Oh Yes I’m the Great Pretender

I’m going to come clean, folks.  I’ve been living a lie and I can’t take it anymore.  I need to get this deception off my chest, and even though people may judge me for it, I’m willing to deal with that.  OK, no more stalling…here it is:

I hate oatmeal.

I know, it’s not that striking a revelation but it’s the truth nonetheless.  I really do hate it.  I know I’m suppose to like it—it’s good for me, it’s full of fiber—but seriously I just don’t.  It’s mushy and gross and tastes like pre-chewed cardboard.  (I don’t know what pre-chewed cardboard tastes like, but if I had to imagine it, oatmeal is the closest thing I could think of).  Unless this oatmeal is coming to me in cookie form with chocolate chips, I’m not interested.

“But wait Victoria!” I hear you saying, and I know what you’re going to tell me.  Try preparing it a different way—add apples, or cinnamon, or almonds, or Fruit Loops!!  Trust me, I have tried preparing it 57 different ways (although probably not very healthy, the Fruit Loops option does sound intriguing) and I just can’t do it any more.  Nothing tastes good.  I have been choking it down in the morning for breakfast not because I want to, but because I feel like I have to and I say no more.  NO MORE I SAY!

Why do we do this to ourselves?  Why do we insist on eating things that we hate just because they are good for us?  It ends up not being healthy and in the long run certainly doesn’t aid in weight loss (if that’s what you’re aiming for).  I’m miserable when I have to eat things I don’t enjoy (ex. cooked carrots and cantaloupe to name a couple) and I grow resentful that I can’t have what I want.  All just for the sake of more nutrients and better health.  I think you definitely see this come into play on a lot of diets that restrict foods.  You’re not left with many alternatives and therefore forced to eat what is left on your food list, even if you don’t enjoy it.  How could anyone possibly enjoy that?

Today, I am officially putting an end to this madness.  Mark your calendars friends, from this day forward, June 2, 2014, I will no longer eat foods I don’t like just because they are good for me!  I will search for alternatives, research recipes, and try new foods all in the name of keeping my sanity.  Grocery shopping and preparing food will no longer be drudgery, it will be a joyous occasion when we sing and dance and…ok wait, sorry, I got a little carried away there.  The point it, it’s gonna be good 🙂

Are there foods you’re eating that you HATE but are consuming just because they are good for you or provide some sort of healthy benefit?  Are there alternatives you could seek out?  Share with me and leave a comment below!

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28-day Challenge Day 12

There are some days when everything just falls into place. You’ve got on the perfect shade of lipstick (Syrup by MAC), the perfect song plays on your way to work (Suit and Tie by Justin Timberlake), and on the train a cute guy gives you the look (you know which look I’m talking about). All of these perfect little things add up to a calmness and a confidence that just makes you feel good. I call these my FGLG days—Feelin’ Good and Lookin’ Good. It just so happens that Monday was one of those days.

I have to say, my attitude has changed dramatically in the last little while, especially when it comes to my weight loss. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I did a little extra eatin’ on the weekend, none of which was very good for me. Today I set the wheels back in motion: I ate a healthy breakfast and scheduled a workout setting myself up for a successful day and week. A few months ago eating poorly would have sent me down a path of further unhealthy eating; now it’s just fuel for me to get right back on track.

What’s with the attitude change? I love my FGLG days, and I want more of them. They’re addictive. I never used to feel this way about myself, often times just too insecure about my weight and the way I looked. Here’s the thing though: my weight has only slightly changed in the last little while and I’m starting to have more FGLG days. I’m taking better care of myself on a consistent basis and THAT is making me feel good. I’m fueling my body with yummy, whole foods; I’m exercising my body with semi-regular workouts (I really need to step that up); and I’m doing little things that make me feel great like using a fantastic smelling body oil, or getting my nails done, or having coffee with a friend.

We all want to have FGLG days, and I want you to know that you don’t have to wait to lose the weight to have them. For a long time I thought that I did—I’ll never have confidence until I’m thinner, I’ll be happier when I’m 50 lb lighter, or 75 lb, or 100 lb—but it’s not true. Just knowing that I’m changing things is making me feel good and any weight loss is definitely going to be icing on the cake (mmm…cake 😉 ).

What sorts of things make you feel good? Have you had an FGLG day? Tell me about it in the comments below.

How Am I Ever Going To Do This?

I have to be honest, friends.  I am not doing well.

After three weeks of no weigh-ins and eating pretty much whatever, I hit the scale this morning and learned the nasty reality of what I had done to myself.  I gained three pounds.

