Walden Pond

Walden Pond

Friday, August 29, 2014

Potluck Ponderings

So last night I didn't walk. We are planning a weekend trip to take my eldest daughter back to college, so I was busy making arrangements for our animals, booking the hotel, etc. I also didn't work out this morning. I woke up early enough, but I instead assembled a fruit salad to take to work.

At work we have monthly Birthday Breakfast potlucks on the last Friday of the month. Everyone brings a breakfast food to share and celebrate the birthdays that took place that month. If you had a birthday that month, you don't have to bring anything. These potlucks are super carb heavy: donuts, biscuits, pancakes, muffins, etc. Since I decided yesterday that I wanted to start focusing on healthier foods, I decided to bring a fruit salad. I make a fruit salad with angel food cake and lemon sauce.

It's still sweet, and I get some fruit in. I'm not counting calories yet, but for those of you who do, it comes out to 221 calories per serving. I just layer the fruit and cake, but after every cake layer, I add a few spoonfuls of this Lemon Sauce from One Perfect Bite. I use the sauce while it is still warm, and I only use about 1/2 cup of sauce in the salad. The rest of the sauce I put in the fridge to chill and thicken. My kids usually eat it with the leftover fruit.

It went over really well. No leftovers to bring home.

I'm really not trying to be lazy with my walking. I'm sure things will be calmer Monday when I only have one kid at home and no more travel for a while. Tonight I'm going to get most of the groceries for the week. Tomorrow I'm working in the morning, then having a birthday lunch with my youngest daughter. We are leaving for our trip right after the lunch.

The hotel we're staying at doesn't have a fitness room, but it does have an outdoor pool. I plan on swimming some laps if it's not too crowded. I have issues with being in a pool at my size when there are total strangers in it. My daughter's dorm is on the third floor of her building, so I'm sure to get some exercise going up and down those stairs (the elevator is only used for big items like bicycles and refrigerators).

Since I don't work on Monday, I probably won't post again until Tuesday. Have a good holiday weekend everyone!

 1307.51 / 0 / 1300.18

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Time to Move Forward?

Well, I broke my promise. I didn't do any walking last night. I just can't seem to make myself work out once I get home. My husband, kids, and animals are there, and I just want to relax with them. I'm going to have to make sure to hit the gym after work instead of going straight home.

This morning, however, I did get up early enough to do my WATP dvd. I started the 2 mile walk, but I was so winded and beat that I had to stop at just over 1 mile. I guess that's what happens when you skip several days of workouts. I'm really disappointed at how much progress I've lost. I'm not going to let that happen again. I'm not working out tonight, but I am going to try another workout in the morning, and I'm definitely bringing my gym bag to work tomorrow.

I'm thinking about adjusting my diet soon. I'm still very focused on the emotional eating part of things, but I want to start incorporating healthy foods. I mean, seriously, for lunch today I had a Slim Jim and a bag of Funyons. That's not doing me any favors, and now my breath stinks, too.

About a year ago, I became a vegetarian. I was eating really healthy whole grains, beans and legumes, and tried several vegetables that I'd never even considered before. I learned that I love fresh asparagus and leeks, but I still hate green beans. I also lost 10 pounds during that year, without any other changes.

Over the past couple of months, I've been eating meat again. I've also been eating way more simple grains and way fewer greens and veggies. Part of it was the incredibly strict budget we had to be on this summer. We were mostly living on beans, rice, and donated meat and veggies. But part of it was that I just got lazy. I don't like cooking, and processed, starchy foods are just easier.

I'm also thinking about weighing at the end of the month. That's only a few days away. Hmmm, let's make that next month. The last time I weighed I came in at 291 pounds. I'm still not ready to start restricting calories or going on some kind of "plan." I just want to focus on my walking, not binging, and eating healthier foods. We'll see what happens.

1307.51 / 1 / 1300.18

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Slacking Off

I didn't exercise last night. I also didn't exercise this morning. I'm tempted to make excuses about how tired I was and how late I slept, but I know that won't help me in the long run. There's no reason to lie to myself. I slacked off.

My soreness from earlier in the week is almost gone and my husband is cooking dinner tonight, so I have absolutely no excuse to get in a workout when I get home. I'm not going to let myself go another day without changing those numbers at the bottom of the page.

I really struggled today at lunch. I've been forgetting to pack lunches for work. So when noon comes around, all I have are the Fiber One bars. Today, since I was running late this morning, I'd already had one of those bars for breakfast. I really wanted something "good" for lunch, something warm, something crispy. It was all about the taste and mouth feel, not so much about the hunger.

I didn't really have to exercise my willpower today because I didn't have the money to go buy a lunch. If I had, there would have been a serious struggle. My office is two doors down from a Mexican restaurant, and sometimes I swear I can smell their chips and salsa. Subway is also a weakness for me. I know it's possible to eat healthy at Subway and at Mexican restaurants. My very svelte daughter eats both frequently, and she always chooses healthy foods. I need to get to the point that I can do that, too.

I think part of the problem is that I still look at those as "special treats." We can't afford to eat out often, and when I do, I want to make the most of it. I want the tamales and the salami because those are foods that I rarely have.

I need to get to the point that food is just food--not a treat, not a friend, not an entertainment--just food.

Once I had my internal tantrum about not being able to eat what I wanted for lunch, I had my Fiber One bar. As I ate it, I realized that what I really wanted was a nice crisp salad, something light and crispy to wake me up and refresh me. It's funny how clearly I can know what my body wants once I get my emotions out of the way, isn't it?

That's all for now. My numbers are the same because I've been lazy. I promise they will be different tomorrow.

1307.51 / 0 / 1301.18

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Gym versus Home

I had another late morning to work today. Yesterday I had to take one of our dogs to the vet; today I took my eldest daughter to the optometrist. I plan on working late today to make up some of the time I missed.

I didn't do my workout this morning because I was still so sore and because I was wrapped up loading the crock-pot for dinner tonight. I still had time, though, and should have done it. I'll have to make sure I do my WAP tonight, even though that will mean exercising with my husband and kids watching me.

I'm thinking of switching to doing the WAP for my miles and using my gym just for strength training (whenever I decide to start that). On one hand, I had not using the gym when it's right there mocking me every day as I leave work. On the other, I feel like I get a much more strenuous workout when I use the video. I also like that I can go straight into yoga after using the video if I have the time.  I'll have to think on that some more.

Last night I made these little potato samosa things. They were really good, and I didn't feel the need to gorge on them. I was able to just eat two with some rice and yogurt, even though there were more to be had. Usually, if I like something, I want all of it. But last night I was able to stop when I was full.

When I was a child, I was a really picky eater, and there weren't often foods I liked available. So I'd go for days just picking at my food; then I would binge when there was something I liked available. I have a real deprivation issue with food. In the past, when I fixed a meal I particularly liked, I would hide some from my family so that I could have it later. Eventually I figured out that since I was doing the cooking, I could have that meal whenever I wanted. I didn't have to feel deprived. So for several months, I made my favorite foods several times a week. Eventually, I got tired of them (as did my family), and they lost that "specialness" that made me want to hoard it all for myself.

I still have some issues with that, but I'm usually able to keep it in check and talk myself though it.

I've been thinking more about trying to actively lose weight, but I'm still not sure if I'm ready for that. I know I need to lose and that it will just be harder the longer I wait, but I'm afraid that the pressure of following a plan with trigger a backlash. I think I will wait a little longer, since the exercise part of my life seems to be going so well.

Since I won't be exercising until later tonight, my numbers are the same as yesterday.

1307.51 / 0 / 1301.18

Monday, August 25, 2014

Getting Back to Myself

So this weekend I did two things I'm proud of: I had a very stressful conversation and did not turn to food for comfort, and I got up yesterday morning and did yoga!

