Wednesday, August 30, 2006


When I checked my weight, I discovered that I gained a pound, so I was both disappointed and in investigative mode throughout the morning. What did I do? How can I improve? Etc. etc. On top of it all, I was queasy after being nauseous and throwing up last night. With being preoccupied, disappointed, and queasy, I only ate bread and crackers for breakfast. Then I set out to develop my plan of attack so that my downward trend would continue. I re-visited the past week and the only thing I can think of was that I was snacking too much. Since I was on my period and I had favoured salty snacks, the pound could possibly be water retention. But I figured I should probably get my butt into gear and figure out the world of numbers and calories. Currently I haven’t figured out my calorie intake for fat loss, nor have I ever in my life counted calories. I was hoping to get by without doing it, but I figure it’s the most effective way to lose weight. I did a lot of researching on the Internet and figured that with breastfeeding my BMR was 2121-2421, and my fat loss range was be 1253-2037. Yay breastfeeding for allowing me to keep my calorie intake up! I re-read all the information I knew before about weight loss and breastfeeding: aim for slow weight loss and that I needed extra calories to keep my energy up so that I can take care of the kids. As I read I thought, “I’ll never let myself do that!” Get rundown that is. After an incident with my first-born, I made sure I had a steady stream of calories coming in when I breastfed (although, lately I haven't been doing so well). Ironically, after exclaiming that I wouldn’t, I did. During lunchtime, I only ate 1 cup of chicken noodle soup. I wasn’t that hungry and I was still concerned about getting nauseous, and maybe a little part of me wanted to rectify the pound I gained. Wrong move. At the checkout, with two kids in tow, I experienced a crash of energy depletion. During breastfeeding this crash is far more sever then if I wasn’t. It comes fast and out of nowhere. Suddenly, too much was happening at one time. An elderly couple were kindly poking fun at my son. My son was begging for candy. There was a misunderstanding, so the cashier and the manager were demanding answers from me. My ability to focus and function was faltering, and my hands shook as I struggled for the emergency granola bar in the diaper bag. Afterwards, I started snacking like crazy on crackers I just bought to return my energy reserves, but it was already too late. I was rundown and irritable the whole time I drove home, gave my kids a snack, and put them to nap, causing me to be short and unfair with my son. I hate it like this. I vowed again that this would never happen. Maybe counting calories would be a good thing. To keep track so I wouldn’t over and under eat.

Update: Reading my past posts, I realized that I had a misunderstanding about BMR. I just want to clarify what that misunderstanding was before I mislead an unsuspecting dieter. BMR is Basil Metabolic Rate. It is the minimum calories required to maintain regular body functions. During this post (and another one), I had thought BMR was the daily caloric intake to maintain your weight. Sorry for the confusion.

Bring your body and your mind will follow.

One of my professors had said this on Monday. I said this to myself before my workout yesterday. It worked. I just have to get my body moving, get over the initial resistance, and then I start enjoying myself. Starting is the hardest part, especially since I’m feeling unmotivated lately. I’m tired of the same exercise DVD/videos, but money is scarce so I don’t want to buy more. My alternative forms of exercise are biking, jogging, and walking, but each has their drawbacks and obstacles. Biking. I don’t own a bike, so I only can bike when I can borrow from my sister, then I have to figure out who will take care of the kiddies. Walking is easiest to do. I use to do a lot of it, but I tend to slack off and go below my target heart rate range. In addition, it takes longer to burn calories to do this form of exercise, because it’s so low intensity. Jogging is the most effective and efficient, but my history of plantar fasciitis has made me wary of it, so I only do it on occasion. I’ve been thinking about rejoining Baby Bootcamp, an interval aerobics/weight training class done outside with a stroller. My friend just had a baby, and his wife called expressing her interest in it. I use to do Baby Bootcamp, but when Teresa turned 6 months old, she became inconsolable when the ladies looked at her, so I stopped. When I did, I discovered that I could do Baby Bootcamp by myself. Now I wonder if I should return. Teresa is braver now and exercising with others is always motivating. I just don’t know if I can come to grips with the cost of it…

Hmmm....Maybe I'll just continue to play mind games for motivation. Here are others I say to myself…

Exercise is great for stress management
Exercise will give me energy so I can do more chores and play with the kids
Exercise will make me happy
Exericse is the wonder drug
Strength training will make me strong so I can carry the kids longer
Strength training will improve my posture
Just do it
No excuses! (except when very sick or injured)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

First Day of Instruction

All my classes are on Monday, so that means I spend the whole day Mondays on campus. Luckily, my sister-in-law lives close to campus, so that I can store my lunch and dinner in her refrigerator, saving me money and calories. Yesterday was my first day of instruction. I brought a fruit cup, raisins, and a pudding cup with me, but it wasn’t enough. By mid-day, I was craving crackers. I settled on a bag of pretzels that contained 6 servings. I had divided a serving for myself and ate it before my research class, but during class I snacked on 4 more servings. Next time I shall (a) bring my own carb-like snacks or (b) buy a bag that contains only one serving.

