Weigh-In Day: Week of June 25th/Body Snark

Ugh, dude’s my eating habits! They are hell of terrible. I weighed in at 127.2 today (Good!), but I fear that a great evil is returning to the land … the evil of …

Binge eating. (HOLY GOD, BAD)

But, I’m not sure if I should be legitimately concerned; I splurged three days this week to celebrate my birthday (which is today, actually, but for some reason I thought I should celebrate this weekend since I was working today, and then today rolled around and my mom and were like, “BOO ANTI-CLIMATIC BIRTHDAY LET’S CELEBRATE AGAIN!”), but I’m not sure if any of those days on which I splurged were actually a “binge,” or if I would have even splurged (binged?) today had I not weighed-in within my maintenance range this morning. But, on the days I splurged (BINGED?!?1?), I never ran out to buy extra stuff because I just thought, “SCREW IT! I’M OUT OF CALORIES!” but I did eat past the point of being full, and if I were in a store, I would impulse-buy a candy bar and chomp it without really thinking. Though, at the beginning of the week I was also only 124.6 pounds, and I’m not sure if I would have overdid-it had this not been the case/had I not been celebrating my birthday. Blergh. On the other hand, I know I am entirely in control of what I stuff in my face and I know I don’t want to go back to dieting and I KNOW that even though I splurged I am still within my maintenance range (and that’s part of the glory of maintenance, some weeks you eat more and some weeks you eat less but it is OK to eat more some weeks), so what am I really concerned about? Still, I kind of feel like normal people don’t gain 2.6 pounds while celebrating special events. Hm. Baby steps, I reckon.

I do have to give myself kudos, though, for taking some steps to not overeat:

a) When eating out and sharing an appetizer, I took what I deemed to be an appropriate portion off the group plate and then didn’t go back any more.

b) If I could eat healthfully, I did; I tried not make the days on which I splurged (BINGED?!?2?!?!@!? OH MY GOD I DON’T KNOW) into an all-day eating fest, and would start with something healthy like oat bran.

c) I tried to think about what I really wanted. Whereas before if I were having a “splurge” day I would just get everything and anything, I legitimately tried to keep my snacking to a minimum while out celebrating/shopping so I would have room for dinner at ze restaurant we were going to.

And, so on. OH, MAN, LOOK AT THAT LIST, SO IMPRESSIVE.

Regardless of whether I binged or splurged, though, I’m going to go back to counting calories and do a sugar detox (ie.e, no “dessert products), just for the next two weeks. I know I don’t really need to, and I’d like to get to a point where I don’t have to follow a celebratory event with calorie counting, but I just want to play it safe and make sure I don’t continue overeating. Also, every once and a while when I overdo it on the sugar, I kind of like to put a little distance between myself and the desserts and have a nice stint of clean eating to get my system back in order, you know?

In other news, a funny thing happened on my way to the forum.

Wait, no. A funny thing happened while I was out shopping (at the mall, no less, even though I detest crowds of people.) Long story short, my mother and I stopped by Eddie Bauer while we were out and decided to pick up some summer clothes. I happened to try on a dress and attract the attention of a salesperson, who began engaging my mother in the following conversation:

Salesperson: “Oh, my goodness! She looks so good in that dress!” (Aw, that’s nice.)

Mum: “Yeah, it looks really cute on her!”

Salesperson: “Ugh, she’s so thin! Look at her.” ( … OK.)

Mum: “Ha, yes, I used to be that thin at her age, too, though.”

Salesperson: “Ugh, yes, me too. Ugh, I hate her, she’s so thin! Let’s stop looking at her.” ( … WTF?)

It was just … odd. And, in this vein, I’m tired of “thin” being used as a compliment. In fact, I’m tired of size-related adjectives in general being used as compliments or insults. In my opinion, body preference is kind of like someone’s taste in movies or books or art; to each their own, ja? So, why OK to hate on or compliment someone for being overweight or underweight? For all that salesperson knew, I could have been a recovering anorexic, and her comments could have triggered a re-emergence of my eating disorder. And, not to be corny, but bodies can be beautiful at any size: Why has one shape become the standard for attractiveness? Can’t beauty come in a variety of sizes? And, why do we assume that all women want to be twigs? Likewise, why do “real women have curves?” Are chemotherapy patients who can’t keep weight on not “real women”? And, maybe some women pride themselves on being overweight or voluptuous or muscular.

/end rant

Gah, I wish I were better at organizing my thoughts. But, you get the jist, right?

Have you ever been the victim of “body snark?”

