Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Non Food Related Satisfaction

At the end of February of this year I got the following comment on one of my posts:

I am hoping that you may be able to take a moment and share with me. I have a similar story to yours, as most food addicts have, and have been doing bootcamps and P.T. etc for almost a year. I have lost 30+ lbs and many inches so far and gained an unbelievable amount of strength etc etc etc. I feel like I have conquered that part of my weight loss journey, but there is one piece of the puzzle that I have yet to master. The food. I know I am an "addict" and use food to soothe, comfort, de-stress, celebrate, punish, etc etc etc. I can not seem to find other things that provide me with what the food gives me, and I know that until I do find it/them, that I will continue to struggle over and over and over.
So..... my question to you is: What have you done or found that replaces the food? What do you do for yourself or give yourself that food used to give you? Or do you do massive battle at every meal? Do you still enjoy food, or did you have to give that up?
Thank you so much for sharing your journey with all of us. I know you probably have heard this many times, but you ARE an inspiration and help to anyone who struggles with this.

I love hearing stories like this, knowing that people are finding success on their own journeys and sharing their progress. I totally get where Susie is coming from with how food provides comfort and that she has "yet to master it". I am a comfort eater, that's how I got to 360 lbs, eating to suppress my emotions and feelings to make myself feel better. But really does it every make us feel better? That moment of satisfaction the dougnut gives you gives you hours of personal resentment. I have been down that road many times, and I still go down that road even though I know it is not the right choice. The important thing to recognize though is I always pull a big U-Turn and come back on the right track.

This picture basically describes how my food relationship is when i'm not committed to making progress..

Back to the question though..Susie asks what have I done that replaces food or do I battle at every meal? Do I still enjoy food or do I give up the enjoyment?

I'm not going to lie, sometimes I do struggle, and honestly I don't think that will ever change. I struggle with making healthy choices while I am surrounded by friends who are not. But what I remind myself of is what do I want more? Do I want to be healthy and alive or do I want to feel bloated and gross for that one moment of satisfaction for my taste buds?

I have started setting my internal intentions every morning on what I want from my day. I also set my intentions before attending any kind of party or night out. I find by preparing myself for my surroundings allows me to be more in control of my feelings towards the food I am eating.

Don't get me wrong I still enjoy food, but I enjoy healthy foods. For example, if im craving pizza I will make a healthy pizza on a whole wheat tortilla to quench the cravings, or if I want ice cream I will have fat free greek yogurt with berries. No it's not the same, but I find it gives me a different satisfaction knowing that I made a healthy choices and that I am in control of my emotions towards food. one thing I know for sure is that when I am fully out of my addiction to white sugar I feel alive and in control but the moment I allow the white sugar into my system the addictive feelings come back.

I think that separating the feelings you get from the enjoyment/comfort of eating something have to be separated from the feelings you get from the enjoyment of other things. Find something that gives you the same level of satisfaction, for me it's a super hard workout or a run or meeting up with friends for coffee for some social energy. For everyone it is going to be different, you have to find the thing that gives you pleasure that is not food. Thank you for your question Susie, and I know you will do well on the rest of your journey, stay strong and motivated and find your pleasures that are not food related. Embrace a new hobby, learn a new skill, challenge your friends to a big goal, whatever it is, give yourself something to focus on when the yearnings for sugar comes your way.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mt Washington Weekend

Friday we left for Mt. Washington to celebrate a friends 30th birthday. A bunch of us went in on renting a huge chalet for the weekend, it was gorgeous. To be honest I had actually been stressing out about going for the last couple weeks. After starting this 21 day challenge, which by the way I am on day 15 of, I had found a new focus in my eating and was making progress. I knew that if I was to give into temptations then I would be setting myself back in a huge way. I had finally started to progress on the scale, and feel progress in my attitude towards food again. I was honestly worrying about going away, and part of me didn't even want to go because I didn't want to be sabotaged. But I know that's no way to live my life, in fear of leaving my "safe" environment because I may lose control. I know I have to be confident in my ability to say no, which I am; however, I just haven't been a good example of that in the last few months.

I was determined that this weekend I was going to be on track, so I made a plan. Everyone was chipping in and buying communal food and making communal dinners. I decided that I was going to meal plan my own meals, bring my own food, and control my environment. I told my friends my plan, and I told them that I was not drinking. They were very supportive of my decision, but a part of me was still scared that once the alcohol stated to flow then the peer pressure would start. I have to say I have some pretty awesome friends because not only did none of them peer pressure me, they were fully supportive of my decision to follow my own plan. I even had one friend tell me how proud they were of me for sticking to the plan. I am proud of myself, I followed my eating plan to the letter, I chose one indulgence for the entire weekend which was a bag of brown rice salsa chips I drank all my water, had no birthday cupcakes and had no booze. I also had an incredible workout show shoeing on Saturday for a full 6.5 KM where at least 2 of that was fully up a mountain. I was sweating like I had just done an intense BDHQ workout. Kristen and I were channeling our trainers to push us up the hill ;).

This is us at the top...

I'm incredibly proud of myself for getting through this weekend with my sanity intact. Food does not equal fun, being around amazing and supportive people is what makes a weekend fun.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

21 Day Challenge Check In

Last week I made a commitment to a 21 day plan, a plan that was designed to get me back into the right head space of feeling focused to reach my goal. I am happy to report today I have followed this plan to the letter all week long and am down 4 lbs and 2% body fat, broke my "plateau". I say "plateau" because really it wasn't a plateau it was my own head not wanting to commit. I've been on many true plateaus in this over four year journey, and I know that for every one of them what it required was to change things up. This was certainly the change up I needed and I am happy to report I feel completely focused now, focused on the rest of this month and getting into the 160's, just that much closer to my 200 lb loss goal.

I'm grateful for everyone who is joining me in this commitment of refocusing for 21 days, I think its such a positive thing to do this knowing that there are others doing the same thing. This week I went to three yoga classes at Moksha as well and have to say I am starting to enjoy it more and more. I had done Bikrams a few times, through the multiple groupons I bought, but Moksha is nice because its not the exact same workout every time. I went Friday night and I am sill soar from that workout. I was missing that feeling of being soar, I haven't felt it in months, and I definitely felt it Friday night...in fact im pretty sure that's the reason i'm still sore. I think it is a nice balance with all the workouts I do at BDHQ to include some yoga and I know it is beneficial for my knee/IT band to get those necessary stretches in.

A big reason I know that i'm feeling more focused and no longer "faking it" is my ability to say no to temptations is stronger. We went to a pot luck last night, I brought a huge salad with tons of veggies and low fat dressing on the side. There were plenty of temptations presented including people offering food to me but I was able to say "No thank you I am choosing not to have that". I ate 2 plates of salad and home made falafels that someone had brought. I drank Perrier, had no alcohol, and left the night feeling very proud of my ability to turn it all down. It absolutely makes me confident getting on the scale the next morning knowing I did everything I could possibly do this week to be successful. Next week I plan to be in the same place, but I know it will be even more challenging as I am going away next weekend to Mt. Washington. It wont be just one night of temptations it will be an entire weekend of people drinking, eating bad food, and a constant internal battle to be strong and remind myself that my long term goals are more important than the short term pleasure of the food.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Faking It

Ups and downs...highs and lows...good and bad...these all define experiences that make up this health journey. Some days are spectacular, and others I just want to throw in the towel. I get asked often, how do you keep going when you are feeling that way, when you feel just like giving up? How do you push yourself outside of that comfort zone of feeling sorry for yourself, and feeling like you will never change?

This may sound ridiculous, but honestly it works, it's the theory of "fake it til you make it". I've heard it takes 21 days to form a habit, and in doing so what are we really doing? we are doing thing that aren't habit, things that you have to put a lot of thought and effort into to create the habit, the same goes for this health journey. When you fall off the wagon of positive attitude and commitment, you got to get yourself back there somehow without hitchhiking back to the land of the old you. Here's how my fake it til you make it plan goes.

#1: Recognize that you require the plan.
#2: Commit to 21 days of "faking it"
#3: Write out your plan, be accountable to a partner/group
#4: Allow yourself to forgive and move on

#1 - I NEED this plan, I have been teetering for far too long and allowing myself to make excuses like "well i'm injured so I don't expect to see results" - well i'm going to call myself out - that is BS, absolutely just an excuse. I can do this, Its 90% what food i'm putting in my mouth and only 10% workouts.

#2 - Right now, I am committing to the next 21 days of the plan - i'm committing to all of you so call me on it if i'm not doing it.

#3 - Here is my plan: 21 days = 21 workouts, a minimum of 5 meals per day of which 4 have vegetables in them, 4 litres of water per day, no meals after 8PM and take my vitamins every day.

#4 - I forgive myself for my poor food choices over the last month; I forgive myself for having this injury and am choosing to no longer let it be an excuse for not seeing a change.

So that's my plan, for anyone else whose been there or is there, join me on this 21 day commitment, let's get back to that place of being "in the game" feel back in that wonderful head space of being alive with energy. Thanks to my accountability partner Raeleen for kicking my butt into gear and getting me back on the right track. I wasn't hitchhiking back to the land of old Brianna quite yet but I was certainly walking slowly that way. Now I've turned around and am heading back to the station, ready to get back on board... Who's with me??