For my first day, I wore a pair of jeans that were so large I needed a belt to keep it from falling (side-effect of losing so much weight). I’ve worn it before to the store and my parents’ house but being on campus with fellow students straight from high school, I am painfully aware that the ballooning fabric over my pelvis is not fashionable. It’s time to get rid of these jeans.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

My Goal Weight

Ah, numbers! How I hate thee! For those whom share my hatred, I must warn you that this post is heavy with them.

If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning you’ll noticed that my goal weight has changed several times. At first I aimed for 120 lbs, because I had read somewhere that 120 lbs was the upper threshold of the healthy weight range for my height. I had what my research professor called, JGBD (Just-Get-By Disorder). When I started blogging, I wanted to be honest with myself. I realized that the mind tricks I do to maintain my self-esteem and disillusionment was preventing me from losing weight. One of my disillusions was my goal weight. I decided that it made more sense that I aimed for the middle of my healthy range rather than at the very top, so that once I reached it, I can bounce around in my healthy range rather than be fearful that I will gain a pound and automatically be overweight. Being lazy and fearful of numbers, I looked to the Internet to find my new target weight. I found Joanne Larsen's site, which told me that my target weight should be 110. 110! Holy cow! It was scary, but I decided to bite the bullet and place it in my blog. A contract with the rest of the world. This is what I’m trying to achieve. The more I saw that number the more comfortable I felt with achieving it.

Then one day, I was perusing through the Internet, and I happened across a post that Marshmallow placed in her bog about the Asian BMI being smaller than the standard. This frightened me. I told my husband about this and that when I was less than 110 lbs I felt very unhealthy. I only achieved it because I was following a very low calorie diet. I doubt my ability to obtain and maintain it now when age has decreased my metabolism. My husband told me that I should just lose weight until I feel healthy and not worry about the numbers. I wanted to go with what my husband was saying, but I promised myself that I wouldn’t fool myself anymore, so I asked Marshmallow for more information. She led me to an article in Wikipedia that only provided me with the healthy BMI range for Asians, so I had to calculate my target weight myself. I took the number in the exact middle of the healthy range and calculated my target weight using Kiss Guide to Weight Loss. I came up with 115 lbs. The answer surprised me. It was more, not less, than my current target weight which Joanne Larsen specified using the standard healthy range. I looked at other places in the Net and in my book. Joanne Larsen was wrong.

Now, I’m a very happy camper. My goal is closer than I had thought it was. Recalling back, when I was 115 lbs., I felt my absolute healthiest. This goal, I like. Thank you Marshmallow for setting me straight.

Moral of the story: Beware of on-line calculators!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bye-bye Chef Boyardee

Growing up, I had stretches of time when I was a latchkey kid. During the summers it was up to me to figure out what to feed my younger sisters and myself, but because I didn’t know how to cook I relied heavily on Chef Boyardee. He continued to be my old dependable source of nourishment when I lived at the campus apartments and early in my marriage. Costco bought cans use to fill our shelves. Empty cans use to litter the top of the kitchen counter and table, spilling residue onto the tile and staining our bowls. Although he was replaced with other convenient forms of nourishment (Ramen, Hamburger Helper, etc.), I always knew that I would come back to him eventually. Recently, my in-laws gave us two cans of Spaghetti-O’s. Now I know they’re not Chef Boyardee, but to me they are of the same class--pasta in a can. Memories of childhood flooded back. I remembered the sweet, tangy taste of the sauce and how the pasta and meat melted in my mouth. And I wanted to have some. However the experience of eating it was not what I expected... Have you ever watched an old cartoon or movie that you saw when you were a kid that you remember absolutely adoring, recalling all the wonderful parts with affection, but when you finally see it again as an adult, it wasn’t as good as you thought? Well that’s what happened to me. It was exactly the way I remembered but not. I noticed details in the flavour and texture that I haven’t noticed before, a grimy residue aftertaste of food over-preserved. I then remembered that as a child, I had gotten tired of Chef Boyardee and that after a while I felt polluted by it. I didn't finish it. So much has happened since I last had pasta from a can. I learned to cook. I don’t need him anymore. And maybe like other things from childhood, Chef Boyardee can be left behind.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Operation: Active Family

