Friday, July 23, 2010

Maybe, Just Maybe, It's Working?

I'm down about 3 lbs. For the first time in almost a year, I'm under 160. Whoop!

I have abandoned my calorie counting and instead adopted a plan where I don't have any processed sugar (fruit and a little agave syrup are ok), and try to avoid breads and pastas. And it's working! I feel better, and I even think I already look a little better - the dress I'm trying to get into already has more breathing room.


I definitely could not have done this the other way around. Without spending a few weeks really counting calories this plan of avoiding sugar and breads wouldn't have been as successful because I would have been dumping cheese on everything or loading up on too much salad dressing. but now that I've gotten in the habit of measuring and doing without those high calorie extras, basically eating whatever I want as long as it is the fruit and veggie category is so much easier. And effective.

I've actually lost a little weight!!

(for the salads I have been obsessed with enjoying lately, click here

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fat Math

Remember how six months ago (or whatever - not counting) I started writing on this blog? About how I was going to finally get rid of this extra padding I've been carrying around? ABout how I had 30 lbs to lose, and however many months to do it before I hit BlogHer this summer? Yeah. BlogHer is now two weeks away and I have lost... nothing.

Not. An. Ounce.


Turns out that intending to eat right doesn't actually make you lose weight. So while I have been faithful to my gym membership, the scale hasn't budged a bit because I've paid no attention to what is going in my mouth. it is all "this will be the last time" or "having one of these every once in a while isn't so bad" never mind that once in a while is every day.


I have actually begun paying attention. I have been counting calories religiously - monitoring my intake and maintaining a reasonable level with fanatical attention. If it's going to put me over or to severely restrict my numbers for the rest of the day, I don't eat it. It has really changed the way I look at food, and while in many ways it is depressing (try watching a travel channel food show and imagine the calories contained in any featured meal. takes away the fun of dreaming of visiting those restaurants when you know it will blow two days worth of calories), in general it has helped.

Except weight wise. That hasn't changed at all. Now, I realize that I can't expect to see miracle results when I've only put in a few week's effort. But I should have lost at least a little. Let me break it down for you: 1 lb = 3500 calories. I have cut AT LEAST 500 calories from my daily intake. 500 calories x 7 days = 1 lb a week. Seeing as I was maintaining my current weight with my previous eating habits, a weekly deficit of 3500 calories should result in a perfectly reasonable 1 lb weight loss. And we're at zippo.

Super discouraging.

And here we are at only two weeks until BlogHer. Not enough time to make any sort of difference at all weight wise, especially since being as good as I have been has shown zero results. But hopefully, it is a short enough time to maintain a super strict eating plan (no sugar!! no breads!!). Because my dress for Friday night is a hair tight and I'd rather not have to hold my breath all evening. So.

Goal #1: eat super clean for the next two weeks to debloat and slim just enough to wear my dress comfortably.

If I do this and the dress fits, hopefully it will be the inspiration I need to continue on. If I I do it and the dress still doesn't fit, well, then there is a good chance I'm going to pound some cake when I get home from New York.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The First Step?

I have recently made a breakthrough of sorts (the itty bitty tiniest sort of breakthrough) in the way I view food. For the past several weeks I have noticed that whenever I see commercials for fast food or prepared foods from the store, instead of thinking "ooh, that looks good" I think "gross. why would anyone feed that to their kids or put all of those chemical in their body?" All of a sudden all of my knowledge about HFCS and MSG and food coloring etc has manifested in utter disgust when faced with advertisements of processed foods.

Unfortunately, if oyu placed many of those same foods in front of me when I was hungry none of the thoughts of chemicals would pass through my head and I would still totally eat it. But I still feel that I have taken an important first step. I'm viewing food at least a little differently, and now all I have to do is keep pushing that change until it affects how I eat as well as how I think.

Huh - I thought this would be a longer post.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fat And Happy?

I haven't been keeping up with my posting here, and there is a very good reason: I haven't wanted to continue rehashing my failure. My failure to stop eating junk, my failure to lose any weight, my failure to make any sort of change in my mindset or eating habits.

It's depressing. It's embarrassing.

I have come far enough in this journey to realize now that there can really be no moderation for me. One is too many, and hundred is not enough, or so they say. If I get started with the sweets, I just can't control myself - so there has to be a cold turkey, never again approach to some of that stuff, at least for the foreseeable future until i get my cravings and body chemistry back under control. Then maybe I can think about moderation. But for now there has to be a no sugar policy.

And that sucks.

I know that when I am thin, and the cravings are out of my system I will feel great. I know that I will probably not miss sweets after I haven't had them for a while. But from where I'm standing now, it seems impossible. It is miserable to suffer through the cravings and not give in. it is mentally defeating to feel virtuous and strong and resist all of the food I want every day only to still be overweight at night. Obviously I have issues with impulse control, and not seeing any immediate results make sticking with all of this a major struggle for me.

And at the heart of it I wonder if I truly even believe I can do it. I'm really starting to wonder is I actually think I can BE the person i want to be. There are so many qualities i admire in others, and desire to see in myself, but I never seem to make any efforts towards adopting those qualities.

But i just can't wait any longer. I'm not getting any younger, and spending the rest of my life wishing I could change is not worth it. The time has come to shit or get off the pot, so to speak. I have got to decide what it is I really want to do, because the fact is, I'm not that fat, and I'm not particularly unhealthy. So I can decide to settle for this body and keep all the delicious, nutritionally deficient foods I love in my life, or I can choose to elevate myself to a higher standard. But either way I have to accept the realities attendant in each choice, and make peace with it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Get My Fat Head To Think Thin

When you take that first bite of something really delicious, it is almost too good to be true. Then you take a second bite, and it is still oh so delightful and wonderful and palate pleasing. And the third bite tastes like it is the best thing you have ever eaten and you can never get enough of it. But the fourth bite isn't quite as amazing. So you speed up a little, eating faster and faster, desperate to recapture that sensation you got from the first three bites. Taste that tantalizing burst of flavor on a tongue that is getting more and more attuned (and therefore less sensitive) to each bite. And it continues, the more you eat, the less you taste, so the more you eat, all in an attempt to chase the elusive wonder of the first few bites.

Oh how I know this struggle. I have thrown endless amounts of excess foods down my throat trying to feed that need for intense enjoyment. Swallowing each little bit of sensation instead of savoring it. Eating like there is no tomorrow, or like I will ever eat again.

But what if I stopped doing that? What if I took my time with those first three amazing bites - enjoying each one for all it's worth, and then stopped? Stopped eating, stopped treating food like an hobby, stopped eating as though I would never taste anything good again. We are not built to react to food with an attitude of leave em wanting more, but what if I could train myself to do that? To recognize that beyond the next mouthful there will be more cakes and cookies and treats, and that I probably wouldn't die if I just left this one on the plate. To only eat the bites that are truly wonderful, and stop before they start fading. Stop before I've had so much I'm sick of the flavor, the food, myself. Start remembering at each meal there will be a tomorrow, and I'm going to eat then too.

I think if I can do that, I can lose this weight. And I bet THAT would taste amazing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Frumpty Dumpty is Hopping Back On The Wagon

I haven't done much lately. I have been in a place where being fat and dumpy and not at all how I want to look has just seemed inevitable, and if I'm going to feel like crap then I might as well keep eating crap right. Boohoo, at least they serve cake at my pity party. And I haven't written about any of it, because honestly, who wants to read all about that? No one.

And I'm not going to say that suddenly the light broke through and I'm all reinvigorated to resume losing weight and taking better care of myself. Because it hasn't. What I am going to say is that I don't care. I have to do this anyway. Whether I'm feeling super fat and hopeless or hot and sassy, I need to eat better. I need to control myself around food, and stop the constant weight gain.

I have never been at a stable weight. Ever. Obviously as a child I was growing and getting taller as well as heavier, but once my height stopped, my weight never reached a balancing point. I have been gaining weight my whole life. I figured out that at 32 and 160 lbs, I have gained 5 lbs a year since birth (not actually, since I wasn't born weighing 0 lbs, but just go with it. Maybe I should say 5 lbs year since conception). If I continue this average I will weigh 200 lbs when I am 50.

Not. Acceptable.

I want to find a weight and stay there. Month after month, year after year. I want clothes in my closet that are all the same size (regardless of what size that is), that I can pull out anything after no matter how long and know that it is going to fit. I don't know how to eat just enough for my body to function - I only know excess.

And frankly, I'm getting really sick of it.

I don't know exactly how I'm going to do this. I have all kinds of plans and ideas that all fail as soon as there is food I can put in my face. but that is what this blog is about. Picking my way through making better choices and finding a better lifestyle and relationship with food.

One bite at a time.

Seriously? No, really. Seriously?

Can we talk about this atrocity:

That, my friends is the KFC "Chicken Chicken Sandwich." I don't know if it's new or not, or if it is even still on the KFC menu; given the fact that I rarely eat at fast food restaurants, I wouldn't be surprised if this was in fact very old news. But tonight at dinner, Husband asked me if I'd heard of it, the sandwich with no bread, just more meat. So I looked it up. And this is what I found.

Let me tell you something, interwebs. The fact that there are people out there who think this looks edible, nay, that there are people out there who think this looks GOOD, and who would slap down $6 to eat 1200 calories worth of fried chicken, bacon, cheese and mystery sauce scares the everloving crap out of me.

I've been watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and I am scared all kinds of crazy for this country. Children today are, for the first time in our history, likely to have shorter life expectancies than their parents. Really. Our life expectancy is going down--because we are eating ourselves to death. And letting, or rather, encouraging our kids to do the same.

Yeah, I've got 30 pounds to lose. I get that. So perhaps I'm not the *right* person to go off on a rant about the nation's eating habits as a whole. But holy freaking hell, people! The last episode I watched, Oliver is in front of the class room, holding up a tomato and NOT ONE child could identify it. Until he said "it's what they make ketchup from." Then the dimmest of little light bulbs went off in those little 1st grade heads. "Oh, for the french fries!!" Oh. my. head.

It's made me think about a LOT. I'm blessed with a kid who loves vegetables and fruit. He'd rather eat cucumbers than cookies and grapes more than candy. So that's fantastic. And perhaps it's why, as he is closing in on 4 years old, I can still pick his 28lb body up over my head when we're playing. But even with all that fruit and veggie lovin', the kid's had a frozen dinosaur-shaped breaded chicken habit for the past year. We really struggled to get the kid to eat protein, so when the dinosaur shaped lured him into eating chicken, we practically bought stock in the stuff. And they're all right as frozen breaded stuff goes, I guess. Zero trans-fats and all that. But still...chicken cut out into dinosaur shapes? I have to believe I can do better by my kid than that. At least most of the time.

In the past couple of weeks, we've really been working on eating whole foods, foods that are minimally processed and that are free of high fructose corn syrup. It's not always easy and we're not going for perfection as much as awareness and making wiser choices. In an attempt to know exactly what we're eating, I'm cooking more often. I so want to love cooking and to be a fabulous cook. But I don't really, and I'm certainly not. But I'm working on it, because it's important. And I'm starting to enjoy it more; seeing it as less of a chore and more of a pleasure. Having Ethan help me with dinner (washing vegetables, stirring, pouring, etc) has made it a lot easier and more fun. For years I "couldn't" make a real dinner because I was "too busy" playing with Ethan. Well, really, most of the time that was kind of an excuse.

And now I don't really feel like I have the luxury of that excuse. He's a not even 30lb almost 4 year old, but I could turn around "tomorrow" and find that he's in 3rd grade and knocking on obesity's door. And me? Well, I am staring down the barrel of 40 while hulking around what amounts to a second Ethan, all over my body. And after I made some steamed cauliflower with a light cheese sauce for Ethan and he asked for "more of the white stuff with cheese," I was pretty much hooked. Yes, he likes apples and cucumbers, but this is cauliflower, people!

Sometimes it frustrates me that I am 30lbs overweight, precisely because I DON'T eat the rot like that picture at the top of this post. I like fruits and veggies. I order salads at restaurants and all of that stuff. Don't get me wrong, I know what my food issues are and I know where the weight has come from. I'm not trying to play dumb here or throw down the "I have such a slooooowwwww metabolism!" excuse (I do, by the way, but still...I'm still responsible for working with that metabolism in a way that makes me healthy).

I just can't fathom what goes through the mind of a person who is driving through KFC and decides, "You know, that sandwich with bacon and cheese between two piece of fried chicken? That sounds goooooood." Where are we as a nation of eaters when ANY one of us thinks this is okay? I don't know, maybe I sound like a big judgy jerk because I think that's horrifying. Especially since I'm not running any marathons or in danger of being told by a doctor that I need to eat a sandwich or two. But even this chubby mommy can see the writing on the wall. Step away from the giant slabs of fried chicken, people!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Easter is this weekend and this Jewish girl is getting all twitchy. Because of all. the. chocolate. I have been walking through Targets and grocery stores alike with my eyes averted from all the chocolate bunnies and eggs and the pastel M&Ms. Taking a lot of deep breaths. I'm sure I'll end up with a bunny melting in my hot little hands at some point before Sunday and I'm okay with that; my goal's not to eliminate sweets but to learn to live with them. But I am looking forward to being present in the moment as I enjoy those few bites of chocolate--not scarfing them down between the checkout line and the car so I can throw the wrapper away in a trash can in the parking lot. So, I'm taking my time and making healthier choices in the time being. And enjoying it.

Take fruit salad, for example:

This guy helps. He's really good at washing (and eating) blueberries.

I wish I knew how to take a good picture because I honestly think kiwi is one of the most beautiful things there is. The color, the seeds, the burst of dark green reaching out to the edges. It's just gorgeous. This picture, however? Is not.

Grapes, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi...

....and bananas.

Delicious. I won't lie; I wanted to douse the entire bowl in Hershey's syrup. But I didn't. And that's a start.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I am happy to be able to finally report some weight loss since starting this blog monnnnnnnths ago. This morning I stepped on the scale to a 4lb weight loss. I am happy, but hesitant to get my celebration on because as I've mentioned before, my body weight likes to fluctuate a LOT in the course of a day. A four pound loss today might be a five pound gain tomorrow; it's all about the water weight. Whatever I eat on Monday, how salty it is in particular, will be a good indication of what I'll weigh on Tuesday and Wednesday. So until I see a steady pattern of weight loss, I tend to give the scale a big fat (no pun intended) "meh" when I first start to see the numbers go down.

I also have to admit to having a little help. Now that the quest for baby #2 has come to an end, I could switch from the less-effective-but-also-more-baby-friendly blood pressure medicine back to my very-effective-but-could-give-your-baby-3-heads blood pressure medicine. This one is a diuretic, so for the first three days of taking it, I shed a significant amount of water weight. We're talking maybe I should have just thrown on a diaper like I was a crazy, cross-country driving astronaut woman out for blood because I could not stop peeing. And I expected to lose some weight from it, since so much of the weight I gained during the fertility treatments was water weight. But I didn't expect, a week later, to see four pounds still gone from the scale.

Aside from my happy little blood pressure pill, I have doing a lot of thinking about my relationship with food and how it is impacting the quality of my life. I've never really been sure about the idea of food addiction, as it relates to me. I'm not morbidly obese, which I think I've always assumed you'd have to be to truly be "addicted" to food, unable to stop eating. I don't do things like throw food out my car window to get it away from me, but then go back to where I threw it out and forage around until I find it. I don't throw food in the trash and then go back looking for it later. These are the types of stories I've heard from people who considered themselves to be food addicts. "Well," I thought, "I don't do that! Whew! Guess I'm not addicted to food!"

