Tag Archive | food

Love/Hate Relationship ~

I hate food.  I seriously, really hate it.  You might ask, how can someone so fat hate food?  Well, I can hate it, but I still have to have it to live.  If only it weren’t that way at all.  I hate how it makes me feel, and I hate that it’s my own fault that it makes me feel that way.  It all comes back to me, and I acknowledge that.

When my siblings and I were kids, my Mom was an awesome cook.  We were made sure to have three meals a day, two of which were usually home cooked.  Don’t forget to add on those after school snacks, and the ice cream or pop corn before bed.  And no, we did not eat either healthy portions or healthy foods.  And I’ve always been “large” – yeah, that means fat.  Always.

Now, since I’ve become “aware” that I hate how fat I am, I hate how I look and I would love to feel better about myself by losing weight, I’ve examined every possible reason for WHY I am so overweight.  I’m thinking if I can understand the reason why, I can change my lifestyle and get some weight loss going on here.  I’ve come down to the conclusion that I just plain and simple love the taste of it.  If it were socially acceptable to eat a meal, chew it up and spit it out rather than swallow it, that would be my Utopia.  I have very strong taste buds, and they are a source of great pleasure for me.

I have tried, over and over, even very recently, to change my lifestyle, my way of eating and my food choices… and it works, for awhile.  I cannot maintain that for very long.  Let’s face it, a breakfast sandwich and Frappe from McD’s is a whole lot better tasting than a bowl of oatmeal and an apple or banana.  Even if it fills me to the extent that it makes me feel like absolute crap afterwards.  I’ve proven I can lose the weight if I can eat right.  I have not yet proven that I can maintain eating right of my own free will.  I’ve tried to tempt myself with nice clothing, with “do it for Al”, “do it for yourself”, “do it for your grandchildren”, “do it for God”!  I cannot get myself on board for any length of time.

I found myself feeling like an absolute blimp at lunch today after eating a KFC “bowl” and a McD’s medium Frappe.  I STILL feel awful, and I will not want to eat dinner with my husband as a family.  But, I will, because that’s what families “do”.  I felt full at lunch after eating only about 1/3 of the bowl, but I kept going.  This little voice in my head kept saying “Finish your plate.  There are people starving in Africa.”  I looked at my bowl and could not get myself to throw it away!  And now I’m paying the price with discomfort.  Serves me right!

Did I tell you that in 1988 I had my stomach stapled?  It worked so well, but was not without its nightmares!  Even today, I have a very small capacity for food in my stomach.  A half sandwich will do me fine for lunch.  A small bowl of cereal for breakfast is great, and one hotdog (no bread) and 3-4 fries is all I need to be full for dinner.  But still I choose to overeat.  Is it truly a flavor addiction?  I wonder.

After I first had my surgery, it took me months/years to “learn” how to re-eat so I didn’t make myself sick.  Not sure I ever really did get that down (so to speak).  I vividly remember eating the “wrong thing” more often than not, and spending hours, sleepless nights even, vomiting or wanting to vomit but being unable to.  You see, I’d rather die than vomit.  In fact, to me, vomiting is the closest thing to death without actually dying.  So, in many ways, I simply refused to allow myself to when it probably would’ve made me feel better in the long run.  And, back in the 80’s, we did not have “support groups” for fat surgery.  Even so, I did lose weight.  I lost 30 lbs before I ever left the hospital.  Then I continued to lose through the 80’s and 90’s and it was GR8!  Overall, I think I lost about 98-99 lbs before it leveled off and I began to gain again.  I learned that eating junk food digested easier, tasted better and made me feel better.

It was a tough road, and it took a long time, but I finally gained back all the weight I’d lost and a little more!  Success!!  ???  That’s where I am today.  Sitting here approximately 5-6″ from my desk because my ample belly is in the way from me reaching my desk.  That ample belly that I know is the greatest risk of me dying sooner rather than later.  What’s it going to take before I finally hit rock bottom and decide I need to start losing (again) and maintain it?!  A heart attack?  And someone needs to have a serious discussion with my enabling husband.  I have had such a discussion many times, but he does not maintain it either.  He brings me chocolate, ice cream before bed, soda…  I’m not blaming him, as he does it out of love and wanting to please me.  I have, in the past, begged him not to capitulate to my food whims.  Neither of us maintains.  Sometimes I look at him like he’s a saboteur, then feel bad.  He has this “way” of guilting me into eating, even if I am full and don’t want to!  At dinner, “Aren’t you going to eat something?”  “Aren’t you going to eat with me?”  Eating is always  a social event to him.  We go to visit his mom, we must eat and eat big (she used to be, but no longer, a gourmet cook).  I’d try to nibble just a little of each thing, but was always pushed by his family for not eating enough.  He never did speak up for me, even knowing I could potentially spend the entire 2 1/2 hr ride home sicker than a dog.

More food for thought?  Recently there were two incidents that happened that really brought it to the forefront, once more.  Shopping at Lane Bryant at Destiny USA – cause that’s the only “fat store” locally that might have something pretty for Valentine’s Day, I was browsing in the lingerie department cause I’m “older” but I ain’t dead.  I just wanted something new and pretty for our special V Day weekend.  A customer service person approached me and asked if she could help.  I explained I was looking for something special for Valentine’s Day and she actually took me my the arm and redirected me away from the pretty, sexy things to the frumpy, cotton, tee shirt type crap!  She said “Oh, we have something just right for you right over here.”  I left informed, not insulted.

The second recent eye opener was literally an eye opener.  I was going through our 2013 vacation photos and came across several Al had taken of me, and I gave them a thorough examination.  I was simply aghast.  I had no idea that I was that big!  You know how you have a certiain idea of what you look like to others?  I was duped.  I didn’t look “that bad” in the bathroom mirror, which is quite large.  Holy cow!  Meant literally, or something more like a pinniped (seal).  It embarrassed me to myself.  A couple months ago I was thinking I was a pretty beautiful woman, but this was NOT beautiful!  I just kind of stared at some of the photos of myself for a few minutes, burning the memory into my mind so as to give me momentum to maintain once again.

So, here I am.  This is, essentially, a vent.  It’s one of those “ate too much at lunch, feel like crap and wanna puke” vents.  I’ve never been this honest about this aspect of my life, but here it is.  This is my life.  Where am I going from here?  Well, I’m not going to give up!  I’m going to go home and have yet another talk with my enabler husband, shop for better foods (fresh fruits/veggies) and get back on the wagon yet again.  Dinner tonight?  I doubt it.  Lunch today will last me clear into tomorrow mid-morning.  “Sorry Honey, eating by yourself tonight.  I’m going to work on my quilt, I’m not hungry!” 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.  TTFN – Tamara Eckstadt

Made to Crave: Down 20 Lbs.

I’ve met my first weight loss goal.  Earlier this week, I weighed in at 306, which is exactly 20 lbs. lighter than when I began at 326 on July 15th, 2013.  Now it seems “real” to me.   I’m thinking that can’t just be “water weight”… maybe I’m actually, seriously losing poundage.  This is a happening that has not occurred since 2001 when I lost some 45 lbs while training for the Kona Marathon for the American Heart Association!  Always, the scale has continued to rise.  Maybe I’ve turned a corner in my own life for a change!

I’m going to do it… what a lot of other weight loss enthusiasts are doing, which is taking “before” and “after” photos.  THIS is what I would consider BRAVE!  Way braver than just putting my weight out there!  But it’s a part of my determination and accountability for my weight loss.  Mind you, I’m not saying I’m going to POST such photos ~ that is currently beyond my bravery limit.  But, maybe, some time in the future.

20kf72e

But, I’m looking ahead and thinking of my Weight Watchers scale as my friend… good or bad.  I was introduced to a website called “FatSecret” and I signed on.  I really don’t like the NAME of it, but the content and stuff that it does to help me chronicle my weight loss journey is pretty cool.  Including a calorie counter, a journal, forums, blogs, exercise stuff, low calorie recipes etc. etc.  So far, I’m liking it.

So, that’s today’s update.  Looking forward to when I can report the NEXT 20 lb loss!  BTW, I had a checkup at my doc’s earlier this week and he was VERY pleased!  He even gave me a hug!  Also, all of my “levels” have finally begun to get better!  Cholesterol, sugar, yada yada yada… all that stuff.  I’m so happy, I’m in stitches!  (quilter’s joke)

Thanks for stopping by and checking in with me.  Would love encouraging comments, or even critical ones.  Either way, until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Made to Crave: Eating for Two ~

Al and I vacationed in New England recently, and I really didn’t think that I would have THAT much trouble keeping with my new lifestyle eating choices that have paved the way for me to start losing the weight I’ve wanted to for so long.  All my life, really.  I took a couple of snack things ~ some granola bars and some fresh blueberries ~ and I figured I would just “punt” while we ate out for literally all of our meals during the eight days we stayed in Maine, Vermont and Lake George, NY. 

I  had steadily begun to lose pounds since July 15th, when I took on this gauntlet for the first time, for real.  I hadn’t yet begun to exercise due to back and knee issues, but I’d begun to eat differently, preferring fresh fruits and veggies and flavored water to chips, burgers, cookies and soda.  I gave up soda completely and loved it!  A pound down here, two pounds there, up one maybe, down two more.  But this trip would be the test I hadn’t yet had to endure, and I was determined.

I really didn’t have any idea how difficult it would be until we started having trouble finding restaurants in New England with healthier choices on their menu.  What made it harder is that eating establishments were hard to come by as far as being able to find a place to park or a place that didn’t already have a line out the door and around the block waiting to be seated.  Not to mention that we stayed at B & B’s, which feed you a pretty full, and sometimes gourmet, breakfast each morning.  No complaints there!  The first couple of days I kept up, declining certain foods that I knew were taboo, and trying to stick with water or lemonade.  It quickly became a losing battle and I found myself giving in to eating just whatever was there on the menu out of frustration and tiredness of fighting to find something healthy. 

I eventually became accustomed to “sharing” my meals with my husband, giving him the breads, the chips that came with the hot dog, the fries that came with everything, two of the three pancakes I was served at breakfast.  It was a double-edged sword, however, as I knew that as much as I didn’t want to indulge in those calories, I knew he shouldn’t either.  He was literally eating for two:  him and me!  I was sabotaging the both of us!

Lobster roll dinner from Portland Lobster Company

Lobster roll dinner from Portland Lobster Company

Although I ate my lobster, and he gave me his (as he didn’t like it!?), I gave him my bread, fries and cole slaw, and just ate the lobster at the above dinner from the Portland Lobster Company.  Although I tried to be “good”, I was fighting a losing battle as I eventually opted for a hot dog here, clam chowder there, an ice cream cone one night before bed, and let’s not forget the truffles from the Lake Champlain Chocolate Company.

Lake Champlain Chocolates

Lake Champlain Chocolates

I even finally gave in to at least 3 glasses of soda over the 8 days…. but I was pleased that it did not hold the pleasure for me that it once did.  Hence, I would easily go back to my flavored water.

The 5 course breakfasts at the Cornerstone Victorian B & B in Warrensburg were not to be trifled with, however.  I could not deny the decadence they served each morning, and the delightful desserts they offered each evening before bed.  Much as I tried.  I knew I would have to deal with these decisions when we got home and I reacquainted myself with my new best friend, my Weight Watchers scale.  Every calorie would have to be accounted for, and I would pay a price.  I expected it.

