Thursday, November 29, 2012

Back to Beck

Oh, hey there.  I know I'm a week late, but I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.

Do you see that?  That was my feeble attempt at distracting you from the fact that I stopped doing my balance evaluations.  You know, the ones I was supposed to be doing for 21 days?

Why did I stop?  Eh, not sure.  Some ideas:
  • I got bored.
  • I got distracted.  
  • I didn't want to fess up to the gross overindulgence that was the entire Thanksgiving weekend.
  • I felt it wasn't really doing what I set out to do.
Those are all probably true to some extent.  That last one is key.  What do I really want to do?  What is my ultimate goal?  I know I said it was finding balance, but I think what I really, really want in the long-term is to think like a thin person.  So I decided on a new 21-day goal: Follow (and finish) Beck Diet Solution

I pulled the book out of a drawer earlier this week and dusted off the cover, and much to my surprise, there were these big letters on the (beautiful, hot pink) cover declaring that the book would, in fact, teach me how to think like a thin person.  It was meant to be!

 In all honesty, the fact that this is what it claims to do was probably buried in my subconscious, drawing me back to the book.  But it's been a while, like 6 months, since I last picked it up, so my conscious mind definitely did not recall that yellow claim. 

I debated not reading the introductory 4 chapters.  After all, I had read them before.  Did I really need to read them again?  Couldn't I just dive right in?  Well, I'm glad I read it, because it just confirmed that this is the right path for me at the moment.

Some key points from the opening chapters:

"The Beck Diet Solution teaches you how to avoid cheating; how to resist tempting food, even if it's on the table right in front of you; and how to cope with hunger, cravings, stress, and strong negative emotions without turning to food for comfort. You'll also learn how to motivate yourself to exercise, even if you're not naturally inclined to do so. You'll discover how to do all the things you need to do to diet successfully - by changing the way you think." (pg 17)
 Sounds good to me!  I definitely need to change the way I think.

"The Beck Diet Solution teaches you how to get yourself to eat the way you're supposed to eat. It shows you how to talk back to the I don't want to, I don't have to, or I can't voice in your head." (pg 19)
Is this chick in my head or what?  How does she know about the I don't want to, I don't have to voices?  She's clearly been reading about my recent severe case of the IDGAFs.

"Thin people have faith in their ability to make good decisions about what, when, and how much they're going to eat - and to follow through with these decisions." (Pg 39)
Okay, she is in my head!  First of all, that's totally want I want.  To make good decisions about what, when, and how much to eat, and to actually follow through.  Secondly, I have come to realize that I can trust myself.  I don't recognize signals that I'm becoming full.  I don't trust myself to stick to my plans.  I keep telling myself I'm great at making plans, but not so great at executing them.  (I probably need to change that story!) I've come to even doubt that I'm making the right decisions about what to eat.  I need to reset my mind!

"...most thin people restrict their eating to some degree... They accept these limitations without too much struggle... You, however, might frequently reflect on how unfair it is that others can eat what they want but you can't. Truth is, not only do you underestimate how much others restrict themselves, but also you overly focus on the injustice you feel because you have to limit yourself." (Pg 39)
It's true.  I do think it's unfair that I can't eat fast food 5 times a week.  She included  a transcript with one of her clients who was talking about how it was unfair that other people could eat pizza and donuts.  Those are my traditional binge foods, so it seem she's not only in my head but in my... stomach?  No, that's weird.  Shopping cart. 

"Readiness is more complicated than simply wanting to change." (pg 46)

I just really liked that.

Anyway, I'm ready.  It's time to really make these changes.  I've completed days 1 and 2 so far.  My Advantages Response Card (the reasons why I want to lose weight) can be found on the Why? page.
For Day 2, we're asked to select 2 diets.  A primary diet, and a back up.

My primary diet (surprise, surprise) is Weight Watchers Points Plus (and I hear there are some exciting new changes rolling out this weekend).  I like it because it's flexible, encourages nutritious choices, is reasonable, and has worked for me in the past.

My back up diet will be the Mediterranean Diet.  I don't think that's surprising, either.  I chose it because it also encourages nutritious choices, is fairly flexible (though, I don't think they'd approve of my recent Wendy's escapades), and encourages eating real, wholesome foods.  Also, I could probably stand to eat more fish and less beef.  Oh, and it's totally cool with some red wine at dinner.  That's super important.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 9

Yesterday, I was hungry when I left work.  So I had an actual snack: a handful of almonds and a Skinny Peppermint Mocha.  When I got home, I wasn't hungry.  I also didn't want the leftover cacciatore.  So I stopped at the store and picked up some eggplant and sausage and made a new sauce.  But I also picked up cinnamon raisin bagel chips and ate them all.  But that was my only indiscretion of the day (even though I really wanted french fries and a milkway), so I think I'm doing a little better than the weekend.

Menu 11/20
B - oatmeal with brown sugar and strawberries
L - potato soup garnished with Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar, and bacon crumbles
S - handful of almonds, Skinny Peppermint Mocha 
Random - a whole bag of bagel chips
D - spaghetti with sausage eggplant bolognese and fresh mozzarella, 2 glasses shiraz

Real vs. Processed: a good balance of real and processed.  I'd say the only processed stuff was the sugar free junk in my Starbucks drink and the bagel chips.  I'm going with a 3

Emotional Eating: I don't think so.  Though, if I was listening to hunger signals, I probably would have skipped dinner, so there was some "I should eat dinner because bagel chips are not dinner."  But I don't think there was any emotion-induced eating yesterday.  (But a big IDGAF on the bagel chips.  Which were amazingly delicious, btw.)

Overall balance: 4.  Not a 3 because I ignored hunger signals.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 8: "I think I recognize you."

Let me just get this out of the way right now: Yes, I went to the Wendy's drive-through after all my talk yesterday about car-eating.  However, this one was premeditated as I was not going home between the 2nd job (what we now call the temporary day job) and business training meeting.  I wouldn't be home until 10pm, and I didn't plan ahead by bringing food, so I planned ahead to have a burger and fries.  That is not the point right now.

The point is that my post yesterday was 100000% right.  And not in a good way!

I'll also say I've only been to this particular Wendy's once in the past months, which happened to be last Tuesday in a similar didn't plan ahead scenario. 

Anyway, it was about the same time.  And I'm saying to myself, "Man, I really hope it's not the same guy taking money as it was last week.  What if he recognizes me?  How embarassing!"

Really, can you think of anything more embarrassing than being remembered by the drive-thru guy? How about having a conversation very similar to the previous week and the drive-thru guy saying, "I think I remember you.  You were the one saying you were stuck in all that traffic."

Oh my freakin' - I don't even know how to finish that because I was so stunned nothing seems to be an appropriate ending.

Not only am I the chick the drive-thru guy remembered, he remembered me as the chick who complains about traffic! Good thing I decided to stop doing that yesterday.

And now I also have to stop going to drive-thrus.  Wait, I think I decided to stop doing that yesterday, too.  Well, now for real, I guess.

Also, I inhaled the rest of the brownie bites on my way home from the meeting.  I left them in the car thinking I'd take them to Boyfriend's on Wednesday.  I should have known better.  Rest in peace, delicious brownie bites.

Menu 11/19
B - poptarts
L - chicken cacciatore over polenta, apple, cherry Coke Zero
Afternoon - hot chocolate
D - burger, french fries, diet Coke
Car - brownie bites galore
Followed by a late evening glass of shiraz

Real vs. Processed: 4.  I made a valiant effort with lunch, but a little better planning for breakfast and dinner would have gone a long way toward a better balance

Emotional Eating: No, not really.  Not emotional.  Just stupid.  I ate what I did because I didn't plan ahead, and because it was there.

Overall Balance: 4.  It's not pure gluttony, but as I mentioned 18 times already, a little planning could have gone a long way yesterday.

Monday, November 19, 2012

One Week!

Well, this completes my first week of self-evaluations.  It was less painless than I was making it out to be.  So first, an evaluation of Sunday.  And then, some things I've learned over the past week.

