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Food Tally, Day 5 (and in need of some advice)

I’m writing this retro-actively because I want to be sure to get my tally up here, but the glories of Harry Potter had me distracted for a while.

Breakfast

Apples and Almond Butter

Lunch

Gina’s “OMG I have no time” Throw-together

Snack/Dinner

Approx 4oz of  Almonds

Apples and almond butter

At the movies

Approx 2/5 of a large popcorn (NOT PALEO)
Approx 1/2 large movie sprite (NOT PALEO)

I think I might need to spend some time really, seriously evaluating why I chose to eat the popcorn. I know that I  have lauded this as the second step to dealing with eating food that’s bad for you, but I think sometimes I do a really shallow analysis. Maybe it really is that I’m stressed, but I feel like perhaps there may be something more going on. Maybe I’m afraid of finding out what that is. Maybe it’s just that I’m a slave to my passions (a la Plato) and will never be more than a hedonistic fatass who can’t control what she eats and is just attempting to fight the inevitable. Maybe I’m just afraid of that conclusion.

Ugh. If you can’t tell by that uncharacteristically self-deprecating madness I’m a bit down in the dumps. I have been for a few days now. I’m not 100% sure what the cause of it is. Perhaps just generic, good ole fashioned stress. I would like to spend the weekend evaluating myself, but I don’t have the time at the moment. I need to make a bid on two contracts and to do so I need design ideas. Oh well, they say you’re at your most creative when you’re a bit down. We shall see.

I am also going to get some exercise if it kills me. I think maybe not having time for TKD on Wed. is part of what’s making my mood tank.

Any other ideas? What do you do when you get into a funk you can’t shake? 

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How to Deal with a Bad Food Day

Today, I had a really rough meeting.  To give you an idea, the meeting started at ten. Two hours later, at noon, we broke for lunch, and we still weren’t done. After coming back from lunch at one, I was released at three.

So, yeah.

My coworkers and I went out to lunch at a bar across the street from us, and I ordered not one but two bowls of french fries as my coworkers lifted their eyebrows and sipped on their alcohol.

It was delicious. But, of course, the aftermath was not. The food high from the fries got me through the next two hours of my meeting, but it is now nearly 8PM and I am still full. This means I ate a LOT.

I have written before about how we ought not to excuse our stress and emotional eating. In that same post, I said that we should not wallow in guilt, either. How do we strike a balance? How can I successfully hold myself accountable for my emotional eating without making myself feel guilty?

Dilute the poison

Often times when I eat starches, especially when I indulge in them, I feel like I’ve eaten a fistful of poison. It sits heavy in my stomach, and that heavy feeling keeps me from moving forward from the slip up. Sometimes I wish I could throw up. Not necessarily because I feel like that’s a great way to lose weight (hint: it’s not), but because I feel like I have put something bad in my body, and my body wants it out.

I totally steal from istock

You can’t undo your mistake, but you can help “water-down” both the logged feeling and the guilt feelings. Two ways to do this:

1) Drink a lot of water — and I mean a lot. Keep a bottle by your side and suck or sip on it until its gone. Then go get another one. There isn’t really a “counter-effect”when you drink water, but drinking water is good for your body. If you’re consistently doing something you know is good for you, it can help mitigate the full carb-logged feeling and help alleviate some of the guilt.

2) Exercise! — Even after I had finished my french fries, I still really wanted to go for a run. If it had been an option for me, I might have done that in the first place. Exercising can help work off the loaded, heavy feeling as you work off the calories you ingested. Additionally, exercise is a great stress reliever and can help you eliminate the shitty feeling that made you go eat in the first place in addition to helping you shake the guilt of going to eat in the first place.

Reflect on the Problem

I ate the two bowls of french fries in full knowledge of what I was doing. I knew that I was stressed, that there was nothing I could do about the situation, and felt I needed a prop to get me through the rest of the day. That made me feel justified in eating the fries, and ultimately why I chomped them down. If you don’t know why you’re stress eating, that’s the best place to start — why are you doing it?

If you do know why, but are doing it anyway, welcome to my boat. Let’s explore some more ways to reflect on the problem.

Often times when I go to eat bad things, it is because I feel justified in some way. Today it was because I “knew” I “needed” it to get through the rest of my day. Both of those assumptions — that I needed the food and that I knew I needed it — should come under some pretty heavy examination. Did I really need the french fries? Am I not a strong enough person to deal with the stress without having to dope myself up with endorphins? Absolutely, if I am awesome enough to handle my own social awkwardness without depending on alcohol, I can certainly handle a little (a lot) of incompetence without having to binge on fries.

Find Solutions

This is something I highly suggest talking about with someone else, more than any of the others. Just like attempting to find solutions for problems in any other realm of your life, you can’t always do it yourself. Find someone you trust, and work with them.

I haven’t gone through this part of the process myself yet, but when I can get my fiance to respond to my gchats, I am hoping to explore the following question with him; “If I were in the exact same situation tomorrow, what could I do differently?” I am going to tackle this idea of feeling justified in going off paleo, and ways to head that feeling off. I am not 100% sure what the best way to approach this is, but I am confident that with his help, I can work it out.

Where you’ve been, where you’re going

Finally, as Hermione says, it’s important to keep perspective. You need to remember where you’ve been and the progress you’ve made to keep yourself from feeling guilty. You need to remind yourself of where you’re going so you don’t get complacent.

I have been trying to do better about this lately. On the my letter of love to myself, I have a chart keeping track of how much weight I’ve lost — 42 pounds!! — and I need to remind myself of that sometimes.

Additionally, visual stimulation helps. When I went and looked back through this blog, I was shocked to come across these two pictures:

I cannot believe that this was me...

and

And this.

I looked at those and then quickly thumbed back to my Facebook change to see a pic taken of me last week, and I am amazed with what I’ve done the past six months.

I'm the one with the boobs.

I need to keep that in mind to keep myself from slipping into the guilt-eating death cycle of doom. I need to remember how awesome my trip has been, the benefits the paleo has brought to my life, and the great successes that I have had. I don’t drink soda anymore, and really have kicked back tea and juice to “moderation.” I am HUGELY more aware of what I am eating, and more importantly why.

But I still have progress to go. I want to get a manifesto going of what kind of person I want to be physically, so that I have something tangible to work towards. That way, I can keep an eye on my future as well as my past.

~*~

I feel much better after writing this post, and I hope you do too, if you’re having similar issues. For those of you who are also dieting and struggle with emotional eating, how do you bounce back after a relapse?

Paying for it — Weigh in # 12

I have been kinda putting this post off tonight, but it’s also true that school owns my life right now, so I have a legitimate excuse.

Played the scale game this morning and ultimately, finally, realized that I was paying for my sabotage the past week.

If I am really really nice to myself, I can call my weight at 154lbs, down only a pound last week. And that is if I am being really nice. Out of probably 20 different steps on the scale (no, I’m not kidding), only two read 154.

But perhaps I just need to be nice about it.


In all truth, I think I would have felt the same way if I had lost 1lb or my standard 2.5. I am still feeling conflicted about wanting to continue actively losing weight. I think part of me wanted to not lose anything this week. To see how far I could push it, to see what my limits were — to see if I could really sabotage myself.

In all fairness, it’s not like I went on chip and bread binges. Mostly I ate WAY more dairy than I used to, not to mention partaking in several philly cheese steaks sans bread at Mollie’s. They were tasty. There was also mayonnaise involved.  There are the other standard possibilities — my period is right around the corner and so water weight is always possible. I could be hitting a weight plateau. But ultimately, I have to admit that this is my doing, and I think that admitting that is actually going to help me come out of this funk.

I wanted control over my body. Losing 2.5 pounds a week was/is fantastic, but I guess I never felt like it was something that I earned — it was something that just happened. It is true that I changed my eating habits, but after a while that didn’t feel like I was actually in control, cause, you know, those were just my habits.

I think I have ultimately proven that I do have that control over my body. And, like some destructive child that needs to prove that she can make the dish break, I have learned my lesson and it’s time to move on with our regularly scheduled lifestyle change.

I did go to the grocery store, and I did get some good food and I have been on track so far this week and have no plans to keep sabotaging myself. End of dramz in that department.

replacement for ice cream -- TASTY

 

I do fully plan to keep weighing myself to make sure that this morning wasn’t a fluke. I’m not giving up (or, rather, keeping) that pound and a half lightly.

Every paragraph in this post has started with I thus far. How silly.

My friends and I are planning a trip down to Savannah this weekend, which will hopefully be a respite from the stress and negativity that has been bogging me down lately. I will be going gluten-free to make food buying easier on my friends. I will wear my (not as) tight jean skort and my tight fitting T-shirts and enjoy the sun and the river air on my skin whilst traversing cobblestone streets and laughing with my friends. And I will hold to my promise to kick the ass of any person who makes me feel uncomfortable. I might even put on a bathing suit (if mine still fits me…). I will. have.fun.

And I will come back and feel amazing and hopefully insert some more positivity back into this blog. I have been glum lately — a product of schoolwork and waiting on the Internship of My Life to accept/reject me. Hopefully a weekend away will help. At the very least, I will have pictures. 😀

Gina

Invisible no more

Confession time.

I think I have been slowly sabotaging myself the past week and a half or so.  Popcorn at the movies, ice cream here and there, several instances of cheese.

Each instance of these had their own excuses internally, and I brushed them off, but after talking with my friend Melissa last night, I think they  might be signs of something greater. Perhaps stress-eating for stress/upsetness that I didn’t know was there before.

In explaining this better, let me tell a story.

Thursday of last week I left my home to spend the weekend at my boyfriend’s apartment, because he was coming home from a business trip. So once I got settled in, I dashed over to Publix to get some food. I had my headphones in, so I was zoned out pretty hardcore.And then something strange happened. I began to notice that almost every single guy I walked by or walked by me was — what’s the phrase? — rubber-necking. Letting their gaze linger. Whatever.

I felt watched. I felt exposed. I felt… vulerable.

But I tried to move on with it. Sometimes I just get paranoid.

The next day I rode the MARTA down to the airport. I like to curl up in the seats that are catty-cornered to each other, cause then I can pull my knees up and just chill. It’s a comfortable place to me.

Generally when someone sits in the other corner seat it doesn’t bother me, but Friday was different. As I was looking out of the window I could see this fifty-year-old man staring at my chest.

I looked at him, he looked away. I look back at the window and then he continues to gawk.

So I move to another seat — and then the man puts sunglasses on. Keep in mind, this is MARTA, so we’re underground. So this man just put sunglasses on so that he could openly stare at me.

I assumed a dominant posture and, at the very least, I felt better.

It made me really uncomfortable, and I felt very vulnerable. Though I would have punched the motherfucker in the face if he had even so much as thought about touching me, it was not a situation that I wanted to be in.

Me, more or less right now.

So, bringing it forward a little bit to this week. I get really confused and worried cause every time I look in the mirror, I see myself as fat. I look in my mind the way I did at 185lb — distended belly, flabby arms, even the muscle definition in my legs didn’t seem as pronounced as it had been a few days ago. I get on the scale and it says 155, but I almost don’t believe it. Everyone commenting on my weight makes me feel worse, not better.

Telling all of this to you now makes it seem pretty obvious what is happening, but I’m not always aware of  my internal emotional processes, so I didn’t really stop and think about it until I had a heart-to-heart with my good friend Melissa last night.

I always had a certain amount of comfort in being obese. I got stares and glances sometimes, but they were pretty  much few and far between, and the difference is that I weighed more, and so, ironically, I felt more comfortable.

The fact of the matter is, the more I lose weight, the more vulnerable I feel. It’s true that through TKD I’ve gotten ways to defend myself, and probably would be more successful at it than I would have been before, but at least at 185 I was in the same weight class as a lot of men who would try to hurt me. I would have been harder to pick up and carry. And really… a fat girl just doesn’t get noticed.

I was able to successfully hide in my fat and feel powerful. And as ironic as it sounds, the more I have lost weight the more my body image has tanked, because I feel so much less in control. And I have been slowly sabotaging myself to not lose any more weight because of this.

As soon as I voiced these concerns, I got up this morning and my “thin” was back. I am not sure if the distress from this is going to linger or, if it’s left, come back, but I just don’t know what to do about it. I don’t feel comfortable or secure in my body anymore, and that is detrimental to me in my quest to be healthier and also just not good for me. I’ve always had confidence; I’ve always been the person who is comfortable in her own skin. To not be… is almost a fundamental difference in who I am.

And I don’t know what to do.

Gina

Considering Paleo

I  have a lot of thoughts and not a lot of structure to them. Let’s see what we can do with this.

If my weight loss trend continues as it has been, I will have reached my halfway point for my weight loss goal. That mind-blowing concept aside, it is time I started to consider what I would do after I reach my weight loss goal.

First and foremost, I have vowed to myself  ‘never again.’ Gaining this weight back is not an option, and will not happen, so going back to my old diet is not an option either.  With that out of the way, I  have my biggest question to ponder: do I want to continue on with the paleo, and turn it into a lifestyle instead of just a “diet?”

Clearly, I do  not know about this. There are some things that, after having been on paleo, that I never want to ingest ever ever again: soda. There are things that I don’t really miss: pasta. There are things I have discovered don’t taste as good: chips (some), mayonnaise.  I suspect I will find a lot of other things just don’t taste as good as they used to:  bread, french fries, pasta. But there are also some things I do miss (and, sometimes, simutaneously am revolted by): pizza, fettuccine alfredo, rolls, biscuits, sandwiches. Need I go on?

Part of me wonders and suspects if I just have a psychological need/want for these items. That I remember that eating these things made me feel good, or that they tasted good, and so I want them psychologically. Even, as in the case of my chip binges, if I don’t think that they taste good anymore, I wonder sometimes if I have a certain psychological addiction to these things.

So, naturally, going off paleo, even if it’s just a little bit, I am worried is going to lead to a slippery slope where I don’t intend to, but eventually do, get back to my old diet.

