Monday, November 30, 2009

I Am Not Giving Up

It's been a while, but I am back.  I think I've regained everything I lost, but I won't know for sure because I refuse to get on the scale -- I don't want to know.  It's fine.  I am actually not upset that I reverted to my old ways.  Ah, who am I kidding?  I obviously am a bit upset, frustrated, disappointed; however, I am not angry with myself, I do not feel guilty, and I am not beating myself up.

I have hope that I can still change my lifestyle and my relationship with food and that I can permanently lose 10 pounds.  It is just won't be easy.  There aren't going to be any tricks and no magic or voodoo is going to make it easy.  It is going to require hard work, discipline, and time. 

I am beginning to accept that permanent change will require being mindful of everything that I put into my mouth 100% of the time.  No eating while doing something else, no eating without writing it down, no grabbing just a handful or a bite here or there.  It all just adds up too quickly.

My goals for this week are simple:  (1) eat mindfully 100% of the time (2) write down everything I eat/drink (3) exercise.

"I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday."  Author Unknown

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Is Confession Really the First Step to Repentance?

I hope so. Here goes...

I ate terribly all day today. From mid afternoon onwards, I surrendered to every single craving I had – right down to the bowl of ice cream I just ate. This tends to happen when I am stressed or tired. Today I was both.

Work is very chaotic right now, resulting in my journaling and discipline to be a lower priority. Eating becomes a self-indulgent grab and go exercise free from rules and constraints. I also didn't get enough sleep last night, which always leads to afternoon grazing to keep up my energy. Hmmmmm... no wonder I ate badly today! I didn’t recognize these patterns until now! This is something I will discuss with my coach this week. Speaking of, I bet I haven't lost any weight since last week. I hope I haven't gained any! Oh man. I need to get this show on the road.

"The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places." Author Unknown

P.S.  I think I am currently stuck in one of the parking places.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Perception Changes Everything

I took a Halloween weekend hiatus and I am disappointed in myself because I ate badly. What about all the stuff I learned?! I thought I changed! Grew! I relax for just a weekend and it unravels! That’s how I feel at least.

Looking at the big picture, I was definitely mindful when I ate my main meals. I made healthy choices and tried to eat reasonable portions. I made unhealthy choices when snacking and when eating while starving (due to skipping a meal or eating the meal too late).

Notice the previous sentence states “made unhealthy choices” rather than failed, which is what I actually feel.  This brings me to the biggest lesson from this weekend:  perception. My perception was much worse than the reality. My assessment was that I am a failure who undid all the hard work and who will never lose the weight. Catastrophic much? How can we improve without blunders? Mistakes are our teachers. In actuality, I ate unhealthy snacks and I ate unhealthy when I was starving. These are important lessons for the future: eat my main meals on time and plan out my snacks.  Most important of all, manage my perception.

“If you don't make mistakes, you're not working on hard enough problems. And that's a big mistake.” F. Wikzek

“Making mistakes simply means you are learning faster.” Weston H. Agor

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Label Whore

I am proud to report that reading labels for nutritional facts and ingredient lists is becoming a habit. I am still learning what they mean and on which information to focus, but I am already reaping the rewards.  A cookie isn't appetizing when the ingredients are a long list of words I don't know and can barely pronounce.  I've made cookies and my recipe is quite different than the ingredient lists I've been reading.  Cereal is another example. My coach told me to only eat cereals with more than 5 grams of fiber and less than 10 grams of sugar per serving. I found 3 cereals that met these criteria. How sad is that? Only three! (FYI, Uncle Sam Cereal gets a pass and it is delicious.)

Stay tuned for details on label reading.  I must now go to sleep because I am very, very tired.  I'd like to close by pointing out how clever my title is.  Introducing a different kind of label whore...

“Don't judge a book by its cover.” American Proverb

Small Change, Big Gain

At the end of every month one of our sales managers brings in a box of freshly baked cookies from my favorite bakery. Every month I eat at least one cookie. This month started out the same, until I remembered what I learned this weekend. Since there was a possibility that the cookies were made with a hydrogenated fat, I didn't eat any! I didn't want to pollute my body!! Later in the day someone offered me my favorite chocolate bar – a Twix bar. The first thing I did was read the ingredients list, where I discovered a partially hydrogenated oil! I didn't eat that either. I wasn’t even tempted. What a good day. I hope this fear of trans fat lasts.

"It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself. Makes you wonder what else you can do that you've forgotten about." Alan Ball, American Beauty

Monday, October 26, 2009

WARNING: Know Your Fats

I’d heard of trans fats and I knew they were bad for you. But I had dismissed the topic, figuring that I’d revisit it later in life when it was more relevant. That changed last week after my coach told me to substitute my commercial brand of peanut butter for an all natural one. When I asked why, she told me it was made with hydrogenated oil which is bad for our heart and clogs our arteries. I needed more information – of which there is an abundance of online (both articles and videos).

It was worth the read because it has turned me off of eating literally thousands of foods. By cutting out any food containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats, I am going to be removing a lot of the processed foods and junk foods from my diet. Below is a summary of what I’ve read online. (NOTE: I am not a doctor and the information below is just based on what I read online!)

What it is: Hydrogenated oil is made by heating vegetable oil with a catalyst to change the molecular structure of the oil. These oils are laden with trans fat – a result of the process of hydrogenation.

Why it is: Hydrogenated oils are used because they are cheap fats, they increase the shelf life of the food product, they are easier to use (are in the form of a paste or solid), and aesthetics (size, texture, etc. is impacted).

The damage: Trans fats clog arteries and make them more rigid, lead to high blood pressure, cause a decrease of HDL (good) cholesterol and an increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol, raise the risk of heart disease, and can contribute to type 2 diabetes. It is also believed to be linked to many other diseases such as cancer.

How to eliminate it: read food labels. Do not eat anything with partially hydrogenated fat/oil or hydrogenated fat/oil or shortening in the ingredients list. You can also check the nutritional facts, to ensure that the product doesn’t contain trans fat.

“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” Mark Twain

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

I tried to post this last night but I couldn't login to Blogger!

Do you ever grab a bite of food “here and there”? I do! I don’t think it’s an issue because I only do it sporadically. Although, if we are talking about evenings spent working at home, then I should say frequently. Today is one such evening. I've had several items that weren't on my plan. I also engaged in some unplanned nibbling this afternoon – which genuinely was only here and there. As it turns out, nibbles add up fast. 400 extra calories! Unreal. In order to lose just one pound of stored fat we need to burn off 3500 extra calories. To lose one pound a week, we need to cut down on 500 calories a day. I “nibble” everyday. No need to spell things out...

While 400 excess calories itself is a good deterrent; I need a backup for moments of weakness. I am going to take a picture of all of the unplanned food from today and put it in both my kitchen and food journal to serve as a reminder of the repercussions of nibbling.  I am thinking this is brilliant, but let's see how it pans out...

"The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer." Edward R. Murrow