Tuesday, July 13, 2010

No Cookie For Me

No cookie for me

The cookie pictured is old, but I still considered eating it. Because it's a cookie. I love cookies!

What I did instead was look in my fridge and pantry. I decided I was going to choose at least one vegetable and make it yummy without adding too much. I chose mushrooms and sauteed them up. I scrambled up an egg. I mixed them together, added a little bit of cheese and some salsa and added it all to a whole grain tortilla. It was delicious and it took me five minutes.

Take THAT, fast food.

And then there was the cookie.

I decided instead of eating that damn cookie, (because I was full... and it's a cookie. I've broken up with cookies.) that I was going to play with it a bit. I know, I know: Don't play with your food! And I know, "Throw it all awayyyyyyy. bad bad" ;) But it was a little bit therapeutic to take that cookie and do something creative with it. It made me laugh. And I need to keep a sense of humor about all this. And I sort of like testing myself - especially when it results in me making the better, healthier choice.

So the cookie and it's mate are gone. Thrown away, never consumed but enjoyed all the same.

No cookie for me. And that's a GREAT thing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Empty House

Thursday afternoon I told my mom we wouldn't be coming for the visit I had just suggested a couple days prior. It was the killer cramps I'd been having, plus the run down feeling and Daniel having been gone on a work trip for 24 hours and counting. Or maybe it was my recent decision to eat better paired with this overwhelming desire to just relax and focus on me for a bit. Regardless, the idea of sitting in a car for an extended period of time and then trying to make health food choices while traveling no longer appealed to my mind or body. I was tired. I needed to relax. I wanted to enjoy our house, just the 6 of us (I'm including the dog children) for a few precious days after having house guests for the last two weeks.

And then Saturday around noon, my two kids jumped on my bed for ten minutes straight, screaming at the top of their well developed and OMG! healthy lungs, with no abandon. When they saw my face contorting with frustration and ugh, pain - they giggled. "This is fun!" Zoe squealed in delight. I looked over at Daniel who was doing the best he could to just sit and read a book while all this was going on and I asked him how he'd feel about the kids visiting my parents for a few days.

I think he was a little shocked and excited and sad, all at once - but he nodded yes, so I hurriedly called my mom before I lost my nerve.

The was some deliberating and some negotiations and then trying to figure out the logistics of it all, but we worked it out. I quickly called our friends to cancel our plans 30 minutes before we had planned on meeting and then asked if they'd be willing to watch the dogs last minute. I ran around the house packing up the kids for an adventure at Nana and Baba's house and shoved a few things in a backpack for a quick overnight stay for me and Daniel - just to get everyone settled.

We got back to Bakersfield yesterday afternoon - 24 hours after we left. We listened to a book on tape on the ride home and stopped for vegetarian sandwiches at Whole Foods. We saw a movie and ate some healthier Mexican food. I had a margarita. We went home and relaxed in our quiet living room. I had some wine and snacked on berries for dessert. It was delightful. The best part is, we have two more nights of this. My parents bring the kids back to us Wednesday afternoon.

Don't get me wrong, I miss the kids - very much so. The house feels too quiet and I'm honestly a little lost without them here with me right now.... but, and there is a HUGE but: I needed this. If not just to catch up on our date night deficit, then to focus on me a little bit.

These few days are an excellent opportunity for me to focus on the changes we're making as far as food choices too. We've committed to cutting red meat and pork from our diet and we'll be limiting poultry as well. After talking to a few friends, I'm no longer specifically counting every single calorie and every ounce of water - I'm just aware. I'm looking at the ingredients in foods and eating less in general. But I'm eating a ton of fruit and veggies. I keep my water with me and drink as needed. I know I'm filling it up repeatedly during the day and that's all that matters. I haven't looked at a scale, but I do know I feel lighter, if that makes any sense. I've been told by some friends that I can still eat meat - that I can still have my ice cream in moderation. Sure. They're right. But I don't want to. I know what works for me. From my experience of quitting smoking 7 years ago, cold turkey - I know that it doesn't work for me to just taper down. I need to replace that need with something else. I replaced cigarettes with food and now.... now I'm replacing some of the foods that were my weakness with foods that are healthy*. The thing is, searching out foods that are better for me and my family is fun. I'm loving getting to talk to people about it and looking at healthy cookbooks. I've told Daniel repeatedly that he doesn't have to give up meat and pork like I am. I've told him he is free to eat whatever he wants when we go to restaurants and/or he's at work and that I will be fine as long as he encourages me to stick with this. He's told me repeatedly that he wants to do this with me as much as he can and that means the world to me - to have him be my partner in this.

