Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Embrace the Slow

OK. So the juicing is over. OVER.

Life is so crazy that I just don't have time in my day to make juice. After I make food for everyone else and take care of everything on my lists lately, I have no time or energy left to scrub up my vegetables, juice them, drink the juice, and the scrub up the juicer. Yesterday I had one juice, and the rest of the day nothing. I just had no time.

ALSO, I was talking to my friend about how I'm juicing again. She's not against juicing or anything, but she did have the guts to be honest with me--and she seems to have nailed it. She basically pointed out (in a very nice way) that I seem to try these huge changes all the time, and they always end up burning me in the end. And she notices it because she does the same stuff. Or at least she used to. She told me things I've heard before, but somehow this time I heard it differently. Somehow, instead of knowing it only in my mind, it started to really sink in. She told me that what I really need to do is just make small, teeny-tiny changes. And stick with each change for a long time before I add in another change.

As I listened to her and we talked about it, it came to me that I really need to just "embrace the slow." I think I've been so caught up in the weight I've gained, thinking that I need to lose that gain super fast to get back to where I was, and then I can be okay with going slow. So the scale goes up, and I do something really really strict so that it'll go down fast, and then when it does I am so tired of being so strict that my eating just kind of freaks out.

You know how people will go up and down the same five pounds for months and months, and then something will click and they'll start losing again or whatever. Well--the way I've been doing it, I've been going up and down like 30 pounds instead of 5. Don't ask me why I am so different than everyone else, it's all part of my weird makeup. What makes me me, I don't know. I really am trying to figure it out. Yo-yoing 30 pounds is way too crazy.

Anyway, I decided I need to embrace the slow. I only juice fasted for 1.5 days. But I found that it was a good amount of time to get a clean slate (not as much as I'd like, but I'll save a longer fast for later when I'm more stable with my habits), but to not get myself to the point where I felt the need to eat everything in sight when I was done. I have done really well today. There was a BBQ at Jared's work, and I ate very well. I still ate from what was on the table (that's the normal part) but I didn't eat a lot, and I didn't eat any of the really bad stuff (that's the more in control part).  I also had to do some pretty major grocery shopping today--Walmart, Costco, Winco--and I was gone for hours. During dinner time and everything. I had those brief thoughts of grabbing something to snack on or eat, but they were fleeting thoughts and I easily dismissed them because I was behaving like someone who is in control. By the time I was done at Costco it was almost 7:00, and I had a few dollars in my purse that I decided to use to grab something from the snack bar real quick. After all, how bad could it be after all the stuff I deliberately didn't eat today? But it only took a second for me to zip the purse back up and tell myself that was crazy thinking, and that there would be no snack bar today.

So I have had a lot of good victories lately. I bought a big container of those Winnie the Pooh cookies they have at Costco because we have family coming and we'll have 8 kids here, and I was trying to stock up on some stuff for all of them. A week ago I would have put the container on the seat next to me in the car and snacked on them while I drove. (Little kid cookies? Really? Yes, really. They taste good). But I didn't do that today. I thought about it briefly, but I didn't want them.

I know I cut the juice fast way, way short. I know you readers are probably thinking I've lost my mind going from one thing to the next and never being in the same mind about what it is I really am doing. And you're right. Just know that I really am genuinely trying to find out what I need to do right now. I do feel so much better, at this point, than I have in a really long time. So that's good.

I also bought a few new items of clothing today. Kind of my way of accepting the fact that I am not going to speed my way back down to where I was. I need clothes. Not buying the clothes was supposed to be my motivation, but now that I have embraced the slow, I need to not feel the urgency to go unrealistically strict in order to have something to wear.

I have continued to go for a good walk every day, and to get in my crunches--except today on the crunches, I was literally on my feet all day from 6 in the morning until 11 tonight. And I'm so exhausted the last thing I want to do is get on the floor and do 500 crunches. But tomorrow I will get up and do my walk's starting to become a habit again!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 1 Juicing

I woke up today, took a shower, and walked to the store for some produce. It didn't take as long as I thought, and after I got home and clocked it I found out it was only a two mile round trip. But--I'm okay with that, because it was something. Then I came home and did 500 crunches, and drank 100 ounces of water.