Recipe Review: Parmesan Risotto from The Best Light Recipe

I’m always wary of cheese-based light recipes; I feel like every time I’ve made a low-fat mac and cheese or other such dish, I’ve just ended up a with bland plate filled with some kind of starch and an abundance of tasteless fat-free dairy with a consistency akin to cement. Not enjoyable. However, when a saw a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated‘s Best Light Recipe cookbook, I was more than willing to give it a shot—I trust Cook’s Illustrated (some of my best cake recipes have come from issues of  this magazine), and I want Christopher Kimball to live in my house and be snarky while making me things that are delicious. But, while Cook’s Illustrated has produced some tasty full-fat recipes, could it also produce equally-delicious lighter versions of its usual fare?

Of course it can! This Parmesan risotto was full of rich, cheesy flavor, and the risotto itself was cooked to perfection. Granted, the cooking process is a little more labor-intensive than most “set-it-and-forget-it” recipes (you have to stir the mix continuously for about half an hour, but I personally found this ridiculously soothing), but the product is well worth the effort. I should probably mention, though, that this was my first brush with risotto (let alone Parmesan risotto), but I can’t imagine actually wanting a fattier/creamier version than this; there was plenty of cheese, and there were no portions of the risotto where I said, “Boy, I really wish this had more flavor/Parmesan.”

Personally, I added about three ounces of baked chicken just for the sake of having some added protein, and the result was a filling, delicious meal for under 400 calories. This would make a delightful side dish, too, though, and I loved that it didn’t use an abundance of ingredients that I would use just for this recipe. Though, Arborrio rice is a tad pricey—a container cost me about $7, but it is also a large enough container that will last quite a while.

Parmesan Risotto

Serves Four

Note: I personally like to use a food scale for exact measurements while cooking, so I’ve included the weight in grams of some ingredients in parentheses alongside the normal measurements.

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 shallot, chopped fine

1 and 1/3 cups (245 grams) Arborrio rice

2/3 cup dry white wine

1 and 1/3 ounces (36 grams) grated Parmesan cheese

2/3 tablespoon (9 grams) unsalted butter

1. Warm the chicken broth in a saucepan over low heat.

2. Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the shallots, and cook for one minute.

3. Add the rice to the skillet and stir the shallots and rice until the mixture is coated in oil and the rice has taken on a pale, golden color (this will take about two minutes).

4. Pour the wine in the skillet and stir the rice mixture constantly until the wine is fully absorbed.

5. Add 1/2 cup of the warm broth to the rice mixture and stir until the broth is completely absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup broth at a time to the rice. Stir continuously and only add additional broth when the 1/2 cup added previously has been entirely absorbed.

6. When your rice is al dente and all the broth has been added (the process will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes), remove the rice mixture from heat and stir in the butter and cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste (Note: I do not believe the recipe requires any additional seasoning and thus use neither salt nor pepper.)

Nutritional information:

Calories: 220

Fat: 6 g.

Sat. Fat: 3 g.

Cholesterol: 10 mg.

Carbohydrates: 27 g.

Protein: 7 g.

Fiber: 1 g.

Sodium: 750 mg.

Hello, Home/New Things Thursday: Mindful Eating

Yay, I made it home! And, was greeted upon arrival with a jury summons. Thanks for the “Welcome Back!” gift, government!

Since I’m going to be working at a broadcasting company right next to my hometown, my mom was kind enough to let me move back home for a bit and live rent free while I get on my feet/save some money. My mom and I get along really well, and we’ve been through a lot together—my dad left when I was a few months old, so it’s always been just her and me. Anyway, it’s great to be home. I am going to celebrate having access to a kitchen again by making Parmesan risotto from Cook’s Illustrated’s “The Best Light Recipe” cookbook. If I’m not too lazy, afterwards, this may mean you’ll get your first recipe review, soon. LUCKY YOU.

Also, I did not binge yesterday (hooray!), though I did go a little overboard. Ultimately, I only ended up using 120 more calories than was officially allotted to me*, but I definitely ate more sweets than I should have; I started with some Tim Tams and ice cream, which was fine, but then at the grocery store I impulsively snagged a bakery cookie and a candy bar. If I hadn’t chomped those, I’d have 660 extra calories today rather than negative 120!** Blergh! But, lesson learned; don’t eat treats on the run and try to keep it to one indulgence a day. I’m going to try and compensate for the extra calories I ate yesterday by eating that much less today, but—in the spirit of eating intuitively—I’m not going to not eat if I get hungry. It’s only 120 calories, after all, and that’s part of the glory of maintenance: Some days you eat a little more, some days you eat a little less. Usually, it all balances out.

