Hunger as a Metaphor

Ah. Normal Blogging Behavior, I’m so glad to be back. I am still pretty sick but am doing well enough to function. A couple of days ago, it took all I had to make myself a glass of juice and now, I am back into my normal routine. I really do believe that being sick is my bodies way of telling me that my down time was needed…right now. I plan to take it pretty easy the next few days so that I can be full force pretty soon.

Now, onto yesterday. I went to work late due to reports of ice on the roads so I decided to have breakfast at home. My appetite has been really off for a couple of days now and what I wanted was kinda strange. I had a chocolate vitatop with a peanut butter smear

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and a glass of grape juice.

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Not a normal breakfast by any means but it did the job and I made it all the way to lunch without feeling hungry. Around 11, I was feeling hungry so I had the chef make me a salad with ranch dressing on the side. I normally just do oil and vinegar but for some reason, I wanted ranch. I ended up eating about 5 bites of the salad before I had enough.

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I also had a boca spicy “chicken”  patty on a sandwich thin with blue cheese dressing.  This was my first time EVER cooking these things in the microwave an I must say, I don’t recommend it. It was really chewy and hard, once again, I didn’t eat all of it.

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I had a really busy afternoon and didn’t have time for my usual snack before therapy so I had a chocolate coconut chew larabar in the car. Once I got there, we talked about my mayonnaise jar, being sick and the exciting news that since starting Body Pump, I have lost inches off of my waist and hips. I had talked with Brandi about taking measurements and I am so glad I did. Even when the scale stays in the same spot, it IS nice to see the inches falling off. It is also nice to see muscles developing in my arms and legs.

After a relatively light conversation with my therapist, time was up and I had a date with the dear husband at Ukrops. I had group so we had to do something really quick for dinner and Ukrop’s is less than a mile from the therapy office. Somehow, I temporarily lost my camera and didn’t get to photograph what I had but for the record, I had half of a dynomyte roll, half of a veggie roll and a few bites of strawberry salad with whipped cream. I also had a few sips of this vitamin water that I took a picture of once I found my camera.

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After dinner, I made my way to group. We went through the session and I sat there thinking that it wasn’t doing anything for me the way past sessions had. We were focusing on Chapter 5 and 6 from Eating in the Light of the Moon by Dr. Annita Johnston.  We went through a guided meditation that led us through the sensations, the colors and the voice of hunger. Then, we were to draw what we visualized and, of course, discuss it with the group. I drew my stomach with faint signals, then louder signals and then screams. The screams were the words now now now and it was then I realized that my hunger IS a metaphor as the book suggests.

We had much discussion about what our emotional hunger is asking us for and then a discussion about Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. I realized that the second level of needs, safety, is a need in my life that was never met until I met the dear husband. Security is a feeling I have longed for since my first memory. No wonder I bounce around trying to fill all these voids with tons of friends, new “identities” and food. The session came to a close and all of a sudden I had an overwhelming sense that I needed to cry. I could feel the emotion welling up just under my eyes. I wanted to burst into tears so I said to the group “Am I the only one that wants to burst into tears?”. A couple of the women agreed that they felt it too and I told them that if I felt that way at home, I would be binging in a matter of moments.

That overwhelming feels that I can’t identify comes over me often and last night I realized what it is. Well, not exactly what it is but I can put my finger on the feeling. The feeling is fear. I could list for you the reasons that I think I am a disordered eater and some of those things are really scary to think about. But, I have identified that those things happened to me and I have been doing the work needed to deal with them. This is where the fear comes in.

I have very few memories of childhood; I can count on one hand how many I have. The fear is that if the things that I DO remember are so terrible, what is it that I am not remembering. What am I pushing so far down with food that I can’t even recognize it? This leads to such strong mixed emotions. Do I really want to remember it all? Maybe it is really nothing. I already feel immense guilt for being “screwed up” and that I should just suck it up and get over it. Or like one group member put it, a shitty childhood is just a cop out.  The fear of adding something else to that list leads me through life with a nutella spoon in my mouth.

So, it started out pretty lame-o and ended up being the most intense session yet. I feel like I am at a turning point now, like life as I know it is about to change. It is going to take some time and some intense therapy to get to the bottom of that fear but I will get there.

Do It Anyway

At 4:30 AM yesterday, the alarm went off and I groaned. Oh, I really did not want to get up to workout. I talked myself into by telling myself that, for me, skipping a planned workout day always leads to skipping three weeks of workouts. I knew that I didn’t want that, so, I got up and did it anyway! One hour on the treadmill later, I was done with my workout and glad that I did.

On the way to work, I had a chocolate cafe au lait and had breakfast once I got settled in. I had shredded wheat with almonds and milk. I had planned an apple but the cereal did a good job of making me satisfied so I skipped it.

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For lunch I had this little salad from the staff lunch with oil and vinegar dressing and leftover skillet lasagna. The dressing on the salad was so good! I really would like to know everything that was in it so I could make something similar at home.

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Around go time, I had greek yogurt with thawed frozen cherries and walnuts. This snack had tons of holding power and got me through the rest of the afternoon and my therapy session.

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Therapy was good. We first discussed my feelings about last week’s session. She said that she could tell that I was feeling very misunderstood which was true. Misunderstood is a feeling I feel very often. I feel like I am often back peddling and explaining myself even when I haven’t done anything “wrong”. After that, we talked about my joining WW again. We got into a lengthy discussion about how I plan for this time to be different. We talked about my binging and my “I don’t care” (the days that I eat without regard to my health) days. We talked about why I always quit.

The whole discussion was enlightening. I realized that my binging comes from emotional triggers rather than dieting and that my “I don’t care” days come from feelings of deprivation. This realization is big progress for me and my mind set. Mainly because it will help me in the future to pick myself up and keep trudging along. I realize now that we all have our struggles and that we all have days that the pizza sounds better than the size of our pants. But the key is to move on from it instead of letting it turn into an all out food festival.

 I also realize that moderation is a big issue for me and that this time, I will incorporate the foods that I love to eat. I will enjoy treats or even treat days but instead of turning it into days and days of not eating healthy, I will move on and keep going with my plan. I also am accepting up front that I will make mistakes and that instead of beating myself up, I need to learn from them. And better still, I hope that this process will one day be an intuitive one. Until then, I need to learn my boundaries and get rid of my fat suit. I hope to one day stop using food as love and instead, I will express my thoughts, fear and deepest emotions.

My great therapy session led me into feeling good about dinner. When I got home, the dear husband had made a frozen pizza and steamed broccoli, his specialty 🙂 The pizza was the Mediterranean Vegetable from Target and it was really good, it had cheese, spinach, sun dried tomatoes.

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Dessert was a vitamuffin with chocolate and peanut butter chips, mmmmmm.

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Thought Provoker: Does your black and white thinking get in the way of a healthy relationship with food?

Emotions Run High

And for a record three days in a row, I was up at 5 to face my treadmill. I pounded out 30 minutes and then got ready for work. Once I got there, I realized I forgot to pack myself breakfast! Lucky, for me, that problem is easily resolved by walking downstairs and ordering something. I asked for a bacon, egg and cheese on whole wheat with a side of fruit. I also specified that I would like it to be lady sized rather than man sized. Since our membership is basically men only (only 3 women members) all of the food is supersized and for me that means alot of waste. I was pleased when my breakfast arrived in a normal sized portion. I was also pleased at how delicious it was!

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For lunch, I had unphotographed leftovers of roasted buttercup squash and a chicken sausage. I think the squash was even better this time than it was the first time! For dessert, I had a strawberry chobani. I am going to miss those chobanis when they are gone. Come to find out, they are not available in my area 😦 I really enjoy the flavored ones as a dessert since they are so sweet. And the lack of protein really makes them not a filling as regular greek yogurt so they are a perfect companion to a meal.

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In the late afternoon, I got an attack of the munchies and hit up the trail mix. I think I love this trail mix as much as Erin loves hers. In fact, I decided that the bag needed to go back home so that I have portion it out into smaller containers. Can we say trigger food?

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After work, I had therapy. I’m not really comfortable talking about the things we discussed but I will say that it was very intense and I left crying like a baby. I felt angry at my therapist, a feeling I have never felt before. Somehow, she pushed a button that I apparently don’t want to be touched. I’m hoping to think it through over the next week and sort out why those feelings were so intense.

Once home, the dear husband had made us a frozen pizza and steam in the bag broccoli. Because of my high emotions, I don’t think I really tasted the food. I probably should have chosen to cry a little more before eating. High emotions and food for me are just a really bad combo.

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I also had a vitamuffin sundae which I did actually taste, it was pretty good. Probably still emotional eating and as of lately, I’m finding that I have so much more work to do in this area than I thought. I think it is time to read my intuitive eating books again and really start to work on the steps again.

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Thought Provoker: Do you find that you turn to food to cope with high emotions? Do you have trigger foods?

Cinnamon Phase

Yesterday started with a bowl of shredded wheat n bran topped with banana, walnuts and milk. I did add in a little cinnamon after I snapped the photo and that really kicked it up. I go through phases with cinnamon, sometimes I like it and sometimes I don’t.

Work was a little hectic but that was to be expected since the club was open on my three day weekend. I had planned to get back to my mini mealing but my stomach did not agree. I didn’t get hungry until about 10:30 which was just in time for staff lunch. It was beef gyros and they were delicious. Here is a shot of mine before I wrapped it all up.

A few hours later, I was hungry again and had my latest and greatest obsession, greek yogurt with lemon curd and granola. Last week, I left the lemon curd and the granola at work so I had been waiting to have this again. As expected, it was fantastic!

Once home from work, I made a frozen pizza and roasted broccoli. The pizza was a supreme rising crust pizza from Target and despite having not followed the directions, it turned out great. The crust and toppings were awesome, even restaurant quality. They were on sale this week and we stocked up, I am so glad 🙂

After dinner, I did a little tv watching and reading before having some dessert. I made the dear husband and I vitamuffin sundaes! I heated a vitamuffin and topped it with chocolate hazelnut gelato and whipped cream! What a satisfying dessert!

QOTD: Do you go through food phases? With what foods?

A Monday Off Work

We had to get up super early yesterday because we had to take my car in to the dealership for some work. Once the car was where it needed to be, we went out for breakfast, something we rarely do. We ended up at IHOP for pancakes. I ordered a spinach, mushroom and ham omelet

with harvest nut and grain pancakes. I put a little dab of syrup on the pancakes but discovered that I actually like them better without!

It was awesome breakfast! Of course, it was enough food to feed an army so I barely even finished a quarter of it. After breakfast, we ran some errands and then headed back home. We spent most of the day doing house and yard work. It was early afternoon before I was even remotely hungry, probably due to my well balanced breakfast 😉 For lunch, I made a repeat of Saturdays lunch. A hummus, havarty cheese, ham, lettuce and tomato sandwich of local 9 grain bread. It was just as good as the first time.

Just before it was time to pick up my car, I had a small bowl of greek yogurt with walnuts and agave. It was pretty good and held me over until dinner time.

For dinner, I made baked tofu. First, I drained it all day in the fridge and then cut it into large cubes. I tossed it with olive oil, agave and Penzy’s BBQ 3000 seasoning. Then,  I baked it at 400* for 40 minutes until nice and brown. Along side, we had a baked sweet potato with smart balance and sauteed kale. The kale was sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, crushed red pepper and a dash of nutmeg. This was a delicious dinner!

After dinner, we both read a little and watched some tv. For dessert, I had a vitamuffin.

This was a great birthday weekend, too bad it isn’t just a few days longer!

QOTD: What sort of meals seem to hold you over for hours at a time?

Takin’ it Easy

I woke up early yesterday in order to get in some breakfast before my yoga class, they say it is best to not have eaten for 2 hours before hand and I do my best to stick to that. I had a bowl of shredded wheat n bran with milk, walnuts and half a banana. I also ate a little more than I have been lately because I had some errand running to do after yoga and being hungry in three hours just wouldn’t work.

I signed up for a hatha flow yoga class on Saturday mornings since the dear husband agreed to do his marathon training on Saturdays from now on. The class starts at 8:30 and I was pretty excited to get back into the yoga studio. Practice at home and in a studio are such different experiences. Honestly, the biggest difference to me is my ego. When I practice at home, I, of course, don’t compare myself to others but at the studio, my mind often wonders to how I stack up. I do, however, enjoy practicing in a studio because I get to learn new things and I am reminded of proper alignment with a hands on approach rather than just words.

The class I took yesterday was with Laura, she is the owner of the studio and probably the most gentle of the teachers there. Her approach is soft and kind and her passion for yoga really shines. This class we focused on strengthening our core with a focus on the lower abdominal. I have a very weak core so it was just the class I needed. We went through many poses that you would never get somewhere else. In fact, plank and side plank never entered the 75 minute class. But today, I am sore from my shoulders all the way down to the top of my legs all the way around. Needless to say, it was a good class.

After a quick catch up session with Laura, I headed next door to Ukrop’s to do a little grocery shopping. I should have had a snack before I went in because I was really hungry by this time. But I guess the truth is, I came out of there with a good stock of foods that my body must have been craving without me realizing it. Thankfully, it wasn’t a bunch of “junk” food.

Once I arrived home, I made myself some lunch with my new loot. I made a sandwich on local 9 grain bread topped with sabra spicy (!!) hummus, havarty cheese, thin sliced pesto parmesan ham, romaine and local tomatoes. This sandwich was just what I wanted and before my trip to the store, I didn’t even know it!

After lunch, the dear husband and I hung out in our office until he fell asleep. I decided to take advantage of the quiet time by giving my bathroom a quick scrub. My cleaning habits have once again gone to the toilet, no pun intended, so it really needed it. By then, the dear husband was awake and we headed downstairs for some R & R. We watched LA Ink on the DVR and a little Food Network.

Around 2, I was hungry again so I had the sushi I picked up at Ukrop’s. It was called a crunchy roll and while eating it, I could not figure out why because there was nothing crunchy about it. Despite that, it was still delicious.

It was very spicy that left me with a killer sweet tooth so I turned to my vitamuffins. I ate one and it really hit the spot.

After this, I read for a while and ended up taking a really long nap. When I woke up, I made a quick dinner with the Blogger Secret Ingredient, Polenta! I made:

 Creamy Blue Corn Polenta with Meat Sauce

For the Polenta

2 cups milk

1/2 cup blue corn meal

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup frozen chopped spinach

1 tsp dried basil

For the Sauce

1/2 lb ground meat ( I use bison)

1 1/4 cup marinara sauce

Parmesan Cheese for topping

Instructions

Brown meat on medium high heat to ensure it browns rather than steams. If the meat is very lean, add a little olive oil. Once the meat is brown, add the marinara sauce and let simmer.  In a separate pot, combine salt and milk over medium heat. While the milk heats up slowly whisk in the corn meal a tbsp at a time being sure to whisk well after each addition. Once all of the corn meal is incorporated, switch to a wooden spoon and stir often. Once it is thickened, add in the cheese and spinach and lower the heat to a simmer. If the polenta becomes too thick add a little water until it is the desired texture. At the very end, add in the basil. Serve the meat sauce on top of the polenta and top with paremsan cheese.  Yellow corn meal can be used in place of blue but the blue is very fun!

Polenta and sauce is one of my all time favorite comfort foods but for some reason, it wasn’t doing it for me. I had really been thinking about the cold stone ice cream I plan to get on my birthday (today) and I just wanted something sweet. I only took a few bites and gave the rest to the dear husband. I ended up eating another vita muffin and then called it a night. I had to rest up for my birthday festivities!

Caddie...Takin' It Easy

Caddie...Takin

QOTD: Do you like to grocery shop on a hungry stomach or a full stomach? I am actually finding that I buy more “real” food when I shop when I am hungry.

Ladies (And a Gent) Who Lunch

Thankfully, I woke up feeling much better yesterday than the day before. No headache and no stomach bugs, I guess my body just needed some extra rest. I think our bodies have a way of forcing us to rest when we don’t listen to the small signs. But onto the food! I started out with a bowl of oats, 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 cup milk, half a banana and a pinch of salt. Once it was done, I stirred in a heaping spoon of flax seed and topped the whole thing off with almond butter.

At work, things started slow and easy, just the way a Friday should be. I was hungry around 10 so I had a pita with PB & Co. white chocolate dreams with grapes on the side.

Then around 11:30, The Pro stopped in my office and invited me to lunch with him, his college daughter and T. We had lunch on the porch overlooking the 19th hole and the back nine. And yes, our club has a real 19th hole not just a bar named that 🙂 For lunch, I had a half BLT and a small cup of tomato and fennel soup. It was a nice lunch and we had a great time chatting away and living vicariously through The Pro’s daughter.

After lunch, all hell broke loose and I was up to my eyeballs in work. Everyone seemed to need me in some fashion or another. By the time it all calmed down, my stomach was growling as if it hadn’t eaten in days. Since it was only a couple minutes until go time, I had a honest foods bar instead of making my usual yogurt. I started with the cran lemon one, took one bite and gave it to K. Oh, I did not like how “zingy” it was. I told K that it wouldn’t hurt my feelings a bit if she didn’t like it either.

My second attempt was a honest food trail mix bar. I liked this one better but the peanut butter chocolate one is still the all time best.

After work, I was really craving Italian food so the dear husband and I went to the place about a mile from home. It is family owned and operated and has awesome food. I started with a salad topped with house dressing.

Then for my entree, I ordered the special, baked ziti. It was chessy and carborific just like I wanted.  I only ate about 1/4 of the dish but the leftovers will suit the dear husband just fine after his long run.

After dinner, we ran a couple of errands around town and finally made it home. I made a batch of vitamuffins to cure my chocolate craving. I had been wanting chocolate cake since lunch and this was the perfect solution. I love them because they are easy to make and relatively healthy since they are made with whole grains and are low in sugar.

After dessert, I read for a bit and then called it a day. Hooray, the three day weekend is here!

QOTD: How do you relax after a long week at work? I love coming home of Friday nights and snuggling on the couch with a movie. To me, it is the perfect way to wind down.