Progress Pics

Here is a picture I took about a week ago (on the left). It’s been awhile since I’ve posted progress pictures. Interestingly, I took a set of pictures in the same place (locker room at the gym) in the same outfit in May (on the right). I have “only” lost 5 lbs since then (I weighed 242 in May and 237 this week), but it is amazing how much working out has changed the composition of my body. The difference is remarkable, even to me.

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I decided to go with the Chicken Marsala option, and I requested all sauces and dressings on the side. I think this will help me to limit the amount of Marsala sauce that is on my dish. Also, the dessert is tiramisu, and I don’t even really like that so I think I will pass on it. Thanks for all the input!

Also – to clarify, I am generally not shy about requesting sauces on the side or making other (what I deem not ridiculous) special requests, like steaming veggies instead of cooking them with butter. I do get shy about it, though, with “mass produced” catering-type meals like you’d get at a wedding or group dinner like this. I got over it though and asked for the meal like I wanted it!
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Vote please/help

Holiday dinner for work is upon us…which of these do you think is the healthiest? All look tasty. Also do you think it is too gauche to special order dressings/sauces on the sides?

1) Chicken Marsala – Pan-Seared Chicken Breast Served with a Parmesan Risotto Cake, Steamed Asparagus and Marsala Sauce

2) Roasted Pork Loin – Served with Puree of Potatoes and Wild Mushroom Sauce

3) Lasagna Alla Bolognese – Chef’s Signature Bolognese, Bechamelle, Tomato, Fresh Basil, and Mozzarella

Please let me know your thoughts on

a) entree choice

b) tackiness of asking for sauces on the side…

Thank you! More substantial posts coming when I have time. Maybe midweek…

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Halloween Candy

I forgot to post this earlier, but I made it through the Halloween season without buying any Halloween candy. I probably had it four or five times (at work, at various parties, etc) but it was in all cases a fun size or less. Now, that is incredible to me. I cannot think of a single year when I have not inhaled at least one bag of Halloween candy.

For those of you who don’t binge or have any disordered eating patterns, first of all congrats! But second of all (to the point of this post), when I buy a bag of Halloween candy I can’t think of a single time I’ve nursed the thing for a month or so until it’s gone. It’s usually gone in an evening. I just have developed over time terrible eating habits with certain foods and so for now it’s best for me not to have certain things around me or in my environment. And, at this time, big bags of Halloween candy are one of the things I try to avoid…and, this year I did!
Sarah 1, Halloween Candy 2010 0. BOOYAH!
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Last night I had one of the first binges I’ve had in probably 2 or 3 months. It was not good. I told some friends about some interesting/surprising/crappy stuff going on in my personal life and it was harder than I expected. While I am glad that I shared with them, it was surprisingly difficult to let them in on some of the stuff I consider embarrassing, shameful and central to my life.

I first of all want to apologize for being intentionally ambiguous, but I know that a couple my students read this and I don’t want to really go there so publicly. Anyway, I told my friends about this situation that I deal with (and have been for about 10+ years now) and it is never fun to talk about or deal with. I told them that it was like a scab had formed over the wound, however, and now the recent developments – while potentially positive – were just ripping the scab right off and exposing some very real hurts underneath. This might be necessary for healing, but I can tell you it still sucks.
I am glad my friends now know and can help support me through this unpleasant situation. However, I was surprised at how unsettled the whole thing left me. I went home by way of Walmart and picked up a bunch of food — cheese, salami, pretzels, and green onion dip. The funny thing is I thought to myself “You KNOW this will not make you feel better. STOP IT!!!” Like a defiant child, however, I soldiered out of that Walmart with crappy food in hand and ate it. I threw a lot of it away, but still, I ate a lot of it. Yuck. Not one of my finer moments.
The thing is, the situation I’m referring to is crappy. However, there is little or nothing I can do about it. This situation has already caused me (and all of our family) anguish and heartache, so why would I let it bother me more and impede my progress to live a healthy life? The reality is, removing myself from the situation is what I believe to be best for my mental health. That is not always possible, but a large part of the time it is. Engaging in the situation just makes me want to eat and feel sorry for myself, and last night I went there. It was not a proud moment. However, it is a moment I can learn from so that is what I need to do. Learn from it and move on. Maybe in time I can even face this and overcome my instinctual reactions to this situation, but one of the hardest parts is knowing that I cannot change it. There is nothing you can do to make someone else want to change. And knowing that sucks, but is not worth overeating about.
Posted in binges, dad, feelings, setback | Leave a comment

Lessons from Disney World

I had a great time at Disney World. It was nice to reconnect with two friends I don’t get to see as often as I’d like.

First a recap of what we did.
Seriously, with the exception of many of the rides at Hollywood Studios and some of the very kiddie rides we cared nothing about, it is safe to say we did everything at the parks. We rode Space Mountain 4 times We rode Expedition Everest twice. We rode most everything else at least once. We. did. everything. And it was fun.
I read online that the average Disney guest walks 8 miles/day. While I have no idea whether or not this is true, I would not be surprised. We went from sunup to sundown — one day, we left our hotel at 8 AM and got back at 3:30 AM and had been doing Disney stuff all day long. I am not exaggerating either. But, we got to see everything and we had fun which made it all worth it.
Here are some of the things I learned or confirmed with respect to my eating and healthy lifestyle movement.
  • I need to have food with me all the time. If I get too hungry, it is not pretty and I will crash. And when that happens, I will not be nice. This happened to me on Saturday, and I had no food with me so I had to get a candy bar because my body was absolutely rebelling on me and threatening not to function unless I fueled it immediately. I only wish I had had better fuel to give it.
  • I really do know more about my back. On Saturday, my back was killing me (I could not even carry my purse/waterbottle with me or else my back would spasm violently). However, I kept stretching and did some yoga that evening and then the next morning I was fine. This was great, considering I was at one point concerned I would not be able to walk the next day. I am glad I can catch the back problems at an earlier stage and I know now how to “fix” them or, at least, prevent them from escalating further out of control.
  • My motivation wanes as I get further acclimated to an environment. The first day at Disney, I had a cup of clam chowder, a pop, carrots and yogurt for lunch. My eating got worse as the vacation went on (but, fortunately, it never got super abysmal).
  • My body can more or less do what I ask it to. I was able to walk and walk and walk and walk and walk this vacation. Sometimes fast too, and sometimes (though rarely) I even broke into a run. I remember last time I went to Disney I was about 60 lbs heavier than I am now, and my feet gave out and eventually I was too tired to press on. Not this time – not even 18 hours of nonstop Disney magic made me give out! Crazy. My body simply would not have allowed that when I was less healthy.
It was so nice to be able to ride rides and actually be curious what the photos of me on the ride looked like rather than being like “OMG am I REALLY that fat?!” In fact, I thought this one was so funny, I sent it to myself. Check out how my life in the future might be…. All in all, one of the least relaxing but best vacations I’ve had.
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Austin and turning a Corner

I had a great time in Austin at my conference. I met some new people, learned about new stuff going on in my field, and connected with old friends. I really love to do that.

I made several really significant choices that made me realized “Huh, my life has changed and this is totally doable.” It was as though I had turned a corner on the trip. Let me give you some examples.
  • I packed healthy bars (e.g., Larabars), a bag of apples, and beef jerky for breakfasts and snacks. I felt I would be in better control than leaving these meals to fate. Don’t get me wrong, I still love bagels, sausage, eggs, and all kinds of other breakfast foods, but to be honest I didn’t really miss not having them and felt 100% satisfied by my breakfasts (once I got a bottle of milk).
  • I went out to dinner a lot (what other options are there in a new place with no kitchen?), and a couple of times split things with friends. I knew that ordering a whole plate for myself wouldn’t have anything to do with hunger (there is almost always way too much food at restaurants), and I was not sad about this decision. Turns out the food at one restaurant (BBQ) was kind of gross and I ended up leaving the part I didn’t like behind. That would have NEVER happened in the past. Mashed potatoes — whether they were gross or not — would have been inhaled. Not this time.
  • The gym at the hotel was $15 a day to use. I HATE THAT AND VERY LITTLE IRKS ME MORE THAN PAYING $200/DAY FOR A HOTEL AND THEN HAVING TO PAY FOR THE GYM ON TOP OF THAT!!! Instead of using this as an excuse not to work out, I got up at 5 each morning and went for a long walk. It was actually nice to have a chance to explore Austin (and I felt safe doing so), so it ended up to be a good thing since I was otherwise at the conference venue most of the day.
  • I felt like I had reasonable control over balancing treats and eating healthy. I came back very very sodium waterlogged, but did not otherwise have a significant weight change, which was great.
  • I went out to lunch and one day ordered a side of veggies instead of fries — not because I felt like I should, but because I wanted to and was concerned my body was not getting enough fiber. I thought to myself as I did it “OMG is this really happening or am I having an out of body experience?!”
  • I realized I needed a lot less sleep than I used to. Remember how I wanted to get a bunch of sleep for my upcoming trip? Totally didn’t happen. Most nights I slept 5-6 hours. I usually sleep about 7 hours. In spite of the lack of sleep, I did fine. I was surprised but happy to learn that I don’t need as much sleep as I thought.
  • (This one is huge) I did not once eat in secret. I did not pig out because I could or because I felt like I had an excuse of being out of town. This is huge for me. I thought “Huh, this must be how normal people eat…not that I’d really know.”
I’ve posted a couple pictures of me at the conference. These are significant not only because I look smaller than I did last year at this conference, but also because I bought this shirt last year for the same conference but it ended up being to small. This year it was not. I was ecstatic to be able to wear it. Hopefully next year it might even be loose!
I think for me the reason that this trip was so significant was because I felt very at peace with food. I didn’t think about it all that much. I thought about the real reasons I was at the conference, and none of them were to eat. I rarely thought about food other than when I was hungry. For someone with such a hugely dysfunctional past with food, this is huge. I was delighted to feel like I had turned some kind of a corner on this trip. I actually felt normal, which is a very comforting feeling after having felt so weird around food for so long.
Posted in balance, big deal, pictures, travel | 1 Comment