Thursday and Friday

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Well, except for indulging in the rest of the toffee we had left over from Christmas, I have stuck to my plan very well this week. I had some moments of temptation but basically just pushed through.

I was feeling extra hungry before lunch this afternoon, and since it’s Friday, some of the old thinking started to flood my brain. I started thinking of all the ways we could entertain ourselves with food tonight.

But then I looked down at the pants I was wearing. To be brutally honest, I have basically one pair of pants that still fit me comfortably and are reasonably presentable, but even those are not comfortable enough for lounging. Whenever I’m home, I immediately change into a pair of what are actually men’s fleece pajama pants. I was wearing the man pants when the Fatgirl thinking began, and I didn’t even have to try very hard to remember why I want to stick with my plan. The fact is, I’m not happy with what I’ve allowed myself to become with the continual over-indulgences. Using food for entertainment is at the source of my weight gain. I refuse to go out and buy new pants in a larger size, so I have no choice but to stay the course.

I texted my husband and told him I was struggling…and could he please not even mention eating out tonight, as I would totally cave in a heartbeat. As I’ve mentioned, he’s trying to lose weight himself, so he was supportive.

I forced myself to prepare all the salad ingredients I’d bought earlier in the week. I cleaned and chopped romaine lettuce, orange peppers, purple cabbage, and tomatoes. I assembled a very tasty salad which took the edge off my hunger.

Then I proceeded to stick with the Jenny Craig-style plan.

This is the way it has to be for me to get motivated and get rolling with weight loss. I know a lot of people think my approach is too restrictive and unsustainable, but unless I see results and really start to feel satisfied with forced (through Lean Cuisine servings) smaller portions, I can’t stick with a weight loss plan. I have tried MANY other things, and nothing but what I’m currently doing works. I have gone the route of making “healthy, low-calorie” family-style recipes, but even then, I will eat way too much of what I fix and see no weight loss whatsoever. If I go for two or three weeks and see no results, all that effort seems pointless. It’s simpler to just eat what I want rather than try so hard for basically nothing.

The Jenny Craig pre-packaged food approach is the one that works for me. I have to put myself in this mindset where there is ABSOLUTELY NO using food for entertainment…where I’m not pushing to eat only what tastes good but instead just stick with structure and imposed limits. The funny thing is, after maybe 8 or 10 days of this, my rampant appetite does calm down. I get used to smaller portions, and I become oddly detached from my usual dependence on food.

I’ve said before several times, I do feel like I engage in disordered eating. It has been a pattern throughout my life, the reason why while I’ve never been “fat” as in noticeably overweight or officially plus-size, I’ve also hovered in a range where I don’t feel good in my clothes. The plain truth is that I’ve had longstanding habits of eating WAY too much and viewing unlimited amounts of tasty food as my right and a main source of amusement, something to entertain me and alleviate boredom.

Getting to the place where I detach a little from food is necessary to start me on the path of success. It’s been working. I have lost 6 pounds since starting two weeks ago. I haven’t gotten that true “lean, mean” feeling yet that really starts to be motivating, but I feel close.

Yesterday I got caught up in cleaning and ended up not even thinking about lunch until about 2:30. By the time I had made a large plate of vegetables, it was 3:30. Instead of having a Slimfast, I decided to just hold off until dinner. I know skipping meals isn’t a good idea, but it was just what happened yesterday.

Here’s how yesterday went: Slimfast (190); banana (70); veggie plate of 2 cups steamed broccoli, 1 cup steamed cauliflower, 1 tomato, and a teaspoon of ranch dressing (150); Lean Cuisine (390); milk (120); toffee left from Christmas (400) (I kind of let myself just go to town to “get rid of it”). Total: 1,320.

