Amazon Shipping

Monday, October 1, 2012

Finding a "healthy lifestyle change" buddy

Okay,  So, if you have been following this blog for very long, you know that  I have had many fits and starts on this road to transforming my physical body.  I will do well for a while and then drop back to older, bad habits, and then push forward again, and back again, over and over....  The end result of which is still progress in the right direction (over 30 pounds lighter with much better eating/exercise habits than I had when I first started out--a year and a half ago).

My most recent push forward has been successful in that I am walking 2 to 4 miles every weekday (except for 2) in the past month.  So my body and mind have started to adjust to this as a new normal, and I don't feel right (physically or mentally) if I don't do it, so it is well on its way to becoming a true, ingrained habit.

My eating habits, while greatly improved from when I began this blog--in that I:

1)   use almost exclusively whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain breads, etc...) as opposed to more processed, less fiber rich, less nutritious grains;

2)I ensure that I get AT LEAST 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, usually more, with the majority of it fresh, some frozen and a little canned; I eat at least one to two servings of a leafy green vegetable (usually Kale, Cabbage, or Chard--I am partial to the more flavorful, leathery leaves I guess) each day.

3)  I also have greatly reduced the amount of processed, prepackaged food that I serve at home. yes the kids still eat ready to eat cereal and granola bars, and we do instant mashed potatoes, box mac & cheese, and even those skillet meals occasionally  But for the most part, I try to focus our grocery shopping  and meal prep on whole foods, the fresher the better.  While I can't seem to get the kids to eat the kale int eh stir fry, they eat most of the other veggies and fish (or shrimp or chicken) that is in the stir fry, they prefer the brown rice to white rice, and they see fruit as a great snack choice.

4) now that I am out of the house all day, most days I pack a lunch that is protein and raw veggie/raw fruit based

So, I have developed some very good habits, many of which have become a true lifestyle change, which is the goal.  However, I am still around 100 pounds from my goal weight,need to get my blood sugar under better control (the walking is helping with that quite a bit, but it is still not as low or as consistent as it really needs to be for my body to go from being over-stressed by my blood sugar to it moving towards a state of healing and good health).

Why, you may ask, am I still having trouble getting the weight off?  Well, the biggest answer that I can provide, is that while I may be developing good habits, I still have a lot of bad ones.  Emotional eating is a huge bad habit of mine, and while I have curbed a lot of my poor eating habits, the compulsive drive to eat when under stress is still one that I deal with on a daily basis--almost exclusively in the evening after the kids go to bed.  I tried to make a rule for myself that I could not eat after 9pm, aside from tea or MAYBE a piece of fruit or a small amount of plain yogurt IF I really was HUNGRY not just wanting to eat.  I used to not be a late night snacker.  Ten years ago, I NEVER ate in my bedroom, and I rarely had the desire to eat after 9pm, and would usually have a cup of herbal tea and read a book.    While I was heavy (and an overeater) I was also a lot healthier, much more socially active (amazing how quality social interaction feeds your soul so you don't feel the compulsive need to fill that void with food), and was not a single mom raising two kids with special needs--which adds its own, special kind of stress to life.

So I have been trying to figure out a way to combat some of this compulsion to overeat at night.  It s not like a gorge on junk food--no last night I ate left over roast chicken, a pear, an orange, an apple, a plum, 3 pieces of celery with cream cheese spread, a handful of saltine crackers, a glass of milk, and some raisins (all after 9pm).  The night before, I had a glass of water and a plum after 9pm.  So, what was the difference between two--one that prompted a normal, healthy snack time, and the other that prompted a continuous stream of munching on healthy stuff.   Well, Saturday, some newer friends came over for dinner, their son played with my sons, I had great grown up conversation, a nice dinner and four hours really connecting with these two people.  So, that social connection void felt fulfilled (we even talked weight loss stuff and recipes and walking and zumba).  Sunday I took the kids to visit my ex, played Wii in the family room, had dinner at the halfway house, and headed home late, put the kids to bed, and sat down to read.  So some social activity, but some stress added (not that there was not stress added the day before when I had to prepare my house to welcome guests who I really had only recently met--just a different kind of stress).

So I have decided that one of the things that MAY help curb some of my compulsive overeating or my emotional eating (sometimes it is hard to tell which has more power emotions or compulsion) in the evenings, is to have a partner in this weight loss journey.  The woman who I had over Saturday night with her husband and son is also on  a weight-loss journey (and has lost far more that I have), and has reached a bit of a plateau.  So I think if she and I can buddy up, plan meals, hold each other accountable, and help to fulfill that social connection void for each other, we may both have greater success.  It will be a challenge as they live nearly 2 hours from where I do, but with the age of internet, phones, skype and such, hopefully having a somewhat medium distance buddy towards better health, will help move my progress along more quickly and successfully.  This is quite a journey, and you never know where each path will lead until you start walking on it.

No comments: