Tag Archives: restaurants

Fall Back, Spring Forward

A few years ago, the mysterious powers that be decided that the Daylight Savings period of the year should be longer. This sun worshipping California native with a thing for mood enhancing vitamin D was thrilled. I don’t much follow the science of it, but I know once a year we fall back and once a year we spring forward.

How apropos that tomorrow we spring forward, when this past week I felt like I fell back. I fell back into a few old habits, I fell back into pizza, mozzarella sticks, hot fudge topping, bread, and Malibu & pineapple juice.

Here’s the thing that will prompt your “ain’t nobody got time for that reflex,” last week I lost 1.4 pounds. On the program I’m on (weight watchers) it’s recommended that we lose between .5-2 pounds a week, so I’m at the higher end. Great! Also WW, being an accountability program, not necessarily a food restricted diet allows me to spend my daily & weekly points pretty much however I choose (the program operates on a point system blah blah blah). I did not end the week in the red. I still had a handful of spare points. But it felt like a close call. I felt like I failed.

All week I felt like I was fighting against myself. Temptation felt ever present and more than once I fell. The weight loss is good…who am I kidding, it’s frickin GREAT! And yeah I did it in a week when I had froyo, booze, fried cheese, and my arch nemesis pizza. That would have made a past version of me so happy, “I can still eat the foods I love…” But I don’t wanna love those foods anymore, I don’t wanna play Russian roulette with the shit that got me to this size in the first place. I just felt like I was somehow beating the system. Like I was cheating and if I didn’t reign it in I would spiral out of control.

I know people say everything in moderation, but for some of us that isn’t true. Some of us have to give up certain things, say goodbye to a vice maybe even a friend. So on my excel spreadsheet last week was a success, but emotionally I fell. It was scary, I was scared, standing in the quick sand of “if I order that second slice…”

I’m tired of feeling out of control or at the mercy of food. So that was my one fall back for the year (positive thinking people). Here’s to springing forward this week.

Thanks for reading

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The story of last Saturday night

Saturday night was the worst night of this “weight loss journey” so far. It’s had been 50 days of relative ease. Not easy, but I’m focused & determined so I brooked no compromise. Then Saturday night happened and I belly flopped right in to a land mind of triggers.

This one might be a buzz kill so I’ll try to keep it witty!  I also will disclose that I’m doing weight watchers which operates on a point system.

On Friday night I went out on the town with friends. We had a fabulous dinner and an evening of theatre. I planned for this and indulged just a tad but didn’t really go “off program” in a points/calories allowance sort of way. What I did do was wake up Saturday with the attitude that I was in the red. So even though according to the points, I started the day fresh with plenty still chillin in the weekly reserve, I back stepped into my attitude of lack which is what started this whole hoard food in the body problem umpteen years ago. So that was my first mistake.

Onward with my tale. I ate fine all day, even had my daily hot chocolate (something I imagine will be too point rich down the line but for now I can afford it). Then late evening rolled around and Shakespeare triggered me. Now Shakespeare has always been a force for good in my life. Soothing, like a baby’s pacifier or like the calm of rushing water to others. As I watched the MARVELLOUS PBS special Shakespeare Uncovered I, obviously, started to focus on my career momentum or lack (oooh there’s that word again) thereof. And so the self ambush began. And we all know what happens then…I wanted a hit. I wanted to stuff myself full. I wanted cheese melted on anything, a pizza, or grilled cheese, or cheesy baked potato. You get the idea. Feeling behind career wise, I also felt empty, inadequate, and frustrated cause there’s certainly nothing I can do about it at 8 on a Saturday night.

Here’s the thing though. I didn’t eat. I was done for the day, I wasn’t hungry. So I yelled at twitter, adopted a passive aggressive vague-book approach and got over myself. It was hard, but clear that I’d avoided dealing with my shit like fear and doubt and insecurity and boredom by shoveling food in. And I’d keep doing it til that pleasure sensor was triggered and the euphoria of the food high set in. I don’t wanna be that person. I don’t want to live in denial. I want Shakespeare to be my high, not pizza.

I want to confront what I’m feeling, give myself permission to have those feelings and then move on. I hope the next time is easier but even if it isn’t, I know it’s possible. That’s really the best part – the possibility of it all. Shakespeare said that first right…or something like it…

Thanks for reading.

Answering the call…a hero’s journey

I took a little time thinking about what I wanted my first post of the new year to be. Did I want to rattle off resolutions that by March will only serve to make me think of myself as a failure? Or did I want to be the anti-resolutionist, and avoid being specific in my goal setting so I can let myself off the hook for bad behavior?

Truth is, I am resolved. Resolved to change my life, for the better, one day at a time. To achieve this, I DO have specific goals. The first goal is to love myself more. My next goal is to share my courage and laughter. I have an abundance of each. After that, I want to radiate positivity and surround myself with positive people. I want to grow toward the light. Be the light. Be in the light. I want to LOVE.

Do I want to lose weight. HELL to the YES! But I have lost weight only to find more as I back-stepped out of change and into the me I knew and recognized and loathed. This will only work if I embrace the new me. The new me can go out to a restaurant and be social and make new friends and not eat if she’s not hungry. I did that today. The self I am becoming, she can eat chicken wings and pizza in moderation, and not stuff her face as if she’ll never she food again in this lifetime. I did that today. I don’t know her, this person I am becoming, but she seems like a pretty cool chick: smart, and funny, and talented, and compassionate. I don’t know her, but I choose to love her anyway.

So in the new year I plan to make new choices, try new things, be braver, and count it all a blessing. The measure of success is simply a blog post here in about 365 days. In short, my resolution is to show up, and meet myself on the journey.

This is me answering the call.

Thank you for reading.

A Blog for Christmas

So right after the holidays millions decide it’s time to lose weight. Gym memberships soar. Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers see their membership numbers increase exponentially. Me, I decide the week BEFORE Christmas to get serious about what I’m putting in my mouth, and even more serious about the thoughts in my head. In doing so, I have really started to identify triggers and my particular compulsions.

Allow me to share two Christmas tales.

Tomorrow I’m going to a relative’s for a big family gathering & meal. In preparation, I asked about the menu. For me that’s a first. In the past I’ve just shown up and eaten some of everything (except stuffing, that I don’t do). Well turns out there aren’t any sound choices on deck for the holiday buffet. So who’s brown baggin’ Christmas dinner? This lady. I’d rather just pack food I know I can and will eat AND enjoy, than sit there starving, cranky, or binge and feel guilty. So hey, victory for me.

It came at the cost of: feeling a bit like a special dietary project, admitting that I am consciously aware of and being mindful of what I’m eating these days, and the risk of insulting the host. These things have caused me great shame in the past. Shame that I am no longer interested in. So my fit and trim host will have to forgive, though I’m not apologizing for, my desire to not gorge on cheesy carbs and fatty meats.

I say no to letting shame or embarrassment cause me to do what I know is unhealthy for me.

Story number two.

Out with family tonight at a restaurant that I did not choose I became increasing frustrated because the nutrition information wasn’t available. I’m on my smart phone and scrutinizing the menu trying to find the one thing I *can eat. I was so frustrated, my inner four year old monster stomped her foot and screamed “fine, I just won’t eat!” And while my family ordered a deep dish pizza I sulked and sipped my diet coke. And then it hit me, I’m afraid of food. I’m.Afraid.Of.Food. The solution for me was to just not eat. That’s not any more healthy than eating everything. I realized that this is why diets don’t work and that I’m not in this to exchange one bad habit for another but to make serious changes in my relationship to food. So I put on my big girl drawls, and opened the menu again. I found a salad and small appetizer that I could eat without with minimal guilt.

