Glowing rewards!

My daughter and I did another 5K Fun Run two weeks ago. I was in the midst of still having pretty severe abdominal pain (If you missed those details.) so we did not finish the 5K. But I did dance for 2 hours with a 30 pound toddler on my shoulders before the run

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and about another hour after the run, and walk two miles round-trip from the parking lot to the run. So I don’t feel bad about it AT ALL.

I’m proud of myself. My kid is SO on board with fun runs– as long as they involve getting crazy messy. I suppose there’s a foam run in our future. I dunno if I’m jazzed about that.

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Anyway, we went, we danced, we glowed, we were tired.

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Much fun!

Obligatory Offspring Boasting

In an on-going effort to make positive changes in my life, I have been trying to remember who I was before a child. I’ve heard this from a lot of moms– dads may feel it too, I don’t know. Something happens when you have a small child that makes it really easy to lose your sense of self. And I did. I used to pursue writing, photography, reading, myself. I lost all of that when I had Millie. And it may sound sad if you have never had a child– and I suppose it is, but it’s natural. I think the love of your progeny just overtakes all other passions– it’s the best thing and the only thing. For a while. Eventually your child needs you a little less and in that open space you (I) realize that you don’t know what to do. I forgot how to make myself happy, in the least depressing way someone can say that, ha!

Anyway, that plus dieting made me remember photography. A few years ago I was SO in love with photography. In those days I had access to a dark room and only myself to worry about. Add a love of decaying architecture and abandoned places, and I had a hobby that kept me moving, hiking, walking, and exploring. I did a fair amount of trespassing and it was GLORIOUS. And exciting. And maybe dangerous. I never ran into any angry or murderous hobos, so it came out ok.

This brings us to now. My kid is big enough to accompany me on field trips (although I can’t trespass into dilapidated buildings because that’s dangerous and irresponsible and I don’t want to pay for tetanus shots right now) and is just old enough to have discovered vanity and love seeing pictures of herself. SO! We have been doing a lot of walking for photo shoots. It’s been a good non-exercise exercise as well as good for my creative juices and general artistic outlets. Please enjoy some silly pic-spam of my gorgeous child (biased) and some photos that worked and some concepts that didn’t (See: creepy geisha-esque photo, lol).

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She may be a bit obsessed with being a ballerina. I may be a bit obsessed with her.

EVEYONE’A YOU IS FIRED! EVERYONE’A YOU IS OH-OH-OH-OH!

I’ve been listening to a lot of Ben Folds lately. Because every day is a good day for Ben Folds.

You’re not fired, though. My doctor is. OH-OH-OH-OH FIIIIIRED!

Lemme just tell you why I’ve been MIA for a month. ALL OF THE B.S.!

In January, I decided it was time to stop being scared of what I would find out by going to the doctor, and just go. I hadn’t been to a regular PCP doctor in probably 10 years, with the exception of walk-in clinics for things like strep and sinus infections. I’m an ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away-er, a Boober-Fraggle-doomsday-er.

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I fear the worst so I don’t look. Well, this is stupid. So I started going. I was referred to a dr by a co-worker, and I began to see him fairly regularly.

I began to see that he was a terrible, terrible doctor.

He is a prescriber. In the past 7 months he prescribed me no fewer than 10 DAILY medications. My only diagnosed medical condition is anemia… for which he prescribed me nothing, HA. Oh, and his Dx of sleep apnea– though there has been no testing or evidence, except that I’m fat and agreed that I am tired (Um, anemic, single-career-mom of a 3 yr old. OF COURSE I’M TIRED.) So now my permanent medical records have his OPINION that I have a condition. Asshole.

I further began to see a pattern in our visits. In one visit he would chastise me for something, and tell me how to fix it. In the next visit, he would chastise me for doing whatever he previously told me to do, claim he never said that, and change his advise to the exact opposite. Let me give you an example.

March: “You are over weight. Lose weight. The faster the better.”