Even as tired as we were when we eventually did arrive home, I don’t think I wasted 15 minutes before I was tapping my foot on the scale to activate the digital monitor.  I stepped up, held my breath for a couple of seconds and waited, almost not wanting to look at the digital number that would reveal my poor food choices while away.  There it was… 313 pounds.  WHAT?  I had lost another two pounds somewhere!  I double-checked to see if they weren’t hanging off the side of the scale, hiding, but they were not!  I think I actually giggled like a school girl, right before I closed my eyes and thanked and praised God for being there with me every step of the way and, in some miraculous way, guarding me against the weight gain I’d anticipated.  It was all about Him!  I had strayed, but He had not.  And He never will.

To date I have lost 13 pounds since I began this journey on July 15h, 2013.  Thus far, I have not begun to actively exercise… this has only been accomplished through faith, changing my eating habits and calorie intake, and craving Him other than food.  However, as I posted on my Facebook page last night, my husband found and purchased me a three-wheel bike – a trike – the manual kind, not motorized.  I have health and balance issues that keep me from riding a “regular” two-wheeler.  After he goes over it with a fine-tooth comb to make sure it’s safe, in perfect working order etc, I will begin riding my new tricycle just in time for the cooler fall weather.  Our rural road is mostly flat:  2 miles one way and 1 mile the other to the nearest cross roads.  And wide shoulders.  I’m looking forward to leashing up our Golden Retriever to keep me company and we’ll both exercise together!  We’ll see how the weight loss progresses after I begin getting more active!

 Until then, and until next time, thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my progress.  TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

 

Made to Crave ~ Of Ho-Hos and Yo-Yos

I can’t complain, though I’ve gained back a couple of pounds over the past couple of days… I’m still down like 10-11 lbs overall since July 15th.  I did expect to gain some back.  I’ve been having a little difficulty managing the hunger pangs thing.  They come on so suddenly and so strong that I want to just grab whatever I can at the moment to put something – anything – in my stomach to make them go away.  I do not need any more pain in my life!  But still, I’ve been good.  No, I have not eaten any Ho-Ho’s or anything of the sort.  I just thought that was a catchy title.  And it’s not like things like Ho-Ho’s don’t cross my mind when I’m in the grocery store.  So far, the closest I’ve come to anything “bad” for me are granola bars ~ at 90 calories each.  I expect my weight to “yo-yo” here and there, and I’m not discouraged.  As long as I know in my heart that I’m trying and I continue to eat the right things rather than the wrong things of the past, I’m happy.   God will see to the rest.

Tomorrow we head for New England for a nice, long vacation.  I am apprehensive about all of the temptations I know await me there… in the food department.  In past excursions with my husband, we always have liked to hit up candy stores to try the different delicacies that we can’t find at home.  And we always try something scrumptious at a variety of restaurants.  This time will be different, I will be restrained.  I won’t deny myself some of the finer things ~ well, except the chocolate ~ but I won’t go overboard on anything either.

I will redirect some of my food passions to photography passions.  Keep my camera in hand rather than something to eat.  And I will continue to drink, drink, drink flavored water.  I will have my laptop with me, so you might even see a post or maybe two from me while we’re away.  Sometimes the late evenings are conducive to blogging.

Lighthouse at Portland, Maine

Lighthouse at Portland, Maine

    Until next time, thanks for stopping in.  TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Made to Crave: Background and Day 1

This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 NKJV

Before I get busy telling you how my Made to Crave (M2C) day went yesterday, which was officially my first day of lifestyle changing behavior, let me give you a bit of background ~ and I’ll try not to be too lengthy.

I, as I’ve said before, have been fat all of my life. I’ve tried pretty much every diet and/or program known to Man, including the cabbage soup diet – ewwwww! It was awful! I had my stomach stapled in 1988. Not the “gastric bypass” that is all the rage now, but my stomach was stapled off so it was 1/3 its previous size. And I sure did lose weight! I lost 10-15 lbs before I left the hospital! But, boy, was I sick too! I attended pre-surgery support groups – a couple anyways. But they don’t prepare you for what truly happens along the journey to learning your new way to eat! For at least two decades, nausea and vomiting became the new lifestyle for me. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’d seriously rather die than vomit. To that end, I spent hours at a time nauseated, curled up in the fetal position on the floor or in my bed, praying to feel better… refusing to vomit to make myself feel better. But I lost weight!  All told, I lost about 120 lbs over a year before I began to put together the “tricks of the trade” to make it all come back to me, and more.

My failure came from learning that the junk food was more easily digestible than the healthy stuff. And I never learned or wanted to exercise “enough”. Still both issues for me 20+ years later. I joined a few gyms along the way, with genuine enthusiasm and good intentions. But I admit I am inherently lazy. If it wasn’t altogether EASY for me to get and go to the gym, forget it! Even in the past five years, my working hours of 8-6 Tues-Friday don’t make it easy enough to make it worth my while to go to the gym. When would I go? BEFORE work at like 5 a.m. or AFTER work which would make me arrive home just in time to go to bed? There’s even a small gym on the top floor of the very building that I work in, and I do not have to pay to use it, I just need to take the elevator 23 flights up, before or after work, or maybe during my hour lunch. But then I would be sweaty for the afternoon work… not acceptable. It’s so easy to make excuses! And no one is holding me accountable but me.

No more…

I did well yesterday, my first “official” day of learning how to pray myself through the day. My breakfast was a bowl of Chex – always a bowl of either Chex or Cheerios (plain, NEVER presweetened!). I would accurately guess the amount to be 1 ½ cups of cereal, with 1 cup of 2% milk, 1-2 tsps of white sugar (I’m trying to lighten that up) and a sliced up banana on top if I have them on hand. That’s my weekday breakfast. We’ll get to the weekend in a few days.

Lunch yesterday was a salad from the deli down the hall. Lots of greens, cukes, tomatoes, roasted chicken cubes, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and about a dozen pumpernickel croutons. I had two packets of Italian dressing on them – I know, I know! But it was a BIG salad!

I needed to have an afternoon snack, but did not come to work prepared and my work became very busy due to our Regional Awards Banquet last night, so I messed up. By the time I left to another location from work to the banquet, I was painfully ravenous, especially knowing that it would be at least another three hours before the banquet buffet would be served. Okay, I stopped at Burger King for something “small” just to stave off the excruciating hunger pangs. I got a hamburger. BAD choice, I know. I was desperate.

* Just so you know, with the smaller stomach comes the issue of hunger. Usually I’m just not hungry, because I can eat 4-5 crackers, or even half a sandwich and consider that a meal and be fine. OR, when I feel the hunger pangs coming on “gently”, and I know I need to eat something soon, if I wait even 20 minutes before putting something in there, the pangs escalate to unbearable and I have been known to gnaw on small animals (stuffed or not!).*

At the banquet buffet, I was relatively good. I ate one hot dog, half of a hamburger (no bread, only ketchup), one salt potato, 1 tbsp of baked ziti (seriously, 1 tbsp! not even “heaping”) and a 3” x 3” piece of celebratory cake for dessert. It was from Wegman’s! And I was FULL. I have given up carbonated drinks, and drink ONLY flavored water. Like I fill this “Lifewater” bottle over and over with plain water and just barely flavor it with one of those little squirt bottles of flavor that I can carry in my purse… and I dump lots of ice into it when available. That’s ALL I drink now.

I was hungry again when I got home around 10:30 p.m., so I had a cup of peach sherbet. Just a cup. It was very satisfying. And that brings me back to this morning (Wednesday).
That finishes off my confessions of yesterday. Whaddya think? Yes, I goofed up a little, but God allows for that. I just make it my business to try harder not to goof up again!

Does anyone have a decent recipe for fruit smoothies? Using real fruit – and low/no calories?

Until next time, thank you for looking in on me and lending your support. Next time it won’t be so lengthy… promise.

TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt