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Out of Africa

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Guilt All Around - How to Deal




I said "until next week" in my last entry but what I should have said was, "until I get home and have more time to concentrate on what I'm writing" ... I forgot how much I love to blog! I had one while I was in the Peace Corps (http://salutniger.blogspot.com) but due to the lack of internet I mostly journaled. I miss journaling a lot but I like the interactive opportunities that blogging offers.

I've been feeling guilty for a variety of reasons this week although thankfully none of the guilt has to do with not sticking to my plan for myself. First though, now that I have more time I will give some general background information. First, my user name is a combination of my name that I was given while I lived in Niger, West Africa, and my married name. I am 26 years old and have struggled with my weight all my life, although most markedly while I was in college. I stopped playing soccer competitively and became very sedentary. I tried Weight Watchers. I used the meals to calculate my points more accurately and I had a lot of success but it became expensive on my student salary and after one summer I went back to my old ways.

After graduation I joined the Peace Corps where I served for two years. During this time, I became the skinniest and "healthiest" I have ever been. I use healthy in the term of eating choices but living in a third world country you can't get away from constantly being sick whether from dehydration or from amoebas and bacteria ... life adventures, remember? But, I was biking and walking many many kilometers every single day. I felt amazing! I met an amazing man while I lived in my little village and we came back to my hometown in Ohio and settled into the American dream. We had a baby in June 2011 and fast forward to now where I am in my second, almost third week with Jenny.

This time around, money is still an issue but $150 a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks is much more economical than $5-10 fast food meals all day and week long, right? But graciously, my mom offered to pay my start up fees since she too, was (re)starting Jenny. And here becomes the guilt. When it comes to food, I have much more control. I get dedicated and super focused where I feel like my mom focuses more on what she's missing out on than what she's gaining. I lost 8.8 lbs my first week and I heard a touch of jealousy or even sadness in my mom's voice as she congratulated me. I could tell she was struggling to stay on her plan, making excuses for herself. How do I help? I don't want to be super strict on her like I am on myself because I know that while I thrive like that, she would fold. I don't want to make excuses but I try my best to encourage her to come eat dinner with me or to call me when she's having a stressful day and just talk it out rather than eat it out... what else can I do to help someone who has had so many starts and stops without feeling like I'm leaving her in the dust? Any comments would be greatly appreciated...

Another source of guilt has been with my husband. I cook for him or he brings home his own dinner. He knows that I'm strong but he feels bad that we aren't eating the same things ... he also knows the only thing I'd pry from his hands would be Chipotle (kidding... sort of). In his culture, families eat together at the same time and usually from the same large dish. I make my meal and sit with him but he still feels bad when he eats something I love. I try to reassure that I love what I'm eating now too but I don't know if I've convinced him yet that he shouldn't worry about eating in front of me. My biggest win of this past week and a half is the feeling of craving food has greatly declined. Just knowing what I'm going to eat later keeps the thoughts of multitudes of delicious options at bay. I'm excited for weigh in tomorrow and I'm sure I'll be blogging again soon!



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