Tag Archives: control (lack of)

January Review – Febuary Commitment

There were some great things in January and some less than ideal things. And I am frustrated that I am recording a weight gain for the month rather than a weight loss. But to not report the gain would be a bad sign… it would mean that I was continuing in denial rather than facing up to my poor decisions.

In January I had committed to eating well, doing my Up and Running workouts 3 times a week and reading one book about self acceptance and thinking about it.

I did my Up and Running Workouts consistently. I am now doing a series called Bridge to 10K which builds on the 5K course by providing workouts that are challenging but aimed at the 5K distance, improving stamina and time. The longest workout in terms of distance I did was 7.3km which took 57 minutes and I ran about 40 minutes of that time. They are hard and more challenging than I would devise on my own but I trust Julia Jones, the running coach who devised them and so I would argue with myself to push through to the end of the workout. And that sense of satisfaction when I am done is amazing.

I read Karen Anderson’s book called ‘After (the before and after)’ about her journey towards self acceptance on her weight loss journey. It was listening to Karen talk to Shauna Reid and Carla Birnberg on the Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone podcast last year that inspired me to look at my own issues around self acceptance. The book was not quite what I was looking for but was a good place for me to start. I started building a personal affirmation which reflects where I am now that I can use in a meditative way. I thought about different aspects of myself, especially those that are the negative voices in my head and how I can talk to those aspects of me and not let them hold me back. But these things did not become habit and I realise while writing that I have not thought of them in the last 2 weeks or so… the two weeks which coincide with my poor eating choices.

So why did my eating go off the rails? It did, obviously as I had started losing weight and now I have ended up with a net gain for the month. There are many reasons
– pushed myself too hard with exercise and did not eat enough which meant that I got really hungry and overate to compensate
– then I dropped the exercise a little (back to my 3 workouts a week) but still did not manage to balance energy in with the exercise
– stress about money and using food to avoid dealing with the money issues
– going to decaf coffee. I decided I wanted to reduce my caffeine intake. I was having two large (mug sized) espresso coffees a day plus 2 mugs of black tea. Over two weeks I transitioned to decaf coffee and kept the black tea. But I realised on the weekend that I am not reaching for sweet things to give myself a mental boost – especially at work. I need to find another way to manage less caffeine.
– feeling very virtuous after the first two weeks because I did so well, especially at a lunch with friends where I chose to leave 2 slices of pizza on my plate. The old feelings of entitlement came back with a vengence that night and I had chocolate.
– work has been really busy. It is not stressful like my last job but I am so busy and focussed on the tasks at hand that reaching for an extra snack helps get me through.
– I stopped tracking food, I stopped weighing myself on the scales every couple days, I stopped saying my affirmations which remind me of the big picture.

I need to think about all these things, the lessons I can learn, the ways I can manage stress and work pressures better. I hope that in learning I can start making better choices.

So today I got on the scales and that third number is back. Weight this morning was 100.3kg.

Fact. Information. Move on.
(I will try not to beat myself up for too long)

So, that was January. I made some really good progress in terms of exercise and building tools to help me on the journey. I stuck to my eating plan for the first two weeks but it was not enough for the intensity of exercise. And the last two weeks contained alot of poor food choices. I am not back where I started because my consistency with running has improved and I have some tools that I can pick up again.

February…

One of the things I ate in January was chocolate, too much chocolate. When I eat chocolate I want more chocolate. Maybe not immediately but the next day and the next day. It triggers bad eating habits for me and they cycle in a negative way. I need it to stop. February will be the month of no chocolate.

I will take steps toward selling my unit which will lead to sorting out my money a little better.

I will continue with 3 Up and Running Workouts a week but will not run on other days. I need to find a balance with exercise and food and running 5 days in a row upsets that balance.

I will track food and aim for 9000kJ a day. I will report my weight every week on Monday; I like that extra bit of accountability. I will aim for a loss of 3kg in the month.

I will work on my affirmation again and I will say it every morning when I get up. I will reread After and think some more.

I will keep going. There is no end to the journey, there are many small steps. There is today, there is far off. There is continuing.

Danger – cliff edge ahead

I’m down almost a kg on last week – which means I am still up from 4 weeks ago but it is a step in the right direction.

