mom told me yesterday that my dad is taking his "diet" seriously now & they are going to a nutrition class to learn more about the eating plan. Now take into consideration that my mom is a professional dieter. She has been on a diet since I can remember. I call her professional because her dieting actually got her a car once. My grandma had told her that if she had lost a specific amount of weight she'd buy her a car & WALLA - she did it. She signed me up for Weight Watchers at the earliest age I could be signed up with them. She is a lifetime member with them & is now again trying their program. So yesterday she said, "So I'm learning so much from this nutrition class. I'm surprised at how much the diabetes diet is similar to Atkins type diet - low carbs & high protein. I thought that if I was eating within my points I was being healthy but now I can see that I can eat within my points & be having WAY too many carbs."

First, YEAH! How wonderful that she is learning this. And secondly, WHAT!!! You mean in all those years dieting you really didn't have any idea about nutrition? I'm really shocked at how little we know about what we put into our bodies. My friend's 7 year old child recently told my daughter that ice cream was healthy for us because it had lots of calcium. WHAT!!! I've always thought that on some level we know, but maybe we don't. Maybe most people really don't know about carbs & proteins & fats & sugars & how the balance of those factors determines our weight more than calories. The truth is, I didn't either.

I remember reading "Stop the Insanity" & telling my mom, "Mom, read this book. It proves that eating carbs won't make us fat!" How little I knew then!! I was eating tons of pasta & fat free foods & was gaining & not understanding why. Well, another lesson learned - stop assuming.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"I Need Fun!", she whines.

So not to say that I haven't had fun lately but this evening we kind of wanted to go out w/ the kids & we couldn't think of anything to do where we'd all have fun that didn't include food. I guess we could exercise (that 8 letter word) - go for a bike ride, go for a walk. I definitely need to adjust my thinking about what fun consists of. What I would have loved to do is go out to dinner where the kids can play or enjoy themselves & I could have a glass of wine & nice dinner. I will someday do that again but just not now & I can't put life on hold for another year. And since I already ate my lean & green for the day I need to eat my meal replacements for dinner so going out to eat wasn't an option to stay on plan. So how to have fun with the kids that doesn't cost much money & doesn't involve food? I guess, in reality, that's the question for all parents.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Are You Stuck in the 90's?

YES!! I'm stuck in the 90's, 290's that is. I haven't lost any weight since last Monday! Frustrating. I went online last night to the Take Shape for Life community & found the possible problem. Some said that eating more than 2.5 hrs or 3 hrs apart starts to slow your metabolism & so this is what I found, "Resting metabolic rate typically increases as much as two to three times more after eating proteins versus carbohydrates and fats." So I'm being really good & eating every 3 hrs again.

One of the things that I used to fight with is not deciding which "plan" to use. Was I not eating sugar this week? Was I only eating comfort foods on the weekend? Was I off milk today? You know these people - every 2 weeks they are on a new diet. Always a new idea that will work. So what I've appreciated is the science & logic behind this plan. With my first order I received a book that explains why it works & so all I have to do is tell myself "Trust the plan, Trust the plan". When I did the Medifast shake diet during my postpartum "kill me now" year no one explained the whole ketosis thing & how going off program makes it pretty much useless. So I was adding bananas to my shakes & wondering why I wasn't losing weight. Now I understand a bit better how the science works & it REALLY helps me stick to the plan. Because it takes about 3 days to go into ketosis mode, if I decide to go off plan (chicken teriyaki & rice is what might tempt me), then I'm basically wasting 3 days of food until I kick back into high gear. Not worth it - at least not yet!

So let's see if eating as I should be, every 3 hrs, makes a difference. I'm also back to my 100 oz. of water a day. That should make a difference as well.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

YEAH! Truvia Wins!

I finally decided to get to the documentary that Nita gave me about Aspartame. I was avoiding it because I didn't want to watch a preachy video telling me how bad my beloved Diet Pepsi was but I was having a hard time avoiding pop & it really does affect my weight loss so I thought I needed added inspiration & WOW!!! Not what I was expecting. This isn't just about the health effects of Aspartame but it goes into HOW it passed FDA approval. They didn't even TRY to cover their tracks as to how they got paid off.

I really feel that this is a MUST SEE for every family. Especially with the rise in cancer among us, you MUST WATCH this video. For example, did you know that 10% of aspartame turns to formaldehyde & remains in your body FOREVER?? Unless, of course, you have dialysis. I'm sure my liver looks like a carpet sample w/ all the stored formaldehyde. But I'm making the embalmer's job much easier in the years to come!

I'm really not an alarmist but this is as corrupt as Mexican drug cartel but we're giving it to our kids! At least, I was.

So, after watching this, I did research on Splenda (my alternative "healthy" option) & Truvia. It turns out Splenda does just as much damage, but in different areas of the body - not brain cancer & lymphoma but kidney & liver damage. Splenda is a cousin of DDT & is made by changing sugar by adding chlorine. It then becomes a Chlorocarbon. Again, I'm not an alarmist but this must be harmful to the body!

But Truvia actually isn't horrible. So I cleaned out the cupboards & hopefully we can meet our demise from another unknown source. I'll go back to my fantasy of Death by Chocolate!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Eating Too Little - Who Me??

So I've been more tired & grumpy lately. And it dawned on me that I'm actually eating too little. ME EATING TOO LITTLE? I've been playing a game with myself to see if I can go another 1/2 hr before eating and it actually has gone a bit too far. Lately I've only been eating about 300 calories by the time dinner roles around & then I'm not hungry enough after dinner to eat 2 more bars or shakes. But I'm now not losing as quickly. My health coach had told me that you know when you're "in the zone" when you aren't hungry & losing a little bit every day. So I still have the "not hungry" part down, but I need to keep my calories up. Never been a problem before.

It's funny how this journey is creating new experiences every day. I never understood those people that would "forget" to eat! So I'm eating all my food today & let's see how tomorrow goes!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Next Venture

So I've decided I like this program enough to become a certified health coach. Any guinea pigs out there (no pun intended). Anyway, my first course talked about HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) & I had always wondered why it was rumored to be so bad so I did some research & was amazed how confused I was. And I thought I was pretty well informed as to food. Maybe I was just well informed as to where to go EAT food.

So the question to you is - Which is "healthier" for your body, glucose or fructose? Have your answer yet?

Well, they both are okay in moderate amounts - a peach has 1.5 g fructose / 2.0 glucose / 4.8 sucrose. But how our bodies break it down is what I found interesting:

"Glucose is metabolized in every cell in the body but all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of test animals fed large amounts of fructose develop fatty deposits and cirrhosis, similar to problems that develop in the livers of alcoholics.

Fructose is generally regarded as being 1.73 times sweeter than sucrose.

Fructose is absorbed primarily in the jejunum before metabolism in the liver. Fructose is converted to fatty acids by the liver at a greater rate than is glucose. When consumed in excess of dietary glucose, the liver cannot convert all of the excess fructose in the system and it may be malabsorbed. The portion that escapes conversion may be thrown out in the urine. Diarrhea can be a consequence. A study of 25 patients with functional bowel disease showed that pronounced gastrointestinal distress may be provoked by malabsorption of small amounts of fructose.

Fructose interacts with oral contraceptives and elevates insulin levels in women on "the pill."

In studies with rats, fructose consistently produces higher kidney calcium concentrations than glucose. Fructose generally induces greater urinary concentrations of phosphorus and magnesium and lowered urinary pH compared with glucose.

In humans, fructose feeding leads to mineral losses, especially higher fecal excretions of iron and magnesium, than did subjects fed sucrose. Iron, magnesium, calcium, and zinc balances tended to be more negative during the fructose-feeding period as compared to balances during the sucrose-feeding period.

Because it is metabolized by the liver, fructose does not cause the pancreas to release insulin the way it normally does. Fructose converts to fat more than any other sugar. This may be one of the reasons Americans continue to get fatter. Fructose raises serum triglycerides significantly. As a left-handed sugar, fructose digestion is very low. For complete internal conversion of fructose into glucose and acetates, it must rob ATP energy stores from the liver.

Not only does fructose have more damaging effects in the presence of copper deficiency, fructose also inhibits copper metabolism--another example of the sweeteners double-whammy effect. A deficiency in copper leads to bone fragility, anemia, defects of the connective tissue, arteries, and bone, infertility, heart arrhythmias, high cholesterol levels, heart attacks, and an inability to control blood sugar levels."

WOW - didn't know that. I always thought when reading labels that if it said fructose & not HFCS then it was the sugar from fruit & was healthier. But the truth is, all this fructose is overtaxing our livers, raising our triglycerides & depleting us of nutrition.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

First Goal Met!

I'm still shocked that I am now below 300. Again I'll say it - Do you know how long I've been "trying" to reach that goal??? And it's so much easier now to do this whole "diet" thing. I say "diet" even though I now see that this is how I will be eating from now on. I still have my moments of wanting to eat for reasons other than nourishment, but I can pretty much talk myself through those situations. I ate off program a little bit on the way to the beach last week - I had a few bites of refried beans w/ my fajitas - & I felt horrible the next day. I felt bloated & sluggish. I'm sure it wasn't just the beans but probably the lard that they put in it. It reminded me how much I don't want to wake up feeling horrible every day. I would eat food knowing that it was going to make me sick the next day - that definitely seems a bit insane! But I felt it was too hard to eat correctly & I wasn't willing to make the sacrifice of yummy food - so I would eat.

I do wonder though, how I will cope with "yummy" food once I reach my goal. Will I never eat ice cream again? Will I choose it only occasionally? But then occasionally becomes weekly which then becomes every other day. So I'm happy with where I am but I'm still scared about reaching my goal. Of course I have a long way to go before I'm there.

Some of the other amazing benefits of losing this weight - my back went out last weekend & for the first time ever it went back in within a few minutes of stretching! That has NEVER happened before. And this weekend I had a Bug Party for my kids & I can't believe how well my body coped! I did need a few advil every night, but I can't believe that I'm still walking & functioning. And that's just 24 lbs. I really can't wait to see how I feel with another 50 off. That's my new goal - 250. When I reach 250 I can drop off Kurt's insurance, which costs us $400/month & go on my own.

This is good people - this is good!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Try to Lift That Pencil

So this is was Kurt & my argument for years - TRY! To me it's a dirty word. Should be stricken from the English language. Or at least taught to children in school what it actually means. To me, try means to put forth effort to do something without a clearly defined goal. To Kurt, it used to mean (maybe still does) to put forth effort to do something with the goal of successful accomplishment.

So "TRY" to lift that pencil. Most people LIFT the pencil - no, that's lifting - I said "TRY". To "TRY" to do something is not accomplishing it, it's merely trying. And when we get in the mode of "trying" it somehow clicks in our head that we don't have to accomplish the goal because "at least we tried". But the truth is, most things that we "try" to get done, could get done if we PLANNED!!! Now to Kurt, the word "planned" use to be an ugly word - I think with 3 kids, he has resigned to the fact that it's necessary now to plan.

So here's how a typical pattern works - "I'm trying to lose weight", I say as I'm eating a frosty. "I tried to finish the laundry", I say as I'm watching TV. "I tried to make it in service", but I didn't set my alarm & figured I would miraculously wake up on time. "I tried to get my work done" but I didn't go to bed at a decent hour & ate food that made me feel horrible the next day. The technical answer is, YES, try would be the right word, but not as I am using it. I did try without any plan for success. But when most of us use the word "TRY" as above, we think it means we should get credit for "trying".

So what do you think??

Saturday, August 15, 2009


It's been a struggle. There have been the moments that I just miss normalcy. I miss the old life. A few days ago it was just the horribleness of watching everyone eat homemade fresh peach pie & homemade mini pizzas made in the outdoor pizza oven. Those aren't fun moments but having lost almost 20 lbs is AMAZING!!

The other night I just needed to go out with Kurt & have a night away so I decided I could modify a meal at a restaurant and stay on program - so that's what I did. And it was great. I had to eat a hamburger with a knife & fork but I did well & besides feeling a bit bloated the next morning, I still have lost weight. I certainly can't do that every week, but I am retraining my brain that it's not all or nothing. It's just less often & modified. I'm sure people that quit drinking think they'll never have fun again on a Sat. night - but they will, it just won't be like it was.

I still feel overwhelmed by how far I have to go. I try not to think about that - but it's hard not to. My next big milestone is 299 & I should see that within 2 weeks, which I still can't believe. You have no idea how long I've been "trying" to do this. It's amazing when the pieces come together in your mind that allows a success. Thank you to EVERYONE that has been helping me and supporting me (or Kurt ignoring my horrible moods). And I owe a HUGE THANK YOU to NITA for your support last weekend. It was only by having your support that I got through the torture of watching everyone enjoy your food. It's like going to Ina Garten's house & bringing your own Costco chicken - but we did it & look - it's paying off!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Aspartame, Aspartame Everywhere but not a drop to drink!

So I'm going to kick the Aspartame habit for good. I know that it is horrible poison but I SOOOOO love my diet pepsi. And it's frustrating that the other no calorie drinks that are available just aren't available at convenience stores or drive thrus. So I have to drink coffee or ice tea or WATER, heaven forbid! But whenever I go back on Aspartame drinks I hang onto my weight. Kurt went of diet soda & lost 8 lbs. without even trying. And it's such a bad example for the kids. I don't want them to grow up on diet soda either. At least I grew up on Tab - that wasn't so bad now that we're looking back on things. Actually I saw it the other day @ Winco. Maybe I should stock up & go back to the good old saccharine days.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Great Epiphany

The week before I started this new eating plan I was saying, "I just want to get this over with." Someone asked me what I meant. I meant that I didn't expect this process to be fun & I wanted to be on the other side. What I didn't realize is that even when I reach my goal, I won't be on the other side. The problem with people on diets is that exact thinking - that there will be an end to this new & improved eating program - that once you reach your goal, you can go back to the enjoyable lifestyle to which you had been accustomed. "Oh I know I can't eat like I did before, but I can eat a lot more than what I'm eating." But in reality, that will only put the weight back on.

The truth is, right now I need to eat 2700 calories a day to maintain my weight. Once I reach my goal I'll need to eat about 1800. But if I was honest, I was eating around 4000 calories on many days. I mean a Chipotle burrito alone is about 1000 calories & 98g of carbs. But I often had breakfast meetings and then Kurt & I often ate out for dinner. So when you're eating out all the time it's easy to eat 4000 calories in a day without even trying. Add a beer or wine & you've eaten 3 days' worth of calories.

So my horrible epiphany the other day was that THIS IS the other side. Right now I might be eating around 1100 calories a day but I won't be going back to my old life. I will be only adding a small lunch to what I'm doing now. THIS IS the reality - even when I reach my goal. It was actually a bit depressing. I'm hoping that when I'm thin it's less depressing, but we'll see. The days of wine & roses (beer & burritos) is behind me.

I Conquered the Weekend!

I thought about writing that I survived the weekend at the beach, but I feel like it was more like conquering it. It was a BIG deal to me to stick 100% to the food plan & not eat off plan at all & that's what I did. We did eat out twice but I allowed myself to be out of my comfort zone & became the picky orderer (Sally in "When Harry Met Sally") & even sent my salad back because they put the corn strips on it - I thought later I could have just picked them out. Whatever - I was on a mission.

What I was surprised at was what I missed the most - I missed eating all the way home. The drive home from any trip is torture. I'm SO waiting for them to figure out the transporter. Even with the warnings we received in the movie "The Fly", I'm willing to take the risk. Drive 3 hours home from the beach or become a fly - hmmmmm.

And Kurt & I had a date morning today & I missed going out to breakfast. It felt strange to not get up early with the anticipation of going out to breakfast. We both had the brilliant idea to go for a bike ride but I laid down until the feeling past. I'm not that salubrious yet!

How Could You Let This Happen?

I have a theory. I believe during the time it takes to gain the first 30 lbs., on your way to being totally unrecognizable as your former self, you have a part of you screaming, “What are you doing to us?!!!” This is probably true of most addictions or compulsions – like gambling or binge drinking. There is a part of yourself that knows this isn’t going to turn out well. But the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing – stress, sickness, sadness, escapism – whatever it is, it feels necessary to continue. But after those first 30 lbs. that voice tends to be drowned out quite a bit. You become numb to the voice & you have succumb to the numbing sensation of food as comfort.

But here’s where my theory takes a turn – I believe the result of this is the “not wanting to be alone with oneself”. In some that becomes almost another persona – someone larger than life. Someone over the top. Someone with really big hair. You know the girl – too much jewelry, too much makeup – this is an end result of drowning out the sane person hidden deep inside. The other extreme is the “I give up” persona, the thoroughly unkempt girl – this is more the direction I have gone. No makeup, cheap ugly clothes, not caring about one’s appearance. It’s the same thing – not being alone with your true self. I don’t believe you’ll find a lot of fat people that are in touch with their ‘authentic selves’.

And the most amazing thing happens when you give up using food as comfort, you have to be alone with yourself & your thoughts & feelings for the first time in quite a while. I found it uncomfortable. I even wondered why I didn’t like myself anymore. I know I didn’t like what I had allowed to happen, but I actually had to get to know myself again. I had to determine what was important to me and what I was going to care about and what relationships really meant something to me. The truth is, as I sit here writing this, I still don’t have a clear picture of who I am now. My life has become something foreign to me and I often feel as if I’m living someone else’s life. It’s not in any way a bad life, but it’s so different than what I thought my life would look like. I don’t relate to my life or know what I think of the person living it. I guess after one has been numb to life for so long, when you “come to” you don’t recognize where you’ve gone.

The truth is, I think it doesn’t matter too much, as long as you haven’t thoroughly destroyed yourself or your family. I mean, we’re all on the rat’s wheel anyway so, in the end, we’re all in the same place after 20 years – it just has different wallpaper. But it is an odd sensation to wake up to yourself and your life not knowing yourself or knowing who you are anymore. Maybe this is just a result of getting older. Maybe we all wake up & don’t recognize ourselves anymore. Maybe allowing myself to get so large is just a small element in a process that was going to happen eventually.

But to answer the question – it’s quite easy to allow this to happen - after the first 30 pounds, that is.

Monday, August 10, 2009

$4.50 for Water!

I just went to the movies (The Proposal - better than I expected) & I paid $4.50 for water. I actually debated in my head to buy a pop instead because it seemed so wrong to pay $4.50 for a bottle of water. Of course, I could have had nothing but I kind of wanted something. I find it amazing how I have actually made poor food choices because I didn't want to pay the money for a better food choice. Salads or fresh fish is always more expensive than a hamburger. Or to eat at a fast food joint is always cheaper than to go to Subway. And pop is usually less expensive than a bottle of water. I guess all those years of being brought up by the thrift store queen have sunk down into my being. I need to shake off those genes & pay the darn $4.50 for a bottle of water & feel good about it! How else am I ever going to look as good naked as Sandra Bullock?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"And the woman saw that it was good . . ."

