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things to remember

26 May

Progress not perfection. That is my goal.

I got these little cards forever ago, I am not sure if they were from my dad or something I bought for myself. They’ve been with me through many “diets”, “life plans”, etc., sometimes living on the mirror in the bathroom, stuck to my computer monitor or on the back of the door next to a weight chart. The only one that has survived the move to this apartment contains that reminder and is on the fridge now.

This is the most difficult thing for me. Some people might confuse my messy apartment or my weight issues with not caring or being lazy, something I often accuse myself of when I let the negative self talk get the better of me. But it’s really more like, if I can’t to it perfectly, why do it at all? That leads to procrastination and/or overextending myself which then leads to giving up and eating a whole pizza. I plan plan plan and try try try then I get overwhelmed and then I am just done. I ran into this last week and it took me awhile to recover from it. I got caught up in cooking lots of things ahead of time for the week and before I knew it, my kitchen was a mess and I didn’t have enough energy left over from the cooking and shopping to get it back in order again.

So this week, I learned that my kitchen does not have to be clean for me to cook for myself. Yes, the dishes have piled up and I need to do creative rearranging to get counter space but still. It’s better to use my energy to take care of myself first and then my apartment/kitchen second. I learned that I don’t have to eat something I don’t like just because I spent an hour cooking it. And pizza rolls on Friday night are not an excuse to avoid eating well for the rest of the week!

I am also quite proud that I went over a week without eating out or ordering in once! I did grab food on the way home tonight because I went to happy hour and I was really hungry, so I knew I would not be in the mood to cook when I got home. It was actually disappointing, as I went to an Indian place I used to go to all the time and they changed some things not for the better. Was the universe trying to tell me something?

I had my first Diet Coke in almost two weeks with my disappointing meal and I did not enjoy it either. So I am pretty happy that I have survived giving up the Magic Elixir. I am still experimenting with the sparkling lime water/pomegranate/cherry/agave drink. I have noticed that I drink less of it in once sitting than I did Diet Coke. I am trying to just focus on the fact that I am nourishing my body with antioxidants and all sorts of other good things that are in the juice. It’s very hard for me to not try to count all the calories and measure everything and try to make it all fit into a perfect little box. I know that some people find success that way but it has never worked for me. So I am focusing on making small, positive changes and I think switching from chemically soda to real fruit juice, in moderation, is a good positive change.

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Miso Crazy and DNW!

9 Sep

I did not want to make a post tonight. I still do not! But  I am doing it!

I DNW to cook dinner. I wanted to come home, sit on my ass watching some Supernatural and just stuff my face with whatever and not have to stand in the kitchen cooking up a bunch of healthy shit. Or cooking up additional shit for lunch tomorrow and Friday. But I fucking did it. (OMG SO MANY DISHES TO WASH! DNW!)

And now I am so very tired. I feel like I have to push myself SO HARD to do these simple, everyday things and stay SO FOCUSED (I typed FUCKED first, ha!) on it that I am drained for just about everything else. I know, I know that it gets easier, but right now, I just want to eat a whole pizza and sleep for a week.

There is a little voice inside of me, that troll I mentioned before, that is telling me that it’s just easier to be fat and unhealthy. I mean, it’s only really painful when I leave the house and people stare at me funny. Or I have to go shopping. Or walk up a flight of stairs. Or think about going on a date ever. And I still have to deal with that stuff even if I am eating better right now! I can’t even stuff my face to deal with that shit! How unfair is that? DNW!

Now, that I have the whining out of the way, let’s talk good stuff! *deeeeep cleansing breath*

Yesterday, I made this miso soup recipe from 101 Cookbooks and it was very very tasty. And then, as part of my continuing effort to incorporate veggies using the magical broccoli slaw, I wipped up a version of this miso dressing except I used wasabi paste instead of mustard and it was also very very tasty. I poured half of it over half a bag of the broccoli slaw and added about 1/3 a cup of mandarin oranges and let if marinate overnight. Then I had it along side the leftover miso soup for lunch. SO GOOD! And now I have enough of that amazing dressing for a spinach and chicken salad tomorrow for lunch. To round out this miso crazy portion of my week, I also made this cashew ricotta “Italian pizza cheese” (I substituted some leftover sun-dried tomato pesto) to have with carrots for a snack tomorrow.

Phew. I am tired just typing that and I haven’t even gotten to the most interesting part of the day:

I ATE BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND LIKED IT!