Here’s today’s food tally: Special K Nourish hot cereal (190); banana (70); steamed mixed vegetables with a teaspoon of butter (170); Slimfast shake (190); large salad with romaine, purple cabbage, orange peppers, tomato, and sliced black olives, tossed with 2 tablespoons reduced fat Italian dressing (200); Lean Cuisine Parmesan Crusted Fish (290); milk (90); orange (70); 1 stick jalapeno string cheese (70). Total: 1,340.

Tuesday and Wednesday

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Yesterday was kind of a strange day. I’m not sure why, but I woke up utterly exhausted. I had an appointment to get my hair cut, something that has to be set up weeks in advance and something I really couldn’t miss (my hair needed attention!), so I dragged myself out of bed to get going. I did not work out – I was just happy to focus on getting to my appointment on time.

I had also made arrangements to meet a friend later in the afternoon, and then we had an event at my kid’s school in the evening. By the time I got home from the hairdresser, I was ready to bail on everything. I decided to lie down for awhile, too weary to think about lunch.

I never really slept, just dozed sort of agitatedly. I’d set an alarm to get up for my meeting with my friend. When the alarm went off, I realized I needed to eat lunch. I half-heartedly made some vegetables and ate those. I also thought one of my SlimQuick shakes might help. That stuff contains protein, fiber, and green tea extract. I have noticed it seems to help my energy.

I did feel better but not like eating anything more. I met my friend at Starbucks and actually brought along a thing of yogurt and an orange to go with my coffee. We then all met up at the kids’ school and attended the meeting. When I got home, I fixed a Lean Cuisine. It wasn’t really my intention, but yesterday I really stuck to the plan without too much effort. I really didn’t have the energy to think of ways to cheat.

Here’s what I ate yesterday: Nourish hot cereal (190); large dish of vegetables tossed with a teaspoon of butter (200); Slimquick shake (60); Yoplait Greek yogurt (100); orange (70); Lean Cuisine (250); milk (90). Total: 960. Obviously I did not eat enough yesterday…but one day like this won’t hurt.

Today I felt a little better, even though last night I had a terrible night’s sleep. I’m kind of stressed out from a few different things, and I find that when things are really bothering me, I will wake up at 3 a.m. with terrible anxiety. I will stew and pray and stew and pray some more. Eventually I have to do a breathing technique (inhale as you slowly count 1, exhale as you slowly count 2, and then keep repeating) to calm down. I also have to tell myself that no problem is ever really fixed or addressed in the middle of the night. There’s not a single thing I can do at the moment.

But it was frustrating to feel so anxious and so unable to rest. I woke up this morning feeling pretty bad, to the point where I told my husband I might have to go back to bed after the kids were at school. I didn’t, though. I had a bunch of stuff to do around the house. Later in the afternoon, I managed to do the elliptical machine for 2 miles. I’m definitely getting into better shape. The elliptical is not so grueling, and I’m finding myself enjoying the challenge of it more.

I did halfway skip lunch again. I don’t know why, but I just didn’t feel terribly hungry.

Here’s what I ate today: Special K Nourish hot cereal (190); Slimquick shake (60); steamed broccoli (70); ranch (100); two tomatoes (100); Stouffer’s turkey dinner (390); milk (140); some toffee I found left over from Christmas (200?). Total: 1,250

Sunday and Monday

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I feel like I did pretty well this past weekend. I had my moments of frustration and boredom, but overall, I just stuck with my plan.

Well, except for a little bit of an issue last night.

We had a really cool fondue party on New Year’s Eve, and last night, with no specific dinner plans, my husband and I got to talking about the really expensive cheese we had left over from that dinner. We decided to make more cheese fondue…and even got some new breads for dipping. I KNEW it was not part of my plan, but the same Crazed Addict Fatgirl attitude took over the part of my mind that had been so committed to self-control.

I made the fondue and even poured a glass of wine. But the funny thing was, I did not binge. The fondue was good enough…but not THAT great. The wine and the cheese and bread together actually left me feeling a little sick.