I want my family to be an active family. My husband Ly’s chosen forms of entertainment are video games and television. He’s very anxious to introduce these pleasantries to our children. However, our 3-year-old, Hunter, prefers to be active. I encourage this by taking him to the park whenever I can. Recently, I’ve been trying to play with him also, instead of watching at the sidelines. Anything other than sitting around is good for burning calories. I want Ly to participate. But when he comes home, the T.V. turns on. To counteract this, I decided to buy my son a bike. I figure it will give us more opportunities to be an active family. Unfortunately there were so many obstacles from making this happen. The day we bought the bike, Hunter was misbehaving like crazy. I was letting him by with just time-outs, because I was really looking forward to letting him ride his new bike. Unfortunately, Hunter ended up hurting his sister Teresa, so I had no choice but to deny him his bike ride. The next opportunity arrived earlier this week. After dinner, we all went to the park. Ly walked with Hunter on his brand new bike, while I pushed Teresa in her stroller. Walking behind Hunter, I noticed that the bike was too big for him, making him somewhat unsteady. This gave me a bad feeling. Then Ly decided to walk behind with me, as he encouraged Hunter to ride faster. Hunter turned to look behind at us, causing the whole bike to turn with him towards the street. He panics, turning too quickly to rectify himself, causing him to fall and break one of his training wheels. Although Ly promised to fix it for him, I know from Ly’s track record that it will not get done for a long, long time. Fate was just against us this time.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

TOM and Veges

It’s that time of the month again, when I’m sapped of energy and obsessed with chocolate and snacking. I ate too much chips, when I should have been preparing dinner for my family and myself. I just couldn’t wait. Not good. What is good is that I’ve been eating a lot of fruits and vegetables lately. And I haven’t eaten as much meat as I usually do. I’m feeling wholesome and self-righteous. This must be how vegetarians feel. If my daughter decides to become vegetarian, I will totally support her. I heard it’s good for the environment, but I don’t think can do it myself. Being poor at denying myself anything and all.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Weight Loss is Weird

The phenomenon of weight loss mystifies and confuses me. I was expecting to not loose any weight this week and maybe gain some, considering all the guests and food that the annual family reunion brings. But, quite the contrary. I lost again! One pound. Part of me thinks that the pounds will show up next week and that the loss was a fluke. But for now, I’m giddy with the happiness that someone might feel when he or she dodges a bullet.

Yesterday, my husband granted me whatever I wanted if I reached my goal weight. I told him that I was planning to give myself a weekend spa trip if I did that. He was shocked that I would want something so inexpensive for such an accomplishment. I told him to not worry about it, since I plan to gift myself for every little thing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I am Selfish

In the beginning of our relationship, my husband, Ly, thought I was quite giving, because I had brought him orange juice when he was sick. This made me feel good. As the relationship went on, he changed his mind and thought I was selfish. Do you remember that movie The Joy Luck Club? Where a mother was describing how her daughter was “best quality”, because she didn’t choose the “best quality” crab during the dinner party? To Ly being totally unselfish is “best quality”. Well, during buffets and parties, I always chose the “best quality” anything. I use to pick out the meat from a vegetable and meat dish. I use to (and still have a strong urge to) rush to be first in line in a buffet or serve myself first in a dinner party. I still think that when people sit around and wait for someone to start eating is silly. Since no one wants to be the selfish one, everyone would just stare at each other and the food, not making a move, in the beginning of a meal. So I still end up being the first to eat on many occasions, despite my current pursuit of trying not to come across as selfish. Ly calls me “worst quality”. This makes me feel bad. Especially for an Asian, it doesn’t look good. I try to be more giving and sacrificing, but it doesn’t feel right. The most defining moment of my current issues was when my first-born, Hunter, was learning to eat solids. It was a stressful time for me so of course I was snacking a lot. Hunter was quite picky, and I ended up snacking on food that he would have eaten. Ly blew out on my face. Said, “What kind of mother would do that?!” I was reeling from this comment. On top of the pressures of maintaining the house and working overtime, I wanted to run away from motherhood. From everything. I couldn’t get over it. Whenever Ly would bring home treats from various relatives, he would look directly at me then say, “Don’t eat it. It’s for Hunter.” Number one they were treats. Number two they were forbidden. So, of course I ate them. And I felt so bad. Like a bad mother. (check this post for an example). But I couldn’t control myself. Every time, I wanted to runaway or kill myself. The biggest blow was right after my second-born was born. I was stressed out again, so I was snacking uncontrollably. I was eating all of Hunter’s food. Ly was yelling at me, and I ran away upstairs. Hunter comes up to me; looking sad and said “Mommy ate my M&M’s.” I went spiralling down the abyss of sadness. I was torn between walking out that door and staying with my helpless newborn. For three days, I had difficulty leaving my room and doing my chores.

Recently, I came across one of those Internet personality tests, which tested selfishness. By no means are they accurate or scientifically sound, but I did it anyways and the results were quite enlightening…

You Are 56% Selfish

You are quite balanced. You are able to compromise when it's in the best interests of those involved.
But you're no pushover. If something is important to you, you'll get it!

And I started to think about selfishness. That the exact opposite of being selfish, which was being a pushover, was not desirable either. I started to look at myself and my unflattering acts of selfishness, and I realized that they were all related with food. I have to stop beating myself up for being “selfish” or being a “bad mom”. I have to see it for what it is. A problem with food. This problem I can face. I can finally close that escape root now, because I’m not a bad mom and I’m not “worst quality”. I’m not perfect either, but perfection would bug me anyways.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Family Reunion

The annual family reunion was yesterday. It was an all day affair, starting off as a picnic and ending at my parents’ house. I was surrounded by family, whom, as I have been noticing lately; appeared to deteriorating in front of my eyes. Middle-aged uncles and aunties in wheel chairs, holding canes. Overweight and obesity. Diabetes and heart disease. This was what I will inherent. Makes me want to accept destiny and fold into the crop. I sat across from my grandma as a distant aunt, approached her and complimented her on the weight she lost. She looked at me and said, “She looks like a teenager.” I thought she was crazy. When my grandma was a teenager she was robust and full of energy. She’s always been “robust”. Born in the year of the ox, she’s stubborn and pushed her weight around with confidence. A force to be reckoned with. Now she’s one-third of herself. Years of being “robust” has gifted her an old age of heart disease and diabetes. I looked at her plate, and it was completely covered with the dull colours of meat. No green or red or orange of vegetables. By her side was the ever present can of diet Coke. (Since she was diabetic, she had to go diet). Afterwards she stood up and piled a plate of pastries. This puzzled me, because I knew she couldn’t taste worth crap, yet her sweet tooth remains. The sweet tooth that I had inherited…

I did good and bad. At the picnic I had one serving of meat, one serving of rice, and two servings of salad. My downfall was the sweet tooth. I must have eaten three servings of chocolate chip cookies and brownies. I decided to take my 4-year-old son and my 7-year-old nephew on a short hike, to keep myself away from temptation. And when I had to feed the baby and put her to sleep, I didn’t rush back. I was being anti-social, but I didn’t care. I missed out on the halo-halo (milk, ice, ice-cream, bean, and fruit preserve dessert), but it was okay.

At my mom’s house, it took a while for the food to arrive (restaurant-bought Filipino food and leftovers from the picnic). And when some did, everyone was still full from the picnic, so no one started eating immediately and the food were covered with tin foil. I, on the other hand, was hungry because I had eaten a moderate amount. What were readily available were chips and desserts. I snacked on some cookies to stave off my hunger. In the family room, my sisters and immediate cousins were eating chips while watching T.V. I decided to sit with my more distant cousins in the living room whom weren’t eating anything. After a while, I decided to start eating before everyone else. There’s only so much hunger I can take before chowing down on an unreasonable amount of desserts. Unfortunately, there were no vegetables in sight, but I was able to be satisfied with a serving of meat and rice. I then occupied myself with karaoke and playing with the kids. Later in the evening, my aunt came with the leftover platter of vegetables. I snacked on that.

So in the end, I did good and bad. Normally, I would be eating too much of everything that I would be feeling over-stuffed through out the day, but this time I was able to maintain a comfortable feeling. Despite, overeating on sweets, I was still happy with myself.

Small changes, my friend. Small changes. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Do they know?

Like I told you. My husband hid the treats, but he didn’t return them as he said he would. My sisters came over, and I asked them if they wanted some. My husband, Ly, says, “Where are they?” He was poking fun at me, because I didn’t know where they were. This bothered me. I was irritated that I can’t just give my guests food when I want to. Made me feel like a child. As if I wasn’t responsible enough to know where the treats were. Which was correct, but I didn’t want everyone to find out. Then I was concerned that they already knew. Last night, my cousins were in the room where he would most likely hide them. This morning I saw an empty box of treats in the room where they played video games all night long. I wonder if the topic came up. I wonder if Ly told them. I hate this. I hate people knowing, but I know I shouldn’t be concerned. I should just be grateful that the treats weren’t where they were suppose to be in the afternoon when I craved for them.

Controlled My Snack Monster

Congratulate me. I controlled my snack monster. Yesterday, I picked up my cousin from the airport. There’s a family reunion on Saturday, so family are coming from all over. He surprises me with yummy treats that his mom brought back with her from her visit to the Philippines. Normally, I would act overly excited. But instead I act neutral. I’m more irritated of the fact that I will have to battle it out with my urges earlier than expected. I can tell that my cousin’s taken aback with my indifference (my sweet tooth is legendary among family and friends), so he repeats himself. I fake out my gratification.

So there they were, on the kitchen table. And I was hungry, so I tried one. Then I realized it was close to dinnertime, so I put them away (I surprised myself with being able to do this).

After dinner, I decided to have a serving’s worth. Unfortunately, only one of the treats was labelled with nutritional information, and I wanted to try them all. I decided that a serving’s worth would be ¼ cup. I had my perceived serving’s worth, which I think was closer to ¾ cup, and then closed the bag. Sensing that the treats were going to be taken away, my hand jumped up and had three more, before I was able to hide them away. I then paced aimlessly in the kitchen, trying to decide whether I should clean up after dinner, or leave where temptation lies and busy myself in another part of the house. My husband notices, and I tell him about my strong urge to binge out. So he takes the bag and decides to hide them somewhere else. I freak out with this. I hate it when he hides treats from me. It makes me feel like a child. But then I remember how Charlie in the TV show “Lost” had insisted on keeping heroine hidden but near him (and he was a recovering heroine addict). It was insurance. A security blanket. And that was what treats were to me. My husband promised that he would put them back later, and I was okay with that. Now here I am in bed with no urge to eat any more of those treats. Even if the treats were where they should be, I don’t feel like going to them. And I think to myself, “Maybe I can do this after all,” so I decide to make another contract with myself…

Targeted behaviour: Overeating snacks and treats

Goal: Limit snacks and treats to one serving (or ¼ cup if not indicated) 8 out of 10 times

How: (1) Set out to give myself only on serving (2) Hide the rest of the treats. (3)
If necessary ask husband to hide them. (4) Give them away ASAP.

Reward: fanny pack/water carrier

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My personal weight loss mantra

I fear no one’s opinion!
I am knowledgeable, focused, and efficient.
I make this priority and build from experience.
I do this for my children and myself.
Supported by love, I will persevere.

I wrote this with the help of this when I restarted my journey.

Although I’m not following their program, I just answer the questions as if their program was my personal weight loss program, which, by the way, I’m making up as a go.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Starting School…

I’m going back to school, so life has gotten a lot busier and will get busier even still. That means my posts should become less frequent. But weight loss will continue to be my top priority. I just need to figure out how I can fit it in with the ever-increasing workload. I have gotten use to “making” time for exercise, so I know it will be a given. It’s just the other stuff I haven’t figured into my life. I know I want to cook as often as I can. I also know that I want to continue blogging. I think three will be my magic number. Cook three times a week. Blog three times a week. Does that sound good? We’ll see.

By the way, I lost a pound this week. My husband says I look healthier. I’m so happy.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Around and Around I Go...

Change of plans (again). I’ve decided to not abstain from any foods. I have no confidence in my ability to not obsess over foods that are taboo to me. I am going to try and train myself to eat these foods in moderation using behavioural modification.

If it seems like I’m wishy-washy and have no idea what I’m doing, you’re right. I have no money to have an expert tell me exactly what to do. In addition, I have issues with commitment. I know I should at least give something a try for 2 weeks before abandoning it, but I’m also impatient.

I’m back to my original plan: behaviour modification.

Targeted behaviour: Eat too much during celebrations.
Goal: Eat only until comfortable during celebrations 8 out of 10 times.
How: (1) Limit to one plate and one serving of desert. (2) Play with kids right after I eat.
Reward: aerobics tape.

Targeted behaviour: Consume sweets when overwhelmed or stressed.
Goal: Decrease consumption of sweets when overwhelmed or stressed 8 out of 10 times.
How: Replace behaviour with blogging, cleaning house, or going outside with kids when overwhelmed or stressed.
Reward: calorie book

Targeted behaviour: Overeat when with my mom or at my mom’s house.
Goal: Decrease overeating with my mom or at my mom’s house 8 out of 10 times.
How: I don’t know. Therapy?
Reward: rock climbing lessons

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Thin Line

There’s a thin line between giving your self a treat and binging. Unfortunately for me, I have a tendency to cross that line when it came to some foods. Most of these foods are snack types like chips, crackers, and candy. When I buy myself these foods, I would eat most or all of them at one sitting or before the next day. Then I would hide the evidence, so that my husband wouldn’t give me grief about it. Unfortunately, I don’t have the good sense to be more discrete when these foods are offered to me. No matter how hard I try to limit myself, I end up eating most of it. Everyone notices this and it’s embarrassing. I don’t want to seem greedy, but it’s like I’m possessed.

