When The Label No Longer Fits

I have several labels I have applied to myself over the years, but the one that has been with me the longest is Sugar Lover. I didnt just have a sweet tooth, I had a whole mouth full of them. I wouldn’t just eat a cookie, I would eat as many cookies as my stomach could hold, and then I’d eat a few more. Sometimes, I would eat dinner just so I could eat dessert.

Yes, I was a sugarholic. Dessert was my love language.

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But over the last year or so, I find myself not enjoying the sweet stuff as much. I mean sure, as soon as I finish a meal my thoughts immediately turn to “what sweets do I have that would nicely complement my dinner?” because old habits die hard, but more often than not, confections don’t satisfy me like they used to.

Before I go further, let me assure you that I do still very much enjoy a decadent treat – last summer at the state fair, there was an artisinal chocolate bakery and I had the most amazing chocolate lava cake – seriously I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything so delicious in my life. And a couple of weeks ago, I found a recipe for the most perfect chocolate chip cookie – crispy edges with a chewy middle…we made 2 batches in one week – that’s how good they were. So I am still totally on board for gourmet or homemade decadence.

But as far as just any old store bought cookie? Nah. Not interested anymore. If I do have one, it’s just because I don’t know how to let go of being that person, not because I necessarily want the cookie.

It’s hard to let go of that label. It’s scary to become someone you’ve never been before.

And actually now that I think about it, some of my other labels are changing as well. I used to be a night owl but now I really like getting up early. I used to enjoy alcohol quite frequently…now I can take it or leave it (most often I just leave it because it’s not worth feeling so awful the next day). I used to be someone who always thought she was “less than” everyone else, now I know better (I don’t think I’m better than anyone else, I just no longer assume I’m inferior to everyone I meet).

So many changes! It’s like puberty all over again, but with fewer pimples and less angst!

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Jr High Jill had a lot of angst. And bracelets. 

I think my next step is to just accept that this is who am I now, and that it’s perfectly okay to be different than I once was. But man, it feels kinda weird…like driving some else’s car or sporting a new hairdo, but you get used to it I suppose. And just like Teen Jill learned to live beyond the big earrings and rubber bracelets, Grown Up Evolved Jill will live beyond the Oreos and Hostess snack cakes.

UPDATE: Oh my gosh look what I found!!

         And in color too!!

 

 

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Shoes That Fit

I have to admit something. Since I quit dieting (and by dieting, I mean trying to lose weight through external forces as opposed to internal motivations) I feel happier than I have in a really, really long time. There are some really great things about all of the programs I have done, but I feel like typical dieting is just not for me. Counting calories, hyper-focusing on certain food groups, restricting and depriving myself of certain things…it feels like wearing shoes that are a size too small for me. I know those things work great for some people and if you are one of those people, then more power to you, but for me it feels uncomfortable and unnatural. I just can’t do it and I don’t want to do it and I won’t do it.

For the last month I’ve been focusing on emotional eating resources (blogs, podcasts, books) and I feel happier and better in my body than I have for YEARS. And I suddenly have so much more free space in my brain, if that makes sense. When I’m not super focused on LOSING WEIGHT, I have more room to entertain other thoughts – I feel like my brain just opened up and I realize there are so many other things in the world that can make me happy other than pursuing thinness. This feels so much better to me than losing two pounds.

And let me clarify – I’m talking about what feels good FOR ME. You might have a totally different experience and that’s okay. I have a friend who has counted calories for years – it just works for her. She doesn’t obsess over it or turn into the main focus of her life, it’s just something that’s become part of her life, so it works for her and that’s great! I have another friend who swears by low carb eating – she feels better when she’s eating low carb and to her I say brava! I still think the Selvera program is excellent. I know lots of people who have successfully done Weight Watchers and Overeaters Anonymous and they are happy, functioning members of society. So just because I say that I am happier taking a different approach, don’t take that to mean I think any other way is wrong…I’ve said for a long time that every one has to find their own way and I still believe that.

I think I have found my way and if it leads to a bunch of weight loss, well that’s fantastic, but I’m done obsessing about all the weight I haven’t lost. I’m replacing shame and guilt with confidence and optimism.  I will not wear shoes that are too small anymore.

