I’ve gained about 10 lbs since I left my job in February and this
distresses me. I’m trying to do some running again. I can only make it
to about 1.3 miles before I get winded and tired. I’ve never been
athletic so running is a significant challenge for me. I’ll be honest —
I run about 1-2 times a week for about 15-17 minutes. That’s almost
less than half the recommended time for exercise so I’m not doing a
good job. I like to think the 15 minutes is better than nothing but
when I step on the scale and see 155 lbs the next day instead of 153
from the day before, I get pretty upset.
Yes, I’ve heard it all before: I’m building muscle mass. Well,
that’s great but I’d like my belly to cooperate. I have about 15 pairs of
pants in my apartment and since I wear them at my waist, I can only fit comfortably in about five of
them. Even my sweatpants with elastic waists have become significantly uncomfortable. My MIL took some of my
pants in after I dropped about 15 lbs after leaving the hospital in late 2006. A year and a half later, I may ask her to take them back out. Talk about a depressing thought.
I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I grab my "love handles" (whatever you call those rolls of fat) several
times a day in disgust with myself. I still have not gotten used to the
fact that I am not the petite, skinny girl I always was until 2004, when I began taking
When it comes to my food diet:
- I definitely do not eat enough vegetables or fruit. I’m allergic to a lot of raw
fruit (ie, apples, pears, pineapples) and easily tire of eating spring
mix after 2 days. However, I can eat bananas, strawberries, and grapes
without a problem. I can eat oranges but they’re too messy and the
citrus taste gets old for me after the first bite or two.
- I enjoy hot vegetables: broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts, carrots,
etc. I do my best to limit corn because of its starchy content; I don’t
consider it a "healthy" vegetable.
- I love meat. I like poultry. I like chicken. I enjoy turkey. I’m a
sucker for well-done steak on occasion. Breaded chicken is my downfall
- Carbs are my HUGE downfall. As a child of West Indian immigrants, I
grew up on rice and beans and chicken that are the main staple of
Caribbean inhabitants. As a result, my body is trained to stay full on
I frequently read Shape and Self magazines that tell me to fill up on all the veggies I want, have some protein, and limit my carbs.
Well, here’s the problem for me: A huge salad with a nice amount of
protein and limited carbs equals hunger a half-hour to an hour later.
Should I decide to add garlic bread, biscuits, or mashed potatoes on
the side, I’m a full and happy camper.
Then, there’s the debate about not eating till you’re full. How does
anyone manage to get away with that? Even when I was on Effexor, I ate
until I was full (but that happened in less than five bites).
Limiting portions is tough. Growing up, I was always told to clean
everything off my plate because of the poor starving children in
Somalia. Now, it’s a habit I’m hard-pressed to break. I’m not even sure
whether the "finish your plate" mentality is something I should pass on
to my kids.
My biggest problem lies in sweets.
For the most part, I don’t eat chocolate. I grew up allergic to
chocolate and now I’m not a fan of the taste. I can get away with my
addiction to low-fat Betty Crocker brownies. (How that happened, I have
no clue.) Other than that, I avoid chocolate like the plague.
So I stick with my plain-jane addiction. Vanilla cupcakes. Cake batter ice cream. Apple pie. Strawberry and banana sundaes. Strawberry shortcake. Powdered
donuts. There’s more than enough alternatives
to chocolate in the world to satisfy my sweet tooth and penchant for
packing on pounds.
So my nutrition is OK until I hit carbs and sweets. Then I’m officially screwed There are some days when I’m very good. Most days I’m pretty
bad. I don’t know how to control my eating. I don’t "overeat." I eat
like a normal American.
I need to stop eating like a normal American.
In the meantime, off I go to indulge myself in biscuits from Cracker Barrel.