Saturday, July 17, 2010

July 17: Food Rules for Life

1.)  When your omelette falls apart.....make scrambled eggs.

2.)  When your bread gets moldy, feed the birds.

3.)  If you get a yard full of dandelions, make a salad!

4.) Always sing at the table!

5.)  When life gives you a big pile of sour fruit, make margaritas.

6.)  When your bananas go bad, make banana bread!

7.)  Sometimes you want steak, but you can only afford ground beef.  Never forget that there is someone else who can only afford beans.

8.) A home with food in the fridge is a blessed home.

I've got my groove back.  I'm feeling optimistic again.  Remember, life leads you to the most interesting places if you only pay attention and follow your path.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

July 15: A Non-Dietary Rant

Please bear  with me.  Today's post is going to be one part whinefest, one part rant, and one part philosophical life lesson.

First the whinefest.

I talked to my little girl today.  She is in the US visiting with my mom and folks on that side of the family.  She was asking questions about our impending move.  She was crying because it's scary to move.  It's scary not to know what the future will hold. 

I feel like the world's worst mother right now.  Really, what was I thinking quitting a $55K a year job to borrow money and open a bead store?  I was so burned out and wanted so much to be a creative bohemian that I didn't stop to think about what would happen to my family if I did not succeed.  I just jumped in, figuring I would succeed.

Of course, I discovered that I had made a big mistake almost immediately.  Not many people can burn through a ton of money and have a business fail in only three short months.  But fail it did and I fell flat on my face.

Then I let my kids down further by sinking into depression, which also triggered some agoraphobia and major anxiety attacks.  Although I did apply for many jobs, it was 7 months before I could get one.  And the job I got (and have now) pays less than $20K per year.

And now, I'm pissed off.  I am pissed that my dad, such a wonderful person, died and left me without his wonderful advice, while lesser people breathe the air and enjoy the sunshine.  I am enraged with myself for being so irresponsible with my family's future and well-being.  I am so ticked off that I have to sell my house, which I thought wouldn't bother me but is, in reality, breaking my heart.  I am so ticked off at this fucked up situation that I am without words.  If I tried to put it into words a string of unintelligible swear words would just come pouring out of my mouth, making sense to no one.

And finally the philosophical lesson.

First, thank God I have sane rational friends.

I was bemoaning my fate with a dear (and very patient) friend.  I told her, "I'm 41 years old and I am starting all over again!  I had to do that 8 years ago when I got divorced and look at me now, I still have nothing!  I've lost everything!"

"Well, look what you accomplished in 8 years.  You went from minimum wage to $55,000 a year.  You built a career.  You bought a house and a car.  This time, you'll just do it quicker because you already know how."

That stopped me dead in my whiny little tracks because truly, I hadn't thought about it that way. I now have a better way to look at it.  It's not going to be fun, but I know unquestionably that I can pull us up by the bootstraps again, because I have the proof.  I can do this because I've done it before.

And I can teach my kids a very valuable lesson.  Failure sucks ass.  It really does.

But I can also teach them what to do when you fail.  You just get up and start over.

Trying twice takes a lot more strength than trying once.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July 14: Of Snot Bubbles, Eating Crow and Ice Cream

Today, I managed to cry in a pretty way.  Just delicate little tears trickling down my cheeks.

This is not a common thing for me.  Generally if I cry, my face gets red and blotchy and I start blowing a snot bubble out of one or both nostrils.  I don't know how I managed to restrain myself but I'm sure glad I did.  Perhaps controlled weeping is part of a newly acquired skill set that comes with weight loss? 

If you are wondering what the big occasion was, well, today was the day for eating crow.  I went to deal with the people to whom I owe money to tell them, I'm sorry, but I just cannot pay you the total amount.  Spin the wheel, sir, and let's make a deal.  Thankfully, my debt is not to any leg-breaking types, so I arrived home from this humbling event with all limbs intact.

I'd love to tell you everyone took pity on me, we hugged and they said, "Oh, honey, that's okay."

