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 🙂

 

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It’s Not how I Start, It’s how…

 

road-start finish geralt -pixabay

July 22. A Reflection…

Today. I am 10 lbs lighter than I was a month ago. After being tired! and frustrated! with myself for putting on 10 lbs without blinking, feeling lost as to how I let myself “get here again”. Well. It’s NOT how you START. It’s how you FINISH. I’ve been doing a mostly fruit and veggie smoothie week (with 2-3 hours between meals to allow my food to fully digest from the previous meal). That means: 2-4 meals are smoothies in the day and 1 is a “regular” chewing food meal (preferably supper), and LOTS of water.

Why am I so content? I’ve gained my self-control back. I feel fuller and mentally sharper. I’m exercising 2-3 days a week, and  I’m feeling stronger, both physically and mentally.

I’m doing this not because I’m following someone else’s “plan” but instead, because I told myself this is what I will do to get back on track.This is for me to me: I’m trying to honor self promises. I am learning that’s one of the first steps to success.

 

5 Steps to finding peace with food again

July  15. Just like your secret amazing one pot recipe has the same fabulous ingredients you prefer not to share. So does weight loss. The only thing changes is the date but the method stays the same. Most of us have succeeded, maybe for a week, but we’ve succeeded!- at weight loss. The question was, “Can I maintain this same lifestyle for the rest of my life to keep the weight off?” That is the real success. isn’t it? Here is what I do when I need to get back to what works. And stay there:

  1. Eat real food first, before thinking of eating something from a bag or a can or a jar ( I’m including my favorite un-health food: nut butters here). If I’m hungry I will ask myself first: What are you hungry for? …What fruit do you want? Oh no? OK what veggie do you want? how should you prepare it? What seasoning will you use? What 3 ingredient smoothie do you want?…these questions help me do the right thing for my body before I hurt the poor soul.

  2. Drink my water. At least half my bodyweight in ounces. Not all in one shot though.

  3. Talk to a friend or journal about my stress!-instead of “eat” it away.

  4. Try and exercise for 30 minutes or more a day, 3-5x a week to help manage stress and stay limber.

  5.  When I learn something works, write it down! Great food or smoothie combo: Write it dow-n! like I once discovered eating chopped carrots and salsa filled me up and gave me the same crunch satisfaction as chips and salsa but at 35 calories vs 160 by ditching the corn chips so YAY-YUH,Whoohoo!!!

This is not magic. Obviously. It all takes time, patience, and discipline. But what is gained is the knowledge, self-control and a peace that no one can take away from me. Except for me.

Until next time,

Roxie 🙂

 

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

No Accidents here.#6 OUT OF 9 WAYS TO LOSE THE STUPID LBS.: ON PURPOSE.

 

JULY 11. I hate accidents. Like falling off of my skateboard, or spilling hot chocolate on my white blouse. But some accidents can be beautiful, say, ending up at a really cool organic coffee cafe because my favorite shut down unexpectedly, running into a friend because I walked a different street home. Losing weight shouldn’t be a beautiful accident though. Because unfortunately, such accidents lead to not so beautiful: disappointment. If it’s by accident, there is nothing definable to trace the source of the success. What did I eat that made me feel so good? How did I lose the weight in a week, that I’ve been trying all month to lose? Why are my jeans loser? Why are my jeans tighter? Why do I have so much more energy today? These should have traceable! definitive! answers. Collecting scientific like “data” on ourselves can be both educational and!!! remarkably life / game changing. We become experts on our bodies and what makes us tick! How cool is that! How cool is that? Sounds boring right?  Let me start by singing the praises of an App that has helped me see my calories and eating in a beautifully new way ( And Nope, I’m not getting paid a dime for the accolades sung here about this amazing app!).

Pure Purposeful Weight loss comes from knowing the facts! and shoot…it’s even FUN!

If someone had asked me years ago: How tall are you? I’d say 5’6. If they asked: How many showers did you take so far today”: “1”.What did you eat for breakfast? They ask. I might’ve answered “Bowl of oatmeal and 2 eggs”  But if they asked me: “About how much oatmeal did you eat, was it a cup?… a half cup?”.. My answer would’ve been “I dunno” “How much protein in those eggs?” Silence. How much do you weigh?

:Dead Silence.

But If they asked me how much weight do you WANT to lose: I would’ve said without hesitating “Oh about 40 or 50 lbs”( I was actually closer to 75 lbs overweight).

How is it that there is a great disconnect between what we WANT and what we need to do to get there? Well, cease and desist. Disconnect no more. How much do I weight? Check! How much do I want to weigh? Check.Check. How many calories, protein, carbs-and the beloved- fat! do I need daily to get to my goal weight and (once you reset your current weight it will tell you how to) STAY there? Triple Check! = My Fitness Pal.

Please try this app. It’s as simple as typing what I eat and it does the rest, including surprising cheerleading notifications when I have hit a calorie or fitness goal I  didn’t even realize I hit! How’s THAT for real motivation! The other bonus, it doesn’t praise you for eating UNDER your calorie goal. So there is no way of becoming obsessed with eating so little you “starve” yourself.  It’s losing weight the healthy way, that yes, can even include: Eating! :O

Tips for Using Myfitnesspal.com (or honestly any calorie counter equivalent we fall or have fallen in love with):

  1. Even when tired,log. I may have to do it later but then it’s harder to remember what I ate. I am always happier when I log right away. After awhile, I began to use my obssessive qualities to turn it into a game!Yes, crazy but it became fun. ‘Let’s see how close I get to my weight loss goal today!! Did I beat yesterday? YAAAY!….’

