Obsession

How could it be that two women, separated by a continent and an ocean, and at least 10 years in age, and probably quite a few pounds, could have the same thought process going on at the same time?  I dunno, but it seems like that is what was going on with Wendz and I the past week or so.  Wendz wrote much better than I can probably explain about her frustrations with the world of nutriton and weight loss.

I mean, my brain has been SWIRLING.  Low-fat, low carb, good grains, bad vegetables, high protein, dairy yes or no, vegan, raw, intuitive, mindful, counting calories or points, journaling, portion control…  how IS a person supposed to eat?

Screech…put the brakes on and back up a bit.  What REALLY started this whole brain swirl?  SIX POUNDS.  Six measly pounds.  That’s what started it.  I decided last fall to make a decision to maintain my weight at a higher level than ‘normal’–168 pounds.  That takes a bit of mind work to accept that.  To say that is okay.  To give up the dream of skinny.  And I was still working on processing that when the ‘HOLIDAYS’ hit.  Followed by the trip to Africa.   The end result was 6 solid pounds of weight gain.  Which isn’t a lot different than other people.  But when your mind starts swirling–what if this is the beginning of the end?  Yeah, its six pounds from 168, but its almost 20 pounds from your lowest weight.  And all these people think you’re such a great maintainer.  HOW CAN I GET THIS WEIGHT OFF?  What’s wrong with me?  Why do I keep eating when I’m not hungry?  What they say is true–‘its almost impossible to maintain weight loss permanently.’

OH. MY. GOSH.  Shut up, debby.

I don’t want to stop eating healthy foods.  I’ve been doing  great adding in more fruits and vegetables to my daily fare (oops, sorry bout that mention.)  And I’m gonna eat ALL the vegetables and fruits that are on the list in my calorie counter book.  Well, all the ones I like.  As soon as my yogurt and cottage cheese supply runs out, I am going to challenge myself to go dairy free for a week.  I will never give up dairy, but it will give me a chance to remember that there are other great foods out there.  I might do a nut fast for a week LOL.

I actually WANT to exercise more vigorously than ever.  I have plans to get my bike fixed up, and if I ride it X number of miles (haven’t decided yet) I might let myself get a new really cool pink bike like Shelley.  And I WANT to swim more this year.  Already thinking about what kind of hair I need to make it easy.  I tried out a new machine at the gym–think they called it a cross trainer.  I thought I was getting in the recumbant bike (to empathize with Shelley) and I was too embarrassed to get off of it–watched a bit of Oprah and worked off 50 calories.  I got a cool new sticker from Shelley, and I’m thinking about ‘training’ to walk a half marathon.

I talked to a friend at work.  Someone who’s been a healthy weight, eating healthy food, and relatively active for as long as I’ve known her–23 years.  And she said she has the same struggles.  SIGH….  I felt so relieved after talking to her.

I started reading a new book–Rethinking Thin.  Its almost comical that there have been diet theories and people obsessing over their weight for hundreds of years.  I think Debra SY is right.  There are probably a number of very different reasons that people are overweight.  And those reasons probably make maintaining a weight loss different for each of us.

I am going to continue eating the way I’ve (mostly) been eating–whole foods, minimal sugar, minimal wheat, aiming for about 1300-1500 calories per day, journaling my food, goal of 5 vegetables and 3 fruits per day.  I do need to be more ‘mindful’ of why I am overeating.  (As in, one bark* too many, and debby headed to the chocolate.)  If I can, I will try to make small changes each day that might just add up to a weight loss (I keep thinking about how that was one of the first big things I learned at Weight Watchers–that small changes really did make a difference.)

So there you have it.  The confusing, obsessive, not-so-glamorous life of a ‘maintainer.’

*I was looking for something else on my blog, and came across this funny post.  Man, its funny now, but it sure wasn’t back then.  I have improved so much since then, and so has my big boy.  Today on the way home from church, I noticed it was 72 degrees outside, so after Noah and I took a 4 mile walk, he finally got a bath!

And a little foodie news.  I finally tried that ‘banana soft serve ice cream.’  It is pretty cool how it turns into something that looks a lot like ice cream, using just a frozen banana.  I think I’m not a banana fan, so it didn’t really grab me.  Also might be better if the banana was REALLY ripe?  Here’s how I had it, with a few walnuts, and a little shaved chocolate:

I like this better:  1/2 cup of plain yogurt with a little splenda or sweetener of choice, and 1/2-1 cup of frozen blueberries.  Stir them around for a while, and the yogurt starts to freeze and the blueberries start to thaw.  Yumm!  I usually have it with walnuts mixed in.  But in an attempt to make small changes, I will have it sans nuts tonight!

