Monday, October 4, 2010

A Change

For the past 2 months, I haven't been going to Weight Watcher meetings, counting points, or writing down every morsel of food that goes into my mouth. I haven't been eating as healthy as I know how to, but I haven't been going crazy either. Instead, I've been doing a lot of thinking. I've been thinking about my eating habits, my unhealthy behaviors, and why I am the way I am.

Why am I fat? is the question I've been asking myself over and over again. Why am I sabotaging myself every chance I get? Why do I still not get it? The only answer I can come up with is that I don't feel I have a right to be skinny. I don't have strength to do this. I'm forever destined to be the chubby, quiet girl who feels awkward and out of place because that's the way I was made.

And those are all lies. They are lies that are so ingrained deep in my heart that it's taken me years to get to the root of it. If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, I'm sure you know who the liar is. If not, it's my father. My father, whose best nickname for me used to be Poochie-Poo, who sent me a letter from prison when I was a senior telling me I needed to lose weight after I sent him my senior picture, and who constantly and consistently made me feel as if I was worthless.

I know they're lies. I know I am a pretty awesome individual. I'm smart, I'm funny, I'm a great friend and a compassionate listener. I have a variety of interest and skills. And I have worth. I am worth it. I can't go on letting his lies infiltrate my mind and captivate my heart. I have so many other people in my life telling me I am worth it. I have my mom, my brother, my grandparents, friends, classmates, strangers, and you guys. There are days when I don't know what I would do without the friendships I have made through blogging.

I'm glad I came to this realization, though. It has made me realize what I'm doing to myself, not just through my body but to my heart. And I know nothing in the world could make me more proud of myself than to make a big change to my lifestyle. I want to stop playing the victim and start playing the victor.

And so, I've come up with a list of my 5 most unhealthy behaviors. My plan is to take control of these five areas of my life and then I can start cracking away at other areas where I eat moderately healthy, but I could still use a little work. (Mainly, my lunch and dinners which are pretty healthy and we usually eat the correct portions of.)

1. Soda
Soda is my drink of choice. If I'm having a bad day, it's soda I want, not any kind of alcohol. It tastes delicious and releases chemicals into my brain that signal everything is going to be OK. (Well, maybe not, but that's how it feels.) On an average day, I would drink 2-3 cans. Two weeks ago, I began working to cut it out of my diet. While I will still have soda when I go out to eat and on Sundays, I don't want it to be an everyday habit. I managed to go two days each week without any soda. I don't want to quit cold turkey because the caffeine headaches I get are enough to make me think I can never do this. For this upcoming week, I'm looking to go 3 days without a soda and so on until I stop depending on it so much. This has been my main goal and I feel like I'm doing pretty good at achieving it.

2. Exercise 
After over 3 years of trying to lose weight, exercise still hasn't become something I enjoy. While I have found certain types of exercise that I tolerate, it's never been something that I've craved. Craving exercise? Really? There are people out there like this? But I want to. I want it to be more enjoyable and something I don't dread with every fiber of my being. (And no, I'm not being dramatic. OK. Maybe I am.) I want to like exercise, I really do! For this goal, I want to commit to 4 days of exercise a week. It can get really complicated with my schedule (especially since I can't exercise in the morning, unless I want to wake up at 4am.), but I know I can do this. I just have to stop being so lazy.

3. Snacking
Oh, snacking! This is my weakness. I have fallen prey to portion control and 100-calorie snack packs which do nothing to fuel you, but do taste so very good! I want to drastically change what I consider a snack and make it something that really does perk me up and fuel me, and less about something heavy on fat and sugar. I want fruits and veggies, almonds and nuts, peanut butter and smoothies. This is an area that needs a lot of work, and it scares me a little to think about how many calories/points I waste on snacks.

4. Breakfast
My job makes breakfast very hard. First of all, I have to be there early so eating beforehand isn't an option. Secondly, even if I do bring a satisfying, filling breakfast, I'm also the "Breakfast Girl", as my boss likes to call me and I'm the one making and delivering breakfasts to all the kiddos. Sometimes, it's something as simple as cereal and juice. And sometimes it's French toast, or blueberry muffins, or my personal favorite, sausage biscuits. (Do you know what it's like to cook FORTY sausage biscuits and not eat even one? Um, well, neither do I.) It's hard. I bring breakfast, yes, but I also think I could make it a lot healthier. I have a hard time finding super healthy breakfast since I hate oatmeal and can only handle yogurt in small doses. But I'm up for the challenge!

5. Situational Eating
I am really bad at eating, depending on the situation. I'm sad! I'm happy! Something terrible has just happened! Let's celebrate! It's Friday! I have the Monday morning blues! I'm a professional at justifying why I'm eating bad. I want to stop eating just because of a certain emotion or event. I want to be able to be sad and find another way to get a handle on my emotions. I want to be able to celebrate something good happening without blowing my diet out of the water. I need to find other ways to deal with my emotions. I think it's a problem most people have with their eating habits and once that gets under control, controlling your eating becomes much easier.

So there you have it. For now, I'm working on the first two because I know if I can cut out the majority of my soda intake and ramp up my exercise, I'll see weight loss and just feel better. And that's my main goal. I want to feel good and know I'm treating my body the best way possible. I'm still eating healthy and still maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but I find that I'm less tempted to cheat and feel like the whole day or week is a loss with this attitude.

What would you say is your most unhealthy habit?

Credit: x, x, x, x, x


  1. All of these are bad habits I have, too, actually. I've tried to give up soda for the month, & I've almost made it - on Oct. 10th, it'll be a month! Once you get over the initial jump of missing it ALL THE TIME, it's not so bad - & I still drink tea & chai to keep me caffeinated when I feel like I need it.

    I'm trying to be a better snacker, too. I just moved out of an apartment complex that had a vending machine in the laundry room; now, I'm living with my mom, who won't even buy Frosted Mini Wheats because they're too unhealthy. She's quite overweight, also, so we're working on it together, snacking on bananas & granola & applesauce & almonds when we feel like we need something. Oh, & my favorite quick/healthy breakfast? Toasted whole wheat waffles with organic peanut butter!

    I still hate working out but am going to the gym today to buy a one-month pass.

    Good luck to both of us!

  2. I am so very proud of you for coming to this realisation that you ARE awesome and worthy, and recognising the lies for what they are. I am so with you on the exercise front - I've been trying too and I still don't understand how there are people out there who actually crave and enjoy exercise!!

    Best of luck! <3

  3. My bad habits:
    1. Eating habits.
    Example: Yesterday
    breakfast: pastries and coffee
    lunch: 2.5 plates at indian buffet, more than anyone in our 6 peopleparty
    dinner: ramen and doritos.

    2. No exercise.
    3. No water

    I need to work on this or I'll die early...

  4. Ice cream! Now that I'm done with all this training, I wonder how much weight I would have lost if I'd just laid off the ice cream.

  5. Aside from soda these are all bad habits of mine. I can almost always steer clear of soda simply because we can't afford it. Makes it easy to say no, lol.

    I think my worst habit is boredom. I'm not working full time so I'm at home bored a lot and when I'm bored I want to eat. So bad.

    Good luck with your goals, I know you can accomplish them!

  6. My most unhealthy habit is emotional eating. When I'm stressed, I eat. Super sad, I eat. Something I know that I need to work on. Great post, congrats on the realizations you have made.

  7. My most unhealthy habits before I lost weight were mindless eating/snacking in the afternoon at work, drinking soda, and portion control. WW really helped me because it made me aware of how much a portion should be... And I taught me what my trigger foods were.

    I think it's an important step to identify your unhealthy habits. But maybe try to focus on one? Like maybe try switchign to diet soda? Or try to consistently work exercise into your schedule? They say that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so if you can do it for 3 weeks, it isn't as hard to carry on... Good luck, sweetie! I hope you are able to silence those voices of hatred in your mind!!

  8. Nighttime eating for sure! I eat SO healthy all day long but once I'm home at night (usually starving) the snacking starts. And I have a terrible sweet tooth that hits hard in the evenings so that's why I don't keep sweets in the house. I just don't buy them because I know they'll be devoured within a week.

    Work on loving yourself for who and what you are now and the rest will come :-)

  9. Girl, are you IN my brain? "Why am I fat?" and Why do I not get it?" -- those questions are the evil, goopy stuff at the center of all of my self-image issues that I don't know how to talk about with ANYONE, not my mom, not my best friends, not my boyfriend.

    I admire you for being so proactive about this.

  10. Oh jeez. I'm attempting to give up soda too. It's really hard.

    I've found that if I have two cups of coffee in the morning, I don't really crave the soda. Of course, I'm still getting a major caffeine dose from the coffee... but I've got to do something! Grad school is kicking my behind!

    I also need to exercise a lot more. Going for a walk around the neighborhood just isn't doing a lot for me. Jogging kills my knees, so I'm saving up for an elliptical. I used to use them all the time in college, so I'm hoping to find one cheap on Craigslist. Then I can work out while I read for school! Yay!

  11. I'm sooo guilty of "Right before bed" eating, and it's almost always carbs. And I'm a bored eater too. Nothing to do? Eating takes little work!

    I'm getter better, but it's hard!

  12. Ahh for sure, my eating. I just love too many fatty, sweet, salty, bad for me foods!

    I'm so proud of you.

  13. I have a hard time with exercise as well...I find gyms extremely boring. You know what kind of exercise works really well for me? Walking. Walking EVERYWHERE. I'll park my car further and walk. I'll take walks around parks. If something is a mile away, I'll forget about using my car and walk it instead. It makes me feel 10 times better to walk!

  14. I think my worst habit is eating when I'm bored - so I try to do other things instead (this is especially bad at work). Like...drink water or get up and go for a little walk because it gets my blood flowing a little and I realize I'm not really hungry.

  15. The way you feel about losing weight is the way I feel about my stomach troubles. On bad days, I convince myself I'm not cut out for eating well, that I'll be sick forever and I better just get used to it. So I know how hard it can be to continue to motivate yourself and push through the tough spots.

    But just like I believe I can do it if I really try, I believe you can, too. You are a driven person and you deserve to feel good about yourself and feel healthy. :)

    As for my own worst habits, I'm TERRIBLE with drinking enough water and with exercise. I also have a (really bad) habit of skipping meals when I'm going out, because I don't like eating too close to when I have to leave to go somewhere.

  16. Honestly, I don't see you as overweight Steph! You look so darn cute in all your pictures. But I understand wanting to feel better about yourself. A friend of mine is successfully doing this detox program and she lost 14 pounds in 3 weeks (in the healthiest of ways!)... Anyway, it might be something to look at if you're really struggling. She had been dieting for months and her weight loss had stopped which is when she looked into a full body detox. I would do it if I had the will power.

    PS: you ARE a pretty awesome individual. Don't let your dad make you feel otherwise EVER!

  17. You are an awesome woman, inside and out.

    I'm terrible about eating breakfast too, so I make sure to always have a stash of fiber one bars and yogurt at the office and Slim Fast too! They really do fill me up and are healthy/good for me. I definitely feel better when I start the day with a more healthful breakfast :)

    Do you read Amy at Just a Titch? ( She just did a detox program and is working towards losing weight/a healthier body so may want to turn to her for some advice too!

  18. You really are awesome, and props to you for recognizing that.

    My unhealthiest habit is probably waiting too long to eat--I don't pick up the hinger cues very well, so by the time I'm hungry, I'm already nauseated which does not make for very pleasurable dining.

  19. I'm a new reader (as you know) and I'm certain you didn't write this blog for sympathy but you go girl! I've never really had an issue with my weight, though I'm still shy a few pounds of where I'd like to be; I'm guess I'm just the lucky girl. So I don't really know what it's like to constantly struggle with your weight. But I also know that skinny girls aren't always healthy and I think being "healthy" is way more important than being "thin." The key here is you're honestly trying and trying for yourself, no anyone else. And I think that's marvelous! You go girl! :)

    PS If I ever head down to Tampa (or you to Jax) we should totally meet for lunch or coffee. Deal? :)

  20. Nighttime eating for sure! I eat SO healthy all day long but once I'm home at night (usually starving) the snacking starts. And I have a terrible sweet tooth that hits hard in the evenings so that's why I don't keep sweets in the house. I just don't buy them because I know they'll be devoured within a week.

    Work on loving yourself for who and what you are now and the rest will come :-)


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