Treats for Me!

I bought the one in the upper right hand corner. I took this picture from their facebook. I hope they don’t mind.

My emotional attachment to food sometimes hits me in the smallest and most rare ways sometimes. I live only about three blocks from Reading Terminal Market. It is filled with delicacies and some of the best food in Philadelphia. If I stayed there a week- eating all day- I couldn’t eat all of the deliciousness there. It is number four on trip advisors best restaurants, and one of the restaurants – a donut shop – is number one. That shop, Beiler’s Bakery, is the first place I went Thursday.

“Oh, no Danielle! Don’t eat donuts,” you say.

I give you a discerning look.

“Donut’s are fattening and you are trying to lose weight,” you gently remind me.

If anyone said that to me a year ago, I would have said, “Whatever.” Then I would have gone back to Beiler’s and eaten a box of twelve in self deluded retaliation. However, I understand certain things about myself that I didn’t before. Losing weight can’t be about deprivation for me, more like allocation. I need to be able to eat a donut if I want, especially the apparent best donuts on the planet. In other words, if I say no donuts to myself eventually I will be down at that counter ordering up as many as I can afford. Last time I bought donuts a couple of months ago, I bought at least three for myself. Thursday I went to Beiler’s and ordered one, only one. I took it and a coffee and sat down at a metal table and took about thirty minutes enjoying it. Bite by bite I savored it and my surroundings. The fact that I didn’t go back and order two more is the success. I also remember it’s richness as well, and don’t believe I will need another one any time soon.

The Magic Elixer

Small decadent treats I believe are going to be my secret weapon in the battle of the bulge. In this spirit I bought another treat on my shopping trip. Along with the wise vegetables and meats in my cooler, a very special honey rolled home with me. When I was little, my Grandma used to serve this type of honey with breakfast. It is the raw light honey that you can spread over toast. I have bought it since, and time and time again it has turned out not to be the honey I remembered. Either it wasn’t sweet in the right way or it was so hard I couldn’t spread it. Finally at the market I found it. This morning for breakfast I tried it finally. I had made a frittata and cut up fruit (very healthy.) Then to add the finishing touches on our leisurely Saturday morning, we had a nice whole wheat toast with the holy grail of honey. As I bit into the pale golden elixir, I was transported back to the round hard table in my grandma’s kitchen, looking at her sweet rosy face and kind blue eyes. The electric coffee pot is gurgling in the corner, when I remember watching my Grandpa break up his poached eggs with his fork. Each bite solidified those memories down to the smell of the bacon left over on the stove.

This honey, while not great for my waist line, has brought me back to one of the most pleasant memories I have. While not probably the most scientific of theories, I believe a small treat now and again will really go a long way towards not feeling like I am depriving myself. I also believe it will provide normalcy to this new life where I am eating differently and overhauling my entire life. A spoon full of sugar…

We Need A Different Way Of Seeing Things

These two pictures were taken within two weeks of each other, neither photo shopped.  I was the same weight in both.
These two pictures were taken within two weeks of each other, neither photo shopped. I was the same weight in both.

I started this blog because I got tired of hearing how easy losing weight is. I got sick of hearing, “I lost weight like this and you can too!” This is typically accompanied by a picture of the happy smaller person in some sort of tight clothing, next to one when they weighed their worst. The worst picture is always of the person wearing something unfortunate and usually sitting down so their rolls are perfectly blatant or chin down, double chin emphasized. A picture like that could bring one to their senses and start a weight loss journey.

However, what really upsets me is the myth that is perpetrated by the media that weight loss is easy. If I did it this way– you can too. This is not true. In the most basic sense, yes, it is possible to lose weight a myriad of ways. It’s possible, but highly unlikely. It is even more unlikely that I will lose the weight the exact way anyone else has lost it. Everything I do, from waking up in the morning, to talking to my husband is different from anyone else. The most essential and basic relationship is the one with sustenance, and it’s a personal one. Not even my siblings like the same things or eat the same things I do and we are essentially genetically as close to one another as can be. We each have different emotional responses to food, exercise and will power. My own mother approaches food differently than I do, yet, the one stop shop method of weight loss is peddled from every media outlet possible.

One thing sadly missing from most weight loss programs or ideas is the emotional component. It seems blatantly ignored. If you look at other programs for addiction they deal with the emotional component. They ask questions like: How do you deal with stress, how can you get support, why do you use this addiction to cope, and how does your addiction affect the ones you love?

Here is the support food addicts get, jewels like: calories in/ calories out, eat less / exercise more, and nothing tastes better than skinny feels. The simplicity galls me.

What is worse is that over simplification can make failure all the more disappointing. By making weight loss seem easy then it makes it even harder not to internalize self hatred and pain. The fallacy perpetrated by most weight loss companies, that anyone can do their programs, does more harm than good.

For me, I didn’t realize how hard it could be until I had failed many times.  Each time I failed at a diet attempt or exercise venture, I would go into a deep guilt and binge for days. I am sure I am not the only one who didn’t realize that weight loss is a lifelong goal, and a very difficult one. No one admits they were deluded into believing that they could lose weight easily. I would say we are all patsy’s of the weight loss community. If you look at the statistics, you can see two thirds of Americans are overweight, I think that something is wrong with the system. There is a multimillion dollar industry out there, and it isn’t helping as much as we’d think. I believe the problem is the misconception that it is easy.

I want to show that losing weight and getting healthy is not easy. To weight loss professionals and to companies who provide weight loss assistance, I would like to offer this advice: don’t trivialize weight loss. If you want to be helpful, acknowledge the struggle it takes to change an entire lifestyle. Let those people, who do accomplish this great thing for their bodies, be even more proud because society could finally realize the difficulty. Even more, allow people who are having trouble losing weight be kinder to themselves so that it is easier to get back on a healthier path. Studies I’ve read show confidence and self esteem is an important factor in weight loss. It is time that as a society we started to work towards that goal instead of against it.

The Big Mistake I Keep Making

Roasted Asparagus

If you haven’t roasted asparagus in the oven, do it now! Little olive oil, salt and pepper, for fifteen minutes, YUM!

I can’t stress this enough in my head and to my soul, falling off the wagon makes it so hard to get back on. I have to keep telling myself this. This is like a trap door that I keep forgetting is there. I walk across it every time. I feel foolish afterwards, I have bruises and scratches and for a while remember but then a month later, I am tricked by its allure again. I go walking that way and woops.

Here is what I think makes it even harder. If you feed yourself Taco Time nachos, crisp meat burrito, and a large mexi-fry one night and then the next night you try to feed it a chicken thigh and some asparagus, your tummy is saying WTF where is all that food I had last night. I am still farting it out to make room for all the food I was promised today.

Yes, this is a true life example. I had a really urgent craving for nachos and so we fell off the wagon. I super gorged on Taco Time, which was lovely for the thirty minutes it took to eat it. The tough part too, is after a major binge like that, the next day your tummy isn’t happy, especially when you binge on Mexican food. So for the next eighteen or so hours I felt lethargic, bloat-y, and tired. I can’t tell you how upset my tummy was because I want to not be indelicate. Let’s just say I spent a lot of time in the restroom and leave it at that. Just when I have flushed out the last of it, it seemed, it was dinner time again.

So exhausted from my body trying to get rid of the evidence I sit down to dinner with the hubby. He made delicious chicken thighs with roasted tomatoes and oven roasted asparagus. We sat down and ate together, and I have been trying to eat more slowly, but when it was over I was still hungry. I thought I will give it thirty minutes, like those diet people say to do. Nope, I was still hungry. Brad and I had some popcorn, still hungry. I was hungry until I went to sleep but had eaten my points and had to take it. I needed to re-shrink my tummy. I knew it had to be done.

I do it to myself sometimes. In the sixth month of this my life change I am realizing how bad it truly is to eat so much in one sitting. Brad even said when he went to bed how hard it was to retrain your tummy after gorging on tacos. I can’t do it again to myself. I need to not fall back on those habits. If I crave nachos, I will just eat nachos. I will put them in as points too. That night I let myself get off the reservation and paid for it the whole next day. Never again I cry with my fist in the air!!! Never will I ever allow myself to be allured by the smell of tasty food, and gorge myself. I will stick to the diet or it will make it worse for me. I hope I have learned my lesson.

status update

I started the antidepressants last Monday. They say that it will take a month for me to fully feel the results, but I can tell you that it has been a trial getting through this week. The first part of the week I was tired, so much that by the evening when I talked it sounded like I was drunk. It made me extremely drowsy. My mind felt like it was swimming through soup to get anything accomplished, but my body is getting used to it so about Wednesday I started to feel better, more aware. However, I still am having trouble getting out of bed. I slept almost 9 hours last night and didn’t want to wake when I finally did. I think they are slightly affecting my appetite. There is a bonus. I am not eating as much. I have felt this past week that my mouth was smaller than usual. Weird right. Also if I over indulge it makes me feel like throwing up. I will say this is the biggest plus from that: I haven’t cried once.

No smoking is going pretty good. I have only been smoking about 3 smokes a week. I don’t know why I am even doing that. I am starting to hate this smell, which I think is common to all reformed smokers so that is making me feel confident in my ability to finally quit. I know there are so many benefits to quitting. My Doctor said my circulation will get better, I will have less ear infections, I won’t stink, I will breathe better, and my husband will be really happy! He thinks that the antidepressants are the key to me finally quitting for good. That is probably helpful, as I have said before, I have tried almost everything. I am at the point were I have no choice. I have backed myself in a corner on purpose. I have told all my family and friends. I have showed confidence, and I am determined. It is a slow process.

I am still in the no smoking part of my get healthy project, which I am giving myself time and patience for, but my husband and I were talking about food last night. We have decided to start looking for ways to get out 5-9 fruits and veggies everyday. We decided rather than start with restricting each other since I am quitting smoking, we will try and add more nutrients to our diet. It might make a fun little game. I also have a goal of looking for other protein resources other than animal proteins because I seriously need them. Especially in my snacks through out the day. Anyone have any ideas?