Did I really just ate that??

why did I eat so much food?

So there you are. It has been, say, four days where you’ve had a nice daily workout, your meals were on point, you water intake was fabulous. You are in the top of your world! Suddenly, out of nowhere, all that hard work gone. How? Binge eating! Does this sound familiar at all?

domino effect

I can’t even tell you how many times this has happened to me. And once the binge eating starts, it has some sort of domino effectwhere not one piece fell out of place but everything that I have worked hard for is gone! I know that there’s at least one other person who is going “yup, that’s me right here!” while feeling bad about it. But why does it happen and how can we make it stop? Well, I first would like to clarify that I am not a certified doctor or psychiatrist to explain you down to the T what is up with it, but I am here to share my theory. You never know, I might make more sense that you expected…

The first thing that I have noticed when it happens to me is that I am bored. If it happens at work, is because I am working on a boring project that I really want to avoid, or that I think I shouldn’t be working on (let’s face it, many of us get stuck with someone else’s work at times). If I am at home, I might be having a “lazy day” (already a bad start, right?), and my stomach has convinced my mind that I am bored.

i'm bored So… I am bored… explain further Mommy Kim. Of course!

The Web defines “bored” as feeling weary because you are unoccupied or you lack interest in the current activity. At work sometimes I have to prepare welcome envelopes. Easiest job right? Well, printing, folding, stuffing envelopes, preparing labels and stacking the letters in a certain way is indeed an easy job, but IT IS SO BORING! I have no choice but to get it done because it needs to be done. On the other hand, our minds have been programmed with the idea that food makes us happy. “Don’t cry baby, I am sure next time your team will win. How about if we get ice cream to feel better?”

mom comforting child Does this sound familiar? Yes! We’ve heard it, we’ve said it, and we don’t even notice anymore how much we associate certain foods (ice cream, cake, cupcakes, a lollipop, dipped fried anything, a beer or a glass wine) with feeling better. Therefore, when I am folding letter # 50 out 300 and know I still have a lot more to do to, I get this “I-Want-To-Feel-Better” need which typically is associated with food as is one of the things I  can easily access while I continue to do my job. So, I would start snacking on whatever is on my drawer, whether is good or bad, and there has been times when I just ran out of stuff to eat because I am not done with my job and the food is giving me the feeling I can power through. But, did you notice when I said I ran out of snacks? I probably ate my entire week worth of snacks, even though most are healthy, all within a short period of time.

The same way, on my days off, I try my absolute best to keep my family out of the house. Why? For two reasons:

  1. My kids (7 & 3 1/2) can easily become couch potatoes and just watch TV or play games in the computer ALL DAY! So I have to take them out on hikes, we ride bikes, walk to park and play, go bowling.
  2. I am one of these people who never can watch live TV. So if we have a weekend with no plans, sometimes I stay at home catching up with my DVR. I am talking marathon style TV. I have so many episodes to watch from a few shows I record because I do this like once a month. The kids are playing in the computer, I am on my bed catching up on shows. Suddenly, my body knows I am not being challenged enough while I sit there motionless so I grab a snack. And another one. And another one. And another one. And many more to the point I can feel I gained like 10 lbs while watching TV. So sad right? NO! I can definitely do something about that.

So you probably understand better some of the things that can make our mind and stomach feel bored. I mean you cannot longer walk down the street just enjoying the world. You NEED to have your phone with you, headphones on, Spotify (or whatever online radio you use) on, while checking on emails, texting, posting an update on FB, Twitter or replying to a comment on Instagram. Whatever the case might be, we have gotten used to multitask all the time. Which is why even though our bodies are physically occupied working or watching TV, we feel the urge to do something else in the meantime to satisfy the multitask needs we are growing up with. When we are doing something that is already not fully satisfying us or challenging us enough, we look for something to make us happy, and hello binge eating!! Makes a bit sense right?