The Benefits List, PF Relief, & An Ego Stroke

As promised here is my “Benefits of Not Eating This Junk Food Right Now” list. I appreciate the comments and suggestions you all made to help me with this. This list is for those times when I’m not hungry, it’s not a special occasion, and I’m just looking for some sugary/salty entertainment for my mouth. If you think of anything else that might be helpful to add, just leave me a comment and I’ll come back and add to this later. 

Why I Should NOT Eat This Delicious Poisonous Food Right Now Even Though It Would Be Totally Tasty

  • I will be that much hungrier for my next healthy meal or snack so it will taste that much more delicious!
  • My “NO” muscle will get a good workout
  • I will not want to come back and punch myself in the face later
  • I will not be flooding my body with trash chemicals that will make me feel awful in a half hour
  • I will feel incredibly noble and virtuous, like a queen, when I put the food down and say “This I do for me!” 
  • My arteries will stay clear and free-flowing if I don’t eat this ( and who doesn’t love free-flowing arteries?)
  • My libido will remain “on”. Let’s just leave it at that. 

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In other news, BIG thanks to Debby and Katie for their suggestions on dealing with my Plantar’s Fasciitis. Debby sent me an article about stretching and Katie suggested using Orthaheel orthotics and I’m having good results just in the last few days! Just the simple stretch alone has helped me feel about 75% better. I ordered the orthotics and had a little trouble the first day but once I realized I had put them in the wrong way (facepalm) I fixed the issue and they have been working great!! My hope is that I can get this thing licked within a few weeks and then I can start jogging (slowly) and start training for realz for the 5k in March. 

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About a month ago I got an email from Swamimami Teas saying I had made their “Bloggers You Should Know About” list. Here’s what they had to say about me:

The Sassy Pear

The Sassy PearJill is on the journey to slowly but certainly produce a brand new, healthy life for herself. Jill knows that even when the focus is weight loss, life intervenes with and it’s not the only thing we have to think of.

That’s why her website is so much more than just tracking the pounds on the scale. It’s about discovering a purposeful, permanent way of living a healthy life. That’s the sort of weight loss and fitness goal which everyone can appreciate.

Why Swami Mami adores The Sassy Pear? This 40 something trying to lose 40 pounds speaks about her amazing journey. We love her real and raw approach to not only changing the foods you eat and your exercise routine, but her journey to change her thoughts about her own body. We love Jill!

Very sweet!! Then a couple of weeks ago, they sent me another email offering to let me try their 2 week TeaTox and I agreed. Because I like tea and I like free things and BECAUSE THEY SAID THEY LOVE ME. That’s why. Tell me you love me and I’ll pretty much do anything you ask (which now that I think about it, might have been the source of much heartache in college, but that’s another blog post entirely). So look for a review of Swamimami Teas in the near future (sneak peak: the tea tastes really yummy!).

 

Until next time! 🙂

Bubbling underneath

Well, my low-sugar experiment last week was a success until the weekend. I’ll admit that when I caved, I did so out of frustration with my kids, not because I particularly wanted the sugar. And I also indulged on Sunday with a slice of one of those big cookie-cakes (my sister brought it over for Father’s Day) – and that was directly tied to how tired I was that day (seriously, super tired).  I decided to give it another go this week and I did very well yesterday. I’m taking it one day at a time – that’s about all I can manage to think about.

The rest of the summer is going to be pretty busy – lots of kid activities, plus the Griswolds have decided to take a vacation. Oh yes – we are loading up the RV and traveling to Yellowstone for our family vacation. I’m looking forward to the time away, but I’m not so much looking forward to the bickering and the squabbles that are sure to take place in the back seat of the truck during the 3 days that it will take to get to our destination. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Speaking of kids, and I’m having a hard time admitting this to myself and to you, but I’ve come to the realization that my kids really wear me down. Last week, the oldest was away at camp and the other two spent part of the week at grandma’s house, and while they were all away I had a really nice time. It was peaceful and quiet; my kitchen and living room stayed clean for 3 days. I didn’t have to make my 3-times-a-week run for milk and I only ran the dishwasher once. There were no tattle-tales, there were no arguments to referee, no “that’s not fair!”s to hear. The hubs and I spent some quality time together just running errands and hanging out. It was really, really nice.

