Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Flipped Switch

I'm feeling really good here today. Amazing what just a few days of eating right and exercise can do. It's like the brain switch has flipped again. You know what I mean? It's like there are two mindsets: the eat-junk, don't-care mindset (aka "I'm Not Ready"), and the eat-healthy, love-life mindset (aka "I Feel So Great!"). When you're fat and doing the on-again, off-again "dieting", it is easy to flip back and forth between the two mindsets. Anything can trigger a switch flip, from having "just one" cupcake to looking in the mirror and going, "ARGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!" It just takes a second to flip that switch, and it can take a lot of work to flip it back.

I guess for the last few months I have mostly been in the Not Ready camp, even though I was giving halfhearted efforts... and even some really STRONG but short-lived efforts... every so often. I just wanted cookies more than I wanted to lose weight, really. I mean, we tell ourselves we really want to lose weight but some days it's just easier to order a pizza. The binge-trigger factor adds in a whole new dimension, though, and even when I *really really* do want to eat right, sometimes I just flip out and start eating like a nut because of some stress or emotional trigger. But I'm working on that.

A couple of days ago I just said, enough. Enough!! I am so sick of seeing the scale go up. I have got to give this 100%. And so I started my "count calories but not the calories in fruits and veggies" plan. And I started being more consistent with the exercise. I feel so much better already.

This week I made some great adjustments and choices without depriving myself. A few examples:

One day, my husband brought home a TON of Chinese take-out. He'd said he was going out for it, asked what I wanted. I told him I'd like an order of Chicken and Pea Pods. Not a bad option... white chicken meat strips, snow pea pods, carrots, onions, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts. I figured if I went without the rice, the oily "sauce" would be negligible. When he arrived, he brought my order... AND: ham fried rice, pork fried rice, white rice, egg rolls, fried cream cheese wontons, chicken curry, fried chicken wings, and sweet and sour (deep fried) pork. Oh man!! But you know what? I resisted. I ate my chicken and veggies and 1/3 cup of fried rice. And I was fine. Although I shudder to think of what my husband's arteries must look like. Thank goodness my kids don't like that stuff.

Another day, we went out for a special birthday dinner. I got to choose the restaurant so I picked one with fresh fish. We shared an appetizer that was made from beef tenderloin (I had about 2 oz) and then I ordered the halibut and asked the server to skip the rice, add extra veggies. I had unsweetened iced tea to drink. And then we shared a dessert: Irish Cream Chocolate Mousse. Divine! A few bites was enough for me! I went home feeling indulged but not stuffed.

On my birthday last year, my "birthday cake" was one Oreo Cakester with a candle in it. I split it with my children. In similar fashion, this year my kids took a cupcake leftover from my daughter's birthday, decorated it and put 4 candles on it (since I turned 40). After the mandatory singing and candle-blowing-out festivities, I cut the cupcake into tiny wedges and shared it with my family. My "birthday cake" indulgence was about 35 calories.

Today I got up, had my tea, and hopped on the bike. I am not especially fond of watching Sesame Street while I bike, but it kept my daughter entertained and I was able to do 6.5 miles in 30 minutes, on 4-5 resistance. Then I made breakfast: I chopped some baby pattypan squash, sauteed it in water with baby spinach, added 1 tsp olive oil and Egg Beaters, seasoned the scramble with Mrs. Dash and onion powder, and topped it off with an ounce of grated cheddar. Divine! I feel amazing. The brain switch is complete.

I know there will be times I *want* junk. I know I'll be tempted and tried with all sorts of goodies, especially on vacation this year. But I'm gonna work my hardest to stay in the healthy eating mindset I am enjoying right now and not let that switch flip back again.

30 comments:

anne h said...

Right - Why tempt fate? Good job resisting. You sound STRONG! YAY!

Lori said...

Stay strong!
I don't think those days ever really go away where you just want junk. Happens to me and all the other people I know. It's all on how you handle it.

Glad to see you back on the strong path.

Lisa said...

Good for you! you are doing GREAT!

- Lisa

Barefoot Pixie said...

I got up yesterday morning ready to flip that switch back to SUCCESS! I'm so happy to hear you are doing well, too. We can do this!

HugeMD said...

I'm glad the switch flipped! Keep up the good work!

*Fitcetera* said...

Glad YOU turned the lights back on.

and just so you know ... the next time you do the junk food crap post? I am kicking your ass. I am NOT going to coddle you by saying "poor baby, that's ok" It isn't. Not when you're trying to swim for your life and that of your family.
Deal?

*Fitcetera* said...

p.s. Only because I KNOW you're smarter than that and you know better.
But I WILL support you no matter what just not when it comes to eating the sh*t that's keeping you from your Success.

justjuliebean said...

I know I'm not in the majority here, but I think small amounts of junk are just fine (35 calories!), as long as it doesn't make you freak out and go crazy eating everything. I think it's actually beneficial if it doesn't flip any switches, really. The slice of bacon I eat once or twice a week isn't healthy, but at least I don't have to feel like I'm dieting. I keep dark chocolate covered almonds in the freezer, and used to eat one or two every day, though I haven't eaten them lately, for no reason, just haven't thought of it. Or maybe I just eat so much fruit during summer that my sweet tooth is more than satisfied. I have lost my weight without going crazy because I eat a LOT of produce.

Megan said...

And she's back!

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

I've found that a "little" junk just stokes the desire. I've had to chase it all away. Now, I rarely feel the need to eat like that. Just say no!

Chavonne said...

I just came upon your blog and really like it. I am so impressed by your weight loss. Congrats! I am on the healthy side of the switch but know I could go back to Cheetos any minute. I just keep telling myself one day at a time. Good job resisting your hubby's well-intentioned unhealty food (my hubby does that constantly!). I look forward to following your progress! Good luck!

Val said...

The more you eat this way, the easier it becomes. You're doing great!!!

new*me said...

I'm with you Lyn. I kind of got a bit off track with my eating and the family's as well starting about the end of May. I am losing again but still not back to where I was around 221 before so I'll join you in this fight back! The exercise for me isn't the problem, it's the food...when I give a little, I tend to cave.

Saje said...

Hmmm... not sure whether to write this here on on your prior post! I very much understand this concept as is illustrated by last night's 'let's go buy $20 worth of junk food and eat it all in one sitting cause I just don't care right now' binge. In all fairness, I ate less than a quarter of the crap, but nevertheless it's hard to get that switch flipped sometimes. Good for you for making it happen now! Hope to be joining you soon!

tzumama said...

"It just takes a second to flip that switch, and it can take a lot of work to flip it back."

So painfully true! Why is it so hard for us forest-for-the-trees dieters to locate and inhabit that middle-ground nirvana known as "the lifestyle"?

Hanlie said...

Wouldn't it be nice if we had one of those clear plastic switch guards they use on the space shuttle to protect vital switches? Glad to hear you're in the "on" position right now...

gill said...

yay!!!!

Suze said...

Hi there! I've been a long time lurker and feel ready to comment for the first time. I easily identify with what you say in your blog and the switch thing you talk about today is so true. For the last few months my switch has been in the off mode and it sure is a struggle to turn it on again - even when you know you want to! It is just so true that some days you want the junk more! Keep strong you are an amazing person and write so well.

theantijared said...

Let me get your writing skills and i will give you my arms.


Okay, not a fair trade, i will throw in my legs as well!!

Vickie said...

good for you - nice up lifting post - glad that things are going well. We split the oddest things (2, 3, 4 even 5 ways) around here - even the kids are into it - they have figured out that a taste is enough.

seattlerunnergirl said...

I'm so glad to hear the switch has flipped! I am new to the blogging world but I've found such interest, comfort, inspiration, and understanding in reading your blog. Thanks for being honest, thanks for being there, and now - hooray for the healthy switch!

HD@Losing Weight-Healthy Heart said...

You can do it! We're all fighting the good fight with you... stay strong!

45+ and Aspiring said...

Yahoo! Good for you.

My dad told me once that there is "wanting" to lose weight is like dreaming. . . and then there is taking action. . .

South Beach Steve said...

"A couple of days ago I just said, enough. Enough!!"

That, my friend, is a fantastic switch to flip! You are on the road to success.

MB said...

Your birthday dinner sounds perfect.

I'm glad you flipped your switch. I can't remember where my switch is these days.

Happy 40th!

Blue Moon said...

I'm so glad things have come back up for you! I knew they would, it's just hard to guess how long it will take for things to turn around. Just to comisurate with you a little. I am struggling, and seem to be holding firm at 271 pounds. A couple weeks ago I was down to the mid 260's, but then I had a bad week, and landed back here at 271. The only time I see real progress on the scale is when I walk, and I try to walk 3 miles a day to work and back. well, the last week or so I have had such pain in the top of my foot. I KNOW my weight is causing the foot problems, but I need to walk to fight the weight problem, and now, if my excersise is limite, I will fail again this time. I can't even count the many years I have made new "Pacts". (I will be thin by Christmas... oh I blew it, so I will be thin by my anniversary is April," etc. and on and on. Year after year, a new benchmark date that becomes yet another unmet goal. This time really feels different though, and I have seen more success than any othe time. I went from about 300 in February, down to my current 271. But now, with the problems I am having with my foot, if I can't keep walking, this will just be another failed attempt to heap on with all the others.

screwdestiny said...

Yay, Lyn! It sounds like you're doing awesome. Keep that resolve strong, and when things get tough, remember how good you feel!

tijya said...

I could really relate to this post. I've been there. Heck, I'm there a lot. The choices you've been making tell me that you are a really strong and dedicated person. You can do this.

Steelers6 said...

Just have to say how proud I am of you for sticking w/your original chinese takeout order even though many temptations made it through the door.
!! Yay for you!!! Another victory! Sometimes when you are considering both options like in this case-to be victorious or not, do you think about what you get to put on your blog? That kind of seems like added incentive in a way. "I succeeded, now let me go post this victory on my blog for all to see!"
Is your dh helpful & supportive of your WL goals *most* of the time?

Cathy B said...

I relate to your story better than any other weight loss blog. The on-off switch is so true, mine will switch on and off multiple times in a day! Fantastic that you have so many victories to write about.