A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jogging & Jiggling

Today's been a success. I felt kind of snacky all day, but managed to keep it under control. Huge glasses of water and cups of coffee do wonders. I looked back on my calorie count for the week so far and I've kept it between 1300-1550 all week. Not bad, considering my daily limit was 1750!! I'm hoping to reach my first 15 lb goal this week. That would mean a loss of 3.8 lbs. Considering I set my overall goal at 10 lbs a month, and I've already surpassed that for the first month, then that really counts as my monthly goal already met. Yippie!

I still haven't heard back from my friend Lori on whether or not we'll get to use the lakehouse as my reward, so I've got to think of a back-up reward in case it doesn't work out. Today was treadmill day so I went down this morning and jumped on. I varied the speed between 3.7, 4.0 and 4.5. The latter is really a jogging speed for me, so I tried to jog. Although I was the only one in the fitness room at the time, I was still morbidly embarassed at the sound of my big, fat belly flopping against my thighs and making this hideous noise, so I dropped it back to a super fast walk and kept up as long as I could. Yesterday's time was 15:50....today's time was 15:04, so I'm improving. :) I can't wait til the day I get to tell you that my stomach has shrunk up enough that it no longer makes loud mocking noises when I jog. What a day that will be!

I also did 50 crunches and 20 arm exercises just for the "fun" of it. I've done a little packing today, and getting ready to do some more. Time to pack up my china cabinet. I'll probably have to make another dumpster diving trip tomorrow to gather some more boxes. Shane's off tomorrow so we're planning on driving around looking for some "for rent" signs....hopefully we can find a little house with a fenced in yard for the puppy to run around in. Keep your fingers crossed!

Goal Stats:

Calories 1750
Carbs 250
Fat 60
Protein 136

Today's Stats:

Calories 1303
Carbs 150
Fat 29
Protein 113

Here's my food intake for the day:

Breakfast casserole (egg whites, red. fat cheese, asparagus, mushrms, onions)
2 c. coffee w/ sugar-free creamer

Chicken melt (whole wheat sandwich thin, lite mayo, FF cheese, tomato)

Grilled chicken pasta salad (whole wheat penne, tomatoes, cukes, onions, lite Italian)

Crackers and roasted pine nut hummus
Kashi TLC bar (cherries & dark chocolate)
TONS of water
1 protein water

Side note: Dinner was especially delicious tonight. Shane commented on how awesome it was as he's done with all of our dinners recently. I think I actually caught him licking his plate. It just tickles me that because I'm the only one that cooks around here, he's "accidentally" going to lose weight right along with me. :)

Quote For The Day:

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit." -Aristotle

Monday, June 29, 2009

From Frustration to Fireflies

Ok, I'm back now and feeling a little more mellow. Before my dinner disaster I had a pretty good day. I went to my parents house and mowed the front and back yards of their house and their rental house next door. That was the first time I've mowed any grass in about 15 years. I'm not going to lie and say I enjoyed it, but it made me feel good to help my parents out, and I did have a feeling of accomplishment in the activity department when I finally got it finished.

I got home around 1-1:30p and had a half-hearted lunch of cheesesticks, hummus and crackers, mainly because I was too tired to stand in the kitchen and chop up veggies for a salad. I told you in my last post that I was wanting some restaurant food, so I was trying to use as few calories as possible during the day so I'd have a lot left at dinnertime in case I caved and did something stupid. I attempted to do the right thing and cook a healthy meal for my roommate and I, but we all know how that turned out. (Side note: After eating his turkey burger for dinner last night, Shane told me he now prefers turkey burger over ground beef. Just last week he told me he now prefers brown rice over white rice. We're making progress!)

I've been picking around, eating different stuff for dinner, trying to satisfy something that just isn't going to be satisfied tonight. I ate the asparagus and brown rice I fixed. I also cooked an egg and cheese sandwich and had that. Then I made some coffee and drank 2 cups of it, trying to make my stomach feel full so I'd stop eating.

I sent Dwayne a text and told him what happened to dinner and that I was having such a hard day. He sent a text back that said, "Don't cry over spilled milk." I can't tell you how bad that crawled under my skin. I swear, if he would of said, "Don't cry over spilled scallops" I would have crawled through that phone and beat him half to death. It's not treadmill day but I went down there anyway to burn off some frustration. I did a mile but this time I varied my speed between 3.4, 3.7 and 4.0. Yesterday I did my mile in 17:30, tonight I did it in 15:50. That felt good.

Goal Stats:

Calories 1750
Carbs 250
Fat 60
Protein 136

Today's Stats:

Calories 1539
Carbs 172
Fat 49
Protein 103

Here's my food intake for the day:

Turkey burger (whole wheat sandwich thin, lite mayo, ketchup)

2 lowfat mozzarella cheesesticks
Crackers & roasted pine nut hummus
1 can of Coke

1 c. brown rice
1/2 c. steamed asparagus
Egg & cheese sandwich (2 whole eggs, 1/4 c. red. fat ched. chz, 1 tbsp. lite mayo, sourdough)
2 c. coffee w/ sugar-free creamer

Lots of water
1 protein water

When I got back from my walk I went inside and made the coffee, fixed a cup, grabbed my puppy and went outside to sit on my porch. I was sitting there reflecting on the day, glad I came in under my calorie limit again, but wondering why some days have to be so hard. That's when I saw them. Fireflies. Or as we used to call them when we were kids....lightning bugs. :) Immediately I was transported back to my childhood.

My Maw Maw passed away a couple of months ago after a long struggle with Alzheimer's. Tonight was the first memory I've had of her since her death that I've smiled instead of cried. When I was a child we lived in Jacksonville, FL and would come up to Acworth, Ga. to visit my Maw Maw and Paw Paw. Sometimes the visits were during the summer months. I remember those hot summer nights. My grandparents didn't have air conditioning in their house so they would pull a string on the ceiling in the hallway and a loud attic fan would come on and send a breeze through the house. When it got dark out, my two sisters and I would go outside in their yard with our Mason jars, poke "air holes" in the lid, and capture lightning bugs. When we went to bed we'd sit them beside us on a little table, staring at them with child-like wonder. With the drone of the attic fan and the glow of the fireflies, we'd drift off into a peaceful slumber. To this day, that is still some of the best sleep I've ever had. 'Night all. :)

Quote For The Day:

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -Helen Keller

I Hate Mondays

Have you ever noticed that when you set a goal, sometimes it seems like some outside force doesn't want you to succeed, despite your absolute best efforts? Today has been one of those days for me. Today has been a "wanting" day for me. No specific cravings, not really what I'd call a "hungry" day where you want to eat everything in sight, no matter what it is....but just "wanting" something else besides what's in my frig. The sound of another turkey burger, salad or egg white made me want to puke. I wanted restaurant food.....something that someone else cooked that tastes 100x better than a cucumber. I've been nervous that I would screw up and break down all day, so I restricted my calories all day long. I made it to dinnertime and had/have 945 calories left that I can use.

I had laid out some baby scallops today to thaw and decided to fight the temptations and make what I had planned for dinner.....steamed asparagus, brown rice, and broiled scallops. I had the rice and asparagus ready and on the plates and was pulling the glass baking dish out of the oven that the scallops were in. In 2 seconds flat, that dish burned right through my damp dish towel leaving a 500 degree burn on my left thumb. My puppy is always under foot when I'm working in the kitchen and today was no exception. I knew I was going to drop it but held onto it as long as I could, broiling my thumb, guiding it down to the floor as far as I could, all while trying to shove the dog out of my way with my right foot. I got it about a foot above the floor and dropped it...screaming at the dog to stay away so she wouldn't burn her tongue and throat from sucking down what I'm sure she thought was a gratuitous seafood buffet. Olive oil and scallops went flying, soaking all of my cabinets, the oven door and my legs.

Can you guess what cry baby did next? You guessed it.....BOOOO HOOOO HOOO. Once again, just like the night my fish "disappeared", I'm sitting here without the dinner I had planned, on one of the worst temptation days yet. I have to sign off now because I'm not done crying yet. I might be back later if my mood improves.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Packing "Off" The Pounds

Today has been pretty productive. I went out and did a little dumpster diving and got some boxes for packing. I brought them back and spent about 4 hours on my feet packing up my closet and bedroom. After bending, stretching, lifting, carrying and packing, I feel like I've had an entire body workout. Today was treadmill day so I went down and did a mile. I had it in my head on the way down there that I was going to push for 2 miles. Yeah right. I feel like I'm dying at around .8 of a mile. It's an absolute struggle to make it to the mile mark before I fall off gasping for breath, sweat just a'pouring off me. I'm hoping I can further my distance soon. Please God. I noticed Pam's been keeping track of how many calories she's burning with her workouts and she has been doing AWESOME. I only pay attention to my distance and the time it takes me to do it in. Tonight I walked 1 mile at a speed of 3.4 and it took me 17 min and 30 sec. I decided to look at the calories I burned this time.........84. How pathetic is that???? I wanted to cry. I wanted to give up. I wanted to cuss that treadmill, give it a swift kick, and never get on it again. (Deep breath, Tammy).

Well I'm not going to give up. How can I expect it to ever improve if I stop? Yes, 84 stupid calories is a pathetically low number for as wore out as I feel when I get off that dang thing. But like anything else, it will get better over time. I just have to persevere and keep at it. Keep on keepin' on, as Dad would say.

Now before anybody innundates me with screaming emails about how low my calories are for the day....please don't. I didn't do it on purpose. I don't know what happened, actually. I ate 3 meals and a snack today. I stopped eating when I was full. I didn't inadvertently shove food in my mouth just for the heck of it. I paid attention every time I ate to make sure I didn't make myself miserable again, and my end calorie count for the day shocked me. Who knows? Maybe it was just a weird day for me. Maybe I'll eat 2,000 calories tomorrow....certainly wouldn't surprise me. I talked to Dwayne about lowering my calorie count and he advised me not to. He told me that if I lower them, and then have a "hungry" day and go over them, that I'll beat myself up endlessly over it and deem myself as a failure. He said I should leave the limits where they are and if I come in under the limits, then good for me! See why I love him? He knows me so well. :)

Goal Stats:

Calories 1750
Carbs 250
Fat 60
Protein 136

Today's Stats:

Calories 1190
Carbs 71
Fat 47
Protein 127

Here's my food intake for the day:

3 egg whites scrambled w/ can. bacon, mushrm, onion, bell pepper, tomato, red. fat cheese
2 c. coffee w/ sugar-free creamer

7 baked Mojo chicken wings

Turkey burger on whole wht sandwich thin, lite mayo, dijon, ketchup
Salad (spinach, broccoli slaw, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, carrots, cukes, lite Italian, hummus)
3 baby dill pickles

Lowfat mozzarella cheesestick
1 glass tea, mixed 2/3 unsweet, 1/3 sweet
TONS of water
1 protein water
NO COKE TODAY!

One thing I've always loved is inspirational quotes. I decided I'm going to start leaving one at the end of my post each day. I don't always remember who they're by, but if I do, I'll let you know. :)

Quote For The Day:

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." -Henry Ford

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hunger vs. Habit

Today has been a great day. I really enjoyed it. I got up this morning and fixed breakfast for the guys. I cooked 3 oz of my homemade turkey sausage for myself and ate it with 2 c. of coffee. I cleaned my kitchen, showered and got ready and ran to the bank to make a deposit. I came back and Dwayne was calling around on cars....he's trying to buy a new (used) car...his current car is a lemon. I had some pork ribs in the freezer that I had originally planned on cooking for dinner for the sole purpose of ridding my freezer of all the pork. The more I thought about it, the more I really didn't want to eat those ribs. I love pork. It is my favorite of all the meats. I would eat pork 7 days a week if I thought I could get away with it and not be dead from heart disease in a year's time. Since I love it so much, it's become too much of a temptation being in my freezer and I wanted it gone. But I didn't want to eat it. And I didn't want to throw it out or give it away. I finally decided to cook it today and feed it to Shane and his girlfriend for dinner tonight. So I cooked them up and threw them in the frig.

Next I baked my Mojo wings and ate those for lunch. Then Dwayne and I went out looking for cars but to no avail. We ran a couple of errands, finally stopping at Harry's Farmer's Market (Whole Foods). I adore that store. It's filled so much interesting stuff....I hate the prices....but I love to look and pick up the occasional item. We strolled through the entire store because Dwayne had never been in there. He drooled over their gigantic meat counter for about 10 minutes. We checked out the seafood counter, the chocolate display...I'm looking to try some different kinds of dark chocolate, but didn't buy any today. The only thing I bought was some red chili paste that Pam told me to get to make her latest version of hummus. Then we hit the bakery....oh my goodness. All of a sudden I wanted a brownie. I wanted a loaf of pumpkin bread. I wanted a pecan pie.......all the while wondering what the heck is wrong with me??? I don't buy sweets.....very rare.....but I was overwhelmed with the desire for something sweet. Then I reminded myself that I was making a lowfat banana pudding that Pam had told me she made. I'd be fine til after dinner. You can find the banana pudding here: http://lobsterandfishsticks.com/ Dwayne bought some rosemary baguette bread, we strolled through the deli and I sampled some jalapeno hummus. I immediately thought of Pam...she loves jalapenos....Pam, you MUST try this....it's awesome. :)

We finally left and headed back home. We lazed around for a while and then I fixed dinner. It was brown rice, baked snapper and sauteed shrimp (for Dwayne and I.......Shane and his girlfriend had the pork ribs later this evening). I realized I hadn't had ANY veggies today at all, so I fixed myself a side salad w/ spinach, tomatoes, cukes & 1 tbsp of lite Italian dressing. I had a very small slice of the rosemary baguette, and after dinner I measured out 1 c. of the banana pudding. When I finally stopped stuffing my face and took a few breaths, I realized I had done it again. Eaten way too much in one sitting. Didn't I just do this yesterday with that sub from Subway? I was miserable again....but why? I planned out my dinner early this morning, so I wasn't stuck out somewhere and in a bad situation. Everything I had was low in fat and in calories. And after dinner and dessert, I was still 241 calories UNDER my limit for the day! I really had to sit and think about how I made myself so miserable AGAIN.

Habit. I ate all of that food out of habit. Yes, it was healthier than what I used to eat for dinner. It was definitely low in fat and calories......WAY better choice than the pork ribs, and I still had a lot of calories to spare. But I didn't stop eating when the hunger was gone, because I'm not in the habit of doing that. I ate all of that food in one sitting because I'm in the habit of doing so. Volumes of food.

I've been eating seafood since birth, and for as far back as I can remember, I cannot remember ever eating just one type of seafood at a time. It's usually at least 2, and often times it was 4. I used to order these huge seafood platters with fish, shrimp, scallops and clam strips. Or shrimp, scallops, deviled crab and a side of crab legs. Recently, in the last couple of years and out to dinner with Dwayne, I'd order at least 2 items. My favorites are shrimp and scallops. But never just ONE. That's not enough seafood, or so I programmed myself to believe.

The truth is, I could of had just one tonight....either the snapper, or the shrimp...a little less brown rice, and although I rarely eat white bread anymore, I could have skipped that too. I could have eaten HALF of what was on my plate and been totally satisfied. Looks like it's time for me to form a new habit. I've already noticed that I can go a little longer inbetween meals before I get hungry. Now, when I'm eating a meal (and especially dinner, since that's always my biggest meal), I've got to really pay attention to my stomach and make sure I stop eating when the hunger's gone. This is a new one for me. I feel like my stomach has started to shrink a little and I surely don't want to stretch it out again. So this is the newest thing I'm working on.

Here are my stats for the day:

Goal Stats:

Calories 1750
Carbs 250
Fat 60
Protein 136

Today's Stats:

Calories 1539
Carbs 135
Fat 32
Protein 161

Here's my food intake for the day:

Turkey sausage (homemade, 3 oz.)
2 c. coffee w/ sugar-free creamer

7 baked Mojo wings

Baked snapper, sauteed shrimp, brown rice, salad, pc. of rosemary bread
1 c. lowfat banana pudding

Lowfat mozzarella cheesestick
7 crackers w/ 2 tbsp roasted pine nut hummus
1 pc. sugar-free 60% cacoa dark chocolate
1 protein water
2 glasses of tea, mixed 2/3 unsweet, 1/3 sweet
Lots of water
NO COKE TODAY! :)

As far as the exercise goes, I plan on walking on the treadmill every other day. I'll feel good if I make it down there 3-4x/wk and do at least a mile each time until I can increase the distance. On the days I don't do the treadmill, I plan on doing something here in the apt. Today wasn't a treadmill day, so instead I did:

100 crunches
25 arm exercises
15 lower ab leg lifts
scissor machine, 50 reps with the arms then changed machine & did 50 reps with the legs

I feel good about today....it was definitely a win in the calorie department. In fact, knowing how many calories I had left over, and how many I didn't have to eat at dinner, I'm considering changing the amounts again. It would be silly to MAKE myself eat 1750 calories just because I made them available. I'm going to wait another day before I decide though. Maybe tomorrow will be a crazy hungry day and I'll decide to leave them where they're at. But I'm considering dropping them by 100 and switching from 1450 to 1650 each week. I'll know what I want to do by the end of the day tomorrow. Until then, I hope everyone enjoys their weekend! :)

Killer Kravings

Usually when I have a craving the only way to satisfy it is to give in to it. The longest I've gone trying to avoid one is about two weeks. Then I give in, have what I want, and it goes away. I might not want that same thing again for another 6 months, but when it hits, it does NOT go away until I've eaten it. Since I've started counting calories this has become a SERIOUS problem. I now can no longer just go get what I want, so I'm trying to find ways to satisfy them by other means.

I had a major craving for grilled shrimp and scallops from Red Lobster a couple of weeks ago. I dealt with it for about a week, gnawing at me every single day. I finally decided to just make my own at home. I went to Publix and found the shrimp AND the scallops on sale, lucky me, and took them home and sauteed them in a little olive oil and some garlic and adobo. They were fantastic and my craving was gone.

My next craving was the Mojo wings from Publix. Love those things. I found out from a Publix deli associate the other day that they're no longer making that flavor, that Publix was discontinuing their Mojo marinade. I went over to the marinade aisle and sure enough, they were yellow tagged at $1.49 per bottle. I bought 3 bottles.....time to make my own Mojo wings at home! I made them today, baked in the oven for a while, poured the liquid off of them, then added some more marinade and broiled them. I checked online and chicken wings, with the skin and bone, are 21 calories each. I had 7 of them for lunch today, a total of 150 calories, and the craving was satisfied. Awesome!

Here's my newest problem. I can't think of a way to make something that comes anywhere CLOSE to the taste of a Krystal. Tips anyone? lol.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Lessons Learned

I read a quote in one of Suzanne Sommer's books several years ago that said, "There are no mistakes in life...only lessons". I love that quote. It takes something negative, a mistake, and turns it into something positive, a learning experience. I learned a couple of things today.

After seeing my loss this morning, I taped up my blisters and went down to the treadmill and walked a mile. It hurt, but I was proud of myself. I came back to the apt and did some daily chores, sent some emails, made a couple of phone calls, cleaned out my frig, figured out the budget and bills for my roommate and I for this week and finally got in the car to go grocery shopping. I got about a mile down the road and my stomach started growling something fierce.
I looked at the clock and it was noon already. I ate breakfast at 7am. First of all, I was shocked that I made it 5 hours instead of 3 w/o feeling like I was dying. Then it hit me. I was going grocery shopping hungry. That's like the number one thing you don't want to do when going grocery shopping. Everyone knows that. How stoopid.

The more I thought about it, the louder my stomach growled and I could feel the anxiety coming on. I'm on a very tight food budget and the last thing I could afford to do was pick up everything I saw, and especially bad stuff. I knew I had to eat something. Then I remembered that I was supposed to put my pork loin roast on at 3pm to have it done by 6pm, it was now noon, and I had told mom I was coming to visit today. CRAP! Now I had to re-arrange things and go to Mom's first, then grocery shop so I could get the cold stuff home quickly. I pretty much knew there wasn't going to be anything at her house that I wanted to eat. Things were starting to look pretty hairy. Fast food? Noooooooo!!!!!! Not after losing 11.2 lbs in 12 days!! I couldn't do that to myself. Now what??? I finally decided it would be better to go ahead and swing into Publix on the way to mom's and get some chicken tenders. Fried chicken tenders. But if I only got 3 of them it would be better than a 1300 calorie meal at Arby's, right?

I pulled in the Publix parking lot absolutely drowning in guilt that I was about to eat something fried. Then, like a beacon of light, I saw the Subway. I forgot there was a Subway right next to Publix! Thank God, I'm saved.......I thought. I went inside and looked at their nutrition guide determined to make the best choice. I decided on a turkey sub on whole wheat w/ lite mayo, no cheese, and all the veggies. Then I made it a 12" instead of a 6". And THEN I told them "double meat". Doh! What a moron. Why did I do that, you ask? The answer is really quite simple. I did it out of habit.....second nature....didn't even give it a thought. I got in my car and ate the sub on the way to mom's, so glad that I avoided the fried stuff. After shoving the last bite in my mouth and swallowing it down I started to wonder why I felt so miserable. I was beyond satisfied, beyond full, beyond a little overboard. I was completely miserable. I wanted to puke for about 10-15 mins after I ate it until it had a chance to settle some.

It finally hit me. I was miserable because in the last 2 weeks, after limiting my calories, strictly watching them, and eating several small portions throughout the day instead of 3 or 4 huge ones, my stomach had finally started to shrink! Imagine that!? This healthy eating crap really works!! Although I feel like a complete moron for eating that much (700 calories in one meal), I'm also kind of glad I did. I learned a couple of things. First of all, I don't ever see me buying another 12" sub in my life. I now know not to do it out of habit, because it will make me feel sick if I eat all of it. Secondly, I don't ever see me ordering double meat on another sub in my life. I've actually started getting used to eating 3-4oz portions of meat. I discovered today that I know longer like eating meals that are 3x the size of my face in one sitting. I found that I PREFER the smaller portions every 3-4 hours, and that I prefer feeling a little hungry inbetween instead of busting-at-the-seams miserable. This is a MAJOR breakthrough for me. After a couple of weeks of eating better and correct portions, my body, my preferences and my outlook towards food are changing, and after so many long years of being obese...I can't tell you how good that feels. I'm changing. I'm getting healthier. I'm feeling better. And most importantly, I'm learning. And that can only lead to a better "me".

Because of this huge faux pas as far as my daily calorie limit is concerned, I decided to relieve some anxiety and just made today my Free Day for the week instead of Saturday. We don't have anything special going on tomorrow w/ anyone, so I'm excited about waking up in the morning and starting anew. I already know exactly what I'm going to eat, and what I've got for the guys to eat, so there will be no mistakes.

I know I still have a long way to go, but I'm traveling on with a little brighter outlook now. I'm improving, Im making progress, I'm growing and learning, and the struggles are getting easier by the day. Well, except for one category......cravings. But that's going to be a whole other post. :)

Folks, We Have A Winner!!

Apparently my dilligence and discipline paid off this week. I lost 5.2 lbs!! That's a total of 11.2 lbs in 12 days!! I am so thrilled!! I'm getting ready to tape up my toes and head down to the treadmill. Thank you Lord!! I'll be back later. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Weigh-in Worries

I came in 201 calories UNDER my limit for the day! I'm sure this is mostly due to the stress of pre-weigh in day and not wanting to screw anything up. I did have a bit of control yanked away from me today though....I started my monthly cycle. I'm quite P.O.'d about it, but I guess there's no sense in cussing out Mother Nature....she doesn't listen too well. So whatever tomorrow's weigh in is, hopefully the next week will be even better. Tomorrow also starts my new calorie count of 1750 so we'll see how that affects next week's weigh in.

Goal Stats:

Calories 1550
Carbs 250
Fat 60
Protein 136

Today's Stats:

Calories 1349
Carbs 166
Fat 19
Protein 166

Here's my food intake for the day:

Breakfast casserole (this is gone now so I have no idea what I'm having tmrw)

Turkey burger (these are also gone)
1 Coke

Shrimp & Veggie casserole (shrimp, mushrm, onion, spinach, fat free cheese, egg whites)

Fresh salsa and 7 Baked Tostitos scoops
2 c. coffee
protein water
lots of regular water
3 Musketeers bar

I woke up late this morning and was stressing about my weight loss not being high enough tomorrow and never made it down to the treadmill. But I didn't want my day to be totally void of activity so I did a few exercises in the apartment. I did 50 stomach crunches, 10 lower ab leg lifts, 20 arm excercises, and I have a scissor-like exercise machine that my parents gave me. You can either push with your legs and extend your body, or adjust the machine and pull with your arms to lift all of your weight. I did 20 of each of these.

I know I put in a great effort this week with calorie counting so I hope I show a decent loss tomorrow morning despite nature's cruelty. I told Pam if I don't see at least 4lbs gone then I'm going to get a sackful of Krystal's. That's when she promptly told me she'd firmly plant her foot in my posterior. What are best friends for? :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ants In My Pants

Today is a win! Only 10 calories over today and that's not enough to fret over. I had some trouble on the treadmill this morning. I was shooting for another mile like I did yesterday but couldn't make it that far. I wore blisters inbetween two toes on each foot yesterday and when I hopped on and started walking this morning they were killing me. They are so raw. I pushed myself as far as I could and made it 3/4 of a mile. Then I had to get off because my toes were just too squished together in the tennis shoes. Tomorrow I plan on wrapping all 4 toes in band-aids before I head down to walk. Hopefully that will take care of the problem.

I've had cabin fever for a while, feeling ancy, wanting to get out and do stuff but don't have anyone to do anything with. My friends all have JOBS (imagine that), my sister Brandy lives too far away, and my Mom is off for the summer, but stays insanely busy. So this morning I sent Dwayne a text msg and told him he should take the day off and go with me and the puppy to the park for a picnic. I knew he wouldn't, he's got a very good work ethic and very rarely plays hookie. Then he called me at 11am and said he's coming over and we're getting out of the apartment today. Woo hoo!

I ran to Publix and got him an Italian sub out of their deli, stared at their Mojo chicken wings (my favorite thing in their deli), drooled for about 5 minutes, then tore myself away and ran back home. I made myself the turkey burger that I had already planned on having today, packed us some watermelon and bottles of water, and off we went! We went to Kennesaw Mountain Civil War Battlegrounds. We had a nice little picnic under the shade of some beautiful trees, then drove to the top of the mountain. We got out of the car with Scarlette, my baby puppy dog, and walked the rest of the way to the top.

It wasn't far, but it was definitely uphill. Dwayne, with his skinny little chicken legs, went scurrying up the mountain like a spring lizard. I was so jealous. I huffed and puffed and followed up behind him, grappling for every breath. My thigh muscles were ON FIRE, but I was happy. I was out of the apt, spending time with my honey bunny and my baby girl, getting some sunshine, I ate within my calorie limit, and I was exercising in the middle of some beautiful scenery. I knew I sounded like I was about to keel over, so while struggling for air I told Dwayne, "I know...(gasp)...it sounds like...(gasp)...I'm dying here......(long gasp)......but...(gasp)...I...(gasp)...really am...(gasp)...enjoying this." He turned around with a sweet look on his face, chuckled a little, and said, "I know you are baby....you're doing great." I forgot to tell everyone the sweet thing he did last week. I called him last Friday morning after I got on the scale and squealed in his ear about my 6 lb. loss. He was extremely proud of me and congratulated my hard work over and over. When he came over that night after work, he had in hand the food processor that I've been wanting FOREVER and couldn't afford to buy. I was so surprised and excited...I was jumping up and down and squealing again like it was Christmas morning. He told me that he knew how bad I wanted to make Pam's homemade hummus and other healthy stuff and that this was a little reward for my first 6 lb. loss. How sweet is that?? :)

I appreciate all of you who offered me suggestions on the two topics I asked about last night. As far as the calories go, I'm going to go with Pam's advice. She suggested that changing it up every week would probably prevent a plateau from happening as soon and that makes perfect sense to me. Changing it every single week should keep my body from being able to get used to anything, so I'm going to give that a shot. Her, Rebecca and Mom also suggested that I not use food as a reward (the big plate of seafood I mentioned), so food is out. Thanks ladies! I'm thinking of taking an overnight trip about an hour and a half north of here, but have to talk to my friend Lori tomorrow to see if it will be possible. Her Aunt owns a lakehouse in Blairsville, and we don't have to pay to stay there, so I'm going to see if it's available either next wknd or the week after, provided I hit the 15 lbs by next wknd. If not, definitely by the week after. The only thing I'll have to pay for is my food, so that makes it a nice reward that I can actually afford. I hope it works out. :)

Goal stats:

Calories 1550
Carbs 250
Fat 60
Protein 136

Today's Stats:

Calories 1560
Carbs 158
Fat 36
Protein 172

Pam gave me such a wonderful, incredibly low calorie/low fat recipe for dinner that I had enough calories left over for a yummy little egg white/canadian bacon/chz sandwich this evening. Dinner was chicken florentine and she'll be listing it on her food blog soon.

Here's my food intake for the day:

Breakfast casserole
2 c. coffee

Turkey burger (Arnold's whole wheat sandwich thin, turkey burger, tomato, onion, lite mayo)
6 baby dill pickles
1 c. watermelon

Chicken florentine w/ brown rice (I added yellow squash and zucchini to get some more veggies)

Salad (romaine, spinach, broccoli slaw, onions, tomatoes, carrots, celery, hummus)
1 tbsp. lite Italian dressing
1 pc. Russell Stover Sugar Free 60% cacoa dark chocolate
protein water
lots of regular water
1 c. orange pomegranate red tea, mixed 2/3 unsweet, 1/3 sweet
sandwich (2 egg whites, 2 pc. Can. bacon, reduced fat ched chz, whole wheat sandwich thin)

Well tomorrow is the most important eating day of the week.....the day before weigh day. I still have the same feelings of wanting to gorge myself on big fat roast beef sandwiches and curly fries so let's hope my resolve stays in tact. I'm hoping to see a good loss this week. I'm signing off so I can go email Lori about that lake house. Keep your fingers crossed for me. :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Suggestion Box

Today was not a win. I went over my calories but it wasn't horrendous so I'm not going to freak. I am mad at myself for pushing myself over though with a stupid half of a can of Sprite. I was sitting at 1547....another win....and then decided I didn't want anymore water today....I wanted something carbonated....just a little....like half of a can. Well that stupid decision cost me 70 dang calories and turned today into a loss. How stoopid.

Goal:

Calories 1550
Carbs 250
Fat 60
Protein 136

Today:

Calories 1617
Carbs 220
Fat 32
Protein 130

Here is my food intake for the day:

Breakfast casserole
2 c. coffee w/ sugar free creamer

Turkey burger on Arnold's whole wheat mini thin w/ lite mayo, dijon, ketchup, tomato, onion
6 baby dill pickles

Turkey stroganoff (ground turkey, whole wheat noodles, fat free sour cream, beef broth, milk)

Hummus and crackers
Protein water
Lots of regular water
glass of orange pomegranate red tea mixed 2/3 sweet, 1/3 sweet
1/2 can of Sprite.....grrrr
3 Musketeers fun size bar

I must tell you about my excellent dinner. Go to Pam's lobsterandfishsticks blog on my blogroll and look up the beef stroganoff. She found a way to healthify one of my favorite comfort foods w/o sacrificing any of the taste. It is absolutely wonderful and all of you MUST try it. The only thing I did to change the recipe is use some ground turkey burger because that's what I had, and was trying to save some calories over using beef. I followed everything else and it was soooooo good. Thanks Pam! You are so awesome, you little healthy-cooking guru!

I've been thinking about a couple of different things that I just can't seem to make up my mind about and I need to enlist your help. I need suggestions!! The first issue at hand is whether or not I should switch up my calorie count. My doctor told me a while back that if trying to lose weight, you should never eat the same amount of calories more than a week in a row. She said, for example, eat 1200 one week and 1400 the next and just keep switching back and forth. Since we know I'm already at 1550, then that means raising it to 1750 next week. My hesitation is probably obvious to everyone reading this. More calories eaten = less pounds lost. My doctor said this keeps your body from getting used to any one thing, because when it does, it adjusts to the lower intake and the weight loss slows. So according to her, raising the calories back and forth is actually supposed to help me. I suppose I could do 1550 for 2 wks, like I'm in the middle of doing now, and then do 1750 for 1 week, then switch back again. I just can't decide. Everyone, tell me what you think, either by posting a comment at the end of this post, or sending me a private email at tammyjortagus@yahoo.com.

The second thought is a happy one. I was trying to think of a way to put a positive twist on this weight loss thing and then it finally hit me.....REWARDS!!! Do you know during the entire time I lost that 83 lbs, I never rewarded myself at any stage of it? Not even at the end! 83 whopping lbs and no reward! Not this time. This time I'm going to reward my efforts, and I'm going to do it frequently to keep the positivity flowing. I thought of a couple of different things, but my imagination is limited. Maybe a new piece of clothing. Maybe a big plate of my favorite....SEAFOOD...grilled, of course, and probably on a Free Day. Maybe a little wknd trip to the mountains if I can do some cleaning for Mom and make some money to stay in a cheap hotel over night. That's as far as I've gotten with my thoughts. I want your suggestions! I'm also trying to decide at what intervals I want to do this. I first thought 20 lbs, but nah, that's too long. I want this to be FUN!! I think I'm going to go with a reward every 15 lbs. That's 6 rewards between now and goal weight and that sounds like awesome incentives! Let me know soon on both topics....and thanks for the help! :)

Just Do It

This is going to be a quick post 'cause I've got to hit the showers. I just got off the treadmill! I finally got started. Yes, I'm pouring sweat and everything on my body hurts right now, but it was worth it. I'm glad I got started back. I walked 1 mile at a speed of 3.4 and it took me 17 min and 50 seconds. Of course there were 50 reasons why I didn't want to get started back, but I pushed them all aside and went with Nike on this one. Just do it. And I did. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Calm After The Storm

Get comfy.....this is gonna' be a long one.

I realize that the better part of my blog so far has been negative. I've thought about that, felt bad about it, figured I should change it to something more positive, and keep coming back around to the word "no". This blog is helping me worlds over because it's exactly what I want it to be most.....it's real. It's my day by day, sometimes hour by hour, real life struggle to beat my addiction to overeating. It would be nice if it was a "feel good" blog filled with inspirational quotes, healthy living tips, taste great-low cal recipes, etc. but that's not where I am yet. I'm in a daily struggle to beat the demons disguised as fat cells that have taken over and ruined my life. This is my blog, created to help me, and anyone who wants to follow me through the muck and the mire while I get to where I'm going is welcome and appreciated. If it helps someone in the process, then I'm happy about that. If it only serves the purpose to help me work through my addiction, then I couldn't be more thankful for it.

With that said, I've got some good news to report. I haven't eaten another morsel of food since the last blog I posted. Not one crumb. Considering how high my anxiety levels were earlier this afternoon, I can not be more PROUD of myself. I have stayed UNDER my calorie limit for the 2nd day in a row. Today is another win. :)

I've had a couple of private emails from friends who think I'm restricting my caloric intake too much due to the anxiety I'm expressing in my posts and my constant feeling of hunger. In case there are anymore of you out there who are thinking the same thing and are just too afraid to contact me about it, let me go ahead and address this issue once and for all for everyone to read. Here's my line of thinking. When I signed up at SparkPeople to record and follow my nutrition stats, I put in my current weight and my goal weight. They also asked for the date I wanted to lose it by. I set a goal of 10 lbs a month. Everyone knows the recommended amt. for healthy weight loss, and to keep it off, is 1-2 lbs/wk. My goal is 2.5/wk. That is hardly an outrageous number, but I purposely set it a little high above the recommended amt. in order to push myself a little harder. I have been lazy about taking care of my body for years. It's time for a little hard work.

When I put these goal weights and dates in, it spit out a # for me to follow. I feel like if I had entered an unreasonable date....say, I want to lose 92 lbs in 3 months.....they wouldn't have given me any numbers.....they would have given me a tutorial on what a healthy rate of weight loss is. Their website is awesome, chock full of information about getting and staying healthy, and I trust that they know what they're doing.

They gave me a range of 1200-1550 calories a day. They are telling me it's ok to eat only 1200 calories a day, and I'm choosing the max of 1550. The reason that I'm stressing each day to stay under this limit or as close to it as possible is because I'm already figuring I'll eventually screw up, and probably in a big way. So if I eat my limit for the day, totally lose my mind, and decide I need a turkey burger that's 350 calories, I'm still a ways under 2,000 & should be ok. However, give me an inch, and I'm liable to take 3 miles. If I up the limit to 1700-1800.....then I might eat 2100, or even more. Trust me people. I know me. I know my track record. There is a method to the madness, even if you don't see it, or don't agree with it. For those of you who have mentioned this to me, thank you. You're showing me that you care, that you're pulling for me, and I just love you to pieces. :)

Now for how I managed to not eat anything for the rest of the day. First off, I told myself I needed to calm down. I needed to slow down, stop freaking, breathe, think, chill. I had blogged and gotten it out of my system and it was time to relax and not screw this up royally. Rebecca from "screwdestiny" had commented on one of my previous blogs and left me a good quote. I can't remember the exact words but the jist of it is that people put more importance on what they want now, ahead of what they want most. It's been running through my head all afternoon. I've been concentrating on what I want most. I kept putting off eating anything, waiting to see how long I could go. I did some laundry, washed dishes and cleaned my kitchen, took a long bath, called a friend on the phone and chatted for a while....I thought about eating, but I just held it in the back of my mind and brought other things to the forefront. I also kept thinking about Lyn at EscapefromObesity. She says to just slow down and think about what you're doing, or about to do. That's what I did.

Shane called to say he had decided to go to the food trough otherwise known as Golden Corral. I could have killed him for that. It was seafood night. Have I mentioned that seafood is my favorite food in the world? Of course, it wouldn't have been great seafood at a place like that....but some shrimp are better than no shrimp. I thought about it. For about 10 seconds. Nope. Not gonna' do it. Out of the question.....time to play fetch with the dog! I did that. Time to watch a new show on TV you've never seen before! I did that, too.

I did lots of stuff, but what I didn't do is overeat. I did not exceed my limit. I made it through another day. Thank you God for giving me the strength to resist a binge and the perseverance to press on towards my goal. Here are my stats for today:

Goal:

Calories 1550

Today's Amt.:

Calories 1523

There's one more thing I've been thinking about all through the day. My parents have become faithful followers of my blog. I have been blessed with the most loving, supportive, encouraging, completely wonderful parents in the world. They just don't come any better and I thank God for them every single day. Dad emailed me a couple of times this morning, and on the last email he sent one sentence. He doesn't say a whole lot, so when he does, I try to pay attention. He said, "There's no truer statement than mind over matter". He's right. Making your mind up is the biggest part of the battle, no matter what you're dealing with. One of the things he's told me over and over all through life is that I can do anything I want to if I put my mind to it. I can be anything I want to be. Do you know what the awesome power is in that statement? He actually believes that about me. And sometimes.....that's all it takes. :)

Hey Dad....make sure you check the blog before lunchtime tomorrow so I can tell you how far I walked on the treadmill. I think I've finally got my focus. I'm gonna' beat this thing. :)

Panic Attack

Today is a bad day. A very bad eating day and I'm freaking out. As I mentioned in the first post, I'm an emotional basketcase. That means that things affect me in ways that they don't affect other people. Believe me, it's a curse.

First of all, being at home for months on end with no job and no money can lead to depression. I try to busy myself with menial little tasks to stave it off. I had planned on organizing and packing today, which I did some, but not the amount I wanted to get done. I found out some discouraging news from my friend this morning and that started my dark mood. Then it started raining. Now, I love thunderstorms. But not just plain old rain. It's depressing.

I've been starving all day. My stomach feels like a bottomless pit. I've been thinking all day that this feeling is supposed to get better with each day that passes...not worse. I was close to my calorie limit by lunchtime because I just kept snacking on stuff. I laid down at 2:30p to take a nap just so I would stop eating. My stomach woke me up at 4pm growling. I could feel a binge coming on. I ate a leftover hamburger from the cookout this past Saturday. Not a bun, just a burger. It was the only one left & the runt out of the bunch...weighed about 3 oz. Then I ate about 3/4 c. of tortellini salad that Shane had saved from the cookout. I just looked it up....that was nearly 300 calories and did nothing to fill me up.

It was only 4:45p by this time but I decided I better go ahead and fix the dinner I had planned before things REALLY went south. I had laid out 2 tilapia fillets and 8 oz of scallops for Shane and I to share. I weighed a fillet pre-cooked and frozen solid this morning...5 oz. I figured that and 4 oz of scallops would satisfy me along with a cup of brown rice. I heated up my George Foreman grill and threw one of the fillets on there. Put the lid down and raised it after 3 minutes. My fish was GONE. It shriveled up to LESS than half it's size. I was soooooo upset. Starving to death, trying to keep from bingeing, and my fish effin' disappears. I knew it was a thin piece of fish to begin with so I don't know if that was the problem, if it just had a lot of water in it, if you're not supposed to grill fish on a Foreman? (this was my first time).....all I know is when I took the spatula and scraped the remnants of my dinner off the grill and put it on my food scale it registered at a whopping 1.5 oz.

I was so upset that I threw the scraps in the trash along with the other piece I hadn't even cooked yet, and left the scallops in the frig. I called Shane and told him to pick him something else up for dinner, that what I had planned didn't work out. He asked me if I wanted him to get me something too. I wanted to say yes, but I said no. I had thrown some instant brown rice in a pot to cook while grilling the fish so I told myself I'd just eat that and I'd be fine til tomorrow.

By now my stress level is through the roof, stomach still rumbling and grumbling, and I lifted the lid to check the rice. It should have been done, nice and firm. It was floating in a lake of water. Apparently during the fish fiasco I accidentally put TWICE as much water in it as I was supposed to, so the rice was ruined. I slammed down the lid on the pot and just fell apart. I stood there and bawled my eyes out. Through my tears I quickly made a pot of coffee to put something on my stomach that didn't have many calories while I fought off the urge to call Domino's. I came in here to the computer to add the burger and the tortellini to my calorie list for the day and see where things stood. I have 23 calories left for the day....and I STILL haven't eaten dinner.

I have no idea what dinner's going to be yet, but I've got 2 c. of coffee on my stomach now, so the urge to call Domino's has passed for the moment. I'm going to sit here and think for a minute. No matter what it is, I'm obviously going to be over my calorie limit for the day. Let's all pray that I maintain control through the end of the night and that my choice is not too terrible. I will be back later tonight after I've had dinner and I'll report my final stats and what I had to eat today. Thanks for listening.

After The Rain

Well we're 2 months away from the end of our lease and it's time to start packing. That's what I've got planned for today, I just wish I didn't have to do it with a heavy heart. I got some disappointing news from a friend this morning and it has cast a cloud over my day. I'm not going to list details but one of my friends is having a hard time and she needs prayer. I wish there was something I could do for her but there just isn't. It's such a helpless feeling. My heart aches for her. If you're a praying person, please send one to the Man upstairs. God gives us the promise of a rainbow after the rain. Hurry up rainbow....my friend needs you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"E" is for Evil.....and Exercise

Those two words are pretty much synonomous for me. Anything that causes me pain is evil, and everyone knows exercise hurts. It's supposed to, right? No pain, no gain? Well I've had some gain alright, but not the kind they're referring to.

I truly hate exercise. I have an absolute mental block when I think about it, even something as simple as walking. I live in an apartment complex and we have a fitness center w/ a treadmill, an elliptical machine and a couple of weight machines. It's not big, but the treadmill is really all I need. What completetly sucks about it is, they don't heat or cool the room. It makes the walking even tougher than it normally is because it's so hot in there during the summer that you feel like you're suffocating. They have a couple of small windows in the fitness room, but because the way the building is situated, you can't get a good cross breeze by opening them. I've tried.

I know what you're thinking. Excuses, excuses. And they are excuses, but they're valid ones for a fat girl like me. It's hard enough already when you weigh this much to get all the fat moving in the same direction, much less trying to simultaneously suffocate me with no ventilation. Why don't I go to a park to do it? I can't even get motivated enough to walk down to the fitness center a stone's throw away. Actually getting in my car and driving somewhere to torture myself is almost laughable.

I've done the walking thing in spurts before. When I lost the 83 lbs. a few years back I had a routine of walking 2 miles a day, 5 days/wk. I did it on work days. On my way home after work I would swing by the park. I was already in the car, already driving down the road, and the park wasn't very far out of the way. I had also made up my mind, and that's 90% of the battle.

I can say that after I've taken a walk, I'm incredibly proud of myself for actually getting up and moving instead of hanging out in my apartment like a big fat sloth. It feels really good because it's an accomplishment....it's doing something that I truly hate, that I truly find difficult to make myself do. It's almost embarassing how proud I feel after I've exercised. Imagine this scenario:

"Soooo....you climbed Mt. Everest, huh? (picture me wedging my thumbs down inside my elastically challenged, too-tight sweatpants and sliding them from front to back, arching my back, rocking from my heel to the ball of my foot & bouncing a couple of times) Well I walked a MILE on the treadmill today.......top that, Mr. Mountain Maaaaan."

I know I need to get started again and stick with it. I think about it all the time. I argue with myself constantly in my mind......

Tammy, you need to exercise.
I don't want to.
You're too fat, you need to do it.
I don't feel like it.
I don't care what you feel like, get out there and do it.
It hurts.
You know you'll feel better afterwards.
I'm allergic to the heat.
Stop making excuses...get your a$$ moving!
You're really stressing me out!
Do it! Do it now! Move, move move!
That's it. I'm stressed. I'm frying some pork chops.

This is something that really needs to change, not only for the weight problem, but also for my diabetes. It's extremely important and I know I need to get focused soon. I have a follower on my blog named Rebecca. Her blog name is "screwdestiny" and she's been commenting on my blog, giving me lots of awesome tips and advice. I really like her blog name. Anyone who has the mentality of making their own road and not leaving their lives to chance has my full admiration. Due to my love of dance, she suggested I work out to some dance videos. I had never thought of that, and I love, love, love the idea. Unfortunately, my financial situation is so bad right now, that I can't afford to spend the money to buy them. My lease is up in 2 months and we're moving into something cheaper, so any extra money I come across is all going to saving up to move.

My goal right now is to get on that dang treadmill. I have daydreams of one day becoming one of those exercise junkies that can't get enough of the sweat and the pain. I'd love to be the next Jillian Michaels... instead of Porkchop Girl. Oink, oink.

Super Sunday

I'm happy. :) This is the first time I've come in UNDER my calorie limit for the day since I started a week ago. I went to Mom's for the birthday/Father's Day dinner and she had a lot of healthy options for which I am thankful. I'm still staying hungry, but I'm hoping after a couple of weeks my body will adjust to the drastic drop in caloric intake and the hunger will go away. It will be nice when I can eat my limit for the day and feel full, or at the very least, satisfied. Here are my goal stats:

Calories 1550
Carbs 250
Fat 60
Protein 136

Today's stats:

Calories 1547
Carbs 201
Fat 35
Protein 96

Breakfast:

chicken melt (whole wheat sandwich thin, fat free mayo, dijon mustard, fat free swiss, 3 oz chik)
2 c. coffee w/ sugar free creamer

Lunch:

salad w/ romaine, spinach, broccoli slaw, carrots, onions & 2 tbsp. of Lite Italian dressing
1- 12 oz. can of Coke

Dinner:

chicken pilau (4 oz. chik, 1 c. rice, tomatoes, onions, datil pepper)
5 grilled shrimp
2 grilled scallops
1/2 c. steamed broccoli
1/2 c. grilled red peppers & onions
1/2 c. romaine w/ few slices of grape tomatoes, no dressing

Snacks:

14 multi-grain crackers & 4 tbsp of hummus (broken up into 2 different snack times)
6-8 oz. glasses of water
1 grilled chicken tender (1 oz.)
6 parmesan & herb Wheat Thin crackers

Today is a win! I thank God that things are going so well thus far. I pray for the continued strength to persevere in my calorie-counting dilligence. I've got to run saute some veggies for the week and make a breakfast casserole. I'll be back soon and I hope everyone has had a fantastic weekend! :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday's Success

Well today was Free Day and it went pretty decent. While I didn't count calories, I'm still going to list everything I ate today. I got up at 6:30am and breakfast was 3 egg whites scrambled with canadian bacon (only 60 calories & 1.5g of fat for 3 slices....awesome), yellow peppers, mushrooms & onions. I'm really loving this olive oil spray to cook my food in....Pam told me about it when I found out there's 120 calories in a tbsp of olive oil & I completely freaked. I just don't want to waste 120 calories on something that does absolutely nothing to fill me up, just to scramble a few egg whites or sautee some vegetables.

I ate lunch at 11am and it was 2 stuffed peppers from the previous night's dinner. Got hungry again about 3 hours later (right on schedule), and Dwayne said he was going to Quizno's to get a sub (he couldn't find anything to eat at my house because I've filled it full w/ healthy stuff, lol). He offered to get me something and I told him no thanks, I was going to have a salad. Then he offered to get me a veggie sub on whole wheat bread, and again, I declined, telling him I didn't want to waste the calories on the bread because I knew I was going to eat whatever I wanted at dinnertime and I was trying to hold the reigns in until then.

So around 2:15pm I made a salad w/ romaine hearts, spinach, broccoli slaw, carrots, onions, tomatoes and peppers w/ 2 tbsp of lite Italian dressing. Dinner wasn't scheduled until 7pm so I ended up eating some hummus and crackers around 5:30pm. Our friends showed up and we sat around and talked for a while and didn't end up eating dinner til around 8pm. This is where Free Day really earned it's name.

Dinner was a hamburger (I passed up the French hamburger white roll that I LOVE, and ate it on a whole wheat sandwich thin), 3 grilled chicken strips, a spoonful of mashed potatoes & 2 spoonfuls of tortellini salad. When I finished eating I sat there for a few minutes and just enjoyed the feeling of being full for the first time after a meal in an entire week. I love Free Day. :)

It eventually came time for the birthday boy to blow out his candles and while everyone sat around enjoying their slabs of cake w/ buttercream frosting and butter pecan ice cream, I happily munched on 2 c. of fresh fruit. I made a HUGE fruit platter w/ honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, red grapes, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

Although I probably got a full day's worth of calories in my dinner alone, I'm happy that I didn't go crazy with my food all day long. I think I showed decent restraint w/ the rest of the food during the day, so I was able to eat dinner with my friends w/o any guilt, enjoy the full feeling afterwards, and actually preferred the fruit over the cake from my beautiful fruit platter.

I'm looking forward to getting back to the 1550 calorie limit tmrw and pressing towards weigh in day on Friday. The first week is the hardest one. I counted calories for the first time in my life, found out about correct portion sizes and got the shock of my life, and stayed hungry a good part of the week. But it's behind me now, I showed an exciting loss for all of my efforts, and the weeks can only get easier from here. I cannot tell you how therapeutic this blog has been. I wish I had known 10 years ago how beneficial it was going to be!

Tomorrow is my nephew Cyress' 2 year old birthday party. It's at 2pm, so I'm not sure if that means we're just having ice cream and cake (which I will avoid), or if Mom's cooking dinner for the family. I'm going to call her in the morning and find out so I can be prepared and plan my day of eating around that. Mom's really good about cooking a lot of veggies, so I'm sure there will be plenty of healthy stuff for me to eat. I just want to know ahead of time if there's going to be something really tempting there for me. Please God.....don't let it be pork ribs. Sweet, sweet swine. Mmmmmmm. :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Shake What Your Mama Gave Ya'

I read Pam's weight loss blog this morning: http://www.thinnerin08.blogspot.com/ She wrote about passions cut short. Hers were singing and writing....mine acting and dancing. Neither one of us are doing what we once loved in the capacity that we dreamed we would. I've been thinking about it all day. I especially love dance and I haven't done it in many years, due to the weight. I miss it so much. One day down the road I hope to dance again. It's one of my goals.

It's still an innate part of my being. Music inspires me...makes me want to move. Dancing is one of my greatest loves. And I must say, at the risk of sounding too boastful, I'm darn good at it. I can boogie. I've got more rhythm than a sackful of sistahs. As a matter of fact, Soul Train used to be one of my absolute favorite TV shows as a kid. The only two things I was missing was a darker tan and a 'fro.

I still dance I guess, but I do it alone. (Refer to this morning's post after seeing 6 lbs. gone on the scale). There is one song that gets me moving though, no matter where I'm at. It's my all-time favorite song because I just can NOT be still when I hear it, no matter who's watching. I'm almost positive it's by the Bee Gee's.....Stayin' Alive. Every time I hear it on the radio my butt muscles start flinching, my hips get to swaying, my shoulders slowly start moving up and down and by the time I get to the chorus I'm in full swing! My right arm shoots up to the left side of my body, index finger pointing to the heavens, and then back down to the side of my right hip, pointing at the floor....back and forth, back and forth, all while envisioning John Travolta in a leisure suit...I am groovin' man.... I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me.....in my car.....at a red light. That's right. I have no shame.

Gotta' run...Dwayne just got here....but I'm sure I'll be back later.....
(SOOOOOOOUUUUUULLLLLL TRAAAAAIIINN....Oww! Look at now....I'm fixin' to break it down....)

Free Day

Boy it's been a rough day in the way of staying hungry. I pop something in my mouth every 3 hours (this is how short of an amount of time it is before my stomach starts growling since the last meal) and I never feel full or satisfied. This is a learning process. I will be glad when I finally figure out my best use of calories so I won't stay so hungry. I'm obviously wasting a lot of calories on meat so I've still got some adjusting to do in my daily diet. I think I'm finished eating for the day so I'm going to post my stats.

Goal Stats:

Calories 1550
Carbs 250
Fat 60
Protein 136

Today's Stats:

Calories 1578
Carbs 143
Fat 45
Protein 166

Here's my food intake for the day:

-Asparagus and mushroom breakfast casserole w/ 3 slices of Candian bacon
-Turkey burger (on whole wheat sandwich thin w/ lite mayo, mustard, ketchup, tomato, onion)
-Stuffed peppers (included ground round, baby asparagus, mushrms, brown rice, spices)
-Lots of water (10 8 oz. glasses)
-8 oz glass of tea mixed 2/3 unsweet, 1/3 sweet)
-2 c. coffee w/ sugar free Coffee Mate hazelnut creamer
-1 c. watermelon
-a crack wrap (flat out w/2 tbsp hummus & 2 slices Kraft fat free Swiss, grilled...Heaven)
-2 c. sauteed veggies
-3 baby dill pickles

For a tutorial on how to make a crack wrap and pics of the gooey cheese oozing out of it when you cut it in half, go check out Sarah's blog at LovIn My Tummy. She's listed on my blogroll. Today was the first time I've ever tried one....I now see how it got it's name. Delish. :)

Again, I'm still over in calories as I've been every day since I started, but it's the closest I've come to the goal number so far. Today is a win!

Tomorrow is Saturday and my designated Free Day. When I weighed last Friday and saw 272 lbs. I decided it was time to get a friggin' grip. Then I remembered that we had made plans with friends the week prior to have dinner out on Saturday at a BBQ restaurant. Cripes. I was on the verge of saying forget it for the rest of my life. Something is ALWAYS going on and it's usually on a Saturday. Then it dawned on me. Rather than giving up hopes of ever trying again to get this weight off, just give myself one free day a week. I have a lot of friends and family and that provides a multitude of opportunities to get together and celebrate, or in other words, eat crap. We had 3 family birthdays and Mother's Day all in the month of May...which we consolidated into one day to celebrate everything.

Dwayne comes over 3-4 weeknights after work but it's not usually a problem in the way of eating because he eats dinner at home before he comes to my place. However, he's ALWAYS here all day on Saturday. When we have cookouts with our friends, like we're doing tomorrow for my roommate's 40th birthday, it's ALWAYS on a Saturday. So designating a free day is going to eliminate buckets of stress and guilt for me. I do not see it as a license to throw caution to the wind and eat with wild abandon. However, I'm not going to beat myself up if I eat something I wouldn't normally eat the other 6 days a week. If I want to drink 2-3 beers at a cookout, I'm going to. I will still list everything I ate on my blog but I'm giving myself a day off from counting the calories.

I asked Pam last wknd what she thought of this idea and she said her and Randall did the same thing when they first started out. She said over time free day basically faded away on it's own just because they got into such a habit of eating the right things. That's exactly what I'm hoping will happen to me. But for now, Saturdays are going to be my official day off. After staying hungry all day today, I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.

I'm a retard when it comes to knowing how to load pics in the text on my posts. However I plan on taking some pics at the party tomorrow and posting them soon after. I just have to figure out how to do it. PAAAMMM!!!!! Where are youuuuuuu??? I need help......AGAIN. :)

From Bad to Good

I must apologize. I said that I was going to start listing what I ate, beginning with yesterday, and after the pork rib incident it totally slipped my mind. Here's what I ate yesterday:

Asparagus & mushroom breakfast casserole
Turkey burger
Big salad w/ baked chicken breast
Pork rib
Chicken wings (2)
Coke
Lots o' water
Bowl of sauteed veggies (2 c.)
Lowfat cheesestick

Let me tell you about Kevin from Closet Cooking. I want to marry him just so he can cook for me every day. This is his website: http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ He makes food look so scrumptuous. Sometimes it's healthy, most times it's not, lol. My goal in life is now going to be to take his bad recipes and make them good. Pam's word for it is "healthify". I love that word. The breakfast casserole is from his blog. He made it a few days ago. I used baby asparagus because I just don't care for those big fat stalks. I used 10 egg whites instead of whole eggs, and I used reduced fat Kraft Colby Jack finely shedded cheese instead of goat cheese. He says to use an 8x8 dish, which I did, and cut it into 6 svgs. Yeah right. I cut it into 4 to have bigger pieces. I totaled all the nutrition stats and divided by 4. Each piece has 191 calories, 6 carbs, 10 fat and 28 protein. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will definitely be making this breakfast many times over. I was actually planning on having the rest of it for breakfast the next 3 days. However, my roommate Shane came along and ate a piece.....then ate another, telling me how fantastic it was. There went this week's breakfast.....GRRRRR. But I'm glad he enjoyed it. I had one piece left and had it for breakfast this morning.

I've got to throw Shane a 40th b-day cookout/party tomorrow so I need to get some housework done today. I'll be back later!

SCORE!!

I lost 6 lbs.!!!! I can't believe it. I actually did it, pork ribs and all. Praise the Lord!!! I got on the scale about 6am, looking for a lb., saw 6 lbs., and thought my eyes were just blurry so I washed my face and got back on the scale. Still 6 lbs. Hmm. Then I thought, "Oh wait....the dog's little rawhide chewstick rolled up under the scale again...that always throws it off". Picked up the scale and looked....no chewstick. Got on the scale a 3rd time just to be sure, excitement now welling up inside me, and again...266.0. I LOST 6 LBS.!!! I did the Happy Dance like you've never seen....buck naked....it wasn't pretty. My arms and legs were groovin' in one direction while my big belly was boogiein' off in another direction. It felt goooooood. :) I'm going to go grab some breakfast and then I'll be back with another post. I feel like blogging this morning!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Challenges

I don't think I've mentioned yet that I'm currently unemployed. I work in the Accounting field and my entire department got laid off February 20th of this year. I am receiving an unemployment check for the first time in my life and I can't even tell you what a joke that is. I've been frantically applying for jobs, praying for an interview, and haven't had one single call yet. So things at home are more than a little stressful right now. Along with having no job comes plenty of free time. Too much free time. Free time to wander around your house and eat all day. This is definitely one of my challenges....but it's not the biggest one.

My biggest challenge with the weight loss thing right now is my boyfriend. Let me say he's a fantastic guy. He has helped me meet my bills every month since I lost my job, has given me extra money when I need it, has taken me on a couple of 4-day wknd trips since I've been unemployed just to get me out of the apt. But when it comes to eating better things get a little sketchy. I want to be fair before I completely bitch about what happened today. He has been awesome at grilling out for me on the wknds because it's a healthier way of cooking. He has sacrificed his precious beef to eat turkey burgers, spaghetti, etc. with me. He's endured eating salads with me for dinner, as long as his was Caesar and no other veggies in it. And he's always been a staunch supporter of me with my weight struggles with his words. But sometimes, like today, the actions outweigh the words.

He called me this morning, told me he took the day off and was on his way over to spend the day with me. I hung up and my first thought was "Oh C-R-A-P!" See, I already had my whole day of food planned out because I knew it was the day before weigh day. I didn't want any screw-ups, I wanted to be diligent in staying under my calorie limit of 1550, drink plenty of water, etc.
Dwayne is a crappy eater. Lots of meat, LOTS of bad carbs, no veggies to speak of (I don't count Caesar salad since it's just lettuce, parmesan and croutons). He couldn't have picked a worse day to come over and spend the entire day with me....the day before I have to weigh. Ugh.

He got here and we ran some errands, the last one being a trip to Publix. I needed some produce. We got in the store and went our separate ways. When we met at the register I had romaine hearts, bag of spinach, broccoli slaw, strawberries, raspberries and a small jar of baby dill pickles. He had 20 wings from the deli, a big stick of pepperoni AND a bag of pepperoni slices, a box of buttery crackers, and a bag of iced oatmeal cookies. Do you see what I'm up against? He paid our bill and we got in the car. I could smell those wings. I knew I was going to eat some. I prayed all the way home that I wouldn't eat 10 of them. I ended up eating 2. He wanted pork ribs and dirty rice for dinner. I made those for him. I made myself the salad w/ baked chicken breast on it that I had planned. I sat there and smelled his food while I quietly ate my rabbit food. Then I broke down and ate a rib. He fixed himself a tall glass of icy, bubbly Coke. I followed suit. My anxiety level was so high about having to weigh tomorrow and all this sh*t being in my house that I was sure I was going to crack and eat everything in sight. I kept praying for him to LEAVE. He finally got bored because I just wasn't in an entertaining mood (wonder why???) and decided to go. I went straight to the frig, got the left over wings and his heart attack disguised as pepperoni and told him to get that crap out of my house. He looked at me....I looked at him, w/o smiling, and I think I saw a light bulb go off.

My goals for today were:

Calories 1550
Carbs 250
Fat 60
Protein 136

My final stats for today are:

Calories 1724
Carbs 160
Fat 53
Protein 166

I'm over in everything except for my fats. It's not as bad as it could have been. But I had a plan for today and I failed at it, so I'm disappointed. I've only started the better eating 4 days ago, so I was only hoping for a 1 lb loss this week. Now I'm not sure I'll see that. I mean, PORK the day before a weigh in? How stoopid.

I can see I'm going to have to have a heart-to-heart with Dwayne. I know he wants me to succeed so I really don't think he realized what kind of a stumbling block he was being. He might after the look he got tonight, but I'm going to make SURE a day like today doesn't happen again. My goals are too important. I'm too important. I get up pretty early so I'll post as soon as I weigh. Say a prayer for me. If I see a lb. gone, I'll feel like I accomplished something this week. I can tell that my anxiety levels are still high. I'm going to bed now before I eat anything else tonight. Sweet dreams. :)

God is good

As you know from my first post, I believe in God. I became a Christian several years back, and although I am certainly not the picture of righteousness, my faith in Him is unwaivering. I want to veer off the weight loss path a little bit this morning to stop and give Him some praise. I found out about something wonderful that happened to my cousin Veronnica and I want to share it with you.

Veronnica has had a hard life. A really hard life. I'm not going to go into major details out of respect for her privacy but I'll try to paint a little picture for you. She and I are the same age. I grew up in Jacksonville, FL and she grew up here in Georgia. When she was 15 years old she moved down to FL to live with us. My parents were trying to give her an opportunity to escape the life of poverty she was trapped in. We moved out of my parents house when we were 18 and ended up roommating together on and off for about 8 years. We are like sisters.

