Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Phenomenal Woman....That's Me!

Hi All!

Sorry I haven't been posting as much....Christmas comes the same time every year and again I am not prepared for it!

Still in Christmas cookie and candy heaven - my diet buddy Michelle wants to strangle me- but the monthlies are over and I am at 225. That is a gain of six pounds.... :/

Now, I was preparing to blog a "woe is me, I is so bad" and whine and moan about the holidays but something happened tonite that set me on a different path.

Damn ?!@%$# muffler on the van broke off - while I was shopping at nite! I was getting some last minute gifts when I heard a "thunk" and the awful scraping of the manifold on the street. So I pull over and inspect the damage. The front weld had come off - but it could be lifted and tied back into place . So I go around looking helpless and waited for someone to see this po pitiful lady and help her out.

Only tonite, I wasn't looking like a helpless lady. I had just finished painting and putting up new moulding in my bathroom, so I had on sweats , a big hat and no makeup....I short, I looked like a guy! A big black guy - NO ONE was stopping!

So, I went to the nearest shop, bought some wire coathangers (and found some neat gifts for cheap!) put my coat on the snow and crawled under the van to the muffler. It took me about 30 minutes to rig the thing, but I did it! Yes ! I am She Ra!!

After giving a hearty one finger salute to the jerks that sat and watched me, I headed home. One the way, while waiting for my fingers to thaw, I realized that not everyone could have done that. A lesser woman would have sat and cried in the snow - a better woman would have called her boyfriend! Damn, I gotta get a guy for '08 - I could be having 'thank you' sex right now.....

Anyhoo, I managed to face and resolve conflict AND get my shopping done all at once... that's pretty good if I do say so myself.

So six pounds? That's nothing! Weigh in is January 4th, a little under 15 days...I will have a loss that day!

If Ms. Johnson doesn't mind, the saga will continue after January....My goal weight is 160 and I figure that after the holidays, when I get my treadmill that I asked for for Xmas, I can go full force again! I CAN DO IT! I fixed my damn car, I can lose weight! Yeah!

Til next time!

Merry....wait, no...Happy Kw...Oh wait....Happy Rama....Hanuk...
Hell with it! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Weight Loss Update: 155.5ibs

A new Hot Girl is on the scene....

So it doesn't look like I'm going to make my goal of 140lbs by December 31 (although I may make 150) but I have lost 10lbs since my height of 165lbs and you know what....I 'll take that and be HAPPY about it. LOL. It may not be where I want to be...but it's where I'm at and hell, I'm LUVIN' IT!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Merry Christmas

I am leaving on Monday for Barbados for 3 weeks. So this will be my last post here for the year.

Writing here has helped me decide that I need additional support in order to stay on track with my weight loss goals and I'm seeking that help in Greysheet OA once again. I will listen in on their 1 hour phone meetings every morning until I leave for vacation and once I get back I'll do their program for at least 90 days.

My food goals over the next three weeks is to take one day at a time and decide what my boundaries will be with food at the beginning of the day using my food plan as my guide. Hopefully, I'll be writing and posting my food on my own blog as usual.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! See you in the New Year!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

One More Time Around ...

After 10 successful years in Anonymous programs and running 5 days a week, things began to unravel, not dramatically you understand, just slowly … as things often do.

First I had to give up running as years of not stretching adequately led to a knee injury. I tried to replace my running routine with the gym and swimming, but neither fitted neatly into my schedule or had the same appeal.

Then I met my current partner who wooed me endlessly over expensive meals in posh restaurants. This was such a happy time in my life that I developed amnesia about my problems with food and began to eat things I normally avoided. Of course, once Pandora’s Box was opened, old patterns began to reassert themselves and I began nibbling when stressed, anxious, angry etc. instead of dealing with my feelings head on.

When my weight began to creep back up, I should have gone into panic mode, instead I began to buy stretchy clothes so I could be comfortable … just until my weight went back down, I told myself. The problem with stretchy clothes is that they offer no resistance to weight gain and one can gain and gain and gain with a certain unconsciousness. Unwittingly, my partner made my unconsciousness even worse because he didn’t care what size my body was. He never once said anything and when on occasion I would comment about my weight. He’d say, something to the effect that there was more of me to love. This was a radical change from the men I'd dated before him who I am certain would have been very critical if I gained even 1 lb.

I wasn't binging, just consuming far too many high calorie foods too often and not exercising. It took about 5 years for my weight to return to my original adult number of 190lbs.

About 2 1/2 years ago I woke up from my amnesia and was horrified that I had undone my healthy routine of good diet and exercise and had regained all my weight and then some. I became determined to return to a healthy weight and committed to Overeaters Anonymous again. I ate the prescribed three meals a day with nothing in between for 1 year but refused to exercise and felt deprived most of the time. In the first few months I lost 20lbs., and then plateau for 9 months. That was the most frustrating of experiences and eventually I gave up and slowly gained the 20lbs back.

I took some time to really think about how I wanted to proceed with my weight loss goal and in August after a false start, launched a blog called 55kgs.which crystallises everything I have learnt over a lifetime of struggle with food, exercise and weight and charts my journey to my ideal weight of 120lbs. Here is what I've learnt:

1. I love living in a slim body.

2. If I eat more calories than my body can burn, I will put on weight.

3. I NEED A FOOD PLAN. Just going into the world and making healthy choices on the cuff doesn't work for me. If I am to survive every party, wedding, lunch and dinner etc. that blows my way without overeating or making poor choice, I need a clear idea of what I can eat when and how much constitutes a portion. What, When, How much are my buzz words.

4. Eating a balanced, healthy food plan and getting regular exercise are NOT always fun, but have a profound effect on my body, emotions and mind and on my ability to function effectively in the world. They can also prolong my life and stave off illnesses. In other words, I love what they do for me.

5. Sustained weight loss is only possible if I maintain the food plan and exercise routine that enabled the weight loss to begin with.

6. I am hard wired to eat sweets as a way of nurturing myself and soothing my feelings. I will have to contend with this for the rest of my life.

7. If I don’t build sweet treats into my food plan, I’ll feel deprived and have a greater tendency to go off my plan and overeat sweets when I do.

8. My chance of success losing weight is greater in a community than alone. I had my first success with weight loss in two Anonymous programs in New York. It is very hard to find accessible OA meetings in London, so in August, I started a weight loss blog, 55kgs. to help me develop a community of like-minded people and of course, that's why I am writing here at Sweet Potato Pie.

For background reading on this post see:
1. Compulsive Eater and Sugar Addict
2. The Beggining of an Abuse Love Affair
3. Listen to the Hunger
4. What is the Hunger About?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I Have Been a Bad Girl....

Hey All!

It all started Sunday morning....after a nite of paaartying with the girls (2 margaritas, 1 long island iced tea, and I vaguely remember some chicken wings) (and no I did not drive home! Thanks for the ride Teresa!) I woke up Sunday morning famished! I decided not to go the buffet route, but rather to get something small but tasty and filling.

So what did my dumb ass do? WENT TO PANERA'S!! For those of you who are not familiar with this slice of heaven, Panera's is a low carb lovers nightmare! Bread, bread and more bread! They even have, I kid you not, a croissant with a chocolate bar in it!

So anyhoo, I walk (or float) in the door, and the carbs are a'callin! "Welcome back Tracy, we missed you!! Ooooh , you look so thin, you must be sick, let us help you!" I swear, on top of the fresh bread, the homemade bagels, they had every kind of pastry known to man...

But I was determined not to fall, so I ordered a spinach-artichoke egg souffle! Cute little thing, all wrapped up in a gold foil tin. I get my order, sit down to inhale it, and GASP! I have half of it in my mouth before I realize that the damn thing is baked in PASTRY! I have never been so pissed and so happy at the same time! It was great!

Well, that was it! Took my butt back up to the counter and got me an apple danish and a pumpkin spice latte and I have been on a downward slide ever since!

Got on the scale today - 228! That is almost 10 pounds!! AAAAA!! So gotta get back on track, but it is hard. I have been exercising, but not at the same pace as I was. Today was a clear nite but a little cold. I could've wrapped up and braved it but I did a paltry 1/2 hour on the stair stepper instead!

I don't wanna undo all of my hard work! I dont wanna start gaining and growing out of my new clothes! But right now, I can't seem to say no to what I know is bad for me. I read and re-read Nona's posts, but I can't figure out what is triggering me to keep abusing myself! I thought I was pretty happy - maybe I'm just greedy! Don't know but tomorrow is another day to start over. We have a exercise bike at work - I am packing my workout clothes and shoes and getting on it!! And if I "forget" my stuff, I am going to Walmart and buy me some stuff!

Can't stop now, I've come so far!!

I can do it!!

Til next time, hopefully I'll have better news!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

What is the Hunger About?

By the time I finished reading Listen to the Hunger by Elisabeth L., I understood clearly for the first time that I was using food, mostly sweet foods, to mask various issues in my life.

I was desperate as the author said to get “unstuck” from this behaviour. I was ready to learn the answer to the question “What is the hunger really about?” I called the woman who’d recommended the book and we had a good chat at the end of which she invited me to accompany her to my first “Greysheet Overeaters Anonymous” meeting.

Greysheet Overeaters Anonymous is a 12 step program and like all 12 step programs it is based on the principles and traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous and believes that the first step to recovery is to first admit that there is a problem. I knew I had a problem and I was desperate to find a solution, so I had absolutely no reservation about getting up during that first meeting and saying: “Hi I am Nona, I am a compulsive overeater and sugar addict.” That evening I got a sponsor (someone to support and guide me) who gave me a low-carb food plan known as the Greysheet food plan and the next day I began the most amazing journey of my life.

When I started the program, I had reached an all time high of about 86kgs/190lbs. Over one year at a consistent rate of about 5-6 pounds per month I lost 31kgs/70lbs to achieve 55kgs/120lbs. for the first time in my adult life. I maintained that weight for 5 years.

In order to lose the weight and maintain it I ate 3 meals from the Greysheet food plan which consisted of fruit, vegetables, and protein. I weighed and measured everything I ate without exception even when I ate out. It was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life but it was also the most freeing. I also ran for ½ an hour five days a week and lifted 5-10lb free weights in my apartment. I stayed in Greysheet for 5 years and then switched to regular Overeaters Anonymous because I wanted a less rigid food plan.

OA did not recommend a specific food plan and my weight fluctuated a little as I tried to figure out what food plan would work best for me. Finally I decided to use the Greysheet food plan and continue to weigh and measure but with exception. I returned to my optimal weight of 55kgs/120lbs.

Attaining and maintaining a healthy weight changed my life in several ways. for the first time I felt comfortable in my own body. I was amazed at it ... at what it could do. I loved to run, jump, skip move. I couldn't believe how easy it was to move. Having been overweight my entire life, movement didn't always come easily to me. I loved the way my clothes fitted and I loved the confidence looking great gave me.

As great as the impact on my body was, the impact on my psyche of doing the 12 steps program and seeking therapy was more profound. Slowly over 10 years I was able to excavate, examine and resolve in the minutest of detail the debris of my life. Finally I understand what the hunger is about for me.

After 10 years of "recovery", I thought, "okay this is it. I've got this thing all wrapped up." Well, I was to discover that when it comes to addiction you never have things all wrapped up.