Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Formerly Food Addicted #7 - Arrrrggggghhhhh!

Arrrggghhhh! Well it is Weigh in Wednesday and I am so frustrated. I’m not at all surprised by the scale, but still frustrated. That’s the thing about binge eating. You can have an awesome week with no binging, and the weight starts to fall off. But, if it is followed by a binge week, your progress is erased in an instant. That is what happened in the past week.

Below you will find a food log from a few days - have I ever told you how much I despise food logs? But they provide useful information. I had a couple good days, followed by several binge days. I define good days as days that I stayed away from refined sugar and flour. The "good" days are by no means perfect. I also did the painful work of writing down what was eaten during binges - at least most of it.

Day 1 
Breakfast - chicken andouille sausage; protein shake (protein powder mixed with water)
Lunch - "steakhouse buffalo burger" (whole foods); broccoli with mixed peppers
Dinner - 6 meatballs in marinara sauce

Day 2
Breakfast - Chicken andouille sausage, 2 eggs with feta cheese crumbles cooked in coconut oil
Lunch - Meatballs in marinara; broccoli with peppers; large fries
Dinner - 3 slices of bacon and 3 strawberries - not hungry, but didn't want to go to gym on empty stomach
Post work out snack - 2 slices bacon

Day 3 (got up at 1a.m. to drive to 2 1/2 hours to be with my mom who became ill; I consider this a day of stress eating and overeating,  but it wasn't a full blown binge.)
4 miniature 3 musteers
4 cream filled cookies
Sausage egg and cheese muffin from burger king
Krispy Kreme apple pie (individual size)
Box of Nerds candy  (Large 6 oz box)
Turkey and cheese sandwich
2 cheese coneys (6 in each) and chili cheese fries
3 more cream filled cookies

Day 4
Breakfast - 3 slices bacon
Snack- 1/2 chicken  breast
Lunch - 4 large strawberries ; walnuts & almonds (100 calorie pack)
Dinner - Calamari salad

Day 5 (Binge day)
Breakfast - 4 slices of bacon
Lunch- 10 nuggets and fries from McDonald's, snickers ice cream bar
Binge: large cold stone ice cream with cookie dough, individual apple pie, box of jolly rancher chews, two small pizzas from Donatos, bag of chips, 4 ocean spray cranberry juices,  fries

Day 6 (Binge Day)
Didn’t record breakfast or lunch Day ended with a binge
2 large donuts; 8 donut holes, 2 cookies, frozen breakfast sandwich, piada sandwich,  3 orders of loaded fries from White castle

Day 7 (Binge Day)
Breakfast/lunch - 6 Jimmy Dean breakfast croissant sandwiches, 2 bananas
Dinner/Binge: 2 orders loaded fries, 2 sliders, oreo ice cream sandwich, "texas smoked sausage" sandwich, cheese roll up (Taco Bell)

It is what it is…I am where I am. It’s a little daunting to think how long it will take to undo this damage, so I am just going to take it one day at a time. Every Wednesday, feel free to check out my Weigh In Wednesday tab. Hopefully I will have some better news to report next week.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Formerly Sedentary #2 - Learning to Swim

No, the title is not some metaphor for one of life's events. I am 34 years old, and I do not know how to swim.

It's not because I didn't want to know how to swim. I've never been afraid of the water, and always enjoyed the few times each summer my parents took me to the pool. But, I was never become one of those lucky self-taught swimmers. I tried to mimic the actions of those frolicking in the water around me, but never successfully. Both of my parents went through life without knowing how to swim, so they didn't see the need to enroll us in swimming lessons.

So here I am - I desperately want to know how to swim. I absolutely love being in the water. There is something so freeing about it. Swimming would also be a great activity post-injury. I took my first group swimming lesson about 4 years ago. I followed that up with months of private swim lessons. I eventually stopped those because I felt that my progress had stopped, and the cost of private swim lessons did not seem worth it anymore since no progress was being made. It seems that most swim instructors believe that the freestyle stroke is the first stroke that should be mastered before moving on to others. I could float, I had strong kicks. I was told that I perfectly executed my arms. But no matter how much I try or practice, I just can't get the hang of the breathing. I'm not a quitter, but I'm starting to believe that perhaps I just won't ever get the hang of freestyle. Maybe another stroke will work better for me. Oh, and let's not talk about how much I've practiced treading water to no avail. I left a couple instructors baffled as to why their techniques weren't working for me.

Since my initial attempt at learning to swim, I have tried more private and group lessons, hoping to find the instructor that would have the right words or trick to help me with whatever I am doing wrong. It's so embarrassing to be in a class with adults who are in their first group swimming lesson, and can tread water the first time they try...and I've been trying for years.

Monday was my first group lesson since my injury. When this session is over, I will probably try a few private lessons again, if I can find an instructor who is willing to work with me on something else besides freestyle. I'll keep you posted on my progress :-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Formely Sedentary #1 - Get Moving!

Well, the past few weeks have been disappointing to say the least when I look back at my eating habits. My mom being in the hospital isn’t helping things. So, I took a moment to reflect on what might get me out of this rut I’ve been in. That’s when I remembered how much I used to love to exercise.

I have been overweight all my life, but I discovered the joy of walking some years ago. I have walked in 5 half marathons so far. I also attended every exercise class I could work into my schedule. I wasn’t losing any weight, but I was working out enough to keep my weight steady in spite of my binges.

All of that came to a screeching halt last spring when I had an “ankle sprain” that wouldn’t go away. Suddenly, walking even one mile became a chore –forget walking 13.1. After taking a break from aerobics, and engaging in weeks of physical therapy, I was still in pain. Months later, an MRI would reveal that I had a fractured bone. So, I was in a walker boot for a month. Then I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon who told me that this type of fracture would not heal if I continued to walk on it. The next step was 6 weeks in crutches. Then 3 more weeks in the walker boot. (I had to take 2 months off of work during this process.) Six weeks of physical therapy, and lots of pain.

That leads us to the present. An MRI showed that the bone has healed properly. The doctor has determined that the pain I still experience on occasion is arthritis. Some days are good. Other days, walking can be excruciating. But when I asked about resuming physical activity, the doctor gave me the green light to do “whatever your pain will allow.”

Two days ago, I spent an hour walking around a local mall. It was much slower than I used to walk before my injury, but it felt good! Last night, I completed a 2 mile Leslie Sansone walk at home video. It was great to feel the surge of energy that comes when I complete a workout.  I have already decided that when I return home next week, I am going to take my bike in for a tune up, and start riding again. 

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost been a year since the injury first appeared. But, it’s time to put it behind me. I look forward to getting back to regular exercise, even if I can’t do so with as much intensity as I used to. Aside from the physical benefits, it helps to lift my mood. And who couldn’t use a little lift every now and then?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Formerly Food Addicted #6 - Hospital Awakenings

My mom is in surgery right now. I have been at the hospital since 5 a.m., so I thought I would share my random musings.

As I was sitting in the waiting area, I couldn’t help but hear the conversations going on around me. I drifted into a conversation of the lady sitting behind her who was on her cell phone.

"Yes, I am calling to see how my mom is doing. May I speak with a nurse please? Thank you"

Judging from the bags under her eyes, I could tell she'd had little sleep. Concern pierced her voice as she responded to the person on the other end. "What? There are problems with her heart? I'm sorry, we have a bad connection. I am in Cleveland right now at the Cleveland Clinic because my daughter is having brain surgery….OK, so mom has to go to ICU? Can I talk to her?"

This poor lady has a mom somewhere in ICU with heart trouble, and her daughter is having brain surgery! I can’t even imagine.

I moved to a different waiting area to help pass the time. In the smaller waiting area, another conversation captured my attention. There was the one guy – you know, the one who feels the need to talk the entire time anyone is seated near him - who was telling his story. "...Yeah, it was like we were tag teaming. I had a heart attack. Then once I got better, she was diagnosed with cancer." Others chimed in about their cancer experiences. Everyone else in that waiting room was there for someone who was having cancer related surgery.

Mr. talkative shared more. "They had to remove her spleen. Her spleen weighed 5 1/2 pounds by the time they removed it. Now the cancer has spread, so they are taking her thyroid out today. We've been here 15 or 16 times since she's been diagnosed. We live in Erie, Pennsylvania. So, every time we come, I have to pay for hotel expenses. You would think the insurance company would help you pay for that.” Two ladies in the room then shared about their loved one's diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer.

My mom is still in surgery. But the conversations of strangers are awakenings for me. I am awakened to the need to continually be thankful. Though there are lots of hard circumstances in life right now, I am reminded that it could be worse. I will pray for those stories I heard today. I will also pray for myself. I will continue praying that God will deliver me from the monster of binge eating. I know that I am slowly self-destructing from my unhealthy eating patterns. Ill health could potentially be my fate. I pray that the unhealthy binge foods will no longer have a grip on me, and that I can walk in freedom to make the healthy food choices I desire.