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!