Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Couple of Pounds

When I spent 4 days away from home, to go to the cert a couple of weeks ago, I came back feeling, I'll be honest and say, defeated about my control when it came to food. I let my anxiety about food cause me to "overthink" some of my choices and that lead me to give in to situations that challenged my control.

I did gain a couple of pounds, I realized that it was not permanent weight so I wasn't worried about that, and quickly got things back under control within a few days after returning home. But when talking with a co-worker about it, she interpreted that my upset was about the weight (a couple of pounds), not the anxiety, the feelings of "out of control". It's easy to look at someone like me that is thin, obviously not overweight (anymore), and not have understanding about a couple of pounds. But it's not the weight, it's the loss of control.

Situations that challenged my control;

free food
eating "out" with other people
no kitchen, no grocery store
not being able to workout when I needed to

OK, the free food "got me". If it had not been available right next door (in the Hospitality Room), I could of avoided it easier. But why should that make a difference? It shouldn't, that's the problem. I'm a grown woman, I know how to make better choices. Other people were there and they weren't hoarding M&M's! What's wrong with me? I'm going to fix that!

Eating out with just Mark, not a problem. Eating out with a table full of people, a problem. The bread and butter stays on the table. Everyone is drinking beer, I have to have one. Everyone is sharing food with eachother, again that falls into the category of "free food". And then dessert, you gotta order dessert! This one is easier to fix, I don't go out that often, this is why!

No kitchen, no grocery store. Actually, not having acess to a grocery store was worse than no kitchen. I had a fridge and microwave, but no food to put in the fridge or micro! Being at the mercy of having to eat food prepared by others added to the anxiety and because it wasn't "perfect" I found myself, first, overthinking and then, second, giving up and giving in to bad choices, unsatisfying choices. Fixing this one is just a matter of RELAXING (if I heard that one once, I heard it a thousand times, easy for people without "food issues" to say!). Finding calm, not letting the anxiety build and take over.

And finally the workout situaton. Nothing keeps me motivated more than pumping fresh blood to my muscles! Although I did get in a short KB workout, numerous short walks and finally an hour long walk on the last day, it wasn't enough to counteract the bad food choices and the anxiety that I let build about it. Making better, calm choices about food would of helped me feel the amount of exercise was, in fact, sufficient.

So what is the difference between someone like me, who has been extremely overweight, and someone that has never been more than a few pounds, or maybe less than 10 or 20 lbs., overweight being worried about a couple of pounds? It's the same, it's the feelings of not being able to control it. Because if you cannot control the feelings that you have that allowed you to give up control and gain a couple of pounds, then what stops you from gaining 100? It's not the food, it's the feelings about food.

One of the definitions of control is "to have power over". I have power over food, it's my feelings that sometimes have power over me. I'm fixing that.


Happiness Within said...


I am so glad that I found your blog. I am new to kettlebell training and have about 70 pounds to release.

I know all too well about "a couple of pounds". And yes, it is all about how I FEEL about food and how FOOD makes me FEEL. It's truly my drug of choice that I am reclaiming victory over.


Tracy Reifkind said...

I love how you phrased that "pounds to release"! That's a perfect way of extpressing it. I'll have to start thinking of it in those terms. Thank you.

Royce said...

Oh hell yes Tracy, eating out in a social setting is just MURDER. Everybody tossing back a couple of frosty beverages, steak and butter laden potatoes as abundant as manna.
Yup, that's a tough one.

Franz Snideman said...

At least you are aware of your issue with control over food. That is the always the hardest part, confessing and admiting the weakness. You are a winner in my eyes because of your brutal honesty with yourself.

You rock Tracy!

leslie said...

I love how you can break down difficult situations and get at the root of what's going on. Thanks for giving me more food for thought!

fawn said...

Tracy, I also have issues with dinning out. This may sound odd coming from an ex-professional cook. Here is my deal, when I eat out... I usually get a belly ache.

It is hard to get exactly what I want off a menu. Food is usually high in fats that I don't normally eat (canaola oil, dairy), foods I don't normally eat (bread), low quality or questionable freshness. Believe it or not, some of the shittiest meals that have made me feel the worst came from "fine dinning" places.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Royce, I don't even drink, but there's something about eating out that makes it seem like a "treat". When I'm in Italy, I drink at lunch and dinner! It's lovely taking a nap between meals!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Franz, Awareness leads to consciousness, or is it the other way around? It doesn't matter, it's all part of the healing process.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Leslie, I can't wait to meet you soon! I'm going to call you back because I need you do start swinging more before the 27th, so you don't get "killed" by the workout. We've got lots to do!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Fawn, I totally believe everything you say! It's probably a good thing that I've not worked in a prof kitchen!

Getting exactly what I want is exactly what makes me "overthink" food when I eat out. Because nothing seems "right". I'm always trying to finagle this and that but there's nothing like making it yourself. And besides that you come off as a "picky bitch" if you make a big deal about it! I love my own cooking.

I think, especially as an athlete, combining foods to met your physical needs comes naturally at a certain point because you become much more in tune with what your body needs.

Joe said...


Wow!! I understand. I'm in the middle of a similar struggle with myself. I've lost 40lbs heading to 130.

I can't watch my 8yr old eat french fries without "borrowwing some" I'm doing well if I'm eating my bucket of salad and baked chicken breast but wow if Mom makes ground chicken tacos for the kids I can't stay away from it.

The best I can think is that we will be fighting this fight for a long time. I can't tell you how much I rely on you and your blog for inspiration.

Your food hints have been instrumental to me.

The other thing I'll mention is that the relationship we have with food is so strange. I thank you for all the help you've given me in understanding that odd relationship.


Tracy Reifkind said...

Joe, Thank you so much for your comments.

The fight is getting easier, my training is improving my conditioning for the long haul! Luckily, endurance is one of my strong points!

I used to cook for my family at night and end up eating unplanned food because I had to taste their food to make sure it was "seasoned". So I now cook for them early in the day, usually before noontime, and reheat it for them, because I'm not hungry before noon, so I'm not tempted.

Keep up the good work 130 feels great!

Edith, God's Rich Gift said...

I have been researching kettlebell training and is seriously thinking about taking the plunge. I notice that your arms are well defined but what about your lower body, the training result in definded muscles in the legs, glute and calves?

Edith, God's Rich Gift said...

I have been researching kettlebell training and thinking about taking the plunge. Your progress is fantastic and encouraging. I know your arms are have well defined muscles but how about your lower body. Does this training develop well defined glutes, quads and calves?