Monday, February 15, 2016

2016: Secrets of Addiction and recovery or Learning to Live right

There wasn't a smile, trust me! 

Fitness and Food have always been a problem for me.    Somewhere back in time, I wrote a blog or two about my struggles.   Beats me where they are and looking back on some of the stuff in my blog makes me sad so let me give you the Cliff's Notes version:

*I have suffered from compulsive eating and bulimia since somewhere between birth and 16 years of age.   I don't really remember when it started, I just know it started.   I am 45 so let's just say I have struggled about 30 years of my life.  

*I don't know what a "Normal relationship with food" means.

*I tend to be just a little bit OCD when it comes to food and fitness.

*I go in funks that can last years.   I either am really on with my food and fitness or very, very off.  I have been off for about 3 years.   There are a ton of excuses for why I fell off the wagon 3 years ago: broken heart, work stress, life stress, friendship stress, but all they are is excuses.   For example, the broken heart part, well, since that broken heart 3 years ago I fell in love and got married.  You would think that would snap me out of it but no such luck.   

So what does that say about me?  I am a freaking mess, I suppose.   In the 2 1/2 years my husband has known me, I have never been "In my zone".   See, I get in a fitness zone and when I am in it, I am a demon.  My doctor has never seen anyone lose weight faster than I do.  Well, I did.  I have no idea if my 45 year old self can do it but my 40 year old self was a master at it.   Don't let me kid you, that is part of the bulimia too.  I have been known to workout for 2 hours a day and eat 800 calories while doing it, to be thin.   I am not proud, mind you, just honest.

Anyway, I digress.   I have slowly started to work myself back into working out.  There is a magic thing that happens to me when I workout and it has nothing to do with losing weight, well, it does but as a side effect.   When I work out, I eat healthier.   I figured out a long time ago, if I am going to work my bottom off and still eat M&M's then I might as well just not workout.  

So at the beginning of the year I decided to make slow changes, because for me, diving in head first can send me on a roller coaster of bulimic tendencies and I now have a 12 year old girl in the house, who, as most 12 year old girls do, feels like crap about her appearance half the time.   She brushes it off and plays tough, but she doesn't fool me and my obligation is to set an example so, I have started to make a few changes.

First, I started by eliminating the high calorie, fun flavored creamer that I put in my coffee.   I switched to almond/coconut milk and while not anywhere near as flavorful, it gets the job done.  I also cut out all candy and sweets.   I bake nothing sugary and I keep next to nothing in the house to tempt me.  (Full Disclosure: Somewhere up on the top shelf in the baking section of my pantry are chocolate chips.  The good kind.  The chocolate crack kind.  At least, I think there are.   I haven't moved all the stuff in front of them to check.)

Next, I started to narrow down what is causing me to have serious stomach pain about every freaking day of my life, or 5 days a week, whichever is shorter.   I have pretty much concluded after not eating gluten for several days then eating gluten on the last two Sundays, that gluten and I do not get along. (My husband makes the best buttermilk fried chicken in the world.  It is amazing and dipped in flour.  I tried really hard to stay away from it this weekend but it called me and I answered it's dang siren call.   Trust me I am paying for it today.) 

So I have switched to protein filled green smoothies about once a day and healthier veggie and meat based foods.  Sometimes I have them twice a day, which I am going to explain below.  

Now, here is the worst part, I had a surgery two years ago which should have helped me lose weight but because I am a sugar addict, it helped me lose 60 pounds before I realized I could still eat sugar and gained 30 back.   In other words, I failed at the "easy way out" too.   Let me tell you one thing about any type of surgery, it is not the easy way out of anything.   A side effect of the surgery I had is that when I eat too much, to this day I vomit.   Unfortunately, most sugar and calorie filled stuff doesn't require you to eat a bunch before you blow your whole day.   A second and really annoying side effect is that raw veggies make me sick about 90% of the time.   This means for me, eating salad with a chicken breast is a crap shoot.  I may be able to stomach it one night and the next day, it makes me sick.   This sucks because I am just weird enough to like raw veggies.   As I said above, I have added green smoothies into my diet.  What I have figured out about that is that when I put spinach in the smoothie, it doesn't  give me the digestive challenges that eating a cup of spinach can.   So, I make a smoothie with spinach and a banana and protein powder because my goal after having surgery is to get between 60 grams and 90 grams of protein a day.   That's a lot.   

The one positive about the surgery, the one thing it forced me to stop doing, which I have never been able to stop previously, is purging.   Maybe it is because the surgery causes you to purge at times but mostly I believe it is because, once I went through with the surgery, I just couldn't do that to my body anymore.  Making myself sick when I am already struggling with constant stomach problems, is just not an answer for me anymore.  

Okay, so in the end, what I am telling you is that I am a 45 year old, overweight woman with at least 2 eating disorders, gluten intolerance, an addiction to cigarettes which will probably kill me and I made 2016 a year for baby step changes to get me back on track for good.   So yes, I am working out and behind that smiley face above you will see an exhausted old lady.   I am working on cutting the literal fat out of my diet and even replacing my cigarettes with something good for me.  (I haven't figured that one out yet because Ecigs are not good for me either.)

Here are my weight and fitness goals for this year:

Weight: Lose 50 pounds.   I have lost 6 so far this year so only 44 more to go!  
Workouts:  At least 3 times a week until I have a good base built up then 5 days a week.  With my ultimate goal to be back on my mountain bike by my 46 birthday.  That is in August if you are keeping track I have just under 6 months to get there. 
Quit smoking......TBD.

Food: I have started keeping track of my food (most days) on one of those on-line calorie tracker things.  I forget on the weekends mostly.
Fitness:  I am going to be working out at home.  I use to go to the gym right after work.  I use to also be single and not have anyone else at home to answer to.  Now, just to be able to tell my husband: I am working out now, when I get  home, sometimes takes effort.  The minute I walk in the door, a to-do list hits me in the face.   I am working on getting all three of us used to the idea that when I get home, I am changing cloths and working out.  

 Years ago, I learned to take a 12 step approach to eating disorders and take it one day at a time.   Today I wanted pizza, gluten free pizza but pizza.  Instead I had a salad (and yes it gave me an upset tummy) and I feel like I did right.  I told myself, just for today, just for lunch, I will make the right decision.   This is what I am working on right now, telling myself, just for today I will eat right and workout.   If I take it as a daily challenge instead of getting fixated on the big picture, I am hoping to finally get into a life long habit.

Oh, happy Monday people!   Happy Presidents Day.   

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