I know! I KNOW! So crazy. Once again, 101 Cookbooks came to the rescue with her AMAZING golden-crusted brussels sprouts! I have been staring at that recipe for, like, a year. It sounded so simple and tasty. I finally got up enough nerve to try it out and I have to say that, yes, it as good as it looks! I used the aforementioned pesto to make one of these baked stuffed chicken breasts and they went very well together. And no pasta or rice as a side dish! I can honestly say that I am sitting here quite satisfied in my stomach.

I will confess that yesterday I baked up this spinach/herbed goat cheese/ham/egg beaters casserole that I had planned to eat for breakfast for the rest of the week and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. For some reason, breakfast is the hardest part of my day. It doesn’t help that no matter how I walk to work, I pass eleventy billion places to get breakfast. But I don’t trust myself to have things like bagels or bread for toast in the house right now. And, god, my coffee maker is NEVER going to get here. I’ve basically been telling myself that it’s not a big deal since I am not eating out any other meals but eventually I am going to have to deal with the mornings. (Also, I went to bed early last night so I could get up and do some exercising but that didn’t turn out either!)

Basically, I think the point of all this is that I am still struggling to find a balance between taking care of myself and being realistic about what I can accomplish and also figuring out when I am being a lazy wimp and when I should push myself to go that little bit extra when I am really feeling the DNW.

planning, preparation, panic, pain, pathetic, peaceful?

8 Sep

I had this for lunch today:

Amy's Cheese Enchilada

And I can honestly say that I was extremely surprised and pleased by how good it was. It’s rare that I eat a frozen dinner where I am actually sad when it’s gone instead of struggling through the last bites. Also, beans and I have a strange relationship wherein sometimes I adore them and sometimes they make my tongue sad. These were delicious though and perfect with the crunchy sweet corn. With a nice tart Granny Smith apple for dessert, I am quite satisfied. I will definitely be stocking up on these babies!

I share this positive thing first because now it’s time to talk about my weekend. *SIGH* Saturday, as you may have read, was a good day for the most part. But I must confess that at about 11pm, I started to get pretty miserable and then had a very difficult time trying to sleep. My whole body just didn’t feel….right. I am not talking about pain or anything. Just off in some way. And I started to wonder if I was feeling “normal” and I just didn’t recognize it. Whatever it was, I didn’t like it, dammit!

So of course when I got up on Sunday, my first instinct was to stuff myself to avoid whatever I experienced the nigtht before. I started okay with pizza made with whole wheat pita. I mean, I ate two of them, but all things considered, not a huge tumble from the wagon, nutritionally. On the emotional eating scale, however, I hit about an 8.

However, I avoided going to the grocery store like I wanted and this left me with not a lot in the house to munch on that would be tasty enough to distract me from sliding further down the emotional eating rabbit hole of doom. I made it to about 8 o’clock before I started jonesing for those greasy chicken things I talked about the other day and not even the hotness of Alexander Skarsgård could distract me from my fix. They tasted pretty good in my mouth but my soul was not really feeling it. I don’t want to say I felt guilty, because that wasn’t it. Just sad, mostly, that sometimes food and emotions control me so strongly. I hate that whole saying “nothing tastes as good as being thin feels” or whatever, mostly because it’s true! That 15 minutes of greasy carby delight was not worth what it does to my body or my progress toward being healthier. Gar.

And then yesterday, I did okay. I got a tall non-fat version of the pumpkin spiced latte and small fries with my Chik-fil-a and again tried to ease my way through the evening with another whole wheat pita pizza but that ended up with me eating an extra helping of ham with sauce and cheese because I wasn’t “full” enough.

I am not even going to pretend that it wasn’t another emotional-eating moment for me. Some friends and I went to see the Capitals rookie camp practice earlier in the day, which I enjoyed very much. But as we were leaving, we ran into one of the players and the horrible little troll that lives inside of me filled my head with nasty stuff about what he thought of me (like he even really noticed that much!) and blah. I can’t even articulate it properly without embarassing myself, honestly.

Mostly, I am just very very tired of not feeling at all comfortable in my own skin. Which makes me sad. Which makes me want to eat. Which makes me fatter. Which makes me feel less comfortable in my own skin! How do I get to where I am more tired of feeling like this than I am of doing the work that is required to change it? Is that where my peace is?

are you ready for some spinaaaaaaaaaaaaach?

5 Sep

Today is the first official Saturday of college football season! *\o/* When I got up this morning, one of the first things I wrestled with was, “what to eat while watching all this glorious football?” I have to say that even at 10:30am I was so tempted to reach for the phone and just order a big pizza to eat on all day. I had to take a lot of deep breaths, think about my current favorite happy place, and mentally review the contents of my kitchen to keep myself from a pre-planned carb coma.