I was lying awake last night (my boy had a restless night), thinking about weigh-in Monday, knowing I had exercised well but not eaten well for about 50% of the week. There are three things that really stick out for me this week for having derailed my earnest desire of this time last week, which was to follow my food plan:
– sugar…
– alcohol…
– an intense workout…

I had some jellybeans in the house left over for decorating my boy’s birthday cake. I only needed two for the cake but bought a big bag because that was cheap and easy. Next time I must remember to get one of those little bags from the chemist. Without too much thought, I ate jellybeans all week, I just kept going back to the container. Finally, I threw them out on the weekend but I should have done it much earlier. I have thought about the impact sugar had on my body and my head. The sugar made me thirsty. Rather than having a drink, I would go for more sugar. I was craving sugar. Then I started looking for something other than jellybeans that would give me a sugar hit and I would eat that, too. It was pretty nasty and I kept doing it for days in a row. I get addicted to the sugar hit. I love sugar, especially in sugar/fat combinations. It makes me feel good really quickly but it is evil. The downside is that too much sugar makes me feel bloated and my system doesn’t like it. Sugar makes me thirsty but then tricks me into more sugar. Sugar makes me grumpy and tired from the spiking blood sugar levels. Sugar withdrawal leaves me with a headache. After a few days of no sugar I feel much better; I am sleeping better and have more energy. But it does take about three days to get through to feeling better stage. When I am managing my food well I can tolerate small amounts of sugar but that really means occasional small amounts. For me, it is a fine line between managing my sugar intake and blowing it. Maybe I should respect the line and keep away – like the edge of a cliff. Last week, I kept trying to see over the edge… and of course I fell.

Alcohol is also evil but in a different way to sugar. I had a couple of drinks last week. We had a special dinner as part of my first week of a new job and I had an alcoholic ginger beer. We went out on Saturday to a friends place and I had some wine there. Alcohol makes me feel like I am confident and in control but it actually results in a lowering of my ability to assess my hunger/satiety levels. I want to fly off that cliff edge with alcohol! I become so confident I don’t take note of what I am eating. And then, I get the munchies. I usually go for something high in refined carbs (bread/chips) while I am drinking and afterwards I want sugar. Alcohol can lead into a sugar spiral if I am already primed with a little sugar.

On Wednesday last week I went for an almost 5K run in the morning. I felt great. I had my normal breakfast. I had my normal morning tea but I had it a little early. Then I had lunch a little early but it was a normal lunch. And then 2 hours later I was so hungry that I just started snacking. It was healthy snacking – I first went with protein, fruit then dairy but then I found the jelly beans. I hadn’t realised before that I need to be careful of my hunger response after an intense workout. I need to manage that by having just a little more at breakfast and morning tea and pulling back into a normal lunch.

I lost weight this past week. I exercised well and consistently – getting in 4 1/2 hours over 6 sessions. 5 of these sessions included running and for substantial distances. My overall exercise intensity has increased in the last month and I want to keep it at that higher level. I made some really good exercise choices with regards to setting up new routines at my new work, mapping out new routes and challenging myself. I did well.

But it works better when both my eating and exercise are on track. This past week I would say that my eating was in control only 50% of the week. I kept trying to get back on track but I kept eating those jellybeans and didn’t realise what has happening in my body till later in the week. I was sabotaging my efforts.

My goal for this coming week is to break the sugar cycle, not drink alcohol and have my eating in control for 90% of the week. I have to stop looking over the edge of that cliff and thinking I won’t fall. Right now, I need to stay away from the edge.

many steps forward, a couple back

Tired today. I started my new job and it was a good day.

I also weighed in this morning and I have put on weight in the last two weeks. I was up 4 kg this morning from a fortnight ago. I know some is water, some is overeating and some is hormonal. But it is also not unexpected. While I did some exercise last week, my eating spiralled out as I made cake for my toddler’s birthday and decorated cake and planned party food. It was not a good week. And I didn’t check in here because that would mean I would have to face what I was doing.

A couple of times during the week I was aware of how I felt physically, having eaten too much sugar and too much food in general. I thought about how I felt in my body – It is important to notice the bloating, the trouble getting to sleep and the sluggishness when I don’t eat well. It is important to recognise that eating too much sugar leads to sugar cravings and it is so very hard to stop once I have given in. It is important to remember that I feel so much better when I eat well; I sleep better, my body moves more smoothly and I am confident in myself.

Here I am. I have taken some steps back. And I have learnt some things. I think that these are lessons it is going to take me some time to learn. My brain is still wired from decades of poor choices and it will take a long time for the rewiring to be the default.

But, I am going to start taking steps forward again. I am not yet done.

This morning I went out and did 50 minutes of walking/running, a total of 5.8km. I was at work today and I took my snacks and lunch. I have packed my food for tomorrow and have done some prep for dinner tomorrow night. I feel like I am in control.

I am not going to meet my goal for Christmas with regards to seeing numbers on the scale. That is ok. But I will aim to be at my lowest weight this year for Christmas – which means I am going to get the gain off and then some. I will work towards running a 5K between Christmas and New Year. That gives me time to train and I hope to see an improved time since my 5K. This is a good goal to set.

I wish that my emotional mind could take orders from my rational mind. My rational mind knows what to eat and how much. It has logic and evidence with regard to food choices. But eating/food is more than that for me. It is comfort and pleasure; it is part of how I interact with my friends, it is how I am generous with my friends; it is part of how I express my creativity. I am finding ways to be creative in a healthy way with food. I am finding ways to be social apart from food. I am finding ways to manage stress without food. But it is not easy. I don’t think it will ever be easy.

But I believe it is worth it.

I am already living so many benefits of my weightloss and improved fitness.

I will keep looking for new ways. I will keep taking small steps forward; in healthy food choices, in exercise, in stress management. I will be healthy, fit and strong. This I promise to myself. While I may take small steps back, that will not be the end. I will stop, look at what I am doing, look at where I want to go and then keep going. This I promise to myself.

Third Trimester Wrap

I thought I would have a look at the last 13 weeks today so that I don’t forget in all the excitement of the 40 weeks.

The last 14 weeks have been difficult. Work stress has resulted in some uncontrolled binging. I have had 4 gains in this time. But overall I have lost 9kg and I am happy with that.

Each time things went badly and I started using food as comfort or to suppress my stress, I did have some awareness that it was happening. I remember thinking things like this ‘things are hard, so hard, it is ok to stop and use any way you have right now to manage. but come tomorrow, there will be exercise and better eating. this is a way to manage today but not a way to manage long term. so for today and today only, it is ok to use food for comfort and food to forget’. And then I ate and felt the relief that came with that. And then I felt physically uncomfortable from overeating and I tried to remember that ill feeling for next time. It took 3 or 4 days after a binge to get back to feeling right again. The loss of that time frustrated me and I tried to remember that as well. The awareness of what was going on is a big step forward for me. It helped me limit my comfort eating and get back on track. So, I am glad that I have been able to learn a little about myself in this area.

I also know that I managed so well through this time because I had been exercising consistently leading up to it and I kept exercising through it. I don’t want to think about how difficult it would have been without having the exercise to keep me mostly sane. Having exercise challenges was a wonderful thing to have in place 🙂 And walking buddies 🙂

Apart from those times of really high stress, I did ok foodwise. There were also some social occasions I did really well at and some I did badly at. But I learnt through them, too. I did not cook as many new things but I did get the soupmaker and I am still having soup every day for lunch.

Exercisewise, I started jogging more in my walks and signed up for the Up and Running 5K course. In the week ending 18 August I was proud to be jogging for 2 minute stretches. Now I am halfway through the course and can jog 14 minutes! Amazing!!! Looking back, I have not done much resistance training. Maybe I should think about my routine and where I can make it fit because I think it is important. But I have exercised between 4 and 6 hours every week, usually getting in just over 5 hours. Exercise helps me feel strong and powerful.

I have noticed my shape changing alot in the last 6 weeks. I am enjoying my waist and I watch the muscles move in my legs. I can feel my hips and my pelvis. And I like feeling my ribs. I love my collarbones!!! This is my body and it is starting to look good 😀 I am also starting to wear clothes that cling to my curves.

People comment regularly now on my weightloss. And I talk about it alot. I am humbled that people look at me and are inspired to make changes to their own lives. That also helps remind me that what I have done is actually unusual and I am proud of what I have done.

There has been alot of good things in the past 13 weeks; good learning, good exercise and food, amazing support. I am happy.

party prep – mental and actual

I am tired! I have most things ready for the party tomorrow, including carrot sticks, capsicum sticks, cherry tomatos and strawberries all ready to go. The cake I made is one I have had before and because I know what it is like I think I will be able to resist it. And I have a morning tea at work on Monday to go to where I can take some of the left overs. I have a pretty new dress to wear. And I have lost that digit off the scale again and I am keeping that in my mind. And I have my third Up and Running workout tomorrow morning.

I have done really well this week with food and exercise. I am very happy with that.

My little one has been sick this week with a cold and teething. It has made the week more stressful but there were a couple of times where I looked after myself first which meant that I could look after him better.

Tuesday weigh in…

Yesterday I got up early and did my first running workout with Up and Running. That was excellent – and needs to be the subject of its own post.

But I want to backtrack to Saturday first. I ate too much on Saturday. Then on Sunday I started off with a light breakfast, small morning tea and sensible lunch. I had baked a cake to take to a friends christening and the cake was too warm when I was slicing it and it crumbled… and I ate some of the crumbly bits….

Sunday afternoon and evening I slipped into ‘I don’t care, I am going to eat whatever I want’ mode. It is one of those crazy modes where I don’t know how to break it. So, I overate. Chocolate, nuts, more cake, crackers. And I was not hungry and I started feeling so full I was uncomfotable. I don’t understand it now trying to write about it.

So, Monday morning was the first morning for Up and Running. I went out, did my work out, came back and jumped on the scales. And got what I expected and deserved. But I also know my system and I decided to give it another day to keep moving. This morning I got on scale again. And I will take this weight and say that is ok – up just over a lb from Saturday and about the same as last week.

Today’s weight: 100.4 kg (221 lbs)

I am frustrated with myself. I am either in control or have no control. There does not seem to be a middle ground. If I stop tracking in a day it is almost as if ‘don’t know, don’t care’ comes into force.

This weekend is going to be interesting. We have a party on Saturday. There will be food that I prepare and food that other people bring. There will be left overs. I can see the same thing could happen again and I don’t want it to. I want that number to stay below 100! So, I need to do things differently. I need to be able to enjoy the party but not forget that I want to be healthy. I need to put things out of sight after the party so that it is easier for me to stay on track the next day. I might buy a special bracelet or wear a special tie about my wrist that I can touch or flick to remind myself to do things differently.

I am not going to beat myself up about my choices on Saturday or Sunday. But I want to learn from them. I am strong, I am determined. I also want to find balance but I don’t think that is something I can work out this week. That is a long term goal.

emotional eating

Usually where I have come from is not an issue but yesterday it was very much part of my day.

The things my head is trying to process:
– I have lost 25% of my start weight and am halfway to a healthy weight. That is simultaneously wonderful and difficult. I have come so far! I have so far to go! How did I get that overweight? I am doing so well!
– I found pictures of me at Christmas to put in an album to show where I started from. They were hard to look at. I remember at the time thinking they were realistic and that I looked terrible. I had already started working on a plan so it reinforced my motivations. But I felt ashamed looking at them.
– I had pictures taken of me yesterday and I look so good in comparison! I look thinner and happy. I put one on facebook and lots of friends commented about how well I am doing. And again, simultaneously wonderful and difficult. And I also felt vulnerable. I was letting people who didn’t really know what I was doing that I was doing something.

Last night we went out to dinner and that was nice. We had Indian and the food was fabulous. I found myself missing green vegetables even though we had one vegetarian dish. I ate more than I needed but I did not overeat. And we stopped at the Indian Grocer next door and I got one Galub Jamun for desert. I just wanted something a little bit sweet. But in the course of events, it never made it home. Which was frustrating.

My man was going out, I was staying home with the toddler. I had a little bit of the chocolate slice he was taking with him. And that did not ease my frustration. He left and I prowled the kitchen looking for … something. I deserved something. I had worked hard all week at tracking and exercise and had been spot on. I had such a stressful week at work as well. The scales were going down – quite quickly and so I was entitled! I was entitled!

And what did I do with the feelings of entitlement, frustration, vulnerability, loathing and success? I ate. I had one bottle of cider and a packet of choc finger biscuits; the whole packet. And while I was eating I felt relief and acceptance and comfort. I knew last night that it was a one off. I knew it was not the same as a couple of weeks ago where the compulsion stayed with me. I knew that I would be ok the next day. This morning I got up, did 60 minutes fast walking up the hill and back. I have eaten well and am tracking everything and I have had not problems with keeping to my plan or any desire to deviate.

Tonight, I told my man a short version of what happened last night with the biscuits. I guess I was testing myself. I did not want it to be secret eating. I wanted to say the words and make it real and have it known. But I had not worked out why I had eaten the way did last night, I thought it was just the frustration and did not link it to the photos and stuff from earlier in the day. And so I was left with feeling exposed and I wish I had said nothing. I just wanted to hide and I slipped quickly into control/freak out behaviour. I cleaned up in the kitchen, I got my food ready for tomorrow, I kept myself busy as my thoughts spun and spun and spun.

Not normal, not normal, what is normal anyway, it was normal for me, not good certainly but it was my normality, what do other people do anyway? Why would I want to be like other people? I like who I am, I am strong, I am clever, I am making my own way. This is my path. Not normal, what is normal?

I don’t know what normal eating is. I don’t know what the average person eats. I know what books tell me people should eat but I don’t know what people actually do. But I know that food is not just food to me. Food is acceptance and comfort. Cooking and eating is about sharing and love and family and acceptance. This is me. This is my struggle.

With all of those emotions last night – the self loathing at what I had let myself become, the vulnerability, the fear, the frustration and the sense of entitlement, is it any wonder that I ate? No, not really. Did I feel better? Yes, at the time. And tonight? I have worked through my reaction and understand why I wanted to say it out loud and why I then responded the way I did. And now? The spinning has slowed down and I feel like equilibrium is returning.

I don’t want to be normal. I want to be me – understanding where I have come from, where I want to go and be real along the way. My man supports me. He doesn’t understand my twisted relationship with food. I suspect he eats for hunger while my normal patterns for so long have been to eat for acceptance and comfort. I am trying to build new patterns and they are getting stronger every day I keep at it. I have a long way to go on this journey. Eating well and exercising is the easy part.