Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Time for a change...

Just a heads up to my readers (all two of you… =)), this post is going to be a long one. It’s going to bounce all over the place, but I need to get it out there if I’m really serious about making this kind of change.

I talk a LOT about trying to live a healthy lifestyle. But it’s mostly talk. Yes, I’ve started working out again, but working out four days a week and eating cupcakes, cheesecake cookie dough bars, and fast food every single day is not living a healthy lifestyle. Last night I was looking at my bank statement and I realized that since May 10, I have spent $53 on fast food. I was stunned, and to be honest, and a little nauseated by that number. I know for a fact that last week I had a biscuit from McDonalds for breakfast four days last week. And a medium beverage. Some days I would be “healthy” and get a Diet Coke instead of a sweet tea.

While I’m thinking of it, did McDonalds learn NOTHING from Supersize Me? I mean what is up with their drink policy? For $1.00 you can get ANY size of drink. I always order a medium but at the McDonalds by my house they automatically ring you up and give you a large, since it’s the same price (welcome to Arkansas, this is not something that they do in Charlotte). A large cup at McDonalds holds 32 ounces of whatever you’re putting in it. If it’s a day I picked Diet Coke, well yay. No calories. Just all the other awful crap in diet beverages. If it’s a day I picked Sweet Tea… oh my. 280 calories in that large sweet tea. Add to that the calories and fat from my biscuit (430 calories/27 grams of fat for the sausage biscuit, 410 calories/20 grams of fat for a chicken biscuit) and I feel morbidly obese already. So, over the past two weeks, I have spent $53 filling my body full of a LOT of sugar, fat, carbohydrates, and everything else on ONE meal a day.

Anyways. End of tangent number one. Back to my point. There were some days I’d eat McDonalds for breakfast. And more fast food for lunch. Some days I would pick a healthier option and eat a veggie sub from Subway or a char grilled chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A. But there were also days where I would get an Arby melt with cheddar, curly fries and a soda from Arby’s (1050 calories/52 grams of fat), or a #6 with no mayo from Wendy’s (900 calories/38 grams of fat) . So anytime I do that, I have exceeded my calorie count for the day by LUNCH. Than I would go home, eat dinner and at about 10:00pm, it’s time for my snack. Where I would binge on chips and dip, a bowl of cereal (and not a healthy cereal… we’re talking Apple Jacks here) or whatever I had baked. It’s no wonder I’m currently the size of a house. Well, maybe not a house. A condo… or a small duplex.

When I first moved here, I was depressed. I left behind my whole life and moved here where I had nothing but Graham. No job, no friends. Nothing. Now, in Charlotte I wasn’t exactly a social butterfly. I’ve never had a lot of friends, but I have really, really GREAT friends. Friends who were ALWAYS there for me, and I missed that. So, I got depressed. I got bored and lonely. So I would bake. I was baking either cupcakes or a cheesecake every week. I tried to deny my weight gain for as long as I could. I told my mom that I obviously hadn’t gained any weight because all of my jeans still fit. Yes, they fit because they never ever saw the inside of a dryer. And I still had to do some weird, frog stretching thing whenever I shimmied into them. When I was home in April, I could no longer deny it. I was shopping for a dress to wear to my wedding, and after 3 malls and NOTHING, I broke down in tears in the dressing room at Macy’s. Every time I took off my clothes and tried something on I felt worse and worse. Looking at myself naked was a disgusting, horrible experience. I ended up trying on larges and size 12’s. And I felt physically sick every time. That was my wake up call. It obviously didn’t wake me up too much considering my food choices of late, but it started something stirring inside me.

Pre Break-Up; March 2008 (size 12)

July 2008 (size 8)

April 2009 (size 8)


May 2010 (size 10)

April 2011 (size 12)

Now I’m awake. I need to do more than lose weight though. I need to change my lifestyle. I’ve lost massive amounts of weight before; I just always get lazy and let the weight come back. In 2008, my boyfriend of five years broke up with me. Over the phone. On the first day of my exams. I was stunned and heartbroken. Two months earlier we had gone on vacation together and had an amazing time. That weekend we talked about how we would redecorate his house when we moved in together after graduation. That week and the week after were so hard on me. I didn’t eat. I didn’t leave the house. I lay in bed and moped. My family asked how long I was going to be sad for, and I gave myself that time, and then I was up and trying to put my life back together. I started going to the Y regularly with my best friend, Brittany. That first night at the Y I weighted myself and discovered that I had lost ten pounds in my “mourning period”. I kept working out, but not eating right, and the weight continued to come off. By the end of that summer I had lost 30 pounds and had never looked better. In high school I was very thin. I was a size four and weighed about 125 pounds. That summer I got down to 135 and I was very comfortable in a size eight. But once school started back up (my last semester), the weight started to come back. It was slow & gradual, but it was there. The following summer the eights were getting snug. The summer after that, the eights had turned into tens. And this summer into twelve’s.
Losing weight is easy enough, if you’re motivated. But keeping it off is harder. It requires more than just crash diets (not that the post break-up weight loss was a crash diet. I physically couldn’t eat more than a bowl of soup a day) and sporadic work outs. It requires a lifestyle change. And that is what this HAS to become. I can’t keep feeling this way about myself and my body, because it is a vicious cycle. I get depressed, I eat. I realize I’m fat. That depresses me and I eat some more.

I think it will be easier to change my lifestyle living alone. I won’t have anyone else’s needs to consider but mine. Last night after looking at my bank statement and seeing an inspirational image on Pinterest, something just clicked and I got up, got dressed, grabbed my car keys and headed to the store. This lifestyle change had to start then and there.

The Life Changing Pinterest Image

One of the first things I had to do was make breakfast a priority. I love the MorningStar Spicy Black Bean burgers, so I decided to give some of their other options a try. I bought some of their spicy veggie sausage patties. I was hesitant, but I had a $1.00 off coupon, so I figured what the heck. This morning I ate one for breakfast, along with a scrambled egg and a cup of fat free, Fiber One yogurt. I know I still have a lot to learn about nutrition, but I figured this is a good start. The sausage was good. Not amazing, but I didn’t have those kinds of expectations. It was definitely spicy and tasted similar to sausage. But the best thing about it was the 70 calories and 3 grams of fat, as opposed to the Jimmy Dean reduced fat sausage we typically buy, which is 140 calories and 11 grams of fat.

I guess making changes like that are what it is going to take. It’s definitely going to be a process, but my breakfast this morning was an egg, a “sausage” and a cup of yogurt. It weighed in at a grand total of 190 calories, 7 grams of fat, 10 carbs and 4 grams of sugar.

I’ve never been this open about my weight before. It’s a very private, very sensitive issue for me. I lie whenever someone asks me what I weigh. Even if it’s stupid and private. When I went to get my military ID card after Graham and I got married, they had me type on a keypad what I weighed. I put in a number that is about 20 pounds less than the truth. I’m so humiliated by what the scale says I don’t even want to admit it to a machine. I’ll probably never reveal to anyone what I currently weigh. I don’t want to hear my mom gasp “Heather!” in that shocked, disapproving way she did when I admitted the truth about my weight pre-break up. The actual number will probably die a secret with me. It’s not just because I’m ashamed, but in the long run, the number on the scale isn’t an issue. The issue is the negative self image I currently have and the fact that my weight is one of the things keeping me from living the life that I want to live.

I’ve always wanted to run a marathon. Right now I’m so out of shape I can’t even run a mile. When we’re in North Carolina over the summers, Graham likes to spend a lot of time on the lake. I won’t wear a bathing suit in public. Shopping, an activity I LOVE has become a chore that I now dread, because nothing looks good on me anymore.

I know this is going to be something that isn’t going to happen over night. I am trying to jumpstart myself by watching carbs, calories AND fat over the next few weeks, and then I need to find a happy medium. I need to allow myself treats every once in a while and still maintain an active, healthy lifestyle. I need to recognize when I’m actually hungry, and when I’m just eating because I’m bored. I have a great goal to look to: Graham coming home in November and our New Years Eve wedding do-over.

(Okay. This sucks. A client just brought in fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. I’m already being met by temptation. And I’ve resisted the tray of donuts in the break room ALL day. I MUST resist the cookie… I looked up the nutritional information on this cookie. ONE cookie has 170 calories, 24 carbs and 8 grams of fat. All things in moderation, but I really feel I need to push the sweets away for at least a few weeks if I have any chance of doing this and successfully changing my life. I mean, how sad is it if I’m unable to say ‘no’ to a cookie? I looked up the nutritional information on this cookie. ONE cookie has 170 calories, 24 carbs and 8 grams of fat. All things in moderation, but I really feel I need to push the sweets away for at least a few weeks if I have any chance of doing this and successfully changing my life. I mean, how sad is it if I’m unable to say ‘no’ to a cookie?)

Have I mentioned I'm addicted to Pinterest?

Anyways. I hope I can find encouragement and inspiration in the blog world. I need all the help I can get!

1 comment:

  1. I'm in a similar situation. I was thin for most of my childhood, and through high school, but once I started college I was less active, so my lifetime of bad eating habits caught up to me.

    About a month ago I quit drinking sodas. That's the only major change I've stuck with so far, but I've already lost almost 15 pounds just from that simple switch. Now I need to find some way to afford a gym and trainer to take the next step.

    I'm also hoping to run a marathon, possibly within a year or so. I have no doubt that if I work at it I'll make it happen.


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