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Sneaky Eating, Foodie Style January 25, 2010

I’ve been dyyying to write this post ever since I read ManMeetsScale’s fantastic post on “Sneaky Eating.” Once again I was blown away by the terrific writing, absolute honesty and hilarious humor in this guy’s writing. And I had so so so so many things to say in response but kept feeling as if I’d need two free years and a 500-page blank book in order to do it. (might need that anyway)

Go read that one first. Then come back here. Are you back? Wasn’t that great??

I have to say, it brought tears to my eyes. The kind of tears that come when you really feel SEEN. And understood. Now I suspect that many, many people feel this same way about certain food behaviors, but they don’t go around telling people about it. The thing that astonishes me about this CEO of ours is that he DOES put his dirty laundry out there. And it is such a gift and a service to all the rest of us.

I was completely fascinated by the way he does that “sneak a little spoonful” thing. That’s not how I do it. You wanna hear how I do it? My own personal sneakiness has to do with eating in a car. I think I have had this belief that “if you eat it in a car, it’s invisible” (and of COURSE contains no calories! Natch!) And the car is like this little soundproof, sealed, safe container.

I don’t remember when I first started eating in a car but I suspect it had something to do with when I got married and no longer lived alone. I had to find a place where I’d be anonymous, hidden. My favorites were super-rich macaroni and cheese, or creamy polenta, or chocolate Schoolboy biscuits (the whole box) or shortbread cookies (the whole package). If I was stressed, I’d head straight to the Andronico’s parking lot and there I’d be.

Last week, at my Healthaversary party, someone said to me (in front of everyone else): “I know so many people who try and try and try to lose weight but never can. But you did. What do you think your secret is?” I had to think really hard about that. But I truly do think that the answer is, to come out into the open about what is previously shameful.

Which is at the essence of a really, really good WW meeting. Or blogging about one’s food and weight and eating.

I kept this in the “dark” for so so so so long and it just fueled it, like.. what? Mushrooms? (trying to think of what grows in the dark) Even therapy, a LOT of it, didn’t really touch it because it was just too… private. But talking about it amongst my blogging and Twitter and face-to-face friends has really been the Secret.

I’m taking it another step further. I’m very very very excited to be turning Foodie McBody, the Story, (HA!) into a live solo performance show! I’ve done solo performance before and there is nothing that is quite as wonderful and cathartic and moving. I’m working on a short piece that will be performed (by me!) the night of March 28th, in San Francisco. (same night as the morning of the MARATHON!) If any of you will be around, I’d be extremely psyched to have some friendly faces in the audience. More details to come as it gets closer.

What’s YOUR sneaky eating like? C’mon, tell Foodie all about it.

 

Going the Distance January 24, 2010


Running Shoes

Originally uploaded by ArtsiAnnie

I think I have been kind of in denial about the fact that I actually registered for a half-marathon which is taking place in TWO WEEKS. But yesterday I received my race number in the mail and that sure woke me up fast! I was like.. umm… gulp.. WHAT did I do?!?!?

I felt like I had to decide if this was Real or not. The friend who invited me to participate said that she might end up switching over to the 5K. I am fine with doing a 5k, really, but then when I got that number in the mail, and saw the route map, I thought, oh, COULD I do it?!?

Thirteen point one miles is quite a distance. I thought I’d better check out my long-distance stamina and see what happens.

So this afternoon I went over to our lovely neighborhood lake which happens to be around 3 miles around (can be stretched to 3.5 or 5K if you take a bunch of extra side wrinkles, which I didn’t). I was all loaded up with gadgets! I had my Bodybugg on (for calories & steps), and also my iPhone which was set to Runkeeper (for distance and pace info) and for my music.

I figured I could do 2 laps and then decide. After the first lap (3 miles) I felt GREAT. Then I did the second one. After 6 miles, I felt pretty good, not BAD, but I knew that last one was gonna take some pushing. I was walking at an average of 14-14.4 minute mile, and then every so often I’d run for a few minutes, around 11-12 minute mile. That felt good.

But during that last lap, between 7-9 miles I could feel things breaking down. First my skin. I was wearing stupid socks and at one point I walked into a puddle so my feet got wet and then I got a blister. :-) The blister really bothered me when I ran. Then my hips started feeling like old-lady hips around mile 8. The only thing that relieved them was RUNNING, but then the blister whined at me. I was pretty happy to see my car at the end of the third lap.

So, bottom line: 9 miles, 2 hours 10 minutes (average pace 14.44). My goal is to finish the half-M in less than 3 hours (15mph) so if I can keep up that pace I’m good. I felt really really tired at the end of 9, but I also felt like if I had to do 4 more I could do it. So that was really good.

I did learn:
1. I will bring moleskin, and wear better socks.
2. I will have water (water stations) and I will carry some nutrition (bars and/or Gu). I got pretty hungry around mile 8 and then after I stopped I was kind of bonky feeling. I went to a nearby store and guzzled a big bottle of Vitamin water. Then I came home and my bg was all high. Bleah.
3. I can probably do a half marathon in two weeks! Yahoozie!!!!!!

 

The Breakfast Experiment January 22, 2010

Last week I began an awesome tele-class with the dynamic duo of MizFitOnline and Dinneen  of EatWithoutGuilt. What an amazing team they are! They’re teaching a pilot class called Jumpstart 2010, and I feel fortunate to be part of it. MizFit is a unique expert on all things fitness, and Dinneen is the queen of intuitive healthy eating. Together, they are just fantastic. (for you Twitter folks, look for the hashtag #JS2010 to see Tweets on this class)

For me, I feel it is necessary to always continue learning, finding ways of fine-tuning my understanding of both fitness and nutrition. I can’t afford to sit back and say, “I’m done now.” So it was a great opportunity for me to be able to participate in this class and see/experience things in a different way. Already I am so glad for what I absorbed in the first session.

One of the “homework” assignments of the first week was the Breakfast Experiment. Which consists of eating something new for breakfast every day, and logging how we feel right after, and also 2 hours after each meal.

Here’s what I’ve noted so far.

Day 1: 10am (after heavy workout) mini whole wheat bagels (“bagelettes”) with peanut butter. Pretty good. But since I ate SO late, I was ready for lunch around noon.

Day 2: 8am – caramelized onion scramble (one egg + one eggwhite) with one small slice ham, sprinkling of goat cheese. Plus blueberries on the side. This was VERY filling (Weight Watcher folks will recognize this as a classic “filling food” breakfast!!) and I was happy/satisfied until 12:30pm lunch. Thumbs-up breakfast, but I don’t always have time for this.

Day 3: 10am (again after heavy workout) – 0% Fage yogurt with blueberries, a couple pecans and a drizzle of agave syrup. Very refreshing and yummy after hot workout, but a slight tummyache half an hour later. Was it because it was cold? Because it was dairy? Because it was cold dairy? Hmm.

My trainer yelled at me this morning bc I admitted I had not eaten anything before the workout, only a cup of coffee. I KNOW this is not good. But I am rushing around like a bat out of hell in the AM, driving daughter to school, then rushing to the gym, and it’s all I can do to get a cup of coffee in me to fling myself behind the wheel. No, it’s not ALL I can do, but…

I resist eating before workouts because:

1. It’s early.

2. I don’t like eating the second I wake up.

3. I reallllllly don’t like working out with stuff in my stomach. Because I work out so hard there is often the danger of puking. Today I felt pukey enough on on empty stomach.

I guess the only solution to this is to (nooooooooo!!!) get up earlier. Which means (noooooooo!) going to bed earlier. And maybe I will have one of those mini-bagels, or a slice of turkey? or cheese? on the way to the gym. I’m going to have to experiment with this.  Miz? Dinneen? Any thoughts on this?

Edited to add:

Day 4: Double fiber English muffin with cheddar cheese. I didn’t think this was going to last very long, but it was amaaazingly filling and staying! Four hours, easy.

Day 5: Bear mush hot cereal with blueberries & cream. DELICIOUS. Also very long-lasting. Yum.

 

Bubbles of Hope January 16, 2010

I had the best day today. My healthaversary party was as wonderful and fun as I’d hoped. We did a beautiful walk through the volcanic park to the labyrinth (see the aerial view with cows), walked round and round, laid little symbolic objects of hope and health at the altar, and then blew bubbles of hope for the new year. Then came to my house for a fantastically delicious brunch. Many of my great friends included signs with POINTS values of the delicious dishes they made, including Weight Watchers chocolate cake! YUM!

Not much else to say. It made me very happy. Pictures!

 

Healthaversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Blogaversary! WOOOO!!!!!! January 15, 2010


Confetti

Originally uploaded by ADoseofShipBoy

One year ago this week, I got my blood tested and discovered that I had high blood glucose (prediabetes, then diabetes), high triglycerides and cholesterol. I already knew I had high blood pressure. I had been in denial for a long time.

I started this blog a year ago this weekend. Boy, was I in a sorry, scared and messed up state. I really did not think I could manage to pull myself into health. When I read that post now, it makes me cry, feeling so bad for that unhealthy, terrified person. But also a little good weeping too, knowing that I WAS able to pull her into health.

