Monday, March 18, 2013

Eff You, Karma.

I’ve never had a great relationship with food. Or rather, I’ve never had a healthy relationship with food. I can recall having taco eating contests with my brother growing up and thinking that was perfectly sane. I remember eating entire cans of chili & packages of crackers while reading John Grisham novels in my bed. I remember being thrilled when I realized I could go out to eat for lunch and no one could tell me what I could or couldn’t have.

You see, I didn’t grow up learning about healthy food. I mean, sure, I took Home Economics and I learned about the Food Pyramid (which is no longer used, right?) I listened to the concepts, I understood that vegetables and fruits were healthy but no one ever taught me to apply that to my own life and what consequences there were if I didn’t.

As a teenager, I was naturally thin. At 5’10, 120 lbs and fairly active – it didn’t matter how many calories I consumed because those bitches were gone by nightfall. I didn’t feel like eating healthy applied to me because that was just for people with a problem.

I wasn’t one of those people.

I can clearly remember having a conversation when I was around 15 with my sister. We were talking about someone who was “fat” and I remember saying, “If I ever got that big, I’d just lose the weight. It can’t be that hard.”

You know why I remember that so clearly?

Because karma is a fucking bitch.

And because now, I’m that “big” girl and it is hard. I’m having to teach myself to make better choices and when I’ve always reached for an extra helping, or another Snickers bar – that’s really difficult. What seems to make it even harder this time around is the fact that I’m happy with my health. I’ve been running for over a year and I can clearly see marked improvements in my spirit, in my daily tasks and in how I feel every morning when I wake up.

At this point in my life I’d say 300/365 days a year when I look in the mirror, I nod my head and say, “Yep, you look good.”  The problem is that I compare that point with previous points in my life (namely right after having Lillie) and I think, wow, I’ve come a really long way and I should be proud of that.

So, I reward myself with an extra cookie. Or some ice cream. Or a giant tub of Crisco. You know, whatever helps slide that shitty food down my gullet.

It’s been a shitty cycle these past few months as I made a goal to lose 30 lbs this year. I did great in January by losing 6 lbs, but guess who gained it back in February as a “reward” for doing good? Yeah, this girl. I’ve had to really focus on what I’m doing wrong and be honest with myself. And since, I love being honest with you guys too – here goes.

I’m not eating better because I’m lazy.

There. It’s out. And it’s true.

I read enough, I know enough, I have plenty of friends who are well-versed in eating well – I just don’t want to do it. It’s going to take more time, it’s going to be painful (in the learning new things way) and there’s that possibility that I’m going to fail.

It’s really scary shit you guys. I don’t like saying I’m going to do something and then not do it. Especially when it’s my fault if I don’t. I’m having to make big changes in my life in order to succeed, it almost feels more taxing than when I first started exercising. Because exercise is an hour out of my day (occasionally more when I’m putting in more miles), but eating better, well, that’s all of my day.

Changing your life, while it may be for the better, is just generally freaky as hell. And that’s what I’m trying to do. Changing my life in the way I view food so that I feel better about myself and so that I can be a good example to my daughter. I wasn’t shown a healthy life growing up, I was taught that exercise was a form of punishment almost.

You’re 10 minutes late to PE young lady. Drop and give me 20.

I want to give my daughter more than that, and I really want to give myself more than that. And in order to do so, I have to shit or get off the pot.

Basically, stop complaining and do something.

So, here’s what I’m doing:

I joined My Fitness Pal. (Friend me here!) Basically it’s a calorie counter, where you put in your goals and it sets you up a profile. Based on your information it tells you a daily goal and when you could succeed. It’s really simple to figure out, but the best part – totally free. I also really enjoy it because unlike Weight Watchers (which I still think is an amazing program!) this helps give me a better idea of calories/sugar/fiber/carbs that are actually IN my food as opposed to some formula that calculates points. I’ve been logging my food for nearly 3 weeks now (as well as exercise) and after the first week, I could definitely tell why I didn’t lose any weight even though I was training like crazy with my running. I was eating all my calories back. Oops.  I’ve lost 4 lbs. While it’s no Biggest Loser weight loss record, I feel good about it and I feel as if I’m learning.

I’m also participating in Abbey’s Forever Fitness Challenge she put together. ForeverFitnessChallengeButtonYou can find all the details here. But it’s a 10 week challenge based on your own personal goals. If you want to run a 10 minute mile or give up smoking or eat more vegetables, it doesn’t matter as long as it matters to you. At the end of it, there will be some sort of prize but I think (hopefully) what we’ll find at the end of it is a really huge sense of accomplishment. When she initially brought it up my mind immediately went to exercising, and after a week of thinking on it – I had no new goals that I really wanted to pursue. I’m not interested (at this time) in going the full marathon distance (26.2 miles) and I’m already actively working on my speed per my own resolutions. Then, one evening as I was downing a box of Velveeta Shells and Cheese (my gawd, that stuff is glorious) I realized that my problem isn’t of the ‘making time to exercise’ nature. It’s of the ‘making time to eat better’ nature.

So, my goals are to cook at least 3 healthy meals a week and by doing so, losing 10 lbs. Last week, I made baked tilapia, cauliflower pizza (seriously making it again this week, it was amazeballs) and artichoke penne with baked chicken. It was a challenge. I had to mentally prep myself on what I was making for dinner that night so I didn’t cave and stop at Bush’s Chicken on the way home. But I did it, and I really enjoyed everything I made. Even the husband didn’t mind it too much. The kid doesn’t count because if I cover it in ketchup she’s game for anything.