In the real world I’ll be faced with temptation everyday. Saying no to a brownie makes perfect sense (not in a logical way but in a sensible adult trying to lose weight sort of way), but I have to eat. So I have to feel empowered to make smart choices even if the calorie count isn’t listed or I don’t know how many grams of fat are in a dang on thing. I can’t be afraid of food. I am the only one empowered to empower myself.

So see, I’m learning. It’s still early. Tomorrow hasn’t happened. But I am teachable.

Thanks for reading.

Just realized I’m a hoarder

SO Saturday morning I sat down to type a blog post about my food victory of the night before. I didn’t finish it before I had to get going for the day so I saved the draft to be posted later. And now as I come back to it, the thrill of the moment in gone. Last night I fell off the wagon. Off the wagon, into a bush. Into a bush right out side of Taco Bell.

So now let me preface a few things as I recount the evenings in question:

I am a professional storyteller. In order to have stories to tell, I must spend time with people, observe them, speak with them, hear their stories. In short, I am social. The twist is I am also an introvert. As a result of my childhood (referenced in earlier post), I have come to rely on food to get me through social situations. I hang around the buffet table at parties, grabbing chips here and there, snagging an extra chicken wing or 3 when I suspect no one is watching. After a show, when friends want to get a drink, I propose someplace that is still serving food because I am feeling “peckish.”

And so Friday night, following a show, we found ourselves at a restaurant/bar and I did something I never do. I shared food. Now of course I’ve shared an appetizer or desert here or there but other than with my daughter, I’ve not shared an entree with another adult while out at a restaurant. We have perhaps ordered to meals to split, or I have finished their food in addition to my own. But sit down, order one thing and split it. This was a first. This revealed to me that I have deep anxiety about being hungry. My friends suggest we share, and I think “I am going to still be hungry” even in the absence of hunger. I am a hoarder. I hoard food inside my body. How awful is that. How CRAZY is that. I’ve never experienced famine, or the great depression, or lack of food for more than an uncomfortable few hours. So why am I anxious that I don’t know when I’ll eat again, or where my next meal will come from? Well anyway, on Friday night I get this wake up call and so I share and it was perfect. I was fulfilled, I was being social, friends were drinking merrily and I was so proud of myself.

Then Saturday strikes. Ya know what I do? I go all day on two bananas and a black tea so when 5pm rolls around I of course believe I am starving to death (I’ll remind you I weigh 298 at last count – I won’t be starving for sometime). So all the fast food lights are tempting me, calling my name, and like the addict I am I can’t resist. BUT my intentions were soooooo good. I was going to go to Taco Bell, make a healthy choice, like one of their new Cantina Bowls (w/o dressing), and continue feeling good about my lifestyle changes. I order the XXL Nachos. It just came out of my mouth, it wasn’t even what I wanted. The food came, and I was miserably disappointed. With myself, with the presentation of my food, with the taste. So I picked at it, feeling the guilt and shame of eating a 1200 calorie nacho platter intended for at least 2 people. I couldn’t finish it. I threw it out, then order the Cantina Bowl I came for in the first place. Problem is, I don’t know how to add up the calories for a partially eaten nacho tray. I don’t know how many chips went in my mouth or in the trash. So now I just feel like I’m eating two meals, the nachos and the bowl. I wanted an immediate do-over but the nachos calories were in, couldn’t reset the counter, but I was convinced “I’d still be hungry” cause I had thrown a fair portion of the meal out.

I am glad for the experience of Friday and Saturday nights because my food anxiety is coming to light. More than insatiable hunger (which is what I’ve convinced myself and others to believe for so long), it’s an OCD type behavior. I’ve known I was this way with beverages for years (that is for another – perhaps shorter blog post), I thought food was different, but now I see the behavior pattern is remarkable similar.

Today I’ll try to eat only to satisfy the hunger/needs of the moment and know that the next meal will come.

Thank you for reading.