Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Life Just Keeps Happening

I had a light bulb moment today as I was thinking about diets, weight loss, and overeating. My epiphany was: life just keeps happening. Simple... yes. But perhaps another key to success in weight loss.

In all the years I was dieting and doing all kinds of weight loss "plans," it seemed like I could never really stick with it long enough to get real results. Sure, I would lose 5 pounds sometimes. Maybe even more. But then I would invariably gain it all back and then some. Sometimes my effort would only last a few hours; I would get up, have my Slim-Fast shake or cayenne pepper lemonade or cabbage soup... whatever breakfast my diet du jour called for... and then by noon I was inhaling boxes of Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies and thinking, "oh well, I ruined it. I will try again tomorrow." Other times I would last days or weeks, even a few months before flipping out and pigging back up to my previous weight. It always seemed like there was some REASON to go "off the diet." My various REASONS included:

A family birthday (have to eat cake and ice cream, right?)
A holiday (Christmas cookies, Thanksgiving pies, Easter candy, Halloween bounty, Valentine's chocolates, etc etc)
An invitation to eat out at a restaurant
An occasion with food (party, barbecue, kids' school events with cookies afterwards)
Food offered by friends
A special meal I wanted to make
My kids made cookies
My husband bought chips and dip
I saw a new fast food restaurant on the way home
Everyone wanted to order pizza
Oreos were on sale
There was an open bag of Doritos in the cabinet
Free samples at the grocery store
I was sad
I was happy
I was bored
I saw a Big Mac on TV and had to have one
My neighbor brought me some fresh baked bread
I was stressed

Yes, there are always reasons to eat stuff that we shouldn't. But you know what? Those aren't really reasons. I was just telling myself they were reasons, so I would not have to admit that they are EXCUSES. Excuses to ditch healthy eating, excuses to put the weight loss off for another day. And those excuses kept me fat for over TEN YEARS. The time went by anyway. Life kept happening, and I stayed fat (and got fatter).

So what's the answer? Accept life. There is never going to be a perfect time to lose weight. It is never going to be easy. "I will wait until the kids are in school in the fall" or "after the holidays I will try" or "maybe next week after I eat all the cupcakes and potato chips in the cabinet" are just phrases that KEEP YOU FAT. Don't listen anymore. You have control. Do it now. Because all those things... husband bringing home junk, birthday parties, holidays, tempting foods... they are just going to keep happening. That is life. And the only time those things will stop is when you die. Notice, I did not say dieT. So do not wait until you are 92 and have spent your whole life waiting for the right time to stick with a healthy lifestyle. The time is now. Today is all we ever have.

With that in mind, a little update. After my surgery last week, I had a minor flip-out with food. For three days, I would eat healthy all day long but then at dinnertime overdo it. (I think I mentioned this already with the pizza). I went over my calorie goal by several hundred calories for those three days... and I gained FIVE POUNDS. Back up to 230 pounds. Yes, I know it was a lot of bloat from salt and junk, but it was a major wake up call. (Another benefit of a daily weigh-in). This is when I had the above epiphany. So, I got myself right back on track. Three days of healthy eating later, I am 226 pounds. It's a lot of work, but somebody's gotta do it.

This morning I took my husband to the airport. He is often out of town for weeks at a time, and this time he will be gone for a month. Last time he left, he bought some potato chips the day before his departure and left them here. I wondered why, and then I threw them out. Last night, dear husband brought home a bag of Crunchy Cheetos. Now, let me say that Crunchy Cheetos are one of my top five Binge trigger foods from the past. I have not had a Cheeto in ages, because if I eat one Cheeto I go bonkers and eat the whole bag. I have eaten many, many whole bags of Crunchy Cheetos in my time. Anyway, so he brought them home. He poured himself a big bowl of them and then left the bowl full of Cheetos on the kitchen table for hours. I thought I was going to have some kind of breakdown every time I walked past them. There was some kind of magnetism between the Cheetos and me. My eyes were bugging out of my head every time I saw them. But I did not eat one. And this morning, dear husband left the nearly full, opened bag of Cheetos on the counter. As soon as I got home from the airport, I dumped those evil things in the trash can. This is a major first for me. A bag of Cheetos that I did not even eat ONE Cheeto from! I feel empowered. I then proceeded to dispose of all his other junk foods, since he won't be back for a month. I tossed out 2 pounds of salami, a block of full fat cheese (yeah cheese is a major problem for me too), a carton of half and half, a bunch of barbecued ribs, pizza, cheese crackers, full fat salad dressing and sour cream, and tartar sauce. Now before someone gets on me for not donating it all to the food bank, let me say it was all OPENED and therefore not acceptable to be donated. And before you say I "wasted" it, think twice, because the REAL waste would be if I continued to treat my body like a trash can and ate it all. Look at those "before" pictures of me. THAT was wasted food. What I did today, was not.

I have a couple of new goals I wanted to share. First, I decided I want to be able to do a push-up. I have never been able to do a "real" push-up in my life, and could only do one or two "girl" (bent-knee) push-ups when I was a teen. It's time for me to be fit. So I have started by adding wall push-ups to my strength training (3x a week). I can do 30 right now. Next I will do them off the kitchen counter, and then eventually I will do "girl" push-ups on the floor. I will work my way up to doing real push-ups. And I WILL do it. Second, I decided to make one new salad every week this summer. I have been browsing lots of new salad recipes online, and there are so many healthy ones I want to try. I will probably post the good ones on here eventually. And having a salad for dinner once a week will be a good thing for my family. I will make some sandwiches or meat of some sort for them as well, so they do not freak out about me feeding them salads for dinner.

Set some new goals for yourself. Challenge yourself. And above all, if you want to do something about your weight and/or your health, do it now. There will never be a better time!


BikiniMe said...

Cheetos are to you what Peanut M&Ms are to me. I cannot eat just one. :)

It is also my goal to be able to do push-ups! I am doing them from the counter right now, with plans to do them from the desk (lower than the counter), then a chair and then the fireplace hearth and then finally the floor.

I also have the goal of being able to do chin-ups -- I have already bought the chin-up bar, now I need to install it.

I guess I just want to be a badass! haha!

purple_moonflower123 said...

Right now I am working on my journey from "morbid obesity" and my goal is to run a marathon. I have been changing my eating habits, but I don't deprive myself, unless it is something that I know I will binge on....
Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips is my nemesis!!

What sucks is my husband also bought some a couple of weeks ago, with the knowledge that I have been wanting to make a change and stop putting crap in my body. I felt hurt at first, like he was trying to sabatoge me or something...but then I got pissed and challenged myself to not touch them. He said he would eat them since I didn't want them. Well, those dang chips have been sitting in the pantry!

They will sit until they expire and him or I toss them out. I rather not have my blood pressure shoot through the roof and it will if I eat those chips.

Lynne said...

I know it's not a push up, but it will help strengthen your abs to do proper push ups - the plank. Hold yourself in a push up position, but instead of being on your hands, rest on your elbows. Hold for 10, 20, 30, 60 seconds. Holy shaking Batman - It's one of the best ab work outs!

Keep Rocking it!!

Vickie said...

You are very kind - my husband would have found the cheetos in his luggage where they would have "accidentally" come open. Ask him if you were a heroin addict - if he would leave a bowl of that sitting around. . .

Arachne said...

Hey, your comment about life going on really hit me today. Thanks for your inspirational words. :)

RunningNan said...

I had an incredible salad last night. I spend 55 dollars at the store on mostly salad stuff. I had that craving.

I used to have the same weakness for cheetos. Good for you for throwing them out!

Danielle said...

I like your push-up goal! Way to go!
I just told myself last week that i need to start working at regular push-ups. I think I should finally be able to crank out at least a couple of them!

Twix said...

Yay! I am so happy you ditched those Cheetos!! :D High five!

I have a weakness for those ugly orange things too. Push-ups are great! Glad you are doing them too! Have a great afternoon! :)

Ryry the Adventurous said...

Lady, you have -control- over your kitchen. You ROCK. Cheetos are also a weakness of mine. Together we can all fight the Cheetos!

Say no to the Orange Underground!

Anonymous said...

hey lyn, you're so right. i was thinking about this today, after i had my own week of setbacks. i made a simple decision today though, to seperate my feelings from what from my decisions. anyways, you're so right, the list you have, or stress, or school, work, is NOT worth a binge cuz then we just get FAT. I was on that path (I gained 5 lbs back!!, after working so hard to tone my arms n' legs). Seriously, though, if we don't take care of it now, we'll get to 300-400lbs fast. I'd tell anyone to use that as motivation. Good job, Lyn on the cheetos. Now I'm beginning to see how I myself have trigger foods. Thanks for all the info. youre doing SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO well.

Kathy said...

I needed to hear this message today. Thanks!

Honi said...


Caroline said...

I really need to set some new goals for a new chapter in my life. And good for you for throwing away all that food! I heard a quote once, "All food turns to waste. It doesn't have to go through your body first." Love it! That's a big struggle for me because we have been financially strapped so if I throw food in the garbage can I feel like I'm throwing money down the drain. But the money is gone either way! Ugh, I guess this stuff is why they call this a "journey."

Heather said...

that is a great "lightbulb" moment. I know for me, I had so many excuses to eat to feel better but none of them were really good or valid. funny how we will do that to ourselves. good for you for passing on the cheetos...I cant just have 1!

Schmoodle said...

Congrats on your victory over the cheetos Lynn! BTW, my kids are not big salad eaters, but they really like chef's salads or taco salads for dinner on occasion. Of course they eat more of the toppings and not so much of the veggies, but at least they get some!

Change for Good said...

Your blog is such a blessing! I cannot wait to really read through all the archives. Congratulations on your successes!