Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Telling it like it is

Sometimes I need to post something that is not a review or a recipe, but about me and my personal struggle as a result of having celiac. Because this was definitely not something I would have had an issue with two years ago:

As I was looking in the mirror today, I am thinking...where the *%#@ did that come from???!!!! And when I say that, I am referring the part of my body that is my a$$. We don't have a very good full-length mirror in our house except for a very narrow cheap one we bought years ago at Lowe's for like $10. So, I am looking in the mirror while I have my jeans on and a sports bra and it is not pretty, and am a$$ cannot possibly be that big, how did that happen?

I always thought that if one was gaining weight one would know it and be able to stop it. Ok, well, I didn't know about that increasing mass of my butt! Seriously, have I been in denial or thinking it looked nice, or what??!! It looks like I spend way too much time sitting, which I probably do.

The icing on the cake (like I really need icing or cake at this point) is when I tried on a dress to wear for the Spring Flours Annual Benefit hosted by the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center this Friday. I have really been looking forward to this, and now I am dreading it, because I have nothing to wear! The dress I assumed I would wear and never even imagined wouldn't fit me....doesn't FIT me! I wore it exactly a year ago, almost to the day, and it was too big at that time! I just want to bury my head in the corner. So what I am going to wear...I have no idea...maybe sweats and big ol' fleece. Will they let me in with that? But that is the least of my worries...I need to get this sh*t off!

And this was after a morning of Zumba and an hour gym workout. I am on my third month of going to Zumba twice a week, and I try to get to the gym 3 times a week, but it has been more like 2, so I can see I need to step that up to like 4. Add to that a 4-mile walk 3-4 times a week....I would have thought I would see some improvement by now....but nil, nul, nein, nada, zilch! How many pounds have come off???? ZERO!! Gosh, maybe that is an accomplishment in itself...maintaining your weight while adding in these extra efforts, but I don't want that prize!

I had the tests done...I know it is not my thyroid, not an issue with insulin, not an issue with my hormones....basically I am making bad food choices, and probably not getting enough sleep.

I always think to myself, I am a healthy eater. I eat fresh veg and/or fruit at every meal, I cook from scratch, I rarely eat candy (save for the occasional Swedish Fish), I have not had a soda in at least 10 years, and I drink maybe one alcoholic drink a month if I am lucky. I am trying to start paying closer attention to calories and what it is that I am eating that is the problem, and I think I have it pinpointed....carbs and sugar in way too many gluten-free substitutes.

First, I love rice...if I was given one last meal, it would be a creamy, warm risotto, heck actually my favorite quick comfort food at home is a bowl of rice (and hey, I often use I get points?) with some butter and parmesan cheese and I am in heaven. I could eat that But I don't, and I probably haven't had it in months.

Besides rice, I know I am eating way too many carbs in general and this is a problem. I feel like I have had to prove to myself and everyone I know that gluten-free baked goods (breads, cookies, brownies, cakes, etc...) takes just as good if not better than gluten-filled items. And sure, I may have proved it, but I also gained about 20 pounds in the process, and that is not worth it.

It doesn't help that I write articles reviewing gluten-free foods, because most of those cake mixes, breads, muffins, bagels, and are wonderful and I am so grateful to receive samples to taste, but it is definitely not helping me physically. Last week, I received some samples and I had such restraint, I took a couple bites of each item, and then put them in the freezer or took them out when I had friends over.

If there are a plate of brownies sitting the kitchen...I will eat them. Four brownies for breakfast...sure, sounds good to me! 2pm and I am bored walking through the kitchen...grab one.....walk back the other direction, grab another...and before I know it...I have inhaled over a years worth of calories!

So in trying to control my intake of carbs I am thinking I need more protein to fill me up and not feel the need to snack endlessly, I thought about putting some meat in my diet. This is a huge step for me. And I always seem to crave it when it is that time of the month. It is so difficult for me to eat meat without thinking about it over and over again, and then by that time I am convinced I can't do it. But, I found myself at Whole Foods over the weekend and thought..if I am going to buy meat, this is where I should buy it. So I bought some 'happy' pork and I make grilled pork tacos last night, and WOW, it was yummy. Not to mention, I have never seen Z eat so much at dinner! I also grilled veggies which is usually how we have our tacos with a side of rice that I steam with lime and cilantro and homemade cuban black beans. M didn't touch the meat, but Z and I enjoyed it, and true enough, I barely had any rice, because the meat was so filling. Maybe it was in my head, but it worked for that meal. Am I going to become a regular meat eater? No way. But I am indulge once a month.

And on a totally separate note, Z is increasingly wanting meat, and I am worried that if I don't provide her good quality meat at home, she is going to gorge herself on bad, fast-food meat when she is older. I mean, this is a girl that when we go to a friends house and they are serving meat, she is like a little crack addict begging for more. This from a girl who lives on air most of the time.

I apologize for the stream of consciousness here, so back to weight loss...I feel like I am fighting a battle I cannot win, like I am going to have to starve myself. But of course now when I go too long without eating, I start getting shaky and irritable and then I want to eat everything in sight.

I know I also need to eat earlier (we used to eat dinner as late as 9:30), tonight we ate at 6:30, and get more sleep. I think right now I average 7 1/2 hours sleep a night, I need more. And no dessert! When I feel hungry at 10pm I am going to have a cup of chamomile tea with no sugar and forgo the Coconut Bliss ice cream that I love so much.

I have 5 months until I am a bridesmaid...I remember when I started going to the gym and I had 8 months...but 3 months went by and nothing happened, I cannot have that happen in the next 5 months. It makes me so unhappy I don't even want to see people, and have people see me look like I look now. And to think I thought that last year when that dress was big that I needed to loose weight, so this really has me feeling down. I am hoping that by writing this will give me more motivation and will power against food.

Back to being hungry.

ps - It doesn't help that parsnips have been my new favorite vegetable. I have been making parsnip fries, mashed parsnips, and adding them to stews only to find out on the glycemic index they are like 98! I would have been better off just making regular mashed potatoes and fries...ugh or having a spoonful of sugar. Good thing I like sweet potatoes and broccoli.


  1. awwwww......((hugs)! it sounds like a very trying season in your life right now.
    don't get overwhelmed, though, because this too shall pass, right?! :D
    On the positive side, it sounds like you know why you've gained the weight, so now you can counteract that.
    Do not starve yourself or go hungry! Eat parnsips. Parsnips will not derail your weight loss goal. Even Swedish Fish will not derail your weight loss.
    What derails weight loss is eating more calories than our bodies need.
    I'd say figure out how much your body needs and go from there. Fill those calories with all the good whole healthy fresh foods you want, even some Swedish Fish! ;)
    If you have the eating under control you won't need to exercsie AS MUCH. I love exercising, but once I realized that if I ate "cleaner", I wouldn't need to exercise so much, the exercise was more enjoyable.
    Workout "smarter," not harder, I say. And the way to do that is by not eating more than my body needs!
    I know you didn't ask for my advice, but it's something to ponder.
    I too struggle with the occassional "how did my *insert body part* get so big!" LOL!
    Then, I clean up the diet, and exercise smart and it all complements each other.
    BTW-I have a daughter who is a hardcore carnivore too!
    One night at dinner she was crying, literally, "I want to eat meat!!!!!" Oh my. Thank God for free range, organic, vegetarian fed meat!
    Hope you get everything worked out!! :)

  2. OMG, I totally hear you! Glad to know it's not just me, thank you for sharing!

    I guarantee it is the gluten-free goodies. I stopped eating/reviewing GF products for 3 weeks now, cut down on the amazing risotto (made w/white wine, chix broth & fresh parm, yum...) and have lost 10 pounds. For me, increasing the exercise didn't help until I changed my diet =( too bad, it's all so delicious!

    good luck in your journey!

  3. I really appreciate your honesty in this posting. I get so angry when celebrities and others go gluten-free to lose weight. It really isn't a weight loss solution, it is just them jumping on the trendy bandwagon.

    In this day and age, we have a much bigger selection of gluten-free carbs than ever before. I think those of us with Celiac get so excited to try these new products that we overeat just because we can. I can relate to your brownie comment. When the gf Betty Crocker mixes came out, I binged on them every time I made them. Did I really need to eat a half of a cake? No, but it was easy to make and tasted damn good!

    It sounds like you have pinpointed that cutting back on carbs and sugar will work for you and I wish you luck!

  4. Anne - I totally feel your pain. We went to the beach last week and I realized a few months back that I really needed to drop several pounds before donning a swimsuit. Well, I dropped about half as much as I wanted to before we left. I'm actually not far from my goal weight, but still, I've had to start sending food I review for work to the office with my husband. Who really needs to eat coconut custard (with gf crust) every day until it's gone? Not me - that's for sure. I too am working on cutting back on carbs and sugar. But with people sending me food weekly to review, it's kind of tough. Best of luck to both of us! And have a fab time at the event too! Go to Marshall's and buy a $30 dress. You might be surprised at the selection there.

  5. I'm in the same exact boat, sister! When I found out I had celiac forever ago when there were barely any GF options, I lost sooo much weight. Then as the GF cookies, cakes, etc. started rolling out, so did my gut.

    I joined Weight Watchers last August and while everyone would lose week after week, I was at a bearly losing anything. I worked out like mad (I was training for a half marathon at the time), stuck to my allowed points, and still barely a difference. My leader looked over my food log and found out I wasn't eating enough protein (and REAL protein, not those powdery drinks). I started to really pack in the protein and the next week I was down 6 pounds.

    I was on a good rhythm and lost a lot until an injury when I stopped running and the only workouts I was listing cupcakes to my mouth. :(

    Boo...I have a wedding in July in Vegas where it'll be so hot I'll have to be practically naked. Up for a challenge? (starting Saturday of course!)

  6. Betsy..definitely...can we have tomorrow night be our "day off" because I know I am heading straight to Swirlz cupcakes :) But I will starve until I get there :P

    Kidding, but tomorrow night will be difficult, and I am sure my calories will be way up. And yes, I do want a Swirlz cupcake.

  7. I'm having like 4 Swirlz cupcakes. You know it's bad when you're driving to the nearest Whole Foods to get their cupcakes!

    Also I may or may not want to tell you I bought Cupcake Pebbles cereal yesterday (not confirmed gf, but I've never had a problem with Post pebbles cereals) AND Edy's Take the Cake Ice cream with Magic Shell cupcake flavor. I seriously have a cupcake addiction! Where's the nearest 12 step program for that?!