Nope, that only happens on Lifetime movies.  In the real world, the person to whom money is owed watches you very sternly, trying to figure out if you are a con artist or not.  Then they ask you to submit your proposal in writing and they'll get back to you.

My fingers, toes, and other extremities are crossed that they will agree to my terms so that I can put the house on the market and walk away empty-handed, but no longer in debt. 

It sucks to contemplate starting over again at the ripe old age of 41, but people do it all the time.  It scares me that I am in the same place I was eight years ago when I got divorced.  Penniless, with a very low paying job. 

However, I guess that just proved I pulled us out of it once. So I will pull us out of it again.  Why?  Because that's just what I do.

I had to have a very stern conversation with myself regarding ice cream this afternoon.  Could it be a coincidence that my favorite ice cream place is quite near the setting of my humbling experience?  Well, I finally managed to convince myself that it was indeed a coincidence, and drove home without ice cream to write this blog post for you all.

Whatever ends up happening, I'm just looking forward to the end of this process.  The stress is killing me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July 13: Evolving again......

The above was me on RFL this time around.

I really had difficulty sticking to my plan.  I have a lot of personal financial issues going on and finally decided, nope, I just can't hang in there anymore on this diet.

At first, I was concerned that I was eating emotionally again, which is the thing that made me so heavy to begin with.  As I talked to others that know far more than I do, it became clear, my cravings were so strong because I currently require more mental clarity than I can have on a nearly carb-free plan. 

I stopped fighting it and added about 80 grams of carbs to my diet.  Everything else is staying similar to my intake on RFL.  It's still pretty low calorie, but I have enough carbs in my system to think and function.

Some sample days on my current plan:

m1: egg white omelet w. light cheddar and fat free ham
m2:  tuna, fat free mayo, 9 whole wheat crackers, cucumber
m3: Homemade Szechuan chicken and broccoli
m4: protein float

m1: fat free yogurt with protein powder, blueberries
m2: left over chicken and broccoli
m3: taco salad with spinach, salsa and x-lean g. beef
m4: protein float

I can be satisfied on this plan and get through my current crisis.  Hopefully no one thinks I'm a quitter.  It's no fun trying to stick to a plan and feeling like a failure.

By the way, I lost 6 pounds during my week on RFL.  I truly hope I can keep off a good portion of that with my current plan.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 11: My Head's not in the Game

Well, readers, I think I have met my dietary match.

I've finally reached that point in stress where all of my good intentions are not enough to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Yesterday was supposed to be my refeed day.  I unexpectedly met up with a friend and went out to dinner, so I decided to start my refeed with that meal.  I do not do well in restaurants without previous research, I've discovered.  I chose a burger and "cactus cut potatoes."  I only ate half of the giant serving of potatoes but went for the gold with the burger. I knew I'd be a bit high in fat but nothing prepared me for the reality when I looked it up.

1,631 calories and 124 grams of fat

I paid for my sins in heartburn and indigestion for the rest of the day.  I only managed, in that vast meal, to get down 76 grams of carbs, and I felt so horrible I couldn't eat anything else for the rest of the day.  So much for a refeed - after all of that food, I fell 100 grams short of refeed carbohydrate levels.

Fast forward to today.  I'm starving.  It's 4:30 in the afternoon and I just finished my 4th meal and topped out my calories and protein for the day.  Dinner contained 9 grams of fat.  As posted in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the RFL forum, if you are eating more than 5g of fat or carbs at a meal, you are not doing RFL.

I don't know what's wrong with me.  Have I finally "hit the wall"?  Have I exceeded my personal allotment of willpower?  Is all of the constantly increasing stress just too much for me? 

I have a lot of thinking to do.  I don't want to set myself up for failure but I still have weight I want to lose.  I want to stay on this diet and be successful, but I also want to eat when I'm hungry, and have the energy to get through everything I have to deal with.

Today I accomplished a lot, as far as getting the house ready is concerned.  I hope tomorrow brings some strength as far as diet is concerned.

A lot of you have remarked on my willpower.  Well, I may have met my match now.