Thursday, April 17, 2014

You don't care but this is how I order my Starbucks Drinks

Don't believe it when someone tells you something is sugar free. Ask to read the label on the product. The other day a barrista at Starbucks told me the light base used in their Light Frappuccino was sweetened with Stevia, not sugar. I said I wanted to see the label. First two ingredients on the LIGHT base were sugar and corn syrup (which is cheaper sugar). The barrista was blown away, (no, not killed), He was blown away-shocked because his managerhad  told him it was made with Stevia and he just never read the label before my request.

Maybe Starbucks has a Frappuccino base that is made with Stevia but it is not at all locations. I want to see that label. Maybe that base does not have sugar. Maybe they once used Stevia and then changed the recipe without re-training the staff. Maybe it is an urban myth. Maybe the cows will come home wearing Keds. Until I see it, I will be skeptical. Until I see the sugar free label for myself, I will continue to order my drinks as follows:

Coffee Frappuccino:
"Venti Coffee Frap with a shot of espresso; NO base, NO sugar, NO whip, three packets Splenda, blended twice (twice is because without the base, the ice needs an extra round in the blender)

Iced Coffee:
"Trenta Ice Coffee half-caff, NO Classic (which contains sugar and is put in all the iced coffee unless you request they leave it out), no sweetener, slight room for milk." - I like to add my own milk so I can control the amount and type. (I can also add my own Splenda or leave it out). Some shops don't carry the Trenta size. Then I order a Venti.

Hot Coffee:
Grande half-caff, no sweetener, leave room for milk."

Up until this January I was caffeine free. Caffeine always gave me palpitations. I was caffeine free for about 4 years.  Perhaps it was simply excess caffeine that caused it before because I have found that a couple of cups of coffee a day have been fine as long as I do not have them late in the day or evening. If I were to have a Quattro Expresso over ice you could expect me to bounce off the walls.

I do not order the light Frap anymore. That was made with skim milk and regular fraps with whole milk. It is an occasionally indulgence. If it helps keep me cool and out of the ice cream this Florida spring and summer then it is fine with me for now. If I start going out of my way for it (another term for craving) then I will have them make it with skim milk.

I like the coffee at Panera better but there isn't a Panera where I work.

At home recipe:
8 oz sugar free coconut almond milk, 1/8 cup sugar free coconut milk (if I have any on hand), 1 shot hot espresso OR 1/2 cup strong hot coffee, ice cubes -I use 10; splenda if desired: blend until ice is no longer chunky and drink can pour without too much clumping.

This whole post is about doing what I need to do today to maintain food integrity without insanity. If you visit a chain of any type regularly - what (if anything) do you do to be aware of what exactly is in your drink or food? If you don't do anything at all, tell us why. There isn't a wrong answer. We are all traveling this road together - just wearing different shoes.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Finished 30 Day Squat Challenge

Last month I found an app of a squat challenge, thirty days long. First day 10, second day 15, progressing up to 230 on the 30th day.

On Friday I did 250 (over achiever that I am) and completed the challenge. Because of my bad knees I was very careful with each squat and never fully dropped to the lowest position in a squat as I am technically not allowed to do squats if I want to avoid knee replacement a few more years. At no time was I in pain, or swollen. At no time did I bend or rise and go "ah-oh".

I didn't do this thinking it would make me lose weight, get healthy or find salvation. I did it to challenge myself to do something small for 30 days because I never thought I could get to 230, let along 250.

I am planning to start a thirty day plank challenge next.

What is your next challenge?


Monday, April 7, 2014

John Pinette: So Funny, but not today

John Pinette died yesterday. He was a talented actor, stage performer and stand up comedian. His routine "Feed Me, I'm Starving," is hysterical. Much of his stand up work was based on his love of food, awareness of his large body size and his disdain for slow moving buffet lines. To quote the man himself.

"Why are there incredibly long lines at buffets? At a buffet you serve yourself. You grab and move, grab and move . . . and then repeat the process over and over again. 
You know what makes buffet lines so long? Skinny people! They don't move. Skinny people look at the food and talk about it and try to make up their minds if they want to take some or not."

I was going to see him last year in October but the show was cancelled. He went into treatment for an addiction to pain killers. (a binge is a binge is a binge). I love his routines on Halloween candy, the Disney World in August, Italian food, Chinese food, Japanese food, France, Scotland, and Las Vegas. If you never heard them you should go over to You Tube or iTunes and watch/listen. He was very funny. His routines are still funny.

What is not funny is that the very subjects that made him funny are what ultimately lead to his death. His doctor said he suffered from heart and liver disease. No autopsy is being done. He was 52 this year.

I am so sorry he will never reach the point where he does a brilliant routine on loose skin, passing the buffet for the salad bar or the love/hate relationship with his exercise plan. If he had ever found a healthy solution for his morbid obesity he could have been even funnier. I wish he could have experienced that.

Rest in peace, John. May you find harmony with the skinny people in heaven.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Practice Doesn't Make Perfect, it makes Better

Practice gives me a fighting chance. This is why the concepts of Patience, Presence and Practice are so necessary for me.

Because there are days and there are days. . . .

There are days when I need to forgive and it is hard or seems impossible. There are days that will require a calm, logical mind - only possible if I am also calm and sound with my food. I will not always know in advance when a day will require every banked asset I have. To meet what a day requires, I cannot leave my food sobriety with an IOU. I might find myself short-changed. I cannot pull from reserves of fortitude and faith if I've dropped them into a leaky vessel. I did that on and off all last year, never catching on that the leaks were winning.

This is why, even when life is skipping along without a care, I must practice putting spiritual food in my cupboard. After planning my food and accepting  wants are not needs, I accept my needs and gently re-direct my thoughts to where they can be something of value.

Because the day will most certainly come. It can come in tiny tearing heartbreaks five times a day. It could come in the name of a tragedy that could only happen once in a lifetime. That is life and I do not control it.

Those times are when I need to withdraw the insights that I put into my heart’s escrow. And I will need to call on my people — the unseen and the ones right in front of me — to help me meet the day.

You will be interrupted.
You will be called on to expand.
You will be asked who you are and why you are here.

This is why we practice.

Practice with me.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014


In February, I continued to binge for three days after the previous weigh-in of 208, I can only imagine what I weighed when I stopped. Today's weight reflects a confirmed weight loss of nine pounds since then. During that time my food was as it could be for the rest of my life: healthy, satisfying and free of the items that cause my addiction to activate. I have been free of that obsession for 38 days. I could not have eaten less or differently and still be free of that sickness. I have been doing simple exercises; Curves and walking. My clothes are fitting again. I  started a 30 day squat challenge 19 days ago. More on that in another entry.

I am delighted my weight is not above 200.
I am disappointed it is not below 190.
The number did not cause me to change my day in anyway. I felt the disappointment for a few moments and then the gratitude for the past 38 days flowed in.

It is a good day.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Weight a Minute . . .

I have not gotten on a scale since February 17th.  I knew my weight would be high and with resignation, I got on the scale. I weighed 208 pounds. I continued to binge for three more days. I only got my food sobriety back on February 21st. I decided I would stay off the scale until March 1st. Then on March 1st the thoughts in my head went "Nine days. I should be nine pounds down, maybe more. . . I should be under 200 pounds. What if I am not under 200 pounds? What if it shows 201 pounds or 203 pounds? What if I gained another 10 pounds before I put the excess food day? Oh God, if the scale says I weigh over 200 pounds I am going to cave. .  I am going to want to medicate . . . with food. Oh God, what if I give up? 

So I didn't get on the scale. I decided to stay off until I mentally and emotionally can accept the number on the scale no matter what. I stayed on my food plan and decided I would weigh myself a week later. Then, since it was now March 8th I decided to keep off the scale until April 1st.,  April Fool's Day. That makes sense to me because there is no bigger Fool that someone who gives control of their life to a scale. 

For many weight-losing years I was a daily scale person. Every morning as soon as I emptied my bladder I would gently get on the scale and the number would decide my whole day.

  • Weight down more than 2 pounds - Great day ahead!! On fire and ready to do it again today! 
  • Weight down one pound from previous day - Good day! What I did yesterday was good enough. 
  • Down less than one pound - Good day. I did something right. 
  • No Change in weight - various responses. If I knew I over-ate then it was a good day because I didn't gain. If I had not exercised then it was an okay day because I would exercise today and had high expectations that I would see a loss tomorrow. IF I had eaten right and exercised and still there was no change the okay day would become an annoyed day and I better see a loss tomorrow or I would throw a fit (as if that was good for anything). 
  • Weight up - Let's not even discuss what kind of a day it was if the scale went up. 

April 1st is less than a week away. I have followed my food plan without deviations and I am exercising times a week. The larger sized clothing I purchased in February (18/XL) are now all too big. I fit into a smaller size again but I do not fit into all my clothes yet.

I know based on what fits, that my weight is under 200 but I cannot obsess over a number - any number. My weight is what it is. Fear, grief, anger - none of that will change the scale. If I have integrity with me food and my body then I do not need the daily approval/condemnation of a scale. I talked with my mentor and I will get on the scale on April 1st and then not again until May 1st.

What are your scale habits and thoughts? Do you obsess over numbers? Do you give the scale the power to control your life?


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hi . . . Remember Me?

OK, Jane deep breath in, breathe out slowly. Relax and begin writing.

Hi, remember me? I took a trip to Texas for four days five weeks ago . . .and disappeared from blogging.

You know what that means, right?

I fell mouth first into the wrong foods and the insanity that goes with it. I have always said when a weight loss blogger who regularly posts suddenly goes quiet then something is wrong. I am no exception.

The relapse started long before I picked up the first bite. Mentally, I was cooking long before I got on the plane. Mentally and emotionally, I have been the poster child of self deception for much longer than that.  This relapse was three years in the making. . It ended when I hit rock bottom 29 days ago. That is the day of my final binge. With a stomach full of ice cream, chocolate, cookies and whatever else I bought that day, I felt like I was dying. I had another fist full of Hershey chocolate drops in my hand. I honestly believed the next bite would kill me that very minute and I would be found slouched over my desk with wrappers around me. I ate it anyway.

As I swallowed and realized I was not dead, I started reaching for another bite . . .suddenly I felt compelled to grab all the junk in front of me and throw it all away. I poured half a can of Comet on top of everything and then I made a call and reached out for help. I believe help is always available if we humbly ask for it.

The physical relapse ended that day. I have been back to sober eating and being kind to my body for the past 28 days. This is a sickness and shame has no place in my recovery but I still felt the shame of having been beaten by my own will. I have not posted because I wanted to focus on what is really important for that recovery but also because I wasn't ready to speak openly about what happened. I needed to find some understanding within myself. I needed to listen a lot more than I needed to write this blog. I needed to be a more humble student and refrain from the suggestion that I am the teacher. I still need have much more to learn.

The process of learning does not stop because my food is clean today.  I have written too many posts in the past three years where the writing was to convince myself of what needed to be done.  From this point on my posts will reflect what I am doing instead of what 'I know' I need to do.

As for the rest, I will take it one day at a time.

If you are still out there reading this, I hope you will let me know.