Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mindful Eating Meditation (with the holy spirit). Goodbye to Calorie Counting.

1 Corinthians 10:31- "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God."

I've decided to try practicing mindful eating. I found some helpful tips online. I Googled "Christian mindful eating". I think I had some fears about it at first because for me it requires saying "No" to eating when I'm not hungry (self control) without the comfort of calorie counting. For me it also requires trust in God. Calorie counting was my comfort zone. I knew that If I didn't go over my calories that I would not gain weight. I was so focused on calorie deficit that I never could actually focus on my fullness level or my emotions. If I don't be mindful of my emotions then I suppress them. When I suppress them they come out in usually very unhealthy ways. I think I just put so much time into thinking about the food/my weight but not on how to eat. I'm deciding to incorporate my spiritual side into this practice. It makes eating more of an aware meditation . When I say meditation I mean meditating on Gods word (bible) and his love through Jesus. I'm on day 2 now and so far it is working for me! I noticed that when I eat slower that I am able to really savor and enjoy each bite. It feels less rushed and distracting. I really wanted to eat for emotional reasons a couple of times today but I said no because I was not hungry at all and knew it was purely emotional hunger. I crave sugar like nobody's business so it was big that I said no to a delicious ice cream bar because I was not hungry. This means treats will be just that a treat not an every single day Occurrence. That way I can focus on meals that will sustain me throughout the day. No food is off limits in this way of eating. 

I've noticed that this way of eating relieves stress and gives me peace through meditating on gods promises. Lowering stress relieves my anxiety and eating disorder symptoms. Plus stopping eating when I am full makes it so I do not have to worry about my weight. I am also applying this same practice to my exercise. Meditative mindful exercise! I feel so pumped and positive. This is exactly what I needed. I truly felt the holy spirit with me during each of my meals and during my workout as well! Thank you God for and helping me further trust you and face my fears! God you are so awesome!

Breakfast- I ate my cereal slower than usual. Noticed the coconut in the flavor. A little too sweet though. Thanked Jesus for my meal, asked him to fill me with the holy spirit and his love, prayed for Jesus to watch over my family, friends, co-workers. I didn't feel full "full" but content. 

Snack- I ate my apple very slow. I listened to 2 worship songs during the apple. The worship music really enhanced my apple eating! I bobbed my head and enjoyed the apple and thanked Jesus for my apple. I noticed later the fiber in the apple helped with my digestion and energy.

Lunch-I ate my sandwich much slower than usual. I really enjoy the grapes with my sandwich because I love a little sweetness. Plus they were cold and refreshing. Maybe close to 10 minutes. I told my co-worker that I was jealous of how slow she could eat. Then She said "Hey i'm eating two bowls". I then reminded myself that I am not competing with anyone. I'm just trying to do better with self control and give glory to God during my meal.

Dinner- I didn't have dinner ready in time so Todd and I decided to go to Qdoba. I got a burrito but noticed that the portion was GIANT. I all could think was Yum! I told myself that I would stop when I was full. I intentionally ate slowly and noticed the flavor of each bite. Could have used a little more salsa but I'm not complaining because it was really filling and yummy. Todd finished his food first. I noticed and thought "Hey, this is good progress" I am usually the first one to finish the food eating contest =). I ate about 3/4 of the burrito until I noticed that that if I ate one more bite that I would be too full. I felt a little silly at this point because of course the first thought that came in my head was "Finish your food. You don't want to waste" I let that thought go because I realized that it was just an old habit from my childhood that helped me eat too much and not focus on my fullness.

My goal is to have this way of eating eventually become a habit but for now it's a challenge to learn how to eat. Life is a journey. I'm trying be in each moment and stay positive. Today my mantra was "Better not Bitter" That helped me as well when I felt discouraged. I no longer want to live in fear for I know that the light is more powerful than any darkness. I want to spend time with God.

