Struggling with Mindful Eating

When I started this blog, I had no real weight loss goals; I still don’t. The idea was to eat mindfully, and just be aware of what was actually being consumed.

Through the progression of my blog, I’ve calmed down on taking pictures, and documenting everything. I’ve started and stopped counting calories numerous times. I’ve stopped really mindfully eating.

What I mean is, when I first started, I would sit around, wait until I got hungry, and then eat. I would make sure the screen was off, the picture was taken, and I checked in to see just how hungry I was. Half way through my meal I checked in again.

I don’t really do that anymore.

It was effective: I slowed my roll on binging almost immediately. Sometimes it was really difficult to figure out why I was trying to find something to eat when I could clearly tell I wasn’t hungry. But the biggest thing that happened was, I would allow myself to become so hungry I thought I would pass out before I was able to remedy it.

Then slowly the screens stayed on while I was eating. The checking in didn’t happen because my general eating habit stayed “relatively the same”, it was routine to eat the same 4 items every day. It became mindless again.

So, where am I at now?

Eating Mindfully helped get me back on track, and in touch with myself. Its been a great tool to help put me back on even footing when it comes to eating. However, if I were being honest with myself and my blog, I have a number in the back of my head that I want to get to, and maybe one or two lower than that. If I were being honest, I don’t believe eating mindfully is going to get me there; at least not on its own.

If I don’t want to count points or calories or making silly rules about when and where I can eat certain food groups (because, lets be honest: I tried that too and have failed miserably at it) then what am I left with? How do I get to where I want to go?

To be honest, I don’t really want to change. Or I do, but not from what I’ve said I’m going to do, but actually be consistent in doing what I’ve said I’m going to do. I need constant urging “this is why you do what you do”.twit

The punishment for reverting to old ways is staying fat and getting fatter. Plain and simple.

I want to move forward and try something new. Some new, and short term, just to prove I can. (can you see where I’m going with this?) Based on the way I feel physically when I don’t drink milk, or consume dairy products, I’ve decided starting on July 5th, to eat the vegan way for at least one month.

Yesterday, (the 5th) I had watermelon and black bean tacos with avocado salsa, and then a bowl of special k red berries and chocolate soy milk.  For this month, I’m going to try to get back into photographing food, and blogging it.

Today I’ve had a left over taco and kale chips. It’ll be interesting to see how my body adjusts. Wish me luck!



This weekend through me through quite the loop. I think I’m about back to normal, but I’m still really struggling with the hiccups of life. When I get sick, the first thing I do is turn to food. It is such an automatic thing and even when I realize its happening, I make every excuse I can to ensure that it does happen.

Anyway. I’m ready to move on.

Speaking of ready…

I am ready to run. Every part of me wants it, craves it. I dream about running. Running marathons, running on the beach, running from crazy murderers… I’m completely obsessed. Currently however, I am still on w3d1, and haven’t actually attempted any real time since last Wednesday. Perhaps part of the problem is that I’ve derailed my training, and my body just literally misses the effort. 

I walked two miles this morning instead of going to the gym this morning, but I don’t feel like it counts. Is my body sore? Yup. Did I earn it? Nope. I want to earn the burn, and I know its only going to happen if I make it happen.

Only sometimes… I wish I was already there. I am so ready to be at the end of this c25k training. I just want to run forever. I sure wish my body would get with the program and catch up.

One day at a time.

”  If you lose today, win tomorrow. In this never-ending spirit of challenge is the heart of a victor.”  -Daisaku Ikeda

 This has been a very very long morning. I didn’t eat very well last night. I made spinach lasagna, and became so ravished while waiting for it, I ate 5 string cheese, a small bowl of sauce with cheese, about a cup and a half of ice cream (but out of the container, so it could have been more or less, and then a handful of regular cheese. Then finally, two piece of lasagna, which reaffirmed that I don’t like ricotta cheese.

Old picture. Still relevant.

I left the lasagna in the oven over night… and this morning. If it hasn’t gone bad yet, it will be by the time I get home, so its probably for the best. The only tasty part about it was the jar of sauce, and cheese on top. The noodles weren’t quite done. I was impatient. (It didn’t finish until nearly 11. I can’t eat that late. Its no bueno.)

On the bright side, I went to the gym yesterday morning and kept a 3.5-4.7 pace for 20 minutes (thats not really keeping a pace, is it?) on the elliptical, hopped on the treadmill and ran 1 minute 5 times at 4.5, and walk an additional 20 minutes at 3.0. I’m definitely ready to be a runner. Every day I wake up and all I want to do is do more.

It looks like I had a calcium attack. Everything I ate last night was dairy related, which is interesting to me. Really, I was looking for the mix of sauce and cheese, and carbs, I think. It’ll probably happen again. I’m not gonna beat myself up about it.  I wonder if that morning workout had any affect on my near fatal need for dairy that evening however. I should be better prepared for such events in the future.

Mini Road Trip!

I had a fabulous weekend. Considering that my new roommate that came in on Wednesday locked herself in her room over the weekend and is leaving for home tonight and has made my house feel super awkward since her arrival, it was fantastic.

On friday, walking home from work, there were two moose blocking my way so I called my neighbor to pick me up (I was literally just half a block but there was a sow and a calf and well… its icy and I didn’t like my chances). She pulled up, and I slipped getting in to her car. I caught myself “breakdance style” but still partially slid under her car. I thought for a moment I might have sprained my wrist.

Eating wise, Friday was not so good. I had gone out to lunch and gotten a salad. Just before dinner I had a long conversation with my roommate, trying to convince her to stay. She wasn’t having any of it. Went to Spenard Roadhouse, grabbed some alcohol and a burger with avocado and tots (which they’re FAMOUS for) then headed off to Sugar Spoon where I got a 12 oz. skinny chai latte and a slice of chocolate crumble cheese cake.

Downtown Anchorage

That meal of course is what prompted me to go to the gym on Saturday, which I left feeling awesome. I am excreting awesomeness even now. I did realize as I was walking down the stairs that my thigh hurt a bit, it took me a while to realize it was from the fall the day before. That didn’t stop me from 35 minutes on the elliptical and 20 minutes on the treadmill, 5 of which I spent RUNNING. Awesome. I can’t wait til its the whole 20 minutes! I bought some apple juice, and a protein shake and went to town on both of them once I got home. 

Then I cleaned around the house for a bit, before going to see Narnia: The Dawn Treader. I’m not really into the Narnia fandom, and haven’t seen the second one. It was in 3d and I couldn’t understand why, but other than that I really enjoyed it. For dinner I had rice and bean tacos with gaucamole. It was nice.

Sunday I did a lot of laundry, watched a couple of movies, and then finally went on a mini road trip down to Portage Glacier with my neighbor and her friend. The drive from Anchorage to Girdwood is one of the prettiest drives in the country. I become so awe-inspired every time I get to go, and I feel honored to view the majesty of Alaska. Surely there are prettier places in Alaska, but that this one is so accessible just adds to its beauty, I think.

I came home, made vegetarian stroganoff (which I couldn’t decide if it was good or not… I didn’t go back for seconds.) finished doing some laundry and hit the sack. It was exactly how a two day weekend should go. Busy, but relaxing. Fun, with a side of cleaning.  And somehow managed to lose some weight. Quite impressed!

Oops! I did it again….

So some part of me feels like the weekends are my days to shoot the wind, behave as badly as I want and not stay accountable to myself or my blog. I think I ate pretty well on Saturday, but Sunday was a whole other story. I went food shopping, and ate two cups of cashews, two bowls of cereal, Amy’s Pesto Tortellini, a GIANT salad from the salad bar, Sobe Green Tea, quarter gallon chocolate soy milk, the rest of those damn circus animal cookies which I never should have bought in the first place, at least 2 cups of hot cocoa, and I’m sure there is something else, but I can’t remember any more.

I gained 4 pounds over the weekend. I was at 307.5, Today I’m at 311 (pre-pooping. All those nuts, you see.). I’m burping sulfur this morning. Gross.

I kept myself home this weekend because I got some new kitties and I wanted them to adjust to my house and life and whatnot. It made stretching on the floor pretty interesting, and I decided to put off the Zumba until tomorrow, but I think that was mostly because not moving is a lot easier than moving. I keep thinking getting a gym membership would motivate me more, but then I’m afraid of the additional cost every month, especially if I end up not using it which is my biggest fear. I’m always trying to make myself earn the privledge of a gym membership, but I never do because “something always happens”.

I’m just rambling now. I’ll stop. Need more coffee.

Food log 2/1/11

Breakfast cookie, banana, half cup hot cocoa. (My whey protein curdled in my mug. I was pretty distraught.)

2 cups black bean corn couscous salad, breakfast cookie, handful of trailmix. (I felt starved all day at work. It was terrible.)

whole grain spaghetti with broccoli, spinach, and alfredo sauce. breakfast cookie, hot chocolate, skinny cow ice cream, 7 parmesean pretzel crackers, I think thats it.

So I’m kind of noticing that I’m eating breakfast cookies as um, not breakfast food. When I do look to eat one, its usually “to replace an additional part of my meal, like meat.” At least I think thats whats going through my head when I try to justify it. I think the safest thing to say here is, there is no such thing as a “safe” cookie. They’re either all the devil or their all forgivable. There is no middle.

25 mins Zumba + additional stretching, and walking .75 of a mile (which I’m never sure whether or not to include this .75 of a mile because its part of my daily commute).

Tomorrow I gotta focus on my homework. I’m starting to feel… rushed. Also, I’m really tired, and probably should have just left this part out. Good night, good morning, Namaste.

When Change Rains, it Pours

On Wednesday last week, I tweeted about not having any real defined goals. So, over this weekend, I decided to define them. But first, a weekend recap.

Friday I was supposed to go to a concert a local bar, but I just felt horrible all day, so I stayed home and tried to get some rest. Saturday, my friend who recently came home from Afghanistan via the Army came into town and I took her to see Avenue Q. Avenue Q, for those who don’t know, is a wonderfully subversive musical with Jim Henson like puppets, and Gary Coleman as played by a woman. It is fantastic. I was really happy to be able to take her to something that was so hilariously upbeat considering some of the subjects they hit upon. And I worried that being in the middle of the row, and having a full audience might cause her some panic but she handled the whole thing pretty well.

Afterward, we went to Spenard Roadhouse for dinner, which is one of my favorite restaurants in town. Its very eclectic, casual, and trendy. Family oriented, but serves all your favorite alcoholic drinks. I don’t eat out often, but when I do, I try to come here. I love it. For dinner I had a veggie sandwich (apparently I am not a fan of fontina cheese- who knew) and split pea and ham soup (cause I’m a flexitarian now and I can eat meat when I eat out). Oh yes, and an order of super tots, which are possibly deadly. Tater tots topped with chives, green onions, cheddar cheese, bacon and sour cream.  We talked about all sorts of things, caught up on everything she’d missed while she was gone. She told me she started running while overseas, and I mentioned to her my goal of running a 5k by the end of the summer. She’s being stationed in Hawaii, and so, plans started forming in my head.

Because we had gone to the early show, when dinner was over, it was still kinda early, so we headed off to the movies and watched No Strings Attached. Did I love it? Of course I did. I love Natalie Portman and most romantic comedies. My friend dropped me off afterwards, and I comptemplated cleaning my kitchen. I think I watched How I Met Your Mother and went to bed instead.

It was a great day, but I couldn’t help but notice how much of the day I spent sitting. I didn’t particularly want to sit, but I couldn’t think of anything that sounded remotely fun that didn’t involves lots of sitting.

Sunday was my day of rest. Of course by day of rest, I mean it was my day of cleaning and school work, and watching Sarah Marshall twice- once with commentary and once without. For brunch I had easy mac and a fiber plus bar. I wanted to cook something, but my kitchen is half destroyed right now cause I can’t seem to wash all my dishes in one go, so I ordered an extra large pizza instead. Why? I don’t know. It seemed easier, I guess. I ordered a garlic veggie supreme and mozzarella sticks. (THIS IS HOW PEOPLE STAY FAT, JSYK). I ate half of it before forcing myself to go to bed.

The good news though. After my conversation with my friend, I started looking at races happening in Hawaii around my birthday. The closest one I could find is the Maui Marathon on Sept. 18th this year. I am going. My mother is going. My friend is going. Its going to be great.

Now, if you are actually viewing my blog, you might notice a new widget on the right side of the screen. Its to raise money for the Warmth Walk sponsored by United Way Anchorage on Feburary 19th. I will be walking. Its only a mile, and should go pretty quickly, but I thought it would be a nice way to get excited for Break Up (known in other parts of the country as “Spring”) and the Summer to come! So if anyone would like to donate some dollars, your help is much appreciated.

So to recap. Short term and long term goals have been defined:

Short term: Walk for Warmth; getting as physically ready for c25k as possible
Medium term: Womens Walk for Cure (or some such thing in May); start/complete c25k; other races as applicable
Long term: Flying my mother and myself to Maui for the 41st Maui Marathon in Sept (I’m going to walk/run the 1/2).; maintaining flexitarianism, make healthy food choices; see consistent weight loss.

This is going to be a great summer.

I just ate an emotion cookie.

I had to do a presentation just now for my work- explaining the services, going over interviews etc. etc. I don’t do presentations. They make me nervous. While I relaxed quite a bit during the process, I know it could have gone better. Perhaps I should stop being hard on myself; it was my first time, afterall.

I rewarded myself with a giant chocolate chip cookie. It was gobbled down, and soothed me for about 20 seconds. I’m not going to beat myself up about that either. I recognize it for what it is, and I’m going to move on. It was an emotion cookie. I ate my emotions.

The days go by like molasses and spread like wildfire

Being sad is debilitating. I haven’t had a good cry yet (me, who cries at everything, cannot cry because her aunt has passed) and so I’m just a ball of nerves and flint, waiting for a spontaneous combustion of tears.

Eating wise, I wouldn’t call these last few days “binging” but it certainly wasn’t mindful, and damn, I didn’t want to lift my head, let alone my feet. I danced, when I felt like dancing (Which is not to say often; also, I’ve decided thats why my thighs and calves are so tight right now, and the rest of me is a blobby blabby ball of blub) and sang, when I felt like singing. I raised my arms above my head to stretch my spine and pray that when my manos were lowered, the switch would flip, and I would start the next stage of the grieving process.

So it looks like I’ll be in Colorado for my b-day. It’ll be nice seeing my mom again, as I usually only see her once a year. We decided it was important for me to be at the memorial service. I want to feel like I’m apart of my family, and I never have. I want to honor my beautiful aunt, and relearn my family history, as its MY history, and I’m so afraid of losing it.

I’m so sad right now.

My most remembered memory of my aunt:

I was five, maybe six years old. Having loved my aunt thus far my entire life, I was thrilled to hear she would be at my house, the very next morning, on a weekday. She’d be there to see me off to school! Yay! I loved visiting her house, 60 miles south of mine, surrounded by trees and shrouded in mystery. She had two dogs and a bunch of chicken and iguana. It was my favorite place to visit. I thought I wouldn’t be able to sleep, I was so excited. Of course, I zonked out almost immediately.

As sleep goes, it was slow and fast, dreams spinning, colors twirling, and then suddenly, DING DONG! went the bell.

“Who wakes me from my slumber?” I bellowed. I ran downstairs and opened the door. There was my beautiful aunt, with her long blonde hair, and shiny blue eyes, holding a plate of still warm homemade apple cinnamon raisin bran muffins (which were to DIE for), smiling and happy. She was like magic- beautiful and unreal. She and my mom sat in the living room, sipping coffee and getting down to business- the way they do (did). I ate one muffin, reveled in its deliciousness, then prepared to get ready for the day! I remembering feeling alive and refreshed that morning. I wanted to feel that way every day for the rest of my life.

It was 5 o’clock in the morning.

The Underworld of Night Eating

I wake up at 7:49am, crawl out of bed and into the shower. I try my best to wake up. Then I crawl out of the shower and back into bed until 9am, when I finally decide that I must get dressed, go down stairs and eat breakfast because I’m in for a long day. I have my daily cereal (half Kashi Go Lean Crunch, half Special K: Red Berries, with chocolate soy milk) pack my school bag, and by 9:30 I’m out the door. I go to class, become inundated with new information to be processed, then rush my way to work by noon. At work I sit at my desk and stare mindlessly at my computer, feeling my blood sugar drop lower and lower until I finally recognize the feeling as hunger and grab my lunch. (this weeks lunch: Pork loin roast with potatoes and carrots, with a side of grapes) Some times I eat it in front of my computer. Sometimes I don’t. If I’m lucky, I have actual tasks to do, but more often than not, I wait for something that never happens. Finally my work day ends at 8pm and I head home. While sitting on the bus I think, “maybe I’ll do some homework. I need to clean my kitchen. I need to do 20 minutes of yoga the minutes I walk through the door.” However, as soon as I walk through the door, I rush to my room, take off my work clothes, throw on my pajamas, race back down stairs and check the refrigerator to see what I can eat.

At this very point, I realize I have an opportunity to be good today. To reach for something healthy, or if not healthy, to eat it in a way that is mindful and not mindless. What usually happens is I grab the more unhealthy than healthy option, sit in front of the TV, and forget that I’m breaking one of my cardinal rules: Thou shall not eat in front of  back lit screens. From that moment, is where it all goes to parch. Suddenly, I want something sweet. Right now, my home happens to full of all sorts of sweet things because the last time I went shopping, I went without purpose and didn’t get anything I meant to. I know the right thing to do would be throw it all out, to give it away, to do anything but EAT it, but part of this journey is relearning how to be around food. For the first time in my life I don’t have to fight anyone for the left overs in the fridge. If I want my cookies to last a day or a month, its up to me to make that happen. And so the junk stays. (Example: I have four individual servings of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in my freezer right now, that have been there since the beginning of August.)

Then a new problem arises when I have my dinner, I’ll have the handful of gummy worms, followed by a soda, and I just munch and munch and munch. I don’t even know what I’m eating, just that I am. Last night I ate a second dinner because I didn’t feel full enough. I was in some sort of manic mode, and I was in such a fog that I couldn’t stop to figure out why I felt that way. Midnight hit, and I forced myself to go to bed. (Sleep didn’t come for a few more hours, however.)

I’ve done this every night for two weeks. I’m so tired by the time I get home, I can’t lift a finger to do anything except comfort myself.

I want to be the person who finds their second wind upon entering their house, and proceeds to work hard and sweat. I know somewhere deep inside me there is a potential for it. I know I won’t be that person until I start acting like that person. I guess I just wish it was easier.

Todays weight: 308
(I must be doing something right…)