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Category Archives: Food issues

Weight Loss Methodology

About a month ago I joined meetup.com. As a single person who tends to be a bit of a hermit, I’ve been searching for ways to go out and meet people that don’t mean trolling bars, or blind dates (and I’ll be honest, I’m not really in dating mode right now). The whole showing up at a park and striking up a conversation with someone else rollerblading or walking just won’t work. While I have a strong self image (I do quite like what I look like naked, mostly), I know I’m overweight, so I’m not eye candy enough to get someone’s attention (it’s all about the first impression). So back to meetup. I joined a Seattle dinner group and it’s been great! I went to 1, tried a new restaurant, and met some cool people. I just went to another one, Thursday night.

I could kick myself for going out of my way to eating out at a restaurant while on a restricted eating plan, and one that served dish after dish after dish. But I signed up and decided to go, even though I really should have cancelled. I’m doing everything in moderation – even splurging eating out. I decided to forego any acolohol and just enjoy the food. It was Thai/Laotian food. Yum! I tried a bunch of new things, and while I ate a ton, I don’t feel bad about it.

So why am I bringing this up? I was conversing with this wonderful older middle-aged woman who confided that she’d just lost 80 lbs!!!!! So we were talking about weight loss and someone mentioned that they had a client that lost a ton by realizing why he ate. He ate because he didn’t want to be hungry. Exactly!!!! I think this is the first time an excuse for being fat has hit me so hard. I’m not overweight because of sexual abuse. I’m not fat because I have a bad self-image and bad self-esteem. I’m not fat because of a traumatic experience. I’m fat because I don’t like to be hungry! So how did this guy go about losing his own weight? He decided that he would eat half. Half of everything. Imagine that. Everything you were used to eating, when you were eating unhealthfully? Just cut each portion in half and eat no more.

I’m obsessed with this concept. I recently calculated that I had been eating on average 3300 calories a day BD (before diet). If I just cut that in half, I would be eating 1650, which is a tad over what I need to be eating to lose. I can easily see that BD meal – I’d make up a pot of polenta and a huge steak. I’d eat the steak and keep eating, past full, because I liked to really feel like I was *full* and could really appreciate what a wonderful meal I had prepared. I’d have a ton of polenta and a big serving of some kind of vegetable. The meat was usually around ..65-.8 lbs and I’d do my best to finish it. The polenta was a massive amount too (let’s just call it polenty). I’d go to bed overfull and wake up the next morning still feeling full. Obviously that was too much food but I was in a cycle that I couldn’t get out of. I was also afraid of feeling hungry.

I don’t like the feeling of hunger, and it’s been really hard to accept that into my life these last 2 weeks. If I think about eating so little for the rest of my life (which seems to be what I’ll need to do to maintain a weight loss when I finally arrive at that point), it can be downright depressing. I remember all those times in the past months that I would think about eating healthy but immediately my thoughts would turn to yummy food. What would I have for dinner? I’d much rather have a nice {x,y, and z} on my plate and have that wonderfully rosey feeling of contented fullness. Deciding to eat something smaller and less calories, and with correct portion sizes was horrifying! All I could think about was how unsatisfying it would be. And after, there would be the little after dinner dessert – a bunch of dark chocolate or a bowl of popcorn (with a lot of butter). Plus a nightcap of applejack brandy or other hard liquor. Eat carrot sticks and 4 oz. of chicken breast? Why would I want to subject myself to that?!

I’ve always had a difficult time dealing with hunger. I get hungry? I eat. It’s that simple. I’m a instant gratification kind of gal. If I eat, I will EAT. Right now. I will prepare a ton of food due to the amazingly large feeling of hunger – way more than I really needed to eat to feel full, but you know how it goes – the eyes are always bigger than the stomach. So once the food was made, can’t leave an empty plate, right? And those feelings of hunger. They have always been much much stronger than thinking about getting to a goal weight, or losing a pound, or being able to fit into smaller clothes, or looking better, or being more attractive to men and being able to date successfully (ie, becoming yummy eye candy). Hunger rules me. It is much stronger than any other desire I have ever had. It still is.

So how did I get to the point that I triumph over hunger (well, for 2 weeks so far)? Because let me tell you, I am hungry. All the damn time. Seriously truly hungry, where it’s all I can think about, most of the time. I’m not sure! But I will say this. Willpower is an amazing thing. It’s when your brain makes a decision – it disrupts the hunger subroutine. Before I started 2 weeks ago with eating 1500 calories, I hadn’t made that decision. I flirted with it, but was never serious enough to move in together, let alone propose and get married, ya know? Let’s just say that I’m dating hunger. I think I’m ready to move on to a committed relationship, too.

There’s been one other experience in my life where I decided to do the same thing – when I became vegetarian and then vegan. I was vegan for 8 years, vegetarian for 10. I am no longer either, but during that time period, I had similar mental fortitude. I drew the line at eating certain types of food. When I stopped being vegetarian, for a while I drew a line at red meat, but eventually relaxed that. I’m ok with all of the decisions I’ve made, but it proves that the mind is powerful. If I could decide mentally to not eat something, despite my palate, my tastebuds, my stomach, and my salivary glands wanting me to consume wonderful yummy animal products, then I can be stronger than hunger (that’s the hope). That was a different type of hunger, but the principal is the same.

