Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Guest Blogger - @iheartreading

Hi, I’m Jenn and I’ve been following the wonderful ladies here at Twitloss and jumped at the chance to join in with my story. For those who might not know me, I am @iheartreading on Twitter and I food blog my weight loss at

I wanted to talk about one thing that is constantly foiling my attempts at eating healthy and how I combat it and that’s emotional eating. Growing up, every celebration, reward, loss, or happy moment surrounded food. I come from a large Italian family and no matter what holiday it was or what kind of social event was held, there was always tons of super delicious food and we were allowed to eat whatever we wanted and drink as much pop as we wanted any time of the day. So, for me, food equaled happiness. I remember some of my happiest memories were summer picnics full of really fattening food. It took me a really long time to realize that I was using food as a source of comfort and as a reward anytime I had an accomplishment. I began using food as an excuse and it wasn’t until I got control of it, that I was able to lose weight.

I started with weight watchers, two years ago. I lost around 65lbs and I finally learned what eating healthy and having a balanced diet really meant. I measured my food and counted my points religiously. I started being active and I tried all sorts of activities I never thought I could have done…. And then all the sudden I lost motivation. I stopped going to the gym, I stopped eating right, and I went directly back to those habits which had me topping the scale at 300lbs. The weight came back so quickly it was frightening, it felt like one day I woke up and 30 of those pounds were back, but it didn’t happen overnight and I only had one choice and that was get back on the wagon and start over.

This time, instead of concentrating on just eating healthy, I’m really working on controlling my emotional eating and finding a healthy balance in life. Yes, I will always eat cupcakes and ice cream so how can I balance that with healthy choices? That’s the journey I’m on. Here are some of the things that really help me.

  • A support system. I have a great set of people who cheer me on and help me stay on track. From my husband, my mom, my coworkers, and my blogging friends, I always have someone to talk to, and they are always there to cheer me on.
  • My Blog. Every day I post pictures of the food I ate the previous day. This has REALLY helped me stay on track. When I’m tempted to eat a 19 point piece of chocolate cake from the grocery store I stop and think that I’m going to have to put a picture of that on my blog, and I don’t want to be that person anymore! I also LOVE reading other healthy blogs like TJ’s Test Kitchen and Loser for Life.
  • The YMCA. We joined the YMCA almost a year ago and it’s been of the best decisions I’ve made for myself. I was one of those people who didn’t want to join a gym, and I didn’t want people to see the fat girl working out. Well, I quickly got over that when I realized, nobody cared. I joined classes like Jammin’ Cardio and Cardio Funk. I started walking on the indoor track and even started jogging. It continues to kick my butt, but now I never want to miss an exercise class because I really ENJOY it. It’s fun and that’s what keeps me going back.
  • Cupcakes. I’ve learned that I won’t stick with a plan if I can’t eat the food I want to eat. I don’t eat diet food. I don’t eat sugar free stuff. I eat real food, just less of it than I used to and I save my splurges for REALLY special occasions not just because I felt like eating cake that day. I still eat cupcakes, just low fat ones I made myself instead of a dozen from the grocery store.
  • Don’t give up! Even if you do splurge on something and go over your calories or points, just jump back on the wagon. Eat a salad for dinner if you splurged at lunch, but don’t deny yourself the things you really want. Don't look at it like a diet; look at it as a commitment to take care of yourself.


Trish on July 28, 2010 at 5:47 AM said...

I can relate to the emotional eating, I still have problems with this at least several times a month. UGH! But your points are very informative! So nice to learn more about you!

Jennifer Y on July 28, 2010 at 6:06 AM said...

Thanks Trish! I never think emotional eating is going to go away, but hopefully through this journey I'll learn to tackle what is triggering it.

-Jenn (iheartreading)

Natasha A. on July 28, 2010 at 6:18 AM said...

I love the idea of taking a picture of your food! That is a great motivator!!

I read somewhere that this woman takes a bag of sugar, the 5lbs ones? and puts the whole bag on a shelf every time she looses 5 lbs. So she can visibly see the weight she is loosing! I thought that was pretty amazing.

I'm really enjoying this blog ladies! Keep it up and thanks for the motivation!!

Jennifer Y on July 28, 2010 at 6:37 AM said...

Thanks for commenting Natasha! I think that's great motivation with the pounds of sugar! 5lbs doesn't sound like much but it really is!

So far taking pictures of my food has been really fun and motivating. It combines two of my loves, food and photography!

Carrie on July 28, 2010 at 6:44 AM said...

Awesome post Jennifer! I'm SO proud of you and I know you are going to lose the weight you want too! My biggest battle is exercise. I just don't want to do it. So that's my battle... I love seeing the great pictures on your blog everyday and this was an awesome guest post! :-)

susan on July 28, 2010 at 8:51 AM said...

Jenn I enjoy reading your blog and seeing your pictures but I was wondering do you keep a daily log of everything that goes in your mouth? I have heard that it helps too since you can open the book and it's right there in front of your face. I need motivation to eat. lol

Jennifer Y on July 28, 2010 at 8:57 AM said...

Carrie- Thank you SO much! You're one of my greatest cheerleaders and it means so much to me!

Susan - Yes! I do my tracking with Weight Watchers Online. I love their food tracker and since I'm always at the computer it's just really easy for me to do it online or with my blackberry. Plus, it adds it up for me and I can check off all my healthy guidelines too. I have to track, and I count every single thing I eat, that's the only way I'm successful. Thanks for commenting!

Dara Young on July 28, 2010 at 5:55 PM said...

Jen, thank you for guest blogging today! I too share your weakness for cupcakes, so feel free to send me that low fat recipe! LOL!

Liza on August 1, 2010 at 3:45 PM said...

I've never thought about taking pictures of the food I eat each day to keep myself in check. Such a great idea. I too don't go sugar free, just go for much smaller portions of things I like (i.e. mini dark chocolate reese cups).


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