The Food Demons

I was watching a show on TV today and they mentioned drug addiction being a disease. I very much believe that. I believe people have genetic dispositions mixed with their environment which leads to having addiction problems.

I have a food addiction. I grew up where food was a celebration. Of course, growing up kinda poor, it was a celebration. Paydays meant we could have a few good days of supper. Don’t get me wrong…my parents fed us. We ate. But we didn’t eat many fruits and vegetables. Growing up in a house with 6 people, having fruit and veggies would get expensive. So we had a lot of foods that were cheap because they could be easily bought in higher quantity. Just lower quality.

And holidays…we always had great food at holidays. Christmas, Thanksgiving, 4th of July…we had feasts! And Sundays! We loved to get together as a family to have big breakfasts.  Nothing was better than the whole family, all the kids and grand kids coming together in a rush of loud hectic love and bacon. We celebrated love and family in food.

I do not blame my parents for my weight problem. I think my mom blames herself but I don’t. I wish she would not blame herself. She did the best she could with what she had as we were growing up. My dad worked hard but he was at work a lot. He provided for us and I do not blame him for not being around as much as he wanted to be.

I blame myself. I blame myself because I know what the foods I ate did. Once a person gets to a certain age, they have to take responsibility for their own actions. You can not be a teenager, eating fast food every day because you work at a restaurant and it is readily available. You can not take the “eating for two” pregnancy saying literally. You can’t do that and expect to NOT gain weight.

People with a food addiction know this but something in their brain says “Who cares?” People who emotionally eat and have food addiction know what they are doing is hurting them but they can not stop. I know people judge obese and heavy people. They say “Why can’t they just stop eating so much?” Well ,why can’t you stop smoking so many cigarettes or why can’t you stop drinking so much/shopping so much/ texting so much?

EVERYONE has a vice. Everyone…but most are easy to hide. Except food addiction. We wear that right out in the open. Everyone can see our problem.  There is no hiding our problems with air freshener or breathe mints.  There is no hiding it by throwing away credit card bills or deleting just how many messages you send a day.

The next time you see a heavy person, don’t think those mean thoughts. Instead ask yourself what did they go through to wall themselves in so much? What did they experience to not want people to touch them or interact with them? Don’t think unkind thoughts because we can pick up on those. We see the side looks. We see the snarl of the lips that even you do not realize you are doing. Instead, root us on. Think a kind thought for us. Just think “Keep trying. Keep going. You can do this.” Start seeing heavy people as PEOPLE. You don’t look at smokers as non people. Or alcoholics as non people. But for some reason, society has made it completely fine to treat heavy people as non people.
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People with food addictions and eating disorders in general (going the other direction with weight) KNOW we have a problem. We know something is not right. But the really hard thing about having food addiction…you need food to survive. You NEED food on a day to day base. What other addiction is like that, that you need to take in a small amount of your addiction? That you need to take in small amounts of the right kind of addiction? You don’t see that with drugs…here, take this small amount of PURE cocaine. You won’t be addicted then. Here, smoke just 3 natural cigarettes. You won’t become addicted.

Food addicts have to go through life being confronted every where by their vice. You turn on the TV and see commercials for the newest freshest sandwich. Add bacon! OKAY! You see commercials for pizza with the cheese and sauce and the best prices. You open a magazine and see ads. You check the mail and get coupons. You go to a store and food is everywhere…and as a food addict, if you want to overcome it…you can not give it to any of it.

It is one of the hardest things to do. To basically deny yourself something everyone can have. To be around people as they innocently take in your vice with no problems, knowing if you did that it would lead to problems. Because food addicts can not have 1 piece or 1 slice. Our brains do not say stop. Our stomachs do not limit what we eat. Because our brain and our stomachs are just as addicted.
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I stopped eating pizza almost a year ago. I stopped eating lasagna and chicken parmesan because it resembled pizza too much. And I still want it every single day. An addict never ever just gets over it. Never. Their vice is always there, being offered by the demons in their head. And the demons never die. We just learn how to put them away.