And I am fairly certain that I'm not addicted. But my relationship with food? Is unhealthy. Not just physically, but psychologically. And it is perhaps the psychological part of that relationship that is the hardest to get a grasp on, and holds the key to finding a space where food and I can exist together without such a love/hate relationship. The "why's" of my eating habits are the root of changing them, I believe. And the "why's", I fear, are going to be painful to look at.

How about the "whats"? What are the things I do that make me think my relationship with food is not the norm, and outside the realm of healthy?

1. I eat furtively. Example--when I grocery shop alone, I will sometimes, okay, often. almost always buy a donut or a candy bar & when I get back to the car, I will wolf it down before leaving the parking lot. Especially if I am stressed about something at home--guests, an argument, a long day of chasing a defiant preschooler.
If I go out to the pantry to find ingredients for dinner, and I happen to spy the bag of chocolate chips on the baking shelf, I will pour a handful of chocolate chips and eat them as I stand in the pantry, so no one can see me.
As an ocassional treat? Probably not a big deal. And true, I don't do it all the time (if I gave in every time, I would most certainly be morbidly obese). But it is more what is going on in my day that leads to the sneaking & how I feel about myself after eating the donut or the candy bar--disgusted, frustrated, sick to my stomach, self-loathing--that are the problems. And if I KNOW I'm going to feel that way when I do this...why do I do it?

2. I eat when I am frustrated or angry with Ethan. Almost every time I have sent Ethan to time-out in the past 2 years, I have blindly made my way to the kitchen and found something to grab a handful of to eat while I am counting to ten. It became a part of my calming down ritual. I have stopped using time outs for a number of reasons, but not least of which is the fact that when I recognized I was using food this way, it freaked me right the hell out. And this is just one example of how I use food to quell an uncomfortable emotion. Let's not even talk about how much eating I did while we were trying to get pregnant, mkay?

3. I lie to myself about the food I eat. I can rationalize almost any indulgence ("we come to the Cheesecake Factory so rarely!" or "sushi is really pretty low-fat; I can have another roll"--which? not really true, hello!). I will gladly tell myself that tomorrow I will be better, when, as I've said in another post, tomorrow is often just the same as today.

I've been thinking a lot about my friend Corinne in the past several weeks. Recently, Corinne had an awakening about herself and began the journey towards sobriety. Watching her, through her blog, live from one day to the next without a drink, seeing how it in some ways brought her to her knees and in other, more permanent and meaningful ways, helped her stand back up again, I've felt mightily inspired. I know she's not had an easy time of it, and yet she is so grateful for each day of clarity, and graceful in her navigation of this new life of being present, I cannot help but feel that positive energy and be humbled. I know that most people find themselves in alcoholism because they are trying to numb emotion. I know, that for me, it is food that numbs emotion.

Reading Corinne's blog entries, seeing how she's seeking out different avenues of peace and comfort, seeing how she remains true to herself, for herself and her family, has motivated me. My eating habits are a matter of health for me--I am at an age and a size, and with a family history that does not afford me many more years of being overweight without paying a high cost; a cost I'm not willing to pay for the luxury of making excuses and sneaking "that one last" piece of crap food that I know is going to my arteries, or my butt.

I have been taking a lot of deep breaths, making my food selections slowly and thoughtfully and honoring the frustration I feel when I walk past the donuts on the way to bread aisle. I think so often, "dieting" involves pushing down those feelings of anxiety or frustration or just plain sadness that you can't have that blueberry scone or that piece of cheesecake. Eventually the neglected feelings erupt into "YOU CAN'T KEEP ME FROM THAT DONUT! I'VE BEEN SOOO GOOD (awful value judgment). I DESERVE THAT CUPCAKE!" and then it's all undone and you're (I'm) back to feeling like a gross failure again. Instead, I'm trying to recognize it when I feel the "so unfair! so unfair! I want that donut!!!!", sit with it for a few moments and then move forward, having given my feelings the space they needed. I am finding that often times, giving the feelings space and letting them speak to me for a moment or two is enough to make them quiet down. And with them goes the "need" for the food.

I believe this mindfulness, as well as the new medication, enabled me to let those four pounds go. I hope to never see them again.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

16% Of The Way

That's right folks, at last weigh in I was down a little over 5 lbs (to 156.5 gasp, blah, pfft). Hooray. The best part (or worst depending on how you look at it) is that I don't feel like I've made that many changes. Which is great because it hasn't been that hard and there is still so much room for improvement, but bad, because I am lazy and like eating tasty things and don't really want to work hard.

Since moving I have made HUGE strides in the exercise department. Okay, it's usually lazy paddling of the elliptical or even lazier pedaling of the stationary bike while I read a novel, but still. I am couch potato no more. I go to the gym more days a week than I stay home, and I really feel like exercise and this part of my day are now a permanent part of my routine. So that's a nice improvement. Now I just need to increase the effort exerted in my daily exercise and I'll really be getting somewhere.

As for eating, I have been doing really good limiting the sugar. With the exception of this weekend's birthday cake (of which there is still a reasonably sized chunk that I have no intention of eating) I have stayed away from processed sugar pretty successfully. The few times I have had sugar it has been deliberate, controlled and limited to just a bit. And I feel so much better. I know I'm always going to have to be careful with my sugar intake (that addiction is just a bite away), but not eating it feels nice. I hope to try and eliminate it completely from my everyday diet, but if I can't, I'm pretty okay where I am now.

I have done nothing about cutting gluten at all - in fact I've been having a sandwich almost everyday for lunch. But I use the thin round bread which is super tasty, and lower calorie than regular bread. And I've really avoided eating anything wheat as my main meal - no big bowls of pasta or finishing the kids waffles or cereal. Instead I have brown rice or quinoa, and I think I will continue to try and cut the wheat products. I just really had to focus on getting the sugar eliminated because it was by far the greater evil.

There is much work to be done. There is plenty of room left for improvement and many new plans that can be implemented. But it's happening. Progress is being made. And that is a relief.

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Nothing Tastes as Good as Being Thin Feels"

Oh how I hate the Weight Watchers mantras. I am not even sure if they still use those ridiculous things; I am mainly drawing on my memories of SNL's Julia Sweeney's WW-esque spoofs where she spews the mantras and I think, by the end of the skit, she's face down in a cheesecake. Ah, irony. I briefly attended Weight Watchers meetings this fall and started to see some results (prior to the fertility meds debacle), but I found the environment weird and it made me uncomfortable. Because of that, and because the scale crept steadily up over the next four months, I stopped going.

But, I'm still paying for the online points/activity/weight tracker. And so, this week, I started actually using it. How novel.

Last week I promised that I'd make healthier snacking choices so that when dinner time rolled around, I'd actually be hungry for it and not stuffed to the gills on crackers and cookies and all of that. And I am doing all right. I packed up the Girl Scout cookies and put them in the very back of the pantry (because throwing them away would break the hearts of all those little Girl Scouts, right?). I bought a lot of fruit & yogurt. I started counting points (well, until the weekend, when basically all hell breaks lose. Yes, I realize this has to change, too. GAH!!!!)

Tonight I made an awesome TWO POINT soup for dinner. TWO POINTS! Chicken broth, a can of diced tomatoes (undrained), a bag of Trader Joe's frozen veggies (carrots, peas, corn, beans), a cup of lentils (let them soak for 2 hours before starting the soup), some Italian seasoning and simmer for however long you want. TWO POINTS! The broth, the veggies, all zero points. The lentils are where the points come in, but they are also the source of protein in the dish, so they're important.

This morning, I found my way to the gym. Sigh. The elliptical trainer for 30 minutes and 30 minutes on the treadmill. I'm super excited that I switched from aluminum-based deodorants to Tom's of Maine safe-for-my-lymphnodes-and-I-won't-get-Alzheimer's "deodorant". For a few minutes I smell like a lovely and fragrant stalk of lemongrass. But after a few minutes in the gym, I smell like a sweaty, stinky armpit. AWESOME. So I'm going to live a longer and healthier life, but I will be lonely because I WILL STINK AND NO ONE WILL LOVE ME!

