grumpiness and #lmwlchallenge

Confession time. I’ve done a crap job at the challenges this week. Part of that was because I’ve been sick on and off all week. I’ve got a cold or allergies, a cough, and a stomach/intestinal thing that is just not going away. But be that as it may, the other part of the deal is I just haven’t felt like doing the damn challenges. My attitude sucks.

My main complaint is that none of this is anything new. Has anyone who has done any serious dieting not heard of any of these ideas? Why do you eat? What else could you do besides eat? Do something else!

The answers to why do I eat are not as easy as they seem like they should be. I have a lot of years of eating under stress, when depressed, when angry, when celebrating, when bored, and so on. I think a lot of that has translated to just pure habit. There are times, like overnight when not sleeping, that I can point at being frustrated and bored and tired and – and this seems most important to me – to having really poor impulse control. Sleep deprivation will do that to you.

So, I’ve said many times that if I could get the late night eating under control, I’d have a huge percentage of my overeating under control. The idea is to do something besides eat. The problem is actually doing it. I have tried this challenge before – nothing is new here. The only thing that has ever worked for me is just toughing my way through it. And I can do that for a while. Just like anyone can stick to an absurd diet for a while. Most of us – nearly all of us – don’t stay with the diet and I don’t stay with my grand plan to not eat in the middle of the night.

I’ve always viewed the problem as one of motivation. Also, I do think the need to love (for lack of a better word) my body more is probably a part of motivation. The fact is, I have a lot of reasons to be motivated and the ones about going out more or going dancing are way at the bottom of my list. But I ultimately don’t change my behavior. The program as it has been presented the past three weeks, I don’t think will help me change that. That could be all my issue, I’m trying to be fair. But I keep coming back to this is not new. This is nothing I haven’t heard before. This is nothing I haven’t tried before. I wish the very best to the people who are excited by trying out this program and I’m guessing it’s clicking with something in them that it just isn’t clicking in me.

We’ll see what the final week contains.


16 thoughts on “grumpiness and #lmwlchallenge”

  1. At the moment I have embarked on a pretty hectic exercise plan in order to get more fit for our Hawaii trip. We are going to 13,000ft altitude at one point and I am concerned how my body is going to react to that..

    I think for me, in order to eat right and exercise, I need some kind of motivation like this which comes from outside of me.

    Some of the things I do to combat the late night snacking – and for me it is actually early morning because I work night shift – I keep snacks that I like which are healthy and that I prefer to the other snacks in the house, but I do allow myself one “bad” snack per day. EG potato chips or a chocolate biscuit.

    The snacks I like that are healthy – and I have always been someone who likes savory more than sweet – olives, feta cheese, carrot sticks, an avocado with balsamic salad dressing, apples, oranges..

    But yeah – your attitude is yours and you can change it, or not. 🙂 It is a seriously difficult thing to do, especially if you are feeling a bit down to begin with.

    I think this lmwl challenge is a bit.. lame.. for someone as awesome as you. I think you need to find something a bit more non-lame. And then probably your attitude towards it would change. 🙂


    1. “But yeah – your attitude is yours and you can change it, or not. 🙂 It is a seriously difficult thing to do, especially if you are feeling a bit down to begin with.”

      Yeah, true. Maybe I’m just having a bad week. I’ve felt like crap and I’m sleeping as though I work the graveyard shift. It’s hard to feel inspired. My motivation has to be long term – which makes sense since my health is my biggest motivation, but it also seems to be something I’m really good at putting off.

      I bought olives and Giardiniera and pickles with that same idea of having something savory and reasonably healthy to snack on – the only thing I want to eat is toast. I’d pretty much eat toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner right now but I’m trying to cook healthier foods. 🙂


  2. Agree 100%. I’m also trying not to be negative about it, but this last week I hardly paid attention to the challenges. I didn’t mean to forget about them, it was an awful week, and challenging myself was not high on the priorities.

    I stress eat, and I eat out of convenience. A lot of my snacking can be curbed by not buying convenient snack foods. On the weekends, I usually make meals with gigantic portions so that I can have leftovers on lazy days. Somehow, that didn’t happen this week. Actually, no. I did get it done, but I was trying to be adventurous and none of the things I made really turned out very well (also, making pupusas took way longer than I thought they would). That was kind of my theme for the week. Lots of trying, not a lot of success… exhaustion at the finish line.

    I’m kind of looking forward to the last week of challenges, though. I know next week is going to be rough at work again, and I think if I remembered to do something rewarding each day, it might help. One thing that this program has helped me with is not to feel guilty rewarding myself. Self care is necessary, and I’ve always known that, but at the same time it was so low on my priorities that I felt really guilty taking time for myself when there were things on my do to list left to do. There’s always going to be things on my to-do list, but fitting in time for myself and time to celebrate little successes needs to have higher priority in my life. I don’t think Sarah has a good handle on what things work for me as far as self care/rewards go, but I kind of figured that would be the case going in.

    I think once this is over, I am going to try to create my own challenges. Write a whole month out, and try to keep up with them. To keep variety going, I’m trying to think of 6 or 7 categories so each day of the week is a different kind of challenge. I’m leaning towards 6 categories so I can have one challenge free day a week.


    1. I really like your idea of creating our own challenges. Everyone is different and meaningful self care and reward things are different for each of us. I think rewarding myself and doing something fun is important, but I’ve had trouble coming up with something new or meaningful that doesn’t involve food. Still, one of my goals this summer has been to cook more and make healthy and interesting food. Like you, my attempts this past week just didn’t work out well. Nothing new for my recipe blog! I’m starting on my plan of cooking soups and stews and chilis to freeze, particularly for lunches. I need to clean out the big freezer before I get too far into this.


      1. Cooking for the freezer has helped me so much. Some of the things that I’ve really loved (aside from soups and chili) have been revamps of the foods I revert to if nothing else is quickly available. I had tons of fun making few different mini pizzas, and I know they were much healthier than delivery. We’ve also done curry dishes to wild success (although I don’t freeze the rice). I need to learn to utilize the slow cooker more, though.

        I’m excited about trying to come up with my own challenges. I think I’m going to try to get through December… and if they’re working for me, then keeping up with challenges (or maybe just doing a weekly challenge) might be a good New Year’s Resolution (which I’ve never actually made before, because I don’t believe in making promises to yourself or others that aren’t realistic). Some of the challenges I already plan to do are just revisions on the ones Sarah suggested, and I hope that by doing this, my eyes will be open looking for new different challenges to get myself out of various ruts.

        I have to say, the biggest thing that is triggering depression & stress eating for me, though, is my job. Ultimately, it is my goal to find another job or to be able to work from home in 2014. Looking for a new job right now is limiting until my kid is done with breastmilk (because I’d need a job that has space for me to pump and wouldn’t be irritated with me taking regular/additional breaks to do so). I’m OK with that, and he’s what keeps me going. But it’s definitely a goal as he gets older and needs less and less milk from me. And, when the challenges did work for me, it also helped alleviate a little of the job stress, and that’s just as important. So, right now, the challenges have been working more like band-aids than an actual cure. But, I’d like to keep doing them even after I get out of my current situation so that I don’t forget to take time away and refresh myself, even if I’m not stressed out or depressed. Because it’ll still be important.

        Long story short: Even though most of the challenges seemed to not be relevant to my life, it’s helped me refocus and remember that my happiness and well-being should be a priority again. That’s definitely worth it. 🙂


        1. I totally agree with that and I really do need to give Sarah credit for reminding me about things like paying attention to my body and what it’s really hungry for, why I’m eating, etc. There aren’t easy answers but that doesn’t mean I should avoid trying to find my answers. Also, remembering to do the things that make me happy rather than beat myself up for not getting everything done is a good thing. I have 30 years of junk to go through since I swear my parents never threw anything away and it’s not going to happen overnight.

          Oh, and I didn’t think about freezing curries. They’re such a lot of trouble to make for one but if I make a nice big batch and freeze them – they’re really quite a healthy meal. 🙂


        2. If you do make curries, I’ve found they’re really good on top of mashed potatoes, and potatoes freeze so much better than rice! Of course, they’re also very good without either of them, I just find that adding a bit of potatoes or rice helps keep me full a bit longer.

          We’re going to try making little curry shepherd’s pies soon, I think they’ll be really good! Oh, and I’ve also made individual sized quiches. I have a bakeware set of small round dishes that have plastic lids. They’re perfect for helping me portion things for freezing, and it’s nice for making quiche because I can make one big batch of the egg base, but put different veggies/meats in them so each quiche is a little different. That set of bakeware has been one of my favorite purchases this year. Definitely paid off.


  3. I just received the week 4 challenges and I am totally underwhelmed. Once again, the challenges involve spending money – book a massage? Yeah right. Wear a dress. I don’t have one that is seasonally appropriate and I’m not going to buy one between now and tomorrow.

