Thursday, August 23, 2007

Feel Like a Number

I've spent the majority of my life striving to attain a number. I'm always focused on the numbers. Every diet starts by calculating how many weeks it will take to lose x amount of weight . . . if I lose 2 lbs a week I can be down 32 pounds by Christmas but the first week I get on the scale and don't see the 2 lbs loss I get frustrated and lose focus the of big picture.
I'm a photographer - I know how important focus is. I need to focus on the everyday decisions and not the end result. That doesn't mean I'm not going to get on the scale to track how many pounds I lost but if I'm going to make a lifetime commitment to change the way I deal with food I need to take it one decision at a time. Let the numbers fall where they may. The journey should be what it is all about - not the end result. I don't want to crunch numbers every day for the rest of my life. I don't want my life to be ruled by the numbers on the scale, how many calories, how many miles on the treadmill, how many inches, what size pants, etc. I don't need the scale to tell me whether I should feel good or depressed that day. I just want to feel better about myself.

I don't know if I'm ready to post all the numbers. There are so many people out there who are so open about how much they weigh and what their measurements are but I am so embarrassed about my weight. I don't think I have the courage to put it out there for everyone to see. I'm going to start off by working off 70 pounds and hopefully will find the courage to post some pictures and some measurements. I'm not even going to think about how many weeks that will take. I'm just going to work on getting there when I get there.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sugar is my Crack

I'm addicted to sugar - all kinds of sugar. This shit is worse than crack cocaine. No matter how many times I tell myself it is about moderation I can find myself in the middle of an all out binge. I convince myself I can certainly have ONE piece of chocolate, cookie, cake or whatever but then I'll find myself feeling nauseous because I've eaten the whole bar, bag or pan. I sometimes feel like Homer with his mouth hanging open, drool running down his chin mumbling something about donuts until I come out of the food coma/sugar shock. That is when regret and disgust come running in the room.

I don't know what happens to my brain on sugar. Is it like that commercial with the egg in the frying pan? . . . this is your brain, this is your brain on SUGAR *SMASH* your brain is a bunch of egg yoke all over the walls.

Why do I torture myself with thoughts of weight loss while simultaneously eating an entire bag of chocolate covered pretzels (and I'm not talking about the little individual serving size either)? I haven't done this in at least a month but it has happened more times than I care to remember.

Every waking day of my life is a struggle to resist overloading on sugar or carbs. Every family function, every day at the office, every BBQ and birthday party is a struggle. Just last week at the office there was a party to celebrate a new baby (Jen's) and a wedding (Dena's); there was a vanilla cake with strawberries, a chocolate mousse-type cake and a full set up of Brigham's ice cream with all the fixings (jimmies, hot fudge, whipped cream, etc.). I need to find the strength to be able to attend these things without giving into the temptation. I know it is possible to resist, I've done it, but it just sucks. How do you handle all the temptations? Do you become anti-social? do you tie your hands behind your back? wire your jaw shut? pretend you are happy to sit and celebrate with a glass of water or tea? How the f*** do you celebrate with celery?

I think it would be easier to give up crack (thankfully I don't have any first hand knowledge of this - I have enough problems). Crack isn't something you have to do multiple times a day, you can't buy it everywhere although I'm sure most high school kids could tell you where to get it, and you couldn't do it just about everywhere, every single day for your entire life or you will die. You have to eat, right? You can't just say "I'm going to get clean," "I'm going to give up food," "I'm going to stay away from the places where they have food," "I'm going to rehab." In the words of Amy Winehouse "I say NOOO, NOOO, NOOO." You can't just give up eating and after 40 years I can't seem to figure out how to do it right.

I need to find answers, I need to find the key, I need to flick that switch in my brain, I need to retrain my brain and stop my hands from shoveling food in my mouth. I'm getting desperate. I don't want to live the rest of my life like this.

I'm trying to work up the courage to post some "before" pictures so you can see what I'm dealing with but I can hardly stand to look at pictures of myself let alone put them on the world wide web for all to see but I'm working on it.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? Hello, my name is MB and I'm addicted to sugar.

