Jan 22, 2014

Real World Problems

I’m going on my 3rd straight work week of working until at least 8pm Monday through Friday.  I’ve worked the past 2 Saturdays as well, even when I was recovering from my stomach bug.
I am, in a word, exhausted.
I have a big deadline at the end of this month for work, and it’s slowly but surely sucking the life out of me.  I’m somehow managing to get in a 30 minute workout in the morning, but sitting on your butt for 12 straight hours does not do wonders for your weight loss efforts.  I’m not even taking lunch breaks, just working straight through and eating at my desk.  There’s a lot to be done, and not enough time to do it, so I’m doing the best with the time I’ve got.
This leaves me physically and emotionally exhausted, and in no mood to cook myself healthy meals at the end of such a long day.
In fact, all I really want to do is eat carbs and salt right now, but I’m fighting that urge as best I can (I think that’s the lack of sleep talking…).

I’m relying pretty heavily on frozen dinners this month…and while I generally have tried to stay away from them because of the processed foods/sodium thing, I still think they’re better than their fast food counterparts that would offer me drive-through convenience. 
I’m not eating the healthiest I can this month, but I am making an effort to track everything that goes into my mouth, even if I know it’s bad for me.  I’m trying to break the “I had this one little thing so my diet is blown might as well eat everything under the sun” mentality, and tracking is really helping me do that.  I had 2 cookies at work yesterday.  I logged them, and moved on. 
I’m trying to look at this as survival mode right now; I’ve got a week and half left, and after that, I’ll be able to get back to a more normal schedule and try to be a bit more active throughout the day.  Until then, I’m doing what I can to keep my momentum moving forward (or at least not moving backward!)
T minus 10 days and counting….

Jan 14, 2014


All I can say is, WOW.

Thank you.  Your comments, emails, and direct messages yesterday were overwhelming, and I cannot thank you all enough for your continued support.  I apologize for not being able to respond to each and every one of you individually, but your comments have not gone unnoticed, and I’m blown away by the response I got from yesterday’s post.

I think the thing I was most surprised at was how many of you said “I could have written this post myself” or, “It’s like you’re in my head, writing my exact thoughts as if you were me”.  While everyone’s individual journey is unique, I do think that many of us share the same struggles, and I know now that my decision to write yesterday’s post was the right one, because I think it helped a lot of you realize what you’ve been thinking for a long time.

I, like many of you, am taking this journey one day at a time.  Yesterday was a good day, and I’m planning on stringing a few more of those together.

Positive attitudes lead to positive changes….you can never learn to love your body if you focus on the negatives, so start focusing on the things you do love or the changes you’re making that are leading you in the right direction.

I didn’t hit my 10k steps yesterday; I could choose to focus on that and beat myself up, or I can choose to focus on the fact that I got my T25 workout in, logged all of the food I ate, and stayed within my calories.  If I was your best friend, which one would you tell me to focus on??

It’s time to start treating ourselves better, and it starts with giving yourself some grace.  Most of you know this is my personal goal this year, but it’s starting to morph into a bigger goal, to help women everywhere take on a similar attitude in their own journeys.  Join me in this movement, and tell me how you’re focusing on the positives in your life.  What will you focus on today?


Jan 13, 2014

Binge Eating

So I posted a preview on Facebook and on Instagram last night, but in case you don’t follow me there or didn’t see it I’ll bring you up to speed.

In short, I’m going back to counting calories for a while as my number one priority.

You see, I came to a realization over these past few months; I’m pretty sure that restrictive dieting has been my ultimate downfall.

I do great for a week, sometimes even for weeks or months, but in the end, I crash and burn HARD.

I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to figure this out, given my LONG history of dieting (yes, I’ve tried everything under the sun: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Slim Fast, Nutrisystem, the Special K diet, The Zone, Atkins, Clean Eating, and now we can add Carb Cycling to the list). 
I’m not saying these aren’t all valuable systems and effective ways to lose weight.  They work very well, and have, in fact, been very successful at helping people shed pounds.  The issue is when you’re not perfect.  What happens when you fall off plan?

