Category Archives: Information is Power

What’s Your Favorite Food?

On Monday night before going to bed, I sat there and thought to myself for a moment…. “I think I have an addiction…”.  My mind began wandering back to very early days in my childhood when I would be asked, “What’s Your Favorite Food, Marcia?”.  I never had an answer for anyone.  My mother would like to claim that my favorite food is Steak & Potatoes though.  (Love you Mom!)  As that is what she would typically end up telling people.

We’ve all had that question asked.  From MySpace & Facebook “All About Me” postings, surveys, questionnaires, etc.  But, let me ask you this.  Did you answer that question truthfully?  Or, did you just put something down that was tempting you at the moment?

Here’s what I was thinking before bed on Monday…..  I don’t have ONE specific food that I like.  I like THEM ALL!!  I like anything that tastes well, smells well, looks well and sits well.  I want it and I want it NOW!  That’s when it really hit me.  I am a FOOD ADDICT!

binge_eating

I honestly have never been able to specify what my favorite food is.  I could tell you that I absolutely LOVE Mexican food (which I do), but honestly… I would eat the heck out of Cheesecake or Seafood just as passionately.  (Hmm… perhaps that’s a term I need to share with the therapist — Food = Passion.  Interesting what comes out here sometimes.)

Fast forward to Tuesday.  I’m on the computer scrolling through my Facebook posts like I typically do and there is a blog post from Ruby Gettinger (if you haven’t heard of Ruby — You need to go check her out!  She’s amazing!).  I click on it and start to read it.  It grabbed my attention as she starts to talk about how we become “Powerless to ______ ” (fill in the blank with whatever you feel powerless to).  Then, she encouraged me to take Step 2 and join her in getting some help.  I clicked on the link and was directed to The Recovery Room.

I really wasn’t sure what to think once I landed on the page for The Recovery Room, but something within me forced me to take the next step and e-mail the moderator to be added to the group.  I received my e-mail confirmation within a few minutes and before I knew it, I was attending a 3pm Overeaters Anonymous virtual meeting.

I decided early on in the session that I was not ready to “share” my story or talk about my issues.  So, I just hung back, listened and cheered on those who were so bravely sharing their trials and tribulations as Compulsive Eaters and Food Addicts.  My mind was racing and I swear the hair on my neck was standing straight up.  Every word that was typed across the screen from each member felt like it was coming straight out of my own mouth.  For once, I had found where I needed to be!

I have been telling my friends and family for several weeks now how I had this mental block that was preventing me from losing my weight and I just kept praying that I would eventually figure it out.  Am I going to have some remarkable weight-loss all of a sudden?  No, I’m not saying that.  What I am saying is that I have found a way to discuss my emotional and mental issues with the one thing that keeps me FAT besides my own self… FOOD!

Of course, this group doesn’t just sit and talk about food.  In fact, we aren’t even allowed to discuss a specific food or diet for fear that we may cause someone with an extreme food addiction to go into a rage of sorts.  We don’t want to be the reason to set them into a binge episode.  So, we just use very “vague” terms when discussing our food addictions.  Like, “I went to this specific restaurant and had a really hard time staying away from this specific meal that I had prepared myself to avoid”.  I loved how comforting and supportive everyone was within the group.  (Again, it’s all a virtual chat room.  So, it’s very easy to share, support and speak freely.  Especially when your screen name is “guest”.)

The most interesting thing I learned about OA is that they use the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book.  Yes, The 12 Step Program!  Because if you really think about it… it’s ADDICTION we are fighting!  The same “suggestions” (as the AABB is all suggestive and not a mandatory way of life) apply for ANY addict.  I’ve already downloaded my copy of the AABB and plan to read more of it throughout the next few weeks.  (It never occurred to me how similar a “binge drinker” and a “binge eater” were similar until I started reading…)

So all and all… I’m suggesting to YOU… my family, friends and fans.  If you are struggling with an addiction, a battle with yourself or are depressed about something that has happened in your life.  Get Help!  It does NOT make  you a weak person to admit when you need help.  In fact, it makes you STRONGER!  Come back ALIVE and LIVE the life you really want!  Get the help you need!  Because we want to see you around for a LONG time!

Sending you all ((hugs)) while you are tackling this journey to a healthy you and struggling with day-to-day battles within it.  I know personally that it is not easy, but we will make it through TOGETHER!  Stay Strong & Healthy!

 

About OA:

Overeaters Anonymous offers a program of recovery from compulsive eating using the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. Worldwide meetings and other tools provide a fellowship of experience, strength and hope where members respect one another’s anonymity. OA charges no dues or fees; it is self-supporting through member contributions.

OA is not just about weight loss, weight gain or maintenance, or obesity or diets. It addresses physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. It is not a religious organization and does not promote any particular diet.

OA members differ in many ways, but we are united by our common disease and the solution we have found in the OA program. We practice unity with diversity, and we welcome everyone who wants to stop eating compulsively. Welcome to Overeaters Anonymous. Welcome home.

 

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A Work in Progress

Yes, I’m still on my road to losing this pesky fat!  I’ve been extremely busy since about mid-February.  I went back to work after being off for nearly two years.  (I took a “mental break” after my last miscarriage)  I was on a roll losing my weight with being down nearly 15 pounds from Jan 2nd to Feb 13th.  I figured it was time to move on.  Boy was I wrong!  This damn scale of mine was resisting to budge for nearly three months.  It hit me this week that I just haven’t been making the time for ME as much as I should have.  However, I have jumped back on the bandwagon and I am hoping to get below the 220’s next week (I started at 248 in January)!  I created a six month goal for myself to be down 50 pounds by my 35th Birthday.  That’s drawing near — June 14th — Eeeek!!  Since I took my first photo of myself on January 19th, I figured I’d be a little lenient and go to June 19th to reach my goal.  Of course, I won’t be saddened if I reach it before then.  🙂

On May 7th, I will be giving up my reigns once again as Nanny.  I’m going to be concentrating on myself this summer and preparing my body to go through another round of infertility treatments.  (I haven’t shared it with most of my family and friends — so I apologize if you are reading this and are just now finding out)  I am going to tell you all this… I’m scared as hell nervous and anxious to begin the process.  Most of all, in my current state — I’m not ready!  My goal was to be below 200 pounds before even going to see the specialist.  Our appointment is May 20th.  I just told my husband (literally like 20 minutes ago) that I am rescheduling that appointment… once again!  This time, not because I am too frightened to begin treatment, but because I have a bigger goal in mind.  I want to be below that 200 lb mark!  I want to be a healthy pregnant momma!!  There’s nothing I have ever wanted more!  (Small Note:  I will NOT be posting on this blog, Twitter, or Facebook when/if I do treatments.  You will find out I’m pregnant when I feel I’m ready.  Not trying to be rude, but just protecting myself, my husband and so many other couples who go through the struggle of infertility every day of every year.  I will not be that person who keeps throwing it up in conversation just for conversation.  I have been there and I won’t be doing it!  So, you are still safe to hang around.  Long after the “fun” begins!  🙂 )

I have my Best Friends wedding on May 18th and when I return I will be kicking it in high gear till at least my birthday.  Then, I will see where I am.  (Hopefully below the 200 line!)  At that point, I will contact my specialist (Reproductive Endocrinologist) and go from there.  And hey, who knows!  Maybe I’ll just have a miracle pregnancy!  Psh!  Ha!  Ya, I’ve been saying that for 7 years folks.  (Read MY STORY to find out more)

Tomorrow morning I am joining my new friend and journey buddy (Geri) for Boot Camp.  Yes, I’m going back!  Well, this one is with a different trainer, but I need to have my ass pushed a little harder.  I have NO CHOICE!  Staying fat is not an option for me!  I’m also continuing with my weight-loss challenge group and have recently started a local “Women’s Fat Club”.  I am expecting a call on Tuesday afternoon from a Therapist who specializes in Food Addiction and Binge Eating.  We are hoping to have her come and speak with us ladies.  We also have a cooking class (at our local Diabetes Center), a field trip to see Ruby Gettinger and a Splash ‘N Dash Fun Run scheduled over the summer.  Strength in numbers folks!  I encourage you to grab a few friends and get yourselves moving this summer too!  Get out and enjoy your life!

Ok, now for the good stuff (blech!).  Here’s my progress photo’s….

Apr2813 update

Not a whole lotta change yet (slightly here and slight there yes), but there will be soon!  You just wait and see!

**Do you have a progress photo, journey story, etc that you would like to share with my readers?  Let me know (by commenting below or contacting me via PM on Facebook) and I’ll post it on my blog for you!  I love to share others stories!  Be an inspiration to others and you will keep inspiring yourself.

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Don’t DERAIL on Valentine’s Day

valentine chocolate

Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to sabotage your Diet.  But, it doesn’t have to be!  By making a few adjustments and sticking to them, you can make sure you don’t derail on your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight.

1.)  Plan to Workout in the morning on Valentine’s Day.

2.)  Eat your normal meals throughout the day to ward off emotional eating, overeating or making a bad choice due to starvation mode.

3.)  Plan to cook a meal at home and lower the calorie count -OR- split a dinner with your mate at a restaurant.  Either way, you will be able to lower the amount of calories.

4.)  Get active!  Plan to go for a walk after dinner -OR-  Get Sexy! 😉

5.)  Ward off all Chocolate Candies!  It’s not worth it and they have WAYYY too many calories.  Instead, grab a piece of fruit or a hot chocolate.

Most of all, enjoy the day!  Because really, that’s all it is.  A DAY!  You can celebrate your love each and every day without chocolates and high fat meals.  Plan ahead and you will do just fine!

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NO EXCUSES! — Working out, with children in tow.

For those of you who missed my morning post on Facebook…  I was a Nanny for over 10 years.  Ms. F was my last charge while working as a Professional Nanny.  I’ve watched her from the time she was 10 months old.  She is going to be 6 yo in April.  (So hard to believe!)  She is the sweetest, cutest, and most outgoing child I have ever worked with.  She makes my days so enjoyable when I am with her.  It’s just sooo hard to be upset when you are around her.  The things she says and does gives me an instant “perma grin”.  =)  I love her with all my heart; as if she is one of my own.  I am no longer with her full-time (filling in today), but I still get the pleasure of being with her from time-to-time.  I always make sure the time we spend together is valuable.  Life is way to short not to and I value the time I have with her each and every time.
(Nanny M loves YOU Ms. F!)

My workout partner today was amazing! She did the whole thing without complaining. I think she was showing off a little. 😉

I guess I never realized how much can be done in a park with a kid in tow.  Of course, maybe my “healthy brain” was covered under a lot of fat two years ago?! Perhaps.  Either way, we managed to “get ‘er done” while having fun today.  As Ms. F told me, “Thank Goodwess the Wain stayed away”.  

Here’s what we did while at the park….

20130207-145830.jpgWe started out with a little run in the grass outside the baseball field.
AKA: I’m going to get you! And,You can’t get me!

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Next, “we” did ten push-ups (three reps).

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This was her favorite part. Running the stairs. She kinda made me nervous, BUT she did an amazing job. We went up and down five times. (Giggling the entire time…)

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Every girl should learn how to do  squats at an early age.
(Ha! She actually sat down all the way though.)

I did three reps of 10.

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Then, Ms. F made a beat on the conga drums while I….

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Drummed out a stepping beat of my own on this here step. (Got 20 on each leg)

Five minutes later. Ms. F crashed her shin into this stair and our day at the park was over. Well, until I cheered her up with a friendly run from the playground to the car. I let her win! 😉

Afterwards, we joined my hubby for lunch.  We were both starving.  Ms. F was asking for Lunch with Tom and Spaghetti.  I managed to talk her out of the Italian Restaurant.  We ended up at Outback instead.  I had Chicken on the Barbie (no seasoning and no BBQ sauce) and Steamed Broccoli (no seasoning or butter).  Ms. F, she had a “Burger & Fries”. Her favorite! (As did Tom too!  She was pretty excited about that.)

We both ended up happy in the end.  Except for maybe the few times I traded her a French Fry for a piece of Broccoli.  If only I had recorded her disgust each time I handed her a green tree.  Ha!  I only managed to walk away with four french fries in my belly.  Thankfully!

After lunch, we hit the car wash.  Her new favorite thing to do.  I got a clean car and a workout (while vacuuming the inside) and she got free entertainment.  DEAL!  I should take her every time I go.  🙂

Now, she’s passed out cold on the couch.  I have to wake her up in 15 minutes to get ready for Dance Class.  I’m pretty sure she will sleep very well for her Momma tonight.

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HapiFork?!

Ok, things have gone a step to far… don’t you think?!  HapiLabs has produced a Fork that helps you enjoy your food, but keeps you from eating it too fast.  By helping to monitor your eating habits, they claim to help you lose weight.

A nifty little USB is in the fork.  You can download the content onto your computer and view it on the HapiLabs dashboard to view how long it took you to eat your meal and how long it took between bites.  And Hey!…  They even have an APP for that!

I don’t know… I’m thinking this is a little bizarre for my tastes.  But hey.  Who am I to judge!?!  Go take a look and let me know your thoughts.  Would you buy one?

Now, their other product, the HapiTrack.  I would definitely consider buying that one!  That’s a good product to have.

 

 

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Grocery Shopping this Weekend?

Check out this great Grocery Shopping Guide from Undressed Skeleton.  There are a few things on there that I personally would not choose to put in my cart, but to each his own.  Basically, choose wisely!  Try to stay on the outside lanes of the store.  Everything in the middle is PROCESSED.  Meaning, it’s a looonnnnggg process in getting those foods off your thighs/hips/etc.  😉

Also, it’s really wise to sit down and plan your weekly meals out before going.  Not only does it keep you accountable on what you will/will not eat… it helps to prevent wasting.  When you are paying for those FRESH fruits and veggies, the last thing you want to do is to have to toss them.

Do some research too.  Pick up some new recipes from Pinterest, Online Sites, Blogs, Facebook, Friends, Books/Magazines, etc.  Try not to get in a rut with eating the same things.  This is when you will reach for the wrong thing.  (I’m trying to do one NEW meal per week to keep things fun.)

There’s some great info in this guide to get you through the entire grocery store without making any mistakes.  You can do it!  Prepare, Research, Shop!  Have a great trip!

 

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10 Things Happy People Do Differently

Are you really a HAPPY person?  Can you relate to these?  If not, it’s time to make some changes!  Check out this article written by Paula Davis-Laack on the Huffington Post Blog.

 

“Happiness is having a large, caring, close-knit family in another city.” — George Burns

How happy are you and why? This is a question I spend a fair amount of time thinking about, not only as it applies to my own levels of happiness, but also as it applies to my family, friends, and the people who I work with. Since graduating with my master’s degree in positive psychology, I’ve worked with and observed thousands of people in a wide variety of settings, and happy people just flow with the groove of life in a unique way. Here is what they do differently:

They build a strong social fabric. Happy people stay connected to their families, neighbors, places of worship, and communities. These strong connections act as a buffer to depression and create strong, meaningful connections. The rate of depression has increased dramatically in the last 50 to 75 years. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of mortality in the world, impacting nearly one-third of all adults. While several forces are likely behind this increase, one of the most important factors may be the disconnection from people and their families and communities.

They engage in activities that fit their strengths, values and lifestyle. One size does not fit all when it comes to happiness strategies. You tailor your workout to your specific fitness goals — happy people do the same thing with their emotional goals. Some strategies that are known to promote happiness are just too corny for me, but the ones that work best allow me to practice acts of kindness, express gratitude, and become fully engaged. Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky offers a wonderful “Person-Activity Fit Diagnostic” in her book The How of Happiness.

They practice gratitude. Gratitude does the body good. It helps you cope with trauma and stress, increases self-worth and self-esteem when you realize how much you’ve accomplished, and often helps dissolve negative emotions. Research also suggests that the character strength of gratitude is a fairly strong correlate with life satisfaction.[1]

They have an optimistic thinking style. Happy people reign in their pessimistic thinking in three ways. First, they focus their time and energy on where they have control. They know when to move on if certain strategies aren’t working or if they don’t have control in a specific area. Second, they know that “this too shall pass.” Happy people “embrace the suck” and understand that while the ride might be bumpy at times, it won’t last forever. Finally, happy people are good at compartmentalizing. They don’t let an adversity in one area of their life seep over into other areas of their life.

They know it’s good to do good. Happy people help others by volunteering their time. Research shows a strong association between helping behavior and well-being, health, and longevity. Acts of kindness help you feel good about yourself and others, and the resulting positive emotions enhance your psychological and physical resilience. One study followed five women who had multiple sclerosis over a three-year period of time.[2] These women volunteered as peer supporters for 67 other MS patients. The results showed that the five peer support volunteers experienced positive changes that were larger than the benefits shown by the patients they supported.

They know that material wealth is only a very small part of the equation. Happy people have a healthy perspective about how much joy material possessions will bring. In The How of Happiness, Lyubomirsky explains that in 1940, Americans reported being “very happy” with an average score of 7.5 out of 10.[3] Fast forward to today, and with all of our iPods, color TVs, computers, fast cars, and an income that has more than doubled, what do you think our average happiness score is today? It’s 7.2. Not only does materialism not bring happiness, it’s a strong predictor of unhappiness. One study examined the attitudes of 12,000 freshman when they were eighteen, then measured their life satisfaction at age 37. Those who had expressed materialistic aspirations as freshmen were less satisfied with their lives two decades later.[4]

They develop healthy coping strategies.. Happy people encounter stressful life adversities, but they have developed successful coping strategies. Post-traumatic growth is the positive personal changes that result from an individual’s struggle to deal with highly challenging life events, and it occurs in a wide range of people facing a wide variety of challenging circumstances. According to researchers Tedeschi and Calhoun, there are five factors or areas of growth after a challenging event: renewed appreciation for life, recognizing new paths for your life, enhanced personal strength, improved relationships with others, and spiritual growth. Happy people become skilled at seeing the good that might come from challenging times.

They focus on health. Happy people take care of their mind and body and manage their stress. Focusing on your health, though, doesn’t just mean exercising. Happy people actually act like happy people. They smile, are engaged, and bring an optimal level of energy and enthusiasm to what they do.

They cultivate spiritual emotions. According to Lyubomirsky, there is a growing body of science suggesting that religious people are happier, healthier, and recover more quickly from trauma than nonreligious people.[5] In addition, authors Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener explain in their book Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth that spiritual emotions are essential to psychological wealth and happiness because they help us connect to something larger than ourselves.

They have direction. Working toward meaningful life goals is one of the most important strategies happy people utilize. I downplayed the importance of meaning during my law practice, but it became evident how much meaning mattered in my life when I burned out. Happy people have values that they care about and outcomes that are worth working for, according to Diener and Biswas-Diener.

The late, great Dr. Chris Peterson talked about his own journey with happiness as follows: “I spent my young adult years postponing many of the small things that I knew would make me happy … I was fortunate enough to realize that I would never have the time unless I made the time. And then the rest of my life began.”

Happy people have developed a specific set of strategies over time that causes them to see life differently — a balanced portfolio of skills and emotions. What would you add to this list?
Paula Davis-Laack, JD, MAPP, is an internationally-known writer and stress and resilience expert who helps high-achievers manage stress and increase well-being by mastering a set of skills proven to enhance resilience, build mental toughness, and promote strong relationships. Connect with Paula via:
Her website: http://www.marieelizbethcompany.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marieelizabethcompany
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pauladavislaack

References

[1] Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M.E.P. (2004). “Strengths of character and well-being.” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23(5), 603-619.

[2] Schwarz, C.E., & Sendor, M. (1999). “Helping others help oneself: Response shift effects in peer support.” Social Science and Medicine, 48, 1563-75.

[3] Lane, R.E. (2000). The loss of happiness in market democracies. New Haven: Yale University Press. See Figure 1.1, p.5.

[4] Nickerson, C., Schwartz, N., Diener, E., & Kahneman, D. (2003). “Zeroing in on the dark side of the American dream: A closer look at the negative consequences of the goal for financial success.” Psychological Science, 14, 531-36.

[5] Ellison, C.G., & Levin, J.S. (1998). “The religion-health connection: Evidence, theory, and future directions.” Health Education and Behavior, 25, 700-20.
For more by Paula Davis-Laack, click here.

For more on happiness, click here.

 

Follow Paula Davis-Laack on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pauladavislaack

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Weight Loss Motivation: Avoid the Scale!

This is a great video!  I’ve subscribed to his channel on YouTube and plan to watch more of him.  I wish he was local, because I would so sign up for a nutrition/fitness class with him.  There’s a lot to take from this video.  I’ll have a REAL before photo posted soon.  I’ve just gotta work up the courage and see some true progress on my end first.  Maybe at the end of my first challenge.  Well, that’s the end of March.  Ok, I’ll post a REAL progress shot by the end of February.  Deal?!  Now, it’s your turn.  Go take a photo and hold on to it!  Pictures say a 1000 words.  In this case they say an immense amount!  😉  Stay accountable!

[youtube http://youtu.be/KU2kMdUQRuA%5D
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