Monday, August 31, 2009

So long ho-ho

Chocolate, gumballs, cupcakes, cookies, icecream, doughnuts, peanut butter cups and candy bars. Call it out if I missed your favorite.

These are "treats" to us. These are the foods we're supposed to crave when we want something to satisfy our sweet tooth. Do they ever really taste as good as we think they're going to? The last time I had a Snickers I remember thinking I liked the caramel and the peanuts, but the chocolate tasted waxy. With peanut butter cups it's that the peanut butter is really grainy. What about doughnuts? I think I've said here before that the texture is amazing, but what's left after that?

Lately my snacks have been fruit, or I've taken some of the Yoplait Whips and frozen them and then I can have portion-controlled frozen yogurt. The fruit and yogurt fill and satisfy cravings I have. When I have chocolate I never am satisfied. If they could make something that tastes like chocolate that you can just suck on forever I would be sold. I love the taste, I hate the sugar high and low I get after trying to satisfy my sweet-tooth craving.

I have to remind myself time and time again that most things don't taste nearly as good as I think they do. I made my monster cookies to bring into work today, I tasted. Sometimes I can eat a bowl of green beans and when I get done I think, 'oh, my, that was delicious.' I think sometimes I just want snacks like doughnuts and cookies and such is because they're "special" treats. Whatever. My butt doesn't think they're so special when it carries the extra weight.

So why do we crave these treats that really don't treat our tastebuds to any sensations? Are we programmed to want them because they were always special when we were growing up? Do we crave them because they're things we're "not supposed to have?"

What we have to do is retrain our tastebuds. A strawberry has more incredible eye-popping flavor in it than any candy bar I can remember. A nectarine or peach can outdo any doughnut. Then why are we hanging on to food thata can't sustain our bodies in any positive way, and, when you really think about it, we can't enjoy that much either. If my body calls out for some broccoli, should I say no? No way. Fill your body's cravings with the things it really wants. Healthy grains to make your brain and body work better. Some proteins to make your muscles strong, and the fruits and vegetables that put your mind in the right place and help your day to be so much better than a Krispy Kreme will.

it's easy for me to reach for that treat on the table, but it's just as easy to reach for the banana in the fridge. So how do we being to crave the right things? For starters, give them to your body. You'll be surprised by how it will reward you.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Facing an addiction

What if it was that simple? The choice between if we want to eat something that we think will be tasty or if we want to be healthy? For many of us the choice is that simple. Over time we realize that the mocha for breakfast or the ice cream for dessert isn't a good choice if we want to lose weight. We realize that if we eat more than we need to, simply to feel stuffed, our body will retain those extra nutrients and convert some of it to fat.

This choice, while not easy for me, is definitely becoming easier. But I also fit in a group called emotional eaters. I eat when I'm upset, I eat when I'm happy, I eat when I'm bored and I definitely eat as a social activity. I'm also addicted to food. While it's fine to celebrate a birthday with a piece of cake if I choose to, I'm not always capable of backing up and saying "no, I've had enough, I don't need it." Much like an alcoholic has a taste of alcohol and finds it nearly impossible to stop, so when I have a taste of certain foods, like, oh, I don't know CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, I lose all willpower and dive in face first.

I have had to retrain my body to eat the way it's supposed to. The other day I went out with some coworkers for lunch to say goodbye to someone who's leaving my place of employment. I got a Gyro, held the cheese and a side of green beans. My boss made a comment about me eating green beans. He didn't mean to be mean or rude or anything, he was just making an observation. I told him I liked green beans. This is the truth. I have a definite affinity for most vegetables. I also didn't order a side of fries because I knew I wouln't be able to stop at just a quarter of my fries.

My addition to food and my emotional eating when it comes to food isn't over. It may never be over. I may struggle with food on a daily basis. But so far I've lost 13 lbs. That is worth it to me. I don't have a simple decision to made when I see goodies in the break room or when I'm at a restaurant. I have a mental war to win in five seconds or less. To eat the fries or to get some fresh vegetables. To pass by the cake or to have a piece, or ten. Like an acoholic I will not get better if I continue to nash on whatever food comes my way.