I feel very lucky.

*- Felt a little hungry as I was writing this. Grabbed a banana instead of the crazy pink frosting sugar cookies that are in eyesight. They're from last week and probably are way stale now, but there was a time when that would not have mattered and I would have eaten them anyway.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Big Changes

So, I’m not sure if any one ever reads these posts anymore... but hello. It’s been a while. I’d recap what I’ve been up to, but I’ve decided to just leave that up to mystery. Ha.

What I will tell you is that sometime yesterday I made the commitment to myself (and out loud to my husband) that it’s time for me to get back on track with healthy eating and trying to be a healthier person overall. I’ve been down this road before - I had some successes and then maybe because I had those successes, I was able to get pregnant with my son without any extra help (fertility drugs). Because of gestational diabetes, I was able to maintain my weight through strict management of my carb intake. I felt better about myself.

And then we had our car accident and my way of dealing with the stress was to eat. I ate entirely too much. When I was sad or upset, I turned to unhealthy foods. I started a ritual of eating ice cream nightly. Every. Single. Night. A huge bowl. And sometimes I’d have seconds. It was gluttonous and crazy and irresponsible. But it was comforting. I know it sounds crazy, but that ice cream was my salvation. I would sit there with my bowl (or bowls) after the kids had gone to bed and disappear. I didn’t think about my stressful day or medical bills - I just focused on the chocolate chip ice cream and I was content.

I’ve gained 15 pounds since September 27th and when I look at myself, I hate what I see. When I think about the example I’m setting for my kids, I want to cry. And I know that my weight has had a impact on my health and has definitely played a part in my continued pain from the car accident.

Last January, I had my chiropractor suggest that I have a gastric bypass. It hurt my heart to sit there and have him tell me that I would never be able to lose the weight I needed to, on my own. He told me I was going to waste my youth - that he would “bet” that I was “pretty hot under all that weight.” And in those moments in his office, I suddenly felt the ugliest I had ever felt in my life. I told Daniel about it right away and he is 100% supportive of whatever I want to do. We made an appointment with a surgeon to discuss my options, but the consultation was postponed because the doc was backed up and we never went back. The idea of having surgery scared me and I was concerned about not being able to get pregnant for at least 2 years after the procedure. That would mean if we decided we wanted a third child, we’d have to wait and then I’d have to be very careful with my eating and undoubtedly gain some weight back. So we sat on it.

And I ate more ice cream.

Which brings me back to last night.

As I was sipping on a glass of wine and nibbling on a piece of feta and an olive, I told Daniel that I could eat this and be happy. And then it was like a slap in the face: I could and SHOULD be eating better.
“I want to make some changes and eat healthier.”
“OK. It would mean giving up your ice cream.”
“Right.”

And then there was this silence as I considered that and processed what Daniel had said - what he had obviously said because he’d been thinking it for a while. I felt like I was sitting in the Chiropractor’s office again. “I bet you’re pretty hot under all that weight.” I felt my face burn with shame.

“You must hate the way I look.”
“No. I love the way you look. I love you. No matter what.”

There were more sweet things said... but I’ll leave those between us. The point is, I was transported back to my home and pushed the Chiropractor’s words out of my head for a bit.

After dinner, we ran to the store to get some healthy snacks and a water bottle to track water intake.

Later, as Daniel slept next to me, I signed up for an iPhone app that gives me a calorie budget to help me get to my desired weight. It can track carb and fiber intake. It alerts me when I need to snack and it tracks calories burned based on the exercise and amount of time spent exercising.

I haven’t given up on the idea of a gastric bypass or lap band. Daniel and I decided not that long ago that we won’t be planning on any more kids - so my one concern is... no longer a concern. I do want to see what kind of progress I can make on my own though. Just admitting to myself and putting out here for anyone to see is a huge step.

So, I guess this also means I’m back. Back to blogging, I mean. I’ve missed this outlet, certainly... but I also know that if I do not put myself out there and share what my goals are, I will back away slowly and go buy a gallon of ice cream. Help me not do that, OK?