On the Edge of a Binge

Last night was a tough night. Up until evening I had a stellar day. Right on point, kept my carbs low, and drank plenty of water. Then it hit, this deep urge to eat. I battled this late in the evening, I felt no belly hunger, it was just an urge to eat. A drive that is way too familiar.

I woke up this morning without that urge, feeling ready to conquer the day. What a difference a good nights sleep makes. There is always darkness right before the dawn.

I knew the hunger was in my head and maybe a little in my heart. I feel my deepest loneliness late at night, and loneliness triggers my urges to eat and nurture myself. This was a habit channeled long ago when I was a lonely little girl, spending too much time alone and disconnected. I want to point out, being alone is way different that being lonely. I was feeling lonely last night. I craved to connect, so small talk with just anyone was not going to help.

The truth is, I am not a child anymore, yet the urge came from the little girl inside of me. She was so use to using food to feed her lonely pain. But the difference is, I’m not a child, I am the adult, and I need  to parent to that little girl.

Over eating is not something that takes over our actions like a demon we have no power over. Biologically our frontal lobe of our brains is where we make decisions. This separates us from the animals.  We choose our actions. Now this urge sometimes feels like it possesses me, and that little girl inside of me truly believes she is being taken over. But that is when I need to be the kindest to myself, remembering how much I deserve to be healthy and happy. knowing my worth, and all the talents God has given me. Reminding myself of those close friends who have been at my side for years and would drop and run if I was ever in a crisis.

But that is still not the magic answer, it’s hard, and what I feel, well, it feels real, very real.  This is when I have to act on knowledge and not feelings. I know the facts; I am not feeling belly hunger, I don’t need to eat, there are many other ways to nurture myself. This is one reason why I dislike the phrase “if it feels good do it” or “if it makes you happy…..” Some things that feel good are bad for us. Like eating myself to weighing over 500 pounds. For that moment, the food was good, it felt good, it gave me temporary happiness. But I paid the price.

I’m seeing a world that has become instant gratifying, acting on feelings instead of doing what it right and good. Everything is fast, if the drive up at McD’s takes more that 5 minutes we whine, we don’t plan ahead, we act on impulse regardless of how self destructive it will be in the long run.

I have noticed there are triggers that kick in these urges, for me it’s when I am tired, lonely, insecure, or bored. I need to be mindful that an urge is not a feeling. It’s the feelings that trigger the urges, but an urge is simply and urge. This takes away a lot of it’s power. It’s not a fight, it’s being smart, using wisdom and thinking things through before we bite.

 

 

Bread

I really, really love carbs. I love bread, potatoes, pasta, popcorn anything high in carbs. I had a mother who was a very brittle insulin dependent diabetic, so I grew up without a lot of sweets in the house. I’m grateful that I don’t burn with desire for sweets. I can’t keep them in the house, because they still tempted me. But If they are not around, I really don’t miss them. But I love starchy carbs!

Some of my weight loss friends, who have great success, have given up sugar completely. With that in mind I’ve been contemplating how I can get a grip on my carbohydrate intake. I admire that they honor their bodies more than the food they crave. I also believe the process of losing weight when you have a lot to lose is always being refined. I like what my friend Sean Anderson calls his Fundamental Elements. I was a bit confused as to what this was at first, but I believe it’s the basic plan you never waver from, no matter what happens in your life. Even in a crisis or a day that has been completely out of order, you stay committed to those fundamental Elements.

I really like the word picture Sean uses to describe his Fundamental Elements as a stream that runs side by side with his daily life.creeks The stream keeps flowing no matter what is going on beside it.

I have been doing some refining on my Fundamental Elements, or what the late Steven Covey of 7 Habits of Highly Successful People calls “Sharpening the Saw”. (That book changed my life. It was the catalyst that motivated my previous weight loss of 200 pounds in the late 90s).

I have committed to consuming only 3 “breads” a day. I think in the old days we called them breads, or in the old Deal-a-meal it was a starch card. Things have changed a lot since then, we count carbs in grams and we know even milk and broccoli have carbs.  But I have to keep things realistic and doable. My purpose is to keep a general control on my carbs. As strange as it may sounds, 3 starches a day is a pretty low carb day. That is still under 250 calories of starch out of my 1400 calories budget. Sometimes I wonder if some of these complicated diets in all these diet books are actually working because the calories are lower, and it’s not the magic combination of foods we eat. I do believe a higher protein lower carb diet is probably a little easier on our bodies and more satisfying. But in general, calories are the wood we burn to keep the fire going.

I need to add, that I am not a dietitian. My theory are only mine, and may change someday. I am simply a woman who has dieted or cheated on her diet all of her life. I do not think there have been many times in my life I was not on a diet. Most of my bad eating was when I was cheating on my diet. But by all means consult your Doctor regarding any diet or weight loss plan your try.

I just don’t want to lie to myself. I hear so many people justify food behaviors, and have themselves convinced it’s ok, then wonder why they are not having success.  When it’s obviously a road block to their weight loss. I don’t want to judge, I just want to stay real. I’ve done the same thing many times over and over again. I fight constantly with that peanut butter jar.  I think at some point I may have to give it up completely, because from time to time I can pile 4 or 5 tablespoons on a slice of toast.  I live alone, so I can dip my finger in that jar and eat a tablespoon standing there waiting for my bread to toast. I am like a drunk being told to keep a 6 pack in the fridge and drink only one a day. It seems foolish to even make that temptation available. But one thing at a time.

I can’t make a pot of mashed potatoes and eat only a 1/2 of a cup and put the rest in the fridge. The rest of the potatoes in the refrigerator will take me 2 weeks to eat at 1/2 cup at a time. There are lots of foods I need to just stay away from. Or go out to have, like a small ice cream cone, verses a 1/2 gallon of it in my fridge. I don’t believe I have ever cooked 1 serving of pasta, or bake one cinnamon roll, even though I can count the calories and eat a small one once in a while.

My role models, or people I know who have the success I want to have, seem to keep things simple. They clear out all of the red light foods out of their kitchens. They never justify anything, they stick with their fundamental elements regardless. They never hesitate setting food boundaries with their friends and loved ones. And they don’t seem to spend a lot of time contemplating anything like I am now. They spent more time living. Enjoying what they eat, yet having balance in their consumption and thoughts about food. Someday I want all of this mindfulness, to become mindlessness.  I want to go into automatic pilot and just live. Good habits that go into automatic pilot take time. it takes a constant mindfulness, for a time, until the habit kicks in. ” We need to be mindful in order to become mindless”

Some of my naturally skinny friends forget to eat. I have not done that very many times in my life. They are so busy living that they don’t want to stop to nourish themselves, but they eat to live. I want to have that kind of passion for life. I believe it’s possible to acquire that.

What stumbling blocks do you have in your food plan? What can you do to sharpen the saw? I believe refining out habits are one of the roads to success.

Manipulation and Deception

I had a little binge on a sleeve of soda crackers crackersand a glass of milk at 5 AM Sunday morning. I know, its not like eating a chocolate cake, but I am working a weight loss program built on honesty. I kind of felt embarrassed about it. It seems it would be easier to confess eating a chocolate cake than a sleeve of crackers. It’s not a common thing people eat to cheat on their diet.

Some of you may not relate to this, but when you are a food addict like me, it’s not about the kind of food I’m eating. It’s about how much I’m eating. It’s almost impossible to weight 300-500 pounds and not have a food addiction. I do have my kitchen set up with only healthy food. It’s foolish to be morbidly obese and have any sweets, or high calorie food around for ANY reason. But that is only part of the solution.

I can find something to eat or make regardless of what kind of food is around. When I was in grade school both of my parents worked. I came home from school to an empty house and was alone until 5.00 PM when my parents came home. I am sure a lot of my overeating started with eating out of loneliness in an empty house. I was a little girl that needed nurturing, so I found it in food. We were kind of poor, and there was never a pantry full of treats or snacks. But I could make something out of anything. Some of the strange things I use to do when there was no snack food was fry cheerios in butter and salt, and eat like popcorn, I would eat lots and lots of toast, many times loaded with butter, sugar and cinnamon. I would get my Moms Better Homes Cookbook$_35 out and make all kinds of stuff, from fried Bologna sandwiches, and  biscuits to even hard candy. I became a really great cook due to my  after school eating.