1 John 4:18- "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Zumba, Goals, Exercise, Eating, and Maintenance

Today I went to my 1st ever Zumba class! I have been procrastinating on going for a few years now. The classes are free with my membership to the YMCA. I have to say I was a little nervous mainly because I am not the best dancer and I have two big left feet. I had mental images of me stepping on everyone because I was so out of sync (not too far from the reality). The class was 6-7pm. When I arrived to the class I noticed a girl who shops at my store a lot. She recognized me and we chatted a bit. When the class started I rushed over to her side. I told her "I slightly know you so I'm going to dance next to you". I love how awkward I am lol! I told her how I was afraid of stepping on people and she said "Don't worry nobody cares if you don't know all the moves just do your own thing if you don't know what to do...that's what I do". I appreciated her comment because it made me a little less self conscious. The class was pretty fast pace. I was ok with most of the moves mostly because I have been practicing Zumba at home. The hardest parts for me were the dances with a lot of quick footwork. Sometimes I was out of sync but I mostly kept up. I can't help but smile in classes like this they are so fun! My goal is to go 1 or 2 times a week so I can memorize the dance moves. My goal is to get all the moves down and be able to keep up with the instructor. I'm also going to check out a few more classes at the YMCA to see if there are more that I would enjoy. Classes are really helping me switch up my workout routine to keep things interesting.

Recently I have also been motivated by reading weight loss and healthy lifestyle change blogs and watching youtube channels. I recently found a blog by Andie Mitchell called "Can You Stay For Dinner?"  I found her after watching her Ted talk about her struggles with food and her tips on maintenance. I have never seen such honest deep writing about weight loss. Her blog really puts into words feelings I have but have a hard time expressing or thinking about. My currant favorite weight loss YouTube Channel is BlueEyedBetty. This women has lost over 140 lbs! She is badass and hilarious! I love her tips and personal videos she has all throughout her journey. So inspiring! Reading and watching other peoples personal struggles with food helps me feel less alone.

Exercise/ Eating / Maintenance
My current weight is 161 lbs. Since getting to my initial 100 lbs lost goal (158 lbs) my weight has been fluctuating between the high 150's and low 160's. And I am just fine with that. I don't weight myself weekly anymore. I try to weigh myself only once a month. Maintenance for me is going to be more about mindfulness/enjoyment in food and less about worrying about an exact number on the scale. Of course if  I see my weight creeping too high I would re-evaluate how I eat and workout. The past few months I would say I have been exercising 3-4 days per week. Weight lifting 1-2 days per week. I'ts a lot less than I used to do during my main weight loss years (5-6 days exercise + 5-6 days weight lifting). Back then I was learning discipline and motivation just to get my butt moving. Now my day really just doesn't feel right unless I exercise. Days I exercise I feel less depressed, more focused, more positive, stronger, and more accomplished. It's like a meditation...a way for me to let out stress in a healthy way. My workouts are now more focused on enjoying the moving that I am doing and less on that "gotta burn, gotta burn, gotta burn" state of mind that I had while losing weight. I get sick of doing only one thing so I like to incorporate things I love doing. So far these are my top fav workouts to do.

  • Elliptical - (50 minutes)
  • Walking on trails or around Greenlake and back - (1-3 hours)
  • Jogging on the Burke Gilman Trail - (40 minutes)
  • Zumba videos at home - (30-50 minutes)
  • Zumba in a group class- (60 minutes)
I also love biking outside but since it is not part of my commute to work anymore and Todd and I have less time together lately my bike is just collecting dust for now.

I have to say it is rather scary after 2 years of calorie counting to suddenly stop. It involves a lot of trust and letting go of fears. Trusting that I wont binge and can control myself around food. Fearing that I would become morbidly obese again. I don't want anyone to get the impression that I am labeling calorie counting as bad. I just feel that I have learned all that I can from it. I am choosing not to calorie count anymore because I feel that it is not what I need for maintenance and the emotional healing that I am going through right now. The past few months I have been just eating when I am hungry and trying to be more mindful of my hunger/fullness level. Really trying to enjoy what I eat. About 3 meals a day and 1 or 2 small snacks. I have also gone back to being vegetarian. I initially went vegan because I thought I was lactose intolerant right before I started losing weight. What I didn't realize was the impact of the amount of what mass quantities of dairy was doing to my body. At that point I was pretty much a "Cheese-atarian". I was literally eating bricks of cheese and massive amounts of dairy products. Going vegan taught me self control and also got me interested in foods I never would have tried to cook before. It taught me not everything had to be drenched in cheese to be delicious. Since I have gone back to dairy I have been mostly moderate with it and don't feel as sick like I did before. Besides the first week  I ate ice cream everyday. I still like to eat vegan about half of the time because I really love vegan cooking as well!

