Hello … my name is Shannon


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Hello.  My name is Shannon and I’m a self-proclaimed Carboholic.  I also am attracted to things with the word “New” on them.  The “New” thing doesn’t get me into trouble as much as carbs do.  Okay, so not even carbs of all kinds … I’m most importantly talking about, bread!
I love bread. Always have. Bread, like almost any child, is a staple from a very early age. Toast, peanut butter and jelly, sandwiches, French toast, etc.  They all begin with bread.  Three of these were introduced to me as a child, minus, peanut butter and jelly.  Yes, I had my first peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my teenage years (I want to say I was 15 or 16 ) and I had it out of sheer curiosity. I know! When I say this to people I get sideways glances. But truth be told, I just never really wanted one … I mean as a child in my mind peanut butter was meant to be eaten on crackers, not bread!
I remember my mom coming home with a fresh stick of hot Italian bread from the local bakery. The smell would draw me (and my nose) in.  I would eat it either plan or with butter on it. To this day, if someone has a stick of hot bread in their house I’m going to sniff it out. I’m like a hound dog – it’s crazy. And it drives me absolutely insane when my local grocery store takes the fresh bread out of the oven because I swear they pump that smell through the ventilation system. My stomach starts growling and suddenly I want to make subs for dinner. Forget the groceries in the cart, subs! That’s when I breathe through my mouth and quickly find my way to the checkout aisle – sans stick of hot bread.
Since starting my weight loss journey I’ve sideways tackled the bread obsession. If I do have bread, its light bread, light wheat or multigrain slims. I buy pita bread from the local Lebanese bakery if I want pita bread – or I buy the wheat flax pita from the grocery store.  I admit the breads that I buy for myself aren’t a trigger for me. I don’t love light white bread.  BUTwhat I found this past week was that I subconsciously reach for bread to incorporate with meals that I may not necessarily need with a meal.
For instance, the week before last I was out of my element dog/cat/house sitting for my aunt and uncle while they were on vacation. Due to this I had to pre-plan every meal to a T. My usual staples weren’t at my fingertips so I had to eat what I brought with me.  Looking back at that week I was kind of subconsciously following the simply filling technique by eating more power foods (see here), and found I was satisfied and full after meals. If I had bread, it was a multigrain slim or light bread and it was with one meal – either with my egg salad or with a hamburger, etc. at dinner.  That week when I stepped on the scale my reward was a pretty hefty loss (nearly 5 pounds).  I was shocked.
Fast forward to going back home, being in my element and eating the way I tend to eat at home. I realized I wasn’t as satisfied as I was the week prior. By 5-days in, I felt I was a little bit bloated. Looking back at my week there were some days where I had a sandwich for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and I may have had a piece of bread to go along with dinner. I also wasn’t having my fruit salad as my nightly snack as I was the week prior.  It was definitely a learning lesson and one that has made me create a goal for myself this week.
My goal this week (as the weeks to follow) is to be more conscious when making choices surrounding bread. I want to try to have 1 serving of bread a day, but I’m not going to be overly strict on myself because I don’t like rules. I break rules. But I am going to question myself “Do I need to eat this as a sandwich?” and if the answer is no, I’m going to try it without the bread and see how I like it. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but I honestly like bread, I like sandwiches and I’ve lost weight eating them. But I’m trying to make healthier choices for myself. If I skip on the bread, I could provide my body with more protein at dinner or at lunch. Which means being satisfied longer … and that’s what I’m aiming for.
QUESTION:
So what is one goal you’ve set for yourself this week or month?

Never say never … but not in this case

“I’m not losing weight. I’m getting rid of it. I have no intention of finding it again.”
 

This quote is one that I’ve grown to love over the years. Why? Because I don’t have any intention of finding the 194+ pounds I have shed over the past 3 1/2 years ever again. I’m in it to win it and I’m doing it all for myself.
I’ve always struggled with my weight. In the past, I have lost weight for other people (primarily for family). My weight was unhealthy for a person my age (from 5-years old and on) and approaching someone to tell them you believe they need to lose weight is a hard and sensitive subject. I’ve heard it being said from a lot of people all throughout my life. But the thing is if the person you’re approaching isn’t in the right mindset it can do one of two things 1) go in one ear and out the other or 2) it can backfire and cause a confrontation OR send the person you’re confronting into a proverbial tailspin. In some cases that intervention may be the talk that sets the lightbulb off in a persons head, but for me it never was because I knew I was fat, I knew the world knew I was fat so you weren’t laying a big secret on me, your concern was only making me uncomfortable. My family would try to approach the topic but I didn’t want to hear it and I’d eventually turn to food for comfort, which only ballooned my waistline even further. Then after a while I’d give in, lose some weight and eventually gain it back because I wasn’t doing it for me, I was doing it for others. Back then, these attempts at health were done with a diet mentality. I personally didn’t want to change, but I was going to do it just because … and when times got tough I threw my hands in the air and ate myself silly.
There was a time where I joined Weight Watchers with my mother. My mom was joining and she asked if I’d like to join, so I hopped on board. I enjoyed seeing the scale move. I was following the program and it was working. But since the choice to join wasn’t ultimately one that I came up with when my mother stopped attending meetings, I stopped attending meetings. I left the program and the tools I learned at the wayside and ultimately gained all the weight I had lost back.
The difference between the journey I’m currently on and any attempt at weight loss in the past is that I’m doing it for me this time around. I joined Weight Watchers on my own. No one suggested I join, no one hinted I should join, I made the choice and kept that choice to myself because I didn’t want anybody to try and suggest it to me because that would’ve made me quit before I had the chance to try. What can I say? I have a very hard head at times. I’m stubborn. I don’t like being told what to do whether it’s for the best or not.
After joining Weight Watchers and shedding pounds week by week, I started to feel better about myself. My dad came to me and told me he was proud of me for taking the initiative to get healthy for myself. It was a very touching moment for me and it’s one I’ll always remember because it solidified the fact that yes, I was doing this for myself and those closest to me saw that.
 
Three and a half years later I am the healthiest and smallest I have been since grade school. I don’t ever recall a time when I was the weight I currently am (I can’t say size because I was not 5’6 in 4th or 5th grade when I was more than likely the weight I currently am now – which back then was obese for someone my age). Physical changes aside, my life is so vastly different compared to how it used to be. Four years ago, I was a human hermit crab. I never left my shell (home or my humble abode AKA my bedroom) and if I did it was briefly and only to do whatever I had to do (work, school, picking up food, etc.). I lived behind my computer playing games and RPG’s to pass the time and to take the focus off my life.
 

These days life is vastly different – life is enjoyable. I’m not ashamed of myself and do not mind going out. I still am a bit shy, but I’m working on coming out of my shell more and more. I don’t live behind a computer playing games to mask my miserable life. These days I use my computer as a tool to connect with others, to share my journey and to keep in touch with friends and family. But it’s merely a tool — it’s not my one and only. I enjoy life now and I most importantly know what happiness is. I know that I deserve the best and I will get it as long as I put my best foot forward. I have a bright outlook on life and feel I am utterly unstoppable. I can do anything I want as long as I set my mind to it. Positivity fuels me instead of negativity clouding my judgment.
I know the saying goes “never say never” BUT I refuse to allow any shadow of doubt regarding my weight loss and my eventual maintenance. I realize life happens and there will always inevitably be minor bumps in the road but I need to learn to cope with those instances, learn from them and as always keep it moving. It’s my life after all and I’m going to make the best of it.