Brain (as promised)

So, my brain has been causing a lot of trouble these days. I know that sounds funny but let me explain. My brain hates me. It literally criticizes everything I say or do without my consent or control. If I say something to someone that even has a small possibility of being misconstrued my brain takes me into the spiral of self doubt. I will think of that one thing I said for hours, evaluating how the other person could have taken it, what I could have done differently, etc until at the very end I am convinced that they hate me and will never speak to me again.

Mixed into that self doubt is a TON of self loathing. It is interesting to me that I am able to identify that this is what is happening but I am unable to stop it. Let me give you an example.

My wife took some pictures of me at the gym a few weeks ago.

 

If you’ll notice in this picture of me doing a dead lift, I have to squat/bend pretty far down. There were some pictures with her sitting on that bench that is in front of me. I didn’t post any of those. Why? Because I was so angry and upset that when I bend over so much of my cleavage shows. I had no idea that was the case. I don’t look in the mirrors that are plastered all over the walls because I cannot stand the way I look most days. I just don’t look because if I did I wouldn’t see how small my arms are getting, or how slender my waist has gotten. All I see are the rolls and how work out pants cling to them. Anyway, the cleavage. It sat with me for days. Now, if it weren’t for the 105 degree weather and lack of air conditioning at my gym I would likely wear a complete cover-all. I obsess over what all the guys that work there must be thinking. “There is that big girl who lets her boobs hang out. I bet she thinks she’s hot.” Pffftt if only they knew.

 

Today, my anxiety over the thoughts running through my head about myself, my life even came so far as to question my wife’s commitment to me. Why is she here? There are so many beautiful, young things with perky this and toned that. Why does she stay with me? When my head is so screwed up and I obsess over every small detail? I actually had to leave work in an all out panic attack because of these thoughts.

My trainer today told me “You have to realize that she got lucky when she got you. You have to see that you are a great package. You have so much to offer and you are worth it.”

I’ve decided that now that my food issues are getting better, I’ve had the working out part down pat for months, it is really really time to work on this head thing. Translation? My New Definition is seeking professional counseling. 

Food (Brain next post)

So, I decided to post a few recipes that I have tried over the last few days. These are clean, healthy recipes and I’m LOVING eating clean. The best part is, I don’t have to be perfect to succeed. As long as around 90% of my food is healthy, clean and nutritious then I can truly enjoy my life  instead of feeling guilty for every food I used to view as “bad”. For instance, I’m eating HAMBURGERS again! (see below). Guacamole, pasta, corn, tomatoes I can eat all of these things all while being successful! I was limiting myself so much. It wasn’t until Paula said “Candace, you are the only one putting these limits and expectations on yourself. No one else puts this idea in your head that you can only do this or eat that.” I finally snapped out of it and realized that the diet I was on was for short term. It worked, it got me over the hump I was facing in January. I am so thankful for that. Now, I’m learning to introduce things into my diet that are healthy AND delicious instead of healthy and redundant. So, one of my friends asked for some recipes. Well, here goes. After each recipe I’ll tell ya what worked and what didn’t work for me. 

Connie’s Turkey Guacamole Burgers

Guacamole Spread

• 2 avocados
• 1 tsp / 5 ml garlic powder
• ½ tsp / 2.5 ml freshly ground black pepper
• 2 jalapenos, finely chopped
• ½ white onion, finely chopped
• 1 cup / 240 ml cilantro, finely chopped
• Juice of one lime

Burgers

• 2 lb / 900 g lean ground turkey
• 4 tsp / 20 ml ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp / 5 ml garlic powder
• 1 tsp / 5 ml freshly ground black pepper
• 6 Ezekiel or whole-grain buns

Preparation

Guacamole Spread

Cut avocados in half. Remove the pits and scoop flesh into a medium-sized bowl.

Add garlic powder, black pepper, jalapenos, white onions, cilantro and lime juice to the bowl. 

Mix all ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix. 

Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. 

Burgers

Preheat your barbeque to medium-high heat. Add turkey, cinnamon, garlic powder and black pepper to a large bowl. Mix the turkey and spices with clean bare hands. Divide the mixture into 4 parts and shape into flat patties. Lightly coat the hot grill with oil and add the patties.Grill patties for 7 to 9 minutes on each side or until cooked through.Serve burgers on a lightly toasted bun with 1 Tbsp of Guacamole Spread and enjoy!