What should I do? Here are several suggestions given to me:

Solution #1: Only give yourself a serving worth of any type of food.
Problem: I’ve tried this method since forever. I’m good with most food but food I have trouble with I go overboard.

Solution #2: Only allow yourself one day a week where you can eat whatever you want.
Problem: I’m afraid this would be too restricting. What happens if I already used my free day and I get offered a chocolate cake later in the same week? I’m not ready to let go of this mentality.

Solution #3: Make a black list of all your foods you have trouble with and quit cold turkey.
Problem: I’m afraid I will become obsessed with these taboo foods, and when I do eat them I will definitely overeat.

Right now I’m toying with the idea of solution #3. Maybe give up each food, one by one. Ideally I would like to eat whatever I wanted in moderation, but it seems impossible to control myself.

Here’s my black list. I listed in order from hardest to easiest to give up:

1. cookies
2. Macadamia nuts
3. small chocolates
4. candy covered nuts
5. potato chips (and other of these type of snacks, i.e. Fritos, Doritos, Cheetos)
6. crackers

Here’s my grey list. It consists of food that I love and can still eat in moderation.

1. chocolate cake
2. cheese cake
3. custard pie
4. halo-halo
5. ice cream
6. ranch salad with croutons and cheese
7. young coconut juice.

Here’s my white list. It consists of food that I totally love and I can have unlimited amount of.

1. strawberries
2. cherries
3. mango

Sadly, my white list is incredibly tiny.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Snack Trap

One of my triggers is my parents’ house. I thought it was just I. I thought it was because I found the environment annoying that I try to escape and avoid parental contact by snacking. And when my parents aren’t around, I do it out of association. But my husband also has the same issue. Well…he also finds my mom annoying…

Today, I took the whole family to my parents’ house. No one was there. They just needed someone to be there to receive a delivery. My husband was with us, since he telecommutes on Fridays. Right before we headed out, my husband says, “Be careful.” He meant that my parents’ house was a snack trap, and I should prepare myself. So I did. I was just there Tuesday, so I knew what I was up against. I felt confident, because I have been so motivated and I had done well when I was there last.

Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out the way I wanted.

I brought lunch and snacks, but I was already hungry. Right when I entered the house, I went straight to the kitchen (an old reflex to when I use to live there). I took account of all the foods that was there: in the cupboards, in the refrigerator, on the counters, and on the kitchen table. It was the same. My parents don’t keep much food. And when there’s something good, I want to gobble it all up, afraid that I would miss an opportunity (another old reflex). Well. There were three items of food that caught my eye: pie, ice cream, and rice cracker trail mix. I ate my lunch and snacks, keeping these items of food in mind. I became full, but I was still unsatisfied. I decided to eat the trail mix. “It was only 110 calories a serving,” I said to myself. Well, I ate 6 servings. I ate 3 servings sitting at the table, and then every time I stood up, I went to the trail mix. Funny how things add up. At least I didn’t eat the pie and ice cream.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Battle of the Potato Chips

Remember the canister of chips that my mom gave to my son? (The Shark Effect).

Well, I was up in that part of the pantry. You know, the forbidden zone where there’s chocolate, soda, crackers, and marshmallows. It’s hidden and out of the way, but I know it’s there like a spot on my glasses. It calls to me and taunts me. When I’m at my weakest, the pull is so strong, like a siren’s song, that I find myself crashing into the rocks of binge eating. As you may recall, I created a list of food forbidden to me (Did Not Eat Enough Today). I call it my Black List. As suggested by Hope4baby, I also created a Grey List, but I’ll tell you more about that latter. Anyways, all the items in the forbidden zone were on my Black List, including the leftover canister of chips. I decided to give what’s left of it to my son. It belonged to him anyways.

As I held the canister in my hand, I can feel the monster called Desire erupting inside of me. I looked away, afraid that the canister might explode causing chips to fly into my mouth.

A battle to the finish was at stake-

A miniature, devil version of myself said, “Don’t show him the chips! Hide it and eat it all for yourself later. He’ll never remember them. Better you eat them then him. Don’t you want to be a good mom and only give him healthy good food?”

“No!” said the angel version of myself, “A good mom would give him what is rightfully his! He’s underweight and probably needs the extra fat. YOU don’t”

I had to do it quickly. I gave the chips to my son, and busied myself with chores and not looking directly at him, enjoying himself…

…too much.

“Have some chips for your self!” said the devil. “Teach him the value of sharing.”

“No!” said the angel. “Be a good example!”

My son finished off the bowl. “All done!” he said then placed it in the sink, innocently

I won.

The monster crawled back to where ever it came from. For now...

It’s a small victory, but small victories win the war.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Weekly Weigh-in

I lost 1 pound this week. I’m glad because it’s a gradual lost. I was happy that I lost 4 pounds last week, but I knew it was too much at once. Although I’m glad, I’m also disappointed. Since I was losing so much lately I was expecting another large lost. Guess not. It’s okay.

All my feelings seem to contradict and fight each other that in the end I just feel neutral.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Did Not Eat Enough Today

Earlier this morning I created two lists. One was a list of food I absolutely cannot eat and the other was a set of rules. Because I was trying to follow these lists, I ate way too little today. I was low powered and listless. That’s not good. I need to adjust something. I need to tone down my efforts. I’m too excited about everything--the new book I bought, trying new recipes, blogging, my recent weight loss... My motivation is way off the scale.

I wish there was some way I can bottle it up so that I can have little doses of it throughout my life.

Yo-yo Dieting Fears

Yo-yo resting at speed
Originally uploaded by canardo.
Another one of my fears about loosing weight that I failed to mention in my Hopes and Fears post was the fear of the adverse affects of yo-yo dieting. I believed that if I lost the weight, and I wasn’t able to keep it off, I would gain even more weight then I started out with and that it would be even harder to take off the pounds. So underneath my resolve of loosing weight there’s a voice that tells me it would be better that I don’t try at all. That the chances of me gaining it back again and then some would be so great that it wasn’t worth the risk of trying. Well my fear and any one else’s fear of this can be laid to rest. According to Barbara Ravage in Kiss Guide to Weight Loss (page 174):

Although some people say that yo-yo dieting messes up your metabolism and does lasting harm to your health, this is actually not true. Medical experts call it weight cycling, and this is what they have to say about it.

1. Weight cycling does not have a permanent effect on your metabolic rate.

2. Weight cycling does not increase the amount of your fat tissue.

3. Weight cycling will not turn you into an “apple,” causing you to regain lost weight as fat deposits in your abdominal area.

The main thing wrong with yo-yo dieting is that it is discouraging.

After reading this passage I felt a little better with trying.

Other fears about yo-yo dieting that I did mentioned was my fear of becoming my mom and what others would think of me. The fear of me becoming my mom is so complex, I don’t even understand it myself. All I know is that in my head I feel that my mom is inadequate because she can’t keep the weight off. I feel that others have the same opinion. I think I’ve seen it on TV where a comedy skit makes fun of Oprah Winfrey’s “weight cycling”. It doesn’t seem right. At least she’s trying.

And that’s what I’m doing. Trying.

It’s stupid to care what other people think, when I know it’s keeping me from doing what’s best for me. I’m no longer going to let the opinion of others keep me from trying. Or trying again when I fail.

"You try and you fail. You try and you fail. You try and you fail. But the real failure is if you stop trying," said the crystal ball in Disney's "The Haunted Mansion"

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Expense of Good Health

I spent 88 dollars at the grocery store. I feel really guilty about that. Fresh produce and low fat meats are expensive. In addition I’m trying new recipes that call for ingredients that we don’t have or tend to be expensive. My husband saw that I spent 9 dollars on Parmesan cheese and got upset. I told him that the recipe I wanted to try called for it. In addition, I planned to use it all before it expires. He dropped it, but I know it will come up again. It has already come up in the past. When I go grocery shopping, I spend more money than he does. He looks for deals specifically, and buys tons of stuff that we don’t use. He has tons of outdated Pasta Roni in the pantry. I told him we would never use it, and I was right. I finally decided to make some, because I don’t want our money to go to waste. Unfortunately, my husband loved it so much that he bought some more, eventhough we still had tons in the pantry that were going to waste. I decided not to make anymore. I want him to learn his lesson about wasting money.

So here we are. Stuck forever together, thinking that the other is wasting money. So who’s right? I am of course! I’m the one who cooks.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Hopes and Fears

I hope that when I loose weight, I will look beautiful to myself, my husband, and those around me. I hope to feel healthier and to have more energy. I hope to be better than the person I am jealous of because although she is thin I will be healthier. I hope to beat the odds and not become my mom. I hope to look sexier to my husband so that we can have more sex.

I fear that others will notice my weight loss and feel that I lost too much. That they will be concerned that I am depriving myself and that they will notice that I am not eating the desserts that I use to love. I’m afraid of being noticed. I’m afraid of obtaining affection from those I do not want, strangers and clients whom have a tendency to obsess. I’m afraid that I will no longer be able to eat the desserts that I love. Especially chocolate, which I often turn to when my energy is depleted. I fear that my weight loss would only be temporary and if I gained it back I would definitely be like my mom whom has yo-yo’ed diet ever since forever. I am afraid of getting hungry, because when I do I get irritable and I treat my family disrespectfully. Additionally I’m afraid that hunger will make me loose control and eat too much when I give in. Especially in front of others, making me look unflattering. I’m afraid of selling-out and becoming superficial. I’m afraid of becoming one of those prissy, feminine girls that eat like rabbits.