    Plan a date? Yeah – I need to do that. And will.
    Stand up straight – I could do better with that. Posture is important to staying energized
    Do my hair? I usually do

    I really like the idea of coming up with my own challenges. What I have learned from this challenge is that when I take care of myself in what to others might seem like petty details (manicures, pedicures, wearing lipstick), I feel better about myself and when I feel better about myself, I tend to take better care of myself.

    Another thing I’ve learned is that I am not willing to let someone else define my fun. I need more fun and activity in my life – but I need to define what those activites will be.

    This truly is an individual journey and while I think it would be a huge waste of money to enroll in Sarah’s program, I’m thankful the reminders of little things I’ve forgotten over the years.


    1. Yeah, the week 4 challenges are problematic for me, too. Money is part of the problem. I don’t actually own anything that would fall in the category of “nice” clothes right now. Even if I had the money, I haven’t found anything I like. I don’t wear dresses because my right leg is oddly shaped from the accident and I only wear sneakers (which don’t tend to look great with dresses) for stability. But perhaps I need to move finding some nice looking clothes I’d be comfortable in higher on my priority list.

      We’re all different and manicures and such don’t have a lot of meaning for me these days. But I do remember when doing my hair and going to a little more trouble with my makeup did feel good. I’m not working and getting dressed up to work around the house just isn’t going to happen. But I could work harder at it when going out and maybe that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

      It has been a good reminder. I keep saying that there’s nothing new and I guess I was hoping for some flash-of-light style insight that changed everything. I think that sitting down and figuring out some challenges for myself – perhaps setting small daily goals for self care and fun like I do for the 1000s of projects that need to be done at the house would help me get moving.


  4. I continue to spend a lot of time thinking about you and trying to come up with helpful ideas and suggestions. Obviously, that’s a very difficult task. If it was easy someone would have done it already. (BTW, I’m underwhelmed by the S.Jenks program — for all the reasons you and your commenters have noted. I think her lifestyle is for a kind of woman many of us are not, won’t become, and shouldn’t become.) But about binge eating, here are some of my possibly lame ideas.
    1. Amount of food eaten each day: I was at a friend’s house recently, someone who lives alone and is not overweight, and noticed that she had virtually nothing in her refrigerator. And I really mean almost nothing: orange juice, filtered water, diet Coke. Could you imagine yourself eating up everything in your house — everything — and forcing yourself to shop daily for ONLY what you need for that day? I realize that you like to cook and this would probably mean no elaborate cooking projects requiring flour, eggs, sugar, spices, etc. But if you only have enough to sustain you, middle of the night eating might be very difficult. Unless you’re willing to get in a car and drive to an all-night food place, assuming one exists nearby.
    2. Start each day on the light side. Having type 2 diabetes limits your food choices and eating times, but a healthy diet for someone with that condition could mean a breakfast that’s very, very light. The point of this is that humans need to feel in control, and need to feel successful. Every day is an new opportunity to feel those things, and something as simple (?) as eating a 3oo-400 calorie breakfast and then stopping for a few hours might work for some people. If you eat at 9 AM, then don’t eat again until noon, you can have a few hours when you can honestly say that you’ve eaten in a healthy manner AND you have facing you only 12 hours (more or less) to get through. You have the possibility each day of eating only 2,000 calories, and 2,000 calories a day is sufficient for a diabetic and would certainly translate, over time, to weight loss.
    3. Budgeting your money for weight loss: if you set aside only, say, $10 for your daily food intake (assuming all meals were eaten at home), and you forced yourself to buy mostly healthy food, you would almost certainly take in fewer calories.
    4. Fidgeting for weight loss: this is just a personal theory, but I believe that exercise doesn’t have to be the standard walk-2-miles-a-day, or get-on-a-stationary-bike-daily, or hit-the-gym. People with a lot of nervous energy who putter around the house a lot or wander around their gardens plucking out weeds or even reorganize a closet are doing two things at once: not eating, and burning calories, at least more calories than I’m burning right now sitting with a laptop on my couch (which is lovely I admit….) I used to do yoga and now have a habit, which I’m convinced is a good one, of simply flexing my feet or jiggling my legs while I’m reading, which I do a lot.
    5. Finally, the obvious: don’t buy danger foods. I’m not very good at this, but I have worked out a compromise solution that works for me. I love potato chips, bread, and chocolate. If I have them in the house I’ll eat them. So I only let myself have them occasionally, at least the chocolate and the potato chips.

    And now, really finally, it seems to me that the first step a person must take in her quest to lose significant weight is admit that it will take time and it won’t be easy.
    (I wrote way too much and my computer is getting low on battery life so I’m not going to proof this. I’m just going to hit “post” and hope for the best! Hope it’s coherent.)


  5. Hi Pam, thank you for thinking of me. 🙂 You were also perfectly coherent. Your suggestions are generally good advice. I think the theme of the day is “we’re all different.” I’d like to comment on some of these and how they work or don’t work for me – but please don’t take this as me discounting your efforts.

    I spent a lot of years being afraid of food. I tried not having any baking supplies or snack foods in the house. I tried shopping frequently (daily is not really possible due to some physical problems) and what would happen is instead of buying one small treat during my (mostly) weekly shopping – I felt I had to buy a treat every time I was at the store. For some reason, I also tended to grab everything that looked good. I don’t know, maybe because I was shopping more in the middle of the store because I thought buying portioned, packaged foods would help me eat less. Oddly enough, I didn’t lose weight doing that. I know it works for some people, particularly the shopping for just what you need daily – it just doesn’t work for me. Planning ahead and shopping for what I need decreases impulse purchases for me. Of course, sometimes I forget the beans which derails my plans to make chili this weekend.

    What I started last spring was to start re-stocking my pantry. I have flour and sugar and vegetables and whatever else. I just have to cook it. It doesn’t come in convenient to eat prepared packages. This means I’m shopping more on the edges of the store and not wandering around the aisles grabbing whatever looks good. I’m also planning more which is helpful for me. Plus, if I want cookies, I can make cookies. I don’t buy a whole bunch because I’m feeling deprived and yet I very rarely make them because it takes effort. But I could.

    I do try not to buy junk. I don’t keep foods that I know I will eat until gone in the house, for the most part. The one area this is flipped is bread. If I make my own bread I will actually eat more of it than if I buy my weekly loaf of toasting bread. Go figure. I don’t rule anything out, I just try to buy the single serve bag of chips rather than the giant bag that I tell myself I will portion out. I also make my own crackers, rarely.

    I don’t actually eat breakfast. I sleep at odd hours and that throws my meals off so typically, I have coffee when I wake up and 2 or 3 hours later I’ll eat brunch (which is typically 300-400 calories). I try to cook a healthy dinner most nights. I allow once in a while foods, like pizza (which I make myself) on weekends. But if I cook – and that means having all the stuff on hand needed to cook – I will eat a much healthier balance of proteins and vegetables with a little bit of carbohydrates. Brunch and dinner are fine.

    I play an online game with some friends most evenings and when I log off around 10 PM, that’s where trouble starts. I do need a snack and I usually have something healthy to snack on and even toast or a toasted cheese sandwich is not going to mess up my day – I just don’t stop there. And by then, I’ve taken pain killers for the night, I’m tired, I’m aching, a lot of the time I’ve tried to sleep and I can’t fall asleep or I wake up and hurt to bad to go back to sleep – and that is where I start grazing and eating whatever is on hand. None of it is “bad” food…. it’s just that grazing adds up. It’s weird, I can’t even begin to face breakfast in the morning but I’ll be up making a cheese sandwich at 3 AM. It’s crazy!

    My mom was a fidget. I have actually tried to learn to fidget but it’s not me. I suspect people either fidget or they don’t but I have heard that people who fidget tend to weigh less. That may be why Mom never got fat, although she thought she was.


  6. By the way, I really want to thank everyone who has commented today. I really was just feeling grumpy and negative last night and couldn’t see much good in any of this. It really helps to have other people challenge my perspective and help me see some of the good points and the reminders – plus to look at some of the things I can change.


  7. I don’t feel qualified to comment on this post. I’m blessed with decent genetics and a fairly fast metabolism(for someone my age). I’m also a fidgety, active type and working in a portable that’s pretty far away from a bathroom, printer and the main office. (which forces me to walk a lot on the job!) 🙂 To me, trying some new strategies is the best idea, even if you don’t think they’ll work.


    1. Finding new strategies is sometimes an excuse for me. 🙂 I basically know what I need to do but I don’t consistently do it. Incorporating some of these things back into my life (even when I’m feeling negative and don’t think they’ll work) is a good plan. Also, I’m looking at these many years of being told to “reward” myself only after meeting some arbitrary weight loss goal as possibly being counterproductive.


      1. Finding what works for you and your personality/needs is the tricky part–sifting through all those hundreds (thousands?) of pieces of advice, many of which are tired or ineffective. I wouldn’t know where to start!


        1. Thousands and thousands. Probably crazy to think there is anything new out there. In my opinion? Almost any diet, eating plan, lifestyle change out there will help you lose weight. Keeping it off is another question… at least for me.


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