Monday, February 18, 2013

Me vs. The Mirror

So today I am just relaxing! It is the last day of a four day weekend, we are suppose to be heading to Shriners Hospital the end of the week (weather permitting) and I decided this would be the perfect day to decompress.

First I must do a quick catch up....closely followed by a happy dance that I invite you all to join me in. here goes. I have lost more weight (even with the appetite coming back) and you can't imagine how nice it is to see those numbers getting smaller. is not coming off like it would if say I was giving it 100% everyday.....but the 60-75% that I have been giving it is obviously working much better than the 20-30% I have given it in the past. Yes....I am still a work in progress. 

The truth is that about a week and a half ago I happened to glimpse myself in the mirror and I actually realized that I was missing some chins. Laugh if you will but the fact is....I actually saw a thinner face staring back at me. However....I have a very unhealthy mind and like anyone who has ever grappled with eating disorder issues along with self esteem issues.....the image looking back at you from your mirror can get very distorted. Within 24 hours of my thinner face triumph...I looked again to see my face multiplying chins once again. Intellectually I knew that was my own self esteem working against me and that my face was not actually fatter, but when your mirror image does this to can cause some major set backs if you allow it. Along with my bathroom mirror playing tricks on also seemed that my bedroom mirror which is more of a full length horror show.....also started gnawing away at any positive illusions that I might have about my body. Each time I looked in it for some sign that my bumps and lumps were smoothing out and that the loss I was seeing on the scales was being translated into my hopes were shot down. What stared back was unattractive and very disappointing. Sigh! At this point it would have been very easy to reach for comfort in the form of sugar wrapped in sugar topped with sugar....and not too long ago, that is exactly what would have happened. Not this time though!

Perhaps it is the fact that I have learned my mental processes so well or maybe the fact that I am actually serious this time about making changes, but rather than derail myself I decided to reason with myself. Yeah....I know, it sounds hokey but sometimes you have to talk things through in your own head to see the reality. During my self convo I realized a couple of things. First of all....I haven't had a full length mirror for years. The one I have now is fairly new. Then there is the fact that I have become a master at seeing only parts of myself in the mirror, so even with the new mirror....I seldom actually see the real picture. The real picture has been for quite sometime that I am an overweight woman and it does not translate to attractive when you are looking with a critical eye. However....the fact is, I have not really looked at myself in a long time so in fairness....the current image is likely much better than say I even looked a couple of months ago, but how would I really know that as I have not really seen myself through honest eyes in a long time? Realizing all of this.....I decided to go with the facts instead of the mind games I was playing with myself.

The fact is that I stepped on the scales again and the numbers were still getting smaller. The real test though would be my clothes. If in fact I was still as big as I thought I was...then my clothes would all still fit tight, so I decided to go through my closet and see if the scales and my intellect would win out or the mirror and my negative self image would. Now let me say here....I hate trying on clothes. In fact....despise might actually be a better word for this form of emotional torture. For a girl that used to love nothing a days I want to cry at just the thought of having to try something on and then have to look in the mirror so that it can judge me. Surprisingly closet venture wasn't as painful as I thought it would be.

Like every woman of just about any shape or size in America....I have a closet full of clothes that have about a three size range. You have your clothes that are your smallest size that seldom get touched. These clothes have the ability to give you either a really good day or a really bad day dependent upon whether you can get into them or not and how they actually fit if you can. Then you have your midsize clothes. These are your every day clothes that get the most wear. These are also the same clothes that cause a woman to look in her closet and declare she has absolutely nothing to wear because she is bored to tears looking at them....let alone wearing them. Finally you have your largest size clothes. These are the clothes that a woman will go to when she "feels" fat. Yes I say "feels" because often as not....when we feel fat it is more emotional than it is factual...thus when we put those clothes on we look misproportioned and dowdy thus adding to our already low self image. Because they are too big and the waist doesn't constrict....there is room for expansion and since we feel fat...why not make it a fact?  So, we head to the nearest refrigerator and eat ourselves into a binge that will actually make those clothes fit. My closet is no different.

Rather than pick and choose the clothes which I knew would give me the most anxiety....I decided I would just try them all. I had a Goodwill bag ready, a trash bag ready and after a shot of cooking sherry....I was ready to face the monster which was my closet. I pulled everything out and started with my pants. What started out with about 15 pair of pants and jeans turned out to be about four pair that actually fit.....and they were all at the small end of my range. Next were all my tops. As I have gotten tops are what gives me the most issue. Looking at myself in the mirror....the slim shouldered me no longer exists. She has been replaced with a linebacker that would make any pro-football team proud. Because of this....I always make the mistake of wearing shirts that are too big because I think they will hide the broad shoulders, big boobs and back fat. All they actually do is add another ten pounds and accentuate my non existent shoulder pads.  Keeping this in mind....I cleared out all the shirts that I felt my body needed.....and then carefully went through the shirts that my body actually deserved. Again....I cut my wardrobe down to about less than half of what I started with. What I found out was that the size I actually am is really two sizes less than I thought I was. It was amazing. It was also exhausting. Mentally I was toast. I also decided then and there that I would not buy another item of clothing until everything in my closet no longer fit. Since I was getting rid of all my bigger clothes....I have no place to go but down.

It was emotionally taxing forcing myself to realize that my body, life change and weight loss were doing just fine, but that my mind alone was what was trying to derail me. When I dealt with only the facts and worked strictly in real numbers and size I understood that I am actually losing and my body is obviously changing for the better. How easy it would have been to have destroyed all of this with a cheesecake or a meatball sub. The reality is though....that not just the physical but also the mental changes are happening. I am learning to talk myself off my own ledges and I am starting to replace negative self image and mental smoke and mirrors with reality and positive thinking.

So as you can was an impressive four day weekend for me. It was also exhaustive. The fact is though.....I am breaking ground and whats more....I am worth every exhaustive moment. All this being said and done....I think I have earned today and I plan on enjoying every relaxing second of it. So now I leave you with good thoughts, a smaller size and let us not forget........A HAPPY DANCE! Let the dancing commence!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

May I Suggest.....Coconut Water?

So who is down three (3) more pounds????? THIS GIRL!!!! Yep. Tis true. I have lost another 3 pounds and am continuing to watch the scale head south. the big scheme of things (meaning my behind)....there is much work left to do, but just knowing that I have gotten below my nemesis number and I am continuing to lose makes me very happy. The truth is though....I have done little to make these numbers happen. Apparently I am still not completely well as I was put on more antibiotics yesterday. They are hoping that a Zpac will finally do the trick. So my loss is actually from my inability to stomach food. Nothing sounds good and when I do eat....after just a few bites I am done. It always sounds better pre-consumption than it tastes during consumption.

All this being said.....I am fighting this whole not eating thing with everything I got. I live in fear that this gift of weight loss will magically disappear the minute I am back to 100%, so I am taking advantage of my current situation by forcing myself to eat mainly healthy food when I do eat. Luckily....the healthier foods such as raw fruits and veggies are what is most appealing to me right now. Last night I added some humus to go along with my veggies and it was delish wasn't. Such is my current life. Sigh.

I have also been trying to do a lot of reading about foods and such of late. Tea has been a staple throughout my sickness and most all tea has some kind of healthful property in it....and if it doesn't...then it is at least not harmful. My issue is that with my hot tea...I always reach for the diet sweetener. One day though....when my throat was raw....I decided to try honey instead of the sweetener. I had heard about honey not only being a more healthful choice than sweetener or sugar, but also that it had a healing effect on the throat when added to tea. After one cup I was hooked. Since....I have made a considerable effort to drink my tea either plain or with honey. I am good with either right now and I am saving my body from a whole lot of additives.

Sadly.....I have not completely kicked the diet soda habit yet....but there is major effort going into cutting way back. At first I decided I would switch to Crystal light.....only to find that it is no better for you and it also contains artificial sweeteners. So I was doing only tea and water......and my desire for something different nearly killed me. Feeling that man cannot live by tea and water alone...or at any rate this woman can't, I started doing my homework. I noticed that something that was being talked about a great deal was Coconut Water. Having never heard of it.....I had no idea what it was. On further investigation....I found it to be just that....coconut water. It has fresh coconut water that I assume comes straight from the coconut and the only additives are pureed fruit (if you get the fruit flavored kind) and Vitamin C. That's it. There is no fat and very little sugar. For a 16.9 oz container there are two servings and each serving is 55 calories. The biggest thing though is the taste. I LOVE the taste. To is far more thirst quenching than soda, but it is not just plain bland water. Also....I would gladly deal with 55 calories and no additives or chemicals over 0 calories and a laundry list of ingredients I can't even pronounce correctly let alone metabolize.

The only draw back to the coconut water that I have found is it's price. I usually purchase mine at Dillon's (Kroger) and it runs about $2.35 per 16 oz. carton. For my budget it is a bit pricey to have on hand as an everyday drink, but as an every once in a while is awesome.  I have to say that this is one of my best finds in awhile.

We all need to remember that when you are on a weight loss program.....even if you lose every pound you want to, the only way that you will keep it off is to change the habits and unhealthy food choices that put you there in the first place. You cannot lose 60 lbs and then expect to go back and eat burgers and fries and sweets and junk and keep the weight off. This is why it is so important to change up how and what you eat while you lose so that these new foods become your go to foods, even after you lose. When I was going to Weight Watchers (WW) they had one leader who would challenge us each week to eat a fruit, veggie or healthy food choice that we had never tried before. It was an act of brilliance as it taught us to step outside our food choice boxes and it also gave us a bigger variety of healthy foods to choose from. It was at this time that I also started making myself eat foods that might not always be my first choice, such as green peppers, radishes and fresh spinach. By doing this.....I started finding that foods I thought I didn't like were actually turning into foods that I really did like. It also gave me a much wider variety of foods to choose from when I cooked.

So Coconut Water is my suggestion for you. If you haven't tried so. I would love to hear your thoughts. My other suggestion is to try something different. Your produce section has a plethora of items and I am sure there are at least one or two items you have never tried. Next time you go to the store try something new. Not sure how to fix your new find? Google it or search Pinterest. Before you know it you will have ideas galore right there at your finger tips and you will be on your way to a tasty lifestyle change.

Let me know what you think about Coconut Water and feel free to share any recipes, food ideas or comments. Until next time....