When I was losing weight it was exciting in many ways. I was determined to reach my goal of 157 lbs to lose 100lbs. It was exciting to watch the weight come off a couple lbs a week. I knew what to do calories in calories out. I really didn't have a plan for maintenance. When I finally got to my goal something scary happened. I felt lost. I felt aimless. In a lot of ways I still felt insecure and unsure of myself. Don't get me wrong I really appreciated my new body and all the new things I could do. I loved that I didn't sweat after walking a block. I loved that I could play with my stepdaughter and little nieces at the park without getting winded. But somehow something that was healthy for me for 2 years suddenly became an obsession without me even realizing it. When I look at it now I think it was because I have a lot of suppressed anger, resentment, and sadness. Stuff I was holding in. Deep down I thought when I got to my goal that I would be happy. That it would magically be the answer I was waiting for in my life. I know that it's irrational to think that way. I know I shouldn't seek happiness outside of myself but subconsciously I think I was and it become obvious with how obsessed I was over each little calorie and each little number on the scale. I don't think that calorie counting and the scale are inherently bad. They are great tools for weight loss, meal planning, goal setting, tracking progress. But they should never be used to sum up our self worth.

When I look back on my "big girl" pictures I don't cringe or tease or call that girl names. I think that girl is beautiful even at her highest weight. I don't ever want to associate beauty with size. I don't do that with my friends and I don't want to do that with myself. I truly do think that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. On a purely health level when I look at the old pics of myself I see the weight as sign of something that was wrong...emotionally. I do think that excess weight can become a health issue and that is why I started losing the weight because I did not want to be in pain anymore. But I would never take back any of the experiences I've had because my experiences and how I react to them make me who I am today. I have a much better self image than I used to and am much less insecure. But as always I have much more to work on with myself. Once I'm done climbing one mountain there will always be another one to climb. If I stop having goals then you know something is wrong!

Right now my main goal is to be happy, take care, and learn to fully love myself. I want that to matter more than the number on the scale, more than my pants size, more than calories. I feel like I am starting a new chapter in my life. One that starts with letting go.

*So my internet experiment only lasted 1 week. I was trying to embrace the no internet thing but now that I have it back I do feel like someone who just got back together with a long time romance! I love Pinterest, googling recipes, looking at blogs, watching inspiring you tube videos, and sharing family pictures on facebook. I feel like I am having much less screen time than before. I just hope I can learn to moderate how much time I spend on internet a bit more.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The No Internet Experiment

As of last week I am Internet free. I am officially unplugged. I'm not Anti-Technology or anything. I think it can be used as a great tool. Recently I decided to try to go at least 1 year without the internet at home. I did think about this before but did not do it because I was using it alot for calorie counting. Now that I am not calorie counting anymore I thought it would be a good time to try to go without it.  I am still using the internet at the Library though. I started to notice too many negatives with it and want to see what my life will be like if I limit the amount of time I spend on the internet. I felt as If I was somewhat addicted to checking email, facebook, looking up random stuff on google, clicking on link after link. Not to mention I am going to save a ton of money.
Pros so far without the internet
  • I am getting to bed earlier 
  • I feel better rested
  • I have less headaches
  • Much less screen time
  • I am reading more books
  • I am going to the library more 
  • I am having a better time focusing
  • I am getting a little more things done on my "To Do" list
  • Better at planning and prioritizing my screen time
At first It felt odd not being able to check stuff on the Internet anytime I want to but I soon started to do other things like writing in my journal, going outside, or chores. I'm not saying I will never have the Internet again but I want to see what happens. I can't remember the last time I finished a book and now I'm really getting back into reading. I feel like the reading I was doing on the Internet kind of trained me to skim through articles instead of really fully reading about a subject. Reading full books has the opposite effect for me...helping keep attention and focus. I finished a book about positive psychology called the happiness advantage. That one took me a few weeks because it was non fiction. Now I am reading a book called "The Mountains Echoed" By  Khaled Hosseini. I have read his other 2 fiction books as well. He is a really good writer and he can really suck you into a story in a way that makes you feel as if you are in Afghanistan living as a villager yourself. The characters in his story are so compelling and sometimes its hard for me to put his books down without wondering what will happen next.