I have learned that right now I cannot have chocolate chip cookies. Maybe one day I'll be able to add these back into my life, but for now they're off limits. I can have all the fruits and vegetables I want though. I'm not depriving myself, I'm healing my body and my mind when I eat right. But I can't do it alone. So Hi.

My name is Jessica, and I'm a food addict.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vacation and the scale

I'm trying to blame vacation for over-eating. It's either vacation or PMS, or both. I ate more than normal when the SO and I were away this weekend, but I also burned a LOT more calories by being in the water at least an hour or two each day. How did the scale go up then?

I'm not stating my weight as of right now, and since Saturday is my new official weigh-in day (started last week) but let's just say it's up a little bit. It's slightly disheartening. I know it could be complete water weight, especially since it's that TOM. But still. We'll see. So I've kicked my butt in gear again. Two hours of stair stepping today. When you do it while you watch "Friends" it's just so much more enjoyable! Anyway, healthy meals, low-cal snacks. Hopefully on Sat. I'll be back at or lower than my weight from last week!

I have no excuses. I'm on vacation until next Wednesday, so I can't possibly be too tired to work my butt off. I'm cooking all my meals, so it's not like I can't eat right and I'm in charge of this trip up AND down the scale. Let's hope my body agrees!

So, aside from pushing away the hurdle in the road, my day has been great. What about yours?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Get over yourself

I was on vacation this past week and I had to do just that, get over myself. My family and I were at Okoboji in Iowa. It's a lake. A beautiful lake. At lakes, most people swim, tan, tube (or ski) and ride in boats. In most of those things you wear a swimsuit. I had two choices, wear regular clothes the whole time and participate in boat rides but nothing else, or wear a swimsuit and have a grand old time.

Which do you think I did?

And OH did I have fun. I went swimming for hours each day we were up there. I went tubing in the cold cold water - the water in the lakes is from a glacier - and I went out on the boat all of the time and didn't have to worry about getting my regular clothes wet.

My dad and the SO and I all lined up behind a pole on the docks. We were joking about trying to hide, because none of us are small. I honestly don't think you can see my dad. We laughed our butts off about that. Oh, the fun I would have missed out on just because I would be too worried that people would make fun of me in a swimsuit, that they would think I looked disgusting. They are my family! Man, if I can't be in a swimsuit in front of them who can I be in a swimsuit in front of?

I would have missed out on hours of activity, hours of laughter, and hours of pleasure just being beautiful 'ol me! I had a decision to make when I went on vacation. Am I going to let my fat continue to control me? Am I going to let myself miss out on activities that might help keep me more fit, not to mention the fun that went along with them because I was ashamed of myself? Uhm, no. I didn't think so.

I will not miss out on life because I think I'm too big to enjoy it. I will not miss out on fun because I think I'm too big to participate. Isn't that what this whole healthy trip is about? I'm changing my life, I'm changing my attitude. I will not be controlled by what I have left to lose. If someone had a problem seeing me in my suit, well, they can look the other way. I wanted to live my life and not worry about what SOMEONE ELSE who I probably don't even KNOW thinks about me. The fat-haters cannot control me anymore. My perception of myself is done, through, finito.

When I decided to put on my suit I just reminded myself that I am amazing. I am me and I should love myself for that. Yes, I am not a size two beauty queen in a suit. I may never be. Do I love the way I look? No, I never said that. Am I done letting it control me? Heck yeah.

Friday, August 21, 2009

We can DO this

Does it ever feel like the journey ahead is an impossible one? That those 5, 10, 30, 100 lbs. will never come off? That you'll never walk that mile, run that 5k or finish those 100 pushups? Guess what, it's a lie.

I've learned in life that we are capable of amazing things. We can love again and again, though many time we end up getting hurt. We set out, make new friendships, adapt to new environments and have everything turned on its head again because we are strong. Our strength is untapped and sometimes our strength exists in the people around us when we need it most, like at

While our hearts and minds are strong, sometimes our bodies are even stronger. We can go from sitting on the couch, struggling to get on our feet to RUNNING MARATHONS. We can go from not being able to lift 2 lb. weights to having biceps that stand out from the rest of our body.

We have these wonderful minds, wonderful hearts and wonderful bodies and with all of those things, we can DO this! I have 40 lbs. left to lose, maybe some more after that. Sometimes I look at the last two months and think, I've only lost 11 lbs. and I have so far to go yet. But guess what? That means if I keep up my weight loss that in less than one year I will be at my goal weight. One year, a single year. What have I put off more than a year? I can think of a few things. What do I want to do in a year that may have been super hard or impossible when I was 50 lbs. heavier? I can think of Many things.

So here we keep on. Our lives are changing, we can handle that. Our bodies are changing. Well, boy-howdee-do I'm pretty sure I'll happily handle that. Our minds are changing. Sometimes this is the hardest but we will get through it, we will do it and surprise ourselves in the future. Days are hard, some more than others. But think of the people you love, the people who know you and help you and keep you going. With them, with you, we can DO this!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A natural high

Last night I was laying in bed before I went to sleep watching the finale to Top Chef Masters. I love Top Chef. Anyway. I was just laying there and I felt great, I felt amazing. I was a little sleepy and some muscles were aching and as I stretched out my legs it felt so GOOD! And I felt A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

I started to think about what brought me there. What brought me to feeling amazing. Well, I was sore, but I felt strong. I was tired (even though I had a 3-hour nap that afternoon) but I felt rested (maybe because of the nap) and I was wearing some newish pajamas from Old Navy that just make me feel sexy. I was reflecting on my day, on my week and even though my week has been long and I've been super tired from lack of sleep and from working out more than I've been used to in year, it didn't matter. I had a natural high.

My workout earlier in the day, eating right, my body getting in tune with my mind, that all culminated to give me a feeling of happiness I haven't fully had in quite some time. I've been pleasant, little happy, LOL happy, down in the dumps and everywhere in between, but this euphoria had eluded me.

It's amazing to look back about seven weeks and see how much my mind has come in balance with my body. How this work that I'm doing isn't just to lose the fat trapped around my waist and thighs but how it's making me better mentally.

This journey keeps surprising me. I keep thinking that it's hard, and don't get me wrong, it is hard, but these pleasant things happen. I feel better, I have more energy (when I get enough sleep) I'm probably more pleasant to be around because my mood is better and I'm more focused. I see more around me, I take part in more around me. I am overcome with moments (like right now) of so much happiness that I almost want to cry. I just am starting to feel "right." Starting to feel like I should. And I know more is just around the bend.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ups and downs

My week so far has been good, and meh.

The good happened yesterday. I ran my whole route (2.5 miles) all the way through. One stop to stretch out my calves a little bit, but even this huge hill at the end that I hate to run because it's ALL uphill was completed. I was just really proud of myself when I got home. It's been since last November that I ran that all the way through. I've been working hard, but it's been so humid that every run has been a major chore. Yesterday the humidity broke and it was wonderful to feel what it was like to complete my route.

My down? My weigh-in this week only had me down one lb. Sucks right? I feel like I've been working out so hard, pushing myself, eating right and then, one lb. I have been doing more strength training, so maybe I just gained some muscle, but I'm just disappointed. I'm wearing different clothes today than normal so I can't say they feel lose or anything like that. Today I think I'm just feeling sorry for myself.

So I have a big accomplishment, running my route. When I get that down pretty well it will go to 3.5 mile and then 4.5 miles. It's a route by my house, so it's easy to do, well, not easy, it's pretty hilly, but I don't have to drive and go somewhere. I can just step outside my house and go.

I know, I just need to keep my chin up, my stride swinging along and those one lbs. will be forty more.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Just say no, right?

Doughnuts. Lovely, fresh doughnuts, made merely hours ago sit on the snack table in the newsroom. Oh how I love doughnuts, from the good bakery too, not one of the box stores.