So that's great.

I happened to notice, on my way out of the gym today, that they offer a spinning class at 9am tomorrow morning. When I'd normally be sitting down with a giant steaming cup of soy chai tea latte to write this post (ah, again with the irony--5 point drink!). So, after much pondering over whether or not I could actually survive a spinning class in my current shape and fitness level (somewhere between couch potato & slug), I've decided to go ahead and take the class, which is why I'm writing my Tuesday post on Monday night. Because tomorrow, instead of writing, I'll be spinning. Or? Puking.

Let's hope I live to post on Thursday.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I May Have Gotten the Monkey Off My Back

But make no mistake, he is still right on my heels.

I hate to speak too soon, but I feel as though I may have turned a corner on my sugar addiction. I have been really careful about my sugar intake lately - choosing sweets that had more natural sugars when I had anything at all (inlcuding experimenting with cookie recipes) and I have found that I am not craving sweets like I have been for the past 4 years. I am able to turn down treats easily, and if I do decide to have something i can stop at one without any effort at all.

Sweet! (omg, I love a good pun)

Now, there may be several factors contributing to this. My sweet tooth never showed up until after I had my first child, and for the first time since them I am not on any type of birth control. So my hormones have only just now been able to return to normal levels and that could play a role.

Also, my aunt recommended that I take L-glutamine to help curb sugar cravings, and while I have been taking it for several months but only seen a decrease in my cravings the past week or so, who's to say it doesn't take a while to kick in? Not going to stop taking it to find out whether it is playing a role or not, I'll tell you that!

So while I can't say for certain what factors have contributed to this change, I CAN say how great it feels. I am no longer a slave to sweet foods. I have even had a few things that were too sweet, and really not that appealing. In the past anything too sweet would immediately trigger a "gorge" response wherein I immediately wanted to eat as much as fast as I could. It was out of my control, and it was miserable to try and fight or ignore this impulse. And I failed regularly.

I know that I am not out of the woods. I will probably never be out of the woods when it comes to sugar. But now I know it can be under my control. Now I know that my life will not have to be spent abstaining completely from sweet things. Now I know I am capable of moderation.

And that is sweet.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tomorrow is Another Day...

This mantra really saved Scarlet O'Hara's sanity on more than one occasion. But for me, in this weight-loss journey, it amounts to nothing but a ginormous cop-out of epic proportions. I find myself at the end of most days, looking back on hours of poor eating choices and saying, "well, tomorrow is another day, after all; I'll do better tomorrow." And true, saying this to yourself every once in awhile is not a big deal; in fact, it is healthy, and probably good for a healthy lifestyle to allow yourself indulgences every once in awhile. But daily? If you're saying "Tomorrow is another day" to yourself daily, I think we can all agree that you're doing it wrong!

I tend to do really well until about 4pm. I can do the healthy breakfast, the mid-morning snack and sensible lunch. That's easy. But there are eleventy billion hours between lunch and dinner, and one handful of almonds and a piece of string cheese don't seem to cut the hunger, you know? And then there's the 3.5 year old who neeeeeeeeeeeeeeds snacks and is too little to hunt and gather them on his own. I do try to make his snacks healthy--fruits, whole grains, and whatnot, because a.) he should have healthy snacks, and b.) I am no fool; I know that for every one cracker he eats, I will be eating three. or four. So if I load him up on sugary snacks, I am loading myself up on them as well.

My problem is not really what I am eating, most days. It is the sheer volume of what I'm eating, apparently. Given the seemingly geological age that passes from lunch to dinner, I should sit down to dinner ravenous. But most of the time, I sit down to dinner with barely room to spare in my tummy because of all the munching I've done in the few hours leading up to dinner.

Also? I can rationalize just about anything. That cooking class on Friday night? Clearly I HAD to eat some of everything put in front of me. To the point that driving home I had to unzip the jeans (granted, they were my smallest pair of jeans, but still...that is the drive o' shame if ever there was one). And the dinner party on Saturday night? Well, when a friend brings a cheesecake for dessert, it is just rude not to partake, right? And when she leaves said cheesecake at your house, it is rude not to continue to partake until it's gone, right? If nothing else, I have good manners. Thus, I will eat the entire cheesecake, right?

Actually, yesterday afternoon I did manage to throw away a large portion of the remaining cheesecake (and felt horribly guilty doing it, by the way), after cutting away the back, crusty end of what was left and saving it for later---because cheesecake crust? Might just be the only proof of G-d's existence that I really need.

And after all of these things, I find myself saying, "Well, tomorrow is another day." Except, somewhere in the back of my head I kind of already know that tomorrow? Is going to be just like today.

So my mantra has to change. I have to ditch the Scarlet O'Hara optimism/procrastination and embrace a more Rent-esque "No Day But Today" attitude. The song is about how you can't really control what's going to happen tomorrow, but you can live today in the moment, making it count.

My attitude needs to change from the idea that "I can just start this whole process over again tomorrow", to "I need to make today matter and make choices today that I can feel good about." Because the reality is, going to be every night thinking, "oh well, tomorrow is another day," really doesn't do a lot for the old self-esteem, you know? It would be awesome to go to bed at night feeling like I did the right thing, made good choices and treated my body with the respect it deserves.

So, deep breaths. No day like today...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Am Not A Tupperware

Storing extra food is not what my body was made for.

I am really working hard to change my mindset of thinking that if something tastes good I have to eat as much of it as fast as I can. There is always another cake or cookie or tasty treat down the line. This is not the last meal I am going to enjoy. Nothing tastes as good as the first few bites, so why take more than that?

I am aware of the cravings making meals for my kids can trigger - nothing like preparing three peanut butter sandwiches to make you want one. But I have learned that a)there is always a bite or two left over and b)these little bits are enough to satisfy me. I don't need my own whole sandwich.

I've just got to apply that to the rest of my portion control - my eyes are still bigger than my stomach, and my ass is bigger than both. But I'm getting there.

Having a new forum to discuss the clothes I wear, where people are going to see pictures of me and how dumpy I've become is a great motivator. I can't afford new clothes, I don't even want new clothes right now because they don't fit right, but I DO want to look cute and stylish for the myriad folk that might drift off the interwebs an see me in all my yoga-pantsed glory.

Oh, by the way, I HAVE lost 3 lbs already - so pfft! 10% of my weight loss goal, DONE

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Maybe I'll Start Sucking My Thumb

I have not had much of an appetite these past few days. For whatever reason, I just haven't been that hungry, and as such I have really been able to notice the difference between hunger and emotional eating.

You always hear advice telling dieters to make sure they are really hungry rather than eating out of emotional reasons. But it can be really hard to differentiate between the two, especially in instances when you ARE hungry, but also craving the wrongs things out of comfort. So for this reason it has been very interesting to experience intense cravings when I know without a doubt that I am not hungry and would not be thinking of food for any other reason.

Of course, identifying the urges when I want to comfort eat and actually finding a way to get around them are two different things. obviously, if I am aware that my desire for cookies is based on the need to comfort or whatever, I can resist. Not that I always do, you understand, but I CAN. however, resisting just means spending the whole night with that vague feeling of needing to do something, plus of course, craving cookies. Which is distracting at best, and fairly unpleasant.

How do you get to where these issues don't bother you anymore? I'm sure it is simply a matter of ignoring it and suffering until your body chemistry is rewired well enough to not send craving signals anymore, but how can I comfort myself in th meantime? There really isn't a good substitute when what your body really wants to do is sink it's teeth into something. I guess there really isn't any choice but to suffer through until the bad habits are broken and food no longer sings it's siren song.

I hope it's soon.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Well, Hello There

It's been awhile since I visited this blog. Primarily because my stint as a Follistim junkie (fertility meds) made it pretty much impossible for me to lose a pound. As a matter of fact, each month I was yo-yo'ing at least 10lbs, steadily up during the treatments and then down just a little bit in the few days where my body was allowed to go drug-free until the next round of treatment started. Weight-loss during fertility treatments is fairly Sisyphean task and I decided not to chronicle that epic failure along with the epic failure of actually NOT getting pregnant each month.