What the hell am I doing??

I promised myself before I got on the scale that I wasn’t going to beat myself up if I gained.  I just need to face the music and then do some damage control.  I got off the scale and was fine—for about 30 seconds.  After that it was a full on, pick on Victoria fest:

“Why can’t I do this?  When am I going to get my shit together?  Why is losing weight so freaking hard?  I might as well just stay fat because I am NEVER going to be able to do this.  I fail EVERY time.”

Those are just a few of the thoughts I had running through my brain this morning on the way to work.  Not pretty.  Not one bit.

Now, I’m no rocket scientist, but I’m a pretty smart girl.  I don’t think I would have gotten this far in life by being a moron, but honestly, what do I have to do to make my brain understand that losing weight is important for me and my health?  I always go in with the best intentions—“this time it’s going to be different, I’m really going to do it”—and then 15 minutes later I’ve got my head stuck in a bag of potato chips.  Seriously?!

On Wednesday I told my friend Kevin that sometimes it just feels like I’m destined to be overweight forever, and maybe I should just stop fighting it and just learn to live with it.  A total cop out, yes, but that’s honestly what I’ve been thinking.

Kevin told me that if I had truly wanted to give up I already would have.  In truth, he’s right (I hate it when he’s right-which he is most of the time).  Every time I pick myself up and start again it’s a declaration that I’m not ready to give up.

Fall down seven times, stand up eight.

And I’m up.

Aaaaaand We’re Back…

So, you may have noticed I’ve been absent for the past two weeks.  Or maybe I just have an ego the size of Montana thinking anyone noticed I wasn’t blogging. 😉

You know what happens when I get quiet…it means I’m up to no good.  Which I definitely was.

It started three days after the Saturday that I went for the 2.3 km hike.  When we last saw Victoria, she was noticeably sore, but working through it, and her ankle was feeling better.  Well, my ankle healed nicely thanks, however it was my right hamstring that posed the biggest challenge for me.  On the third day after the hike I woke up, put my feet on the floor, stood up, and screamed at the pain shooting down the back of my right leg.  I limped my way to the washroom, convincing myself I’d never walk again, envisioning myself with crutches or a  cane…how would I get around?  what would I do? how would I live??!!

Ok, I’m a bit of a drama queen sometimes, so shoot me.

Surrounding all of this is the fact that I also haven’t been eating very well.  Actually, eating with reckless abandon sounds more like it.  So to say I’ve been off-track is somewhat of an understatement.  I basically fell into vat of macaroni and cheese and tried to eat my way out.

This really didn’t serve me well the day I decided to go clothes shopping for a wedding I’m going to this weekend.  I can only equate the experience to the Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil spinning frantically around the dressing room while trying on clothes—that is if the Tasmanian Devil had also just gained a couple of pounds and started to cry after he couldn’t find anything that fit or looked right.  Yeah that’s right, I cried when I couldn’t find anything to wear.  I’m a girl, sometimes we do that (see drama queen reference above).  The really awful part about all of this is that after I finished my horrible clothes shopping expedition, all I wanted to do was eat.  So…I did.  I was emotionally charged and I took my frustrations out on myself by eating.  A bag of chips, a bottle of ice tea, two cupcakes, I think there was some ice cream in there somewhere, though I may have blacked out after the cupcakes.

When I first started writing the blog, I promised myself I wasn’t going to censor anything.  The point is to show the highs and the lows of trying to lose weight.  The highest highs and even the lowest lows.  I think it’s safe to say that the past two weeks have been a low point.  I was feeling pretty miserable, and sorry for myself, but after talking with a few friends, and now getting my feelings out on the blog, I’m definitely feeling better.

I even found something to wear to the wedding. 🙂

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When Did Eating Become So Difficult?

On Wednesday I went to a lecture on meal planning at the Wharton Clinic, given by Dan Tisi, a registered dietician in the Burlington/Hamilton area.  I’ve been to one of Dan’s other lectures and every time I hear him speak my mind is blow wide open by what he has to say.  It’s scary to me how much I think about food and yet how little I think about it at the same time.  Organic, hormone-free, grass-fed, omega-3’s…where does someone even start?  It is a lot of information to take in and it made me wonder…when did eating get this difficult?