Fast forwarding to now, she is a divorced mom of 3 children, ages 9, 6 & 5. She does not get child support and she does not have any kind of support from her Mom or siblings. She's had help here and there from me, my mom and my sister Brandy, but for the most part she has does it all on her own. She is the poster child for a struggling single mom. She has lost countless jobs due to child care problems, no money, broken down cars, etc. But she keeps on going. She loves her children and wants to give them the best life she can. She keeps trying to put herself through school to become a respiratory therapist and make a better life for her and her kids.

The bills are often late, things on the verge of being shut off, and her car is just a joke. It's a really old car and it's got all kinds of problems. The car overheats every day and she just doesn't have the money to fix it. She has to turn the heat on full blast to cool the engine and keep the head from cracking. Don't ask me why this works, but it does. So her and the kids are driving around in a car that had no a/c to start with, and now with the heater blowing in 94 degree temps.

Due to her constant struggles, Veronnica doesn't have a lot of friends. She couldn't stay at a job long enough to make any due to the child care issues, she's moved around a lot, and she never has any extra money to schedule play dates with other moms and their kids to go do anything anyway. But she does have a friend named Lori whom she met at church. Lori called her the day before yesterday and told her there's a verse in Matthew that says if you see someone with a need, you should try to help them if you can. Then she told her that she and her husband Matt want to buy her a car. Veronnica had the same reaction that I did when she called to tell me about it. Silence. Speechless. Then came the tears. God worked through Lori to send this struggling single mom of three a vehicle to get to work, get her kids to camp and school in the fall and maybe keep her job this time. Praise the Lord! It's a 2001 Toyota Corolla, automatic, with air conditioning!! God is good. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Coke, Chocolate and Cha-Cha-Change!

I mentioned before that I started tracking my calories on Monday on this website: http://www.sparkpeople.com. I initially ran through it as fast as I could, clicking on "maintaining healthy lifestyle" instead of "weight loss program" because I didn't want to take the time to go through a questionaire. I just wanted to get to the calorie counter and check it out. I tracked my calories all day Monday to see where I landed with eating healthy stuff but not starving myself. I ended up at 1900. I looked back on what I ate, saw where I could easily shave off a couple hundred calories that I wasted, and decided to set my goal at 1600. The problem with is, I didn't know how to figure out what the corresponding goals should be for the fats, carbs and proteins. So tonight I logged in and totally started over. I clicked on the weight loss program this time, answered a few questions, and when it took me to the calorie counter in the nutrition section this time, it gave me just what I was looking for.

It asked me what my current and goal weights are. It asked me by what date did I want to lose the weight. I entered April 1, 2010, figuring in my head that would be somewhere around 10 lbs/mo since I have 92 lbs to lose. Those goals might be a little aggressive for an addict like me, but you've got to set goals. Otherwise you'll just be floundering around. It gave me a range of calories from 1200-1550 per day to reach my goal. Naturally, I'm choosing the 1550 because I want all the calories I can get right now. My body is still in shock from being at 4,000/day just last week, lol. So that's the high end. Here are my goals for each day:

Calories: 1550
Carbs: 250
Fat: 60
Protein: 136

These are the numbers that the program generated so these will be my guidelines. I'm going to try to list what I eat on a daily basis and my final nutrition stats for the day. I might not list every single baby carrot I eat, but I'll give you a good idea.

A couple of other changes that I've made popped in my head today so I wanted to share them. I changed several months ago from vegetable oil to olive oil because I kept hearing the Extra Virgin Olive Oil was a "good" fat. I've heard that canola oil is 2nd to the EVOO so I keep some of that too. I use the EVOO 98% of the time and I leave the canola oil for when I'm going to fry something. That's something else I've changed. I used to fry whatever meat we were having for dinner 1-2x a week. The other nights it was either baked, boiled, grilled, etc. When I switched to olive oil, I just decided to stop all that frying. I now fry about once every 2 months. And it's usually 1 of 2 things. My roommate's favorite meal in the world is fried porkchops, so every couple of months I indulge him. The 2nd item is for me....fried chicken tenders. Again, I fry those about once every couple months. Yes, the frying needs to go altogether and I feel like we'll get there eventually. But it's a vast improvement from what it was and I'm glad I made that change.

Another thing is mayo. I love mayo. It's the perfect accompaniment to my favorite sandwich in the world which is Boar's Head ham with tomatoes and onions. Now this was a hard one, and I'm still not totally where I should be. I used Blue Plate for YEARS because that's what Mom's always used and you go with what you know. About a year ago my boyfriend told me he liked Duke's and he bought a jar. Tasted just as good to me as Blue Plate, so I switched to Duke's. About 5 months ago I decided I was going to stop the full fat mayo cold turkey and bought a jar of Kraft Fat Free mayo. Blech. I didn't like it, but I ate it for about 2 months. I still kept a separate jar of Duke's for certain things like my Mom's potato salad. Some things you just shouldn't mess with....kind of like having white rice once every couple of months in a dish from my childhood. But for regular weekly use, I stuck with the fat free trying my hardest to get used to the taste. Then one day I went to get it out of the frig and it was beside the Duke's. I noticed the Duke's full fat mayo had streaks on the inside of the jar from the oil and egg and such breaking down I'm assuming. Seems like a natural process to me. Then I opened the Kraft, realized I'd had the same jar as long as the Duke's, and it looked the same as the day I bought it. No natural processes going on inside this jar. Then I had a thought.....what exactly is this stuff? I was immediately freaked out, kind of like cheese that doesn't melt in a 500 degree pan freaks me out. I threw it in the trash and went back to Duke's. About 2 weeks ago, I decided I needed a mayo w/ less fat in it again.....but not as drastic as the fat free. So I bought Kraft reduced fat mayo. Again, blech, lol. But I plan on sticking with this for sandwiches and such. I'm not sure where my mayo journey is going to end....but I feel like some change is better than no change.

Coke. The bain of my existence. I could write a sonnet and name it "Ode to Coke" but I'll spare you. I think I've been drinking this since birth. There has never been another drink on the face of this earth that even comes close to the taste of Coke for me. It is definitely my biggest vice in the food world. When I found out I had diabetes I was so ignorant at first about what that meant. I had to give up sugar. Big deal. Thank God in Heaven I have never been a person with a serious sweet tooth. I've never eaten half a pie, half a pan of brownies or half a gallon of ice cream. In fact, I cant' even handle more than half a candy bar at once. And then I started reading about diabetes and realizing how almost every single food has sugar in it. I learned all about bad carbs....how I was going to have to give up or seriously limit white flour, pastas, rice, bread....things were starting to look bad. Then I found out that Coke is absolute poison for a diabetic and I'd have to give those up completely.....OH YEAH RIGHT!?!......like that's ever gonna' happen!?!?!? And I continued to poison myself for many years, albeit now with a boatload of guilt.

This past January I finally decided to cut back. No, I haven't completely quit and yes I'm a moron for that. But I have made a change for the good. Before January, I was drinking at least 3 cokes a day and sometimes more, depending if I was at a cookout/reunion/birthday party, etc. But my bare minimum was 3 a day...one with each meal. That's a minimum of 21 Cokes a week. I now drink about 2-3 a week. It's averaging out to be around every 3 days that I cave in to the craving. You would think that only drinking 2-3/wk now I could just leave it alone completely. That hasn't happened. I still think about Coke every day....I'm just forcing myself to stave off the craving until I think I just can't handle it anymore. Say a prayer for me that I find the strength to kick the habit completely very soon. I'm proud of how much I've cut out of my diet....but I know with being a diabetic that it's just not good enough.

Chocolate. Now I mentioned that I've never had a big sweet tooth and that's true. However, chocolate is in a category all by itself. I eat chocolate about 5x/wk. I will probably do this the rest of my life. I eat a couple of bites nearly every day and it satisfies my chocolate craving. But I have to have those 2 bites. I haven't taken the time yet to see what's the best dietary choice to satiate my chocolate cravings mainly because it's only 2 bites a day. But if I can lower the sugar levels even in that little bit then I need to. Right now I have a bag of 3 Musketeers fun size snack bars in my frig. It's the 2 bite size. I eat one bar most days. It's not my fave kind of chocolate or anything....I'll eat just about any form of chocolate....but I just happen to notice the front of the bag saying 45% less fat than most candy bars or something to that effect so that's the one I bought. I hear that Russell Stover has some pretty good sugar-free turtles....I'm going to check those out one day. I also hear that if you're going to eat chocolate, then make it dark because the cacoa might actually have some health benefits if you eat it in small enough quantities.

I'm ready for bed but before I go I wanted to point something out. I told you I ate 1900 calories on Monday and decided to shoot for 1600 starting Tuesday. Then I ate the Subway and threw myself somewhere around 2000 calories I think. Starting anew this morning. my goal was again 1600. My total calories for today is 1667!! Only 67 calories over instead of 400. Woo hoo!
Considering I take things one day at a time....today is a win. Baby steps people...baby steps. Since I re-did my nutrition goals tonight, then starting tmrw my caloric goal is 1550. We'll see where I land. :)

A New Day

Good morning. :) It's going to be a good day...I can feel it. After my Sandwich o' Shame last night, instead of wallowing in the guilt of exceeding my calorie limit for the day, I decided to do something a little productive. I got in the fridge, got out all my veggies that were fixing to go bad or getting a little soft and I made a big pan of veggie stir fry. Now I have a big bowl of cooked veggies in the frig that I can eat during the day when I'm feeling hungry and don't want to use up a lot of calories. I didn't use any oil at all....just a little worcestershire and Adobo. Pam told me about using these 2 items last week when sauteeing some cabbage. My stir fry had some cabbage, broccoli slaw, yellow peppers, yellow squash, zucchini and radishes. It's very colorful and tastes fantastic.

Lynn at Escape from Obesity says if you screw up and eat a bad meal make sure the next one is healthy. Breakfast this morning was one piece of Arnold's Double Fiber whole wheat bread, 2 c. of watermelon and a cup of fat free light vanilla yogurt. There's something a little different about this breakfast than normal for me. I didn't have any meat. GASP! Tammy eating a meal with no meat in it??? I was just telling Pam last week that if I don't have meat in a meal I feel like I haven't eaten. I've always been that way. I'm a meatatarian, so when I was eating my breakfast this moring, I felt the corners of my mouth turn up in the slightest of smiles. I made a little better choice than the day before and it feels good. :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Chains of Addiction

I started counting calories yesterday for the first time in my life. I'm using this website: http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/mysparkstart.asp. I found out about it on Lyn's blog Escape from Obesity. She's listed on my blogroll, and behind Pam, she's my #2 inspiration on this journey. She was the 2008 Best Blog winner for the weight loss category....you MUST check it out. She is sooooo real. She doesn't sugar coat anything...just tells it like it is....the good and the bad. I only hope my blog will turn out to be at least a quarter as good as hers is and I'll be happy.