But that is behind us now. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is what the drugs did to my body each month, we have decided to say goodbye to the hope of a second child and move on with our lives. For me, in part, this means embracing the journey of losing the weight I've been carrying around since becoming pregnant the first time. My body, after a week of being fertility drug free is starting to give up the weight.

When I weighed myself yesterday, I checked in at 173. Still 10lbs over where I was in November when I took my first shot of Follistim. But down 5lbs from where I'd been only 5 days before.

I have jumped back on the Weight Watchers wagon (although that box of Samoas and Lemon Whatever-the-hell-they-ares on top of my fridge are SCREAMING to me) and am hoping that at least a few more of these "seriously, it's not my fault, I'm taking a medicine that makes me fat" pounds fall off easily before I have to dig deep.

I am returning to the gym tomorrow and am planning on an at-home yoga routine on those days when I don't go to the gym. Right now the plan is: Gym M-W-F and yoga Tu-Th, and maybe a yoga class on Sat or Sunday. I hope to find 5k that I can participate in by July and then I hope to do one a month after that until I can work up to a 10k. Okay, that's sort of just falling out of my head as I type. But I want my body back. If it can't make another baby--I have to focus on the things that it CAN do; and surely it can do all of that, if I am committed to it. And after what I've put it through these past months, it deserves to be taken care of, even if it didn't come through for me in the baby department.

In terms of vanity, I've got some added motivation heading my way. We are taking a family trip to Hawaii in April!! We'll be staying at the same resort as we did for our honeymoon. If Mama's got to stuff herself into a bathing suit, I'm going to have to work on shedding some of this junk in my trunk, and fast.

To that end, our meals are going to be uber-healthy and clean for the next month (with the exception of this weekend when I am entertaining guests and making an Ina Garten 40 clove garlic chicken thing that is rife with cream and cognac. Oh, and there WILL be cheese. And cake). But other than that?! Healthy and clean, my friends!

To that end, last night I made an organic chicken sausage, white bean and spinach stew from Everyday Living and it was delish!

Hrm. It does not look particularly delish in this picture. But I assure you, it is photog-error, not a foodFAIL. It was hearty and filling and full of nutrition and fiber.

Hopefully when I write again on Thursday, I will be bitching about how sore my worked-out muscles feel!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sloth As Weight Loss Tool

I haven't written anything here in quite some time, because frankly, it gets kind of old (not to mention boring) consistently writing about how you aren't doing anything to lose weight. And that is exactly what I have been doing: nothing.

But there is one way it kind of pays off, and that is when I get so lazy (or engrossed in the computer/a book/whatever that I can drag my lazy ass off the couch and into the kitchen for a snack. For example, right now it is almost 10pm, and I have yet to eaet any sort of dinner because I have spent the last three hours reading and writing within the blogosphere.

Sure, I may spend all night THINKING about food and what I want to eat next, but as far as I know my metabolism hasn't slipped so far that the mere thought of food translates into cellulite so I'm okay there. And sure, I may come close to wetting myself whenever I finally do get up because when I put off getting up for food I am also putting off getting up to pee, but whatever. Beauty is a sacrifice.

this message is not an endorsement of starvation or any other eating dosorder. The writer is not a licensed nutritional expert, nor is she qualified in anyway to dispense advice on any subject, including but not limited to dietary practices. If you are unaware of this, you are probably also unaware of the $100 membership to this blog. Arrangement for payment can be made at

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oops I Did... Oh You Know The Rest

So here I am, in the middle of this intense self-discovery and renewal and life changing diet right? Striving to remake my body and my mind and lifestyke right along with it - all the stuff I've been blathering on about these past five (six?) weeks. Right?

No. Not so much. No dieting for me thanks.

I made cupcakes today. I ate 2 1/2 cupcakes today, and it took every ounce of restraint I have to stop there.

Seriously, what is my problem? I'm not trying and failing, I'm not finding it hard to stick to my diet; I'M DOING NOTHING. And this complete failure to find the motivation to even try is crushing. It is disapointment and disgust in myself at it's keenest, and it makes me want to quit. To just accept being a lumpy tub and get on with being a mom, back fat to the mirror.

It makes me want to eat the rest of those cupcakes.

I'm not sure how to get out of this mindtrap. Wanting to look better hasn't worked. Wanting to feel better hasn't worked. I reward myself with food, and I soothe myself with food when I fail.

Maybe it's time I start punishing myself by witholding food. I haven't earned it, I don't deserve it, I certailny don't need it to survive (I mean I don't need the treats, obviously I need some food).

I just don't know. I can't get my mind aorund it and I haven't found the right approach. the only other time I've lost weight was right after I had a baby, and the lightness and momentum you get hen you have just lost 20 lbs in a week made it so easy to keep it going. I don't have that now (and husband is NOT falling for my argument that I need to get pregnant and have another baby so I can lose some weight), and I'm finding it impossible to start without that initial boost.

I'm finlly understanding just how negligent I've been towards my health and eating habits for the past 10 years - and I'm finally paying the price. I need to do some real introspection (gag) and figure out how I'm going to change my thinking and correct my course.

I should also probably stop baking cupcakes.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Farewell, HFCS, I Hardly Knew Ye...

Really. I had NO idea how much of this syrupy stuff I was ingesting in my daily life. I don't drink soda regularly (diet or otherwise), so I really kind of thought I was a-okay. I was glad when Starbucks cut HFCS out of it's baked goods' ingredients, because that meant I could eat my maple walnut scone and feel good about it. Right? Right?

But people, there's HFCS in loaves of bread!! Bread?! The stuff I make turkey and cheese sandwiches out of?! Corn syrup? And my Fiber One bars and my Special K Red Berries cereal that I thought were so healthy good for me??!!! And I cannot even bear to admit that high fructose corn syrup is the FIRST ingredient on the syrup my poor child has on his organic, whole wheat pancakes every morning. THE HORROR!


So, after some soul-searching (and a bit of pouting, because WHY does this all have to be so haarrrrrrrd???!!!), I have decided that our family is kissing HFCS goodbye. I get the whole argument that HFCS is not an evil poison in and of itself and that in moderation it's not going to kill me, but it is EVERYWHERE, and that's the problem. Because of it's omnipresence, it's almost impossible to practice moderation. And it's really just not something my body needs.

So fine. Bye-bye HFCS and refined sugars. I'm hoping that this change will make a difference on the scale, but more than that, I hope it will make a difference in my blood pressure, in my propensity towards diabetes and my overall health. I've put the scale away. I really do want to lose 30lbs. But more than that, I want to treat my body with the respect it deserves. It sure isn't doing what I want it to do these days (cycle #27 of trying to conceive? BRING it.), but beating it up with artificial sweeteners and other crap that it would never come across in nature just isn't fair.

Day #1 of no HFCS was far less challenging than I thought it would be. Trader Joe's is an awesome resource. I don't think I found one product there with HFCS in it. My day was comprised of a lot more fruits and vegetables without the constant temptation of chocolate-y, sugary goodies lurking in the cabinets. Whole foods and natural sugars, like a blueberry, banana and plain yogurt smoothie (so delicious) and can I just say, OMG, that Barbara's Puffins cinnamon cereal??!! made it easy, actually.

I'm one of those people, though, for whom Day #1 is always easy. I ride high on the possibilities and the hope of what might be. Lost weight. Lowered blood pressure. Stable blood sugar. Yay! I'm turning my life around and I feel grrrrreat!

But like most people for whom Day #1 is easy, the reality of it sets in on days #2 and #3, when I start to wish I could have that candy bar in the check out aisle or that muffin at Starbucks. And then it gets tough. I so wish I were the person who pulled their hair out the first three days and then wakes up on day 4 like a new person, saying "wow! I can't believe I ever ate that crap!" But alas, I skip gleefully through the first few days and end out the week a whiney, twitchy mess.

