Thursday, November 22, 2007

I Want Can-dee!!!

I love candy. Chocolate (natch), gummies, licorice, sweet ‘n sours, all of it. By I find that due to my all or nothing nature, a small taste just fuels my desire for more. Granted I’ve come a long way from my full out binges where I’d consume candy, then baked goods, then savories, then more candy and so on in an unending spree of caloric delight. I now find my tummy hurts after a single chocolate bar. But even with a sore belly, that chocolate bar can awaken my taste buds so that they cry “nausea be damned!! Bring me cake!!!)

I have the tendency to use candy and sweets as a crutch when I’m tired and anxious. It’s an easily accessible one as I work downtown and there are plenty of shops that cater to the tired and stressed office worker.

I’ve pretty much abstained for the past week or two, and haven’t really missed it. But last night, I started thinking about chocolate. I ignored it, had some crackers and jam, and an ounce of pumpkin seeds. This morning I started considering how many calories in the giant cinnamon rolls sold in my building (estimate: about 500) or if I’d be satisfied after a muffin (answer: no, I’d want more sweets).

The cravings lasted all through the morning, so at lunchtime I decided to say the hell with it. I’m trying to achieve moderation, and if I want some candy, I say give the girl her candy. But I should have what I really want and not some substitution that will only serve as a stopgap. So I went to the candystore down the street. I got some choc covered malt balls, choc covered raisins, sweet tarts and gourmet licorice. Mmmmmm…. so good.

I think this is a reasonable amount. I had enough to satisfy my cravings, without going overboard (although some people may argue that by reason of my upset belly, I did go overboard. Those people are mean.)

Now I just have to wait until the sugar-belly nausea passes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Weighing In

146! 3 lbs down from last week!

Go Loey!!! And I’m not just talking about the loss (although that’s AWESOME), but also about the fact that I’ve consistently tracked everything for the past week or so, and I haven’t become a raving loon in doing so.

It’s funny though how easy it is to fall back into old habits. You see, a couple of years ago, when I was at my highest, I joined Weight Watchers (henceforth known as WW) to help me figure out what’s what. I had my weigh-in on Saturday morning. Everything went along ticket-boo for a few weeks, but then the Saturdays after weigh-in started to feature a big meal, and then a night of drinking. I would write off all of my flex points and keep going. But then the Saturday splurge started to seep into Sunday. And sometimes Monday. And then, because I was just so annoyed with denying myself and being so meticulous, Tuesday and Wednesday would be pretty sketchy.

To compensate for my shoddy dieting behaviour, I would drastically reduce calories and avoid sodium. I had all the tricks down pat, and all the meals that were relatively filling (although in no way satisfying), but low in sodium and calories were second nature to me. I would wake up on Saturday morning, forego my morning glass of water (or litre… I drink an enormous amount of water normally), skip breakfast, often go for a run (sweat out a few more ounces), and then go to weigh-in wearing the flimsiest outfit that I could find.

After all that it was still a crapshoot whether I’d lose or not, based on what I’d eaten the rest of the week when I wasn’t starving myself and on how much activity I’d done. And then I’d start the whole cycle all over again. I finally realized that I was doing more damage than good, and left that program.

So needless to say, I’m a bit of an extremist, and have some scale related demons. And yet I recognize if I want drop a bit of weight then I have to monitor and control inputs and outputs. And I truly believe that having some accountability is extremely helpful. But as I said in my previous post, I’m trying to do so with a spirit of moderation. And yet it was still really hard not to fall into my old habits of restriction before “weigh-in” day.

I was successful this week in beating down those impulses, but it is something to be aware of.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Striving for "Good Enough"

I had an okay weekend overall. I got in a bit of activity and I stayed within the calorie range that I’m working with. However, some of my food choices weren’t that great. Instead of having a proper healthy meal, I had a salad (giant, but pretty much just greens with a few tomatoes) chased with a rocky road square. Or I ate a decent slice of vegetarian pizza, but instead of having a piece of fruit as a snack a couple of hours later, I had a handful of chips.

Again, I stayed within my calorie range, and I still ate my vegetables and mostly had whole grains. But I wonder if that’s the best way to go?? On one hand, I’m certainly not fueling my body in an ideal way. On the other, by indulging in some “no-no” foods on Saturday and Sunday, I prevented the sense of deprivation I usually get when I’m dieting really stringently. And I think that it’s that sense of deprivation that sends me face first into a pile of cinnamon rolls.