Ok, so let’s recap: First, we associate food with feeling happy. Second, binge eating can be triggered by feeling bored. Third, because we have developed such advanced multitasking skills, we easily combine the need to feel better while doing a boring task with eating something that makes our tummies temporarily happy. So what can we do about it? Well,  here come my choices to hopefully keep that binge eating under control or down to a minimum:

  • Be prepared. Like I said, at work I have no choice but to prepare those letters every other week. Instead of spending an entire day driving myself crazy with it, I split the work throughout my week. It helps a little and is much easier to power through half hour at a time than a whole day of folding.
  • Distract yourself a bit. I try to play my favorite music during the time I have to prepare letters that way my mood is better.
  • Multitask in a good way. So when I am catching up with my novela, I am only like 30+ episodes behind, I usually watch 2 or 3 episodes at a time (Thank you Fast Forward!). I found myself eating more than I should have while watching TV so I started doing other things in the meantime. The school year is over, but I had volunteered to help the teacher grade homework, so I would “watch” the novela while grading (it was more so like listening to what was happening with a glance here and there). You can also try folding clothes during this time because someone has to fold the clothes!
  • Drink water. Like I said a lot of times we are just bored. So our bored belly calls for food for happiness which can easily be confused with being hungry and start overeating to distract your mind, belly and mouth. Instead, try to drink some water. Is good for you plus ZERO calories. You can’t beat that!
  • Get active. Whether at work or at home, the moment you find yourself starting to feel that urge or eating a bit more, stand up and walk around. Take a bathroom break, go out of the house and check on your puppies, do some squats while you watch TV. I’m sure you get it!
Stay busy: multitask!
Stay busy: multitask!
Drink water.
Drink water.
Get active.
Get active.

If it happens, because it will (Hi, I’m human!), don’t beat yourself down for it. Just try to remember what your goal is and explain your belly why you shouldn’t have one hundred pieces of chocolate even though you physically can do it. Don’t be harsh on yourself because it happened. I mean, I think my theory is pretty sound, and if this is truly the case binge eating is no different that burping in the sense that you kinda don’t want to (yuuw, gross!!) but your body needs it. Unlike the nasty burp example, you can retrain your body to satisfy your multitask needs in a different way. Good luck to us! I know is not easy, but I promise is totally possible to keep binge eating under control.

So what if you got a flat tire? Fix it!

flat tire

So you were driving down Fit Life Lane when suddenly you hit a bump on the road and boom, you got a flat tire! So what do you do?

Many see this as the end of the road. They decide is too hard to try to continue driving to make your way to “Healthy Land”, and they instead quit. Some people see challenge, whether big or small, as a sign to quit and give up. The idea that life is perfect and a challenge shouldn’t have obstacles is crazy! I mean, hello!!! This is life, and when life happens there are ups and downs and curves and twists and all kinds of crazy stuff along the way but is just part of it.

Say you have purchased tickets to an amazing show which has the absolute best reviews in the whole world. You are excited to go see what everyone is talking about. You buy yourself a nice new outfit and glam up to be at your best to enjoy the show. You look forward to having the best time of your life. You are leaving the house, walking to the theater when suddenly it starts to rain. Is not the sky is falling to pieces kinda of heavy rain, just a light rain. You decide that is a sign not to go because you don’t have an umbrella with you. So you go home, get in your bed and miss the show and experience. Do you really think you would throw everything down the drain just like that? NO, of course not! You would probably jump on a cab, or Huber these days, and get yourself to the theater to enjoy the show. Maybe your outfit got a bit wet, but while you are sweet you are not made out of sugar, so you didn’t melted and made in one, slightly wet, piece.

Kudos to you my friend for not giving up and making the choice to continue to your destination and enjoy yourself! There are many obstacles when you are trying to be healthy. People at work bring donuts and cupcakes to potlucks, your friends invite you for happy hour and you have more drinks than you should, you can’t go to the fair and not get the funnel cake, you have to eat you child’s ice cream because your little sunshine couldn’t finish it. I am sure you get the idea. We are humans, is okay if you don’t make healthy choices 100% of the time. Is okay to have an occasional slice of cake, miss one day at the gym, take the escalator instead of the stairs. The key is to understand that one “bad day” in your fitness journey is acceptable and probably necessary to remain sane as long as you get back on track the next meal or the next day.

I am sure you’ve heard of Jillian Michaels, one of the world’s most recognized personal trainers. She is very respected in the fitness community for her success story. There is one phrase of hers that I think better describes my point: “You messed up your diet and you didn’t exercise today. So what? You didn’t ruin anything. Get back on track tomorrow. If you have a flat tire, do you slash the other three? Of course not! You fix the flat and you keep going.

Before and After Jillian Michaels
Before and After
Jillian Michaels

Decision time: are you ready to become a better you?

I am not gonna lie. There has been many times where I wanted to look like someone else. How is that bad? Well, is not really. It is important however, to understand the difference between liking the way another person looks, or dresses, or wears her makeup and using her style to design your own, and wanting to become that person.

I spent a ridiculous, in my mind at least, amount of time commuting to work. During this time, about 40 mins one way with no delays, I tend to keep myself busy on my phone. I open my Pinterest app, get ideas to decorate my home, recipes, workout ideas, fashion ideas too. I also sometimes browse through funny pics just to make the commute a little better. I sometimes spend this time scrolling on my Instagram account. I look at what other people are up to. Sometimes I will find a “Pic Challenge” for a month and “participate” on it. I have a fitness IG account where I receive and give support to a great number of amazing woman who are also in their fitness journey. I leave comments, try to make them feel better, and reminding them that we are in this together. So how is it wanting to look like someone else relate to this and is bad again? Wait, I am building to it!

Of course there are gazillions of fitness accounts that feature women and men with great physiques. I am talking six-pack not just in abs but their back too (yup, there is such a thing apparently!).

back abs!!
back abs!!

It is easy to be like a child at a store when you see something irresistible and you want it and suddenly you NEED it. In this case, you see someone like Michelle Lewin, admire her gorgeous body and decided that you want a body like hers and need a body like hers. Is that bad fit mommy? No, that is great!! You need that kind of motivation. You actually probably want to have that kind of motivation. The problem becomes when people stop working on improving themselves and want to become the other person. Now THAT is the problem!

I really, really, really, really like Michelle Lewin’s body.

Fitness Model Michelle Lewin
Fitness Model Michelle Lewin

I mean she is a goddess! And while I am sure many find her WAY prettier than me, I don’t really want to become her. I love me, with the good and the bad. I love my body because it has given me two amazing kids who I am beyond grateful for and crazy in love with. I love my body because it hasn’t failed me. I have failed my body by not taking better care of it sooner. I love my life, my family, my friends… I love me! I am sure Michelle’s life might be more fascinating to some and I am happy for her success, but I don’t want to be her. She is an inspiration to me. She is a hot Latina who has worked hard to be where she is now, and I admire that. She reminds me that hard work pays off. She reminds me that I do want to improve myself. I want to get rid of some of this unnecessary and unhealthy fat and go back to a healthy weight. I am working on it. I am caring for my body by reading labels and making sure I am not eating things that will only make me sick.  I am working every day to a better version than the day before.

If you are not happy with your life, body, hairstyle, fashion style, then change it. Just like the many software versions that get, if You 1.0 is not working at one thing or another, change it. Improve it. Make You 2.0 who now drinks more water every day and hits the minimum recommended 10K steps a day. If that is not enough do more. Create You 3.0 who now takes a Zumba class twice a week and stopped drinking soda. Pay attention. Is always “You”, just new improved versions. Each version canhave as many new “features” as you wish. Sometimes there might be a “bug” like a bad haircut, but you will just have to change it and get one that works for you and makes you feel pretty!

update

Work in progress…

work in progress

Imagine my surprise when my belly didn’t shrink after my son was born… 7 years ago! I admit I did gained a bit more than I probably should have. I am talking here about a nearly 70 pounds gained over 8 months. In case you didn’t know this yet, I highly doubt it, that is not healthy weight wain even for a pregnancy. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that losing that weight was not easy. Actually, it is still not easy. This is about my journey to a healthier. All I want is to become a better version of myself. A better Kim than I was yesterday. I am not competing with the other girls I follow on Instagram, or my friend who shrink back to pre-pregnancy with abs included (yup, I am rolling my eyes a bit here), or the amazing fitness figures I follow. I just wanna be me, but the best possible version of me. Is a work in progress. I try to work out every morning, to make healthy food choices, to read more about fitness related articles, and of course Pin a ton of workout ideas that I am sure hoping one day I will actually be capable of doing.

Follow me through this process. Let’s do it together. Maybe you have already reached your fitness goals and you want to give me advise. That’s cool, I will take it! Or maybe you need inspiration and motivation to drag your booty to the gym or to be able to order the salad instead of the french fries. I am here for you! Life can be hard, but when you have people to help you, support you, and push you if needed, it is like a piece of cake which ironically I can’t quite eat much right now, but you know what I mean!