My mother came over Saturday, and somehow we got on the subject of weight. My mother (like me) used to be very, very thin and then gained a lot with her pregnancies. She has a thyroid problem and has recently started medication for it, which has helped mover her from morbidly obese to overweight. She was talking about her weight, and then she zeroed in on mine. She had lots of ideas on why I'm so fat and what I should be doing about it. She wasn't mean in anyway, but I don't like talking about personal things with here (a lot of childhood issues there). A lot of my poor eating habits are a DIRECT result of things that she did or didn't do while I was growing up.

By the time she left, I wanted to crawl into a big bag of chips. I wanted to make mac and cheese. I wanted pizza. But instead I did a Walk Away the Pounds video. I don't go to the gym on the weekends, so I needed to get some walking in anyway. I did the 1 mile walk. By the time I finished, I didn't feel like stuffing my face anymore. I did fix a nice salad with some tomatoes my mother had brought over and ate that. But I didn't gorge. I was so proud of myself.

Then yesterday (Sunday) I got up and immediately did another 1 mile WATP walk, even though I'd woken up a little stiff. I still felt a little stiff so when I took out the WATP disc, I popped in a yoga disc. I use Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss with Suzanne Deason. It's been more than a year since I used this DVD, but I was able to make it through the whole thing. I felt so much better afterwards, so loose and flexy!

This morning I have sore back muscles from the yoga. I'm tall and have a tendency to slouch, especially at my desk. The yoga really helps my posture when I do it regularly. I'm going to have to make that a priority.

I though about doing yoga again this morning before I left for work, but since I'm planning on skipping the gym tonight to pic up my youngest from band, I decided to do a 2 mile WATP instead. That makes 4 miles since Friday! I think the morning workout really helps set the tone for the rest of the day.

I've also finally decided to add a before picture of myself. As I've said before, I'm not working on weight loss yet. I haven't even weighed since I started this blog. But this way, if things should go that way, I will have something to look back at.

This was taken right after I finished yoga, so I'm all sweaty and rumpled.

1307.51 / 4 / 1301.18

Friday, August 22, 2014

Rocky Start

Well, it looks like I'm off to a bad start with this blogging thing. I meant to post every weekday, but August has been killing me. I could list my reasons/excuses here, but I'm just going to say I'm back. I'll post this today, and then my next post will be on Monday.

I haven't had any binges lately. I'm trying to make sure to eat something for breakfast every day. That hasn't been going well. I just don't like to eat first thing in the morning. I think what I'm going to try is to have a banana first thing in the morning. It's easy to eat, if I'm running late I can eat it in the car, but it will still put something in my belly. Then at 9 AM or so when I actually feel like eating something, I can have something in my office. It's a start.

I noticed something today. I was sitting at work, and I thought I felt hungry. I asked myself if I really feel hunger or something else. Instead of an answer, I just started thinking about these Fiber One lemon bars I keep in my desk. I had pulled one out the box before I remembered that I need to check my hunger. I decided that I wasn't actually hungry.

But I still wanted that lemon bar. I tried to decide why I wanted that lemon bar. They taste good. I like the soft mouth feel. I was tired of looking at my work. That was it! I was bored. The project I was working on at that moment was incredibly boring.

When I'm bored at home, I can just find something else to do. That's harder to do at work when I have a definite task assigned. So I decided to take a short walk around the building (from the front door to the back door). It was nice. It got me out in the sun (my office is really cold), and perked me up a little. When I got back in, I was able to finish my boring project in just an hour and move on to something more interesting.

I picked up a copy of Walden at the library last weekend. I think I'm going to reread it. Maybe Thoreau will have some more insight for me while I make this journey.

1307.51 / 1.22 / 1305.18

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Is It All Uphill?

I am so sore this morning. Two days of walking have really had an effect on me. I didn't expect it to; I mean, I've only walked about 2.25 miles so far. Apparently, I'm in worse shape than I thought. I really would like to skip walking today, but I made a commitment to walk every day, and that's what I'm going to do.

Yesterday I walked 1.22 miles. I got up to 3 miles an hour for some of it. Today I'm going to log another mile, but I will probably go at a slower pace since I'm so sore.

Yesterday for lunch I packed an egg salad sandwich. I don't really like them, but it was the day before payday. There wasn't much else in the house. It was that or PB&J, and I didn't like the jelly we had.

I tried to do the mindful eating thing where I focus on each bite and chew, chew, chew. But I really don't like egg salad. So I stopped doing that and just ate the dang sandwich. After I ate it, I wanted something else to get the taste out of my mouth. I really need to start keeping a toothbrush at work. I counted up the change in my purse. I had $1.36 (like I said, it was right before payday).

My first thought was "That's enough for an Almond Joy!" Then I made myself stop and think about it. Am I hungry? No, the egg salad was nasty, but it satiated my hunger. Am I craving sugar? No. It surprises some people, but I'm not really into sweets. I have a Coke everyday, but that's it. Even with that, I usually drink it with dinner so that the food can cut down the sweetness. I just wanted something to cover the egg salad aftertaste. My next thought was gum, but I have problems with my jaw (TMJ), and gum-chewing will hurt for days afterwards. But thinking about gum made me realize I would like something crunchy.

So I went to the grocery store with the idea of getting something crunchy, not sugary, and for under $1.36. I went straight to the produce section thinking I could get one of those little carrot/ranch or celery/peanut butter snack packs. Before I got there, I saw this display of apples. I haven't had an apple in a really long time. I don't usually eat them because when I bite them I get apple juice all over. I've never really understood how people can take bites out of an apple and not drip or slurp. Anyway, even though I didn't want anything too sweet, I decided an apple was exactly what I needed. I grabbed one, paid (87 cents), and headed back to my office where I washed it and took my first bite.

It was so good! I did get juice all over my desk, but I really enjoyed that apple. It was so crunchy and refreshing. That's the way food should be. It shouldn't be what I eat because "it's there" or because I want to make myself feel bad or (and this is the big one) to keep myself from feeling something I don't want to. I like produce. I like eating veggies and fruits. I like eating "good for you" food.

So why don't I do it? Well, sometimes it's because I'm binging, and no one eats celery on a binge. Also, I have long associated that kind of food with diets. Healthy food means counting out grapes and baby carrots and obsessing over if this is a large peach or a medium peach. I didn't like having to think about all that. But right now, I don't have to think about that. I just have to think "Is this food abusing my body? Is it kidnapping my emotions?" If the answer is no, I'm not going to worry about how many grapes I just ate.

So that's the plan: enjoyable food, checking for satiety, and walking.

1307.51 / 1.22 / 1305.18

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Goals and Timelines

Yesterday after work, I went to the gym. My office shares a parking lot with the local gym, so we get a huge discount on membership. I spent 20 minutes on a treadmill and walked 1.11 miles. So I officially have started my trip to Massachusetts!

By my calculations, if I were making this trip in reality, I would have walked to the end of my street. That doesn't seem like much. On the other hand, the last time I tried to ride a bicycle, I was only able to make it to the end of the street. I had to walk back. I'd like to get to the point that I can make the 5 mile ride to Walmart and our library on bicycle. That's one of my healthy goals.

Speaking of goals, I want to talk a little about my goals for this blog and for my life. I've tagged this as a weight loss blog, but weight loss isn't my goal right now. My goal right now is to understand my binge eating. My goal is to stop eating when I really don't want to eat.

For example, yesterday when I was chowing down on those Cheetos, I didn't want them. Now I like Cheetos, and at other times I've been able to have a handful, eat them, and be satisfied with that. But when I eat a lot of Cheetos, I can start to taste the grease, not to mention that weird cheese powder aftertaste that builds up on the back of your tongue. Cheetos taste worse to me the more I eat at once. That's how I felt yesterday. After the first 10 or so poofs, I didn't want them. They were starting to taste gross. But I MADE myself finish the bag. It's like I was punishing myself. I think I was punishing myself for something, but I don't know what. That's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to stop hurting myself with food.

I'm also trying to get more active. I'm not just talking about my journey to Walden. I've noticed that I have my kids (all teenagers) fetch for me. I'll be sitting down, and rather than get a glass of water or throw something away myself, I will call one of my children to do it for me--even if they are on the other side of the house. I've done this for a really long time. I'm pretty sure I wasn't a lazy person when I started adulthood, but I definitely am now. So the walking is just one part of me trying to stop being a lazy person.

So while weight-loss is not one of my actual goals, I think it will be a side effect of achieving my actual goals. As I become more active and learn how to have a healthy relationship with food, it makes sense that some of my weight will come off. That's why I've tagged this as a weight loss blog. And who knows? Maybe down the proverbial road I will decide to start counting calories and make a focused effort to lose weight. In the meantime, I will be weighing once a month on the 1st. I think it will be motivating to see any weight changes on my walk. I also think weighing weekly would make me focus on my weight instead of my journey. So once a month seems like a good schedule.

I also have a loose schedule for my walking. I will be walking at the gym every weekday, and I will be doing a walking tape at home on the weekends. I walked just over a mile yesterday, but I would like to build up to 3 miles per day. I'm giving myself 1 year to walk to Walden Pond. That means I should arrive there by August 5, 2015. Looking at that now, I'm thinking there's no way I'm going to make it, but I'm going to "go confidently" in that direction. I bet I'll surprise myself.

Tomorrow, I will post a starting picture of myself. I'm not going to call it a before picture. I'm going to call it a beginning picture. I wonder who I'll be at the end.

Happy walking!

1307.51 / 1.11 / 1306.4

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Preparing for the Journey

Hello. My name is Connie. I am 38 years old. I am a mother, wife, friend, and employee. At 5'9" and 291 pounds I am also morbidly obese.

Today for lunch I had an entire bag of Cheetos (regular size, not snack size), a 20oz Coke, and two Reese's cups. It was disgusting. I knew it was disgusting as I was eating it. Why didn't I stop?

I don't eat like this all the time. I really, honestly don't. But I don't eat well, either.

I want this to stop. I really do. I want to be thinner. At this point, I don't even need to be thin and fit. I'd settle for being just "overweight" instead of "morbidly obese."

I've tried losing weight before. I've lost and regained like most people do. I tried surgery. I tried drinking weight-loss shakes. I've tried exercise programs. I usually just end up feeling defeated.

A couple of years ago, one of my best friends gave me a necklace. It's designed to resemble a compass. On the back is a quote from Henry David Thoreau--"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams." I was wearing it today as I pigged out on Cheetos.

I like this quote because it doesn't promise that you will achieve your dreams, but you are encouraged to pursue them anyway. So even though every other weight loss attempt has failed, I'm going to try again.

I have some serious emotional issues with food. I know that. So I'm going to try to work on those instead of jumping right into counting calories or points or anything like that.

I also want this to be a positive place for me, so this post will be the last time I publicly shame myself with what I put in my mouth. I'm not going to lie and say everything is going great if it isn't. But I'm not going to drag out a list of everything I did wrong.

One of the first things I'm going to do is start exercising. I have a free gym membership with my job, but of course, I rarely use it. I'm going to go tonight and build that into a habit. I'm too fat and out of shape to do much other than walk on the treadmill, but that's better than nothing.

In order to encourage myself (since treadmills can be boring), I'm going to keep track of my miles until I've stored up enough miles to have walked to a destination.

I'm going to walk to Walden.

Mapquest says that from my home in northwest Tennessee to Walden Pond State Reservation in Massachusetts is 1307.51 miles by bicycle. They didn't have the option for walking, so I figured bicycling is the next best thing.

I'm going to do this. I'm going confidently in the direction of my dream.