Category Archives: Introspection

When the fat Comes Back

The past couple of months, since giving up dieting, I’ve been reading Go Kaleo’s blog and have joined the Eating the Food Facebook Group (awesome support there!). I’ve also read Matt Stone’s books Eat for Heat and Diet Recovery 2 as well as Amber’s Taking up Space. Slowly, I’ve replaced all of the blogs/books I used to read about calorie restriction and the latest/greatest diet with items that promote healthy living and loving the body you have now, not the body you’re longing to have.

I’m struggling a bit though. I’ve gained weight. I went from a 55lb loss to a 33lb loss, which is still a loss but…sigh…22lbs? I “think” my scale has stopped moving up but I’m trying not to weigh myself too much because I’m afraid of what the number will be. There are plenty of other people in my camp and the common response is “be patient. Just keep going and you’ll start losing again”. Shoot, look at Amber’s results and that should speak for itself. However, on the same foot, people have laughed at others who just kept going with Paleo thinking it would eventually work for them. So, that little voice in my head starts saying “what if they’re wrong? What if they’re just saying that because that’s what they ALL say?”

I’m really trying my best not to flip out and start dropping my calories again. My metabolism is shot. I know this. I’ve been perpetually dieting since my mom made me do Weight Watchers with her when I was 11. I’m not faulting my mom, not at all. She did what she felt was right, but it also started an unhealthy view of food from then on.

When I started the re-feeding I ate whatever my body craved. What did it crave? Chocolate, candy, cake, greasy burgers, and chocolate…did I mention chocolate? So, I let myself eat it. Before, I would buy a bag of almond M&Ms. Not the small personal size but the big mama jama bag. I’d eat the whole bag in one sitting while Mike was gone or while I was at work in my office then I’d hide the evidence. I did a lot of “closet” eating like that. On my 30th day sugar free, I ate cookies, cake, and candy because I had reached my goal of 30 days and could enjoy a “little bit” now. Eating disorder? Pfft…no, I didn’t have an eating disorder. I was still fat. People with EDs are thin and make themselves either starve or throw up. That definitely was NOT me. Then again, that’s what anyone with an ED would say, isn’t it? I may not have been anorexic or bulimic but I definitely had an unhealthy relationship with food.

I still have some days where I eat a lot of sugar, but I also have quite a few days where I think “oh, I can get a candy bar at lunch and be done with it by the time I get back to the office and no one will know” but then don’t do it because I don’t really want to eat it. It’s just the ED rearing its ugly head again. I recognize this now. And while it’s extremely embarrassing for me to admit I hid food, I know I’m not alone. I also understand that sugar, starch, salt, and fat help to repair a destroyed metabolism so it’s not any shock that I would be craving some of the foods I’m craving.

However, I’m still scared to death. What if all of this won’t work for me like it did for some of the others? As some people have said I am not a “special snowflake”. Tammy’s body works the same as most every one else’s. So, I just have to trust in the process and keep on keeping on.

One of the measurements for metabolism health is body temperature. If you’re below 98 degrees, then you need to do more work on your system. Also, after you eat a “warm” meal (meaning it raises the core temperature and repairs the metabolism) you should feel it. I have yet to feel that warming sensation. However, I am learning to identify certain things my body is trying to tell me. For instance, my “I’m satiated” signal is very very quiet but it is there. If I eat slow enough and listen I can identify that and stop eating. This typically happens well before I finish my entire meal. There are days though that I don’t hear it or the taste of the food is so “loud” that it overpowers that signal and I eat until I’m bursting at the seams. I know this now and with knowledge comes power. I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to post unflattering pictures here, but I will do my best to keep track of my progress.

All of that being said, and that’s quite a bit so thank you for still reading!, I am able to lift weights and can feel myself getting stronger every day. My running on the other hand has suffered because I just haven’t done it in a month. That’s ok though. My body needed a break from it so I gave it to her.

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When Life Becomes a Runaway Train

Life has been a bit crazy lately. I felt like a bug thrown into the toilet and flushed. Lovely image, huh?! The day Mike and I finished the Muddy Trails race I called my parents to let them know how it went when my Dad told me my Grandma was in the hospital with pneumonia. He said he didn’t think it was that big of a deal but gave me her room number and said to call before I went to visit just in case they had already sent her home. The next day, Sunday, I did some running around and was going to call to see if she was up for visitors. My phone rang and it was my Dad. He told me that Grandma had been moved from the hospital she was in to the Downtown Methodist Hospital. It turned out she didn’t have pneumonia but congestive heart failure.

Again, he said she sounded fine and was in good spirits. The doctors were going to give her some meds to hopefully help. I didn’t feel like driving all the way downtown (I do not like driving downtown, especially in the medical center area) so I figured since I had the next Friday off I’d swing by and visit with her then.

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Monday she started having some issues with her kidneys not functioning correctly, but again it didn’t seem to be any reason to worry. The doctor’s felt they could help get them functioning well enough without too much trouble. She was pretty stable on Tuesday and my Dad said she still sounded good on the phone but they were still having some issues with the kidneys.

Wednesday, she entered what the doctors called an “altered mental state”. Basically, she became non-responsive as if she were in a coma. They had to put her on a breathing tube. My Dad bought a plane ticket to come in Friday so he could be with her and help if need be. I told him I’d be happy to pick him up and we’d go to the hospital together. This isn’t the first time we’ve been through something similar to this, but she’s a tough cookie and has pushed through several times!

Thursday morning she came to and was ticked off to be on a breathing tube. Grandma was back and feisty as ever! The doctors had decided to start her on dialysis because her kidneys weren’t working well enough to remove the fluid from around her heart and her liver was starting to have issues. Her blood pressure was extremely low so they were going to do it as slowly as possible so her system wasn’t stressed anymore than necessary.

Thursday at 5PM, I got a call from Mom telling me that Grandma had passed away. She hadn’t told Dad yet (This is my Dad’s Mom) because he was doing yard work outside and she had just gotten the phone call. The only thing I could think was “but we’re supposed to go see her tomorrow”. Mom said she was going to try to get a plane ticket and fly in with Dad.

So, Friday morning instead of visiting with my Grandma I picked my parents up from the airport and we met everyone at my Aunt Sharon’s house. From there we went to pick out the coffin and meet with the funeral home to set up the final arrangements. It didn’t really sink in that she was gone, even though we were talking about her funeral. It didn’t hit until her funeral the following Monday. Sometimes it still doesn’t feel quite real. She was my last grandparent. In the past 4 years, we’ve lost 6 people.  My Aunt Gertrude, my Uncle Rudolph, my Uncle Richard, my Grandpa (my Dad’s Dad), my cousin Karen and now my Grandma.

The service was beautiful and it was great to be around all the love of my family. My brother drove in with the boys so I got to see my him and my nephews, which is always nice! However, since then I’ve just kinda been floating around in a fog. I’ve exercised off and on, I haven’t been consistent at all. I don’t feel like doing much of anything. However, it’s time to get back to it! I am blessed to be in good health so I need to take advantage of that and keep moving/improving the best I can. The last thing I want is to be a burden on Mike when I’m older and one way to try to avoid that is taking care of myself now.

This next weekend I have a race in Fredricksburg with my friend Amy and I can’t wait! I haven’t been running since my Muddy Trails race, but that’s ok. This “race” is more about enjoying the flowers as it winds through a wildflower farm and spending time with a dear friend!

When did thin=healthy?

As I mentioned on my facebook page today, most everyone on here knows I’ve struggled with my weight for years…decades. I’ve always thought “if I can just get down to 160, I’ll be happy” like it was a guarantee. What I’ve learned over the years of altering my diet/s and pushing myself to workout because that’s what I’m supposed to do is that it doesn’t really work. I’m not much smaller than I was last year. In fact, I’ve gained a couple of pounds. I typically don’t discuss weight loss with anyone unless they bring it up because it is a very personal and touchy subject. After reading several books, articles, and blog posts with competing ideas, it’s obvious none of us really have the key to weight loss. But…maybe that’s the problem.

We’re so focused on weight loss that we forego health in order to reach an ideal number. I’m tired. I’m tired of stressing over it. I’m tired of feeling like a failure because the scale hasn’t budged. So, I quit. I’m no longer going to worry about losing weight but rather focus on being healthy. Would I like to be smaller? Sure…I think I would look better smaller, but that’s totally a because of vanity! If I’m healthy, I should be able to do the things I want to do REGARDLESS of my size. I will continue to exercise/workout in a way that brings me happiness or peace of mind, not because I ate a donut that I need to burn off. I will also continue to try to make better food choices because that will lead to a healthier me. If, in the process, I lose some fat, great! I’ll take it. But I will not let my size/weight/arbitrary number on the BMI scale determine my mood for the day or my self worth. Right now, at this point in time, at my current size, I am a enough/worthy/valuable/loved.

I want to be strong and proud of what I can accomplish with my body. My body should be appreciated by me instead of constantly belittled. I’ve gotten better over time of stopping the negative self talk, but it’s still there. Until I can treat myself the way I would treat a dear friend, I’m missing the point.