Tonight I tried Lori’s recipe for corn and chicken chili. Very tasty.  I had a little avocado on top.  Tomorrow I am going to have a little cheese on top of it.  I used those mild green diced chilis in a can and it was not too hot at all.

I saw the new movie “The King’s Speech.”  Wonderful movie.  Great acting.  Good story.  Beautiful costuming.  Thanks for the recommendation, Wendz!

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20 thoughts on “Obsession

  1. That was so well-written – you hit the nail on the head with this:

    “I mean, my brain has been SWIRLING. Low-fat, low carb, good grains, bad vegetables, high protein, dairy yes or no, vegan, raw, intuitive, mindful, counting calories or points, journaling, portion control… how IS a person supposed to eat?”

    I am feeling much calmer since accepting that I like and need grains and am going to keep eating them.

    I’ve been obsessing too much about healthy eating and weight loss, to the point that I was spending more time reading blogs/articles and tracking my food intake and building recipes and just thinking all the time about food, than I was in Bible study and prayer and that is just not on. Things were getting warped.

    And yes – time to really dust off my bike as well – I miss my cycling and it’s so lovely here along the coast. I am so blessed not to live in a big stinky city- I should be outdoors a lot more. Just wish the weather would play ball.

    About the bananas – they do have to be very ripe and you do have to love bananas because that ‘soft serve’ is concentrated banana on your tongue. I sometimes lighten it up with yoghurt, vanilla essence and blueberries.

    I read yesterday that Queen Elizabeth has watched The King’s Speech and she approves. It I a cracking film – I will buy it as soon as the DVD is out. Can’t wait.

    • Its funny about the grains. Some people swear that cutting them out is the answer. And yet on some food pyramids, they have recommended 7 grain servings per day! That is a lot, even for me.

      And yes, I have periodically gotten off track–spending more time tracking blogs than talking to God. No good at all. Most mornings I check my email quick, and then go to another chair with my coffee and my bible and notebook. Life is MUCH better that way.

      Oh that’s so interesting that the Queen approved. She must have loved that such a beautiful little girl played her part!

  2. I like the part where you tell yourself to shut up. Because honestly all that brain swirling does is swirl us into a tizzy! You just keep on and I say that weight will come back off. You’re doing all good things for yourself, including being aware.

  3. Hey deb
    I talked about the King’s Speech on my blog too..LOved it!! I think a big key to maintenance is too keep moving no matter what form that takes….walking , running, bike riding. If it holds your interest and you’ll do it on a regular basis then thats the ticket. Ofcourse the foods important too don’ t get me wrong. Just remember you don’t have to be perfect. 80% angel 20% devil. I think your doing awesome deb. Give yourself some credit. Hugs! deb

    • Yes, and I do think its important to change up the exercise once in a while. I’m looking forward to biking and swimming this spring and summer. And maybe I’ll get in a few more hikes with Noah!

  4. Oh the obsessive swirling makes me INSANE!!! I think that’s one reason I get so stuck – I have too much info in my head and I don’t know which way to go.

    I think your plan sounds great – just do what you can and what has been successful for you. You’re going to be fine.

    And I am drooling over your 72 degree weather. What’s that like? I can’t remember what warm weather feels like!!

    • I know. I was almost embarrassed to mention that it is 72 degrees! If you can believe it, I am still cold in the house, and start a fire most days!

      And I should have given you credit for the ‘brain swirl.’ That is a brilliant phrase!

  5. Twins again! I have been doing too much reading on health and nutrition since Christmas. I have several books out and am reading them simultaneously (depending on where I am in the house) and each of them is different. And they all annoy me to some degree.

    LOL on telling yourself to shut up. Been there!

    The beginning of the end is something that is really scary. Because it could happen and *has* happened to so many people We’ve all seen it. And to those that at one point said “This time it clicked and I know it will be different.” But that fear is what can stop a slide or a skid and turn it around. It’s so hard to prevent the panic that comes with that. The “I’ve got to get this weight off NOW!!” feeling and the urgency that goes along for the ride.

    With all of that said, I am learning that maybe there are things that I need to change in my diet that I don’t want to have to change, but even just altering a bit might make a huge difference for me. I am trying to treat this all as an experiment to see what the results are. Sometimes just going back to the old healthy ways isn’t enough. Or at least not interesting enough to be compliant with (if that makes any sense). So doing those no dairy or no nuts can be a way to stimulate the brain to get back in focus.

    • I knew my two compadres Lori and Shelley would understand!

