Sunday, December 30, 2012

sugar and not sweet things.

so i'm still doing my best to avoid sugar. this does not include: fruit, alcohol (though i don't drink that much anyway) and general savory foods. for example, my fage yogurt cups come with the side  of whatever fruit mix, which has sugar in it. i purposefully don't eat all of it, usually about half.

this afternoon i was having some soup as part of my lunch (trader joe's creamy corn and roasted red pepper soup) and as i took my first spoonful i thought, "hm, this tastes like it has a lot of sugar in it..." even though it's still savory, i could taste the sweetner. i checked the label afterwards - and the 4th or 5th ingredient was honey - and a one cup serving had 11 grams of sugar. which is fairly high, in my opinion. (actually, now that i look, the sodium content is pretty high too)

i'm actually not upset about the sugar, i'm oddly proud that my tastebuds could detect it in the first place.

i'm proud of myself for staying away from all the desserts during the holidays. it's been three weeks since i decided to cut out sweets/sugar, the only exception being: two bites of my mom's peppermint ice cream pie, and ONE white chocolate peppermint m&m. haha, clearly my weakness is chocolate and peppermint. but that's okay. there has been SO much in my path - weeks of sugary treats at work, my parents' house filled with christmas candy and cookies, and more.

so it's interesting to me that i would be able to detect high sugar levels in a SOUP. i think that's kind of cool, if i do say so myself.

so that's the good news.

the bad news, is that, i'm sitting in my apartment, doing some laundry, watching some tv, i just had a snack (gala apple) and i'm thinking about going over to my parents' house tonight - to watch football, and, eat. i want to eat two hotdogs with several handfuls of kettle cooked chips, dipped in ranch dressing, with diet soda. or some other sandwich with chips and soup and soda. that semi-antsy feeling like, i need to be calmed down or get some relaxation with food.

so what is it that's making me feel this way? i've been eating well and exercising, taking my anti-depressant. though  i haven't seen anyone (friends/family)since thursday, maybe that's it.

i don't quite know how to describe it, but when i'm eating healthfully/mindfully, sometimes it makes me feel - not grounded. like i'm existing on some level above myself that feels precarious and unsustainable. and at some point i'll float back down to earth and eat more heavily, because that makes more sense. i guess that's the food compulsion.

it feels like i want to just take a BREAK from all of this, and be able to eat whatever i want, even if it is unhealthy. but it's odd that i don't feel like doing that here, at home (which that is even an improvement in and of itself) - i feel like if i stay here at home, i'll make healthy choices.

and honestly, maybe there's a little part of me that's kind of sad/embarrassed that i go to my parents' so often. which is indirectly (in my own crazypants brain) saying that i don't have a boyfriend, and i don't have any friends that live within 40 minutes of my apartment. all of my friends (and my parents) live 40 mins away.

sometimes i feel really alone. no one else has a job in the city, no one else lives in my town, or commutes on the metro, AND is single. i feel like i'm not in the same life place as any of my friends - at least not those that live close enough to me. and i wouldn't trade my friends for anything in the world, they are AMAZING, but i feel alone.

my friends are married, engaged, have/having babies, co-habitate with their significant others. as much of a homebody as i am, they are way more settled than i am. it's definitely something i want too (minus the babies, i'm pretty sure) but i sometimes wish i still had some single, social friends to do new things with.

i want it. i want the comfort of my parents house, where they know i eat a lot and i CAN eat a lot. where i can forget about myself and just eat. i want the hot dogs and the chips and the diet soda, i really do.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


i made it through christmas. there were some feelings of lonlieness (how nice it would be to have someone at christmas...) and some overeating (being at my parents house was not easy) but all in all, i'm feeling okay. even with about 3 pounds gained since last week. i don't feel scared about getting back on track.

(at least, eating-wise. exercise wise, i haven't done a thing since last thursday, which is almost a week now)

i really don't like drawing attention to any weight loss efforts when i'm around my parents, even though i know my dad has lost some weight, and my mom has her issues too. but my mom especially has had some choice moments with me growing up that i deeply resent, and so i really don't like telling her (or my dad, but my dad and i don't really talk about emotions) about what i'm trying to do. i also get nervous because i don't want to tell her she had a hand in it.

not to say that being wholly overprotective of myself to the point of eating more/poorly is a great response. and perhaps it was just an excuse to relapse. i managed to drum up enough courage to decline sugar/dessert and it made me feel really uncomfortable. happy with my choice, mind you, but uncomfortable that it would open a conversation about my weight/size. because that is NOT something i want to dicuss with my mother. she's demonstrated MANY times over the years that she doesn't think i can get very far in the world if i stay at my own size. with various dreams, jobs, and certainly my love life. that really hurts, to be honest.

but back at work today, i feel normal. i don't feel like i'm in some deep eating habit chasm i have to climb my way out of. and for today, that's good. i do, however, feel a little like that about exercising though. and that i don't like. but i'll call it a win on the food side of things, for sure.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

weekend 2

once i got home this evening, from a day full of friends, good (not necessarily that healthy) food, i was home around 8pm or so. since i had already had dinner, i knew i shouldn't be eating anything. but that feeling came again, that "i should be eating something" - popcorn for a movie? ordering chinese food? pizza? the compulsive overeating. it's about 10pm now and i haven't eaten anything, and i will go to bed and not have given in, but i still feel a bit uncomfortable.

uncomfortable, because, i want my coping mechanism. and because the real issue probably is...

i think a certain part of me is using food to cope with the fact that i am single. that i'd like to have someone to come home to, but i don't. i want romance, i want to be wanted. i want to excite someone. and so far, i've developed the thinking that i'm not desirable because i'm overweight. that my singledom is a direct (and sometimes sole) reflection of the sizes on the tags of my clothes. i'm sure in some cases it's been true, and in others, just in my head; but either way, i've been hurt by it. and it's something i'm wholly and deeply afraid of, ashamed of, to the point that i don't even know how to directly confront it.

and i suppose to a certain extent it really means i don't accept myself because of my size, but that's another thing that i know i shouldn't feel, but i do. and this needs to change, because i can't control what others think of me.

i know it's my responsibility to carve out my own feelings. but i see so many of my friends and mother figures all have fucked up body image, and i deeply resent existing in such an environment. BUT, i'll be 30 in six months and it's about time i stop blaming the women around me for my own body image. but it feels like an uphill battle to maintain a positive body image when all around me, quite the opposite feels true. and it's not like i'm the queen of security in myself.

i suppose this is where the personal mantras come in, the daily acknowledgement of things i like about myself, etc. i've done them before, and it's helped. i can identify a lot of qualities i like about myself. but somehow the weight always undercuts it.

my weight doesn't define who i am. i want to believe that 100% of the time but i don't. and i hate that i feel that way. because i have a brain and i know better. i don't want to think that of other people, and i don't want to think it of myself. and what i find so frustrating is that i don't know what the happy ending here looks like. do i stay the same weight and learn to accept and love myself as-is, genuinely and authentically? or do i lose weight, and probably have increased confidence, etc, but simultaneously prove my own self-loathing?

i think this is why i don't do well on weekends, home alone for long periods of time. especially on a weekend evening, where i should be out doing something, or with someone. and granted i did things all day, with wonderful friends, but at the end of the day, they have someone to go home to/with. and i wish that i did too. and i get home, and i have nothing but time to sit and think myself silly about all of these things, and it's easy to go to the negative places. which makes it REALLY easy to go to food.

i'm happy that i'm identifying these feelings, even though it doesn't make them disappear.

Friday, December 21, 2012


i ate salad every day for lunch this week. i've been loving trader joe's pre-made salads - they have interesting ingredients, the calories are all laid out for me, and they taste great. but i found myself bored with the idea of salad today.

i ate my salad, and it tasted good, but i feel a little bored. which is not good for me - i need to be interested in my healthy food choices. i need to WANT to eat my lunch so that i don't go out and buy something unhealthy, or at least less healthy than whatever i would bring. that will be interesting, figuring out what sort of lunch might be a good option for me.

my mind still drifts to salty and savory indulgences. rarely sweets or sugary things, which is unusual. i've always had a sweet tooth. but i guess twelve days without having any dessert or explicitly sugary thing will do that to you. i have a cupcake from a coworker sitting on my desk right now, and i have to figure out what to do with it. the point here being, i'm happy that in this moment, i'm not obsessing over eating it or not eating it, i don't care all that much. and that's awesome.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

eat all the things

...thankfully that didn't actually happen, but for a couple of brief moments today, my mind wandered to my compulsion to just eat eat eat...a longing for carbs and fat and salt and comfort.

i was accompanying a coworker on an errand today, and we walked through an office building at lunchtime, so there were competing food smells. whatever it was smelled really good, and my first thought was "i can't ever have anything like that ever again"; and then sadness. or self-pity, or something, i don't know.

there was a second time i had that same feeling, but i can't remember what triggered it. i was on the metro commuting home, and i thought about how i feel when i'm in "eat eat eat" mode. there's that numbing almost, that familiar momentary erasing of..everything, i suppose. i did my best to lean into the feelings. to tell myself "it's not the last time you'll have those foods. they aren't going anywhere. but you don't need to have them in order to escape from whatever emotions you're trying to push down". it's not the food that's going away (though eating healthier is of course the better course of action), it's the scenario in which (and portion) that i eat it.

that seemed to help, and i had myself a small, healthy dinner. it's almost been two weeks of eating better, and i feel okay. i've had an emotionally exhausting week, and i think it's just the combination of being tired and stress at work. the good news is that i haven't taken it out on eating. i did, however, break down and cry at the gym, but that is neither here nor there.

i still feel tired. i feel like i'm barely holding on, and i don't have much mental and emotional energy to give. i need to have some real recovery time soon. treat myself to something relaxing.

...which reminds me, at some point, my goal is going to be to find a new something that's familiar, that's comfortable. and cheap, because mama isn't made out of money, kids.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


last night was one of those rare evenings this month where i didn't have any plans. i could just go home, and usually that is a recipe for overeating.

but yesterday was so stressful at work, i didn't even have *time* to think about having that comfort food/compulsive eating...until i walked in the door. i was so tired. i closed the door, took off my shoes, and had that all-too-familiar pang of wanting comfort. there was an unease as i changed into non-work clothes and then sat down on my couch. sometimes it feels like disappointment, "the end of an era", where i could eat anything i wanted and i didn't care. though i suppose i still live in that world, i could still make that choice.

i rushed to heat up some salmon (it seems my concession into the compulsive feeling were to have a little more than the palm-sized 4-5 ounces) and then a fage greek yogurt cup.

i watched a little tv and went to bed. even waking up today, with a full night's sleep, i still feel overwhelmed with work and having to go to the gym for a trainer appointment tonight and tomorrow. my stomach has been in knots all afternoon - but i get that way before each training session. my trainer pushes me and pushes me, and i'm still pretty out of shape and i don't like not being able to do things well. but i suppose that's the point - that's the norm and i should get used to it. but it doesn't stop the nerves and the little bit of anxiety, at least not yet.


my biggest accomplishment, i think, has been staying away from sugar. aside from fruit, i've really tried to avoid other sugary culprits. i've had one or two diet sodas in the past week and a half, two glasses of wine at our work holiday party on monday, and the fage yogurt cups i eat have little side pockets of fruity jam-y sort of stuff, and those have added sugar - i've just eaten half of the portion of the fruity stuff. i'm proud of that.

there is a mountain of sweets in our work kitchen right now. brownies, blackberry cobbler, spice cake, truffles, toffee bark, and peppermint bark. seriously, all of that is in our kitchen right now. and i haven't touched them, and so far i haven't felt a desire to. more like annoyance at their existence.


i'm happy with how i've been doing and where i am right now. i'd imagine if i wasn't eating so healthfully and mindfully, and wasn't exercising like i am, i'd feel much much worse, but i'm still tired and overwhelmed. i can feel myself majorly losing steam physically and it's only wednesday. i think it's the stress and pressure at work that is continually grating on me right now, and i'm not sure how to make it better.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

in the moment

it's 7pm on saturday. i ate a good breakfast, and after my outing with a friend, chose a healthy lunch (salad from noodles and company), and then came home around 4:30pm. these last few hours have been tough. i had about a cup of grapes, and then a full piece of trader joe's naan with a trader joe's paneer tikka masala frozen meal. the naan and the tikka masala was definitely more caloric than i have really been eating this week. i feel a little bit like i failed, because i could have chosen some chicken and asparagus, or a salad with some chicken, ie; something much healthier.

and if i'm trying to abide by this whole "abstinence" idea, the white bread and rice doesn't really fit into that.

do i pat myself on the back for not ordering delivery? for not diving headfirst into the candy cane jojo's? (i believe that's the third trader joe's food item i've mentioned in one post..i really like trader joe's, compulsive eating aside)

i'm trying to do my best now to accept - to accept my meal choice, to accept the weird feelings i'm having from wanting to keep eating. it's like i'm uncomfortable, or anxious, or there's this bit of panic because i'm at home, i'm watching tv, and that's it - shouldn't i be eating? it's what i do when i'm at home. i'm comfortable, i'm by myself, i can relax. but having to really be mindful and mentally/emotionally *work* at something, that can be hard to do.

luckily this "too cute!" marathon on animal planet is really helping. adorable puppies and kittens are quite distracting, as it turns out.


so i suppose this is the first real challenge. my kryptonite - being at home. all weekend. i have plans with a friend this afternoon so that'll keep me busy for a while, but this evening and all day tomorrow, that is going to be the challenge.

what do i do with myself? okay, i know the real answer: anything! go to the gym, read my kindle, take a nap, work on the crocheted scarf i've been working on for almost two years (yes, seriously), perhaps do a little christmas shopping, clean my apartment. those are all options. and in the course of a weekend i can really do all of those things.

but i want to just watch tv and eat whatever i want.

i'm going to do my best to be mindful.


there have been moments this week when i've had the opportunity to eat something sugary, or let loose and get something wholly unhealthy, and i didn't.

last night i met my friends at a mall to see the hobbit, opening night. we were waiting in line and taking shifts to go have a quick meal at tgifriday's. very few things on that menu are under 1000 calories. it was around 7pm, and i hadn't eaten in about 6 hours, and work had been particularly mentally exhausting. i was struggling. i ended up choosing one of the "under 750 calories" dishes and was proud of myself, and it did taste good. and i left some on my plate.

i made the choice to get something healthy, even though the comfort and familiarity that comes with eating a burger or some dish with lots of fat (aka deliciousness) was SO tempting. a part of me still even feels a little pang, a little flash of disappointment that i chose something healthy.


that's obviously the compulsive eater part of me. and it's okay that she's there. she's been there for god knows how many years, and she won't go away after only like 5 days of mindful eating.

i'm going to embrace her and accept her. for today at least.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


my intention was to get up at 5am and make it to a 5:45am body pump class - instead i reset my alarm for 7am. but 30 minutes into my reentry into slumber, i woke up. so at 5:30am, i gave up, gave in, and i went to the gym. i was already late to the class, but i had a backup plan.

so my group of friends and i (affectionately known as The CC) have decided to do a 5K in february, so i finally started the C25K program this morning. i wasn't sure how i'd do. i know i'm stronger than i was two months ago (when i started with the new trainer) but you never know how that translates to cardio. especially running. 

i didn't go fast, and it was only week 1 day 1, but it was EASY. i wasn't even tired afterwards. it felt more like a warmup than anything else. i am happy, and i'm also trying not to get too far ahead of myself. slow and steady progress.compartmentalizing (fitness for fitness' sake - not tying it to weight loss). one day at a time just like how i'm treating my eating issues.

follow up to day three: it was a little bit of a struggle. i ate healthfully but i did feel hungry all day. i felt wanting. but i didn't go home and add any mound of cheese to my asparagus, spaghetti squash and chicken. i was mindful of portions and ingredients. so i'm letting those feelings go and moving on today.

since i had a pretty stellar start to the day, i'm going to embrace those feelings for the time being (even though only 15 minutes into my work day, i've already got several fires to put out. it never ends*.)

*note to self: i am thankful for having a job that challenges me. i am thankful for being able to buy groceries, and have a problem that i eat too MUCH food, as opposed to not having access to food (and clean water) and starving. i'm thankful that i have full use of all my limbs and am relatively healthy despite being overweight. i am very lucky. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

day three

i felt really good yesterday, which was day two of me trying to be more mindful about my post-work compulsive eating. in fact i didn't think at all about eating a ton of food. in fact, when i came home (post-gym/trainer appointment), i roasted a bunch of asparagus and chicken. since the chicken takes longer than the asparagus, while i waited for the chicken i ate some asparagus for dinner, and didn't even finish what was on my plate - i realized i was full and put the rest in tupperware. full disclosure, there was a teeny-tiny voice inside of me, deep in the caverns of my insides, that called out "but you're stopping?" it wasn't the overwhelming majority opinion, and it clearly lost the battle. but just for a moment, it was there. and when the chicken was done i put that directly into tupperware also. no problem.

this morning (day three) a few minutes after i sat down at my desk for work, i began thinking about having that chicken and asparagus for dinner tonight. i also have some spaghetti squash - and then i thought, "well that's too healthy and straightforward and boring" - and then i thought about melting some cheese with all of it.

now, cheese isn't the worst thing i could possibly conjure up, but, i wanted to stop myself and get to writing, because, why in gods name am i thinking about how to make my dinner, about 10 hours from now, more comforting? it's 9am.

maybe because i'm hungry and i haven't eaten breakfast yet? my dinner was lighter yesterday, and i've been up for an hour and a half so far today, without eating anything; i should be hungry. or because tonight is the ONE night this week when i don't have any plans, so my brain automatically goes to compulsive-eating mode? i don't know. probably? maybe a combination of the former and the latter?

because it's such an odd thing - i am hungry, right now. but my mind goes to adding on calories and rich foods at DINNERTIME. not right now. i'm not daydreaming about going out and buying a greasy breakfast sandwich, or even a burger for lunch. my mind goes straight to dinner at home.

i should probably just eat some breakfast and move on with my work day, but day three seems like it might be a real challenge.

Monday, December 10, 2012


i'm a little bit overwhelmed at work - i've been making normal, healthy choices all day (an apple, a cup of coffee with some half and half, about 3/4 of a trader joe's ready-made salad...and ok, one small bite of green tea flavored pinkberry) but i'm having this feeling in the pit of my stomach...

i'm anxious about failing at work - our big annual conference, 3500 people strong, is one month away. we're down to the wire on a lot of aspects, many of which i'm responsible for, and my stomach is in knots over it. i want comfort, i want familiar and secure. and it's not that i want to eat right NOW, it's the idea of going home in three hours and overeating (and/or eating unhealthfully) that creeps into my mind.

i have a gym appointment with my trainer* tonight, so that puts a check-mark in the NOT overeating column. having something to do after work and minimizing the time i'm home alone in my apartment helps, plus the post-workout endorphins will alleviate a lot of the stress i am currently sitting with.

so this is that feeling: the anxiety, the fear, that makes me turn to something comforting. so here's where i substitute the food with something else? something else familiar, secure? i don't know what that is right now, but i'm trying to just sit with the anxiety, not make any moves in any direction, but feel it, hold it, ruminate, before i do anything.

*another activity that often causes me anxiety, even though i know it's good for me and i'm happy i'm doing it. but that's probably best for another post.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


((then i absolutely did not keep up with the food writing. the dinners got worse, the breakfasts and lunches have stayed about the same.))

for weeks (more than a month now) my therapist has been urging me to go to overeaters anonymous. she's boiled my junk (emotional issues, shortened) down to food addiction. that's probably being a little general, but we'll go with it for now. i'm not making this the war and peace of blog posts.

here's what's been on my mind.

i compulsively overeat most nights, and often on weekends when i'm home by myself for several hours.  - that in and of itself is a big step for me, admitting the compulsive nature of my relationship with food. i can understand that, i can work with that.

i understand coping with food. i get it, i know i do it, and i don't WANT TO anymore. i know when i do it, and i know why i do it. but an addict? that has such a gravitas to it that i don't accept for myself. in my mind, an addiction is a 24/7 thing, despite the rest of that person's life happening around them. does that  make me a functioning addict? an addict-lite?

i'm genuinely trying to understand how i can best help myself, but i'm having a hard time with the word addict - so many of the programs i've researched model themselves after AA, or any of the other "anon" programs.  i have a great job at which i've been promoted, i have my own apartment, a car, great friends and family - is this being defensive or just factual? if coping with food is my addiction, i can understand that but i can't understand or accept being an addict as it relates to those other programs. and if i can't understand or accept being an addict as it relates to those other programs, THROUGH those programs, then what am i supposed to do?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


(if anyone other than me reads this, i'm trying to keep track of what i eat, because i forget half the time. it's boring but i want to have something to refer to. also, you know those moments where you're like, holy shit, i think i'm doing it, but i don't want to let Me know! maybe if i kind of ignore it, Me won't notice. the past couple of days i've been eating a lot better and i don't want to draw any bit of attention to it because then it means i have to keep doing it and it goes from positive to burdensome in an instant.)


cottage cheese with grapes
coffee with fat free half&half and sugar

1 oikos key lime greek yogurt
half an apple sliced with 1 tbsp peanut butter, on 2 pieces whole wheat bread

green tea
15 pretzels

1 trader joe's paneer tikka masala meal over spaghetti squash

today (so far): 

coffee with fat free half&half and sugar
piece of toast (whole wheat) with pumpkin spice butter

spaghetti squash with steamed peas and asparagus
1 oikos blueberry greek yogurt

coffee with fat free half&half and sugar

Sunday, November 18, 2012

the girl that deserves...

I don’t know how to not be ashamed of my large size. My fat. I don’t like using the word fat. It makes me feel that aforementioned shame.

I can hear my grandmother say so judgmentally “that has a lot of calories” to me when I was making that mozz pesto sandwich in the kitchen. I remember my mom telling me she was afraid I wouldn’t get a job because of my weight/size. In high school, responding to my desire that I wanted to maybe be a cheerleader with, you need to start by losing 30 pounds. Listening to my godmother rail on herself, and hearing my mom tell me my godsister wanted to essentially have an intervention with me about my size/weight/weight gain.

It’s not like I don’t notice, that I don’t feel it or see it. That I want to hide sometimes and not do certain social things that may involve increased attention, like fancy bars or clubs or bachelorette parties where it’s all about women on display, getting all gussied up and wearing tight jeans and heels and flirting with men because they can. I’m the one that no man talks to, or does it b/c he’s the wingman that drew the short straw. Here’s where you tell me that I’m projecting it, that it’s not really there, but you’re wrong. There’s that shame again.

And now, this idea of food addiction, like I’m a lowlife degenerate mainlining pasta and cake, it makes me feel worse. How am I supposed to value myself and take care of myself and love myself enough to change when this is how I view it? I’m ashamed and I feel low and don’t want to spend time thinking about how I look, how will that translate into me loving myself? Suddenly it comes from a place of pride and care about myself? How can I care about a degenerate? How do I value that person? That fat ugly person that looks forward to going home at night and ordering delivery or making food she already has, but too much of it, while watching tv, and then goes straight to bed? And finds that comforting?

A distraction from the fact that I have no one to go home to. Because I’m fat and don’t want to be seen. I want to be loved but I don’t want to be seen. I want someone to do the loving me, so I don’t have to, because I don’t know what that’s like. I feel like the things you’re supposed to do if you have self-respect, I haven’t really done those things, have i? I’ve drank too much, I’ve gotten in trouble with the law (once), I’ve not gone to events beacuse of shame and pride when I could have gone, i've had sex with people that weren’t good for me, couldn’t/wouldn’t leave because I liked the attention, and sometimes at the expense of morals. For what? I can be a really ugly person sometimes and I have been.  The last thing I truly regret doing was not going to **** and ******* wedding, in 2009. That was the last time I was at my highest weight, and so depressed from not finding a job. I’m back up at that weight now, and I’m feeling ashamed and depressed while wedding dress shopping with **********. I’m the heaviest of the bridesmaids, I can’t wear a strapless dress and look good in it. I’m ashamed, and I’ll be ashamed in front of about 200 people.  

It feels like a mountain to actively ignore all of that and push that down and pretend I am a person motivated and ready to finally make that life for this girl who deserves it. Who I’m supposed to believe deserves it.