Thursday, April 24, 2014

No Sugar / No Flour

Back in October of last year, I finally got fed up with my over-eating and weight gain and decided to completely clean out my cupboards of anything that could/would trigger a binge.  It turned out that this pretty much included anything with flour or sugar in it, so I decided that I would just avoid eating those things.  It worked out well for a couple months. But, then one day I gave in and ate toast and "fell off the wagon."  Since then, I have tried to get back onto this way of eating a few times - once for nearly two weeks - but I haven't been able to maintain it.  It isn't easy.  However, if I could just get through the first few weeks, the cravings for sugar and junk really do diminish significantly.  I felt better, had more energy, fewer migraines and slept better as a result of eating that way. 

The past week or so I've really been struggling again - feeling bloated and uncomfortable all the time.  Not being able to fit into any of my clothes.  Knowing I'm gaining, gaining, gaining every day.  I feel like I've tucked and begun a roll down a long hill, gaining momentum with every moment that passes.  That's why the no sugar, no flour thing worked before - it halted that progress, at least for a little while.

So, I decided today to give it another go.  It's always worth a try and I know that if I stick to it, it does work.  The cravings lessen, I feel better and I eat a lot less, even though I'm not counting calories or trying to eat less.

I went to the grocery store today to stock up on foods I can eat.  I want plenty of variety in the house while I do this.  The initial detox from sugar.  I expect to feel tired and cranky tomorrow and for the next couple days but then I should start to feel better.  I can eat all the fruit and veggies I want, so this isn't an Atkins diet.  It's just a no-junk diet.  Actually, it's not a diet - it's a HEALTH MISSION.  I'm on a mission to improve my health by kicking out all that junk that just makes us overeat and feel like crap.  That's my mission and I'm (hopefully!) stickin' to it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Daily Exercise

So far, my aim to exercise daily for 5 minutes is working.  I missed one day, due to working until nearly 11 pm, but I made it up by exercising twice the next day, so I'm not counting it as a missed day :)  5 minutes really is nothing.  I'm hoping by shooting for such a short duration, I can instill the habit of daily exercise.  And I may go longer.  Today I did 8 1/2 minutes.  But 5 minutes a day is far better than 0 minutes a day.  After a week, I'll have exercised 35 minutes.  That's way, way better than 0 minutes.

Anyway, I'm still eating a lot of junk.  I really need to take control of my fridge/cupboard and get the junk out.  I threw out the rest of the Easter candy, so that's a start.  The trick will be not to replace it with more junk when next I go grocery shopping.

I'm thinking about buying an activity monitor again.  And tracking calories.  It's a little scary, to think about tracking calories because I'm already so obsessed with food and eating and I've heard/read that stopping dieting is the first step toward recovering from a food addiction.  On the other hand, I'm getting heavier daily and I should do whatever it takes to get my weight back down to a healthy range.  I am in the OBESE range at the moment, and probably gaining about 3 pounds a week with my current eating habits.  I've gotten to the point where my back is aching all the time again, and my knees scream at me whenever I squat or kneel.  I'm sick and tired of feeling like crap because of my constant eating.

So, yes, maybe the activity tracker will help.  It did help me last time.  I kinda shouldn't spend the money, because I have been a spend-o-maniac lately and I'm supposed to be saving.  And paying off debts.  But, it would be so great if I could start to lose weight already.  Or at least stop gaining.  I would settle for stopping the gain at the moment.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Sometimes I try to convince myself otherwise.  I tell myself that that kind of thinking is negative and undermining.  That I can just learn to live life around activity and doing and not around food.  That if I could just be happy, or manage stress or exercise more, or find a secret well of willpower and self-discipline, then I will finally stop eating so damned much.  But, all of that is just fooling myself.  I am a food addict, pure and simple.  I used to be a cigarette smoker, so I know what addiction is.  Here is why I know I'm a food addict:

1.  My thoughts are consumed by eating and food.
2.  My behavior is often dictated by eating and food.
3.  I do things I later regret because of eating and food.
4.  I make poor choices when it comes to eating and food.
5.  My eating and food choices are counter to my long-term goals.
6.  I hurt myself with my eating and food.

There are many more, but I think that's enough just that list.  My food and eating habits are hurting me, every day, in a number of ways.  My health; my sense of wellbeing; my ability to move easily; pressure on my back which is already arthritic, and on my knees, causing me daily discomfort; my self confidence; my parenting choices (unhealthy foods for the kids, a poor role model and curtailing fun activities because I'm too uncomfortable with my weight); and on and on.  There are so many reasons I want to change these food and eating habits.  A lot of very good reasons.

