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.