Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Taking Control

I've been contemplating how I want to go about dealing with my eating habits the last few days and I feel like I may have a solution.
Here's what I know about what doesn't work with regards to diets:

  1. I hate counting calories/points/carbs/whatever I have to count. It's time consuming and I end up just eating stuff that I know is terrible because I am rebelling against the system!
  2. I am a foodie. I like to try things, I like to eat a variety of things, I don't like sameness. This is why pre-packaged meals, restrictive diet plans that rule out food groups, and diets that make restaurants difficult never work for me.
  3. Meetings, counsellors, and diet buddies tend to cause me to rebel. The only buddy that's worked is Paul. Getting him to do things with me doesn't really work because he doesn't care to participate most of the time.


Now, here is what does work:

  1. Small meals through the day. Even if I just eat some of my big meal and save the rest for later it tends to help me lose and I don't binge.
  2. Focus on certain specific foods to try to make sure I eat regularly. When I was pregnant I had a list of 30 foods to try to make sure to eat for each trimester. If I have a list of things to make sure I have in my meals each week I'm much more likely to make sure I eat what I'm supposed to. 




So here's what I'm thinking I'm going to do.

  • Rule 1: I'm going to preplan the same breakfast, lunch, and two snacks for the week. I'll have two options for each. For example, some mornings I have time to cook steel cut oats (it takes about 25 minutes) and that works fine, but for the mornings I don't have time I can make quinoa flakes in the microwave in about 2 minutes. This way I'm making sure I eat foods I should be eating regularly.
  • Rule 2: If I eat out, I eat salad. Given restaurant salads can have just as many calories as a double cheeseburger, but at least I'm getting some nutrition from the lettuce and vegetables and I'll be more full. No desserts!
  • Rule 3: Once every two weeks I can eat anything I want when I go out. 
  • Rule 4: Dinners at home are fair game. I just need to add salad or a vegetable to whatever we're having. 
We'll see how this goes. I have some planning to do to make this work, but I think if I can do this it would be really good.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Life Changing?

The other night I was listening to the Dave Ramsay program on my way home from teaching. He had a couple about Paul's and my age that called in to make a debt free scream. He spent a pretty substantial amount of time stressing the point that these people have lived in self induced poverty for two years to get themselves out of debt and now not only will they spend the rest of their lives being in control of their finances, they now have the live experience that gives them the confidence to push through difficulties knowing that they have the strength to do this.

Usually listening to happy debt free people makes me feel kind of bitter. But the commentary had me re-contemplating the healthy lifestyle journey.

Just like getting out of debt, getting healthy can either be something I struggle with off and on for the rest of my life, or it can be something I conquer now so that I can enjoy the rest of my life. If I get the weight off now, I'll be able to do it again the next time I have baby weight to lose because I'll have the experience of having done it before.

I was thinking about one of the times I successfully started to get my weight down. I remember feeling so good about myself and so confident. I try not to let my weight dictate my self worth, but I definitely feel better about myself when I feel better in general.

This is all great in theory. The next step is to do something about it. This is the hard part. What do I do about it? What is the right way? What's healthy? What's going to last? Experience tells me that there's more to it than I keep thinking there is. Experience tells me that it's going to take me getting more fed up with my state than I am. And that's the sad truth. I don't hate how I feel enough to really put myself through another diet and the mediocre attempt at exercise isn't really helping me. If anything I've been eating more because I justify it since I went to a zumba class.

Perhaps the first step for me then isn't to change anything but to come face to face with the reality of my lifestyle. It could be that what pushes me to really change things are the cold hard facts. So I'm going to make an attempt to log my food again. I'm not going to change what I eat, but I am going to be honest with myself about how out of control my diet has gotten so I can begin to make adjustments.

This time its not about kicking my ass, its not about forcing myself to get in control, its not about calories or clothing size or weight. I'm not on a diet, I'm not doing it anyone else's way. I'm not doing a method or a trick. It's about doing things my way. Doing things in a way that works for me and fits who I am. This time its about changing the rest of my life.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Nowhere But Up

Today I went on the first run I've been on since before I was pregnant. That makes it over a year and a half since I've been on a run. And that's sad. But now is better than never.

