Sunday, September 20, 2009

I believe I can.

I started this blog because I thought writing every day would keep me accountable. But, amazingly, over the last couple of weeks I haven't needed any outside source to keep me accountable.

I am doing very, very well. At home I've been mostly maintaining a plant based and low fat diet, though Friday night it was POURING and we decided to make pizza at home; I ate pizza with a white crust and cheese, the horror! :) Actually, it was great; I only ate two little pieces and had a salad with it. I made brownies, too, but didn't even have a piece that night. I'm starting to feel a little slimmer - that wasn't my goal in giving up dieting, but I figured if I stopped the restrict and binge cycle I'd drop some weight - and that feels good.

How did I do on vacation? Wonderful. I pretty much gave up the idea of trying to eat the way I do at home, and it was just fine. Our first night there (after eating the way I do at home all day) we were starving and at the last minute decided on pizza. Again, I ate a couple of pieces with a salad, and had a glass of wine, and that was it for me. We ate out a few times and I ate some things I wouldn't consider "healthy", but I was fine. We found a great breakfast place where he could get what he wanted and I could get a huge fruit plate with melon and pineapple and banana and grapes and kiwis and yum!

Somehow things have shifted a bit for me. I know that when I'm feeling my healthiest mentally I want to eat a low-fat and plant based diet. But I'm not going to try to do that for every single meal of my life. If we go out to eat and I want something different, that's what I'll get. The difference, though, is that I haven't been getting upset and anxious over eating something outside of my "plan". That is what always led to my downfall - if I ate outside of what I was supposed to, I got really nervous and sort of excited and would end up going waaaaay overboard.

I haven't even wanted to do that lately, with the exception of one night when I was sort of bored and stuff, but I cut it off quickly. I know I feel my best when I don't eat past a certain point, and I want to feel good! Also, like I said, I think I've dropped a couple of pounds, and I don't want to yo yo back to where I was.

So, things are good. I'll keep writing when it seems important, but I realized I can keep myself accountable without any other tool. Because I WANT to. I want to feel good. I want to eat a healthy diet. So often people will say life is too short and we should enjoy this or that that isn't necessarily good for us. I get that, and agree that I don't want to completely limit myself, but at the same time, we've taken that idea much, much too far in this country. Every meal is an over indulgence in some cases, and that's not what I want for myself. And honestly, food that is whole and healthy is DELICIOUS. Yesterday I baked a butternut squash and ate a piece of it along with a cooked honey crisp apple - OMG. It was so good, and after I didn't feel sick, full, or sugary.

That being said - I'm going out to breakfast this morning and plan on ordering the whole wheat pancakes with hot cooked apples. It will be delicious!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Hi there!

Tuesday. Back at work for most people, but I worked yesterday anyways! I have been working all day today, too, on a book project. Editing, writing, formatting. Realizing how thankful I am for automatic spell check, that kind of thing.

Food is still awesome. I really feel like a yo-yo or a see saw or something. Again, I'm noticing when I'm in this mode it is SO EASY to keep eating this way. When I see my man eating junk food at night I have no desire to partake. Very odd.

We shall see what happens when I am out of my normal routine, however! I won't be blogging at all over the long weekend, but I'll be back with a full report, for the three of you out there who actually read this.

Interestingly, I just got a newsletter from this woman who does this thing called "First Ourselves" that spoke to that exact problem, dealing with food on vacation. The woman, Karly, actually is completely sugar free and eats a very different diet than me in some respects, but she's had food issues and has struggled with weight, so I relate to her. Anyways, her newsletter mentioned that she'd gone on vacation and was feeling the need to plan, plan, plan. She wanted to plan for working out, plan for her eating, pack snacks, etc.

Instead she just had faith that she would be fine. She said she experienced some amazing things just expecting that she'd be okay, and listed many examples of things she would have missed out on had she planned the way she originally intended to.

I am so glad I got this newsletter when I did, because I'm going to copy her action plan! Of course I'll exercise, but it will be walks on the beach and in Charleston, not intensely planned sweaty stuff (probably). I will bring some healthy foods to cook and/or eat in our rental condo, like oat bran and fruit, but I'm not going to freak out and try to bring my whole kitchen. I have faith that I can make smart choices and that what I need can be found.

I feel really good with everything I've accomplished the last 4 or 5 days, both work wise and eating wise.

How do you handle vacation eats and workouts?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Is Eating Healthy a Diet?

Happy Labor Day! I work from home, so I'm actually going to do some work today, but it's all fun stuff. My sweetheart is working, too, but on Thursday we're off for a long weekend, yay!

