Friday Update

January 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

Here’s a a quick update on how I’m doing with the goals I set out for myself in the post titled Game Plan

1. EXERCISE

As I mentioned in this post, I have rediscovered my Leslie Sansone walking videos.  I started with the 1 mile walk because while I could physically do more—I was utterly unmotivated.  I get into these ruts from time to time where depression hovers over me and the thought of doing any form of exercise feels like an insurmountable task.  What always works for me is to go back to keeping it simple.  Ridiculously simple.  That means I do 5-15 minutes the first day most likely just to get mentally back into the routine. If I consistently do something ( no matter how small) every day…it doesn’t take long for the motivation to kick back in.

It’s been about 2 weeks since I started back with my walking videos and I am now doing my 4 mile video every day.  I break it up into increments.  I do 2 miles in the morning and 2 in the evening.  I am even looking forward to it!! How crazy is that?  This is what always happens when I choose some form of exercise I will not dread and start simple focusing on consistency.   I’m extremely pleased that I worked my way out of this rut and I feel progress happening!

2.  FOOD PLAN

I am continuing to refocus back on my Sugar Addiction and Detoxing plan.

In the past few weeks, I have slowly found myself regaining control.  I have not been completely “clean” with my sugar free eating BUT I have gone from literally laying in bed with an extra large bag of Hershey kisses (GASP!) to eating virtually no sugar by day 12.  I have slipped up almost every day BUT I have refused to allow myself to view it as total failure.  I continue to focus on dealing with my cravings in a rational way by remembering that they will not last forever nor do they have the power over me that I often believe they do when I have a wrong mindset.  I forgive myself when I slip up and I let each victory remind myself that small wins will build into big ones.

By doing this, I have lost about 2 pounds which is “ok” but not mind blowing.   However, here is where the real victory lies.

I am not GAINING and  I have managed to stop the runaway train.

For me, it is not just about losing weight.  It is also about not GAINING.  As someone with a history of binge eating, I have always been able to pack on pounds fairly quickly.  This is scary because you can easily gain 25-50 pounds in no time when you are out of control.  This is how people such as myself can get so dangerously large that it can quickly impede their daily lives in every area. It is frightening for me to go into a tailspin of gaining weight every single day.  Even having had weight loss surgery, I can find ways to do this which scares me even more.  SO..the biggest success for me is not so much the 2 pound loss but rather having stopped the crazy weight-gaining tailspin I have been in for awhile.  I will continue on this path and it is getting easier by the day as the sugar cravings once again leave my body.

3. HOUSECLEANING

I have been back to using the  Flylady method for the past 12 days using her daily tasks.  I cannot believe what a difference this has made!  Her concept works for me because it is the same way I approach exercise and food.  One step at a time.  Small victories leading to bigger ones.  It might seem ridiculous to clean out your medicine cabinet for your daily task when your sink is full of dishes or your trash might be piling up.  However if you attack one small area every day then sooner or later it all starts coming together.

I’m 12 days into her  31 Babysteps and I cannot tell you how much working on being organized in my house makes a difference in managing depression, anxiety and overeating!

In addition to these 3 areas above, I also picked the following goals to work on because in my past experience they help me become more motivated and positive.

1. Listening/Watching positive audio/video messages

I used to do this all the time but I got out of the habit.  Reading books and listening to positive, uplifting messages always helps to keep me uplifted.

This  week Joel Osteen had a message that was more helpful to me than almost anything I have heard in a long time. I have struggled tremendously dealing with guilt and regret over bad decisions/choices.  Wallowing in guilt and regret never helps me but how do we start believing that God is willing and in fact excited about blessing us in spite of the things we have done??  How can we believe He will lift us up one more time even if we feel we don’t deserve it?  This message really helped me turn a corner in my thinking. You see, we can know the truth but when we backslide and find ourselves regretting some choices–our thoughts/emotions will tell us that we don’t deserve another chance!  We will actually start to believe that we are beyond help!

This message reminds us that God is looking to pick us up when we fall.  No matter what you may have done, God never stops running after you. He never turns His back on you.  He is ready to pick you up and take the heavy burden from your shoulders!

 

2.  Spending 15-20 minutes every morning in prayer and reading the Bible in an attempt to fill my mind with the spiritual “food” I need to gain power and strength to keep going in a positive direction each day.

I have probably completed this goal over the past 12 days about 50% of the time.  The days that I get this done first thing are the days I find myself feeling stronger and more confident in my abilities to fight the temptations of overeating.  I know how important this is and therefore I believe obstacles will get in the way to keep it from happening.  I need to make this the top priority!

3. Finding a new group to attend at church where I make an effort to make good connections with like minded individuals. 

I am actually an introvert.  I don’t mind spilling my guts to the internet!!  I’m just not quite so great at doing it in person.  I’ve always struggled with social anxiety so going into a new group stresses me out.  And stress can lead to cupcakes!!  LOL

I do know however that finding a good group can be very helpful.  So I tried a few groups over the past 12 days.  The first one was advertised as being open to married or singles. As it turned out, everyone was married.  This happens to me about 85% of the time when I attempt to join groups within the church that are open to married/singles.  I think it is great that they are open to having singles/divorced individuals in their group but I find that I am usually depressed by the time I leave.  It’s not because I find being divorced/single a thing that generally depresses me daily. It’s because being in groups where everyone is married and constantly referring to their spouse just highlights the fact that I am single.  I might have been just fine before I walked in but after an hour in that environment I start to question whether I am happy or not? I think if a married person attended a class with only single people every week they might end up feeling the same way.  It’s no one’s fault…just the dynamics that happens.

The second group I tried was also open to married or singles.  At first I thought it might be a mixed group because 4 of the women were there on their own.  All 4 of them talked about how their husbands were not there because of work or other obligations but most of their comments within the group referred back to their marriages.  Again—that is normal!! I’m just saying when I find myself in these types of environments it almost always leads to me feeling more discouraged than anything else as I am the lone wolf in the group living the single life.

To add to it, they were studying Ecclesiastes.  I happen to find this book to be one of the most depressing books of the Bible.  It basically details how meaningless life can feel when we seek fulfillment in all the wrong places.  Now that is a great theme!! It’s just that you have to make your way through all the deeply depressing and meaningless things as the author is seeking the answers.  Of course this is why studying a book in its whole context is so important.  If you only read a few verses of Ecclesiastes like this one….

Ecclesiastes 1

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

If you stop there, you’ll just be depressed!!  I think in an effort to find something more uplifting, the group discussed this passage

 Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.

 

Everyone  in the group discussed the blessing and joy of marriage because then they are not alone.  As the only single person in the room, I found myself quickly becoming depressed.  I wasn’t depressed before I walked in but I sure was when I walked out!!!

Now of course I know that this was not the intent of the group.  It just so happened to be the passage that was being discussed.  I also know that being single/divorced is not the end of the world because regardless of how “alone” we may feel at times—we are NOT alone.  Sure it might be great to have someone in the flesh day in and day out but God has promised to be there with us when no one else is.  That is what I reminded myself on the way OUT the door!!

I will admit when I make an effort to attend a group…and this sort of thing happens…I can often get discouraged.  I will sometimes say to God…

“Really?? I mean I am TRYING to do the right thing here…find a group…and instead I am faced with these obstacles and my effort to do something positive only brings me down!  Shouldn’t I be rewarded for trying to find a group and not punished with discouragement?”

This is when we have to pull ourselves up by the boot straps and move on!!  Not every group is the one for us.  So just keep trying.

My 3rd try was a class that is studying the book Changes that Heal.  It was a cross section of singles and married individuals.  It was truly a MIXED group.  No one there seemed to be overly focused on their “status” as either married or single.  It just felt like a group of people in a room trying to be open, uplifting and encouraging.  I really enjoyed it!!  I found myself clicking with people, smiling, laughing and looking forward to being there next week.

Jackpot!

SO….that was my week. I am proud of myself for the positive steps I have taken and I look forward to building on that and continuing the progress I’ve made!

How was your week?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack Sh*t January 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Glad to see you blogging regularly again.

Keep up the great work!

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Nicola January 23, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Well done Holly! Congratulations on everything you’ve achieved this week, you’ve made a terrific start and next week will be even better 🙂 This week I ditched the excuses and went to bootcamp on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and started being much more mindful of what I eat. Having just broken up with my long term partner and moved out of our apartment I was doing a lot of stress and binge eating and it was really getting me down. I am worth more than that, so I pulled my socks up and realised that I needed to start treating myself with more respect. So far, it’s working and I’m feeling much better about myself and the future! I’ve also committed to joining a running club in February, something I’ve always been scared to try. 2014 is the year of facing our fears and triumphing over them!

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Christine January 23, 2014 at 10:50 pm

It looks like you had a very successful and positive week, lots to be proud of. I am working on breaking that sugar addiction too, but that crack is everywhere! Keep up the great work :).
Christine recently posted..the meal that shouldn’t have beenMy Profile

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PaulaMP January 24, 2014 at 2:40 am

I have a question, I guess I don’t understand even now how the surgery works. If you had 80% of your stomach removed, how is it possible to overeat, such as a big bag of Hershey kisses? I thought it was physically impossible to eat more than a few bites? Once your stomach is full, do you have to wait for it to digest what’s there? Not trying to be snarky in any way, I really don’t get it. I was watching a show new to me last night, something about 600 lb people having surgery. One woman kept drinking carbonated drinks and the doctor said she would stretch out her stomach that way? It made me wonder if that happens to people who haven’t had the surgery, cause I drink carbonated diet pop and carbonated water all the time.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down January 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Paula…this is a great question. When you first have the surgery, it is not possible to eat more than a few bites. Your stomach is healing and swollen which adds to the restriction. As time goes on, your stomach will relax and ‘loosen’ up so to speak. I would compare it to a leather wallet that in the beginning is stiff but after being used repeatedly relaxes and can hold more than it once could. There are different types of weight loss surgeries so the size of the stomach is often dependent on the type of surgery a person had. With my surgery, 85% of the stomach was removed. In addition they remove the more elastic part of your stomach that is more prone to stretch. As time goes on, your stomach will be able to hold more than it did in the beginning. There is more to the story though. The only thing that was altered with my surgery was the size of my stomach. The sleeve does not remove the pyloric valve as the gastric bypass does. This means my stomach still functions as anyone else’s stomach does who did not have the surgery. I have the same anatomy just smaller in size which means that any type of liquid that I consume will hit my pyloric valve and empty into my intestines. This applies to all of us whether we had the surgery or not….and it is one of the main reasons why we can consume more or less food depending on the TYPE of food we are choosing to consume.

All of our stomachs act much like a kitchen sink with a drain. If you just pour in liquid it will run right down the drain. If you put in something thicker such as cottage cheese it will take a little longer to travel down. If you try to throw meat down there, it’s going to really take awhile. Certain types of food such as chips and hershey kisses are chewed up and liquified by the time they reach our stomach. That means they go right on through just like liquid. This is what we refer to as “slider” foods because they slide right on through.

The Pyloric Valve is located at the bottom of your stomach or in my case the bottom of the “sleeve”. This valve is in between your stomach/sleeve and the lower intestine. Food that is more dense/thick and more substantial causes the pyloric valve to close and hold the food in your stomach for pre-digestion. This is so the stomach can break down the food. By eating things like protein that are more dense, we will stay full longer as the food is being held in our stomach longer.

A slider food doesn’t cause the pyloric valve to close and the food will pass right through leaving our stomach empty again fairly quickly. Whether you have had surgery or not, foods that slide through affect us the same way. They do not take up much space so it doesn’t matter if your stomach is large or small. Liquid is liquid and it will slide through the same way. This is why regardless of your stomach size, you can get down large quantities so long as they are liquified. Slider foods for me include things like ice cream, chips, candy. On the other hand, I might try to eat something with bread and find it very hard to get down. I could eat quite a lot of hershey kisses at this point. I could eat quite a lot of chips. Yet a sandwich is much harder for me to get down. The consistency of the food makes a big difference. This is true of us all though no matter the surgery or not. That is why it is critical for us to be careful when eating as to the consistency of our foods if we want to stay full longer!

As to your question about carbonated beverages…there is a lot of speculation in the weight loss surgery community as to whether carbonated things like soda can stretch out your stomach. There is no research to really support this theory that I know of but many people have varying opinions. I have personally found it a lot harder to drink anything carbonated after having surgery. Now at 2.5 years out, I can drink a diet coke without much issue but I won’t deny that carbonated beverages are harder for me than the ones that are not. I don’t personally believe they have the power to stretch out anyone’s stomach for the same reason I stated above regarding the pyloric valve. They are not held in your stomach for lengthy periods and pass on through. That is the main reason why they are not beneficial for you either. They do not really fill you up for very long and there is some research to support that they actually can stimulate your appetite. I used to be addicted to Diet Pepsi and it never really helped me to lose weight at all. I advise staying away from it if possible!

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Paula January 24, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Thank you for the lesson! I’ve been eating all my life and never knew this LOL. That explains why I can eat an entire bag of chips and want more! I’m going to try and think of what you just told me every time I eat now.

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Tess January 24, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Super week, Holly!! Keep it up all the way through the weekend!! <3

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Mary January 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Good for you! You are not giving up.

Have you heard of Celebrate Recovery? Rick Warren started this recovery program. I know you can google and search in your area. I bet you would feel comfortable. I find there is no judgement and it is focused on hurts, hang ups and habits. It is based on the 12 step program theme. If you want to share (speak) that is fine but there is no pressure.

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Anna January 26, 2014 at 8:17 pm

I’m enjoying your updates so much. Keep up the good work. 2 pounds down is wonderful and it’s so good that you have self-knowledge and are able to do what you know will work and I completely understand what you mean about stopping the weight gain. I worked a 12 step program in 2010 (CEA-HOW) and lost 70 pounds. I know it works, but I got off program and can’t seem to get it going again. I gained my weight back. I’m trying to use logic and spirituality to get myself back on track. I keep holding onto those nuggets about consistency and motivation. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and your life.

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