• A Weighty Issue

    February 7, 2011

    I’m making a pretty good dent in my 30 Healthiest Foods Challenge. Check barley off the list! :-D

    Breakfast

    For breakfast this morning, I enjoyed Oats In A Jar made with rolled oats, barley, canned pumpkin, soy milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, and an extra scoop of peanut butter.

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    FYI: Barley rules. I love how chewy it is!

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    And, as always, I drank a glass of iced coffee with breakfast.

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    Disclaimer: If you are currently struggling with an eating disorder or in recovery, and weight is a sensitive issue or may trigger you, please skip the rest of this post.

    So, I haven’t been totally honest with you guys about my weight. I’ve actually been sort of afraid to talk about it on Carrots ‘N’ Cake. Sometimes, I feel like weight is a touchy subject in the blog world, especially for those of us who are not overweight, which, for the record, I know that I’m not. I’m also not happy with my current weight.

    I’ve always tried to be open and honest on my blog, so I realized that I should talk about something that I am struggling with. You probably have noticed some small changes in my daily life—less sugar, more strength training—but you don’t see everything that happens in my life.

    Last week, Skinny Runner wrote a post about food blogging that really made me think. In her post, she said: “Blogging’s reality but it’s more like reality TV, which is so true. You only see what the blogger wants you to see. Likewise on CNC, you only see the meals and snacks that I photography and publish. You don’t see my food struggles or every single morsel that goes into my mouth. I’m not trying to hide anything. A lot of the time, I’m just too lazy to snap a photo of my food. Food journaling is A LOT of work and sometimes I just want to eat like a ‘normal’ person and not take a picture of my food before I eat it. I can honestly say that document about 90% of what I eat each day, but there are plenty of times that I don’t bother to snap random eats, which can range from a piece of Swiss cheese to a dozen chocolate chip cookies.

    Since last August, when I started training for the marathon, I’ve gained nearly 10 pounds, which is likely from simply overestimating that the amount of calories I could consume during training. Eating calories above and beyond what my body needed likely led to my weight gain, which I wrote about here and here. I know the scale doesn’t tell the whole story, but the fact that my pants don’t fit bothers me. I also realize that it took me five months to put on the weight, so it could take me the same amount of time (or longer) to lose it. I just need to be patient and stick to my healthy habits. (I don’t have a goal weight in mind, I just want my pants to fit again!)

    Ok, so, now it’s out there. I feel so much better letting everyone know that I am not at my happy weight and I’m trying to do something about it. I won’t bore you with numbers and stats, like I did for Lose the Dough, but I will use my blog to more honestly document my daily eats to help keep me accountable. I mean, there are days when I don’t want to eat healthily, but knowing I’ll have to post photos makes me think about what I’m eating. Plus, having the support from the blog community will keep me motivated. 

    With that said…

    Question of the Day

    Has social media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) helped you lose weight? If so, how?

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    { 293 comments… read them below or add one }

    Teague February 7, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    I think it’s very brave of you to admit that you aren’t at your happy weight. I recently just lost all the weight that i gained over the past couple years and i feel much better about myself. i think that healthy eating blogs are a good place to look for advice and tips for losing weight and keeping it off. You can use the tips they give you make your own regime. I also like knowing what other people eat every day!

    Reply

    Tabs February 7, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    I don’t have too many words to share except to say thank you. I appreciate all the honesty that you give every day and this extra means an extra lot since I too gained weight over the last 5 months (except dwindling exercise and lack of healthy food choices had a piece to play in mine…plus life changes and such) and am now finally finding motivation to get back to what I love doing and how I love feelings.

    Again, thank you for sharing your inner thoughts and feelings…we all know it was hard and are all proud of you for doing it! :)

    Reply

    Tabs February 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Oops. Forgot to answer the question. I think food blogs and have been wonderfully helpful for me because all you wonderful bloggers out there give me ideas for new, yummy recipe’s and new types of foods out there to try. I’ve gotten a TON of different cardio and weight workouts which has been great to breath new life into my exercise regime. I’ve found loads of encouragement from ladies like yourself who bare it all and struggle with similar things that I do.