Monday, August 20, 2007

No Binge

I guess it it progress that I didn't binge this weekend. I do need to learn how to handle social situations that revolve around food. It is hard to resist the pressure to just try a bite of this and it won't hurt to have a little bit of that. I know I'll feel disgusted with myself if I give into the temptations but it is depressing just watching everyone else enjoy themselves and not worry about how many calories or fat grams are in this or that delicious looking treat. I don't want to have to worry about every little thing but I need to eat sensibly most of the time and not "treat" myself everyday.

I am going to try to focus on getting more exercise and increasing my endurance. All my previous weight loss attempts, whether they were successful or not, revolved around the food. The more I restricted my food the more binge episodes I would have. It is a vicious cycle and I have to get out of it. I'm hoping that if I concentrate on working out regularly that the food will follow. I obviously need to pay attention to both but I can't always be obsessed with every morsel that gets past my lips. It is a slow start but hopefully slow and steady will finally win the race.

I'm not going to obsess about the numbers on the scale or whether I put too much dressing on my salad. I want to change my lifestyle and finally feel good about myself. I want to figure out how to have a healthy relationship with food. I want to like what I see in the mirror.

I always wonder if I didn't start that first diet whether I would still be wearing a size 10 and looking like an average girl.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Starting Over, Again, at 40!

I must be living in the twilight zone. I can't be 40, can I? How is that possible? The truth is I turned 40 in July and, just like almost every year of my life, my birthday wish has been to get in shape, lose the weight and finally figure out my issues so I can lose the weight for good.

I know how to lose the weight. I've done it before - numerous times. My past diets are an extensive list. I can't even remember them all. I've done all the crazy and not so crazy diets, just like everyone else in this blogging weight obsessed community. Every magizine is full of before and after photos, celebrities who lost a ton or gained a ton, she's too thin, she's too fat, it is so insane. I wanted to scream when I saw an article where they zoomed in on celebrities' cellulite with lenses more powerful than the hubble telescope. They ripped these woman apart. They were NOT fat. They barely had a dimple on their thighs and then they wonder why every woman in this country has some sort of obsession with their weight and is obsessed with trying to fit the mold.

I'm not looking to fit in any mold. I have curves; I don't want to look like a teenaged boy. I just want to be comfortable in my skin. I don't want to spill over the seat on the train, I want to feel sexy for my boyfriend, I want to want to have sex (it's been a while), I want to be healthy, I want to be fit, I really, really want it. So, if I REALLY want it why do I keep binging, why do I keep eating things that I know are bad for me, why, why, why? I think about my weight constantly, I read tons of weight related blogs (my hero is pastaqueen). PQ has lost more than half her weight by . . . DIET and EXERCISE!!! I started reading her blog when she was much heavier than I am now. I was determined to lose weight along with her. She is almost at her goal and I still haven't really gotten started. We all know HOW to do it - eat less and move more. Sounds so simple, huh? My problem is in my head. I will eat until I feel sick and promise myself I will never do it again, I'll start tomorrow, I'll start Monday, I'll have good days and then it all falls apart. I spend so much energy thinking about it, doing it and then having to start all over again. I don't want to do it anymore.

I've had successful attempts at losing it. I lost about 60 pounds about 10 years ago on Jenny C. but gained it all back. Five years ago I lost around 65 pounds on a modified South Beach/Atkins/OA-type diet. Basically I didn't each anything white for more than a year (no bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, sugar, or flour). It was torture but I felt great, I looked pretty good and then I ate a crouton and blew up like a deer tick. Obviously, I ate more than a crouton but you get the idea.

Currently I am at my heaviest weight EVER. I can't stand it. I'm smarter than this. I know I can lose it but what I can't figure out is why I keep sabotaging myself and gaining it all back. I'm so much happier when I'm able to buy "normal" size clothes, feel fit and like what I see in the mirror. I can barely stand to look in a mirror these days. I am disgusted. I need to change. I don't want to spend the next 40 years in the yo-yo cycle. I am determined to figure this out!

My goal is to lose at least 70 pounds. I can't even believe I have that much to lose (AGAIN) but I do. That is not an unrealistic goal. If I look at charts for my height I should probably lose more like 80 or 85 pounds but I'm not going to stress out about getting to a specific number, I just need the number to go down.

I'm hoping by writing here I will be able to get the motivation I need to not only lose it, AGAIN, but to keep it off. Wish me luck!