      I like your idea of experimenting. After all, its still food. Its all good, right?

  6. So funny – I’ve been reading a book that touts a way of eating that would be pretty hard for me to do, yet as I read, I’m actually thinking “I should try this” – you are right – we KNOW what to do, but there is information overload coupled with panic (I am right there with you) and it does make us crazy. Deep breaths. We will get back to our normal. Right?

    So funny you mentioned my pink bike – the weather was gorgeous yesterday (after ice and snow on Friday, hello Texas) and I went for a ride. It was lovely.

    Thank you for taking one for the team on that total-body bike. I would have done the exact same thing – not gotten off due to embarrassment, but of course not asked anyone how to work it either, lol!

    Frozen berries in the yogurt? Brilliant idea! I’m going to try that. Glad you liked your sticker. 🙂

    Oh, and I remember that post about Noah – so nice to see such progress since then!

    • Yeah, fortunately, a trainer came over to demonstrate it to some newcomers, so I just followed along and pretended I knew what I was doing!

  7. Got room for a triplet? I’m up from the holidays, too, and I can’t say I’ve put in true effort to make it go away. It’s been kind of a half-arsed effort…and the swirl. OMG, that horrid swirl!!! Just substitute some different numbers, and you’ll have a peek inside of my head lately. I know there’s more stuff eating me, but the thing is, most of this “stuff”? Is MIGHT or MIGHT NOT happen stuff, rather than what’s going on now. What’s going on right now is actually pretty darn fine.

    I think I need to tell myself to shut up already, too, and get myself back to the gym. Honestly.

    • “I can’t say I’ve put in true effort to make it go away. It’s been kind of a half-arsed effort” yep, that’s part of my problem too.

  8. I hope this isn’t a repeat. I just tried to post a reply and got an error message, so if my original makes it up eventually, please forgive.

    Debby, you did the right thing. You identified those six pounds, and now they have no power over you: their secret is out. Now to lose them. Sigh.

    It may take as long to lose them this time as the first time you lost them. They’re from the bottom of your range, not the top, so try not to get discouraged if they don’t come off at the speed that they piled back on. I give you prayers for patience. (I’ll throw in another prayer that at least one or two of them leaves quickly.)

    Regarding the swirling: I get it. As I was reading Gary Taubes I found myself falling into his plan (and floating up to the top of my range — and one day a pound over). Yeesh. And he thinks I’m a figment of my own imagination. Why should I pay him respect? I’m returning to my life now, thank God.

    Finally, I surely don’t want to be one of the blogs that makes you crazy. I love when you visit, but I forgive you if you need a vacation. The Bible is better reading.

    • Debra–you really gave me a laugh with that last line! And, its good to hear that you have some of the same problems.

      I’m not too far into the ‘Rethinking Thin’ book, but its actually been encouraging in two ways–one, the whole historical perspective–this is not a new problem. And two, I do not have a ‘diet’ perspective. Even when I went to W.W. I hated the phrase ‘stick with the program.’ or ‘work the program.’ No, I wanted to know what the truth was (as much as was available) and wanted to make changes that would keep me healthy (and yes, I dreamed of thin) for the rest of my life.

  9. I love this post. The IS so much “clutter” out there isn’t there. It’s tough to make sense of it all. And what works for one may not work for another. Hope those 6 little pounds drop off eventually (I know they will!) and you feel better. And Noah is SOOOOO cute. Have a great week.

  10. Oh, and a P.S. – I LOVE that sticker!

    P.P.S. “I might do a nut fast for a week LOL.” <- I can't believe this didn't jump out on the first reading. *thud*!

  11. Oh yes, I had the exact feeling your described when I popped above my personal “red line” after Christmas. It was only a pound or so, but I had that fleeting moment when I saw all 100 pounds lost rushing back at me.

    Fortunately, we’re wiser now, and we know that we CAN rekindle good habits and live healthier lives.

  12. Hi Debby,
    I sure identified with this post. My brain has been swirling this week, as well. I’m recovering from my mother’s death, and after about 5 weeks of dealing with her illness, surgery, etc. I have discovered that I gained about 5 -6 pounds, during that stressful time. I guess I wasn’t being mindful, but now I have to deal with it, and I am a bit overwhelmed, to say the least. I’m so indecisive about what I’m going to do that my last post makes me look a bit schizophrenic (spelling?). I don’t know exactly how I’m going to get on track, but I have faith that I will, in spite of all the books, magazines, and diet plans that inundate us on a daily basis. I guess the sheer volume means that we’re not the only ones struggling.

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