Calories: 384
Calories from Fat: 65
Total Fat: 6.5 g
Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
Total Carbs: 39 g
Fiber: 8.6 g
Protein: 43 g
Sodium: 246 mg
Cholesterol: 80 mg

This was DELICIOUS! I LOVE Ezekiel breads. The only thing I did to change this was instead of a barbecue (it’s 105 degrees these days in Texas) I used a normal frying pan. Additionally 1 entire lime was ENTIRELY too much lime. Other than that, the cinnamon gave the burgers a delicious twist and the avocado was a welcomed delight! 

Parchment-Baked Chicken with Arugula, Sage and Rosemary

Ingredients

• 4 sections of parchment paper cut into 12 x 16-inch pieces
• 2 cups / 480 ml arugula leaves, torn
• 4 x 4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
• 2 tsp / 10 ml fresh chopped sage, divided
• 2 tsp /10 ml fresh chopped rosemary, divided
• 1 cup /240 ml chopped plum tomatoes, divided
• Sea salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, divided
• 4 tsp / 20 ml extra virgin olive oil
• 4 tsp / 20 ml kalamata olives, sliced and pitted (optional)
• Eat-Clean Cooking Spray

Preparation

Preheat oven to 450°F / 232ºC.

Fold parchment paper in half to create a crease. Unfold the paper and coat it lightly with cooking spray, leaving a two-inch border. 

Place ½ cup arugula on one side of the parchment so it touches the fold but not the ungreased border. 

Place chicken breast over arugula; sprinkle with ½ teaspoon sage and ½ teaspoon rosemary. Top with 1/4 cup chopped plum tomato. 

Add a pinch of salt and black pepper then drizzle with ½ teaspoon olive oil. Top with 1 teaspoon of olives if desired. 

Fold parchment paper over the chicken and arugula and seal edges with narrow fold. 

Repeat with the remaining parchment paper, chicken and other ingredients. 

Place packets on baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. 

To serve, open packets and transfer arugula and chicken breast to plates. Pour juices over top. 

Nutritional Value per Serving:

Calories: 193
Calories from Fat: 63
Total Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Total Carbs: 3 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 27 g

Literally delicious! I couldn’t get enough of the arugula!! This was my first time trying arugula and I was pleasantly suprised. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the sage, which is just a spice I’ve never been able to get into. I strongly recommend the use of olives, it was soooo scrumptious! 

Tosca’s Keep-It-Tight Tilapia

Ingredients

• ¼ cup / 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
• 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
• 1 tsp / 5 ml paprika
• 1 tsp / 5 ml ginger
• 1 tsp / 5 ml fresh ground black pepper
• 1 tsp / 5 ml dried mustard
• 1 tsp / 5 ml oregano
• 1 tsp / 5 ml chili powder
• 1 pinch cayenne pepper
• 4 tilapia filets, thawed

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400ºF/ 205ºC. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium-sized bowl combine olive oil, garlic and seasonings.

Dip each filet into the seasoning and place it on the baking sheet.

Pour any remaining seasoning over the filets on the sheet and place the baking sheet in the oven.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Nutritional Value per Filet:

Calories: 183.25
Calories from Fat: 78.5
Total Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 1.7 g
Total Carbs: 2.6 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 23 g
Sodium: 153 mg
Cholesterol: 57 mg Sugar: 0.2 g


I left the ginger and the cayenne pepper out of this recipe because I despise ginger and my wife is sensitive to spicy things (aka she’s a puss). Also, we decreased the amount of olive oil from 1/4 cup to about half that. It just seemed a bit excessive. We also used about 6 tilapia fillets instead of just 4 since there was so much seasoning available. Use your judgement. Also, YUM!

There are a few recipes. For more yummy clean recipes go to http://www.eatcleandiet.com . 

Tomorrow, I’m making tri-colored pasta with tuna, spinach, and artichoke hearts! 

Food Plan Ideas

So, I’ve spent the last few hours researching “Clean” eating. What is it? Why is it such a good thing? How can I expand my current meal plan to include more flavor, more variety.

Eating Clean is about choosing fresh, whole foods with all of their nutrients intact. I’m going to give it a try. I’m going to do my best to eat totally clean for the next 7 days.

My Goals:

Calories: 2,000

Carbs: 160g

Fat: 50g

Protein: 185g

The reason my protein goal is so high is because of the weight training I do. I want to continue to build the massive muscles for which I’ve set a SOLID foundation. I think I’m well on my way to having a pretty awesome toned physique one day. It make take another year or more to get there, but I’m ready for the challenge.

