Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Need A Little Slack

I need to have a word with all of you, my readers, and I hope that you will receive this as it is intended.  This is a plea for understanding and a little bit of credit; not a rant, not tirade, and certainly not an attack on ANY of you.  Over the past few weeks I've engaged in multiple conversations here, on facebook, and through email with multiple individuals regarding my food choices and I'm somewhat tired of repeating myself so I thought I would just answer everyone here, all at once, for all to see.

I am a little disappointed that someone always seems to criticize my choices no matter what I eat lately.  Two months of veggies and chicken out the window over a plate of nachos?  I can't help but wonder if anyone offering criticism is as "perfect" in their diet as they think I should be.  I am the only person I know (other than "266") who has the courage to post my daily food choices for everyone to see; and I know that by doing that I am more or less inviting criticism but I would ask all of you, my beloved readers, for a little slack.  I'm only human and I think I've done pretty damn well! 

I have now gone more than 7 months without drinking a single, solitary cola.  It's been two months since I've had any form of soda at all.  I've increased my water intake, forced myself to eat fruit in spite of the fact that I don't even like any of it, started taking a multi-vitamin, decreased my daily caloric intake, got a gym membership so I would stop doing floor exercises, and haven't touched my shake-weight in I-don't-know-how-long all based on your feedback; which I DO value.  I haven't had a cheese burger or a hot dog since Thanksgiving.  I've cut my coffee creamer intake in half.  I haven't been to Dairy Queen or Yogurt Rocks in three months.  I have two half-empty bottles of wine in my fridge that I resist every single night because I am now aware of their caloric levels.  Can any of you say you've done all of those things too?  I have literally had arguments and full-blown fights with "Temptation" over eating at buffets or hanging out with friends because I am afraid of the temptations that I will have to face in those places.  I am not a dieter who goes through the day eating whatever happens to land in front of her face and then adding up the calories at the end of the night with her fingers crossed.  I add everything I eat, as I eat it; it has become an obsession.  Every single food choice I make is made deliberately by weighing the reward and choices against the consequences; I choose where we eat based on how many calories I have available at the end of the day and even with that I have to take "Temptation's" wants and needs into account. 

I started this journey because, during the summer, I thought I would have to dump "Temptation" if I ever wanted to be skinny again; not because of his choices but because of the fact that I've always lost weight when single and gained it when in a relationship; and because I thought that I didn't deserve to be with him because of my weight.  I started this journey because I refused to make that choice and decided that I would be in love and healthy at the same time and nothing was going to stop that.  I will not destroy my relationship with "Temptation" by trying to force him to make a change that he doesn't want to make or by sending him to do his thing while I do mine because my whole point in all of this is to preserve that very relationship, even if it means being fat.  I don't call the shots for both of us, we're a team, we make decisions together, we compromise and that is not going to change.

Plus I think a huge factor in diet is portion control.  I really don't think a person must cut out food they like and go for a radical change 365 days a year: I think most people who try to do that are setting themselves up for failure.  Sure, some people can do it and be ok but not most.  Most people, like me, have to find a balance between satisfying cravings and making healthy choices.  Look at Giada, the chef on the food channel.  She makes loads of crappy foods, has had a baby, and still looks AMAZING!  My calories have been consistently under or around 1,000 calories and I've been consistently losing weight so I still fail to see a flaw in my food choices.  Yes, I have the occasional "bad" food but I think that's perfectly ok as long as I control how much and how often. 

I could just stop posting foods that I know someone is going to criticize, or stop posting food entirely ... but there is a reason I do that.  Knowing that I will receive criticism over cheese burgers and french fries is the motivation that has kept me away from them for two months!  But between the 33 of you (and a few lurkers who follow but don't "follow") I would be eating nothing but celery and apples every day and that is not a life I even want to live.

I don't want to divorce myself from food entirely; I think I would rather be fat for the rest of my life than never eat another slice of cheese, drink a glass of wine, or hit a drive-through again.  That's just not who I am and it's not even who I want to be.  But I don't think I have to choose between turning into a food natzi and being fat; in fact I've proven that I don't because I have lost twenty five pounds here!  Isn't that proof that it doesn't have to be all fruits and veggies all the time in order to lose weight?  I'm proving that it is possible to enjoy life and food and not be obese.  I'm not trying to out-exercise a bad diet, I'm just trying to find balance between good food and delicious food and I don't want to "learn to like" foods that I have hated all my life.  I have been eating bananas now for three months and I still think they're disgusting.

Sure, my home-made Chicken Scallopini was gallons healthier than what they serve at Macaroni Grill but it also had about as much flavor as baking flour which means it's just a dish I will have to learn to enjoy on rare, special occasions in moderation.  I could make the exact same salad with the exact same ingredients in the exact same portion size that I would get from Wendy's and I would dare to bet that the nutritional information will be exactly the same.  Why?  Because fast food restaurants don't put invisible secret fat in their salad.  Fast food restaurants are not inherently bad anymore; it's what we choose to order there that counts.  I'm living PROOF of that right?  I've lost 25 lbs and I didn't do it eating nothing but celery and apples.  Obviously I'm not wrong because if I were I wouldn't have lost any weight and I'd just look like a big ass here on the world wide web.  But I have lost weight, the scale and the pictures show it.  That is proof ... proof that I'm doing something right. 

I'm not asking that you stop offering advice or criticism when it's warranted; I'm just asking for everyone to acknowledge the changes and progress I have made and cut me just a little bit of slack.  Ignore the occasional order of nachos if you can see that I've spent the entire week prior making GOOD CHOICES.  Don't assume that just because I didn't actually use the word veggies that it means I'm not getting any.  The chicken ravioli I posted on Sunday had spinach, bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms in it; a salad is a big giant bowl of veggies; pico is chopped up tomatoes, onions, and peppers and that's it!  It's a literal bowl of fruits and veggies.  Now if I eat more than one plate of nachos a week or I start having skinny cow ice cream every single night then yeah ... feel free to step up and state your piece.  But the idea that one splurge in an entire week completely negates my "diet" when I've eaten less than 1,000 calories for the day and have lost 25 lbs in 63 days doesn't even make sense to me.

Please, I'm only asking for a little understanding.  I'm human, I'm not a robot or machine.  I don't want to give up the joy that I experience from food entirely, I just want to learn to control it.  That's all.  That's my plan.  And so far I have proven that my plan can work because I've lost a very acceptable amount of weight in an equally acceptable amount of time.

p.s. I'm going to an all-you-can-savor wine tasting sometime soon because I want to.  I've given it an awful lot of thought and damn it, I think I deserve it.  Valentines day is coming up maybe we'll go then, or maybe we'll go before then when it's not likely to be as crowded I don't know but I'm going and I'm going to enjoy it and I'm not going to feel guilty about it.  Why?  Because I haven't been in over 6 months and we always have a good time when we go and one blooming night of wine and black truffle cheese will not ruin everything I've accomplished.  Does giving a sailor shore leave make him any less of a soldier?  No: in fact, the military believes that leave time is necessary and contributes to the effectiveness and dedication of soldiers.  I'm going to be taking a shore leave one day soon, and I'm going to like it.

Thank you for your time and I am sorry if I have offended any of you.  I like to think that we can disagree without damaging our friendships.


  1. Honestly, I think you get a bad rap with the food critique.
    If you are being accurate and thorough with what you log here, and if I keep in mind that you are following a traditional low cal/low fat/portion conrolled plan then I dont see any issues personally. The reason I specify the basics that I understand your plan to be built on is because I am on a low carb plan and that is obviously much different!
    Also, as you point out--many if not most--do not log what they eat for all the WWW to see. I know I dont.
    I guess if I WERE to offer up my personal critique on your diet, its that you are not eating enough at all!! AND...I'd tell you to go low carb! Anyway.
    I think you are seeing success with what you have been doing and working hard at it. You certainly do MUCH better than I do in juggling life and exercising hard and often! Thats not easy. Its also not easy having a man around who loves to eat stuff you cant (Last nite my hubby was crunching an enormous bowl of "Ooops All Berries" cereal in bed as I sipped my water!). As for rare, PLANNED splurges during weight loss efforts, I concur. I think if you deny yourself everything to the extreme you may just lose it. To take a quote from Seinfeld--"Serenity now, insanity later"; and Im not even sure you'll get that reference! Alright, Im done rambling but just wanted to give you my 2 cents!

  2. The beauty of the blogsphere is your shit is out there for everyone.

    The curse of the blogsphere is your shit is out there for everyone.

    We all have different wants, needs and styles for weight loss. I can't even talk about it because I suck at it personally. What I'm finding is there are a bunch of people that really just want to lose the weight as quickly as possible and want the no nonsense approach. Unfortunately, they don't understand not everyone is the same in that regards.

    Hopefully they can learn to offer the advice without coming off confrontational about it.

    Or, the third beauty of the blogsphere, they can just not follow you anymore.

  3. *gathers you both into my arms for a giant beautiful hug* THANK YOU! I have this flaw: I try to engage people in open-minded conversation with the idea that if we don't agree we can agree to disagree. The reason that this is a problem is because, more often than not the other person will share their opinion, I will tell them that I disagree and why, and they will tell me that they disagree and repeat their earlier opinion without adding new information - which makes me feel like I just had a conversation with a wall.

    It felt good to get that out there and you're both right, everyone does things different. I know people who had mountains of success changing their entire lifestyle and diet, stuck with it, and continue that way to this day. I know people who did low carb for awhile, loved it, went back to real life and stayed thin. I also know people who did low carb, lost weight, then started eating carbs because they had just missed them SOOOO much that they went ape-shit on them and gained all the weight back. I know someone who made a massive drastic diet change and even became a vegetarian for awhile to lose weight, lost it, and went on a major food binge once the weight was gone and now she's blogging about weight loss on the internet (Me).

    The problem with losing weight is that we don't all enjoy the same foods. I think hummus is delicious, "Temptation" calls it "bear shit". lol

    I knew, posting my food was opening myself to criticism but I figured losing 25 lbs would be proof that I'm not as wrong as people think I am. How can I lose so much weight if I'm so wrong right? I could totally see the criticism of my food choices if I still weighed 287 but I don't.

    Anyhow ... I appreciate both of you taking a quick moment to validate my feelings and show support. Thank you thank you thank you.

  4. LMAO bear shit...I love hummus, but I dont want the kind you get in the grocery store, I like it freshly made!
    And I too know someone who crash dieted herself to a 26" waist only to go on a rampant gorge-fest and gain it all (and more!) back in 1/3 of the time it took to crash it off--->ME!!! :-D They dont call this shit the battle of the bulge for nothing--its a real war!

  5. No one way works for everyone!! I'm sorry you were feeling picked on. That i don't think does anyone any good!

  6. ariel: Mimi's has awesome hummus. I don't know if they make it fresh or what but their sundried tomato hummus with cucumber slices is KILLER GOOD! However that's just my opinion; it's the exact same hummus that "Temptation" labeled bear shit sooo you might like it, you might not lol.

    I'm going to prove the food nazi's wrong - I am going to lose 150 lbs while enjoying food and life. If I don't do it everyone can call me a weenie. ;)

  7. I have lost 35 lbs in a year (too slow for some) and I have had at least one Pepsi a day... regular Pepsi, with high fructose corn syrup. There have been probably 20 days where I didn't have any, but there have been probably 50 where I had WAY too many! Everything in moderation. I do know that when I am exercising more, I don't want as much Pepsi, because it makes me feel yuck and water tastes so much better.

  8. I will full fledgedly agree that you have made massive changes and are working very very hard to accomplish your goals. I hope you don't think I was too hard on you yesterday. As I stated before, I know everyone has their own way of thinking and doing things and that what I say is only my opinion which may or may not mean jack shit to you! My biggest critique was that you weren't eating enough IN MY OPINION, but obviously not others. So, I hope you will take my congratulations on what you have done so far. And hope in what you will continue to do.

  9. Mandy: I look at weight loss and time like this: You've lost 35 lbs in a year. That's better than losing 0 lbs and the year would have passed regardless right? I'm with you chicky, all the way. I used to drink a mountain dew voltage first thing every morning, I would sometimes even open my first can before lighting my first cigarette and I bet the smokers out there, if there are any, know how shocking that is huh? I don't really know what motivated me to quit soda, one day I just woke up and did it. I crutched on sprite for a little while but I've even tossed that. I am NOT one to tell anyone that they should quit soda ... well ok it doesn't hurt but I know better than anyone how hard it can be and I know that a smoker like me doesn't have a right to tell anyone to quit anything. ;)

    Misty: No babe it's not you. You're not the only "lurker" or the only person who reads this blog that I am friends with on facebook. The specific person who set me off by telling me that last week's nachos would be my undoing is a lurker but also a very good friend and she's already read this and apologized for upsetting me. I'm sorry I dragged my facebook drama to the blog ... I wish I could say it was just because it's that time of the month for me but I think I also just felt this morning like it was coming at me from all sides (another very old friend kinda hit me with a rather blunt email late last night and I just opened it this morning also).

  10. You shouldn't have to defend your life to us. I think our blogs have gotten away from what they were originally intended to be and that is our own personal struggle with losing weight. I give credit to most people to be intelligent enough to know what is good or bad for them. You need to do what is right for you and if you find out it isn't, well then you'll find another way. What is it that Dr. Suess said - “Be Who You Are and Say What You Feel Because Those Who Mind Don't Matter and Those Who Matter Don't Mind.” Everyone else, shove off.

  11. I think people who criticize are just afraid that they'll "fall off the wagon" -- whatever that means to them -- and so they pick on someone they think is making the the choices they're afraid they'll make.

    If that makes sense. :)

  12. I think dieting is the new religion. There are various dieting denominations out there and many dieters truly believe that their chosen food religion is the "right" one so they seek to convert as many other dieters as they can. I mused on this a lot last night and it actually made a lot of sense to me.

  13. I love to cook, and a I'm great at making things that I shouldn't eat like cookies and homemade candy. I'm lucky in that a lot of times when I spend hours in my kitchen making it I so sick of looking at it that I don't eat it(all the time).I would go nuts if I couldn't make something I wanted to challenge myself with just because I shouldn't be eating it, weeks and months of denial would lead to pigging out in retaliation and an end to any progress I'd made. Some people may be able to eat like rabits all of the time and not make mistakes, but for me if I deny myself a taste, eventually I'm going to want more then just a taste. But if I stay within my calorie restrictions, get the proper meals and snacks in and have a little wiggle room for something not great,its gives me a chance to satisfy a craving without getting me in trouble, and keeps the carb craving monster me at bay. SO I think its healthy to leave room for things occasionally that keep you honest the rest of the time. ANd its incrediably brave and honest of you to post what you eat, it also should show people that your responsible in your diet and portion control so I don't see why people feel the need to pick apart your menu. Thinking about the food you eat, finding ways to hit the same flavor notes you enjoy without causing the scale to go up, and occasionally allowing yourself a taste of something instead of a plate of it will make it an easier lifestyle change instead of a quick fix!

  14. Kay: you and I are on the exact same wavelength. I know that I possess the will power to not eat another bite of ice cream for the entire remainder of time it takes me to lose weight. But I also know that I do not possess the will power to never eat another bite of ice cream for as long as I live. So I know that if I go the next 527 days 6 hours and 46 minutes without ever eating another bite of ice cream ... on day 528 I will probably end up getting a giant double chocolate tin roof concrete with extra chocolate chips from Nielson's frozen custard and inhaling it. And then that will probably make me sick and I'll end up yacking it because my stomach will be unable to handle the richness of it after going so long without anything even resembling it so then the next day I'll be right back there getting another one because I'll think "Hey I'm skinny and I puked up yesterday's concrete so I can totally afford to eat another one". Before I know it, I'll weigh 300 lbs again. I just know it ... I've done it. Even when it's been 20-30 lbs I've taken on this mentality of "oh I'm doing so good I can get away with eating one of everything that I've deprived myself of for the past 6 months" and then suddenly I've gained it all back plus 10 more.

    You've stated it all very well. Thank you.

  15. Someone will always find fault in what we do or anyone does. I was posting my food for a bit recently and off and on for a while (duration of blog). I shouldn't have let it get to me but I did. Not to far in the distant past I posted a completely sane very nutritious low cal day. Someone had the nerve to say it didn't contain enough veggies. WTF!! Oh well. Here's what I say. Fuck them. ;-) Is what you are doing working for you? If so great. If not change it.

  16. Twix: When I was 17 I had a friend who's motto on life was "If people like me great, if they don't to hell with them". At the time I was very self-conscious and always worried about making everyone like me but her philosophy wore off on me.

    In my personal life I'm more or less exactly as she was; I no longer try to make people happy or make them like me. If I want to do something nice for someone I will but if I really don't want to I have no problem telling them no. I don't even make excuses anymore I just say 'no'. I even tell my own sister no when she asks me to babysit ... before she moved to another state I used to tell her no all the time. She's my sis so she still loves me.

    I don't know why I let go of that when I started this blog; maybe I do. I guess I was making myself more vulnerable on this blog than I have ever been but ya know what? You're absolutely right. This is my body, my journey, my money, my taste buds and I'm going to eat what I eat, do what I do, post what I post and if people want to follow along for the ride sweet but for the critics I have a very simple solution: go find a different blog.

    My reason for this blog just changed as of right here and now: I am no longer doing it because I "need" other people to hold me accountable; I've proven I can do that quite well on my own. I am now blogging for three reasons: 1) If anyone else takes the inspiration from my blog that I got from "266" awesome. 2) When I weigh 135 lbs I am going to really get my personal jolly's from thumbing back through this blog and seeing what I've accomplished. 3) Hopefully, eventually, I can make a little bit of money from it.

    Thanks for the attitude adjustment, I needed it big time!