Tag Archives: Weight Loss

5 Things That’s Changed Since Being Off Sugar & Flour

It’s been 39 days off sugar and flour and there are some significant changes I’ve witness so far I wanted to share with you.  It amazes me how fast these changes have occurred.

  1. Improved sleep – 2 months ago I was complaining about my sleep.  I just couldn’t get comfortable at night and sleeping through the night was rare.  At times, I found myself waking up abruptly (which may have been sleep apnea) and I snored.  For the past few weeks, I haven’t woken myself up and sleeping has been much more comfortable.  I can’t believe how much better I’ve been feeling during the day because I had a decent night of sleep.
  2. Self-control – this is an interesting one. I’ve blogged in the past how much I’ve been very hard on myself repeatedly about not controlling my eating in the afternoons and at night. These last few weeks have been eye-opening.  I haven’t felt a physical craving since the first week.  The biggest test was when I spent hours decorating my son’s birthday cake (cake was a huge trigger food for me) and not one thing went into my mouth.  I didn’t even have one urge to take a bite! Unheard of in the past!
  3. Clear & focused thinking – I blogged about a time at work where I had to give a big presentation and rocked it. Now this doesn’t seem out of the ordinary but in the last few years, I’ve noticed differences with my memory and quick thinking.  It never seemed an issue in the past, but I couldn’t deny it was slowly impacting things in my life and it started to bother me more and more.  Today, I’m remembering things and can quickly focus on tasks rather then feeling ‘all over the place’.
  4. Calmer disposition – This one follows the one above because I believe having focus and clarity leads to a calmer life.  I can’t tell you how much I experienced anxiety over stupid stuff (not getting somewhere on time, etc).  I noticed a dramatic change just the other day when a ‘stressful’ situation came up, I was able to take a moment to think clearly instead of impulsively taking action.  Even my family noticed this change!
  5. More energy – Finally, I definitely have more energy to do things. I have been up later and doing more then ever.  Typically, I would zone out after dinner on the couch with ice cream. Now I’m getting ready for the next day, cooking a full dinner or finishing things on my ‘to do’ list. It feels nice to have the energy to get things done instead of having them linger.  A huge plus as I move into this next month.

Overall, I can say this has been the best experience for me. I feel so much better.  Have I lost weight? Yes, but it’s more than that. Having self-control is the most liberating.  Feeling better about my focus and thoughts helps too.  I’m not saying there are going to be tough times, in fact I was just talking to a friend about traveling this weekend and making sure I prepare ahead because eating on the road has been an issue for me in the past.

Losing weight in our society is not easy.  We are hit constantly by food ads and fast food places, it’s overwhelming.  It takes time and effort to be healthy.  But my decision to do this for myself is a priority and there isn’t any other way but to take the time and effort to plan ahead.  Next week will be good test to see how I do on the road. More to come!

 

Making my health a priority

It’s been an interesting week.  BFF is here and on time as usual. It explains my emotional roller coaster last week.  I’m on day 11 not eating sugar or flour.  I feel okay but it’s hard to say how much it’s impacted my health because it’s so early.  I’m not experiencing physical hunger. The food I’m eating (whole grains, veggies, lean protein) keeps me satisfied for the day. I was feeling very tired yesterday and believe its because of BFF right now and why I ate some ‘Mary Gone Crackers’ (flax crackers) last night.  I didn’t have it planned but it satisfied the ‘crunch’ that I was looking for all day.  I’m wondering if those types of cravings eventually disappear with time.

Time – that’s the key.  It took me 20 years to get to this point, I know it’s going to take time to get used to eating this way for the rest of my life and ultimately ‘reset’ my body to where it’s supposed to be.  I may have to give up caffeine but I’m not doing it just yet. I have made a huge shift and I think if I add another major one it will add too much at once. It’s going to have to wait until I get used to this initial shift first . But, I noticed when I drink caffeine, my skin gets agitated.  It’s got to be the acid. I’ll look to drink decaf at some point. However, for now, I’m going to continue to be aware of what’s going on with my body.  I have lost some weight, although I feel bloated this week because of BFF, but overall I feel good.

For so long, I’ve been ‘waiting’ for the right time to ‘work on my health’. It’s funny because back in 2011, I made a major move to ‘work on my health’.  But I never realized it had to start with my mind. I was so unaware back then (and it’s only been a few years). I thought for sure I would figure out what I needed to do to lose weight, but what happened was so much more and for that I’m eternally grateful. I learned about my mind and my feelings and how they are connected. I learned how my thinking was causing my current reality.  If I never learned all of that, I wouldn’t be where I am today which is facing reality as to why I’m overweight, how it began, how my thinking and resulting behaviors contributed to an unhealthy body.  If I didn’t gain that knowledge, I would be on another diet again, failing and wondering why I’m gaining and losing the same 10 lbs when I have over 50 to lose.

This is the focus in my life right now. Everything else is on the periphery. I’m okay with that because I have been wanting to focus just on this and yet, things seemed to get in the way. Not this time. I’ve got weight to lose and a body to transform. I cannot do that when distracted with so many other things in my life.  Of course, those distraction were cause by me making those other things a priority over the true priority which is my health. I also know, doing this will help me achieve one of my other goals – being a role model for my son which I believe is going to be the case as I go through this transformation.

 

Would I lie to you (I mean myself)???

(I used to love that song back in the 80’s!!)

At our weight loss support group meeting, we talked about what works when we are ‘on track’ or ‘being good’ and what doesn’t.  Then it came to me, am I telling myself the truth about what works?  Am I telling myself the truth when I say things like, “I don’t have a sugar addiction.” or “I can eat just a little bit and I’m satisfied.”  Really?  Is this true or how I manipulate the truth to ‘justify’ my actions? Or should I say, give myself permission?   Similar to being in a unhappy relationship, we lie to ourselves over and over to justify our decision to stay in the relationship without even thinking twice. If I know this, why do I keep doing it?

I’d rather ignore the damages of what is being done to my body and eat food that ‘makes me feel good in the moment’ than face reality.  I’d rather give myself permission to eat as much as I want, when I want and what I want to appease the inner child in me because that’s how I’ve historically shown love to myself. This logically makes no sense, but if we are being honest, it is exactly what happens. This ‘love’ I’ve shown myself has resulted in the following:

  • BMI that’s off the chart
  • Obesity
  • Joint pain
  • Lack of energy
  • Insulin Resistance/Pre-diabetes
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Brain Fog
  • Lack of sleep
  • Female issues
  • Indicators for heart disease, leading to Syndrome X
  • Apple shape/Belly fat
  • Hair loss
  • Decline in physical appearance (i.e. can’t find clothes that look good, skin is bulgy etc.) which significantly impacts self-confidence and self-esteem

I have issues with food. I lose control more often then I’d like to admit. Here’s the thing, if I continue to lie to myself all the time, guess what the results will be 5 years, 10 years from now…you know the answer! Ding, ding: Unhealthy & unhappy with serious medical issues.

I’ve done a lot of self-development work over the course of the last 3 years. This work has opened my mind up to some of the self-destructive behaviors we all do that have sadly become habits.  If continued, these habits will lead to either early death or years of suffering.   I consider myself relatively young and yet, I feel like I’m in my 60’s because it’s hard to move around, be active and have the energy necessary to live a full life.  It’s not going to get easier, it’s going to get harder and harder. Yet, I lie to justify!  I ‘try’ not to think about it, but reality is, I’m thinking about it obsessively and that’s not working either.

It’s time to get real.  I have been avoiding the mirror because I don’t want to see the truth. When I went shopping for clothes, I was angry and wasn’t taking responsibility. I was blaming the clothing companies  and stores (my blog entry from last week) for not carrying or producing flattering clothing in my size.  While I still stand by the fact that there should be more tailored clothing available in plus sizes, the truth is, I didn’t want to take responsibility and own the anger.  Instead it was easier to blame others and continue lying to myself instead of the truth that it’s been my choices that landed me where I am today. Granted, there are many factors that go into those choices, like lack of knowledge, awareness and physical changes, but ultimately, it’s my life, my choices and I have to own that. I cannot continue to sit around making up stories to justify those choices.  I made them and it’s over. Now it’s time to accept where I am today and move forward.

I’ve made a lot of progress with incorporating healthy habits into my life, but I have a long way to go. That’s the truth.  The other truth is that in order for me to significantly improve my health, I have to start getting real about food.  I need to eliminate many of the offending foods from my diet.  There’s a reason most diets recommend ‘cleaning your environment’ and that’s to remove temptation from the equation. It’s difficult to incorporate changes to your diet but it’s extra hard when you have the offending foods in your face.  In the past, I would get angry, why can’t I have those foods available (going back to my childhood)?  I should be able to ‘handle’ them. The truth is, I cannot. I binge on them. Its time to remove them from my life. They do not add to my life, they slowly take it away.  I have to start saving my life today. I know if I don’t, I won’t be here as long as I should be. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s reality, and since I’m starting to give up lying to myself, I will give myself the gift of truth from this point forward.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be working to remove sugar and flour from my diet.  I’ve done it before unsuccessfully because I didn’t have the support system in place ahead of time.  Today, I do and I’ll be testing this in the coming weeks.  I’m so grateful to have this venue available so I can share with you my thoughts and emotions during this process.  It’s going to be tough but what will be tougher is if I don’t try and instead give up.  That I cannot do.

 

 

This is getting old…

Why does it seem like every time I get into a groove and really start to feel like I’m on the right track, all of the sudden, out of no where, I fall off the track!  And the kicker is, sometimes, I don’t even realize what I’m doing. It’s like I slip into bad habits and don’t even see them coming.  Then something happens, and I’m suddenly noticing what’s happening, yet I’m STILL ENGAGING in the behaviors…how does this make sense? This is getting old…

I have BFF this week, which as I mentioned in previous posts, my most vulnerable time (think pain-body/negative attitude).  I know this about myself, have spent time preparing, marking my calendar to make sure I stay on top of it and notice when I’m thinking differently.  Yet, at the same time, I unconsciously start thinking negatively, saying negative things about myself and then all of the sudden, I’m in front of the TV, binge eating and wondering how the heck I got there.

Can anyone relate to this? It’s like I become another person, the one that has a negative spirit, negative thoughts and ultimately follows negative behaviors which do not align with my true nature or my goals.  It’s very frustrating.

Yesterday, I noticed some of the things I was saying and I had to immediately stop myself.  It worked for about an hour, then back to it again. Yes, I grabbed a coffee because that does improve my state quickly and it did.  However, later in the evening, it happened again, followed by eating episode.  I was discouraged. It’s as if I don’t have control over it, like I don’t want to control it. There’s a serious internal conflict going on here.  I have recognized this behavior as being ‘Poor Maria, she’s going through BFF right now and needs to do what she wants to feel better’. This is not helpful, I know, but for some reason, it happens.  I believe it’s from my childhood when my mother treated me this way and I reveled in it because it was the one of the few times she showed compassion in our relationship.

But that was 20 years ago! Why the heck am I carrying on her legacy of treating me like I’m helpless?   I play this role to achieve attention and love.  If I don’t receive it externally from others, I give it to myself by ‘allowing’ any food and doing whatever I want during that time, which mostly consists on laying on the couch eating while watching TV.

I’m embarrassed to admit this but it’s time to get real. It’s time to lay it all out on the table because this has become a monthly thing.  I will do really well, habits going well, self-talk going well and then all of the sudden, I’m back at square one, doing the dumb stuff that put this weight on in the first place.  I’ve been able to squash this behavior when I’ve been on diets and losing weight, so I know it’s possible.  Preparing ahead has helped and I’m grateful I’m now fully aware of what I’m doing, but I think it’s going to take some work to resolve this internal conflict. Any ideas?

Next Trick: Hormone Balancing

I’ve been reading this book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body” by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. It’s very interesting.  Depending on your history, if you experienced an injury or something happened to you growing up, you may have impacted your brain function and overall health.   He goes through the various conditions like ‘impulsive eaters and compulsive eaters’ and how certain areas of the brain (i.e. prefontal cortex) may not be function to capacity (i.e. providing enough dopamine which leads to boredom, distraction and impulsive eating).  He outlines helpful information for supplementing your diet to assist with providing your brain the necessary elements to improve these conditions. There is a test you can take online to see if this is something you should look into.  [amenclinics.com]

I particularly liked the section on hormones and the story he describes about his wife who was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. I know a lot of friends who gained weight growing up and witnessed changes to their bodies including increase in their BFF (beautiful female flow) and levels of hair growth.  Although I don’t think all conditions are related to polycystic ovarian syndrome, a lot of women do and it can negatively impact weight and hormones.

I believe my hormones have been seriously altered.  Obviously the number one reason is the unhealthy choices I made unconsciously for the most part, in my 20’s.  Introducing alcohol and mass amounts of processed foods definitely impacted my hormone balance thus creating a serious challenge.  Add the yo-yo dieting on top of it, and now it’s easy to see why I’ve landed here today.

I take full responsibility for this fact and am on the road to healing now.  The core however, is my beliefs, thoughts and resulting emotions.  I know this is the key to healing and where it all starts.  However, it’s helpful to know as much as possible about female hormones and how, when out of balance, they can impact health. It’s difficult to pinpoint what specifically caused the imbalance.  Was it genetic, from foods, alcohol, prescribed medication, lifestyle?  I think it’s probably a combination of all.

I’ve always believed if you want to have optimal health, learning what optimal health looks like is the first step. How should hormones work in a healthy female?  What should we be eating to assist the body with ensuring we receive the right nutrients to balance our hormones?  These are all questions I intend to answer and ultimately practice.  I do know (like I’m sure everyone else who’s ever wanted to work on improving their health knows) eating loads of veggies (especially alkaline green leafy veggies) is one of those things we should all be doing, but I also believe doing things we enjoy, eliminating stress (which is just us ruminating on the past or future) and getting the garbage out of our thoughts will go a long way.

When I think about how much healing has to happen (which is causing stress because I’m thinking about the future), I feel overwhelmed.  I decided, to just take it day by day.  What can I do today to improve my health? What healthy choices can I made today to assist with balancing hormones?  It’s going to be like this for a while.  Yes, there are times (like last night) where I said to myself, I’ve been doing a lot of work, when will it pay off? I had to quickly banish those thoughts!

The good news is, I’m not giving up, ever. I’ve decided, what I’m doing today is improving my mood and my relationships. I feel happier and stronger mentally. It feels good to slowly remove negative thinking which can cripple our efforts.  It’s slow, but it’s happening and that’s all that matters.  If I can also work in tandem on improving brain functioning, performing exercises I enjoy, and taking overall care of myself, it’s an added bonus!

Taking the time to heal

I have to be honest and tell you, I did not want to post this week because it has been up and down.  I can’t pinpoint a specific event that happened, but my thoughts and emotions were erratic and I didn’t get to the gym.  I was off track and felt ‘disconnected’ if that makes sense.  My morning habits suffered and I know that’s a big piece of it.  The good news is when I least expected, I had positive thoughts.  Instead of the normal ‘beating myself up‘ routine I’ve been so used to, I actually stopped (when I noticed) and redirected my thoughts.  The only thing is, the repetitive thinking crept back in and depending on when I ‘caught‘ it, either I was successful or I wasn’t.

I started the week off by planning meals, cooking and prepping on Sunday.  However, when Tuesday rolled around, it was like everything was tossed out the window.  I realized I wasn’t sustaining my positive frame of mind and it impacted my emotions.  Again, probably because in the mornings, I didn’t have the time to sit in silence to pray, meditate and set my mind in the right direction.  If I wasn’t working on myself this year, I wouldn’t have thought twice about my thought patterns. It would’ve taken me longer to identify the source of my unhappiness. I’m grateful to see the progress and look forward to the day where it can happen in minutes.

To improve my mood, I registered for a meditation retreat. In the past I would have been skeptical about going to one, but not now. Taking the time to relax and learn different techniques to calm myself and refocus thoughts will improve my health and well being.  Not only that, but it teaches you how to connect and ‘trust’ yourself again.  This has been a major focus since the disconnection is what created the unhealthy ‘diet mentality’ that’s wreaked havoc on my mind and body from the beginning.

This weekend we have some activities planned and I’m looking forward to the time with family and the time to be in silence. I will reset and start again.  Is it frustrating? Only if I focus on the negative. This is a life long journey to heal my mind and body.  Instead of worrying about the scale and counting calories, I’m focused on learning how to trust myself again, to connect with my body to identify true hunger, satisfaction and ultimately to learn what makes me happy. This is the way to sustainable and lifelong health. It may take longer than I would want, but I lived the ‘diet’ route so long without success, I’m now ready to heal no matter how long it takes…

 

Managing Emotional Eating – Easier Said Then Practiced

This week was just ‘okay’.   I wasn’t as diligent about tracking my food intake. In fact, I noticed myself ‘not caring’ when I got home and reaching for the carbs again.  I ate much more then I intended.  I often find myself ‘ignoring’ or going into denial about my weight as to give myself permission to overeat. It’s cowardly and not truly who I am, but yet at the same time, I find myself using this logic more often then not. I’m not sure why, maybe out of habit?

When I think back to the times where I lost 60+lbs in the past, I try to remember how I was feeling and what I was telling myself. I had a specific goal and I didn’t let anything stop me to reach that goal. It’s as if I was a different person. I long to have that person back and I am frantically searching for her again. Where did she go? How far away is she?  It bothers me to think I got away from who I want to be for so long.

Today, I think about all the things going on in my life and feel overwhelmed. The major move we had back in August really took a toll out of all us and it seems as though things are still so unsettled. Feeling unsettled is haunting me and I believe keeping me from ‘acting’ or making a decision. Here’s the thing, I haven’t been able to get clarity on what to do next in my life.  Yes, I know where I want to be in 5 years, but I’m not clear on the decisions I need to make to get there now.  Some of the decisions are major life-changing large financial decisions.

Some of this is contributing to feelings of ‘lack of control’ of different areas of my life. I haven’t been able to focus on one thing because I’m constantly thinking about ‘What should we do?” and it’s driving me to eat.  How do others manage? How are other women successful at navigating during tough times without leaning on food to ‘get them through’? I pray and meditate daily, but don’t feel it’s ever enough. If I had the time, I would pray 2 hours each morning, it really gets me into the right frame of mind and end up better days for me.

When I think of time passing by and missed opportunities, it adds the feeling of ‘helplessness’ that I’ve been working so hard to eliminate. Logically I know I am in full control of my life, by my thoughts and behaviors, but when my emotions take over, it’s like I’m a different person.  I started reading Dan Goldman’s “Emotional Intelligence” book and he cites a ton of studies in this area. As I’m reading through, I find myself saying, “Oh, I can see that in myself.” frequently.  Mastering this area of emotions is critical, I see that now.  But for some reason, I’m struggling with how to get from point A to point B.  In other words, how do I go from where I am today, to mastering my emotions so I can start achieving goals and living a life where I control my future?

I’m still working on this emotional mastery.  Learning to control my body, what I’m focusing on and what I’m saying to myself is so important and what I’ve learned from attending Tony Robbin’s events. What’s missing is remembering or getting into the habit of practicing these key elements. I typically get caught up in the social hypnosis of day to day activities and forget to think about what I’m thinking about and before I know it, I’m eating an unplanned bowl of cereal without even realizing it.

I have some ideas on how to continue to learn to practice emotional mastery and will need to really focus on changing my state immediately and not get into that ‘anxious thinking’ state but instead think about what I can control. This week is about noticing and pausing to think about how I can change my thinking.  Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional