Friday, November 20, 2015

Im failing - Miserably.

I hate to report - any attempt at getting my eating and nutrition back on track have completely failed. Emotionally speaking, I am in survivor mode and have been for about 3 weeks. No fasting, no coutning calories - I havent even been sticking to my vegetarian diet. Thats right - cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets - all of it! Ive eaten all of the animals in the past 3 weeks. My body hates me. Its totally rebelling.

Functioning in suvivor mode is an immediate diet destroyer. Its like reverting back to cave-people days when nobody knew what the following day would bring, if there is a pack of lions coming, the dry season, a missed shot with the arrowhead. Panic - fat storage and unfathomable food cravings are the direct result. Its happening.

Fortunetely for me, my problems arent that serious - its more middle class white people problems. But for me, they are real. It all comes down to me feeling trapped in my job as a teacher. The life is literally being sucked out of me day after day. After day. Emotionally, I am at the physical equivilant of the final stages of AIDS. All of my defense systems that keep me healthy and stable are depleted - I have no more emotional T cells fighting the everyday woes. When one enters into survival mode - the tiniest diversion or infraction is enough to lead to emotional pneumonia and subsequent death.

I havent completed gotten to the stage of emotional Pneumonia, but I definitely have a nasty cold that is lingering. Ive been able to keep some emtional meds in my cabinet to deal with some of the symptoms - meaning ive still been exercising. This has probably saved me from emotional pneumonia, however is not enough to keep the excess emotional pounds off.

Im so unhealthy emotionally right now that my body is physically suffereing. I make affirrmations that Im going to pass on the cheeseburgers or chips and get greens, but when under such extreme termoil, the frontal lobe does not do its job with decision making ergo the rational portion of my brain cannot have enough influience over the decision making part of my brain to make the better choice. Its like how organs start shutting down when one is approaching physical death. Parts of the brain shut down during emotoinal survival mode.  "The prefrontal cortex (PFC)—the most evolved brain region—subserves our highest-order cognitive abilities. However, it is also the brain region that is most sensitive to the detrimental effects of stress exposure. Even quite mild acute uncontrollable stress can cause a rapid and dramatic loss of prefrontal cognitive abilities, and more prolonged stress exposure causes architectural changes in prefrontal dendrites." Mine is probably permanant by this point...

I dont know how long this episode is going to last or what to do about it. This job is literally killing me - my eyelid is in a constant state of twitch and all my body wants to do is sleep.

"Why Does My Eye Twitch?

Stress: While we're all under stress at times, our bodies react in different ways. A twitching eye can be one sign of stress, especially when it is related to vision problems such as eye strain (see below). Reducing the cause of the stress can help make the twitching stop.
Tiredness: A lack of sleep, whether because of stress or some other reason, can trigger a twitching eyelid. Catching up on your sleep can help."

Im miserable when im here and miserable when im not because im thinking about being here. I am working on my mindfulness strategies to be able to utilize my time away from school, but its really really hard and im really really out of practice. This job has even invaded my dreams. Sleep is no longer an escape. Nightmares and night sweats plaque what should be a peaceful recovery time for my brain and body. Its as if I cant escape the tourment. To top it all off - my beloved friend, Xanax isnt even able to conquer this sleep demon... If xanax cant fix it then i dont know what can... Xanax has ALWAYS been my go to sleep companion. Now what?

Whats keeping me here: paycheck: health insurance: reasonable hours. I almost added working conditions but thats not the case.

I was trying to explain to my friend amanda what its like while she was doing my hair last night and I could only come up with one analogy: If someone with destroyed damaged hair came into the salon and said, "I know this is quite hopeless, but do what you can - I trust  your skill and previous work to know you will do a good job." So the hair stylest assess the hair and comes up with what she feels will be suited for the mess she has been given. Do a keratin treatment and throw a gentle glaze over the damage to bring back some of its vibrancy and a good cut to get rid of the worst damage. SUCCESS! The color and cut look amazing - the hair has regained life and the client should be thrilled. The client is not thrilled. The client would rather she have done sassy highlights with a BOB and is devastated and in turn does not tip or even pay the hair stylest and leaves her feeling worthless about her craft. If the stylist had done a BOB and highlights, the client would be bald by now, but the client listened to Marzano and didnt see it through the eyes of the experienced professional. Its like that everyday.

I dont mind professional challenges. I welcome them. Boredom is just as much a stressor as anything. But when you are asked to do the impossible - and then actually do the impossible - but are told it just wasnt the right impossible - on almost a daily basis - you kinda start to wish for car crashes on the way to work. Or look at Burger King as your next employer. What could go wrong with pickles and ketchup? Or do they have a Marzano scale?

Dont get me wrong, this is not a marzano hating session - its not marzanos fault this is occuring. Its like the saying guns dont kill people, people kill people. Well marzano doesnt ruin education, decision makers who have never been in the classroom making policy ruin education. Put me up at the top - ill tell you how to deal with bad hair care...

My once intended positive  - rejourney to weight loss has morfed into a "my job is ruining my life" bitch fest. I hate being such a complainer and im getting lots of advice from lots of caring people, but the fact that my frontal lobe is not in tact at the moment makes it very difficult to be able to make decisions moving forward. The only way I can describe it: the breakdown of the frontal lobe: is like trying to see under water. Its hard! without goggles! Everything is blurry - you cant breathe - the water is probably burning your eyes - its really hard.

If it werent thanksgiving break for the next week - i sincerely think the pneumonia would be kicking in and i would end up in the loony bin.

I have a plan for the break - lots of exercise - lots of time with loved ones - and lots of fresh food. Hopefully with good meds like that - this emotional underwater bad haircut pneumonia will be on the mend.

Thhanks for all the support!


Friday, October 30, 2015


So I am so happy - I have officially completed my goal of fasting monday wednesday AND friday. Well not true - it will be complete when I leave work, but I dont plan on eating before I leave work and this is only time I will have to write today, so for all intents and purposes, I DID IT!

Ive said it time and time again - its really not that hard at all. Im telling you, on fasting days Im literally a nicer - happier person. Im nicer to my students, have more energy, and get more done.

Yesterday was the perfect example of why I love fasting so much. Yesterday was a normal eating day and I was miserable - my stomach was in knots, I was gassy and bloated, and I even had to put my head down during planning because I was so exhausted.

I honesly cannot actually wrap my head around it myelf. Conventional wisdom tells us that food is fuel and keeps us going - how is it that food is turning into oppostite fuel for me at this point...

We had a guest teacher here yesterday and he was discussing fasting as well. He noted that when we are all consuming, our cells are rapidly dividing, but when we starve them, they end up going into repair mode and can actually repair damaged DNA. This is good for me as I wreak havoc on my body with all the weekend beers and occasional ciggarette - somoething I am definitely not proud of considering I committed to quitting in 2008... oh well, good thing im fasting!

Im not really sure of other/new revalations that are coming out of it to contribute to me blogging about it... Other than my initial revalations of having more control over myself and food and feeling better, I cant really say that any more is really coming from it.

My challenge next week, is going to be fasting combined with exercise. My sickness is finally resolving itself and Im feeling ready to enter back into exercise. I miss having muscles. I felt like having muscles and a lean body really set me apart from other people - made me unique. At this point im not even really sure what im worth so soft and larger. Time to hit the weights again and get the identity I loved back and make a future for myself.

I think the biggest challenge I am coming across right now is the whole "Ill do this once Im lean/fit again" and not pursuing things UNTIL I reach that goal. For example, I really really need a new career and am considering grad school, but I dont want to be pursing anything till I feel good physcially. To get into a new career I am going to have to do some major networking and interviewing. I cant go to a network even as a size 12/14... size 12/14 doesnt look good in a suit and takes up a lot of space in an already crowded environment. I KNOW how rediculous this sounds. Im reading it as I write it. I totally get it. Im thinking the same thing. BUT its the thinking that plaques my mind. I cant imagine the me I am now being the first choice of a new company. People like pretty people. People like skinny people. Espcially with  me aging, I need to have the edge of a rockin body.

Moreover, i am thinking grad school as an option as well. Im not as nervous  about my current condition getting in the way of my acceptance to a school, but I do imagine it will make a difference. I will need to set up a preliminary information gathering session with the program director and i want to be able to have her look at qualifications and why i deserve to be in the program rather than her look at me overweight and assume im lazy and that i wont work hard in grad school because i dont work hard to keep my body healthy. these are all real issues. Some people who have never dealt with being overweight do not realize how discrimintory people are - hell - i discriminated against heavy people when i was fit... So i know it happens. So theres that...

Funny story: some people really cannot wrap thier heads around why i am taking on fasting. At lunch the other day, a co-worker piped her two (non)cents in with, "Glime, why arent you eating, have you ever heard of going to the gym?" The entire lunch room burst with laughter - including people I would consider my confidants. Im not too sad over it - its not something that ruined my day, if anything I feel a little "above" them because ive managed to reach a higher level of self awareness and control that is only born from depriving one's self of a basic human need. Monks have been doing it for centuries in order to reach new levels of enlightenment and self-actualization. Its a pretty incredible experience. I think the misconception is that its all about the weight loss, and it is on some levels, but its more about being able to redifine myself and redifine my relationship with food. The poor relationship with food is what keeps me overweight so if i can redefine it then the lbs will shed off naturally and permanantly. Haters gonna hate.

New Goals: Now that I have accomplished my 3day/week fast, I now want to venture into some new terratory. As I mentioned earlier, exercising while fasting, and adding more hours to my fast - to 36 hours. I think i will do the exercise one first then on a non-exercise day, try for the longer hours. Will keep you posted! Happy Friday and Have a good Halloween!!


Friday, October 23, 2015

Fasting while sick?

So my goal of getting 3 fasts in this weekend did not happen as I have a very annoying cold. I have read articles that promote fasting while sick and that it will allow one's body to heal faster. Well when im sick i want comfort food. So thats exactly what ive been doing. Jimmy Johns, doritos, OJ, milk - all of my favorites... Guess what - I am totally feeling the drag. The drag of being sick PLUS the drag of feeling like crap. So today I sucked it up and am fasting. Not going to  lie - it was very hard earlier in the day... Probably comparable to the very first day I fasted and failed. But because of my previous fasting experience I knew the hunger would pass, not build so i am offically only 2 hours away from food. I also have yet to get my 3 days in. I did two days last week, but had a very rough Friday so I let my emotions get the best of me. I cant dwell on it - I just have to move on and let next week be a fresh week  and go for 3 days again. Overall its working well - i havent weighed myself yet - but peopel have been commenting that I am looking slimmer - I hope they are being honest and not just feeding into it cause they know I am fasting... This is a week where I really wish I would have fasted 3 days as we are doing a family boat day tomorrow and I feel bloated and yucky from all of the crap ive put into my body this week. Lesson learned. Thats all I can do is allow this week to be a learning experience and solidify for myself WHY i am taking on the fasting routine. I also spent alot more $$ on food this week, Its amazing how fasting even two days a week - 4 meals - makes a difference in my budget. Normally after my Friday Fast I would head over to the Locale Market and have a deliscous salad, but I am heading up to my parents. A decision I am soon regretting. I guess I can go locale THEN go to my parents. I guess I will have to think about it. First world problems.

Boring post, but no more real revelations have come out of today other than fasting while sick also makes me feel better and is giving me more energy. Who would have thought?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Getting Smarter or Crazier?

So today is Friday and I am 18 hours into my fast today. As I've mentioned before, on the fast days I feel great! The same is true for today. Its my 6th period and I feel calm and focused. Similar to if I had taken a Ritalin. On normal days, I am usually feeling groggy and tired and unmotivated. Today I am feeling productive.

I am feeling a little hungry from time to time, but the feeling passes very quickly. There was birthday cake at work today and that was a little bit difficult to not just be like, "Fast over, will start over tomorrow!" But I powered through and stayed strong. Other than that I haven't really been bothered. Although thinking about the cake right now is making my hunger pangs strike up again. But as I am learning, they will pass. I think that has been the most influential part of this experience is taking the control back from food. I am so tormented by food cravings and the need to binge that it sabotages any calorie reduction strategies Ive tried. Even on my non-fast days I am not getting my calories down very low like I would like to, but I am learning and each day I feel gifted with a higher level of understanding of hunger and control and what I'm capable of.

One of the advantages I have discovered with fasting that I may have over other people is that I have the option of sleeping in till 10 m-Th and till 10:30 on Fridays as I don't go to work till 11:30 each day and leave at 6:45. Ergo, if i am fasting on a Friday, I eat dinner Thursday night at like 8, then just go to bed and sleep till 10:30, wake up - go directly to work, get home from work and eat. Its perfect. I have so many distractions at work and I never have food directly in front of me, so food is never really on my mind. There are some small exceptions of course. For example, today during lunch, someone was microwaving something that smelled absolutely Divine. I was very jealous and very much craved food. Soon after, there was birthday cake! I will admit, the birthday cake nearly took me over the edge. I am staying strong though, and don't anticipate having any more severe cravings before 8pm. Only four short hours left! Seems easy enough.

At this point, the 24 hours is seeming too easy. I am very curious to see if could extend it to 36 hours and trying to get through one more sleep and not eating till Saturday at 8am. I think I outta refill my xanax before taking something like that on... Having Ritalin helps a bit too. I try and take it around 6 so that it helps prevent any fast finishing binges. I also need to get out of the habit of justifying a "night before the fast" binge. I think I'm still full of that fear that its going to be too  much and I'm not going to make it and I had better "stock up" so its not so horrible. Its strange to have such competing feelings about the fasts. Part of me craves them - craves the control - the freedom - the feeling of accomplishment. I have such good endorphins, mental clarity, and happiness coursing through me on fast days so I am unsure as to where this fear is coming from. I know its going to be good, so why is there still this piece of me that dreads a day without food and ancticpates it to be a dreadful experience? It seems so counter intuitive. I guess its that same piece that can easily convince me not to exercise... I always feel wonderful when I exercise and have such amazing feelings, but I still have this internal THING that's like, what - why would you want to exercise - its going to hurt - you will feel uncomfortable - you should hang out with pirate - people will look at you funny - you aren't in shape enough to exercise. Its so irrational and i know that - my rational self KNOWS that better than anymore so how does this thing convince me otherwise day after day. Its the same thing that tells me to binge. I have never binge ate and felt good after it. NEVER. Yet this thing can convince me every time that it will be the solution - the cure - the bliss I am longing for. How do i get it out? I picture as like a little green alien living inside of Jeannette. Its not Jeannette - its not me, its an invader. how do i get rid of it? I want it gone. If its not even  me, then how does it have so much control over me? why would i listen to it. Can I talk to it? It always talks to me - its very charismatic and persuasive. I don't know that I ever try and talk back to it and tell it to eff off. I never really thought to talk to it before this.... wow - -either fasting is making me smarter or crazier.... To Be Continued....

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Picking a fast

Upon my research, I learned about many different types of fasting. I ended up going with "Eat - Stop - Eat." This method calls for a 24 hour fast 1 or 2 days a week. This seemed ideal because this means I would not have to worry about the tortures of fasting every single day. Counting calories and limiting my calorie intake is hard enough as it is - adding prolonged periods without eating on a daily basis - FORGET IT. Based on what I know about myself - I could power through not eating for a measly 24 hours... It couldn't be any worse than living through a hangover, right?

Fasting attempt day one: Thursday October 1st I attempted to 24 hour fast from 10am to 10am. By 6pm I had failed. I think this time frame did not work for me for several reasons. The first one being that I did a hard bike ride first thing in the morning, followed by a protein shake and expected myself to not eat anymore till the following day at 10am as a first timer? wasn't happening. I was starving by noon that day and it was torture to sit through lunch with my colleagues as they ate. During my last period class a student offered me a Carmel apple sucker and from there the fast was over. I felt mixed emotions. I knew it may take some practice and I wasn't completely devastated that I did not complete the 24 hours. I just knew that I had to make some adjustments and try again.

The real fail came after I left work. I made the decision that since i failed, I'm going to fail big! I drove through taco bell and got two bean burritos. I had this sensory image built up in my head about how savory and satisfying inhaling the two burritos would be. When I got home i went through  my binge eating ritual of putting on comfy clothes, finding the perfect eating TV show on netflix and snuggling up in bed - binge eating always tastes better in bed... Sadly, with each bite I took, I was not getting the fulfillment I so craved. I took bigger bites, added more mild sauce, but nothing was working. At the end of the 750 calorie binge i was not only not satisfied, I was ravishingly still hungry and the mission was on.

I don't keep much food in my house due to my binge behaviors, but i did manage to find a frozen quinoa dish that was delish with some black bean salsa and some onions. I ate it almost everyday for lunch at work with much delight and fulfillment. This time was different. I don't have a microwave so i enlisted the help of my trusty electric wok. apparently, this meal really did need to be microwaved. either that or i needed more patience. by the time i had returned to bed with my new dish in hand and the perfect netflix show turned on, the food wasn't even fully cooked. I shoved it rapidly in my mouth still cold. It was less satisfying than the  burritos and even worse, was making me feel ill. as any successful binge eater knows - this is no deterrent - this is only a signal for me to eat bigger bites and more rapidly - to power through the wretched tasting meal. the rest of night i was sick. Sicker than I have felt in a very long time. My stomach was pained, my head throbbing. It wasn't breaking the fast that caused me all the distress, it was binge. Needless to say, I haven't been able to even look at the Aldi frozen quinoa fiesta meal since then.

My second attempt, on the other hand, was a huge success. I opten to still do the 24 hour fast but from the hours of 8pm to 8pm. my logic with doing this is that I can eat dinner, go to bed, let myself sleep in (less hours to be aware that im NOT eating), go to work (really easy not to eat because Im so busy) then eat dinner when I get home. flawless. Was so easy. I didnt even realize i wasnt eating - i never really felt hungry and i wasnt having insane food cravings. In fact, i was craving food less than I would on any other 'normal' calorie day. Even as im writing this right now on a normal food day, i am thinking about what to eat when i get home - this did not happen on fast days. Its almost like i was glad to have to reliqhish the control and just accept that i am not eating. it was also easier to eat healhty. I wasnt craving insane amounts of salt or sugar like a do on a regular basis. i was content with simply eating a light vegan salad with ginger dressing. In fact, i didnt even finish the salad - i actually stopped when i was full. I cant even pin point another time in my life that i have actually been able to do that. it sincerly has bever happened before. I completely give credit to the changes the fast is inducing on my body. it is actually  doing what it said it was going to do. amazing. it is sincerly my miracle.

So my initial plan was one day a week, but i found it to be so easy that this week im doing two days a week. I actually think that starting next week i am going for 3 days a week. I have a lofty weight loss goal to reach by january. I need to feel good about myself when i go to hawiaa. and i love my fasting days. I feel so much better on my fast days. I have energy and my mind is clear. Today is a regular eating day and ive eaten very healthy, but im groggy, tired, my stomach is aching, and im craving pizza. none of these symptoms plague me on my fast days. i figured the fasting would be a good way to help me reduce my overall calorie intake and i was convinced it was going to be a huge struggle, but i did not see all of the other positive side effects coming along with it. I cannnot describe how stunned I am at the positive impact fasting has had. Ive only completed two days of fasting and ive already had people comment that im looking slimmer and several of my students commented on  my glowing skin. Ive also been sleeping better. i am someone who has needed xanax every night to sleep for the past 10 years. I have actually been falling alsleep quickly and staying asleep through the night - something that basically just never happens.

The only disaponting aspect of IF that i am encountering is that I didnt know about it sooner. I feel like ive been under a rock or something and am sad i didnt discover this till almost the age of 32.

One irritating aspect of sharing with people about my fasting adventures, is the response that not eating for 24 hours will cause my body to go into fat storing mode and store more fat. clearly, this is a farse. Clearly, by eating several times a day, my body is overly gifted at storing fat and my fat storage mode is alive and kicking. From the research ive done and studies ive read, just the opposite is true, but how do you argue with someone who already has thier mind completely made up. simple - you dont. Im not on a mission to change minds, and i hope that through this experience and my success, i will be able to change minds by being an example. I will say that some people are going to be mightly jealous when im rocking a bikini in january in HI :)

Final thought: since this week with two fasts was so easy, next week, im going for 3... monday wednesday and friday. No way i would attempt a weekend fast. Im just not there yet...

tata for now


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Guess who's fat, fat again...

Looking back at 2009 when I had lost 80 lbs and reached my weight loss goals -  a common question I would get was, "Are you afraid of gaining the weight back?" This was certainly a reasonable question - there are lots of data that show most people who lose a significant  amount of weight gain it right back... At that time - finally living all of the glory of being healthy - I was convinced I was the exception and there was no chance I would gain even 1 of the 80 lbs I had shed over the two year period.

Over the next few years, I managed to keep my word to myself: 2010 - still fit, 2011 - still fit, 2012 - ever fitter, 2013 - still fit. For five years I maintained my healthy weight and reveled in looking and feeling great. And then: "2/3 of dieters gain the weight back within 4-5 years." Yup - here I am...

During 2014 I started to watch the pounds trickle back on - well not really watch, because I refused to step on a scale, but I knew it was happening. My pants started to get snug - I convinced myself it was OK to buy a COUPLE pair of pants in a size twelve (I had been down to an 8 in 2012, but mostly maintained a 10) and then by 2015 I had bought two pair of size 14 shorts. Although I ended up returning the size 14 shorts as I could not get myself to that level of commitment and acceptance that I was regressing and getting fat again. My face started to pump up - I didn't recognize my face in my photos and after awhile stopped getting in photos all together. I had gained 50 of the 80 lbs back by Christmas of 2014. Devastation is an understatement.

Over the next 9 mos or so I was committed to getting my "2012 self" back again. I began counting calories and exercising again. The scale was not moving and my clothes were not fitting any better. I did manage to lose 10 lbs in 3 months at the start of year, however no other major strides were made otherwise. Ive heard time and time again that losing the weight the second time around is even harder and adding in the fact that I am now over 30 to add to the misery.

It really has come down to the acceptance factor of admitting that I am doing something wrong. something about how I lost weight the first time isn't effective this time and I have to do some digging to find out whats next.

Research. Research Research. IVE FOUND IT! "IF" INTERMITTENT FASTING.