Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Learning Discipline

Yesterday I ate so much food that I threw up.  This has never happened to me before.  I've been sick from food poisoning, food allergies, stomach bugs and alcohol but never from stuffing myself.  

I have been very good about making healthier choices when I go out to eat and not giving in to all of my cravings.  If I'm stuck getting fast food when I'm traveling I get the burger or the fries, not both.  I pack healthy snacks into a cooler and keep them in my car so that between meals I won't be tempted by Dunkin Donuts and other highway evils.  I eat a lot less than I used to and notice that I get full quicker. But yesterday was a long day.  

After my second day out of town I was tired of having salad for lunch and steamed broccoli instead of french fries with dinner.  I wanted to get a refill on my drinks rather than just drinking my one lemonade and then water.  I had survived a rough stretch of days and I wanted to reward myself rather than deprive myself.  

So I went through the Dunkin Donuts drive thru and ordered a breakfast sandwich, a donut and a coolata.  I'll admit everything was pretty delicious but also painfully rich compared to what I've been eating.  Then when I got home we picked up Mexican food.  My husband asked me if I was hungry.  I wasn't but I liked the idea of a delicious quesadilla so I said yes.  I couldn't think of the last time I had a quesadilla from a restaurant.  The gluten free, low fat quesadillas that I make at home are good but not nearly as satisfying.    

Halfway through the quesadilla I felt full but I kept eating anyway.  After a couple more bites I felt a strong urge to throw up.  I ran to the bathroom and the quesadilla reappeared.  I am ashamed of myself for not listening to my body.  For rewarding myself with unhealthy food.  For lacking the discipline to make healthier choices. But I am also kind of proud of myself.  The old me could have eaten 2 quesadillas in one sitting without blinking an eye.  

Eating smaller portions and healthier food has changed my stomach.  I couldn't gorge myself if I tried.  My body just won't let me.  That in itself is proof of my progress (in a sort of backwards, way I know).  So this morning I'm drinking my high protein smoothie and heading off to yoga to recenter myself and get back on track.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Finding a Happy Diet Place

During the past few weeks I have gained back most of the weight that I lost this year.  It's hard not to beat myself up for this.  Yes, I could have made better food choices when I was on vacation.  Yes, it is unreasonable to expect to maintain my weight when I spend a week sick in bed after a week traveling.  Yes, some of the weight will come off once I get back into my routine.  Yes, there is still a lot that I need to work on.

I have been struggling with severe IBS since my late 20's.  I have had limited success with gluten and dairy free diets but I have not stuck to anything long term. I have made a lot of changes to my diet but I still have a long way to go.   If my digestive system were more predictable I would feel better over all.  All the science in the world shows that losing just a little weight will lead to improvements in almost every area of my life from sleep to physical endurance to joint pain and injury.  

I have tried different diet plans hoping to find a silver bullet that would fix everything with minimal effort from me.  The reality is that I have picked up great things from every plan that I have tried but haven't committed to real change.  The moment a couple pounds come off I get comfortable and slowly slip back into my old ways.  I have nothing bad to say about any of the diet plans.  If my mind were in the right place, any of them could have put me on the right path.

With Nutri System I learned portion control.  I didn't have to eat an entire burger to feel satisfied.  No one was going to gawk at me for taking half of my food home from a restaurant.  Eating mail order food for the rest of my life isn't realistic but having all my meals and snacks prepared ahead of time was huge for me.

Weight Watchers taught me that there was a price for the high calorie foods that I loved.  The point values made it clear that a 5 point splurge at lunch wasn't worth it if I didn't have enough points left for dinner.  No eating all the veggies you want isn't exactly exciting but it's easier to choke down those veggies if you're saving those points for a bowl of ice cream later.

The 3-1-2-1 diet taught me about eating foods in the right combination to feel satisfied and have better energy during the day.  It also made it easier to behave when I knew cheat days were coming every 2-3 days.  Not feeling sluggish after a meal or bloated during a workout should have been enough incentive to maintain this plan long term.  

I saw a nutritionist for a while who taught me about portion control and eating the right things to support my body after a hard workout.  I was making meals and serving my husband and I the same amount even though we are no where near the same height and weight.  I was also rewarding myself after a workout with a lot more calories than I had burned.

I saw a holistic doctor who reviewed my medical history and recommended that I try gluten or dairy free diets.  I learned that I have sensitivities to both.  Nothing as significant as someone with Celiac's disease but I have permanently replaced some of my staples with dairy and gluten free products.  I can still eat some of the foods that I love but when I overindulge I pay for it.

Yesterday I started The 21 day tummy from Reader's Digest.  I am trying to reduce my dependence on prescription medicine and supplements and have a healthier gut.  I am also trying to get down to a healthy weight and maintain that weight.

I planned all my meals and snacks for the week.  I went grocery shopping.  I separated all my meals and snacks into ziploc bags and rubber maid containers.   I know what I should order from restaurants.  I will not use work meetings and my weekend trip as excuses to binge eat.  I will have non-food rewards to celebrate my successes.  I will continue to employ time and stress management practices.  I don't think I will ever completely separate myself from emotional eating but I can get a better handle on things.  

A Month Later and Still Learning

Almost one month into the my rebirth and I'm starting to struggle a little.  After taking the planned 2 weeks off of fitness I came down with a bad case of bronchitis which resulted in another week off.  I was pretty angry at my body since it feels like I always get sick at the wrong time (like there is ever a right time to be sick).  But in reality my week in Europe wasn't much of a week off since I was walking constantly and cramming myself into tight airplane seats.  My body needed another week of rest and since I wasn't going to take it otherwise my immune system decided to give me a push.

I was a little disappointed in myself for not working on new choreography during my time off.  But, realistically, I wasn't well enough to get it done for a third of the time and I was on vacation for another third of the time.  I did manage to schedule new choreography into my first week back to work and felt like my energy in my classes was great as a result.  The combination of taking so much time off and feeling confident in my choreography was huge for me.  Yes my students missed me but they were still there when I got back.  I have stood in for instructors who were out for 6 weeks due to surgery/pregnancy.  When they came back their people hadn't forgotten them.  I'm not sure why I thought this would happen to me. It's all that negative self talk that I'm trying to stop doing.

I did attend a time organization seminar.  It was all about managing multiple priorities and dealing with stress.  It is a seminar that I selected that my employer paid for me to attend.  The contents of the seminar were perfect for someone like me who sets their own schedule and can easily get derailed.  Between work, fitness, hobbies and family I often get stressed out because I don't feel like I have time to get anything done.  The reality is that I have plenty of time.   I just don't know how to manage it properly.  This seminar was great for me.  It was the perfect reminder than I can dictate what I do for my job and that I need to do that more often.  

Sunday night I got the best night of sleep that I have had in months.  I had prepped my meals, organized my fitness bag and planned out my day.  I stretched and meditated.  I reflected in my journal.  I took melatonin and read a book with a clear head and fell asleep without struggle.  I slept through the night until my alarm when off and woke up feeling good for a change. 

Of course I didn't do this last night because I let my day get off track.  Last night I tossed and turned, sleeping for short periods of time but mostly staring at the ceiling and trying unsuccessfully to clear my mind.  Part of me wants to blame my husband for working late or a work project that I had to complete but the reality is that I knew about both of these things well in advance and should have planned my day around them.   I'd like to think that I have learned my lesson and will get back on it tonight...