Ice Cream Junkie…

Today marks the first day I am going to totally follow the Six Week Body Makeover plan as it was designed.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been easing myself into it. All the groceries I buy only consist of food that’s on the plan. The days I’m “on plan”, I eat every two and a half hours and write down everything.

For the days I’m not on it, I allow myself to order takeout. The thing is, takeout just isn’t as satisfying as it used to be. There are so many things I just can’t eat anymore because they either lead to serious (and uncomfortable) gas issues or me spending a lot of time on the toilet within minutes of eating. Cheese, the food I used to love as a child, is now something my digestive system just can’t handle. Anything fried is the worst.

I’ve come to realize I feel better when I’m eating less processed food along with some animal protein. I don’t have any physical issues and, mentally, I’m clear and less irritable.

It’s the mental cravings that drive me insane. Out of the blue, I’ll mentally crave something like ice cream (something I rarely eat). I tell myself ice cream isn’t a good idea. I’ll feel sick after eating it. I tell myself it’s way too high in fat and sugar and is absolutely not part of the 6WBMO. I tell myself that, because I can’t eat it moderation, it wouldn’t be worth it. But like a relentless child who won’t accept “No” or logic or even a compromise, the “I really want some ice cream,” thought repeats in my brain. In the past, when I do give in, the usual promise I make to myself is that this is the last time…tomorrow I start getting serious and disciplined.

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve told myself that. Of course, it was never the last time nor was anything really different the next day.

I’m sure if I just give myself enough time consistently eating well the cravings will subside. Once I see more weight loss, the benefit of not eating crap will become a stronger motivation than my desire to have these foods.

Ugh. Is this “addiction”? Is this what people who drink or do drugs in excess go through as well?

On another note: I have two new interviews waiting to be transformed into podcasts for ESM. This will be my weekend project.

I also vow, tomorrow’s entry will be all about me doing the upper body workout I wrote about a few days ago.

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Yearning To Do a Kelly Coffey Meyer Workout

My sleeping schedule is completely out of whack again. Today was the worst. After staying up all night, I got, maybe, three hours of sleep before I was woken up by the alarm. I had to wake up to call the therapist I’ve been doing phone sessions with for the past couple of months. (More about that in a future blog post.)

After the session, I ordered out for food. Submarine sandwiches to be exact. Lately, for some odd reason, I’ve been craving tuna. Granted, a mayo-laden tuna salad sub isn’t exactly the healthiest way to take care of a fish craving. Nevertheless, it is a lot healthier than a lot of my past food choices and contains far less sodium.

I went back to bed and slept for a couple of hours before my ringing phone woke me up. After the call, I went back to sleep. A couple of hours later, same scenario.

As I write this, it’s just after midnight and I’m exhausted. I really want to do a workout, but I just don’t have the energy. I’m going to wrap a few things up, go to bed, and hope I get some decent sleep and get back to my goal of having a 2AM bedtime and wakeup time of 10AM.

The thing that’s most frustrating is that there’s a few workouts I found that I am dying to try. I’ll include videos of them below.

What the hell is wrong with me? I want to workout. I have tons of time to workout. I have many workout options. Yet, at every moment of the day, I choose to do something else and not workout.

I feel so disconnected from my body right now. It’s so frustrating. I feel like all these rapid-fire thoughts going through my mind are more powerful than the yearning I have to change my body. By “rapid-fire thoughts” I’m referring to my obsession with researching things. I’m constantly reading about things, and people, that really have nothing to do my goals. It’s everything from wondering about random people I haven’t thought about in years and searching for them on Facebook to watching an incredible 8-hour British miniseries that aired in the 90’s and then finding out as much as I possibly can about the guy who wrote it. (The miniseries is called Holding On and the writer is Tony Marchant.)

The one good thing about researching Tony Marchant was that he inspired me. In an interview, he mentions how he does his writing at libraries. I thought that was brilliant. I need to get out of my apartment to write. I didn’t want to go to a coffee shop (total cliché) or a food court (too noisy). A library is perfect. I live four blocks from one. Ideally, I’d wake up in the morning, workout, and at a certain time, walk to the library to write for an hour or so.

If only I could get my sleeping in order to be able to do that…

I love intellectual stimulation so much, but I know there’s a price I’m paying for it.

The workouts I mentioned:

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The beginning of October…

I’m determined to finish out this year with some success.

The last few weeks have pretty good when it comes to food.

I’ve cut back a lot on ordering takeout to just a couple of times a week. The food I am eating is with the Six Week Body Makeover food recommended list. When I eat, I also follow the recommended portions.

Now that I’m eating smaller portions, I think back to how much food I used to eat. I honestly never thought I ate that much. Um. Yeah. I did.

Honestly, it surprises me that I really do need so little food as long as I eat every few hours. Looking back, I think where I would go wrong is letting myself get really, really hungry and then buy into this logic that, if I’m so hungry, it’s going to take a lot of food to subside the hunger.

Not only that, but considering I’ve eaten takeout 70 percent of the time and cooked about 30 percent, I’ve always ordered way more food than I needed. Most places have a minimum delivery charge of $20. You can actually get a lot of food for $20.

I’m not exactly sure why it is that, when I did order takeout, I didn’t eat some of it and then leave the rest for the next day. For years, I’ve been in this cycle of not eating for almost 24 hours and then binging.

Well, hopefully I’m slowly backing away from that pattern. Right now, I find that I can stay on track as long as I eat every 2-3 hours. Any longer than that and I start making bad choices.

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Finally! An Eating Plan That’s Working for Me

The first part of September went by so fast.

A fair amount of time and energy was devoted to work. Then PMS set in and I spent days agitated and tired. Then my birthday came and went…

Awhile ago, I read a blog post Stephen, from Who Ate My Blog, wrote about binge eating. It inspired me to start thinking about binge eating. When I think of a binge eater, I think of someone who, for one reason or another, is really stressed out and eats huge amounts of food to numb all the overwhelming feelings they have. That’s not me.

But, I realized, that doesn’t mean I don’t binge.

My binge eating began when I was a teenager. My stepfather was awful. I avoided him as much as possible. When my family ate meals, I stayed in my room. No matter how hungry I would be, I’d wait until he either left the house or went to sleep before I’d come to the kitchen to eat.

Also, at that time, I’d spend as much time away from home as I could. Friends would let me sleep over. The thing about staying at someone’s house is that you can’t just eat their food when you’re hungry. Most of the time, I didn’t have much money for food either. So, sometimes, I’d go days without eating. When I finally got a chance, I would binge.

Then, in my 20’s, I was horrible when it came to spending money responsibility. I’d do stuff like buy books instead of food. Again, I’d go days without eating and binge when I finally bought food.

Now, I make enough money that, to my amazement, I can go into a grocery store and buy whatever I want without having to pay attention to the price. Yet, I still maintain this famish-feast behavior.

One thought lead to another and I decided to go back to the only formal eating plan that ever worked for me: the Six Week Body Makeover.

So far, it’s working well–mainly because I keep a daily record of my food intake and make sure, no matter what I’m doing, I eat every two and a half hours.

Here’s what a typical day of eating looks like:

Breakfast: 2oz protein, ½ cup carb
Snack: 1oz protein, ½ cup fruit
Lunch: 2oz protein, ½ cup carb, 1 cup veggie
Snack: 1oz protein, ½ cup fruit
Dinner: 2oz protein, ½ cup carb, 1-2 cup veggie
Snack: 1oz protein, ½ cup fruit

This works out to about 1000-1200 calories.

The premise of this eating plan is based on your “body type” (which you determine via answering a set of questions). Depending on your body type, there are certain foods you can, and cannot, eat.

So far, I’m liking the regular meals. I’m liking the portion control as well. (Normally, I never think about portion size.)

And, truth be told, I’m liking the break from making juice.

The only thing that doesn’t feel completely right to me is eating so much protein. I don’t know. Is eight ounces of protein a day a lot?

A part of me wants to follow this plan exactly as it was designed. The other part of me wants to tweak it a bit. The only animal protein I desire to eat is chicken. (I’m going to try ground turkey in a crock pot recipe this week though.) But I was thinking of having chicken, black beans, and protein shakes as being my three main protein options.

