Friday, January 31, 2014

Did I stay or did I go running?

I knew I was in trouble when hubby went to bed on Saturday night before me. He snored his way through "After Earth." Typically, I'm the one sleeping through the movie and he's the one watching and filling in the plot points the next day. Frankly, I'm shocked that the movie didn't put me to sleep, but then again I was working on a Shutterfly photobook. In any case, once the movie ended, he went to bed.

Hubby going to bed first is a problem. I have a hard time falling asleep if hubby is already in bed. It disrupts my bedtime routine. I like to fall asleep watching TV. I'm usually out by the time the 30 minute shut off timer on the TV needs to be reset. Of course, he also snores.

Unfortunately, I wasn't tired so I decided to watch an episode of Homeland. Then another episode. It was almost 2 am by the time I crawled into bed. Of course, once in bed, I had trouble falling asleep. I tossed and turned. Overall it just wasn't a good night of sleep. And I slept through my planned running/walking outing.

So I need a better plan. I need to make it part of my weekend routine. My weekday routines work like a finely tuned  machine, however, the weekends are a bit of the wild west, in terms of eating and exercise. Weekend time is not as structured as weekdays and the amount of planned and last-minute activities varies from weekend to weekend.

It's time to figure out the weekends.

Next post: my friend Jennifer writes about how cognitive behaviour therapy has changed her thoughts on eating out at restaurants!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

It's winter! Time to start running again!

As I drove my car out of the Oakville Go Train station on Thursday night, I couldn't help but notice a large group of runners (~40 people) decked out in neon green/orange/yellow jackets running drills up and down the hill on Cross Avenue. The temperature was approximately -16 degree temperature (~-30 with the windchill).

I'm taking this as a sign that it is time to start running again. Or at least walking around the neighbourhood at a nice clip on a regular basis. I'm not much of a runner. It's interesting to note that I gravitate towards low impact sports: swimming, rowing, in-line skating and cycling. I find running jarring on my joints: bam, bam, bam, bam. It is an effort to get into running. However, once I get into it, I understand what all the fuss is about.

I prefer running outside instead of inside, so the weather is a factor. Personally, I like winter running better than summer running. I like to sweat, but I don't like to be super overheated. I can only take off so much clothing in the summer. However, in the winter, I can always add more.

Speaking about the weather, we've had a couple of cold snaps this winter here in Southern Ontario this winter and more snow than usual. Years ago, when I trained for a 10K during the winter and I loved running in -30 degree temperatures and marveling at my frozen eyebrows, eyelashes. However the idea of heading out for a run (mostly walking really) after a seven year absence in the same super cold temperatures and blizzard-like conditions is not ideal setting to start running again. My motivation and resolve melts like the snow in spring.

What I need is a plan. Without a plan, it just won't happen.

Therefore my short term plan is to head out tomorrow morning, preferably first thing before the bears get out of bed (which is a challenge since the big one gets up before 6 am).

Will I? Won't I? I have to go with I will, otherwise I won't!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How to avoid overeating at the company's quarterly update meeting

Before the meeting
There is a corporate update meeting tonight after work.

To be honest, I'm apprehensive about attending. The meeting extends the workday and to encourage employee attendance, there are serving a finger foods to enjoy. So, this is more than an update meeting, it is a minefield of potential eating triggers.

I'm going up against my three main triggers for overeating:
  • Social eating;
  • Anxiety from food itself: finger foods are laced with salt, sugar and fat that creates the maximum allure and strong short term cravings. This food that your mind (and my mind) wants to eat, but it is not food that my body wants as it is packed with fat and calories; 
  • Deviating from my normal routine. 
At this moment, I'm considering my plan. A few options come to mind:
  • go with the flow and eat whatever
  • eat my small container of cut fruit at the meeting instead of the food that is offered
  • eat my small container of cut fruit just before heading to the meeting
  • decide on the number and type of finger foods I can eat and use visualization techniques to practice
  • some sort of combination of the options above.
What am I going to do? What would you do?

After the meeting
The meeting is over. My plan for handling the food at town hall worked well. My plan was simple: eat my small container of cut fruit at the meeting and up to five finger foods. I spent a few minutes visualizing and thinking about my plan before heading to the meeting.

I'm slightly surprised that I wasn't anxious or feeling deprived. When the food stations opened, I looked to see what was available, and picked one of each of the following items:

  • beef wellington ball
  • coconut shrimp
  • mushroom tartlet
  • small macaroon
  • apple/cinnamon spice tart thing

I enjoyed eating my plate of things, carefully considering the taste of each piece. Once I was done, I was satisfied. I didn't want or need more food. Heck, I'm a little surprised that I didn't eat my fruit. I believe it also helped that I ate two parts (toast with tuna and a bowl of roasted spaghetti squash) of my lunch at 2 pm.

Once I arrived home, I ate a bowl of pasta, before heading into the kids' night time routine.

Having a plan really worked. I'll make sure I have one in place for all events!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Update - The two year weight plateau

After years and years of cycling between periods of restricting and overeating, I was either losing weight or gaining weight, there was no in between. My weight was never stable. Until now.

So, I'm still kind of amazed that I can eat without following a diet, eat like a normal person and NOT gain weight. Eating without a struggle and stable weight for two years is something to celebrate and is massive leap forward in my journey.

However, do I want to stay at my current weight? Do I want to stay at this weight for the rest of my life? No, I don't. I want to loose more weight. And while I am not ready to write down here how much I weigh, I can confirm that I remain more than 20 pounds heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight.

But, I have to be careful on how I proceed. I am prepared to sit with the discomfort from the food-related anxiety. I'm prepared to push the boundaries of all the lessons learned in cognitive behaviour therapy to tackle this plateau and getting the numbers on the scale moving down again. I know that I don't need to make huge changes to my current eating routines, but I do have to make changes.

Fight more of the evening cravings and strive to be more mindful.

I know I can do it.