Friday, September 25, 2009

This Week in Review: 9/24/09

Click Image to Enlarge

This was an interesting week. I had two goals:

1.) To continuously keep food sheets.
2.) To not eat out much.

I kept both goals, although there was one day that shed some light on what i am doing.

I am still inherently untrustworthy. On Wednesday, I decided to go down with Eric to watch Richard and Cast film Sweating to the Oldies 5. We ended up being there over the lunch hour and Richard graciously invited us to eat with the cast. We weren't going to accept, but by the time I got done with other business, I knew that there wouldn't be time to eat before a doctor's appointment if I didn't eat there, so that was an extra 'eating out." Even then, it would not have been a problem except for the following issues:

1.) I decided on the way out to grab two brownies (I think they were some kind of brownie) off of the craft services table and yes, I ate them both almost immediately.
2.) Eric has been keeping food sheets for about 10 days now (on his own volition; I am not the food police), and following his own program. My action spurred him into taking two cookies. Domino theory in action.
3.) I did not keep food sheets that day... I truly forgot, and then put them together late into the evening.

But was forgetting just a slip, or was it a subconscious way of avoiding the subject? I don't know for sure, but I suspect it may have been the later.

The bottom line is that i need to watch myself like a hawk and be absolutely sure that, on days that I go astray, I am still keeping food sheets and recording what I eat promptly. Additionally, I need not to stray when Eric is around. I'm thrilled that he is coming over to the lighter side all on his own - I wonder if my struggle to get back on program made him realize that it wasn't a cake-walk for me either and that's when he started to try - and I don't want to sabotage his program.

My goals for this week:

1.) Keep Food Sheets.
2.) Be mindful when I go astray to record what I eat immediately.
3.) Still be careful about when and where I eat out.
4.) Try to increase exercise just slightly. I am not feeling very well, my Crohns is starting to flare badly again and I am tired all the time. This in addition to the mystery condition that is forcing me to take the Adderal. Two doctors have declared me depressed. Three feel that it is an unidentified physical issue. I know how this goes. The doctors always declare you depressed, a hypochondriac, or crazy just before they realize that you've developed yet another autoimmune disease. I'm pretty sure I have another, although what I'm not quite sure But the bottom line is that I don't want to tire myself out by overdoing it. If that means the weight loss is slower, so be it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

This Week in Review - 9/19/09

I had two goals last week:

1.) Continue keeping Food Sheets and
2.) Don't eat out so much.

In addition, I had an admonition from Richard that I should not eat pizza or Chinese, and I needed to exercise every day. He was right.

It's been a difficult week. I had no problem in eating in; I declared myself early to Eric & he only asked me out once. (I wish I had accepted... we would have had seafood and I want to see the Turtle Pond at the Calabasas Commons.)

The problem was Food Sheets. I kept them without issue for the first part of the week, then come around Day 12, just like the other false starts I had this year, I suddenly didn't want to do them. I went a whole day (I think it was Wednesday) without filling them in, then tried to remember and capture everything I ate late in the evening. In despair, I first posted in Richard's Clubhouse on the Royally Back on Track Boards about it, and then sent Richard an e-mail which I also posted in the Clubhouse.

Richard was kind. He advised me to keep doing the sheets (which I did, even though I felt like a rusty gear getting things down), and also, because I had mentioned to him that I hurt my back, forgave me for not going to exercise on Tuesday and Wednesday. He also wanted to be sure that I knew despite the small weight gain, I was still a success.

I responded in the affirmative. I AM a success. Look at my total numbers, and if I keep working the issue now, I'll be back down to my preferred number for sure. But do I really feel like I'm a success?

If you just look at weight on the scale, yes I am. But the trouble is, I've never used just "the number" as my guideline. When I was losing weight, I always said (and I believe it too), that my true gauge of how I was doing was how well I was staying on program, and if I was keeping with the program, the numbers would follow. That belief always kept me going during those occasional times when I would plateau or, about once every 5 or 6 weeks, have a 2 pound weight gain that was certainly water and would come of plus more the following week.

What spurred me into finally really addressing the fact that I've gained more than "a little weight" was my dishonesty in class six weeks ago. The moment I was not honest with myself and/or everyone else, I became a failure. At least in my mind.

I addressed the issue by e-mailing Richard as soon as I got home, and we've been working on it together ever since then. But my numbers really haven't changed much, and I'm struggling with food sheets, and I have the feeling that the reason I don't want to keep the food sheets again is that I want to break from program.

IF I STOP KEEPING FOOD SHEETS, I AM INHERENTLY DISHONEST. Not writing it down doesn't mean that I didn't eat what I ate. It's just like getting on the scale. I get on every day no matter what. I weigh what I weigh whether I get on the scale or not, and I don't see any purpose in deceiving myself or not acknowledging the issue.

* * * *

I had a conversation on Friday night with a dear friend for who I would lay down my life if the occasion rose that she needed it. I came away from the conversation very sad, though. She is fighting the battle of lifestyle and weight valiantly, and I admire her for it. I truly believe that she is doing everything right so that long-term, she will get to where she belongs with her weight again. But I feel like the easy comradary that we used to have is gone. Where we used to be able to talk about anything and everything, I feel like the divergence of our weight paths has come between us.

I don't know... maybe it's my imagination. I admit to feeling somewhat down while writing this post, and that's coloring my perception. All the same, we were discussing whether or not weight gain changes us. Her position is that it does not. We're still the same people. But I don't know.

As I was losing weight, I became a vastly different person. I became outgoing, engaging, social. I was willing to take risks, I learned to look people in the eye and smile. I learned how to flirt; I learned the value of make-up and hair and dressing in a certain way not only to attract attention, but to manipulate situations in my favor. I became honest with myself, and therefore with the world.

At my heaviest, I thought I was a truthful person and would fight anyone to death who declared me otherwise, but in reality, I was a very deceptive, manipulative, and dishonest woman.

If our personalities and perception of the world change as we lose weight, wouldn't the same be true if we gained? I know what shocked me into starting my journey all over again was one small lie... not even intentional, but the ripples of that one answer have effected everything.

* * * * *

As I planned it last week, I would keep my eating out down to a minimum this week, keep my food sheets, and add another goal to my tasks for this week. I've changed my mind. I think I'm struggling hard enough with just keeping food sheets and am not prepared to do more yet. So my goals for this week are:

1.) Keep Food Sheets. Period. End of story.
2.) Keep eating out to a minimum.

Eric & I have a real date on Friday; an overnight date that will extend through Saturday at a seminar that we are taking together. I plan that we will eat out on Friday night, and will likely eat lunch with the gang at the seminar on Saturday. I will make our breakfast for us at home before we leave, and I will make dinner; either for myself or both of us, after we are done. Other than that, I will try not to eat out, not to go places that serve samples in big quantities (like Costco) during the hours that they are serving, and keep on course as I did this week. Just looking at what I am eating, and while not actively changing my choices, highlighting where I could have done better.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Saturday, 9/12

A full week of keeping food sheets! That means that, in fact, I've now kept them 10 days in a row. This is enough information to go on to know what I am eating, and start figuring out what I am doing "wrong" or, better put, what I can better do correctly to ensure that I get back to my goal range.

Click to enlarge picture

It was the right decision to keep my journal on Richard's form rather than my old, more detailed one. It's not that all that detail is not good; in fact, if I had the fortitude to do them, it would be statistically important to have it. But the fact is that I wasn't keeping them consistently, and it's the consistency that will provide what I need to know. If there is less detail, at this moment it's not as important as getting a good look at what I am eating.

The most important thing that I discovered was that I am eating outside of the home (or bringing food in from outside) too often. Some of the events were planned and I have no issue with that. It was the impulsive buys that are bothering me.

I don't do fast food restaurants. Rather, I go to Trader Joes or the Market or in one instance, Costco. That's probably why I'm maintaining in my range. But that's not the point. I need to lose right now.

I know intuitively what is prompting this behavior. I am taking a stimulant for medical reasons (not as a diet pill, and in fact, it's counterproductive for that purpose for me). I generally take it between 6 and 8 am, depending on what time I awaken. I have discovered that if I eat within several hours of taking the pill, it reduces or completely negates it's effect. That is apparently a common reaction and completely unacceptable to me. Because of other issues, I need that stimulant to function at nearly a normal level.

The issue is that where other people don't get hungry while taking the pill, I do. I will go along, speeding my way through the day, and then all of a sudden, I'm ravenous. It's a physical hunger, not just in my head. After all, I didn't eat breakfast. And when it hits, I stop whatever I'm doing and find the quickest source of food.

My choices aren't necessarily unhealthy. But they're higher calorie than acceptable, especially this week when I have not been able to attend Anne's exercise classes in the morning. So now I have two goals for next week.

1.) To keep food journals for the whole week again. And
2.) To pack food with me that is lower calorie than I would find in a store, and is immediately available during my daytime travels when I need it. To that end, I've bought a new, small sized lunch bag which will store neatly in my car. I will stock it with fruit, crackers, a little bit of cheese, and if I think I'm going to be gone a long time, maybe a sandwich. That way, I'm covered in the event of a "hunger strike."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday, 9/5

Hello! Apparently I have had some visitors. 16 of them, to be exact. I was #1 on the blog counter.

You are certainly welcome to come here and see what I am doing, but please keep in mind that this site is strictly for me to muse and think about what I'm eating and figure out how to better manage my choices.

I may show up frequently, I may not show up for a while. I hopefully will be reporting in at least once a week with a picture of my Food Sheets.

I conceived of this blog site to augment a weekly e-mail I'm sending to Richard with my stats and any comments I have about my progress in getting back to goal. If he wants to see my food sheets before I get to class, or if I'm not going to class but want my food sheets to be available for his review, this site is here.

The reason I conceived of this site is that four weeks ago, he asked me how much weight I had kept off in class and an untrue number popped out of my mouth before I even knew what happened. I was on the point of a breakdown for the rest of the Project Me and all of the Sweat class. I had been discussing with my therapist for weeks at what point in my weight struggle am I going to start being dishonest. I found out that day.

I sometimes find it easier to be honest when I'm writing than talking. It takes the emotion out of reporting statistics. That's how the weekly e-mail to Richard got started. Immediately after class, I came home, e-mailed the real stats to him, and apologized for my transgression.

He did not think it was a big deal. I did. I am NOT, and I repeat, I AM NOT going back to the self deceptive, angry woman I was at the beginning of this journey. Weight was the cosmetic evidence of that anger. I am going to be honest and transparent and hopefully get my poundage back to where I'm most comfortable. Food Sheets were the last area in which I was lying by omission. I need to be an honest person, so here I am.

You're free to comment or not, but it doesn't really matter. I like it when you comment on my regular blog because I write that for fun or to relieve stress or to express emotion. This blog is just for reporting the facts. And figuring out what I need to do to get my eating life back into order.

Thank you.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Food Sheets, End 9/4/09

Click on Image to enlarge.

Ok, this is only a 3 day sample of what I'm eating, and I think it is somewhat exceptional. But then again, I wonder. It seems that for the past three days, I have eaten really healthy about half of the time, and really off-the-charts for the other. Is that a trend that I've failed to pick up because I've not kept a food journal, or is it because the past three days are just aberrant between my father's 10th anniversary of his death, and doctor's appointments, and other meetings? I don't know.

That's exactly the point. I don't know. Because some of the food that I am choosing truly is healthy, it would be easy to fool myself into thinking that the majority of my choices are good. I suppose that remains to be seen.

The point being is that I have no guilt about what I've done in the past three days. Just curiosity, and that curiosity is a good thing. Hopefully it will carry me through over the next week in recording what I am eating again.

So has my reticence to keep food sheets over the past year been about laziness, or avoidance behavior? I guess if I successfully and consistently journal again, learn what I am doing and what is triggering not only the bad choices but the good, and change things up to encourage good choices, then the answer to that question is irrelevant.