My last post was a product of my still crazy hormones. In the past when I've been in my pms funk it's only lasted a day or so and then I'm back on track again. This seems to be lasting a few more days and I'm just not accustomed to it I guess.

While I haven't found a solution for hormone craziness yet, I have started to feel a little more motivated about getting my health back. It's kind of nice that this bout of motivation seems manageable. Instead of overhauling my eating habits I've been trying to go on a meal-by-meal basis. I try to eat salad or something on the lighter side if I have the option and I've been trying to avoid soda. It's a start at least. With exercise it's one day at a time.

Today Paul said he'd go on a walk with me. I downloaded a couch to 5k app on my phone that plays a ringing sound whenever you switch from running to walking. We strapped Charlotte in the jogging stroller and to my surprise he actually did the intervals with me. It was really nice. I want so badly for us to be a family that does things like go for runs together. I hope that this continues!

I'm not making any promises in terms of training for a 5k but I'd really like to get to where Paul and I can both run a 5k in the fall. Oh, and I just have to give props to my brooks shoes. My Aunt Colleen recommended them for me and they are fabulous for running! I only had a little bit of a hamstring ache (probably due to a lack of strength) but my feet didn't hurt hardly at all. Even with my shoes that are meant for overpronation and with very expensive custom orthotics I have a pretty substantial amount of foot pain but these were great. I'm sold!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Bottom of the Bottomless Pit

I'm in a slump. I really bad slump. A slump that I don't even know how to begin to solve slump.
Lately I've been a little more than busy and exercise just isn't happening. I've been a little less than happy and food is the key to my happiness lately.

Yesterday I had a "I'm turning 28 this month" reality check. I'm had a voice lesson where we decided to focus on my work to prepare for the met audition. For anyone that doesn't know the met audition is the new york  metropolitan opera competition where they award large cash prizes to winners and it's an opportunity for singers to "get discovered". I spent some time Friday evening researching it to find out when it is, what I need to do to prep for it, and who has done well in the past.
What I found is that past winners and mentionable participants have resumes that make me look like an amateur. And most of those participants are younger than I am. This combined with the fact that I can only participate 3 times before I'm too old and that I feel so behind in spite of my experience had me in tears in my lesson. And I didn't really realize it was because of my birthday this month until I started to think about it in the car on the way home and burst into tears.
Now, I know I'm not that old. And I know most of the people that are reading this are older. But that doesn't mean you didn't feel the same way when you turned 28!
In my unexpected mourning episode I started to think about how to be in better health as I approach what feels like a significant birthday now - significant because I've never cared about getting older until now. And as I started to go through the how-to list of things I could do I realized I really don't want to do anything.

I enjoy exercise but it's so hard to fit it in when I feel like I'm not doing the best job taking care of my baby. I'd work on couch to 5k again but I feel like it jacks up my body and I spend a fortune fixing it at the chiropractor. I'd eat better but it's nearly impossible without spending a bunch of extra money on food when I share meals with 4 other people most of the time. And it doesn't help that my appetite is ridiculous. I end up having second lunch, second dinner, first, second, and third dessert. I drink regular soda. I eat candy. I don't even hesitate when there's fried food to be had. I am a bottomless pit. I eat until I'm miserable, wait an hour, and eat again.

I feel like this whole weight loss thing has spiraled so far out of control and the worst of it is that I don't even care enough to really buckle down and do anything about it. It doesn't help that nobody in my household is willing to do anything remotely helpful to encourage or support me. I tried to convince Paul to train to run a 5k with me but he refuses. I feel like I've completely lost all motivation and all support to do better.

Typically I come up with some sort of solution to battle my frustrations when I get down on myself like this, but I'm out of ideas. Seriously. I don't even know if I believe that I'm ever going to know what it's like to be a healthy weight.