Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shopping for Summer Clothes

I went out shopping tonight for summer clothes. I had a specific plan: 1 black pair of capris and three shirts. I needed at least those minimum clothes to get through a family trip to California this weekend.

My current clothing situation is pitiful. I do have two pair of pants for work that are okay and I have a couple of shirts. Everything else is too big. Just like wearing clothes that are too small, wearing clothes that are too big is uncomfortable. I'm constantly adjusting clothes and feeling less than my best. I went shopping a month ago and came away with one shirt. That one shirt at least made me feel better but truly the situation has gotten desperate again. I knew that I would be uncomfortable on this trip unless I had some clothes that were appropriately summery and fit well.

So, in my typical fashion, I left it all to the last minute. I had about an hour and a half to accomplish my purchase of three shirts and a pair of capris. First, I went to one side of town and hit a department store that I like. I could see like the last time that I was there that it was likely going to be slim pickings for me. I guess this assessment made me brave. I had to try anything that looked even reasonable.

I approached a rack of clothes that had tan and black capris. The largest size was a 20. I really have no idea what size I am right now but I didn't believe it was anywhere near a 20. But with a load of gall and bit of arrogance I picked up the size 20. It couldn't hurt to try, right? At least it would give me a benchmark to assess my current size. I grabbed another pair of pants in a size 20 and then found some capris in size 24 and a few shirts. All of these I took to the dressing room and proceeded to try on.

The size 24 capris fit fine and were a bit roomy. Okay, that was positive. One of the shirts was a possibility. Then I reached for the other black capris. I put these on and as I slid them up and over my hips I thought "You have a lot of gall to try this size, girlie. Like they would ever fit."

Shock and awe when they did. They fit! My word, was I reading the label correctly? Was I actually wearing a size 20? Was it possible that I wasn't completely insane to have picked them up off the rack? Was this really happening to me?

I took off the black capris and tried on the size 20 blue slacks. Again, success! Again, I was fitting into a pair of pants that just moments ago I was mocking myself for even pulling off the rack. I could not believe it.

Of course, the rationalization started after that. This was a department store and I bet the sizes ran a bit large. It was likely a rather big fluke that I was fitting into a size 20. These particular pants were probably just cut generously. Who was I kidding to believe that I might actually be wearing a size 20?

But time was running out. So, after trying on a few more things, I raced up to the cash register and paid for the black size 20 capris and a shirt. Total purchase? $79. (Those capris were $45!) Then I headed to the other side of town to the other mall. I had about a half an hour and I was hoping to find at least one or two other shirts.

I hit the other "fat" store that I have frequented throughout my years of obesity and I realized with distinct sense of distaste that I just hated their clothes for the most part. They are cheaply cut, cheaply made and often too wild for my sense of style. Fortunately, I found a store right next door that was newer that I had not noticed before and also sold up to size 24. I raced through that store and tried on a few shirts and left without a purchase. Then I remembered the department store just a few doors down had a section that held promise for me a few months ago. This is the section of most department stores that they call the "Woman's" section and they run sizes 14-24. Like anyone in the store who doesn't wear a size 14-24 is not a woman?

I had fifteen minutes left and I still needed a shirt. I raced through the department store and found a few possibilities as well as another pair of dark brown capris. I quickly tried everything on and decided hastily on the capris. If I raced back to the newer store before they closed, I could buy a shirt that I halfway liked to go with the capris. Total cost of capris? $25.

I made it to the newer store with just three minutes to spare before closing. I tried on the shirt that I halfway liked and realized that what I didn't like about it was the sleeve length. Fortunately the saleswoman found another option with longer sleeves (my upper arms are one of the areas that needs the most camouflage) and I again quickly decided on two shirts in that style. Total cost for two shirts? $25.

In less than an hour and a half I had hit four stores, spent $130, and came away with three shirts and two pair of capris.

I was going to be well-attired for my little jaunt down to southern California. And I at least had made a dent in a realistic summer wardrobe for myself.

In the last store, I put on the dark brown capris I had purchased and just left them on. Then I ran to the grocery store. The shirt that I had been wearing that day was two to three sizes too large for me and after my successful shopping trip, I just couldn't stand to wear it any longer. So, when I parked at the grocery store, I hopped into the back seat (tinted windows there) and pulled out one of my new shirts and changed. Then I nearly skipped out of the car feeling cute and summery and smaller than I have felt in a long, long time.

It certainly made grocery shopping a perky experience.

All in all a great night. One that has left me feeling very grateful. Despite what I perceive as the slowness of this weight loss an experience like that reminds me that my body is responding enthusiastically to the six-month long change.

And I grow more and more grateful for that evidence each and every day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Body Report: Recent Changes

The weight loss is going much, much slower than I expected. I chalk this up to three things:

1. Not eating regularly--especially waiting to eat breakfast and then postponing lunch and finally consuming most of my calories after work.
2. Lack of exercise: I do now have a gym membership but my stress level has been pretty high for a while and I have not been getting to the gym regularly. Or even walking outside. Or doing Pilates or yoga in my house. The exercise thing has REALLY got to change. 
3. My stress level: With school and work and many issues that those have brought up, I've been feeling overwhelmed. And I don't do overwhelmed really well. My coping mechanism is then to avoid, avoid, avoid. So, I'm not doing so well with handling the stress of it all. 

So, I have not lost any weight in the last few weeks. And now it is the week before my period (sorry if that is TMI) and I often hold on to or gain weight the week before it and then the week after I suddenly drop a bunch of weight. Seriously, that is the week that my weight loss for the month usually comes in. 

Yet despite the slow weight loss, I know things are changing in the body department. 

Pants are looser: I put on a pair of pants the other day and they were loose and starting to fall off my hips. I bought these pants just a couple of months ago and they were tight when I bought them. It was only a month or so ago that they started to feel really comfortable. Well, they have suddenly passed comfortable and they are now loose. Loose enough that if I put my hands in my pockets I can pull them down off my hips if I'm not careful. 

The clothes department in general needs a lot of help. I'm wearing clothes most days that are far too big for me and I feel uncomfortable in most of my wardrobe because of that. I'm always having to hike up something here or adjust something there because they don't fit properly. I've taken to safety pinning a few of my skirts so I can get a little more play out of them. And I have gone shopping a couple of times but I can't seem to find a lot of clothes at the moment. I will have to keep going though because really it isn't fun to get dressed in the morning when you feel uncomfortable at the starting gate. 

Waist measurement changes: I lost another inch on my waist. I can usually sense this when I wake up in the morning. This morning was one of those mornings. I could just tell that things were different so I pulled out the measuring tape and what would you know? Another inch. That feels good.

Standing, lifting, turning, moving: I was in traffic the other and at one point I had to turn to look behind me at a rather awkward angle as I was merging into traffic and I turned my head and body back to look and I felt strong and flexible. I suddenly realized that I move with so much more ease than I did a few months ago. Gaining and losing weight is often a process of minutia. When you gain weight your body slowly loses different kinds of movements and degrees of movement. You don't notice a whole lot until you suddenly can't do something like you used to. You adapt and adjust to the lack of movement or the new force and effort it takes to do something you once did with ease. 

It is the same with losing weight. You are constantly accessing a new normal when it comes to movement and just like going up the scale you forget rather quickly what it was like "before" as your body quickly adapts to its increased range of motion and movement. I do things now like bend over when I'm sitting in a chair and pick something up off the ground. That used to never happen. If I dropped something on the ground it had to stay there until I had the energy to stand up and bend over and pick it up. 

Now, I squat down to look at prices of food on the bottom shelf at the grocery store. I pick up and lift things with more ease. I climb stairs without getting winded. I actually climb stairs instead of taking the elevator. 

Standing is also different. When I'm heavy, I'm always noticing my feet. They are a constant source of pain. Every step makes you feel like you want to sit down. Standing for long periods of time is out of the question. Yet, now I'm standing for longer and longer periods of time and not noticing my feet. I'm walking further and further. I'm simply more active. 

So, yes, the body is changing. 

The only other thing to mention on the body report is what I've been moaning about on here for a few weeks. HUNGER. I am hungry, hungry, hungry, hungry on a nearly constant basis lately. I'm also not doing a great job of cooking interesting and exciting meals. So, I know the two are combined. I'm existing on a lot of salmon, turkey burgers, roasted veggies, apples, almonds and coconut milk smoothies. The food has got to get interesting again. 

I'm sure part of my hunger issue comes from my heightened stress level and how poorly I've been handling it. I have no doubt that plays a role in my sometimes out of control hunger. And also the fact that I'm not feeding myself regularly because of my stress level. It is all combining into a symphony of nonstop hunger pangs. 

Yet besides the hunger and the slow weight loss, I still feel like things are progressing and moving right along. Now, if I can just get them to move along a little bit faster. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


My hunger is a sharp thing. It sits in the pit of my stomach, at the back of my mind, in the tense light of each of my waking hours. Relentless, unbidden, persisting. Ever present.

I try to assuage its pangs with food. I feed the sharpness, I cool the hot thirst, I stop and acknowledge its presence.

My hunger does not leave.

It rakes my belly most days through the ticking of the clock and the white heat of a shining day. It accompanies me into the dark hours of night and snakes its way from the soft folds of my center up through my chest, behind my eyes, throughout my brain.




My muscles tense, my head aches, I seek comfort and solace away from this growling burden, this constant pull inside of me. I push it away hoping it will disappear.

It does not.

It slices neatly through my meager defenses, assaulting me through the thrum of my heart with words that batter me.

I am so hungry.

I am so hungry.

I am so hungry.

I must spend time, hours, days attending to its pressing need, its near-stifling presence, its overwhelming load.

Feed me. I am so hungry.

In morning, its sharpness is muted, softer in its approach. Exhausted from its pursuit, I unwisely ignore its gentle reminders and benign probings, glad for a break as I throw it a morsel here or a drink there. It roars to life again within hours rearing its tyrannical head as my day progresses, beating every other thought out of my consciousness.

I succumb to its violence, its heat, its oppression. I seek to soothe, to calm, to comfort through taste, texture, smells and colors. Sometimes it abates allowing these things to sate its appetite. Allowing me some peace and solace from its clawing, voracious need.

Those are the days I breathe with joy.

Other days I cannot contain it, approach it or help it.

Those are the days it seems my hunger may end up eating me.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Now we know that chronic inflammation, caused primarily by exposure to incompatible foods, is at the root of metabolic problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. The immune system chemicals block insulin receptors; so, guess what happens to the sugars we eat? They get stored as fat. Cut the inflammation, cut the fat storage," said Roger Deutsch, co-author of the excellent book, "Your Hidden Food Allergies Are Making You Fat." 

Saturday, June 13, 2009

How to Help an Eleven-Year-Old Girl with Weight Issues: Part I

At church the other day, I saw a two little girls sitting near each other who were both chubby. They both looked to be about 11 to 12 years old. They both had skinny siblings surrounding them. They both were facing years of struggle that I so wanted to take from them. I know that isn't the best parenting technique--children need to struggle and grow from their challenges. I just so wished that I could reach out and teach each of them and their families a few things so maybe, just maybe, these girls didn't have to struggle quite so much. 

I remember being eleven years old and chubby. I remember wishing desperately that this wasn't my challenge. Over the years, I've thought often about what I would do if I was the mother of preteen chubby girl. How would I help her? What would I do? What would I make sure I did NOT do?

I'm not sure that I know much about this topic but I certainly have a few ideas. I certainly have some experience living this reality but sometimes it almost makes me more shy about offering my opinion because I know how royally screwed up you can become from people interfering in the wrong way. 

Yet, I can't deny that I just wished I could help in some way. With what I know today, here's where I would begin when talking to each girl's mom and dad about what changes need to occur.

Family Eating: The first thing that must change is how the ENTIRE family is eating. If you want to guarantee failure in helping your daughter then single her out, tell her she has to eat differently, and then proceed to make "special" meals for her. Your girl will turn into an emotional secret eater with that kind of encouragement. Eating will become more powerful and more dangerous for her because now food will be her only solace as everyone gangs up on her and her "issue." Not the way to go, my friends. 

What needs to take place instead is a complete and utter overhaul of family meals as well as the pantry and refrigerator. Look to someone like Dr. Oz for inspiration. Remove all fake food from your house. Get rid of packaged products. Remove everything with high-fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oil and white flour. That means out goes most of the cereal, all of the soda, and all those boxes of crackers and cookies that are taking up space in the pantry. You must return to real food, whole foods, pure foods. If your 11-year-old daughter is gaining weight like crazy then likely she is having severe hormonal issues as well as blood sugar problems as well as endocrine problems. Fake food, chemicals, additives and pure junk food is only exacerbating the problem--as well as her emotional state. 

Then family meals need to change as well. They need to primarily feature vegetables, whole grains and lean meats and good fats. Foods that are whole, sustaining, and fresh. If the food has been through any kind of processing then it is suspect. Yes, that means things like pasta and cereal and even breads. If the food hasn't been processed by your own hand then it shouldn't be at the dinner table. So, get cooking Mom and Dad. 

Food Allergies and Food Sensitivities: Get her tested for food allergies and food sensitivities. Go to a doctor with medical and alternative health training and ask for an IgG food sensitivity test. This will help pinpoint the foods that are causing your daughter's body to react. Read some information from Dr. Hyman on this topic. Once you've barred high-fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, and white flour from the house, the next main three culprits are likely dairy, wheat and corn. All three are highly processed and the most common allergens in our food system. Cut them out next. At least for two month to three months. Watch all of your children react to food that is real, whole and full of excellent nutrients. See what behavior problems, emotional issues, and attention disorders disappear from your home. 

Set an Example as a Parent by Actually NOT Eating Junk Food: This is where the rubber hits the roads in most families. Mom and Dad this is your family. You set it up, you buy the food, you set the example. If either of you are eating terrible food then you can guarantee that your child is going to eat it too. This can't just be mom's crusade for health or dad's push for family wellness, this has to be both parents eating good, whole foods that are nourishing and healthy and very, very yummy. 

If mommy has a secret candy stash or a daily Diet Coke habit, I can guarantee that every child knows about it. Those children will be craving sugar and treats and soda pop as well. They will soon develop their own secret candy stash or daily soda habit as well. But if mommy has rid herself of her own food cravings and is making a fruit smoothie every morning and eating a veggie omelette, then suddenly the kids will start wanting smoothies and eggs themselves. 

If daddy relishes eating vegetables every night at the dinner table then the children are going to pick up on that and start relishing vegetables too. But if daddy's plate mainly features meat and bread and he turns up his nose as the veggies are passed around then all the kiddies are going to follow right along and turn up their noses as well. Food, really, really good food will not make much progress in your household unless mom and dad learn how to welcome it whole-heartedly. 

So, Mom and Dad get eating and cooking food that is palatable, delicious and nourishing. 

That is all for now, folks. Take a minute to digest that information. I will share more ideas soon. 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Peeling the Onion: I Haven't Been Self-Medicating with Food

Great. Now that I've announced that I haven't been self-medicating with food, I may just go on a wild binge soon and start self-medicating with food. I just like to clear the air beforehand because in no way do I want it to appear like I've actually learned how to control myself. That is a complete and utter fantasy. 

Let me begin at the beginning though. In the past month I've had two highly anxious, kind-of-dark weeks. Meaning I was panic stricken about some work and school responsibilities and I spent a couple of days holed up in my jammies watching nonsensical movies to ease my troubled mind. My typical modus operandi has been in the past to eat my way through such a week. To eat and eat and eat and eat and then eat some more to distract myself from the pain and dark misery that I'm experiencing.

Then I went on the allergy-elimination diet and my dark weeks turned into semi-troubling and painful kind of weeks where I still wanted my jammies and movies but no longer was their misery and pain and intense darkness because there was no fallout from my out-of-control bingeing.

Cue a complete and utter miracle in my life. 

Yes, I still have bad days and bad weeks and no, things are not always hunky dory in my life, but my miserable weeks just don't seem to produce the high emotion and spectacular drama of misery that I used to be able to wrangle out of them. 

I think I was a bit shocked this last time that I wasn't bingeing. I was surviving on the grapes and rice cakes and almond butter. And I was getting hungry one day and didn't want to cook and thought "Who cares? I'm just going to go buy whatever I want and eat it." Which got modified to "Well, at least if I'm going to buy something, I want it to be pretty spectacular food because if I have to feel miserable for two or three days after that food I want it to be really, really good." Which got modified to "Well, if I really want to eat something spectacular that isn't made out of factory-farmed, antibiotic-laced beef, I should just make it myself from grass-fed beef. Those taste better anyway," which moved me to "Well, if I'm going to all the trouble to make this burger than I'm going to go whole hog and do it up right with fresh guacamole, nitrate-free bacon, sauteed onions and mushrooms and almond cheese," which brought me right back to the fact that making it myself was likely going to taste better and I would be happier with the end result than going out and buying a greasy burger and trans-fat full fries. 

Which meant I wasn't going out to buy food. Which nixed the bingeing in the bud. 

I have plenty of options at home if I want really good food: coconut milk smoothies, spinach turkey burgers, almond butter brownies, almond chocolate chip cookies, roasted potatoes, fried onions, salmon with avocado slices and the list goes on. I've already vetted every ingredient in those meals and know exactly what I'm putting into my body. I don't have to wonder if the guacamole has a gluten filler or if the sauce has high-fructose corn syrup or if the potatoes were deep fried. I don't have to pull cheese off the burger or wipe away the bbq sauce that I asked them to hold and they forgot. I don't have to wish that for all of my effort and time I was eating something that actually tasted so amazingly good that it lit up all the cells in my body with good vibrations. 

Plus, when I do eat food that is full of sugar, dairy, corn and wheat and all kinds of other additives and chemicals, I get started on this pretty awful treadmill that is hard to get off. Those foods set off cravings in my brain that tend to overpower every other thought inside me and turn on powerful biological and chemical components in my body that make me want those foods over and over and over again all the while making me sick and unhappy and unhealthy. 

It is such a powerful cycle too that it is hard---very, very, very hard--for me to pull myself out of its vortex as I get brain fog, feel depressed and feel lethargic. Then nothing tastes good or sounds good or is good for me. Right now, it just isn't worth it. 

All of that logic and reasoning and suddenly I realized that I had talked myself out of bingeing. 

It doesn't mean that tomorrow I won't binge. It doesn't mean that I won't ever eat a greasy burger and fries from a local burger joint sometime soon. It doesn't mean that I have it all figured out. 

All this story is for me is about one time when I was stressed and overwhelmed and tired I didn't choose into my old behavior pattern because suddenly the cost of that behavior was much higher than the benefit. 

Really though even for that to happen one time for me is a miracle. So, I had to document its reality because I know that sometime in the future when I'm brain fogged and lethargic and full of cravings, this kind of stuff will help remind me why I'm choosing to live the way I'm living and why it really does matter after all. 

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Hunger Pangs as My Allergy-Free Life Continues

I've been hungry for the last week or so. Not always hungry, not constantly hungry, not famished either. Just hungry on a consistent, daily, never-ending basis.

Surprising, isn't it? I mean none of you have such an experience on a daily basis, right?

I think I'm at a bit of a crossroads or a learning curve in this whole gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, corn-free, oats-free, HCFS-free, partially hydrogenated oil-free lifestyle. I'm to the point where the romance of this whole journey is wearing off just a bit and I'm feeling the day-to-day reality that if I am hungry I must cook something. If I don't cook something, I don't eat. Simple, right?


You are talking to the former Queen of the Drive Thru. If it has been served through a window, I've likely eaten it. If it comes in a box, I've likely eaten that too. And if it contains flour or sugar, I've definitely consumed it at some point in my previous life.

Not so now.

Now, I have to cook breakfast. I have to cook lunch. I have to cook dinner. And if any snacks are to be had, I've got to make those too.

You see why almonds and apples are my favorite food friends? They are fast, convenient and packaged by nature and they take little or no effort from me to prepare.

The only thing is I can't seem to subsist on just apples and almonds all day. I need taste and texture and something yummy and juicy in my mouth at some point or the hunger pangs don't ever completely subside.

Last night that meant a roast chicken at 10:30PM. The day before that was grilled trout. Then a whole pan of roasted veggies. Tomorrow it will likely be a fresh fruit smoothie, then as many cherries as I can stand, then maybe some beans with onions and tomatoes topped with fresh guacamole. Everything made from scratch because that is the best way to go when you have a food sensitivity to nearly every packaged food in America.

Before I used to buy crackers and cookies and pasta and bread. I had no idea how much I really relied on foods that had been in some way pre-processed for me until I found that I could not eat most foods like that.

Here is what I buy that is processed or packaged now (not including oils and spices):

  • canned salmon and tuna

  • almond butter

  • organic brown rice cakes

  • juice-sweetened jam

  • raw nuts (I mean that I'm not cracking them out of their shells--that is pre-processed, yes?)

  • almond flour and coconut flour

  • Dagoba chocolate

  • canned beans

  • almond milk and coconut milk

Also, I buy organic popcorn and pecan nut crackers for the kiddie winks when they come to my house each weekend, but I can't eat either of those things.

Why am I telling you all of this? Really, just to highlight for myself what a big change has been brought about in my kitchen and in my life because I no longer eat things like

  • corn or flour tortillas

  • bread

  • bagels, French bread, English muffins

  • cereals of any kind

  • crackers or cookies or donuts or baked goods

  • cheese--glorious cheese, wonderful cheese (some days I really miss you)

  • corn chips or potato chips or even Barbara's Cheese Puffs--I used to have a clandestine appointment with those things each week in the car after my grocery shopping. As long as the entire bag was disposed of before I got home, I could pretend that I never actually consumed them.

I think I'm missing the convenience of having a food on hand that I could just pull out and eat without any thought towards preparation. Now, if I don't think about preparation then there usually isn't food. Meaning, I put off eating much more simply because food takes time to prepare and sometimes the hunger pangs can be pushed back and ignored for another half hour because of the effort involved in making food. I certainly think that anyone who wants to lose weight or improve their health should be reduced to little or no packaged food like me because it makes you consider carefully every food choice. If we all had to make nearly every morsel that went into our mouths we wouldn't be consuming so much junk for food. Most people likely wouldn't be consuming nearly as much food. It just takes time.

Even though I prepare most of the food that I eat from scratch, my weight loss hasn't gone at quite the clip I expected. I'm sure that is part of what has taken the bloom off this rose too.

So, what do you do?

Well, right now, I'm hungry, so I've got to go contemplate whether it is worth the effort or not to feed myself.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Go-To Food for the Very Hungry among Us

So, I was STARVING the other night--you know, the kind of hungry where you begin to believe that your innards are slowly metabolizing your entire body. My eating had been haphazard for a few days. I get into this particular cycle where it is just too darn much trouble to make something or eat something. It's like I believe in food fairies--these kind, loving, unseen friends who will perceive that I'm too busy to make anything or too busy to eat anything and they will suddenly appear out of the woodwork carrying delicious, scrumptious meals that tantalize my tastebuds and fill my hungry stomach. 

Just so you know, the food fairies have yet to show up. But in the fantasy land of my brain, when I'm in my "too-busy" cycle, I seem to believe that this time if I just get hungry enough one of them will show up and feed me 

chipotle grilled chicken and avocado salad with a lime ginger vinagrette 

juicy baked chicken drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a honey glaze

seared flank steak with red peppers, asparagus, sweet peas and yellow onion

almond chocolate cupcakes with a dark chocolate ganache

nourishing lentil soup with sweet potatoes and curry

Hmmmmm. Anybody hungry yet? 

Well, that night when I came home starving, no food fairies showed up. That meant I knew I had to make something in 10-15 minutes that was plain, earthy, fill-your-gut kind of food or I just might begin and all-night and all-out, I-will-eat-sugar-corn-dairy-wheat-or-die kind of nosh. 

This is what I made that night: Mom's ground turkey recipe from I also chopped up a sweet potato, some red potatoes, and a sweet onion and tossed them in olive oil and baked them. The ground turkey took about 15 minutes and the roasted veggies about 30 minutes. And then I proceeded to do such a serious nosh that I ate EVERY LAST BITE of the turkey and the veggies. Yes, it took me about two hours but I ate it all. It was a great meal that filled up my very hungry tummy. 

This food is what I call peasant food. It is food that is fast, filling and fabulous. It is food that can be made over and over again. It is food that you can make out of the usual staples that you keep on hand all the time. 

It is good food. 

And I went to bed very full and very happy that night. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

Spotting the Cravings

Yesterday was Sunday dinner with the family. It was a good day and I was feeling good. In fact, as the day was winding down and I was getting ready to go home, I remember thinking "Wow, I feel good today. I haven't had the usual cravings that I experience when I am around a bunch of food that I can't eat and watching other people enjoy that food." 

I think that thought came too soon. At least I should have paid attention to it. 

One thing I have figured out about myself and cravings is that the moment I start to believe I have it all figured out is the exact moment that I'm headed off on another binge or crave indulgence. It's like I'm moving along quietly just doing my thing and trying to improve my life and all of a sudden a thought occurs to me like "Wow, I'm doing really well with holding off the cravings lately. That is awesome." 

That is the moment that all trouble breaks loose. 

The minute I become conscious of doing well with cravings or fighting off binges--that is the exact moment I become most vulnerable to them. 

It has taken a long and storied career of experience for me to figure this out. The exact moment I become proud of myself is the exact moment I am set up to take a nosedive. 

So, imagine after dinner on Sunday when I suddenly became conscious of my perceived "success" dealing with cravings that day is the exact moment I should have been on the lookout for a craving to hit me full force. 

I happened to be near the extra fridge in the house looking for something. When I opened the fridge I saw my mom's stash of juice in there. She buys the Dole juices like Pineapple Orange and Orange Peach Mango and I love them. 

But I'm supposed to stay away from oranges. For some reason I'm still having some food sensitivities with oranges and I knew this. But sometimes I like to flirt with the edge and that day I was in a flirting mood because come on! I was strong! I'd been doing such a great job with my cravings that day. I had been such a good girl. I deserved a treat. I deserved a little reward for staying away from all that other food on the table that day. Just a little swig of juice wasn't going to put me over the edge--even if it contained orange juice. 

So, I took a swig. And then another. And then a slight nip of the Orange Peach Mango juice as well. Just a taste. Just a slight indiscretion. Just a momentary flirtation with the food sensitivity line. 

And within minutes I was roaring with cravings. 

Shortly after my little indulgence, I began thinking of chocolate and cookies and candy and potato chips. Anything and everything. And the reality was that I wasn't even hungry! I was full from a great meal! Yet, that little nip of juice had incited a small riot in my body. One that I spent the rest of the night battling back from. Not because Pineapple Orange juice is bad--or really even chocolate cake or cookies--but because for some reason my body reacts so strongly to certain foods that it whacks out my whole emotional/biological system and one way I've begun to recognize those trigger foods is by the intense and overwhelming cravings that appear shortly after the consumption of said trigger food. 

It's like I'm finally starting to unlock the key to managing this whole genetic soup that I've been occupying for thirty years. 

All I can say is: Thank goodness. 

Drank orange pineapple juice and what it did for me. 


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