People already think I'm strange and make Amish/ Hippy jokes because of me not having a cell phone,  riding my bike/ walking everywhere, and being vegetarian. I don't really care though. I like experimenting and seeing what works for me and what doesn't. I'ts weird how if you change something about your life that everyone else deems as a "social norm" that people can't help but compare themselves to you. People immediately get defensive even though I am not placing any judgment but just living my life in a different way.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Calorie Counting vs. Intuitive Eating. The Pros and Cons. Plus why have I been able maintain and keep the weight off?

Pros and Cons. Finding A Balance.

Recently I have been reading about intuitive eating as well as getting an audio book from the library about it. I have learned a lot so far but I am having some issues with how the program lumps Calorie counting in the same category as fad dieters. These are some thoughts I have been having lately after practicing the Intuitive Eating program...

Counting calories taught me self control and portion control as well. I thought of calories as money. Knowing I can spend it on whatever I want but still had to keep the calories in a budget. Counting Calories was a really good tool for helping me to gain the accountability that I needed. It gave me structure but also made me understand moderation. I lost 100 lbs doing it. I didn't understand what a portion should look like. I didn't even understand that I was eating enough for like 2 or 3 people! After about 2 years of calorie counting I feel that I have learned so much about self control and meal planning. I am trying to just be intuitive and mindful. I'm trying to not count my calories and trust myself. I have kept off the weight for 2 years now! Anyone who is obese or in dire need of weight loss for health reasons I would immediately suggest some form of calorie counting. I like the caloriecount.com website because it tells you all of your nutrition stats as well (protein, carbs, vitamins) It helps to see where you can make improvements to eat more things to up your nutrition grade. There are some cons to calorie counting though. When I start to have unrealistic expectations then I start to obsess over calorie counting and weighing myself. That's when it becomes unhealthy. I think it is healthy to calorie count if you try to have realistic expectations and remind yourself what your goals and priorities are. 

I feel like I have a better sense of self awareness now and self control. I'm not sure If I will never go back to calorie counting or not. I want to give Intuitive eating a try. So far I don't agree fully with the nutritionists who made the Intuitive Eating program. I don't fully agree with their techniques and I am under the impression that they themselves have never had an eating disorder. When they say it should be a goal to have a cookie be emotionally the same as a piece of lettuce, I disagree. No matter how much I practice being intuitive or mindful a cookie will never be emotional the same as lettuce! It's just ridiculous to even suggest that. We cannot have complete control of all our emotions but we can control what we do with those emotions. I notice that even if I emotionally eat sometimes that practicing mindful eating helps me get less distracted and really enjoy my food. If I want a cupcake I'm going to eat it! When I really take the time to be mindful of the flavors, texture, and appearance of the food I eat I notice I tend to stop eating because I am satisfied. I am trying to not eat while distracted anymore. When I eat while talking or watching a movie I tend to not even enjoy the food or notice how much I just ate. I think what really works for me is when I have a mixture of mindfulness and accountability. When I see people on youtube who are trying intuitive eating and throwing out their scales or grouping calorie counters in the same group as fad dieters I think that they are completely taking away structure and accountability. The program seems to completely disregard the benefits of "restriction" and self control when setting goals. Self control and restriction can be good things. Structure and accountability are really needed if you have really poor self control. It helps if I remind myself of the consequences of eating certain unhealthy foods. It bothers me how they lump calorie counting into "dieting. I thought that intuitive eating was going to be my solution to my emotional eating. Then I realized that I will most likely never stop having emotions toward food. I'm not a robot! There are parts of the book that I like but some parts I disagree with. Like how they talk about how guilt should not be associated with food. I don't think that you should beat yourself up all day for eat unhealthy foods. But I also think that it is unrealistic to talk as if guilt is a bad thing. Guilt is an emotion that can let us know if we have done something wrong.  To allow guilt to eat away at us is pointless. Rather, guilt is there to be used as a catalyst for improvement and becoming a better person. If we can counteract guilt with compassion and realistic expectations then we can then be more mindful and learn from our mistakes. I think that we need a little guilt in order to learn and grow. I know I can eat those fun foods but I have to at the same time keep myself accountable. I am only half way through the Intuitive Eating audio book + Cds but I am learning to take everything being said with a grain of salt. I have to use my critical thinking to understand why I disagree with some of the program. It doesn't mean I can't learn from the program. Already it is helping me be more mindful but I am having an issue with the fact that there is not enough structure in it. I still get a little confused between real hunger and emotional hunger. I don't think that will ever go away. The more mindful I become though the better I get at self control. I have to find a balance. No extremes either way.

If you would like a more detailed example of the pros and cons of calorie counting and Intuitive Eating check out this blog post I found. This making good choices blog does a really good job of understanding and using critical thinking about the subject.

Why have I been able to keep off the weight and break the statistics?
I have been thinking about all the statistics I have seen on the internet of how people who lose a significant amount of weight tend to regain it plus more ( over 90%). I have noticed this in the blogging world as well. People who go back to their old ways (eating disorder) because of stress factors or major emotional life events. I don't think they are bad but I do think that they have lost control again or are still really struggling for many reasons. Believe me I've been there. I still have some control issues but I think that there are some reasons that I have been able to lose the weight and keep it off (maintain). I know I still have that disordered thinking in me but I feel like I am starting to control it instead of it controlling me.

These are some tips that I have learned on my journey...

  • ---It was something I wanted to do for myself and my health
  • ---I realized that I have to take responsibility for my life and where I am right now 
  • ---I started to see obstacles in my life as an opportunity to grow
  • ---No more complaining or excuses! There is such a thing as complainy pants disease and its contagious!
  • ---I meal plan and plan ahead for my workouts on the calender
  • ---I used calorie count and the scale as a tool to keep me accountable
  • ---There is not magical pill or substitute for hard work and self control
  • ---I wanted to be a good healthy example in my family
  • ---I try to surround myself with positive people
  • ---I try to stay as moderate as possible with my goals 
  • ---I learned portion control
  • ---I kept myself accountable by creating a blog and relating to other healthy lifestyle change bloggers
  • ---I try to have realistic expectations and use critical thinking (no fad diets and no fad magazines)
  • ---I set small attainable goals
  • ---I remind myself of those goals daily/weekly
  • ---I do not want to become a stick thin model (air brushed eww!)
  • ---I started to embrace my natural beauty
  • ---I eat foods that I like and do exercises that I enjoy like biking or running
  • ---I try to keep things interesting with food and keep trying new recipes 
  • ---I am learning how to eat mindfully
  • ---I learned how certain foods effect my energy and mood levels
  • ---I learned which foods I like that keep me feeling energized and full
  • ---I educate myself about nutrition 
  • ---Fun foods are allowed in moderation
  • ---Moderation Moderation Moderation! The less black and white thinking the better!
  • ---I try to keep a balance with nutrition, exercise, and a positive body image.
  • ---Be consistent and don't put too much on your plate at once
  • ---I try to remind myself daily of things in my life that I am grateful for so I don't take anything for granted
  • ---Trying new things builds my confidence and self esteem

I still get down sometimes and get back on the bandwagon of a negative mindset with unrealistic expectations. But when I have a weekly or daily practice to remind myself of my goals like with blogging or keeping a private journal then it helps to keep me accountable to learn from my mistakes. Guilt and shame still play a role in my life. I don't think that guilt is bad though. I think if I deal with my guilt and use it to do self reflection and learn from my mistakes then I can overcome it. I just need to remind myself to keep finding opportunity for growth. The less I worry about things that are not in my control the happier and more productive I become. It's really pointless and a waste of time to worry about things that I cannot control or influence because that energy can be going toward something more productive like self improvement and learning.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Real and Fake hunger. Thoughts on Intuitive Eating.

I have been researching Intuitive Eating. Lately I have been watching youtube videos by Josie Spinardi. She is the author of a recent Intuitive eating book called "How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too: Stop Binge Eating, Overeating and Dieting For Good Get the Naturally Thin Body You Crave From the Inside Out ". I haven't read her book yet but I did ask the library to order it for me because they do not carry it. In the mean time I am getting other books from the library about Intuitive Eating. I have also been watching Josie Spinardi's youtube channel. Her advice is very helpful and thought provoking.

What does Real and Fake hunger feel like to me? 