For a long time, I didn’t tell anyone I “knew” about this blog, including my own dear husband. I was so afraid and embarrassed. I knew I had to change but I felt safer sharing with strangers than I did with “real life” friends and family. That’s why Foodie Mcbody was born, because I was too mortified to use my real name.

I feel like all the parts of myself have come together this year.

I am so very grateful to the amazing friends, bloggers, mentors, teachers I have met on this journey. Dinneen at EatWithoutGuilt reached out to me on Twitter and I will forever remember her as someone who truly cared, and wasn’t just trying to sell me some stuff. Her way is a good way, people. Carla at MizFitOnline also threw me a lot of support, and I was amazed that she didn’t even HAVE stuff to sell, other than her awesome Tshirts. She has served as an incredible role model for me. Those two are at the top of my GREAT TEACHERS list. Marsha and the folks at Green Mountain At Fox Run are another great bunch of wise folks, doing it sane and healthy. (one day I’d love to get there!) Once I discovered the joys of Nia, Terre at HelpYouWell has been a fabulous cheerleader and Nia mentor. She didn’t even mind that I thought Nia was borderline ridiculous when I first went – but then I couldn’t stop going! Bookieboo over at Mamavation has started an incredibly inspiring campaign and I am thrilled to be one of her cheerleaders!

Learning that I had diabetes was frightening. But Biz over at Biggest Diabetic Loser has been a real inspiration, a support and has helped me figure out what to eat! Mimi at One Sweeter Life really got me thinking about running as a real possibility and not just a dream, and also got me hooked on fitness gadgets :-). Pubsgal at the Opposite Life is my mirror image in so many ways – a writer, recently diagnosed diabetic mom and runner, and we even got to meet up at a 5k race this year!

It goes without saying that I would be nowhere without the unending support and encouragement and butt-kicking from the World’s Most Awesome Trainer. I am thrilled to pieces that now SEVERAL of my local buddies have caught the butt-kicking bug and are now training with him (and sometimes alongside me)! SO GREAT.

I have not always been the world’s biggest fan, but I am now totally sold on Weight Watchers. This program has done wonders for me. It helped me reach my goal for the first time in my life, and more importantly, has helped me maintain it since July. I feel so happy and “at home” in this program and so fortunate to be working and sharing it with others. From the awesome CEO on down to my fabulous coworkers, I feel really really happy to be part of the WW world.

Then I discovered Twitter and have been amazed and thrilled at the friends I’ve made there: the fabulous and awesome and I-can’t-tell-you-how-I-love-them Shannon (and Angie!!!) at the Fabulous Fatties.  I love Karen‘s insight’s over at Why Weight? Bookworm Jen at Jen In Real LifeHilary at Tinyglow. Kenz at All the Weigh is a real inspiration. (she’s my buddy in the DK Fan Club!) Jack Sh*t has never failed to make me laugh out loud OR to motivate me. I think Mary at A Merry Life is great, and ditto on that for Mish at Eating Journey. I also love @Footdr69, Trish at I Am Succeeding, Shelley at My Journey to Fit and oh gosh the list goes on and on and on and on and I am running late for carpool!

This post is my way of celebrating all of my “invisible” friends and community. Tomorrow, I will celebrate with my up-close and local friends. First, we will take a hike in a beautiful volcanic (true!) park nearby, and do a little walk around the labyrinth there, leaving a small symbolic object for hope and health in 2010. Then we’ll come back to my house for a fabulous brunch. I am sooooo excited – about to do some grocery shopping for a beautiful Caramelized Onion/Goat Cheese/Sage frittata, some asparagus quiche and other yumminess. I’m also going to make some Prosecco Mimosas – yum!

I wish that every single person who has supported, encouraged and helped me this year could be with me this weekend. I am so very grateful and filled with love for you all.

Confetti on everyone! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here’s to another year!

 

My Scale, My Friend

I’ve been thinking a lot about my scale lately because it seems that several people I know have been breaking up with theirs. I was very very moved by both Mish and Shannon‘s recent decisions to destroy their scales (click on their names to read their stories).  They felt like they were in unhealthy relationships with these pesky machines that were torturing them. Believe me, if I felt the same way about mine, I’d be tossing mine out the window too. I totally applaud their decisions and their liberation from what felt like very unhappy relationships.

I don’t feel that way about my scale. I’m going to let mine stick around for a while. I know that the whole TOPIC of scales is a very hot one. Some people are very anti-scale, and I can understand their reasoning. But over here, I feel like the scale is my friend. A firm, nonjudgmental and honest friend who will tell me what’s what, because you know, a lot of time I really don’t know.

Mish talked about discovering that she gained a small amount (less than a pound?) and that it totally ruined the rest of her day, after she woke up feeling strong and healthy and happy. I cried watching her video. It sounded so painful.

Sometimes the scale surprises me but I have really never had this experience. For one thing, going up or down a pound virtually means nothing to me, because my weight can fluctuate up to 3 pounds in 8 hours, depending on so many things. If I’ve eaten or if I’ve had anything to drink. If I’ve gone to the bathroom (sorry if TMI). If I’ve exercised or what time of the month it is, or if I’ve taken my medication. So basically, a pound either way doesn’t really mean anything to me and I’d never be upset about a small gain like that.

I’m much more likely to live in denial. Take last weekend. I went out to eat a few times. I ran on the beach. I took some long walks. I made some nice healthy meals. But I also made some warm shortbread cookies. On balance, I had no idea what I had done, bodywise. When I got home, I was wearing some rather loose jeans that were kinda stretched out. I’d say I was feeling kinda “skinny.” But when I got home my scale told me I’d gained a few. And instead of crying and wailing and heaving my scale across the room, I almost kissed it. I thanked it for telling me the real deal (ie, that the cookies and restaurant meals had overbalanced the running and the nice veggies I’d cooked). I said, “Thanks. Thanks for telling me the truth, friend.” And then I set to righting my little ship this week, and every day I’ve seen it edge back down toward where I want it to be.

I’ve rarely felt shocked and dismayed by the scale. Normally I feel like, if it goes up, I know EXACTLY why. Sometimes I wonder, “What took you so long?” Over the holiday period, my weight remained steady and even dipped down pretty low about a week before Christmas. I felt like, wow, I was golden. I think I let loose a bit, and then New Year’s week, BANG, reality hit. See, I couldn’t get away with some stuff I was hoping I could.

All this to say that I am really grateful to my scale for letting me know when I start gaining a couple. Because it gives me the chance to U-turn before the couple turns into 5 and then 5 turns into 10 and then I can’t zip my pants. I don’t want to let it get that far.

But it’s easy for me to slip into denial, or to have some magical thinking like, I work for Weight Watchers! I’m immune now! (NOT.) Or whatever little loophole I’ve dreamed up.

My scale sits in my bathroom and it whispers to me. It tells me what I need to do, not in a mean way, but in a gentle, supportive way. I know that different scales have different Voices for their owners. Mine is my friend and I’m not about to give it up.

 

2010: A Marathon year January 10, 2010

I’ve signed up for two marathons in the next couple of months! Woot! Before you get all awed and excited, let me be clear. I am NOT GOING TO RUN A FULL MARATHON. My body is not ready for that, my mind is not ready, and my schedule does not have the time to train for such an endeavor. However, I plan to:

* Complete (in some combination of locomotion, but mostly walking) a half-marathon in San Francisco on February 7th.
* RUN as part of a 4-person relay team for the Oakland Marathon (historical event! first marathon in Oaktown in 25 yrs!!!) on March 28th. I just signed us up. Go, Team Penguin! We’ll waddle our way to the finish!!

I am excited about these events. Really excited. This morning I took a beautiful mini-run (2 miles) on the beach where we are staying. I felt so exhilarated and happy. Those two miles were slow, but easy, loping. I probably averaged about a 12 minute mile. Which is quite penguinesque. But I wasn’t trying to run fast or anything, I just wanted to see if I could run. I am hoping I can triple that for the relay in a few months.

One thing I am a little nervous about is that they state that no “musical devices” are allowed. Um. I am not sure I can run without one. In fact I am pretty sure I don’t even want to try. I am already scheming how I can put a little iPod shuffle in my hair and hide it. I NEED MY MUSIC: to keep my pace, and to keep the sound of my own heavy breathing out of my ears. There’s nothing that freaks me out more than the sound of my own labored breath.

I DID complete a full marathon back in 2000, the Country Music Marathon in Nashville Tennessee. I trained with Team in Training and had great fun. What I remember back then, though, is that I was almost 20 lbs heavier than I am now, and how I thought that in order to train, I need to EAT A LOT. Of pasta (carbo loading anyone) and Steak. Ha ha ha ha. I have photos of myself in my hotel room, porking out on creme brulee, spare ribs, Krispy Kreme donuts. Wow. I probably put on 5 lbs during the months I was training. Interesting, huh? I trained as a walker and did pretty well, but I never did anything BUT walk. Not any weight training or anything, except… lots of walking.

Things feel so different now! I’m excited for these marathons. I have to talk myself down from feeling somehow “less than” because I haven’t committed to running the full length. It’s just not in the cards for me right now, or rather, I’m not CHOOSING those cards. I don’t think I have anything to prove. I am just excited to participate in these two events in ways that feel healthy and good for me.

Ah, the wisdom of the aged. (snicker)

 

 
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