Published March 10, 2010

Losing Weight - Day 10: Craving Carbs

by Helen M. Ryan

I've never tasted Miracle Whip until today. My daughter asked me to buy it on our last shopping trip, and as I was making her a sandwich I wiped the knife with my finger and had a taste. Boy, did I want some. This was Miracle Whip Light mind you, so it only had 1.5 grams of fat per serving. I had no reason to eat it, unless I slathered it on something yummy and carb-y, so I didn't even bother. I bet it would have tasted wonderful on French bread topped with Provolone.

Sweet, Salt or...Carbs?

I think it's the saltiness that drew me to the Miracle Whip. I've been thinking about salt all day. I had three potato chips in the car and I've been fantasizing about popcorn. I even ate some dill pickles (I learned my lesson with those higher calorie sweet pickles. Read the pickle incident here.). Salt, sweet, salt, sweet - I crave both and I am so confused.
I am keeping my eye on the final prize (fitting into my jeans that are now about 3" from closing - 3" might as well be 3' as far as those pants go. It's not even muffin top - it's like a Play-Doh mushroom).
My eating is slipping a little bit again. Not so much in terms of binging (I am no longer polishing off an entire tray of cookies followed by a pint of ice cream), but  overall I am eating more and more carbs, more and more frequently. This definitely has something to do with my monthly cycle.
The trick is, how do I pull back without becoming tired? How do I eat more fruit and veggies, for example, when what I really crave are breads? I need a certain amount of carbs to survive my Spinning schedule. I live in fear of running out of energy when I teach. It's one thing to peter out on the bike when you are the student - it's a whole other thing to peter out when you are leading an entire class. I know the sugars stored in my muscles will get me through most anything, which is why I start every day with oatmeal - and chocolate chips.

Overall, I am a big believer in eating carbs. I lost more than 80 pounds in the past consuming them. The trick is to eat more of the good kind, less of the refined.

Carb Crazy

If you've followed my quest you will see that bread and other carbs are a large part of my life. Personally, I feel that I am "hardwired" for carbohydrates, but I've been told by someone who knows me much too well that I have been conditioned to eat this way from a young age. Perhaps he is right. Perhaps carbs helped ease my loneliness and provided a sense of comfort back then that I have come to rely on  as a crutch - much like the story of the magic ballet slippers (for those of you without daughters, stay tuned for another post about the slippers).
Carbs make me happy and give me a sense of well-being. I feel nurtured and relaxed. To me, it almost feels like I get a mental lift (not a high, but an actual mood lift) from them, particularly baked goods. It starts with the smell and the anticipation, and then the tasting and the...oh my. Let me turn on the fan for a moment.
OK, I'm back.
My carb-fetish doesn't revolve around sugars per say. Sugar itself does nothing for me. I don't like soda and I don't care for candy with the exception of Tootsie Rolls, Starburst and Panda Black licorice. Of course I love ice cream, brownies, cakes, cookies and anything baked with cocoa powder. But it's my fascination with bread and grains that I can't seem to break. It doesn't matter what it is - whole grain, white bread, oats, white or brown rice, pasta - if it's a grain of some form, I want it. Now.

Cutting Back

I will try to slowly reduce my intake of the non-fruit and veggie carbs in the coming week. I will also try to limit how much of them I eat later in the day to see if that helps budge the scale.
I will still eat them and I will still enjoy them. The trick is to find the balance between weight loss and having a life. As always, that's the most complicated part of the puzzle. If I was promised an eternal size 4 in exchange for giving up carbs forever I would say, "Nevermind."
As Zombieland Rule #32 states, "Enjoy the Little Things." I enjoy my little carbs...but maybe I should just enjoy fewer of them?
Onward and forward.
Until tomorrow.
Do you have a carb craving?
Do they make you happy the same way they do me?

Share your thoughts. You can do so anonymously. I'd like to hear from you.
6 hours of sleep.
No exercise(!). (Unplanned day of rest but client deadlines and sick children got the best of me.)
For food?

  • Plain oatmeal with flax seeds, nonfat milk, walnuts pieces and chocolate chips (60% cocoa - a must) - breakfast.
  • Coffee with non-dairy creamer (ewww).
  • Orange - snack.
  • Weight Watchers Spinach and Mushroom Pizza - lunch.
  • A bunch of raw baby carrots - snack.
  • More coffee, this time sugar-free vanilla latte with soy milk - snack.
  • A very minor chip infraction (3 BBQ-flavored chips stolen from my daughter's bag) - snack.
  • Low fat string cheese - snack.
  • Double fiber minestrone soup with added green beans and low fat cheese drizzled on top  - dinner.
  • Yogurt - snack.

[Click on the Weight Loss category to read earlier posts...from Day 1 and on.]

>Continue reading to Day 11: Fitting It In