I had my first juice around 10--because that's when I got around to it (I was making bread for a couple of friends today). Juice number one was a citrus juice--1 grapefruit, 3 oranges, a whole bunch of kale and a whole bunch of spinach.

I had some brief thoughts about eating other things today, but not too much, not too strong. I just shrugged it off and kept going with my day.

I had my second juice around 3--carrots, celery, tomato, cilantro, lemon. It was pretty yummy!

I had my last juice around 6--it's a v-8 juice, of sorts. Carrots, celery, tomatoes, green onion, red bell pepper, kale, spinach, and a chunk of beet with greens. It was pretty good, too.

All three of them were pretty big, around 40 ounces I'd say. I almost want to say that I would have preferred them not to make quite so much, but I'm sure it was good for me to drink all that.

I haven't felt super great today. A little headache-y at times, and just kind of yuck. That's pretty normal for the first few days, but after that I expect to feel like a million bucks.

I have been chewing a piece of sugar free gum here and there. I don't know if you're supposed to do that, but I don't care. I like it, and it will keep me going longer.

I won't have too much variety in my juices, because I don't have a lot of money to be out there buying a bunch of veggies right now. But I actually like it easy, predictable, less complicated.

And even though I haven't felt the best today, I must say that I have felt a lot better than I have in the past couple of weeks. No pasty flour and sugar junking up my system. So that's a really, really, really good thing. My body needs to detox from that stuff and then it can move on to better things.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I hate big baggy t-shirts and "soft" pants.

And there's no such thing as a cheat when Sunday morning comes and none of your church clothes fit. OK, the skirts fit, but they are seriously tight. Today, for church, I had to raid my husband's shirts. I wanted to cry. I ended up wearing a tan skirt (too tight) and one of Jared's white dress shirts, with a scarf. I felt like a freak. But none of my shirts would work. I can't fake it anymore.

Another thing that I hate having to say, but it's the truth.

I have talked about extremes. Well, I have decided to juice fast this week. Not so much as a quick weight loss thing, but more as a wipe-the-slate-clean thing, to get rid of the cravings and crap that has seemed to overtake me the past few weeks. I need to get the toxins out (why, oh WHY do I let sugar into my system? Sugar is so terrible!) I need to juice fast so that I can flush the bad stuff out and give myself a new start.

I'm a little nervous, because of the fact that I haven't been able to stick to anything I've tried for the last little while.

But I'm to the point where I just have to.

Here's what I look forward to.

Juice fasting makes me feel AMAZING. I feel completely on top of my game, and I have more energy than ever. I've probably said it before, but the best I have ever felt in my life has been when I've been on HCG, and when I've juice fasted. I need the juice to bring me back to life. Which it will if I let it!

Luckily I have a lot of produce in my fridge right now! Tomorrow morning I will get up and exercise, and then walk to Winco for some more produce (yay for 24 hour grocery stores!), and get my shower before Jared leaves for work at 8.

And then I will have fun with my kids doing something on our summer bucket list.

And so begins project bring-me-back-to-life.

I need to succeed, too, because right now I have zero confidence, and my Sunday clothes are my only motivation.

I still refuse to go shopping. Because if I buy bigger clothes, I'm just masking this huge, ugly problem and it will just get bigger.

Don't give up on me.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I don't even know what to call this post.

I'm totally out of control. Not like as bad as I've been before, but just--I can't get a grip on myself! What is going on with me?

I'm trying to figure out just what works for me. Things that have worked for me in the past don't work anymore. The bottom line is that it's not about what method I try, it's about me. It's about what is going on inside my head. Which--I don't know what that is.

I have tried the super strict. And I have done super well. And then eventually I break, because it's too much. So my most recent "thing" is to just try and practice restraint, and be realistic. Eat the way "real" people eat--not necessarily people who lose weight, but people who just eat to live, enjoy a little extra once in a while, and do whatever work it takes to cancel out the extras. People who don't spend time gaining lots of weight.

I was supposed to do a juice fast this month. Then I decided against it because I knew that right now, at this point, I'm not ready for it. If I do that, I'll end up finishing the fast and then running to Subway for a footlong and a bag of chips. So I decided that the first step needs to be to just chill out, back off, and not really think about food so much.

Well that's not working. I keep coming up with ideas for different parameters to set, and then by 10 or 11 in the morning I decide I want something outside the specific parameters, and that's it. I haven't stayed "on plan"--on any plan, for an entire day, for a REALLY long time. I can't remember the last time.

I hate to admit that. It's hard to get on the blog and talk about the super low times. It's easy to talk about the weight issue when I'm doing awesome. But times like now--it's just really hard. I don't like to get on here and talk about how I'm completely lost and don't have any clue what to do with myself at this point. I feel like crap. All the time.

It wasn't that long ago that I felt so awesome, and I would NEVER believe that there was anything in this world that would make me give up that feeling. And now look at me. It's like I don't even care. The thing is, I do care. I care, I care, I care. So why, why in the world, does a bowl of Kix or a row of Ritz crackers drive all that care right out the window?

I haven't thrown in the towel, but I keep letting myself down, day after day after day. What I don't understand is why food can be so controlling.

The good news is that I have been trying to get exercise back in my life. Yesterday and today I went out for a walk, did just under 4 miles each time. I love it! Just me and my iPhone with my Pandora. LOVE it. I love the time to myself, and it feels good. But I'm so out of practice. So out of shape.

Something's gotta give. On Friday my mom and my sister and her kids are coming into town for 10 days. A week later, we're leaving for a 2 week road trip through California. SO excited!!! We're also taking family pictures at the beginning of that trip, and we'll be seeing a lot of people who haven't seen me since I weighed significantly less. Grumble. And my clothes don't fit me again--I'm back to wearing baggy t-shirts and "soft" pants. I HATE IT!

So starting on Monday (aah, the old "Monday start" diet thing), I am going to do my Gilad toning 6 days a week until we leave for our trip. My poor baggy body needs the crunches and the squats and lunges and all that other stuff. I mean, my body DESPERATELY needs it. So, it's time to do something.

I am also going to just keep trying every day to control the food thing. Something's gotta give.

Pray for me, people.

On a positive food note, last night I went to the extra effort of making my pizza on the mushroom caps again, and today for dinner the whole family had spaghetti squash spaghetti. (Which the kids wouldn't eat, so I have a lot of leftovers).

I also joined bountiful baskets, a produce co-op, so we have a lot more fruits and vegetables available these days.

AND, I should give myself credit that even through the struggles I have not gone back to fast food or soda. I think I've kicked those for good. I mean, maybe the occasional twice-a-year burger and fries or something, but for real, I just have no desire to eat that crap. What I need to do is dump more things into that category--oreos, homemade bread & butter, etc. Still, I really am glad to know that the soda and fast food don't have any power over me.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Mental Game

I keep thinking this or that will be a good idea for me, and then before too long I just get tired of it. I have done a few different "brilliant" ideas over the past 6 months, and I just fizzle out so quickly! It's really hard to not just "go back" to the unhealthy habits. Probably because it's just so easy. It's autopilot. It's what I can do without having to put in all the time and effort and focus. Not that I want to go back. But.

With as much experience as I have with weight loss, you'd think I'd have myself a little more figured out by this point. (Too bad I have more experience with weight gain than with weight loss). I don't want to ignore the fact that I have learned A LOT. I've learned a lot about weight loss and health and fitness in general, and I've learned a lot about myself in relation to all that. So yes, I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I used to be. But I do not have myself all figured out.

Maybe part of it is that life changes, and people change. The dynamics of my life usually aren't the same for too many years at a time. All through childhood, life's dynamics change rapidly. Then as an adult, it's college and then figuring out what you're doing for the summer, and where you're living, and who your roommates are, and how many credits you will take, and what your job schedule will be like (if you worked through college like I did). Then it's done with college, time to get a job--where to apply, which job to take, where to live, maybe who to live with, co-workers, etc. Then for me it was getting married, getting pregnant, having a baby (moving multiple times in the process), Jared graduating, then joining the Army, then us moving across the country--and then it was years and years and years of changes. Adding more kids to the family, moving (again and again and again)--and not just when the Army sent us somewhere. We have a habit of moving a lot. The longest we've ever lived in one house is 18 months. More kids, master's degree, more kids, more moving, deployments, more moving, vacations, getting used to new places and new schedules and new resources. And during all of that, of course it's not just life that's changing, it's me that's changing. Things that worked before don't always work again, maybe because my body is older or different or has been through more, maybe because my mindset is different, my learning has increased, my food addiction has gotten worse, my views change, whatever.

So. The one thing that is constant is that I have to always reevaluate what and how I'm doing. What in the world is going on inside my head? I think that right now it's more a head game than anything.

I was really excited to do WW, and then after less than a week of tracking points I got so tired of it. Not that I don't want to do weight watchers, because I absolutely do. I know that the problem is not with the program, the problem is with me. I need to adjust my mindset. Looking back to preparing to start the weight watchers points plus plan, things that I thought were "You can eat whatever you want in WW as long as you can fit it into your points. No food is restricted!" I still like that, but I think I started focusing so much more on eating whatever I wanted. Portions were part of that. I dreamed of eating and eating, mounds and mounds of veggies and fruits because they're "free." Not that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables is bad, it's just that the whole idea of doing weight watchers got me to thinking about all the stuff I was going to eat. I would finish eating something and start thinking about the next thing I would eat. And what I would have for dessert. It's the same thing I did when I tried following the Biggest Loser eating plan.

I am starting to get it that even though this battle includes thinking and planning and counting and tracking, and it always will, I do not do well when I let food be on my mind so much. And so the challenge for me is to learn how to think and plan and count and track in a more passive way. Some way that will let me not think so much. I have to figure out how to be more relaxed about it all. I mean, life is happening all day long, and there are so many things that are so much more important than food!

I need more time for taking care of home and family, providing for all the needs around me--the cleaning, the cooking, the laundry, the fun, the events, the plans, the work--and if that wasn't enough, I have started an online marketing class that involves weekly assignments and all that jazz. At any rate, I do not want my LIFE to be thinking and planning and counting and tracking food. I want my life to be family and kids and fun and events and work and all those things that life really is. If I could have it my way, I'd just eat whatever is for breakfast lunch and dinner every day and not worry about it. Obviously that hasn't worked for me in the past, and the fact that I have not been able to handle it SCREAMS at me that not thinking about it is clearly not an option. I do have to work at it. I do have to pay attention. I do have to think and plan and count and track.

I just need to make peace with it. The weight management part of my life cannot be the engine. It can't be first. I cannot devote as much time to it as it seems to need. And so I have to figure out how to just do it and stop letting it be so huge.

I so loved the idea of doing a picture food journal every day and posting it. I did like it. But the truth is, having to remember to take a picture of everything, then put the pictures on the computer and then onto the blog, every day--it required to much thought and focus. I don't want to give the food in my life that much importance at the expense of things I could be doing and thinking of instead. It seems that sometimes the great ideas can really backfire. I love having this blog, but if I start posting all the time and "checking in" and going on and on (like I'm doing right now? LOL) also gives the whole weight thing a lot of my attention and time.

I need a good balance, so that I don't put so much work into tracking that I get sick of it and quit. So that I don't put so much work into blogging about weight loss that I get sick of it and stop blogging for weeks at a time. I want to do these things, and so in order to be able to keep doing them I actually need to stop doing them so much. Just like exercising. I want to keep exercising, but if I set my standards at 2 hours a day, it won't take too many days for me to just stop. That's a hard one, because I can just tell myself that 30 minutes is great, but then when I've done 30 minutes it feels so good that I want to keep going. So I keep going for a long time, and then do it the next day, and then I don't even want to think about exercising for a week. I guess I need to be more disciplined and maybe set a 45 minute a day cap or something, so that I don't wear myself out too much to keep going. I need to back off the exercise. I need to back off the pictures of my food. I need to just relax and just incorporate good foods and good portions into every day life.

OK, that's enough. I'm sure I've yapped enough for one session. I guess this is the long story about where I am right now.