Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Weight Game

South Beach, Weight Watchers, calorie counting.....you name it, I've probably done it over the last seven years. I've played the weight game with my scale for years. However, as I've written about before, I've found a way to self sabotaged and get right back to where I started (and then some). This time, it's different.

I've lost 51 lbs since the day I gave birth to Katie (including the baby herself of course) and I have not dieted.

Here's how:

  • Emotional--I first and foremost got myself right emotionally. I faced my fears and grief. I didn't hide from it with giant pieces of food or binge until pain went away.
  • Physical--I found a form of exercise I actually like. One that is both good for me physically, mentally, and emotionally. One that challenges me each day in my practice. I'm never bored with yoga. Currently, I'm doing a 60 day challenge with the #batshitcrazyyoga crew. Day 19 and I've done 12 classes. Not quite as good as the crazy other girls who are like 15 or 16 of 19 days, but I'm going. I'm getting stronger.
  • The food--I stopped obsessing!! Imagine, I've let it go. I eat healthy and follow good principles--low carb or whole wheats, lots of salads, plenty of fruits and veggies, lean meats, limited sugar. I'm not perfect. This morning, I texted a girlfriend with "Screw it, I'm getting a chicken biscuit." I have stopped depriving myself and telling myself I CAN'T have the XYZ item I really wanted.
    Recently, I read a booked about breaking free from emotional eating. Oh boy is that me. I don't want an alcoholic beverage when I'm hurting or stressed, I want a big old milkshake! I found two major takeaways from this book: 1) Don't deprive. People like me don't do well with these uber restrictive diets because we turn it into a negative. I have a negative relationship with food. For example, as I've done many a time in the past, if I'm dieting a really restricting myself I might struggle if I see a cookie on the conference room table at work. I want the cookie. To avoid it, I might have eaten something else. Of course, this wouldn't satisfy me, so I would search for something else to eat. Ultimately, I would cave. I would eat the cookie. And then another. I would probably gorge and then feel SO guilty that I'd just ruined my day of eating. So, naturally, the next step was to think the day was completely ruined with food and continue to eat horribly the rest of the day. Then I would feel miserable! If I had just eaten the ONE cookie in the first place, I could have avoided all of that!! Maybe I would have only eaten half of it and felt the satisfaction. So, now, I eat the cookie. I don't gorge, I don't guilt. I allow myself the allowance of being human. I forgive myself if I feel a twinge of guilt, and I move on. I don't slip into the downward slip of eating poorly. I get myself right back on track.
    2) Stop before eating and evaluating WHY I am eating. How many of us simply eat out of boredom? *raising my hand!* Or how about eat because we're upset or stressed. *hi, me again.* Instead, the advice from the book was to STOP and ask yourself "Why do I want this? Am I bored or do I need a hug?" etc. "Do I really want to eat this?" If the answer is yes, I want this cookie, proceed to the first point. If not, find what you need to fix the emotional need without the food.
Seems so simple, doesn't it? I swear it has been life changing for me. I feel so good! I now am weighing in less than I have since Allie died and I'm still losing. I wear a loose size 10 and I'm on my way to a size 8. I bought MEDIUM yoga pants the other day. I haven't bought medium ANYTHING since I first got pregnant with Allie in 2003.

Most importantly, I FEEL good. I feel good about my body, my strength, my mental health. I feel GOOD.

17 comments:

Debbie said...

Love this! You have seriously done such a good job. I am so proud of you and think you look totally hot!!! xoxox

Jaunna said...

Will you share the name of the book you read? I struggle with emotional eating, and most of what you described, describes me. Way to go on your continued success!

becksdewinter said...

Great post. Good job!

Jacki said...

You are inspiring and I'm proud to be a part of your crew. xoxo

Jenny said...

Thanks, girls. I love you all! It helps so much that I have the best support system and workout buddies ever.

Jaunna--here is the link for the book. I really liked it. Simple read and very easy to relate to it. Those were my two biggest take aways from the book, but I'm sure there are others. http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Free-Emotional-Eating-Geneen/dp/0452284910

Kara said...

What fantastic advice!! I have that book but just haven't finished it. Can't wait to do so.

Heatheralli said...

This is wonderful news! It really resonates with me and I hope that someday I'll be where you are. Thanks for sharing!

One crazed mommy said...

Good for you! Next time I see a cookie at work I'm going to just eat it...lol! :) Seriously, though - you have been through so much, emotionally, and have been so strong to face everything head on. That takes a lot of guts, and I admire your strength. That is great to hear you are almost an 8...I haven't been there since before my kids either, and I'm still in a loose 12! I need to do me some yoga! :)

JennG

Zhohn said...

Love the new look of the blog! I haven't "visited" in a while. Congrats on the weight loss and the happiness you have found. I just found out that you will return to teaching, wish you the best of luck. I've been following your family from early 2004, thank you for continuing to share your lives! Maggie is beautiful and so grown, and little Katie is precious.

as always, BELIEVING-

Sharon C said...

Way to go Jenny!!! That's an awesome achievement!!!

Susan's 365 said...

You should be soooo proud of yourself. Way to go!

Dusty said...

You are so inspiring to me.

I am an emotional eater too, and I also eat out of boredom. I should get that book! I also need to lose about 40-50 lbs to become healthy.

anywhere but here said...

How exciting! I'm so very happy for you. I would love to try yoga, I just don't even know where to start. By the way, how tall are you? I ask because you've never looked like you should lose 51 lbs in pictures!

Rachel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel said...

a-MEN! People ask me all the time what "diet" I used to lose weight after my last baby, and it drives me bonkers!! *No one* wants to hear, "Well, I eat healthy and exercise....kind of a lifestyle, not a diet".

Congrats on feeling good :)

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for posting the link! I struggle with emotional eating as well. The more rules I set for myself, the more I break them. Watching you....it's like you've cracked the code!

Thank you!
Michelle

Jamie said...

Hey Jenny,

I, too, have been following your story since 2004 (we were on BBC dec 2003 babies at the same time) ... so it has been awhile! You truly are an inspiration - you have been through so much as a parent and to read your recent posts truly make me smile :o) Congrats on the weight loss - you have described me to a "t" and I see so much of myself in there. I did start up a "plan" this January to get the weight off - sooo sick and tired of being this size, but you're so right - like you, I can't deprive myself either or I end up writing an entire day off. I'll maybe have to pick up that book!

Anyhow, congrats again on doing so well! Maybe I should check out yoga - I have yet to find an exercise that keeps me interested in coming back for more *sigh*.

Take care!