Friday, May 21, 2010

Getting comfortable outside my comfort zone without food

You've got to love my stepkids. Reality, served straight up. The other day we're watching the Biggest Loser, and I say in disgust about one participant's bad showing that week, "If I were on here, I would never gain weight." Just as one realization sets in, my oldest steppie says, "You're not fat enough for Biggest Loser!" Nice!

The truth is, I'm probably not as big as some of those contestants, nor do I want to be. But if my life doesn't change, I could be dealing with this yo-yo dieting forever, and that's just as bad. Bottom line, I'm not living in my best, natural body. And, in a way, I did gain weight on my own private Biggest Loser show. After all, I was relatively thin several years ago. Then s*@t starting hitting the fan and I started hitting the sauce (chocolate, hollandaise, butter...).

And I still do it. The other day, I heard a nasty comment someone said about me. It wasn't true and it wasn't even about me—really about them. But I still managed to take it to my heart, feel bad that there's something in me that makes them do that and proceed to eat a big ol' hunk of braunschweiger. I felt sick as a dog afterward, for about 3/4 of the day, and then ate a very light supper (so there is a good side). But the bad side is that I still haven't figured out how to best make myself feel better when I receive a blow and sometimes I don't even know that I'm eating. I'll forget by the end of the day. Sometimes it's not even a blow, and I still manage to have foodie aftereffects. The other day, an unexpected event occurred that could have been negative, but really wasn't. I initially had no problem dealing with it. But the fallout came later when I realized others were upset for me and I was eating just to fill myself up and feel comforted because others were upset. So it seems that you can get those cravings when you are simply out of your comfort zone.

That's what I like about "the Biggest Loser." You spend a hell of a lot of time outside your comfort zone. And you learn a little bit about those resulting food issues. The problem, it seems, is that one's comfort zone at home is so different from that of the BL comfort zone. So you learn how to get comfortable in the new place, then you go back to your home where you aren't comfortable, but you haven't learned how to deal with not being comfortable. You just readust so that you become comfortable. And when back at home, you have to deal with meeting expectations, feeling guilty, etc. all over again.

The last three years of my life have been spent almost completely outside my comfort zone. First, I have to deal with having a husband around all the time (who loves pie), with three kids whom I love but who feel too guilty to say they love me except occasionally, with starting a business and pushing myself to be a business owner, to doing work that isn't writing to make money, to dealing with some residual issues regarding a former job, to handling an ex-boyfriend who is now part of my group of friends and sports a never-ending parade of new women and dealing with my husband's ex-wife (which isn't always bad, it's just not always comfortable).

I've got to get a grip on how I handle that nervous stomach from being outside my comfort zone. Emotional eating isn't just about being upset, at least that's what I think. It's about being outside your comfort zone and handling new experiences. I think what I do is always act like I'm fine (and sometimes I am), but then eating to deal with those unsettled nerves and to not appear upset. Or when I am fine, like the other day when another new girlfriend of my ex shows up at a birthday gathering for a group of us, but because others are so jangled by the experience, I end up feeling like I should be upset when I'm not, so I eat to feel "normal."

So what to do? What are strategies to feel better? I think I'll ask some skinny chicks what they do. Taking a bath doesn't cut it (although I dearly love baths). Perhaps riding my horse will. But he's not always around when I'm driving around the city feeling nervous or anxious about a new client or a new situation that I've not dealt with before. I used to shop, but that's not a healthy solution. And I don't want to call people and talk because what you talk about just gets worse, in my opinion. Perhaps I need to just express myself verbally out loud to myself, perhaps scream a bit, then get over it. Hmmm. This will take some detective work.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My favorite coffee and Chad's blog

Another 2 pounds gone! That's the great news.

Now for the good news. I've found a coffee that I love, that is made sustainably and can be bought in my small town as well as all over Madison. Kickapoo Coffee is an artisan fair trade coffee. My favorite is the Driftless Dark, which is bold and dark in flavor, but mellow. There's a hint of chocolate that you really don't even taste without thinking about it long and hard, but it gives it a lovely flavor. I truly have never found a better coffee. Kickapoo Coffee, of Viroqua, was named Roaster of the Year by "Roast" magazine. It's pricey, about $10.75 per pound, but it's worth it!  I have avoided Starbucks for a while because I sometimes get a fishy aftertaste and sometimes it smells a little like cigarette butts. It's gross to even think about, but I've smelled it a few times and so I won't buy it. And I hadn't found anything else I liked as much. But this coffee has me savoring each cup.

I have also found a fellow food fanatic, Chad Brown, who has a terrific blog on how to cook seasonal foods. Both he and his fiance, Lindsey, are in great shape and spend a lot of time hunting for terrific foods and great recipes. I highly recommend his blog, Local Seasonal Eats. Recipes currently on his blog include a lovely Spring Green Risotto and Alison's Wild Asparagus, Leek and Morel Soup.

Recent new behaviors on my part are starting to pay off. When I go out to eat, I nearly always pay better attention to when I'm full. I also package up food the minute I start feeling full. A week ago, we ate at El Pastor in Madison (Park Street) and after just a few bites, I packed up my food. I rationed it across two separate meals over the next few days. It was terrific.

The other fabulous trend is really walking a lot more. Instead of parking as close as possible and then walking as little as possible, I'm creating a mindset where I think "score!" when I find parking that's far away and having a great time walking to the store.  Tim and I went to a concert last night at the kid's school and I was a little dismayed that we found parking so close. But it was cold and rainy, and we were without umbrella, so that was alright.

Now, there is a little bad news. Lately, I've slipped back into drinking diet soda. One of my Skinny Chicks let me know that she has iced coffee a lot, but I don't want to go that route because I already have a hard time sleeping. So I'm going to start brewing iced tea. So far, I really like any berry-flavored tea for ice tea. We'll see how that works. And, of course, water.