Fat as Hell…

and not going to take it anymore!

Lesson Learned (Let’s Hope So, Anyway)

Tonight my husband had to be away for a work related dinner event. He asked me if I wanted to come along, but I wasn’t really into it, so I “took a rain check.” Those kinds of events aren’t all that exciting to me and unless he a) really wants me there or b) “everyone else is bringing their spouse,” I usually duck out.

Anyway, because he was going to be eating at his swanky banquet type affair, I decided earlier in the week that I was going to make pasta. My husband is not much of a pasta fan — especially the whole wheat variety that I’ve recently forced him to endure — thus pasta has become the kind of thing I treat myself to when he’s not around. So… using some left over ingredients from the frittata I’d made earlier in the week, I rustled up a nice little sauce to have with my pasta. I put the pasta on to boil and 10 minutes later — voila! Dinner.

There were two problems, however:

First: I made too much. I really made enough to constitute what should have been 2, maybe even 3, (large) servings. Even as I was cooking it, I knew that I should cut back. But I didn’t. I proceeded forward, telling myself that I would just store half of it away for another meal.

Which leads me to problem #2

Second: I didn’t even really want it. All week long I’d been psyching myself into Wednesday being pasta night, but then when the time came, I was really in the mood for something else. What I wanted was a burger and a bowl full of the doritos that had been taunting me from the pantry all day long. But instead, I made and ate my first, perfectly healthy (albeit a bit large) portion of pasta.

But then I wasn’t satisfied.

So, I ate another. As though somehow *more* of the food I didn’t want to begin with would somehow satisfy my craving.

A little while later, when I was already feeling bloated and defeated, my husband walked in and proceeded to regale me with the story of his evening. Turns out he spent most of the night conducting the “business” aspect of the function and never allowed himself a chance to eat. So… he was starving. He asked me if I would just fix him a tuna sandwich.

Sure, no problem.

But then for reasons I cannot even begin to comprehend, I made myself a sandwich too. And ate it. Even though I was not even remotely hungry.

But wait. It gets worse.

Then my husband broke out the doritos and even though I wasn’t hungry — even though I literally thought I might throw up from feeling more full than I’ve felt in ages, I ate some doritos. Though I didn’t count them, I’m chalking off my portion at about a dozen.

And here’s the thing… after a few chips, I felt complete sated. It was like, finally, my body was saying “see… if you’d just given me those in the first place, you wouldn’t be in this predicament, girlie.”

Of course, now I just want to smack myself in the forehead because, well… duh!

I don’t know about you guys, but it’s like sometimes I get so caught up in the world of what I think I “can’t” have that I forget that it’s ok to have cravings and that it’s even ok to give into them. All day, I knew I didn’t want the pasta, but I ate it. And then I ate more of it…. convincing myself that eventually I’d get full and then I wouldn’t want the thing that I’d really been wanting all along. When, in reality, had I just broken down and had a few chips earlier, I’d have likely been just fine. An now, instead of sitting here feeling as though there’s a very large boulder lodged in the pit of my stomach, I’d be curled up in bed dreaming of the brand new (and fucking beautiful, I might add) necklace Paola’s going to give me once I lose 75lbs. (Yes. She does rock that much).

In the end, I didn’t really go that far over my calories for the day and, the truth is, I don’t really feel that bad about the fact that I didn’t stick to my “plan,” or whatever. Rather, what really ticks me off is that I didn’t listen to what my body was telling me. That, after all this time, I haven’t learned that I’m never going to make these changes permanent if I base my eating decisions on trying to fool myself into feeling satisfied. It bothers me that I’m still making these kinds of mistakes.

And I know, Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that, but I’m not an idiot. And what’s more, I think it’s ok to have high expectations of myself. I know better. Or at least, I should.

One good thing to report, however, is that overeating tonight has proven something to me that I might not have otherwise believed to be true about myself. When I examine the facts of what I ate tonight: 2 bowls of pasta, a tuna sandwich and some chips (all in the span of about 3.5-4 hours) I kind of have to laugh. There was a time when that kind of meal was the norm. Maybe not that combination, but surely that portion size. And what’s more, not only was that normal, but it was *so* normal, in fact, that my body wouldn’t have thought twice about having to store and process all that food. The old me never would have felt the way I do now.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that even if my brain is still playing catch-up, my body has figured out how the new me is supposed to work. It understands that giant late night portions are no longer part of our game plan… and that we no longer go back for seconds. My body has figured it out. It’s just the rest of me that insists on riding the nutritional short bus, as it were.

*sigh*

April 9, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Zzzzzz.

Ok. Here’s the thing. Last night when I was updating my food and exercise journals I thought, “hmmm, maybe I should start keeping a sleep journal too.” Now, I’m not talking about the kind of journal where I record my dreams and then consult books designed to help me unlock the keys to my subconscious. No… I was thinking more along the lines of a place where I could record the number of hours I sleep each night. Believe me, I know how silly that sounds and I know too that the last thing I need is *another* written chronicle of this journey to have to keep up with. On the other hand, one of the patterns that has emerged from keeping records of what I eat and when I exercise, is that I simply do so much better on days that are preceded by a full night’s sleep.

Again… stating the obvious, right? Maybe, but the thing is, I used to *never* sleep a full 8 hours in a night. Never. In fact, for years I was convinced that I was just the type of person who only needed 5-6 hours tops and that I could easily make due on 3-4. However, let me just tell you that if that were ever truly the case, it’s simply not so anymore; recently, my internal body clock has definitely started reaching for the snooze button. This got me thinking a little bit about why that might be. Of course, the fact is, I’m getting older. I’m closer to 40 now than I am to 30 and it could just be that, as much as I hate to admit it, my body is slowing down. But then I wonder too if being terribly fat has anything to do with it, and if so, then, it becomes something of a chicken vs. egg proposition, doesn’t it? Do I sleep more because my sad and sluggish body simply needs more rest OR has a lack of rest over the last couple of decades diminished my capacity to make good choices such that, over time, I’ve turned into a sad and sluggish sleep deprived cow?

But the bigger question for me really has to do with what one does with these patterns once they have emerged. The obvious answer, of course, is that you learn from them. After the light bulb has gone on over your head, you say to your self, “Self… you need 8 hours of sleep each night in order to stick to your diet guns the next day, so… go out there and make me proud!” And to a certain extent I’m doing that… but I can also see where discovering such patterns could be used as a crutch or an excuse *not* to do what I’m supposed to do. For example, Wednesday night was a terribly long night for me. I couldn’t sleep at all. It was nearly 2am when I last looked at the clock and the alarm went off 4 hours later at quarter to 6am. As a result, I spent much of Thursday in a yawny daze… and while I didn’t really overeat, I also found myself too tired at the end of the day to exercise — at least that’s what I told myself. The truth is, I probably could have gotten out there and walked, if not all, at least half of the 2-3 miles that I try to walk each night, but instead I told myself that it was “okay” to take the night off because I hadn’t slept well the night before, which maybe it was, but I could see where this could become a habit and I worry that, without serious reflection, instead of using my new found power for good, I’ll it for evil!

Maybe the real pattern that I’ve uncovered here isn’t that I need at least 8 hours of sleep each night in order to be most successful at living the healthy life that I’ve committed myself to, (although I think that’s certainly true). Perhaps the real truth I’ve discovered about myself is that, if given the chance, I’ll do just about anything to justify *not* doing the right thing. Maybe the really important thing that I need to understand about myself is that, when push comes to shove, I’m just looking for reasons to give myself permission to do the wrong thing:

“It’s okay not to exercise tonight because I didn’t sleep well last night.”

“It’s okay to have an extra helping of _____ because someone said something mean to me.”

“It’s okay to eat this double-fudge brownie topped with hot caramel and homemade whipped cream because I had a bad day at work.” (Not that, that’s really happened, of course).

You get the picture.

Again. Maybe this is all just a long rambling statement of the obvious, but if that’s really the case, why haven’t I done more to change it? The truth is, I don’t know if G.I. Joe was right when he said that “knowing is half the battle.” I don’t know if simply recognizing these things about myself will give me the strength to do something about them. But I do know that once you know something, you can’t unknow it. And if nothing else, perhaps the residual guilt still left in me from being a former catholic school girl will, if not motivate me to do the right thing, at least, every once in awhile, keep me from doing the wrong thing. Let’s hope so anyway.

January 11, 2008 Posted by | exercise, health, losing weight, motivation | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments