It’s like Oprah said, “I can’t believe I am still talking about this!” And, if Oprah is still struggling with her weight, you know this is a mighty hill. I have done all the same things. I have yo-yo’ed and been on every diet there is. I have learned so much. If you start a conversation about nutrition with me, I can hold my own. But, it doesn’t prevent me from letting everything go to heck in a hand basket.
My first step? Get my head in the game. Fix my emotions. This is absolutely an emotional thing. It’s not a “I just love some hamburgers!” thing. Because I can have that in my life but I really shouldn’t be shoveling it down in mass quantities because I am angry, lonely and depressed. God, have I really been doing that and it’s been fabulous. Eating like a fat kid. Not working. Not doing a thing. Just sitting here thinking about my next binge. I’m a food junkie. And, as a result I got bigger and bigger. I am now at a record heaviest. Worst, my back hurts. I can barely bend to touch my toes and it’s a struggle to put shoes on. It’s so unhealthy. It’s no way to live and it’s not how I want to live my life. I might as well just put myself to pasture and then head to the slaughter house. I don’t want to do that either so I have to ask myself why and how I want to live.
I turned to some literature and am going through “The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here for?” By Rick Warren. I am at the “What Matters Most” chapter and the first sentence is “Life is all about love.”
That got me to thinking about the phrase: You have to love yourself first before you can love other people.
Again, you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anybody or anything else.
Right now, I despise myself. For a while, I avoided looking into the mirror. I couldn’t stand what I saw there. I hate people too. I have lost all faith in humanity. I have loved being in the country without a soul around. I have happily cut off almost all of my friends and family; one by one.
However, I realize I am not going to get out of this in isolation. I will have to learn to live and love again. This blog is my first step.
I was not always like this. I was once a bubbly happy person. I had goals and went after them one by one. But, I was kicked around one too many times. I have been cheated on, lied to, lied on, fired, lost my apartment, lost my car. . . . I lost everything but my family. I didn’t have a dime to my name and humbly at the age of 30, I had to live off my parents. I am living with them right now. No wonder the depression set in, huh? And, my depression swallowed me whole. Worst, I wallowed in it like a warm blanket on a cold night.
Elizabeth Gilbert in “Eat, Pray, Love” described depression and loneliness best:
“Depression and Loneliness track me down after about ten days in Italy. I am walking through the Villa Borghese one evening after a happy day spent in school, and the sun is setting gold over St Peter’s Basilica. I am feeling contented in this romantic scene, even if I am all by myself, while everyone else in the park is either fondling a lover or playing with a laughing child. But I stop to lean against a balustrade and watch the sunset, and I get to thinking a little too much, and then my thinking turns to brooding, and that’s when they catch up with me.
They come upon me all silent and menacing like Pinkerton Detectives, and they flank me- Depression on my left, Loneliness on my right. They don’t need to show me their badges. I know these guys very well. We’ve been playing a cat-and-mouse game for years now. Though I admit that I am surprised to meet them in this elegant Italian garden at dusk. This is no place they belong.
I say to them, “How did you find me here? Who told you I had come to Rome?”
Depression, always the wise guy, says, “What- you’re not happy to see us?”
“Go away,” I tell him.
Loneliness, the more sensitive cop, says “I’m sorry ma’am. But I might have to tail you the whole time you’re travelling. It’s my assignment.”
“I’d really rather you didn’t,” I tell him, and he shrugs almost apologetically, but only moves closer.
Then they frisk me. They empty my pockets of any joy I had been carrying there. Depression even confiscates my identity; but he always does that. Then Loneliness starts interrogating me, which I dread because it always goes on for hours. He’s polite but relentless, and he always trips me up eventually. He asks if I have any reason to be happy that I know of. He asks why I am all by myself tonight, yet again. He asks (though we’ve been through this line of questioning hundreds of times already) why I can’t keep a relationship going, why I ruined my marriage, why I messed things up with David, why I messed things up with every man I’ve ever been with. He asks me where I was the night I turned thirty, and why things have gone so sour since then. He asks why I can’t get my act together, and why I’m not at home living in a nice house and raising nice children like any respectable woman my age should be. He asks why, exactly, I think I deserve a vacation in Rome when I’ve made such a rubble of my life. He asks me why I think that running away to Italy like college kid will make me happy. He asks where I think I’ll end up on my old age, if I keep living this way.
I walk back home, hoping to shake them, but they keep following me, these two goons. Depression has a firm hand on my shoulder and Loneliness harangues me with his interrogation. I don’t even bother eating dinner; I don’t want them watching me. I don’t want to let them up the stairs to my apartment, either, but I know Depression, and he’s got a billy club, so there’s no stopping him from coming in if he decides that he wants to.
“It’s not fair for you come here,” I tell Depression. “I paid you off already. I served my time back in New York.”
But he just gives me that dark smile, settles into my favorite chair, puts his feet on my table and lights a cigar, filling the place with his awful smoke. Loneliness watches and sighs, then climbs into my bed and pulls the covers over him, fully dressed, shoes and all. He’s going to make me sleep with him again tonight, I just know it.”
I love that part. Back to me. Here, I am poking my head out into the sunlight.
I once asked a friend why he hated fat people. It’s no surprise. Most good looking fit people are disgusted by fat people unless they are a reformed chubbster themselves. Admittedly, you’ll find the occasionally hottie with a chubby but it’s usually a girl; us being the less superficial gender. Anyway, my friend had a good answer. He assured me he didn’t hate fat people. He just saw the fat on the outside as the spillage from the mess in the inside. The bigger you are, the bigger your problems. You have to take care of yourself. There can’t be a happy life even if the person is smiling on the outside. On the inside, there is crap. You absolutely have to take care of that crap if you are to have a fighting chance. You have to love yourself enough to want to take care of yourself. There is something wrong if you do not have that love. Finding it is the key.
About a month ago, this girl here was a wailing big fat teary mess in a psychiatrist office begging for help. We are trying some things but the first was to get me on a mood stabilizer and get some sleep. So, I’m on my own “Tom Cruise” disapproved cocktail but screw anybody that judges. I also meet with a clinician. Your friends and family really do not want to hear you whining and frankly, they are probably not professionals. I can’t imagine fixing my own broken arm so why would I be able to fix my own broken heart. Find a professional for this. Oh, and by the way, I went to my local Behavioral Clinic since I have no money and my treatment has not cost me a dime. They have been wonderful. They have probably saved my life.
Don’t listen to Tom Cruise. Listen to Jennifer Aniston. She was in Glamour September 2013. In short, she stated, “We’re living in a time where, whether it’s the Internet or tabloids, being sh-tty has become a sport. We’re just grown-up bullies.”
Well, we good guys are going to need a lot of help to deal with that. Being f’ed over completely sucks. Anyway, she also said that in your thirties, you should “go to therapy. Clean up all of the sh-t. Clean up all of the toxins and the noise. Understand who you are. Educate yourself on the self.”
If you are serious about getting healthy, the first step is to seek medical treatment, not necessarily in this order:
1) a psychiatrist
2) medical doctor for a yearly physical
Now, to the fun stuff.
This is what I have inside my bag of tricks to turn things around physically:
1) A digital weight scale. I weight myself every day for accountability. I have a notebook in the bathroom. I love to see it going down but am not as attached to that as some people get. I like to know when it doesn’t move or if it goes up. That means I need to adjust my diet.
2) An “Operation” Notebook
- First thing in there is this great article. It’s the foundation of my diet. It’s how I arrange my meals. It will also teach you what a fat, carb and protein is. You can google crossfit and zone and it’s the first link that comes up. You want that free download guide to the right.
- I made myself a book on snapfish looking my best, some worst, and what I want to look that
- 5k training program (I went to Hal Higdon~you can google “Hal Higdon 5k Novice” or here is the link:
ii. Start researching and picking out a 5k. It’s a lot of fun. That’s 3.1 miles and you can walk it.
- My favorite healthy recipes. Printed out and put in sheet protectors
- The printout of Whole 30. You can google “Whole 30”
- Various Shopping lists
- Magazine Print outs and articles I saved
3) I have a digital food scale from my weight watchers days. Love it! And lots of measuring cups and spoons.
4) iphone App “My Fitness Pal” for food tracking and how much you should be eating
5) Giant water bottle
6) Atkins for Life~ I’m not on Atkins. I think people get carried away with that and start eating sticks of butter wrapped in bacon. I am not on a specific diet. I take a little from here and there. I like the Atkins carb education so I just picked up this book to cement that and to get meal ideas. Off the bat, I love that his book says, “Your objective will be to eat as many “good”carbs as you can handle and to cut out virtually all “bad” carbs. This means no conventional bread, baked goods, and pasta and nothing made with added sugar. Even nutritious carb foods, such as brown rice, lentils, and sweet potatoes will be off the menu until you are close to your goal weight, when most people can reintroduce a surprising variety to their diet.”
About the Whole 30 guide in my book ,it’s not necessary to buy their manual but I did just because I think they should earn some money off their sassy strict approach. Their idea is genius.
I would love for my diet to be 100% strick Whole 30. Oh, the Whole 30 language is from the diet based on the Whole30 challenge created by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. I’ve never survived a whole 30 days of strict clean eating but it’s a goal.
The rules are:
Eat real food.
Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.
No: Avoid for 30 days.
More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.
- Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
- Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
- Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
- Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
- Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
- Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits (chips and fries) and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold, and fingerling potatoes off your plate.
- Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
- No Paleo-ifying baked goods, desserts, or junk foods. Trying to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold will ruin your program faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” This means no desserts or junk food made with “approved” ingredients—no banana-egg pancakes, almond-flour muffins, flourless brownies, or coconut milk ice cream. Don’t try to replicate junk food during your 30 days! That misses the point of the Whole30 entirely.
This is my favorite part and why I think you should buy their book:
It’s For Your Own Good. Here comes the tough love.
This is for those of you who are considering taking on this life-changing month, but aren’t sure you can actually pull it off, cheat free, for a full 30 days. This is for the people who have tried this before, but who “slipped” or “fell off the wagon” or “just HAD to eat (fill in food here) because of this (fill in event here).” This is for you. It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime. Don’t even consider the possibility of a “slip.” Unless you physically tripped and your face landed in a box of doughnuts, there is no “slip.” You make a choice to eat something unhealthy. It is always a choice, so do not phrase it as if you had an accident. Commit to the program 100% for the full 30 days. Don’t give yourself an excuse to fail before you’ve even started. You never, ever, ever have to eat anything you don’t want to eat. You’re all big boys and girls. Toughen up. Learn to say no (or make your mom proud and say, “No, thank you”). Learn to stick up for yourself. Just because it’s your sister’s birthday, or your best friend’s wedding, or your company picnic does not mean you have to eat anything. It’s always a choice, and we would hope that you stopped succumbing to peer pressure in 7th grade. This does require a bit of effort. Grocery shopping, meal planning, dining out, explaining the program to friends and family, and dealing with stress will all prove challenging at some point during your program. We’ve given you all the tools, guidelines and resources you’ll need, but take responsibility for your own plan. Improved health, fitness, and quality of life doesn’t happen automatically just because you’re now taking a pass on bread. You can do this. You’ve come too far to back out now. You want to do this. You need to do this. And we believe that you can do this. So stop thinking about it, and start doing. Right now, this very minute, tell someone that you are starting the Whole30.
Obviously, doing Whole30 is hardcore but at least keep it simple & at least write down what you eat and try these simple changes:
- Nothing white (no bread; no sugar)
- Eat your vegetables!
- Keep to the outer perimeter of the grocery store (meat, dairy, produce)
- Stay away from those evil inner aisles (obviously, you can sneak in for canned veggies and tomatoes but that’s it! Be brave. Remember, once it is going down the conveyer belt, you have failed because you will eat that. And, don’t fool yourself about eating just a little bit. Just admit that you are going to roll around with that tub of ice cream or lick the heck out of those cookies)