Why FORGIVING is good for weight loss.

August 4. Who hasn’t made the wrong decisions about food, even when we know better sometimes? Thank you for your honesty. I’m raising my hand too. So I am learning that losing weight and maintaining it: Is not really about food at all. Really. Yes we must make the right choices and choose fruits and vegetables over processed, canned or bag “food”. But the root of it, the raw of it…isn’t about the food. It’s about the decisions we make and WHY. It’s also about allowing ourselves to mess up, forgive and move on. Forgive who? Ahh, as the saying goes “There’s the rub” (not the kind on my favorite brisket either).

It’s not really a trick question. The realization began when, just last week I realized after some Bible reading and meditation, there were two people in my life, one of whom I knew very intimately, that when I thought of them my teeth clenched and my stomach tightened. Why? Because without realizing it. I was holding a grudge for an “offense”  they committed against me – whether real or imagined isn’t the point right now -because I felt a very real, very physical internal pain when I thought of them. But at that moment It dawned on me. I was choosing to hold on the pain. And so, I verbally released it by saying, ” I forgive you (insert name of perceived offender) for (insert what they did or said to hurt me)” and then I thought about God’s forgiveness and how undeserved I am to receive it- I and realized that in the grand scheme of things, today, that wasn’t too hard.

At that moment I made a choice. A decision to forgive. It didn’t change the other person. It changed me.

That is the approach I need to have with my choices in food and how I feel about those choices, one I make them. When I choose to eat right. It’s me that benefits. But when I make the “not so right” choices I must choose to forgive myself the way I allow myself to forgive others. The decision to do otherwise leads to the vicious vortex of :eating to feel better, eating because I feel guilty about eating to feel better,  then, being angry with myself for eating to feel guilty so… I eat again…yup, to feel:better. That too is a choice. A bad one. One I have paid for in weight gain and depression. But It is one I choose to make and no one else makes it for me. I choose to get stuck in holding a grudge against myself. In the words of one of my favorite female singers “Why do I do that?”.  But this is where it stops. I forgive me for a binge(yes, I am saying this audibly), and I will show it by choosing to eat healthier, make better food choices, not tomorrow, today.

But that wasn’t the biggest discovery. The biggest discovery came when about 5 minutes after saying those words out loud about the people who I felt so hurt by, I felt lighter. No.Lie. I felt like, a good 5 lbs lighter! and I realized: hey! this forgiveness thing… is working already!

Until next time,

Roxie 🙂

 

Advertisements

If you’re gonna Binge…At least! do it the right way.

greengrocers-gavilaPicture courtesy of Gavilla from Pixabay.com CC0 Public Domain

July 14. Oh this weight loss thing I call a “Journey” (it’s what I call learning my hair too…understanding my whole body has become a never ending “journey” I suppose) has taken me to so! many! places! And just when I think I’ve arrived at my destination, I am forced to pick up my bags and keep moving…cuz I ain’t there yet. That is especially true whenever I get on my high horse thinking I’ve conquered my food addiction. I can go for a long stretch feeling completely empowered and in control of my emotions and my so-called hunger ( I go into details about what that means in an earlier entry where I discuss how for me “hunger”isn’t always about food- but rather a false response to needing things not even in the genre of food, like needing to hear a friend or family member’s voice, or maybe needing a hug…). Then one day “out of the blue”: I’m not in control anymore. And sure, the reasons have been for an unending list of factors (I’m grown enough to admit are more often than not) all on me. I won’t go on forever but a few factors that can cause a “un (yeah, right) expected” binge are:1. After  feeling in control for a few weeks, I let my guard down and eat things that kill my “intuitive eating” signals (For me it’s usually anything in the grain and processed fats category).  Other times it’s just 2.stress, from any direction. Then other times it’s just plain 3.lying to myself that I can eat a food I know is a Binge trigger because “I’m over bingeing now” YES,THAT IS A LIE…I will always be in “recovery” but never “recovered. I’ve had to come to terms then, to this very undeniable truth, in my case. I WILL GIVE INTO A BINGE SOONER OR LATER.

So my tip for today, to myself, and to a few out there like me, is:

If you’re gonna binge… do it right, for Peter’s sake! First. Y’all must know this about me:  I am in noooo-OH! way advocating that giving into a food binge is ever “OK”. It really isn’t. But neither is a car accident. We still wear seatbelts don’t we? and If by encouraging me to wear a seat belt I’d interpret you to mean I should get into a car accident once in a while?…sure.You have the right to call me crazy. Same vein, I am advocating how I safely do what I may, unfortunately, experience at any time as a food addict, or any normal day, or what sneakingly starts out as one. So when it hits, I like to be prepared. Although, like a car accident, its much better to avoid a binge altogether.

So with that disclaimer. What do I mean by doing a Binge “right”?Well there isn’t anything technically “right” about a binge. But if it’s going to happen I will try to ALWAYS have the right foods in the pantry and fridge to lessen the impact and unwanted results from a Binge. My reality is: in my most desperate moments when I am trying to feed an insatiable “hunger”, or quiet an uncomfortable emotion that feels physically painful! I’ve given in and O.D’ed. I.E.Binged. Because my brain is beyond convinced that the answer is not in my husband’s touch or in my mama’s voice but for sure this time, eating is the cure!!!… on… Kettle chips? Nope I won’t buy ’em, I love em too much! Same ban on regular ice cream,  Peanut butter- even the organic kind ( I’ve tried them all, I love them all and I’m intolerant to them all. Plus, they’re too high in fat and mold anyway) is a no go either…. Sunflower seeds? Cashews…love ’em! Too addictive. Won’t bring those in the house anymore either.

So I binged on carrots. Yes.I said carrots. Like 8 big stalks of them. Because that is what I had in the fridge and it was colorful and crunchy so yup. I binged on carrots. Don’t laugh… OK… permission to laugh. Seriously though, I’ve cried myself to sleep because I couldn’t stop at one carrot! I use to believe that any lack of self-control was a failure. THAT IS STILL TRUE. But the difference between Roxie now and Roxie then is this: Accepting that failure: will happen. It is a moment in time but not who I am.

Repeat: A Failure WILL happen, but it is a moment in time, NOT who I am.

And in the end. I got a lot of needed vitamins for my binge.

The point is: I don’t do this every day(anymore). And it is the LEAST of the horrible things I can binge on. Which is why my Trick is: Keep the pantry and fridge stocked with BINGE Safe foods. Like Apples! bananas!  Cherries! Pineapple! Watermelon! blueberries! Strawberries! Jicama! Broccoli! Celery! Apricot! ( Try O.D’ing on those!!.. yeah well… I have. I’ll just say: not for the first time Binger!) and… Carrots!! Lots of ’em! And my eternal goal is never to stock my pantry with things that I should only eat in very little quantity or in rare moderation due to an intolerance or harmful ingredients, and definitely not things I’m allergic to. (And yes my husband has a shelf of all those things: My trick for that:Put those waaay far away and waaaay out of reach. Thankfully, my binge self likes more instant gratification, nothing I have to get a stool to reach.and my husband is a bit taller than I am.)

OK. Now. Rewind. The “unexpected” binge comes back. This time. I eat 5 Mangos. I try to go for a 6th but I’m full and my tongue feels all weird and sore from the acidity in the fruit. Nature has a very physical way of communicating when enough is enough. I’ve just never gotten that feeling with Donuts, until the entire 4,ooo calorie box is gone! Then I’m left feeling queasy, bloated and angry with the donuts, myself, the world. 5 medium size mangos? :1,000 calories max. And I’m not queasy, maybe a little bloated…but not very angry. True, I still believe calories matter. But I’ve learned when it comes to binges, the lesser of any evil -is the goal here. And if it’s a fruit or a veggie, it’s not even in the evil category ( unless you are allergic or intolerant,like I am to citrus and sigh, to my beloved bananas,moment of silence while I eat a banana).

Summary: So a Binge is never a good idea. But when (not if) it happens, my kitchen is wearing the safety belt: Lots of fresh fruits and veggies (no dip!)- washed and ready to eat. because when I’ve bulldozed through my pantry and fridge like an out of control 18 wheeler…at least it has a fighting chance at survival. And so do I.

