Tuesday, February 28, 2017

So here's the plan...

After my last blog post about food addiction I got a lot of amazing support and advice from so many people. Thank you for that :) I truly have incredible people in my life. One conversation in particular that stuck with me was one I had with my good friend Cody Mecham who used to be in our ward with his wife and family... as well as a member of Jilly's Losers for quite a long time now.

He said that my blog post may as well have been written by him and that for years he tried to convince himself he could just do things in moderation. It never worked...as I have found for myself...and he kept putting on the pounds. He said that after 10 years of doing so, he finally decided to focus on giving his body 6 months of nothing but healthy foods. No sweets, very low carb...no excuses. He said that in the big picture, 6 months was nothing and it was the least he could do for all the things he'd put his body through.

So for 6 months, he was hyper-focused. And the weight melted off. And I watched it happen. For months on end, he was usually at the top of every weight loss list in my group. By the time that 6 months was up...it had become his lifestyle. He didn't go back. He still has the occasional treat, but that's all it is anymore. An occasional treat. Before changing his focus to building muscle a couple months ago, he was near to having lost 100lbs. His before and after pictures are truly amazing. He has become extremely knowledgeable about the ketogenic diet and has helped many other people to change their lifestyle as well. It's been so great having him as a part of my group!

Photo 1 - 9/14:Photo 2 - 4/16
Photo used with permission

After our conversation, I decided that this is what I need to do. The idea of giving up sugar, flour and wheat "forever" is terrifying and daunting to me. I don't think I could do it...and in all honesty don't want to. But I can do it until my birthday. 96 days. I owe it to my body to treat it the way it deserves to be treated and to see what life MIGHT be like were I to go without for just a little while.

So tonight, my daughter Ariana and I made a paper chain with 96 colorful loops on it and hung them up along the wall.

One loop for each day. And at the end of those 96 days I will enjoy some birthday dessert and a big gift of my choosing (non-food related) as a reward! If I can get my whole family to do this with me, we will decide on something to do together as a family as a reward!

So here's how it's going to work. 

-No dessert is allowed in the house. If Nathan or the kids would like dessert they may have it outside the home, but nothing may come back. I won't be baking for a while *cries*. 
-No bread/pasta. Bread is a huge trigger food for me.
-No more bananas! I will still have berries when I want fruit..but in small quantities to keep the amount of carbs/sugar down and avoid insulin spikes.
-LOTS of lean proteins, healthy fats, veggies...and water water water!! 

The goal is to stay as low carb as possible for 3 months...and see how my body responds. I know the first couple of weeks will be very hard. I will have withdrawals and headaches and probably be cranky and craving everything under the sun...but I WILL do this. I need to do this. And it's only 3 months.

At the end of those 3 months I plan on being back to work 30lbs lighter. At least. But mostly I just want to feel good again. I want to have energy and fit into my clothes and feel good about myself again. And giving it a half-assed effort is no longer cutting it. 

So I start tomorrow. March 1st. Groceries are bought and junk is out of the house! I'd say wish me luck, but luck won't help. It's gonna take hard work, determination..and most of all preparation. But support from those I love makes a world of difference :) I'm so grateful to have such a huge support system of family, friends, and even people I've never met who have joined me on my weight loss journey. You're the reason I know this is possible :)

Now if you'll excuse me...I'm going to go enjoy a slice of pizza and a donut!!

Monday, February 27, 2017

My name is Jill and I'm a Food addict...

I'm sure I've written a blog on this post before, but it's one that bears repeating...several times...until it's no longer an issue (which may be never).

I've always loved food. I never understood those people who could take it or leave it and just eat to live...like you're supposed to. I love it. I enjoy it. I savor it. It makes me feel good and I look forward to it every day (several times a day!). During holidays or special occasions, I'm usually thinking more about what food will be served/available than I am about the people I will be seeing or the fun things I will be doing. But since breaking my foot in January...I've realized more than ever how much of my life it has truly taken over.

I'm not just obsessed with food/eating...I am addicted. Truly, honestly 100% addicted. And it's not my fault.

Now I've never been addicted to drugs or alcohol and this is of course not meant to belittle those addictions at all...but I TRULY believe that food addiction is just as horrible.

- It causes chemical reactions in the body that are ADDICTIVE and make you crave more of it, obviously some foods more than others (flour, sugar, wheat....)
- It shows on the outside. I gain weight, I become more lethargic, depressed, angry....
- I think about it constantly. If I'm not eating, I'm thinking about the next time I'm going to eat and what I'm going to eat.
- I crave things all the time. Usually dessert type foods and carbs (bread, chips, crackers, etc)
- Even when I'm not hungry...I WANT to eat. And not just want...sometimes I feel like I NEED to eat. Even when I know I don't!
- It takes over your life. Truly. Sometimes I find myself sneaking food in my own home just so no one else knows I'm eating it. I no longer go to the drive thru and eat in my car like I did when I was at  my heaviest, but I still sneak and hide food occasionally.
- It makes me feel ashamed.
- I desperately want to overcome the control that food has on my life, but something always makes me give up and go on another binge...whether it's after a month, a week..or 5 minutes.
- Will power isn't enough to overcome it.

But in one very important way...it is different from any kind of drug or alcohol addiction. YOU CAN'T JUST STOP EATING!!! Food is necessary to live. It just is. There is no going cold turkey or keeping it out of sight/out of mind. And you don't have to doing anything illegal to obtain it. It...is...everywhere.

I recently decided to look up Food Addicts Anonymous and purchased some literature. Yes...it's a thing. Kind of like Overeaters Anonymous. (And yes, I realize that writing about this makes me not so anonymous...but it's my blog and I can write what I want!) There aren't any meetings in Utah, so I joined the email meetings that go on daily just so that I could start reading what they're all about and hear from people who are like me. But the thing that was made very clear in EVERY single thing I read...is that they preach complete abstinence from 3 things. Flour, sugar..and wheat. Complete..and TOTAL...abstinence.

The people who lead the email discussions are required to be 30 days abstinent before they can even ask to lead a discussion. This overwhelmed me. I mean...REALLY overwhelmed me. One thing I have ALWAYS said, especially within my weight loss group, is that I highly encourage learning to do all things in moderation and that I don't believe in extremes like giving up complete food groups. But most importantly, I don't believe in trying to make changes that people can't/don't want to live with for THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. And frankly, to me, the idea of going the rest of my life without a donut or a cupcake just does not sound like something I want to do.

But as with any other kind of addiction...moderation won't help and really isn't possible for a true addict. Especially since having just that one donut causes a reaction within the body that makes it want 2..and then 3. You get the idea. Not to mention, I don't exactly live alone. There are 5 other people in this house, all of whom would give me a beat down if I tried telling them there would be no more dessert...ever.

So what the hell do I do. Seriously? My weight is steadily climbing. I'm 10lbs heavier than I was at 9 months pregnant 2 years ago and my clothes don't fit!!! Sure...in another month or so I MIGHT be able to go back to the gym and get in a real workout again, but it doesn't matter. It won't fix the problem. It won't heal my addiction. You can't outrun your fork. And my fork is out of control.

I'm not ready for abstinence. I'm just not. So for now I guess I just keep trying to watch my carb intake and try to eat more proteins/healthy fats. But "watching" hasn't changed a damn thing thus far. I always find an excuse to have "just one more". I know that if I could live in a controlled environment like I did at the Biggest Loser Resort that I might be able to go through whatever withdrawals I need to to get on a healthier path, but going to "food rehab" isn't an option.

So for now I'll just keep on keepin' on...and pray that I don't see a 3 at the front of the # on the scale again. I couldn't take it. I don't want to go back there. But my body is putting up a hell of a fight and my will power is losing.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

For those who are curious...Season 29 rules :)

1. Season 29 will begin on Tuesday, February 14th. It will last 8 weeks and our final weigh in will be on Tuesday, April 11th.
2. The buy-in fee this season will be $25. This is a singles season. Fees should be sent via Paypal to Jillyslosers@gmail.com with the note “Season 29 buy-in fee” and your name. All fees MUST be paid by February 21st. Make sure to mark your payments as being sent to family and friends to avoid any PayPal fees.
3. This season we are going to do something completely new and hopefully fun! We are going to have a RACE!!! The first person in the group to reach 5% weight lost will win $100. The 2nd person to reach it will win $60 and the 3rd person to reach it will win $40!! But here’s the catch! To get your money, you have to KEEP IT OFF the whole season! If you somehow reach 5% lost after 4 weeks, but then slip down to 4% by the end of the season, you forfeit your winnings and they move down the list. Make sense? So you not only have to reach the goal, but hang onto it! (NOTE: IF two people reach it on the same weigh-in day, the tie-breaker will just be their exact % lost. If by some miracle they lose exactly the same %, we’ll figure something else out)
Now I know not everyone HAS 5% to lose. So everything else is going to be challenge based this season!! Only $200 of the prize pot will go towards winners and EVERYTHING ELSE will go towards awesome challenge prizes! The more participants we have, the bigger the prizes! I’m hoping that doing both formats will give everyone something to be motivated by!
(NOTE: All prizes are given after challenge rewards are paid and 10% is taken out of the pot for myself as insisted upon by you brats a few seasons back *grumbles*. Thank you lol)
NOTE: For those of us who are current group members returning for season 29, there WILL be a gain cap between seasons this time. It will be a 3lb cap. What this means is that if you weighed in yesterday at 200lbs and you weigh in next Tuesday at 205lbs…your official starting weight will be 203, which means those first 2lbs you lose won’t count towards your 5%. This will hopefully help keep us all from going too crazy in between seasons!
4. Regarding weigh-ins: We have mandatory weekly weigh-ins every Tuesday. (Why Tuesdays? Because that's the day that The Biggest Loser aired on NBC when I started this group and it's just stuck!) Your weight picture must be posted by midnight MST to count! (Let me know if any issues arise. I’m pretty reasonable.) Please weigh in under the same circumstances every week (morning/night/clothed or not, etc)
As for strikes...you are allowed 1 missed weigh-in per person (yes I’m being more strict on this, but I’m not completely unreasonable. If there is an emergency…talk to me!) On the 2nd missed weigh-in, you will be disqualified and you will not get your $ refunded. (You may continue to stay in the group and weigh-in but you will not be eligible to win any $ or prizes either from challenges or the final weigh-in)
Remember that weigh-ins must be a picture of the # on your scale with your FEET showing. Not just a post of your weight. I understand people take vacations and sometimes use different scales. This is fine…HOWEVER…you MUST use the same scale for your starting and final weights so that we can be sure of accuracy. And in the case of THIS season…when you hit your 5% goal, it MUST be on the same scale you started with for it to be accurate.
5. Before pictures are MANDATORY. The pictures may be with or without a shirt (you'll notice more of a change if you do it without and after our bootcamp rules, I think most of you are comfortable with it now!), but they must be full body pictures. (I highly recommend everyone take a shirtless before pic that they at least keep for themselves even if they don’t share it. You’ll be glad you have it one day!) If your before picture is not submitted within the first week of competition (by February 21), you will be disqualified. (If you submitted an "after" picture for season 28, that will count as your "before" picture for season 29)
Those who win prizes at the end of the season will not receive their prize money until an AFTER picture has been submitted and they must do so within 48 hrs of the winning announcement.
NOTE: Newcomers to this group always worry that their pictures posted in the group will show up for the public to see. This group is secret. As long as you are on the group wall BEFORE posting your pictures, no one will see them but those in the group. Your pictures will show up on your own feed when you view it, but I promise you no one else can see it!
6. Starting and final weights will be confirmed with a KEY WORD. This is to ensure that starting and ending pictures are truly taken on the day of the weigh-in and not before. I will post the KEY WORD in this group the night before the first and last weigh-ins. It should be written on a piece of paper or notecard and placed at your feet in the front of your scale before taking your picture.
7. As always, we will be doing weekly challenges this season. They will all be health and fitness related and depending on how many people we have this season…should come with some pretty awesome prizes for the winners! Challenges are NOT mandatory, but you can’t win if you don’t try! So give it a shot  All challenges will be pinned weekly at the top of the group page as well as posted under the Files tab in their own Season 29 document for easy reference.
8. Points system: I’ve decided to keep doing the points tracking this season since it seems to really help those who participate in it. The points system is a tracking sheet (either print out or automated excel) for tracking food/water/activity, etc. More info below! This season, tracking points is NOT mandatory, though if you choose to do so, you must submit your weekly points totals to me via FB messenger by midnight MST each Tuesday night. The person with the most points at the end of the season will win a free buy-in to Season 30 of Jilly’s Losers in April!!
9. Remember that this group is about gaining health and losing weight through eating right and exercising. Extreme/fad diets are not allowed. Weight Watchers, Ketogenic and things like that are fine, but no pills/drops/powders etc. (Protein shakes are fine). If you do a cleanse, it may not be more than 3 days long.
10. This group is only for those who will be actively participating in the competition this season, so while I hope everyone will stick around, please know that if you choose not to join us this season, you will be removed from the group. You are always welcome to join us in later seasons :)
POINTS SYSTEM DETAILS!!! (borrowed from sixsistersstuff.com) -There is a weekly point calendar for each of the 8 weeks. (It will be posted as a separate document under the “Files” tab on the group page) Print it out and use to track your points and weight loss. If you prefer to use an excel spreadsheet that will do your math for you, Cody Mecham made one that I’ve adjusted that I will post as well for you to download.
-Beginning on Week #2 there is a double point challenge (highlighted in yellow)
-You can exercise each day, but you will only receive points for exercising 5 days a week. At least one of your workouts must include strength training of some sort.
-You can avoid carbs after lunch every day, but you’ll only receive points for doing so 4 times in a week (Carbs in this case is referring to the obvious…breads, pastas, cereal, grains/oatmeal etc, sweets. Fruits and veggies are FINE!)
-You can choose to not eat sugar/treats each day, but you will only receive points for not eating sugar on 5 days (everyone needs a free day or two!).
-You only need to eat 4 total servings of fruits/veggies this season. Mix it up however you like.
-There is a sample food journal that you can use or you can use your own kind of food journal to keep track of what you eat.
-Daily contact with teammate: It’s amazing the strength that comes from encouragement from your teammates! We said that you could email, call, or text someone in the group to encourage them to have a healthy day. It helps knowing that you are all in this together and makes you accountable for what you do or don’t do. Posting or commenting on the group page also counts. Hitting LIKE does NOT count!
-Example of weight loss points: You will get 5 points for maintaining your lowest previous weight AND 10 points for each whole pound. For instance, if you gained weight, you will report 0 points AND you don’t get any weight loss OR maintenance points in future weeks until you return to the lowest weight you had already achieved. If you maintained your previous lowest weight, you report 5 points. If you lost 1 pound, you would get 5 points for maintaining plus 10 points for that pound, so you would report 15 points. NOTE!!!!!
Points totals MUST be either emailed (jillyslosers@gmail.com) or messaged via Facebook to Jill Tracy by midnight MST each Tuesday in order to be counted. With such a large group, I’m afraid there will be no exceptions. If you forget to tell me one week…they won’t count. I’m sorry!