Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cold Turkey

I've always been curious where the term "cold turkey" came from, so I looked it up this morning. According to Wikipedia there are many origins to the term.  Quitting "cold turkey" is usually associated with quitting a smoking habit, a drug habit or a drinking habit.  But what about an eating habit?

I quit cold turkey on Monday morning.  My hubby and I went out for Chipotle for one last hurrah before the beginning of October Unprocessed that following day.  I felt like crap after that meal.  Monday morning came and went and lunch came and went.  The afternoon was filled with temptations, horrible cravings, and will to just stay away from the need. A little more on how I did it later. 

There are a number of things I will admit to being addicted to.  There's sugar.  Sugar is the main thing.  I am (was?) obsessed with sugar.   A craving would take over for anything with sugar.  There was candy (gummies are my favorite), pop (I've limited myself on pop before but never completely rid my diet of it),  mixed coffee drinks, juice, candy, candy, candy, ice cream, frozen custard, and everything sugar.  Ugh.  I was also addicted to caffeine. I mostly got that from pop and sometimes a cup of coffee if I wanted something warm. I also loved bread.  I wasn't necessarily addicted to it except maybe my addiction to Subway.  I was really going to Subway for lunch 4 out of 5 days for lunch eat week.  Subway is ok in moderation, like everything else. 

This was getting out of hand.  I knew in my head I had to limit myself on these types of foods and added ingredients. I quit all these things on Monday.  I quit sugar, I quit caffeine (with the exception of unsweetened hot tea), and I quit processed carbohydrates. Let me tell you, this was HARD!  Monday was hard because of the temptations at work.  I actually sat in my office and watched out the window with jealousy of the people that got to go to Subway for lunch.  I got through the cravings even though it did some some physical will to not give in.  Tuesday the cravings were still there but they weren't as strong, but that withdrawal headache was starting to kick in by the end of the afternoon.  Wednesday, the headache hit with full force.  I was irritable and crabby and wanted to yell and wanted to cry after a customer yelled at me on the phone. I just didn't want to be at work anymore.  Wednesday was the hardest.  Thursday got a little better. The headache was still there but I felt one hundred percent better.  I was starting to notice that I wasn't getting the mid-afternoon sugar slump.  I was tired sure, I think my body is still learning how to adjust to not having refined sugar to fuel itself.  And I was hungry.  I just had to make sure I brought enough snacks for myself to make sure I had something when I got hungry so I didn't go for the snack box in the breakroom, filled with processed junk.

Thursday afternoon, when I got in my car, I was a little dizzy.  I think it may be because my blood sugar was too low.  I did eat a handful of pretzels when I got home from work and I felt so much better. I know the pretzels are processed but I needed something at that moment.  I need to look for other options in case this happens again.  Friday was like a new day after the rest of the week. I was energized when I woke up and felt good through the whole day. Plus, it's Friday with a whole weekend ahead of me! Who doesn't like Friday?!

Things I've noticed this weekend since going off my cravings and addictions cold turkey: I was going to allow myself a cheat meal. The cheat meal hasn't happened yet.  Maybe it would have if my husband was in town but I've been alone all weekend. I've been eating leftover  Mexican Chicken soup for lunches and scrambled eggs for dinner last night.  I picked up some good salmon from Whole Foods this morning that I will have for dinner tonight and cook the extra for lunch tomorrow. While driving this morning, I was thinking a cup of Chai Latte from Startbucks sounded delicious but when I got to the local establishment, I just kept driving right on by.  This confused me cuz I really wanted the latte, or atleast I thought I did but I knew it was processed. I knew how much sugar was in the Chai tea mix.   I ended up at home instead.  Here to my computer to write about it.  I ate an apple and had some lunch and started writing. 

On a side note. I went to the grocery store lastnight after planning my meals for the week.  I let myself have a treat of a little gelatin dessert cup.  One, my taste buds have somewhat changed, even just a little, and the treat didn't really taste that good. Two, the sugar gave me a headache. Three, the sugar gave me a belly ache.  So that treat really wasn't worth it to me.  I would have rather had a piece of fruit. 

Quitting my addictions will open doors for me.  Some are small for right now. I can enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon with my two cats, watching the leaves drop from the oaks as Fall takes hold of the Wisconsin scenery.    Although I do wish it was a little warmer so I could enjoy the afternoon on the deck with a cup of hot tea. 

Come back tomorrow for Monday's weigh in!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Do You Remember....?

To my friends who are on their weight loss journey, do you remember what it was like to be healthy and fit? Do you remember what it felt like? I'm starting to forget. I would like to remember what it felt like to walk into a store and buy something off the rack without trying it on.  I want to remember what it felt like to not be embarrassed of my body.  The problem is, I was always embarrassed about those things at a size 14. 

Me, Lake Meade, Cousin Greg's Wedding, circa 1999?
I haven't been at my first goal weight since I was in high school, and even then, I thought I was overweight.  I started out high school in the 160s and graduated around 170.  At 5 foot 10 inches, that's not a bad weight.  The highest weight I reached was 230 and you all witnessed that at my wedding.  My lowest weight since then was 210.  I am somewhere in the middle when I started my unprocessed eating on October 1.