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Slow and Steady

People seem to want instant gratification for everything now days. TV anywhere you go. Coffee in a single serve pod because waiting for a full pot takes too long. People want products that do the work for them instead of with them. People want something that makes life easier.

News flash….life isn’t easy. And those things that make life easier, it might save you a few minutes but it’s not really worth it, is it? Not in the long run.

I want that satisfaction of trying my hardest. I want those sore muscles. I want that knowing, that I did this on my own. What better feeling is there, doing something with no help? Even as children, we loved that feeling. That excitement and accomplishment. Climbing the steps to a slide! Walking on our own for the first time! We did it! Look at us! We did it by ourselves!

That is my same mind set in losing weight. I want to be able to look back and say I did that.

It’s hard though, to do things on my own. To try to ignore the easier routes. To ignore the unhealthy routes. There is a fine line between what is and isn’t healthy. A mind set really.

I am okay with doing things the slow way. I am still learning. I am still trying. I am that turtle in the race, one step in front of the other. Slow and steady right?

I have already started to lose weight again. Now if I can just convince my brain that we do not need to celebrate every lose with something sweet or something salty. My brain is my biggest enemy really. It is the thing that works most against me.

I need to reprogram my brain. So many people need to do this. To stop listening to the things it wants and instead give it the things it needs. No one needs soda every day. No one needs pizza or candy every day. Our bodies do not NEED these things…but they want it. And wanting is so much stronger than needing. It tricks people into thinking what they want is what they need.

How many times have I wanted something and verbally, mentally battled with myself, yes, no, yes, no about getting something I want. Not something I need. I never battle myself with that. It is always a YES when it comes to that. My brain is a spoiled rotten child who whines and cries and throws a fit when I do not give it something I want. But when it is something I need…water or exercise or healthy foods…my brain readily accepts it.

I KNOW what I need and what I want. I will admit it. I am an emotional eater. I have binge eaten before. Cleaning out cabinets, my brain will say “This is a binge. Stop!” And I will pause and realize it…and sometimes I can stop it from happening. And sometimes I can’t. And then the guilt sets in. And I think back to that voice, that red light warning screaming “STOP! BINGE ALERT!” And every time I binge, I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had listened to that warning. I wish I had had that will power to stop. Sometimes it is tough to stop a runaway train though.

My progress is slow. But I keep trying.  What else do I have to do really? Improving my life for myself is the first thing. That might sound selfish but sometimes you have to be. You have to be selfish so you can help others. It is like those airplane warning, with the mask on yourself. You have to help yourself before you can help others. As much as I love my husband and daughter, I have to do this for ME above all else. I have to do this to make things better for them.

So I will put my little turtle feet, one in front of the other and keep going.

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Ready, Set, Go!

So I weighed in this morning! I was pleasantly surprised. I guess the fact that I have been drinking a bunch of water, that has helped flush out my sodium. Darn you yummy tacos!

So official June 1st  weigh in and other numbers.

June 1, 2017

Height: 5’5”

Weight: 475.6

BMI: 79.1 According to an app I use

Total Lost since High Weight of 533: 57.4 lost

Goal for JUNE: 455.6 (lose 20 pounds)

So there are my numbers. And before someone mentions how you can’t lose 20 pounds in a month…well if you weigh as much as I do, you can. Lots of water weight…which is still weight.

That is a lot of my problems, I think. I lose weight and my mind says REWARD! So what do I do? I eat a taco or 6 as a reward. And my scale goes back up. I think it is my brain just being an asshole. I imagine that part of my brain as a lazy 40 year old who still lives at home with his parents, watching the ID Channel all day which eating cheese poofs in his underwear. LAZY!

In another part of my brain, in a locked away room with a tiny window in my ACTIVE side. She is a fit active busy mom. She wears her hair in a ponytail with a hat that has a sassy saying on it. She wears yoga pants that look good on her and she goes for a run before going to the gym. And she STILL has time and energy to clean house.

That is who I want to be. I am somewhere in between right now. The ID Channel is on right now. But I am not in my undies! My active side has a small window and sometimes she gets to breathe a bit of fresh air. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I let her out and we go to the gym for 3 hours.

WAIT! WHAT?! 3 HOURS? But you weigh that much?

Yup…I love going to the gym. Some days my body tries to say no but that is just Mr. Lazy buried on the couch, too comfortable. I push through and always feel better after my classes than I did before. I always feel tired but in a good, self satisfied kinda way.

Zumba gets my heart going. It wakes me up. True, it kind of takes about half the class before I am not yawning anymore but I get there!

Pilates is next. Right after Zumba! I love laying there, stretching, trying to do the moves. I can feel my balance starting to get better after only a month of this class.

Last is Muscle Confusion! A strength training, weight lifting class. It is the perfect way to end my block of classes. This helps me tone and strengthen. It is really a perfect block of classes for me. It works all of me.

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I have been at this spot, this weight for so long. I get close…soooo close to a milestone…losing 100 pounds….I have been as close as 13 pounds…and then I back track. And I usually back track HARD. It makes me sad to think I was feeling so ready and so energized this time last year…and the year before….and the year before. Why can I just not get there? Why do I keep messing up? Will I look back on this next year and think “Here we go again” or will I actually have hit my goal? Will I ever become that woman that I imagine myself to be? It gets old…doing the same things, feeling the same things.

I do hope that this time next year things will be different. There is always hope. And I keep at this track, even if it seems to be a race track going round and round. I have so many people in the stands watching, cheering me on. They want me to win, to succeed.

Operation: Baby Weight

So my daughter turned 13. She is no longer a kid. And it got me to start thinking about how much I miss her being younger. I miss her laughing when one of her spelling words was HAPPY because she had to say PP. (She would probably still laugh about this actually) I miss her begging her daddy to read to her at bed time, having him read 2 or 3 books. I miss picking her up and packing her around on my hip or watching her sit on her dad’s shoulders.  I miss watching her learn and grow and explore.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love her as she is now. She has become a wildly caring passionate child who is weird in her own right. She has a style all her own and she OWNS it. It has been such a great adventure getting to experience her life as she grows into it. But she is alone.

I grew up with 3 other siblings. We fought relentlessly. But she also stuck up for each other, played outside in our own imaginary worlds. Christmas mornings were loud and lasted so long. Four kids and 2 parents opening presents takes a while. But three? Not much time really. And with those three siblings have come 9 nieces and nephews. It is so much fun seeing these little people evolve, looking for much like my own siblings when they were younger. To have them throw their arms around me, yelling Aunt Whiz! And I started thinking tonight, that my only child will never be an aunt. She will never get to have nieces or nephews that look like her siblings. She will not have busy loud hectic holiday mornings with siblings and nieces and nephews.

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It’s my fault really. Here I am, a few months from 35.  That is that age where you go from a regular mom to an older mom. It is my fault because I have tried (but have I really?) to lose weight now for 5 years. I can lose and gain a few pounds but they always come back. And they always bring a few friends.

I am stealing my child’s happiness by her being an only child. I am stealing nieces and nephews from her.  I am erasing holidays, with siblings looking at boxes wondering if that is theirs or their sibling’s gifts.

I can always get one thing or the other right when it comes to weight lose. I will eat right but not exercise. Or I will exercise but eat too much. Either way, I always end up in the same exact spot I started. I am in a boat, rowing with one oar, just going in circles.

Now if you have read my previous posts, you know numbers are nothing to me. I post them, I live with them, I fix it. I weighed myself yesterday and broke down crying. You would think someone who is so “okay” with her weight would not cry about a number on a scale. But seeing that number made me realize I backslide so easy. I don’t deserve that. My husband and daughter do not deserve that.  My possible future children do not deserve that. They deserve a chance.

Will they laugh at having to spell HAPPY or PUPPY?  Will they call my mom Gran Gran like my daughter does? Will they even exist? Will the names I have picked out stay abstract things?

I have so much weight to lose before I feel I would be healthy enough to even think about pregnancy. I think I would have to lose about 230 pounds before I would be okay with it. I would still be heavy but I would be much healthier than I am now, I am sure.

It is such a daunting task really, to mix my age with trying to lose weight so I can have kids. If I lose 10 pounds a month, I would be there in 2 years. But keeping it off is my problems. I have probably lose that amount of weight multiple times over in the past 5 years. But I am still who I am right now, still about the same weight I was then. What the hell have I done with my life?

So this is Operation Baby Weight. I need to focus on my WHY. WHEN. HOW. WHAT

WHY: To have more children. Not just abstract babies but a boy that looks like my husband when he was little. To have another girl that looks like my daughter now but with lighter hair. To put the names to faces.

WHEN: Within the next 2 years, I would love to get to that healthy weight.

HOW: Eating healthy, no junk food, no sweets, no crap, no more poisoning my body. Exercising! (I got this part going good so far! Zumba, Pilates AND Muscle Confusion! Oh my!)

WHAT: Operation Baby Weight! *knots ninja head scarf*

Hopefully using this blog again will get me refocused on my goals and why I need to lose weight.  I will post all my numbers on the 1st, to round it all out by month, like a good little Virgo.

I don’t know if people will read this. I don’t know if people will care. But if you do and you struggle with your weight, please understand, you are not alone. If you struggle with the pain of just not being healthy enough, you are not alone. If you struggle with liking pizza too much and exercise not enough, you are not alone.

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Almost a Milestone

This week has really been something.  I have been getting back into my routine, slowly.  Having to learn to listen to my body is important. I have done some exercises, mainly strength training and a bit of cardio.  When you are diagnosed with something, it puts a  doubt in your mind. You doubt that you can do the things you once did.  You did these things the day before yet today, that sense of doubt lingers and talks you out of it. Your brain plays tricks on you, telling you you can’t, you won’t, you shouldn’t.

I have tried ignoring those doubts.  I have stayed focused on my food mainly. They always say that it is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.  Seems to be ringing true. I am almost to a big milestone.  Well several really!

One, I am almost to 75 pounds lost.  I do not see it.  I do not feel it.  Maybe because it has been 5 years since I was at my high weight that I do not see the full difference yet?  Maybe because I never once imagined I would actually lose weight.  Maybe that is what has stopped me for so long, that mind block, that mental wall about actually succeeding.  Now that I have no real choice, it seems the wall has been knocked down.  The only reason it was there because my mind put it there.  In fact, the wall was never even there.  My mind just created it, like an illusion that I could not comprehend.

Two, I am less than 20 pounds from hitting 25% to my goal. Sure, that may seem like something small but to me it means a lot.  It means I have worked hard and stayed focused and have a good amount in my lost pile.

This morning when I weighed myself, the scale wavered between 460 and 459. I just stared at it, not breathing.  I can not remember the last time I saw that number in my weight.  I stopped weighing myself right after my daughter was born, around 12 years ago.  I weighed 440. So I did the only logical thing anyone would do….I changed the batteries in the scale. I figured something MUST be wrong. Again….the  numbers teased me…finally settling on 460.6.  Since I have gotten focused on July 1st, I have lost 12.8 pounds.  I do not understand it. It is very hard for me to accept in all honesty. I do not understand how I could exercise my butt off before and not really lose much.  But now that I watch my food and barely exercise, it just comes off.

I have asked other people who have lost weight and they said I am not crazy.  They said they had felt the same way when they first started losing, like things should not be this simple.  True, I assume this is just a lot of water weight.  I mean, they packed me full of fluids at the hospital.  Maybe that is what it is?  But then again, I weighed myself BEFORE I went to the hospital, that morning.  I weigh less now than I did then. Oh, it boggles my mind. Is this how it will be?  I will doubt my progress and doubt myself for a long while as I am losing weight? I know I should not look at the scale and just measure it by how my clothes fit.  Everything I own is stretched out and loose fitting so that does not work.  I did try on a bra that seemed a bit more comfortable.

It is getting easier to simply put something down if it does not fit into my plans.  If something has too much sodium, no matter how much I might want it, it is getting easier to just not want it.  Not to not want it….to no longer register it as something that I need. Maybe that is also a milestone, to be able to differentiate between what my body needs and wants. I know the numbers are part of a weight loss journey but other things could be marked as milestones…things most people take for granted.  Taking  a bath, wearing a seat belt, buying clothes off the rack, sitting in a doctor’s chair, going to the movies.  Seriously the last movie I saw at an actual theater was the third Harry Potter and even then, I was uncomfortable in the seat.

I am taking this one day at a time, eating the right foods, staying in the right ranges.  I figure if this worked today, it will work tomorrow. I know how the body works though.  The more I lose, the harder it will get to lose the weight.  I will deal with that as it comes along.

For now, I will keep looking forward to those milestones, be they on the scale or in other ways.

Staring Into the Reaper’s Face

It’s funny how staring into the face of death really gets the ball rolling. A ball that you thought was stuck in a rut was really just stuck because you have your stubborn foot on top of it.

Three weeks ago, when it as really hot, I passed out in my bathroom.  Our AC was not working and it was a cozy 93 in our house.  I had been outside for 10 minutes or so.  Went into my bathroom, a room that is already small and humid on a good day, and the room swam before my eyes.  My last thought was “This is gonna be bad.”  I had the bright idea to keep trying to go to the bathroom, throwing my balance off.  I face planted into a metal shelf which felt AWESOME. My hands were sweaty so I slipped a couple more times, popping my head a few extra times for good measure. My daughter stood by the bathroom door, screaming and crying.  After a few seconds of pain, I got my bearings and sat up to my knees, my pants still around my ankles. I asked her if I was bleeding.  Luckily, I wasn’t.  I figured the heat got the best of me.  That would be anyone’s logical thought in that situation.

Fast forward two weeks.  I did not end up with any bruising of any kind. No goose eggs, just a slight welt that faded after 2 days.  What I did end up with was a slight light headedness that persisted. I knew that shouldn’t be happening, despite all the water I drank, thinking I was just dehydrated. I decided to go to the hospital.  I hate hospitals.  I hate finding out problems are wrong.  Ignorance is bliss to me.

We pull up around 8 pm to the hospital.  I tell them what happened and they hook me up to an EKG right off the bat.  They then told me I was in aFib. I was taken to a bed in the emergency room.  The whole time I thought this seems to be a bit overkill for me being barely dizzy. I was annoyed and aggravated because I felt trapped.

They wanted to do a CT scan on me but I was over the weight limit. So I got an $800 ambulance ride to the closest hospital where they had a bigger one. I had to get into the ambulance by myself because the 2 guys could not get me over the lip of the truck. It was not a big deal really because I was not light headed at the moment. They pushed me in a wheelchair even though I once again thought it was overkill.

I got the CT scan and despite all my imaginary tumors my little hypochondriac brain thought I had, there was none. No bleeds from my fall. No tumors. Just my brain.

We got back to the hospital and I sent my husband and daughter home.  It was about 2am at this time. They had me hooked up to a heart monitor that looked like a cell phone from the early 90’s. They took blood and left bruises because the fat on my body hides the veins so well, trained nurses could not find them.

Around 4 am, I got my own private room. More blood is drawn.  My blood pressure is taken multiple times. On my forearm, of course, because the cuffs do not contain these bat wings very well.

Over the next 3 days, I sat in bed watching Shark Week. My husband would come when he could. It hurt when I had to send him home, knowing he got to leave and I could not. It hurt seeing my daughter avoid eye contact or hugging me out of fear.  The tears rolled freely down my cheeks because I was not sure I was okay.  I was not sure if this was it for me.

My brother and mom visited for a few hours.  I had not wanted to tell my family about being in the hospital.  The last time someone was in the hospital, it was my dad. He passed away a week after he got out.  I still figured it was not a big deal.

The second day I was there, Tuesday, I was put under sedation for the first time ever.  They ran a scope into my throat and did an ultra sound of my heart from the inside.  Luckily, no clots.  And they say my heart is strong.  Then they did electro conversion.  This is where they shock the heart to try to get a regular rhythm. They shocked me 5 times.  It did not work. All I got from that was a horseshoe shaped burn on my chest.