I can’t remember ever worrying about this stuff (which may very well be why I look and feel the way I do now).  Certainly my great-grandmother never worried about it—she and my great-grandfather lived on a farm and I’ve heard the many stories of picking produce out of the backyard, canning and preserving, and they also raised their own chickens for eggs and poultry.  But it’s a different time, my friends.  We live in a super-processed, uber-fast society where convenience counts.  I barely have time to go to the grocery store to buy some chicken, let alone slaughter one myself! (which would be messy and there would be blood everywhere so probably not the best idea anyway).

The fact is, I don’t put enough thought into what I’m eating, where it’s coming from, and how it is benefitting me nutritionally.  Now, I’m not saying that I’m going to run out and only eat locally sourced or organic food all the time, because I don’t think for me it’s very realistic.  One, it’s extremely expensive and two, IT’S EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE.  But I can experiment and pick and choose what I think it’s worthwhile for me to try, and think harder about what I’m putting on my plate and in my body.

My first experiment has been using organic milk on my cereal in the morning for breakfast, and I’ve been quite happy with the results.  I used to shy away from diary because of the way it made me feel…upset stomach and often times it gave me heart burn (yeah milk, can you believe that).  Since I’ve been drinking the organic milk, I haven’t had any of the digestive troubles that I was having before.  In this case organic means that the cows are grass-fed and no fertilizers or chemicals are used on the farm.  Score one for organic.

Now on Tuesday I went to my local natural food market so see if I could score some organic cottage cheese.  I’m not a fan of yogurt, so for me cottage cheese is a good way to get in some extra protein.  So off I went into the store and made a direct march to the diary department, only to discover that the one brand of organic cottage cheese that they carry is $7.99 a container.  Score one for non-organic.  That is a lot of money to fork out for a small container of cottage cheese (see what I did there?  Fork out?  We’re talking about food… 🙂 )  Now I’m a single girl with no kids, so if I have a hard time paying that much for an organic product, I can imagine how hard it is for a family of four or more to do that.   Of course I could always cut dairy out of my diet altogether…but I love cheese!!  Just the thought of living without it makes me more than a little sad (see how hooked I am…crying over cheese!)

The truth is I’m just starting to scratch the surface on what I know about food and what it does for my body.  For now I’ll just continue to educate myself and experiment with what I can afford or am willing to pay for.  There must be a happy medium to all this.  I just have to find MY happy medium.

What Am I Doing and How Am I Doing It?

An interesting question: how am I going to lose my excess weight and reach my goal?

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The reason I think this question is so interesting, is because it can elicit so many different responses.  There are so many methods of diet and weight loss out there in the big, wide world—South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, the Grapefruit Diet—how do you figure out where to start?

I have tried a lot of different ways to lose weight, from commercial diets all the way to just plain starving myself.  This time around I actually didn’t choose my weight loss method, it chose me.

Back in March of 2012 I was having an awful time sleeping and waking up with splitting headaches in the middle of the night.  Many visits to the doctor and one sleep study later I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.  Now, sleep apnea itself is treatable and manageable, but my doctors were concerned about possible lung and/or heart damage due to my dangerously low oxygen levels.  Enter my cardiologist, who after inflicting me with test after test, gave me the all clear.  Even though everything was fine, it was eye-opening to the things that COULD have been wrong.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not as though I walked out into the middle of a field, looked up at the sky and screamed “I have been given a second chance at life!” (although that would make for a fantastic scene in the movie about my life).  I do, however, think that if I don’t put some serious effort into getting healthy, my body isn’t always going to be this cooperative.  At my weight, I really should have a host of other issues—high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol—but I don’t.  I am a very lucky girl.  So why not use that to my advantage to get healthier?

I love my cardiologist (there’s a sentence you don’t hear from a 37-year-old every day).  And the reason I love her is because she and I had very frank discussions about my weight and how we could best proceed to help me.  She understood my issues (awful sleep=no energy).  Now that I was getting my sleep issues dealt with, and any possible cardiac issues were quelled, I could focus on getting healthy.  I could also focus on doing it properly.  Enter Dr. Sean Wharton.

Since November, I have been on a doctor supervised program at The Wharton Clinic here in Burlington, Ontario founded by Dr. Sean Wharton.  The aim of the program is lifestyle modification through education and support.  I see a doctor and nutrition specialist every four weeks who help me with my eating plan.

This is probably the most sensible program I have ever been on.  The plan at its core it pretty basic – eat less, move more, and what you do eat should be high quality.  Lay off the refined carbohydrates and highly processed foods, eat more complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber.  I’m not saying that this is in any way easy to do—I struggle daily—but so far, for me, it’s been working.  Slowly, but surely.