So that should be fun.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

There Is No Tomorrow

one of my favorite jokes goes like this:

What is the most popular day to start a diet?

Tomorrow. har de har har

Everyday I want to eat something. Lots of somethings. And right before I shove them in my mouth I think "well, I'll just eat better tomorrow."

Tomorrow I won't eat sugar. Tomorrow I won't eat at 11:30pm no matter how hungry I am - I'll just go to bed (where I should be anyway!). Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Tomorrow.

Well, there have been a year's worth of tomorrows. Sophie is one year old and I am the same weight I was a week after her birth, despite at one point weighing almost 15 lbs less. Pathetic.

I have done nothing. I have changed nothing. I have rationalized hundreds of meals and snacks, thousands of calories, and ten pounds that is rapidly turning into fifteen.

And this stagnation, this failure to motivate or even try is eating away at me. I'm fat, I'm frumpy, why shouldn't I just sit home in my sweatpants eating?

If I felt better, I'd eat better. If I ate better, I'd feel better. And the snake eats its own tail forever and ever.

I don't know what it is going to take to get me moving forward. I don't know what it is going to take to keep me moving forward once I start.

I just know I can't wait for any more tomorrows.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Self Help Aisle, Party of One...

I am one of those people. Before I tackle any major change in my life, be it a break up or new relationship (back in the day), pregnancy, parenthood, etc., or need to overcome the hurdles that keep me from happiness, like depression, self-esteem issues, blah blah blah, I tend to wander into a book store, touch the spines of every book that might possibly have an answer and then choose one to take home with me.

Since I am a diligent little student, I tend to buy self-help books of the "workbook" variety, complete with brain-probing questions and spaces to write in my very own responses. Oh excellent. Time to try to figure out why I'm such a fatty fat fatty.

So this is the book I am currently working with to try to tackle my inability to manage my food intake:

The Appetite Awareness Workbook by Linda Craighead isn't a book that really probes all my deepest darkest issues with food. It's not about why I eat too much or what triggers me to go face down in a pile of spaghetti and meatballs, or to walk through the bakery section of the grocery store just to smell the donuts. I already know those things. I know that I eat when I am stressed or frustrated or overwhelmed or depressed (but not too depressed, or I stop eating). I know that I eat as a means of filling spaces in my psyche that are not accounted for by the emotion that should be there; I know where that emotion should come, but doesn't. Years of therapy (especially the last one in Los Angeles) really gave me those answers.

But sometimes having the answers to the "why" questions don't address the practical application of how to change that behavior. Knowing that I eat to soothe whatever happens to be hurting inside me? Well, that doesn't stop me from eating. Knowing that I should be asking for help, for hugs? Well, I've gotten lots of help and lots of hugs. Things still hurt. So I eat.

So this book is intended to pinpoint the type of "disordered eating" that floats my boat and to give me a strategy to retrain my eating habits in a way that brings me to a peaceful place in my relationship with food. In other words, the holy grail of weight loss.

We'll see how it goes. She talks about my biggest downfall---the tuning-out eating. Even when I can say to myself, "you shouldn't eat that. don't put that in your mouth," I still find a way to shut my brain down as the food hits my tastebuds, to pretend for a moment that whatever it is I'm about to eat isn't actually the thing that's going to keep me from losing weight or make me heavier. You know, because that is logical. Um. Hear that sound? That's me banging my head against a wall. When you see it written down, it's hard to believe. But it's true.

Also? I started the 30 Day Shred again today. You know, Jillian Michaels? The pain monger from the Biggest Loser? It's her 20 minutes-in-hell work out and I started it several months ago but never quite got back into it after taking a couple weeks off because of a cold. I hated her slightly less this time. Felt like her "you can do its! I'm right here with you" weren't quite as snide and condescending as I felt they were the first time. Like she really did care about me, even though she was torturing me to my very core with those last two minutes of cardio. Perhaps a Stockholm effect for personal trainers instead of kidnappers? Perhaps.

It's all about baby steps. And deep breaths.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Baby Steps

Tonight I made pasta. From scratch.

It was not the most beautiful dish, nor was it the most fabulous thing I've ever eaten (although most of the blame for that lies with the sauce which was homemade, but definitely not fresh). But it was pretty good. And it was pretty easy.

While I will certainly not shy away from my sweet tooth, or my love of all things cheese, probably the biggest factor in my dietary downfall has been my laziness. Somedays (okay, fine, everyday) I just can't seem to summon the will to prepare a meal. We're talking salads and sandwiches are too much work. That is some serious laziness. So I reach for whatever is easiest, which often is baked goods or chocolate or ice cream or whatever else my sweet tooth is craving. Cause sugar can motivate like nothing else.

But tonight I cooked. I made something simple, with ingredients I was in full control of, and it felt good. It may not have been the prettiest/fanciest/healthiest meal, but it was fresh and prepared by me in the moment for my enjoyment. I hope to do more of this in the future, and take back a little more control over what I am putting into my body.

I will make pasta again. I plan to try it with some different types of flours to experiment with wheat free options, and I will definitely make the sauce fresh at th same time. Tonight was just a test run so I only made a little in case I had to scrap the whole thing (Brett took the kids out for burgers so it's not like I was depriving them of dinner- although they did eat half of mine, and Jack cried when it was gone), but next time it will be for the whole family. I better rest up.

Making healthy changes (and food from scratch) is not for the lazy.

update 2-1-10:

the recipe I used (although I used roughly half):
2 1/4 cup flour
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt (I didn't use enough due to my random adjustment of ingredients and mine needed more)

mound flour in a bowl and pour beaten eggs and salt into the center. Mush around and combine using a fork or your hands until it becomes dough. Form into a ball and cover with cling wrap for 30 min.

wash hands,wash counter, sweep up all the flour you spilled, etc.

separate ball into smaller sections (fourths or less depending on your space). Place on floured section and roll out into a misshapen, flat shape. Slice unequal, crooked strips using a pizza cutter.

Boil in oiled, salted water until firm yet tender. Water will be cloudy from the extra flour, and pasta will be very goopy at first leading you to think you've ruined it. Go wash the baby's hair, and when you come back it will have firmed up nicely.

Strain, rinse, and top with your favorite sauce (prefereably not week old leftovers).


Thursday, January 28, 2010

So guess what I didn't escape today?

Um. Cake.

It was one of those "hey we're all sitting around, a few moms at the kitchen table while our kids are running around playing quaint, civilized tea-party turned sugar-induced never-ending relay race from one side of the house to the other, complete with running into walls, stubbed toes, and ear-drum piercing screams. Want some cake?!" moments.

I had the cake. And it was good. So good that I only feel marginally guilty. (okay, by "marginally", I really probably mean "immensely", but whatever).

I wish things weren't the way they are. I wish I didn't have to take obscene amounts of hormones that bloat me up in the weirdest way (seriously, when you have to excuse yourself from aforementioned play date just so you can go stand in the bathroom with your pants unzipped so you can take a few deep breaths, you've pretty much reached an all-time ego-crushing low. Even though you know that at the beginning of the day, those jeans were falling off of you).

It's really hard, when you've been good all day and yet feel that large-and-in-charge by the end of the day. Why say no to cake when you're doomed to chubdom anyway?

OH THE DOOM AND GLOOM! Seriously, with the whining, Sarah? Get over it! I know. I'm annoying.

But I guess my point is that this is my struggle right now. Finding a way to see the relevance in my quest to lose these 30 (33)lbs when it feels like my quest for the one thing I want most in the world (even more than being skinny-ish) is pushing me to gain.

But it is relevant. I know that. I went to the gym this morning and I felt good. I am going tomorrow morning. I have started doing more yoga. We have started eating better--more home made meals, less sodium, more whole foods and fruits and vegetables. Less meat.

I don't see a difference (well, not a positive one) on the scale. I don't see it when I look in the mirror either. Especially not at 7pm.

