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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Putting Shit Off

I have stuff to do at work and I'm not doing it.  I've been playing games, checking Facebook and now reading (and writing) blog posts.  I swear I'm not a procrastinator.  The problem is that there is an email in my in basket that I am afraid to read.  I know I need to open it, but I can't and the anxiety is sending me into fits. 

I used to eat when I was anxious.  I did it so much that I didn't even know I had an anxiety issue until I quit binging over it. 

I know that there are drugs for what I am experiencing, but I don't have health insurance or even a doctor that I see.  It would be a major expense to try to get help right now.  When my bills are paid this week, I will have $175.52 left over for groceries and anything else my family of four needs.  I do have some cash I've been squirreling away that will go for food because $175.52 will NOT get us through two weeks.  It just won't.

My last two weekends have been less-than relaxing due to my reacting badly to stress.  The first weekend because I saw this financial hurdle coming up and was preemptively stressed out.  This last weekend I had to deal with the person who's email I am avoiding today.

My brain gets stuck in a loop of conversation going over and over about the issue I'm anxious about.  I try to direct my thoughts elsewhere, but they always drift back.  I can distract myself with a book or a TV show or writing a blog post for a little while.  As you can imagine, it interferes with my sleep sometimes.  I even took Tylenol PM over the weekend.  It didn't help Friday night, but it helped Saturday and Sunday.  I didn't take any last night and I slept okay.  But now I've got that fucking email that I need to open.  Ugh!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Paula Deen...Who Cares?

I'm sure there have been many posts written about Paula Deen's big diabetes news.  I haven't had much of a chance to read blogs so I don't know for sure, but a radio show I listen to had a whole segment devoted to talking about it.  My initial thought was that I didn't really care.  I've never watched a Paula Deen show and I really don't know much about her.  But the radio show made some interesting points so it has been on my mind.

There seems to be a lot of fuss about how she's had diabetes for a couple of years without saying anything.  Now she's been hired as a spokesperson for a pharmaceutical company and is suddenly going to be role model for people with diabetes who need to change their lifestyle.  People are criticizing the fact that she has made her brand based on Southern home-cooking with lots of real butter and real sugar and all sorts of other fattening ingredients.

I must admit that I don't think much of her not saying something sooner.  I'm also not real impressed by endorsing drugs for a pharmaceutical company.  But I must admit that I am feeling a bit defensive about the criticism about using "real" food ingredients in her cooking.  I happen to agree that real butter, real cream, full-fat cheeses and real sugar have their place in a healthy diet.

I am very suspicious of foods that are made of chemicals and are artificially created.  Margarine is one of those foods for me.  It is made of refined vegetable oil.  Foods sweetened with artificial sweeteners are also suspect.  I believe sugar is healthier and there's research to back that up.  As far as full-fat (rather than non-fat or reduced fat) foods, especially dairy products, I think they just taste and cook better and are much more satisfying.  I can use and be satisfied with a dollop of real sour cream or butter.

I do occasionally eat or drink things that contain artificial ingredients.  My kids love squeeze cheese and I usually buy it when we go camping or on a special trip as a snack.  I don't consider squeeze cheese to be real food, but I eat it a couple of times a year.  I used to drink diet soda, but I quit because the carbonation bothered me.  I will now occasionally drink iced green tea sweetened with Splenda.

So the question is, should we criticize someone with diabetes for doing a cooking show where these natural ingredients are used?  Can't diabetics eat a healthy diet of all foods in moderation like the rest of us are supposed to be doing?  I think they can!

So say what you want about Paul Deen, but don't criticize her for cooking with butter instead of artificially created and modified chemicals disguised as "food".              

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wish me luck!

I have an important meeting tonight about managing a new property.  I really hope I get it!  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Balancing Act

How's your balance?  No, I don't mean the kind of balance that is required to do the grasshopper pose in yoga.

I'm talking about the balance in your life between work, family, relationships, food, personal time, spirit, and exercise.

Oh, that balance. 

I have learned that when my life is out of balance, it gets really messed up, really fast.  There are two prime areas where I struggle: work and food. 

I am the daughter of a workaholic.  My father ran a small business while I was growing up.  He ran it out of our house initially.  He was a contractor.  He worked a lot.  When he got home from work, he would go up to his office and do paperwork and make phone calls to schedule jobs for the following day.  I am lucky that my mom was a stay-at-home mom and could provide the hands-on parenting that we needed.  In that regard they made a good, balanced team.  But I could easily be a workaholic myself.  I've always had jobs that didn't end when the work day was over.  Now I have a full-time job plus I have my own small business.  I often work on weekends and evenings.  I always have my phone and am checking email and texting with clients.  I work at balancing my work life, but do you know what's hardest for me?  When I'm not working.  I always think I want more free time and wish that I wasn't as busy as I am, but I have the hardest time keeping my head when I lack the structure of my job.  During my vacation after Christmas, I had a hard time with the down time.

But this is a blog about weight loss and having an-out-of-balance relationship with food is something I know quite a bit about.  To me either end of the food/weight spectrum is a problem that represents a lack of balance in my relationship with food.  If I am compulsively counting calories, weighing myself obsessively and exercising like a maniac (you know, dieting) then I am out of balance.  If I throw my hands in the air and eat everything that doesn't eat me first, I'm out of balance.  Either extreme is a problem for me.

One of the reasons that I ended up fat is that every time I decided to "do something" about my weight problem and screwed up relationship with food, I ended up back on the extreme dieting end of the spectrum.  I believed that this was the behavior that would lead me to freedom from weight issues and freedom from the general nuttiness in my brain when it came to food.  But because this approach lacks the balance that is required for a good, healthy life, it was doomed to fail.

Now please don't think that I'm all balanced and serene.  If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I am not.  But I'm working on it because I know that it is important.  I believe it is the key to a normal, healthy life.

So how's your balance today? 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I own my choices

I chose to spend the week from December 28th through January 2nd pigging out.  I did it because I was making myself crazy (Don't believe me?  Read my last posts before Christmas.  Coo coo, I tell you) and I knew just giving myself permission to eat would quiet the craziness.  And you know what?  It did, at least for a while.  I ate what I felt like eating.  I didn't shame myself.  I enjoyed my food.  I stopped freaking out about every food choice.

But here's the deal, that sort of "relief" brings its own set of problems.  I gained three more pounds in that week.  Remember how freaked out I was about the original three pounds that I spent about four weeks gaining?  Well now they have three more new friends!  I am up six pounds over the holidays!  FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC!

But I own my choices.  I made them.  No one forced me to make bad choices. 

I don't need to go on a diet.  I don't need to start a liquid fast.  I don't need the latest miracle pill, cream, exercise craze, or diet book. 

What I do need is to quit eating between meals.  I need to log my food, at least for awhile.  I need to avoid snacks after dinner (which is pretty much the same thing as not eating between meals, but I guess I need to say it both ways).  I need to focus on getting in my protein first and making nutritional food choices most of the time.  I need to limit sweets to a single serving on weekends.  I need to continue exercising and drinking lots of water, two things that I have been doing well this whole time.

I may get a fill if things don't improve.  I'm so glad I have this amazing tool that can be "recharged"!  Although I have noticed that I have been PBing a lot lately, I think it has more to do with overeating and poor food choices than being too tight.

And someone commented that maybe I should see a therapist.  I thought you guys were my therapists?  No?  Well, that probably isn't a bad idea, but I have done therapy many times and I don't really want to do that right now (Not to mention that I don't have health insurance or extra cash for that sort of thing).  So we'll see!  Really I feel like I'm back on track already so I'm not too worried.  I just wanted to publicly own the gain and my choices.  Thanks for listening!   

Vote for Pedro!

I mean my dear real-life friend, Kenda!  She's entered a contest to win some exercise equipment and she sure deserves it.  She graduated college last year and has been struggling to find a full-time job since.  She had VSG in September and has already lost 130 lbs.

And if you're not already following Kenda's blog, you can find it here

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Product Review: Nature Valley Protein Bar

I sure hope Nature Valley sees this post and sends me some coupons for their fabulous products because this is really good!  I tried the peanut butter dark chocolate variety.  It is 190 calories and 10 grams of protein.  It does have a fair amount of fat (12 grams).  It also has five grams of fiber (and don't we all need more of that?).

What I really liked about the protein bar is that it isn't really sweet.  It doesn't taste like a candy bar.  It has six grams of sugars if you're counting, but with all the protein and fiber it balances really well.

The Black and the White of It

My problems with food and weight have traditionally fallen to one extreme or the other along the spectrum of eating behaviors.  I was either "being good" with food or "being bad".  When I was good, I was oh so good, but when I was bad, well, you know.

Ah, but the "good" is so sweet!  I perfectly count every calorie.  Every food I eat is carefully planned.  I think, "This is EASY!" and wonder, "Why don't I always eat like this?".  In time, I become a bit smug.  I wonder why everyone doesn't do what I'm doing?  I feel in control.  I exercise like a mad-woman, getting up at 5:00 AM and sweating in the gym. 

But of course it doesn't last.  This type of rigid-perfectionism is unsustainable in the long-term.  Something happens - it's someone's birthday at work or I overeat a restaurant meal or my fella does something that pisses me off and I eat my feelings.  There's no "gray" when I'm being good.  There's no room for bad food choices.  Suddenly everything shifts.  I'm no longer "good".  I'm horrible, stupid, fat, ugly, hopeless.  I'll be fat forever.  Everything will always be they way it's always been.  There's no sense in trying.  I'll just fail.  Again.

Somehow having Lap-band surgery changed everything for me.  I began living in a place of moderation.  I was successful even when I made less-than stellar choices.  Slowly I began to do things differently.  I questioned the long-held beliefs.  I didn't start another diet, slipping into the "good" zone.  I didn't make foods off-limits.  I allowed them for the first time, in moderation.  I began to trust myself with food.  I was okay for the first time in my life.  It was freeing, unbelievably so.

But lately I've seen a bit of those old black and white thoughts creep back in.  It started around Halloween when I had several candy-binges.  I ate candy I didn't even particularly like.  I just shoved it in my face without enjoying it.  It wasn't moderation.  It was "bad".  I was bad.  I didn't start gaining weight for awhile, but around the first part of December I noticed I was up about three pounds.  I've struggled with that all month.  I've had weeks where I did pretty well with food, but I've also had some colossal failures.  Last week was hard because I was off work and my house was filled with Christmas goodies.  My weigh-in on Wednesday after Christmas was good - I was down a bit, but since then I haven't done such a great job of holding it together.

Now I'm afraid of the scale.  I'm afraid that my pants feel tight.  I don't want to fail.  I'm ashamed.  I'm "bad".  My eating has been okay, but I'm afraid, perhaps irrationally so.  The number on the scale tells me if I'm okay or not.  It defines me.  It evaluates me.

And I know that I have lost my moderate living, at least for the moment.  I'm back in the black and white of it.   

Me and my dad on New Year's