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Give Up, or Step it Up March 12, 2009

I decided, in the interest of honesty, to adjust my weight-loss meter downward to reflect reality. It wasn’t just a temporary bump, apparently. This two pound leap has lasted more than a week so I have to call it real. However, the one pound bump from yesterday is gone. :-)

Yesterday was a real turning point for me. I have been at this point so many times before, and so often I take it as a cue to sigh heavily, (no pun intended), throw in the towel and say, “I just can’t lose weight.” It actually sort of astounds me now to think that I believed it would magically melt away with a minimum of effort. But then again, there are countless promises out there that this is exacty what will happen.

So yesterday I had the choice to either wring my hands and give up, which would lead to me gaining all the weight back, OR I could step it up. I decided to step it up. Today I went to the gym and did 45 minutes on the elliptical, including one nice hard sprint, followed by 2000 meters on the erg machine just for extra. I was GOING to go to a yoga class after that but instead decided I’d be better off going to the shoe store.

I have super flat, painful arches in my feet. The first 15-20 minutes of any workout, even plain walking or using the elliptical, is excruciating for my feet. My running shoes, which were once lovely, are now three years old and basically I might as well strap a couple of pancakes on my feet. They’re worthless, and yesterday my trainer told me very sternly that I am doing damage to myself by working out in these shoes. I got some new ones. They feel amazing. I can’t wait to work out tomorrow!

After getting my shoes, I realized I had not eaten much anything yet. I decided to take myself out to breakfast. This place across from the shoe store advertised breakfast for $6, including eggs and something mysterious called mamounia, or “middle eastern cereal.” I ordered steamed eggs with mushrooms. It came with a bagel (which I did not touch), and a little bowl of this lovely looking brown hot cereal. I thought, if it’s brown it must be healthy. (OK, are you laughing at me yet?) I gingerly took a spoonful. It was sooooooo good! Mmm, I love mamounia! Whatever it is! Finally I asked the waitress, “What is in this?” and she said, “Cream of wheat, cottage cheese, butter and brown sugar!” Ohhh. So that’s why it was so delicious. Thankfully I only had 3 spoonfuls, which was actualy quite satisfying. Saved by mindful eating. I murmured a little prayer of appreciation to the mamounia and then did not touch it again.  I noticed I was not totally wild about the eggs, but ate them anyway because they were the only thing on my plate I could eat. I ate about half. I hate throwing away money (and I was already throwing away the bagel and the mamounia) and I knew if I didn’t eat it, I would be really hungry pretty soon. So I ate half. What would mindful eaters do in this situation? Somebody tell me.

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13 Responses to “Give Up, or Step it Up”

  1. jadepark Says:

    you did the right thing. :) i guess you could’ve taken the food home and given it to a carb-eater, but then it’d be cold and what’s the point? you couldn’t have done any better!

  2. Exactly. A stale, hard bagel and some gluey cold cereal wouldn’t have appealed to anyone. It’s hard “wasting” food though…

  3. As a mindful eater, I would have eaten the egg for the protein, and I do like eggs. For the mamounia, as you liked it so much (sounds like I would too!) — I would have eaten it slowly, and really enjoying every bite. Just feeling the texture on my tongue and experiencing the new flavors. I probably would have pictured myself somewhere in the Middle East eating it too.

    Okay, know it sounds weird by I LOVE to travel and experience new foods. Other countries really know how to eat for pleasure, and eat REAL foods, than we do here in the US.

    Then, I would have taken a few sips of water, tea or coffee (I drink all three, not at once, but definitely would have had coffee & water), and just paused. Even if for one minute.

    Then I would have eaten more of the mamounia (as it was SO good — and if I was still hungry) and continued to enjoy it.

    For the bagel — throwing it out is OK. This is where our “past” comes in to haunt us w/food. People won’t starve by you throwing out one bagel. You could have also taken it w/you and given it to a homeless guy on the street. Okay, may sound weird, but when I used to work in downtown Boston I would do that. And the guy would appreciate it.

  4. somedayistoday Says:

    Way to go for not giving up. If you’ve been here before, the same wieght, you’re body knows this and will fight going lower for a few weeks. When ever I get to a wieght that I used to be at for months or even years, it takes a few weeks, sometimes a month for it to finally move downward for good. The key is not giving up and knowing that what you’re doing has benefits other than that scale! I did more running today at a faster speed than I’ve even done in my life! My trainer told me that all the cardio I’ve been doing on my own is how I’m able to now do this running with out my knees hurting so bad.

    Good job with the food! I would have eaten the whole egg anyway for the protien.

  5. somedayistoday Says:

    Oh, I forgot, I’ve done the same thing as Dineen – giving away food to the homeless guy on the corner. We have a lot here in San Diego!

  6. Karen Says:

    Good job. You are definitely a mindful eater. One thing I’ve been known to do is to liberally sprinkle something like Sweet & Low all over french fries or salt over something sweet so that I am not tempted after having a small bite or two.

    I also agree with Dineen about savoring and enjoying the mamounia. It’s certainly better than eating some icky processed cereal full of chemicals, HFCS and transfats!

  7. Lauren Says:

    - I also do what Karen does, putting condiments on my food when I want to be done eating it. If you are strong enough not to do this, which is totally sounds like you are, this may not be necessary what so ever.

    - I remember in the Beck Diet books she emphasizes that it is okay to throw out food, whether it be sweets in your pantry or 65% crazy big portion when out for dinner, because you really would rather waste that, at most… five dollars… then turn that food into fat on your body. She said that “I can’t waste it” is a common sabotaging thought.

  8. You guys are so great. THANK YOU ALL for the fantastic comments. I’ve just been doing this blog since January and it means so much to have this supportive conversation with others.

    Dinneen- I love the idea of “thinking of the place where the food comes from.” Also giving it away – I’ve done that before and it certainly feels better than just tossing it.

    Someday: I did a double take when I read your post. I have been at this current weight for YEARS (a year ago and before) and it is a great point about my body not wanting to “give it up” yet. This weight was my “set point” for a long time. Hm. I hope it releases soon…

    Karen – the sweet and low idea is CRAZY and PERFECT. That is not something I would have thought of! I remember reading a strategy of someone who would pick at the leftovers after dinner, and she would wet the food and put dish soap on it quick so she wouldn’t eat it. This is something similar.

    Lauren- good reminder of the Beck idea that saving a few dollars is NOT worth those extra pounds.

    You’re all great.

  9. This is the tussel between wasting money and wasting food. Why to waste food? I will complete it and burn extra calories!…

  10. jadepark Says:

    Yah–but throwing the extra food into your own body is like treating your own body like a trash can. You are not a trash can! (this is what i had to tell myself to keep myself from eating alllllll the leftovers in our house in the name of ‘not wasting food’).

  11. jadepark Says:

    p.s. I too think Karen’s idea of pouring sweet and low all over fries when you’re “done” with it is BRILLIANT!!!! I’m going to do that. Fries are one of my achilles heels (i have more than 2).

  12. “throwing the extra food into your own body is like treating your own body like a trash can. You are not a trash can!”

    jadepark, that is such a fantastic and quoteable quote. I’m putting it on twitter right now!!

  13. [...] LICENSE. YAY!!!!  I am halfway to my weight-loss goal. I think I can safely say that the “step it up” approach was a good [...]


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