I have known for months, in the dark back corners of my mind, that my eating patterns are totally out of control.  And it is honestly a total miracle that I have not ballooned up to 3265789 pounds because of it.

When I was pregnant with my son in late 2009 and early 2010, I was sick. as. a. dog.  The nausea lasted well into my second trimester, and got worse later in the day.  I lost weight during the first half of my pregnancy, and had a total net weight gain of about 15 pounds by the end.  By the time S was 8 weeks old, I was already about 5 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight, which is where I have stayed ever since (despite my atrocious eating and almost total lack of physical activity).  I’ve never had a particularly fast natural metabolism, so this kind of astounds me.  By any measure, I should have gained at least 15 pounds in the last 6 months. Probably more.

Part of this process for me has to be total awareness and acceptance of the crap I’m consuming, and just how bad it is for me.  I estimate that yesterday alone I crammed 4,000 calories in my mouth, including 4(!) cans of Cherry Coke.  And exercise?  That would be the walk between my office and my public transportation station: about 5 blocks each way.  Oh, and the physical exertion related to changing the Mt. Krakatoa of shit-filled diapers last night.

I’ve been perusing fitness and weight loss blogs (Jesus hell, there are countless such blogs that are really just web ads for some miraculous, super fast, all-natural weight loss solution), amassing tips and inspiration for this journey.  Several bloggers advocate taking photos at various intervals (monthly, quarterly, etc.).  I have to be honest…taking a photo of myself in my skivvies does NOT appeal to me, and I have a detailed plan about how I will immediately copy the photos to a password-protected CD and then delete from the camera before another living soul can even begin to be aware that said photos exist.  But I’m going to take those photos in the next few days.

I am putting together a detailed grocery list.  Obviously, the single easiest way for me to exercise the willpower to avoid eating crap is to THROW THE CRAP AWAY and replace it with healthful alternatives.  Tonight I will be purging my kitchen of the processed, refined, sugary, salty stuff and replacing it with the stuff we all know I should be eating.

I have also decided that I will be keeping a food and exercise log, at least in the beginning.  My capacity for denial knows no bounds, and I want to use that as a tool to hold myself accountable.  I’m going to share that log here.

Many, many people (including the gurus on weight loss shows like The Biggest Loser and Heavy) advocate taking measurements in addition to weighing in.  So I’ll be tracking my inches lost, as well as my pounds lost.

I’m going to apply some of my 12-step tools to this journey.  Most importantly, I am going to work hard to always examine my motives for doing things.  Am I eating because I am hungry, and/or for energy, or am I eating because I am bored or sad or anxious?  Again, it’s another way for me to get real with myself about what I’m doing to myself both physically and emotionally.  The truth is that food and eating are actually very complex emotional issues for me.  I will never treat my body better if I don’t work on those emotional issues, too.

Let me also proclaim my newfound affection for Jennifer’s blog, Losing the Shadow.  I relate so much to her, and I’m looking forward to tagging along with her as she works through many of the same issues that I face.

PS–Ordered 30-Day Shred yesterday.  Huzzah!  It will arrive early next week, along with the much-needed baby gate since S is on the very cusp of crawling.

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