    Reply

    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I think it’s awesome that you admitted this on your blog and you shouldn’t feel guilty about sharing it! I don’t blame you for wanting your jeans to fit. ;)

    It’s true that weight can be a touchy subject in the blog world, but you should be able to talk about your true thoughts without feeling like you’re going to be attacked!

    Reply

    Nessy February 7, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    I really appreciate your openness and honesty! I too am currently 10 pounds over my ‘happy weight’ and although I try not to focus all my attention on numbers, I don’t feel like buying new pants :-) I absolutely love your blog because it really helps to keep me motivated and you are so inspiring! Thank you for all you do :-)

    Reply

    Catherine February 7, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    I think most women would agree that at some point in their lives they are unhappy with their weight, regardless of actual nearness to being “overweight.” I agree with the above comments who say you’re brave to talk about it here. There are so many touchy issues involved in sharing weight online.

    I’ve been able to lose weight and achieve my recent fitness goals using social media to help me for sure. Having a whole community of people who are also training for races, and share their own healthy meals to inspire me, and keep me accountable to my goals. :)

    Reply

    Anna February 7, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    I’ve gained 10lbs since September! I blamed it on the -35 degree weather (freakin’ North Dakota!) that prevents me from logging long runs outside and my boyfriend who loves burritos and pizza! Then I realized I weighed this much last winter (without my boyfriend’s help) and lost it quickly around May when it got warmer. I still work out twice a day most days during the week (hour swim in the morning/circuits or more cardio in the afternoon) just like in the summer and I still get 100% on my PT test (I’m in the military and can run a 10:14 1.5 mile, thank you very much). Anyway, I’ve sort of accepted that my body gains a few lbs. in the winter time- cold weather prevents me from moving as much and I probably eat heartier food for dinner. Summer I’m moving a walking everywhere and eating small dinners that usually consist of a beer and a light, healthy app. or shared portion. Weird- I eat less and drink more (hello, marg on the patio) and it translates into a flatter tummy. Regardless, I will lose the weight again this spring/summer and I’ve decided not to stress. Instead of signed up for several running and swimming events in the spring and look forward to the leaner me. Not much I can do here in North Dakota when its -35…. besides move to Key West! Get me a transfer!

    Reply

    Steph February 7, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    ***this is in no means to be offensive, i am just not good with words.

    tina, i am not going to lie, i loved this post! i swear, you and i would be best friends when it comes to food and working out. i love reading your blog because you are creative with what you eat and seem to enjoy it. that being said i am often quite envious of you because i would love to eat lots of peanut butter each day and chocolate chips–which many days i do and like you have come to put on a few pounds despite constant working out (which now are gone–see below). in fact, i cant even have peanutbutter, cereal or icecream in the house because i have 0 self-control.

    i am a teacher, and recently at my school, we started a biggest loser competion–and it was just the kick in the butt i needed to regain control, count my calories and be honest with myself. i do use a scale and everyday (as i felt my self gaining weight between august-decemenber i let myself weigh myself less frequenty but found that led to an increasing number). i have lost 7 pounds this month and am at a weight that i am much happier with. not sure why i am telling you all this other than I LOVE FOOD, I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS AND BEER and it sucks skipping out on it sometimes but at the same time i feel better about myself with a little more control. and its definitely hard finding a balance of not being a total nut about it and going out and enjoying life and eating. one day i hope not to obsess over it but until then it is what it is and i love your honesty and your blog!!

    Reply

    Gudbjorg February 7, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    You are not alone.
    Love

    Reply

    Steph February 7, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    you can log it quick no doubt but counting calories becomes all consuming, all day long, obsessive activity.

    Reply

    Rika February 8, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Tina, thank you. I’ve been unhappy with my weight-gain and kinda have been in denial- this “woke” me up. It just made me realize I needed to get real like you and be responsible! :D

    Reply

    Steph February 8, 2011 at 12:01 am

    ok my last comment on here–my previous comment, about calorie counting was in response to someone elses comment but somehow ended up after my other comment. i need a life. :-)

    Reply

    kim February 8, 2011 at 5:21 am

    All I have t say is thank you for your honesty. I have stopped reading some of the healthy blogs b/c all they do is make me feel bad if I am not being “good”

    And yes all the blogs helped me for the last 2 years (3 babies) I lost a lot of pregnancy weight then some that wasn’t.

    Reply

    Khushboo February 8, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Hi Tina. I just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work you put into documenting your eats and sharing it with the public. I love reading about them, although sometimes they make me crave cookies more than I normally do :)! I can only imagine how time-consuming documenting every single morsel of food so please stop being so hard on yourself. While I’m not on a diet per say anymore, I still stay on track by writing everything I eat down- it keeps me accountable if that makes sense. Yesterday, after I ate a cookie I wanted to have a few chocolate chips but I decide not to as writing it down (well typing it into my BB) seemed like too much work ha…so i can only imagine just how stressful taking pics can be!

    Anyway even though all your readers (including me) agree that you look fabulous, only you can decide what your healthy weight it. And if you are not feeling too hot right now, be proud that you’ve decided to do something about it rather than fall into a trap of self-pity and self-loathing. You’ve lost the weight before and I have no doubt you will be equally successful this time round. All the best :)

    Reply

    Lori February 8, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Just catching up on your blogs. Thanks for being so upfront and honest. I think we can all relate. This has been a theme for me for over a month. Did a half in November, then the Holiday, the cold, the snow, bla, bla, bla. I think winter seems to be the hardest to maintain the in food area. It really helps to read of someone who struggles also. I always say you can’t change what you won’t acknowledge. Some friends think I’m obsessive, but I’d rather try to lose 5 lbs than 25. I’m 52 years old and I’ve found if you don’t stay on it and make changes from time to time it will get a way from you. Look forward to reading more of your daily journey. Have a great day!

    Reply

    Kate February 8, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Thank you for being honest, its nice to see that other people go through the same things. I love your blog!!

    Reply

    Lindsay February 8, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I’m an avid runner, marathoner and registered dietitian. I experience the same ‘train gain’ every single time I run a marathon and it can be extremely difficult to feel good about my body even though I know I am in good shape. Keep in mind there are several factors at play here that I’m sure you are familiar with: first your appetite explodes, second (if you are like me) you give yourself a little latitude with your food choices, third your body starts adapting to your workouts and you store more glycogen (storage form of blood sugar) which results in increased water retention and finally your body composition changes – you gain muscle mass which weighs more than fat. While I understand your frustration I think you will find once your mileage comes down and you pay closer attention to total daily intake your weight/body shape will normalize. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    Tasha February 8, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Thank you so much for this post!!!! I can not tell you how much I needed to read this!! You are such an inspiration to me! I absolutely love your blog and look so forward to reading it everyday!! I am not at my happy weight but with your help I am getting there slowly but surely!! You are such a great motivator, thank you for all that you do!! I think you look amazing!! :)

    Reply

    Nicole February 8, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Tina, Kudos for speaking about this. I went through a health crisis last year where I was not allowed to exercise at all because of a heart condition, and then because we’d also been waiting for me to get better to have a baby, I immediately got pregnant and haven’t been in running shape. I have to admit I was always jealous reading your blog and others that you could go out there and sweat and I couldn’t. But I will look to you for inspiration when baby comes sometime in April… I definitely think you and other food/exercise bloggers will inspire me. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others when you read blogs – thanks for the reminder that it is sometimes like “reality TV!”

    Reply

    Laura (Tail Waggin) February 8, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Your blog helped me a year ago lose 30 pounds! It really helped to follow you (and other healthy eating blogs) while I was trying to change lifelong bad habits into good, healthy habits! Thank you! and as my husband says… “Head High, Never Quit!” :)

    Reply

    Jessi @ Quirky Cookery February 8, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I know they’ve certainly helped me *gain* weight from wanting to try so many of the good eats, lol. After getting that in check, I think a lot of times that they do indeed help tilt my decisions toward eating healthier foods or trying out new dishes I wouldn’t have otherwise (which are often more nutritious).

    I know some people who lost weight by using SparkPeople. One didn’t even use the trackers, but relied solely on the community there, reading the blogs, making connections with others who were struggling, too. I think the internet can be an amazing source of support.

    Reply

    Michelle February 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    I’m struggling with a similar situation. I’ve gained a little weight; not enough to be unhealthy but enough to feel uncomfortable. Food blogs can be a great tool to find tasty, healthy recipes, but they can also lead to temptation. I find that I get hungry just reading recipes when I know that I’m not really hungry!

    This post is refreshing and I’m going to keep it in mind as I try to lose those extra pounds. I’m looking forward to reading how you do it. Lots of luck!

    Reply

    lauren @ spiced plate February 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    thank you for your honesty. after being sick and gaining 30 lbs because antibiotics made my stomach unable to process things correctly (or something along those lines) – I felt out of control. I didn’t like my body and it affected how I ate and the decisions I made, to no avail. I finally got better and am back to my “happy” weight, but it was horrible before.
    I think it’s good to have things out in the open. you’d admitted it. now you can take the steps to help yourself, with the support of your readers! I look forward to seeing your process and journey continue.

    Reply

    cher February 8, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    i realized the same thing about blogs, which is why sometimes, if someone is just so dang cheery all of the time, i feel the need to stop reading. i know that some lives are great…i think mine is. but i also know that everyone struggles with things on a daily basis. i’m so glad you shared this with us.

    Reply

    Stephanie February 9, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Tina, I appreciate how honest you are in this post! I’ve been there. In the Spring of 2009 I began training for a marathon. I thought I could eat whatever I wanted! Be free from concern and diet! I also at that time was undergoing considerable stress at my job and went through a career change toward the tail end of my training. I gained 12 pounds throughout training as I resorted to my old habits of using food to console me. I’m still struggling with this extra weight gain and am incredibly frustrated with myself to this day. No seriously, I had a cupcake and banana pudding at the office today. I am making the attempts to get out of my comfort zone and take new opportunities to exercise (Taking advantage of gym classes to break out of my rut.) I’m really looking forward to tackling your 30 day food challenge and hope that restarts my appreciation for health, fitness and well being.

    I don’t know how food bloggers manage their blogs and lives at the same time. I’ve tried it and I’ve abandoned it due to exhaustion. Kudos for being so honest and for having the stamina to maintain C&C. It’s always been a great resource and cheerleader.

    Reply

    Alaina February 11, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I do follow a lot of blogs and feel like I live my life based on (some of) what I read. It’s really refreshing to know that others are having troubles like myself. I haven’t been feeling 100% and I need that push to get back into the shape I used to be.

    Reply

    Audrey February 15, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Thank you for your honesty. Honestly, pun not intended but I’ll leave it, I am recovering from an ED, and I read your blog, because it is honest, and helps me be honest and follow my recovery plan, even when ever fiber of my being tells me not to. I don’t think anyone is satisfied with their weight 100% of the time, and I know that no one I know is. I think you are a healthy example of a person dealing with life insecurities, and I hope that you blog more about yours in the future. I will continue to read your blog, because you are NOT what the Hunger Diaries made you out to be, and are in fact a healthy refeshing blog that is both encouraging and heart warming.

    Reply

    Sara April 8, 2011 at 10:26 am

    You are a healthy, fit, smart chick- the weight will come off! You’re taking action at a 10-pound gain, and I think that’s part of normal weight maintenance. Giving yourself a weight window and making small adjustments to your workouts and eating habits when you start to step outside that window is what it’s all about! Thanks for posting about this. I think a lot of people are under the impression that we “fit bloggers” have it all together and effortlessly maintain our healthy weight. I find weight maintenance to be pretty easy, but it definitely takes some paying attention!

    Reply

    Leah April 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks for your honesty! Social media def does play a big role! For example your blog is very inspiring and motivational to those like me who are struggling with getting into the shape that they would like to be in!

    Reply

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