So anyways, this is day #2 of counting calories and I'm ready to quit. I'm not going to, but I very easily could. Change is hard. Actually counting every calorie that goes into my body is making me painfully aware of how much I'm used to eating, and now how much I'm not eating. It's making me feel like I'm missing something. Boy am I missing something.....another 2,500 calories a day!!! I know that my stomach is stretched from the ridiculous amount of food I was intaking up until this past weekend. But I also know that most of it is psychological. A friend pointed this out to me today. I'm very well aware. The reason I call my problem with food an addiction is because there are some very REAL physical things that I feel when I decrease my intake.

I feel real anxiety when I think about the foods I can no longer have, like the fast food junk. I have literally fought off the urge to go to a fast food restaurant every 2 hours for the last 2 days. This has been a real battle. Or when I'm used to eating 3x as much meat PER MEAL as I've been eating in the last 2-3 days. One of the things that comes along with calorie counting is findng out about correct portion sizes. It makes my chest tighten up just thinking about it. 3 oz. of meat??? Are you effin' kidding me??? You're talking to the girl who could eat 6 pieces of fried chicken in one sitting w/o blinking. When I think about these things, my chest tightens, I can't get a good deep breath...the longer I think about it leads to an eventual headache that follows me the rest of the day. Now I know some people say when you get like this and feel like you're about to eat something you shouldn't, occupy yourself with something else. One of my "favorite" suggestions is taking a walk. I got news for ya'.....if I was in the habit of taking a walk every time I got stressed out while tryinig to lose weight, I'd weigh 100 lbs by now and wouldn't have this problem in the first place. I think Lyn on Escape from Obesity is more realistic. You've just got to suffer through it. Just sit there and think about it. Think about your goals, short-term and long-term. Think about why you want to lose the weight in the first place. Just sit there and suffer through it. That's what I've been doing for the last 2 days.

Now, if you're at the point where you know you are going to eat something you shouldn't, then at least make it an informed fall off the wagon. Again, sit there for a minute and think about it. You know you're fixing to eat something bad. Or you know you've already eaten your calories for the day and you're still truly hungry, so you're going to eat something else. This happened to me tonight. I had like 10 calories left for the day and somehow I just knew 2 cucumber slices weren't going to satisfy my urge to take a head dive off the wagon. I knew I was fixing to go get some fast food. I live in the city and have every single fast food restaurant you can imagine all within a 3 miles radius of my apartment. The possibilities are endless. I went through several choices in my head. Arby's roast beef, Burger King Whopper....double Whopper is more like it, Big Mac from McD's, double burger w/ everything from Wendy's, fried chicken from KFC, 3 burritos w/ sour cream from Taco Bell........what was it going to be?

Guess what I ended up with. A sub from Subway. Cold cut combo (turkey-based meat), whole wheat bread, no cheese, light mayo, spicy mustard, all the veggies, no oil or vinegar. Whew!!! I would say instead of a head dive off the wagon, it was more like one leg and maybe a butt cheek. Yes, I stumbled. Yes, I went over the 1600 calorie limit that I set for myself (as of last week I was eating at least 4,000/day). But as a food addict, knowing the damage I could have done, and have done so many times in the past, I'm proud of my choice.

I was trying to think of an example I could give you of what the addiction feels like. I watch a show with my boyfriend called The Tudors. It's on Showtime and it's about King Henry VIII of England, period dresses, castles, all of that. On one of the shows they were torturing a man for being a traitor to his country. They wrapped him in chains and left him like that for a couple of days. The chains were so tight that they cut through his skin, causing blood to leak out all over his body and soak through his clothes. That's exactly what it feels like to be addicted to food for me. Being bound by chains and it's hard to breathe. I'm going to take each day as it comes, slowly trying to make better choices. When I stumble, I pray I do it as gracefully as I can. As I press forward, I know that the chains of addiction will slowly loosen. I just have to keep looking ahead. Sometimes even one day at a time seems too much for me.....sometimes I have to take it one hour at a time. But I'll get there......I'll get there. I'm not giving up this time. That's what I've always done. I'm going to do something different this time. It's all about choices and I choose to stay the course. I choose to drop this weight and I choose to do it at a healthy pace. I choose to replace old habits with new ones. I choose to replace bad food choices with healthier ones. I choose a healthier, thinner, happier me.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Healing Old Wounds

One of the things that comes along with losing gobs of weight and getting healthier is thinking about why you want to do it in the first place. Chances are, if you're like me, you've got several reasons for wanting to look and feel better....some obvious to everyone around you and some that are rather personal.

I was thinking about these things tonight, started crying, and decided it was time to post again and get it all out. I'm tired of carrying around the secret reasons.....I need to purge my soul. Purging leads to healing and I need to heal. It's part of closing the door on the past and looking forward to a more positive future. So here it goes.

As I said before, I've been overweight since around the age of 12. Not obese, but not thin or skinny by any means. However, I didn't REALIZE how I looked until I was around 14-15. I remember it like it was yesterday.....the moment you realize that you are a fattie. We were on a family vacation in Daytona Beach, FL. We were staying in an oceanfront hotel and I had been out at the pool playing all day with my 2 sisters. We had dinner that evening with my parents at a restaurant that must have been part of the hotel because our table was by the window overlooking the pool. I remember seeing a girl that was wearing a bathing suit that was WAY too small for her and I made the comment out loud that if I were that fat I'd NEVER wear anything like that. My mom very pointedly cleared her throat, said "Ummm..." and looked over at me. She didn't say anything else. She didn't have to. I knew exactly what she meant. I was that fat, and I had been out at the pool in a bathing suit ALL DAY LONG. I wanted to die. I felt so exposed. My entire family was sitting there witnessing this exchange and I had to try to act normal. I could feel the color rising in my face....thank God I had a bad sunburn to hide the shame that would have clearly had me looking like a lobster. I fought back the tears....swallowed them....and absolutely choked on my last few bites of dinner. It was like my throat closed up and I couldn't even swallow because my mind was telling me I was fat and didn't need to eat anymore. That was the first day leading to many years of embarassment and shame due to my weight.

Now please understand. I don't harbor any bad feelings towards my Mom for that night. I really don't. It's actually probably a blessing that she pointed it out as subtly as she thought she could. Who knows? I might be 600 lbs right now instead of 272 lbs if she hadn't of said something. I also know that she would never purposely hurt my feelings. She's known me since birth. She knows what an emotional, thin-skinned person I am. She would have never come right out and said, "Tammy, you're too fat. You need to lose some weight." She knows I would have melted into a puddle right here and she'd of had to scrape me up off the floor. So I appreciate the way she said it. I'm just signifying the day that I realized I had a weight problem. I love you Mom.

From there things just got worse. The very next day I was lying out on the beach by myself while my sisters were up at the pool playing. It was too noisy up there and I wanted to hear the waves rolling in. I wanted some alone time with the ocean. I am a water FREAK. I'll take it in any form I can get it.....creeks, lakes, ocean...bathwater, lol. Doesn't matter. (As a side note, I find this so strange because my astrological sign is fire. You would think that water would be my enemy, but for some reason I'm drawn to it. It's my therapy).

Anyhoo, there I am, lying on my towel, eyes closed, soaking up some rays, minding my own business.....when 2 teenage boys come strolling past me. You can probably guess that this ended badly. I glanced up and saw them and closed my eyes again. Right as they walked past me, I heard them both chuckle and one of them said, "There's Shamu". Now we all know who Shamu is, right? That GIGANTIC killer whale at Sea World? Again, I could have died. I wanted to sink into the sand right there where I laid, never to be seen again. But no...life is cruel....I had to get up and walk all the way back to the hotel knowing I looked like a whale. Doesn't life just suck sometimes?

Fast forward a couple of months to when I left the private Christian school that I attended from K-5 through 9th grade and entered a public school in 10th grade. I was 15 years old. Talk about culture shock. This is no lie.....the entire time I went to the Christian school, I only heard one cuss word spoken out loud, and that was in the 9th grade. I got to public school and my ears/brain just couldn't process them fast enough. WOW. I had some adjusting to do.

As if adjusting to the real world of high school wasn't hard enough....I had to ride the school bus. I am not exaggerating when I tell you I endured 2 years of pure hell on that bus. There was a boy who sat in the back named Eric Fromme. (Names have not been changed to protect the innocent....the little bastard isn't innocent). He tortured and tormented me every single morning and every single afternoon for two school years. When I got on the bus, he'd time his auditory stomping noises every time I took a step.....heavy, like you might imagine it sounding if King Kong were walking down the aisle. And oh how the other kids would laugh. Here's the kicker....this was the icing on the big fat cake. He was fat. ??????!!!!!!! To this day I will never understand how one fat kid gets away with making fun of another fat kid, without being made fun of himself. I'm guessing it was his super quick wit and hilariously funny quips. Funny, that is, if they're not directed at you. I can truly say that I still hate him to this day.

There have been countless other daggers driven into my heart and twisted through the years. One day I was in Wal-mart looking around and I turned around right into this woman. When she looked at me she exclaimed, "Oh my! You must be having twins!! When are you due? It was amazing how fast, without a thought, I spit out the words, "Two weeks". It was a hair trigger reaction. She congratulated me and I got the hell out of there. I guess I had gotten so used to fat comments over the years, little kids asking, "Mommy, is she pregnant?", etc that I just spit something out as fast as I could so I could make my escape.

Then there was the doctor who I went to a physical for. He was an old, crotchety man...kind of scary really, but I had to have the physical for a job I was applying for. He flat out told me I was way too fat. He said it in a gruff, disgusted manner....not in a helpful, concerned, caring one. Fear rose in me because I knew I couldn't leave the office...I had to have that physical. No escape this time. I was going to have to sit there and take it. The nurse tried to smooth things over by saying, "Oh she just needs a little excercise...that's all....she'll be just fine". I appreciated that. Then the doctor said, "The only excercise this girl needs is to lay her fork down and push herself away from the table". That was it. I was now a puddle in the floor. The tears flooded out of my eyes, which unsettled him. He hurried up and finished with me and I literally RAN down the hall, past the receptionist that you're supposed to pay when you leave, and out the door. I didn't pay, and the doctor was the company doctor for the place I was trying to get hired at. I ended up getting the job even though I didn't pay the bill....not sure how....maybe he thought if he let me slide through he could purge some well-earned guilt from his questionable soul? I hate him too. I'd still like to stick my fork somewhere in his nether regions.

Anyhoo.....I have years worth of example of being crucified emotionally but you get the idea. When I say I understand, I mean it. I am hoping that with each pound I leave behind it will act as a little dab of salve on the wounds that have been gaping open for so long. I want to heal. I want to be truly happy with myself for the first time. I want to love me.