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A Call for Help

I have two admissions this morning.  One is small, one is big.

Number one: I used to hate Jillian Michaels.  I had no reason, except perhaps that her public persona bothered me, and I that I don’t think I would do well with her harsh training methods.  However, since I have no intention of ever being on The Biggest Loser, I’m not sure why this would matter to me.  Anyway, I really had issues with her and purposefully avoided any of her workouts because of it.  Well that, and because I was afraid that if I did the 30 Day Shred I would die. Yesterday, however, I saw her on Dr. Phil’s show about weight (why is this such a big topic again lately) and she changed my mind.  I still stand by my assertion that she is a little scary and intense, but she honestly seemed like all she wanted was to help people get healthier.  She wasn’t rude or condescending.  She didn’t call names or act like the overweight people on the panel were disgusting or stupid.  She just wanted people to understand that yes, exercise is hard but no, it doesn’t have to be something you do twenty hours a day to see results.  So, Ms. Michaels, I owe you an apology.  You seem like a lovely person, and if I weren’t so scared of the Shred making me too sore to run, I’d probably try your workouts.

Have you done Shred?  Is it something I could do every day and still manage to go running every other day?  Is it something I could do only on my off days from running?  I need Shred guidance!  Be my Shred Yoda?

Okay…. on to admission number two.  This is hard for me, and I am embarrassed to be talking about it, but here it is….

I’m losing control.  After weeks of the same pattern of PAINFULLY slow weight loss (no loss one week, TINY loss the next week, slightly bigger loss on week three, rinse and repeat) my motivation is starting to slip.  I still workout every day, or nearly every day, but my food control is slipping.  We order buffalo wings every Wednesday because Pizza Hut’s wings are my husband’s favorite and on Wednesdays they are only fifty cents a wing.  It’s not the ideal meal, but it’s good and it’s usually the only splurge I have most weeks, so I think it’s fine.  Last night though?  Last night we ordered wings, and at the last minute I threw in an order of their chocolate breadsticks… which are covered with a layer of chocolate and chocolate chips and then dipped in Hersheys chocolate sauce.  Are they good?  Yes.  Are they worth the 500 calories they cost me?  Absolutely not, and I knew how bad for me they were when I added them to the order.

One slip with chocolate sticks is not a big deal.  The big deal is the way my mindset has shifted.  It’s like last Saturday’s terrible food choices flipped a switch in my head, and suddenly I want junk food all the time.  I want fried foods and pizza and desserts.  I’m starting to feel those old feelings about food slipping back in….  Food will make me happy, food will make me feel better about the stress in my life, food will fix things.

I’m terrified.  I am making such good progress, but these thoughts and feelings don’t take long to derail me.  They’ve done it before and I am scared they’re about to do it again.  I don’t know how to stop them.  I don’t know what to do to shut them up and get back to my motivated, genuinely satisfied by healthy food, ready to DO THIS self.  I’m under a lot of stress right now, and my nature is to self sabotage in the face of stress.

There.  I said it.  I am a saboteur.  I purposefully, willfully wreck health and fitness efforts for myself time and again.  That’s why this is my third time on Weight Watchers.  I give in to the silly thoughts about bad foods making things better, and in the moment that I am eating those things it does seem better… but then one slip gives me permission for the next one, and on and on until it snowballs into me eating terribly, abandoning exercise, and gaining back everything I’ve struggled to lose.

I don’t want that.  I want this to be the time I succeed.  I NEED this to be the time I succeed.  I need my daughter to grow up healthy.  And I think I need your help to stay on track.  I’ll take any advice, any support… anything.


23 Responses

  1. Give yourself a break.

    There are erasers on pencils because sometimes we slip. It’s a new day, a new chance, a new opportunity to keep doing the good (if seemingly slow) work you are doing.

    Just remember what your goal is, and be committed to it, even in the face of Pizza Hut. Chocolate bread sticks aren’t the end of the world.

    Do something healthy this morning. Be nice to yourself, too.

  2. Heather, I feel for you, because I’ve done this to myself many times. Here’s what I think:
    Are you bored with what you’re eating? Can you try some new recipes or foods to help keep things interesting?
    You need to remind yourself that YOU are worth it. You are WORTH taking care of, worth the time and effort it takes to prepare healthy food, worth saying no to the foods that are not the best for you.
    Sit down and really think about your motivators. When this happened to me the last time I wrote them down and taped them to my mirror where I could see them several times a day.
    Remember that this isn’t as much about the scale as it is about creating a healthy life. Stay away from the scale for a few weeks, and just focus on making healthy choices. Maybe if you take the numbers away, you won’t get down on yourself and can get your mojo back – then you can step on the scale again to measure your progress.
    Measurements are a great tool for checking your progress, too! Don’t forget that the scale is a lying b*tch sometimes, but measurements can show you that you’re hard work is paying off!

  3. Oh SkinnySushi-I think of you that way even though I met you as Heather first-you are fabulous.

    We all have to work through our bad habits. This is one of yours. And mine. Food is still my first reaction to stress. Food is also my first reaction to discomfort. If I were to go off the deep end right now, I’m pretty sure
    my four months of healthy would not be strong enough to see me through.

    The difference I’m banking on this time is the blogging. Support, honesty and accountability are all things I get from cyber dieting that are unique and SO helpful. Just keep standing up. My calendar told me that yesterday. Success is just standing up once more than you fall. 🙂

    keep it up SkinnySushi you are fun to have around

  4. I wonder if the problem is you still see it as a diet, rather than as a way of life. If your focus is more about being healthy and enjoying life it’s much easier to enjoy the breadstick and then keep eating your fruits/veggies.

    Make a plan for this weekend. If you go out to eat what can you do to pick a meal that will be really enjoyable, but then fill the rest of your day with fresh whole foods. It can’t be an all or nothing life…it’s too short to live that way!

  5. I want this to be the time I succeed. I NEED this to be the time I succeed.


    you can do this
    one minute at a time.
    one moment at a time.

    xo xo

  6. You’ve GOT THIS. We all go through it. The fact that you’re conscious of it and recognizing it is proof that you will be able to turn that bus around before it gets to the drive-thru window, Heather. Take it slow, give yourself a break, think, write down what’s troubling you, and allow yourself to see the big picture. You’ll get there. I have faith in you.

  7. I love you

  8. okay, first i have to say, you have been doing an amazing job!! you are an amazing mom and friend and you need to give yourself credit for both of those things. that fact that you even have thoughts of being healthier is a step in the right direction.

    i will share something with you that my ww leader said that has been sticking with me lately when i want to indulge. her philosophy is to take the first bite and the last bite, and skip all the bites in between because they dont matter. its really all about the first bite and the last bite anyway!

    just keep swimming, just keep swimming!

  9. Heather, everyone slips up. Everyone has had a bad day where they ate way more than they should. The important thing is what you do after the slip up. In the grand scheme of things, that one bad meal you had is not going to affect you at all, but if you say screw it and give up, those slip ups are going to keep accumulating till you are back to where you started. Start over fresh today, no guilt for what you ate yesterday. Just wipe the slate clean and start today as a brand new day. I know exactly how you are feeling and I’ve allowed myself to give up in the past. The difference is now I just get back on the horse. Last Sunday I had a small caramel brownie blizzard from Dairy Queen and popcorn at the movies. I wanted one of those blizzards, so I had it and I moved on. I got myself back on track and was happy to get on the scale yesterday and find out I’ve lost 4 pounds. I’ve let myself gain about 10 pounds back from my goal weight in the few months my husband has been home. But I saw what I was doing to myself and I nipped it in the butt! My advice is let go of the guilt from that bad meal and don’t allow it to sabotage all your hard work. Concentrate on how good you feel when you complete a run or a walk. Doesn’t that feel so much better than the guilt you feel after you’ve gotten off the plan? Go out, do your walk and re-dedicate yourself to your healthier lifestyle! Just take it one day at a time and it will become so much more managable I promise. 🙂

  10. I can totally relate. I’ve been making bad food choices, and still working hard, so that’s how I justify it. “Well, I ran for a total of sixteen minutes today, I want some pizza!” or cookies. or whatever. Then you eat so much it totally trumps your hard work.

    My advice would be to never let a slipup build up or slow you down too bad. Everyday is a new day. If you ate bad on Monday, fine…it’s done. Now just do better the next day. It could all equal out before you know it.

    And as far as stopping the cravings, I dunno…but one thing that helps me is to look at my exercise for the week on dailymile. I think of how I hated every minute of that running and how sore I am…then that makes me think twice about eating a bunch of junk and making all that hard work mean nothing.

    Good luck! 🙂

  11. So this now makes the second blog I’ve read today about losing it with food. I wrote one too, which makes 3 so far.

    You’re right – 1 meal, 1 food, 1 WHATEVER will not derail you but persistent negative thinking can and usually will.

    Shift the negative thinking away from yourself and towards the bad food choices. If necessary, repeat out loud to your dh why it would be good for you to skip the wings next week. Do whatever it takes to make it clear to him and to yourself that this path is a slippery slope that you refuse to stay on!

    Be the little train that could and one chug at a time do it.

  12. How about this: you’re motivating me 🙂

    I’m going back to WW today for the first time in months. Heck, now that I think about it, it’s been nearly a year. All that walking I did in DC (and I did a HUGE amount of walking) kept me from putting on any weight (and we ate a HUGE amount of good food). And I need to do something because I don’t walk like that all the time. So, I’m going back.

    I’m a saboteur too. Changing a mindset takes time, not weeks, but months. The most significant change I came out of my last time at WW was to ask myself, “Am I really hungry? Do I really need to eat this? Will I regret it more if I do or if I don’t?” and then make the choice.

    My crackpot theory: I’ve kind of become convinced that sabotage is our unconscious mind working against us breaking a bad habit. When I want to sabotage what I’m doing, I know that I’ve nearly broken a habit, but my unconscious is throwing a temper tantrum and trying to hold on to that habit. It’s the death-throes of the bad habit, so to speak. Does that make any sense whatsoever?

    Hang in there! You can do it!

  13. just know you are NOT alone! (last night I had a date with a bowl of chocolate and some pretzels) So delicious…but so not worth it and I still have that stress I was trying to drown in chocolate!)

    anyway…this is the just the post I needed today so thank you for calling out for help. 🙂

    today is a NEW day!
    (pushing aside that can of diet pepsi…..) 🙂

  14. I can SO RELATE to everything you are saying. I am part of the Saboteur club, too. And the Clean Plate Club. And the Brownie Eating Club…okay, I digress.

    You got some amazing (hello, Miz) comments and advice! I don’t know that I have much more to add other than my new mantra that has kept me going: EVERY GOOD CHOICE COUNTS. So often, we look at the “bad” that we ate in the day which we let completely negate all the good choices that we made. You are changing your LIFESTYLE. You are changing your eating habits. It’s happening. With every good choice you make, it’s happening. It might not show up instantly on “The Frigger” (my new name for the scale), but your body knows it’s happening.

    I think you just might be in a little funk. We all get the funk. This is a long journey, so the funk is inevitable. Just ride it out. Every day keep trying. You’ll get your mojo back!

    Hugs, H!!!

  15. Wow – these words could have come directly from my own thoughts – been there, done that.

    1) I truly believe that when I have a fried food/carb overload, it takes my body a couple of weeks to detox, and get back to normal. So give yourself a break and just realize that your body is still craving the crap. It doesn’t go away after one day.
    2) Sometimes the hardest part about losing weight is staying focused after we’ve had a little success (I think I heard Fat Bridesmaid say this once or twice). The newness has worn off and real life is catching up to you, so now is the time to fight for what you really want.
    3) You are running now and running always makes me hungrier than normal. Just make sure that you are fueling up on the good stuff, even if it is a little bit more than usual.

    You are going to be fine – just hang in there and it will get easier. 🙂

  16. Well, step one: Write about it. (Check!)
    Step two: Keep writing about it.
    Step Three: Tweet about it.
    Step Four: Read my post adding up all the calories in my Easter Candy binge, then having to do a BOOT CAMP to work it all off.
    Step Five: Take a deep breath and write about it.

    It isn’t called work because it’s easy. Put some treats in your PLAN, so that you can do a little extra in your workouts. And maybe for a while you just FAKE IT. And keep talking about it.

    And be proud of how far you’ve come. Stronger each and every day. Inside-out beautiful. You can do this.

  17. I love Jillian Michaels, I also watch the biggest loser and it’s obvious she cares about the contestants. Also listen to her old podcasts on itunes-great stuff. I love the 30 day shred but I use it in combination with her other videos. The plan is called the 30 day slimdown. You can get the plan here: http://www.exercisetv.tv/workoutplans.aspx If you have cable I think the videos are on demand (that’s what my sister has been using. I have the dvds downloaded). The Shred is excellence but it does work you out, which is the point. It’s only 20 minutes and you build up your endurance. The first day sucks but I can already see the difference in my strength and muscle tone in just the second week of the Slimdown (before I could barely do 3 modified push-ups, now I am able to do them all ok-almost ready to do full on real ones!) And just when it starts to burn she motivates you to keep going. I actually think Jillian is one of the least annoying trainers out of all the videos I have. Good luck!

  18. that’s the great thing about WW, everyday is a new day starting with a clean slate and that is why we have those 35 weekly points, count what you ate, journal it and move on. What’s done is done and behind you, don’t ruin the great future by living in the past.

    I bought the 30 day shred about 3 months ago and it is still lying in the wrapper on my table – I think I am a bit scared and intimidated by it and Jillian LOL.

    Make today a great day!!

  19. I would add something, but everyone has already said it.
    You know you CAN do this, right?
    Because we all know you can.
    You are already doing so well. You are an inspiration to everyone who meets you.
    You just watch, one year from now you’ll be at FitBloggin, talking about how you got started with running. 🙂

  20. I saw this on Rachel Ray and it totally changed the way I thought about food
    I challenge you to go to the dr.’s site and take the quiz.
    My results were that I was an anxious eater (who knew?) so now, when I’m craving stuff or just wanting to eat, thinking I’m hungry (when I know I shouldn’t be), I have narrowed it down to that feeling of anxiousness.

    Another thing is if you never ‘cheat’ you are more likely to give up. Allowing some cheat is good, just start the next day brand spanking new. Remember, tomorrow is a great day to start fresh, start over.

    hang in there. it’s hard, keep doing it. You may have plateaued, but if you keep working on it, you’ll get past it.

  21. […] out.  Call for help.  Beg for help.  Tweet it […]

  22. I definitely fall into the category of wanting to eat what I “want” – and it’s cyclical. What I try to do is take a minute and try to figure out what my body wants, not what my brain wants. How will it feel after I eat this? What will make me fueled (gets me to choose apples over chocolate), what will give me energy and not lead to a crash later on.
    It takes energy and it doesn’t always succeed, but taking the time to think it through seems to help me a lot.
    Good luck.

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