But I am starting to realize, even though it challenges me daily, that the changes I'm making in my diet and activity level are NOT just about the scale or about "omg, when will I be able to shop at H&M again without feeling ridiculous???!!!" They about preparing my body to have the strength and energy to carry another baby.

I remember years ago, reading Jennifer Weiner's book Good in Bed. Throughout most of the book, the main character struggles to lose weight. When turmoil arises in her life, she does. Dramatically. As turmoil ebbs away, she gains weight back. Rather than revert to her prior self-loathing, she begins to see her body in a positive light, seeing it as a source of great strength, carrying her through her experiences, both physically and mentally. I am trying to approach my body with that kind of compassion and appreciation. I am trying to realize that while I do not fit the conventional model, so to speak, of beauty in our culture, my body contains the ability to carry me through my days, gives my feelings and thoughts a solid, (almost) fully functioning home and that that alone is reason to be thankful for it, even if it doesn't have a snowball's shot in hell of ever sporting a bikini out of the dressing room ever again.

So yeah, I had a piece of cake. A small one. Because there's no escaping it. But I'll be at the gym tomorrow. And I'll wake up grateful in the knowledge that my body can take me there. Even if it's a bit chubtastic.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

To Find The Time

I was reading a magazine a while back, and it had something about getting 350 minutes of cardio exercise a week being the magic number for weight loss. And of course, this was like Allure or Marie Claire or something, so you know their fitness advice is the best in the biz, haha. But regardless of how well researched or accurate this info is (I no longer have the issue, can't remember which mag or which month, and am WAY too lazy to look it up for verification), I hvae kind of kept this goal in mind during my gym trips. Now, obviously I fall way short of 350 minutes weekly (that's an hour a day EVERY DAY and I just can't maintain that), but it has helped me push through for that extra ten or fifteen minutes or whatever. And I think it even made a small difference in my weight - although that small difference was before the holidays and has been more than eradicated by slothfulness and face stuffing.

My plan now is to refocus myself on hitting this goal and getting more cardio every week, with some better resistance training thrown in for good measure and good metabolism. I've worked over the past 6 months to make exercise a regular part of my daily life, and now I need to put some attention into making it better in quality and quantity.

Or at least just talk about it here. Writing and thinking about changing my body and losing weight is ever so much more fun than actually doing it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


So, I've been writing on this here "dieting" blog for about two weeks now, and I have yet to do any actual dieting. Whoops. Guess I better get on that.

My intention going forward is to make some real changes to my eating habits. I find this difficult because A) it involves eating healthy things rather than tasty crap (duh), and B) it makes me feel a little bit like a hypocrite. I ate sugar and junk food (in copious amounts) yesterday, so who am I to say I don't eat it today?

I also feel like it is harder to find social support when making dietary changes. If you are an alcoholic or a smoker, when you tell people that you are no longer drinking or smoking, most people will give you positive reinforcement. That makes it easier. This is, of course, not to say that it is easy to DO those things, but it is easier to announce when you plan to stop bad habits that everyone thinks are bad habits. It is easier to find support. Most people, upon being told that you are no longer drinking, will not immediately offer you a beer. Share stories of all night benders, and people will jump right on the bandwagon to help you get sober. Offer up tales of overeating and weight gain, and you will most likely just hear their own horror stories and then be offered some cookies.

I find it harder to quit implement changes in my diet because you are so often met with resistance or disbelief. Announce that you no longer eat sugar, and the people who know you (and have seen you snarf cake like your life depended on it) tend to view you with a healthy does of skepticism. They naturally don't think you'll make it, and honestly, they probably don't think that it really matters if you do. When someone decides to quit smoking, you don't often hear people say "oh, smoking's not so bad in moderation, go ahead, light up." They will say this to you if what you want to quit is sugar.

And I'll tell you, it may be more socially acceptable, but sugar is every bit as bad for you as smoking or drinking too much.

So I have decided to cut sugar out of my diet. It may not happen cold turkey, but it will happen. I also plan to eliminate (or at least limit) wheat and gluten. I have some digestive issues and I think this will help in terms of my overall health. And yes, I feel stupid saying these things. It feels uncomfortable to suddenly be applying strict rules to what I eat when I ever have before. I don't enjoy talking about it; it feels like I'm lying about who I really am or putting on airs. I worry that people will hear I don't eat sugar or wheat or whatever, and look at my fat ass and think "yeah right." But I am unhappy with my choices in regards to what I put in my body. I want to do better for myself, and I can't let the non existent strangers in my head judge me. All habits have to be changed one day at a time. You have to start somewhere, and as uncomfortable as it makes me, as much as it makes me feel like a pretentious asshole, I'm starting here.

I'm sure it will get easier.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not So Bad Is Not So Good

The other day, looking down at myself, I was struck by the thought "my legs don't look so bad. they look almost...thin right now." And you know what? It's true. I look pretty much fine. There are plenty of people out there who would probably trade anything to the size I am right now, and I will most likely never go on to fame and fortune as the fat lady in the circus. But so waht? Is "not so bad" what I'm striving for? Is "not so bad" really not so bad if it means my pants don't zip?

A lot of times you hear people who have lost a lot of weight saying that it is hard for them to see themselves as thin. That when they look in the mirror they don't really see their new bodies- that they are constantly surprised by how the clothes they expect to fit them are way too big. This is my problem, in reverse.

I have always been thin. I have always been able to eat whatever I want and remain thin. And most of the time, I still think I look that way. I forget all the changes my body has gone through, and that my metabolism no longer works like it did when I was 20. It is such an unpleasant shock to realize that even the "fat clothes" in my closet barely fit me. That my true body is not the body I have in my head.

I am not a thin, young girl anymore. I am a 32yo mother of three who has let herself go through laziness and self-indulgence. My inner child is ruling the roost, convincing me that I can continue to eat like a teenager, because surviving off cookies and cakes and junk food is really not so bad.

And you know what? It's not. But "not so bad" isn't good enough for me. I want great.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Soooo, make that 33lbs...


I'm not making excuses....except that I'm making excuses.

I'm trying to lose this weight while at the same time battling against infertility. Infertility is the most emotionally draining experience of my life thus far and I, my friends, am an emotional eater. Feeling tapped out? Eat. Feeling desperate? Eat. Feeling like crying? Eat. That would be me. I'm not sure where it came from (not entirely true--I've been exploring it for years in therapy. I am a hot mess, y'all), but when I need comfort, food is my go-to soother.

Let's add to the emotional rollercoaster the fact that the fertility drugs I'm on tend to add, oh, A GAZILLION pounds of water weight onto my already busting-out-of-the-seams frame. In early November, I weighed 164lb. By the end of my first cycle on Follistim and progesterone, I weighed 175lbs. Eleven pounds in one month. Granted, Thanksgiving was wedged in there somewhere, but I am fairly certain I would have had to put my whole family out on the street and eaten the entire feast myself to gain eleven pounds from one meal.

We took December off because of some complications from the first cycle, and I spent that month fighting the holiday stress eating and trying to get rid of as much of that wonky weight gain as I could. I got rid of a few pounds of it, but now? It's been six days, and I'm back up three pounds. So right where I was when the last cycle ended.

This makes for a swirly mix of self-loathing and anxiety that makes me itch to head to the fridge. Or the bakery. Or Ben & Jerry's. My head spins with thoughts of "if I never get pregnant, I am getting fatter each month for nothing. I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't do this," and then ricochets off the idea that, "zOMG, if I DO get pregnant, I am going to be starting out at just this side of obese. I will *be* obese by the time I deliver. I will have to lose weight from a place of obesity. I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't do this."

It's a whole giant bucket of awesome, folks.

So, yeah, that's my excuse for the week. My Tuesday weigh-in was a flop this week. But that's okay. Back in the saddle (my "horse" being the treadmill) tomorrow morning at the gym. I can feel the strength in my muscles growing, even if I also see my waistline expanding. Somewhere under there I am strong and fabulous, I know it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Everything In Moderation. Except Moderation

This week I proved for the five thousandth time (because when it comes to scientific testing I am THOROUGH) that sugar is indeed, my gateway food. A handful of crackers does not make me want to eat the entire box of crackers (unless they are white cheddar Cheez-Its, then Nom Nom Nom Nom). A cheeseburger does not make me spend the rest of the day snacking and munching and generally overeating by a factor of ten. Sugar does.

