Friday, August 27, 2010

Change of heart (well, sort of)

I’ve been a vegetarian since 2005. I became a vegetarian after learning about factory farms and their atrocious practices. I’ve never been against people eating meat just the way that food gets on their plate.

Lately I’ve been reading a ton about local, grass-fed animals and how humanely they are treated. They are not in crowded filthy factories but live on actual ranches and roam around. They are not given tons of antibiotics that in turn make us antibiotic-resistant. And I support this. From the get go I’ve supported these farms. But I wasn’t supporting them in any meaningful way. Like with my money.

All of this is to say that I have decided to eat meat again. I found a market that is around the corner from my work. It is run by a couple who own a ranch and farm in Bowie and Keller. They don’t use antibiotics or hormones. They don’t feed the animals grains. Pigs eat past-its-prime produce and goats and cows eat grass. They graze all day. They even have a blog.

I am actually really excited. I’ve missed meat and I’ll be glad to be able to enjoy it guilt-free. But mostly I’m excited to be supporting a local, humane, environmentally-friendly business.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bored fat?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to why I binge and I’ve come up with something. I think one reason I binge is that I’m bored. I’m bored at my job, I’m bored when I have summers off. I’m just bored. Even staying home with a 2 year old gets boring because it doesn’t take real brain power so much as major stamina.

I don’t have a job that is really challenging to me. I’m actually a pretty smart person but I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do so I ended up here. I wish I did something that was challenging. Something I had to work at.

I think this leads to bingeing in two ways. One, when you’re bored eating seems fun and for a few minutes, it is.

Two, I think living a life without challenging myself leads me to want to create an unsolvable problem (ie losing weight). I wonder if I had something challenging to do if I would still feel the urge to binge. I wonder what I could do.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mommy Guilt

I've been thinking a lot about mommy guilt recently. Mostly because I've been feeling it so much recently. Maggie stayed with my mother-in-law for a week and a day while our AC was broken. My MIL posted a ton of pictures of their time together.

Every picture I saw made me feel guilty. Oh look, she cooks her something every meal (or so it seems). Oh look she's actively engaged (can you tell I'm a teacher?) with her all the time (or so it seems). I just felt like I don't spend that kind of time on Maggie. I actually felt guilty for picking her up. I thought maybe she's better off living with her various grandparents.

Isn't that horrible? Nothing makes me guilty like being a mom. I never feel like I'm doing a good enough job with her. I never feel like her diet is balanced enough. Like I'm taking her to enough playdates. Like I'm spending enough quality time with her. Like I'm good enough.

Take for instance my yoga classes. I feel so guilty about yoga. I want desperately to go to yoga but now that I'm back at work it makes it even more difficult for me to go. But (here's my Catch-22) because I'm back at work I need the yoga even more. I need that break, that exercise to clear my head. But I feel so guilty about it because it takes time away from Maggie. Well, not always. There are 2 evening classes and 1 is before her bedtime and 1 is after. But because I'm depending on other people to watch her I let them decide which time slot they would rather have her. And most times people want to see her and not just sit in my house while she sleeps.

Anyway, I don't have any answers here. I spend a lot of time wondering what percentage of mommy guilt is real (and something I should be working on/improving) and what percentage is bullshit and I should realize I will never be good enough and just do what I can and try to do my best. And goodness I just don't know.

Any thoughts? Do you suffer from mommy guilt? Have you ever thought your kid would be better off with someone else? Did that thought make you feel guilty?

PS. I want to clarify that I am immensely grateful for all my parents and family that both want and are willing to keep Maggie. I'm so grateful that she is loved by so many people. I didn't mean for this post to sound ungrateful just whiny.

Snafu and 100th post

So I went to my yoga class yesterday (which, yea for me!). At first it was great but about 45-50 minutes into class I started feeling really bad. It got worse and worse. At first I just laid there and tried to cool down (I do hot yoga, Baptiste). After about 10 minutes of that I was pretty sure I was going to throw up and there was no stopping it. So I left class, went to the bathroom and did just that. I never randomly throw up. I'm either drunk, have a stomach virus (which has happened maybe a handful of times in my adult life) or am pregnant. None of those things apply now so I'm stumped. Maybe because I donated blood Thursday afternoon. Maybe I was too hungry (I felt like I might be getting hungry on the drive over but nothing major). I have no clue. But after that I went home, ate a handful of walnuts and went to bed.

This morning I'm planning on going to yoga class but I'm starting to feel shaky again. WTF? I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to puke in the middle of class again but I really don't want to miss an opportunity to go to yoga class (with my guy in law school, a job and an almost-two-year-old, opportunities are becoming hard to get). Not sure what to do. I think I'll go and hope for the best.

Also this is my 100th post. How exciting is that! Very exciting for me! Woo hoo! I'm a blogger.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Fantastic news first: I haven’t binged. I have (mostly) followed the guidelines and certainly my goal of eating only when hungry. I’m so excited. Especially because last night, I really wanted to binge. I know that my binging comes from a place in my head, not in my stomach but it can be really hard to overcome that desire. I mostly used distraction to not binge. I tried on some new clothes and thought up cute outfits and then I went to bed.

I think one thing that really helps me as far as avoiding binges is to remember that you don’t have to do it. I know it feels like it’s an urge that won’t be denied but you can deny it. I also tell myself that every time I don’t do it will make it easier for me to avoid it in the future.

So that’s that. I’m really excited. It’s hard to walk through the fear of weight gain and trust that this will work eventually but I have to believe that it will. The big fear is spending my entire time on this planet obsessing over losing weight or what size pants I fit into. It’s missing time with my daughter because I’m too busy thinking about how many calories I’ve had so far. It’s missing life because I’m putting off living until I weigh X.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Epiphany, part 2?

After I wrote yesterday’s blog post I remembered something. I remembered an email that I sent to my sister (the lovely Elaine) when I was 17 or 18. The title of the email was Epiphany (I remember this because I could not figure out how to spell that freaking word). I don’t remember exactly what I wrote (except for the lines: I am not fat. I do not have a weight problem.) but the gist was that I was using the never-ending process of losing weight to avoid living life. To avoid dealing with my real problems. Basically constantly losing weight/gaining weight/finding new diets/starting new exercise plans was my way of avoiding life and the myriad of problems it contains.

As of today I am 28 years old. I wrote that email 10 or 11 years ago and I wrote a very similar post yesterday. Yikes!

At first this greatly depressed me. I thought oh this is impossible, I’ll never overcome this, I’m doomed. (Drama queen??? Me???)

But then I remembered (ok, I googled, but I remembered the gist) a quote. Knowledge without action is wasted. I knew what the problem was 10 long years ago but I didn’t know what to do with that knowledge. The question is do I know what to do now. I think I do. I really do. It’s super hard but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I won’t be the first person on Earth to have to relearn how to eat like a normal human being. It can be done. Right now I’m reading lots of Charlotte for inspiration. She had a totally f-ed up relationship with food and now a few months (that’s not so long!) later she’s on Cloud 9. She writes about how free and amazing she feels. I want that so bad. And if she can do it, so can I.

Last night, I had a huge binge. The biggest one in a while. I had eaten fine all day and followed (mostly) the eating guidelines. I went to an amazingly wonderful yoga class. I thought about food a lot during the class. On the way home I knew I wanted to eat. A lot. I knew it was coming. And I felt powerless. I’m not sure what to do when that feeling comes on. I try to tell myself it’s an urge, a desire but I don’t have to do it. I don’t have to binge.

Does it feel good in the moment? Yes, unfortunately it does. It feels great but it will always make me feel like crap after.

This isn’t going to happen over night. I have to put in the work. It’s not fun but it is what it is. I just don’t want to give up. I know I am probably gaining more weight and that’s so scary. I keep wanting to quit and just go back to dieting to lose weight but I know, in the long run, that won’t work. The weight will come off when I can follow the guidelines. It’s that simple. But this is so scary for me right now.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Something new

Have you read Women, Food and God? It's really good and I'm trying it out.

I have this deep dark fear that I'm going to spend my life trying to lose the same 10 to *some really high number* pounds. Like it'll never be enough, I'll never keep it off, etc. That is quite scary to me. I don't want to spend my life thinking about weight and calories and carbs and this and that. I just want to eat and work out and be healthy without all the drama. When I hear about women in their 40s, 50s and beyond talking about trying to lose weight, it terrifies me. I always thought I was dieting to be done with it. Not so I could go back to eating fried cheese and pints of Ben and Jerry's but just be free from the obsession of all things weight related.

I heard about the book first through Oprah magazine, then Charlotte of Great Fitness Experiment did it. Both talk of that freedom from obsession. Of being able to eat and enjoy food without obsessing. Without eventually binging. Freedom sounds pretty freaking great.

The author, Geneen Roth, talks about dieting as a distraction. A distraction from whatever. From life, basically. I'm busy dieting but as soon as I'm done I'll change careers or find a partner or be a better mother. Only you're never done dieting. It never stops so you never have to fail at life or take risks or whatever you're avoiding.

So at first it seemed really easy and I was quite excited but I guess crazy runs deep cos it's gotten much harder.

First the eating guidelines. You are supposed to:

1. Eat when hungry.
2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment (cars don't count).
3. Eat without distractions (YIKES!!!).
4. Eat what your body wants.
5. Eat until you are satisfied.
6. Eat with pleasure and gusto.
7. Eat with the intention of being in full view of others.

These seem so simple. Maggie already does all of these without even thinking about it. Or knowing about it. Me? Holy crap. They are so hard, I decided to do one at a time for a week each. And just keep trying until I get it.

So I am on number 1. Eat when hungry. This one is getting easier. I've been doing it since Sunday, I guess. I do obsess sometimes, wondering when the hell I'm going to be hungry again. But mostly it is getting easier. It's funny to be paying so much attention to my body. I've ignored or hated it for so long.

That's what I'm doing. I'm trying not to worry too much about the other rules or even what I eat at this point. Although, I will say, old habits die hard. I am still obsessed with what I eat and how I eat it and I am trying to implement all the rules.

We'll see how it goes but oh, I want to be normal around food. And hating and shaming and bullying myself is unlikely to ever have a positive affect so let's give this a go.

Wish me luck!