I have just said no to doughnuts, well, hopefully. I don't leave here for a couple of hours yet and there they sit. I've had my snack and my lunch (I go to work at 5 a.m.) and so I should be good to say no. No hunger here. Not when there's doughnuts involved.

That snack table. You walk past it to come in or out of the main room with all our pods in it. And, since they're fresh doughnuts the smell just wafts over to the doorway. Oh my. I love doughnuts. Why is it so hard for me to say no to doughnuts but not so hard for me to say no to cauliflower? When I bite into cauliflower the taste is amazing. When I bite into a doughnut the bite is amazing, the cushiony softness of the dough, but the taste? Plain sugar.

Just like this morning. My boss brought out homemade blueberry muffins for the very few of us (copy-editors, of course) who are here at five in the morning. I was perfectly fine with that as they were small, I could eat part of it and then not go over my calories. My meals planned for today are pretty low in calories. So I smell it, always an important part of eating. Oh, you can smell the blueberries and the freshness with them too! Then I tore off a piece. It was ripe with blueberries, just plain stocked full of them. I took a bite, thinking about the way the blueberries would burst in my mouth and taste so good.

No such flavor.

They were (surprisingly) bland. I threw it away. I was super proud of myself for that. I wanted to eat it, but it didn't taste good at all, so why would I eat it? I keep reminding myself that that's how the doughnuts will taste too. Great smell, nice bite, no taste.

So, just say no, right?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

And the eating began

Oh my, I've kind of sucked it up the last couple of days when it comes to eating. On Friday, I decided to have a cheat day. I haven't had one since last month, I told myself I could have one a month, so, since we were having a potluck at work I thought it would be a great day for a cheat! People bring such amazing food and I wanted a bite of everything (isn't that normal).

so I stuffed myself. And then, I went back for a chocolate chip cookie and more watergate salad. I ate a really sensible dinner and when you check it out on your daily report, I don't think I ate more than my body expended, but at the same time, OMGoodness I ate a lot.

So then yesterday I didn't feel so hot. I didn't feel bad, mind you, but I didn't feel good either. Since I didn't feel good, I didn't feel like making supper. We ordered pizza, which normally I would have a slice and then have some veggies and such and be good to go. Get a slice of pizza and still stay in my calories, maybe even at the low end. I HAD THREE PIECES. Oh wow. Boom, calories blown. I still stayed within the calories my body is burning, so I shouldn't see a gain just from eating 2,000 calories two days in a row, but now, again, I don't feel so hot today.

I don't mind eating right, but I have no motivation to exercise. I'm still going on a walk today. I'm making myself because I know this is a cycle. I'll eat bad, feel bad, won't exercise, feel worse and spiral back those ten lbs. I've lost.

Am I down about not eating so great? A little. Is it going to affect my dream of the loss of 50 lbs? No. That would be dumb on my part! Anyway, Today my challenge will be to go walking. Yay for overcoming challenges!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Treating myself better

I painted my toe nails the other day. A week ago I gave myself a facial. And, this is an overshare, I've definitely been shaving my legs every day. Why is this important? You may ask. Well, it's important because I've been treating myself better since I started working on my health.

Some people may go "ick" at the leg-shaving thing, but I never wear shorts, rarely wear skirts and so, what was the point? The point now is that I feel better. My clothes fit better, I know I look better and so I want to LOOK BETTER. Amazing, isn't it. I gave myself a facial because I wanted to. I painted my toe nails because I thought it would be cute. I shave my legs because it makes me feel sexy.

But why didn't I treat myself better before this? Maybe I can also ask myself why I ate so much. Was it to punish myself for something? Did I just not care about myself enough to decide to be healthy? Was I bored? Was it to deal with some unknown trauma? Right now I don't know the answer to this. I think it honestly might be that I didn't care about myself enough, or that I just thought I was "normal" when my BMI was obese. I ate and didn't think. I didn't move around much and didn't think about it. The only time I really thought about my weight was when I went shopping for clothes. Oh yes, then you would hear me complain and mope and whine and be sad about the body that I gave myself.