On Wednesday I decided that I could in fact be strong and only eat one cookie. And I was right. But I spent the rest of the day eating other things – and thinking about eating other things. It was harder to feel the desire for a healthy dinner after having that dose of sugar at lunch, and I snacked all night afterwards. Like sugar awakened every joy the act of swallowing and chewing ever had, and so I felt the intense need to engage in it for hours upon end. Oddly enough, on Thursday when I just said, “to hell with it” and ate ALL of the cookies, I didn’t feel this way. I had had enough, and I was fine to eat respectably for the remainder of the day.

I guess all this has really taught me is that moderation is not going to be the key for me. And since my habit of going whole hog is reflected so brilliantly in my ever expanding girth, I’m going to have to work on abstaining* from sugar and sweets as much as I possibly can.

After my daughter’s birthday cake this week of course. You best believe I’m going face down in that sucker.

*Even though everyone knows abstainance never works, hahahahaha!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Really, You Can't Escape It...

So why the title of the blog? Why bring cake into the picture? Why not some kick-yer-butt-into-shape title like "Buns of Steel Moms" or "Skinny Mommies"? (clearly sugar is what made me witty in my former life. Expect a lot of really unfunny stuff from me here while I attempt to detox.)

Because the reality in the life of a mom, especially the of a preschooler, is that it is REALLY really hard to escape the omnipresence of sweets. Sure, I could be the mom who bans all sugar products or baked goods from our lives. I could bring my child a rice cake (even there, cake) to eat at parties instead of birthday cake. I could refuse invitations for play dates on the chance that the hostess will put out tasty little snacky treats for nibbling while the kiddos play. I could refuse to volunteer at my son's preschool on cookie-making days or RSVP "no" to preschool holiday parties.

But doing most of that would make me a pretty shitty (and lonely) mom. Don't get me wrong, we are not awash in high fructose corn syrup in our house. I'm not baking batches of cupcakes, devouring them in one sitting and then wondering why I'm pushing maximum density (at least in my own personal history). But even as I stand in line at Starbucks, waiting to order my tall Earl Grey tea (which has taken the place of my much-loved but way too sugary chai tea latte), I am bombarded with temptations like this:

We simply live in a world where, no matter how good you are or how committed you are to your best intentions, you ARE going to come in contact with, well, cake. Unless you cut yourself off from the rest of the world, there really is no escaping it.

So my goal is to find a way to coexist peacefully with cake. Without feeling the need to go face down in a heaping pile of red velvet cake every time I see it. Without the feeling that I am missing out on something life alteringly delicious if I say "no, thank you," at the next birthday party. Without worrying that the play date hostess will think I am a rude bitch when I turn down the plate of tasty treats in her living room. And without beating myself up over and over again on the inside on those occasions when I do say "yes." Because let's face it; every once in awhile, I'm going to say "yes" to cake.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Now Before And Before Before

Going through some old pictures a while back, I came across a "before" photo. One of those, meant to be private, no holds barred shots meant to help keep the fire of weight loss lit. This particular photo was taken in 2002, when I had gained a whopping 5 lbs, and completely disgusted by myself. Are you ready for it? here you go:

Completely disgusting, no? Oh, and for the record, in that photo I weigh about 130 lbs - which is my current GOAL weight. Pretty pathetic. What a fool I was to A) think THAT was totally fat, and B) not get in shape then when it would have been so much easier. Oh well.

Pretty much since that photo as taken I have been slowly inching up the scale - between 2002 and 2005 I gained about 10 lbs. And unfortunately, I didn't have a digital camera during that time, so my choice of photos is very limited. But I had a few in an album that I just snapped new pictures of (I am SO high tech) so that you could get a better idea of what I used to look like, and what I hope to look like again. Soon. Sorry the picture quality is so bad - they were fuzzy to begin with, and then the photo of a photo set up doesn't really help.

And here I am today. Sorry the lighting is off a bit (you can't properly see even ONE of my chins), but I think my posture and expression give you an idea of how thrilled I was to be taking this shot, and also perhaps why I didn't move the camera to set up a new one.

ok. That's it. Frumpty Dumpty in all her glory. I will post in progress pics as we go along, and before you know it I'll be shaking my teensy tushy in my first ever AFTER photo!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I wish I was as thin as I was when I thought I was fat...

I'm the other one. Sarah. You might have read my whining about my weight here. I've been kvetching about the baby weight for just shy of three years now. And honestly? Even before that, I was never really thin enough to be happy. It's funny how, no matter what you weigh, it seems like you should weigh less, and then when you gain, it seems like that former weight, unacceptable at the time, was actually your ideal, happy, perfect, skinny-girl weight. Okay, so maybe it's more sad than funny.

This magnet is perched on my fridge, reminding me, every time that I go in for a nosh, of my quest to stop putting on the poundage. Most of the time, rather than keeping me from finding a snack, it makes me wish I had a giant Archie Bunker-esque Barkalounger to kick back on while I eat that delicious piece of cheese.

When I got pregnant with my son, I weighed 145lbs. Please note the honeymoon photos, taken August 2005:

Oh, hello, old face. Without extra chins.

And look! A discernible separation between boobs and gut. And please note the calves I'm rocking. Sigh.

That's me, to the far right. You know. The one who looks NOTHING like the girl in the top two pictures.

Aaaaand, that's me. The one that's not a 3.5 year old boy.

Oy. My work, friends? Is cut out for me. This week, I weigh 173lbs. My goal is that by the time I attend BlogHer '10 in NYC this coming August, I will weigh 30lbs less and be back to my wedding weight of 145lbs. It won't be easy--I've been setting this goal over and over for the past three years.

But the failures have to stop--as my son gets older, I not only have to set a good example for him, but I have to ensure that I am healthy, and that I am around for him as he grows up. With high blood pressure and heart disease in my family, my weight loss cannot be simply about my vanity (but let's make no mistake--it's a LOT about my vanity). It has to also be about my health. When I weighed 145lbs and wanted to lose 30lbs, it wasn't the same as it is now. Now, not losing 30lbs is actually shaving years off of my life. And I am digging life far too much to duck out of the game early. So, extra 30lbs taking up space inside my skin? Your days are numbered.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Does It Still Count As Baby Weight If The Baby Is Four?

Hello. My name is Kate Johnson, and I am an addict. I don't use drugs, pop pills, and I rarely drink alcohol. The substance I abuse is sugar.

It all started a week after the birth of my first child, when I was laid up on the couch, barely able to walk (she was, um.. a large baby), watching a rerun of Seinfeld. You know the one with the Junior Mints? And I thought "ooh, I could eat some Junior Mints right now." And so I did. Everyday. For the next three months.

From there I slipped even further down that slippery sugary slope, until I was consuming a giant piece of Grocery store cake at least 3 times a week. My husband was my dealer, eager to keep the new mother happy, bringing me whatever I wanted. I had but to ask.

Fast forward almost four years and two more babies, and my daily diet still reads like something out of a birthday party shopping list: cookies, chocolate, ice cream - sometimes all three at once, and never in the recommended serving sizes.

It's embarassing.

But I have decided that this is where it ends. I spent the past four years focused on my kids - planning fo them, growing them, birthing them and raising them. My weight developments in that time have been like this: up 35 lbs*, down 30, up 20, up 30*, down 50, up 30*, down 20, up 10. Now it's time to bring a little of that focus back to me, and stop this slow uptick on the scale. Together with this blog and my friend Sarah, I am going to lose 30 lbs (preferably by this summer, but just to lose it at all is the main goal), and I am going to keep it off.

Follow along, cheer us on and start reaching your own goals along with us!

*pregnancy weight gain