Here is what I ate yesterday: Slimfast shake (190); orange (70); broccoli (50); two Chipotle chicken tacos with black beans, chicken, green salsa, and a sprinkling of cheese (600?); Yoplait Greek yogurt (100); cheese fondue and bread (500?); wine (100). Total: 1,610

I didn’t exercise yesterday. I needed a break after pushing myself to run on the treadmill again on Saturday. I did my elliptical again today and could feel that it was getting a little easier for me.

Here’s what I ate today: Lean Cuisine breakfast sandwich (200); banana (70); 4 servings of mixed vegetables tossed with a teaspoon of butter (180); Sllimfast (190); Nutrisystem Craving Crusher shake (160); Lean Cuisine (360); milk (120). Total: 1,280

Saturday

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As I said in yesterday’s post, on weekends, I can especially struggle with my habit of using food for entertainment.

I decided that this weekend, I would just stay focused on my Jenny Craig-style eating plan. My husband is trying to lose some weight as well, so he is on board with not going to restaurants. This helps, of course.

Today I just stuck with my plan. Yes, I’m bored, sort of, but at the same time, I’m feeling good. I ran 3 miles on the treadmill again.  Here’s what I ate today:

Special K Nourish hot cereal (190); SlimQuick protein powder (60); banana (80); Slimfast high protein shake (200); steamed cauliflower and steamed broccoli (2 cups each, probably 100 calories total); teaspoon of ranch dressing (40); Lean Cuisine Parmesan Crusted Fish (290); nonfat milk (90); orange (80); string cheese stick (70). Total: 1,200.

Friday

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I’ve talked a lot about my problem with looking to food for entertainment. And definitely, weekends are the worst for this. Our family really enjoys eating out, and weekends are when we go to our favorite restaurants. I know there are lots of ways to make good choices when eating out, but this early in my weight loss efforts, I’m afraid I wouldn’t be as resolved to stick with my plan.

What’s nice is that my husband is also actually trying to lose some weight right now, so he was willing to forego dinner out tonight. I faced no temptations.

I stuck to my resolves today. I ran/walked 3 miles on the treadmill, some at an incline. And here is what I ate: Lean Cuisine breakfast sandwich (190); banana (70); big bowl of steamed cauliflower (70); Slimfast high protein shake (200); big plate of steamed broccoli and a little ranch dressing (100); Lean Cuisine barbecue chicken pizza (340); milk (90); string cheese stick (70); orange (100). Total: 1,230.

Just to note, I feel REALLY GOOD today. It wasn’t particularly hard to maintain my focus, and the way I’m eating, I’m not hungry at all. Having the vegetables helps a lot, and I don’t feel like I’m suffering or depriving myself. It’s great.

Yesterday

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I have a pretty good handle on why my weight goes up. There are three or maybe four specific behaviors that cause me to gain weight. If I change those behaviors, I will lose weight, and after a few weeks of my new behaviors, the journey down the scale will start to feel relatively effortless.

The first thing I have to do is get honest about what and why I’m eating. I have to address the problem behavior of eating for entertainment. For me, eating for entertainment involves eating whatever sounds good to me at the moment, but more importantly, eating this food – whatever it may be – in limitless quantities.

The second piece is exercise. I need to get at least a half hour of cardio 5 or 6 days per week.

The third is vegetables (mainly) as well as fruits. Somehow, if I eat at least 3 servings of veggies and 1 or 2 servings of fruit, my cravings change and I’m not as ravenous or as inclined to pine for food as entertainment.

The fourth behavioral change has to do with portions and timing. I really have to watch how much I eat at night. Like, if I’m going to have a more substantial portion of something, I need to eat it early enough in the day so that I can always go to bed feeling a little bit hungry.

If I do these things, I will lose weight. If I allow myself to slip into skipping exercise and vegetables and throwing portion restraints to the wind, I will gain weight.

Yesterday I faced down my first real struggle with the disordered thinking that causes my disordered eating. A friend offered to bring me lunch from Chipotle. (Yeah, I know, Chipotle has struggled with food safety issues, but I figure they’re now probably safer than they’ve ever been…and I still love me my Chipotle!) Way back in 2008, when I first started this blog and my successful journey to fitness, I figured out a way to approach Chipotle that was not disordered. Instead of eating an entire burrito the size of a rolled-up newspaper, I would order two tacos with grilled chicken, some black beans, salsa, and a sprinkling of cheese. This combo was exactly right and did not contain any of the uber-fattening ingredients. It was also the right portion size. I even realized that I could get rid of my hunger with just ONE taco, but I’d typically still eat two…and I would lose weight.

What I would do is, I’d steam some broccoli or eat carrots or cauliflower before I’d have my two tacos. And the two smallish tacos would be plenty. Just right. Enough.

Well…then…sometime between 2010 and now, I drifted into this thinking where two was not enough. If you don’t specifically order the tacos singly, an order actually comes with THREE tacos, and I started making an excuse in my thinking that three was the “normal” amount to eat. I also drifted back into wanting an unlimited taste experience, to where I could eat and eat and eat until I didn’t want the taste any more, no matter how stuffed I was feeling. Disordered eating!

Last Sunday, though, when we picked up Chipotle, I made myself go back to two single tacos with smaller amounts of filling ingredients, and with my broccoli, that was enough. It was tasty and it was perfectly satisfying.

Yesterday, when my friend asked if she could bring Chipotle over for lunch, I had run 3 miles on the treadmill, a more intense workout than what I’ve been doing lately. I found myself feeling like I had earned the right to eat whatever I wanted. I found myself feeling – once again – giddy about using food for entertainment.

And the thing is, since I would have eaten the theoretical three large tacos (stuffed with extra ingredients) early enough in the day, I probably could still have gone to bed feeling hungry. I probably could still have maintained a semblance of downward momentum.

But I also knew that I want to break that chain of disordered thinking. I want to break free from the assumption that I must have unlimited quantities and eat till I’m stuffed in order to be happy.

So I told my friend to bring me two tacos. And then I steamed a large portion of veggies before she arrived for our late lunch.

This is what I ate yesterday: Nourish hot cereal (190); SlimQuick protein shake (50); banana (70); steamed veggies tossed with a bit of butter (200); two chicken tacos from Chipotle, with grilled chicken, black beans, salsa, and cheese (500-ish); apple crisp (160). Total: 1,170

I feel really good about my choices. I just need to stay the course. The biggest issue for me right now is putting the kibosh on using food for entertainment. I have to distance myself from that mindset because that kind of disordered eating is what led me to gain weight and what will prevent me from losing weight and feeling better.

Another Day

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I’m trying to harness the thinking that helped me in my last really successful attempt. I just remember how difficult it was, and some of the tricks I used to push past temptation. Things haven’t gotten too tough yet, but today I faced a temptation.

A friend I don’t see very often called up and mentioned going to lunch. She’s in the middle of a weight loss journey herself, so she understood when I said I needed to eat at home. I confess I had a few moments of toying with the idea of going to Chick-Fil-A and just ordering 8 nuggets. But the TRUTH is, I really need to stay away from using food for entertainment, at least for a couple of weeks. And that’s what a trip to Chick-Fil-A would have been. I had my lunch planned, so it was good. My friend brought a salad over to my house and we sat here and ate. I had broccoli and a Slimfast. In the end, it didn’t seem like a sacrifice.

I exercised again today. I am trying to make it more of an assumed habit like it used to be. It’s not difficult once I get started. I actually really enjoy it.

Here’s what I ate today: Lean Cuisine breakfast sandwich (200); banana (70); Slimfast (200); broccoli with a little ranch (120); 4 servings of green beans tossed with a teaspoon of butter (200); Lean Cuisine Chicken Fettuccini (280); 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (40); milk (90); green apple (70); one See’s Candy scotchmallow (70). Total: 1,340.