Real hunger and fake hunger both come naturally to me. Since I have been using fake hunger (emotional eating) since childhood to suppress my feelings. With real hunger I recognize my body's cues for when I am actually hungry. With fake hunger I feel anxious. I feel very emotional. The eating feels urgent like it has to happen right away. When I stop myself in the middle of fake hunger and really ask myself why I am hungry then often times I realize it is because of some emotional distress that I am going through and just want the comfort of food to temporarily "zone out", forget, and not think about my emotional problems. It's tricky because real hunger can also feel like it has to happen right away if you let yourself go without food for too long. I can understand the differences if I start asking myself some questions before I start urgently eating. It makes sense to start eating around lunch time especially if I skipped breakfast. That is real hunger. With fake hunger I feel hungry regardless of how much food I have already eaten or when I ate last. I'ts utterly emotional. Since I am someone who has had disordered eating and has been on diets and restrictions its hard for me to actually intuitively know the difference (without stopping myself) between real and fake hunger. This is why I must question my actions and feelings when it comes to hunger. I used calorie counting and exercise to lose 100 lbs. The problem was I never fully stopped binging or hating on myself. I never fully made peace with eating. I was obsessed with my body image and calories. Stuck in the cycle of Diet ---> Binge ---> Beat Self Up. When I feel like I can't change I feel powerless, hopeless, and depressed. Learning Intuitive Eating is giving me the tools and learning techniques to stop that cycle and be able to have an "instant reset" when I am stuck in that cycle of disordered thinking. Rather than believing in that learned helplessness that I can't change, I am learning how to take empowered action toward effecting change. 

The 5 types of Non Hunger Eating

1. Gasping for Food
-Caused by restriction or not enough food (dieting) 

2. Eating cuz you ate - Breaking a diet rule because you were feeling deprived and then binging until the next period of dieting

The next 3 have to do with eating to change how we are feeling.

3. Licking your Wounds- Thinking we can't change something that is stressing us in our lives and turning to food instead as comfort to suppress feelings. Eating and eating and still not being able to reach satisfaction.

4. Mean Girl Munchies- Because of the anxiety of unrealistic expectations and demands of "perfection" that you hold on yourself you get ravenously hungry in order just zone out.

5. Recreational Eating- Picking through the kitchen (cupboard searching). Snacking when not hungry. Caused by anxiety, not having other things in your life to look foreword to, and boredom.

Some of these types of non hunger eating I do more than others. The Licking your wounds type was the type of non hunger eating I did as a child and continued to do up around the time I moved out of my parents house and started dieting. I have experienced all of these types of non hunger eating but some of them I have done more than others. It helps me to really ask myself where I am at and understand my triggers for them instead of feeling out of control. Having disordered eating has messed with my real hunger signals. I am trying to reconnect to my body's signals of real hunger and fullness and disconnect from the temporary fake hunger.

Josie suggests having a mental rating from 1-5 to see how you are doing with your hunger and how your body feels. To check in with yourself to see how you are doing rather than outsourcing your problems. I really like this hunger directed eating idea because if makes me feel responsible for myself.

1-5 Hunger Scale

1. Stuffed- You are Completely stuffed and don't want to think about food.

2. Pleasantly Satisfied- You feel really pleasantly satisfied and you stopped at a really good place. You got yourself what you needed and your not really interested in eating anymore.

3. Neutral- Not hungry not full.

4. Pleasantly Hungry- Starting to feel pleasantly hungry your getting ramped up for your next meal and starting to seek out what you are going to eat.

5. Ravenous- You are feeling Ravenous and starving and must eat or you just might faint.

She says it is a good gentle guide line to stay between 2 and 4. 
Pleasantly satisfied ----> Neutral------>Pleasantly hungry feed yourself
It's not a rule that can be broken but its just a tool to help you gage and anchor your hunger and satisfaction.

I want to my to build up my will power and sense of well being. I want health to be my driving force!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A serious post about binge eating and recovery.

This post is going to be about something that I have not actually delved into in very great depth on my blog. This blog post is going to be about where I am at with my binge eating disorder.

I first discovered I had an eating disorder after I had lost about 70 lbs (2011)  through calorie counting and exercise. I was reading one of my favorite blogs RunsforCookies. Katie from RunsforCookies has been a huge inspiration to me because she is full of determination, love for herself, her family, and her community. I was first hooked on her blog because I had just started my blog after losing 50 lbs myself and was looking for support online to help me lose weight and stay motivated. Through reading her blog I related to what she was writing about her binge eating disorder. I then realized that I had a eating disorder. I continued to calorie count and exercise until I had lost 100 lbs by 2012.

 I didn't understand it but when I was little but I have been binge eating since about age 6. In my childhood I did eat a lot lot in front of friends and family. Secretly, I would eat even more than they knew. I would go to the basement or an empty room and just eat until I felt sick. It became all I knew.

I knew that I had an eating disorder but did not fully look into resolving it and just kept calorie counting and exercising. Everyone was saying comments like "Lorrie, you look so skinny", "Tell me your secret", and "You must feel fantastic!". The thing was that I was still binging and never stopped even when I had realized that I was a binge eater. Sure, I felt proud of the fact that I had lost weight and could discipline myself to restrict my eating and exercise for long lengths of time. I was proud that I made a goal to lose 100 lbs, stuck to it, and learned a little more about myself on the journey. But inside I secretly shamed myself for going over my calories and going up and down points on the scale. At first my calorie counting and exercise was innocent enough but after I had reached my goal weight I still felt unhappy and depressed. I ridiculed what I saw in the mirror. Constantly calling myself names in my head for going over my calories or not going to the gym. I had become completely obsessed with food and my body. Obsessed with an expectation I had in my head of "perfect". If I did not meet that expectation then I was a failure. It was black and white thinking all or nothing attitude "You messed up so you might as well give up". That hopelessness, shame, and feeling of failure is what lead me to binge. Binging is me not loving myself. Binging is me hating myself for my mistakes.

Since my dad died April 2014 I have stopped calorie counting. Not only have I stopped calorie counting but I have been learning to be more compassionate towards myself and not beat myself up over skipping a day of exercise or eating a little too much. I have not binged either. I'm trying to learn to truly listen to my body and eat when I feel hungry. I have been looking into something called "Intuitive Eating". Intuitive Eating is an approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body--where you ultimately become the expert of your own body. You learn how to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings, and gain a sense of body wisdom. 

I think I have recently been partially practicing parts of intuitive eating but just happened to realize what it is now. Exercise feels very different now too. I am no longer exercising or eating as a means to an end. When I go for a jog instead of focusing on weight loss or body image, I am focusing on how energized and positive it makes me feel. I am now able to really fully enjoy my runs outside. I focus more on my health and less on body image. I don't read magazines or diet books that show unrealistic expectations of weight loss. When I look in the mirror I actively try to be grateful for what I have instead of what I don't. I am done with diets and obsessive negative thoughts about my body!

I no longer want to be stuck in a cycle of disordered eating and thinking. I want to learn from my mistakes instead of beating myself up over them. I want to see obstacles in my life as a challenge or opportunity to change. I want to find a balance and figure out what works for me ( and yes that balance is going to include sweets and foods I like). I want to keep building upon my self esteem and confidence. I want to be honest with myself. I want to have a healthy relationship with food and my body. I want to enjoy exercise and food! I want to fully love and respect myself and just feel alive and happy.

So far I have only researched online about Intuitive Eating through blogs and websites. I am planning on checking some books out from the library on the subject to really contemplate it. Recovery from an eating disorder is hard but It is possible. I have to just keep reminding myself to stay consistent and know that change wont happen over night.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Couch to 5k, progress this week, and frustrations.

Todd and I walking to church this morning
Todd and I are volunteering more at our church. Today was our first time as Ushers. It went pretty well. Next we are doing coffee hour volunteering. I really enjoy being apart of this local church community. Doing prayers and going to church each week really strengthens my confidence in people, myself, and god. After church we decided to go out for a sandwich from a new place called Potbelly. I had "The Mediterranean" without feta and extra veggies. My sandwich was really good but I forgot to ask for the herbed oil on top that would have added more flavor. The good thing was the sandwich was only $5 dollars. Smaller than subway 12 inch but better portioned and with homemade bread! Afterward Todd and I went to walk by the water.
Todd's sweet 'stache

Counseling and my health
Someone from my church suggested a behavioral health counselor to me because I have been expressing interest in going to counseling to her. I found out that my health insurance fully covers unlimited sessions with this therapist! I also have been thinking about setting up a physical with a doctor and going to a dentist because my insurance covers the basics. I haven't been to the doctor or dentist since maybe high school. I just have been procrastinating and neglect my health. No more though. Since my dads death I have been really thinking about trying to take care of myself more. I have also been looking into meetup groups for my eating disorder and other subjects in my life that I feel I need more support with. Eventually I would really like to have my extra skin removed. My health insurance covers the part of my stomach that hangs. I get rashes under that skin when exercising. My health insurance does not cover replacing my belly button or the upper part of my stomach. My belly button has rashes as well because of the extra skin. I feel that If I got the surgery I would want to take care of it all at once. Right now I'm focusing on priorities money wise so that might have to wait a few years.

Couch-to-5k / Positive self talk
I started the Couch-to 5k running plan with Todd 3 weeks ago. We are now on Week 4 workout 1. We are jogging 3 days per week. Short intervals at first than a build up to being able to jog 30 minutes without stopping. Then the plan is to sign up for a 5k race together.
Today's workout:
 Brisk five-minute warm up walk, then:

  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

This workout was so hard for me today. Not only physically but emotionally. During the first 3 minutes of jogging I kept shouting things to Todd like "my shirt is rolling up!", "my thighs are rubbing together!", "I'm chaffing!", "I hate my extra skin and fat!", and "I can't do this!". I feel bad for ruining Todd's workout because i'm sure its not fun jogging with someone shouting next to them the whole time. I'm so used to the elliptical at the gym (low impact) that when I go try to jog outside even for a few minutes it hurts because I am using new muscles than I'm not used to using. 

That negative self talk that I expressed while running today is something I am constantly struggling with inside of my head. During the major portion of my weight loss I was working on letting go of shame, guilt, and blame. I was learning to forgive myself and love myself. Once I let go I can stick to healthy goals. Somewhere along the way I lost track of that letting go and started going back into my patterns of self sabotage and word prisons, and binging on food. I need to remind myself daily of the right motivations to do things in life. Are my actions and thoughts motivated by love??

Negative motivations
  • I have to reach this point in life to be happy
  • I am not good enough until I do this
  • I'm not worth it
  • I have to do this for someone 
  • I give up
  • I have to be a certain size or number on the scale to be happy
and replace with...

Positive motivations
  • I do not put conditions on love for myself and truly care about myself. 
  • I forgive myself and let go of fear, shame, and guilt
  • I take take care of myself because I care about my physical and mental well being
  • I totally and completely love and accept myself with all my problems and all my limitations
  • I will use more compassion when thinking about myself

Healthy meal planning and minimalism
I have been doing better with my meal planning lately. Todd and I agreed that we need to start saving money. We agreed to stop any extra spending and too much going out to eat. I have been making more homemade meals at home. It helps to make big batches of stir fry or veggie pasta dishes to get us through the work week. We don't have a lot of stuff but it is disorganized. I have been looking into minimalist living. Maybe minimalism sits well with me because I was raised in a hoarder household. Really trying to figure out how I can add more value to my life and what brings value to my life. I decided that I really need to get rid of the extras I don't need in my cupboards. I also have been going through paper work and filing it for Todd and I. Its a big job because I just usually don't deal with paper work...bad I know...especially during tax season. I'm feeling pretty good with the changes we have been making so far!

I made this dish this last week from a cookbook called "vegan express". It seemed like a wierd combo with polenta, bok choy, spinach, seitan, and sun dried tomatoes but It was really good. The balsamic vinegar really pulled the flavors together. It made 5 servings and the whole plate about 500 calories! I'm not fully counting my calories everyday just days I'm unsure of my eating behaviors or days I think I will binge.
Seitan and polenta skillet with bokchoy, spinach and sauteed mini red potatoes.

Haircut / bangs
Last but not least If you haven't noticed already in this post I got a haircut with bangs! I haven't had bangs since middle school. I'm liking it so far. Its pretty easy to maintain. I just have to get a trim like once a month. Todd says I look like a hippie from the 60's lol! Then we both joked about how since he has a mustache I had to get a "forehead mustache". I know we are odd!