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Archives for February 2010

Hello Everyone. My name is Shelley and I am an Emotional Eater!

photo credit: fnc imag dot com

This week I met with Rebecca (my nutritionist) for the first time; we had a wee two and a half hour introductory session to review “my life and eating habits” and talk all about food, nutrition, how and what I’ve done in the course of my life “diet wise” and how a “healthy makeover” will improve my life.

For those who don’t know me, a little background; I was raised in a large family with 5 brothers and sisters and in our house at meal time if you “took it” you “ate it.” There were also many times that I can remember having a “heated” discussion at our table and my escape was to bury my face in my plate. Hand to mouth, just eating and staying quite, hoping the conversation would not turn to “me” being the one getting the criticism of the day!

As I grew I was active, swimming and playing outside as a child and teen not having what I would call a “weight issue.” When I went to college my food intake consisted of Diet Coke and small meals, and I was pretty active; I went to a large university so I did lots of daily walking. A few years later, as a “bride” I survived on what I will call the “brides diet” of one meal and Diet Coke through the day so that I would look ever so thin at my wedding.

Even though there were just a few times that I would call how I ate as “dieting.” Food was always something that I “did.” As many with any type of obsessive problems “do” I “used” food. When I was happy, I ate, when I was sad, I ate when I did well on a test I ate to celebrate, when I did bad on a test I ate because I was upset, oh, I ate for just about any reason.

Over the course of the next 22 years my weight I would go up and down. I’d follow Adkins and lose 25 pounds and slowly it would creep back up, and then I’d get sick of what I looked like and then I would do Jenny Craig, or Weight Watchers, you name it I’ve done it! But I never realized what the real issue was…

I am an Emotional Eater!

My life is a wee bit stressful; I am the mom of a healthy 21 year old daughter, and an 18 year old daughter with special needs and wife of an entrepreneur. The last two are what causes a lot of anxiety in my life. And so I “eat.” When things are good, I eat, when things are problematic etc etc.. I think you see the pattern here…

As Rebeccaand I chatted in my kitchen about the things that trigger my eating. She told me to take a moment to ask myself before I eat, “Am I hungry?” I mean really hungry, the kind of hunger when your stomach growls.

Serendipitously I had a plate of grapes on the table and I popped one in my mouth. Rebecca stopped and asked me, “Are you hungry?” I thought um not really, but come on it was a grape! But that is a perfect example; I was “happy” and chatting so not even thinking I popped it in my mouth…

Take this little challenge…
• For one day, write down when you eat…
• Why were you eating…
• Were you actually hungry? Snacks too!

Come on after all I’m baring my “soul” you can too!
please follow along on facebook, you can ask rebecca and ryan questions you might have!

Today is the first day of the rest of my life…

I’m dying, well not literally but my little muscles are all quivering I can just picture them like little animated cartoon characters skinny legs, big bodies, just shaking. Well hibernation is over! It’s time to exercise! Time to get this body back in shape. I mean “in” shape… Change the “shape” that I am now….

Going back to the gym was like going “home again.” Everything and everyone was familiar even though I haven’t been there in a long time… literally years… I saw people I haven’t spoken to since my oldest was in high school! (She’s now graduating college!) My daughters’ old trainer was there with friendly open arms! This man trained her to get her little body in tip top shape for a lot of her pageant career. I used to drive her to the gym and wait or jump on the treadmill from time to time. I even worked out with her old trainer for a short time too.

Ryan (my bodies new best friend and trainer) met me there after I did a few minutes, 10 to be exact of cardio on the ever so hateful elliptical. I really really hate cardio! But I remembered the “old days” when I worked out and knew before using your muscles you had to “warm them up.” Well as I hopped on the elliptical my little legs started to ache more and more, I did say I only did this for 10 minutes right? Uhhhh and I did mention how much I hate cardio, right? But I know that exercise is a must that goes along with good nutrition so here I am…

I’m sure Ryan didn’t know what to expect of me, this middle aged woman, who wants to ”get healthy.” He was ever so patient for our first training session. He explained that since I have high blood pressure which began with my first pregnancy which ended with toxemia/pre-eclampia almost 22 years ago we were going to work out using what he called “PHA.” And he explained that PHA is short for peripheral heart action. It is a type of circuit training that alternates upper and lower body exercises throughout the circuit. This type of training is perfect for burning a lot of calories and improving one’s endurance without over working each individual muscle.

After our workout Ryan told me that I should eat a protein and carbohydrate now. I asked “maybe an apple and peanut butter?” he said not too much fat perhaps a turkey sandwich, and I asked “With pieces of bread?” and he almost choked because he misunderstood me and thought I said “pizza!” Pieces… Pizza…. He said he was worried and thought he needed to run and call Rebecca (my bodies other new best friend and nutritionist)and tell her we have a “serious problem” here! I laughed, oh even I know no more pizza.

Well that’s workout number one… looking forward to just how sore I’m going to feel in the morning in time to work on some “cardio.” Did I tell you how much I hate cardio? Well, I am determined to take this all the way and continue on my healthy journey, next up my first meeting with Rebecca… stay tuned…

Please follow our journey weekly and join our facebook fan page with any questions for both Rebecca or Ryan!

I’m getting a “Wellness Makeover” on ABC with Rebecca Scritchfield!

I’m so excited! For once in my life I’m going to be putting “myself” first. Well at least for “healthy living.” For the next month I will be working with Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist to learn all the “dos and don’ts” of proper nutrition. I know you are all probably shaking your head thinking; “Proper nutrition, what’s so hard about that?” Well I know you shouldn’t sit down and eat a tub of ice cream or a bag of chips at one sitting, everyone knows that. We will be spending time going over; preparing for change and setting realistic goals, pantry makeover, healthy grocery shopping, healthy eating out and on the go, overcoming roadblocks and barriers and healthy exercise and stress management.

Being the fact that I love to cook, I am so excited about this whole program! Of course this means getting me back to the gym which in itself is a good thing. This month being Heart Healthy Month I am constantly thinking about my blood pressure which has never been “normal” since I had pre-eclampsia/toxemia (twice) with my pregnancies to the point where I was hospitalized and gave birth to two preemies.

I hope you will follow me here weekly and tune into ABC’s “Let’s Talk Live” to watch Rebecca and I embark on my journey. Please please feel free to leave comments here or join my “Shelley’s Wellness Makeover” fan page” on facebook, where you can also leave comments or questions for Rebecca. I know it’s not a sprint rather a marathon and I’m just excited about starting!

Wish me luck!

Excuse me who ordered this “snow?”

So everyone all over the world has now heard of our great snow disaster it has even been dubbed the snowpolooza, snowmagadon, etc etc etc. All I know is it was pure h*ll for me and my family!

Before the first snow fall I did what everyone else in the DC Metro area did, run to their local food store be it Giant, Safeway, etc and stock up on the usual toilet paper, bread, eggs, milk… because God knows we can’t run out of those things but in our case I hadn’t been to the store in a few weeks so we were short on just about everything, and two full carts later and I’m not going to even disclose the absurd amount of money I spent I went home to unpack it all before the first snowflake hit the ground.

Well for once the news people were right and the snow started to fall around mid afternoon and it continued and continued and continued. We ate dinner, watched a bit of TV and put Ainsley to sleep and at 2 am the inevitable happened. I heard a “beep” and then total darkness, we lost power. I thought “oh crap! Here it comes…” And I pulled my warm comforter closer to my neck and held tight. By 9:00am I was awake and jumped out of bed but noticed the air was a little more brisk than usual, and then I remembered the ‘beep’ at 2am… No power…

I quickly ran to the window and looked outside and was “shocked.” There was white everywhere! Just white!

I went downstairs to see what was happening down there and realized “oh no” NO coffee! No lights and oh yes, NO HEAT!!! Well under normal circumstances this wouldn’t be great but with Ainsley and her disability this was NOT good! The colder it got the tighter her extremities would get. And the temperature just kept dropping. I called PEPCO every 30 minutes, I called the Dept of Transportation, I called 911 a few times because I was so scared for her, I even called the news to ask how can we get “out.” No one had any answers for us, PEPCO just told us 90,000 people across the area were without heat, NO ONE answered the emergency line for the dept of transportation, and 911 told us unless there was an actually emergency going on at the time there was nothing that they could do. We explained that without heat Ainsley’s medically fragile health was not good. So what did we do? We put on about 5layers of clothes, coats, hats, mittens, we looked like Eskimos and we huddled all together in our family room. And I forgot to mention this was Ainsley’s 18th birthday! What a way to celebrate, right?

At 5pm when the sun started to set I knew we would all be freaking out because as it got darker it also got colder and by now our house was about 30 degrees inside… This was when I really started to panic! We held Ainsley tight and all slept together on the floor with as many blankets as possible. Finally we all fell asleep but I must have been freezing truly because I actually dreamt that I was a “vampire!” I guess reading the Twilight books at the time didn’t help but my eyeballs were actually cold. That was the strangest feeling to me, my eyeballs were cold! And I just kept worrying about Ainsley. By this point we couldn’t even bend her legs or arms. I knew we were in trouble. I called 911 again and at 10:30 the next morning a young firefighter showed up at our door with his truck stuck in the 5 feet of snow down our street. I was thinking how the heck are we going to get Ainsley out of here? We certainly couldn’t get her wheelchair out in the 5 feet of snow on our drive and street. And at that moment by some miracle 38 and a half hours later our electricity went back on. And then it took another 3 hours to “thaw” ourselves back…

When I heard the next storm was headed back up to us “again.” I told Geoffrey “we are out of here!” I wasn’t going through that again. It was a true nightmare and so by the grace of god on Tuesday before the next Blizzard hit we got a car to pick us up and bring us to a hotel where we “camped” out… It was terrible, I kept thinking at least we have heat, food and were staying were there was a “generator” so if the electricity went out we would still be able to eat and move around. It was ok, the hotels ran low on food, and towels and everything else that they would need a delivery for but I was just happy to be somewhere where Ainsley was ok!

I just hope that this stuff melts before summer! I am soooo over it! So how was your snow-mare?

February reminds us of “love”

February is a month that everyone generally thinks of as the month of “love” since Valentine’s Day is smack in the middle of the month. I think of it also as a month of love since Ainsley’s daughter’s birthday at the beginning of the month and she has brought soooo much love into our lives as well as children’s all over the country.

It is her birth that I reflect on each year with my usual tears and thinking about “what would have been, what could have been,” if she was a “normal” child, but then I go into what is a “normal child?” Is there such a thing today?

There are soo many things that can happen in the span of a child’s life today, physically they can be born fine and be bullied and have that affect their lives to the point where it causes them to have mental challenges. Peer pressure affects so many children’s lives today and most of the time for the worst, with new queen bee’s being born every minute. So the fact that my daughter has cerebral palsy she will never enter “that world.” For that I am thankful.

There are always two side of the coin and this time I’m trying hard just to think about the “love”…