Recreating my Relationship with Food…Foodship

Heya,

Weight loss since having the baby has not been easy for me. I want to be one of those aggressive achievers and just say “I just didn’t want it bad enough” but that’s not true. I want it bad, so bad I’d cry in the shower, but it wasn’t until I read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg that I realized the reasons why I haven’t been able to make headway. 

I won’t go far into the book right now, because I plan to review it, but it changed the way I saw my life. Far beyond weight loss. It changed how I saw my buying habits, my daily routines, and even my issues with relationships and boundaries. The book talks about why we do the things we do and why it’s so hard for us to STOP doing them. 

The book uses real-life examples for how we’re led by our choices, how small habits we start now rule the rest of our lives, and how marketing creates needs in us that we wouldn’t normally have. I feel that this came at a perfect time as I’m trying to declutter, minimize, and track my spending. 

So with the tools from the book in mind, I noticed that many of the reasons I haven’t lost weight were combinations of childhood traumas, bad memories, and insecurities.

  1. I eat too much. 

One of the reasons that I eat too much is because I eat to be full. Oftentimes, I eat until my stomach feels sick or because I have food still left on my plate. I don’t know about you but I grew up with my adoptive mom constantly saying “the kids in Africa are starving and look at you wasting food.” This was exacerbated by her trip to Ghana, Africa on a mission trip when I was nine. So, not only does my lack of portion control affect how much I eat but my inability to stop eating until my plate is full makes it worse.

Another reason is because in my formative years, when I was creating a relationship with food, I didn’t get enough to eat. As you saw in my creative nonfiction essay “Levels of Acceptance” my brother and I were sometimes treated like animals while in the foster care system. We were expected to eat on the floor, in a locked room, or in a closet on a paper plate while the foster families we stayed with enjoyed dinner at the table. 

My adoptive mom told me – after reading the essay a few years back – that she would’ve approached food and mealtime differently if she had known I’d been starved at other foster homes. What she doesn’t know, and what I still don’t have the heart to tell her, is that some of the places we went (for respite) while living with her did the same thing to us. Also, her putting locks on the fridge didn’t help. We often joked how I had such a huge appetite when in reality I was merely trying to eat a ton of food because I didn’t know when I’d have it again, especially when there were so many foster kids. 

If you haven’t seen the movie The Platform on Netflix, you should watch it. Today.

  1. I’d rather just…not.

When I was a sophomore in high school I got a job just so I could buy food for myself. My mom got so angry at me once because I wasn’t buying cool clothes or other necessities. She said, “you work so much but you have nothing to show for it”. My response was “FOOD. I spend all of my money on FOOD”. 

One of the greatest things about having a naturally stocky and athletic build was that it didn’t take much work to lose weight when I was a teen. I had a high metabolism, an active life, and walked everywhere. Especially to the library. I ran track from late middle school until my senior year of high school. I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. My motto was to eat as I pleased and work out just enough to maintain my weight – 116lbs at the time (and 5’1).

This does not compute with a woman who just had a baby and is nearing 30. This year I will be 29 and had the same mindset although I’m 176lbs. I still thought that if I just worked out a little bit I could offset the five strips of bacon I had for breakfast (on top of the two eggs, one piece of toast, and the smattering of tomatoes and mushrooms – see, I eat healthy most of the time. I just eat too much). This is just not true. To make this work, I needed to create a fitness habit, a healthy lifestyle, and change my relationship with food overall. But I don’t want to. I love food. I love eating. And I love bacon. 

I even have a bacon tattoo.

  1. Fear

As I talked about in my recent post, I have this fear of failure and fear of success. Although I’ve done major work this year to love myself and feel more confident, I still don’t know how beautiful I’ll feel (said with starry eyes and overdramatic jazz hands). A part of me is afraid that I’ll lose weight and I still won’t be beautiful. Or that I’ll start a new lifestyle that is health-forward, but I’ll still be fat. And back rolls, side fat, chafing thighs, and looking like I’m 6 months pregnant every time I eat is not my jam. This is counterproductive because the fear stops me from working out which means I’ll never get rid of those things. It’s a vicious emotional circle. 

I’m ready to move on though. Thanks to the universe for my growing emotional intelligence.

  1. I try too hard too fast

To cut this short, and not unload all of my personal trauma on you at once, I’ll say the last part is 

“the hard try”. I’m the type of person that wants to get started TODAY once I make a decision. I fall in love with hobbies and want to buy all the accessories or take all the classes or join all the Facebook groups. So when I say I want to lose weight, and I hate the fact that I can’t wear an outfit I like, I’m ready to go. RET TA GO. This is not a healthy approach. I go hard for the first few days, I burn myself out or stress my muscles out and then I quit. Then I cry about how nothing is working or how ‘I just can’t do it’. 

Girl Bye.

Plan:

This time I’m trying a One-One Method. I’m adding One Habit and One Nutritional change. For the habit, when my guy leaves for work (or after lunch on days he’s off), I’m going to work out, or walk (with the baby), or do a yoga session, etc. This introduces an excersize to my life every day. It doesn’t have to be hard-hitting or a long session. It can be a few stretches or a two-mile run. SOMETHING.

To help with a healthier foodship (get it? haha), I’m going with the Eat More, Weigh Less method. This usually entails eating more fruits and vegetables and carbs than meat as well as other things. Obviously, your interpretation may be different than mine, and that’s ok. This week, I’m starting with paying more attention to my portions for every meal. 

— I’m also continuing my food journal and have added Naomi’s meals as well.

To help create this habit without burning myself out, I’m doing this for one week and will reevaluate next Saturday. I’m not rushing myself or looking too far into the future or being afraid of what the outcome will be. I’m staying present. Oh, and I’m not telling my guy. This is on me and I can’t use him as a crutch anymore.    

So, if you’d like to hear more about me, or what’s going on, or if you just want to be nosey subscribe and stick around for more posts. Or follow me on Instagram (@JadeBethJ) to see my story progress.

I took these photos today. I’ve gained back the weight and I’m back at 176lbs exactly. How wild.

I Ate Vanilla Zingers in the Parking Lot of the Gym

Heya,

I’m trying really hard to stay focused on my dream but I am not disillusioned by this new plan to lose weight. I know that just because I decide I no longer want to be fat, or have left over baby flub, it doesn’t mean that I will suddenly have all the will power in the world to do what needs to be done. I haven’t before now, it’s not a matter of ‘just do it’ as some say. You have to work toward that level of resistance (in my head this is with a french accent…why?)

Yes, I’m dancing my way around the fact that often times I have low self control. Very low. Oh man. Those who follow me on Twitter saw that, when my guy left for work the other day, I posted:

Today:
I will not eat Tony’s Oreos.
I will not eat Tony’s Oreos.
I will not eat them in a box.
I will not eat them with a fox.
I will not eat them with a mouse.
I will not eat them in a house.
I will not eat Tony’s Oreos, I say.
I will not eat them, I should pray.

 

I can’t believe he just left them on the table without any explicit instruction for me NOT to eat them. They stared at me ALL DAY. I ate one, then two and then I held off. I felt really proud of myself and the fact that I didn’t stuff my face the moment he left. But….then he got home. He didn’t eat them. Of course my first thought was “yes, now I can eat a few more”. I ate five more. The next morning I ate two more while packing my bag for campus and also my gym clothes. I was so happy, while crunching on Oreos, that I found my gym lock, not noticing the irony of it all. Then I left for school.

On my way home, I stopped by Dollar General. I meant to just buy some things for Naomi, for bath time, but what I ended up doing was getting Reese’s Cups to “pay” Tony back for eating his Oreos, a package of vanilla icing Zingers for me, a box of chewy LemonHeads (that are currently sitting opened on my desk as I write this) for me, and a bag of hot fries (still unopened) for me. I did get some rubber duckies for Naomi so it wasn’t a complete failure. I barely got into the car before I’d broken the small packet of Zingers open. I said I’d just eat one, I thought, there’s no need to eat all of them in one day: Three come in a pack. c1901804-909d-4ef4-a207-aa528c9b422b_1.813601c84ba0677a6a8527b1f21c61fa

So, the gym is only about 5 minutes away from where I was and only about 5 minutes from my house. I thought I had the self control to wait but nope…I ate the second one in the parking lot of the gym and as I ate it I felt guilty. I’d said ‘in this new year, I want to take my weight loss more serious than I ever have before’ but here I was, shoving unhealthy food down my throat. I only just noticed at a free personal training session, last week, that although I’ve been doing a good job in the gym I haven’t been working out nearly as hard as I should be. I haven’t been exerting enough energy or sweating nearly enough. I guess you could say I have forgotten how to work out?

Anyway, so I paused when I got out of the car because there was a guy in the car next to me. I’m not sure if he saw me stuffing my face but I felt really embarrassed. So much so that I snatched my bag out of the car, slammed the door and made a beeline to the front of the gym. I’d been caught by some guy who was probably a health nut, who never ate a Zingers before a work out, and I felt like I might cry. I said I would take this seriously!

I changed my clothes and got up to the machines. The moment I hit that treadmill, it was as if another me took over and I went hard. I added more weight than I had previously. I hit both legs and upper body, and I even got in some cardio. I ran a bit. Hit the cycling machine. I didn’t take long breaks between sets, keeping everything hot. I felt motivated to work out, if not for the fat – to just get the Zingers out.

yellow full

Does it make you feel some type of way to know that hours later I ate that last piece of Zingers? I’d worn this cute sweater to campus, that I got yesterday for $4 from a Ross sale, and I was feeling beautiful. Despite that set back, I had worked my ass off in the gym, sweated out all of the shame and self- pity (yes, honey. I’m the queen of pity parties). I was back on the high of life and before Tony could see me, I scarfed down that third Zingers and promised myself I wouldn’t eat the hot fries in the same day. I’d hold off. And I didn’t.

A part of this whole meditation and being in the moment thing is that I have to let all that ish go. Yes, I felt ashamed and embarrassed but that was then and this is now. I can’t dwell. I must move on. I know I will mess up again but I also know that tomorrow I will be back in the gym, moving toward my goal and that is what matters. That I don’t give up.

After a much needed 2.5 hour nap – my guy let me sleep a little long as I needed it more emotionally than physically, I cooked a health(ier) dinner for Tony and me. Fish and pasta. And Naomi had a bit as well. She’s now able to eat on her own and is learning to pick up foods (it’s so cute). I felt happy to see that even though I didn’t have the level of self control, yet, that I wanted, I was making sure Naomi was fed and trying different things. All in all, it’s been a roller coaster of a day.

But that’s the journey, right?

 

 

Good Readdance,
Jade

Minimalism: Emotional Wardrobe Set Back

Heya,

Ugh, I don’t want to say that it was a set back but today, in terms of my mindset and the way I flopped on the bed in self pity after I got home, it was. I started off the day excited. Traveling to the local Ikea to get home office inspiration and to check out prices. Going to Target to do much of the same. Bringing Naomi with me and she was happy the entire time, chilling in her stroller watching people peer under the hood to stare at her.

When I got to Target I thought Hmmm…here’s a great chance to try out the new style I’ve been creating on Pinterest. As I said in my Minimalism = Nothing to Wear post,  from now on I want to only choose items that spark joy for me (Marie Kondo method). I want to figure out what my personal style is so I can feel confident, loved, and pretty. As I shopped through the aisles I happily picked out boho dresses, flowy tops, and a selection of bras (because yes, pregnancy, postpartum, and breast feeding all change the girls).

I’m one of those moms that talks to Naomi as if she were an adult and, because I’m a Chatty Cathy, she listens intently. Although we can’t seem to get her to talk to us directly, she murmurs to her own toys. So as I’m going through the racks, I’m explaining to Naomi about the importance of ‘testing out’ styles before you fully ditch your wardrobe and buy the new items.

I head to the dressing room, she’s giggling because I’m tossing my dreads back and forth and entire with anticipation. As I put on each item I could feel the confidence and excitement draining from me. I could see my eyes in the mirror and every time I pulled another shirt over my head I lost a bit more. The first two shirts were horrible. They huge from my breasts and had no gathering. I basically looked like a flowy box on a pair of stilts. I took a photo of how ridiculous I looked, hoping to show it to my guy later and make a joke at my own expense and yet…hours later I still haven’t shown it to him.

The next shirt was so adorable on the hang. You know what I mean, when it hangs on those tiny white shoulders and you think, oh yeah, I’m TOTALLY this small. When I put it on I realized just how out of shape I really am. The dress was no better. It also hung awkwardly from my boobs, making me feel like Fiona from Shrek. Ugh. Today is just not a good body day, I’m bloated and I somewhat still look pregnant. That’s despite going to the gym consistently, using my 2 Day Rule, and I’m not happy about it. Just the other day I was looking small and trim. Now here I am. Set Back.

Back home I curl into bed and stick my face into the pillow. I want to cry. For a second I think, I wish I hadn’t gotten rid of the comfy stuff that I hated. At least it didn’t make me feel like crap. I hear the door open but I don’t crawl out from under my rock.

My guy came into the room, Naomi riding him with one leg pulled up for stability and so she can get a good vantage point to look down at all us peasants. He sees me and after weaseling the truth from me he says ‘Don’t worry, babe. The gym is a life style. You just keep going and keep going until you are where you want to be. And then you don’t stop. You keep moving. You keep doing ab work outs. The baby weight will come off, trust me. You’re beautiful and I love you,’ he lifts Naomi from where she sat on his lap and dangles her over me. ‘Naomi loves you. She thinks Mommy’s pretty, don’t you?’ and I release the comforter from my clutches just a little bit. Once I’ve regained a bit of my dignity, I uncover enough so that Naomi can climb onto me, her big smile filling me with joy. He bends to kiss me on my forehead and then my cheek. The support is overwhelming. Gosh, how much I love this man.

So yes, today was a set back. I was frustrated with all the bodily changes, the lack of joyous clothes, and my own issues with confidence. But I’m better now. I got up, pumped some breast milk for Naomi, hit the gym harder than I have in weeks, and walked Naomi around the living room. I plan to redo my Pinterest board. Now that I ‘tried out the style’ as I advised Naomi, and it didn’t work out I can re-evaluate and move forward. I also plan to stick to my 2 Day Rule and hit the stores again on a happier day with my goals in mind. I love peplum tops. I love clothes that are comfy. I love solid colors more than patterns —something I just recently discovered and solidified today. I do like stripes, HEY! They’re slimming. So, whew. Deep breath. I have a plan, a vision, and I’m back on track.

NOs: I really liked these dresses, this style, but today’s endeavors said these are going to be a NO.

YES: So I already owned a few items like this before I decided to become a minimalist. There were my few items that sparked joy. Here are items I’ve added to my Pinterest that align with my new style.

 

To see more selections for my new style as I add them, via Pinterest, click here to see my board!

Good Readdance,
Jade

 

 

* From a newbie to other newbies! *