April: “I see you lost some weight. That’s fine, but you are losing it too quickly so you’re just going to gain it back, and more. Don’t lose weight too quickly.”

May: I say, I’ve been working hard to lose weight, he asks how. I say diet and exercise. IE moderately low calories and 300+ minutes/3-5 days a week. Dr: “Well, exercise is good, but you won’t lose weight that way.” –I understand that what he was getting at is that you can out-eat physical calorie burn– but that is NOT what he said.

June: “You need to lose more weight. You need to lose it much faster. ” He asks what I am doing toward weight loss. My blood pressure (which was a little high, but not bad before) had gone down, my A1C was lower (I was “pre-diabetic” in January), my weight loss has been steady and healthy and all kinds of good things. I detailed my food log, my calorie limits of ~1,300 to 1,500 depending on my physical activity that day (and pure hunger), and my 5X a week workout routine of cardio and weights. He told me that 1) I was delusional in my estimates of burning 500-600 calories in my workouts (really?! an hour of intense cardio and 30 minutes of weight lifting?! DELUSIONAL?!). He further explained that if a very fit person and I did the same amount of physical exercise at the same intensity, that the fit person would burn at least 3 times more calories than I would. Which is wrong. Not just a little wrong, completely wrong. Like never-went-to-med-school wrong. Your body becomes MORE efficient at not wasting energy, not less. Your body tries to keep calories. That’s how we’re made. Anyway, he further scoffed at me explaining that my calorie limits of 1300-1500 calories were “Entirely too much food” and advised I go on a 500 calorie diet. He stated I should try more broccoli. He said this with a straight face. He also told me I couldn’t do it, and I would fail. He did not offer any nutritional advice, referral to a dietician, any of the other things a doctor should provide if ADVISING extreme dieting. In addition, I am anemic with a history of eating disorders, so this medical advice is even more dangerous and irresponsible– not to mention just plain bad advice.

So you see a pattern, yes? He is a bad doctor and he doesn’t like me.

While all this weigh garbage is happening, I am experiencing a few other problems. One, I’ve been having this hip pain that is too legit to quit. My right hip has been hurting for, oh, going on 3 months now. Hurts to walk. It’s like internal joint pain. Scary to me. Dr man said I had sustained an injury at some time, and my range of motion was “really weird”. He prescribed me (of course he did) ibuprofen and tramadol. I’m sensitive to pain meds, so tramadol was my bed-time treat, lest I fall asleep behind the wheel of my car or at my desk at work or, say, while caring for my kid. The hip pain has been constant, but tolerable. It hurts all the time but ibuprofen helps quite a lot.

Additionally, I have some lady stuff going on which prompted a change in my birth control, which led to me going BAT SHIT CRAZY. I questioned whether my mood instability, for one, was a side effect of this BC. He said that was (can you guess?) ABSURD. He said the clear answer was that my anti-depressant was no longer functional and changed my RX. Background– my anti-depressant was a SSRI type, and he changed me to a SSNRI type. The second is a bit more hard-core, and the drug in particular is pretty hard-core. After some reading and speaking with other folks who work in the medical field, this was a pretty drastic jump, especially considering this is the first time in my whole life I’ve ever been on any anti-depressants. It isn’t as though I’ve been moving through the RX’s trying to find something that works– which totally happens. But I digress.

