Monday, March 30, 2009

Tossing the Professional Help Thing

I woke up this morning at 6am with a feeling of hope that today would be the day that I get some serious help with my issues. A friend of mine had told me about a program that was being offered at a local medical center that provided free advice from a nutritionist for people who were obese as a part of a diabetes prevention program. I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to seek some help - and get a better idea and understanding to help me with my eating problems. She told me that the clinic opened at 7am - and that's the exact time I pulled into the parking lot. Luckily, there was hardly anyone there - as I had also made an appointment to meet with a psychology professor at 9am.

So, I walk thru the door of a nice little clinic, sign in, and take a seat. The room was covered in posters talking about healthy eating, exercising, etc. -but I couldn't help but notice the vending machine to my left filled with assortments of candy bars and chips.. and not a single healthy option to boot! This should of been my first sign that this may not go as I planned, but if that wasn't then the magazines thrown around the room covered with "Make Your Own Easter Chocolate Treats", and "Easter Cake Recipes Chocoholics Will Love" on the covers should of been. I only had to sit there a few moments when the door opened and a lady walked out and called my name. At this time, I almost laughed out loud. The woman that called my name must of been AT LEAST 300 lbs! I thought, surely, this is just a nurse or an assistant - something! But, no, this was the nutritionist that was going to give me advice about how to lose weight and make better eating choices. We went back to her office, and we introduced ourselves. She asked me why I was there - so I told her.. "I'm addicted to food, I'm fat, and I want to lose weight". The woman said "ok, I think I can help you with that" - and in my mind all I could think of was "really?? Then, no offense, but why are you so big?".

The whole process took about 30 minutes - and was really a complete waste of my time. She took my blood pressure, weighed me.. 265lbs, damn it!!...and then fed me the same crap that I've been fed by every dieting book and website out there. "Try to consume no more than 1600 calories a day, drink plenty of water, stay away from white sugars and flours, avoid red meat, people who are overweight run a higher risk of getting diabetes..blah, blah, blah". Thank goodness it was a free visit!! After she gave me the long spill I'd heard so many times before I came out with what was on my mind "not to be rude, but I've heard this all before - if it really was that simple, I'd be doing it....I was kind of hoping for a little more help, advice, something". Her response to me? LOL "well, you're right if it were that easy I wouldn't be overweight - but there really isn't anything else I can tell you" Great, huh?? So, after that complete failure of a visit, I could only hope that the short session I had scheduled with my psychology professor may go a little smoother.

At 9am, I arrive at my professor's office. She welcomes me in and asks me to explain a little better what it was I needed help with (I had already briefed her by email a few days ago). I explained my story, told her about the horrific meeting with the nutritionist (that she thought was hilarious by the way) and asked her if she had any advice. She asked me if I had been through any recent traumatic experiences, and I responded no - but I had gone through a nasty one when my eating problem first started. So, she asked, "well, are you under any kind of stress?"..Hmmm.. well, I'm a mother of 3 young children, a full time student taking 6 classes, I work part time at the college, I am an aspiring photographer - oh and softball season just started so I've also got to fit softball and baseball practices into my schedule... "nope, no stress - life is normal."

To make a really long 30 minutes short, she basically had some interesting things to say - but stuff that I kinda already knew. Things like, "this is a mental barrier that you have to overcome", and "just as if you were addicted to drugs, you really have to hit rock bottom in order to want to quit overeating", and my favorite "you have to stay away from the negative foods, and fill your life with positive foods" (that one was a new one for me..LOL). All in all, I can't really give her a hard time - but I'm not signing up for weekly sessions or anything. She's right - I really do have to hit rock bottom and stop making stupid mistakes and excuses. Steve (my fiance) has been telling me for months that if I stopped buying snack cakes, chocolates, chips, etc. then they wouldn't be there for me to eat. So, I've decided that this week I'm going to get rid of all the crap in my house - not by eating it, but either bringing it to work so that my co-workers can have it, or letting my kids eat it, or just throwing it away. It's almost the end of the month - so there's not that much stuff left to get rid of... I always do a large portion of my grocery shopping at the beginning of the month.

My professor did help me build a little plan - and it's doable - so we will see how it goes. The information and advice she gave me should of been something the nutritionist gave - but it just so happens that my professor is a fitness I kinda got a double bonus.

Here is her list of dos and don'ts:
  • When grocery shopping - make a list based on prepared and planned meals. Build a calendar designated what days will be designated for what meals - have back up meals ready in case of an unplanned event.
  • Try to plan meals that sound good and appetizing - dieters hate eating "rabbit food"....look for things like "Caribbean Spicy Fish" or "Pineapple juicy chicken". If you use recipes that lack the appealing name - name the dishes yourself.
  • Don't make a seperate meal plan for yourself and allow other household members to eat fatty, unhealthy foods - put them on the same meal plan!
  • There are tons of healthy snack options out there - there's not reason why you can't eat them. There are many tasty treats, such as the "100 calorie" options for things like snack cakes, chips, etc. and 1 of those a day should help calm a sweet tooth or salty binge.
  • Avoid "Fat Free" items - as they are usually loaded with sugar..which is just as bad. Look for "lite" options or "low calorie" options instead.
  • Lastly, if you like drinking coffee - drink coffee with no cream or sugar (or low calorie versions if needed), if you like soda - drink diet soda, if you don't like water - try a flavored water (low calorie)..but try to drink plenty of it.

I really liked the advice she gave with a lot of that stuff. She pointed out that I shouldn't be focusing on a diet, but more on a lifestyle change. It's not about cutting the pounds now, and then reverting back to my old ways - but finding something that fits, helps shed the pounds, and something I can live with to keep them off. So, this morning wasn't a complete failure - now it's back to myself and taking her pointers. Till next time. :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Few Days Away - No Willpower

Thursday morning I headed over to Oklahoma to spend the night with my parents. I love going to my parents, and love spending time with them, but when you get my family together it only leads to food. I'm British, and so is my family, and British people love to eat. When my parents cook a meal, it seems like they are feeding a whole army with the amount of food that they prepare. I wasn't as bad as I usually am, but not as good as I should of been either.

Thursday night, my dad cooked some steak and pork on the grill so that we could make pita sandwiches. I was really good when it came to the sandwiches. I ate the whole wheat pitas, only ate a small portion of meat on the sandwiches, and used fat free Ranch for the dressing. The problem came when my mom decided that sandwiches weren't enough - we had to make curly fries and corn to go with it. So my dad lubed up the corn with the normal mounds of butter and threw them on the grill, and my mom got the fryer ready to whip up a batch of curly fries. I did only eat a very small handful of the fries, but I did eat a piece of corn - which probably had as many calories as my whole entire meal. Friday night I did much better and only ate 3 ozs of turkey, a small portion of mashed potatoes, and a portion of green beans. I feel proud of myself for that at least.
My happiness was short lived, however, when I woke up this morning to snow on the ground and waffles that my fiance cooked keeping warm in the oven. I don't know about anyone else, but there is something about cold weather - especially snow - that makes me just want to curl up and spend the day munching away on the couch. I wasn't too bad - I didn't munch all day...but I hardly watched it either. I took a trip into town to pick up some milk and diapers for the baby- but ended up getting some eclairs and danish for the kids (yeah, right, for the kids..wink, wink). I just don't know what's wrong with me!!

Due to the fact that it's getting to the point where I'm binging only after a couple of days of trying my desperate attempt to lose weight - I've decided to try and get some professional help. I caught a couple of episodes of Ruby on the Style Network over the weekend, and it's about a morbidly obese woman who's trying to lose weight. She also looks at her weight problem as a food addiction, and she's put together a "team" of people to help her. She has a personal trainer, a nutritionist, a psychologist, and medical doctor - as well as family and friends - to help her win her battle. It seems to be working for her, so I've decided that Monday morning I'm going to see a nutrtionist. I'm really not having problems with exercising, it's just controlling my eating that I need help with. I guess we will see how that goes. I'm also going to visit with my psychology professor to see if she has any advice on what I can do. I guess I will let everyone know how that goes.

