Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I've written a lot of blogs since I started and honestly, I can no longer remember what I've touched on and what I haven't.  So if things start to sound familiar to you, feel free to hit that little x in the top right corner of your screen haha.  But I felt like this was something I wanted to talk about....so I'm gonna.  Cause I can.

Addiction is seen by most people as a horrible, awful thing.  It's, in most cases, immediately associated with things like drugs, alcohol, tobacco, pornography, etc.  Very rarely do people hear addiction and think "food".  But I do.  It's my addiction.  Now some people may read that and laugh.  "Ha...suck it up girl.  Life could be worse. Be grateful you're not addicted to something that could kill you."  Well to those people I say, "Last I checked, being morbidly obese, having high cholesterol, eating fried/fatty foods every day and thinking dessert is required after every meal....are all things that can kill you."  Got ya thinking now, don't I :)

So what IS food addiction?  Well like most any other addiction, your life revolves around it.  You think about it 24/7.  You plan your day around it.  You look forward to your next "hit".  You squirm and fidget and can't focus when you know it will be a while before you can eat.  FOOD BECOMES YOUR LIFE.  I still to this day...even down 123lbs...see food at the center of my day.  That is one thing that has not changed.  The makeup of my meals may be different than it used to be, but it is still very much my focus. I think about food more than men think about sex, I'm guessing lol.  It's that bad!!

I have some very good friends in my life who have been affected by addiction whether through their own experience or through that of a spouse or loved one.  And it has been a life-changing experience for them.  I've watched them have various reactions to these experiences.  They range from the positive changes of growing stronger and overcoming their addictions to the not so positive reactions that can come from dealing with addiction in your life.  My heart breaks for those who struggle with addiction.  It is a hard hard thing to endure and to overcome or move past.

I got lucky that my addiction didn't end my life, but some people might not appreciate me saying that in some ways, I lump myself in with those people who struggle with those other kinds of addiction.  And in some ways...food addiction is one of the hardest of them all to deal with.  Why would you say that Jill??  Your problems aren't any more special or difficult than someone else's!  Of course they're not.  But let me tell you why food addiction might be harder to overcome than say an addiction to smoking.  (Now I will say here that I have never smoked or had to try and quit smoking so I cannot compare how the two feel, but hopefully you will still understand what I'm getting at here....and that I am in NO WAY trying to lessen the struggles of those who deal with tobacco, alcohol or any other addiction out there.)  Most addictions are to things that you can cut completely out of your life and go on living without.  Cigarettes?  Bye bye, nice knowing you.  Alcohol? You might miss your buzz and think about it 24/7 but if you went a month or a year or a decade without a single drop...you'd live.  But food? No.  Unfortunately for us food addicts, you cannot just cut the problem from your life.  Food is necessary to keep us alive...to provide us nutrients and energy and to help us grow.  Therein lies the added difficulty. And frankly...it sucks.

When it comes to food addiction, there is no "overcoming" or becoming "sober" or "moving past".  There is only "learning to deal with it."  There is learning to eat in moderation and to control portions or count calories.  There is learning to say no to that second donut or that extra slice of pizza.  And sure, you can cut certain KINDS of foods out of your every day diet and live a long, happy life...but it's a lot harder to do.  The body runs on so many different chemical reactions that have us craving different things on different days and then deciding what parts it wants to burn and what parts it wants to turn into more jelly rolls sitting around my middle.  It's like figuring out a puzzle on a daily basis.  What does my body want today?  If I eat that thing I'm craving so badly, will my body punish me for it later?  Will my mind have the power to trust that the body knows what it needs?

My mind and body are CONSTANTLY at war and I don't think that war will ever end.  My mind is slowly catching up to my body in learning what foods make it feel better and what foods will make me feel like death for 24 hours afterward.  But my mind will never let go of certain things that it knows it enjoys.  It's a true, real, certified, 100% serious addiction.  And I have it.  Maybe I should join a program, who knows.  All I know is that the world's view of food addicts is not a kind one and it's hard to be in that club.  And while I know I will never be completely free of my addiction, I am grateful to know that I have improved...vastly.  I am grateful to know that my addiction is no longer killing me...and that because of that, I can give a better version of myself to my husband and my children and to those around me that I love.

In closing I wanted to post a link to one of my absolute favorite dances that was done on "So You Think You Can Dance."  It was performed to the song "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles with a theme of addiction.  The dance is so powerful that it still moves me years after it was performed.  It speaks far more powerfully than any blog entry I could write.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Bod Pod...

This....is a Bod Pod

This is what I had to wear to go into the Bod Pod. (Behold all my lovely extra skin!!)

I've been wanting to do this for a very long time, and I really wish I had forked over the dough to do it when I first started losing weight so that I could compare.  But it was still really cool!  (I did find my results from my very first pinch test back in 2010 when I was 330.6lbs and that showed me at 47% body fat, but the pinch test isn't super accurate.) The Bod Pod is the most accurate way to find out your body fat % and weight.  After going through many weeks/months where I wanted to throw my own scale out the window...I'm glad I finally took the time/spent the money to go and find out where I REALLY stand.

You basically step on a scale and then go sit in the pod (which is freezing against your bare skin) for three 40 second timed sessions where they open and reclose it.  It seals up and you can kind of feel/hear it working.  It is measuring the amount of air displaced by your body.  It's quick and painless!

Here's my results!

It's kind of hard to see, but it says that my body fat is 33.5%.  My lean mass is 139.2lbs and my fat mass is 70.1lbs. My weight on their scale was 209.3. (My home scale is only about .6lbs less than that which is great) Can I just tell you how much I squealed and jumped up and down to see that?  Both my scale at home and the body composition tester at my gym have me at about 40.5%.  They are far less accurate.  It was SOOOOOOOOO great to see that I am 7% less than what I thought!  It's also pretty damn great to see that I am only 3.5% away from being in the "moderately lean" category which "indicates general good health".  That is pretty freaking great.  I feel very proud right now!

Another thing I did learn is that with my resting metabolic rate being 1,756 kcal/day...I'm most likely not eating enough.  That's the amount of calories my body burns every day just existing.  I'm only eating about 1,500 calories a day AND exercising on top of that.  But the lady told me if I'm feeling okay and have enough energy doing it that way then I'm fine.  But it's still really neat to see that number and know that even on my rest days (when I actually take one), my body is still burning a good amount of calories!

I highly recommend that anyone trying to lose weight take the time to track down a bod pod screening.  I always tell my Jilly's Losers people that there is SO MUCH MORE to this journey than the number that shows on the scale.  That number doesn't tell you anything really.  You could have 2 people who weigh the exact same, but one of them have far more fat than the other one and you wouldn't know it just by looking at the scale.  Seeing where I really stand has re-motivated me to keep going.  I'm going to do this again in 2 months and see what's changed!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

SBD - Take two

So after that horrific fall off the wagon (which lasted a good week and a half), I decided to rewind and go back to phase 1 of the South Beach Diet.  I know that's not how it's intended to be done, but I feel like I had no other choice, honestly.  My cravings were off the chart.  I have had much worse weeks in the past, in that I didn't go on a Big Mac binge or eat out every night.  But I was inhaling sweets like there was no tomorrow.  I can't even tell you how many donuts and girl scout cookies I ate over a one week span.  I'm glad I didn't keep count.

The only GOOD thing about the past week and a half is that I haven't stepped on my scale.  Well okay two good things.  I didn't step on MY scale, but I did do my body composition again at my Burn It class and I've lost another 2% of my body fat in the last 3 weeks.  So I'm glad to see that my binge on sugar hasn't completely ruined me.  I'm not going to step on my scale though until I've got a few good, clean eating days under my belt.

I started yesterday.  And I have to say that doing SBD when your house isn't stocked for it...is VERY hard. And boring.  The grocery shopping for the week had been done while I was hungry and we bought lots of unhealthy stuff.  The next trip isn't until next week.  So I have to make due with what we've got.  I've been eating grape tomatoes like they're candy.  Better than actual candy I suppose, huh?

I really wish I could understand my brain and why I do this to myself.  This self-sabotage stuff is getting really old.  I'm so close to hitting 200 and it's almost like my subconscious is afraid of hitting such a huge milestone. God knows why...it would be AWESOME.  Maybe I feel pressured.  Between my weight loss group and this blog, I know everyone is watching and waiting.  And while I love that support and encouragement, it's also a lot of pressure that I have invited onto my own shoulders.

Why does food have to be such an issue.  Instead of weight loss being 80% food and 20% exercise, why can't it be the other way around?  I'd have this thing done and over with by now!  I used to HATE exercise with a passion and could come up with any excuse to avoid it.  Over time I became addicted to it and refuse to go without it.  Why can't my addiction to food change that drastically?  It's hardly fair.  I mean sure, I don't eat the way I used to with the Big Macs and french fries twice a week.  I don't drink soda except for once in a very rare while and my stomach has begun to punish me for fried foods or overindulgence in dairy. So I guess that's a change...but to me it's not enough.  Why can't I stop craving bakery goods and bready cheesy goodness.  WHY lol.  I know life wouldn't be as fun without those things and that it's okay to have them in moderation blah blah blah.  But that's my problem.  I allow myself to have a little bit and then BOOM!  I've slid down that slope and I'm eating everything in sight.

Maybe one day I'll find a balance between the strict and boring phase 1 of SBD and a healthy diet that includes the occasional splurge.  I always seem to go one extreme or the other and it sucks.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Stupid freaking wagon...

The worst part about falling off the wagon is when you KNOW it's coming...you see it from a mile away...and you still do it.

As my 2 weeks of South Beach phase 1 neared the end, I knew it wasn't going to go well for me.  I knew it. It's my pattern.  And it terrified me, the closer I got.  I was hoping and praying that I'd have the strength to EASE out of it and into phase 2, but no...I had to go down in a blaze of glory.  Every time I manage a streak of perfection I always end it by going to the other extreme. WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF!!!!!

During the first week of phase 1, I lost 9lbs. That's pretty freaking amazing.  I was so proud and excited and sure that during week 2, I'd lose another 7-9 and break through that elusive 200lb barrier. But the scale stopped dead in its tracks. 207.  207.  207.  It would NOT move.  I should have stopped weighing myself...and I did for about 2 days.  And then again...207.  I was eating the same, working out the same, drinking enough, sleeping enough....but nothing.  I got really frustrated.  There is nothing worse than KNOWING you are doing everything right and seeing that number stall.

And then on day 13, we decided to celebrate Nathan's birthday.  13 days is close enough to 14, so we went to Tucanos for dinner and it was amazing.  I ate pretty healthy for the most part, though I did OVER eat.  And I had carbs. And a donut.  Happy birthday to Nathan.  That wasn't so bad...but then the next morning (on his actual birthday) my cravings decided to taunt me.  I had my favorite breakfast of homemade apple bran muffins and greek yogurt and thought I was doing just fine.

Three words...


My husband decided to sneak out and buy a cake so that I didn't have to bake one.  And he bought my absolute favorite kind.  It was HIS birthday and he got MY favorite cake.  Love that man.  But that cake was my undoing.  Here I am 5 days later and I've had at least 3 separate binges.  It's like all the sugar and carbs in the house that I had no problem avoiding for 2 weeks are suddenly screaming so loudly that the only way to silence them is to eat them...ALL.

Yesterday we sat and watched a movie and ate half a bag of chips with dip and a box of girl scout cookies.  Sure, I've had MUCH worse binges than that.  But the night before that we had pizza (which I haven't had in months) and 3 slices of stuffed crust pizza is enough to throw anyone right off the wagon and onto their ass.

Last night I was deciding what to eat before heading out to teach my Zumba class and a big part of me wanted to say screw it and eat like crap and gain 10lbs, who even cares anymore.  But I do.  I care.  As much as sometimes I get so sick of this whole journey...I very very much care.  I have this horrible habit of self sabotage when I get really close to a big goal.  I did the same thing when I neared 250lbs.  It made me sad to see myself doing that again.  And I really really don't want it to take another 6 months for me to break through 200.

So I made myself a nice thick strawberry/banana protein shake and went off to teach.  I sweat my butt off (and hopefully most of the sugar I'd eaten) and went to bed without eating another cookie.  I had to start somewhere.

This morning I caved and had a little bowl of raisin bran with my hard boiled egg, but my resolve has been renewed and I really want to buckle down.  I did gain back 2-3lbs over the past 5-6 days, but I've become a pro at losing weight that I've already lost.  I won't let it set me back any further than it already has.  But man, I wish there were some way to fix whatever is wrong in my brain that sets me off on these downward spirals.  After experiencing it so many times you'd think I'd have the process perfected by now.  But I'm pretty sure my butt will get a lot more bruises from falling off that wagon.  But at least if I'm falling off....that means I got back on :)