This new RX had major side effects, including severe upper right quadrant pain. I learned this after I began having severe upper right quadrant pain. I am gall-bladder-free, but it felt like gallstones. I decided it was liver failure or something terrible, so I went to my Dr. I had no symptoms that make URQ pain urgent– no fever, no abdominal tenderness, etc. Just radiating pain so severe I couldn’t stand without sweating from the pain, couldn’t walk 10 feet without the pain taking my breath away. It was awful and debilitating and defeating and scary. That’s when I found information about Cymbalta and URQ pain. Like a whole page of people saying they had the same pain and it stopped after they stopped taking the RX. I mentioned this to my Dr, who (guess! guess what he said!!) LAUGHED IN MY FACE and told me that was ridiculous. After a CT (which went terribly wrong as well, naturally. Did you know your veins can explode and iodine can just fill up your arm which may cause bruising, hives, and muscle soreness for many days? I do.) came back clean, my Dr decided I was overdosing on pain medication. He told me my pain MUST be a duodenal ulcer from abusing ibuprofen. So, one, I took it as prescribed, two, I had been taking it for maybe 2 months at the time, and I almost never take anything OTC or otherwise. He referred me to a gastro. This required more testing ($$$$$$$)– and I really felt like the obvious next step was to TRY getting off the meds.

I made a decision that day to fire my doctor and, while finding a new one, follow my gut. I stopped taking the BC and Cymbalta. Guess what happened? The URQ pain went away. My brain came back to a regular rotation.

My hip still hurts, but I’m working on it.

Anyway, my point is just that for a month I have been struggling with trying to stay on-task with food since I could not physically do anything (DRIVING HURT! Ridic.) I didn’t even log my food for most of the month, becuase I just didn’t want to know. I ate my feelings some, and over-ate some, and just generally had a constant toddler-VS-mom internal fight at every meal. I’ve also been struggling with all the things that go along with non-stop pain (new found respect for chronic-pain). And now? I am BACK!

Lots of good has come from that month of bad. I have re-learned the value of trusting myself. I know my body. I have to trust that. I was reminded that doctors are people. There are good people and shitty people. I found the shittiest.

I still lost weight, some how. I’m surprised and delighted. I guess I’m more on top of this stuff than I thought.

Yesterday was my first day back at the gym, and it suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked.

But I did it. And I’ll do it again today. And tomorrow. Et so on.

So I’ve been MIA, but I’m still here. And today I’m wearing pants I could have worn 3 years ago. They look super cute.

*Edit: Since writing this, I have become STEADILY MORE MAD. It really is worse than I thought. It becomes so apparent when it’s all listed out like this. There are other choice idiocies he spouted, of course, but they’re off topic. That guy is a train-wreck. Don’t put up with bad doctoring! Second opinions forever!!

Red-lipped rewards.

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For a 40 pound weight-loss reward, I purchased a $22 lipstick. I don’t buy ridiculous things for myself very often, and I CERTAINLY do not buy a single cosmetic that costs more than $10 AND I don’t really wear lipstick, so this is the splurgiest of splurges. But it is a two-fold reward.

I’ve always kind of had an internal war between wishing I was a super stylish girl and hating the super stylish girl. I was raised by my dad (and later step-mom) for all those influential years where girls learn to explore their fashion tastes and try out terrible hairstyles and learn how to accessorize. My step mother is a very nice woman with generally AWFUL taste. My dad is very much a dude’s dude working-class kinda guy. He picks out a new outfit for a fancy event from Goodwill, and considers a Hawaiian button down church-appropriate. My mother has spent my life telling me that vanity is the worst thing anyone can embrace—and I can get behind this on a very VERY extreme platform, but she views any kind of care about clothes, appearance, etc to be a character flaw.