Two Week Food Journal - Completed

I did it! I finished my 2-week food journal. Whew, it was tough. My problem was that I didn’t record right after I eat. Good thing I took pictures so that I wouldn’t forget.

As my reward for my accomplishment, I bought myself a self-help book. "KISS Guide to Weight Loss" by Barbara Ravage. I’m finding that I am not satisfied with the books I own. I wanted a more comprehensive book that was still simple. This one had pictures.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


I’m finding that I enjoy jogging. I normally avoid it. I hate feeling winded, and I’m concern that I will get Plantar Fasciitis again. But I didn’t get winded the last couple of times. And after I hit that wall, it felt really good. Felt like I can jog straight on to tomorrow. Maybe I should start jogging more frequently.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Lost 6 Pounds in 2 Weeks

Today’s my weigh-in. I had decided that Wednesday’s would be my weigh-in. Two weeks ago, it was the day after my husband had confronted me with overwhelming concern over my pattern of eating, and it was the day I decided to put weight loss as my top priority. It just so happen to start with a W so it’s easy for me to remember. Wednesday’s weigh-in.

Anyways. I lost 6 pounds since I started two weeks ago… I don’t know how to feel. I feel shocked mostly, because I didn't think I was changing my eating patterns yet. I must have been changing them inadvertently since I'm recording and being more aware of what I ate. My husband was so happy for me. It makes me proud, but I’m not exactly jumping up and down with joy. I’m sceptical. I tell myself that this is only temporary. Yesterday, I had thrown away my belt because it was too big for me and it was falling apart anyways, so I’m wearing my husband’s belt. But I’m still wearing my pre-pregnancy pants when I weighed 160. They’re too big for me. Without a belt my shorts fall off past my hips. But I can’t bring myself to put them away or buy new clothes. I keep telling myself that my weight loss is temporary and that if I buy new pants I will be wasting my money. Am I being resistant to change?

On a different note... I tried a longer workout routine on Monday. I didn’t care for it. It’s not as easy to squeeze in an hour and a half in my day, as it was for an hour. I think I’ll rather workout more frequently throughout the week.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Touchy Subject?

It has happened before. More times then I care for. My husband and I got into another fight concerning my weight loss efforts. Sometimes I feel that we are just repeating our arguments over and over again. This is what happened this time…

I was writing in my food journal, when I mentioned that I disliked doing it. My husband says something like this “If you can’t maintain it for the rest of your life you will fail.”

Well, duh.

I was irritated by this comment for many reasons. He has already told me this before and because of that I had already changed my food journaling to only be temporary. I had already told him that several times, so he wasn’t listening. Additionally, I felt like he was telling me that I was going about my weight loss efforts the wrong way (again), but again he fails to tell me an alternate plan that I agree with (if any). I hate how I always have to justify my actions for him. I snapped at him. I told him that he expects me to fail. He gets angry that I took him the wrong way and that I had snapped at him. He says that he might as well not say anything. I hate it when he says that. I need his support. Why do I over-react? Why can’t I just stay neutral and say, “You’re right.” He says that I expect him to be in my cheering squad section but that isn’t his way. His way is to give feedback and advice. I wish he would just give me the support without the advice.

Altered Desserts

Why do I keep on trying to make healthier versions of desserts that are not meant to be healthy in the first place? I keep expecting them to taste like the real deal. That would be a miracle.

I made these cupcakes that were lower fat and whole wheat. My son loved them, except for the topping. My husband and myself didn't care for them, so I threw away the recipe. The next morning my son asked for more cupcakes. I looked at him as if he was crazy. Then I noticed that he called them muffins and then I realized that my son (in his 4 years of life) never had a cupcake. He didn't know that cupcakes were miniature cakes. I tried the "cupcakes" again, imagining them as muffins, and low and behold, they tasted okay. Not the topping. My son had it right the first time. It seemed as if my expectations of what a cupcake tasted like was spoiling my experience of the healthier version of a cupcake. I still won't try this recipe again, though.

The lesson of the story?

Don't make any more altered desserts? Nah. I'm still hopeful that somewhere out there there's a recipe of a healthier version of something that actually tastes good.

Don't expect altered desserts to taste like the original? For sure!

Re-name altered desserts? Now doesn't that sound like a good idea?
I fear no one’s opinion! I am knowledgeable, focused, and efficient. I make this priority and build from experience. I do this for my children and myself. Supported by love, I will persevere.