Friday, November 16, 2012

Fighting Tooth and Nail

One thing that sucks about struggling with weight loss is that you know exactly what you NEED to do you just choose not to do it. 
I know the one area which I struggle the most is snacking after dark.  The obvious course of action is to simply stop eating after dinner…I just can’t seem to bring myself to make the commitment. 
My internal monologue is reminiscent of the tantrums I see with my 3 & 6 year olds. “I don’t wanna!” “It isn’t fair!”, “Everyone else gets evening snacks!!” 
I know, I know, I just need to grow up!!
I take for granted the areas of my weight loss where I had it easier than most. I was able to say goodbye to most trigger foods without much after thought and, unlike some other weight loss bloggers I know, am able to eat foods I love in moderation without having to cut them out of my life completely.
On a semi related but completely off track note, I realized for the first time how appreciative that my mom refused to have snack food around the house.  I was so envious of friends who would have ice cream and snacks readily available all the time. For a time I thought it may have been a reason why I gained so much weight. Being deprived for so long I binged when I had total access.  Now I realize it was a blessing in disguise, because I was so use to never having tons of sweets around that I don’t miss it all that much now.
Okay, back to the subject at hand.  So I am seriously needing to bite the bullet and make the decision. 
I, Channie,  do swear to stop eating after the evening meal. 
Phew….it’s done.  If you could see my face through the computer screen you would see this: 
On to the next!!!  (Okay, if you can tell me what awesome show ended each episode with that slogan, up until recently, then you’re amazing)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Food vs. Socialization Experiment

I am planning an experiment over the next few weeks.  I will call it “The Food vs. Socialization” experiment. 
It became abundantly clear during my conversation with my Life Coach on Monday that when it comes to social events, during the holidays and throughout the year, I spent more time focusing on the food then I do on the people. 
It started with a simple question “What do you love most about the Holidays?”  I chewed over this for a moment and realized that from appearances, it would seem the food.  Why else would I spend hours obsessing over party and holiday menus? Why would my mind be focused on the holiday delicacies being offered at parties as we drive to our destination? Why would I spend more time gorging myself than talking to the people around me?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the food wasn’t what I loved about the holidays at all.  I love the decorations, lights, Christmas carols, gift giving, annoying dancing Santa’s, corny Hallmark movies,  stockings with the kids names embroidered on them.  The food, while scrumptious, was really not at the top of the list. 
I then took another step back and realized that I wasn’t just like this throughout the holidays, but all year long.  Each house party, dinner party, family get together and romantic date night was over shadowed by the food.  I would care less about the quality time I would get with friends and family and more about what was being served.  Seriously, I spent more time planning where we were going to eat for our Disneyland trip last October then I did about the rides and experiences we were going to have.
So my Life Coach and I decided to experiment. This weekend starts off our crazy holiday socialization schedule.  Over the next two weeks I need to consciously plan how to make the people and entertainment the focus and not the food.  Then we will get back together and see how it goes. 
Here are the activities and how I plan shift the focus:
Friday, November 16th:  Neighbors to Dinner: We have always been friendly with our neighbors but never really socialized. Mama D took the plunge and invited them over for dinner.  Seeing as I know them more as acquaintances, my focus is to get to know them better.  I made a habit of making grand feasts when we had people over for dinner but my focus is going to be to make it simple but good.  Less time on food and more time on getting to know the nice people next door.
Saturday, Nov 17th: Dueling Piano Bar with Sisters: I luva luva LOVE my sisters so it will be easy to keep the focus on socializing with them.  Plus the dueling pianos will help keep to focus off food.  My plan is to keep to the salad section of the menu with dressing on the side.  The hardest part is to keep the focus off the calorie killing martinis.
Sunday, Nov 18th: Extended Family Dinner: I love each of my family members individually but when you put all 13 of us in a restaurant it will get awkward.  My plan is to think of a topic to talk about with each family member, visit the menu on line and preplan what I will eat, and have a healthy snack before I leave so I want be as tempted by the bread and appetizers.  I think this will be the hardest of the events cause I can’t use food as a stress reducer…do they have calorie free wine?
Thursday, Nov 23: Thanksgiving: I am feeling confident about this event. I will not skip meals, focus on the guests, not eat as I cook, and keep my Thanksgiving meal to a small plate.  I do plan to allow myself a small slice of pie though..YUM.
Friday, Nov 23: My 30th Birthday Party:  This will probably be the easiest of all the events. As of today, we have had 20 people RSVP which means I will have a ridiculously crowded house.  I spent so much time playing hostess that I generally don’t even see the buffet table.  My biggest worry will be the alcohol. I need to come up with a reasonable amount which will allow me to have fun but not cause my waist line to expand. 
Monday, Nov 26: My Birthday:  This will deceptively be one of the harder days.  Because there is no big event and no guests, it would almost fly under the radar as being a day to watch out for but that is why it is so sneaky.  Because it is my birthday, my favorite meal will be made and probably a cake.  Because it will seem like most other days it will be so much easier to over fill my plate and not be conscious about what I am putting in my mouth.  I am not sure how I am going to handle this day yet…
Let the experiment begin!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Friendly Holiday Advice

Through my awesome insurance company, I receive a life coach who calls me once a month to go over goals regarding my health and well being.
Our focus this month was about the upcoming holidays and how one can easily gain 10 pounds in just a few short weeks.  We were going over tips on how to deal with dinner parties and other holiday festivities orientated around food.  Some of the tips I found the most useful were:
1.       If you know what is going to be served, write down on a piece of paper what you are going to allow yourself to eat and bring it with you.  The more conscious you are of what you are going to eat the more likely you will be successful.  
      **Plus you can childishly blame the piece of paper when a piece of pecan pie is calling to you.  

