Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Bend in the Road

If you have not read Anne of Green Gables, do so. Immediately. It doesn't count if you've watched the movie countless times while home sick from school. I've done that too, but I just finished the book for the first time yesterday. Let me share why this book has been a lovely source of enlightenment in life right now. Here's the scenario, after one blissful day where Anne had just received the Avery scholarship and all was right in the world, everything crashes down with the death of sweet Matthew andt he collapse of the bank with all their savings. She resolves to stay home with Marilla so Green Gables stays their own. In the face of the painful twist of life, she muses:
". . . my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend, Marilla. I wonder how the road beyond it goes--what there is of green glory and soft, checkered light and shadows--what new landscapes--what new beauties--what curves and hills and valleys further on."

Isn't that stunning? My life has taken some unexpected bends of late. But, what an enriching way to take them on. I am certain that life will be good around each bend and I trust the Lord that the straightway I've imagined wouldn't be nearly as good for me as the curves He has planned. And how does this fit in a line of posts about my quest to lose 20 pounds? Easy. I have gotten off track a few times and tried a few different things in this path. Some bends were my own doing and I would have been better off had I not taken them, say for example had I not eaten 10 oatmeal cookies in two days. But, I took them, and I'm still standing. Yes, I tracked everything yesterday, ended up with points to spare, and wasn't even hungry. Hooray! Today, I am fairly on track and gearing up to enjoy some plum puffs and raspberry cordial at an Anne of Green Gables book club party. I'm just going to keep eating, keep writing down, keep moving, and keep embracing the bends that come my way.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What Day Am I On???

So, I've lost count on my year sans sugar adventure. Somewhere in the 360s is where I should be I'd wager, if I hadn't reset the clock several times this week. A batch of oatmeal cookies totally did me in. Again, round, butter, sugar--these are the devil's tools against me. This week someone told me that there is theoretical research reported by a third party from someone who heard it on the radio that the combination of butter and sugar is extremely addictive. Shocker. I totally subscribe to that theory.
Anyway, I still struggle. I waffle back and forth between going on the tracking plan with my dear friend Weight Watchers and eating whatever I want as long as it doesn't have any sugar in it. One plan affords me the opportunity to eat sugar in moderation. . . clearly not my forte. The other plan means no tracking or set rules, but also no cookies again, ever. Oh middle ground, where art thou?
So, I think if I want to be generally healthy, I can follow plan #2, eating what I want, but no sugar. But, I do not think I will really lose weight. And I would really really like to lose 20 pounds. I mean, how good would I look? Uber good that's how. So, I need to just suck it up and write down everything I eat and measure and portion and realize that it is a fact of life. And if I do that, then I will get there. If I eat 27 pts. a day and watch it on the splurges, I will lose weight. I really believe I can lose 20 pounds. As I look at where I was 20 pounds ago, I was somewhat content. I'd lost 30 pounds and thought I looked okay and I struggled with the motivation to take it to the next level. And yet, here I am, so darn glad I did. I am on that next level and it feels okay. It feels doable and I like how I look, but I just know there is more in me. Not trying to get to the greener grass on the other side, just trying to get where I know I can. I don't want to leave anything on the field, as they say. I want to give this weight loss thing my all-out awesome Morgen effort. And if I stay on track and exercise and my body rejects it and says "um, no thanks I think I like weighing this much actually" well then I won't feel guilty or bad or anything. Because I'll know I've given it all I am. Right now I just can't say that. Right now I'm pretty sure I can give a heck of a lot more in this self control thing. I'm holding back. Why? Fear maybe. Maybe for some reason if I become lean, I won't be myself. Will I lose Morgen if I lose 20 pounds? Maybe I identify with smart, but chubby. Pretty, but chubby. Lovely face, strong faith, nice eyes, but chubby. If I lose the weight, do I lose that nice cushy caveat that keeps me from being a little too good, a little too noticeable? Not being strikingly beautiful preserves some anonymity I think, and that makes me feel nice and safe in this average body I've maintained. I feel a real fear sometimes when I think about life as a size 10, looking the way I imagine I could look after I kiss 20 pounds goodbye. Why is that? Why would success scare us? I think we all back away from things we might be good at.
But, I am going to try hard not to overthink this. . . like I have been for the last three paragraphs. All I know is tomorrow I will write down everything I eat and keep it to 27 points. That is tomorrow. I can do that tomorrow. Tuesday, hang out in the bullpen for awhile, we'll tackle you next. Tomorrow, I track.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The ride

The other day I was feeding Emma a bottle, helping Isaac read a book, and paying bills online. That is serious multi-tasking, and I think I do that a little too much. I tend to quantify my worth by how much I can get done in a day. I think I could take a lesson or two (or more) from my two year old. She just sings her way through the day, creating songs as she goes, and her only task of the day is fiercely defending her autonomy. . . and I do mean fiercely. In any case, the other day we were swinging together and looking up at her joyfully beaming face filled my heart with a whole lot of happiness in that moment. I wasn't thinking about anything else, not what I was making for dinner, not how I was going to help Isaac learn to read, how I was going to make sure my girls had healthy relationships with food--I was only basking in the glow of the minute. It was a nice minute and I think I would have more nice minutes if I siezed upon that attitude a little more often.

The sugar-free life goes well. I tried a bite of a famed Georgetown cupcake. They won a big contest up here and someone brought me one. It was amazing, I'll admit it. I savored one bite and then passed it on to the rest of the family. I have never tasted chocolate frosting like that in my entire life. Wow.

I feel great. I've lost three pounds, which is nice, but it feels nice to not be dieting, just living in a healthier way. I am grateful for my body and going to try to embrace living in it one day at a time, one minute at the time.

Monday, June 8, 2009

#364. . . Or how I totally rock

This is the last time I mention the peanut butter cookies, but I would like to point out that there has been a half-eaten (by my husband by the way) cookie in a tupperware container on my dishwasher all bloomin day and I haven't touched it. What is even cooler is that I haven't really even wanted to. Chocolate milk, yes, and I did have a slim-fast shake this afternoon. Oh yes, I am fully aware they have sugar, but it has the word "slim" in the title--how bad could that be. Anyway, let's return to why I rock. I went to the gym tonight to run. I love running. Since my better half broke his arms I haven't gotten to do it as much, but tonight was marvelous. Ok, so I was slightly motivated by the fact that the gym has treadmills with individual televisions and so could proffer an opportunity to secretly watch "The Bachelorette." Maybe that doesn't rock as much, but my heartrate was sure rockin' and my legs felt strong and once I hit my stride I felt so hot and tough and alive. Sweet. And on the way home I passed the custard place and was actually excited that I wasn't going to have any of that for a very long time. It made me feel awesome at a time when I could really use some awesomeness. That is way better than brownies.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day #365

Things resisted:
-peanut butter cookies (leftovers from said amazing recipe)
-all cinnamon plane shaped cookies, but one
-blueberry waffles

-one cinnamon plane shaped cookie. . . but I did throw the rest away!

So, for the first day, not too shabby. Granted I was fasting for most of the day and so only had to grapple with dinner, etc. But still, small victories will add up. One day at a time. I thank the Lord for a body that can run, lift, and laugh. Let's hope tomorrow I show that gratitude with a little self control. Bring on the Monday.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Sometimes I wonder if keeping this blog is healthy. I eloquently set myself up for failure I fear. After my oh so self aware entry about my addictions, I promptly hop off the wagon and as soon as my husband and son hit the road for a boy's road trip, I find a heavenly peanut butter cookie recipe and cook them up just for me to enjoy while reveling in a romantic comedy. What a psycho. With the boy's away, I am enjoying the girl's weekend with me and my two little ladies. It has been awesome so far, and convinced that I will begin my new life come Sunday evening, I am eating whatever the fruit loops I want to. Waffles? check. More PB cookies? check. (seriously, these are amazing-- 1 c. pb, 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1 egg, pinch of salt and 1/2 t. baking soda. . . allow me to spread the joy and fat around a bit) Slice of pizza for midmorning snack? check. I am on a rampage. But, I am having a fabulous time. I am taking one full day off the high road. I temporarily withdrawing my bid to be elected supermom, superMorgen, supereater, supereverything. I will clean the kitchen, I will read my scriptures, and I will prepare myself to start a Fast this evening to begin my year of sugarlessness. So there. I've thought that I will analog that journey. I will report each night, starting with day #365 tomorrow, and see how the ride goes. Can I do that? Will knowing that I have to report to a blogosphere that may or may not be there and may or may not be concerned with my philosophical struggle with brownies actually give me strength? Excellent questions.