Menu 11/18:
Breakfast - coffee (bad Stacey, but it was a lazy Sunday morning in bed)
Lunch - potato soup garnished with sour cream, a sprinkle of cheddar, and some crumbled bacon (really, garnished, not a ton mixed in)
On the road grazing another eggnog shake, more French fries (What part of 'occasional treat' don't I get?  It must be the 'occasional' part, because it seems I'm pretty good at the 'treat' part.)
More on the road grazing too many (delicious from Trader Joe's) brownie bites
Dinner - chicken cacciatore (with tons of veggies) over spaghetti, with some garlic bread, glass of wine

Real vs. Processed - I'm going with a 3.  It was about evenly between the real foods (lunch and dinner) and the crap (on the road).

Emotional Eating - Again, not identifying any specific emotions.  Maybe it was just a huge IDGAF, but I feel like there's some anxiety lying within me as well.

Overall Balance: 4.  I can't say it was perfect balance (3), because of the penchant for car snacking, but I didn't blow of my the dinner that was waiting in my crock pot and replace it with (even more) fast food like I so desperately wanted.

So what have I learned?

Eating in the car seems to be a MAJOR problem.  It's when I'm mostly likely to forget about what I truly want, a healthy body and balanced mind.  Sometimes, it's not even eating in the car, but just being in the car.  If I'm in the car, I have options.  I can stop at the grocery store to buy a pizza to eat all of it.  I can pull through the drive-thru and get a giant-sized "value" meal.

I think it is all (currently) boiling down to anxiety over my job. I'm not really happy.  I don't really enjoy it.  And the commute is making me a whiny bitch.  A friend recently said to me that she was sorry I was also dealing with the awful commute, but glad to have someone to commiserate with.

Can we take a look at that word?   



Are you seeing what I'm seeing?  I see misery in there.  And we all know the old saying, "Misery loves company."  Cliche?  Maybe.  But cliches become cliches because they're based in actual things that happen and have been observed.  Misery loves company so freaking much there's that they came up with a distinct word for that cliche: commiserate.  

So basically, when you combine my miserable commute with the fact that I'm enduring this commute for a job with which I'm completely unhappy and unsatisfied, what you're getting is a cranky, whiny person taking solace in food and the fact that at least others are miserable along with her.

Yikes!  Did I really just describe myself that way?  I did.  It's right there in black and white.  I don't know if anyone else would describe me that way.  Which means either I'm really good at hiding it and/or I'm only starting this conversion.  Either way, I need to reign it in.  Pronto!  

We know these two things:
  1. I'm unhappy with almost all aspects of my job
  2. I act out by eating, usually in the car

I'm so glad to have stumbled upon these things!  Because I can change them.  And I've been saying I wanted to make a job change and make my business a real, full-time, completely supports my lifestyle business instead of a hobby for quite some while.  It's countdown time.  I leave for a cruise April 11, 2013 (the day before my first 29th birthday).  I will not be returning to my corporate job when I return.  And while I'm traveling in my car, I will be listening to training and motivational CDs/mp3s designed to help train me to build my business.  Perhaps if I'm listening to those, reminding me that the work situation is only temporary, I can also ease the anxiety that puts my car in auto-pilot and sends me en route to the closest drive-through.

It's time to stop sharing misery and start sharing success, happiness, inspiration.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Catchup, Days 5 & 6

Well, looks like I've got 2 days to catch up on.  I'm not finding my balance in the past 2 days.  Friday was just slightly leaning toward gluttony, with a smattering of emotional eating.  Saturday was… well, I ate and drank whatever the fuck I felt like eating and drinking.  It was a high-alert, junk food-only, exception-not-the-rule kinda day.  The kind that does not support weight loss and general good health efforts.  The kind that must be kept to a minimum.

In the effort of honesty, I will document my "menu."  Be forewarned: it's not pretty.

(To recap the grades, on the Real vs. Processed Scale, 1 = all real foods, 3 = about equal, 5 = do you even know what food is?; on the Overall Balance Scale, 1 = too restrictive, 3= BALANCE!, 5 = completely gluttonous)

But we'll start with Friday.

B - Greek yogurt with blackberries
L - chili with whole wheat macaroni and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, too many cookies, a piece or 2 of chocolate
Random - hot chocolate, another cookie, popcorn
Dinner - went out to a BBQ restaurant - shared a plate of delicious nachos, had half rack of baby back ribs, some cole slaw, and a side of delicious mac & cheese, plus a few bites off Boyfriend's plate, and a cocktail

Real vs. Processed: 4, breakfast and part of lunch were fine, slippery slope from there

Emotional Eating: For sure.  Another case of I'm not living the life I want to be living right now.  (That post coming soon.)

Overall Balance: 4, because I started the day off pretty well.  After that, it was the perfect trifecta: too much processed or unknown foods, emotional eating, lack of respect for hunger signals

And Saturday only got worse.

No particular meals here, 'cause I'm not sure there really were.  It was an all day grazing food fest:
cappuccino muffin
ham & cheese omelet with homemade home fries
french fries
eggnog milkshake
2 candy bars
an entire thin crust 4 cheese pepperoni pizza (12-14")
another candy bar
3 glasses of wine

Real vs. Processed: 5, the only real food in there was the omelet and home fries

Emotional Eating: I wasn't identifying the emotions, but I'm sure it was probably more of the same, combined with a lot of momentary IDGAF.  The calories of the eggnog shake were listed on the menu. They made me paused.  I stopped and said "Nah, I don't need that."  And then I said, "But I want it.  I'll just drink half."  And then I drank the whole thing.

Overall Balance: 5+++

Plan for Sunday: Well, I skipped breakfast (unintentionally, but it's after 11 and I'm just getting hungry) and have a potato soup in the crock pot.  Once the soup is done, I think I'm going to make some kind of chicken. Healthy real food lunch, and then a healthy real food dinner getting ready to go.  I will be spending 4 hours in the car this afternoon/evening, so maybe I should take some time to think about some healthy snacks I can have to tide me over between lunch and dinner.  I likely won't be home until 8ish.  And get back on the Beck Diet Solution kick.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 4

Are you bored of this yet?  I've still not find for an actually contemplative post, but it's on m to-do list for this weekend, so a little variety is coming your way.

Menu for 11/15:
B - Starbucks Bacon, Egg, and Gouda Sandwich, Skinny Vanilla Latte
L - Cosi Signature Salad with chicken, and a piece of their amazing bread
Happy Hour/Fundraiser - 1 glass of wine, 1 cocktail (smallish in size), thin slice of roast beef cheddar sandwich, about 1/2 cup pasta with pesto sauce
D - 2 more glasses of wine, cheesy polenta

Real vs. Processed: I'm going with a 3 here, some questionable items, but some that are totally actually food

Emotional Eating: Is tipsy an emotion?  Because that's the only reason I thought more wine and polenta were a good idea last night.  I think I probably could have been satisfied just fine after happy hour.

Overall Balance: 3-4, it wasn't too bad, but I wasn't planning on going to the fundraiser, and I probably could have made better choices without it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Balance Evaluation, Day 3

And so it continues.  Another brief post today.  Maybe I'll get some time tonight to really write out what's on my mind.

Yesterday's Menu:
B - bagel with cream cheese, coffee
L - chili with whole wheat macaroni, apple
S - hot chocolate, 1 piece (crappy) chocolate with raspberry filling
D - spaghetti and meatballs, about 1/3 - 1/2 cup Ben & Jerry's Late Night Snack

Real vs Processed:  Most of what I had was pretty real, with a few indulgences, I'm going with a 3.

Emotional Eating: I did not eat emotionally!  I didn't even really eat impulsively.  (I almost got a milkshake on my way home, but when Boyfriend had Ben & Jerry's waiting, and a flavor he picked because he knew I liked it, I was glad I didn't overindulge for no reason earlier.)

Overall Balance: I'm going with a 4.  Real vs Processed was good.  No emotional/compulsive/impulsive eating.  I listened to hunger signals, and think I was even on the lower end of satisfied when I went to bed.  But, I pretty much only ate carbs and red meat all day, so there was no variety of foods, and the only veggies was the spinach in my chili.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Balance Seeking, Day 2

I was going to write something fairly in depth regarding the past year and the coming year, but it's not happening today.  But I have to keep up with the balance-seeking blogging, so here's what happened yesterday:

B - 2/3(ish) cup fat free Fage with 1/2(ish) cup blackberries
L - chili with whole wheat macaroni, apple, 1 miniature 3 Muskateers, 1 piece of Bliss dark chocolate
S - Auntie Anne's cinnamon sugar pretzel
D - Wendy's - single hamburger, fries, diet coke, chocolate shake

Real vs. Processed - in # of meals, pretty balanced: 3; in volume of food, B&L were pretty light, so more of a 4

Emotional Eating - eh, not really.  The pretzel was more impulsive, and Wendy's was because I was on the road.  I could have made better choices, but the choice was fueled by emotions.

Overall Balance - 4 - too many processed food, not enough advance planning, could have made better choices and listened more closely to hunger signals

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

ISO Balance

It’s no secret I love my Weight Watchers message boards.  I’ve been posting on a thread aimed at setting goals since the summer.  The rule is this: You pick a goal, stick with it for 21 days in a row, and complete the cycle.  Then you choose a new goal (or the same one, or add on to your existing one), and start a new 21-day cycle.  

I rocked the first cycle.  The 2nd I restarted several times.  I’ve now restarted the 3rd cycle more times than I can count.   I’ve tried various goals, mostly focusing around staying on-plan (OP), but seem to be not following through on most of them.  Most recently, my goal was to follow the Simply Filling Technique (a twist on the typical WW Points strategy).  My reasoning behind this was that I wanted to eat more real foods, less processed foods, and focus on my hunger signals.  The results: I wasn’t really listening to hunger signals, and still eating things that were non-filling foods and going way over my Weekly Points Allowance. 

So last Tuesday, I checked in with the thread and said I wasn’t sure what my goal should be.  After a lot of back forth on that and other threads that day, I had an epiphany.  This is what I posted on one thread:

 I want to eat more "real" foods/less processed foods. I want to feel satisfied, not stuffed.

In other words, I’m looking for balance. I want to be able to eat what I want, but not go overboard.

So I decided my new 3rd cycle goal is to evaluate each day’s balance, to really take a good look and do an honest self-evaluation of whether I was eating more because of emotions or if I was able to find balance in what and why I was eating that day.  I decided this blog was the perfect place for my evaluations.  And it only took me a week to get started. 

My plan is give my menu for the day and evaluate the following:
  1. Did I eat more real foods than processed foods?  I will assign a grade for this: 1- all real foods, 2 – more real than processed, 3 – about equal, 4 – more processed than real, 5 – do you even know what food is?
  2. Did I eat emotionally?
  3.  How was the overall balance between what, why, and how I ate?  This is another grade one: on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being too restrictive, 3 being perfect harmony, and 5 being Return of the Binge Monster

And we’re going to start right now, evaluating yesterday.

Breakfast – None. I got stuck on a 3.5 hour bus ride/4.5 hour commute to work and didn’t get to work til about 11:30.   Since I usually eat breakfast at work, that just didn’t happen.
Lunch – miso noodle soup, 9 Schezuan chicken dumplings, cherry Coke Zero
Random – 3 miniature chocolates, 1 fun size Milky Way
Dinner – 3 Stouffer’s French bread pizzas (1.5 White 5 Cheese , 1.5 Extra Cheese), ¾ of a long Bavarian cream donut, 1 Kit Kat bar, 1 package Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, skim milk

Real vs. Processed: Let’s give that one a big ol’ 5.  The soup and dumplings were from a local place and probably made with quality ingredients, but not entirely sure what went into them.  Everything else (except the milk) is clearly junk.

Emotional Eating: Yes and yes.  Poor me, I had such a rough commute, why did I ever think working NYC was a good idea? I’m way too tired to think about making food.  (Never mind there was homemade stuff in the freezer I could have heated as easily as the pizzas.) Yes, I ate emotionally.  And then I ate some more.  Because it was available and I didn’t care.  Then I suffered from some pretty bad acid reflux at 2:44 am and kept waking up all night afraid I was going to throw up in my sleep and die a miserable death by suffocating on my own vomit.  Why don’t I remember things like this before I overeat?

Overall Balance: Going with a 5 here, too.  I clearly overate and it was definitely emotional.  Although I was completely aware of what I was doing and probably could have stopped myself, I didn't.  I completely ignored hunger signals, to the point of making myself sick.  There was zero real food to balance all the junk.  At the very least, I can say at least I recognize what I was doing incorrectly and rectify it today.