2.       Buffets – Observe what is offered and decide what you are going to eat before you even pick up your plate.  Allow yourself one plate and once filled do not linger around the table the rest of the evening.  

3.       Hors d’oeuvre and snacking-   This is my crux.  I think most of my holiday calories are consumed away from the table, either over indulging in hors d’oeuvres or ‘sampling’ food as I cook.  If you are going to a party, try eating a bowl of soup or salad before you attend, when you tummy is full, you are less likely to indulge in holiday treats.  If you don’t want to miss out on these treats, allow yourself one service.  Is the scrumptious treat you’re eyeing worth picking up a plate and serving yourself?

4.   Don't skip meals leading up the event. It would seem to make sense to skip lunch if thanksgiving dinner is at 3pm, but really happens is you come to the table STARVING and eat way more than you need or even really wanted.

5.       Carry a glass of water with you, with your hands occupied you are less likely to absently grab a small handful of mixed nuts from the bowl ever time you pass it.  
      ***And really, is it considered ‘absently grabbing’ when you are continuously passing by the bowl which isn’t even near where you were going or want to be)

6.       Socialize. I tend to forget that I go to these events to socialize with friends and family and not to eat.  Before you attend think of those you know in attendance and think of some topics or questions you would like to ask.  The more involved you with the people around you the less time you will be thinking about the food just a few feet away.  If you don’t know many people are going to be in attendance, then set a goal to get to know X number of people.  For the anti-social people out there (I am been a proud member since 1982), this not only a great way to help your waist line but a great way to boost confidence and help with those social skills.

7.       When it is finally time to sit down and eat, try to find a small plate. It has been scientifically proven that the larger the plate the more you will eat.  Cut your food into small portions and eat slowly.  Bring a large glass of water to the table and make a conscious effort to take drinks after every 2-3 bites.  Socialization is a great resource here because as long as you remember the golden rule of table manners “Don’t talk with your mouth full” you will spend more time talking then eating.

**NOTE: My life coach also advised to find a quiet place to eat and enjoy your food and then we both bust out laughing when we remembered I had five kids…may work for you though.

I want some of your advice too!! What does and doesn’t work for you around the holiday season?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hello friends! It has been a while

Hello!! Anyone around?
I did it! I officially become one of those bloggers who disappear off the face of the earth and into oblivion.  While I have a plethora of excuses I could throw at you, it came down to two things.
1.       I need to focus on my family and get us away from the brink of disaster.
2.       I needed to find myself
While both 1 & 2 are still a ‘work in progress’  I feel I am ready to pick up where I left off.
I had been eyeing the scale for weeks.  Occasionally making flirty eyes and wooing myself back into its good graces.  Saturday night I finally slide on my big girl panties and decided to take the plunge and see where 2.5 months of craziness has left me.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE *********** 198.00**************
I was so relieved I started to cry.  I truly had changed the way I ate and while I hadn’t lost anything I had not gained a single pound. PHEW!!
So the question is, how does one reboot themselves? Well I guess the first thing was to find out what happened the first time around.
When I started this journey I feel like I had two set of goals. The ones I shared and the shallow ones that I kept to myself.   The one’s I shared were still important to me. I DO want to set a good example for my kids and I want to be healthy but sometimes you have to tap into you selfishness and narcissism to get your butt moving.  
How did I come to this conclusion? Well I started looking at what had changed when my motivation slipped and I realized that I had technically met all my superficial markers.  I could shop at most of the hip stores I always dreamed of,  I had days where I felt sexy and people stopped looking at me as the ‘fat person’ and more like a ‘potentially hot person’.  I still was not where I wanted to be on the scale and I still had days when I looked in the mirror going “I look the same I did 60 pounds ago.” But enough of those needs had been meet that the drive was dissipating.
So I decided to hit the reset button.  Start the new weight loss journey where I am now and not where I was 60 pounds ago.  I need to embrace the socially appropriate and superficial goals so that when I accomplish them I can make new ones.  I need to remember my old reasons and make some new reasons to continue on this journey
Goals you can’t track:
-           I want to set a good example for my kids (I really do!!)
-          I want to feel sexy and hot
-          I want to be able to wear a swimsuit in public
-          I want to be able to shop anywhere (while I can hit up most clothing stores,  some places still size a little too small for me)
-          I want to get rid of my gut!!

Large Goals you can track:
-          Official weight loss goal: 140 pounds ( - 58 to go )
-          Want to no longer be ‘obese’: 179 pounds ( - 19 to go)
-          Would like to slip into a size 6 ( - 4 sizes to go)

Those are some of the larger goals I am aiming for, but I know I do better when I have mini goals to pump me up along the way…so here is WEEK 1 Official weight posting!!

Current weight: 198.0 pounds

Starting weight: 198 pounds
Down: 0 pounds
Total loss: 0 pounds
Goal weight: 140 pounds
Total to lose: 58 pounds


Break the 198 plateau:  -1 pounds to go
We love the 80’s: -8.1 pounds to go
5% Body Weight Gone:  -9.9 pounds to go
Overweight BMI (179): -19 pounds to go
Scuba Diving Lessons (170) – 28 pounds
Let’s get this party started!!