I don’t know when, or if, I’ll ever get less hungry. I know I have what  you would call a “healthy appetite,” but I don’t think I can exist being this hungry all the time. For the rest of my life. Hopefully, I’ll get more used to it. How long does it take the stomach to shrink, anyway?

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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Food issues, Starting over

 

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Saturday road trip & good choices

Since my last post, about my last workout on Thursday, I have not been able to exercise. Friday I was so sore I could barely walk (which means I should be doing more lunges more regularly so they don’t continue to do this to me!). Plus I ended up spending all my free time after work with 3 hours (!!!!) at the thrift store trying on clothes. Way more than I thought I’d spend. I was ok not working out, I could barely move!

Saturday was a long day. We got upat 6, left the house at 7, and I was too tired to really spend any thought or energy on food preparation for the day. Instead, I started out like I always used to do – I got up, and left the house without eating or drinking anything, just perfect for becoming hungry and blowing any good eating decisions out of the water. We stopped to get coffee, and I got a grande mocha (-1 pump of chocolate), no whip, from Starbucks. My coffee drinking is still an area I need to work on. I also thought about what food to eat. I got a slice of pumpkin bread. I should have gone with the egg white sandwhich wrap, probably the best option for nutrition vs. calories, but didn’t. I was second guessing my choices the whole time. I knew the wrap would be the better choice, but I was scared off by the egg white part of it. I have never gotten egg whites intead of regular whole eggs, I don’t even know if I’d like them or not! So rather than take a chance, I got something higher-calorie without a lot of nutrition, because I knew if was “safe” to eat. Then on the road I got super hungry. When we got to Wenachee I was ready to blow it. Somehow we ended up at Subway instead of a diner, and I got a healthy black forest ham sub, no chips, no soda, just water. I ate half, and left half of it for later. Very good!

It was a fun day, though still difficult to move, I was easily the most stiff possible so far. I ended up consuming the other half of the subway footlong, along with a fresh picked nectarine (love the fruit stands in Wenatchee, the fruit growing breadbasket of Washington state). After several hours of shooting in the hot sun and desolate farm country, we headed back very late. We were both very very thirsty! And as always, I bemoaned the fact that there is no sparkling water to be had at convenience stores. Why not?! Anyway, I wanted carbonation in a bad way and found a solution! I got a 32-oz drink, TONS of ice, and mixed half unsweetened ice tea with 7-up. Just enough carbonation to feed my need, and much less sugar than normal. I unfortunately devoured half a bag of Smart Food popcorn, that will always be my downfall, junk food on a road trip.

For dinner I again made good choices. I went for lots of vegetables, and a small piece of steak over cream-based pasta sauces. I even left a good portion for leftovers, eating enough to be satisfied, without becoming sick from overeating (another positive change on this journey). And the salad was very good, though because their balsalmic dressing had so much sugar in it, I almost didn’t even eat any of it (the dressing that is, I love me some salad, as long as it isn’t icky iceberg)!

Overall, not the best eating I’ve ever done, but it has improved significantly from times past. I’m choosing better options when a menu is presented to me, and even choosing to avoid places and items that are very high in nutrtionally-poor calories.

Today I’m continuing my obsessive readings of an awesome blog, The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser, starting at the end, of a man over 500 lbs that has lost weight through 1500 per day calorie consumption and daily exercise.He has such an amazingly positive attitude and I’m finding his story very inspiring! As I recently mentioned, my eating is not the best (ie, it’s too much eating!), and my exercise is good, but not top notch. I’m working on improving the food quality, and planning my exercise for the day. I’m still really sore, but I can move. I may do a loop walk from my house, 4.5 miles, 1.75 hours and lots of hills. Even if I don’t, I will go to the gym tonight and do an hour of cardio, possibly more, if I’m up to it. I also just made a decision in the past 2 days that I WILL exercise at the gym and on my own 6 days a week, without fail. I need to start walking more when I’m home and be active every evening. I have mentally committed to working out longer, and more consistently. I can’t just do it for a week and take 4 days off then try again. I have to amp up my exercise, regularly, or I won’t achieve any improvements, nor lose weight. I am also going to start making better choices with my evening and weekend eating choices, which is where I have been falling short.

I’m committed to this journey, I am on the journey, and I’m recommitting to achieving it by stepping up everything. No more maintenance mode. On to weight loss! I can do better than 17 pounds in 8 months. Watch me!

