Thursday, February 19, 2009

Go team Go

The Maestro started "Shredding" again on Tuesday, I'm always amazed *insert jealous* at his self-discipline. When I go off my "diet" and offer him a bite of something unauthorized, he has no problem saying no and ends up ordering steamed veggies instead. This always seems the case with the men I date (granted the last guy I dated was a personal trainer)...but they don't seem to struggle with the same demons that I do. Is this a misconception or is it that men are less affected by food choices? My boss for example always has me order his lunch, and doesn't much care what I order as long as he eats...so I always order him something on the healthier side of things, like a grilled chicken balsamic wrap instead of the basic cheeseburger or mayo covered sandwiches these guys seem to normally order. I've read studies in the past that say that women experience something like 7 (or is it 700) times the emotional effects of things more than men, which would explain most of the women in my family's relationship with food and emotional eating. We tend to medicate ourselves with food. I'm sure my mom loves me sharing this with the world (or the 8 of you that may read my blog) our family history...but we grew up rather poor. My mom did her best with 2 little girls and a teacher's salary in a little Texas town of 2500, which didn't afford for the best nutrition...but growing up in the 80's & 90's, who’s to say we new what good nutrition was. I mean those two decades nutritional standards set by the "experts" and the government seemed to do more harm than good out of most of the previous decades. We had our "Four Food Groups" & "Starvation Diets" in the 80's and in the "90's" we had the crazy low-fat, fat-free craze that loaded everyone up with sugar laden carbs (supposedly this was "heart healthy")...and don't get me started on the "Food Pyramid" WTF...seriously, who should eat that much bread in a day? But my mom did her best and tried to feed us a balanced diet of a meat, a starch, and 2 vegetables for our dinner. Breakfast was usually a banana and a glass of milk, or maybe cereal (if I even ate breakfast) and lunch was provided by the school (we rarely packed our lunch). I learned to generally go without eating more than 2 meals a day and they were always later in the day when I was so hungry I had to eat something, anything. I remember when mom would get her paycheck once a month, we'd have one special night out at a restaurant...of course that special treat was usually Mexican food, a Chinese Buffet, or Fast Food. It was something we looked forward to as a family and I forged a loving relationship with fatty foods of that nature. When I hit puberty, the hormones & our diet started adding on the pounds and I weighed 150 lbs. by the time I graduated high school at the age of 17...but then I went away to college. Luckily my first couple of years at college was spent living with my grandmother (my dad's mom)...and she is an example of health. She takes her vitamins, eats sound nutritional meals with lots of veggies and does tons of daily activities like morning walks, water aerobics, gardening, and housework to name a few...so I started learning a new way of things. She insisted on breakfast every morning which usually included eggs…and lunch was always a protein and at least 2 veggies…dinner was always light and never any later than 9pm. I also learned to exercise. We went for morning walks, I took up dance classes and I had “ski-machine” that came as a graduation present (I don’t remember from whom, but I think it was from my aunt)…suddenly I was down to 135 lbs, then I caught horrible strep and tonsillitis just before mid-terms and was in the hospital the day before Christmas Eve getting my tonsils out…6 weeks later I weighed 120 lbs. and couldn’t believe my eyes. I was finally “thin” and when I transferred to Texas State, I was wearing a size 6 (European size 6 not today’s standard). Believe it or not, I had no idea how truly thin I was…I see pictures, but at the time I still thought I was a big girl, as I had always been. I find that no matter what weight I am, I always see the same person…which was my undoing, because once on my own at TSU, I started living on fast food….and by my Senior year of college, I was a hardy 186 lbs. That’s when I discovered slim-fast and the gym. Slowly the weight started coming off…and yadda yadda yadda I come to today. If you’ve read previous blogs here then you know the struggle, and the struggle continues today.

Last year I did very well with my food and exercise regiment, and over the holidays I lost my way for awhile. And thus I gained a good 15 – 20 lbs. undoing the good I had done within the previous year…not to mention I felt like crap, and eventually got knocked on my butt with the flu. So here I am again, starting over, well not necessarily at the beginning, but at a new starting point nevertheless. Currently at 155 lbs. and needing to drop a good 20 lbs. before I’m at a healthy BMI for my 5’4 frame, but the focus changes every year that I get older, and it’s really less about looks (not saying I’ve lost my vain streak…oh it’s still there) but more about my fears. Fear of getting older, fear of getting sick, fear of pain, fear of hospitals (and needles), fear of getting diabetes, fear of heart problems/disease, fear of premature death…basic, common, human fears. I find every year I get older, the less “invincible” I become and the bigger the fear gets. Let’s face it; I’m a strong minded, egotistical bitch who doesn’t like to be afraid and G@#$%^*&! I refuse to be afraid of being alive. So I’ve just got to suck it up and take control of my life…of my health…of my fears and learn to make the good choices that will make those fears dissolve as much as humanly possible. I can’t stop the aging process, but I sure as heck can help slow it down and take care of the only body that God has given me. My career is finally budding and I want longevity and the only way I can do that is to keep myself healthy and active so that I can fight another day.

So on with the healthy choices, on with the good, clean eats, and on with the challenges at staying active, balancing my schedule and getting adequate rest. I know this turned out to be one of my little self-pep talks, but I need to motivate myself, and maybe scare myself a bit to keep focused…I guess I really need my blog to stay accountable, because without it, motivation seems to slip away and I’m back down a slippery slope of unhealthy, numb-minded choices.

Keep blogging everyone…Here’s to healthy choices!

Cheers,
-Bex

1 comment:

eternalimprovement said...

I really do think it's always a struggle...that's the way it has been for me, definitely. And every day I realize how much I still have to learn...

I love your statement about what we have, over the years, thought we "knew" about eating healthy. There have been so many different crazes, and so many conflicting versions of "conventional wisdom" - but at the end of the day, it comes back to eating fresh, eating whole foods, and not putting a lot of processed crap in our bodies. And that ends up being low-calorie, pretty low-fat, and fairly low-carb. Funny, isn't it? If we could just practice moderation in the way we eat and focus on eating the way our very-distant ancestors ate, we'd probably be pretty healthy...

But I digress. :-) I'm glad you're feeling better! And I agree completely that men are just not as emotionally connected to food as women. Maybe because they are so good at suppressing their emotions to begin with, that it isn't hard to suppress them when it comes to food? We as women are encouraged to drown ourselves in emotion, and it takes some unhealthy forms sometimes...

Interestingly, when I'm writing regularly, I seem less hung up on food, and I am beginning to think it's because I'm getting that same emotional "fix" elsewhere. But it's quite possible that when I stop being so stop-and-start with it and am doing it all the time, that may not be true. It's an interesting experiment, anyway...

V.

(Oh, my new blog is at http://eternalimprovement(dot)wordpress(dot)com, BTW. The other one is basically shut down, I'm not posting anything there now.)

Still V. :-)