Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Returning to work - the return to very easy access to junk food

With mixed feelings, I returned to work last Tuesday after a yearlong maternity leave. Above all, I will miss spending time with my kids: trips to the library, kinder jump and play; play dates in Hamilton, window-shopping at the mall and hanging out at home.

Going back to work also means a new environment. An environment with close proximity to a Metro (grocery store), two Tim Horton’s donut shops, a Dollarama (chock full of discounted chocolate bars) and peers bearing baked goods and junk food to celebrate birthdays, holidays or just because. On the flip side, it also means a structured day and a commute that includes a 2 KM walk from Union train station to my workplace.

So how did my first week back shake out? Did cognitive therapy make a difference?

It went well. Therapy made a big difference.

During the last week, I ate chocolate and cookies every day. I enjoyed regular snacks. On some days, I enjoyed dessert such as Cold Stone ice cream and hot chocolate. I even went to McDonald’s one day for lunch. I’d say that the week went well. I believe I thought and ate like a thin person. I even lost weight.

Let me explain:

“I ate chocolate and cookies every day.”
That’s a small handful of animal crackers and chocolate chips.

“I enjoyed regular snacks.”
I ate up to three Satsuma oranges and two Gala apples during the work day and shared a couple of apples after dinner with my oldest son and husband.

“On some days, I enjoyed desserts such as Cold Stone ice cream and hot chocolate.”
I should add that I had a second serving of ice cream on Saturday night with my husband.

“I even went to McDonald’s one day for lunch.”
Instead of ordering a McChicken combo, I now order a cheeseburger with small fries and a diet coke.

In addition, I brought my breakfast and lunch from home (whole wheat English muffin with PBJ for breakfast, sliced deli meat and havarti cheese on a toasted bun for lunch) each day and I only bought food when necessary - buns for sandwiches, sushi lunch with friends I had not seen in a long time and a Panago pizza on my first day back to work. I also increased exercising walking 4 KM each work day and about six hours of gardening, pulling hundreds of weeds from our lawn and gardens.

However, the most noticeable difference in returning to work after therapy was what wasn’t there. I didn’t crave timbits or Dollarama’s discount chocolate bars. I didn’t miss the McChicken sandwich or bigger serving of fries. I didn’t hunt around the grocery store for some sort of sweet treat. I didn’t even consider buying something at Union station that is full of junk food options: McDonald’s, Mrs. Fields cookies, Dairy Queen, Cinnabon etc. I wasn’t tempted to eat any of those foods. I had no cravings. I didn’t feel like I was missing out on something. I was satisfied. To me, this is how a thin person thinks.

2 weeks / - 6

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Updating a year an a half of progress

It's been an embarrassingly long time since my last post. It's May 2011 now. My last post was August. August 2009. I'd like to tell you that I have learned to think like a thin person and I've solved my weight issues.  I haven't. In fact, I'm even heavier now, incredibly self-conscious and physically uncomfortable.

I have been productive during my year and a half blogging sojourn. My husband and I welcomed our second son to the world in May 2010. I started this pregnancy about forty pounds heavier than my first pregnancy, so I am at the heaviest weight of my life, with an overwhelming amount of weight to lose.

Following the Beck Diet Solution did not work for me.  However, I know that cognitive behaviour therapy is the key to learning to think like a thin person and finally getting a handle on my weight. Instead of following a book, I decided to go a step further and find a cognitive behaviour therapist. I began therapy in September 2010.

Before therapy, I hunted for food. Obsessed about it. Thought about it constantly. I feared bringing ice cream, cookies or chocolate into the house. Those foods would rarely last 24 hours in my house. Now, eight months later, I haven't touched chocolate from Mother's Day. The box sits unopened on the kitchen counter. There is a box of ice cream in the freezer and I'm not tempted to have any. More importantly, I am making healthier choices and I'm happy to do so.

All in all, I'm hopeful for my future. But, I'm worried that I might regress into my old habits. I'm worried that thinking thinner won't get me thinner.

My plan is to write about what I've learned and discovered through the therapy. I think this will help me keep what I learned fresh and to remain steadfast in my quest to think and be a thin person.