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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Thursday
Oct072010

the end of old habits, the start of something new

I don't talk about weight all that often on my blog. Sure, I've brought it up from time to time, but it isn't something I make a regular habit of discussing. But I've hit a wall. A heavy wall. I feel uncomfortable in my skin. Things aren't where they should be and I just don't feel good about myself right now.

I've always struggled with my weight. I was a chubby kid, a chubbier teenager, and topped out at my maximum weight of 245 pounds in college. I slowly lost weight after graduation, but still felt uncomfortable. I always thought of myself as the fat girl, an identity that still bubbles up in the depths of my psyche. Old habits are hard to break, and seeing myself as undesirable, unattractive, and uncomfortable with my body was something that tormented me for years, and still it is a habit that still rears its ugly head from time to time. Thankfully, I am learning to break down those mental traps, and am finally beginning to see the beauty that is me, inside and out.

Despite this, it doesn't change the fact that right now, my body is in need of a bit of maintenance. The last few years have been a rocky ride, and I have been all over the scale. When I was very sick in 2008, I rapidly lost 60 pounds in about 6 months. I ended up at an unhealthy 145 pounds, which looked skeletal and unnatural on my 5'11" large frame.   I was skinny, for the first time in my life, and it was horrible. I looked terrible, I felt worse.  The worst part is that many people told me I looked great.  Our culture's association of skinny = healthy is so warped.

As I've gotten healthier, I've slowly gained back weight.  My gut is healing and my blood sugar is stabilizing and I'm absorbing nutrients again. I no longer look grey and lifeless. My hair is shiny and my skin is bright. My menstrual cycle even returned - it was absent for 2 1/2 years. It's like a miracle. My curvaceous, hourglass figure has returned; my hips are full, and I have cleavage again.  

Unfortunately, my weight gain hasn't stopped, and I've continued to add curves, and more curves, and more curves... While it may be side effect from my Lyme medication, issues with my thyroid, or some other medical issue, I think it is more an issue of not having enough physical activity and just eating too much. I love to eat and I'm not real keen on using the treadmill. I have no portion control. I tend to snack and eat mindlessly. Snacking late at night is a common occurance. I need to reevaluate my relationship with food; it is something that has always been a comfort and a refuge, and at times, it takes over my brain. In addition to practicing more mindful eating habits, I need to get some exercise in. Lifting a fork, unfortunately, doesn't count. I miss feeling strong, and seeing my muscles ripple under the surface of toned flesh. I don't like having muffin tops over the tops of my jeans - even if they are gluten-free muffin tops. I want my nice Gore-tex parka to fit again. I want to feel sexy and strong and confident, and that my body reflects who I want to be inside.

Right now, I don't feel any of those things.  My current weight, which fluctuates around 185 pounds, is just too much. I felt really good at about 165-170 pounds with more muscle tone, and would like to feeling like that again.  I would like to lose weight in a healthy way that doesn't compromise my healing process and work on building muscle and toning.  But I'm a little nervous; I tend to get obsessive when trying to lose weight. Food journals are not healthy for me; counting calories makes me crazy and I get too restrictive. I have some disordered eating tendencies that create a very slippery slope for me, and I have to make sure I'm not slipping into self-destructive thought processes and habits. 

So, I am making a public commitment to ending old habits and starting new ones, and taking a balanced approach focused on how I'm FEELING and not how I LOOK. Thankfully, I am healthy and well enough to start gentle exercise again (YAY for Lyme treatment!!!!), and need to take advantage of these huge leaps in my healing process. I need to fully honor my respect for food and follow my own advice when making choices to eat, practicing mindfulness and portion control. I need to return more diligently to a diet that I know makes me feel good - lots of meat and veggies, no grains, moderate amounts of beans, seeds, and nuts, and lots of healthy fats. And most importantly, I need to send loving kindness into every cell of my being.  

Hopefully, this process will allow me to learn where my ideal weight is, and learn  new habits that exemplify who I want to be and how I want to view myself. Wish me luck.  To kick it off, I'm starting with three simple and easily attainable goals.

WEEKLY GOALS: 

  1. Stop late night snacking. Seriously.
  2. Take five deep breaths every time before I eat. Think about the food, imagine it nourishing my body, and check in with myself to assess how hungry I really am. 
  3. Go the gym and do light resistance training 2-3 times this week. 

CURRENT WEIGHT: 192 pounds (whoa, what? I almost fell off the scale when I saw this...)

HOW I'M FEELING: Shocked the scale told me that weight, first of all. Otherwise, I'm feeling really weak in my core, totally squishy everywhere, and wishing I had well-defined arm muscles again. I'd prefer that my pants didn't feel so tight at the waist and in the hips as well.  On the plus side, I've been biking to work again the last week and that feels super great. Hooray!

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Reader Comments (6)

I am so glad that you wrote this post!! When I tell post people that I have a yeast allergy and I am gluten intolerant, they always say "Oh my god, I would lose so much weight if I didn't eat yeast or gluten!" But the truth is that just because you can't eat a certain food doesn't mean you will lose weight. I haven't lost a single pound since going yeast and gluten free, however my mood, energy level and overall health have improved dramatically. I really hate the fact that people think that gluten free is a weight loss tool. Also, I also snack a lot at night...don't be too hard on yourself.

Can you make a ACD and gluten free pizza!?!?

I too am fighting Lyme Disease. It had gone undiagnosed for many years and now I am fighting to gain my health back. I am looking forward to following your blogg...best of luck.

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Kim,
found your blog by chance. I have Lymes, am a dietitian, coach, and lover of real food. we share a lot of the same dietary restrictions, and I'd love to (briefly) chat offline about a thought. I couldn't find contact info, so please drop me a line.

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercheryl

HI Kim , Well , Well,my dearest Sister , as you know I do not have Lyme Disease , but I do have Celliac, Fibromyalgia , chronic fatigue endometrioss bi polar and on and on with the auto immune disorders . I have been so depressed laetly , I have not been to your site in many weeks , you've never left my thoughts though all I can tell you is I have had weighth issues my whole life also , I am 5'71/2 and I just topped out on the scale at my last dr's appointment on 10/12/10 at 201LBS I am so freaked out , NONE of my winter clothes fit me or look right on me either this is a gain of 45 lbs I knew all Summer I was gaining I can not get off the sugar I am so addicted it is really very sad . I would walk approx 24 miles a week from 2004 to 2006 but after yet another surgery things have just been on the decline for me in every way .I have decided I am going to do my very best to get myself together starting now and when I came across your post . you always make me cry , some how our paths always seem to flow in the same vain . I have so many food allergies and things I can not tolerate along with all this pain I just gave up and started staying with too many things that aren't good for me .Sugar is a strong drug . I guess my point here is you are so not alone in what you are going through . I am sending you all the positive energy I can , I know things are difficult , but I also know you will do well I will too it's just that with the fibro and the injuried muscles I have it is difficult . I have the same spirit in me that you do where we over push ourselves and it can cause us big trouble . I will make no more excusses though I will do what I can each day it will be better than nothing . Take care of yourself Sista and always remember ...You rock :) By this time next year we will have our hard bodies back . BYE

October 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

Sorry for the slow response, and thank you for all of your supportive and encouraging comments. This is an issue that everyone can relate to, isn't it?

@Jocelyn - yeah, i hear ya on the "just because it's GF" thing. crazy how we can justify something because it is GF, isn't it? :) And as for the pizza, yes, I'm working on it!!!

@Cheryl - thanks for the note! I had removed my "contact" button because I was too busy to respond to emails. I have your email address and will drop you a line to discuss your idea! THanks for reaching out.

@Kathy - I've missed you! I noticed you weren't commenting and hoped that you were okay. I am sorry to hear you've been struggling. You're in my thoughts and I'm sending you positivity. I hope that things are brighter for you now.

December 3, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim @ Affairs of Living
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo