Friday, May 29, 2009

Why Diet Food Gets a Bad Name

My little sister graduated from high school yesterday and to celebrate we went out to lunch after the ceremony. 

She picked a great pizza/pasta place in town but I knew the second I heard where we were going that I would not be able to eat much. Eating out is usually fun and most of the time I can find something to eat but when you go to a place that specializes in all things white flour it usually means that most of the menu will be off limits to me. 

Not a big deal really. I called the restaurant a few days before and checked with their chef to see if their soups were viable options for me. They were not as most had a flour base to them. So, that left me with the salad bar. It really was a pretty good salad bar considering. I piled my plate with all sorts of veggies and sunflower seeds and kidney beans and sprouts etc. The kicker is when you get to dressings. Between the sugar and the dairy in most dressings they are also not options for me. I did find some olive oil to dress the salad but it wasn't terribly flavorful. 

And that is where the kicker comes in when it comes to diet food. I was eating this pretty good salad with all these different tastes and textures and I still knew that I would have to go back to work and pull out my salmon and almonds. While the salad was good it didn't satisfy me. It didn't do good things to me all the way down to my toes. It didn't make me sigh with satisfaction. 

Those feelings of satisfaction and good taste often come from the good fats we are eating. It comes from the juicy chicken, the avocado dressing, the olive oil and ginger/lime dressing. Fat is what satiates us and makes us thrilled with a meal. Fat is often what makes food go from good to great. 

That is why diet food stinks. If I was on a "diet" and eating that food I would leave lunch feeling somewhat full but completely unsatisfied. This is why diets don't work either. They leave you mostly unsatisfied and craving all kinds of things because your body is not getting the nutrients and essential fatty acids that it needs to function beautifully each day. 

So, remember if you are having a large meal of veggies that you also pump up the raw nuts and the good fats like olive oil or fatty fish or avocados. Make sure there is some part of the meal so tantalizing and yummy that you can feel it all the way down to your toes. Then you will leave dinner not only full but satisfied. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's Official: Under 300 Pounds

It's official. I woke up today and got on the scale. I was 297 pounds. I've been flirting with going under 300 pounds for a couple of weeks now and it seems my body has finally arrived at a decision. I'm happy for that. While I continually remind myself that this journey encompasses much more than just numbers on a scale, it is nice to see progress in that area. 

The progress on the weight front has been slower than I anticipated. I'm sure that my poor sleeping habits, stress at work, and not eating breakfast or lunch and consuming most of my food after 5PM is not helping. When I'm stressed I don't sleep as well or pay attention to eating a great breakfast and lunch. I'm working on all of this. 

What I am happy about is the fact that I'm not self-medicating with food right now. That I haven't done that for five months--at least not on the scale that I was once accustomed to doing. That makes me happy. 

From a year ago, I'm down about 60 pounds. One year ago we were on a trip to Denmark--a fun, amazing, memory-making trip that I so wanted to enjoy more than I could because I was miserable. My body and my mind and my spirit hurt. I so wanted freedom of movement but that did not come on this trip. Each step hurt. Each adventure was exhausting. Each expenditure of energy was weighed and measured and contemplated. While it was a GREAT trip, I know that even at my current weight, I would have enjoyed and savored that trip so much more. 

I want more great trips in my future with a stronger, healthier body. I have had this challenge of obesity since I was young. I've spent countless moments wishing, praying, hoping and screaming for this challenge to be taken away from me. I did not want it. It was not me. It did not represent who I am. It has been painful in every aspect of my life. It has informed and molded nearly every decision I have made since I was nine years old. It is a burden that I just did not want to carry. Ever. 

After all this time, after all these years, I look at my life and wonder just how it would be different if I had not had to fight the battle of obesity. I'm not sure what it would like. I, of course, imagine that it would be better, but who can really say? 

What I do know is that all of that longing, all of that wanting, all of that wishing pushed me to figure out how I could have the healthiest body and the healthiest life amid the genetic and environmental soup I was given. I think that has made me passionate about health. And that passion is something that I want to talk about and think about and share for a long, long time. 

Maybe along the way, I can help some others in their journey on this path too. I think that might make all those prayers and hopes and wishes worth it. 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A New Bite: I Ate a Hamburger and Fries

I ate a hamburger and fries this week--a real, honest-to-goodness, I-went-through-the-drive-thru-and-ate-way-too-much kind of burger and fries. 

The allergy-diet met its first challenge on the wheat and dairy spectrum. And I have survived. 

But before we get to all of that let me just begin with I've been out of commission and in bed for most of a week. Yuck and super yuck. Now that I'm blogging again I feel like I'm back up and raring to go. I don't plan time for blogging, but I get a certain itch when I haven't been blogging for a few days. So, I'm back!

The eating while I was sick went like this: don't eat, too tired to eat, don't know what to make, I'm hungry, don't eat, too tired to eat, don't know what to make, I'm really hungry, too tired to eat, now I'm really hungry, don't know what to eat, don't want to take the effort to make something, and now I'm REALLY REALLY hungry, drink some water, eat a handful of almonds, now I'm officially so hungry my insides are melting together because of the heat of my hunger, eat some more almonds, then an apple, hunger abates, sleep some more, wow is it really 9PM at night? no wonder, I'm so hungry, don't eat, too tired to eat, don't know what to make, what food could I buy? nothing sounds good, plus I would have to drive, deciding hurts my brain, oh, yes, I'm so hungry now the paint starts to look appealing, what can I make? cut an onion, sautee in grapeseed oil, poach two eggs, drink some water, now onions and eggs, hmmm, so good, oh, my word, I'm eating an entire onion out of choice! I've turned into my Grandmother, I don't care at least I'm full, it feels so good to be full, what it is 11PM? I'm so tired, must sleep, belly full, life good, feeling better, food is good. 

Yes, that was how each day proceeded. I would sleep, wake up hungry, sleep some more, wake up again, try to sleep and then fight my hunger the rest of the day because I just didn't want to make anything. Finally, sometime in the evening I would throw together some food because I was just so famished. Most often it was eggs or apples or almonds or a turkey burger and fried onions. Seriously, am I my Grandmother? This woman used to wax poetic about the wonders of the onion. She ate onions as often as possible and usually raw. I spent most of my life completely bewildered by this adoration of such a lowly vegetable until last year when I discovered Vidalia onions or sweet onions. Oh. My. Goodness. So yummy, so sweet, and so tantalizing. 

After a week of sleeping and eating onions, I needed to get out. Literally. So, I decided on a run to the grocery store to restock the cupboards. 

My eating over the last week was not spectacular: very few greens, not a lot of fruit, no regular meals, but let's be real here. I wasn't consuming crackers and cookies and cheese fries and soda and potato chips. I was eating whole, real food. I was a little shocked when Thursday rolled around to realize that for a week of not wanting to cook, I was still eating at least decent food. 

I think that scared me. 

I've had such a deeply ingrained mentality about the morality of food--that's a "good" food and that's a "bad" food--that I've had to be very aware of that habit. It is a habit that leads me down the road of disordered eating and aligning my self-worth with the kind of food that I'm eating. Like "Since I only ate broccoli and carrots and chicken today, I'm a good girl." Or "I was so bad I ate TWO pieces of chocolate cake tonight." That is kind of disordered thinking that leads millions of American women to hate themselves and their bodies. For me, it leads me down a road of obsession and compulsion about "being good" and "eating perfectly."

This new way of eating--the allergy-free diet--has forced me out of that habit of thinking this way because what I'm thinking about now is "How will this food help my body?" or "Will this food hurt my body?" and then I watch closely for reactions to foods. 

So, to suddenly find myself staring at a week where I was not in top form and still eating decently made me wonder if my body was suddenly inhabited by aliens. Or if I had had a brain transplant. Or if the world was about to end. Because when I'm hungry, I eat. And when I'm emotionally unhappy, I eat. And when I'm not feeling well, I eat whatever I want because why make myself suffer? 

Which is why I freaked out. 

I had spent a whole week feeling miserable--emotionally and physically---and I had not even attempted to binge or gorge or somehow deal with my emotional fallout by eating. And I just didn't. I hadn't even considered it. I had just eaten what was on hand and all of it was real, whole food. 

So, I did my little freak out and decided it was time. Time to buy a burger and fries and be okay with it emotionally and see if my body could handle it allergy-wise. 

Don't ask me what my logic was here just know that it sounded good at the time. 

So, when I finally made it out of the house that weekend, I drove over to a local burger place and order a double cheeseburger with extra sauce and wild fries. 

And then I took a big fat bite. 

I'm not gonna lie. Those first few bites were great--the salty and the sweet and the hot burger and the cold pickle and the cheesy cheese. Yum. I savored each bite. 

But really as I was eating it, I was feeling some disappointment. It didn't seem to be as good as I remembered. It didn't seem to hit all the right notes for me. It seemed somehow to be sadly lacking. It wasn't unbelievably great. 

But I kept eating because come one, it was gooooood. 

Bite after bite and one mouthful to the next I enjoyed the hot, salty gooeyness of it. And then I just kept going, going, going. And I started to feel a bit fatigued, a tiny bit bloated and definitely overwhelmed. 

I was overwhelmed by the salt, the sugar, the chemically something of the food. It just suddenly all became too much for me. Too, too much. For all of that wanting and hunger and wishing, the food just didn't live up to all of my expectations. I could have made a better one. 

At least that was my first response. A tad prideful, a bit much, but I've become so accustomed to really, really good food lately that I realized as I was eating this chemical-laden, pre-packaged, warmed-over burger that I could have made a more tantalizing and likely healthier burger if I had just made it at home. 

And my only response to that is that the worst part of this allergy-free diet is I'm turning into a bit of a food snob. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

To Buy a Gym Membership or Not? That is the Question

I've been trying to decide for a few weeks how to change my workout routine and what I need to do next. Just walking isn't cutting it anymore. Not that anything is wrong with walking but after hiking with Katy last weekend, I realized if I really, really, really want to climb Mt. Timp by the end of the summer, I better get a strong workout routine going quickly. In other words, I've got a lot of work to do if I'm going to get there. 

What seems to make sense right now is buying a gym membership. But I don't know that I would qualify as a gym girl. I also don't know that I want to spend part of each day locked in a room with a bunch of other sweaty people bombarded by thumping music. The natural world seems so much more appealing. 

I did go last night and visit the gym I have been considering. It is close to my house, full of all kinds of equipment, and certainly a decent possibility. I wasn't totally convinced one way or the other while I was there. I just know that I need a more consistent, reliable workout. And I'm hoping by having the right environment I can do have that kind of workout. 

So, is a gym membership the answer? 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Flirting with 299

I'm doing better at sticking to my "only weigh once a week" rule. It helps that I've been so insanely busy this week that I have not wanted to weigh. What I can tell you is that last weekend I was flirting with the going under 300 pounds. I saw 299 appear on the scale then 301 then 300 and when I kept hoping that 299 would just stick. It did not decide to do that but it does give me hope that very soon the 290s will be hanging out for a while at my house. 

The last time I was in the 290s was a rather unhappy period for me. It was about four years ago and I was quickly making my way back up the scale after what I thought had been a successful journey down the scale. I was regaining weight so quickly at this point in my life that I was bloated and angry and hurting and I seemed to just sneeze and I went up 20 lbs. on the scale. It was a cataclysmic and painful time for me. 

I'm still not sure I have all the answers to what happened to me then but I do know this: No matter what, I need good fats like olive oil and raw nuts in my diet to feel healthy and satiated and carbs such as wheat and sugar are like dynamite to my system--I blow up when I consume them. 

We will see if those theories continue to help me improve my health. 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dinner Plate Photo: Spinach Turkey Burgers, Salad, Veggies, Fruit

Katy and I had dinner last night before heading off to hike Stewart Falls. Katy is another foodie friend who happens to have celiac disease and some other food sensitivities so our diets are very similar and we talk about food often. Katy has been doing this a lot longer than I have though so it inspires me to hear what she is making and we share favorite recipes with each other.

I love to cook for her because we have such fun talking and experimenting together. And it is thanks to Katy that we have a photo of dinner. She styled the plates and took photos. I likely would have forgotten until the meal was over and then I would have wished I had remembered to pull out the camera.

Spinach turkey burgers with almond mozzarella cheese
Spring salad with chopped almonds and apples and Elana's awesome ranch dressing
Zucchini and yellow squash sauteed in olive oil
Strawberry and pineapple salad

Any of this look yummy to you?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I Got Glutenized or Allergerized or Whatever You Call It

I'm still learning about eating on this allergy-free diet. I've certainly gotten much better over the last few months figuring out what I can and can't eat. As I've done this and been more and more careful about what I'm ingesting, I've started to feel better and better. 

When I was on my trip a few weeks ago, we bought some chicken apple sausages at Costco that seemed like they might be okay, so I'm tried them out the next day when I made them for breakfast. Because there were five of us though I didn't get much of the sausages. I remember thinking that they tasted really good and that they seemed to make me immediately start craving more. 

I didn't remember that little piece of information clearly this week when I stopped by the grocery store and saw some chicken apple sausages. I just remembered that they had tasted good. So, I read the ingredients carefully and it looked like they were a whole, clean food so I bought two. Yesterday I cooked them both and ate one for breakfast and one for lunch. 

Bad idea. Very, very, very bad idea. 

My stomach felt rumbly and funny all day long. Immediately after eating the first one in the morning I started having some serious cravings. When the cravings hit me so quickly, my memory of eating this kind of sausage on my trip came back. Was an immediate and intense craving a sign that I might be allergic to a food? 

Well, I ate the other one for lunch because it was there and cooked and it wasn't going to hurt me, right? Yeah, wrong. I should have listened to my body earlier. I ate the one for lunch and my stomach continued rumbling the rest of the afternoon. I also suddenly started thinking "who cares what I eat?" and thinking I could blow off this way of eating and dive into a vat of M&Ms. 

Also, despite having a pretty good day on my drive home from work I was CRANKY. Cranky and grouchy and pessimistic. Was this a sign I was reacting to a food or was I just having a bad day? How am I supposed to separate the two? I can't attribute every bad day I have to eating something wrong. So, how am I supposed to tell the difference? 

All that came to mind was that nothing really wrong had happened that day and I would normally categorize it as a pleasant day except that I seemed to be irritated very easily and wanted to punch people in the face for simply existing. Yeah, that attitude seemed a little out of place for the circumstances. 

Then this morning my eyes have been itchy, I'm swollen from retaining water and I still haven't lost my nasty little attitude. So, I'm concluding from the various data presented to me that I am allergic to something from that chicken apple sausage. Would you agree? 

My reaction includes:
  • Immediate cravings that are rather intense
  • Stomach rumbly and achy
  • Serious cranky attitude
  • Eyes itchy, and plugged up nose
It seems I am becoming a bit more sensitive to how I react to food now that I am not eating food I am allergic to every day. And this reaction reminds me exactly why I don't like to feel this way. It STINKS. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Nia Vardalos Loses 40 lbs. When She Stops Eating Cheese

I read this article the other day with Nia Vardalos where she talks about losing weight. She has recently lost 40 pounds and said that eliminating cheese from her diet changed her life. 

I wonder if Ms. Vardalos might possibly be allergic to said food item? 

She just might. She acknowledged that she did several other things as well to lose the weight but  that eliminating cheese was the thing that turned it all around for her. That's my kind of turn around. 

That's how I've felt about eliminating wheat, dairy and sugar from my food life. It seems like things are turning around as a result. Meaning my life feels and seems 180 degrees different than it did just a few months ago. I LOVE IT! I love it, I love it, I love it. Can this be my life forever? This place where I feel good most of the time instead of feeling terrible most of the time? I like feeling good. I really, really like it. 

And if staying away from those food substances is going to make me feel this much better this much of the time? Well, let's just say that seems like a small price to pay for joy. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cravings: Do They Really Go Away?

I was coming home last night late and I was hungry. I had not stayed up on my eating particularly well that day and I knew I really should eat something when I got home. I had eaten lunch late too--at 5:00PM. So, I was appropriately hungry now at 9:30PM at night. 

My 5PM lunch had been a spinach salad with ground turkey, tomatoes, sliced almonds and some dairy-free ranch dressing I had made a few days before. It was a yummy salad. So as I was headed home and hungry, I was wondering what I could eat. And nothing sounded good. It seemed like a lot of work to cook the food. I was tired. It was late. What if I just went to bed without eating? I could eat tomorrow.

Excuse me? I could eat tomorrow?

What alien was inhabiting my body? I've wished most of my life that I could switch bodies with someone, anyone really, who didn't have my issues and who looked good on the outside no matter how messed up she was on the inside. I was willing to trade all of my external and internal dysfunction for her infinitely greater internal dysfunction as long as I could look gooooood in the process. Mostly, I wondered what it could possibly be like to live in a body where you could decide casually one evening that despite being hungry you didn't want to eat so you would wait until tomorrow. 

That woman had heard my particular cry and she must be inhabiting my body now because eating has never been a take-or-leave-it business for me. I've always taken it. Food is good. Food is necessary. Food is life blood. Food must be eaten. 

Yet, here I was casually contemplating not eating that night because it was too much trouble? I really must be living in an alternate universe. That or living out a very vivid nocturnal dream. 

Pinch. Owwwww!

Nope. This is me. Very much awake and alive. Not dreaming, yet contemplating not eating as if it was possibly something I could do without for the next ten hours. Something is very, very wrong with this picture. 

Or possibly, I was for the first time in recent memory living in a body that could progress through one day without consuming every calorically viable food substance within a 30 meter range of my presence. A truly life-changing miracle. 

For one day. One day, folks, I have walked this earth and not felt that constant, never-ending presence of hunger and need and lack of satiation. For one day, I could join the ranks of those who are not mindlessly hunting food with each and every breath they take. For one day, I didn't have to beat back cravings with blood and sweat and tears. For one day. 

What a day it was. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

State of My Feelings and My Workout

I've been home a week now from my vacation to see Amy. I'm just starting to feel like I can get back in the swing of things now. I've been a bit overloaded contemplating all that needs to be done and how I'm going to accomplish the tasks that lay in front of me for the next few months. 

Two things are uppermost in my mind: my health and my admission to graduate school. Both of these items are going to take extreme focus. Both of them need planning and daily work. Both of them are going to require sacrifice out of me. 

My health must come first. I think the main reason for this is that I can't pursue my educational goals unless my health is balanced and I have energy. I've tried in the past to do school and move forward but without energy and with brain fog, I just sputter and fall apart in the midst of my work. 

I don't want to fall apart when it comes to reaching my educational goals and in order for that to occur for me, I need all of my energy at my disposal. It has been a really, really, really long time since I have had this much energy and felt this good. I believe I felt this way through part of my mission. I haven't felt this good since then and my mission was over 10 years ago now. Before my mission, I did not feel good either. And past my teen years, I can't identify well enough how I felt. 

In other words, I'm feeling better than I think I've felt in nearly twenty years except for my mission. I also must admit that in 2004-2005 when I was losing weight on Provida's 6WBMO plan I was feeling pretty good too. Yet, not this good and I think it is directly linked to fat and carb intake. I was intaking more carbs in the form of oats, brown rice and red potatoes than I do now and I wasn't taking in any of the good fats like olive oil, avocados or raw nuts. The good fats seem to keep me humming along happily. They keep me smiling. 

So, now that I'm feeling so much better, I feel like it is possible for me to get into graduate school and lose weight. The problem is that I want to lose a LOT of weight. Which means that I need to continue eating well, up the amount of veggies I'm consuming, and significantly improve my exercise routine. Does that mean the gym? Does that mean weight lifting? Does that mean body sculpting? I don't know. I just know that I've got to make a plan and work the plan because my haphazard approach so far is not getting me too far. 

Finally, I wanted to mention a few things that are changing around Edenland lately. I've talked about how the month of April was pretty stressful for me. Now that I'm back from vacation though I'm getting into a new groove. The other day after my monthly weigh-in I was feeling a bit down. I was happy that I had dropped some weight for the month but I was really, really hoping to drop more than just a few pounds and I was realizing that I needed to put more effort in especially when it comes to exercise if I want more results. 

Well, then a few things happened that reminded me that I am progressing in the weight loss area. First, I was sitting in class the other day and I was resting my jaw in my hands. I've always carried weight in my face and neck. My weight always shows up there. Well, as I rested my face in hands I realized that I could feel my jawline more than I have before--meaning my face and neck have lost weight. My jaw was poking through the skin more profoundly than before and I didn't have to hunt for it as carefully as I have before. I was so excited to realize this. It seems sometimes that I lose weight last in my face so to feel such a difference all of a sudden was thrilling. 

The second difference I've noticed just in the last few days is my new pants are loose. I bought two pair of pants last month for work because my other pants were falling off of me. For the first two weeks after I bought the new pants, they felt a bit snug. I would wear them all day and then near the end of the work day, I would have to unzip them and breathe deeply for a half an hour. Well, in the last week that has changed. My pants even feel a bit loose. They fit me perfectly just a week ago and now they don't. Isn't that funny how quickly our bodies can change? 

Finally the last change in Edenland recently: comments. I've written before about some of my issues with comments when it comes to my weight. My family has been very kind and has not said much of anything to me about my weight--for which I am very grateful. Unlike last time I lost weight, this time I do not want undue attention. Or at least I realize that I quickly turn into an attention hog and I start sucking up compliments like they are water. I don't want that kind of attention or focus again. 

Just because I'm not looking for it though doesn't mean I'm not grateful to hear it. I had been gone a week and had not seen my neighbor for a couple of weeks and when I ran into her yesterday she didn't say anything to me about how I had changed because we were in mixed company. But this morning she called me and went on and on about how thin I was getting and how great I looked. I told her I felt great and I hoped that was showing through. She seemed to think that it was. It was nice to hear. Nice to hear that someone notices. I notice changes but I can't tell you if I look any different. So, to hear that do is encouraging especially because I don't feel like I'm in a race and I don't feel deprived. 

I still have a long, long, long way to go. I suspect though that if I work hard at the exercise routine this summer and continue eating well that I may just have a chance to get about halfway through the number of pounds I would like to lose. Wouldn't that be a treasure? 

Friday, May 1, 2009

Beginning Month Five of the Allergy-Free Diet

The first two months on this eating plan, I didn't exercise a whole lot and I lost about 10 pounds each month. So, in March the goal was to up the exercise and really come out on top. And while the exercise improved, I still was not spectacular at the exercise. Too much else seemed to be going on in my life. But overall I was REALLY feeling better and I lost another ten pounds. So, I figured the month of April was really my chance. I was going to exercise like a demon and really push it this month and come out on top. Then finals happened and stress galore for me, then my trip to MA and little exercise and suddenly April is over and I'm not sure I've even lost a single pound this entire month. 


So, what to do, what to do? 

Well, here is where I am at right now. I'm thinking I weigh about 305 pounds, which is status quo for the month. I have dropped another inch from my waist so I'm 47 inches--which is great. I feel like a lot of changes are happening in my body. My face looks different and my clothes fit me much differently. All of that is AWESOME. And no, I'm not going to hyperventilate about the pounds. Not going to do that at all. 

What I do want to work on are these things: 
  • Eating more vegetables at each and every meal
  • Exercising six days a week
  • Planning fun, frolicy exercise for each Saturday of the next four months (like hiking or kayaking or rollerblading or biking)
  • Set my goal to climb to the top of Timpanogos at the end of August
I think if I can do those things I will be helping my weight goal immensely. I want my body to be strong and powerful and I think it will if I remember some of these things. 

Amy and I had a great conversation about health and weight while I was out there and I loved some of her suggestions. She suggested
  1. That I have an exercise goal for the end of the summer. Something that I can look forward to like run a 5K (or hike to the top of Timp) and I love that idea because it gives a focus and purpose to my exercise
  2. She suggested that when September rolls around I enroll in some classes like dance classes or yoga classes or Pilate classes. Yet another idea I totally love because it had been rolling around in my head for a while too. 
  3. Then she suggested that with my food I become really aware of increasing the amount of vegetables that I was eating each day and at each meal. Amy is really aware of balancing the amount of cooked food with fresh food and she is also really aware of color in each meal and it always looking for those dark greens and deep reds to include in each meal. I liked that too. 
I know that it is muy importante that I focus on more than just a weight goal. I've got a lot of improvements to make in the exercise arena of my life and I'm okay with that. The eating needs a few tweaks too like more vegetables, less reliance on my "special sauce" and making sure that I am eating regularly and not going more than 3 or 4 hours without food. What I'm hoping is that I can make great goals for exercise and eating well and the weight will just come off as a result. I don't want to overthink the pounds. I just want them to be part of this package of gaining better health and not the centerpiece of it. 

I am feeling happy about the eating for the most part though. Amy said something to me on my trip about my eating and how I seemed so okay with eating the way I am on this allergy-free diet. I realized that yes, for the moment, I'm not all tied in knots about what I'm eating and that is nice because embarking on this allergy-free diet, I was worried and concerned whether I could do it and what that would mean and how I would adjust. I still have a lot of adjusting and growing to do but I have found that I'm happier, calmer and full of more energy and right now those things matter more to me. Plus, I'm not suffering in the taste or the great food department so I don't really feel like I have much to complain about. I'm just really, really spectacularly thrilled to be feeling better. 

So, for month five and six and seven and eight, I have some pretty lofty goals. I'd like to tweak my eating as I mentioned and really up the quotient factor on my exercise and set some inspiring goals for my fitness. I'd like to move like CRAZY this summer and really build a strong, powerful, awesome body. And I would love to lose about 80-90 pounds in that process.

Is that crazy? Is it possible? Can I do it? 

My other very strong goal is to get ready to apply for the MFT program next winter. That means a big load of classes this summer and taking the GRE. So, my life is really health, school and work. Of course the other parts of my life include my writing, my friends, my family and church. All of those things take time too. 

The question is can I keep health as a priority and make my goals become a reality?   


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