Thursday, March 18, 2010

A successful dining outing!

Last night was such a rockin' success. It was Tim's birthday and our family tradition is to dine out casually on family birthdays. Tim's kids really wanted to go to the Nitty Gritty while Tim and I were hoping for Japanese sushi. He finally sided with the kids and we had a great time. I was determined to either split something with a child or eat a salad. I had a plan firmly in mind before we left, and . . . Success!

The Nitty has some really great salads, including the Vegetable Salad that includes only great veggies, 1/2 a hard-boiled egg and diced chicken, if you want it. I did. I had low-fat French dressing and a little blue cheese on the side. It was fabulous. Tim ordered deep fried cheese curds for an appetizer, so I countered with the veggie plate with ranch dressing. Once the kids were done with cheese curds, they even tried some of the veggies and were happy to have them. And, the bonus, is that the kids didn't eat all their fries because they filled up on veggies.

Other options I could have tried at the Nitty were two different kinds of veggie burgers (the Ragen and the Bean) and several lean sandwiches and a few salads (although watch out for the deep-fried chicken one).

As for weight, I'm down another 1/2 pound, which is terrific considering some of the oops mistakes I've made this week.

Monday, March 15, 2010

So, why am I overweight?

Ann kindly asked in a previous post about the events leading to my gaining weight, after a somewhat crabby anonymous poster suggested I enter therapy (it did make me laugh). So, why have I struggled with weight issues as an adult, you ask, and why is it difficult for me to lose weight?

Well, as it happens, I clearly remember my first awareness of my weight. I had always been a really skinny child. I wore the "slim" sized pants and was always one of the lightest girls. I never worried about what I ate, but I do remember a sense that I was clumsy. Still, I had no worries about weight at all. Then, one day in my sophomore year, my high school gym teacher called me into her office to give me a talk about my weight. She said that at my age, weight can become an issue. That she had noticed I had started to fill out and mature and I should now nip it in the bud and I should watch it. Now, I weighed a whopping 110 pounds and I was about 5'6" or so. I had just started to fill out and so my hips were widening and I hadn't quite grown into my shape. I had no boobs and yet I was shooting upward. I had a really awkward body that I wasn't comfortable with, but my worst problem was probably slouching as I had never been tall and all of a sudden, I was. Now, I will tell you that I heard years later that this teacher had landed in the hospital with anorexia and I do remember her being inordinately aware of her body and it's size (extremely thin). I can't tell you what that meant, but I just remember it. At any rate, I had never thought of myself as anything but thin until she spoke to me. I remember feeling really horrid about myself afterward and confused.

So, I started eating salads for lunch because that's what she had told me to eat. I sneaked around when eating cookies because I felt I shouldn't eat them and started drinking diet pop because it was diet. Unfortunately, I continued to grow. I was 5'10" by the end of high school and 130 pounds. I see myself in photos now and it's pretty apparent that I was awkward, but still thin. But my mind was so controlled by what this teacher had said. Right around that time, a friend of mine had an eating disorder and I picked up some of her bad habits. Over ten years, I struggled with the issue. At 30, I dumped it one day in sudden illumination. I didn't want that to be my life. It was gross and weird and that was it. Unfortunately, the struggle wasn't over with weight. Since then, I've gone up and down from 150 all the way up to 200. My weight is often a reflection of my life. Super stressful situations bring on weight loss and then, when I start to focus on everyone else, I gain weight. I think the most difficult thing for me is to stop obsessing about losing weight—which I think about even when I'm thin.

I've had good friends tell me that I "could get any guy I want if I just lost weight," as if my value was intrinsically tied to weight. I've had other loved ones tell me, "Lisa, you need to lose weight," as if I didn't know that (hello, I have a blog about it).

The truth is, in this country, people think they can say anything to you they want if you have to lose weight. It doesn't matter if you have a little or a lot. People think that tough love in that situation helps. It doesn't.

At the same time, I don't blame anyone for my weight issue, even that gym teacher. That was then. What I know now is that it's up to me. I know there's some block to me just doing it, like Nike says. But that's the story for everyone who has to lose weight and isn't "just doing it." There's a block. And, personally, I don't feel that talking about it is going to help. I've done that for years. Now I'm trying something new. Every day, I'm trying to take a step (or 10 if I can) toward being thin. And feeling thin.

Today I rode my horse, and I was out of breath for most of it. Today, I also ate an oatmeal cookie for lunch because I really, really wanted one for several days and the craving didn't go away. But I didn't also have an egg salad sandwich and a bag of chips. I just had a cookie. And I savored it. And yesterday I walked a long way with my husband and stepson and my dog, Jack. I am taking a lot of great steps. I've lost some weight and I'm going to lose more. And hopefully, some people will read my blog and find help and support for themselves as well.

I think losing weight in this country is hard. So I'm hoping that by having a place to read about what thin people do (instead of what fat people shouldn't do, for once), people will hear a more positive message.

So, that's my weight story for what it's worth. But personally, I'm sick of it. Now, I really want to just envision a thin Lisa who takes time for herself while also making time for the people she loves. Balance and thinness. Who doesn't want that?

Friday, March 12, 2010

I can't remember what I like to eat!

I apologize for being a missing link over the past week or so. First, the kids are here and I can get a little short on spare time. Second, I'm really concentrating on figuring out what exactly are the foods I like and how often I'm hungry. And that's a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I often tell the kids, "It's not about what you like, it's about what's healthy." But the truth is, when food is your addiction, you often can't even remember what you like. Someone once said an addiction is getting too much of what you hate. I have to say that I've long hated food, even while I've loved it. So getting to the roots of what I need and like is an important part of getting through this mess.

One of the skinny chicks I've interviewed told me that she loves toast with peanut butter and honey and peanut butter and jelly in the morning. She has one slice of each every day because she loves it and looks forward to it. I'm trying to think of what I like for breakfast. I recently had peanut butter toast and honey toast (I don't like them together and I don't like jelly mixed with PB either), and it was just ok. Then I tried two eggs on toast, and I have to say that didn't wow me either, although it's ok. I honestly can't think of one thing I really like for breakfast, so while I'm thinking, I'm having an orange and a banana and coffee (I know I like coffee).

Another skinny chick I've interviewed told me that she won't waste her calories on chocolate that's lying around unless it's the really good stuff. The bottom line is that both of these women's thoughts center on what they like and want to eat rather than what they can't eat (and then eating it). No guilt Just another example of how thinking about what you want and then eating it purposefully is much better than completely denying yourself foods and then eating them anyway furtively and guiltily.

My youngest daughter tells me she loves hard-boiled eggs when they are still warm, so I'm making her those several mornings a week. Another daughter likes it when I make baked eggs in small cups. So I'm going back to making those as well. Wait, here's a though. I do love toast with butter on it. A friend told me I'll never lose weight eating bread with butter (that is a good one!), but I can lose weight if I modify it. What about if I use 1/2 tsp. of butter on each slice? And I do like cheese omelettes with onion and broccoli or asparagus. What if I cut out the oil and make sunnyside up eggs? Then I can grate a tiny bit of cheese on the eggs to get the flavor of cheese and not all the calories. Then I'll add the asparagus or broccoli. No more buttery eggs. Who needs it? Good breakfast solution. I like.

Monday, March 1, 2010

When you look good, you feel good. . .

After talking to many Skinny Chicks, I'm starting to notice that one element so often missing from Fat Chicks is self-pride. You know, that urge that has you shopping for nice clothing (and wearing it), or that has you styling your hair after you wash it, using makeup and actually wearing different socks every day.

It's also the thing that keeps you from eating food while shopping. After Ann so bluntly and helpfully commented that eating food while shopping is weird, it became pretty apparent to me that Skinny Chicks don't do that stuff. Not just because they don't want to, but because they have self-pride that keeps them focused on what they are there for. Since Ann's comment, I have NEVER eaten even once while shopping. I'm wearing makeup three out of five days during the week and almost always when I go out (although I didn't this weekend, and I found I didn't do very well on my eating). I'm dressing better and in fact went out and bought new jeans (3 pair) in my new size, knowing it won't be long until I'm buying smaller pants.

I'm also picking up my bedroom more, doing a better job keeping my floors free of furballs from our dogs, had my nice camel cashmere coat drycleaned and made sure no debris littered my bathroom every morning. I feel better!

I love Deon Sanders for one saying: When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you play good. My game is losing weight, and I need to feel good to really get it done.

I'm looking forward to the day I have my entire house picked up, my counters are crumb free, my fridge is clean and my laundry is caught up. I look forward to having a closet full of clothes that all work well together, are stylish, clean and flattering. And a smaller size. And my makeup is new and in use and my hair is known for being perfectly styled every day. My car will be clean and clutter free (it almost is now) and my system at home for keeping organized is maintained daily instead of just once a week.

It sounds impossible to the Fat Chicks, but so many of the Skinny Chicks I know are there. Sure, they don't have perfect closets across the board, or their hair is a week behind on its highlighting schedule, or their garden is getting in late. But it's usually not—by what I see—a house of cards very near, or mid-way through, collapse.