I also balanced my exercise. In the past, I’ve hit the gym (or the pavement or whatever) for an hour or two a day everyday. Sometimes both morning and evening. Because in some twisted part of my head, that’s the only way to successfully lose weight. But eventually I would miss a day, and then several days because I was soooo sick of the gym and my music sucks and my knee hurts and I just don’t wanna!! So there!!

This weekend I didn’t get to the gym on Friday night, but I walked with the puppy for a while. I walked again on Saturday and got a ton of errands done. I hit the gym on Sunday for some cardio, and I had a dance class that evening. And I didn’t get to the gym yesterday, but I took the dog for a full hour long walk.

This is a new approach for me. One with happy mediums rather than do-or-dies. I’m hoping that it will let me stick to this new plan long enough so that my “diet” becomes my lifestyle.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Emotional Eating

Ugh, I’ve had a horrible couple of days. Work has been non-stop emergencies (and they’re not even my emergencies! I’m trying to cover for a co-worker who has an awful flu virus and has been out the whole week), and I discovered that due to some personality conflicts, I have been selected as a scapegoat for another organization I did some volunteer work for last spring.

All in all, I was miserable last night. Awful, but it did afford me an interesting opportunity.

My problems with weight stem almost 100% from binge/emotional eating. As I’ve become more and more aware of this, I’ve become more successful with controlling it and recognizing that my “bad” feelings will not go away by smothering them with food. This has allowed me to lose almost 50 lbs to date. Nonetheless, I do find myself slipping into old habits on a fairly regular basis, and would probably do so even more if wasn’t for Nick’s presence (I used to sneak food, something I can’t do anymore which has helped curb the binges substantially).

I recently read that binge/emotional eaters have troubles being in touch with their emotions, and funnily enough, many very “powerful” and professional women are particularly susceptible to this because they don’t want to show any emotions that could be construed as weak. When I read this I could recognize myself 100%, up to and including the desire to numb oneself with food rather than to simply allow oneself the emotional outlet of crying.

So last night I sat there considering the contents of my cupboards, and recognized that I was doing it again. I was avoiding the sadness I was feeling about things by turning my mind to food. So I forced myself to really think about the problems. And when I started to feel the prickling of my eyes I kept thinking about it.

I excused myself and went to bed early (like 9:30!!!), and just lay there and cried (okay, so I still couldn’t show weakness in front of someone, but usually I can’t even acknowledge it to myself, so this is real progress for me). I was still awake around 11 when Nick came to bed, but by that time I was feeling more peaceful.

I don’t have solutions to my current problems (there may not be any available at this time), but at least last night, my coping mechanism was healthier and ultimately left me feeling more at ease (rather than feeling sick and guilty!) I consider that I major step in the right direction.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Meat on a Stick

Nick took me out for supper last night. We’ve been working through some ongoing problems and after several verrrrry painful conversations, I think he’s starting to understand some of my reactions. It’s hard for both of us. I’m not very good at opening up about my “weaker” emotions. I hate losing face, hate admitting that I’m sad or hurt or need comfort. But I do need comfort and kindness, and most of my close friends have learned to recognize this and give it to me even when I’m bluffing about feeling fine and that I’m way too tough to be hurt by anything. This requires a lot of intuition and empathy. And Nick is has very little of either. And this is the root of about 75% of our problems.

However, we’re both working on this (me on opening up, him on being more empathetic), and things are improving. Which brings us back to going out for dinner, something I love doing but Nick is pretty apathetic about, so in doing so he’s trying to help create a better balance in the give-and-take of our activities.

So dinner. It was oh-so yummy. We ate at a Turkish place, which is very similar to most Mediterranean cuisines; lots of lean meats all grilled shish-kabab style (mmmm... meat on a stick never tasted so good), salads dressed with lemon and olive oil, dips made with beans and cheeses and olive oil, and everything seasoned with amazing spice combonations. All-in-all, very healthful.

However, I overindulged. Not to the same degree that I would have in the past, but I still left feeling a little uncomfortable. It was all so delicious, I kept having another bite, and then another, and then another… I have no regrets, but I do think that next time (and there will be a next time), I may suggest forgoing the mixed appetizer plate and just get one or two things because part of my problem was that I wanted to taste everything.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The man in office next to mine is a louder talker. Worse, he uses speaker phone. Still worse, he seems to have some hearing difficulty, because the volume on the speaker phone is jacked to the high heavens. And he talks on the phone a lot.


Brief check-in

I weighed 149, which is slightly heavier than what I stated in my grand confessional. I’m sitting here at my computer trying to determine how I feel about that. It’s still just a number, and I honestly don’t think it affects me deeply. However, it’s a hair-breadth away from a number I don’t want to see again.

Again, not a big deal in and of itself. It’s just once again indicative of how easy it is to slip from good eating habits and exercising regularly to, well, not. I do feel, though, that I’m at the stage where I can easily reverse this trend. I have been eating better and I’m going to make every effort today to get to the gym at lunch (Gym clothes, check. iPod, check. Gym pass, check.) And I remembered to pack a decent lunch (although it’s somewhat measly, so I may have to supplement in someway). Everything is pointing toward me having a good day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

!!!!!!! (or Why One Should Avoid Being a Smug Dummy)

I just had lunch at the Korean place across the street from my office. It seemed like pretty modest fair, and while I left feeling full, I didn’t think I had consumed a huge amount of calories. In fact, I was feeling rather smug when I wandered back into my office, and so I thought I’d revel in my smugness by confirming that I’d had a skinny-fying lunch by tallying up the cold hard numbers.

Here are the facts;
Miso soup (about a cup) – 40 cal
California roll (6 pieces) – 210 cal
Various nigiri sushi (6 pieces) – 360 cal
Total – 610


It’s not that I feel I consumed too much or feel guilty. I think that given that I’ve only had a small brekkie and snack today (I’m not really a breakfast person so I don’t sweat it if I only have, like, an egg and a latte), that it’s not an unreasonable amount at all. It’s just that I had no idea that the tally was so high. In fact, if I had been asked, I would have estimated about half that total amount, and I’m usually pretty good at estimating my caloric intake.

Here are my take-away lessons;

  1. It’s always beneficial to check nutritional info, even when I think I know it.
  2. Even websites can only provide estimates; there’s a very wide discrepancy when it comes to prepared foods (as one would assume), so it could be very easy to fool oneself (cali roll came in as low as 25 cal/piece, which has to be ridiculous).
  3. If I can, I should check the nutritional info before I go out. In this case, I wouldn’t have gotten the combo with the cali roll, or maybe only eaten half of it because I don’t really like it all that much. But the combos were pre-made (for lunchtime rush), and because I thought I was so low overall, I kept picking until the entire roll was eaten. Or I would have gotten the vege Bibimbap (which I love and is only about 400 calories).
  4. It’s useful to tally up one’s calories even after the fact, as it provide the information to make better choices for the rest of the day.

This last one is a key one for me. I’m a snacker. Usually, my lunches sum to about 300 calories, but then I nibble away for the rest of the day (apples, nuts, dry cereal etc.) and wind up eating a reasonable amount of food (I do not think having only 300 calories at lunch is sufficient to fuel one’s entire day, unless breakfast was enormous). However, today I will limit that as I’ve obviously had a considerably larger lunch than usual.

Ahhhhh… smugness restored.

Facing it

It’s been forever since I’ve posted, and I’ve come to a realization; I’ve gained some weight. It’s not a lot of weight, probably in the range of about 5 pounds, but it’s enough that I haven’t worn some of my more form fitting clothes in a while.

This is not significant in and of itself, and I’m not expecting a giant outcry or gasp of dismay either due to the gain or due to the denial about the gain. However, it’s time to stop pretending that I’ve been staying the same since football season ended in August. Because, you see, that’s what I’ve been doing. My pants aren’t snug and my blouses’ buttons aren’t straining because I ate too much salt or I’ve got PMS or because they just came out of the dryer. It’s because I’ve gained a bit. And while that’s not the end of the world by a long shot, it’s also realllllllly dumb to pretend it hasn’t happened.

So, I’m still 148, but that’s a little up from 142ish, which is what I was this summer.

Huh… the world’s still turning. Guess that wasn’t so bad afterall.