Friday, October 26, 2012

Running and processed food (162.8)

I've run twice this week--staying on plan for my race training.  Meeting the girls Sunday afternoon for our long run of 4 miles.  I'm planning on taking a 90 min hot yoga class tomorrow at 8

Yesterday's 3 mile run was gorgeous.  I ran by the Ohio River and it was the prefect evening for it.  Warm & breezy, fall leaves, sun going down.  Perfect.

Vickie wrote a post today that made me think about what I'm eating.  The past two weeks I've been complacent & lazy about food.  I'm not binging, I'm not eating sugary foods.  But I'm not eating enough fresh veggies.  I have celery and an apple everyday with lunch, but lunch is usually a frozen meal.  I did bring a salad from home on Wednesday, but one out of five days of non-processed is not ideal.

So I printed off a bunch of recipes from Vickie's side bar, and am going to tackle at least two of them this weekend. 

It is so hard for me to cook.  Mostly because I don't enjoy it.  I also don't have/want to make time for it. Evenings during the week allow very little time after we get home.  Weekends get full with activities, laundry, cleaning, exercise (when it happens), and I have to REST at least part of the weekend or else I get completely out of balance and grumpy.

I do make things ahead & freeze them--beans & rice mostly.  The kids have frozen chicken breasts/sirloin burgers. I know I could do more.

I would like to get the kids involved in helping me chop veggies and other cooking activities.  I want them to have a mom who cooks.  My mom didn't cook, which I think is a big reason I don't.  So I have to break that cycle with my kids.

My meals at night are typically very simple, like rice/beans/salsa/veggies. Sometimes I'll have a grilled cheese made with Ezekial bread (Luke loves grilled cheese so we have this at least once a week).  I will also have Ezekial toast with avocado & an egg as dinner.  I had leftover soup this week, which I made on the weekend for a birthday party we went to (this soup from Chocolate Covered Katie--warning! do not look at her desserts...they are vegan and more healthy than store bought stuff and absolutely delicious, but still sugary. She does have other non-sugar recipes which I'm sure are great.  The soup recipe is easy & good).  But I've had no fresh or steamed veggies at night this week. Not great.

Roni has been working on eating more non-processed foods, so I know I'm in good company when it comes to this being a battle.  Roni has fabulous recipes.  She's a mainstay for me when I want a recipe.

I'm still doing very, very well.  I'm doing acupuncture twice a month & using my SAD light every weekday.  The acupuncture is like taking anti-depressant meds--I could stop it since I feel better, but that would be stupid because I feel better in no small part because of the acupuncture.  My meds have made a difference, too.  This time of year is almost always very difficult for me because of SAD.  I'm also taking calcium 600 mg gel caps and glucosamine twice a day; my psych told me a couple years ago that calcium can help stave off depression. So I'm thankful I have many tools to stay well. 

My left knee is starting to "slip" when I do side stretches.  I've noticed this in yoga the past several times.  When we are in a split stance and do any sideways bending, I have to be very careful to keep my left leg slightly bent.  Last night after my run I did a split leg bent-over stretch, didn't bend my knee, and my knee cap slipped.  I don't know how else to describe what it's doing. That's what it feels like.  It doesn't bother me while running, but it did freak me out because it was a big slip.  I have been so blessed to have almost no physical limitations, and I don't want to screw up my knee.  I have a friend who is a physical therapist and I'm going to ask her how I can protect it.  Other than making sure I bend it slightly, I don't know what else I should be doing. Your input would be appreciated if you have any ideas.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Running for 5 years & The Pizza Issue (162.8)

Yesterday I ran my first training run for the Princess Half Marathon in February.  As I did my intervals, I thought about how strong I feel when I run fast (fast for me anyway). 

And how I've been running for 5 years now. 

And how I've been unbelievably lucky, that my body has held up this long and I've not suffered injury (knock wood) and can still run fairly easily at age 42.

And how I hope I stay this fortunate well into old age.

The race in February will be my 7th half marathon.  Seven!  The fat girl I used to be would never believe I could run 7 half marathons, let alone one half marathon.

I can already tell it's easier to run at 163 pounds than it was training last year when I ran at 170-175 pounds.  I can't wait until I weigh even less.  Back in the losing-the-first-time days, I wanted to keep losing so I could run faster.

I want to keep losing so I CAN run faster.  That's a motivation to hold onto. 

I also want to get my legs back into shape.  I used to have gorgeous legs, when I was running & taking Body Pump classes.  I miss those legs.  I have middle aged mom legs now.  I can't wait to get some fat off & bring the muscles back to the surface. 


Day 21 of continuous abstinence today. 

I can't help it.  I can't stop thinking about losing my 30 days b/c of 3 slices of pizza.  To be fair, I probably would have put up more of a fight if I hadn't had 3 nights in a row of eating after 9 pm (Cliff & Luna bars, not a binge, just food I didn't need after 9 pm), before the "Pizza Incident."  So I started over b/c it's what my sponsor said I should do.  And I'm OK with that part.  What I'm not okay with is the feeling that pizza isn't really a binge food for me.

Monday night after my meeting I talked with a wise gentleman, who's been in the program for over 20 years, about my pizza episode/losing my 30 days.  He said the day count is about commitment. He commits to not eating binge food. There are certain foods that aren't binge foods but that he won't eat more than a certain amount. For example, on the rare occasion he eats pizza, he commits to eating only two pieces.  If he breaks his commitment, he breaks his abstinence.

Pizza is on my original binge list, but when I look back at how I behave around pizza, I don't have a relationship with it. 
We talked about what a binge food is at our meeting Monday.  If you dream about it, plan your life around it, eat a serving and need another serving right away, eat it compulsively until you feel sick, eat it and then are lead to eat another binge food, worship it and ultimately have a "relationship" with it--that's a binge food.
Sooooo many foods fit that description for me.

But, they don't apply to pizza.  Yes, if I let myself eat 5-6+ slices, I will likely eat something sweet to counter all the salt.  I think that yes, too much of a salty/carby food can trigger a binge for me. I have watched my reaction to foods that have a little sugar/a little starch, and have been very controlled in amounts I eat, and nothing has sent me into eating compulsively.
I'm not eating small amounts of junk foods--I'm talking about about things like 2 Tbsp coffee creamer, blue corn chips, a small serving of pasta, a frozen meal, a dinner entree at Olive Garden that had a sauce with sugar in it.  All things I eat with protein, never by themselves.
Important to note here that I SIMPLY CANNOT EAT "just a little" of foods like chocolate, pastries, candy, cookies, ice cream, pie, cereal, brownies, cake, bagels, muffins, white bread foods like rolls/breadsticks. And I can't eat ANY food in the family room after 9 pm.  These are NEVER AN OPTION. EVER.  Yes, I am prepared to never eat these foods again. But I don't have to think about never eating these foods again.  All I have to do is not eat them TODAY.
So back to pizza.  I like how the OA guy handled it.  I think I will have certain foods that I can have in small amounts, on rare occasions, that won't throw me into compulsive overeating.

I think my classification of foods will change over time, as I recognize foods that aren't a binge food now, but become a binge food. Or foods like pizza that I thought was a binge food but have reflected and decided it's not the food itself necessarily, but the quantity and situation.

I eat pretty much the same things all the time.  I don't need to have hugely varied food choices.  I just want to eat enough to fuel my body.  I don't need to entertain my tastebuds.  I have pretty much always been like this; this isn't something that has happened because I'm now in OA.  I am just boring when it comes to food.

I am choosing & praying & working hard to divorce myself from a relationship with food.

So why all the obsession about pizza?  That's a good question.  I think it's mostly ego--I feel cheated in a way, b/c I lost my 30 days on 3 slices of thin crust pizza.

But it's also practicality.

I have to find a way to work in some SANITY with the RESTRICTIONS of being abstinent. 

I have to work in a way to allow PROGRESS and NOT PERFECTION to drive my behavior and thought patterns.
And maybe I'm delusional and kidding myself and the queen of rationalization. I don't know.  I guess I'll see the next time I have the opportunity to eat pizza.
That does not mean I am going to think it's OK to have a piece of birthday cake at my son's birthday party in a couple weeks. I am programming myself to think about the above binge foods as an alcoholic would think about alcohol.  Other people may be able to eat those foods, but I can't.  I can't because I am an addict, and those foods will make me sick (mentally & physically) and one bite--just like one drink for an alcoholic--can send me into relapse.

I'm learning through prayer, reading, reflecting, talking, and writing, that it's not about losing a day count.  It's about doing everything I can to not lose my life to food addiction.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Checking in (163.2)

Still doing well.  Went to my 10th OA meeting last night.  I feel at home there. 

There are 30 questions in OA that you work through.  I just finished question 2.  I have become complacent and am not doing enough writing as OA instructs us to.  So I'm talking with my sponsor this morning about committing to doing one question a week. Otherwise this will take forever.

I'm using a composition notebook for my questions.  I may also take the time to type my answers into my blog, so you all can see what is going on in my head. 

Question 1 was my food history.  I don't need to type that here. This blog is my food history.

Question 2 is: Read step 1 (We admitted we were powerless over food--that our lives had become unmanageable). Reflect & write upon the effect food has had upon you over the years.  Do you truly see yourself as a compulsive overeater?  If so, explain.

More to come.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pictures in the Park 2012 (163.4)

Pics from our photo session yesterday.  Perfect fall weather and location. This is the 4th time we've had Pics in the Park photos. The photographer is fabulous.  And only $55 for 120 pictures.  We have lots of good ones.  Here are some of the best.  The family pic on the bridge will most likely be our Christmas card.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Size 10s, Slightly Manic Weekend, Love your body (163.6)

I went shopping yesterday for new clothes.  Christopher & Banks has everything 40% off.  My size 12 pants from there were dragging the ground b/c they were hanging off my waist.  I fit in the size 10s just fine and I can wear them until I'm down another 8-10 pounds, which will probably be through winter.  I've been a medium on top for a while now. 

I am trying not to make a big deal out of the smaller size, as I wrote about last week.  The styles are simple & age appropriate. I'm not walking around thinking "woohoo! size 10s!"  I'm not doing a style show for my husband (although I did show him how my pants were falling off me and he said to go buy new pants).

It's been almost 2 years since I've been able to wear size 10s.

I'm on day 14 of abstinence.

I decided yesterday that I am going to do the Princess Half Marathon at Disney next February. We have enough reward miles for a free Delta ticket. 3 other girls are going again, and I need a race to train for so I will make myself run.  It just hasn't been happening.  A goal is what I need to make myself move.

Had an interesting weekend.  I was feeling slightly manic.  Had a ton of energy--cleaned out Sophie's room and the front room.  This involved several bags of trash & stuff for goodwill, and moving furniture.  I also had to sort through years of pictures and school memorabilia on the desk in the front room.  All in all, I spent about 10 hours over Saturday & Sunday working on two rooms. 

I also stayed up Saturday night until 2:30 am watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix.

Monday was the crash. I was exhausted & felt back to normal/slightly down. I also was fighting off a virus Mark & Luke both had (headache, body ache, chills).  Tuesday was blah too.  I'm more normal today.

I found it interesting that the (slightly) manic thing has started again.  Maybe we need to adjust the lamictal, not sure.  I like feeling UP, though, in a way, because I feel so good when it happens.  I understand why some bipolar sufferers don't want to take meds.  The manic phase that they go through is much greater than what I feel.  Mine isn't out of control, I don't go on spending sprees or do stupid stuff.  But I can definitely feel the difference.

It's National Love Your Body day.  I have a hard time loving my saddlebags, but the rest of me I'm (mostly) OK with.

I've written before that if I didn't have saddlebags, I'd probably not care about losing weight.  They are what motivate me to lose weight so I will look proportionate.  There are several actresses who are tiny who have saddlebags--their backsides are small & not misshapen (like mine are with all the the extra fat), but they are distinctly pear shaped.  When I was at my smallest, I still hated my backside. I hope this time when I lose my extra weight that I can embrace my behind and not be so obsessed over it.

No matter what I weigh, I will likely always wear Assets/Spanx with dress pants and dresses. They squish in the bumpy parts so I look curvy and not misshapen. God bless Sara Blakely for inventing those things.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Clothes (164.0)

When I lost weight in 2007 & 2008, I went clothes crazy. The MINUTE I got down to 146, I went on a shopping spree because I could get into a size 6 for the first time in my entire life. I bought adorable clothing--age appropriate, but figure flattering and kind of sexy.

I could wear those clothes for about 6 weeks.

I also bought a lot of clothes when I wore a size 8, which was for about 2 years.  I loved those clothes. They were sporty, casual, dressy, gorgeous clothes.  I still have some of them--I gave most of the 10s and some of the 8s to my girlfriend Debra.  I won't get rid of anything else because I believe I can get back to 148-150.

Last week, when I hit 165, I tried on my skinnier size 12s.  Some fit ok, some were still too tight.  This week the Levi's w/o spandex fit, when they didn't last week.  That made me feel really good about my progress.

After the try-on session, I felt a little nuts. Nuts as in, "I can't wait to be in these skinnier clothes.  Where are my 10s? I need to have those ready. When will people notice I'm losing weight again? Why aren't they noticing now?  Why don't I have more cute clothes? I need to go shopping, pronto."

I didn't realize it until a couple days later, as I was still obsessing about what to wear--I hate almost everything in my know how that can be--that I needed to PUT THE BRAKES on this whole clothes thing.

I have to take the focus off the external, and keep it on the internal.  I got into trouble the last time I did this, when it was all about how I looked. I rewarded myself with new clothes at every turn. My self-worth was based on how I looked, and on the thought, "am I finally good enough to measure up to the cute girls?"

There are some pretty deep-seated issues here.  I didn't have a lot of money growing up. I could never wear Guess jeans, because I had hips as soon as I hit puberty.  I wore leggings & long sweaters through most of high school.  In middle school I just wanted to disappear, and I wore big baggy clothes, including men's shirts from the Dollar General store (I sad is that?). I felt fat compared to everyone else, although looking back at my prom picture--when I wore a size 11 dress--I was perfectly normal, even on the small side, and not at all fat (although my 80s big hair was fat, haha).

Clothes can affect how we feel about ourselves, and I believe in dressing nicely and confidently and appropriately for my body shape.  That's not my issue here.

My concern is that I stay away from the mistakes I made before.  Clothing as a reward.  Buying clothes that I think will garner attention (even though, subconsciously, I can't yet handle that type of attention, which I didn't realize the first time I went through this).  Last time, the minute I could squeeze into a smaller size, I was in it.  This time, I'm wearing my baggy dress pants and will move into the smaller ones when they fit comfortably, not when I can first get into them. 

I have most of the clothes I need for the trip back down, although when I hit the 10s and 8s, I will need to shop since I gave most of those away. But that's not something I need to worry about right now.  I just have to focus on today.

Target had some cute basic tops that I got a couple weeks ago.  Two long sleeve v-necks, in black and a cornflower blue, and two short sleeve faux-wrap tees, in black and navy.  They were $10 or less each. I love them for work & for casual. I also got a leopard print dress from Target, that I am wearing to our client appreciate event this Friday at the zoo (if it's not too cold).  I will have my picture taken and post it after so I have a progress photo.  Shopping at Target is another change--I don't have to spend a fortune at Dillards or Ann Taylor Loft to look & feel good.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Why I had to start over with my day count (164.0)

I've been 164.0 for two days in a row.  I wore my size 12 Levi's last night to my OA meeting.  They were too tight last week.  These jeans have either 0 or 1% spandex (I will look at the tag tonight, I can't remember).  They don't stretch at all.  I was happy to be in them comfortably.  They aren't loose, but loose jeans just make my butt look bigger, so I don't like them loose.

My dress pants in size 12's from Christopher & Banks are getting too big.  The waist has a "comfort band" that has two buttons at the waist. The inside button cinches in the waist so it doesn't gap (my waist is smaller than my bottom, being I'm a pear, and I have to be careful about the gappy-waist thing).  I'm on the inside button but they are starting to slide down my hips a bit and are very baggy everywhere.  A few months ago, I had the cinch waist on the outside button and they were tight in the rear. 

Last week I wrote about how I was getting my 30 day chip.  As is my pattern, as soon as I declare a success, I sabotage myself.  I lost my day count last week.

I had a couple nights of late TV (watching Sons of Anarchy on NetFlix) in the family room, and had a Cliff bar & walnuts around 10:30 one night, another night had yogurt & fruit w/walnuts, and another night had a Luna bar.  I didn't binge, but it wasn't abstinent. 

The kicker was dinner on Wednesday night.  We have friends who moved back to Evansville from overseas, and we went to visit them at their new (huge) house in the neighborhood next to ours.  We ended up staying for dinner and had pizza.  Pizza is on my binge list (the foods above are not).  I had three slices of thin cheese pizza from Dominoes. 

I could have chosen not to eat it.  I had had fruit and a couple of pretzels that our friend had set out for all of us, and I wasn't hungry.  I just didn't feel like explaining why I wasn't eating.

The wife is from Thailand, and she is a big "hospitality" person.  I felt like if I didn't eat, I would insult her.  And I was having a bad case of the envy's, after touring their home.  It's beautiful and perfect and a house we would love to have but can't afford.  Our kids loved it.  Eating the pizza was easier & I wasn't able to muster to courage to say no.

I called my sponsor & left her a voicemail the next day, explaining my week & the pizza night.  She called me Saturday morning and we talked.  She said she realized I just got my 30 day chip, but I should just start over.  I asked what start over meant--start my day count over? She said yes, start your day count over.

I did not binge after the pizza (it was a late TV/yogurt night, but I didn't binge).  I did not compulsively OVEReat.  But I did break my abstinence.
Abstinence means abstaining from compulsive overeating.  You define your own abstinence. Mine is defined as not eating foods from my binge list and eating 3 meals a day.  That definition may change over time, but that is where I am now. 
I was darn lucky I didn't binge.  I could have, very easily.

At first I was ticked off that I had to start over.  If I define my own abstinence, I thought, then why can't I include a small slip-up as part of my abstinence?  Am I expected to be perfect?  What happens if I mess up again 6 months from now? 

I understand why she had me start over, at this early stage.  I do feel more accountable.  She told me not to let my ego get involved with the number of days. To take it one day at a time.

I don't have answers to "what happens if I mess up again?"  I assume I will start over again.  That is very disheartening.  It makes me want to do everything I can to stay abstinent.

I haven't had any more issues since last Thursday.  I went to dinner & a movie with my girlfriends at Olive Garden on Friday night, and had no issues at all.  Did not eat bread.  Had salad and the apricot chicken which has broccoli, asparagus, and tomatoes & a very light sauce (which must have had sugar in it, but it did not set me off). I didn't have any cravings after. (We saw Pitch Perfect--such a fun movie!)

I am getting through the weekends just fine--which is a small miracle. 

We are hosting Thanksgiving this year, and I have a ton of work to do on the house to get ready.  Lots of decluttering.  I cleaned out Luke's room & clothes Saturday, then took everything to Goodwill & my friend who got Luke's small clothes for her son.  It kept me busy.  I will be doing that every weekend until Thanksgiving.  Then I want to start on pictures and getting them printed & organized.  That will take me months. 

I'm thankful that when I'm not in the sugar, I have the energy and desire to stay busy.  My meds and SAD light are also working.

I'm on day 6 today.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Day 30 (165.6) -- Running & Yoga

Saturday was day 30 of abstinence.  I will get my 30 day chip tonight. 

Vickie wrote about runners who can't run any more & how we can fall apart when that happens.  It's a well written description, which she's gathered by observing bloggers going through this process.  I also very much enjoyed the comments.

I also had a conversation Saturday with Niece Kate, the runner from Indy.  She is running the Chicago marathon this weekend.  It's her 2nd marathon. She'll be 44 in December.  Her running friends have stopped running, because of injury or family issues.  One has gained weight and is disappointed in herself.  One will walk for 10 minutes and run for 5, but she's not putting in the miles like she used to.  The sense I got about all of them is exactly what Vickie described--they can't run, so they aren't doing much of anything else.

Ok, so onto the running/yoga thing.

Saturday I took a 95 minutes hot yoga class from a guest instructor from Israel, Gabriel Azoulay. Here's his webpage.

I've not taken 100s of yoga classes, but I've taken enough to know when I'm in the hands of a master. He was brilliant. I pushed myself farther than I ever have before. I was holding and getting deeper into poses I never thought was possible for me.  It was incredible.  I feel blessed that I lucked into this class (although, I don't think luck had anything to do with it).

I am still sore. He worked every muscle in my body. If I had the money & time, I swear I'd follow him all over the country, like a yoga groupie.

I had mentioned in my comment on Vickie's post how I can't get a runner's high from any other activity, with the possible exception of a 90 minute hot yoga class.  I have started taking yoga again at my gym (they put in a new studio this spring) but the classes I've gone to are 60-75 minutes.  I haven't taken a 90 minute class in well over a year.  I haven't gotten a runner's high from these shorter classes.

Saturday morning I got up at 7:30 and decided on the spur of the moment to take the 8 am class.  I had no idea we'd have a guest instructor.  I just knew it was 90 minutes of hot yoga, and I wanted to test out my hypothesis that I could get a runner's high from yoga.

The answer?  Yes.  Yes, I did.
There's something about 90 minutes that is key.  I can get there in 60 minutes of running, but I get a better "high" the longer I run.  Which is why I got into long distance running in the first place. 
I started running to lose weight.  I kept running because of that high.
I've said before, 3 miles is my least favorite distance to run (and why I don't run 5k races).  All the work with none of the payoff (runner's high wise).  Put me out there for 5+ miles, and I often no longer even feel my body.  I just run, the endorphins do their job, and my mind is completely abuzz with tranquility.

Many people hate running.  Many RUNNERS hate running.  I've read comments by runners who say they love running after they're finished with a run.  The during?  Sometimes not so much. 
I think what happens during the hot yoga classes is similar to what happens with long distance running, from an endorphins standpoint.  But it's also very different. 

On the mat in a class, working as intensely as I did Saturday, I can think of nothing but my body. The world is shut out. I have to concentrate on the pose. But I also am learning to just let go and NOT concentrate on the pose.  Does that make any sense?  Surrender, I guess, is the word. 

I surrender during a long distance run, too.

My body is so wrung out, so completely spent, that my mind goes with it.

Gabriel made a profound statement during class.  He said "yoga is the only exercise that gives energy back to you."  I found this fascinating, and quite astute. 

When I run long distance, I usually feel revitalized when I'm finished, but more often than not I'm also worn out physically and need an equal amount of rest afterwards. 

Saturday after class, I had this immense sense of peace and ramped-up energy.  I do think I was also going through a slightly manic state that day--which can happen to me from hormone cycles, or whatever else is going on in my crazy brain.  And that may have enhanced my reaction to the class.  But, regardless, I haven't felt anything like it in a long time.  Probably not since the last fabulous long run I had in January.

The weight I've lost and the classes I've taken in the past month have strengthened me and helped me make it through the entire class Saturday.  I'm so thankful I was prepared for it, physically.