when life gives me food, I eat it…and now to start over!

It has been a crazy 11 days.

Last Tuesday was my birthday (the 26th). I started celebrating on the 24th by going out to eat at this restaurant called The Velvet Cactus. It’s supposed to be Mexican, but it’s more of a Nola-Mex if you ask me. Food was decent, atmosphere real cool. Afterwards, we (husband, kid and friends) went down to:

The best Italian ice cream in New Orleans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had the banana pudding gelato...Oh my word….’Nuff said.

Monday, I took off from work and a friend of mine took me out for lunch. I had shrimp quesadillas with a chipotle aioli. I ate it all up! Tuesday, a co-worker took me out for Mexican. Wednesday I chilled out and actually made it to the gym. Then Thursday I went out with some of my girls to The Rum House and had more awesome tacos, fried plantains and a beer. It was all so yummy.

Sunday afternoon, me and the family left for a little vacation station on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I feel like I haven’t stopped eating! It was all so good and yummy…but I think I’m actually growing tired of food, for now. I had started a new 40 day round last week, but looks like I’m going to have to reset my modem. My belly is feeling so yucky. My body feels sluggish. And on top of all that I have a cold. So I’m going to spend the next 4 days trying to cleanse my body a bit.

I need some apples. I need to make sure I drink plenty of water. Which reminds me that I need to pick up some Tazo Zen tea. My body and tummy perk up so much when I drink it. No crazy purges here, but I do need to “re-align” my stomach (and my schedule). I need to do a lot of tweaking to my food, exercise and personal schedule again. I feel like I’m always telling myself this, but if I don’t make lists, plans and memos, I’ll never get things done. Time to get things back on track!

 

 

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trigger eating

Emotional eating, stress eating, eating ’cause you’re bored… We all eat for a reason. These reasons are some times called triggers. What propels you to eat things that you shouldn’t? What propels you to eat just to eat? Technically, all the reasons I listed are considered emotional eating. The emotion that triggers me is Boredom.

Boredom is an emotional state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do, and is not interested in their surroundings. Thanks, Wikipedia!

I get snack-y (as I like to say) when I have nothing to do. If it’s slow at work, I want to raid the kitchen. If it’s a lazy day at home, I’m searching out pantries, freezers and cookie jars. I’m actually trying to keep the kitchen raid at bay, as I type. The day is dragging, our grocery shopping is done, watched a movie with the family…and now I’m watching the clock. There is nothing left to do really. I did a lap around the kitchen inspecting over-sized bags of chips, a cooking jar, and playing that weird game with the fridge. You know the game; when you open the door expecting something magical to happen. I open the door and stare hard into the fridge hoping to find something “satisfying” to eat. However, I’m not trying to satisfy hunger because I’m not hungry! I’m bored. So, so bored!

So I grabbed my Brita water bottle (maybe I’m just thirsty), and I plopped down in front of my lap top to share my predicament. It’s too hot outside right now to go for a walk on the levee, and I don’t have enough time to go to the gym before going to church with my family. I could use some motivation, right now, to keep my eye on the prize. How do you avoid emotional eating?

Oh, happy day! 199

Yesterday morning, I stepped on the scale, and to my ultimate surprise it finally read 199 pounds! One Hundred and Ninety-Nine pounds, people! This is an epic moment for me. I have been in the 200’s for at least the past 6 years. I have gotten close to breaking the 200’s and have never fully succeeded until now! It is mind-boggling to me. Almost like, I have no clue what to do with myself. So, in celebration of Me, I will go and buy a dress.

I really have to give major props to Weight Watchers. I joined on April 7th, and it has worked so well in helping me get out of that slump I fell into in February. I haven’t been working out so intensely, as before. When I joined WW’s, I told myself that I would just concentrate on just dropping actual pounds (as a posed to losing inches, like before), and then once I broke 200 pounds I would go back to working on changing my body composition (back to focusing on losing inches). I feel like now that I have taken down a piece of my weight loss wall, I can bulldozer the rest. Now it is time to set another weight loss goal. My birthday is coming up in June, and I would like to be 190 pounds by then. I’ll definitely settle for 195 and couple of shaved off inches, though. 😉

I have learned to be more creative with my food, when cooking. That has been a huge help for me. I want to enjoy my food, healthy or not. I love to savor my food. Eating is a total experience of all my senses. So, if you’re like me, don’t settle for only eating frozen diet meals! I eat those to if I don’t have time or don’t feel like making anything. However, I wouldn’t have made it this far alone on that! It’s boring, and sometimes not very good food.

Commercial time: What I love about Weight Watchers (and you don’t have to do WW’s to do this) is that you can eat anything. ANYTHING. So you have to decide what is worth to you to spend your points on. Before WW’s I had to decide what was worth to spend my calories on. If you’re not enjoying the food, you wont enjoy the process, and you will quit. I have had to experiment to make meals matter to me, and I have loved them! Here are a few. I hope that these may give you a few ideas, and if you have any ideas, please send them my way!

This was my breakfast this morning. I like to “splurge” on the weekend because during the week I drink breakfast smoothies.
1 large brown egg whole & 1 egg white. 1 tbs fresh salsa, piece of toast with goat cheese (it’s my favorite cheese!). A cup of strawberries and black berries, 8 oz of fat-free chocolate milk, and a cup of coffee (that I can’t do without) with a splash of milk, no sugar.

An apple & a plain turkey sandwich. What made it special for me was a nice slice of yellow bell pepper, gave it a good crunch.

I used a Morning Star chicken patty, 1 oz. goat cheese, 1/4 oz of avocado, red bell pepper and some spring mix. Colorful and creamy!

My baby girl loves tacos. So I substituted the hard taco shell for lettuce. Saves on points and calories. 2 oz. lean ground beef, 1/4 cup fat-free re-fried beans, 1/2 tbs plain Greek yogurt, a pinch of fat-free cheddar, and a few dots of Habanero sauce!

 

 

Same concept as before, but this time with 2 oz. of shrimp, grilled.

 

 

the weight watchers beginnings

Day 3 on Weight Watchers. First day was a points blow out! Not because I ate horrible things, but because the point system is much different from just counting calories (which I’m use to). I had to learn quickly to stretch my snacks throughout the day. I was starving Monday night. Stuffed myself with chips and salsa. Yesterday, I did much better with spreading my snacks around and eating more fruits and veggies. However, I didn’t plan well for dinner and when I got to my mom’s house that evening, I was so hungry! I had 2 tacos (ground meat and cheese, 2 mini taco shells), and then two bowls of rice with meat and cheese. Not good.

Today, I can say I had an even better grasp with the food. Right now I’m feeling a twinge of hunger. I don’t like feeling hungry at home, in the evenings, because I don’t have things to distract me like work or workouts. One thing I am noticing with the new Points Plus system that Weight Watchers has, is that they’re really “forcing” you to eat more fruits and veggies to fill up (almost all fruits and veggies are zero points, it seems). Also, you can’t swap activity points like before. Now, you can only swap out activity points for food points until you run out of your extra weekly allowance points. No wonder people are losing more than ever on this plan! It’s completely geared to retrain your mind and body to eating right and exercising.

Speaking of exercising…I worked out today during my lunch hour for the first time, at the gym. I didn’t like feeling so rushed to change and eat my lunch (after my workout), but I did love the way I felt the rest of the work day. After doing home work with my baby girl, I changed into my workout gear again and did Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Melt Down. It was hard. It was awesome! I always start her videos scared because I know how tough she is, but I am always so proud to see how far I can go! What great motivation to see how strong you really are! By the end of the 30 minute DVD, I was drenched in sweat and even had that urge to puke a little. LOL  I did not puke…Thank God!

That’s my recap for the mid-week. I can feel the little wave of motivation. I like it. Pushing your mind and body is an amazing feat! And it’s definitely worth relishing and celebrating.

**I’m brand new to the Weight Watchers Points Plus Plan..so if you have any suggestions or corrections, help a sista out!**

18: a relationship for life

Today I enjoyed an awesome, wonderfully creamy Oreo Cookie shake. That’s right, a cookie shake. And you know what the best part about it was? There was no guilt or downward spiral of regret. What a wonderful thing to eat something that you like and not feel that you owe anyone an explanation. Is this some sort of rebellion? No. Am I turning away from healthy eating? No. Then what?! I am walking down a road of reconciliation. I’m fixing my relationship with food.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not planning on making this cookie shake thing a habit. I am only sharing the fact that it’s okay to like and enjoy what you’re eating, in moderation of course. I am someone (I’m sure like most people) that enjoys their food. I was raised by two women whose cooking skills were and are second to none! My grandma cooked and baked for a living, and she was amazing at it. My mom has a tremendous palate, and is an “Iron Chef” in her own right! The foods I grew up on were always home cooked, nothing frozen, full of flavor! I could never eat healthy food just for health’s sake. I’m sorry. Food may be fuel, but it doesn’t just fuel your body; it fuels your life.

Holidays, birthdays, any kind of celebration is enjoyed with food! Then on the other hand: sadness, stress and anxiety are suppressed with food. We tend to place food on a strange pedestal most of the time. Either way, it becomes a source of comfort, a channel for our emotions. When we’re not careful the foods that we love can transform into the things that we loathe the most. Then just like any unhealthy relationship, we can’t seem to break free.