Then they came home…and the whirlwind started up again. All the demands for my attention, all the couch cushions in the floor, all the dishes on the kitchen counter – it all came crashing over me like a tidal wave.

And here’s the part where I feel it necessary to say that I love my kids. I do! I have really great kids, as far as kids go (I’ve seen other people’s kids – it isn’t pretty) and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Mama bear gets feisty when someone messes with her cubs! And it makes me nervous when my baby birds are out of the nest – I actually prefer it when they are safe and snuggled in their own beds at night.

But…

I realize how taxing they can be. I realize how much of myself I pour into them everyday. As soon as they got home, I felt my tension level rise just a little bit. And yes, I do take time for myself – I get up early and exercise 3 days a week, I go to Zumba at least once a week, I take time to sit down and read a magazine once in a while, I get together with friends when I can…I’m not covered up 24/7, but the tension is there 24/7.

All of this is to say, that my family definitely affects my health. I’m not saying that my family has made me fat, but realizing that they are a contributing factor to the anxiety bubbling under the surface has made me stop and say well no wonder it’s so hard sometimes.

So what’s a mom with another 15 years of kids-living-at-home to do? Well I figure I can bemoan my fate (and my fat) or I can embrace the chaos and start dealing with it. I’m not exactly sure what that’s going to look like, but I know I don’t want to wish away my kids’ childhood. I just want that same peace I felt last week to hang around.

Food reactions, by golly!

Ugh. Instead of going down the road of “I’m a failure” every time I mess up with food, I’m trying to learn from it. Here are some things I have learned about myself over the last few months:

  • 2 glazed donuts = I feel okay. Eating 3 (or more) donuts makes me feel like I’m gonna hurl.
  • Eating flour tortillas make me want to take a nap. Carb coma anyone?
  • I can’t get enough cereal. Any kind of cereal. One bowl is never enough, so it’s better if I just don’t eat it at all. (Hi I’m Jill and I’m a cereal junkie.)
  • Egg noodles are addictive and I don’t want to stop eating them. They make me feel sluggish and bloated.
  • I am at this point powerless against commercial birthday cakes. Buttercream icing makes me want to do bad things in a food porn kinda way.
  • PopTarts and milk at 10 o’clock at night are never a good idea. Waking up with a stomach ache is no way to start the day.

So basically what I’m learning is that simple carbs are not my friend. Duh. I never said I was the brightest bulb in the lamp.

I guess I’m the type that can read all the nutritional information in the world, but until I experience it myself first hand, I’m not going to believe it. At the beginning of this week for about 3 days most of my meals consisted of a lean protein and vegetables or fruit and nuts. I had tons of energy and felt almost…euphoric? I was nearly giddy – it was weird. As the week progressed and got busier, I opted for the old standby meals which are basically meat, starch, and a starchy vegetable. By last night I was so tired and had a stomach ache and just felt miserable – I don’t want to keep feeling that way.

Looking at my body as if it’s a big science experiment instead of judging myself for not being perfect is probably much healthier in the long run. It’s amazing what you can learn when you take away the judgement and self-flagellating thoughts, and instead observe how your body reacts to certain foods.

I may be 41 years old, but I’m still learning. I don’t know how long it will take me to get this figured out enough that I can be consistent enough to lose all the excess weight, but by golly I’m going to keep trying. (Yes. Yes I did just say “by golly”. Apparently I’m channeling my grandpa today.) 

Happy Weekend folks!! 🙂

Believe it

Let’s play a little game today. Trust me it’s fun as well as enlightening!

First a question: What do you believe is holding you back from achieving your goals or getting the results you want?

Do you have your answer? Take a moment to think about it if you like, I’ll wait…

Got it? Good.

(For me,  I don’t really, honestly, truly, deep down in my believer, believe that I can lose this weight. Which is sad, but I really think this is it.)

Second, imagine flipping that around and saying “I DO believe I can lose this extra weight” (or you can say the opposite of whatever your answer is).

Now, here’s the cool part…think about how you would FEEL if you did believe the flipped-around version of your answer. Close your eyes and really focus on the emotions you would have if you truly believed it. What would those emotions be?  And what would the resulting actions be?

For example, how would I feel if I KNEW I could lose this extra weight?  How would that impact my actions?

If I believed (and I mean 100% believed) I could lose this weight, I would feel like nothing could stop me. I wouldn’t question whether or not I could consistently exercise or consistently make healthy choices when eating, I would just do it. I would always have my goal in the back of my mind influencing my decisions and it would be rather simple to make the best possible choice in the moment.

So maybe instead of relying on my actions to get me to my goal, I should instead rely on BELIEVING I can do it which will in turn lead to the actions needed to make that goal a reality.

I’ve been doing this backwards for 16 years. Most of you probably have been doing it backwards too. It’s time to take a different approach, don’t you think?

Edited to add: I wrote this post last week and since then, I have been focusing on BELIEVING I can lose the weight and have peace with food. I’ve using some techniques (that I’ll post about later) to help cement this belief in my head, and you know what? IT’S WORKING. I’m starting to truly believe that I CAN do it, and as a result I’ve been eating better and working out has more meaning – and it’s not such a struggle to do either one. This whole idea elaborates on what my guest poster was talking about in this post. 

Did you do this exercise? And if you did, what emotions came up for you? If you want to share, feel free in the comments. Also, anyone else have Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing stuck in their head after reading this? 😉

Overcome Binge Eating (Guest Post)

Hey guys! Remember when I talked about the BED ebook I was going through? Well the author of that ebook, Stefanie Nielsen, has agreed to do a guest post which touches on the core of her coaching program. This has been very helpful to me and I thought it might be for some of you as well, so enjoy! 

 

You’ve had a bad day with food! Okay… maybe it’s been a bad two weeks or two months. And you’ve started feeling frustrated and you’re ready for a change.

I’ve been there and these are thoughts that would go through my mind:

  • “Tomorrow will be different”.
  • “I just need the right diet plan to get started.”
  • “I just need to have more will power.”
  • “I’ll start doing these right ‘tomorrow’ morning.”

But what happens when tomorrow comes?

More often than not, it’s not perfect. You ‘screw’ up and ‘tomorrow’ is put off until ‘tomorrow’ again.

Overcoming binge eating, emotional eating, compulsive overeating, and other eating patterns is more than just ‘willing’ yourself to stop. It’s a process that is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

When you focus on only the physical aspect (diet, exercise, and what your body looks like) you end up cycling back and forth between being ‘on the wagon’ and ‘falling off’. It creates the battle within yourself of being ‘good’ or being ‘bad’. It becomes an endless cycle of self judgement and criticism that fuels overeating and in turn restricting.

You may be thinking, “Well if a diet and exercise program aren’t going to ‘fix me’ – then what is?! I need to stop this NOW.”

The truth is that YOU’RE NOT BROKEN – you never were and you don’t need to be ‘fixed’.

We’ve all been taught that actions get results right? That is why when we need to make a change we focus on our actions.

While actions do create results… have you ever stopped to think about what creates your actions?

  • What makes you want to eating everything in sight when you’re stressed?
  • Why can’t you seem to stop eating even after you’re full?
  • Why do you continually do things even though your inner voice is begging you not to?

Beneath the level of action are your emotions, thoughts, and beliefs. If you were building a house, it would go something like this…

  • Your THOUGHTS and BELIEFS are your FOUNDATION.
  • Your EMOTIONS are your WALLS.
  • And your ROOF is your ACTIONS.
  • All these culminate into the structure of your ‘house’ or your RESULTS.

You cannot build a house that will withstand the storms of life without a proper foundation. The foundation is where you start if you want to create lasting changes in ANY area of your life.

Change must come at the level of your beliefs and thoughts in order for your emotions, actions, and results to shift.

If you are ready to create this shift in your own life; be sure to get signed up for the FREE CALLS that will be happening on Tuesday May 15th 2012.

Stefanie Nielsen is no stranger to emotional eating, depression, poor self-image, negative self-talk, and binge eating.  She has experienced them all and has found her way to the ‘other side’.  She has shifted her life into one of discovery, strength, and clarity.  Stefanie is also a S.W.A.T. Certified Personal Empowerment Coach.

Have questions or comments for Stefanie? Leave them in the comments or email me and I’ll make sure she gets them!