Week 2 Blues

Week 2 is not going well.

My symptoms have returned, and I am not sure why.   I have not eaten as simply as I did last week.I stuck to mostly 1 ingredient foods last week: hard boiled eggs, pot roast, broilled zucchini, applesauce, peaches, etc. You get the drift. I do cook on occasion (gasp!) and thought that I can do this; I can cook GF/DF.

Before I get into my use of kitchen appliances, I have to mention that suspect 1 is pumpkin as I’ve had symptoms in the same day as having pumpkin seeds and in the same (but separate) day as having pureed pumpkin. Sunday night I made vegetarian enchiladas and grain free cookies. (It was only waaay later did I realize that the enchiladas had tomato pasta in the sauce. Oops. Good thing it is low on the list of reactors. That should be suspect 2 I guess.) I added Diaya cheese (totally not impressed btw) to the enchiladas too. This is a first for my gut-not milk cheese like product. Suspect 3. I had these for lunch on Monday. The grain free cookies were chickpeas, peanut butter, honey, and Enjoy Life chips and shouldn’t have been anything harmful. It has been a while since I made them, so who knows. I have to include suspect 4 as Miralax. I took a dose Monday morning to improve the previously mention side effect of this GF diet.

Monday afternoon symptoms returned with a vengence. With.A.Vengence. I was up and down all night with the same old, same old, nausea/uber bloating/stomach churning/burping/abdominal pain that I’ve had off and on for the last couple of years. I ended up sleeping on my back on 3 pillows to try and rest. For a stomach sleeper, that’s a major sacrafice. I am totally willing and able to give up wheat, dairy, and probably any other food if it means my gut will feel normal and I can sleep ok. Last week I thought I was on the right path. This week…Feeling a little defeated. It will get better again, right?

What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been

Disclaimer: I’m not sure what exactly my reasoning is behind this post. Part of me is really ashamed of what you are about to see. Part of me feels like it is way too much bragging. Part of me feels like it is really cathartic. I’m not sure. But it is all part of my journey and something I’ve been sort of mulling on for a while. So, somewhat against my better judgement, here goes nothing.

I keep seeing this motivational image on Pinterest. I’m mildly ashamed to admit that it’s from Koutney Kardashin’s website (but hey, at least I had to use Google Image to determine that).

Source: Kourtney Kardashian (don’t judge)

I feel like I’ve gone in the reverse order. Yes, I’ve lost weight. Yes, I’ve gotten stronger and gained muscles. But, as I’ve said before, I’ve always seen myself as a big girl.  You have to understand that for most of my life, I was a big girl. 

Age 18 maybe (note the irony of the subject matter of my reading material)

 

Then there’s this. This picture is actually in my kitchen right now. It use to hang in my pantry, but for now it’s just sitting on the inside of a cabinet. I have no idea what I weigh in this picture, but it’s probably over 200 pounds. It’s likely the only picture of me close to that heavy. Do you want to know what I notice about myself? My eyes. My face is so bloated that my eyes even look fat.

Age 20

By the time I was preparing to get married in 2004, I was actually starting to look seriously at my weight. I’ve yo-yoed several times between somewhere close to 200 and closer to 140. It didn’t take long for me to go from a decent sized bride (sorry, no wedding pictures, I hope you can understand) to this 2 years later:

Age 23

 

You can see by later pictures that I did get better, but was still always a “bigger” person.

Age 25

Age 26

Fast forward to the current. People keep telling me how different I look. My clothes don’t fit. But when I look in the mirror, I see the girl standing next to Cinderella: above average but not huge and can look ok in appropriately fitting clothes. Like millions of American woman, I have a highly distorted image of my body.

Then I went to the beach this weekend. I snapped a couple of quick pics with my phone thinking maybe I would stick them on facebook. When I looked at them, I almost didn’t recognize myself. The picture on the right is from 2010 (I think) and the picture on the left is from this past week.

2010 (Age 27)/ 2012 (age 29) Yes, its a different (but similar) swim suit

 

Now, it’s not the most flattering picture of me, but the difference is obvious even to me at this point. I have to accept my size. Now I get it. I’m seeing what everyone else saw weeks ago. For the 2nd time in as many weeks someone has commented on my abs. I have abs? Holy crap! I have abs!  

Very old size 14s on underneath brand new size 4s

Size 14 to a size 4. I’ve held on to those shorts “just in case” for several years. I think I might can finally let them go.

Loosing the Forest for the Trees: Reblog: The Mindful Foodie

Awesome article. Once again, we have lost the forest for the trees. It REALLY is about WHAT you eat and WHERE it comes from when it comes to your health. It’s a matter of simplifying everything we all do to the basics, but that is so hard for so many to grasp. Health does not have to be complicated. Eat. Real. Food.

Tastebuds? Oh Tastebuds? Where Did You Go?

I had some serious running around to do this morning on my day off beginning early. As is not unheard of for me (but I am getting better-promise!) I stayed up a little too late last night and slept a little too late this morning. I rushed out the door bleary eyed with a protein shake and peanut butter toast in hand. By mid morning my eyelids were droopy, so I popped into Starbucks for a pick me up. Caffeine is a drug. No two ways around that, Boss. I am about a 100x better about my love affair with this drug than I use to be, but we do still rendezvous on occasion, and no, I don’t want to hear about the evil empire that is Starbucks.

Typically I am a coffee drinker, meaning coffee should taste like coffee and be black in color. This is much to my parents shock and awe as they have no idea how I developed such an eccentric habit as they do not partake in such nonsense. How did I develop this habit? Enter the Mocha Latte. In college it is cool to drink coffee, but I wasn’t so hot on the taste of coffee. Now this mocha latte thing, that’s kinda like caffeinated hot chocolate. I’m down with that. From there it was a downward spiral to my current desire for plain old Joe. Don’t get me wrong, I will admit fully to being a coffee snob. I have bean preferences, and not to brag or anything, but I do have a Gold Starbucks card. (Random fact time: The barista at the Robinhood Rd Starbucks told me that he’d never seen a card with just a first name on it. I told him that I was so cool I only needed 1 name. You know, like Cher or Madonna, or Prince or something.)

Probably the only gold card I’ll ever own. Maybe If I had one of the other kind I’d have a better camera and take better pictures, but then again, probably not.

Back to the point. I popped into Starbucks today for a fix to try and lift my eyelids a little after my morning of business. I decided, what the heck, live a little! Give me an Iced Soy Mocha Latte. I haven’t had one in months, and definitely not since I started on this real food lifestyle change. My mouth started to water in anticipation. Epic Fail. First off the dang thing was $4.92 for a tall. Four F-N dollars and 92 cents??? For a cup of expresso, soy milk, and a little chocolate syrup? Worse: It doesn’t taste lke I remember it. It’s so sweet I couldn’t even finish it. I guess my tastebuds have officially reset from clean eating. It tastes fake and overly sweet. Like a bad candy bar.

*Sigh* Next time I need my caffeine fix, I’ll stick with plain old coffee that always tastes like coffee.

Quit Being Your Own Worst Enemy

I am my own worst enemy…in so many areas of my life. Learning to overcome self-defeating talk has been a goal for me this year, and I think I have made progress. I still struggle with it in many places, but I am getting there, especially with my eating habits and workouts. How many times have you said something along the lines of “well I ate 2 cookies, might as well eat 2 more.” Or something like “I ruined this meal, might as well ruin dinner too.” Or “I could never do that exercise.” Those are all self defeating statements and all things I have regularly told myself in the past and still find myself stopping some days. Every minute is a new start. So what if you ate 2 cookies? What does eating 2 more do for you? It only makes you feel worse about the first 2. Statements like these make you your own worst enemy.

Lifting Revolution posted this article today: How To Improve Your Fitness Performance: Discovering My Flaws During Sunset. It really hit home with me. Being stronger, better, more kick ass all starts with the decision to do it. It doesn’t start by me telling myself that I can’t or it doesn’t matter. It starts by setting my mind to doing it and making the resolution that I can and I will meet my fitness goals and nothing anyone says can stop me.

I will admit that I get a secret, ok a not-so-secret, joy out of seeing facebook pictures of certain “pretty” people who knew me when I was fat that now are reaching a less than ideal weight themselves. I was so self conscious about my size for so many years that seeing myself as a thin person now is hard in a lot of ways. I still have the vision of myself as a big girl…just now I’m a big girl in size 6 jeans.  This is another self defeating thought. I have to realize that I really am 2/3 of the person I use to be. I am getting there. Every time I get something out of my closet that falls off my hips or shoulders, I realize that I am not the person I was even just last summer. I am thinner. I am stronger. I am better than I was. I am figuring out that I don’t need anyone else to cheer me on or hold my hand. I can be my own biggest supporter instead of my own worst enemy.

Must Read: Mark Hyman, MD: The Last Diet You Will Ever Need

When it becomes a revolutionary act to eat real food, we are in trouble.

 

I’m not going to pontificate on this. It says it all. Just read the article. Nod your head as I did. Share with your loved ones. Encourage a food revolution.

Mark Hyman, MD: The Last Diet You Will Ever Need.

So, It’s Salad For You, I Guess?

I love my job! But like most clean eaters, work functions are not catered to my dietary preferences. That’s ok. While I think it would be best for everyone to eliminate processed foods and chemical additives from their diets, I understand that not everyone believes like me, and I’ve said before, I will not be the food police. Today, my job thanked the management  staff with lunch at Golden Corral.

Even before gravitating to a clean eating lifestyle I was not crazy about the GC.  But, what I am crazy about is that my job appreciates me…and appreciates me enough to say thank you for my hard work by buying me lunch. Not to sound too corny, but in today’s times, just having a good job is awesome, and having a good job where the company wants to do nice things for the employees sometimes is really awesome. And I’m not going to let my preferences stop me from being appreciative of this appreciation.

But…I’m also not going to throw my dietary values out of the window either. I was telling my best buddy about the upcoming meal and the response I got was a laugh and “So, It’s salad for you, I guess?”  Pretty much. But wait? The GC has veggies right? Yes, but to be honest, I don’t trust the likelihood of those green beans having not been treated with a preservative before going into a can, and the good looking broccoli was probably seasoned with a special spice blend that I doubt they would be willing to reveal to me. I did have a salad (with oil and vinegar), and fresh fruit. There were likely preservatives on some of the salad items as well (some places will treat lettuce to keep it fresh longer), but that’s the best choices I could make. Sometimes you are going to have to make the best choices you can make.

Remember that idea that this takes some work? Well, I put a little work into this morning and planned for a light lunch. I had a BIG smoothie for breakfast that I knew would keep me fuller. Then I packed this little goody bag up to take with me today.

Homemade Mixed Berry Muffin, Homemade Granola Bar, Trail Mix thrown together at the last second this morning, Clif Crunch Bar. There was a bottle of water too.

I ended up only eating the granola bar and most of the trail mix. I also keep 1 scoop of the Garden of Life Protein Powder in my office for a snack, so I could have mixed that up if I needed to. (Note: The Clif Bar is not at all a clean food. It’s an indulgence that is mostly organic and I got on a killer sale. Clif bars hold a special place in my heart after I lived on them pretty exclusively while dealing with a non-healing ulcer a while back.)

Eating clean doesn’t have to mean the end of eating with other people. It certainly doesn’t have to mean the end of your manners to be thankful for the opportunities to be appreciated like I had today. It does mean a little more planning and a little more carefulness in the execution. A good time was had by all and I was once again reminded that I am making the right choice to live a healthy lifestyle and eat clean. Once again, it’s all in the positive attitude.

I’m proud that I didn’t let this throw me off track. In the past, something like this would have been a temptation on a diet, too much opportunity to “cheat.” That’s how I know I really have changed my lifestyle. I can go and enjoy an event with other people, at a buffet, and not feel pressured to eat foods I shouldn’t. This isn’t a diet. It’s a life. My life. And I am finally in control of it.