Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Food - it's a love/hate thang

It's once again time for Writer's Workshop over at Mama Kat's Losin' It.

So, here's the question I've chosen to go with this week:

What is an unpleasant experience you had eating?

I'd rather not tell you about specific times I've had unpleasant experiences eating, like the time I realized I'd suddenly developed an allergy to bananas as an adult. Not lovely. Not lovely at all.

I won't tell you about the time I went picking raspberries in the woods with my family as a child and ate a *few* too many and had to lollygag behind everyone, telling them to go on ahead because I had to "pee."

Those things are none of your business.

SO. Let me tell you about my current love/hate relationship with food, and why it's been, in some ways, rather unpleasant lately.

Let me first start off by telling you that I LOVE food. Always have, always will.

I love carbs and I have a killer sweet tooth. I also like some healthy foods, but let's be real - it's way more fun (and therapeutic) to eat things that are bad. Come on - spear of celery or Krispy Kreme donut? Yeah...

In high school, I was 110 lbs. - it didn't matter what type of physical activity I did or did not do. It didn't matter what kind of food I did or did not eat. I could do whatever my little heart desired, and I didn't gain a pound.

The day I turned 18 something terrible happened.

I guess since I was technically a "grown-up" my body decided to start behaving like one. That meant that I could no longer eat anything and everything that sounded good, and I could't expect to stay small by sitting on my butt watching I Love Lucy marathons while eating pepperoni pizza dipped in Ranch dressing.

Sure, my metabolism was changing, but I did alright, I guess. I didn't weigh myself all that much, and I was basically okay with my weight. I took a fitness class each semester in college, and I was being more intentional about choosing healthier foods.

Then I got a miserable job straight out of college. I was on the road the majority of the time, and I was dealing with some really heavy situations that were pretty horific. Add that to the fact that I had ZERO support from my bosses, no way of really dealing with all the stress and sadness I was seeing day in and day out, and I was putting in a good 50 hours/week, but getting no overtime. I was basically volunteering to be an even more miserable person.

You bet your booty I was always helping myself to the donuts, pastries, cakes, and breads that were in the break room.

If I had to sit in my cooped up little office with no windows writing about how children were being abused, I felt absolutely entitled to enjoy a sweet treat whenever I wanted to. They tasted good, and they made me happy, and there was not much else at work to be happy about.

After nearly a year of torturing myself and realizing it was literally going to be the job or my sanity that would have to go, I quit. And I've never regretted that decision. Not for one SECOND.

During my time at that stupid ass job, I gained a lovely amount of weight. I had to buy new clothes because I could not fit into mine anymore. At all. Couldn't even fake it. Quitting did wonders for my mental well-being, and I decided it was time to do something about my physical well-being, too.

I got online, checked out Weight Watchers online (I knew people that had success with the in-person WW in the past, and it seemed like a realistic and healthy way to lose weight), and discovered that I had a pretty wide range of what was considered to be a healthy weight for my age, gender, and height. I was 13 pounds heavier than the heaviest recommended weight.

That might not seem like a lot, but it was to me. I'd never been so unhealthy and felt so crappy about myself. I hated having to buy bigger clothes, and I knew that I was eating as a way to deal with stress.

So, I did the Weight Watchers thing, and it worked tremendously. I loved it. I lost 18 pounds.

By the time I was done, I was actually 2 sizes smaller than the size I'd been happy with before I started gaining weight. I was fit, I was energized, and I felt great about myself.

The Thursday after I hit my final goal weight, I hit up Old Navy and bought the smallest size pants I'd ever worn (well, since I started wearing women's sizes and not girl's sizes anyway). I was ecstatic!

The very next day I found out I was pregnant with Kaylee. Nice joke, huh?!?! I haven't seen the likes of those pants SINCE. :) I thought it was pretty funny.

It was like God said, "Hey! Great job! You're totally skinny now, and now that you've proved to yourself that you can do it, you can just go right ahead and pack those cute capris away in a box in the garage because you probably won't be seeing them again. Uh, EVER."

(Just for the record - Kaylee's totally worth it. She's way cooler than those pants.)

So, all that to say that lately, I've been getting concerned about the numbers rising on the scale, yet again.

I got to my pre-baby weight real fast after having Kaylee, and I think a lot of that can be attributed to breastfeeding - apparently it's supposed to burn a butt-load of calories. But, I was SO over breastfeeding when Kaylee hit 9 months old, and that's when I began to ride the weight roller coaster again.

I know it's not out of control at this point, and realistically, I've just got a few pounds to eliminate. In my book, I am happy with my body when my clothes fit, and the number on the scale doesn't matter quite as much (although, of course, it still matters a little bit), as long as I am confident in my clothes, and as long as I feel healthy and fit.

That has NOT been the case lately. Pants - oh, how I've missed my favorite pants. The pile-on of extra poundage happens so quietly - one day you just wake up and it's like, "DANG. When did THAT happen."

So, I've decided to do something about it, and I'm really taking it seriously. Last week I went to the gym 5 times - did some Mommy and Me classes, aerobics, and just some basic cardio stuff followed by some light weight training. It felt fabulous. I felt skinnier when I left (even thought I wasn't), and I felt really good about myself. Just knowing that I'm consciously choosing to do something to have a healthier self makes a huge difference.

So, last week I jumped back on the exercise bandwagon, but even for that whole week, my hang up continued to be with food. I didn't want to say no to the three dinner rolls and lemon cheesecake at my mother-in-laws (along with a few other side dishes and the main dish). I was willing to work out, but I wasn't willing to give up the decision to eating anything that tasted good, and however much of it that I wanted.

But - finally, my stubborn self has come around, and I'm going to be eating healthier, too.

No more "grazing" on snacks all day. No more "just one Hershey's kiss" that turns into 17 Hershey's kisses (seriously - 17). No failure to plan healthy lunches. No more. NO. MORE.

Today I ate a salad with leafy green lettuce (not the non-nutritive iceberg crap), sliced turkey (97% fat free, thankyouverymuch), and dried cranberries, with that sweet spritzer salad dressing that has 1 calorie per squirt.

It was GOOD. It was full of flavor, and it even satisfied my sweet tooth. I was still hungry when it was gone, so I ate an apple, and I was good. to. GO. until dinner time.

I can DO this. I've done it before, and I can do it again. I know I can.

Let's just hope I don't get knocked up after I hit my goal weight and get back into my skinny pants this time...


Dan said...

It could be worse - you could have never lost the baby weight. Good luck on the skinny plan.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! You're lying about that salad but good for you!

Jaime said...

someone else with a banana allergy? i never thought i'd find another one. no one believes me that i'm actually allergic to bananas.

That Girl said...

I was the same way when I was younger....I could eat everything and anything and not gain a pound. That was kind of a tease because when I hit 30 I woke up 15lbs heavier. blah

good luck on your weight loss journey!

Cupcake Dessert said...

good luck with your skinnny plan!!! maybe the pants will come back out!! :)

mamamia said...

keep up the good work!

Kristen said...

Good for you! Does that mean it's my turn now?

Yer Mom said...

Oh, great! You're coming to our house for dinner on Saturday. The pressure is on to prepare healthy food.
Geez, I think you better bring your own food, Lady! I will not be serving lettuce with dried cranberries! Okay, I guess I will for you...

Does that mean I should not make homemade sugar cookies?


HeatherY said...

Good luck with your weight loss plan! It's so hard with a little one who snacks all day long not to join in!

Mommynightowl said...

congrats on getting back on the bandwagon. I recently fell off the bandwagon when we took a road trip to AZ. lol, to God patting you on the back for being skinny with a new joy. I love the name Kaylee btw.

Jenners said...

Jeez, Sera. I could have written this EXACT same post. This describes my struggles to a tee -- just add an additional 15 years or so. I'm trying again but I just keep getting knocked back down..this week it is Easter Stuff. Next week we are taking a little trip to NYC and that doesn't exactly end up being a healthy eating trip. I too lost weight via Weight Watchers, got the cutest jeans EVER and then got pregnant and so long jeans. I'm keeping them though because some day, some day, I will wear them again. And I hope I look as great in them then as I did 5 years ago.... sigh.

Summer said...

Okay, are we the same person?!?

Love the sweets. Have no self control with yummy food. And after Taylor, I was like, wha-huh? My body was not my own.

Did WW and lost it, was thinner than ever...and then got pregnant with Chloe.

This time though, I did P90X right after I had her {didn't breastfeed either} and lost it pretty quickly.

But, then again, I have body issues.... ;-)