Oh, and as promised - here are the most recent photos of me (taken a couple of weeks ago):

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Starting Point

10 years ago I weighed 140lbs, and I was still considered the "chubby girl" in high school. Huh, what I'd give to be that again. I'd live with being the "chubby girl" rather than being the fat ass that I've become. I was a chubby baby, a chubby kid, a chubby teenager - and then I finally graduated to fat adult. YEA FOR ME!! LOL

It seems weird that 10 years ago I was wearing bikinis in the summer, had not a single stretch mark, yet was unhappy with my body. I wanted to be 90lbs like all of the perfect girls I went to school with. It's funny to look back now and think "what the hell was I thinking?" I had my first child at 18, and 11 months later gave birth to my second - so I knew then that my body was
ruined forever..but did I really have to give up so bad?

So during the course of 1o years I've had bad times that I blame for my eating addiction. There were times I was just bored, and that tub of ice-cream, candy bar, or bag of chips became my friend. There were times I was depressed and those wonderful cravings satisfied the void that I was feeling. There were times where buffet restaurants called my name from miles away begging and pleading for me to wade up and down their endless aisles of junk food....damn, now I'm hungry, where the hell was I going with this?? Ah, yes, the memory of how I became....

Well, I hit rock bottom - or should I say top - when I hit the scales at just under 300lbs about 4 years ago. That's when something hit me (maybe the wall as I was trying to squeeze down the halway??) that I needed to do something about my weight. Well, 4 years later and I'm proud to say that my weight is now at 264 lbs!! That's a weight loss of 36 lbs!! Yeah, it took 4 years - so?? Although now I've realized I've got to pick up the pace. My goal is to lose 100 lbs in 1 year. That's less than 2 lbs a week, which is a safe weight loss amount.. so it should be easy?? Right?? HAHAHA... we shall see.

So, I found an exercise machine that has been helping me kick the pounds the past couple of weeks. I invested in a Wii Fit. For anyone that has never tried this - you are missing out!! It's a fun filled video game that will get your heart racing and the calories burning. I've managed to lose 9lbs on it in a little over a month. It would of been a lot more - but those damn buffet restaurants, birthday cakes, and sweet tooth cravings that I have to kick.

So - I'm considering this Day 1 for the blogs sake (even though I've been going at this for freakin' years!! UGH). Day 1 I weigh 244 lbs. I will take a photo of myself later and post it with the next blog...that will give you all a good laugh. LOL Till next time. :)


Hi everyone,

My name is Joanna and I'm addicted to food. Like alcoholism leads to cirrhosis, smoking leads to lung cancer, food leads to obesity. I'm starting this introduction out in a very somber manner - but it's just to give a little background on me, and will in no way portray the actual manner of the future installments.

For several years, I have struggled with my weight. I've tried dieting, I've tried exercising here and there..but with little or no success. I've bought books, tapes, CDs, watched TV shows - nothing has really helped. Every diet and weight loss program that I have started have all said that there is a very important factor that a person needs to do in order to achieve weight loss - and that's to keep a food journal. Well, to me, that was something really hard to do. It was so boring to write down everything I ate, tally up the calories I consumed, blah, blah, blah, that I decided to go a different approach - thus which leads me to this blog.

I think that weight loss, for a food addict anyways, needs to be approached as any other addiction. There's going to be ups, downs, withdrawal symptoms, falling "back on the wagon", etc. Being that I really do love to write, love to entertain, and really need to find something that will work with my weight loss I decided I would try something a little different. This will be a dieting journal - but instead of hearing about the boring details of what I ate and how much I weigh - I figured I'd throw in all of the "craziness" that will be associated with the whole process.

So - have fun, enjoy, feel free to laugh - I hope this will be a story of fun, pain, and ultimately weight loss.