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an all too familiar feeling

8 Aug

Finally sobering up from last week, I spent some time this weekend thinking about what this journey means for me.  The last few days, I’ve been really struggling, feeling sluggish and finding myself tempted by junk that I haven’t had in months.

I have this fear in the back of my mind and recognizing a feeling that is all too familiar.  I have now lost 36.2 pounds, which is a big milestone because as an adult, it is the most I’ve lost at any one time.  In the past, the amount of weight that I’ve lost hasn’t been motivation enough to keep going.  Instead I relapse.  At 36.2 pounds, I am excited, but extremely skeptical and fearful of what happens next.

This skepticism combined with a feeling of not being on top of my game the last few days has really got me concerned.  I’ve learned so much about how to eat better and make better choices over the last few months.  My clothes were fitting better and I was feeling good.  But the last few days, I really feel like I’ve hit a wall.  I feel gross–sort of bloated and stuffed.  Nothing seems to fit right, the scale isn’t moving, and I can feel my motivation waning.  I know I am in dangerous territory.

Yesterday I spent some time thinking about what habits I ignore that are leading up to what feels a lot like a relapse?  I spent the better part of the day thinking about this and believe I’ve identified four things that have led to my failure in the past and are again threatening my progress.

  • Fear of Failure
  • Underestimating Small Decisions
  • Creating Unnecessary Obstacles
  • Losing Focus

Let me explain…

  1. Fear of Failure: At times I am my own worst enemy.  I hold myself back for fear of not doing something perfectly or failing altogether.  As far as this journey, I think my biggest mental block is seeing how far I’ve come.  Instead of seeing 36 pounds as a positive, a part of me sees it as a long way to fall, if for some reason I fail again.  If I had lost 5 pounds and regained it, I would have been bummed, but to regain 36 pounds…I’m not sure if I am prepared for such disappointment.  Rational?  NO.  A real fear? YES.
  2. Underestimating Small Decisions: A big part of this journey for me is not feeling deprived, as this tends to lead to burning out and giving up.  I admit that throughout this journey I’ve made what felt like small, insignificant decisions and ignored the implications.  I’ve decided to occasionally have “a bite of this” or “a bite of that” and then simply went on with life as though those small bites wouldn’t add up.  Looking back on those “insignificant” choices, I wonder if I unknowingly have been reinforcing bad habits and failing to build up the willpower that I need to be successful on this journey.  Now, I don’t think a bite of TB’s ice cream every so often or a little bite of cake here or there would make me regain a lot of weight, but I think it reinforces a nasty habit of not being mindful and treating these “bites” like free food.  I can see how this could easily get out of hand.  A bite today, could easily become three bites, a slice, or a binge tomorrow. Before I allow this to happen, I need to rethink EVERYTHING that goes into my mouth and CLAIM IT!
  3. Creating Unnecessary Obstacles: My last post was about eating home-cooked meals away from home.  I got an interesting comment on this one from reader and fellow blogger, Fit B, saying that she lets people know about her journey so that they can be supportive.  That approach was spot on and would solve the problem, but it was my response that later made me pause.  I responded that I wasn’t ready to tell everyone because I didn’t want people constantly monitoring what I eat.  After I responded, I thought…why IS that?  Is it because I don’t want people to hold me accountable?  I don’t want people to know if I jump or fall off the wagon?  I don’t want to give up that freedom of making bad decisions without being judged—or so I think?  WOW!  This blew my mind.  At the end of the day…I need to hold MYSELF accountable and stop with the excuses.  This is a tough realization.  No, it doesn’t mean I will rush out and post on Facebook that I am on this journey, but it does mean that I need to be aware that I tend to build up walls that I can hide behind.  It is no secret that I need to eat better and lose weight and the fact that I am trying should be applauded, not hidden.  I need to work on getting over this hang up, as it really would make my life easier.
  4. Losing Focus: And finally, my last epiphany is the simple fact that at times I lose focus.  I forget why this journey is so important.  I take my eye off the prize and get distracted.  If I am serious about doing this, I need to remain focused on what drives me to WANT to get better!

Okay, so this post is CRAZY long…my sincere apologies, but I needed to write down these thoughts.  I know I need to face my fears and get to a place where I can accept occasional slip ups.  I need to take ownership of bad choices and need to learn to stop myself before I make an excuse or make life harder than it has to be.  And I desperately need to STAY focused!!

Anyone else out there get to a certain point in weight loss where you hit a wall and begin slipping in the wrong direction?  What do you do to break through and stay focused?

the trouble with home-cooked meals

7 Aug

A multiple choice question for you.

When trying to maintain a healthy diet, which would you prefer:

A.  a home-cooked meal

B. eating at a restaurant

Prior to last week, I would have chosen (without a second thought) choice A.

With “A” I have more control and much less temptation.  There are no surprises, and I know exactly what I am about to eat and how that might affect my progress on this weight loss journey.

The sad realization is that there is a BIG problem with choosing “A”.  “A” not only includes a home cooked meal prepared in the safety of your own house where you can read labels and substitute less than desirable ingredients with higher fiber/lower fat alternatives.  No, what lurks in the “A” category are home cooked meals made by our friends and family.  Meals cooked with love and all the good intentions to leave you feeling satisfied.  Meals that unfortunately also  threaten to sabotage your efforts to eat healthier.

Think about this for a second, because this is a rude awakening that I had last week.  TB had family in town.  When family is in town that means one thing…a lot of  family meals and gatherings.  Restaurants, our house, his parent’s house, his brother’s new girlfriend’s house..you get the picture.  It’s what I could best describe as a “Taste of” festival of nonstop eating, drinking and reckless abandonment of the rules I’ve learned and the path I so desperately need and want to take.

By the time this love fest ended, I was left feeling sick and less than satisfied.

I hoisted myself onto the scale to see digits that had disappeared weeks ago.  Oh…SO NOT WORTH IT!

Which is why I am asking you guys this very important question.  What do you do when faced with a home-cooked meal at someone else’s house?  Do you just go with the flow in fear of insulting them?  Do you mention that you’re trying to eat healthier and imply that they clearly are not.  What an awkward situation.

I tried to make healthy decisions as much as I could, but honestly can say I was simply not prepared for what was transpiring.  The thought never occurred to me that having people in town could get me so off track.

The nights we went out for dinner at local restaurants were much easier than those nights of sitting around a table with Thanksgiving like portions of lasagna, cheesy garlic bread, caesar salad with loads of dressing and vegetables dripping with butter.  Good Grief!  Not to mention the desserts, wine, and sugary after-dinner coffees!

At least at a restaurant I can plan ahead, try to find the nutritional value of the meal prior to leaving the house and have a tight game plan.

The only thing I know now is that after last week this girl desperately needs an action plan for these dangerous home-cooked meals.  Anyone have any suggestions?

Longing for a way to see the glass half full, I did see one tiny silver lining in this past week.  I felt miserable.  I was bloated, my body ached and I felt absolutely BLAH!  It literally felt like I was hungover from food.  I know it may seem weird that I am calling this my silver lining, but it really is!  I’ve eaten like this before (too many times to count).  The difference…I can recognize that it makes me feel bad.  You see, prior to this journey I thought that blah, bloated feeling was normal.  At least it was MY normal.  Feeling sluggish and tired and just all together crummy was status quo.  This realization gives me hope.  I can literally feel the damage that I am doing to my body.  I feel as though for the first time I am aware of bad decisions and can hear my body talking back.  And believe me…it is NOT happy!

So, my point (600+ words later) is to warn you: Don’t be fooled by a home cooked meal.  They are not all created equal…and some are much worse than what you’d find at a restaurant.  But seriously, if anyone has any suggestions on how to handle yourself when faced with plates of calories and evil temptations…please let me know.  After this week, I’ve decided that I want a solid holiday game plan.  I know we’re months away from the holidays, but never too early to prepare!  I’m going to need some preparation and LOTS of practice to say no thank you, no sir and no ma’am!

i think he’s trying to kill me

30 May

Whew…Not sure what’s going on with my body these last few days.  I am exhausted!  I wake up tired so I am dragging booty all day.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t blessed with the ability to go back to sleep once I get up, so once those eyes are open and I am mentally alert,  G A M E    O V E R.  Then, as we begin our day full of errands, I drag myself into the insane heat which is Texas this time of year and I literally feel what little energy I have being sucked out of my body almost immediately!  I often times wish we could move to a cooler climate.

And to make matters worse, I am pretty sure the boyfriend is trying to kill me.  He has always been my opposite (and as they say, we’re supposed to attract).    He likes to spend money, I like to save money.  He’s full of jokes (at least he thinks they are funny) and I am at times more serious.  He’s great with his hands, and I am anything but handy.  He’s a neat freak and I am a creative mind!  His idea of a great weekend is walking around in the heat all day or spending the day on the boat….my idea of a great weekend is being in air conditioning, preferably lounging on a couch.  He’s full of energy and I…well..now we’ve come full circle.

So jury, I present you with the following evidence that suggests I should be in fear for my life:

Let’s go back a few days to Friday evening.  It was time to cut the grass, a job that he typically does solo.  Last week, being in need of my 30-minutes of exercise, I decided to assist (a first for me).  Now I admit, it was very enjoyable, almost therapeutic.  But it is important that the ladies and gentlemen of the jury understand that this scene played out on a nice unseasonably cool day which helped contribute to my positive attitude and willingness to help out.

So on this hot evening, when temperatures were still at about 90 degrees, the boyfriend excitedly announces…”Time to cut the grass!”  After being outside in the heat for about 5 minutes I wondered if he was nuts!  The answer is YES!  I was able to escape this torture by convincing him to let it cool down just a little.  So about 30 minutes later it was probably 85 degrees and we began edging and weed-eating, mowing and blowing.  On this particular evening he requested that the yard be cut on a diagonal.  I admit, I have always been fond of yards cut on a diagonal, but now that I have had to do it, I question if the homeowner just doesn’t have anything better to do with their time.  It took TWICE as long to do that, and let’s just say, it takes some serious skills to get perfectly straight lines (which I did not achieve this time).  Needless to say, I was weak in the knees kind of tired after that and by the time Saturday rolled around my battery was still not completely recharged.  This brings us to Saturday…a new day and time to hit the road yet again!  Yesterday’s agenda was to get the necessary equipment to wash and wax the boat (*cry*), go buy a Wii because he thought it would be the perfect way to have fun while being active (also due to my constant moaning about the heat and because HE LIKES TO SPEND MONEY), and last but not least he wanted to work on finally completing our outdoor project of building a greenhouse which has carried on far to long now.  Does this sounds like a lot of work to anyone else out there besides me?  I am pretty convinced that the boyfriend is trying to kill me.  He has never pushed me as hard as he is pushing me now.  I am not sure when we began to grow apart.  The boyfriend has always acknowledged my limits and has never asked me for much–certainly never expecting this level of activity in the past.  Which is probably how we’ve made it in this relationship so far.

I admit to the jury that over the last few weeks, I have tried to move more to strengthen my heart.  But did this give him the right to torture me?  What is clear is that somewhere along the line he became very confused and now believes he is dating a new woman.  He seems to think that I can be the machine that he is.  I ask, “Is this the beginning of the end?”  I believe the evidence speaks for itself.  It is clear that he is trying to kill the old me…the one that has been by his side through thick and thin over the years, the one who has laughed at his silly jokes, rolled her eyes at his crazy talk, endured his little quirks, and reminded him often how much I completed him.  Yes, we think the evidence is quite clear.  We rest our case.

For the first time, I feel too old for him.  I feel like he should look for some young little thing to replace me.  [Note:  He is actually about a year older than me, but an active little booger].

May the Lord give me strength!  Today we are supposed to finish working on the projects that we started yesterday.  It’s almost 1pm…I’ve been up for about 2 hours and I am already ready for a nap.  This is pathetic!  Blog friends…wish this girl luck…it’s going to be a LONG day!!!

premeditated bad behavior

8 May

First and foremost…to the beautiful ladies in my life who are blessed to be mothers, have a wonderful Mother’s Day!!

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Now, my post –my premeditated falling off the wagon:

Tomorrow will be tough.

I am already planning on having food that I would not consider “diet” food.  But good thing is…I am not looking at this as a diet…this is a lifestyle change, remember.

For Mother’s Day, my sister, cousin and I will be making dinner for my mom and grandma.  Me and the boyfriend are responsible for two sides….the most dangerous sides of all….we will be bringing potato casserole and spinach artichoke dip with tortilla chips.  Man oh man…tomorrow is going to rough.

As a matter of fact, I am sitting up right now, just thinking about how on earth I will put this off.  You’d think that I would have been super duper good today…not so much.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t horrible as far as excessive calories or anything, but as a good friend pointed out…it’s not always about the number of calories you eat…it’s also important to pay attention to the quality of those calories…and trust me….today these were stack’em deep, sell them cheap, no good, dirty rotten calories!  😉

As we prepared for doomsday, we went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients.  I replaced as many ingredients as I could with the lighter or no-fat versions of the same foods.  I even put a few packages of fat free mozzarella in the cart to see just what would happen if I made a dip which was primarily cheese out of the non-melting no-fat variety.  Alas, the boyfriend talked me out of that idea saying that it would be a shame to waste good spinach and artichokes on something that may resemble rubber dip.  So instead we are going reduced fat on that recipe.

Well, wish me luck!  I will be drinking plenty of water to get full BEFORE I start eating and put a LITTLE bit of everything on my plate…except the salad which I may have two helpings of to further minimize any destruction.  BRING ON THE SALAD PEOPLE!  😉

Again, to all the mommas out there…HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!  You guys are all wonderful and the world is blessed to have you!

XOXO!

Dee

it’s easy to do bad when you think nobody is watching

18 Apr

Over the last week or so I’ve been trying to figure out what I can do to officially start this journey.  Sure, I started a blog, tried a few new veggies, researched a workout video to order, and even talked the boyfriend in designing a workout for me.  But now what?

This is a big project and I have a long road ahead of me, so I decided to swallow my pride (as much as possible) and to get some help because I know I can’t do this all alone.

So what will I do?  Well for starters, I will get some professional help.  I am going to partner with a dietitian to help get me on track and adjust my current eating habits.  Of course, I don’t think that I got this way from not knowing that eating pizza for lunch, a greasy burger for dinner and ice cream for dessert was bad for me.  Of course, I knew those were poor choices, but I did it anyway either because it was easier and faster than trying to find time in my hectic schedule to come up with a healthier alternative or simply because I crave junk food.  After years of taking the easy road, I’ve formed some very bad habits.  I hope by partnering with my dietitian I will begin to find ways to break those bad habits and pick up some healthier ones.

Step 1 is to write a food journal over the next 7 days.  Today, is the first day and I have to admit…I eat A LOT of stuff that is horrible!  The one thing I find most interesting about this process is that even though I have no problem zipping through a drive- thru and upsizing a combo meal any other time, I am now fighting the temptation to modify my usual high fat diet in order to hide this nasty little habit.  I realize that I have to be honest with myself and this log if I really want some constructive feedback and a fair chance of getting the help that I really need.  I also realize that reporting that I only eat salad with low-fat dressing each meal is not going to fool anyone.  Clearly, I didn’t get this way because of salad!

The crazy thing is, once I start writing down all of the bad things I consume, I am forced to own up to the fact that I am slowly killing myself one burger at a time.  Throughout the day today, I immediately thought of healthy alternatives..something that I NEVER do.  I always eat first, and think later (usually as I am sitting around full as a tick).  But the thought that I had to send this journal of self-destruction to a third-party to be analyzed, I suddenly wanted to switch gears.  How crazy is this?  I’ve been hiding behind things for so many years and now that I have someone who can actually help…my first instinct is to hide the truth from her.  Goodness!

Today, I ate like crap, but no different from any other day of my life.  The only strange thing is that today it was harder because I had to own those decisions.  And as I look over my journal for the day, I think of the many things that are wrong with it and wonder why if it is so blatantly obvious, I didn’t pay attention sooner.

If you’ve never kept a journal of what you eat…or haven’t in a while…try it.  Write as though you are going to send it off to be “judged”.  Let me know how it goes for you…  Like me, do you suddenly feel this overwhelming feeling to lie or to suddenly eat better than you have in years..just because you know someone else could see it?