A Heaping Portion of Humor

Diet Tip of the Day: Be serious about your commitment to your diet, but not seriously fixated on the parameters of your diet plan. If you pick a plan that is super strict or you don’t give yourself any leeway for your human shortcomings, you’re way more likely to jump ship. Make sure your plan has adequate room for the ebb and flow of life, something my blogger friend Katie Kolberg Memmel knows a bit about.

Last night, my husband and I went out for a movie. We ended up skipping lunch because we were busy packing up our apartment, so we decided to grab something not-too-terrible at a fast food joint on our way to the movie. On the way, I was looking up WW points on my phone, and I found that a McChicken is 10 points. (My plan currently gives me 42 points per day.) That’s not too bad when that’s all you have, but that’s rarely the case.

Back when my husband and I were dating, we didn’t get to see each other a lot during the week, and he had a pretty small kitchen (I think 6′ x 6′ with an oven, fridge, sink, and no dishwasher), so we didn’t like to cook in that space or deal with the dishes afterwards. Instead, we would grab something at McDonald’s or Wendy’s. We got to the point where we would each get 4-5 items from the Dollar Menu. You heard me right. That would be my daily points allowance right there.

It’s realizations like this that make it perfectly clear how I ballooned up to this weight. It started with the PCOS and the failed attempts to lose weight. But the second stage was me. I got so hung up on the fact that I couldn’t lose weight that I stopped trying. It’s like having a ferocious, vicious dog in the guest room of your house. You try to get him to calm down and stop destroying your pull-out sofa, but no matter what you do, he keeps tearing it to pieces. You are tired of fighting him, so you come to terms with the fact that your sofa is long gone, and you leave the dog alone. But the dog, when left completely to his own devices, then claws down the door and rampages the rest of the house bit by bit. You find a shredded pillow here and there, but it’s not until he destroys your closet and you can’t wear any of your clothes anymore that you realize what he has been doing this whole time while you weren’t watching him. That’s what happened to me.

I don’t know if any of you have found yourself in a similar situation, but here’s what you need to realize:

1. You can change it, gradually.

2. The damage is done. Your sofa is gone. Your linens are shredded. Even your electronics have been destroyed. You don’t have the means to get all new furnishings all at once, so you’ll have to work and save to replace them, piece by piece.

3. When you’ve finished restoring your home, it’s not going to look exactly the same as it used to. It won’t look like the place you had in college, and it certainly won’t look like the exotic villa you’ve seen in magazines. But those aren’t you. Your new place will tell the story of your life in the things you’ve collected along the way. Don’t be ashamed of them, because they are you.

4. Most importantly, you need to realize that nobody can take the dog off your hands. You can’t kill it and bury it away. It’s staying with you for the long haul. If you want to get it under control, you need to spend more time with it. Study it, and figure out what sets it off. You’ll never be able to cuddle with it, but you can learn to contain it. Over time, after you’ve learned to live with it, it will grow old and tired, and won’t bother you anymore. (Even then, keep an eye on it.)

Wow, that was a long metaphor. I think I owe you a reward for staying with me through that. So, here’s some diet humor I found on Pinterest. Hopefully, you can have a giggle about how we got here.

I hope you all had a laugh. Now, get back to work! 🙂

Exercise Tip of the Day: Exercise your willpower and your culinary skills. (See what I did there?) The next time you are craving something from a fast food joint, stop at the grocery store and cook instead. Cooking can be very physical if you pick a challenging recipe, but just standing for 30 minutes instead of sitting is so much better for you. Let me know what you decide to cook in lieu of salty, greasy fast food.

Until the last pound,

The Shapeshifter

A Blast from the Past

Diet Tip of the Day: (Get ready. This one is a hard and heavy lesson that I took a long time to learn.) Food is inextricably linked to memories and life events. Your first cream puff at the Wisconsin State Fair, eaten in the company of loved ones and ending in a faceful of powdered sugar. The moment you tasted real English fish and chips with mushy peas and a pint, just miles away from the most beautiful castle you’ve ever seen. The time your whole family accidentally skipped dinner and your dad sneaked a hotdog and cream cheese in a tortilla to you at bedtime so you wouldn’t go to sleep hungry. Okay, so some food memories are tastier than others, but they are important life events, nonetheless. While the foods enhanced that moment, eating that food won’t let you travel through time. Food won’t bring back loved ones lost. Food won’t make someone love you again. Food won’t close the distance between you and the place you long for in your dreams. Food won’t change the juju surrounding your favorite sports team, despite what Silver Linings Playbook would have us believe. No matter how many portions you eat or how spot-on your recipe is, food will never do any of those things. It might temporarily satiate your stomach or soothe an aching soul, but it cannot fix your problems. Remember, you can’t change what has happened in the past, but your present and your future are up to you. Take control. Grieve your losses. Find closure. Create new, beautiful, powerful memories. But don’t rely on food to do it for you.

Today, I ran into someone I went to high school with. Well, I didn’t run into her, actually. I was at my husband’s work, waiting for him to go on his break, and I saw her shopping. I spent the next few minutes ducking into other aisles and hoping we wouldn’t accidentally make eye contact. I don’t dislike this girl. Even if I had during high school, it has been almost 5 years since the last time I saw her. She wasn’t the issue. I was.

Yes, I have lost close to 30 pounds. (It has been agonizingly slow the last few weeks, but I’m still closing in.) I know that, but she doesn’t. She knew me over 100 pounds ago. How do I walk up and say, “Hello! I got super fat. How have the last 5 years been for you?” I am so proud of my accomplishments the past few months, but still so ashamed that those tasks had to be accomplished. I shouldn’t have ended up here.

The past few years, I have avoided so many social situations, fearful of what others will think of what I’ve become. I’m not at a point where I’m ready to tackle that experience. But I’m okay with that. Why? Because it motivates me. I don’t have to get used to this body and settle in. I don’t have to come to terms with it and deal with the thoughts stashed behind their eyes. I can change. I can lose this body and emerge as a new creature. Not as a butterfly. Not even as a phoenix. As a strong, intelligent, compassionate woman who is better for having overcome these struggles. There is no creature more beautiful than that.

Don’t settle. Be the best version of yourself. Do not give up.

Exercise Tip of the Day: Do something nostalgic. Go bowling. Jump rope. Play four-square. Create a makeshift “Skip-It” if yours is long gone. Preserve those memories, have some fun, and get active.

Until the last pound,

The Shapeshifter

Fighting Kravings

Diet Tip of the Day: Analyze your cravings. I’ve said many times that it’s okay to splurge a little from time to time. It’s what keeps me sane. But don’t give in to a craving without thinking it over. Some foods are better craving-busters than others, and sometimes you’re just having a gut reaction to something convenient. Take a few seconds, and think it over. Don’t rationalize. Analyze. If nothing else will curb your craving, by all means, measure, track, and work the rest of your day around it. But usually, a substitution is a better solution. (Oh, look at me coming up with witty lines like that!)

A huge part of eating healthy is mind over matter, will over waffles, or in this case, cranium over Krispy Kremes. I decided to do something nice for my husband’s co-workers. I was in the neighborhood, so I stopped by Krispy Kreme and bought 2 dozen doughnuts for his crew. I can’t tell you how much I wanted to reach into that box and scarf down (at least) one of those sugary, doughy, delicious rings. Here’s why I didn’t…

1. I knew I only wanted it because it was bad. I didn’t want it because I was craving sugar. I didn’t even want it because I was hungry. I wasn’t. I only wanted it because I shouldn’t have it, and because it was convenient. That’s not a reason to eat.

2. I knew it wouldn’t satisfy me. I thought about the last time I had a KK doughnut, and how it didn’t fill me up the slightest bit. It also left me with a craving for more. If one isn’t enough, why even start?

3. I didn’t want to “get caught.” This one doesn’t even make sense. I’m a grown adult woman. I can eat what I want. But if I took one out of the box, my husband would see one missing and know that I’d had one. We are accountable to each other, and I didn’t want to have to answer to him.

4. I had willpower. While my husband would have noticed if he had 23 doughnuts instead of 2 dozen, he wouldn’t have known if I had bought one extra for myself. I wouldn’t have had to get plain. I could have gotten a shredded coconut or cream-filled one. But I had the willpower to say no. Every other reason doesn’t matter if you don’t have that force within yourself that keeps you from giving in.

Now, I didn’t stand in the lobby at Krispy Kreme listing pros and cons as the rings of bready goodness traveled along the conveyor belt. Most of these thoughts came in fragmented feelings that settled in my gut, ultimately signaling that there wasn’t room in my belly for that type of Kraving. You don’t have to spend an eternity listening to the angel and demon hashing it out on your shoulders. Just take a second to think, and you’ll be okay.

Exercise Tip of the Day: Speaking of round things, try doing some exercises that focus on your mobility and range of motion. Maybe if you do some exercises with a cyclical motion, you’ll satisfy your doughnut craving! (Well, it’s worth a shot.)

Until the last pound,

The Shapeshifter