Anyway, today marks the return of New Things Thursday! Hooray! Today’s new thing (Mindful Eating) is actually brought to you by Maria over at Chasing the Now (which you should start reading if you don’t already do so; it’s a great “healthy living” blog and also a really interesting look at life in Japan, where Maria lives with her husband. Personally, I’d love to visit Japan … so I can visit the Nintendo store. What?), who recently instituted the “Make Time to Dine” challenge.

When she did so, I realized I hardly ever just eat. When I eat, I’m also usually reading, watching TV or doing something else ridiculous that could probably wait until later, all of which are bad things to do while eating, especially since Maria says that studies have shown that more calories are taken in when we’re distracted while chomping. THAT’S BAD. Anyway, I pledged to take part once I got home, since when she introduced the challenge I needed every waking (and some sleeping) moment to write essays.

So, when I sat down for breakfast today, I said, “It is mindful eating time!”, especially since I’m trying intuitive eating, and part of that is paying attention to your hunger level while eating. But, how can you notice if you’re full if you’re to too busy reading a book while throwing back your breakfast?

Mindful eating was … weird. Honestly, the whole time I was eating, I wanted to reach for a book, or something. I didn’t realize how much of a habit multitasking while eating had become. But, while breakfast this morning meant I spent my meal taking a really hard look at my kitchen rather than a piece of reading material, it also meant that I savored my meal, more (it took me twenty minutes to eat a bowl of cereal, since I purposefully put my utensil down between bites). NEAT. Give it a try, dudes; you my find that when you actually pay attention to your plate, you don’t want everything that is on it.

*I’m trying to eat intuitively, but I’m still tallying calories at the end of the day just to see where doing so puts me with my intake.

** I’m still doing the “bonus calories” system at the moment, too, but any caloric allowances are really more of a guideline now that I’m doing maintenance rather than a hard and fast rule, especially since I don’t know how much I’ve eaten until I’ve added all my calorie values up at the end of the day.

The Binge Beat-down Post

First off, I feel the need to make a disclaimer: Although I have been without a binge for quite some time (four weeks, I think, and I’ve only binged twice in the past 13 weeks), I reckon I don’t really think I’ve “beat” binge eating. I don’t think that I’ll go without a binge ever again, but there is a big difference between bingeing every few months when you’re presented with delicious noms at the holidays or you just really want deliciousness and bingeing every week and feeling like you’re an emotional wreck afterwards. Everyone binges sometimes, and that’s OK, but the key word here is “sometimes.”

Anyway, if you don’t recall, before my blogging break I was bingeing about every one to two weeks. Part of this was because of stress, part of it was because of a mish-mash of other reasons, but regardless I know other people struggle with this, and I want to share some of the changes I made that allowed me to shake this, somewhat. I hope it helps, because I know how frustrating being a binge eater can be. Also, you’ve probably seen some of these tips before and are going to be like, “OMG I’VE READ THESE IDEAS ALREADY.” Yes, but have you tried them? Regardless, if I’m reiterating them here, it’s because they worked for me. Also, some of these tips may be more “don’t-binge-while-on-a-diet”-oriented then others, as I was trying to lose weight AND quash bingeing at the same time, so if you’re just trying to maintain your weight some of these may not apply to you.

a) You gotta want it. Or, you have to be ready. Honestly, I think for some time I didn’t really care if I continued binge eating. For me, I was in college, i.e. not the “real world,” and I could always just lose the weight next semester before I started my “new life.” Granted, impending graduation is what finally made me get my act together, but if you really don’t want to stop bingeing, then you’re not going to be able to. And, in this same vein …

b) Find an alternative motivation for wanting to lose weight/stop binge eating besides “being thin.” My primary motivation to stop binge eating was, as I just mentioned, not wanting to graduate and enter a new stage of my life as a binge eater. But, I was really helped through the first few weeks of trying to break the habit by two other motivations: The first was that I was thinking of joining the military at the time (and am actually still pondering this), and I kept telling myself “The lighter I am, the faster I’ll run at the physical exam.” My other motivation actually came from someone else’s blog post: A 50-something year old woman happened to comment on a post about how she had been a yo-yo dieter for the last 30 years. It hit me at that moment that if I didn’t put my foot down and stop binge eating, I could be that woman. I could be that person who avoids social events because they are constantly on a diet and spends their whole life obsessing over food. And I didn’t want to be that person—I wanted to be someone who, you know, actually enjoyed my life and wasn’t constantly worrying about my weight.

c) Make a pro and con list when you feel like bingeing. Alright, the frenzy is on you, IT IS HERE. What do you do? Personally, I trained myself to make a pro and con list relating to binge eating. Usually, my thought process went like this:

“OK, what are the pros to binge eating right now?”

“I’ll feel better for a little bit. Also food is tasty.”

“Anything else?”

“… No.”

“OK, what are the cons?”

“I’ll be disappointed with myself. I’ll feel terrible tomorrow. Excessive quantities of food are expensive. I’ll gain weight.”

“Then you shouldn’t do it, should you?”

“No.”

“OK, then.”

And that was that. Once you realize how irrational it is to binge eat, it becomes easier to get through the moment.

d) Distract your mind. OK, that list thing didn’t work. But, guess what? I found that if I could just get my mind off of it for about five minutes, the feeling would usually pass. So, what did I do?

Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video is about five minutes. Turn it on. Rock out.

Buy a coloring book so that when the frenzy strikes, you can color. No, really. I bought (or, my mom bought for me, because she is awesome) a coloring book entitled “Danger from the Deep.” It has pictures of Batman, and I found that when I took a crayon to that sonofabitch, I became so focused/lost in thought it was easy to get through those five minutes. Not in an area where you can color/at work/in a store? Bring your music player to the store/work and when you’re in a munchy-mood, take a “bathroom break” with your mp3 player or crank up the music while you’re cruising the aisles; I found if I was playing tunes that conjured up sexy gyrations, etc., I didn’t really want to overeat.

e) Distract your mouth. OK, you are still in a frenzy. Start drinking—tea, water, whatever. Pop a hard candy. You know Lifesavers? They should also be called Dietsavers; I was in the grocery store one day and was 90% sure I was going to binge when I spotted the sugar-free Lifesavers (One of my few exceptions to the “Minimal artificial sweeteners” tip below, so long as I only eat them when I’m in danger of bingeing). I tore that bitch open and popped a few right there, and the taste kept my mouth busy and lessened the binge-edge. And, if you’re worried about the cashier giving you the evil eye for eating a product in the store, trust me—They could care less. And, if they do care, screw them. In fact, right now, stop giving a shit about what everyone else thinks and just start caring about what you need to do to get over binge eating, because whatever that may be is way more important than the opinion of random check-out girl/guy.

f) Always be prepared. Remember those mints I just talked about? Keep some in your kitchen cabinet/purse/desk drawer for when the binge monster rears its ugly head. Always have a bottle of water on you. Keep a protein bar with you, unless you’re like me and can’t wait to eat it when you actually need it. Keep your music with you. Have distracting YouTube videos bookmarked so you can fire up something amusing right away. Be ready.

g) Take a look at your diet. As I mentioned in this post, integrating more healthy fats into my diet made a HUGE difference in my appetite. And, according to science, if you’re constantly craving food/always feel as though you could binge eat, you’re probably missing something important in your diet. It may be fat, it may not be, but regardless it might be a good idea to tally up the protein, iron, fat, fiber, etc. that you get on a normal eating day; you may be surprised to find you’re lacking an element in your diet that could easily be integrated into it.

h) Minimal artificial sweeteners. For a while, I’ve wondered if artificial sweeteners were wrecking havoc on my appetite. So, this time around, I pretty much cut them out altogether. Granted, I still pick up a Diet Snapple every once and awhile (because it is a tasty beverage), but I probably have a product that contains artificial sweeteners at most once a week.

i) Take a multivitamin every day. This is in line with the “take a look at your diet” idea. You may be missing out on some essential nutrients by dieting, so try and a pop a multivitamin so you are at least covering some of your bases.

j) Pretend you’re someone else. OK, this is the most ridiculous of the bunch, but just hang with me for a second. When I wanted to binge, I would sometimes think, “This is not behavior befitting a Naval Officer!” (’cause, you know, the military thing). And, the thing is, binge eating isn’t behavior becoming of anyone. So, the next time you’re thinking about bingeing, think about what future you/your trainer/someone else you think is rad or healthy would do.

k) Think about what you really want to chomp. Whenever I had a ravenous appetite, I would think, “OK, self, you can have one thing—what do you want?” If I couldn’t pinpoint one thing that I reallyyyyy wanted, I knew I was just looking to eat copious amounts of food. If I could name something, though, and I legitimately, seriously craved it, then I chomped it. Chances are, if you give yourself a break every once and a while, you’ll be less likely to binge in the future. BUT, I always made sure I only chomped that one thing, because Naval Officer-me would practice restraint like a dignified lady who eats normally.

l) White knuckle it—you’re forming a good habit. OK, you’re in the store, and you see all the treats you want to buy, but you can avoid a binge by just making ONE GOOD DECISION to not buy the chomps. The same goes when you’re at home and want to plow through cupboards. And, here’s the thing: Every time you make that one good decision, or every time you start to binge but put the breaks on, you’re forming a good habit. Basically, you’re building a “Good Choice Muscle,” as I like to call it. Every time you make a good decision, making good decisions in the future will come more easily to you, and the more good decisions you make and the longer you go without bingeing, the less you’ll want to go back to square one. Is it hard sometimes to make a good decision and outlast the frenzy? Yes, but just grit your teeth and bear it—If not eating is the worst experience you’ll ever have in your life, consider yourself lucky.

m) Integrate some yoga-time into your schedule. Yoga practitioners are more likely to practice mindful eating, too. Neat, no? And, it’s certainly proved true for me.

n) Know thyself, and stop keeping that junk food in your house. My hairdresser is stick thin, and it’s not because she doesn’t love sweets or hates food; in fact, she told me that she can’t keep packs of Hershey bars in her home, because she’ll eat them all. Bottom line: Non-binge eaters have portion control problems, too, but they just don’t keep certain trigger foods in their house.  Is that “value size” pack of candy on sale, and you know this time you won’t eat it all? YES, YES YOU WILL, STOP FOOLING YOURSELF. SERIOUSLY. I know if I buy a bag of Dove chocolate, I’ll eat the whole goddamn thing, so, guess what? I buy a single serving bar, instead. And, 90% of the time you can buy your favorite foods in single-serve portions. And, just because you can’t exercise portion control doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you human. Recognize that, learn from it, and put down the gallons of ice cream that are buy one, get one free, because if ice cream is your trigger food, you’re just putting yourself unnecessarily in a lair of temptation.

o) Don’t be afraid of hunger. One of the big things I see when I look at dieting tips is “Don’t let yourself get too hungry!”, which is, in fact, a good idea. But, I also think it has made people afraid of hunger when they don’t need to be. “HOLY GOD,” they think, “WHAT IF I GET HUNGRY AND I CAN’T EAT/DON’T HAVE ENOUGH CALORIES?! AHHH ANXIETY/AHHH FEAR OF FAILURE BINGE BINGE BINGE.” Whoah. Chillax. Think about the worst case scenario: OK, you get hungry. So what? The human body can go quite a while without food before it gives out. If you get hungry, you’re not going to starve to death. Hunger is not an emergency (unless you’ve been hungry for a week and you really are going to starve to death); it is uncomfortable, but you can tolerate a headache/being tired, right? Then you’re going to be OK if you become hungry. And if you’re out of calories for the day and you’re hungry, then have an apple/carrot—those 50 calories are only going to amount to 1/70 of a pound at the end of the day. Not hungry enough for an apple? Then chances are you just have an appetite and need to discract yourself.

p) Stay off the scale for a bit. I used to weigh myself every day. And, guess what? It made me bat-shit anxious. But, SCIENCE IS RIGHT: YOUR WEIGHT FLUCTUATES. Sometimes, on a Wednesday, I’ll be three pounds heavier than I will be on Friday. So, if you’re dieting, weigh yourself once a week, at most; otherwise, if you’re anything like me, the number will just make you crazy-anxious and you’ll try to remedy that anxiety through binge eating.

q) Brush your teeth. OK, this one is also pretty ridiculous. But, you know how you finish a meal sometimes, and you feel even “hungrier” after you’ve eaten than you did before having done so? Brush your teeth—it kind of works along the same lines as the mint-popping deal. Regardless, I can’t tell you how many times it kept me from having my meal turn into an afternoon snackfest.

Phew. Wall of text. I think that’s it, though. If you have any questions/want me to elaborate on anything, don’t hesitate to ask, and I hope this is helpful to someone, somewhere.

Weigh-In Day: Week of April 16th/Week One of Maintenance, Take Two

Last Week’s Weight: 129.1

This Week’s Weight: 127.9

Loss/Gain: 1.2 pounds

Average Daily Caloric Intake: 1800

04/16: 5-mile walk + 40-minute weightlifting session
04/17: Yoga
04/18: 2-mile run + 1-hour weightlifting session
04/19: 7-mile run/walk
04/20: 30-minute elliptical session + 10-minute rowing machine session + 1.5-mile walk/run
04/21: 20-minute weightlifting session + 7-mile walk
04/22: 7-mile run/walk

LIST TIME OF NOTES/THOUGHTS YEAAAAAAH

a) First things first: In the interest of full disclosure, I definitely forced myself to pee so I could squeak into my 127s. Heh.

b) I am well pleased that I am now comfortably in my goal range and the lowest weight I’ve been in years. Kind of crazy, really. But, the latter point definitely makes me feel better about moving into maintenance.

c) I am NOT well pleased because … well … I kind of expected more. You see, the last two times I’ve had my cycle, I lost two and a half pounds or more, and one of those times I ate more bonus calories—enough bonus calories, in fact, to put my average daily caloric intake higher than this week’s 1800. So, what does this week’s 1.2 pound loss mean? Was I just not retaining that much water? Do I have a slow day-to-day metabolism, and my body can only handle more calories when they come in short bursts? DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE ACCORDING TO SCIENCE? Is my metabolism just taking its time to fire up? I have no idea!

d) I am also well pleased because this morning was the first time I weighed myself since last Friday. Yay, willpower!

SO MANY DEEP THOUGHTS. Anyway, despite what seems to be an apprehension on the part of my body to more calories, I’m going to up my calories an additional 50 this week and then another additional 50 next week, and I will weigh myself again on May 7th. Yes, that’s two weeks away. Yes, I know people who are maintaining their weight are supposed to weigh themselves MORE frequently, but the last time I started maintenance, I lost my shit/fell of the wagon as soon as I gained even a teeny-tiny bit of weight as a result of increasing my caloric intake. So, I’d rather just side-step that by not weighing myself for two weeks (unless I should have a big splurge in that time, in which case I’ll weigh myself sooner). Besides, I’m not worried about gaining a massive quantity of weight in those two weeks, seeing as how I’m only going from 1600 calories per day to 1650 to 1700, not from 1600 to 1800 or 2000. Make sense?

I also kind of want to stay away from the scale because I feel as though by doing so I’ll get a better grasp on intuitive eating; this week, while I did well with it on days that were far away from weigh day, I ate “diet style” the closer I got to weigh day, i.e., making sure all my bonus calories were gone by a certain point in the week so that I would just be eating my daily base calories near weigh-in day, eating when I wasn’t hungry to make sure I consumed all my daily calories, etc. So, yes. We’ll how this week goes.

RUN TIME!

A Letter, Part Two: THIS TIME IT IS SERIOUS

Dear Self,

Congratulations, you have made it to your goal range! Again.

No, that last part wasn’t meant to be sarcastic; even if you’ve accomplished this feat before, what you’ve done is still an accomplishment, especially since it took you a third less time than it did the last time. But, what I’m implying is that the easy part is over. You’ve lost the weight, but you already knew how to lose weight. The next part, maintenance, is the hard part, because I know in the back of your mind you’re thinking about bingeing.

Don’t lie to me, I can see it! I live in your head too, you know. Here’s the thing: You’re tired of dieting, and this could be the last time for a long while that you will have had to diet, but it’s all up to you. In the past, you’ve lost the weight, learned to eat healthy, but still binged along the way and then, once you reached your goal weight, you just let loose.

This time, you’ve lost the weight, you’ve learned to eat healthier and (here’s the big part) you’ve learned how to say “No” to bingeing. That’s a lifestyle change and a lesson that you cannot let go of if you don’t want to be a chronic dieter. The last few months without bingeing were not a temporary state; they were a foundation. Keep building on it, and you may be able to move past disordered eating.

I know you want to go out, and you can’t sit at home for the rest of your life in a diet-safe bubble, anyway.

I know you don’t want to eat so much that makes you physically ill, anymore.

I know you want to eat normally and be satisfied. But, you won’t have any of these things if you return to bingeing.

You’ve made a lot of progress; don’t fall back into old habits.

Now, I know it’s impossible to think that you’ll never binge again—no one is perfect. But, you can’t go forward with a mentality where you expect to binge again. Expect the best of yourself, instead, and have good intentions every day.

Love,

Elizabeth

P.S. – Can we have an ice cream I am mad hungry

Obey Me!

If I’m not within goal range by Friday, I’ll be moderately surprised simply because of the sheer amount of  energy I’ve been putting into willing my body to lose half a pound; seriously, every 10 to 15 minutes I’m mentally yelling, “BODY! YOU WILL WEIGH 129.5 POUNDS OR LOWER BY THE NEXT WEIGH-IN AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!”

At this point, though, I’m not looking to be at my goal weight for vanity reasons, but simply on account of my desire to be done losing weight. I’m happy with how I look; I feel like I appear healthy, strong and as though I’ve acquired a nice set of curves. From an aesthetic standpoint, I could care less if I drop another pound … Now, it’s just about that (foolish) number.

Granted, I could probably take the mentally healthier route and stop dieting and stop fixating on the number and be done at any time I please, but at this point I’m so close I figure I might as well finish the job. I think I might lose it, though, if I don’t lose that last half pound this week; I think dieting was more tolerable when I was five pounds away from my goal weight rather than .5 a pound away, to be honest. It’s like the closer I get, the more I simply CANNOT WAIT to wake up in the morning and not worry about how many calories I have available that day, or whether certain foods will make me retain water and keep me from my goal for the week, or all the other ridiculous considerations that come with being on a diet and trying to achieve a certain amount of weight loss per week. PAH.

Will I always be health conscious? Probably. But, I’m ready to no longer be calorie conscious.

In other news, here is a picture of Serena Williams, who is 5′ 9″ and weighs 150 pounds:

[Source]

She’s a strong, powerful athlete, and she looks fantastic. And yet, most models her height weigh around 30 pounds less, or about 120 pounds. Why are women being told they should look like the latter rather than the former?

New Things Thursday: Potato Bread

[Source]

During the great Hight Fructose Corn Syrup purge of ’09, I neglected to check the ingredient list of one of my staples; my bread. For some reason, I just worked under the assumption that because my loaf of choice wasn’t particularly sweet, it must not have any wiggidy-whack sweeteners. Anyway, I came to the realization that my logic might be slightly flawed when, while home for break a while back, I found that my mom’s bread had the devil’s sugar in it and subsequently checked the ingredient list of my own loaf of choice. Le gasp! My beloved Pepperidge Farm Light Style Wheat Bread contained the dreaded HFCS! HOW COULD THIS BE?!

I was angered, but neglected to find a HFCS-free replacement for my bread; for one thing, I refused to pay more than 40 calories for a slice of bread, and for another, I just couldn’t find a single brand of bread that didn’t have HFCS in it. WTH?

As you may recall, though, I recently began to turn my back on low-fat, “weight management” foods, and I decided the HFCS-laden monstrosity that was my “Light Style” bread had to go. But, what to replace it with? Most other breads were—as I mentioned previously—afflicted with an ingredient list that contained HFCS, and many regular loaves had no nutritional value whatsoever. One day, however, I paused in front of the potato bread.

The brand carried by my grocery store invited me to “Compare [Their] Nutrition!”, and at the time I was pretty sure this was a challenge, so, affronted by the audacity of this bread, I accepted their duel invitation.

For your convenience, here’s my new bread’s basic nutritional statistics (for, I did take home the potato bread of the whole wheat variety that day) versus those of my old bread.

Per 1 Slice of Whole Wheat Potato Bread:

Calories: 70 calories (+30 calories)

Fat: 1 gram (+ .67 gram) – Note: This bread, like my old bread, has no saturated fat. So, this really doesn’t matter.

Fiber: 4 grams (+2 grams)

Protein: 6 grams (+4 grams)

So, basically the only drawback of this particular bread is the higher calorie count. But, I find it to be much more satisfying (probably because of the higher fiber/protein stats.) than light bread, and also much tastier, as potato bread is dense, hearty and a little bit sweet. Granted, I love carbohydrates in almost all of their forms, so when I say “I LOVE THIS BREAD” it doesn’t really mean much, but let me say this: While I used to make sandwiches with my old bread, I now take the slices of potato bread and eat them alongside what would have been my sandwich filling. Even when I eat my pre-workout snack of half a nutbutter sandwich, I take the time to peel off the non-nutbuttered crusts.

Mmmm, satiating.

Struggling With Being Social

So, I’m back up at the school (for what is—hopefully—my last five weeks as a college student) and according to my scale, I’m 0.2 of a pound heavier today than I was yesterday, so contrary to my initial belief I’m thinking my scale weighs me the same as my home scale. But, regardless, I’m not going to flip out if I get home and find after a few weeks of maintenance I’ve been maintaining a weight of 129 rather than 128.

Anyway, as the title of this posts suggests, I’d like to discuss combining healthy eating/dieting with having a social life heute.*

Recently, a friend invited me to go out next Friday and, realizing how non-social I’ve been lately, I agreed to head to a movie with him. Then, panic set in:

“Whoah, that is a late movie. What if I need snack? Oh, man, I might be starting maintenance that day; what if I have get too hungry while I’m out and I totally lose it and set myself back? THIS IS NOT GOING TO WORK.”

So, I called and cancelled. Ridiculous, right? Of course, this isn’t entirely due to my weight-related fears; I’m also graduating soon, and I’m a) overwhelmed with work, which makes me hesitant to go out and stressed, and whenever I’m stressed my other anxieties are amplified, and b) I’m just not very motivated to hang out with people I’ll probably never see again after the next five weeks and who I’m not very close to. But, definitely most of my social anxiety can be traced to food-related issues.

I’m not nearly as obsessed with the number on the scale as I used to be, but I feel as though I’ve been counting calories so long that the idea of being out and forced to eat something that I don’t know the EXACT calories of wigs me out. Yes, I know no one is going to force a Vermonster down my throat and there are plenty of healthy options out there, but I’ve developed some OCD tendencies, it seems. And, I really don’t want to get into the same social rut after I graduate that I seem to be stuck in, now. So, my question to you all, is …

For those of you who have had a long anti-social streak due to dieting/food anxieties, how did you break out of this mindset?

Yep. Personally, I’m thinking I’m just going to have to take baby steps (i.e., making sure I go out at least once a week, etc.), but I’m hoping once I start maintenance/realize I can splurge a bit at my goal weight I’ll be more confident and prepared to venture into the world. For the next few weeks, though, I’m going to give myself a pass and let myself concentrate on school.

In other news, I totally lost my shit this morning at the gym; I was on the treadmill, rocking my last mile when this girl tripped over my cord and unplugged my machine. When I realized what happened, I turned to her and said, “Dude,” … but not the reason why I was addressing her. So, basically, I just said “Dude” to some random chick at the gym this morning. But, five minutes later, I also dropped a hell of f-bomb when I knocked my iPod off the treadmill panel and onto the belt while it was going seven miles per hour. Yep. What, I just wanted to be done AND THERE WERE SO MANY DELAYS SUDDENLY I JUST FLIPPED.

Gah.

* Yeah, that’s German for “today.” That’s right, I threw some foreign talk into this post, and I am totally helping you learn new things.

Weigh-In Day: Week of March 19th

Oh, man, I had such the anticipation this morning. So much so, that when I woke up at 2:15 a.m. and decided I wanted a “sneak peak” of my weight for the week, I was so anxious before stepping on the scale that I couldn’t get back to sleep after weighing myself. Now here I am, writing a blog entry at 4:41 a.m., running on three hours of sleep on the first day of my spring break. Woo. Ah, well, I’m catching a bus home in a few hours (yay, home!), so I’m thinking I’ll just nap then. Though, I hate napping on buses … people around, just waiting for you to fall asleep so they can put you in weird positions and take pictures of you to put on the Intrawebs. Curses! Anyway, the moral of the story is I need to wait until it’s actually “getting up” time to weigh myself, because I can’t keep waking up on Fridays at 2 a.m. (by the way, this happened last week, too). It’s ridiculous, both the getting up so early and the being so jacked-up about my weight. Pah.

ONWARDS TO NUMBERS.

Last Week’s Weight: 131.3

This Week’s Weight: 128.4 (!)

Loss/Gain: 2.9 pounds

Average Daily Caloric Intake: 1,760

Excercise:
03/19: 5-mile run/40-minute weight lifting session (Upper Body)
03/20: Yoga
03/21: 2-mile run/30-minute elliptical session/1-hour weight lifting session
03/22: 7-mile run
03/23: 7-mile run
03/24: 7-mile run/20-minute weight lifting session (Upper Body)
03/25: 7-mile walk/30-minute elliptical session

This is hell of awesome, and not just because I’m at my goal weight. You see, the last time I began a diet in January at around the same weight as where I started this time, it took me until October to hit my goal weight, as you can see from the archives. That means it took me EIGHT MONTHS to lose about 10 pounds. This time, because I put my foot down about binge eating, it took me 10 WEEKS to lose the same quantity of weight. So, while I’m excited about being at my goal weight, I’m more excited to find that I have self-control and—should I put on a few pounds in the future—I’m capable of taking it off relatively quickly. Though, I hope for the most part that my binge eating days are now behind me, and a significant weight gain won’t be a problem again—or, at least it won’t be a problem again for a very long time.

That having been said, I would be more excited to be at my goal weight except that I had planned a splurge day for myself to celebrate Easter while I’m home (yes, I know I just said that I hoped my binge eating days were behind me, but I’m hoping it will be a SPLURGE day and not a BINGE day, but regardless I think I deserve a day to eat what I want. And, I know I can keep it to one day), and since I’ve been looking forward to it and I’m not really ready to jump into maintenance after having had a splurge day, I’m just going to stay on plan until I’m back down to my goal weight, which I imagine won’t take more than a week or two if I only take the one “day off” from healthy eating.

This post is probably riddled with spelling/grammatical errors. Ciao, internet! Wish me a harassment-free bus ride!

Do you have trouble sleeping? What do you do if you can’t fall back asleep after waking up in the middle of the night?

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