Self Sabotage & Second Chances

This was my first go round with holidays and my sleeve.
I won’t lie, it was fucking hard.
eating feelingsCookies, chocolate, pies, mashed potatoes, ice cream, ALL OF THE YUMMY-NESS SMACKED ME IN THE FACE DAILY. And not only that, it screwed with my head. It screwed with the sabotaging self-talk that I have been working so hard to change to positive, healthy thoughts.
“Oh, just one or two pieces of those mini chocolates won’t kill you…”
(FUCK YOU YES THEY WILL, YOU KNOW YOU CAN’T JUST HAVE ONE, ITS GONNA BE A SNEAKY HANDFUL OF 6 OR 7 OF THOSE LITTLE ASSHOLES, AND YOU WILL SNEAK THEM SO IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE YOU ARE THE GREEDY FAT GIRL TAKING TOO MUCH)
And I gave in.
“As long as you just have a few bites of several desserts, and don’t make the pouchy grumpy, over full, or sick, you’ll be fine……”
(HEY THERE ANDREA, YOU KNOW THIS IS FUCKED UP THINKING, RIGHT? TOTALLY DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF THE LIFESTYLE CHANGE. YOU’RE GONNA FEEL BLOATED AND LIKE CRAP THE NEXT TWO DAYS, AND ITS GONNA TAKE AWHILE FOR THE SCALE TO ADJUST…AT LEAST A WEEK UNTIL YOU GET BACK ON TRACKkkkkkkkk……………………….and desserts fall down into the darkness of the small yet now grouchy pouchy)
I wasn’t perfect during the holidays. I know that there were a few days where I ate too much. But I also didn’t beat myself up for it either. I also reminded myself what I needed to do to get back on track: 
Make sure to track my food. The days I went haywire, I would start off tracking, mess up, and then decide to not record anything for the rest of the day. This is the tough one for me because it means I have to be brutally honest with myself and all things I put in my mouth. If I don’t record it, it’s like I didn’t really put in in my body. That’s not being very honest with myself and my habits. If I want to stick with my new, healthy self, I know I will always have to track my food, or I will get off track.
walking doggosMake sure to walk or just move more! It is ok for me to have a treat every now and then, just not every day. I should (and do!) walk A LOT every day, but on a few of the days above where I overindulged, I got my arse up and went to a walk with the Lucy (or as I lovingly call her, my Wwwucy dawg!). So there is some positive. (Good bye mini Hershey bars from my ass! Woot!)
Keep planning ahead for all food related situations Even though the temptations were everywhere, I did plan ahead. For Thanksgiving I made 3 layer bars of shortbread crust, chocolate and pumpkin. They were made with almond flour and an artificial sweetener, and only 138 calories. For Christmas, I made an apple crisp, because I love apple crisp! I also brought my protein drinks to use as creamer in my coffee (I think of this as my treat daily, and add a flavored, sugar free syrup)
As a food addict, some days the food demons are more prevalent than others. And it sucks. Food demons are especially in high gear around the holidays. Time to put them back in the cages.
I am back on track. Almost as soon as the holidays were over and I got back into a normal routine, the 3 pounds I gained have left and I am losing like normal again. I didn’t let my addiction get the best of me. As cliché as it sounds, I let it win a few battles, but I didn’t let it win the war.strawberry santas
I know this is my struggle, every day. I can only imagine how an alcoholic feels during this season as well. It has got to be damn hard for them as well, only their drug is alcohol! I commend you my fellow addicts, I can empathize with your struggle.
Every day, I am working on me. I have to keep that in mind. I tend to lose focus sometimes, and want to go back to old habits and ways. Because they are comforting and familiar. But comfortable and familiar also got me morbidly obese. And I don’t want to pay that price anymore.
So I am keeping my eyes open and working on being honest with myself and my demons. I make mistakes. My self-talk isn’t always positive, and sometimes I wanna sneak the food and eat it in secret, so that I feel like I have control of something. I have to remind myself that this isn’t how I am in control; I am in control by making health choices, which means I am being kind to myself.
Being kind to me, forgiving myself for poor choices, and moving forward…..not letting the food monsters in my head dictate my actions. Yep, that’s my goal for 2019.
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He loved me anyway

“Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day”.