We might be moving in with my mom for a year. This is a time of uncertainty in so many areas with countless variables over which I have no control. But my hands, my mouth, my legs--those are all mine. That I can control. I can always choose what to put in my mouth. I can always choose how much to move my body. And really I can always choose how to feel about those things. I will "refuse to dwell in the realm of negative thought." (President Thomas S. Monson) And by doing so I think I can discover a nice freedom. I can be free to love more and think about my body less. I will be free to go to family reunions more and worry about my skinnier sisters in law less. I can serve more and wallow less. Won't that be nice. Sure, brownies are nice too. Cinnamon rolls? They rock. And let's not forget those cookies. And maybe in a year, I'll be ready to reintroduce myself to them once in awhile. I thought once that if I could run a marathon I could do anything. I've done that, but the invincibility hasn't quite come around. I think we keep setting these crazy benchmarks for ourselves. . if I can just do _______, I can do anything. Maybe we should just day, "I'm going to do ______" and I'll feel great about it and end it there. And maybe a day off once in awhile isn't such a bad thing.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I have finally (for the third time at least) accepted that for whatever freakish biochemical reason, my body has serious issues with the sweet stuff. I nibble one little cookie and watch out all things edible. Stale graham crackers, marshmallows I don't really even like, and don't get me started on peanut butter. I scarf and sneak and somehow wonder why the scale stays still or creeps up. Not sure what I expect. I think I fool myself into thinking that as long as I am eating healthy food and exercising my body will travel to my ideal. I apparently turn a blind eye to the rest of the food I am eating. It doesn't matter nearly as much what I eat as how much I think, and when I eat sugar, I eat a whole lot more of everything else to boot.

So, I am an addict. I've decided to tap into those Word of Wisdom blessings on a whole new level. The run and not be weary thing could really come in handy. I accept that, for me, sugar is an addictive substance, just as habit forming as tea, coffee, alcohol, and countless other habits. As an example, after starting this post, I went over to a friend's house to sit with her kids after bedtime while she went and cleaned the house from which she'd just moved across town. I knew going into this situation that I was walking into a den of temptation. She always has loads of sweets and treats that I never buy. And of course she even had leftover pizza. Somehow I resolved in my mind to not resolve to anything. Talk about self-defeating behaviors. And sure enough, I broke down. Here's the tally: 2 slices of pizza, 2 chocolate chip cookies, 1 oreo (might I mention here that I don't even really like those, but again, round and sugary--note earlier post), and a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch. In my defense, it was a really small bowl, more of a cup actually. . . does that make me a better person??

So anyone want to take a stab at how good I felt about myself when I came home last night? Mmm, somewhere between crummy and utterly worthless. I just couldn't seem to stop myself. Believe me know that I am a sugar addict? Good.

But, here's the thing. I really really don't want to diet. I have tried tracking my food in my Weight Watcher's journal for three days and it fills me with resent. Why? I have no idea. I've lost 50 pounds using WW, never feeling resent or even deprivation really. But for some reason, now that I've come so far, I just can't diet anymore. I just can't write down, plan, limit, or track. But yet I look at my body with disdain and long for a change, but the will isn't there to eat the cottage cheese and salad to make it happen. I think I need to take an honest look at what I am willing to do and then pray to accept what my body does with that. I want to be strong lean and healthy, but I look at the cover of Runner's World and wonder what that woman eats and if I'm willing to follow that plan for that body. I doubt it.

So, what am I willing to do? I am willing to train for another marathon. Yes, yes, I vowed I wouldn't do another one. But, I am planning to walk/run it, which will be easier on my knees and my schedule. I will run three days a week, do weights two days a week, and have a free cross-training day for whatever kind of movement sounds fun to my body at the time. Diet?? Not willing to use the word. Not willing to track. Willing to eat healthy food. Willing to not eat any sugar and willing to stop eating after eight pm. So, no sugar. . zero zip nada nil. And for at least the next month, that means any sugar at all on the ingredient list. Maple sugar, honey, and fruit will be the sweet tooth satisfiers of life. And, yes, I do think it will be for life. The other night I was talking this over with a friend who gave the oh so reassuring news that her father swore off sugar for similar reasons about 15 years ago and is just now getting to the point where he can eat a cookie now and then and stop. Nice.

A marathon in the Fall, no sugar, and no food after 8pm. These are the simple rules of my life. And steady constant prayers for strength and a loving acceptance of my body as it is and as it will be with this lifestyle. I think I will get stronger. I think I will be leaner. I don't think I will look like Runner's World girl, but at least I have hips and a life. I'll take that.