For me, falling off plan would start really small.  Someone would bring in bagels for the office, and I’d be too damn tempted by the delicious smell of a toasted onion bagel overwhelming the office, so I’d give in and have a half of one.  HALF A BAGEL PEOPLE! That’s by no means the end of the world, but for me, it was turning into that.  And there’s where the slippery slope happens for me.  On a restrictive diet (IE, Clean Eating or Carb Cycling), bagels are OFF LIMITS.  My mentality would be “well, I already screwed up for the day, might as well get all that bad food in that I’ve been craving and start fresh tomorrow”.  And so the cycle begins.  This would throw me off for a full day, or if it happened mid-week, sometimes it would throw me off until the following Sunday.  All because I had something I “wasn’t supposed to”.

This leads me to the bigger problem, the real Elephant in the room here: As soon as I say that I “can’t” have something, it’s all I want.  I won’t stop thinking about it until I eat it, and when I do finally give in, it’s a catastrophic, diet-blowing binge fest.

 I’ve come to the realization that restrictive dieting has likely given me a binge eating disorder.
You can read a lot about this subject on the internet, so do some research, but here are some basic symptoms:

  • Feels disgusted, depressed, or guilty after binge eating.
  • Eats an unusually large amount of food at one time, far more than a regular person would eat.
  • Eats much more quickly during binge episodes than during normal eating episodes.
  • Eats until physically uncomfortable and nauseated due to the amount of food consumed.
  • Eats when bored or depressed
  • Eats large amounts of food even when not really hungry.
  • Often eats alone during periods of normal eating, owing to feelings of embarrassment about food.
I’m pretty sure I’ve had all of these symptoms at one point or another (or all of them at once, say Friday night), and while I know that everyone overindulges occasionally (IE, Thanksgiving), I know that my problem goes well beyond those occasional events.  I realize that I’m self-diagnosing here, and that I really should seek professional medical advice, but I’m not quite there yet.

I know that many people are too embarrassed or ashamed to admit this…and to a certain extent, I am too.  I don’t know that I’d have the guts to talk about this openly with any of my real-life friends, but this is why I have this blog, to be open and honest about this journey, and to talk about my struggles so I can face them head on.

I’m not sure yet if I know how to beat this issue, but what I do know is that by telling myself that I can’t have something, I’m guaranteed to have a binge shortly thereafter.

I posted a short while ago about the fact that I can’t seem to do the moderation thing, but the more I go through this journey, the more I realize that this is a problem I NEED to address if I ever want to have a healthy relationship with food.  In keeping with my goal to give myself more grace in my journey this year, I want to try to accept the fact that this journey won’t be perfect, and I won’t always eat only lean proteins and veggies for the rest of my life.  There will be social events, birthday parties, dinner with family, and I want to find a way to enjoy that time without stressing out about restricted food groups or things that are totally off limits (like pizza!).  I’m not giving myself an all clear to eat whatever the heck I want, whenever I want, but I am going to try to go a bit easier on the system.  I do think the principles of Carb Cycling are pretty sound: eat 5 small meals throughout the day, and eat lean protein and veggies at every meal.  I will aim for this still, but if I have a candy bar (or a bagel), I will log the calories and move on.  This year is about learning new things, and this journey is an ever-changing one.  Looking back, calorie-counting has worked very well for me, and though I grow tired of it after a while, it’s at least a structure I can stick to without too much stress.

Either way, I’m hopeful I’ll work through this, and that I’ll come out stronger on the other side.  I hope you'll stick with me while I figure this out!

Jan 6, 2014

Fresh Start

I’m here to put in writing my starting stats for the New Year.
No, they’re not pretty, but I’m not going to sit here and beat myself up about it. 

For me, weight loss has never been easy.  I work really hard to lose the weight, and it seems to come back on waaay too easily.  Weight loss has never been a linear journey for me, but I’m sure it hasn’t for most people out there.  We’re human, life happens.

I try to be as honest with you as possible about my setbacks, because I don’t want to sugarcoat this process; sometimes it sucks, and it feels like it’s so much easier to just give up.  We’re constantly surrounded by images of famously thin models and actresses who make fitness and a toned physique seem so easy.  I’m learning that a lot of what we see in print, on TV, in the magazines, has been doctored or photoshopped, and we’re forced as a society to hold ourselves to this unrealistic standard of what beauty should be.

I’m here to make a stand against that.
I am not perfect.  I have rolls and stretch marks, and right now I’m pretty damn bloated.  But I would never alter an image to make it seem that I’m anything but what you would see if you met me in person.

I know that because I’ve chosen to put my journey out there, that you now come to expect that I share all aspects of my journey with you..even when it’s downright ugly, no matter how embarrassed I might be.

So, yes I’ve gained some weight back.  And as embarrassing as it is to admit that on a weight-loss blog, I have to keep in mind that I’ve come a long way on this journey.  While I know I could have done better last month, I spent some amazing quality time with my family, friends, and loved ones, and I chose not to stress out about what I would or wouldn’t put into my mouth.  I got sick, encountered a nasty Crohn’s flare up (which is still ongoing by the way), and was embarrassingly lazy about getting workouts in, but December is over, and I’m looking at January with fresh eyes.

Life happens.  Setbacks happen.  But the silver lining about setbacks is that they remind you that this is a journey that has no end.  This is a lifestyle change, and you can never just “go back” to the way things were before, or your body will go back there too.  So am I proud of these 2014 starting stats? Right now, no, but I am proud of myself for not letting a setback define the rest of this journey.  This is a starting point, and I will only go down from here.
2014 Start weight: 189
Goal weight: 158

I have 31 pounds to lose. I am determined and focused, and these next few weeks are going to be hard as I get back into the swing of things, but I’m going to do it if it kills me.  2014, here I come.

Jan 3, 2014

The truth hurts

Today is a terrible day.
I went back and forth as to whether to even write this post or not, but I figured I've always been honest with you, so why change that now.
The truth is I'm embarrassed.  I'm ashamed.  I'm disgusted.
And I'm even more upset that I let the scale determine how I was feeling today.
Yep, I did it...I stepped on the scale for the first time today in weeks.
And I full on ugly cried.
I can't believe how bad that number is.  I can't believe how awful I feel right now because of what I saw.
I can sit here and make excuses, and blame my Crohn's flare up and busy life, but the fact of the matter is I just let myself go in the month of December, and I've got a lot of work to do to undo that damage now.

I'm not ready to post my 2014 start weight yet.  I'm hopeful a few days of serious water drinking will at least bring me down a few pounds, but I'm warning you now it's not going to be pretty.

I'm telling you all of this so you know you're not alone.  I'm human.  I had a bad month.  But I'm not going to let it snowball into a bad year.  2014 is going to bring great things for me, and I just need to dig deep and find my motivation again.

Part of my renewed effort is a new dietbet I created, starting Monday....if you need the extra motivation like I do, I hope you'll join me!  Either use this link: http://diet.bt/1cpBj61, or simply search dietbet for the game titled "New Year, New You!

Jan 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

So much to talk about since I've been on such a blogging hiatus with the craziness of the holidays!
We’ll start with the big one:  I've made no secret about the fact that I've really struggled this past month in the diet and fitness category…life got hectic, my willpower went out the window, and I let myself eat to my inner fat kid’s content.  I know I've gained a lot of weight…I haven’t stepped on the scale in a while now but the way my clothes are fitting, I’m preparing for the worst.  My health has been pretty terrible, as I've been in a full blown Crohn’s flare up since Thanksgiving, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better with my poor eating habits.  It’s so much harder to start back up after taking time off, but I know I have to do it if I want to reach my goals. 

To be honest, this past month scared me.  It scared me to see how easy it was to slip back in to my old ways…those old habits that got me in trouble in the first place and at my highest weight ever.  This is about more than just a number on the scale..it’s about my inability to control myself around sugary, fatty foods.  It’s about how horrible I feel after a month of poor eating… there are the obvious physical effects like tight clothes and loss of energy, but I’m more surprised at the emotional effects, and how I've fallen into such a depressed funk.

But through all of this, I don’t want to lose sight of this journey and what an amazing year 2013 was for me.  I ran my first half marathon, and ran 3 total this past year.  I completed my goal to run 13 races in 2013, after barely being able to run for 30 minutes straight at the end of 2012.  I gained some serious arm muscle.  I saw some ab definition.  I learned a lot about how my poor eating habits cannot be undone with exercise.  I’m not perfect, but I've learned a lot this year, and I wouldn't change a thing about it.

2013 was, without a doubt, my healthiest year to date.  My goal for 2014 is to fully embrace my healthy lifestyle; to find a balance so that holidays and off months don’t have the same effect on me that they do now. 

I am confident that 2014 will be the year that I reach my goal weight, and that I will give myself some Grace along the way.  Remember that post from a few weeks ago?  That’s still my biggest goal for 2014, to give myself some grace on this journey and stop being so hard on myself when I do fall. 

2014 will bring great things for me, what will it bring for you?

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