Archive for the ‘Bad Habits’ Category

Ups and Downs

February 7, 2013


I’ve been fighting with these last five pounds of this 40 lb goal for a few weeks now. I can’t really complain because it is not mystery lingering weight. It is simply poor eating choices. Salt primarily. I will get within a pound or two of the goal and then eat a chips, or popcorn or overdo it on Thanksgiving… so it’s taking awhile to get back into weight loss mode.

That’s okay though. Including the pregnancy and miscarriage the fact that I’m only bouncing around in a 5 lb window is a good sign that I’m at least able to maintain my weight which I know will be the longer term goal.


Ghhhaaa! Bleck! Bad Day!

November 29, 2012

Today is not a good mental health day. I’ve been teetering on the edge of this 202.8 lbs = no longer obese milestone for days now. I went down a little bit, then more, then back up, and up and up again. No real progress in over a week.

I’m getting better at talking myself through the bad days. Reminding myself that some days I lose a pound and some days I do not and that is good because my body needs to adjust. That it’s not all about the numbers on the scale it’s about how I feel.

Today I feel bloated, cramped, back aches, hip hurts there’s a new pain in my knee and I feel emotionally miserable. And, the scale went up again. There’s no reason I can identify as to why. I’ve been sticking to paleo, I have not gone over on my calories, but still… no progress.

Here is the choice: I can give up, throw the towel in go get a large bag of chips with sour cream and wallow in my perceived failure. Or, I can stick it out another day and a day after that and the day after that and know that I am doing the right thing and eventually the weight will come off, but only if I keep trying.

I don’t need to do anything different yet, it feels like a long time right now but in the span of success this time round it’s a short time and in the span of time I have tried to lose weight it is an extremely short time.

So, I feel crappy today. I don’t feel like giving myself a pep talk and I do feel like eating crap just to validate my current mind set that this will never work, but there is enough of something inside me to know that I will not do this. I will make it through this day and look forward to better days.


October 4, 2012

My appetite is slowly starting to come back. For a long time this whole switch to paleo and restricted eating has been very easy because it’s been a struggle to simply get me to eat food in the first place.

I’m feeling actual hunger pangs now, and have been for a few weeks, but they are not what I remember from before my grief-imposed fast.

I am still unsure if this reduction in hunger is because of that fast, or because of eating a paleo diet now. If the hunger returns with a vengeance then I suppose I will have my answer. But, if it does not I will never really know if it was the grief that reduced my hunger or the paleo. Either way, I’m relieved that I’m not hungry all the time.

What has surprised me though is my body’s response to those times when I am hungry. Dinner is the main one. In the average workday I have a longer period between lunch and dinner than I do between breakfast and lunch. That and I bring my lunch to work so I can eat it whenever I get hungry, but I never really get my act together to pack a snack, so when I arrive home I’m quite hungry.

This has actually proved useful. I tend to take care of dinner first thing now, leave the chores for afterwards. Which means I’m eating dinner earlier and as I understand it this is healthier anyways.

I generally eat whatever I have pre-prepared and already portioned out. During the week it’s simple. I grab a tupperware container out of the fridge, stick it in the micro and voila: dinner. I cook three or four large meals during the weekends and those usually last me for dinners and lunches all week.

In case dinner isn’t enough – which I always think will be the case when I’m looking at it – I give myself permission to grab more, or a snack if I want one later. Strangely, that almost never happens.

Snacking from dinner to bed has always been a bad habit of mine. I’d get home eat a tin of vine leaves stuffed with rice to hold me over until dinner was ready, cook a fairly large dinner each night and then snack on chocolate, ice cream, chips, popcorn or whatever was handy. Sometimes I was that hungry and just couldn’t fill myself, sometimes it was mindless snacking and sometimes I would end up stuffed to the point it hurt.

What I’m consuming now is a tiny fraction of what I would normally eat in an evening. Yet, I am finding myself satisfied, full but not uncomfortable after dinner and usually if I want a snack a tea with honey is about all I want.

I’m still waiting for my body to rebel, to demand more. I suppose time will tell.


July 19, 2012

I have reached that inevitable point in any life style change, weight loss, diet, trying-to-do-something-new process where there is failure and now I am feeling frustrated by it.

It is a completely inconsequential failure, unless I let it have consequences.

After reaching my 20 lb goal, I have had an incredibly minor set back. A 1.2 lb set back to be precise.

I was prepared for this. In fact, I thought I was going to have a set back before I hit my goal since I had a whole weekend of eating out with our families. I was more than pleased when I managed to maintain through that. Then I hit my goal – yay! Happy dance! And then the next day I gained 0.4 lbs, and then another 0.4 lbs and then another 0.4 lbs and I started to lose my calm, just a little bit.

Part of it was the weight gain, part of it was that I couldn’t explain the weight gain. I was keeping within my caloric range. On day one I had come close to max calories but not over and on day three I had had some alcohol, but not more than my daily calories worth.

What bothers me most is how bothered I am by all of this.

If I am going to make this healthy change permanent and not fail yet again I cannot let myself be so distressed by a measly 1.2lb gain. I need to look at the big picture. I need to remember that there are other factors of success like how I feel, how I am fitting into my clothes, my mood and energy levels.

So, this is my confession. I let myself be frustrated by a 1.2 lb gain that will likely not matter in a month. Now, I need to go live my life and make sure I stay committed to my goals and realize this is a very small trivial matter.

Bad Food Choices

June 21, 2012

I noticed in my last entry that I mentioned my weight was consistently going up when I made bad food choices.

That choice of words has given me pause. What do I mean by bad food choices?

First of I find it interesting that I still use the word “bad”. I could have chosen: poor, negative, unhealthy, junk or others. But I chose bad which demonstrates that I’m still using a lot of value judgement with my food.

It also runs counter to what I said in and earlier post about listening to The Fat Nutritionist and giving myself permission to eat.

So, my vocabulary is showing some cracks in the philosophy I am trying to adopt, but I do think I am learning.

What “bad” food choices mean for me right now are:

  1. Mindless eating
  2. Allergy eating
  3. Uncontrolled eating

Mindless eating is see-food, eat-food. For example I was playing a game in the university cafeteria (some friends and I meet there sometimes for gaming). That night when the Tim Hortons staff came out and dumped tonnes of bins of donuts, muffins, cookies, timbits, croissants, cinnamon buns and more. All the students in the cafeteria descended and started grabbing food. When all this started I wasn’t hungry, I don’t really like donuts that much, I really don’t like Tim Horton’s donuts, especially day old going stale donuts… then one member of our group put three bags of chips in the middle of the table. As the evening went on, I don’t remember when I decided to have chips, timbits or more chips, but I did. They didn’t taste good or satisfy a craving. I just ate them because they were in front of me and other people were eating.

Allergy eating is when I ignore that certain foods make me feel awful but I eat them anyways. This often goes with either mindless eating. Sometimes it happens with social eating. It goes with mindless when I don’t really think about what all the ingredients are of what I am putting into my body. With social eating I hate feeling like the high-maintenance picky eater and I feel like I’m being a nuisance to others when I ask too many questions about food. Because food is so social I don’t want to upset the social balance so I eat things even when I suspect they are bad for me just to keep the social balance.

Uncontrolled eating is mostly alcohol. I have a very high tolerance for alcohol, I’m still usually in happy-drunk mode around drink 12-15. What I have figured out is that anything over usually drink 3 is going to tip the scales. But, since most of my friends know I can drink and I don’t want to feel like a priest at a pageant I often let my guard down and allow myself to drink more alcohol than I intended. This goes back to the mindless see-food, eat-food problem.

In other words I’m okay to give myself permission to eat chips, pop or ice cream if that is what my body is truly craving. But, when I eat it simply because it is there, despite it being bad for me or because I didn’t manage my alcohol consumption I see these as “bad” food choices.

Up 1.4 lbs, 6.4 to go.

May 30, 2011

Sooo, the weekend… not so good for the weight loss.

The baby shower did me in on Saturday. I did go to the gym on Sunday and did my legs work out a day late, without nearly the post-workout drama or pain from last week. Sunday we had gaming, and I tried to be good. I had a grilled chicken burger, no bun, with a 1/4 cup of waldorf salad and a beer (okay the beer wasn’t so good), then I had another beer.

Dinner was left overs, too many left overs: bean salad, cheese, half grilled chicken sub… this is how you get fat on healthy food. That and the slice of chocolate cakce didn’t help.

Despite going to bed much too late I did manage to get up and do my run this morning. So… Onwards!

Day 9

May 24, 2011

Gack! I don’t know why I do this but sometimes I’m just not willing to believe the calorie counter. I know some things are bad for me: chips, chocolate, cakes, muffins (cake-in-disguise), cream pastas, cocktails…

But yesterday I made Jerk Chicken for the first time, it’s really just chicken with onion, jalapeno and a lot of spices. Still the calorie count came out near 700, which I knew was going to put me over my limit. But I ate it anyways, and then I ate 400 calories worth of orange juice and 100 calories worth of cherries, and was 600 calories over my limit.

So I’m back up 4.2 lbs from my lowest on Day 7. Down only 0.8 lbs from the start of these ten days.

That is ok though because I will likely loose 0.2 lbs today and tomorrow and 1 pound in about a week is reasonable.

Still, I need to go through these little trials to remind myself that while it is unfair that it is much easier to put weight on than take weight off.

Today I made it to the gym in the morning, took my weight and measurements and have pre-logged all my food for the day.

The Definition of Stupidity…

June 24, 2009

Is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

I’m having a bit of trouble reconciling this piece of common wisdom with the development of good healthy habits. Which in my understanding is a process of introducing new, healthy processes and patterns of behaviour into my life while substituting out bad.

The issue here is that (for me) it does not seem as simple as choosing to adopt good habits. I choose that over and over and over. And, I fail to consistently implement them just as frequently. So, the question becomes not which habits to adopt, which habits to try to rid myself of… but by what process do I adopt the habits I want and shed the ones that are destructive?

I have been asking this question for a few years now and this may be the first year I’ve had some limited success…

A brief history of failed weight loss

23 yrs old – 184 lbs – first serious attempt to loose weight
24 yrs old – ??? lbs – the first diet attempt didn’t stick
25 yrs old – 199 lbs – OMG I’m almost 200 lbs! How did this happen!?
26 yrs old – 204 lbs – first time over 200 lbs – depression year!
27 yrs old – 250 lbs – Estimate, largest ever, based on clothes size.
28 yrs old – 210 lbs – first net loss over one year!
29 yrs old – 220 lbs – current day

With the exception of 26 – 27 years old I attempted a variety of diets each year and yo-yo’d my weight up the scale every year…. I don’t talk about the year between 26 and 27, that was just one big festival of pasta, chinese, discovery of Bailey’s flavoured ice cream and complete gluttony.

The point is that this year Christmas 2008, for the first time ever I actually lost a significant amount of weight during the year and held onto the loss….

The trouble is that since Christmas 2008 … coming up to my 29th b-day in a couple of days (July 3rd if you’re sending presents) …. I’ve slowly edged my way back up the scale.

There is some good news, most of that weight was gained January – March… since March I’ve been sitting at about 220 lbs steadily with 3 weeks of loss that I wish I had celebrated here earlier, which was subsequently completely erased by much take away last week.

I have the usual excuses, I just changed jobs, I’m moving, there is stress, there are summer BBQ’s, there is no time, my schedule is out of the window and I’m desperately trying to get it back on track.

The good news?! Well there’s a glimmer of hope. I have managed to hold onto my little calorie-count motivational group keeping it going strong now for over a year, and we are setting new 12 week goals next week.

New: Go to gym 3x/week
Maintenance: Log my calories every day for at least 9 of the 12 weeks.

