Friday, June 29, 2012

Craving! A Compulsion to Munch!!

Yesterday afternoon I faced my biggest temptation to date!  My old nemesis, compulsive eating, showed up and seriously tested my will power. 

I wasn't hungry.  I just wanted to snack... which is one of the bad habits that got me here in the first place!!  From 4:30 when I got home from work until 6:30 (dinner time) I found myself pacing the kitchen, opening the fridge door and browsing cabinets.  The compulsion to eat was almost irresistable.

What was I going to do?
Finally, I decided to treat myself.... but not with a snack.  I made a big pot of a favorite herbal tea, pulled out a pretty mug and treated myself to something I loved that wasn't going to throw me off the diet.  I savored each sip of that lemony tea, enjoying it until it was time to start dinner.

As I mentioned in my previous post, compulsive eating is something I've struggled with since I was at least 12 years old.  When the urge to eat struck yesterday I knew if I caved in I would not only be dissapointed with myself for torpedoing all the progress I've made so far, I knew it would be easier to cheat the next time I was tempted.

I had to get creative and find a way to destract my brain from the cravings.  Tea was the first thing that came to mind.  This morning I thought of other things I can do to distract myself from the urge to snack:

  • Give myself a pedicure
  • Weed a section of the garden
  • Vaccuum something
  • Spend time in my art studio
  • Write an e-mail to a friend
Basically, find something - anything - to get my mind on something else.  If I am serious about changing my life and living healthier, I have to break a lot of old, established habits. 

I made it through a challenging moment.  I am proud of myself and I face this new day with a stronger resolve to stay the course and keep loosing weight! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Changing My Mind About Me

Me at 18, holding a book in front of my
"huge" stomach.  If only I could travel
in time and have a good talk with that girl!
 I recently rediscovered these two photos.  They were taken the summer after I graduated from high school. I was 18. I've been carrying them around for a couple of days, pondering them and processing the life events that got me to where I am today.  It wasn't long after this summer that I started packing on the big pounds.

There aren't many photos of myself anywhere because I was convinced that I was fat and unattractive and hid from the camera.  Looking at these photos now, I would love to have that body again (and I think I am on my way there). Not only that, aside from the bad perm, I was far from ugly!

My whole life I've wrestled with self-esteem issues.  When a boy in first grade called me names or said unkind things about me, I would internalize those words and carry them around with me.  When my second grade teacher called me "hopeless" and "stupid"  I believed her.  Year after year I would carry the opinions of others about me inside of myself, choosing to believe unkind words rather than believing in myself to make up my mind about me.  Not once did I stop to question the opinions of those jerks.  I just accepted their unkind assesments as fact.

The self-imposed misery was so deep and dark that by the time I reached 12-years-old, I was sneaking treats after the family went to bed and anesthetizing the hurt inside with food.  When I reached my sophomore year in high school I was bingeing on snack food and then purging. I was never diagnosed as bulemic, but I am pretty sure that's what I was. 

Before I turned 24, I  was beaten.  By that time I had quit purging but had frequent binges where I would buy huge amounts of junk food and polish it off within a few hours to purposely "trash my system," after which I would crash and sleep for hours on end. 

As I got older, overeating, drinking to excess and other cringe-inducing, self-destructive behaviors became a way of life.  It wasn't until recently that I realized that food wasn't the issue, but how I felt about myself and the dialogue I was carrying on with myself that was the problem.

I had nothing nice to say about who I was, what I looked like or what I had to offer the world around me. As a result I grew fatter and more disgusted with myself.  The weight was a symptom of a much bigger problem.  I had to change my mind about Lanza before anything else got better. 

I once read the words "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."  There's a lot of wisdom in those words and I took them to heart.  It was past time for me to say "What a load of crap!" to all the negativity I was carrying around.

Me at my peak weight, probably well
over 300 lbs., on my wedding day in 2006
A couple of years ago I made a conscious decision to change the way I look at myself and the way I live my life.  It has been hard work and has taken a long time, but each day I come closer to overcoming the habits and opinions built over a (misguided) lifetime. 

I decided to love myself, regardless of dress size.  I looked myself in the eye when looking into a mirror and said nice things to myself (which is a lot harder than it sounds),  I no longer said unkind things about myself and if I caught myself thinking something negative about myself, I would stop the thought and purposely say something nice about me.  It may sound silly, but as I started to feel better about myself, my size began to shrink and other parts of my life began improving.

I am a beautiful, divine child of God.  I deserve to be happy and I deserve to love who I am!  It was high time I realized that Lanza rocks!

A year ago I started biking to work instead of driving a car, which was unthinkable three years ago.  I was still loosing weight and getting healthier, but it was coming off slowly and my joints were suffering from the years of carrying around all the extra weight on my frame.  I decided to do something completely out of character, and a bit scary, in order to get to a healthy weight.  A couple of months ago I applied for a local weight-loss reality program.  I figured if I committed to loosing weight in a public way it would keep me motivated to succeed.  

I wasn't chosen for the reality program, which I now feel was for the best.  Soon after I was rejected for the program, I started hearing about the new Ideal Protein program that a local chiropractor's office was offering. A relative talked me into going to a seminar about the program and I said I would go.

So here I am, three weeks later, showing amazing progress.  I don't think it would be working as well as it is if I hadn't changed my mind about myself.  In my old mind I was fat, even back in the days when I wasn't.  Words have power and self-talk is just as strong as prayer.  If I call myself fat, my sub-conscious mind hears it, believes it and the words become self-fulfilled prophecy.

I have also made a conscious decision to commit myself completely to this diet.  While I am on this diet I will not complain about the restrictions. I will approach each day in the program with enthusiasm and belief. I see this program as a change in lifestyle and an opportunity to re-educate myself about eating, not as another fad diet. I will believe in myself and in Ideal Protein.

Without the belief and proper attitude, this will just be another failed diet.  With the old thought patterns I might have lost some weight, but I doubt I would be willing to stick to the program or will be able to keep the weight off once I loose it.  This is the last diet I will ever go on because this diet is going to work - I refuse to accept any other outcome.

So I've changed the way I look at myself and the way I look at my diet - and the outcome this time around is already very different than it has been in the past.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 3, 270 lbs.

What a week!  Projects and deadlines are breathing down my neck at work and at home.  I fell in the garden and injured my tailbone, making it impossible to cycle to work, let alone sit or walk comfortably. As a result I haven't been as active or productive as I had planned on being.

Anyway, the scale at home had not been showing much progress. Even though my clothes continue to fit better and I've stuck to the diet without deviation, I didn't go into the weigh-in with great hopes.  I figured I lost a pound or two, but nothing major.  Imagine my amazement when I stepped on the scale to discover and six pound loss!!


This diet is amazing! I have lost a total of 18 lbs. in twelve days!!  I never believed that kind of weight loss was possible... but here I am, living proof!

The diet is easy to follow.  Most of the pre-packaged foods in the program are enjoyable. I'm not hungry.  I don't feel deprived.  I have more energy than I've had in years!!  One knee has already stopped hurting and I am looking forward to the day when my other knee stops hurting.

I never thought I'd ever say something like this, but I am looking forward to my next weigh-in!  I can't wait to see what miracle the next week brings!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Little Victories

It amazes me how much progress I've made in a short time.  Every day brings little victories that keep me enthused and motivated.

A favorite ring that was too tight slipped on without a problem this morning.
People keep complementing me on how good my skin looks.
Someone complemented me on my eyes for the first time in about 10 years.
Clothes are fitting better.
I have more energy for chores in the evening.

And the one thing my ears have been aching to hear was finally said!

I got my first "Hey, are you loosing weight?" question today!  Not many people have noticed the difference.  Before I had started the program I had already lost a few pounds but none of the people who see me every day noticed and they haven't noticed the 12 lbs. I dropped over the last week.  The person who finally noticed hasn't seen me in a several months, so it was a more drastic change to her than someone who sees me every day.

I am doing this weight loss for myself, independent of anyone else's opinions.  That's why I haven't told many people about being on the Ideal Protein diet or this blog yet.  Even so, it's nice to hear "Are you loosing weight?" from someone else.  Totally made my day!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Proof of Progress

I have this cute pair of capri pants in the closet that I loved wearing.  From the time I purchased them they were a bit snug (almost too snug in the thigh) but I wore them with an oversized shirt and prayed that the button would stay on for at least another wearing.

I had to stop wearing these lovely capris last summer because they became too tight to wear in public - they looked obscene when I put them on.  I hung them in the closet, thinking that one day I'd loose enough to get back into them... I waited for that day for a long, long time. 

This morning as I was getting ready for work I eyed the capris and wondered.... and then tried them on ... and could pull them on without unbuttoning or unzipping (there's no elastic on these babies, either!)  They fit!!  They are loose around the thigh, too!!

I have a lot of clothes in the closet that are too small, waiting for the day when I can get into them again.  I think that day is in the very near future!

I am on my way!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Week 2, 276 lbs!!

Monday.  Weigh-in day!

I started this week with doubts and a lot of determination.  I wasn't sure how the restrictive diet would fit into my lifestyle or if it would deliver the results that were promised. I've been down the diet road so many times and a small part of me was skeptical about this diet. 

I took one day at a time and each day brought new challenges.  I stuck to the diet, drank tons of water and each day was so proud of myself for sticking with the plan.   On Wednesday I was so hungry that my mouth was watering at commercials on TV.... that was the hardest day this week.  A small voice in the back of my head told me to take a spoon to the peanut butter jar, but I ignored it.

After Wednesday things got a lot easier and I started to see changes in the way my clothes were fitting.  My clothes getting looser?  Already?  Impossible!  It must be wishful thinking, right?  I had more energy in the evenings and found myself vacuuming before bedtime and folding clothes after dinner when I am usually too tired to do anything but vegetate in front of the TV.

I thought the scale in my husband's bathroom was wrong.  It was showing a 10 lb. loss. I was afraid to get my hopes up.  But then, I put on a pair of a pair of jeans that were almost too tight to wear earlier this month and they went on easily.  Not only that, there was a little more wiggle room around the thigh area - room that was never there before.

This afternoon, when I stepped on the scale at the doctor's office I had a shock!  The scale read 276 lbs!!  12 lbs. less than it read last Monday!  The diet coaches told me to expect a loss of 3-5 lbs. so I was about floored to learn I lost over 10 lbs. in a week!   I wanted to question the results and jump and dance for joy all at the same time!

The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." - Mark Twain

I found the quote above on someone else's blog and it defines the way I am dealing with this diet.  Each day is a new day, a manageable length of time.  Today I focused on sticking to the diet.  I am not concerned with what happened yesterday and am not worried about how I am going to face tomorrow.  Today, I am successful at dieting and losing weight.

I am making a conscious effort to approach this with a postitive attitude.  I am not telling myself that losing 145 pounds is going to be hard or impossible, instead I am telling myself "I am losing weight" or "when I get to my goal..."   My eye is on the prize and the prize is a healthy body that's not suffering in a prison of excess weight.

I am also not whining about the foods I can't eat.  I have a job to do and I don't have time to waste for pining over the wine I can't drink or the half and half that's missing from my coffee.  I still love those luxuries and they'll still be there when I have achieved my goal and have learned a healthier way to enjoy those luxuries.  I am not being deprived.  This diet is my choice and my life is going to be so much richer when my work is done.

I am excited about the journey ahead!  I can't wait to see what the scale says next Monday. My goal is a 5 lb. loss .... but if I am down another 10-12 lbs, I'll take that, too!!!

More soon!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Week 1, 288 lbs.

Current photo of me at 288 lbs.
I've fought self esteem, weight and food issues since I was (at least) 12 years old.  As a result I've spent most of my adult years overweight and the older I get, the bigger I seem to get. For too long I've had an unhealthy relationship with myself and with food. 

Don't worry, this blog not going to be an online pity party or a place for me to spew all the pains of the past in public - A "Poor Me, I'm Fat" blog.  I have officially put the past where it belongs: in the past.  From here on out, I am moving forward and building a happy tomorrow out of the attitudes I am building today.

This week I walked into a doctor's office and stepped on the scale to discover I weigh 288 lbs!! I knew I was heavy, but not THAT heavy!!  No wonder my knees are killing me and I haven't had a good night's sleep in a gazillion years!  I'm pushing 300 lbs!  I am carrying around a whole extra person worth of weight!

I wanted to rage, cry, and blame someone else or something external for making me fat.  Finally I simmered down and got real.  I'm the only person responsible for my size.  I made the all the choices that made me obese and it's completely within my power to fix the problem.

Right then and there I signed up for the Ideal Protein program.  It is a medically-supervised weight loss program that promises not only great results but it promises to re-educate me about food, to teach me how to eat healthier. 

I also made a promise to myself after I signed up for the program.  It's time for me to be nicer to myself.  I am going to like and accept myself as I am, regardless of my weight. 

Does that mean I happily accept 288?  No.  This means that from now on I am going to stop beating up on myself and trying to see myself through someone else's viewpoint. I am a beautiful, divine child of God, regardless of my weight - but I deserve better than what I've allowed myself. This time, I am not trying to lose weight to make people like/accept me or to make me look good in a swim suit - it's not about how others see me. I am losing this weight because I love me, I want to take care of myself and I want to improve my health.

So far I've been on the program for three days and I feel good about my progress. Ideal Protein is a super-restrictive diet in phase I but I refuse to whine or complain about it. With the exception of the (disgusting) Crunchy Cereal packet I choked down on the first day's breakfast, the program's food is palatable and has kept me from getting hungry.  I also have plenty of energy to bike to and from work and am not exhausted when I get home at the end of the day.  The end will justify the means.  I am not depriving myself of treats by going on a diet - I am giving myself the gift of a healthier future.

For now, I am taking it one day at time and have had a successful three days.  I can't wait to read the scale next Monday and see what I've accomplished!