Archive for October, 2010

I Wish I Were…

Several times during the last year, and especially since I have started writing, people have said to me – I wish I was as strong as you; as determined as you; as focused as you. You get the idea.

While I definitely appreciate the compliments, I really am no different from anyone else who has weight to lose. I love to eat. I want to be able to eat what I want, when I want it. I don’t want to exercise. And, I want to be able to lose all of my weight in a very short time. Shoot, I would even settle for an entire month.

That kind of thinking is not real. Those thoughts are lies – the lies that convince us that our situation is hopeless.

Let me tell you what I know. My success has been hard. I have made a lot of bad decisions; but I have made even more good ones.

This road is about making the very next decision. It is about two basic questions: Is what I want to eat good for me? Is it going to help me achieve my long-term goal.

And all I do is answer those questions over and over and over. If the answer to either one of these is NO, then I need to move in a different direction. Even taking small baby steps each and every day will get you to your goal.

Don’t look to the next day, the next hour, or even the next meal. Focus all of your energies on this precise moment. Make the one decision. And then continue making it over and over again as often as necessary. Don’t focus on how many times you will have to make “this” decision. Instead keep your focus on the immediate – the here and now. If you only make three baby steps forward this week, believe that you will be better off on Friday than you were on Monday. It will add up; I promise.

Don’t focus on what is remaining to be done. Stop making excuses, and start making decisions that put you first in this arena. It’s okay. You are absolutely worth it!!

Sidetracked by Illness

It has been too long. When I don’t write, I feel disconnected. Crazy I know. But writing about my journey does more for my forward progress than tracking every morsel that makes its way into my mouth.

The last couple of weeks have been tough. I split a tooth on Friday and didn’t get to the doctor until Monday.  The dentist also discovered a mound of infection in and around my jaw. The pain – either from the tooth or the infection – was brutal.  The good doctor prescribed an antibiotic and Vicodin. To say that I had a bad reaction to the Vicodin is a mild understatement. I can count on one hand the times that I have been that sick in my entire life.

I’ve continued taking the antibiotic and replaced the Vicodin with Motrin – 800 mg. The combination of those two medications has been most beneficial to my plight.

Surely by now, you are wondering what on earth this has to do with my weight loss journey. Read on, my friend, and I will tell you.

If at any point I allowed myself to get the slightest bit hungry, I would get nauseous. I would wake up in the morning sick to my stomach. So, I ate.

Unfortunately (if you would call it that) the one thing that helped settle my stomach the most was soft serve ice cream. Those wonderful people at McDonalds served me ice cream whenever I asked. How thoughtful.

Throughout the week, I continued to be aware of what I ate. I did not, however, track my food. Part of me just didn’t feel good. The other part of me knew I was blowing passed my points allotment, and I just didn’t wanted to be reminded of my choices.

And then there was the gym, or lack thereof. No matter how strong the message is from the mind that I need to go work out, the stomach’s saying YUCK was much louder. Seriously, who wants to be on an elliptical or a treadmill when you are constantly thinking about bowing to the porcelain god?  (throwing up…)

So, for the last week and a half, I have been ingesting more food than I should and I have not been exercising.

Just as one issue started to clear itself, I have developed a case of laryngitis and a cold. Aerobic exercise is almost impossible when you have trouble breathing.

The old me would have been heaping so much negative self talk on myself that I would have been ready to give up. At the very least, I would have contemplated some other mentally unhealthy way to get the food out of my body.

But that “me” doesn’t want to come out anymore. I will get myself back on track. I will refocus on healthy eating. And I will be exercising before you know it. I’ve already decided that I own this process.

This is my lifestyle. I determine the path. I determine the outcome.

I Like Eating

Did you know that there is option other than ENJOYING the food you eat? I read from one “weight-loss expert” that what worked for her was to make food boring. She went for a long time eating the same thing EVERY SINGLE DAY. She retrained herself to be bored with eating. She lost a lot of weight.

That line of thinking will NOT work for me. I enjoy eating. Someday soon, I’ll post some of my “before” pictures and you can see just how much I enjoyed eating. I enjoyed it way too much for way too long.

However, enjoying eating should be about enjoying the taste of the food. Unfortunately for me, I enjoyed it as comfort, appreciation, and companionship. Food should be enjoyed for the flavor, the texture, and the smell. Yes, it can bring warm feelings; but I am convinced that if we eat for the feeling alone, then we are heading down a dangerous and unhealthy path.

Oddly enough, one of the things I have learned is just how wonderfully good food tastes when you don’t eat it as much or as often. When was the last time you paused after putting a bite of food in your mouth and thought about how it tasted?

Let’s use chocolate to prove my point. Yes, chocolate should be the one exception, but it’s not. That first bite of chocolate is wonderful, isn’t it? It awakens your senses. Close your eyes. Think about the taste. Savor the experience.

Now, eat the second bite. It’s good, isn’t it; but not as memorable as the first. The third? Still good, but the newness is wearing off. OK, maybe for chocolate it would take more than three bites for the special wonder that is chocolate to start wearing off. But eat the fourth bite, the fifth, the sixth, and so on. I guarantee you (no matter your love for chocolate) that you would get to a point, and probably sooner than you would want to admit, where you are just going through the motions. You are putting the chocolate in your mouth because it is there.

One of my splurges – and you don’t have to understand it for me you to enjoy it – is a biscuit and gravy from Cracker Barrel. I don’t eat it every day, not even once a week. It wouldn’t taste as heavenly if I did. I get it periodically. It isn’t just a treat, it is divine. I take my time, think about the flavor, and savor it.

And when I’ve finished the ONE biscuit, I am satisfied. Any more than that, and I would just be eating from selfishness and greed. That is no longer an option.

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