Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Journal Entry: Official "Meal Plan"

I got my "MP" ("meal plan") from my trainer. While he wants me to follow it to the letter, well, he can bite me. I am doing a loose version of it (see: fast food dinner last night) and going to see how I feel. Here goes! Please note that I will continue to note post the specific guidelines of it but just the idea of what it suggests, what I actually eat, and the outcome. I am also going to post times since it's a different eating routine.

Breakfast (9:45am)
Recommended includes whole wheat English muffin, fruit, and almond milk (blergh. I hate almond milk). I actually ate the English muffin with peanut butter and half a sliced banana with a cup of tea with cream and sugar.

Morning snack (11:15am)
This is kind of a new one for me. I usually would just eat lunch but a morning snack is called for. Recommended is almonds, yogurt, and peanut butter. I have Greek yogurt with caramel in it and the almonds. I am not a big fan of almonds but am trying to be a good sport about the whole thing. IE would tell me not to eat things I don't like. We'll see. My yogurt is also smaller than what's recommended but I figure the higher protein + topping may even out. I am also missing the PB. I did not really enjoy this snack, primarily because of the almonds. I think they are one of those "diet trigger foods" for me.

Feeling undercaffeinated, I ran out to Starbucks for a vanilla latte. I wanted to stop on the way in but didn't, thinking I "shouldn't". Also, I didn't get what I really wanted, which was a mocha. Not terribly enjoying the latte now. Hm. Way to NOT listen!

Lunch (1:45pm)
Hmm, I am beginning to feel anxious as the day wears on. The idea of eating prescribed items is stressing me out and I am feeling resentful. I think really, it can be good to try and figure out what to eat that keeps me full and energized but I may be sabotaging my own mental health by even remotely trying to follow a "plan". Recommended lunch is a turkey sandwich, cottage cheese, and an orange. I have everything but grapefruit instead of an orange. I have been craving grapefruit even though I never eat it! 1 point for IE. This was a satisfying, filling lunch, although I think my grapefruit craving may now be over (little too bitter for my taste).

Snack (4:30pm)
Protein bar. Not my favorite food but gets the job done in the extra protein department. I also decided to have a few dried apricots (not on the "plan") and then felt satisfied.

Dinner (8:30)
Recommended is chicken and veggies, which by chance was what was planned. Perfect dinner!

Had a leftover frosty with brownie bits. Obviously not on "plan" but yummy nonetheless.

I never had a hungry moment when it wasn't mealtime and felt good after every meal. I will try and continue this eating pattern and see how it goes. Will keep you updated!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Barefaced and Beautiful

Yesterday kicked off National Eating Disorder Awareness week.

Today's theme is "Barefaced and Beautiful".

Did you go without makeup today? How did it make you feel? If you didn't, why not?

I went without makeup today. Makeup actually isn't that big of a thing for me; I leave the house all the time without it. It is a little weirder at work. I think I associate looking put together (including made up) with professionalism. I did find myself making sure my eyebrows were well-groomed and my hair looked nice. It's interesting how caught up we can be in physical appearance and not even realize it. I would love to be more carefree about my appearance and I think this was a good challenge to make me stop and think.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Journal Entry: New "Meal Plan"

My trainer gave me my new "meal plan". I put it in quotations because that's how I like to think of it. I will NOT be following it to the letter and I will not be considering it a diet. I will not be posting the details of it here either but thought I'd do a journal entry based on my first day winging it (I need to grocery shop and don't have a lot of the recommended foods).

Recommended as one possible breakfast was a high-fiber cereal and skim milk. I am mildly lactose intolerant so I don't drink milk and, even if I did, skim milk is loathsome. I only had Cinnamon Toast Crunch on hand so I had a smallish bowl of that with plain soy milk and a cup of unsweetened green tea. I wasn't really that hungry for breakfast because I woke up with a hormonal migraine. I also had about 1/4 can of Pepsi to help with the migraine (regular soda does wonders). As you can imagine, soda is outlawed on the "meal plan". I will try to avoid it just due to the extra sugar but will drink it as I feel led.

Midmorning snack
I didn't have this.

PB&J sandwich on wheat bread with a side of broccoli with salsa on it. I also had a small cup of soy milk for "dessert" as milk was recommended at lunch. This was actually a really good lunch and I felt full after. The milk was a nice ending since it was a little sweet.

Protein bar or shake is recommended. I had a protein shake. Blergh. I need to get some bars I think.

Salad with chicken and assorted veggies, raspberry vinagrette dressing. This was really enjoyable. I also had an apple cinnamon muffin on the side with some butter (not on "MP", oh no!) for some carbs because I despise the recommended brown rice. Sue me.

An evening snack is recommended (actually lists a few cookies or something). I may have one later if I'm hungry. Currently enjoying a cup of Earl Grey tea and relaxing while the baby naps. I am looking forward to eating more fresh items as recommended and less processed sweets that leave me hungry afterwards. I am hoping to blend the "MP" with intuitive eating and find a happy, healthy medium for myself. My husband and MIL are keeping a close eye on me to make sure I don't become obsessive or restrictive as they will pull the plug immediately. I'll keep you updated on my progress and adjustments!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Modeling Behavior

No, not those kinds of models.

More like role model.

I have an almost 9-month-old daughter. I am terrified of passing on my disordered behavior to her. Every woman on my mother's side of the family has disordered eating issues.

A conversation about how to discuss self-image issues with your children came up with some girlfriends. One friend, who I suspect has some of her own food issues, says her daughter (who is objectively thin) was saying she thought she was fat, particularly around her belly. Her mother encouraged her to do some specific exercises and also said she may be having a growth spurt and it will go away when she gets taller. She also mentioned, almost in passing, that her daughter has always seem to have self-esteem problems.

I basically froze in horror. This was a situation where I didn't feel comfortable being in activist mode and thought any opinion would not be taken well. It made me want to cry for her daughter and for my similar experience as a child.

Why didn't she tell her that she wasn't fat?
Why didn't she tell her that a little belly roundness is totally natural/okay/attractive?

I obviously don't know the whole story but it was a good reminder for me of the importance of modeling good behavior for my own daughter. She is still obviously too young to be aware of much but this time will come quicker than I think.

The coming week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Please check out
http://www.renfrew.org/news-events/news/barefacedandbeautiful.html for more information. Monday is no-makeup day. Will you join me?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Journal Entry

Pre-prepared overnight oatmeal. I eat it because it's there, not especially enjoying it. I eat about 3/4 and throw the rest away.
I also stopped on the way to work and got a small mocha because I was really craving it. However, it's now 10:30 and I've barely touched it. I think it may be too sugary. I am going to make myself a cup of tea instead. I decide on a cup of unsweetened orange black tea.

As aside: I just finished writing my previous post. Starting this one, I already feel like I am trying to take better care of myself.

Leftover pot roast with roasted potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and onions. Yummm. I left one chunk of beef and a few potatoes, may make a good afternoon snack!
Now craving something sweet to finish my meal. Instead of judging my choice, I decide on the first item that pops into my head: some peanut butter M&Ms I purchased with my mocha this morning.
Huh, I ate two and then realized I was good. It would be easy to keep eating them since they are delicious but I decide to save them for later!

Afternoon snacking
Reading a book leisurely during a slow point at work. Decide to open the bag of Skittles I also bought, along with my soda (which I drink about half of). Obviously I bought all these sweets during a more frantic moment. I am going to continue to objectively observe myself and not judge my food choices today.
Tangential rant: I find it extremely annoying and somewhat stressful that so many foods now list the calorie content right on the front. I don't want or need to know the calorie content of my snack, thank you.
I ate about half the bag and then put it away, satisfied.

Apparently in a sweet, snacky mood, I go back to my M&Ms and finish the bag. Trying very hard not to feel bad and just enjoy them.

Finishing the last bit of my lunch, along with a snack bag of mini-brownies. I have my workout class tonight so I try and make sure I am not hungry before I leave for the day, especially since I won't eat dinner until late. Unfortunately, my little mini second-lunch left much to be desired since it was only a few bites. I decide on a protein bar since I'm having major protein cravings. I am hoping my workout instructor can give me some good tips on high-protein snacks for my long afternoons.

Fast food salad with chicken. Needed something quick and easy. Not great but not bad either.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Not listening

(trigger alert: This post is somewhat of an emotional purge for me but this feels like a safe place for me to do it. Please skip if you are feeling fragile.)

Last night, I was eating ice cream. I realized after the fact that my mind was screaming at me the whole time I was eating. But I was not listening. Here's a little stream of consciousness of my experience:

Hmm, this is kind of good. The ice cream is kind of grainy though. There isn't much Reese's cup in it and what is there tastes kind of waxy. Why am I eating this? Tomorrow, I won't eat any sweets so I need to eat it ALL NOW. That way it won't be there tomorrow. I need to eat all the sweets so they won't be there when I start eating better tomorrow. Why do I feel so frantic? I don't even want this. Why can't I throw it away and not think about it? I want to eat this and enjoy it and feel happy. I feel guilty eating this and I am not even enjoying it. Oh. It's gone now.

This was and is extremely depressing. I feel like I am stuck in this binge/restrict cycle. I know why. I started a new exercise class about 2 weeks ago. I am really enjoying it but I have a really unrealistic expectation of instant results. The teacher also does nutritional counseling and I asked him for the information. I think this may have been a mistake because now I am in pre-diet mode: "Must eat all good things because they will be off-limits tomorrow!" Hell, I don't even know what the information looks like yet and I'm already triggered. I really just want to be strong and healthy and not eat emotionally, still enjoy my food and not restrict. I don't trust my body to tell me what it wants and I hate this feeling of body-mind conflict. I am one being. I am not a brain and the shell that houses it. I feel very confused, very anxious, and very unhappy. I want to ignore it all and just be okay but I know I will probably live with a lot of this for my whole life.

