Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A very wise and wonderful friend of mine said that a food addiciton was the hardest addiction she ever had to fight. Of course, I don't know firsthand about serious addictions - I mean I smoked a lot of pot and did other junk in high school, but never relied on it. But I do know about food addiction and smoking.

Right now, I am battling them both. I used to think that I would smoke forever because I was afraid that quitting would make me eat. I've been off and on the cigarettes for 6 months now and I've gained weight whether I was smoking or not.

So I started thinking about food addiction. Of all the addictions, this one is probably the worst one to have. There really is no stigma attached to being a food addict. You won't lose your house, it is easy to hide and the goods are readily available and affordable. No one ever went to rehab because they were a Doritos junkie.

There is no 12-step program, no sugar substitute injection clinic, no anonymous hotline. Food addicts are left to fend for themselves. That's pretty harsh for someone who can't seem to walk away from the Oreos, or can freely put the potato chips in the shopping cart, or purchase a fix in full public view.

And the saddest part is - there are hundreds of millions of us. Food addicts are probably more prevalent than all the other addicts combined. Year after year we open our wallets for the latest diet, hoping to find one that works. There is no government funding or subsidy to help cover the cost of weight loss programs. Businesses will pay for employees to quit smoking, but you'd have a hard time getting your boss to foot the bill for Weight Watchers.

So what can we do? We have to rely on each other. Set up our own little network of support. Develop our own programs that provide real-life solutions.

As for me, I'm going to get a sponsor. I'm sure she won't mind the 2 a.m. "I'm going to drive to 7-11 in my pajamas to get a slurpee" phone call.

Friday, January 19, 2007

6:12 is not a bible reference

It's been a few days since I've been inspired to write in this journal. In fact, it's been hard to get inspired to do anything.

As we all know, being a mom is a tough job. We are always on the clock, taking care of home and kids, and rarely taking time for ourselves. I've been so tired the last few days, and have been hard-pressed to do anything remotely related to dieting and exercise.

But I got on the scale this morning and was rather pleased to see I've lost two pounds in the last week and half. I've been trying to eat better and exercise when I can, but it's so hard when your kids are up in the middle of the night and you're sleep deprived.

My husband - who I love dearly - had the bright idea to make a suggestion. Whatever possessed him to think he was being helpful by recommending I get up early to get on the treadmill? I know he means well, but he is sometimes simple. He can't help it - he's missing the chromosome that makes women the superior half of the species.

What he doesn't realize is that your children will sabotage your plans. It's what they're meant to do. If you need to be somewhere for 10 am, they will sleep until 930. If you throw out the rotting bananas, they wil want them for supper and have a meltdown because you don't have any. If you buy them the Thomas DVDs they begged for, they will want to watch Cars over and over and over and over...well you get it.

And, as I tried to explain to my husband, if you set your alarm for 6 am, your children will wake up at 612. There is no way on god's green earth that I am going to try to outsmart my children and set the alarm for 530. I know better. They will start waking up at 537 and the pattern will start to be set. Before you know it, one kid is taking a nap mid-morning and the other is taking an afternoon nap. And neither will go to bed at a decent hour. One will be overtired; the other not tired at all. So no time for the treadmill.

Being a man, my husband had a plan "B". He suggested I get on the treadmill when Westin is napping and take Mason into the basement with me. Brilliant!! So I can be on the treadmill and trying to keep a 2 year old off it. That's like paying two dollars to get on the carousel at Chinook and making him stand off to the side just watching the fun. Never gonna happen!!!

So I'm stuck in a rut for the time being. But it's okay, because I have a plan "C".

Tomorrow morning, I am going to set the alarm for 6am. I'm going to quickly change into my workout clothes and head to the basement. I have a very short window, and I need to be in the basement within the next 10 minutes. When my husband has to get up at 612 to get the kids, I'll already be into my workout, blissfully plugged into my MP3 player and oblivious to what's happening upstairs.

Hey, it was his suggestion, right?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Alberta Geography

Boredom is deadly to anyone on a diet. Without something to do I usually just eat. I've already folded laundry, cleaned the kitchen and spent a half hour on the treadmill. Hubby is catching up on his paperwork, so I am left to my own dangerous devices.

Instead of eating, I spent some time playing around with the pictures on my computer - organizing, deleting, emailing - that sort of thing. Then I came across a full-body picture of me and my mind started to wander....

Boredom not only makes me want to eat, it makes me want do things that other people would consider strange. Not like what is she doing burying those garbage bags in the yard kind of strange, but stupid people tricks strange.

I have been cursed with a vivid imagination, and when I have nothing to occupy me, the imagination takes over. Tonight, I started to wonder how much of an atlas-sized map of the province of Alberta I could cover with a 4x6 picture of myself. Don't ask why I need to know this.

If I put my feet down at the US border, my head would be right near Lac La Biche. Just like my jeans in high school, my thighs are squished into the tight space where the Rockies crowd into the southern part of the province.

Here's the scary part - my hips stretch from the eastern edge of Banff to Oyen. Talk about a whole lotta Alberta beef.

Maybe that's the secret to weight loss - geography. Never mind the numbers on the scale or the size of my jeans. Forget about counting calories or points or fat grams. No longer will I obssess about getting back to the size I was before I had kids.



I would be very comfortable if my hips would settle between Cochrane and Drumheller and my thighs didn't touch the Rockies - or each other. It would be nice to have a chin that didn't hang down to Fort Saskatchewan and boobs that sagged to Red Deer.

Of course, if my weight loss journey fails, I could always move back to Ontario, where most of my body would be in the lake. And we all know how nice it is to be weightless in the water.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Why the grocery store needs a man bench

Nobody with children likes to go grocery shopping.

It's just one of those chores that you cannot avoid - kinda like changing diapers and wiping snotty noses - but without an end in sight. Your children will be potty trained and they'll be able to wipe their own noses, but until they learn to drive, it will be mommy who buys the food. Even then, it's a risk to send a teenager shopping. No doubt the lettuce and cucumber will be replaced with cheetos and pepsi.

Of course, there is one other option. It's dangerous and can have serious consequences. It will cause an uproar in your home and chaos in your kitchen. The end will result will be you'll have to go to the grocery store yourself anyways.

You can send your husband.


I made that fatal mistake - but only once. I wrote down what we needed: milk, apple juice, cheerios and yogurt. I kept it simple so he wouldn't get confused. I also emailed the list to his blackberry in case he lost the little piece of paper. I didn't give him coupons because it would terrify him. I gave him three chances to back out of this onerous task. But he was brave and willing, so I let him.

He called me to ask what brand of apple juice. Then he called to ask what size. Then he called to tell me the yogurt was on special and should he get more than one. "What do you think you should do?" I asked sarcastically. I think that was when things went wrong.

He was gone for more than a hour. He came back with everything on the list, plus another $45 worth of groceries we didn't need. After a heated argument, he vowed he would never do the grocery shopping again.

I decided that next time, we would go together, so he could learn how to follow a list, maximize our budget, and see the difference between good and bad apples.

Another disastrous mistake.

Why do men feel the need to linger in the aisles? I was three aisles ahead of him and he's sauntering through cereal with the shopping cart. My arms are loaded and when I go back to get him, he's mad because I took off!!!

"I didn't know where you went. I hate it when you take off on me," he says.
"Why didn't you come to find me?" I ask.
"How would I find you?"
"You can walk down the main lane of the store and glance down the aisles - isn't that obvious?"
"No"

But it gets better. The rest of the trip went like this:

Him: "Don't we need more of these fruit bars?"
Me: "No"
Him: "But don't the kids eat them?"
Me: "Not for the last two months they don't."
Him: "oh"

Him: "Do you think the kids would like to try nutella?"
Me: "We don't need it."
Him: "But maybe they'll like it."
Me: "Peanut butter is good enough."
Him: "Shouldn't we stay away from peanut butter. I mean what about all the kids with nut allergies?"
Me: "Oh, I didn't think of that. Do you think the hazelnuts in nutella will be less dangerous?"
Him: "Party pooper"

Him: "Can we get some strawberries?"
Me: "They're not in season"
Him: "So they won't be sweet?"
Me: "No, I'm sure they are delicious. But a 2 pint container is $7.99"
Him: "Is that expensive?"

I just walked away humming "just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...."

I resolved to resume doing the grocery shopping without him. Just me and the kids. At least I would get done in under an hour and I would get only what we needed.

As we were heading toward the checkout, it all came crashing down on me.

Mason: "Mama, we get fruit bars?"
Hubby: "hahahahahaha"

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lies my mother told me

For the last two nights, I have spent 30-35 minutes on the treadmill. I used to hate going down into the basement to work out because it's cold and lonely - but now I love it. It's cold and lonely.

When I'm not watching something on TV, I get time to think and reflect. I'm not big on regret, so I never feel bad for my past, but I find myself thinking about what I learned.


My goodness - 10 years ago I was stupid.

In the spirit of sharing - here a just a few of the lies I've been told.

It's not what you eat, but how much

Ummm...right. Believe me, there were days when all I ate was a plate of wings and a 1/2 a bottle of vodka. I gained 20 pounds in 3 months. Clearly not the right diet for me.

If you excercise every day you can eat what you want

This one was my fault entirely. I misunderstood the concept of "eat what you want". This statement applies only if you want to eat celery, salad and fish.

You'll be happier with yourself once you lose the weight

I admit, I felt great when I was a size four. But as a heavy woman, I never had to deal with backbiting jealously, persistent harrassment and somebody telling me not to eat that or I'll gain it all back. Sometimes happiness can be found at the bottom of a bag of potato chips.

Black is slimming

One of the biggest lies of all time!!!!
When your black pants are size 22 and your black sweater is 2XL, you look exactly the same as if that ensemble was in purple with red polka dots. The difference is that in black you are trying to be invisible; in polka dots you are flipping the bird.

And my personal favorite:

You'd be so pretty if you would just lose the weight

You know, if I had a dime for every time someone said that to me, I could BUY myself pretty. Then I could tell you all to f-off.

As it stands, I think I'm a pretty amazing woman right now and I feel beautiful even when my undies are digging into my waist.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

If at first you don't succeed

Okay, so it's been 6 months since I added anything to this journal.

I am ashamed.

In the last 6 months, I could have conceivably lost 60 pounds and been so close to my goal. Instead, I put on about 7 pounds (which looks like 20) and I have allowed the dust to pile up on my treadmill.

Well, today I decided to get back on the horse. I spent 35 minutes on the treadmill tonight and it felt great.

It was a good workout. I know my body well enough to know that I have to ease into a program so I can avoid injury, but I found myself working harder than I thought I would.

That's because I found my motivation: The Apprentice in LA.

I was so aggravated with all these people that I just kept moving faster to burn off my pi$$ off. The more they whined and bickered (Trump should have fired them both!!!) the faster I walked. If you watched it, you know what I mean.

In short, here I go again. For the hundreth time, I am going to try to lose weight.

I've stocked the fridge with fat-free yogurt and Crystal Light, so I'm good to go.

I just need to find an irritant for every night of the week. If there's nothing on TV, I guess I can pick a fight with DH. Oh..wait...I got it!!! I'll just call my mother......