I went with some scrambled Egg Beaters and diced ham and a pinch of cheese with salsa, a half a slice of whole wheat pita and some cantaloupe for breakfast instead. So, victory! Then, for lunch, I had a spinach salad with goat cheese, cranberries, sliced almonds and homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing. And then a little yogurt with almond butter for dessert.

I ate spinach. That was not in a cheesy fatty dip. While watching football. Please, mark this date on your calendars!

I am not going to lie, though. It was fucking difficult. I do a lot of looking at the clock still instead of listening to my body. I feel hungry? confused? all the time if I am eating non-greasy non-starchy things.  So a day inside with nothing to do but hide the phone to avoid takeout is actually pretty difficult. I feel kind of silly saying that but there it is.

Of course, while watching the games, I’ve been browsing Healthy Yum, which is just fantastic. It’s a nice way to get a variety of healthy things to consider. I found some good stuff to add to my delicious. (You can see whatever I’ve added lately on the right sidebar there! *points*) I think maybe that was a little too much obsessing about food for the day but I got some good out of it, so I am not going to beat myself up about it.

And now for dinner I am experimenting with adding more veggies to things I already like! I am making my favorite comfort food: macaroni and beef! But without macaroni and with the addition of 2.5 cups of broccoli slaw to bump up the veggie quotient (a trick I learned from Hungry Girl). So far, it’s tasting pretty good. I am debating on whether or not to add a little bit of whole wheat penne.

Tomorrow, there may be leaving the house to go hiking. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

i <3 tomatoes

1 Jul

I was going to post a picture of the cute little heart-shaped tomato slice I had with my lunch but when I tried to capture it with my camera phone it looked like, well, a jay-jay, as The BFF would say.  So, let’s just skip that, shall we?

The point of the post still the same, however. I have a very complicated love/hate relationship with food, which should come as a surprise to no one. It’s a blissful romance filled with candlelight and warm-fuzzy feelings one day, and the next, it’s cruel and abusive and makes life very difficult.

Sometimes, it feels like food and I are a divorcing couple that’s been locked in a room together with no escape at all. Sure, we’ve had good times together and there was so much love once. But now I just hate it and I want to punish it for making me miserable, then I never want to see it again. It’s all food’s fault! I was the good one in this relationship! Food let me down! Food doesn’t make me feel good like it used to. Why can’t food do the fucking dishes for once??!?

Unfortunately, my relationship with food isn’t like your standard romantic relationship. I can’t break up with food. I can’t erase its name from my cell phone and set its emails to spam. I can’t pack up all its shit and set it out in the lawn. And while I can make a playlist full of my favorite sad songs, that really does do much for me health-wise.

No matter how mad I am at food, I still have to deal with it every day or I die. It’s that simple. So one of the hardest things for me is to think of food as simply just fuel for my body. Something that I should enjoy but not let dominate my every emotion. Usually the more frustrated I am with myself, the more frustrated I am with food, too. During these periods, I will literally eat pizza every day for a week, because it’s the only food I don’t want to toss out the window and run over with my car. It’s the only food that still gives me a little pleasure.

(Oh, wow! Pizza is my fuckbuddy, ya’ll!)

At the moment, I am trying not to hate food. I am trying to pack lunches and make dinners and plan breakfasts that are relatively healthy that I know I will enjoy.  This girl loves her some tomatoes, so it’s a good time of year to give into that love. Well, except for the recall but still! I love a freshly-sliced tomato with a little dash of salt and pepper. I like it on sandwiches and diced on salad and in salsa and pasta sauce and sauteed with some zucchini. I LOVE TOMATOES! So I am embracing them, in moderation of course. I’m embracing strawberries and raspberries and sweet corn and dark rye bread and black bean dip and guacamole. Things that I love that love me back which is what you want in a happy relationship, right?

Sure, sometimes guacamole tempts m to eat tortilla chips by the bowl full and sweet corn is a lot more carbalicious than baby spinach and, man, strawberries never pick up their dirty socks. But by allowing myself to feel good about what I eat inspires me and motivates me to find more things to eat that I love that will love me back.

(Sometimes I feel very much “fake it until I make it” about these types of posts. If you look in my archives, you can probably find a similar post espousing the same ideals. On the one hand, I feel a bit like a hypocrite because I say it and live it for awhile and then stop. On the other hand, you only fail when you give up completely, right?)

What a difference a year makes.

26 Apr

Er. Sort of.

Two years ago this month, I was having a nervous breakdown about going to a friends wedding that led me to make drastic diet changes that I stuck with for three months, got all cocky about and then promptly plummeted off the cliff of yo-yo dieting. I gained all the weight back and more. My first taste of success turned into my first taste of devastating failure.

A year ago today I was sitting in my car, eating cake with my hands. That was my 457th taste of desperation.

I haven’t done that since, however, so score one for the home team! And I weigh a whopping 5 pounds less than I did on that day. Man, typing that out makes me want to cry! It wasn’t a wasted year in terms of a lot of things but I always have a hard time dealing with the numbers game.

Anyway, I found a great therapist and she is great and it was great except then I changed jobs and my mental health benefits went from awesome to WHY DO YOU HATE ME GOD! In fact, they’ve changed so drastically that I can only afford to see her once a month instead of the once a week I was enjoying.

That’s part of the reason I thought maybe I would start updating this a little bit more. I am going to miss being able to talk to her once a week, dammit. But if I get started about the state of mental health in this country and how insurance companies are dealing with it, I might break my keyboard or something.

Moving on!

I recently challenged myself to go two weeks without going out to eat, except for a planned outing I had. Because not only am I fat, I am also broke. So I figured stopping the going out to eat all the time would have a positive effect on my two biggest problems. I assumed that, like every other challenge I have ever given myself (for the most part), I would fail. I was WRONG! Yay for small victories. Right? RIGHT?

Right. Not only was it successful in terms of setting a goal and meeting it, it also jump started my “eat better, dammit” plan. I confess I am lazy and cooking at home can be daunting if I am not in the mood. Therefore, I have forced myself to be in the mood and it is pretty much working. I’ve also decided that, as much as I would love to eat fresh organic produce all the time, I can neither afford it or realistically gear up the energy to eat it all the time. Sometimes, *whispers* I have a frozen meal for lunch!

If you’ve read this blog at all (hello? helloooo?), then you probably know I am an all or nothing type of gal. In every. Facet. Of. My. Life. This causes problems constantly, so I am working hard to relax and just go with the flow. Eat well in this minute, hour, day, whatever. And make the best realistic choices for my health and well being.

Tomorrow it will be three weeks since I started my two weeks plan and I’ve only gone out to eat twice since the “ban” was lifted. Once, to Wendy’s because I wanted a cheeseburger and fries, dammit. And once with my boss, he paid, and I had a tasty salad.

Right now, I am sitting at my work desk, sipping on some water and trying not to get too obsessive about anything. Obsessing about not obsessing. It’s a gift I have, I guess.

So, like, I was talking about thzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

3 Jan

Can eating better actually make you more tired? No? Maybe I am just special!

Actually, I probably have more energy at night and I don’t give it an outlet, so when I try to go to sleep, I end up tossing and turning for an hour. Plus, no carb coma. Of course, I also have a tendency to obsess about what I am going to eat the next day/week/month/year during that time, too. Last night, it got to the point where I was dreaming about someone stealing the peanut butter on toast I was planning to have for breakfast.

Basically, it all adds up to me not getting a good night’s sleep and being tired the next day. But I’m eating more fruits and veggies! Is that a good trade off?

I’d like to be the kind of person that can eat healthy without really thinking about it. But it’s kind of like learning a foreign language at this point. If I don’t study and do the word problems and read the text books and actually immerse myself in the culture of eating better, it will never be something I can just casually toss off at a moments notice. It takes a lot of energy for me to not grab fast food on the way home or actually cook something for dinner. Because I’ve spent the last 10 years at least doing those fast, easy and not-good-for-me things, so they are my automatic response. I have to literally reign myself in all day long at this point to even come close to eating healthy.

I want to do it because I want to be healthier and that’s what drives my decision making. Unfortunately, making that grand pronouncement doesn’t erase all the bad habits. I’ve read that it’s easier to create good habits than break bad ones (or something to that effect) and, well, I am not sure I believe that!

The hardest part for me at this point is finding a middle-ground between eating whatever I want, when I want and obsessing over eating better every waking moment. It’s a slippery slope either way and it kind of stresses me out trying not to get stressed out about it. It’s not that I want to beat myself up for “failing” or anything, but I know that it will take me longer to get to the point of eating healthy being a habit if I continue to go to extremes all the time.

But I am doing the best that I can right now. I think that’s important and I’m going to give myself credit for it and try to relax just a bit before I give myself a headache and a bacon cheeseburger.