Thursday, January 26, 2012

Oh, Snack!

That title is supposed to be a play on words. Like, "Oh snap!" but "Oh snack!". Okay. When I blog at 11 PM after a strawberry basil martini I think it's funny so okay. Also, I obviously thought taking pictures on my photobooth would be a good idea too.

SNACKING. I love snacking. My best friends have a running joke that isn't actually a joke but whenever I am missing in my house or anyone's really, you best believe you can find me in the pantry, just standing in there, snacking. I used to really beat myself up for having a snack. I mean I really used to beat myself up over any food that I ate but EATING in BETWEEN MEALS? Totally greedy and disgustingly uncalled for. Little did I know, I was just setting myself up for an epic binge, especially around dinner time. Ever been out to dinner and been so hungry you literally ATTACK the bread basket? Yeah, not pretty.

Brooke, my dietician, calls snacks "Binge Buffers". So clever. They really are. Snacks keep your blood sugar stable, keep you focused, keep you from over eating at meal time, and keep you happy. Really, it's so nostalgic to snack. Why do we think only children have snacks? Let's change that. (While we're at it I'd also LOVE to bring back 'Nap Time' but one thing at a time).

A couple questions I get a lot from people who read my blog are, "How often should I be having a snack?" and "How big/how many calories should my snacks be?".

Let's talk about how much you should be snacking first. My biggest issue that I still struggle with a little bit time to time is mindless snacking. We've all done it. You plop yourself in front of a television/computer/friend who won't stop talking, with a bag of pita chips and next thing you know, they're gone. The first problem with that is that you took the entire baggy. Snacks, like meals, should be properly portioned out. My meal plan, which is pretty universal, says 3 snacks a day. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. I usually stick to this except for on the weekends when I wake up later, then usually my morning snack is skipped. So to everyone, I recommend at LEAST two snacks per day. Ideally three :)

Calorie wise, (sorry to anyone at the clinic on my team reading this, I know I'm not supposed to care about calories), I find my snacks to be around 200-300 calories. (Meals around 400-500). Also, ideally, they'll contain at least two of the following-- Protein, Carb, Fat. So some perfect snacks would be:

  • A string cheese (protein and/or fat) and a serving of Wheat Thins (carb) (I think that's 16 crackers)
  • A greek yogurt (protein) with 1/4 cup nuts (fat)
  • A protein bar (make sure it's AT LEAST 200 calories, and contains healthy fats!)
  • An apple (carb) with 2 TBS peanut butter (fat and protein)
  • Celery with 2 TBS peanut butter (fat) and 3 TBS raisins (carb)
  • A serving of hummus (protein) with pretzels (carb)
  • 2 TBS peanut butter (fat/protein) with a serving of graham crackers (carb)
  • Banana with 2 TBS peanut butter (MMM FAVORITE!)
  • A piece of fruit (carb) with 2 slices of cheese (fat)

SO many more. Obviously I like to put peanut butter on everything. Also, for my night time snack, I like to have dessert! I have the BIGGEST sweet tooth. So at night, I'll have a serving of ice cream (2/3 cup), or a Kit Kat bar, one cupcake, a serving of Nutella (2 TBS) with a serving of pretzels, or a serving of M&Ms, whatever I feel like really as long as it has chocolate in it! ALSO, it doesn't matter what time at night you eat!!! I swear, doesn't make the slightest difference is your weight. But I will talk about that in an upcoming post :0)

The best, most rewarding part about adding snacks to your day (for me at least), is that is virtually ELIMINATES the night time overeating, which I'm sure most of us have an issue with. Your blood sugar stays steady all day, you are feeding your body, and after your night time snack/dessert, you feel satiated and happy. Not still starved/wanting to overeat/self loathing. It's quite rewarding. So go make yourself some snacks today, and if you can, have a nap, you deserve both :) x

PS- Don't forget to 'like' me on facebook! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Emotional Eating

Here's the deal--for the last week (okay forever, but more so this week), I have been an emotional wreck. A complete train wreck. Not even a hot mess as anyone who has ever seen me crying can attest to. My anxiety has been at an all time high, and my self esteem at an all time low. Now naturally, when things like my life and emotions are out of control, I usually turn to the one thing I'm really good at controlling. And that is my food. This week was the hardest weeks I've had in a long long time. Heart ache will do that to you huh ladies? (and fellas!). Anyways this week though something weird happened to me that hasn't really happened before except for the first time I had my heart broken.

Short story- The first time I had my heart broken, I was 17. I got cheated on and I thought I was going to literally die. This broken heart made me lose my appetite for a solid 4 days. I just didn't eat for four days and whatever I tried to eat I threw up (INVOLUNTARILY I might add) because I was just all kinds of messed up. Long story short: My appetite came back, but I really liked the way that I looked after not eating for four days, and this is where my eating disorder flourished into my best friend and my worst enemy. It was a perfect distraction. I didn't have to feel my feelings. All I had to do was focus on food, or how to get rid of it. (That seriously, obviously, came back to bite me in the ass...So much money on therapy and many ruined relationships and friendships...I can't even...what were we talking about? I'm not emotional or anything...)

This ties in to my week because this week, I completely lost my appetite. Naturally, I flipped out. All I could was sit in front of the food I knew I was supposed to be eating, and cry. Seriously. It was not cute. I've been able to take a maximum of 7 bites per 'meal' this week. The difference this time is that I WANT my appetite to come back. I WANT to eat. And that is what makes me different 4 1/2 years later. And that is exciting to me. Sure, I feel skinnier, but I also feel weaker. And I know any weight I have lost, is just water weight.

So other than this week, I, like I'm sure a lot of you, emotionally OVER eat. What is more comforting when you're lonely than an entire roll of Oreos? God that sounds good right now. But do you know what doesn't sound good? Is the feeling you get as soon as you finish that last Oreo. Not only are you still lonely, possibly lonelier, but now, you're uncomfortably full and sick to your stomach. Having said that, over eating sometimes is OKAY! Your body can handle it :) We have to be realistic, you're not NEVER going to emotionally over eat. It happens. If you're not TRULY hungry though (which you may be! Make sure to mentally check what you have eaten so far that day. If you are under your daily calories, you're probably ACTUALLY hungry and need to eat a proper meal or snack!) here are some things to turn to, other than food :)

Again, I can't stress this enough, remember that these coping tips aren’t meant to be distractions from a hungry stomach or when you GENUINELY want to taste the yummy goodness of a piece of cake, a bowl of pasta or whatever. These are helpful to use when you’re clearly in need of something beyond food.

  • Call a friend.
  • If you live with loved ones, ask them for a hug! Cheesy, but you'd be amazed at the super powers of a good hug.
  • Listen to soothing music, not sad. There is a difference between soothing and sad.
  • Write in your journal. The physical act of writing is a HUGE stress release.
  • Read a favorite book. 
  • Skype with a friend (I miss you Lauren!).
  • Put on your sweats and curl up on the couch.
  • Watch a favorite TV show.
  • Watch or read something funny.
  • Meditate. (If you meditate or do yoga, god bless you. I can't sit still for that long and I am so jealous of you)
  • Take a bath or shower.
  • Take deep breaths.
  • Just sit with your emotions, and FEEL them.
  • Pray if you pray.
  • GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! Go to the park, gym, store, beach or just get in the car and drive.
  • Have a good cry. We all need one. I've taken my fair share this week. If I'm being honest, about two a day at least. Yikes.
& best of all......
:) I had to. I mean it calms me down to write it so hopefully you guys get a giggle or two but  more so, I hope you guys are learning and growing with me.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Let's Talk About Cleansing, mmk?

A friend said to me yesterday, "I heard about this cleanse, like a juice fast, where you lose like 10 lbs. in a week or something. I'm totes gonna do it.". *FACE PALM*. And so it was written, or would be written, that this is my topic this week. 

I live in Los Angeles. I live 30 minutes away from Hollywood. It is literally IMPOSSIBLE not to hear about celebrity diet fads, cleanses, fasts, diets etc. We Californians are a funny breed of people. We think (myself formerly included) that if a celebrity says something, it's obviously true, I mean come on, why would they lie to us? So yes, Jessica Simpson is TOTALLY "sexual napalm" in the bedroom, thanks John Mayer for clearing that one up. Anyways, cleansing. I once read that Beyonce lost something around 30 pounds for her role in "Dream Girls". She did this by doing the...drum roll please...*MASTER CLEANSE*

Now for those of you who have never heard of or attempted the Master Cleanse, let me give you a brief summary. You, for at *least* 10 days, (Beyonce did something like 4 weeks), eat nothing. Absolutely nothing. And instead, drinking this concoction of-
-Lemon juice
-Cayenne pepper
-Grade B maple syrup

If you think that it sounds disgusting, you have no idea. It is the worst thing ever. Yes, I have attempted the Master Cleanse twice before in the past. Key word being attempted. The first time I was 17 and lasted 4 hours and the second time I was 19 and lasted 11 hours. I figured it didn't work because I didn't do it for long enough, and dropped the notion that I could live off of such a disgusting "lemonade". 

A few months ago, my lovely mother made me watch a documentary called, "Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead". Reader's Digest Version: It's about an obese Australian man who goes on a juice fast for 60 days. He lost a TON of weight, his health issues were resolved, and he lived happily ever after. My mother now thought SHE should do a juice fast too. 

"Mom, you are not obese and don't have health issues." Most people are baffled when they hear about how much weight another person has lost on a cleanse/fast. How are you baffled? Calories in Vs. Calories out. So obviously if you're not putting anything in, your body is going to flip out. Having said that, I DO think that juicing is awesome and if you can, you should incorporate it INTO your diet, not make it your diet. Now, let me tell you something else, one of my FAVORITE recovery mantras:

"Easy off, easy on"

Ahhhh so simple, no? So true! When you fast, your metabolic rate slows after about 50 hours. So like two days. Once your metabolic rate slows, anything you put into your body will be stored as fat. Even if it's healthy. Sucks. So not worth it. Now, if you're like I was and fast while working out, I am sorry to inform you that you are working out for absolutely nothing. Any muscle you are trying to build is being eaten by your body for protein.You need to consume protein for your body’s needs. If you don’t eat protein, your body starts to break down your muscle (which is protein) in order to get the necessary amino acids (the building blocks of protein). The result? A nice skinny/fat. Soft and skinny. 

Mmmm sexy. 

There is NO scientific evidence that fasting detoxes the body. Our bodies are already pretty self-sufficient. The liver is the body’s natural detox center. Other organs, including the lungs, the kidneys, and the skin, also remove impurities and toxins from the body. If we were meant to fast, we would. Our bodies are amazing. A fast may give the perception of “cleaning out” your body’s impurities, but that’s not what happens. While some people reportedly feel great after fasting, others feel sluggish, tired, achy, and unfocused. That’s because they’re often not getting sufficient calories. 

"But Claudia, 'so and so' got SO skinny on this fast!". 

Well duh. Again, going back to my post about carbs, lack of carbs=lack of water. Lack of water=loss of weight. Also, if you're only drinking and not eating, you will frequently be on the toilet urinating, losing even more water.  But again, this won’t help you lose weight. You’re only depleting your body of fluids, which may make it seem like you’re actually losing weight. Of course, if you eat few calories, you will lose weight quickly, but that doesn’t mean you will keep it off. Again, as the saying goes: easy off; easy on. It's worth saying again. 

If you REALLY feel like your body needs to be *cleansed*, eat REAL food. Oatmeal, fruit, eggs, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, whole wheat bread, plain milk, water water water, etc. Nothing processed. No caffeine, no alcohol, no soda, no juice. Eating clean for a few days will do WONDERS for you, and it'll last. Your metabolism won't die, you won't have low blood sugar, and you can sustain on this clean eating plan forever with the occasional treat (I have one every day because I just gotta). Now for some food porn, how could you want to fast when you could get BETTER results eating this yummy stuff?

Bottom Line: If you consume fewer calories, you will lose weight. But fasting to lose weight quickly can put metabolic stress on your body. After fasting for a few days, you risk damaging your body. Losing muscle mass is very unhealthy. Plus, any weight you lose quickly, you will put back on just as easily.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Unconditional Love

(n)  Definition:  affection with no limits or conditions; complete love.

I'm back from Texas ya'll!
Maiya and me in our room!
I had a very interesting trip. It was really fun but vacations are tricky for me. Being in recovery is hardest when I'm out of my comfort zone. Like, being away from my Greek yogurt, Whole Foods salad bar, Zone bars? CRINGE. I try really hard to let myself go, because it's usually only for a week, but sweet Jesus it's the hardest part of my recovery right now. My day here on the home front usually goes something like this:
etc. etc. etc.

My week in Texas looked something like this:
Welcome to Hangover City! Population: 1

Needless to say, when I got home, I flipped out a little bit. I am still IN recovery, not RECOVERED, so I am allowed to freak out. I'm only a human after all. Immediately, the eating disorder thoughts come a-rushin' back. Convinced I have gained at least 20 pounds, (can't be sure because I was ordered to throw out my scale), I sit and bawl like a child who just got crapped on in the ball pit at McDonalds.

The next morning, I rub my eyes, and see my tattoo. Now, I've had that tattoo for almost two years now, I look at it every day. But this particular morning, I looked at it and remembered why I got it.

The symbols mean 'Unconditional Love for yourself" in Hebrew. I got it two years ago when I tried (unsuccessfully) to recover...again. To remind myself that I deserve love, no matter what. No matter my weight, if my face is broken out, if I made a mistake, if I lied, if I pigged out, SO WHAT. This is the only body I have. That morning I knew I was at a pivotal moment in my recovery journey. I was either going to push through all the discomfort, all the awful thoughts, and be healthy, OR I was going to starve myself that day and probably the rest of the week, only drinking lemon water.

As of today (three days later), I have opted to push through and continue to recover. There are just so many things that I want to do that I can't with my eating disorder. I am proud of myself.

This isn't very much of an advisory post, I know. But my best friend in the entire world left today for Spain for 6 months and I am emotionally distraught and really should probably be writing about emotional eating. ANYWAYS I will touch a little more on the scale/weighing yourself thing. It always was astounding to me (and I know EVERYONE can relate to this) how I could wake up, look in the  mirror, and think I look so skinny so I decide to weigh myself, step on the scale, and it reads higher than normal. WHAT. All of a sudden, I step off the scale, look in the mirror, and suddenly, I am fat. BOOM. I gained weight in 2.7 seconds. Astounding. I should be in the Guinness Book of World Records. And now, my whole day is obviously ruined.

 One of the most important, beautiful, freeing, days of my life so far is the day I decided I will no longer weigh myself. This was a process. As my therapist loves to say, I was "married" to my scale. And it was a messy, slow, emotional, divorce. You know what thought? I have never EVER been happier. Sure, I get weird looks when I go to the doctor and ask to please be weighed backwards (and for the love of God please do not announce my weight), but so what? When you think about it, letting a stupid number dictate your life is absurd! After all, you are probably the ONLY person who is ever going to see it.

The scale will NOT tell you the following:
-What a great person you are
-How much your family and friends love you
-That you can make a stranger melt with your beautiful smile
-You are special

Words of wisdom from my therapist: "When you go to weigh yourself, you're really never going to be happy. If it's higher than you think, you will let it ruin your day. If it's the same as normal, you will be upset it's not lower, and you will let it ruin your day. If it's lower than normal, you will want it to be even lower, and you will let it ruin your day."

Have a good day, don't weigh yourself. Love yourself. Love your body. Wether you like it or not, it's the only one you will ever have.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.