Sunday, August 23, 2009

Deprivation and Indulgence

Good morning! I woke up feeling refreshed today and ready for more activity. Yesterday was probably a bit of a wash. I did better than I had planned, yet worse than I need to do to lose weight.

Biked for 25 minutes in the morning
Took my child to TWO parks
Walked to one of those parks in the evening, a half mile or so
Breakfast was a Kashi GoLean waffle with natural almond butter & fresh blueberries, and iced green tea (unsweetened)
Snack was a banana & nonfat Greek yogurt with honey
Dinner was a lovely Caesar salad topped with grilled salmon, freshly caught yesterday by my son, and a nice light Newman's Own Caesar dressing
I did laundry, dishes, and other chores that needed to be done
I was social
I felt great!

Not so great:
Lunch. I had salami on potato bread, thin crust mini cheese pizza, Coke, and 2 scoops of ice cream.

Yeah. So I've made the decision to once again stop buying salami, white bread, and frozen mini pizzas. It makes me kinda sad to do this again. See, I raised my kids on cheap junk because I was pretty poor. As a result, *one* of my kids has had a terribly difficult time transitioning to healthier eating. I'd stopped buying these foods because I tend to want them if they're in the house, but my teenage son has been asking for them. He is a healthy weight... in fact, he is a growing boy (man, almost). When I don't buy foods he enjoys (pizza rolls, white bread, etc) he just takes his money and goes to the convenience store and buys even WORSE stuff (mostly deep fried or sugar loaded). I hate that. I feel kinda guilty for raising him on that crap (because it was cheap). So I figured, okay. I will buy 80% healthy food, and then a few things he really enjoys to go with it so he doesn't feel deprived and go nutso eating crap when he gets out on his own. Thus, the potato bread and salami. But now, the poor boy is gonna have to do without... it's one of those foods that calls to me. The mini pizzas were for *me*... at 300 calories, I like to have one with a salad when the rest of the family is having pizza. But again, I tend to overdo it and eat them when I don't even have the calories to spare. So I guess it's back to homemade pizzas for now.

The Coke & ice cream? That was just an indulgence. One I obviously don't need.

It's tough. I know this sounds like a whine. But I spent a *lot* of years eating nothing but crap foods. Boxes of donuts and day-old bakery cakes from the food bank. Batches of sugary brownie batters and frosting that I whipped up at home. All sorts of deep-fried atrocities. Heck, there was a time in my life when I had $5 a MONTH for groceries (obviously, before I had children). I'd go down to the store and buy a HUGE box of generic cream of wheat and a couple cases of Ramen and a big jar of generic peanut butter, and that was that. Any other food I got during the month was stuff my roommate shared with me (sugar for my cream of wheat, mostly), food I got to eat when I went on a date, pizza my friends ordered and shared with me. And there was a guy who owned a potato farm who would bring us huge bags of potatoes for free! My roommates had oil. So many-a-dinner was homemade french fries dipped in mayonnaise.

When I finally got my education, got work, got remarried... then I could afford to spend a lot more than that on groceries. But I went off the deep end buying premium ice creams, gourmet chocolate, bags of chips and dip... all the stuff I couldn't afford before. I had spent so much time feeling deprived that I went 'whole hog' (in more ways than one) with the food! Food felt like a way to say to myself, "You are safe. You don't have to sit and stare at other people eating sausage lasagna and garlic bread anymore! You can eat as much as you want! Eat eat eat!"

Now, when I am out and about and I have a fleeting thought of "gee, I am at the mall, I want a pretzel" or "an iced coffee would be great right about now," I WANT IT. When I don't go get it, I feel deprived. I feel like I used to feel when I'd want that stuff and just *couldn't* because of money issues. I feel cheated, I get mad because I've "gone without" for long enough and "I deserve it." This isn't working so well, not only because of my weight but also because of finances.

My new attitude, the one I am trying to cultivate, is this one:

I deserve to be HEALTHY.
I don't need a certain food to feel safe, loved, or indulged.
I can be happy without giving in to every food whim.

I tell myself these things a lot. I try to think of it as being allergic. I am, in fact, allergic to shrimp. I like shrimp; when I was a kid, I used to eat loads of deep-fried butterfly shrimp every week. It was one of my very favorite foods. When I was a teenager I developed a life-threatening shrimp allergy. One bite will send me to the ER as my airway swells shut. Now, how silly would it be for me to say: "I really LOVE shrimp. I don't want to feel deprived! I am going to eat them anyway!" Uh, no. Not good. I have to look at the sugar and junk the same way. Feeling deprived? Get over it. One bite will send me spiraling away from my healthy lifestyle and back up the scale to morbid obesity. I have to avoid this stuff because of the *reaction* it causes in me. I have to put my health, my life, first.

I know what's keeping me fat. I've been blogging for over two years now about my food intake, my activity level, my thought processes. Slowly, I'm getting better. Like the layers of an onion, the protective coats of fat and food are peeling away to reveal the true me. The old me would eat crap for days, and never think to get on a bike or take a walk. The new me, the me today, is saying "here's another thing that needs to change. It's hard but it's worth it." That's the only reason I am not 300+ pounds right now. Believe me, it would be *easy* for me to weigh that much within about 6 months if I was not working *hard* on these issues. I *am* proud of what I have accomplished and what I am doing for myself. I just wish I was more perfect at it and the pounds would just melt off like butter.

Off to get dressed and bike.


Ranae said...

Am so PROUD of your continued growth and steadfast effort at changing your lifestyle .. you are amazing and YOU ARE DOING THIS!!! Remember .. one day at a time.

One thing that helped me was not to "feel deprived" .. I told myself I could have that huge doughy pretzel but it would cost my increased pounds .. and was it worth it ... OR ... would I rather look for the small pretzels in a snack size bag that are within calorie limits and eat that?

The same was true with sweets .. and I don't keep them in the house either ... except the 45 calorie fudgesickles from Wells Blue Bunny and the 20 calorie sugar free popsickles.

Keep up the great work .. you're doing amazingly well and making the steady changes it takes .. your analogy of peeling an onion was great. I think of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly and working hard to get out of the cocoon.

Hugs and blessings to you ..

rmslil said...

Can you send some of your energy and positive thoughts and goals this way. I am in a slump right now.

Leslie said...

Way to pull your weekend back out of the crapper and make some healthier choices, like moving more. Progress not perfection. Friday and Saturday turned into binge days for me, which I'll write about on my blog later. There were true extenuating circumstances for sure...but I've had zillions of binge days without "circumstances". It's great to not go all holds barred with overeating on any given day, just because of one or two "indiscretions". My days bingey days were much less out of control than they could have been. So move on. I faced the music this morning (translate: got on the scale) and was up 4 lbs! But I'm back on track today and feeling better.

Keep up the good work, and thanks, as always, for your honesty.

Diana said...

Yesterday my Weight Watcher leader said something that surprised me. She said, "you know, I struggle with this every day, just like you. It's not any easy for me than it is for you."

It made me realize that most of us are struggling with these food issues. Even people that appear to have it all together, they're still having to fight against the desire to overeat or eat the wrong stuff.

It's not easy, but it's doable.

Oh, and I can't have those foods in my house either. My latest big problem food is sugar-free ice cream. My husband loves it, but so do I and have issues with protion control. It's NOT a health food and it's full of empty calories. To buy or not to buy is my dilemma every week. It's difficult.

Ioanna said...

Hey there,

Very proud of you that you changed your weekend plans especially since they included so much "bad," but very enjoyable behavior. It takes a very motivated person to do that!

As for your son, how about getting some food for him that YOU don't really enjoy, so it's very unlikely that you'll eat it once it is at home.

Keep up the good work.

ctina said...

Hear- hear! I completely agree with Diana. It is never easy. You hear the women who weigh 300 lbs saying the same things as those who weigh 150. It's just a matter of degrees. How high do you let your weight get before you change something in your lifestyle for serious? How many calories constitutes a "binge" or being "bad"?

The feelings are the same, but there's a huge difference between going 3,000 calories over your limit once a week - or 300 over once a week.

screwdestiny said...

You DO deserve to be healthy! And it sucks that your kids want you to keep unhealthy crap in the house, but just remember that they deserve to be healthy too when you're feeling guilty about not having all the stuff they want. Just because you weren't able to always buy them healthy food doesn't mean now isn't a great time to start.

Salted with Shadows said...

I TOTALLY get what you are saying about being used to eating crap foods when you are poor. I was raised that on all that stuff and it certainly contributed to the way I ended up as an adult. Learning to eat well as an adult has been one of the hardest things I've ever done. Keep fighting the good fight! I appreciate your insights so much.

NewMe said...

I admire your honesty and ability to talk about the sad/bad choices you have made in life. But when you talk about being more "perfect", I get really scared for you.

I wrote a post about this recently. Check it out if you're interested:

Be well. Be good to yourself.

NaN said...

No no; do not buy 'crap' for your son. If he chooses to spend his money on it, that's a different matter and hopefully, he'll find out how fast money can be frittered away and start 'digging' some of your organic stuff! I don't ever keep ice cream in the house- it's a red light food for me and if someone wants it, they can get a single serving elsewhere.

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

It's amazing how far you've come in your life, and in your attitude towards food.

Don't think of the lunch as a total mess-up. The most important thing is that you don't let it get you down.

I too have sweets occasionally, and did while I in process of losing all my weight as well!

Anonymous said...

You deserve everything that comes with happiness so keep loving yourself, sistah!

Betsey C. said...

This is only my opinion, but I believe that we are true compulsive overeaters, and we will have to battle the compulsion the rest of our lives, one day, one hour, often one minute at a time. Some days it is blissfully easy to stay on our healthy food plans, some days no matter what we eat we will still be "hungry" -- and whatever that hunger is, I don't know.

The good news is that we CAN live healthier lives and lose weight, we are not doomed to be obese. It may take us a while, but we can make progress every day. We can have little victories that keep us going. We can dust ourselves off after we fall.

I love to read your blog. You are so good at putting the battle into words!

I hope you have a blissfully easy day today, and as always, thank you so much for your posts.

happyfunpants said...


I read your blog religiously and I am so touched by the fact that you and I seem to have the same issues and the same struggles.

I've written a lot about my desire to focus on the "healthy" and not on the "losing weight" side of changing my plan.

It's tough because when I focus on what's healthy (mind, body, and soul), I sometimes get conflicting answers.

All this to say, keep at it. You're an inspiration to us all.


P.S. My regular blog is usally all funny like, but the is where I talk about a lot of this. Would love your input as (like I wrote) we seem to share some of the same issues.

Tammy said...

Keep working on it're making huge strides and I'm proud of what you're accomplishing with your body, but moreso, with your mind. :)

Lonely said...

I just found your blog and wanted to let you know that you make an awful lot of sense to me, another 30 something SAHM trying to lose a lot of weight. Your blog is inspiring and I will be following it regularly.
I've just started my own blog but feel like it's all just waffle at the moment, no wise words like yours lol.