I don't really want to remember what it's like to feel fat.  At my highest weight, my own skin bothered me.  I felt swollen and sluggish.  My clothes were getting bigger in size but still felt just as tight.  I don't want to remember but I do have to remember. I have to remember what it was like so I don't go back there. I didn't feel good there. I've come to a point of embracing my body in my own skin but I can do it in a healthier way. 

I set my goal to lose 30lbs by the end of December.  If that goal is reached, the next goal is to lose another 30 lbs by May.  Thats sixty pounds in seven months.  That's a lot of weight.  But after seeing and feeling some of the results of the October Unprocessed Challenge, I think it is very doable.  I will give a full overview of my first week eating only unprocessed food on Monday morning. I will also tell you how much weight I lost in the first week.  I'm excited to get on the scale on Monday morning. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Boy I am tired and emotional.  I'm feeling the effects of caffeine withdrawal and I think my body is starting to realize that it's not getting the amount of carbs I am used to.  The cravings weren't as bad today as they were yesterday.  So that is a good thing.

During a stressful day at work, I really began to realize how much I was actually using food to sooth myself and my nerves.  After having a bunch of stuff laid on my plate at work and having a customer yell at me, all I wanted was a Snickers bar.  There was one available.  I felt the stress rippling through my veins.  I wanted to scream.  I wanted to go for a walk but there was an hour left of work and I wasn't really allowed to leave the building.  So I sat there, talking to my coworkers, complaining about how much I wanted that stupid chocolate bar.  I told them I would probably be less annoying in a week or so.  I wanted to give in.  This is how my thoughts were, all over the place!

Why, oh why, does food have such a hold on my emotions? How did I get this way? I think back to all the times I've used food to calm my nerves.  The bottle of full sugar Mountain Dew mixed with handfuls of gummie bears before something stressful in college.  I hated how my heart rate raced after eating all that sugar.  I vowed to not do it again and yet, I did it again.  On the other hand, the times I got physically ill because my nerves were that intense before each day of high school.

Today, because I didn't use food to sooth my nerves and my stress, I just let it run it's course.  I felt that restlessness disappear by the time I left work but I was tired.  Very very tired.  I came home, sat down for just a few moments to watch the end of the news before my hubby came home.  He made dinner.  It's in the oven right now.  And here I write, letting my emotions take a normal path.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Goal 2: Lose 30 Pounds

Today was the first day of October Unprocessed.  I did have some Cheerios for breakfast, which are processed.  Oh and cottage cheese for lunch to dip my carrots in.  It's better for me than ranch dressing.  Ugh! Did I fail at October Unprocessed already!?!?!  Nope, I don't think so!  I overcame a lot of cravings today.  I actually felt a twinge of jealousy as I watched people park at the Subway across the street.  I sat in the break room, ate my ham roll ups, carrots, cottage cheese, water, and raspberries.  I spent about 10 minutes getting over the fact that my favorite honey wheat pretzels were sitting on the counter, thanks to a coworker.  After the craving passed, I was fine. 

A couple of mantras kept rippling through my thoughts:

1. "Food is fuel, food is fuel, food is fuel.  I don't need those pretzels to survive."
2. "I really really really really really really want this lifestyle change."

By the end of my lunch, I didn't glance back at the pretzels. When I got hungry mid-afternoon, I reached for the box of raisins I brought in my lunch bag.  They were just enough to cover my tummy for another few hours until dinner.

You know, I didn't hit that midday slump I usually have.  It was great.  I was tired. I think I may be coming down with something but I wasn't on that sugar low like usual.  I certainly was feeling my emotions.  Work was stressful today but I just worked through it and when I felt like it was getting to be a lot, instead of going back to munch on food, I just socialized with my coworkers.  I also drank a ton of water today.  Here's to tomorrow!

So, anyway, my second goal is to lose 30 pounds by just after Christmas.  This makes me nervous because I'm not really sure I can do it.  I changed my goals over at MyFitnessPal to reflect the weight loss. It is calling to consume 1600 calories a day.  Sheesh! I struggled to get 1200 calories today.  I think I'm going to have to eat the more meals each day.

The thing is that I have done it before.  Five years ago I was really paying attention to what I was eating for the month of March and I lost 10 lbs in that one month! I was so excited that I stopped eating healthy! I think I treated myself or something and got so off track.  I am using this October challenge to refocus my brain.

Soon after Pat and I got married, everyone said the wedding stress would make me forget to eat and I would lose that extra weight. Please! Have you ever met a binge eater? Stress sends me over the eating edge.  I think of all those feelings that pass over my brain when I'm stressed.  There's excitement, anxiety, hunger (or what I think is hunger), relief when I give in.  I need to find another way to deal with my stress, especially at work.  While the weather is still nice I plan on going for walks during the workday just to get away.  I know this has helped me in the past and gets me away from the snacking temptations at work. 

So, here's to 30 lbs!