However, I'm not going to make the mistakes I've made in the past.  I'm not going to say that tomorrow I will not eat sugar.  That's not the way to go about this.  Otherwise, tomorrow comes and I put it off to the next day and the next.  This is actually a common human error, to believe our tomorrow self will somehow be stronger, braver, with more willpower and self-discipline.  We actually project a lot of strength on our tomorrow self that our today self does not have.  Except, obviously we are the same tomorrow as we are today.  So, for tomorrow I can only do a little more than what I can do today.  Or maybe not even more; maybe just the same.  We have to work up to it slowly to realize that our tomorrow self is very similar to our today self.  We might even be weaker tomorrow than we are today - less able to pull from our willpower and self-discipline.

So, that is why I am starting very small.  Because whatever I can do today is what I can do tomorrow.  The changes have to be incremental to be long-lasting. 

So, for the next three weeks, I will exercise every day, for at least five minutes.  Intentional exercise.  Not just wandering around the grocery store, but putting on my tennis shoes and going out for exercise.  In three weeks, I'll see if I'm ready to add the next step.  Eventually I want to get to the point where I'm exercising and meditating and eating healthy, every day. As a matter of course.  Those are my longer-term aims.  My full long-term aim is to feel vital and alive and good and to embrace life, not hide from it. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Feeling Poorly

Not feeling my best today.  I have a slight headache and a bad tummy.  I think I may have eaten something that didn't agree with me (maybe my steamed veggies from the weekend).  That's the risk of preparing food ahead of time.  Or maybe it's nothing to do with what I've eaten.  On top of that, it's that time of month and a bad one.  It's freezing outside (literally, below freezing) and I just want to curl up with a warm fire and a book.  I can't do the fire, but I will curl up with a good book later.  Right now I'm working (really, I am, in the background). 

I don't think I'm going to get to any exercise today :(.  I did go to my dr. appt. to get a new PX for my migraines.  (Hopefully I won't need them but usually I do this time of month.)  I went to the library and restocked on books (just in time) and also stopped by the grocery store.  I was bummed because I really wanted to get some banana chips (I know, not the best food in the world, but literally it's my only form of junk food these days) but the only ones they had at the Wal-Mart had sugar added to them.  Why would they need to add sugar?!  Bananas are so sweet already.  All of the dried fruit had added sugar, which was a bummer.  I really wanted to get some treat so I don't feel so deprived but dried fruit is bad enough without adding unnecessary sugar.  I got fresh bananas instead (yes, I know it's better).  I didn't get much else in the way of food because I was in a hurry and I didn't know what to get.  Nothing with flour or sugar or cheese or onion or cured meats, etc. etc.  It really significantly narrow down the possibilities.  I bought myself some bananas, eggs, celery, apples, lettuce and natural peanut butter.

Enough pity party.  I requested a couple of whole foods cookbooks from the library so hopefully I'll find some good ideas and recipes there.  In the meantime, I still have plenty of leftover soup.  Tomorrow I'll make bean soup for dinner - that should be good.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fun and Novel

Apparently, the idea of something being uncomfortable is enough for the brain to steer a wide path - be it the work to get to a goal or even just certain thoughts.  If it's uncomfortable, it's taboo.  Only pleasant, happy, easy stuff gets through without a roadblock.  That's why we're more likely to exercise if it's fun, relatively easy and novel than if it's boring and difficult.

That's why this way of eating is a challenge.  It isn't easy (no pre-packaged foods) and it isn't always fun (between having to go through preparations and finding myself eating the same foods over and over).  Junk food is fun.  Vegetables tend not to be.  Sometimes fruit is yummy; but the sweetness of fruit pales significantly to the sweetness of sugar.  My taste buds have been tainted by sugar.

Also, there's no buzz without the sugar/fat/salt combo.

The trick is to make it fun and novel and interesting.  Obviously, the first few days are novel but that doesn't last.  Which is why I'm trying to make new foods.  Having already cooked foods in neat containers in the fridge has helped but it's only Tuesday and I'm already bored of those foods.  Now what?  I guess it's back to the cook books.  I wish I had a good cook book that follows exactly my diet :)  I guess that's the easy part of just following whatever the latest fad diet is - they usually tell you exactly what to eat.  I know what NOT to eat; not so much what I CAN eat.  Besides meat and vegetables and fruit and brown rice.  Fresh fruit and veggies are somewhat limited around here, being that we're literally in high plains, nothing-can-grow-here-but-rocks for literally miles and miles and miles around.  Also, I'm just not sure what to do with most of it.  I mean, obviously I know what to do with the fruit, but not so much the vegetables.

Again, back to the cook books.  I'll just have to see if the library holds anything even somewhat useful to me.

Monday, February 17, 2014

24 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

Yep, 6 days down, 24 to go.  This is in the no sugar/no flour because I have to restart my goal counts on the rest.  I made it 5 days but did not exercise, meditate or write in my gratitude journal yesterday.  So, back to day one with that count.  Still, the important one is still ongoing :)  This was especially hard this weekend when there was fudge on top of the fridge and candy bars inside (my adult son's).  Plus the kids bringing home a shit load of goodies from their valentine's parties at school.  They hauled some serious sugar home.  It is amazing that schools are so comfortable handing out that much candy / cake / cookies.  I don't see we're going to have any significant change in our country's overall size until we stop celebrating every damn holiday in school with JUNK FOOD. 

Anyway, except for what my adult son brings into the house, at least I can control what's inside.  And with regarding to feeding my family this weekend, that went really well.  I spent hours this weekend making chicken and vegetable broth and then using some of the broths to make a couple of healthy soups.  Since I'm trying to avoid MSG, I can't use store-bought broths.  I took the chicken broth and made a soup with a variety of vegetables, shredded chicken (from the chicken I used to make the broth) and rice.  From the vegetable broth, I made a creamy veggie/bean soup.  Both turned out very yummy and lots of leftovers in the fridge.  I also made a sizable amount of sweet potato mash to have on hand for me.  I think not having easy-to-hand foods that are tasty is the hardest part of all of the foods I have to avoid (to control both my migraines and my food addiction).  Literally all pre-packaged food is out.  I mean, yes I can grab a piece of fruit or munch on some cut-up veggies, but I often don't want either of those things.  Or I find I'm eating too much fruit and have to haul myself back from it.  So, having some foods that I like ready to eat in the fridge will help a lot with me not feeling deprived.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

T-Minus 29 Days

I've decided to count down my goal rather than count up.  I have successfully fulfilled day one of my commitment to being strong and calm (my positive terminology for no sugar/no flour), and to completing my daily practices.  Today, I feel good.  I even did my workout and meditation early in the day - just before noon.  Usually I'm scrambling to fit it in at the end of the day, which isn't the most practical time because I'm also juggling getting dinner cleaned up, homework done, kids bathed and in bed on time.  So, it is nice to be at just past mid-day and already done with those commitments. 

My exercise last night consisted of a whole 10 minutes of yoga and 10 minutes of meditation.  As mentioned above, I didn't leave myself with a lot of time to accomplish these goals.

Today my exercise consisted of 15 minutes of Yoga, 10 minutes of aerobics and 20 minutes of meditation.  I did the meditation immediately after the exercises, when I most enjoy it.  It gives my body time to cool down and relax after the workout, and with all the blood flow my brain is better able to concentrate.  Today was especially relaxing because the sun came out and slanted just right so that I felt the warmth on my face as I was meditating.  I love the feel of the warm sun on my skin. 

Even though I ate fairly well, quantities were a bit altogether high for one day.  I'm not measuring or restricting myself to calories.  Still, I hope to bring that down just a bit today.

Breakfast was a bowl of oatmeal with 1 tsp peanut butter (natural with no sugar) and 1/2 cup unsweetened frozen mixed berries.

Lunch was a bowl of leftover homemade chili with shredded cheddar cheese and a banana.

Snack was two handfuls of pumpkin seeds, shells eaten.

Dinner was homemade tomato soup (turned out awesome) and a salad, followed by two tangerines.

Snack #2 was 2 cheese and chicken roll-ups (basically a slice of chicken lunch meat rolled around a piece of cheddar cheese), a single-serving bag of roasted almonds and about a handful of blueberries.

Dinner was especially difficult because, being the nice mom/wife I am, I knew the boys wouldn't be satisfied with just soup so I grilled cheese sandwiches to go with them - even bought fresh-baked bread.  I was practically drooling watching them eat the sandwiches, and I don't even particularly like grilled cheese (which is why I thought it would be safe).  The problem was the bread - that fresh-baked bread looked and smelled SO good.  Amazing how appetizing something is when you know you can't have it!

So, all in all, not a bad start.  No migraine or headache today - YAY!