But I have also talked very often, on this blog and to people who have spoken with  me, how much I love the food that I eat. This is still true, also (when my fridge is full…). This begs the question that if I am satisfied with what I am eating, do not go hungry and do not really yearn for very many other things, why would I consider going off of paleo?

Well.

To break down this dichotomy, I’m actually gonna sort things out, both for you, my humble readers, and for myself. So let us begin.

Fears about maintaining Paleo

This also covers things I just don’t really like.

1) I’m not really sure if I “buy” it.

Yes. Sorry Tim Ferris, Mark Sisson, Dr. Cordian. I’m  not really drinking your kool-aid.  Eating Paleo has been excellent for my weight loss and for exploring different foods, but I really don’t buy that it’s the cure for everything from acne to cancer.  I’m really not sure that I even buy your basic argument — that humans didn’t have time enough to evolve to digest grains properly. 10,000 years is a long time, and while it is true that evolution is generally seen to take even longer, that is a common misconception and based on a misunderstanding of what precisely evolution is or does. Additionally, one could argue that we had already evolved to be able to eat grains before the agricultural revolution, simply by becoming omnivores. Omnivores, as pigs show us, can eat a LOT of stuff.

For that matter, I  have not seen an appreciable difference in my energy levels or general health since starting this diet. I feel the same, with the exception of my improved fitness from Taekwondo, which has more to do with TKD than the diet, IMO.

2) I am/was afraid that I would keep losing weight till I was unhealthy

Through  much explanation from Avi and Natalie today, I have… sorta… begun to understand/accept that this won’t happen. Basically, my fear was this: I  have been losing weight at 2.5 lbs per week for the past two months. I am/was afraid that if I continued on the paleo that I would continue to lose weight in a way that wasn’t healthy.

In case you were wondering what awesome looks like in graphical form.

Apparently this is not true, and I believe what they told me, but I am not sure if I could explain it back. This is something that I am going to talk to Coach about tomorrow. Perhaps with a third explanation it will make more sense.

3) It’s expensive*

I’ve been over this with you guys before — I spend about $200/month on groceries, and this is largely when I’m just feeding myself. If it takes me a while to get a job, or if I am living off  internship money, especially this summer, somehow buying grassfed free range beef who have had a lifetime of counseling service seems less important. I am gonna see if I can get that down some, but yeah.

4) I like bread*

I especially like potatoes.

*These two are important more within the context of the first. If I really thought it was THAT beneficial to my health, I wouldn’t have a problem dropping the dollars on good food, and I wouldn’t have an issue giving up foods that I like. It would just be something that I wanted to integrate as a part of my life to be a healthier and better person.

On that note…

Reasons to keep on Paleo

Paleo is pretty nommy.

Noms.

1) Parts of it fit in with  my life philosophy

I abhor foreign chemicals in the body, for a plethora of reasons that I don’t want to go into right now. I have been called a teetotaler in the past, but I guess I identify more strongly with the straight-edge movement (without the hardcore punk part…). With the exception of tea, I don’t consume caffeine, take pain killers, drink or do any kind of drug. I don’t take hormonal birth control and prefer the “stay in bed and rest” method of getting better.

I  have made exceptions to this in the past. For instance, when I had swine flu and had a fever of almost 103, you bet for damn sure I popped some Aleve.

However, I know that the vast majority of foods that I ate — especially my meat — is filled with chemicals, hormones, and other bad things. I have not had an opportunity to rectify this in the past because of parental and financial situations, but I think going paleo has given me an opportunity to shun processed foods from my diet. While I might not feel a physical difference, I do feel a spiritual one, and this does mean a lot to me.

2) I love the food I’m eating

I’ve talked about this in the past, but going paleo has opened up amazing doors to cooking, improving my relationship with food, and generally eating more tasty things (I think my favorite discovery has been bell peppers —  look for more of those after my grocery trip). I discovered today that mayonnaise is a poor, poor substitute for hot sauce and pretty  much shirked my “need” for it in my diet.

I want the opportunity to try more things, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to do so without my diet being “crowded out” by breads and grains.

3) Slippage

As I alluded to earlier, I am very afraid that if I get off of paleo that I will fall into my old habits: stress eating being the key of these things. Eating paleo has  made me conscious but not hyper-conscious of what I am eating, and that has been good for me. It has also been very good for me emotionally — instead of eating my feelings away, I talk about them. This may be a pretty awful thing for my friends and my boyfriend, but it’s been remarkably healthy for me.  However, I am afraid that if I “allow” breads, grains, and dairy back into my diet, or any combination of these that my awareness will slip and before you know it I’m back up to 185.

Never again.

So these are some of the things I have been wrestling with. Needless to say, I am very surprised that I am conflicted about this. I expected to be chomping at the bit to get off paleo, but I am genuinely conflicted about it.

If you made it to the end of this post, congratulations. You rock. I’d appreciate any input.