Shred Start

I attended Be Strong gym as planned last Saturday and was more confident with what to expect from my Spring Shred program. I wound up earning a t-shirt with the gym logo on it by being really enthusiastic. We had a presentation, workout, and weigh in.

Sunday, I had a nutrition plan on my phone and I hit the grocery store. I then spent 3 hours prepping 21 meals. I then realized that because I was going to be in St. Louis for the coming week, I would have to transport all of these meals and store them at my in laws’ house. Thankfully, they had space in their fridge and freezer. I brought my reusable ice packs and had them frozen by Friday when we headed back.

Chicken with cajun seasoning, brown rice, and raw broccoli

I attended a workout on Monday at the gym at 6am since we weren’t leaving until later in the morning for our Spring Break trip. I kept thinking about how I don’t like to wake up early while I was driving to the gym. On the way home, I realized it really wasn’t that bad to get up for the workout. I slept for the majority of the ride to St. Louis, though. My husband and I went to a hockey game and I had a little of his beer, but otherwise stuck to my nutrition.

Tuesday, we spent most of the day at the City Museum crawling through things and running around with the kids. I brought snacks along with me and ate them as I felt hungry. It was hard to fit in lunch and dinner toward the end of the day because I had plans with my bestie, Liz at the movies. We saw Captain Marvel. I can normally take down quite a bit of popcorn by myself, but I brought myself almonds, a protein shake, and a water bottle. Captain Marvel was awesome and I already want to see it again. When they brought my free small popcorn, I only nibbled less than a handful and tossed the rest after the movie. Not bad for someone who normally mindlessly binge eats popcorn.

Wednesday, we went to the St. Louis Zoo and I somehow missed seeing Justin Timberlake who was in town for a Thursday night show. I did get to see this penguin head scratch though:

Totally cute head scratch

My husband’s family got together for a bbq that night. I improvised my meal based on the plan and made an entire plate full of salad with chicken and artichoke hearts. I had one spoonful of the spinach and of the potato casserole, which were delicious. I didn’t over eat anything and that’s a big deal for me.

Most of the week, I was adjusting to my new eating plan while using tips from The Binge Code to help with the mental aspect of my healthy eating. I felt more confident having gotten through that book and then having guidance on what to eat when I’m not under eating and then overeating.

I made some adjustments based on last week. This week, I’m not meal prepping until Tuesday. My Sundays are usually pretty full and it was stressful to try to complete in the midst of the busy day. I ordered uniform containers to help with storage. I have meals prepared to get me through Tuesday. I’m going to prep dinners for the family instead of making myself individual dinners. I’ll just sub things in for myself on some of the side dishes. These are small adjustments I feel will help with this part of my journey. I really like what I’m eating, but I want to make sure it is something I don’t think is tedious.

Thanks for reading! I love feedback! I’ll be trying to check in weekly during the shred. My first follow up weigh in will be Saturday. I will try to nail down some numbers to share. This week, I was really excited to share my eating with you.

Strike ending

I’ve referred to my recent disinterest in fitness as a strike. Nothing specific happened to make me decide not to resume running after being sick. I simply didn’t want to. It was odd that I also didn’t resume cross training workouts like I normally do when I’m on running hiatus.

I’ve been reading The Binge Code by Alison Kerr. I purchased the book while trying to find something to help with my problem. It was self published and had some minor grammatical errors that most people wouldn’t notice. What it did for me, I couldn’t have imagined. I’ve been through countless weight loss programs where they said they’d change my relationship and my mind about food. Nothing could change me long term even though I wanted it so badly. This book has touched on the problems that I had all along.

Ali touches on techniques to deal with urges as a temporary approach while putting the rest of the book into practice. She outlines traps that we experience in our attempts to stop binge eating. One of my biggest problems had been overly strict food rules that lead to temptation and then to binge eating. She offers stories and real advice on the problems faced.

I’ve not been asked to endorse her. I got encouraging emails and handy printouts to use with the book. I was given access to guided meditations. I had a better idea of how to heal this problem and I have already noticed a difference in my hunger and satiety cues. Ali mentions that it could be six weeks or more before physical results are seen, so the expectation has been realistic from the start.

I’m happier when I’m involved in fitness. That isn’t part of the book. I’ve given myself accountability by joining a 28 day challenge at a local gym. Weigh in and first workout are Saturday. Completion day is April 20th. I hope to have updates for you and I hope to have restored fitness into my life and subtracted binge eating. I also hope to at least be back in 5k running shape. The owner of the gym assured me that this will be the end of my strike.

The first challenge is showing up for my weigh in. The next is spring break and exercising control during an often hectic week of activities for kids who have a bit of cabin fever from this winter. I am better prepared to deal with it.

The new business selling Keep Collective jewelry has been slow, but the people in my groups for the business are highly positive and supportive. When I set out to do it, I said I would give it a year. Maybe the warm weather will see more opportunities to earn. (FB: KeepWithJennDesi )

Thanks for reading! I hope you are excited about the arrival of Spring. I hope that you can find some success in things you’re looking to add or remove in your life. Don’t forget to be nice to yourself every single day.

Now, I’m going to figure out how to get my office chair to stop squeaking every time I shift my weight. Even if that means some spray lubricant. It’s unnerving and I’m never sitting still.

Load Spring, Please

Raise your hand if you are done with cold weather and precipitation that’s frozen. Now put it down before anyone else sees you. My poor blue minivan has a white salt crust on it that is probably eating the undercarriage to rust. (I’m a poet. Yay.)

Poor van…

I have had a sore throat for over a week. I’ve been to the “doc in a box” and to the general practitioner. It isn’t the flu and it isn’t strep, so there isn’t much I can do other than wait it out. What a bunch of crap. I’m assuming if there were a little humidity, this wouldn’t be an issue.

I know most people say that above the neck, you can still work out, but heavy breathing really aggravates the freshly swallowed glass sensation and I just don’t want to feel it. That’s not my primary reason. I haven’t been working out because I don’t want to make time to do it. I want to figure out this direct sales job, handle my body issues, and be the best mom and wife in the whole wide world while being the most awesome girl boss ever.

I have a problem that is with what I put into my mouth more than how I move my body. I can eat a box of cookies by lunchtime and not be hungry for lunch or dinner later in the day. Or I can eat 3 square meals and then get into the cabinet and whip something up that’s bad for me in just a few minutes. I’m an amazing cook and pretty good baker. I’ll totally brag on that.

I’m finally doing something about the problem at hand. The hard part was naming the problem. Binge eating. I have great cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure every year at my checkup. Except I’m obese. Yeah, I’m not overweight. I’m obese.

I know how to eat healthy. I enjoy an array of fresh and unprocessed foods. Dieting, I feel deprived. I go to a store, drive thru, or find a recipe to make something at home. I get stressed out and feel like I “need” something and no matter how much I eat, I feel more and more hungry. I know all the tricks: drink water, use fiber, and eat things with a low glycemic index. None of that matters when I’m on a binge and I feel like shit about myself, so I just feed the monster. Then, my brain starts to ignore the message that I’m full.

I have been on some form of a diet all of the time since I was around 8 years old. I never had a severe problem with disordered eating, so it wasn’t a real problem. I had a negative body image for most of my life. One time, I was trying clothes on and casually said I could stand to lose a few pounds upon trying one of her pants on. A relative replied to me, “More like 15-20 pounds.” I realize that comment said more about her than me. Now I do. I was in my 20’s and I hadn’t transitioned to grown up sizes, yet. I wasn’t eating more than a meal a day unless there was an occasion. I smoked cigarettes and I would work out in front of my TV after my daughter went to bed. I was 150 pounds and I wanted to be 135 on my 5′ 7″ frame.

Like I said, finding the name for what was wrong with me was difficult. I’ve been as much as 215 lbs and as little as 160 over the past 10 years. I’m an inch shorter than I was. My weight fluctuates. My stress levels fluctuate. I searched deeper into what I was doing and why I had so much trouble with willpower sometimes vs others. I found “binge eating” was the name of what I’d been doing and it wasn’t necessarily about willpower.

I got a book about it and I’m still not 100% immersed in recovery. I put the book in my purse the other day, but not until after I placed paper over the cover of the book so others around me couldn’t see what I was reading. It is a source of shame that’s even deeper than the way I feel about my outward appearance.

The most important change is that I’m not dieting anymore. I base some of my worst eating habits off of the thought that “I’ll be fat whether I eat the doughnut or the veggie omelette.” I’ve always been fat, in my opinion. That’s got to stop. My goals for this year include a more positive opinion of self no matter the size and I’m trying to get there.

I’ll let you know how I feel when I finish the book. The author directly says it could be six weeks or more before I’ll see results, but that really is a small time period compared to spending the next years of my life not eating because I hate my body, but because I understand what it needs.

Have you ever sat and thought about how words from you or others have affected your sense of self? I implore you, on International Women’s Day, to tell a woman something you like about her that isn’t about her physical appearance. Don’t forget to reflect on yourself, though. Think about what you really like about you and don’t forget to appreciate it and embrace it.

Thanks for reading! I’m always up for comments or questions. If you want to know more about my jewelry selling, my facebook page is @KeepWithJennDesi. I actually have been enjoying it so far.