I digress.

I have 5 meals if I exclude my protein shake in the morning. I do not eat any carbs with my last meal of the day at 9pm. So if I break down the above values as evenly as possible with extra protein for the last meal:

Meal 1-4: 400 calories, 50 carbs, 10g fat, 35g protein.

Meal 5: 400 calories, 0 carbs, 10g fat, 45g protein.

Tomorrow, after I complete a whole day of this, I might need to make adjustments based about the feasibility of those numbers.

I CAN DO THIS!!!!

Pretty Girl.

So, I spent the night last night with a really amazing friend of mine. He helps me focus, evaluate, and learn from my own experiences. I don’t really have much of a creative mind. I don’t think about the “bigger picture” often enough. Thanks, oh wise one, for helping me do that.

Anyway, I talked a few days ago about changing up my diet. I’m keeping it clean, but I’m going to broaden my definition of clean. I’m going to learn what clean really means and discover how to tap into it’s vastness. Later today I’m going to post my diet. I know that I have said that a few times already, but today is my day to succeed.

Additionally, My New Definition is going to take on a few new arenas.

My friend told me to decide what I really want and go for it. How does this Virgo decide things? She makes lists:

I want to:

1) Continue to lose weight in a healthy way. (Approx 90 more lbs to my initial goal)

2) Eat clean and train dirty. (James’ slogan, I effin LOVE it)

3) Reach as many people with my story as possible so that hopefully those people can be inspired to do the same.

4) Keep the people that love me close to me, remembering to always let them in.

5) STOP feeling guilt and pain for every misstep.

6) STOP enabling my bad behavior by saying “I don’t have a choice, I don’t have power.”

7) START taking my power back.

8) START applauding my progress and accepting it for the freaking AWESOMENESS of it all.

 

I’ll start with #8 right now.

Candace- YOU ARE AMAZING! You have lost a crap-ton of weight. You never thought you could do it, but you have. YOU HAVE. You are beautiful. STOP seeing only the weight left to lose and recognize what progress you’ve made.

ONE DAY AT A TIME, pretty girl.

Food as the enemy thing.

So, this week has been crazy in my head. You wouldn’t really want to be there. I was borderline psychotic with all the thoughts and guilt and pain running around there. I was making food my enemy. I would fight it all day. At night when I was alone, I would allow it to win.

Soooo….I’m going to tweak my diet a bit. I can’t work on it just now because I’ve gotten a call that my best friend is headed to the ER for severe pain in her right side. I’m going to go take care of some things at her house and then head up to the ER. Anyway, just wanted to give y’all something since I said I would.

I’m going to add in more clean, healthy carbs and fat so that my body is craving these things as much. I still have to face the monsters, slap ’em and send them on their way but I feel if I can re-arrange this diet to something that I can stick to on a day to day bases instead of struggling every moment, I’ll feel so much more at ease with the process.

Additionally, I’m starting school again. I finally saw into the classrooms yesterday. THE DESKS ARE ATTACHED to the chair. It gave me awful flashbacks of high school. *sigh* I’m in the best shape of my life and I still worry that I won’t fit into those desks. I will be mortified and pissed off. I may struggle with returning to school if that is the case.

When I was digging into the OA stuff…I realized I was digging up things I’ve already dealt with in my years of therapy after high school.

I open old wounds and  feel all the feelings again and then resolve it the same way I did with therapy before….I can still hear my counselors voice walking me through. So, why should I feel all those feelings again? I’m healthy! I just have to take a stand against this crap. I have to keep working the steps but working on what is happening now…not my WHOLE LIFE.
So, yeah that’s where i’m at.

I have to stop viewing food as the enemy

Do you do that?

Food as the enemy thing?

Grocery store anxiety.

I honestly love grocery shopping; when it’s on my terms. I like buying healthier food. I like searching for things that I can eat and that are not only healthy but yummy. Today was no different. Paula and I had a great time at the store! We got home, and she put away the groceries while I started dinner. It would have been a perfect day. Until Mom came home with her groceries. 

I picked Mom up at the airport yesterday from her trip to Nanny’s. She’ll be staying here with me for a few more months and then she wants to move back to her little town. (That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.) Anyway, Mom is diabetic and I talked to her last night about where I was at in my journey. I told her I had started the recovery process with my addiction and that I needed her help to ensure that my house was a safe zone. I explained that no matter what she couldn’t give me food even if I asked for it, even if I told her it was okay. I told her all of this last night. This afternoon I woke up from a nap sooooo hungry because I had missed a meal. Mom ACTUALLY SAID “Do you want taco bell for today and you can start again tomorrow morning?”  She might as well just have handed an alcoholic a bottle of whiskey and told them it was okay, no one would know. Was she listening at all when I was pouring out my soul and admitting my problem to her? Does she care?

