Day 40: The Struggling Dichotomy

THIS! This is how I feel almost every single day – a struggling dichotomy. One minute I feel like a beautiful princess… the next, an ugly witch- frightened of my own reflection. Most of the time, I am living a good life of the princess – my inner peace exuding through every pore. I make choices that lead me toward my goals. I am “being the change” I want to see in the world, and I am happy and content.

Then, with little warning, this visibly wounded victim surfaces. The witch is a hypocrite. She finds excuses for all the things she can’t do – laying blame anywhere but on herself. She is angry, and she is destructive. The witch will judge others to lift herself up, and she will sabotage any plans laid by the princess. And, she will hang on to the control of the body as long as she can.

One step forward, two steps back…

The truth is, the princess is used to losing the battle. The witch has been in control most of their lives. The princess is even the one that created the witch many, many years ago as a defense mechanism during the dark ages of the kingdom. She relied on her so much for a while, that the witch gained power and control. Eventually, the princess wasn’t around much. I don’t think she even knew she existed any more.

But, one day, the princess awoke from a long, long sleep. She realized what a mess the witch had made… in fact, she almost destroyed the entire kingdom with her destructive ways. The princess took back control, and locked the witch away where she couldn’t harm anyone else.

But, eventually, life started throwing punches, and the newly awoken princess still didn’t have the skills to duck and dodge. So, she would let the witch out to punch back then tuck her away back in her cell. Although it worked for a little while, the witch began gaining control again- manipulating the princess with her malicious whispers of untruths.

The princess worked very hard to learn the skills she needed to handle conflict so that she could once and for all be rid of the witch’s control. She tried throwing water on her, but it turns out her witch can swim.

Most days now, the princess doesn’t hear from the witch as much. But, when the princess is exhausted or faced with a difficult situation, the witch busts out of her chains and ensues with destruction. Except, now all of the witch’s hate is aimed at the princess herself. Her sabotage turned inward. Because, if the witch can’t be in control, she will do her best to destroy them both.

The princess knows she is winning this war but not always the battles. It would be so much easier if she could just send the witch away – never to return (maybe to the land of flying monkeys so the witch could have some friends). But, the witch is a part of her – so, she must find a place for her in the kingdom. The witch too can be a contributing member of the kingdom in the right job setting… she just doesn’t get to sit on the throne anymore.

Journey #190 – Emotional Eating

Day 7

Every day, there is some new challenge… some knew struggle in my brain between the self-destructive thought processes that have been a part of me for so long and the new, “this is who I am supposed to be” thoughts that I am trying to nurture and grow.

No wonder so many people struggle with weight loss. This daily battle in my brain is exhausting. One minute, I think I have the upper hand and am making all the right decisions. The next minute, I have shoved 3 (not 1, but 3) tasty treats in my mouth and felt like crap afterwards.

Want to know why I did it? I had been food prepping for the week (my first time… the smells in the kitchen were fantastic, but I had plenty of self control and did not snack during the process). My daughter decided she would make some sausage balls – a recipe passed down from my mom. I have been eating them my entire life. I watched her make them with a little pride that the tradition of making them continues in the next generation, the oven smelled so wonderful as they baked, blah, blah, blah. I ate them for the EMOTIONAL attachment I have for this food – all the wonderful memories associated with it. Honestly, they weren’t even that tasty. But, I still ate 3 (at least I didn’t eat 30 – small win).

But, tomorrow is a new day. I will try again… and keep trying until I have figured out all of my triggers and deal with them.

3 positive things about today:

I attempted food prep.

I enjoyed sharing the kitchen with my daughter.

I learned what my trigger was this time and can avoid such a mental trap in the future.

Taco Tuesday Spiced Up!

Since eating so many tacos piled with cheese has helped me increase my weight, I need a replacement (food or activity – anything really) every, single week.  My entire family loves Taco Tuesday, so I can either be depressed and deprived every Tuesday until this weight is gone, or celebrate Taco Tuesday in a different way!


This weeks’s celebration:

You could buy the pre-made packages of spices for your tacos.  Or, you can mix a jar of your own.  I do love this recipe from wellnessmama.com – it makes enough for several months of taco (beef or chicken) goodness!  Add as much as you like to cooked meat and, simmer for 5 minutes. If you want it a little hotter, add a little more chili powder.

Mix ingredients together:

1/4 cup Chili Powder

1/4 cup Cumin Powder

1 tablespoon Garlic Powder

2 tablespoons Onion Powder

1 teaspoon Oregano Leaf

1 teaspoon Paprika

1 tablespoon Sea Salt

1 teaspoon Ground Pepper

Score for this week’s Taco Tuesday:

9 out of 10

It’s Taco Tuesday – Cauliflower Rice!

Since eating so many tacos piled with cheese has helped me increase my weight, I need a replacement (food or activity – anything really) every, single week.  My entire family loves Taco Tuesday, so I can either be depressed and deprived every Tuesday until this weight is gone, or celebrate Taco Tuesday in a different way!

This weeks’s celebration:

Cauliflower Rice

This one is fabulous! You can make your own cauliflower rice with your food processor, or you can buy it prepackaged.  For Taco Tuesday, I bought the prepackaged kind – original flavor, then added my taco spices to it.  I like eating cauliflower, but it is a pain for me to chop it up all the time.  The rice texture gives me something I’m missing out on with the grain rice but not those pesky calories.  This stuff is amazing and simple.

Score for this week’s Taco Tuesday:

10 out of 10

It’s Taco Tuesday – Mango Margarita!

Since eating so many tacos piled with cheese has helped me increase my weight, I need a replacement (food or activity – anything really) every, single week.  My entire family loves Taco Tuesday, so I can either be depressed and deprived every Tuesday until this weight is gone, or celebrate Taco Tuesday in a different way!

This weeks’s celebration:

Mock Mango Margarita

Mmmmm. I’m going to mix my mango/peach protein packet with some ice, water, and maybe some spinach for a few added nutrients.  So simple and the perfect solution for my sweet tooth today.  No tequila, no sugary sweet margarita mixer, no glass rimmed with colored sugar… but, a great attitude with an icy cold drink.  After all, life’s a celebration.  So, cheers to you and my magnificent mock mango margarita, aka smoothie!

Score for this week’s Taco Tuesday:

8 out of 10

It’s a Journey – Not a Destination 

Part of losing weight is gaining the mindset to keep it off – you know, that eating healthy stuff and exercising stuff. I have major cravings once in a while (as all dieters do) – some show improvement in my mindset. Some don’t. Here are my top 10 cravings. Don’t judge.

10. Carrots

9. Potatoes – Mashed, Fried, or Roasted

8. Trail Mix

7. Chicken Noodle Soup – or any soup really

6. Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (and lots of Parmesan Cheese)

5. Corn on the Cob

4. Queso and Chips

3. Popcorn – microwave or movie

2. Frosting Covered Sugar Cookies

1. Pizza, Pizza, and Pizza with Cheese, Cheese, and Cheese

Progress from 6 months ago? Definitely. Guarantee that I won’t just gain the weight back? Not so much.  I’m still a work in progress. If awareness is 1/2 the battle, I’m 60% on my way to success!

It’s Taco Tuesday! – Healthy Tacos

Since eating so many tacos piled with cheese has helped me increase my weight, I need a replacement (food or activity – anything really) every, single week.  My entire family loves Taco Tuesday, so I can either be depressed and deprived every Tuesday until this weight is gone, or celebrate Taco Tuesday in a different way!

This weeks’s celebration:

Healthy tacos!

Lettuce wraps around taco meat are actually quite yummy! You get the crunchiness of a shell, but the calories of a water leaf.  Also, I make like 10 mini tacos with my allotted 6 ounces of meat.  By the time I’m done, I feel full and satisfied.  (I also revel in the fact that one day I can put cheese on them, too!) You really should try them, and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Score for this week’s Taco Tuesday:

9 out of 10

In Polite Company, We Don’t Talk About It

 

In polite company, we don’t talk about politics or religion… or about nutrition.  images-6Let’s face it.  1 in 3 of us are having to deal with being overweight – and so are many of our kids.  You can find expert advice on how to lose that weight on every street corner – a dime a dozen.  But, what no one talks about is the emotional addiction to that food.  We use food in our culture to celebrate.  We reward our children with treats.  When most of us think about food, it makes us happy.

I recently watched a video of Dr. David Kessler explaining the science behind this emotional attachment to food  in “The End of Overeating” (the video is below).  Basically, sugar, fat, and salt in combinations trigger the pleasure center in our brain.  Americans’ diet over the last four decades has increased tremendously in those three ingredients with the processing of our foods. Those foods, in turn, act like a drug – stimulating our brain.

The power of the food addiction (I know, no one likes the word “addiction”, but there it is) doesn’t necessarily come from the food itself.  We are driven (much like Pavlov’s dog) by stimuli all around us.  Anticipation is powerful.  imgres-4It is the smell of the pizza when I walk into Costco that gets me in trouble – long before I actually see or taste said pizza.  As a matter of fact, the very thought of going to Costco makes my taste buds start watering.

So, really, those of us that are wanting to lose weight need to deal with the emotions of eating first.  (I don’t pretend to be an expert, but replacing a behavior with a new behavior is working for me. Also, avoiding situations that will get me into trouble is very helpful when I’m hungry.) images-7Changing how we think about food – and feel about food – is a necessity if we want to lose the weight and actually keep it off this time.

As a society, Dr. Kessler recommended adding boundaries back into how we view food.  Over my lifetime, smoking has made the transformation from being acceptable to not.  Food can’t be demonized the way smoking has been done, because we all need food. But, going back to it being three meals a day (instead of grazing all day) will be a step in the right direction.  imgres-5

As for me, I have to be the change I want to see in the world first.  I’ve got to lose the weight and the emotional baggage it represents for good.