The other thing I’m trying to work out is getting in enough fruits and veggies. On this plan, I can eat all the leafy greens I want (which is awesome), but the plan’s list of acceptable veggies doesn’t have many that I actually like, so I’m limited in choices.

And did you see how little fruit is allowed? Lack of fruit is the hardest part of following this plan because, after years of reading about eating raw, I honestly believe fruit heals the body in ways nothing else can.

For now, I’m going to add a bit more fruit—like strawberries in a protein shake or pieces of apple in my oatmeal. I’m also going to use Amazing Grass Green SuperFood, take a multivitamin, and put hemp seed and chia seeds in my protein shakes.

Food-wise, this year started off really good for me. Then, starting in the middle of March I lost the momentum and after that I couldn’t seem to get the eating thing on track. I’ve stuck with the 6WBMO plan now for almost two weeks and I’m feeling good about it. And now that I’m done with my most recent menstrual cycle, I’m hoping to start seeing some actual weight loss again.

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Robert McKee Story Seminar Afterthoughts

It’s around 3:30AM. It’s my last night in Montreal. I need to be in a taxi heading to the airport by 11AM.

I had wanted to write blog posts while I was here. I didn’t anticipate how exhausting this writing seminar would be. My mind was racing so much during the four days that I only got four hours of sleep each night. The nearly ten hours of sitting each day nearly did me in as well.

Because he doesn’t allow phones out during the seminar, I had to sneak a photo. This was the best one I got.

The seminar was conducted by a guy named Robert McKee. He wrote a book called Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting which is considered the how-to Bible for screen writers. While I don’t want to be a screen writer, I did want to learn the intricacies of telling a good story. Four days and pages and pages of notes later, I think I, pretty much, get it.

So, now I go home with all of this new knowledge, inspiration, and awareness. I’m scared that once I get back home, I’ll just plop back into my chair, in front of my computer, and nothing will change. I have to fight to ensure that doesn’t happen.

In the midst of being excited, stimulated, focused, and inspired, I found myself not obsessing about food. I also didn’t crave heavy foods. I wanted to eat things that were light so I could keep feeling good. That’s such a contrast to my experience in NYC a few weeks ago.

However, being so energized didn’t keep me from feeling self-conscious about my size. The awareness was always there. I wondered what the cab drivers thought of me. I wondered what the people who sat in the same row as me were thinking of me crammed into the seat. I wondered what the person sitting behind me thought when I would squirm around or lean forward to find a more comfortable position to sit in.

Because I was sitting in the second row, I wondered what Mr. McKee thought of me when he’d come to the side of the stage I was sitting on and look down in my direction.

In my row, most of the time, there was only me and another woman. I was really grateful for the space, but I couldn’t help wondering if people were avoiding the row because of me.

I didn’t really chat with anyone a whole lot. Granted, I was anxious, tired, and really wanted to stay focused. It wasn’t my intention to chat up a bunch of people. However, when I would look around, during the breaks, and see people getting to know each other and bonding (you do that when you spend 10 hours a day together for four days straight), I felt…inadequate.

On the one hand, I think of myself as being totally social inept. On the other hand, I don’t want to do small talk. I want to skip it and get to know people on a deeper level. And then, whatever desire I do have to connect, is blocked by me feeling so uncomfortable with my appearance that I would rather avoid talking to people than feel the discomfort that comes with feeling self-conscious. It’s not just my weight that I feel like crap about. It’s also my crazy hair, my large pores, my Nystagmus, and the four ice pick scars on my face. I just feel so…repulsive.

There was a guy who, for part of the seminar, sat in front of me. We chatted for a bit. At times, I got the sense, he wanted to chat more. Instead, I consciously averted eye contact and took my iPhone out to check e-mail. I feel bad about that.

At the end of the seminar, I saw that same guy standing and talking with Mr. McKee. Looking back, I should have went over and just thanked Mr. McKee. Expressing gratitude is so important to me. But, yet again, I just quickly walked through the lobby so I could leave the theatre, catch a cab, and get back to my hotel room as soon as possible.

I didn’t just learn about story structure at this seminar. I learned things that, I know, have changed me at my core–things about choice, and change, and “characterization” vs. “character”. I will write more about this stuff in the upcoming days.

Ending on a practical note:

The week before I came here, I was drinking a lot of juice and a lot green smoothies. While I’ve been here, I’ve barely eaten anything raw. Today, when I get back, I’m looking forward to my first green smoothie in days.

Exercise wise, I did a fair amount of moving around, but did way more sitting.

Shay, from the ShayTards fame, is doing a weight loss-related group thing in September via his ShayLoss YouTube channel. I’m thinking of taking part.

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Preparing for the Montreal Trip

So begins me writing every day and being completely honest about what I’m doing to lose all this weight.

I’m using to write these entries. Using this site helps me feel like I can write personable posts. When I write in MS Word, I always feel like I have to write something formal.

There’s a lot going on in my head. Yesterday, I interviewed a woman for the podcast who lost 250lbs in 18 months. She did by dramatically changing up her food intake and working out at the gym two hours a day (cardio for one hour and strength training for the other hour). I could do that. I have the resources. I have the time. Honestly, the only thing missing is the motivation.

In two days, I’m off to Montreal. I’m going for a four-day writing seminar. I have mixed feelings about going. Even though it’s been two weeks since I got back from BlogHer, I feel like I’ve only been home for such a short time and I don’t want to go through the hassle of traveling again. I don’t want to sleep in another bed. I don’t want to have to go to bed early so I have to be up and out by 8AM so I can be at the seminar on time each day.

I hate that my weight overshadows everything. I think about people seeing me. I think about the seating on the plane. I think about whether or not I should take the Metro to the seminar and, if I do, will I be able to fit through the turnstile. I think about the seating in the theatre where the seminar will be held and how I’ll want to get there early each day to get an aisle seat and hope no one sits beside me. It’s not that I take up tons of space. It’s that I dread the idea of infringing upon someone else’s space.

I used to have the hardest time envisioning myself thin because I didn’t have a point of reference. There was a time, in my late teens, when I was at a healthy weight. I don’t have any photos of myself at that time though. I always wished I could be one of those people who knew what their body looked like at an ideal weight and had that solid goal to work toward.

Now, it’s not about that for me. It’s about getting back ease. And I do remember the times when I didn’t have to worry about plane seats, turnstiles, or theatre seats.

The other night, I was showing my mom where the Montreal hotel I’d be staying at via Google Maps. While we were looking around, I showed her the theatre I’ll also be going to and the walking route I would have taken to get there if I still lived in Montreal. (I lived there for six years.)

One of my street shots taken on St. Laurent Blvd. in Montreal.

Showing her the route using the Street View option brought back a lot of memories. When I lived in Montreal, I spent a lot of time sitting in front of my computer. A lot. Looking back though, I walked a lot too. I spent years walking all over the city taking photos. I walked up and down steep hills to buy groceries. I remember one time taking a bus in snow storm to buy two, ten-pound dumbbells, putting them in my backpack and then getting lost trying to find the right bus stop to get back home. Aye yi yi.

Now, a week can go by so fast and I haven’t left my apartment once. What has happened to me? Part of it is that being here has afforded me conveniences I’ve never had before. I can get anything delivered. I live within a few blocks of everything I need. It just bothers me that I am so in my head that I have no interest to go outside and just see what’s out there. On top of that, now, even if I cultivated this interest, I’d feel so self-conscious about going out into the world.

When David was here, he suggested I try walking around the block a couple of times a day. Sounds good to me…until I start thinking about what I would have to wear to cover up the sagging weight in the front of my body and thinking about how all the clothes I wear out in public are long, and long-sleeved and not really comfortable for sweaty walks in the heat when you’re trying to be invisible.

Beyond all of this, I’m excited to learn at this writing seminar. Deep down, I know being there will be worth all this mental torture I’m putting myself through.

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ESM Podcast: Episode #12: July 2012 Update

In this podcast, David and I talk about how things went for me in the month of July and my goals for the this month.


Time: 12 minutes


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