Gen. 3:6, "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

This helped me figure out another inexplicable behavior of mine. I couldn't understand why I would eat food that I knew I didn't like or that I took a bite & found that I didn't like, but I still would eat the whole thing. For example, I was at a gathering and the hostess had made apple pie. I don't like apple pie. I have never liked apple pie. When I have company I often make apple pie because I know I won't be tempted to eat it. But everyone was going on & on about how good the pie was so I had a piece. I took one bite &, yes, it was indeed apple pie. I didn't care for it. But I ate the whole thing. I felt crazy. Why would I do this? I contemplated this for days & finally the scripture above came to me. Eve saw the fruit, didn't know what it tasted like, but saw that it looked good. And with that limited knowledge alone, she ruined the next thousand years of mankind's history. She was the first emotional eater.

As I thought about this I thought of how many decisions we make with our eyes. In fact, I saw a test of people that ate a hearty breakfast with a blindfold vs. eating without a blindfold & the people that couldn't see said they were done LONG before those that could see. The other test was similar. They had people fill their plate & as they went to pay, the cashier sneezed on their food - so they said, "We'll take this one, go make yourself another plate." What the people didn't know is that when they went back, they gave them larger plates. They then weighed the food on the first plate & the second & saw that people took MUCH more with the larger plates. Put these two tests together & you can see why we eat entirely TOO much.

Lesson learned? Use a smaller plate, eat with a blindfold & don't decide what to eat based on what it looks like.

Hallmark Food Moments

One of the fascinating things that I discovered is that I couldn't resist a Hallmark Food Moment. I would wonder, "Why did I just eat when I wasn't at all hungry?" or "Why didn't I just tell my friend that called to go out to lunch and that I had already eaten?" Well, it came down to not wanting to miss out on a Hallmark Food Moment. Picture a cheesy Lifetime drama - the people are always in the perfect circumstance to find each other & find true love - their car breaks down, they find themselves in a rain storm, they get into the same elevator - you know. Well, I made eating food into the same cheesy drama. For example, I had already eaten lunch but when I ran an errand, I had locked my keys in the car. While I had to wait for the guy, there was a deli right across from the parking lot - "Hallmark Food Moment" - had to go in, get something to eat & wait for the guy. The more experienced counselor would recognize this as emotional eating - eating to escape boredom and stress. But at the time I coined the phrase, "Hallmark Food Moment". Another example, I had already eaten and a friend calls to see what I'm doing for lunch, "Nothing, where do you want to go?". I'm not going to turn down going out with a friend & I don't want her to eat alone . . . I still find it hard to tell someone that I have already eaten or that I can't join them. I still find it hard to wait in my car without something to eat when there's a Starbucks right over there (you know, they are ALWAYS right over there). But now at least I recognize why I'm so tempted and can pigeon hole the thought instead of feeling compelled to act on it.

1st Challenging Weekend

So I've been following the Take Shape for Life food program which is paired with Medifast. I eat 5 Meal Replacements and 1 Lean & Green meal a day. It's a simple program to follow - very little thinking about food. After you get over the 'being hungry' phase, it's actually quite easy. But this is my first challenging weekend. We are visiting my in-laws in Long Beach, WA & I have quite the food history with this peninsula. Of course, following the program outside of the luxury of my own home makes it a bit more difficult - smelling & watching the family eat fresh blueberry pancakes this morning wasn't fun (at least she didn't make bacon!) - and going to the picnic (that I'm now avoiding) to watch everyone eat hamburgers & hot dogs & all the fixins' won't be fun. But we've been coming here for 15 years & I know the best ice cream shop, the best sandwich shop, the best Chinese food restaurant, the best clam chowder, the best breakfast restaurant - I know them all. You know what it's like - you look forward to eating at your favorite restaurants on your favorite vacations. I've made it my habit to value the "Hallmark Food Moment". I'll describe that later - but basically I make the event revolve around food instead of anything else. I'm sure there are other fun things to focus on, but I haven't been looking for so long, it's a whole new experience. So I'm off to the picnic. I'll let you know how it goes!

Car Analogy

We don't fill our car's tank with gas when we are depressed, lonely, bored or have a date with friends. We fill it when it is near empty. We need to view eating in the same manner & stop eating for reasons other than hunger and energy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I Miss Food

I miss food. I'm thrilled at how well this program is working but I miss food. I miss the social aspect, I miss the entertainment aspect, I miss the flavor aspect & the feeling of being full. I miss the smells & textures. I miss the being waited on.

What I don't miss is the confusion of "What program am I doing today?" "What am I allowing myself to eat today?" "How do I not eat everything on my plate?" I don't miss the feeling of being stuffed, the feeling of beating myself up for having done that to myself again, the feeling of low blood sugar or being hungry while not having enough room in my stomach to eat more (when I've eaten totally the wrong thing.) I don't miss yo-yoing up & down every day because of water weight. I don't miss my huge pants being too snug. I don't miss being lethargic int he morning or the horrible feeling I feel after eating ice cream.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Food Addiction? Really?

So as I was listening to James Frey on Oprah (while she was still a believer) he was talking about addiction & listed food addiction right along side drugs & alcohol. Up until this point I didn't believe there was such a thing as food addiction but as he said what addiction was - as I recall he said it was a means of escape, a way to avoid feeling your stuff - I began to think about it. I certainly felt addicted, I had withdrawal symptoms when I didn't eat "treats", I literally felt the "AHHHHHH" feeling the moment I swallowed my first bite of something, when I was totally stressed out or overwhelmed I HAD to go get something to eat, I had to eat a "treat" before I balanced the checkbook or paying bills. "Yes" I thought, "I think I have an addiction to food." So now what? Do I check into a food rehab place? I looked it up and found that those places are for people with the opposite problem with food. So I eventually found Ellen Shuman & began working with her. She calls it Emotional Eating instead of food addiction but it looks & feels the same to me.

The first thing she had me do was ask myself before I ate, "What am I asking food to do for me at this moment?" I began making that my habit & found that most of the time the answer was entertain me or calm me down - it was rarely about feeling hungry. Even though this was enlightening, it didn't stop me from eating. The next step was allowing myself to feel the feelings that I was trying to escape by eating. This took a while but eventually I found those feelings bubbling to the surface & coming out at the most inappropriate times. As someone once described to me, holding down your feelings is like holding a large bouncy ball under the water. It will eventually come up & trying to hold it down is exhausting.

One evening I was sitting in a meeting holding my sleeping twins when someone started giving a talk about endurance. It was very much what I needed to hear but found myself crying with no way to get up & hide myself or wipe my nose. I slowly had to take one sock off at a time from the boys & use them for my nose until Kurt, my husband, came back to help. I found that I had to cry a lot for about 1 year before it got better. I had to journal (which I usually hate) & continue working with Ellen to get more clear about things. She kept telling me to trust myself that I can handle my feelings without food. Sometimes I could & sometimes I couldn't & just "needed" to eat to feel better & calm down.

It's now been about 3 years since I began working on my emotional eating & I still cry a lot more than before. Sometimes I find myself crying in the car for no reason at all except that I'm feeling stressed or I need to release all the pent up frustration. Not for "no reason" because letting out my emotions is actually much more healthy than bottling them up with food. I also had to work with Ellen to find out how to better communicate with Kurt so we dealt with things right away instead of fighting about dirty dishes for 3 weeks until the real reason revealed itself. Now we fight about dirty dishes for about a 1/2 hr before we take a break & then discuss the real issues.

And, the most amazing thing - I am not eating to deal with my emotions now. Especially now on this new food plan I am eating when I'm hungry & for no other reason. This would have been IMPOSSIBLE a few years ago. I can watch someone eat something amazing looking or go to a party with sweets & not even have a bite. Again, something I'm still amazed at. From feeling like had NO control over my actions & feeling as if I was being controlled by some other person to feeling totally in control of my actions is a very powerful feeling.

What I do still have are the thoughts - "Oh, there's a Starbucks, I can get a scone" "I'm close to the Teriyaki place" "A frosty sounds good". A drive through town elicits about 25 food thoughts. But now I don't act on them. I feel frustrated that I still have the thoughts but I'm sure in time even those will go away or diminish considerably. I have learned to immediately say to myself, "It's just a thought. Thoughts have no power or will on their own - they are merely a thought."

I'm sure like all addicts, I still miss the feeling that food would give me for a few minutes. Addiction is a strange thing - such a wonderful rush with such long lasting remorse. And I still question whether I'm really past it or whether this is a temporary control. I guess nothing is forever so if I don't use the skills that I learned, I guess I can easily go back to my old patterns. I feel the pang of fear every so often but then I remind myself how far I've come.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why a Blog? Am I Totally Crazy?

Well, yes, I guess I am. My friend says she feels a garage sale is like inviting people to look in your underwear drawer & that's how I feel about this blog. It's the equivalent of Wynonna Judd & Kirstie Alley going on Oprah baring their weight loss antics only to either not lose the weight or gaining it all back. How terrifying! So why am I doing this?

Many reasons, really. But here are a few:

1) I started a new weight loss program & am succeeding so far but find that without food, my day is boring and a bit hard to bear. I think focusing on my goal, writing my thoughts as I go through this process and remembering where I've been & where I want to go is going to be a productive use of time.

2) I feel more committed to the process by blogging about it.

3) I've been fascinated by the journey thus far & thought someone might also find some gems in my years of counseling and reading. Let me spend the money & you can reap the benefits.

4) If I can succeed, maybe I can help others as well.

So that's it, really. "Tread softly because you tread on my dreams" - Yeats

"I Want it Now" sings Wendy "Varuca Salt" Place

Yes, I have watched quite a bit of Willy Wonka in my babysitting years. And it seems it bled into my subconscious a bit too much since my Child Wendy was firmly in control. How do I possibly take control back from a 300 lb, 40 year old unruly child?

I began by writing all the things that I used to like to do when I was younger. Swim, ride a bike, be artistic, crochet, play with friends, play piano, and EAT JUNK. Then I looked at the list and asked myself, "Which of these things would still be of interest to you?" and "Which of these things are you allowing yourself to do?" and the only one that I consistently allowed myself is EAT JUNK. I found that I was always telling myself that I didn't have time or energy to do the fun things that I could do to fill my time. No wonder I ate so much junk - it was the only thing that my Parent & Child could agree on.

So I had to begin working on a more adult version of my "fun" and "allowable" activities and I tried to start integrating them into my everyday life. Including singing aloud to songs in the car. Since I was very little my brother would never "allow" me to sing aloud to songs. "I can hear your lips moving", I would hear even if I tried to mouth the words. So I had to overcome the urge to stop myself & I began singing aloud in the car to songs - much to the enjoyment of Emily my daughter. Also, instead of cringing when Kurt would sing aloud, I tried joining in & found it was much more fun (unless of course, it's Norah Jones - that's just sacrilege). Amazing how the little things can add so much enjoyment to your day.

What I still struggled with was the food addiction. Despite the advances I had made, it was still an addiction that I couldn't control most of the time. I was doing better and could make "better" choices but I still "needed" food to help me cope throughout the day.

How to overcome addiction - the age old question . . .

Listening . . .

So now I have the many voices of Wendy to listen to & I have found that I was missing some very important voices that I would need to "Stop the Insanity". Where to begin? I had to first start listening to what was actually being said. And start identifying who was saying it. For a while I actually tried naming them to help sort out what was going on - always the organizer - even in the face of craziness. And then I very consciously began cultivating the Nurturing Parent voice. I had to start by cultivating the Adult voice by taking the judgment away and the "I want" away and try to develop more of "It is what it is". As the Adult Wendy began to come through, I then could move towards, "What would the Nurturer in me want for me?".

I had to visualize someone that I thought of as a nurturing, calm, loving mother and I tried to emulate her. And eventually I did pull out of myself a more calm, non-judgmental, rational Wendy. It's taken many years but I find it interesting when I hear from my friends, "Wendy, what's happened to you? You never would have put up with that in the past." I strive to be gentle with myself & others even though I'm a pretty judgmental person. So I still have the critical voice, but I hear it & then try to temper it with "Yes, but . . ." and then think of something that is more kind. For example, "That person is so unkind & awful. They treat people horribly." "Yes, but look at how hard they work. They give up every weekend to be in volunteer service. We all can be used for what we have to offer & we have to overlook the negative and appreciate the good." One that I like to use is, "They are like onions, as we peel back the layers it's more & more stinky & they make us cry, but it's also one of the more healthy foods. Look at the big picture."

I found it interesting what a strong shift I had made over the past few years. I have always loved the Myers Briggs personality test. It was one of the first things that helped explain me and how I related to others. It also helped me learn how to bridle my tongue a bit more & why not everyone valued my opinions as much as I did. One of the questions is "Which is more valuable - Justice or Mercy?" I had always answered Justice. And when I looked at the test more recently I answer Mercy. Justice is so one-sided, unless you're God making the judgment. But Mercy can be shown every day to everyone around us.

I think one of the experiences in my life that shifted this belief was a friend (we'll call her Jane) that had been partially responsible for the "death" of a young man. She couldn't look at or speak with the mother of this boy because she felt so responsible and guilt ridden. The mother suffers from depression and is known to be a critical and harsh woman. One evening Jane opened the door to find the mother on the other side & Jane burst out in tears. The mother hugged her and told her that she didn't blame her and it wasn't her fault and that she should forgive herself for what had happened. To this day it makes me cry thinking about what an amazing gift she gave to Jane. For all the harshness this mother had shown to some people and for all the judgmental things I have heard spoken about her, I just remember the mercy she showed and she's an example to me of kindness.

I recently read the book (skimmed really - a bit too esoteric for me), "Excuses Begone" by Wayne Dyer and he talks about "Conversing with your subconscious mind" & I have to admit, it made me feel a bit more sane. It really is a step to coming out of strongly entrenched ideas and patterns.

So now I'm more in touch with my many selves and I'm trying to nurture myself, how do I handle this unruly child?

Multiple Personality Disorder - The Many Faces of Wendy

One of the most interesting things that I discovered in my journey to losing weight is that there are many of me. (I once saw a counselor that suggested I try to remember things in my early childhood & I mentioned my concern to my friend Kim "What happens if I develop multiple personality disorder?". She calmed my fears by saying, "Wendy, do you really think you're going to allow anyone else to be in control?" Too funny!!)

But in actuality, I do have conversations in my head where I am in conflict with myself. I mentioned earlier how I would be driving for a frosty while chanting in my head, "I don't want this. . ." I just didn't understand at the time that there was a MUCH stronger voice saying, "I NEED TO HAVE THIS." Once I understood that there was another voice to be heard that was actually controlling many of my actions, I had to take time to get to know the other Wendy. In fact, it was this Wendy that was in control for the past 15 years, since I had gotten sick.

Let me back up a bit - one of my previous counselors had explained the Parent Adult Child model to me & it explained quite a bit of what had been happening. The basics of what I can remember is that we all have at least 3 voices in us - the Parent is our authorative voice. It can be either Nurturing or Critical - for me, I would hear things like, "What's wrong with you?" "Why do you keep doing this?" "Why can't you learn from your mistakes?" "Knock it off!" Then there is the Adult - this voice is like the computer that processes information and circumstances - non-judgmental, rational, logical, and can be very assertive, when tapped into. This is called our "ideal self". And then there is the Child - this voice is unaware, emotional, vulnerable, selfish, and not concerned with the outcome. In me it sounded like, "I deserve this." "I don't care." "Take care of me." "So what?" "I want a treat."

Once I heard about this model it explained so much of what I had been experiencing for so long. In my pre-marriage years my Adult (Critical Adult) had been in control - I was very ambitious, had to finish what I started, tried to take on everything & do everything, was very judgmental with myself and others, I thought of myself as a type A personality. (Do y'all remember her?) But then I got sick & I physically couldn't keep up with that voice. I tried but it was impossible so my child came out in full force. What I didn't realize is that I never developed a Nurturing Adult so the only voice I had to handle "self-care" was my child. So I did what I wanted, when I wanted and didn't do what I didn't want to do. I had a horrible time MAKING myself do anything. Not only did this effect my weight but my house was a disaster, my bills went unpaid, I had a hard time working. Believe me, living with the child in charge is not conducive to a productive grown up life. Looking back, it would have been more fun if I had travelled and bought a boat and chose to be a child in this manner, but instead I ate and slept ALL THE TIME. Not too fun really.

So I had to begin the journey of integrating the Many Faces of Wendy into a productive, softer version of my former self . . .

Preparing Myself

It's been a long road to this place. I feel like I've been preparing for a marathon for the past 4 years, even longer really, more like 8 years now & it's time to run.

A little about what has led up to this point - in 1990 I was about 150 lbs., working out 3 times a week, burning the candle at both ends & about to get engaged to Kurt. I was a size 10/12. I ended up getting the basic cold sore virus & it sent my body into a tail spin that I haven't gotten out of in 19 years. I developed chronic fatigue and gained about 100 lbs. in the first year. Some of the weight gain was the change of lifestyle and the illness & A LOT of it was due to my developing a serious food addiction. I would eat to try to comfort myself every day.

Once I hit 300 lbs. I decided I had better stop gaining weight. This happened probably by 1999. I joined several weight loss programs, tried to create support groups amongst my friends, read several books, went to hospital sponsored educational events and saw many different counselors. I literally felt crazy in how I was behaving towards food. I didn't understand how I could want something so much in my mind & be so unable to control the actions of my body. I would think all the way to Wendy's to buy the frosty "I don't want this. I don't want this. I don't want this." & yet I would drive there, buy it & eat it. I couldn't even begin to understand what was happening. All the counseling and reading began a basic understanding what was happening and then my husband & I decided to have kids.

In 2002 my daughter was born. Thankfully, I dropped the weight that I had gained with her & settled to about 320. Then in 2005 I gave birth to twin boys. Again, I dropped back down to 325 a few months after their birth & have stayed there for 4 years.

The most meaningful and life changing process was done with Ellen Shuman with A Weigh Out Coaching ( in 2006 after the twins were born. Let me back up - I was watching Oprah one day & James Frey was on that had written "A Million Little Pieces" and he talked about addiction and he mentioned food addiction in the sentence. Up until now I had "poo pooed" the idea that there was such a thing as food addiction - but hearing him describe his addiction really made me think that I too suffered from addiction. So I googled food addiction/emotional eating and ended up on Ellen's site & after checking her out, decided to work with her. I was so angry that none of the counselors that I had seen up until now had never mentioned food addiction or even opened up the notion that this existed.

So working with Ellen for about a year 1) helped me understand food addiction/emotional eating 2) helped me through a very difficult bout of post partum depression 3) helped save my marriage. But it didn't help me lose weight - at least not yet. There was still a bunch of internal work to be done. . . .