Ok, so needless to say I always feel like the most boring shirt in the room. Generally speaking, I keep my wardrobe pretty simple, innocuous. I don’t make bold fashion statements, I don’t do, like, animal prints and stuff. I mean, you do you—I just don’t like that on me. When I was smaller, I cared more. I liked shopping and felt good in new clothes, I did my hair often, I enjoyed putting on makeup most days and finding cute earrings. I LOVED shoes and bags, just in an Old Navy/Target price range. As I have gained weight, I have felt so unattractive and so matter-of-fact about my appearance that I have stopped caring what I see. I mean, like I still shower and brush my teeth and wear clothes in good repair and stuff, but when I try on a shirt for work and I look frumpy, it’s fine—because no matter what I put on, I’m going to look much older than I should and frumpy, because of my weight. And it has been going on for so long now that I sort of forgot that I think I can be pretty—that I am capable of looking NICE. Not passable—looking GOOD. It is size related, but deeper than that. I worked at this TERRIBLE job for two years. Terrible terrible—the kind of job where you cry before you go in, on your lunch break, and after work EVERY DAY. It was a very valuable lesson, but I am not grateful I learned it. While I was there, I was depressed, and gained more weight, which made me depressed about that too. One day I came into work with full makeup, my hair done and a nice outfit, because I had personal appointment. Everyone in my office ooh’d and aww’d and were genuinely surprised. Do you know how it feels to realize someone is genuinely surprised to learn you can look nice? It’s awful. I was so horrified to learn that I looked SO BAD most of the time that makeup and a cute top were enough to lastingly shock people who have seen me daily for years. After leaving that job, my appearance improved (did you know not crying and sleeping well and stuff makes a huge difference?) and I remembered that I do actually care how I look. I started wearing makeup more often and spending more thought on my clothes and finally diet.

As I get older, I’m learning a lot about the value of things—I mean this completely materialistically. An $80 bag lasts 80% longer than a $5 bag. Quality is quality, and while price does not equal quality, quality is worth paying for. All of this is just to say, $22 lipstick IS THE GREATEST PURCHASE I HAVE EVER MADE!

I mean, if you like PERFECT lipstick, here’s a link.

I love lipstick, but I just eat it off my face so I rarely wear it. I’m bad at re-applying and I hate that thing where it’s all worn off and you look like you lined your lips and ate a popsicle—not cute. Anyway, in addition to being the ALL TIME BEST EVER MOST PERFECT shade of red (seriously, swoon!), and smelling like vanilla- not wax or something else gross, AND tasting like nothing AND being hyper-pigmented AND not feathering or bleeding, I applied it at 8 am and did not re-apply until 2pm (after I ate a sandwich, and to be honest, I just had to dab a little in the center of my lips). Then I walked at the park, sweat like a fool, and when I got home it was still perfect. (Um, I don’t make it a habit to workout in lipstick (T Swizzle!) but I forgot makeup remover) And!! When I used makeup remover, it came off COMPLETELY, easily, beautifully. No pilling, no dry lip, no weird lipstick residues. I’m not trying to write a beauty blog or anything, but I will never buy another lipstick that is not Besame. And I want all the colors. 1920 red is AMAZING. I think I know some more things to put on my weight loss reward list. And, wearing lipstick keeps me from snacking, out of fear of reapplying. So handy.

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In non-lipstick related news…

If you have been following my eternal struggle of life and food, you may remember my recent struggle with UNENDING RELENTLESS cravings that did not seem to be associated with a real food or emotional need. After some research and some different trial-and-error attempts, I decided to try adding a few vitamins to my daily intake and see if it made a difference.

Well. I can’t say for sure that it was the added vitamins, but I absolutely feel better. The cravings have subsided back to normal. I noticed a difference in just a few days, and I feel completely back in control now—roughly 2 weeks later. It could always be coincidence or placebo or just that I got it out of my system—who knows? What I DO know, is I am SO SO glad I don’t feel like a mad woman about food at the moment. I mean, I would still rather eat a hamburger than the stuffed tomatoes I prepared for lunch, but it’s totally fine. I would still like to dive into a tub full of truffles, but I can walk by the Godiva kiosk. Additionally, I have re-lost my weight gained during uncontrolled bingeing AND am at my lowest weight in the last 3 years.

A Steady Diet of SUCKITUPBUTTERCUP!!

So in an on-going, never-ending cycle of up’s and down’s, I am upping and downing.

I have eaten my feelings for a few days. Over-eaten. Binge-eaten. It has not been pretty. I purchased Twinkies (plural) ON PURPOSE and brought them INTO MY HOME and placed them IN MY PANTRY for CONSUMPTION. This is absurd, for so many reasons. One, Twinkies are not food, they are not good, and I do not like them. But I saw them, I was feeling vulnerable, and I bought them. THEN I ATE ONE. And you know what? Reason two for absurdity: It was foul. It was so sweet it was gross, and I knew at the first bite that I was not enjoying it. It did not stop me from eating it, and a second Twinkie, for good measure. Three: SABOTAGE! I cannot have food like that in my home. I just can’t. I’ve been trying to tell myself that I’ve been doing really well in my weight loss goals and I can afford a small, planned treat now and again. That’s true—if we’re talking like a Friday slice of pizza or a few chocolate squares after a nice walk. But this? This is not that. This is a descent into ED bingeing and emotional eating.

I’ll spare you the humiliating details, but rest assured that through a number of poor choices, too little water, and WAAAAAY too much food, I have gained about 5 lbs. The good and bad of that: Good—5 lbs on me isn’t too much to carve back off in a few days of good choices. Bad—it means a few more days I could have been making progress instead of just doing damage control have been wasted. I am bloated and puffy and I FEEL bad. Emotionally less so than physically. But I physically feel pretty awful. I’m salt-achey and generally yuck.

But I’m disappointed. If you’ve been following my progress, you may notice a trend. I am noticing a trend. I do well for a few days and I’m introspective and thoughtful about my food and goals. Then I get a little cockey and I slip a little—just a little. But I think, that’s ok! You have to have balance! Then I slip a little more, and a little more, until I’m in full-on terrible choice mode. Then I shake it off, pull up my socks, find my head again. Repeat.

But each time I slip a little further, and I don’t pull up my socks quite as far as I should. So I’m regressing.

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, SELF???

Okay, look. I started out with food as my main area of change. After a little while getting acclimated to that I worked in exercise—not too much at first. I worked up. I was still being a CHAMPION at food. Nutritious, tasty, filling, low-cal. And you know what? My results were SO GOOD! I lost about 20 pounds in a month.

I’ve slowly slipped a little more and a little more. I started working out longer to account for the poor choice I had ALREADY decided to have at dinner—and I’m not talking like one night a week. I found I was thinking things like “Well, I don’t really feel like going to the gym today, but if I do I will burn a thousand calories so I can eat more at dinner. OKAY!” SO instead of working on my portions—which are a big part of my downfall—I was finding a way to out-exercise my portions… kinda. Except that if I didn’t work out, I still ate the bigger portion I had previously trained myself out of “needing” (emotionally), and defeated the hard work of the week. I didn’t gain for a while. I didn’t lose either. I mean, sure, a little here and there, but not like I was when I was really putting in the effort. Funny how that works.

So now, here I am. Looking hard in the mirror. I can’t rely on exercise to lose weight. I have to get a handle on food. Fully, completely, lastingly. I’m still working on vitamins and nutrition to help the physical cravings—I think it is working and having a positive impact. BUT. It’s the emotional part that I have to fight now. And forever. I guess that’s the part that makes me sad, when thinking about dieting makes me sad. (It doesn’t, lots of the time… but sometimes…) You’ve all thought it. The sinking feeling when you have to admit that, for this to work, it means forever. It means this battle will go on FOREVER. I will never lead a life where I can sit down and enjoy a piece of birthday cake without analyzing how I will feel later, how I will work it off, and whether it’s safe for me to do so without it triggering me into a binge-spiral of self-loathing or days of non-stop eating. It’s so fast—the regression. It’s such a real thing, addiction. I get it. I mean, it feel stupid to even say “I’m addicted to food”, but really? I get it. When I can recognize that I am SO FULL and I SHOULD NOT eat, and I am NOT hungry while I am preparing another plate of food—when I can recognize the guilt BEFORE it’s even happened, and I still eat, I still do it, I still consume the thing I know I shouldn’t—I get it. It’s a problem. It isn’t enough to say willpower. It isn’t enough to drink-water-it-away, or to choose an apple. It isn’t a diet-pill and weight-watcher’s meeting solution. I’m going to start looking into behavioural health options as an additional branch of my diet regimen.