  2. Use what’s already there. There are THOUSANDS of entries already in the app. Usually what I think is an obscure food brand. or “never visited by anyone else but me and my spouse” restaurant, is surprisingly, already in the app, along with the strange menu item I thought only I would think to order – “Chipotle restaurant salad bowl- no rice, beans, cheese,sour cream or guac- ” What? it’s already in the app!! really?! -So obviously, it’s a fitness app and I’m not the only”weird” one skipping the the heavier options! LOVE IT).

3. Use and overuse the Blog. There is a blog in the app called “HELLO HEALTHY” that has Years worth of  REAL helpful tips. And by REAL I meant not cliché, “lose 5 lbs fast” tips. But even information that makes good common sense but opposite of what I’ve heard from many nutritionist in the years of health magazines and books I’ve read. Ironically? I have often read in the “Hello Healthy” blog comments about certain food combinations and effects  that I had already experienced were true for me! crazy how that works sometimes?

Lastly, it has a long wonderful list of practical easy go to recipes, if you are learning how to cook healthy for the first time and you are short on time. I can’t praise it enough.

4.TRUST. If it works for 3 days, try it for a week…then two…then longer…If you are afraid of commitment the beauty of it is -there is none. But it WILL work and it HAS worked for me, even when I use it for a few days, got lazy, dropped it, gained weight, used it, lost the weight, dropped it, repeat, repeat. My point is, when I use it, it works whether it’s for 3 days or 3 years. It WORKS!!! Of course, the key is: with use.  And Of course! respect of the calories!

Bottom line: Try My fitness Pal (or it’s equivelant). Can’t hurt.

No accidents here: 2 out of 9 ways to lose those stupid lbs: On Purpose

potatoes July 6Photo courtesy of  Creative Commons CC0 at Pixabay.com

July 6. So If you have heard this before you’re not alone “I don’t know how I lost the weight, it just started coming off”. When I hear it, I think one of two things “Are you physically ill and need to see a Doctor?” or,  well…”Are you physically ill, and need to see a Doctor?”

Trust me I use to say “Please tell me your secret!!!” But In the last 30 years or more struggling to win the battle of my own 70 lb weight loss …I have learned this undeniable truth: When you are overweight, as I was, losing weight, unless you have a medical condition, doesn’t happen by accident. It comes from focused, concentrated effort. I’d like to repeat that…it’s pretty key: If you are overweight, losing weight does NOT happen by accident. It comes from focused, concentrated EFFORT. It makes me mad to believe it. Madder to accept it. But once I came to terms -here’s another undeniable truth I’ve learned:

LOSING EXTRA WEIGHT ON PURPOSE-IS SWEETER AND MORE REWARDING THAN ANYTHING I’VE EVER EATEN TO “FEEL BETTER” (if you have been there before, do you remember the feeling of losing the extra lbs after many “long” months of skipping out on the  social eating, the “junk food” and  the “splurges” to hit the gym and eat a salad instead? Do you remember the sweet taste of victory you enjoyed?  maybe it was short lived…but you LIVED IT! and yeah…yeah it was sweet!!… hold on to that memory for the duration of this reading…if you haven’t had it yet, use your imagination and trust that it’s better that it feels even more fulfilling and victorious than that. I’ve been there)

Here are 2 TIPS, from experience, TO ARRIVING OR GETTING BACK TO YOUR  GOAL WEIGHT “Wonderland” …ON PURPOSE.

 ( and one very personal BONUS tip for those of you, like me, who thrive on …Bonus tips;) )…

#1: Wean yourself gradually off of 3 big meals a day. For me it meant one full “meal” ( you know the veggie, carb and protein combination you see on the “perfect plate” image in health magazines). The other two meals were more like “snack size”. But more than the size of your plate, what’s on it matters even more. Here’s a hint for the next one…It’s calories.

#2 Calories, watch ’em. Yup. I’d be the first to want to poopoo my own message here, but experience has taught me: Focused weight loss means consuming less calories than you burn in a day. There’s a lot of intricate science out there that explains how every individual burns a different number of calories when resting due to metabolism etc. And most of it is true. But without having to understand it all you can follow a very simple principle using one of a list of websites  that will actually calculate for you how many calories you need to consume in order to lose weight. Yayuh! Hey, I appreciate every last bit of help I can get in the struggle, so I don’t have to figure it out myself. Just follow the steps- it will do the rest, well, eating less calories is still up to us. But knowledge my friend is OH so powerful! and it starts with asking this simple question: ” how many calories do I need to consume to shed this unwanted weight?”. Here’s two sites I highly recommend that will supply the answer very simply for you : http://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator and my all time fave (Clue to next tip…) : https://www.myfitnesspal.com/

But, it’s not just about the calories either. Of course. We’ll address that in the tip list to follow…

 

Ah! My BONUS TIP: It’s so simple it’s the hardest one of ALL:

#BONUS: BE!LIEVE! Believe that you will lose the weight and tell yourself that you can and you are losing weight.  ( even if it feels like a lie…I know, but it’s not a lie. It is a fact and will become a fact if you trust it. The most important part? is that it WORKS) Our mind is the most powerful weapon to fight the battle of weight loss…yeah, sometimes it wins the battle over me  too…but the WAR (pause for it!…) is never over.

Stay with me, as I will continue to share my personal tips that I’ve used to lose weight on purpose, more throughout the week. They are all interrelated. but I’ve learned most of us-read:ME- can only handle a few small life changes at once. So we’ll work together at this, poco a poco…litle by little…we we’ll get there together…bit by bit. Until we meet again…

Roxie 🙂