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In 5 years, my husband and I have been thru a lot of stressors that life presents us with, especially being a blended family. I emotionally ate my way thru most of that stress, which is what caused me to gain close to 60 lbs. these last 5 years, and that’s not good when you were already overweight to begin with. I think there are lots of men who would have looked at their wives and told them they were really starting to let themselves go, but…..

He loved me anyway.

Through the emotional eating, the climbing of pant sizes, and the sneak eating of brownies, ice cream and cookies, and the climbing numbers on the scale….

He loved me anyway.

When I was so depressed I didn’t feel like leaving the house, and had suicidal thoughts, literally hated my body and myself……

He loved me anyway. (and bought me a puppy!)

When I was about to give up on myself, he loved me anyway.

20130905_195854_AndroidWhen I started to climb out of my depression, and work on my weight and eating habits, he was right thereby my side, helping me with changing the way we ate, and cooking healthier. As I started the bariatric process, he was right there, reminding me to eat slow, and put my fork down between bites. When I was tempted to eat things I shouldn’t, he was there to remind me of my goals. And even when I cursed at him because I was pissed that he was freaking right….

He loved me anyway.

I never thought someone could love me enough to make the changes and sacrifices that we have made thru this weight loss journey. Seriously, my heart is so full to know that my husband loves me this immensely is beyond any words I can write. I hope I am as good to him as he has been to me. He always says that I am the better spouse, but I don’t believe one of us is better than the other. I think we are good for each other, and when you love someone, you do whatever you can to LOVE them to the best of your ability, no matter what, thru the good and the bad.

Most importantly, his love has reminded me how much I need to also love me. I am learning that by taking care of my body in a kind way…making healthier food choices and exercising. And that isn’t easy. But starting to love myself again, what a great feeling!

My husband, my rock, the love of my life. How amazing it is to walk by your side in this life. Cheers to 5 years, and a lifetime of “loving each other anyway”.20130905_195750_Android

Winning!

3 months post surgery, AND I AM DOWN 50 LBS!!!!

 The “me” that I knew “then” is coming back, new and improved.

For me, the eating, depression, anxiety, and emotions are all rolled up into one nasty demon. I fight them daily. When the depression and anxiety start crashing down the ski slope, the food also gravitates to me as a comfort, and a feel good drug that allows me to cope. I’ve done the same thing with smoking in the past, used it as a crutch to deal.  

Having the sleeve surgery has forced me to deal with the issues in my life.

Eyes and stomachBefore, when I had a regular size stomach, I could go on a diet, lose some weight, have a cheat day here and there. I tried to be 100% committed to them, but it didn’t work because I didn’t know how to deal with the emotional eating; or the stresses that caused me to turn to food. I would get frustrated with a diet or exercise program because I wasn’t losing, and that would add to my depressive and anxious thoughts, in which I turned to food. And so the cycle of food addiction continued. 

 

I am a food addict.

I have been a bulimic, and a binge eater. 

I have also been a smoker.  

Managing my food addiction, and admitting I am an addict is what helps me keep the other monsters at bay. 

Problems with obesity for me began in my late teens. More recently, in the last 6 years I had several life changes hit me at once that contributed to the weight gain-I moved to a new town, got married, got a new job, was let go from new job, and then struggled to find a new one.  I felt lonely, sad, and like life wasn’t worth living anymore.  I was 258 lbs., and life sucked.  

Thanks to a pretty amazing husband and getting a new puppy (my Wwwucy dog!) in late 2016 I started to come out of the depression, and decided it was time to focus on the weight loss again. I had plantar fasciitis and awful lower back pain every day. I joined the YMCA that year, and the “Y Lose it” program.  These things were helpful, but I would lose about 6 to 10 lbs, and hit a stall. Then get frustrated again, which lead me back to the brownies, cookies, and Diet Coke. I felt like I deserved those things because I was working out so hard, but felt like my stupid body just didn’t want to let go of the weight. The program was good, but also was hard on my mental state. We did lots of running and HIIT workouts. I could do them, but always felt like a loser because I was always the last one to complete the circuits. Some days, my anxiety about being the biggest girl in the group was so high I would just end the workout, go to my car, and cry.  

As the physical ailments got worse, I had to stop working out. It was November of 2017, and I asked my Dr. about weight loss surgery. I researched, almost every free moment I had, on the facts about weight loss surgery. Which lead me to the bariatric team at our local hospital, Lucyand it took about 6 months to meet the requirements of the program.  I had appointments with a nutritionist, exercise physiologist, surgeon, and psychiatrist. These steps, although challenging, heled me put in perspective the choice I was making to have gastric sleeve surgery. My relationship with food was about to make a drastic change.  

The two weeks pre op and two weeks post op were the most challenging, as I was pretty much limited to a liquid diet. This is where I really struggled with wanting to eat. Dairy Queen commercials would come on tv, and I would get so angry that I couldn’t eat that…..I think I cried a few times. And was definitely a MEGA BITCH to those who even tried to come near me with any kind of yummy food. (who am I kidding, I was just bitchy sometimes not being able to eat what I wanted. LOL)  

My biggest challenge now is social situations. I have high anxiety when it comes to eating outside the comfort zones of the safe foods I make for myself.  But I am getting better as I learn what the best food choices are for me. Restaurants aren’t easy either, but these things are a work in progress. 

Even with its struggles, here are the positives that I am pretty pumped about: Front head to Toe

·        I LIKE my reflection! I have a waist again!!

 ·        I feel SEXY!! (watch out husband, its almost time to break out the lingerie!! He he!!)  

·        HOLY SHIT I CAN CROSS MY LEGS!!  

·        I was shopping for a new shirt yesterday, and the lady handed me a large, but then said to take a medium, just in case. I got teary eyes ladies!!  

·        I can walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded.  

·        I enjoy cooking healthy foods, and now spend my Sunday’s food prepping. (whoodda thunk it ?!?)  

·        I get cranky if I don’t have the opportunity in my day to walk.  

·        My mental  health is better than ever, and depression is  in remission.  

·        I AM HAPPY!  

And most importantly, I know I can do this. I know that all my addictive behaviors, past and present, have shaped who I am today. I have to take one day, one meal at a time.  

So there is a piece of old and new me, I like to call it “reinvented me” who is pretty awesome. And I am falling in love with her all over again. And its not just the physical part, it also the fact that I am fighting hard against my fat girl brain to not eat the crappy foods.  And damn that’s tough.  But I am winning. 

 (did I mention……HOLY SHIT I CAN CROSS MY LEGS ?!?) Thanks for reading.  🙂

Flawsomeness

Confidence

Confidence.

Oh confidence.

How I have lacked you for AT LEAST half of my life.

My friend, I have found you again.

I’ve never been very good at bragging about my accomplishments. In fact, the way I was raised, I felt more ashamed to talk about ME and things I had done well, because if I did that, I was being selfish. In my mind, I interpreted being confident with arrogance, selfishness, and being conceited. And no one likes a bragger anyway, right?Insecure

Well, as I graduated to adulthood, I realized some of those mindsets I interpreted as a kid were fucked up.  A woman can be confident in herself and her accomplishments, and not be a bragging, conceited bitch. It’s all in the delivery of how one portrays that to others.

And maybe, portraying one’s self confidence in a positive light, can help others, as I help myself to love and like me again.

This time, as I have lost weight after surgery, I have gained (ha…see that pun and what I did there ?!?) confidence AND Acceptance. As most of you are aware, I started at 258 lbs.  I am now down to 216 lbs.!!!

And I feel amazing.

FlawsomeAnd I’m not afraid to brag a little and say I worked damn hard to get that 40 lbs. off.

And I’m not afraid to put on a swimsuit and hang out at the lake this weekend.

And I’m not afraid to say I like my body.

My body still has a long journey to go, but I like what I see in the mirror now. I’m getting a waist again, and none of my clothes seem to fit any more.

 

This is my transition, physically and mentally.

I’m learning to overcome my food addiction, by killing off those food demons in my head that are constantly there.

I gotta tell ya…. I fucking LOVE cookies! Seriously. And the last 4 years our kids have started wanting big, decorated cookies for their birthdays. So off I went yesterday to pick up Cooper’s gigantic, deliciously decorated, peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie.

Ughhh…. FUCK YOU COOKIES AND YOUR HEAVENLY DELICIOUSNESS THAT MELTS IN MY MOUTH WITH EVERY BITE AND BRINGS ME (ALMOST) MORE HAPPINESS THAN SEX.

Besides the cookie, I bought a 4 pack of the day old cookies, because my obese/food addicted self eyed the M & M cookie in the bunch. Yep, IM IN TROUBLE

I got in the car and unwrapped the cookies. I pulled out the M& M cookie and pinched off a small piece.

That will be all I get.

I inhaled the sweet, carb filled, M&M goodness of the one cookie bite, and wrapped the rest back up in the saran wrap, threw it in the back seat, and started my drive back to work.

I still craved more of that fucking cookie.

As I have been working to retrain my food brain, thoughts came to mind:

Old food addict brain: Damn that was tasty! You’ve been kicking ass at weight loss…MEH…. another bite won’t hurt, no one will know. This is just like the old days, sneaking treats in the car, no accountability to anyone. Ahhh welcome back old me, CHEAT MOMENTS FOR LIFE!!!

angel and devil

New healthy brain: HELLZ NO YOU DON’T NEED ANYMORE FUCKING COOKIE!! (screaming now) DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY CARBS ARE IN THAT COOKIE??? WE DIDN’T COME THIS FAR TO FALL BACK INTO SHITTY HABITS NOW. FUCKING THROW THE REST OF THOSE DAMN COOKIES AWAY. TELL YOU WHAT, LETS HAVE A 2ND DIET PEACH SNAPPLE INSTEAD. THE CVS DOWN THE STREET CARRIES THEM AND HAS A TRASHCAN FOR THE COOKIES!!!!

Me caught between the food devil and angel on my shoulders: Damn I loved eating cookies. But healthy brain is right. I fucking hate that healthy brain is right.

……but I do love Diet Snapple.

…….and I did work really hard to change my diet, this has to be for a lifetime, remember??

…….BUT M&M FUCKING COOKIE!!!

Conclusion: I compromised with both brains. I snagged one more bit of the cookie, made sure it was a small, soft, nummy bite from the middle, and threw the rest of the cookies away. Oh, and got my diet Snapple.

I have worked to hard to regress.

It’s not worth it. (I AM WORTH IT!! NEW HEALTHY ME IS WORTH IT!!)

However, one bit and done now and then isn’t going to ruin my progress.

I know that I can’t totally deny myself, or I will go back into full fledged food addict.

I accept the fact that I am a food addict and will struggle daily with my fight with food.

I am confident though, that I can win each daily battle.

And that is nothing to be ashamed about.

Serenity Prayer

The Bad Bestie Breakup

When I am overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, anxious….you name the feeling, and my first instinct for most of my adult life was food. Food was the comfort, the happy, the never let me down friend, who never judged me for my choices.  

However, it did make me fat.  

And that’s like a best friend stabbing you in the back.  stabbed

Only its not one hard brutal hit, like finding out your bestie told you deepest, darkest secret, you find out, and then there’s a knock down drag out fight for a day, tears, and the friendship is either over or patched back together little by little.  

With food, your secret appears slowly as you keep stuffing yourself with food to cover the emotions. The weight gain happens, but it doesn’t hit you all at once. It creeps on. It manipulates you into coming back for seconds, thirds, fourths, day after day. Until your back is hurting, or its harder to get up the stairs, or you realize you went from a comfortable, curvy size 14, to the big yoga ball roundness that has devoured your once envied curves. Fuck. I’m fat.  

Before surgery,  I worked on dealing with my emotional eating. I practiced not buying the deliciousness of the locally made Chocolate Chip cookies, big bowls of ice cream, and 4 slices of pizza. It was hard, but at that stage I knew if I cheated a little, it was OK. Because I hadn’t had surgery yet. A little cheat….I could forgive myself and start over.  

Not now.  

The thought of cheating on my “Penne Pouchy” scares me now. I’m scared to feel sick. I’ve already felt this when I’ve eaten an extra bite of something, or not eaten enough. I really do have to be careful. And myself talk has had to change. When I walk into the kitchen and feel like eating, just for the sake of boredom, I have to tell myself…”Hey, let’s not do this”.  eating

One of the biggest challenges is the social outings. My husband had his 20 year high school reunion this weekend. The hubby is from a very small town of about 700 people, and the reunion was at a bar. We also had to bring an appetizer. (Can you see where this is going? Carbs and Booze!! Two of my favorite things!!!)  

I did my best to plan ahead, I brought my foods in my mini cooler and I was determined to be successful.

 I *kinda* was.

The thing about me…..I LOVE people and socializing is my thing. (Not so much the hubby’s) While we were there, I MISSED BEER AND CARBS!!  I enjoy having a drink in hand, getting a little tipsy and more relaxed while B.S.’sing with friends or strangers who knew me growing up. I ENJOY EATING good things while socializing.  

sad waterBut here I was with my fucking cup of ice water. Sigh.

 One of the hubby’s friends wives even asked if there was something I wasn’t telling them. (No, not preggers) I just told her the truth, that I had gastric sleeve surgery.

So here’s the truth….not being able to have the beer and food really took a toll. I was so anxious I went to the bathroom to catch my breath and cry….More than once. Seems stupid I know. But when food and alcohol have been at the center of the socialization, and you can’t have that….one realizes how big of an issue it is for you. The hubby kept checking on me, said we could leave, but I didn’t want him to have to give up the rest of his night because of my food addiction. So I sucked it up. I did have a few Smokey treats during the evening, I needed something to take the edge off.  

Later that night, the same hubby’s friends wife who thought I may be preggers asked me if I wanted another smokey treat. I accepted, with hubby’s evil star at me, when she looks at my husband and tells him….the poor girl can’t drink or eat carbs, she should have some pleasure!!!!  

OMG…tears just started and I think I cried on her chest for a few minutes. She said out loud what I was feeling all night. That moment meant a lot to me. Even though she probably was just being humorous in the moment and not expecting me to break down. I appreciated that so much.  

The night ended with me having one small, vodka and cranberry juice. And I was OK.  

One small victory for me.  

I know I’m always going to struggle with my former bestie…food.

 But I’m willing to make the change. One social event at a time.

 And I might screw up, but I’m still gonna get back up, and start over. 

sunset victory

 

Crappy Carb Cravings (I hate you)

Bad days.

I’ve got ‘em.

And I seemed to have one today when I woke up bitchy and craving carbs.

We went to a wedding last night. I didn’t realize how eating around a table of 6 other people, who could eat a plateful, would affect me.

It fucking sucked ASS.

Oreo CakeI was pissed. They can eat all this yummy salad (I have to wait until the 6 mo mark for that and raw veggies), green beans, pork, chicken, and to die for mashed potatoes. Oh….and lets not forget, WEDDING CAKE. Plus this wedding had cookies. I fucking love cookies.

I guess I should back up a little. Earlier this week I had a follow up with the surgeon and nutritionist. I was down 3 lbs. (was hoping it would be more ) in the last 3 weeks. And, the nutritionist and I reviewed my food journal, she explained I was eating to many carbs. I was around 80 to 100 a day, and she said I had to be at 30 max per day. I felt defeated-here I was thinking I was doing so good with all my new recipes that I had made, learning how to cook healthy.  She even advised that I NOT make the Heart Healthy Cookies, or the Black Bean brownies, which I really liked. Oh and she said NO HALO VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM. My heart sunk and I wanted to cry. Again, good stuff that I thought was healthy, and not so bad, must be trashed.

Taking the feedback from the nutritionist as a learning experience, I started over the next day, and I have been successful at cutting back the carbs. But its hard. FUCKING CARBS ARE IN FUCKING EVERYTHING!!!! UGHHHHH!!!

So fast forward a few days, to this wedding. I didn’t realize how CARB HANGRY the yummy stuff would get to me.  I took a plate and I dressed it with salad (grabbing as many tomatoes as I could, knowing I wasn’t going to eat the lettuce), about ¼ C. of the mashed potatoes, half cup of green beans, and a slice of pork. I ate about 2 oz of the pork, the green beans were nasty, a few bites of the potatoes, and my tomatoes were yummers. I found myself craving a dinner role. But later my hubby said they weren’t very good so I didn’t miss anything there. It was weird trying to eat slow, and chew my food until mushed. And then eating so little, and feeling self conscious about it because everyone else was clearing there plate. I felt awkward, and uncomfortable.  (Someone please take my barely eaten plate…NOW!)

bad cupcakeI did end up taking a cupcake (hubby took chocolate and I took vanilla), and I took one very small bite of each. They weren’t so great.

I wish I could have had a beer or glass of wine, but I think my head was to focused on food to worry about alcohol. I was OK with not having that.

This journey, this reset….it ain’t easy. Like I’ve said before, this is the hardest thing I have ever done. I feel like I complain in my blog a lot. I hope that’s not the impression I give. I want people to know though that this is a complete lifestyle change, filled with so much emotion, learning, and getting back up every time you feel knocked down. It’s not easy  to be challenged with my food choices every day. Friday, one of my employees brought donuts. Every time I walked by them I caught myself saying in my head….”fucking donuts”. But hey, I didn’t have one. Me 1, donuts 0. 

beat

 

This is my life now. Dealing with the carb cravings and whatever else comes my way. Choosing to make the healthy choices.  I’ve come to far to give up now.  One day, one meal, at a time.

 

Breaking up with Old Me

Food is always going to be my drug.

Today, I have caught myself wanting to snack. Simply because I liked to. I found my head saying “oh yeah, let’s have that, it’s super yummy and will make you feel good. (I’m not feeling bad, or sad, or anything…..bored maybe?) Anyway, as I caught myself in these thoughts I told myself…”No, don’t eat that…remember you used to do that and look where that ended up!”candy bar

And honestly, it was healthy food I wanted to snack/binge on. But if I gave into the temptation I knew it would lead me down a path of unhealthy habits again. Not to mention make Penne Pouchy GROUCHY!!! I have yet to feel overwhelmingly sick, and I don’t want to start now. Or ruin all the progress I’ve made so far.

This is still tough.

I have to think about my food quality and quantity intake every day, and at every meal.

margaritaAnd that includes alcohol.

I went to an outdoor comedy show this weekend, and there were TONS of beer and girly drink stands. I can’t lie, I wanted one.

The dietary changes are still overwhelming. I cried this weekend because I couldn’t have a hamburger. My hubby grills amazing hamburgers, and then makes a delicious jalapeño cream cheese to put on top of them. I had a premade turkey burger instead. It was…. meh. OK.

Some of the crying comes from all these damn hormones changing up in my shrinking body.

The food and drink moments do pass, and I stay strong. Or I have pregamed what I am going to eat at that meal while others are enjoying regular hamburgers. It helps that those close to me say they are proud of me, and that I am sticking to the plan. One day, everyone around us was eating Oreos; but my awesome hubby decided not to have any because he wanted to be supportive. That means so much to me.

comic

I wasn’t really in the mood to cook this weekend, but I did it anyway. I made this delicious Veggie Pizza!

veggie pizza

It’s made with low carb wheat tortillas, roasted zucchini, tomatoes, and green peppers. Topped with ¼ C Low Fat Mozzarella cheese, and ¼ C Parmesan Cheese. I could only eat half of it! And the pepper, zucchini, and tomato combo can be eaten by itself as well. Trying hard to get more veggies in my diet.

I have found that my fav treat is Halo Vanilla Bean Ice Cream….soo good!

My 15-yr. old daughter been jumping on the healthy cooking wagon as well. So, I must be doing something right.

I guess all this is just part of my journey to the healthier, better me. Some days are harder than others. If I can get thru the tempting moments of wanting to eat for emotional reasons….AND pass on the fruity girly drinks, I think I’m doing alright. I’m just facing the food demons and killing them off one at a time, for the new me to shine thru.