But for now—for the What I Can DO For Me Today portion of my after-school special—I am resetting.

Again.

I guess that’s part of the deal, too. Constantly resetting, constantly re-motivating, constant vigilance.

I’m going a little drastic for a day or two. Protein shakes, raw veggies, lean protein, apples, water. And green tea because a life without caffeine is not worth living and you don’t want me in that world either.

 

It’s noon and I’m fine.

Because I can do this, and so can you.

My little Fun-away, Fun Fun Fun Fun Fun-away!

I did my first Fun Run as an adult this weekend. I did not run, but I did have fun.

My daughter (3) told me all week about how much she was going to heartily DISenjoy herself. She did not wish to run, walk, be covered in colors, or see many people and perhaps friends. Three-year-olds are a joy and a gift. Motherhood is so rewarding.

When my alarm went off at 5:45am on a Saturday, I cursed myself. Why? Why would I do this to myself? I can walk 5K anywhere, at any time. Why did I pay money to have to get up early on my ONLY day to sleep in (and I say sleep in VERY loosely, because 3 year olds do not sleep in unless it is a school day or you are on a schedule)? And, even better– it was raining like CRAZY.

Lovely day for a Fun Run!
Lovely day for a Fun Run!

I thought about just not going. But I went. I knew that if I didn’t go I would kick myself forever.  So we went. When we arrived, we stood in a very wet line for packet pick-up and took selfies. The rain slowed to a drizzle, and all was scheduled to go on as planned. Ish.

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Before!

I didn’t really know what to expect with a color run, and had the option when I registered to buy extra color packets, so I did. I assumed a “color packet” was like a tiny, one shot kinda deal. So I bought 15 extra color packets. Fun fact: Color packets are BIG. It’s enough pigment to attack 10 people. So we had PLENTY.

Standing at the start line, an employee approached a group of us to let us know the start time had been pushed back an hour. It was 8:30 am. They wouldn’t start till 10 am. A couple of things with that. One, the storm was anticipated to hit again around 10. Clever, race folks. Two, this is in southern coastal Texas. 10 am + rain humidity + Galveston area + June = A BILLIONDY SEVEN DEGREES.

We decided, along with some strangers, that we wouldn’t wait for the start time, we’d just walk and have some fun. So we did.

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It got pretty intense. My daughter, by the end, was screaming like Braveheart and chasing strangers to attack them with color powder. Luckily, this was an instance where that was completely encouraged… I couldn’t have stopped her if I wanted to. The track was about a mile-and-a-half, then a turn-around, and the same track back to the start/finish line. We made it ALMOST to the half-way mark when the sky opened up again. My daughter was already pretty tired by then anyway… BUT I ALREADY WALKED SOOO FAAAAR! SO TIRED!

We ended up turning around and not quite doing the entire 5K (lightening!!!) and we were completely drenched by the time we made it back. In white clothes. It was cute. We also found out that it was cancelled after-all. HAHAHA. Of course it was. I think they’re rescheduling, so maybe we get to do it twice. And if not, I’m double glad we went.

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But we had FUN. My daughter insists she did not have fun. Because she’s 3. And 3 year-olds are terrible companions most of the time. But she did have fun. She told everyone about our Fun Run. We enjoyed it so much I signed us up for a Glow Run in a few months and she is JAZZED about it. Even though she won’t admit it.

It’s a very minor accomplishment, but I’m glad I did it. It seems silly to pay money to walk ~3 miles (and in the rain), but money has proven over and over again to be a really good incentive for me. Spending and earning. In this case, I’m glad that I went. I found a new funsies activity for my daughter and I to do together that is teaching her to enjoy exercise as recreation (although, at 3 she’s not opposed to it yet) and has opened a new door of something special for us to do together.

D’awwwww.

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I would like all the vitamins you have. Please understand– not a lot of vitamins– ALL THE VITAMINS YOU HAVE.

I’ve been craving. HARD. All the things. For about 2-3 weeks now.

Normally, food is the easier part of dieting for me, exercise the tougher aspect. Lately, though, I have been SO HUNGRY and for really specific things. I tried fighting through it, but they didn’t go away. So I tried indulging (in a healthful way) and they didn’t go away. So I tried indulging in an unhealthful-exactly-what-I-want way, and they went away for a minute—but came right back.

SO, okay. Something isn’t right.

I’m anemic, so a protein craving isn’t strange for me. And generally, being iron deficient can cause a red-meat specific craving, not terribly abnormal. I don’t eat much red meat—it’s not like a principals thing, I just like poultry and fewer calories, so I tend to default to things like chicken. Also, hormones have long influenced a true, legit NEED for chocolate some days.

Lately I’ve been craving cheese, chocolate, steak, potatoes, cilantro (which I actually hate), and simple carbs. Okay, totally normal desires when dieting, ammirite? Sure! Who DOESN’T jones for a plate of pasta? Who DOESN’T yearn for a slice of pizza to bury their face in? I don’t NOT eat potatoes or red meat when I diet, either, but I definitely make an effort to keep those things proportionately few and far between on the ol’ food rotation.

And sure, I always want some of those things sometimes when I’m being virtuous about food. But this is different. This is not the sort of craving you are strong through and then it diminishes—this is not the sort of craving that is cured by drinking more water (‘cause for reals, I drink a minimum of 3 litres of water every day. I could drink more, and sometimes I do, but it shouldn’t be a dehydration issue). I know many of us struggle with emotional eating, boredom eating, that sort of thing. I’m absolutely no exception– but this is different. Those emotional cravings I know, because I’m emotional. “I WILL NOT EAT MY FEELINGS!” has come out of my mouth in public on more than one occasion. But I can talk myself down from that. I can eat an apple/cheese combo and go for a walk and kill those cravings. This is different. This is bone deep. This is a gnawing, lasting hunger unsatiated by anything, sometimes even the craving. And I just don’t have time for that. My willpower is only so strong. I tried to talk my kid into talking ME into making brownies this week. HA. Luckily for me she’s ornery and likes to disagree with all my bright ideas on principal. Suddenly 3 year olds don’t even like brownies. LIAR!!!!!! But we didn’t make them, so I guess it’s fine.

And the straight up HUNGER. I’ve been HONGRAY. I’m fine till lunch, and then I am so hungry I can barely even concentrate on anything else. And my hunger is hunger, but follows the cravings. Just eating isn’t solving the problem.

So what I mean by this is, say I eat breffas. A perfectly acceptable breakfast, mind you. I’m not a big breakfast person, so I like to go with a smoothie because I don’t have to over think it and it’s nutritious and protein and fiber filled and I can just drink it at my desk and then it’s done. If I have the time to do breakfast for real, I want to cook delicious skillet hash with potatoes and veggies and sour cream and jalapenos and cheese and stuff. I try not to START my day like that. So a nice cup of spinach, protein powder, a banana, some frozen fruit or veggies, maybe lemon juice or coconut water as the mood takes me. Sometimes greek yogurt, sometimes some cottage cheese, sometimes whatever fresh fruit is going bad on the counter, fresh mint b/c that’s how I roll, whatever. (aside: I don’t drink the kale kool-aid. I hate kale. I’ve tried it all the ways, and it’s gross. It isn’t good. Not raw, not sautéed, not juiced, not shredded, not boiled, not baked into chips, not boiled into soups, NOTHING. No kale smoothies.)

A healthy, nutritious smoothie. A few hours later I may have a snack of some kind, like some veggies and hummus or fruit or something, I might not. Then it’s lunch, and I eat well again. A lean protein, some raw veggies, sometimes a soup or salad, maybe a tuna sandwich, some kind of lettuce wrap, etc. You get the idea.