But now the times they are a'changin' as I've heard many Westerns state. It's amazing how one good step leads to singles, tens, hundred of others. Taking care of me by looking at the food I put in my mouth and exercising to get myself healthy has pushed into what I put on my face to make my skin soft, what I put on my toes to make me smile, and shaving my legs so I feel sexy and good! Who knows what's next. I can't wait to find out!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I wanted a cookie

I was laying in bed, watching one of my shows that I watch in the bedroom because I know the SO wouldn't want to watch it and so I will not force it upon him in the living room. While I was laying there, a commercial for something or other came on. Since my mind was not paying attention to the commercial, I started thinking about the fact that I wanted a chocolate chip cookie.

Now chocolate chip cookies are my favorite. You can make any other dessert you want for me, even triple-chocolate cheesecake comes in second to chocolate chip cookies. I've spent time perfecting my recipe. Just that extra dash of salt, a tad less baking soda, one dash cinnamon, etc. To the point where I love them and they are ooey-gooey-melt-in-your-mouth good. I can whip up one of these batches in approximately twenty minutes (and I'm sorry if I just made any of you want a chocolate chip cookie).

Then I started to wonder if I really wanted a chocolate chip cookie or if I wanted one of them because I was bored due to a commercial taking up three minutes of the show that I was interested in. I was bored. I knew I was bored. So knowing this, why did I still want a chocolate chip cookie.

I went and got a drink of water. By the time I came back my show was back on and I settled in to watch it. Then came another commercial. Thoughts of chocolate chip cookies came dancing into my head. "NO" I don't want a chocolate chip cookie, I told myself. Then I thought of the weight I've lost so far. I've lost 10 lbs. 'Not a miraculous number by any means,' I thought, but then my mind countered, 'But it's still ten lbs. Ten lbs. less than you weighed six weeks ago.' My brain was right.

I wanted to know what ten lbs. looked like, what it really weighed when placed in my hands. I suddenly needed to feel how much weight I had lost. I had three pounds of beef in the fridge to make meatballs for a potluck at work this week and so I darted to the kitchen and held that three pound package in my hands. It was heavy. It was heavier than I expected. I had lost more than three of these put together.

Suddenly I didn't want a chocolate chip cookie. I was proud, not bored. Proud of the achievement I had made even if it was "only" ten lbs. I was proud that I was going to lose another lb, and another, and another. That ten was going to become twenty and that twenty would be thirty, and, well, you get the picture.

I hit a bend in this road I'm on. A roadblock labeled "COOKIE" stopped up my path for a minute, but "FAT" or a little lack of it pushed me passed it. In this instance I succeeded, in others I won't. I just have to keep reminding myself that this journey is not a 1-lb-trip to the local market, it's a trip now forty pounds (not fifty!!!) away. I just need to keep going.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I didn't think I'd feel this way

I didn't think I would feel this way about fitting into sz. 14 jeans. Maybe I should preface this by the fact that I got a new pair of jeans and they're a size smaller than what I've been wearing for at least two years.

Honestly, I went out shopping (Iowa tax-free holiday) to buy a pair of jeans that I could look at and think 'I will fit into these.' Kind of a motivation hanging on a hanger in front of my closet. So the SO (kindly he went with me, he hates shopping) went out. I tried on a couple of pairs, one in sz. 16 where the waist was too big, and another pair that was too short.

I was bummed. So I went back to the jean wall and looked at another pair. I didn't want to try any more on in the store because it was CRAZY busy (again, tax-free holiday) and so I just bought them, in a sz. 14, and we went home.

Well, we get home and I have to try on my stuff. I bought some shorter leggings to wear around the house, comfortable style, this shirt-sleeper thing because I had gotten a gift card for my birthday and I wanted to use it :D You know how it goes! So, the leggings and the long sleeper thing, the SO said all I needed to go into the eighties were some head bands. So true and I love them. Then I put on the jeans. Ok, they go up over my legs, great, I've lost a little there. Then I pull the buttons together to see how far I have to go to fit into them. And they button.


They are a little tight, so maybe I'm not completely in a sz. 14 yet, but I'd say in a week, maybe two, they'll be comfortable.

If you can't tell, I'm pretty ecstatic about it. I know I've been working out, I know I've lost some inches in some places, I can feel my muscles and sometimes I just want to eat until I feel COMPLETLY uncomfortably full like I used to do, but it's worth it. Seeing that size, fitting into a smaller pair at a store I shop at a lot, I love it. I absolutely love it.

Six weeks in, I was getting a little unmotivated, let's say. This just jumps me back in, it makes me want to go and run again like I did this morning! Anyway, I didn't think I'd feel this way. I knew I'd be happy, but I didn't know how happy. It's like I dropped into hundred-ville from two-hundred-ville all over again.

I guess I want to say Keep going, keep moving, keep pushing yourself. It's totally worth it.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I'm sitting at my desk, thinking about what the SO and I are having for supper tonight when I realize that I don't know. The SO told me last night that he would make supper and I wouldn't have to worry about it. Now, I am blessed because he does this, but not just for tonight. He likes to cook just as much as I do, but I plan a lot of the meals because I have more time in the afternoon.

After he informed me that I would not need to cook tonight he did something spectacular. He asked if there was anything he shouldn't make. It took me a second. Why shouldn't he make something? Oh yeah, because of my "diet."

The SO knows I'm changing my life. He sees it when I put fish or a vegetarian meal on the table at least one night a week instead of more hamburger or another steak. He sees it when I take double portions of vegetables and half the serving of meat. He sees it when I eat one chocolate instead of twenty. We've talked about it, about what this weight loss and me being healthier means to me and to him. He's told me time and time again "I love you however you are, but I wish we were both healthier." And now, he's even looking out for me more.

He wanted to make sure that he didn't put something on the table that was "bad for me" or that would cause me to become a glutton in a matter of seconds. I love him for that.

I told him that I can eat whatever I want, just in moderation. Then I rethought my answer and asked him to make sure there were two kinds of vegetables. That was my only requirement and it's something I try to do whenever I make a meal for us. All he said was "ok."

I just feel blessed. Blessed that he's on this journey with me, not necessarily on like I am, but that he's trying to make it easier. Trying to make me last at it. He's right, we could both stand to be healthier. The healthier we are, hopefully the longer we'll live, the more we'll get out of life and the happier we'll be about certain things.

Here's to health.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gotta Keep Moving

In life, in working out, in anything that you're trying to be better at you have to keep going. Keep moving forward, keep trying, keep living and keep on at it. When I had my fun little blah-week last week, I kept on going, and I'm so proud of myself for that.

I'm proud of that fact, that I kept going, because I have a tendency to just let life catch up with me and deter me from the things I really want. I give up and let go and completely regret it down the road.

I didn't want to work out last week. I didn't want to eat right. But I did (other than a few snack attacks brought on by my attitude and that TOM) and this week, while I only lost one pound, I feel so much better knowing that I got through one hard time and that feeling, hopefully, will bring me through others that I might have in the future.

I know that my life is getting healthier. I can feel it in the way I hold myself, in the way those pants that were tight a month ago are getting looser, and in the way I'm thinking. I can have snacks, I can have cravings, I can give into those cravings too, but just a little bit. If I'm craving chocolate I can have a piece. I'm not on a diet, I'm changing my life.

My life doesn't restrict things, doesn't cut out whole foods or groups of nutrition that my body needs, but my new life does require certain nutrients that I don't normally get enough of because I'm too busy putting other things in my face. That's my goal.

I normally eat within my calorie range, when I have eaten out of it I don't feel bad because I'm exercising more than I thought I would. What I don't do is get enough calcium or iron on a pretty-much-daily basis. I can't drink a lot of milk or have too many milk products and I was wondering, how do you guys get some of the calcium you need during the day? What about iron? My fiber is up because I've been working on that, I know I can work on this too, but, as I'm moving toward my goal, anyone have any help they can offer on ways to reach it?