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Archive for August, 2006

For the last 5 days I was off visiting relatives. Not a bad thing at all, since they are very pleasant people and we made contact with many others.

The food pressure was pretty high, but I don’t think I ate more than about 1 roll too much per day. Plus more chocolate than I actually wanted.

The scale is pretty decent – my regularity went out the window on this trip, so I’ll see if there’s actually any catching up to do.

Next vacation will be France. Could be dangerous, but since we’ll have a house, it won’t mean 3 restaurant meals a day. And plenty of opportunity for walks!

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I discovered this week that volume of food can change my weight by a kilo easily. I noticed significant weight loss, but this morning it was back up again. After reviewing my data, I realized that I had progressively eaten smaller and smaller volumes of food, but on Thursday evening and Friday I went back to normal. Hence my weight is also back to normal. There’s still a loss, but it’s not the weird fast loss I thought I was observing. I also track my relative volume of food every day (low, med high). That’s how I knew that I’d eaten less volume.

Now off for a few days visiting the in-laws. The only negative about food there is I don’t get to choose, but it’s all healthy enough, so I don’t have to expect gain or loss out of the norm.

Yesterday I had such leg pains in the evening. I expect it was due to the extra exercise I’d been doing.

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Walkin’

My short bursts of exercise have led to an increased stamina. First came light exercise as a way of connecting with my daughter, then I started doing about 15 minutes by myself, even when she wasn’t around. What gives me pleasure is to do a little (5-15 minutes) of leg work like walking or cycling, then add 4 times 100 repetitions of some arm exercise.

This has worked in various venues: computer room, downstairs in front of the TV, going to work from the car dealer, even a little in the office.

This morning, after a 3 a.m. teleconference, I was wiped when we went into work. However, we still needed an oil change before our trip, so I decided to walk the 3 blocks and 3 staircases with DH. Staircases still are not a pleasure for me, so I care for myself by taking the elevator almost always when I want to.

We will walk to the car dealer at lunchtime today, then drive to a restaurant. Tonight I won’t ask myself to do more than arm exercises, and maybe not even that. Maybe just a bath. I wonder if there are office-friendly anti-carpal tunnel exercises?

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With regards to Kryptonite, I went home last night and proceeded to do things other than sit on the sofa. My family, as usual, had beaten me to the punch. DH got into his construction project, a mirror and shelves for the bathroom, and DD was still out shopping.

Then came the blow. After specifically asking me at lunch time to have lasagna for dinner, DH changed his mind and suggested we have it tomorrow. DD still hasn’t eaten any of it, in spite of asking me to make it. These things hurt my feelings a little, even though they didn’t intend to. I ate lasagna anyway, and will probably eat something else tomorrow when they eat lasagna. “If” they eat it.

In any case, I got a couple of things done out of my ordinary. Recycling was one, can’t remember the others. Then I sat down and for a limited time enjoyed the internet, playing the daily sudoku games at my favorite sudoku site, Yahoo UK.

After eating a very normal portion of lasagna, and having the last of my cc cookies for dessert (delicious, thank you very much!), I went upstairs to annoy the kid. However, she was still out getting a doener sandwich for dinner with her friend, and DH was drilling holes in the bathroom wall. There was a BSOD on the computer, so I decided to use the exercycle. This spawned a burst of exercise, all of which was fun.

I worked 15 minutes on the cycle, then did 100 reps of arm training with the elastic bands. Deciding to go to bed, I lay in bed and did mini-crunches, again 100 of the things. This morning I feel good, except my stomach hurts a little.

Whether it was the exercise, or relative heat, or portion control, I was down below 160 today.  I’ve chosen to attribute it to all of those things. The statistical probability indicates that it will vacillate around here a bit before going down again. We’ll see. We’re visiting the in-laws this weekend, so it could be hard to eat like I want. Maybe I’ll take a veggie with me.

Admitting weight loss success without a rebound binge has been very difficult.  See “Sneak Attack Binge” for the start of this. What’s been good, though, is that I’ve learned how to deal with this layer of the onion. Having attributed the issue to fear of being put down or beaten up for my success, I began frequently repeating affirmations that reinforce my right to success, happiness about it, and the right to pursue these changes.  It’s funny, though, that after legalizing food and eating, I now had to legalize NOT eating. But it’s true. And effective.

It’s ok to eat tiny portions
It’s ok to not eat
It’s ok to plan and eat dessert
It’s ok to exercise only for fun
It’s ok to celebrate my successes
It’s ok to leave my old body behind
It’s ok to use other forms of protection besides fat

It’s ok.

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We talk about peeling back layers of the onion to reveal new learnings, but I’m in the mood for something sweet, so I’ll peel off layers of a cake instead. A nice, fancy 10+ layer torte, with a layer of buttercream, a layer of marzipan and a ganache glaze to coat the whole thing. 10 million calories a slice, for sure! LOL

This year has seen a few layers, and now I know more about the process of normal eating for a COE. The changes that have to happen for a COE are first in the head, before she can move to the technical changes. Generally a COE has to unravel a layer of psyche before she can unravel a layer of normal eating processes.

First came legalizing food. Worked great to eliminate a bit of guilt, but did not address the guilt and shame that caused the OE to start with. Realistically, legalizing did not change my eating habits much. I never got the “I don’t want to eat any more” feeling.

Then came therapy. The question I presented to the doctor was “If everything in my life is so good, how come I’m still fat?” His response was to check off a few things in my psyche, and he verified that I’m not without willpower, not lazy, I’m happy, a logical thinker, have no major psychological blocks. Then he recognized that I simply didn’t know HOW to live normally. Not just eat normally, but live normally. My major speedbumps are thinking obsessively, black and white thinking, accepting that the world is not perfect, and know how normal people move and eat. This apparently also coincides with a classic definition of an ACOA, which I am too.

The first change I made was to shut up the critical voice inside my head. Then a little weight came off and I had my first recognizable experience with a rebound binge. And resulting weight gain.

Moving to an online support group for normal eating helped next. Here I learned about full, satisfied, satiated, and making changes to my self-talk to encourage a move to those. This activity revealed several irrational beliefs that I have battled one by one, generally succeeding by changing how I respond to the thoughts.

One set of layers has been in the definition of satisfied.

Legalizing taught me satisfied = eat what you want, (regardless of quantity)
Shutting up the critical voice in my head taught me satisfied does not have to be stuffed to the gills
Stuffed to the gills showed me that satisfied = full
Full showed me that satisfied = 80%+ full
80%+ full showed me that weight loss comes when I eat less than I need to maintain
Weight loss shows me that satisfied is a combination of emotional satisfaction and a minimum level of fullness, which can vary. Currently it’s 80% – 110% full, depending on emotion.

I wonder what’s in the next layers?

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My life is wonderful by any reasonable measure. I have a happy family, good income, great living conditions, and interesting work. We are healthy and capable of doing the things we love to do.

Yet I sit on the sofa too many hours a day, burning useless web chatter into my head.  If I could only break the chain, these are some of the things I’d like to do on a daily basis:

  • harp
  • read
  • internet
  • walk
  • putter in backyard
  • sit in bedroom
  • make something nicer around the house

These are my wishes, yet the power fails me most days. Clearly I get to build a new habit, but I’m not yet sure how to go about it. How does my evening usually go? Hmmm

We arrive home and put our things away. Then comes the first decision point: do I sit down or do something? My choices are usually sit or go into the kitchen. The kitchen is usually dirty, and I’m usually waiting for DH to finish looking at the mail so we can decide what to do about dinner. Any discussions that go on in the car usually don’t lead to commitments. What useful alternatives do I have? If DD is home, I could go upstairs and do my parental-intrusion thing. Just sitting the in the computer room gets her talking, even if it’s only to hear her complain. Maybe that’s a good option.

Alternatively, I could begin a small coming-home ritual. Maybe a drink and a few minutes alone. Just me and the glass. Doesn’t matter what’s in it, just the excuse is all I need.

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Binges are certainly different now, far smaller than before. Yesterday I went through several fresh chocolate chip cookies and a half liter of milk. I only recognized it as a binge when DH asked this morning what happened to the milk.

This binge was the old “I’ve lost weight” binge. Still don’t understand why, but it happens. One theory someone has is that people who react negatively to success (that’s me!) do so because they had a caregiver who put them down or otherwise reacted negatively to the care-give-ee’s success. Boy does this ever sound right for me. My brother always had to prove himself better than me, and would hit me if that’s what worked to make me admit it.

As a result of this binge I got to at least have an experience of tossing food when I put too much on my plate at lunch today. I made a specific choice to not finish my sandwich and have dessert instead. 2 cookies, a nice moderate serving. Yay! And no one to beat me up. I’ve won!

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