So now that I am an adult, and I have processed all the reasons I started over eating years ago, the reason have faded and all I have left is that habit. The knee jerk reaction to any trigger feeling or just simply a bad habit. I have analyzes and analyzes my deep feelings, read books, been to therapists, yet, the urges still exist. maybe not as strong, but still there on ocasion. I think they will always be there in the shadows. But I am an adult, and I have a brain that is capable of refraining from doing things that are self destructive. I’m kind of tired of hearing people use feelings as an excuse for bad behavior. Just because you feel something does not mean you have to act on it. my source of pain, became an urge, that channeled a deep habit. It is my choice to act on that urge or not. This is called “Personal Responsibility” it’s what grown ups are susposeto do. (I recommend a book entitled QBQ The Question before the Question, it changed my life and got me on the wagon of good health)

The thought occurred to me to manipulate the daily post on My Fitness Pal. It would have been easy to find similar calories, or post the crackers for a dinner or Lunch meal, and escape the shame that I felt. It’s so easy to be honest when I’m eating perfectly. But we all know, no one is always perfect. That’s why its crucial to be bare naked honest. Just stating that we are not prefect does not let us off the hook. The real learning comes when we fess up. It’s important to post that sleeve of crackers eaten in the middle of the night, or that unmeasured heaping spoonful of mayo in your tuna. That piece of toast soggy with all the butter spread on top. These are the things that trip me up, these are the lies I can get caught up in and actually convince myself I was eating on track. Food addicts all have tricks we use to over eat. I am an expert at filling my plate up on a buffet and make it look like an average portion. An extra slice of ham under that pile of mashed potatoes, that scoop of green beans overlapping the scoop of mac and cheese so it does not seem like such a big portion. I know some of you have some of your own tricks.

It’s like my brain has its own way of measuring calories, and no matter what it is, as long as I get my quota in, I will consume anything, especially if its loaded with calories.  I can trick myself into eating vegetables and extending my portion with low calorie food,that helps a little,  but by the end of the day, it still does not completly satisfy. The satisfaction has to come from another place, and in time I believe it will. When you don’t think you can white knuckle it any longer, just hang on one more minute, then it seems we get that season of blissfully being in the zone. But it will never happen until we are truly real and honest regardless of how embarrassing it may be. ( I recommend another book, Brain over Binge this, with the QBQ book shifted my pardighm thinking about my self destructive behavior)

This is a hard place for me to blog about. Some secrets of the morbidly obese never get exposed because we don’t even know them ourselves. We are so use to just reacting on impulse. But if you want good health, and to really enjoy life without the cumbersome of being obese, we have to go there. I challenge you all to look deep inside. What secrets are you harboring? Are there some things you need to change but are in denial about? When we get freedom from these things that hold is it is glorious! healing comes little by little, with every confession, and every things we let go of, comes liberty.

For the times they are a-changin’

I’ve always been a Bob Dylan fan. I grew up listening to his music like all of us Baby Boomers have. One of my favorites is Times are a Changin’. This song rings true to my life and my day yesterday.

I went to see my Doctor yesterday. I was 40+ pounds lighter than the last visit a couple of months ago. It felt so good, and my Doctor is so supportive.

Dr Barto and I in late August, and now in November, 40+ pounds lighter. Not a huge visual difference, but I seem brighter, better color, and my face seems a tiny bit thinner.

Dr Barto and I in late August, and now in November, 40+ pounds lighter. Not a huge visual difference, but I seem brighter, better color, and my face seems a tiny bit thinner.

She gave me a big smile and a hug. It meant a lot to me.

Having a doctors approval is not something common to me. As a child I hated going to the Doctor. I was born a fat kid, over 9 pounds. I don’t remember ever being anything but fat. When I was 4 years old I went to a weight loss doctor that put me on amphetamine, some black and white capsules. This was in 1961, before we knew how deadly these diet pills were. I just remember sitting on the floor coloring, scribbling, feeling that rush and anxiety in the wee hours of the morning because I was too high to sleep.  My Mom would fall asleep on the couch sitting up with me. I lost 20 pounds at age 4. Size0WhiteBlackCapsThat’s a lot of weight for a 4 year old. But soon I gained it back. Then I remembered a weight loss Doctor I was taken to when I was about 9 years old. He gave me many, many pills I was to take through out the day. I remember his nurse gifting me a pill box that had sparkly glitter on top and when you opened it, there were 9 compartments for each pill. I remember there being more pills than compartments and having to double up some of them. I don’t remember having any success, just the Doctor visits and the blood test and being weighed and measured. I hated it, I felt like a freak.

By the time I got to high school I had tried every diet known to man. My Mom was a talker, and I just remember over hearing her continually talking to her friends and her Sister her concern about my weight and how hard it was to find clothes that fit me. It was different world back then, looks were important and fat children were not as common. Fat people were shamed. I always felt like a freak. I remember going to the movie Elephant Man and weeping through the whole movie. I felt like the Elephant Man everywhere I went.

Appearance seemed extra important in my world. My Mother worked at a high end Department store, she was the pretty lady at the jewelry counter right when you walked in through the revolving doors. They put some of their prettiest people in that department. Having a fat daughter was something she always felt guilty about. She was worried her coworkers and friends would think she was a bad mother. I rarely got to see her at work. So I grew up feeling like I was someone she was ashamed of. Children don’t understand some of the reasons our parents do or say what they do, we are little sponges that think we are the cause, or flawed. I felt very flawed. I knew I was loved, but I felt like I disappointed my family.

As I have mentioned before, I grew up in a fundamental Christian home. I love the values I grew up with, but in my church looks counted big time. The particular church I attended at the time put an über value on appearance. I was active in the youth group, and teen choir. Our church had a local TV program every week. Our Teen choir had an unusual amount of beautiful talented people. I felt like the freak in the group.

The teen choir of beautiful talented teenage I belonged to in the 70's. I have a special love to this day for all these beautiful people.

The teen choir of beautiful talented teenage I belonged to in the 70’s. I have a special love to this day for all these beautiful people.

 

So I took on the role of the super sweet and funny fat girl, who was everybody friend, and a good listener. I did feel very loved. But I always felt I never measured up. Having one of the boys in my group ever want me for a girlfriend was not even something I considered. My value was in how sweet, funny and what  good listener I was. Everyones friend, never a threat to the beautiful girls, and only a buddy or like a little sister to all the boys.

I refused to go to the Doctor in high school, I hated feeling all the shame it brought me.  It was not until I was 40 years old and had a couple of married friends who were both Physicians that convinced me I needed to go. They were both very kind and patient with me, and walked me through the doctor visits step by step. I am so grateful to this day for these dear friends.  I’m not sure to this day they realize what a gift they were in my life. Up until I met Marty and Kathy Lofgren, I only felt fear, shame and a hopelessness going to the Doctor. Their moving to Oklahoma was devastating to me. But it was a great move for them and their growing families. I went to another Doctor in the same office that I knew pretty well, and I am so grateful for my friend and Doctor Eileen.

I have walked out of the shame that held me captive so long, and now I am treating myself and my body with respect. In the past when I had successful weight losses, they were motivated by the desire to be accepted and loved. Today, I feel acceptance and loved no matter what my size, in fact, because of that transformation, I will take better care of myself. Somewhere in my journey a paradigm shift is happening. So today, Things are a changing’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

Pumpkin Muffins

I woke up late this morning, and didn’t get around to breakfast until noon. Not something I want to make a habit of. So I ended up eating brunch. I am working on getting my portions under control, so I will be posting often daily this week. Thanks!

 

I found this info on Dr. Oz  today. he showed how rice cooked with coconut oil and cooled for 12 hours then reheated has 1/2 the calories! Pretty cool huh? FullSizeRender 29 copyIMG_3612

My Dinner meal was all weighed and measured very carefully, but when I put it all together it made a TON! I did end up eating it. I think next time I will be more accurate how much to make. Since it was mostly vegetables I am sure I won’t be full too long. Here is the pictures and my MFP post. I have an apple to eat later. If I’m not hungry, I don’t think I will eat it. I’ve eaten very healthy today.

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Weighing and Measuring

I’m doing this accountability thing with a weight loss group I just joined. I’m very excited about this group. There seems to be a lot of like minded people in it. One of my tasks for the week is weighing and measuring everything I eat.IMG_0649 I have only done this one day but it’s been pretty eye opening. I have used measuring cups, and been pretty accurate reading the back of food packages as to how much is in a serving, but this is different.

Today's lunch

Today’s lunch

I’m learning how much 14 g’s of Olive Garden croutons is. (not much)

I set a 10 week goal for myself, and it’s doable, but will take deep dedication. I will have 30 pounds off in 10 weeks. My current weight is 430 pounds, I will be going into the New Year in the 300s.

MFP food, Breakfast and Lunch

MFP food, Breakfast and Lunch

That’s a big deal to me. Funny how 399 pounds does not seem near as much as 400. I try not to get too caught up in the numbers, but it really is a measure of my success.

So I will be posting a lot of food pictures, just to keep me accountable. I always like to see what dieters eat. Everyone is different. I’m really trying to eat a lot more vegetables. I’m also going to be more mindful of the carbs I eat. When I did Deal-a-Meal in the 90s, I had 3 bread cards. That’s kind of what I’m aiming for. Bread meaning starch, be it potatoes, rice, bread, or pasta. The last, pasta being my biggest temptation. I think I need to steer clear from pasta. In the old Weight Watchers meetings we called it our “red light” food. That was food we were allowed in moderate amounts, but had a weakness for. I’m really excited for the direction I’m going with this. It will be so wonderful to look back at 2015 as the year I decided to get healthy and lost over 100 pounds.

Evening meal and MFP post.

baked lemon pepper chicken, roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash

baked lemon pepper chicken, roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash

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large baked Honeycrisp apple with cinnamonFullSizeRender 29IMG_3607

Accountability

I just wanted to make good of my word, from my last post. I had coffee and a  Pumpkin muffin (recipe below) IMG_0630for breakfast, and an onion, mushroom, tomato, omelet for Lunch with a 1/2 raisin bagel, and some fresh pineapple. FullSizeRender 24 I will have left over Chili for Dinner. Thanks!

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Pumpkin Cranberry Bran Muffins

1 large can puréed pumpkin
3 eggs
1 quart buttermilk fat free
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
I box of all Bran cereal
4 cups Bisquick
1 cup craisons
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon soda powder
1 tablespoons baking powder

Optional roasted pumpkin seeds for top of muffins

Makes 30 jumbo muffins
198 calories
60 regular size 99 calories

Pour the quart of buttermilk over All Bran and let it soak for 10 minuites. Add the rest of the ingredients mix well. Place liners in muffin tins and spray each liner with Pam. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes for large muffins. Test with toothpick if comes out clean, they are done. I put in individual ziplock sandwich bags and freeze. Can be thawed in microwave for 45 seconds to a minute. So good with a cup of coffee.

 

 

Stepping up my Game

I’m stepping up my game. I have not been cheating or going over my daily 1400 calories, but I have been starving myself all day and eating big evening meals and snacking. I know this is very hard on my metabolism. First I starve myself, so my body becomes fuel efficient,bug then I eat more food than my body can process in that short amount of time, so my body has to figure out if I am starving or over eating.

I have heard this explained comparing out bodies to a wood burning stove. In the morning, the stove is cold from going so long without fuel. So we eat very little, very late in the morning (or afternoon) or starve ourself first thing in the morning. Maybe skip lunch, or eat very light. Then evening we took it up to high, and the fire blazes.stove So our house (body) is either hot or cold. A healthy body burns evenly all day. keeps things at a steady pace. Just like a wood burning stove.

I think there is more to this for me, than planning my meals better. It’s my relationship with food. I use food in the evenings to wind down. A reward at the end of a day. Honestly, I can go all day without eating, I really don’t get tempted to over eat until late in the day. I don’t have that switch in my brain that recognizes hunger and fullness. Most of my eating has been recrational. I’m really hoping I will acquire that feeling in time. As long as I get my morning coffee, I’m good. But once I start eating at night, my portions get too big, and I really fight the urge to eat all evening. For now, I seem to have a grip on the middle of the night eating I struggled with so long. I can be so much better at measuring my food, as well. I am committed to weighing and measuring my food too.

Eating and food can not be a reward or a tool to relax. I have to come to realize in my mind that food is not what my day, or my life revolves around. I am so programed this way, and the world supports it. As we enter into the holidays, the main focus is what we are going to make and eat. rockwellOur fondest memories revolve around food. It’s what we do with out families, friends, and loved ones. I want to get to the place when my thoughts about Christmas is about my relationship with God and family. Not what we are eating.

Now don’t get me wrong, I will always enjoy food, and I will always love to cook. God created food to be enjoyed. But not when our existence is wrapped around it. I am attempting to gain balance. Old habits are so hard to break, but first we have to acknowledge them to do anything about it. That’s what I’m doing today.

When I started getting serious about getting health it was all about the weight. I did not really care how I did it as long as the scale went down. I now realize as I get older, it is a health issue. I can lose weight many ways, but doing it the healthiest way is going to pay off in the long run.