They put me on a blood thinner to make sure clots did not form.  On Wednesday, I was finally FINALLY released. I was sore, bruised.  I felt violated from the inside out. My neck was stiff from having my head tilted back while they scoped me. My ribs hurt from where I assume my body moved while being shocked.

BUT…..I did not die.  I am still here.  For 5 years, I have been in a “plateau”.  I write that like that, “plateau” because it wasn’t really. It was me being lazy and comfortable in the 480 range.  I would congratulate myself for losing 50 pounds to start.  I loved to exercise but I loved food a little bit more. My preconceived notion that you can be fat and healthy was shot out of the water real fast.  It is just a matter of time really.  You think nothing is too wrong with you, then one day life pushes you face first into a shelf.

I got too comfortable weighing what I did.  I could not envision myself any other way so my body followed my brain.  Anytime I came close to hitting 60 pounds lost, I would self sabotage.  I would tell myself I can try again next week, next month, next year. Before too long, all those nexts will run out.  Then where will that leave you?

I came home and spent a few days, very aware of my soreness and my light headedness and my heart beat.  I was aware of my mortality. I spent two days on the couch, moving stiffly.  My PMDD reared it’s head and tried to convince me I would die and probably do it tonight. That is how PMDD works for me.  It takes my fears and amplifies them up.

Then something in me clicked.

I am in control. I will not simply lay down to die when I have the means to fix things. 

I blew up Pinterest with searches of heart healthy, quinoa, avocados.  I made a board for things to try to keep me for falling into the trap I set for myself. I have made out a grocery list and it looks drastically different than the ones from before.  I have decided to give up a lot and hopefully in the long run, gain a lot.

On the 1st, I weighed and measured myself. According to my scale, on the 1st, I weighed 473.4.  Today, four days later, from just watching my sodium and doing strength training and walking, I weigh 466.6. I am in the 460’s range. I have lost a total of 66.4 pounds since my high weight of 533. I know my scale may be off. I may weigh a few pounds more but the fact it is moving DOWN is all that matters.

It is weird for me to see the numbers on the scale.  When I first ever stepped on it, it was easy to accept that 533 was correct.  But now that I am losing it, it seems as though the numbers could not be right.  I have not seen these numbers in a long time.

I do not want to die. I do not want to leave my husband and daughter alone.  The house would be a disaster in a day or less.

I am excited to get on the right track. I am excited to try new foods and hopefully get my heart back in time. I compared my heart to the lady at church, clapping out of time.  Everyone is clapping with each other.  Then, you have me.  Clapping just a little bit off.

Hopefully with healthy foods and exercise, I can get things back to normal. I do feel better.  The soreness has all but gone.  I still get a bit light headed but each day it is less.  That is a downfall of the meds I am on. Light headedness!  Ironic, right? Hopefully I will keep on top of this a little better.  I hope to inspire people to want to lose weight.  I hope to motivate people, to connect with them.  To let them know they are not alone.

Stalling…Avoiding the Eventual

Yesterday I realized to get all caught up on work outs, I would have to do quite a bit today.  I woke up, totally fine with that.  I figured I would jump right in to my exercises, get them knocked out and be done by noon.

Then I walked into the kitchen and saw the dishwasher needed switched out.  So I did that.

Then I decided to wrap a couple Christmas presents…and unload the dishwasher…and do some laundry…

I knew what I was doing.  I was stalling.  I still am!  This blog entry is yet another stall for me! I have gotten 2 of the 5 exercises done but still..more to go! I am stalling.

But you know what…all my work that needs done will still be there after I get done stalling.  I have to just tell myself to stop stalling.  The sooner I get things done, the sooner I will be able to sit back and just relax for the night.

And in life…people stall on a lot of things…losing weight, having a baby, going on that road trip.  You stall because you are afraid or don’t feel ready.  There is no such thing as ready.  It is an illusion.  Time passes faster than you realize.  While you hold off until the beginning of a new month or a new year to start losing weight, you are also missing out on opportunities that your weight holds you back from.  You are missing out on smaller sizes of clothing, of being able to move easier.  You are missing out on a real smile when you look in the mirror.

So as much as I would love to make this a much longer blog entry…I know I would just be stalling…