This morning, for the fourth day in a row, I had a nice big bowl of oat bran. Today I topped it with strawberries; other days I've eaten it plain and had some fruit a little later. My lunches have consisted of brown rice and veggies with low sodium soy sauce or left over vegetarian Shepherd's Pie. Snack have been fruit, organic whole grain cereal, sweet potatoes, oatmeal. Dinners have been similar to lunches.

I feel great. When I eat well my skin clears up (I struggle with Rosacea), I feel good, I'm regular. But is eating healthy putting myself on a diet? For instance, I've been avoiding dairy, partially because it's expensive (because we buy the organic stuff) and partially because I don't believe it's that good for me. So when I go on my trip, do I have to continue to avoid dairy? Only if I want to. I believe the trap that I fall into over and over again is eating healthy with the intention of losing weight. Also, often times when I'm on a healthy "diet" I tend to tell myself I CAN'T eat anything that's not on said diet. But that's just not going to work. Do I feel my best when I'm eating clean? Of course. But if I want a treat and can enjoy it, rather than shoving it down my throat, followed by six more servings because I feel so guilty about eating the treat, my life will be much better.

So right now I'm eating very well and feeling very wonderful. Truthfully, this is the way I'd like to eat for the majority of my meals. However, I do want to find a balance that will work for me, permanently. I went vegan about three and a half years ago and was miserable - it was so hard to find food when I was out and about. However, I was also in a really unhappy relationship and was already using food to deal with my emotions, so I was also eating lots of vegan junk food and was definitely not eating clean.

I can definitely stick to this without feeling deprived - I'm eating six times a day and am never hungry (okay, I get hungry every few hours, but then I eat plenty). I just need to keep my mindset about health, not weight loss.

In other news, I'm just trying to stay even. I've noticed that I ebb and flow, and sometimes when I'm not positive I know what to do to get there, but often can't motivate myself. This morning I looked up Caitlin's post that mentions a link to learn to do the Sun Salutation. I have done yoga on and off and thought it would be a good way to start my day, so today I did a couple of them. I'm tight in the morning! I'm going to go for a walk in a few minutes, then do some work this morning.

I am happy to be alive. I am happy to be coming through this journey - when I look back at where I was even a year ago, I'm amazed by how much my mental clarity has improved, how much my point of view on life has changed. Things are good:)

What are you doing for Labor Day?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What Would Don Draper Eat?

Anybody out there watch Mad Men? As I mentioned yesterday, I hadn't had cable for a long time...probably 7 or 8 years! However, the boy and I did get Netflix (until we got the new cable channels) and we became addicted to Mad Men. Now that we actually get the channel it runs on we get to watch it every week, yay.

So I was listening to NPR yesterday and the show Studio 360 did a story on Don Draper, and mentioned to check out a funny skit featuring Jon Hamm playing Don Draper in a skit for SNL. I love it! Check it out, it's hilarious.

Food stuff is really good. I went to "church" this morning, which is not in a church and does not celebrate a traditional's more of a spiritual gathering. This is only the second time I've gone, but so far I always feel much better after going. Everyone is so loving and non judgmental, it's great. I missed the meditation they do first thing because I wasn't done exercising and showering, but I'll try to make it next time.

It's so weird, when I feel good and steady with my eating, I wonder how on earth I can ever get so off track. Yet when I'm off track I wonder how I ever was so good and steady! Funny, isn't it? I'm going away for a few days with my sweetie starting next Thursday, and vacations are always a challenge. I am striving for a balance of healthy eating with treats thrown in - just not to excess.

Wow, today is flying by, it's nearly 3pm! I've got beans on the stove and a kitty on my lap. Things are good :)

Have a nice Sunday.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Trashy TV!

Happy Saturday. My sweetie is working, so after I worked out this morning, cleaned the bathroom, and took a shower, I started watching TV. Trashy TV. Mostly celebrity gossip stuff on E! I try to be a spiritual person who is constantly learning new things and trying to find enlightenment, but I love me some trashy TV.

Food stuff is good. I was really struggling with over eating again a few days ago, but my body told me "ENOUGH!" and I've been back on track.

Trying to permanently change the record (tape? CD? Mp3?) that plays over and over in my head is an interesting challenge - I certainly have known for years that telling myself positive things would be helpful - but have you ever noticed just how often you're thinking something negative about your body? Even if I'm not actually thinking, "I am lumpy and grotesque", I might notice my jeans don't feel as good as I want them to, or if my hand is resting on my stomach I might notice it's not as flat as I would like - and those things going through my head, even subconsciously, probably aren't very helpful.

But you know what? Things are good. I'm happy to be alive. I'm happy to have this body that I know responds to eating right, exercise, etc. I know I can lose weight. I know I am healthy. I'm thankful I can walk and move and all that stuff. Oh, and of course I'm thankful I can watch trashy TV.

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

If It Was My First Day On Earth...

This afternoon I was snacking, picking, etc. I started to feel guilty. I started to think, "How am I ever going to change my habits and emotional eating patterns?? I always fail! I keep doing this over and over again!" Then I stopped. That way of thinking is not helpful to me and does not feel good!

So I wrote in my journal as if it was my first day on earth. I was thankful to be alive. I was thankful to have this body that can walk, and run, and taste, and smell, and see. I'm thankful to have a beating heart, a thinking mind (sometimes), and plenty of skills. If today was my first day on earth and I looked at my body and thought, "I'd like to lose 20 pounds", it wouldn't be overwhelming. It would simply be something I wanted to accomplish.

I'm trying to look at my journey as something that is easily attainable; like this really is the first day on the journey. All the other stuff that happened has no bearing on what happens today or in the future unless I let it have a bearing. And, admittedly, that's what I've been doing. And that's why today I wrote as if I was brand new. Nothing from last week, or last month, or last year matters. None of that exists. Only in my mind.

I am flipping the switch. My brain is filled with light and hope. I expect to reach my goals. It might take consistent dedication to change the way I think about this, but I'm willing to do it. This will work.

In unrelated news, the boy and I got extended cable yesterday, we've had the plain old cable with ten channels for YEARS now. Who knew there was so much crap on TV...crap that I love. Oh, the Kardashians. Oh, Cribs. Oh, child stars of yesteryear. This might be a problem....

Day Two Take Two

So far so good! I may have said that before, but I really feel as though my mind set has shifted this time. I was really stuck in a place where I kept telling myself a) that I HAD to lose weight and b) that nothing I ever did worked permanently and I was just going to binge my way out of it. What am I telling myself now? A bunch of positive things, but mostly that I believe I can change the way I think about food and that I can permanently lose weight.

Ever notice how different things work for different people? And I know you're as confused as me as to what the "healthiest" diet is. I've decided the healthiest diet is the one that brings me joy. You might be thinking, "But if I ate what brought me joy I'd eat chocolate cake and cheese fries all day!" I just don't think that's true. There are tons and tons of natural, whole foods that I absolutely love. And lots of less-than-natural foods that I love, too. It's my decision to enjoy everything I eat.

Enjoy what I eat. Yup, that's something I'm going to start really paying attention to. Often I'm feeling so anxious about the fact that I'm eating something I "shouldn't" that I don't even taste it!

Okay, I've got some work to do, including a fun project that I haven't worked on in a while! Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Food Is My Friend

Hi! I'm in a great mood. I am feeling SO much better! I really, truly believe that the ultimate indicator of my health is my joy for life - and when I get bogged down with worrying about food and weight constantly, I'm doing absolutely nothing for my health!

So, here's my list of things I have more time for when I'm not worrying about the calorie count of my next meal:
  • Petting my two beautiful cats
  • Playing games with my boyfriend
  • Talking on the phone with friends
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Dancing around listening to music
  • Enjoying my life
I am getting distracted from my list making because my boyfriend just came home. He hopped in the shower, but suggested that we go into town so he can look for some new clothes, and he wants to go to dinner after. This is a PERFECT example of why I'm so happy I'm moving forward with making food my friend - if I was dieting I'd immediately worry about where we were going, what they'd have, how much I'd eat, etc. Instead, I'm excited about all the tasty possibilities and trust myself to eat what I want, stopping when I'm full.

This feels good :)


Wow. That's all I can say. I totally disappeared, and with good reason - I put myself on another diet. This time I had myself convinced that it was the best possible way for me to eat, that it was incredibly healthy, that I could eat that way permanently.

I lasted about a week. And yes, it was very healthy, it was a "good" way to eat, and for a while it was easy. But then the temptations came. And I kept telling myself no. And then when I finally did give in to temptation...let's just say it's the same old story. I say I want to stop the dieting/binging cycle, but then I just do it to myself all over again!

I wasn't hungry at all during the "healthy" week, but the diet I was doing was very restrictive - lots of things I couldn't eat. The plan is supposed to be incredibly healthy and reverse heart disease and keep a non diseased heart healthy. You know what, though? I don't have heart disease. I have disordered eating.

I'm here again because I want freedom. If I want freedom that means NO DIETING. That means no restricting myself. I can't tell you how many times I've done this to myself over and over and over again. So now I'm starting again. I need to keep writing if I put myself on a diet, not back away and avoid facing the fact that I'm not doing what I said I'd do. So, am I back on day one? My goal was to go a year without dieting, so I guess that's exactly where I am.

I think I should pick up the copy of Intuitive Eating from the library again. I've read it twice already, but I think it would come in handy.