Needs Improvement

This week I’m taking an online workship by Franklin Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I just read/listened to the book so it’s been quite interesting to see the examples in the workshop offering more insight. One of the habits, Sharpening the Saw, is all about improving yourself (your circle of influence) in four key areas: Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul.

Body: This is basically making sure you get plenty of sleep, exercise, and healthy food.

Mind: Yep, anything having to do with improving your mental capacity, such as reading, writing, thinking, and discussing.

Heart: Making consistent deposits in people’s emotional bank account. In other words, doing something the other person deems as positive (you may not necessarily get it) as a way to improve your relationship.

Soul: Regardless of whether you’re a religious person, this about improving your spiritual side. Reading spiritual literature, meditating, and praying.

They had a questionnaire to fill out to see how you stack up right now (prior to including the 7 habits in your life). I found it quite interesting!

Key Areas

I wasn’t all that surprised by my Soul score (sounds like a song!) because I knew I had work to do here. What I was surprised by was my Body and Heart scores. I workout 4-5 times a week, but my food is not as good as it should be. I’m also guessing that my Heart score is low because I can tend to get negative. Again, these are things I’ve constantly been struggling with!

Right now I’m reading Erin McHugh’s One Good Deed, which is a book about her choice to do one good deed a day for a year. The subtitle says it all: 365 days of trying to be just a little bit better. In December, I challenged myself to do one random act of kindness a day. I truly enjoyed doing most of these but was starting to run out of ideas. I think Erin is on to something…it should be just about trying to be a better person each day. It doesn’t have to be random, although it will usually work out that way, or anonymous. From what I’ve learned in Stephen Covey’s book and by using the outlook that Erin used in her’s, I think I’m finally figuring out how to turn myself in to the person I want to be. I’m not saying I’ll do one good deed a day for a year, but really…why shouldn’t I strive to? How difficult can it be to just be a little bit nicer and more compassionate?! I think it may be a struggle at first since I typically have “dark storm clouds” following me as my husband says but it’s a struggle I’m ready to take if it means replacing the dark clouds with sunshine and blue birds (a little over the top, huh? Yeah, I agree…but you get my point!).

So, with that in mind…it’s off to finish my workshop and figure out some goals for the day!

One Little Word, Again!

It’s a new year and that means I need a new word. Last year I chose “Revivify” as my watchword.

to restore to life; give new life to; revive; reanimate. This rut I’m in needs to be filled in and a new path taken.

I didn’t have a huge overhaul this past year, but I do believe I lived up to my word. I’ve done several races in the past couple of years, but I was getting bored with it and about ready to stop all together when a friend suggested we try an obstacle race. This is wayyyy outside of my comfort zone, so I said yes! What better way to get out of my rut than to try new things to challenge myself!

In fact, I did several races that were a little different for me. First was the 5K Foam Fest, then the Color Me Rad 5K, and last I signed up for a Zombie run (that’s actually this June). Unfortunately, exercise was about the only thing in my life that I changed. I started doing my own weight workouts and I joined a running group. I completed the Muddy Trails 5K even though I said I wasn’t going to do it again. Then, I completed two new races: Run Thru the Woods 5 Miler at Thanksgiving and the Texas 1/2 Marathon on New Year’s Day! I was going to do the 10 for Texas with Mike, but it was right after my throat surgery and I had to give my admission to someone else.

On the health front, I joined MyFitnessPal and met some wonderful people. One of which was the impetus for me trying the different races than I was used to! Hi Amy! I also joined Move More, Eat Well and learned a bit about health and digital scrapbooking. Again, I met some lovely people in this group!

I do feel that I’ve grown spiritually in the past year as well. I’m also more open to trying new things/adventures than I would have been any other time! This year I did my best to try and view things from other people’s perspectives and give back where I could.

All in all, 2012 was a pretty good year (despite having lost two beloved uncles and a scare with my Grandma). Now, however, I’m back to needing a word for 2013 and I’m having a hard time figuring out what it should be. I have some big changes coming up this year that could throw me off my game. With that in mind, I believe I want 2013 to be my year of balance. 2010 was my year of “Transformation“, 2011 I was “Shine“ing, and in 2012 I wanted revivification. See a pattern here?!

I need to balance being healthy with enjoying life. It’s not all or nothing. If I eat poorly at one meal, one day, one week, or even one month I’m not going to give up but I’m going to slowly steer this ship back in the right direction and keep on chugging on. Time at work needs to be balanced more fully with quality time with Mike and my family. Yes, “Balance” will do nicely!

Stack of Stones