We went in separate vehicles to the grocery store because I knew she would be buying some things I could not have and that she would take MUCH longer at the store than we would. I was trying to avoid the stress, to stay away from trigger situations and binge foods. I thought I was making a healthy choice for myself. MAN oh man was I wrong. I should have gone with her because Mom doesn’t have the ability to discern necessity from desire. While I was aware that there would be things I couldn’t eat, (I created a plan to deal with this, Paula would simply store those items in a safe space) I was NOT prepared for what happened when she got home. Cookies, chips, cake mixes, pancake mix, macaroni and cheese, sloppy joe mix. Box upon box, bag upon bag, can upon can. As I’m helping unload this stuff, I feel my heart breaking and my anxiety building. When I pulled out a bag of sugary cereal, I lost it. 

I haven’t had a full blown anxiety attack in a long time. This was far from full blown but it was harsh. 

I failed to see that Mom bought wheat everything, sugar free everything and even bought chicken and fish instead of beef and pork. She tried, She just honestly doesn’t know how. She doesn’t understand what I need, nor does she understand what SHE needs as a diabetic. I have tried teaching her but maybe it is out of my hands. Maybe she needs professional help to understand her health needs. I’m going to help her get that help. 

Anyway, I got through day 1 of abstinence again today. I love that I am searching deeper into the root of this problem, and being honest with myself about the feelings it is causing. Allowing myself to sit in the anxiety until it lessens. 

And it always does. 

 

Admitting that Monsters are real, and trying to kick their ass.

I suppose when I mentioned my monsters before I was sort of barely acknowledging them.

I can’t do that anymore. I went to my first face-to-face OA meeting on Monday. It was very enlightening. I am now ready to start ACTUALLY facing my monsters. Here is a journal entry I wrote last night after a binge at work. I was working late shift (an abnormal shift for me, I was working extra) and ate some pretty not okay things. In essence, throwing away the 2 days of ‘abstinence’ I had accomplished thus far:

Today, I was reading a book called “Abstinence-members of Overeater’s Anonymous share their experience, strength and hope.” I realized that I need to commit myself to abstinence. Their definition of abstinence is to create a meal plan, and ONLY eat during the scheduled meal times. Every person’s meal plan is different. It includes different types of food and different types of restriction. What is uniform for everyone is committing to NOT eating outside of your scheduled meals. NO snacking between meals, or while you cook  your meals, or while you clean the kitchen after your meals. In other words: NO COMPULSIVE EATING.  ONLY eating what you had originally planned to eat at the time you originally planned to eat it.  Also, abstinence sometimes includes completely avoiding your binge foods. So all of this helped me understand that I need to discover what my binge foods, compulsions and triggers are. I need to address them and work through them. I need to STOP eating things I know I shouldn’t at the times I shouldn’t. I know this in my mind.

SO WHY? Why do I continue to do this? I have had success. I have lost over 100lbs. Yet, I can’t stop eating bad things in large quantity. WHY?? Food is good, okay? Yeah, it’s good. So what? Getting skinnier feels good, better than anything tastes. I can say no all day when I’m around people. Put me alone in a situation where I have access and my resolve crumbles. I rationalize…I make it okay by telling myself that I’ve earned it, OR I work out hard enough, OR I can’t control it because I’m an addict. Using an addiction I don’t really understand as a crutch instead of a means for discovery, for recovery. I despised my mother for a really long time because of her addiction. I’m beginning to despise myself. All the nice words aren’t enough to break this cycle of bad behavior and the pain that is associated with it. I recommit every day, every moment. Yet, I can’t seem to get more than 3 or 4 days in without a breakdown. Something has to happen or I am going to lose my mind. I didn’t work this hard to lose all this weight just to gain it back because I can’t figure this out.

So, I am going to start working these damn steps. I need to figure out what my higher power will be and how I will ever be able to trust in it after the massive let down I suffered when I realized that “god/Jesus” don’t actually exist.  Yesterday, one of the ladies in OA said “If I don’t take that first bite, I have nothing to fear.” All I have to do is figure out how to avoid that first bite.