Feb 19, 2010

Why am I Ravenous?

It's almost lunchtime, and I have been chomping at the bit to eat since about ten o'clock. In fact, I don't think I'll be able to write all this until after I get some food in my belly. For now though, I'm thinking: why the heck do I feel this way right now? My first inclination was emotions. Sometimes a particular day will have me feeling down, and I want to quell that feeling with fatty and huge quantities of food. I thought about this though, and unlike in my past, I'm actually able to assess my self now. I know that I'm not feeling down. It's Friday, I had a great breakfast, and I feel like I have some direction and purpose today.

I've thought of two facts that may have led me to this feeling this morning:
1. I ate mostly carbs last night
2. I had no coffee this morning

Now I am back from lunch, where I did my best to eat right, but DAMN I was hungry. I went to Wendy's. Had a fish sandwich--no added cheese this time--and a Caesar side salad. I splurged by actually eating the croutons. They're not too bad, but none are as good as Bryan's home-made croutons dripping with olive oil. It was very hard to leave there without a pack of fries, a baked potato, or a frosty, but I managed.

So, lack of coffee probably had an effect on me this morning, but I'm hesitant to point to it as the main culprit. Yes, coffee gives me a bit of an appetite suppressant in the morning, delaying my need for breakfast for awhile. Coffee also makes me happy, which probably causes me to not feel like eating emotionally. These are all good reasons, but I just don't like the idea of coffee controlling me. Also, it's slightly depressing to remember this morning, coffee-less. It was sad.

On to the carb issue last night. At 5:30 I was headed back to work to take a quiz online, and told myself that I couldn't funciton without something to eat, and God help me if I had to have another friggin granola bar when all I wanted was something savory. Thus, I stopped at Tudor's and got pinto beans and cornbread. In itself, not horrible for me. Beans are good, cornbread not so much.

When I got home though, Bryan had ordered an extra special delicious (and slightly more nutritious) pizza, so I had to partake. I had 2 slices of Domino's new (and really great) pizza with: no sauce, chicken, spinach, and red peppers. It was great. Very salty and wonderful.

When the kids were in bed, I shouldn't have, but I rewarded myself with a stupid cupcake. Five days old and slightly smooshed, it lacked luster and I knew it would. I devoured it anyway. So goes the life of a sweets addict. Later, Bryan brought out the fancy chocolates, which I have told myself EVERY night are not really that delicious to me. They're too blah, and nothing like a good old fashioned Reese's egg. Still, I ate 3. Chocolates are wicked; 3 of them are like 175 calories.

So, last night was carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Carbs are like the crack of food. They suck you in, you consume 10x more than you meant to, and a few hours later they are begging you for company from their tiny graves in your stomach. (There are "good" carbs, of course, but pizza, old cupcakes and crappy chocolate do not qualify).

Today's lesson learned: Fill my belly with vegetables, low-fat proteins, not too much fat, and only reasonable kinds and amounts of carbs. Gotcha!

I'm on to my repeat of Week 4 Day 3 of Couch to 5k training this afternoon. I am going to rock it today. It's going to be one of those days where nothing can stop me.

Feb 16, 2010

Maintaining, in the Stages of Changes form of the word

Well, it’s been over two weeks now since I’ve created a blog entry. Two more weeks of plugging away at this new lifestyle, getting used to it. In one of my classes this semester, I’m learning about the theory of behavioral change called “Stages of Change,” and it’s interesting to see that I’ve been going through these stages unbeknownst to myself, and I have fit each one pretty well. The theory is usually applied to health behaviors like smoking, eating badly, not exercising, and doing drugs. These are the “negative health behaviors,” and the change is how close a person is to ending the behavior for good.

The Stages of Change basically start out with precontemplation, where the person is not considering changing in the next 6 months. They are pretty resistant to the thought of it, and/or are unaware of the health benefits of change, and likewise the health consequences of what they’ve been doing. When a person moves on to contemplation, they are considering making the change in the next 6 months. Then they go into preparation, then action (when they actually stop doing the behavior), then 6 months later move into maintenance.

I had basically been stuck in contemplation for several years before I moved on to action. When I was pregnant with Zene, especially, I said the whole time that as soon as he was out (at which time I would be pretty certain I wasn’t having any more babies), I would start eating right and exercising. I talked it up pretty big to myself the whole pregnancy, thinking that would make me really do it when the time came. Well, the time came and went, and I didn’t do anything. Couldn’t find time to exercise; fatty and huge quantities of food tasted better to me than the alternative.

The whole time though, I was contemplating… I had done strange little things, like I decided I would no longer buy bigger t-shirts. At first, I was just saying “I won’t move to 2XL. I will not be a person who has to wear 2XL, ever." So, I didn’t. And even though I didn’t lose any weight, I soon told myself I was no longer buying XL t-shirts either. I would buy Large shirts, and they didn’t fit me very well, but my thought was that I would eventually shrink into them. If I didn’t, I could at least be showing off my huge fatty guns, back, and belly, and in some way be proud of them. I didn’t want to be ashamed of my body, and I also didn’t want to buy XL t-shirts. True, I did have a lot of larger shirts around, and I used the heck out of them… just didn’t buy any.

I also just had a general sense that eventually in my future, I was going to be lean and healthy and feel great. I knew it was coming, I just couldn’t see ‘round the corners ahead to see when it was going to happen. I have been planning for years that when I get old I would be like Nanny. I will be in shape, riding bikes and swimming laps and whatever I could do to keep myself moving and healthy. I want to be one of those active older ladies. I don’t want to live the last several years of my life in a living room chair. Or, maybe I will, but that will be when I’m in my nineties. I look forward to those days, actually, but I just want to make sure that I live a lot before then.

So that brings me to today. With 6 months under my belt, I’m officially in maintenance, Stages of Change-wise. According to my text book, “maintenance is the stage in which people have made specific, overt modifications in their lifestyles and are working to prevent relapse ... They are less tempted to relapse and are increasingly more confident that they can continue their changes.” I am indeed increasingly more confident; I know that this is the life for me. I eat what I want to when I really really want to, but most of the time I eat smart. I love exercising, and I know that as long as I continue doing it I will continue to love it. It is only people who don’t exercise who think that exercising sucks.

And check out my new graph. I know, it’s funny to be this braggedy when I’m still many pounds over 200, which is hard for healthy (or just thin) people to imagine ever being… but this is a big thing for me. I’m getting closer and closer to the <200 mark. I’m looking very forward to it, as does everyone who loses weight after having been out of control for a long time. Here I am, maintaining in the Stages of Changes form of the word. Maintaining my lifestyle, and continually adapting to my new self. I love it. I feel great. 

Feb 1, 2010

An emo music-filled running day

To quote a term that the kids are using these days, I'm feeling a little "emo" this afternoon. For those of you who don't happen to know any young hipsters, I'll tell you to the best of my knowledge: picture Edward from Twilight. Brooding, sullen, for no particular reason.

I had been pretty nervous about today, because Week 4 has me doing 5 minute runs. Up to now the most I had done was 3 minutes, and that was pushing it.

So anyway, picture a brooding and sullen me. Entering the afternoon with little expectation of extraordinary achievement or even satisfaction. Time ticks on, 3:30 comes around, and it's time to do Week 4 Day 1 of the Couch to 5k challenge. "Oh well. Whatever. I'll do it, but I don't have to like it." I pop in my earbuds and head to the gym. I decide that I'm way too moody to watch any silly movie while I run, so I'll just listen to my emo running mix, stare at the wall, and brood. 

Listening to music on shuffle is like inviting the hand of God onto your iPod. I don't know if he's really taking time to make me a running mix, but my mind certainly can put him in there, giving me little messages with each subsequent song. The first song was a Tab Benoit song from a mix from our friend Matt, and has Matt's voice at the beginning saying "Let's go..." It was lighthearted and just good pure steel guitar music. Wonderful for getting the heart pumping. Next was Genesis' Mama, and I was drumming those slow chunky beats in the air as I ran my first short run. Not sure how the next few songs transpired, but U2's Where the Streets Have no Name was definitely in there. Medeski, Martin, and Wood's Let's Go Everywhere came up too, and I almost skipped it, but it reminded me of my kids: "don't forget to call your mama!" Rush's Tom Sawyer got me to the end of the workout, Neal Pert's drumming never ceasing to thrill me, as always.

The two 5-minute runs in this workout were difficult, don't get me wrong. But they were do-able because I was focused on music. I even turned up the speed halfway through each of them, because the music was just pulling me forward. I let the screen go off on my phone at the beginning of the workout, and never turned it back on. I am usually betting myself not to look at the screen, and this time I just didn't care. 

As the after-workout cool down walk was completing, a rockin' song came on. It was Depeche Mode's A Pain that I'm Used To (from their newer album, Playing the Angel). I decided to start the song over at the end of the official workout, and ran three and a half extra minutes to that song before doing another few minutes of cool down. 

So, Week 4 Day 1 complete. I guess being emo can be beneficial sometimes.