One to two hours later, STARVING. And I’m starving for: carbs, sugar, cheese. So I say to myself this is clearly a blood-sugar drop (although it isn’t, b/c I check it and also eat protein with carbs so it should be stable to begin with). So I have a sensible snack. You know the “apple test” or the “broccoli test”? They say if you’re hungry enough to eat {broccoli, and apple}, then you’re hungry. If not, you’re bored. Well, I eat something healthy, drink a glass of water, and wait. And I’m still hungry. Repeat.

By the end of the day, pre-dinner, I’ve eaten over what I have allotted myself, so my dinner would be super sad, BUT I’M STILL STARVING. Plus, I’ve eaten all healthy stuff, so I should be full and content—not still craving things! I bumped my calorie intake up a little, figuring that maybe it was just too low for the activity level I’ve worked up to. A week passes, STILL HUNGRY.

I consulted Dr. Google.

Dr. Google says I need vitamins. Well, Dr. Google, I’m a little obsessed with vitamins, so I’m HAPPY to start taking whatever placebo vitamin you recommend! I’ve read the studies about how vitamins might actually be worse for you, and the ones about how I’m probably peeing most of it out, and the ones where it could be causing cancer—but whatever. I love vitamins. I want them all.

But here’s the interesting part—Dr. Google’s recommendations of vitamins actually made sense. As in, I usually take chromium, a practice I began when I read some crack-article about it being a holistic anxiety med as well as a blood-sugar regulator. (Now, I’m not diabetic, but I’m pretty terrified of diabetes and I did have gestational diabetes, so the odds are against me, long term, but diet and weight loss will surely improve my chances at NOT getting it—but I still check my blood sugar when I feel weird and I still pay attention to eating for steady blood sugar and stuff. I’m pro-active like that.) I ran out of my chromium about a month ago and I hadn’t gotten around to picking up some more. Chromium deficiency symptoms: rise in anxiety levels (check), lightheadedness (check), decrease in energy (super check), muscle weakness (check), mood swings (check). So I understand that all these symptoms are very vague and the symptoms of EVERYTHING, I do, I promise. But the time line works. And chromium is cheap.

Cheese: several internet diagnoses here. Obviously fat and salt. My diet is not sodium deficient, for sure. Fat deficient… maybe, but I doubt it. Another article said calcium. Hmm. Now that could be. I have cut back on my dairy consumption pretty drastically this year, which has to do with iron absorption rather than a dairy thing—I love dairy. I love milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, all of it. I eat dairy every day, but a serving or two, as opposed to a gazillion. I take a multivitamin and I eat calcium non-dairy foods, too, but.. I have been slacking. I’ve been burnt out on my broccoli and spinach, so I’m not plowing through as much as possible. So maybe.

Sugar cravings can imply deficiencies in Chromium, Zinc, Magnesium. Chocolate cravings are long-told to be magnesium based, etc. I already take magnesium, so I doubt it’s that. They say if you’re craving chocolate have a dark chocolate square, because it’s richer and stronger flavored, for your mental craving, and higher in magnesium for your physical craving. Yeah, I haven’t been able to stop at one square. Or two. Or three. Sometimes four. That’s 200 calories, just like that. And I’m NOT fulfilled. So it’s a waste.

All interesting things. Anyway, the point is that I bought 9 million dollars worth of vitamins yesterday, and fixed up my supplement stores. I’m interested to see if it has any effect on my ridiculous hunger and cravings. I added zinc, chromium, and calcium– I already took all the others. Well, I guess I re-added chromium.

This delicious picture of my after-breffas snack contains:

Potassium, a multi, iron, vitamin c (for iron absorption), chromium, zinc, calcium, B complex, D3, magnesium, and a sprig of mint for garnish.

Ihave a lot on my plate. Well, not literally of course.
I have a lot on my plate. Well, not literally of course.

I’ll let you know in a few weeks whether it’s fixed me issues. The next step is burning my new birth control– and equally plausible explanation for every single item on my list of complaints.

My pee is SO valuable.