I am still trying to find my happy medium. I think I am going to try and journal today and see how that goes. I'll also keep you updated on my workout class and the nutritional counseling, which I think could either be helpful or extremely triggering. Dear Husband is aware I am receiving it so I'll probably talk to him about it some as well.

Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Lately, I have really been relishing the feeling of fullness. Not the "ohmygod I ate too much blergh..." but that warm, heavy belly feeling after eating a good meal.

I can't remember feeling this before in my life. And that makes me sad.

I always ate "just enough" or not enough, or way too much. I sometimes felt like I was starving myself and other times couldn't eat enough to fill the black pit inside. I think I still tend to restrict, overestimating what I eat in a day. I don't eat enough fat or protein regularly. When I do, I feel much better and much fuller.

Lately, I have been trying to eat to fullness. Sometimes the amount of food it takes horrifies me but I will continue to do this until I can normalize it in my own mind.

It is okay to eat.

It is okay to feel full.

Fullness does not equal fatness.

And it is okay to take care of myself.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Year to Live

This post is inspired by one from Rachel Cole

If 2012 were your final year on earth, how would you live?
I would try to soak up every moment, however mundane, understanding it may be the last of its kind. I would LET GO of all my issues and just LIVE. I would live for my family and let them enjoy my happiness and not worry about me so much.

Where would you take your life?
I would keep it as simple as possible. I would explore hobbies and not obsess about everything.

What would you let go of?
Judgment, fear, negativity, disordered eating

What would you add?
Joy, patience, self-awareness

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Inside the box

I received a comment on my last post about how I seem to be restricting myself with labels and rules.

I was surprised at how hard this hit me.

I don't just do this with eating. I feel the need to label everything in my life. My hairstyle, clothing style, personality. This can be extremely difficult, if not ridiculous. My hairstyle changes regularly. My clothing style varies depending on my mood, and my personality is, as my husband puts it, turbulent. None of these things can be or should be stuffed in a tiny box despite my desire to do so.

I will admit something I was trying very hard not to.

I am desperate to lose weight. As I have mentioned previously, that is really what is behind my "challenges". I am not trying to make myself better. I am trying to make myself smaller (the easier to fit in the box, my dear).

Why am I trying so hard to do this?

What would it mean not to?

The thought is terrifying. I am comfortable in my boxes, even if they pinch or make it hard to breathe sometimes.

I'm afraid of being too much.

Too loud.
Too pretty.
Too successful.
Too intense.
Too fat.

(now "too" looks all weird)

I can't just let myself "be". I spend so much time trying to "fix" things that I never enjoy anything.

I need a hobby that is not "self-improvement" but I do need to take care of myself.
I need to let myself be myself.
I need to eat and not obsess about everything I put in my mouth.
I need to move my body in a loving way.
I need to appreciate today.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Does it count as a relapse?

I had a tough weekend.

The baby was firing on all cylinders and just all over the place. While she was happy, this made for a tired mommy!

My mother-in-law's dog ran away Saturday afternoon (he hasn't come back at this point and we don't think he will). This was the absolute last thing she needed so Saturday night was really stressful.

I offered to take her to her favorite ice cream place for a happy distraction and she agreed.

Obviously, I ate some ice cream.

I don't really think I did it for me; I wasn't even that interested in it. But I still ate something on the no-eat list, so to speak. I actually don't feel guilt about it either.

Was this a relapse or am I showing progress?


Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 6: Temptation

(ha, just realized I keep updating on even-numbered days)

Well, so far, so good.

Today, however, I was faced with my first serious temptation.

A coworker handed out candy to everyone. She put in on my desk before I could decline. I immediately picked it up to eat and then realized my challenge-in-action. Crap.

I then sat and thought about what was happening. I like candy. I'm not hungry. I'm actually not in the mood for it. When I googled the candy to see what flavor it was (had a certain color wrapper), I discovered I don't even like this flavor! Huh. Normally, I would have eaten it without thinking twice, without realizing I wouldn't even enjoy it. Talk about mindless eating!

I finally put it in my work drawer and will pass it on to another coworker later in the day. It seems like a tiny, petty scenario but it really made me think.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Day 4: Cravings

I feel like an addict today.

I am having intense, almost physical cravings. I feel uncomfortable and mildly agitated. I know how easy it would be to just "give in" and eat some candy, for example. But I am determined to stop the cycle. I think that if I give in, I will never stop doing this but if I can get over the "hump", it will bring me to a whole new place of taking care of myself physically and emotionally.

The ride there just kinda sucks.