No accidents here. #9 out of 9 Ways to Lose the STUPID lbs. :ON PURPOSE.

fruit lustrous pixabay cc0 Public Domain.jpgPhoto courtesy of Lustrous at Pixabay.com CC0 Public Domain

July 13. It’s uber clear from Tip #1-Tip #9 that purposeful weight loss takes a lot of concentrated effort at first. Yes… at first. I finally said it. I mean it too. No that doesn’t mean that it becomes less effort and more accidental…it become less concentrated effort. Oh I have many examples of what the difference is between the two to me. But just an example in my own life, when I learned at the age of 20-something how to play ping-pong…I broke out into a real aerobic sweat! It was like someone turned on the sauna and the treadmill on high under me simultaneously. You may laugh. But for me, whenever I learn something new that takes “concentrated” effort (skateboarding is still that way for me, boy do I sweat!) even if it’s not physically strenuous, I sweat. I guess I sweat from concentrating, quien sabe?! Whatever the cause, the point is, anything we do that takes effort, when we get better at it, we get over the learning curve and it will take less focused concentrated effort: OVER TIME. Eventually our bodies will signal to us  how it truly feels and what it really needs. and the answer won’t always be “food.NOW!!!”  or “MORE food NOW”.. we eventually become “experts” on bodies. We will feed it mindfully and healthfully. But that may take longer for me than for you. So!What! There is no race. It’s our bodies and only we determine how quickly we get to learn it. Here’s what I know though:  keeping good records on how i feel about why i eat and what i eat, as well as noting what makes ME turn to food at certain times more than others helps me get to “wonderland” more quickly (I’ve been there once or twice) and allows me to relax . A bit.
By “a bit” I mean not “too relaxed”. After 15 years of learning about my body and recording/logging my discoveries, when I allow myself to get too relaxed, I fall back into bingeing habits that make me miserable. “Too relaxed” means seeking instant gratification in food instead of long-term benefits of self-control and endurance. It means sitting on the couch eating a bag of popcorn when I’m stressed instead of going for a brisk run or jumping on the trampoline. Too relaxed Roxie is not who I want to be anymore.

In contrast, relaxed “a bit” Roxie, means trusting myself. To a limited degree I must trust myself enough to believe that even when I weaken in a binge, or stop working out for a while, I must believe that my fall is not permanent. I must believe that soon, before it’s too late and I am stuck in “miseryland” not knowing the way out, I have learned how to treat myself well again, for the long-term not for the instant gratification. It means believing that I have the knowledge and care enough about myself to want to move more and ultimately move forward. I will drink my water and eat fat(!) and enjoy my food, like I desire to do everything else in life: in moderation. In a Nutshell. This Tip # 9 epitomizes what it’s ALL about…

Tip.# 9: The Hokey Pokey.

Ok Not really…yeah yeah, sorry I had to do it.

TIP # 9:“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants”. 7 Simple words. They aren’t mine. It’s by author and healthy food expert Michael Pollan. They are poetic and at the same time, for a binger like me, almost insulting in their simplicity. If it’s so simple, then why isn’t it so… simple? I know why it isn’t for me. Because, it’s the old Roxie that didn’t know a calorie from carrot,who wants to creep back every so often, even though I am food wiser now, there is always a battle. But the battle feels easier over time, takes less concentrated effort. Only if we keep using and flexing our fight muscles. How? I Research like crazy healthy easy recipes, that I like to try. I  read articles (myfitnesspal.com, mindbodygreen.com) about how to eat healthier and how move more, when I lack desire and motivation. Sometimes I fail. I try again. In time it I believe it will feel less like of a fight. I won’t even break a sweat. It will in fact be just “how I roll”.  Still me. Just a healthier more determined me.

It’s been 15 years on my weight loss breakthrough/journey, and there are still: no accidents to weight loss on purpose. Period. I’m constantly determined to follow my own tip #9 above, so that even when I go crazy (read: binge). It’s within moderation. Next entry will be all about that.

Spoiler alert! Binge is also in its title.

Until next time…

Roxie

Day 1. Riding the Wave: Tips for weight loss and management…and a few tricks too.

My name is Roxie. I just turned 4o. Roxpiration365 is Daily inspiration I share to help myself and you stay determined and focused on being fit, healthy, positive, and REAL. Every day of the year, for the rest of our lives.
This blog is not meant to diagnose or prescribe any method or medicine. It is a record of my personal discovery and ongoing health journey. Maybe something in it will inspire you too.

post

July 4. This is day 1. My very first post. Why did I begin roxpiration365? I’ve prayed and stumbled on this journey for quite sometime and now I’m here. Nope not at “destination: Utopian life” but rather at the point where I turn the corner to a healthier, more fit, more determined self. And the way I plan to stay here is the only way I know how. To inspire others. To inspire you. To say to you what I need to hear everyday to keep motivated. Motivated to eat right, to workout, to stay inspired and to be a positive influence on at least one other person, besides myself. This morning I chose you. Who will you choose? No pressure though 😉 I ask you only to pass on the inspiration to someone else that might need it because I know how good it feels. But only when you are ready. Like I am right now. I promise you this…passing on inspiration: feels AMAZING.

My inspiration tip for today: Ride the Wave. It really is the theme of this blog. Our life is like a wave. It ebbs and tides. We struggle, we sail or float. Sometimes we feel like we are drowning. But we are not. Not if you are reading this post. You as alive as I am. And if you got past paragraph 1, you don’t just want be alive. Like myself, you want to THRIVE! and so do I. That is why I wrote this blog. Riding the wave means even when you feel like drowning you look for something…anything! to keep you inspired, motivated to keep going. For me I find my weight lost inspiration in past journals that I kept where I wrote down the keys to my past success. I will share those too on this blog. I will also share my failures, but I wont dwell on them. Only to keep it real, and to prove that failure doesn’t mean drowning it means sucking in a little water but still getting above it and riding the wave again. So how do we ride the wave?

1. Find your inspiration: From ANYWHERE. Scriptures, past journals, health books, you tube videos ( google inspirational videos, people last night I stumbled upon an awesome you tube video about 2 amazing people, I recommend googling them: Michaela de Pierce and another was Sam Berns. I said after watching them both, I’d never complain again. Probably not true, but they inspired me enough to come up for air and see the light again.

2. Ask yourself one question: “Am I happy right now? If not why not?” Sometimes to be happier, it works to name the thing that makes us unhappy. For me it’s often feeling guilty that I’ve gained weight. Again. Which makes me feel out of control.Again. So for me it’s about regaining control. That’s where the critical number 3 takes shape.

3. Breathe and wait. Don’t lose the present. I’m often so busy thinking about what I should be doing next, that I forget to enjoy the now. That includes when I am eating. So often I am eating while standing up, while doing the dishes, or emailing…I’m not in the present, I don’t even enjoy the meal, truthfully, I can barely taste it! I’m not focused on the pleasure I derive from eating, then I wonder why I am hungry again 15 minutes after dinner. Has that happened to you? Here is what I’m learning: Don’t lose the present.  Enjoy your food. and secondly. Wait. Don’t postpone gratification but replace it. What? Replace it with what? you ask?… OK. Let me explain. At times we think we need food NOW. But what are we reeeeally hungry for? Is it the food or the feeling the food can bring. This is a BIG one for me and one I will flush out in a future blog. But briefly I’ll explain it here:  I mean can you WAIT IT OUT? wait to eat until you are ABSOLUTELY sure what you are hungry for. Sometimes I’ve surprised myself and found the answer to “What am I really hungry for?” and I’ve heard my inner voice respond ” You need a hug” …Say what?! (That’s me talking back to my inner voice). Other times I’ve asked myself “What are you really hungry for?” and the answer comes back “I miss my sister”. Crazy but true. It’s not food at all that I need. It’s a feeling or an emotion like missing someone or needing something -not at all related to food! Sometimes I need to hear a family member’s voice but at first I really really believe that I wanted- needed!- a AB ( Almond butter, I’m allergic to peanuts) sandwich. Even though I just finished dinner 15 minutes earlier.  Again it’s crazy but I’m telling the truth. Try it. Let me know if it happens to you. If indeed you find the answer is “I really want a AB sandwich” when in reality you aren’t physically hungry because you just ate a full meal. Can you postpone the AB sandwich for a half hour? If so, You are doing it: you are building amazing self-control.  You are riding the wave. You may not succeed all the time and you may not remember to do it every time ( I’ll be honest, I don’t always remember either) but when you do! Let me warn you: You’ll scare yourself from how much stronger you feel, and much more in control of this little gift you’ve been given called : your life. And  with this small act of “Waiting- out- the -instant- gratification- although-I-feel- like- a -2 -year- old- that -will- die!-if -I -don’t -get- what- I want-NOW- feeling” is really huge ripple strengthening effect: that WILL add up over time. You wont die, first of all. In fact, You’re mental strength WILL increase and you WILL inevitably lose weight because you will be able to postpone overeating or the junk food pleasures, longer and longer until you convince yourself, you don’t need it at all. I call it:out thinking my brain.

Let me know if and how long it works for you. Ask me any questions you can think of and I’ll direct you to the experts I’ve learned from. Re-read this post as often as you need to.  I’ll be here all day and tomorrow too.

Roxie