Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday, Monday ...... good to me...... . Yes, it's Monday morning, and a beautiful sunny day at that. It's also Day 7 of the Hawaii countdown, and I'm holding strong. Friday and Saturday yielded no serious workouts - just a couple walks - but yesterday, my boyfriend (I call him "The C-Man") and I did the double-duty G-Ball sets, leaving us sweaty and worn out. Though we both felt rather tired going into the workout, we had to admit that all the exercises were easier than before. Just like Mitch said we would, we're making progress fast!! And this morning, I feel pretty good - not sore or stiff at all. Imagine that! Today C-Man is coming over to do the grueling one-hour set with me. We'll see how I feel after that.

So the exercise portion of this quest is moving along nicely. And the food part - how about that? Well, I have to say ... I'm feeling pretty comfortable with the reasonable, healthy eating. Remember: I am NOT on a diet, nor will I ever be, ever again. Diets are for breaking; diets are for atonement. Being on a diet is tantamount to serving a prison sentence: I've been bad, so now I have to serve some time ... have my freedoms taken away. No thank you. That is a prescription for failure - one I have taken too many times.

No, I am teaching myself to think and eat like a thin person. What does that entail? First, it means only eating when I'm hungry. They say that emotional eating (or other "mindless eating") is the biggest factor in weight gain. I know it's true for me. My regular diet has always been pretty healthy, as my glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels have always shown. I love fresh fruits and vegetable, "good fats" like olive oil, lean meats, whole grains ..... no problem there. It's the extra stuff, the comfort foods, that contribute to my downfall. I have a terrible sweet tooth, for instance, and on a particularly stressful day, I might find myself baking or buying some chocolate chip cookies. You know what I'm talking about. The same goes for ice cream, or perhaps something on the salty side, like cashews, or Brie with crackers or crusty bread. Mmmmm.... brie with crackers or crusty bread.....

Anyway, the experts say that if you handle emotional discomfort with food one out of twenty times, that's perfectly fine. If you do it twenty out of twenty times, you're an emotional eater and it's time to find new ways to deal with intense feelings. All right. Fair enough.

The other side of the food issue is the amount served. I grew up having enormous portions plopped on my plate. Even though my mother had her own issues with weight, and fat people in general, she loved food - planning meals, cooking meals, and serving them in very generous portions. So yes, over the years I have developed a tendency to serve and take too much. The trick is to not serve yourself anything larger than the size of your own fist, which happens to be the size of your stomach. The other trick is to alwayst eat at least a bite of protein with everything you eat. Protein slows down the absorption of glucose, preventing spikes and crashes, therefore keeping you feeling fuller and more energetic for longer periods. Again, easy enough -

This weekend I'd say I did pretty well food-wise. The PC tapes tell us we will eat far less, and sometimes not at all. When we do eat, we'll choose the healthy foods our bodies need. We'll also drink lots of water. (That part is easy for me.) I do find myself less tempted to graze as I go through my day, and when I do eat, I am eating less now. For instance, C-Man and I went to one of my favorite restaurants on Saturday. We split a crab Caesar salad, and we each had a bowl of chowder. (Yeah, cream-style chowder!) We had no dessert, and I only had one cocktail - another source of extra calories for me, historically - sigh.... .

While I'm not being "perfect" in my habits, I know I am slowly creating a new way of behaving. That is the only way I can "return to my natural, normal, and ideal weight," as the tapes say. I have to change the way I think. I have to change my mind. And I'm doing it. I know this because I am currently Jones'n for some CHOCOLATE!!! Yes, I can almost taste it!

So I must ask myself why. The PC counselor said these cravings for sweets and carbohydrates are often triggered by a need for nurturance, or help of some kind. Well, it could be the piles of research papers I have to have graded by tomorrow, along with calculating the course grades for my English 102 class this past quarter. I could also be nerves brought on by my impending family reunion in two more days. It could also be the fact that my house is filthy and I feel like a total loser as a housekeeper. It could also be the sad realization that I started this whole thing too late to be "bikini-ready" for Hawaii next month. And on and on ...... .

So ok - I'm feeling stressed, I've been fairly virtuous lately, and I'm wishing I could dive face-first into a vat of malted milk balls ..... There - I said it. Now I'm over it. That wasn't so hard. Let's take a breath, a sip of water, and dream of the Hawaiian surf.


Corwin8or said...

What a great post! So much more is tied up in the quest for a new shape BESIDES exercise and diet: How much is metaphorically "on our plate" is as important as what we're putting on our dinner plates. Voicing our fears and concerns paradoxically strips them of some of their power over us. It also helps to show up for a team workout, even when your inner voice is telling you to skip it. :)

MrsMadPanda said...

I am in awe of you in your life journey! My heart-felt best wishes for you as you go through these changes!

Remember, it's much more important how your clothes fit that what the scale says you weigh. Also, muscle weighs more than fat, so your gains after working out may be due to all of the new muscle you just built up! =)