Yesterday, I got an email from one of my challengers, asking for some advice I had never thought to give. I know a shocker! That's me for ya, always filled with wanted and unwanted advice on just about every subject I care to be opinionated on. But I thought I would share with you the concern, and a few tips I learned along the way on how to curb the munchies.
"I don't know why I feel so inclined to ask you some personal questions, but I feel like I am going to loose my mind and thought maybe you could give me some insight and motivation. I just feel like I was going so strong, and now I feel like I am going back to old eating habits. I just can't seem to get over this emotional comfort of food. My husband works a ton and is gone a lot, so when night comes around all I want to do is eat the stress of the day way. I feel like it is a constant battle with myself. So I guess the question for you is, what was your relationship with food? Did you overeat because it sounded good or did you eat for pleasure? And how did you overcome your trials? Sorry to get so personal, but I feel like I'm going crazy here and want to get over this slump! Any sort of motivation would help." (I am keeping the challenger's name anonymous for privacy)
My life is an open book, seriously, I don't really have an secrets -- comes with growing up in a small town, lol. So always feel free to ask away those personal questions because nothing phases me, really! (Unless the answer dangers the safety of my family -- I try to keep my blog pretty general, not a lot of super personal information)
I am also an emotion eater. I eat when I am happy, I eat when I am sad, I eat when I am excited and want to celebrate, and I eat when I am depressed or angry. I love food, and have found all sorts of satisfaction in eating it. I have a monster of an appetite too! These things will probably never ever change. Like you, it is a constant uphill battle to not only lose the weight, but to keep it off!
I have struggled my whole life with this eating disorder. And I have tried every diet and most of the time they didn't work, or I couldn't keep it off. Unfortunately for me, the only "diets" that work for me are low calorie ones. I hate having to discipline myself, it is SOOOO HARD!!!! I want to eat all the time!!! Even if it is food that is good for me, which it usually is, but the problem is that even "good healthy" foods have calories that add up. Diet pills can work or help... until you stop taking them, then you most likely will gain it all back.
Luckily, there are a few ways I have found to cut the appetite a little. No soda. Nothing carbonated. Carbonation will enlarge your tummy so you will want to eat more. Have you ever been eating at a restaurant and feel like you can't have one more bite... then you take a swig of your diet coke, and instantly you feel you can have just more bite... then before you know it, you've cleaned your plate? I do that all the time. It's the soda I tell you...
Carbs can be really tricky too. The more carbs and sugars you eat, the more your body is going to crave. Seriously, carbs can be good for you in moderation, but they really kick in the cravings! Which is sad, because I LOVE breads and pastas, and all those yummy carbs and stuff.
I followed a few simple rules to get the bulk of my weight off:
1. Count your calories. The key, I found, is to stay between 1800 and 2000 a day.
2. Drink water!!!!!! I try to drink 100 oz a day... at least 64oz if I can't do the 100. Lots of water intake will not only help with your skin, and get rid of bloating, keep you "regular", but also helps you to cut the munches a lot.
3. After dinner, the kitchen is closed!!! Not one more bit until breakfast the next morning. You will be amazed how much better you sleep on an empty stomach! And how much more energized you feel in the morning. This is however, one of the hardest things I had to do, but the most successful in my weight loss. I can't tell you how badly I wanted to eat at night, I still struggle with this. But I tell myself, "This doesn't not taste as good as being skinny feels" I will look in the mirror and tell myself how good I am looking and not to mess it up!
4. Most diets tell you not to weigh everyday because you will get discouraged, but this helped me to keep focus and remind myself not to eat more than I can allow myself. As much as I hate the scale, it does keep me good day to day. When I run away and ignore it, I start overeating again. It's probably mental.... I know. (Although, I didn't weigh during my time of the month, because I didn't want the water weight to discourage me)
5. Get a new hobby, join a class, and build your self confidence!!!! I started "4 Nuts in a Nutshell" a few months before I started losing weight because I needed some attention from people, that I wasn't getting in real life. I wanted to feel like I was doing something, and being a part of the world. Outside of cyber space, I felt like a fat nobody who not only felt bad about myself, but I was hard pressed to make many friends because I felt they were always judging me by my weight. Now, that I am thinner and have more self confidence, I don't rely on my blog any more to keep me part of the world. Sure I still do it, I LOVE to write, but you will notice that there are many days I don't make a post. I'm not saying that life is really better being thin, well, in lots of ways it is, but through my journey I became a new person inside. Something changes within when you start making and finishing goals. I am a completely different person than I was then.
6. Exercise. I know I say this a lot and there are lots of diets out there that say exercise isn't important to losing weight. And sometimes it isn't, but it has everything to do with your mental state. Exercising will release certain hormones in your body that will make you happier, sleep better, have more energy, and make you healthier all around. See, I have a very addictive personality, it's a good thing I don't drink or smoke, or I would be lost!!! But I was addicted to food. So I just switched my addiction over to exercise, something a little healthier. If I am feeling down or overly excited and think to eat, I will check myself and pop the kids in the stroller and off we go on a walk. Sometimes we will go for 3 walks a day! lol. I also love weight lifting! People are willing to fork out thousands of dollars to get tucked these days, when all you really have to do is get into weights. Weightlifting along with good water intake, will pull that extra skin right in as you lose the weight. No joke.
As to cutting those night cravings, I feel for you, more than you know!! I am so still there. But I do it. I have given myself plenty to do at nights so I won't munch. Like having a stack of good books to read, or a word puzzle book. I have a few computer games that I can get sucked into at night and forget the food. I also like to go to the gym in the evenings. Sometimes, and I repeat SOMETIMES, when I am REALLY hurting for a munchie, I know this sounds terrible, but I will take a Tylenol PM and just go to sleep... lol... I know that someday, I will stop fighting this and it will come natural to me. And some nights it does... but it is a fight between you and your body. I refuse to let my body rule me. I am in charge!!! Just tell yourself that: You are in charge!! Not your body!
I hope this helps just a little! You can do this! My husband is gone all day everyday and sometimes nights, I feel a bit like a prisoner in my tiny appartment sometimes with my two crazy kids... so I understand you when say you're in a slump. I am there all the time. But you just have to scrape yourself off the couch and get out and keep yourself busy. I have a whole life without my husband that I have to live now, I would go crazy if I sat around waiting for him all the time...and most likely eating too :)
Anyway, I hope this helps a few of you out there who are in the same boat as we are! Those blasted munchies!!! If you have any tips to share with us, leave a comment!!
Alright, moving on. We got some great comments from our challengers this week, and I would LOVE to share a couple with you:
Mama Fitzy reports:
"So this week was an eventful one for me...I found out that I'm pregnant with our 2nd child! This makes the 120 mile challenge even more important to me because I'm forced to get out of the house and DO something at least a few times a week to meet the goals. I was so tired this morning (ah, the first trimester lovelyness. I just can't WAIT for morning sickness to show up!) that I didn't think I would make it to the gym. But I did and I did 4.5 miles on the elliptical (which was almost 1 hour exactly since I have to keep my heart rate a little lower than I normally let it get to)! This challenge couldn't be at a more perfect time, thanks again for orchestrating it all. "
Phannie, always makes me laugh:
"I had a fantastic week. Let me tell you about it.
The Sound Of. . .
My feet on the pavement. Tap, tap, tap, tap. . .
The stroller hitting all the separations in the sidewalk. da dum, da dum, da dum, da dum. . .
My fat hitting itself. slap, slap, slap, slap. . .
Old sounds almost forgotten.
New sounds, although sad, enjoyable.
Yesterday, I ran just over a mile.
I ran. I ran. It didn't hurt. I couldn't believe it. AND I can do it.
This was my first attempt at really pushing myself to run since my c-section in January. It felt wonderful. I never considered myself a runner before but in the past year and a half I have definitely become one. I spent all of my pre- and post-delivery time dreaming of Jillian and Bob yelling at me through my runs. Missing my workouts. I never thought I would.. Now that I can get back to it, I feel free again. "
Now the updates! Great job to everyone who is well on their way to the 120! This next week, we should hit the 40 mile mark by the 30th to make the 120 by the end of August. Some of us are already there, overachievers... lol... and some of us need to try just a little harder. I know the summers are busy, but I know we can do this! Good luck next week, and remember to write and report your miles, because those that report and met the 40 mile goal have a chance to win some prizes...
This challenge was brought to you by...