Weeks 43 – 45: Not Good

January 4, 2009

Well I gave into the cliche and fell off the wagon over the Christmas holidays. Actually I didn’t do too badly in the week leading up to, and of Christmas, I sort of fell off on Christmas and then didn’t get back on through the rest of the week, or the new year’s week.

It’s been a fairly spectacular fall, right back to ordering too much high calorie, high fat, high carbs, low to no nutrition take away, not making it to the gym and generally doing nothing for myself on the health and wellness front.

What Have I Learned?

1. I have a new trigger for falling off the wagon: the week after. I’ve become good at planning for the stressful week, but I fall apart after I get through the crunch.

2. I was a lot heavier than I originally thought. When I began this back in February 2008 I new that I had grown out of all my size 16 clothes and some of my 18’s so that I could not even put them on, I was up to a size 20. I figured myself somewhere around 225 lbs based on an estimate that I was 205 lbs at a size 16 and adding 5 lbs for every dress size.

My size 14’s are a bit tight on me at the moment, but nothing to worry about with a week of exercise.

The surprise came a couple of days ago, while putting up a mirror and needing to know the weight of the mirror (wall load bearing) that I stepped on a scale to get my weight (then the mirror’s) and HOLY COW I was 217 lbs! ACK!

So, if I’m 217 lbs at a size 14, then when I was a size 20 if we round size 14 up to 220 lbs, and estimating 5 lbs per dress size that would put me at a whopping 250 lbs when I started this journey. I’ve looked at the pictures, and I have to say it’s not improbable.

3. If the food is going well, all is going well. Food tends to be the first area of failure for me. Once I resort to take away then I use it too often and too much of it. If I can keep the food on track, then I can keep myself on track.

What Success Have I Had?

1. I have not given up. This is a big thing for me. I have a long history of trying to loose weight January – March, giving up some time around April, maybe making a few half hearted attempts the rest of the year but generally rounding the next January heavier than I began. I have not had success 100% of the time. I have not gone from a size 20 to a size 6 in one year. I have however stayed with it, week by week, day by day, ups and downs and not given up on it for long for 9 whole months.

2. I am smaller than when I started. I will never know exactly how much I weighed when I began. I do know that a size 20 was beginning to stretch across my belly last February 2008, and now a size 14 is only slightly snug.

3. I can feel full, and have great meals at 2,000 calories and I have a lot more energy and feel much more positive when I am exercising I just need to stick with it, and I can. When I put my mind to it I can and have filled the house with great healthy food and made it to the gym on a regular basis. I have seen results.

The Crunchy Bits

Week 43
Week 11 Q3 – December 14 – December 20, 2008
Overall: 65%
Household: 124%
Health & Beauty: 4%
Finance: 86%
Career: 71%
Entertainment: 36%

Week 44
Week 12 Q3 – December 21 – December 27, 2008
Overall: 26%
Household: 52%
Health & Beauty: 43%
Finance: 19%
Career: 14%
Entertainment: 0%

Week 45
Week 13 Q3 – December 28 – January 3, 2009
Overall: 0%
Household: 0%
Health & Beauty: 0%
Finance: 0%
Career: 0%
Entertainment: 0%

Quarter 1:
April 2008 – June 2008
Overall: 55%
Household: 75%
Health & Beauty: 62%
Finance: 46%
Career: 36%
Entertainment: 53%

Quarter 2:
July 2008 – September 2008
Overall: 45%
Household: 63%
Health & Beauty: 55%
Finance: 34%
Career: 30%
Entertainment: 41%

Quarter 3:
October 2008 – December 2008
Overall: 60%
Household: 68%
Health & Beauty: 52%
Finance: 61%
Career: 67%
Entertainment: 50%


September 17, 2008

Oh, the excuses!

I’m sick
I had the flu
I have a cold
I feel yucky
Exercise hurts my joints
I don’t like to sweat, how can I exercise without sweating?
I’m alway so out of breath when I run, it really hurts
I twisted my ankle
I got busy
Work is hectic
I have kids and no time
It’s the holiday’s
I’m too busy to make one meal for me and another for my family.
It just takes too much time
I don’t have any energy

These are just some of the excuses for not getting in shape that I have read online, heard from family and friends, or (and, yes I’m ashamed to admit it) used myself.

When did we get this idea the exercise and healthy eating are things that you do if you are already healthy? That, those of us trying to get healthy need a break from getting healthy when one of the above kicks in.

Shouldn’t it be the exact opposite… “I’m ssssiiiiccckkkk…. I need better food!”

What is an excuse? Unabridged (v 1.1) – Cite This Source – Share This
ex·cuse [v. ik-skyooz; n. ik-skyoos] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation verb, -cused, -cus·ing, noun
–verb (used with object)
1. to regard or judge with forgiveness or indulgence; pardon or forgive; overlook (a fault, error, etc.): Excuse his bad manners.
2. to offer an apology for; seek to remove the blame of: He excused his absence by saying that he was ill.
3. to serve as an apology or justification for; justify: Ignorance of the law excuses no one.
4. to release from an obligation or duty: to be excused from jury duty.
5. to seek or obtain exemption or release for (oneself): to excuse oneself from a meeting.
6. to refrain from exacting; remit; dispense with: to excuse a debt.
7. to allow (someone) to leave: If you’ll excuse me, I have to make a telephone call.
8. an explanation offered as a reason for being excused; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault or for release from an obligation, promise, etc.: His excuse for being late was unacceptable.
9. a ground or reason for excusing or being excused: Ignorance is no excuse.
10. the act of excusing someone or something.
11. a pretext or subterfuge: He uses his poor health as an excuse for evading all responsibility.
12. an inferior or inadequate specimen of something specified: That coward is barely an excuse for a man. Her latest effort is a poor excuse for a novel.

The common theme seems to be to remove responsibility or obligation. In the context of changing from a unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one what does this mean?

There is a billion dollar industry out there telling all of us, many times a day, that it is not our fault we are not healthy, it is not our fault we are overweight. If we just used their gym, had their fitness machine, took their diet pill / diet shake then we would be healthy.

Weight loss is sold in easy to digest, bit sized sound bites focused on loosing the most pounds in the least time. If we can loose 12 lbs in 7 days then there is an end to this diet, and end to this healthy eating nonesense. Health and healthy living become a consumable product that we buy consume and then move on with our lives.

If we could just drink the shake for long enough, take the diet pill for long enough, had enough money and time for the gym membership then we would be healthy… but life got in the way… we can buy that tomorrow.

Our excuses, our removal of responsibility is simply another example of dieters buying into the billion dollar diet industry. Treating our health and our bodies as products to be consumed, to be shaped and manipulated by outside forces.

Think about this: would you give control of your body to someone else? Let someone decide what you wear, where you go, who you have sex with? No, probably not, and that seems like an extreme comparison for the diet industry, but is it?

When we believe the diet industry we believe that our goals are numbers not health, thin not fit. We are letting an industry tell us how to define our own body identity. Then we take it further and let them control how we act to try to obtain that image of identity, even when we intuitively know that it will not work. This is insanity.

There is a phenomenal amount of information, studies and research out there that prove the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. The improved energy, the sense of accomplishment, and even positive mood changes. But, you don’t have to read the studies to find this out for yourself. If you can exercise and eat well for even a short amount of time, maybe a week or a month you will feel it for yourself.

Every time I think of saying I can’t because __________. I need to turn it around and say this is why I need to be healthy.

When I make healthy choices:

I get sick (MUCH) less
I haven’t had a flu/cold in a year (and I used to get them every other month!)
I feel good
My joints hurt less
I feel gross if I don’t work up a good sweat regularly
I can run further
I may get injuries, but they feel manageable.
I have energy to take on more in my busy schedule.
I feel a sense of accomplishment like I can handle anything that comes my way.
I have more time to spend doing fun things with my family.
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends during the holiday’s, and they are here to see me, not me stuff my face.
I have introduced my family to LOTS of new foods they really enjoy and are now creating their own.
It saves me so much time.
I have so much more energy.