And there’s me shitting & getting off the pot.

Does anyone else have a horrible relationship with food? Am I the only one whose heart beats faster when she opens a new box of Oreos? Did I just admit that out loud?

Sweet baby Jesus. Someone help me.


Jodi said...

It is so hard and I would think that the majority of people who are overweight are so b/c they are "lazy" and don't feel like shopping/cooking. I can imagine it must be hard after having a baby b/c your body changes so much. I know as I've age I've not been able to eat how I use to. I started healthy eating recently (I'm on week 3). Week 1 I lost 2.5 and Week 2 I lost .4 so a lot less. Ugh! I'm trying to avoid pasta, bread, rice, sweets, coffee, juice, etc. Some are easier to avoid than others. I haven't had ANY bread or pasta but I crave sweets and candy!! Blogging helps. You can do it! You'll reach your goal and so will I.

Smart Ass Sara said...

Um, A-fucking-men. I could cook better stuff, I could eat less, but the fact is I'm lazy, I'm exhausted, and really? I don't feel like cooking for anyone at 7pm. Nope. So tonight? It's pizza. It's fucking delicious and I'm watching Parking Wars wishing not only could I eat more pizza but also that I could ticket people.

Amanda said...

first of all I love your honesty. This post is great and I'm PUMPED to hear how you do with this goal and all of the healthy but still delicious meals you cook. This takes soo much courage to go for it with's more tha phsyical because it brings sooo much emotional baggage into the picture. good for you for doing it!!!

and yes I have a HORRIBLE. relationship with food. I have alwaysalwaysalways been overweight (like I remember being on diets when I was 7) and I think food has been where I turn for comfort. A few years ago I said, "enough" and started really restricted my eating...but that became a little unhealthy and I couldn't maintain it so I gained most of the weight back. Now I'm trying to eat only when I'm hungry and not overindulge. And because I can't read labels here or even cook very much I know I'm not eating super healthy but I'm trying to listen to my body. So yeah that's me and food!

Tristan Schlegel said...

Amen, sister. I totally get it. Three years ago I lost 40 pounds in a summer (plus a few months) I was working at a summer camp, worked out next to my boss every day (who has a personal training degree) and completely relearned everything there is to know about food.

Since then I have worked out 6 days a week consistently and I've never got out of that routine.

I don't really know when or how it happened, but I gained a lot of weight back! All the sudden a few weeks ago it just hit me that my pants were tight! I've never had that problem in my life. And since I have always been consistently working out, I looked again at my food intake. I've been using My Fitness Pal for over a year and I've loved it. When I looked at my food, I was still eating normally and fairly healthy..with some snacks in there. And I can't lose that dang weight! It won't seem to come off at all! The last two months have been hell with that stupid extra poundage! What the eff is up with that!

I hope your food stuff goes well! It's such a lifestyle change and the weirdest feeling when you actually feel better. I'm obvs no 100% clean eater, but if I eat some chicken nuggets, my body can tell within an hour and I feel like balls. Sometimes I hate that so much, cause I just want to chow down on something unhealthy (you know when you just get that craving..) and then when I do it feels so gross! Maybe we should start another new, fun, healthy recipe kind of group. I'm all for losing this dang extra stuff!

Sorry for the book! :)

Amy Green @ Sweet Home Amy said...

I understand. I grew up the same - high metabolism, athletic, never even thought twice about what I ate. Now I'm frustrated all the time because I'm having to learn how to be healthy for the first time, at the age of 30! It stinks.

Abbey said...

I promise I will come back to this and leave a real comment. I promise.

Love this. Love you.

Kim said...

Great post!! I love reading your blog because you always have me in stitches!! Anyways. I have the same issue with food. I have a culinary degree so you would think that I have a stock pile of recipes from really healthy to really not so healthy stored in my little brain. That's def. not the case. Cooking healthy is def. a lot harder for me. I love food. Which is obvious because I went to school for food essentially. I do however not crave sweets and what not. I crave burgers and steaks and savory things that are packed with butter and what not. I'm not sure if you are looking for tips but it is easier for me to cook healthier when the weather is nicer. I love to be outside grilling. It's so easy to just throw a piece of chicken on the grill or a piece of fish on the grill and then grill some veggies with it.
You can do it girl. I'm in the same boat right not. Keep up the good work!

Sara said...

I have the worst relationship with food. Like ever. Period.

I was like you back in High School. I never had to try because I was super active. I could eat what I wanted because I knew I would work if off eventually.

I started this downward spiral when I got a desk job vs. the therapy assistant jobs I always had. When I was a therapy assistant, I ran around in my scrubs and stayed active. Althought I gained a little weight after graduating high school (I blame the booze), I could still pretty much eat whatever because I would eventually lose it.

Once I got my desk job, it all went downhill. I am not proud of the amount of weight I have gained (a shit ton, girl) and I am so out of shape it's ridiculous.

Luckily, my employer sponsors these really awesome weight loss programs, with $$ as an incentive. First prize is $1000! I totally signed up, an I know I need to rock it! However, eating right is always my downfall. There's too much good shit to consume!

Now that the weather is perking right up here in good ol' Illinois, I really want to start my running training. Don't be scared if I start to ask you a crap ton of questions. It's only because I think you're amazeballs.

Lin said...

By horrible do you mean eating fast food at least 6x a week and never cooking at home? Or how about eating Doritos for dinner and not drinking anything but Dr. Pepper all day long? Yeah...I'd say food and I, we might have to re-evaluate our relationship :/

Good for you hot stuff! You make those bad habits your biatch.