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2011 in Food issues, Food planning, Goals, Inspirations

 

Rambling overview of the last few days & starting the conversation about my food habits

It’s been a few days since my last post, so I’m going to go over a few items, all briefly:

I went for a bike ride on Sunday! There’s this fabulous bike/walking trail in Seattle called the Burke-Gilman trail. It extends a fairly long distance, from Ballard up to Bothell. I used to ride it all the time. Unfortunately, there’s a big chunk of it that’s under construction. So my hiking partner, who is suffering from a nasty case of planter fasciitis and who can’t hike or walk much, went biking with both me and J. We went up north to past the construction, and cycled from Bothel up and around to Marymore Park, which is about a 15 mile trip there, or 30 miles round trip. It totally didn’t feel like it! However, my bike was misbehaving and extra difficult to ride – the front break pads were rubbing against the tire, making it very difficult to cycle. I don’t know what to do, I am planning another ride on Monday, and I am out all Saturday and I bet no one is open on Sunday to help me with the problem, and usually you have to leave your bike someplace to get it fixed. Oh well, I will just have to avoid using the front brakes and then lean down to pull it off the tire when I do forget and use it.

The ride was awesome, nice trail, though very busy! Pretty, and a good time! Unfortunately it was super hot in Seattle. It actually was like 85 degrees!! It was way hotter than I typically can stand. I brought lunch, a bunch of fruit cut up in a plastic tub and a baguette sandwich with deli meat, a slice of havarti, and a handful of lettuce (no mayo!). I did break down and have a large root beer with it (darn my craving for carbonation!) while we walked around the dog show that was happening at the park.

I have been doing ok going to the gym. I didn’t go Monday – I was stuck at work super late and just too tired to go when I got home at 7:30. But Tuesday I made myself go to step class, even if I was 3 minutes late, at least I went. Though it got really hard when I had a muscle issue with my calf – either a pulled muscle or a charlyhorse that never went away! I had to use my water bottle to roll it out during a short 1 minute break, it was hurting so bad! But I stuck with the class ok. Weds I went, mistaking that might for my training session. When I realized it wasn’t Weds after all, it was the next day, I was uber depressed. Man, I went to the gym and I didn’t have to?!?! But I was there, so I made myself do cardio. 58 minutes, 675 calories, 4.6 miles. I did a lot of intervals, and got up to some pretty high speeds, which wore me out and made me need long recovery periods. I felt good, but may have overdone it. There’s some wierdly sore areas on where my right leg connects to my butt/trunk area. Not sure how to describe it. Still hurts today, and I am walking funny because of it. Then tonight had my second trainining session…

Tonight’s training session was better. She’s different from my last trainer. I’m getting used to the three sets of everything. It is causing significant muscle fatique, and I don’t think that is a bad thing! We did so many lunge sets tonight that my legs are total jelly!!! I feel like the exercises are a bit more classic exercise, so I don’t feel like there’s anything new there, just that it’s a routine that I wouldn’t necessarily have done on my own. I’m going to write it down in a little notebook to refer to in the future when I need a routine. Tons and tons of lunges with shoulder presses, chest presses, bent over rows with a bar, deadlift style, some cable machine exercises that worked my obliques (ab choppers going up and ab choppers going down, pulling and pushing), and then a set of assisted pull-ups that worked my biceps.

Oh yes, there’s some psychological/mental things I wanted to discuss, too. I’m realizing that my attitude to food is way too comfortable. I’m allowing myself to splurge a little too often, and way too frequently. I don’t watch it when I’m around less healthy food. I allow myself to accept glasses of wine that J hands me at night, and I will eat the food that he makes since I don’t feel like making myself something different – a lot of it involves pan frying in olive oil, starches, and less vegetable matter. When I go out, I don’t worry about navigating the menu in the most healthful way. I don’t do fried chicken and cheesecake by any means, but I don’t do great either!!! So basically I’m super sloppy with my food. And I really need to step it up when it comes to my eating. I’m going to talk more about this again, but it’s a problem area, and I really need to give my eating a swift kick in the pants!

On the exercise front, I’m going, I’m putting in the work, and I work hard when I go. But I let last week’s momentum fade when I took a few too many days off (at first to recover from my hip muscle problem, then it stretched into being comfortable not going to the gym). Luckily, it was only 4 days, and not longer!!! Either way, this week, I’m super sluggish, overly tired (I haven’t been getting to sleep earlier enough either), which has resulted in my gym performance less than average. I mean, hey, I work out 600 calories/1 hour every time, but as I mentioned above, my food is not great. If I don’t step up the exercise, I ain’t gonna lose a thing!!! That’s been my problem for the longest time and it HAS GOT TO CHANGE.

I think I am going to email my “old” trainer, the one that is opening up her new place, and ask her to help me craft and figure out an exercise regiment. Not just a 50 minute workout routine for once a week, but to really look at what I should be doing, cardio/weights/classes/independant exercising, to meet my weight loss goals. That feels like a good thing to do. I’ve been exercising now since January. Holy crap it’s now September and I need to step it up and really focus! It’s been 8 months and I haven’t even lost 20 pounds. That’s pathetic and I can do better!

So, I have to get my butt in gear. I have to ask for help in my exercise regiment. I have to step up my workout intensity and time that I put out. I need to be consistent for 5 days at the gym and 1 day of my own non-gym exercising. I have to really buckle down when it comes to my food, most importantly dinners and portion sizes. And I bet I should try and drink more water. I never do, and I think that might help.

Well, it’s time for my rambling post to come to an end. I hope the next time I report in I will do so with improved vigor and intensity!

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Food issues, Goals, Weekly recap