Hamburgers have always been my favorite food since I can remember. However, growing up I never really ate that much fast food. My mom let me have fast food on the weekends or if I was sick (it was a comfort when I started to feel better). When I finally had my own car and had my own money, I went hamburger crazy! I ate what I wanted, whenever I wanted! I loved it! Then it happened. I became addicted. Addicted to the sugar. I started putting on weight fast, and began to suffer from migraines from the sugar lows and highs. Though I felt miserable, I couldn’t stop eating the junk food. I suffered with that for 10 years. As much I wanted to lose the weight and get away from the food that was killing me… I couldn’t make a clean break. My emotions were shattered. I was confused, and it was so horrible that many times I would have mini break downs in the grocery store. I didn’t know what to eat or how to eat any more. Everything I wanted seemed toxic and wrong. Everything I needed seemed bland and boring. I couldn’t commit to that.

My main problem was that I just didn’t have a healthy relationship with food, period. It seemed to taunt me and invite me in at the same time. I hated it, and I hated myself for being so confused. I knew from the very beginning of this journey that I had to finally attack to root of my problems. Losing weight is not a superficial thing. Some times we have no clue how emotionally trying the battle can be. But the battle isn’t against food. It is against the stigma we put on food, or certain foods. I don’t want to believe or live in an “all or nothing” attitude when it comes to eating. I want to have knowledge to make informed decisions. Because when it comes down to it, every pound lost is because of a choice made. You and I hold the power over food, not vice versa.

I have made small choices over the past 3 months that have resulted in big wins for me. Yes, I did have to get away from the fast food. It is a horrible lie we tell ourselves that our (bad) eating habits don’t have to change in order to lose weight. You end up frustrated, and probably heavier than you started. The science behind weight loss isn’t complicated or mystical. Eat less, move more. Yet if you don’t fix your relationship with food, eating less will not be enough! Find out how food works. What is a carbohydrate? How does protein work? What’s so great about fiber? Read labels. Do research. Find healthier alternatives. Fill your mind with knowledge, and then feed your body tasty nutritious foods that make you feel good.

Also, don’t be afraid of cravings. Some times after I work out I want a juicy steak or hamburger. However, I know I can’t go to Wendy’s and get a combo meal that will wreck what I accomplished working out. So I try to make a healthier version of it. I still get what I crave (which is really protein), but I don’t obliterate myself with high calories. What happens though when you know that the healthier version just wont cut it? Be smart. Make a plan. Get a kid’s meal. Or don’t order the double or the triple burger. Get the single burger with a side salad instead of fries. Or if you don’t want a salad, just get the small burger and call it a day. Then after all that… don’t make yourself miserable with guilt. If you know that you’re going to feel guilty, then just say “No.” Because then you probably didn’t need the burger in the first place. And this comes from first hand experience.

I took time out to separate my emotions from fast food and cut it out. I know my limits. I have pretty much come to a point where I really don’t crave it any more. Actually, some times just thinking about the greasy food makes my stomach hurt. Yet, I don’t trash talk it or bash it. Because some times, I go back for a little visit. But I know better now. So I can have a Oreo cookie shake and not feel like I wrecked my progress. Love what you eat, or don’t eat it any more. Eat what you love, or you wont want to eat right any more.   It is what it is, as my husband says. It’s a shake. I drank it. I enjoyed it. I moved on. Tomorrow is another day to eat healthy. Tomorrow is another day that is not filled with confusion; just an honest to goodness, healthy reconciled relationship with food.

10: 4 miles & 2 pieces of pie

Eeek! That title makes me feel so embarrassed, but I can’t lie! All things considered, I think I did pretty well through this Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving Day I went for a walk. I ate just what I said I was going to eat. I even had 1 piece of pie, no ice cream! Yesterday, which was the official day of eating left overs, I picked on turkey and a merlition stuffing my mom had made. I woke up this morning, had a cup of coffee and made my way to the park. Thanksgiving day I only walked 1 1/2 miles. I pulled a muscle in my upper thigh, so I couldn’t continue. Today I pushed myself the full 4 miles I’m supposed to be doing. My shins are a little sore now. I’m going to give them a break tomorrow by working out at home with a circuit workout I printed out from http://www.fitsugar.com

Anyway… Like I was saying…I got my work out in this morning. When I got back home I had a very filling breakfast. The family and I went to the mall for a bit, and I had a chargrilled chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A, no fries, side salad please! I kept the wellness momentum going at dinner with a big salad, cauliflower and turkey. But then I looked into the frig and saw the yummy, home-made, Paula Dean pumpkin pie. A tiny piece wont hurt. So I served myself a sliver and a small scoop of Blue Bunny Vanilla ice cream. No guilt! However…it dawned on me, on the way to throw away my paper plate, that I didn’t have a piece of apple pie! I had to have a piece of  apple pie! And ice cream!! So I did. I didn’t have a very big piece, but this time I did feel bad. I still feel bad, but not from guilt, from belly ache. 😦 Booo…

Ah, the sugar temptation bested me this evening! Yet, I will not be ultimately defeated! Tomorrow is another day to say no to pie, and to work by butt off toward that size 14!

Say it loud! NO PIE ALLOWED!