Monday, March 10, 2014
"Oh, why did I eat so much?" I have asked myself too often. "I feel miserable!"
There are many reasons why I overeat. One of the biggest motivators for me to stuff myself is a fear that I will be hungry again too soon. So I eat and eat and eat until I am miserable; sometimes, so miserable that all I can do is lie down until the feeling passes. And yet, for so long, I have lived with the idea that being miserable because I am stuffed is better than worrying about being afraid of being hungry too soon.
This year, however, I am focused on learning to love my body. As part of that, my current focus is listening to my body. I am learning to stop when I am full. Instead of forcing myself to finish what is on my plate because it tastes good or go back for seconds and thirds so I am not hungry again in an hour, I am working on stopping when my body says to stop.
I am getting better at this. I am surprised at how far I have come in such a short time. As a matter of fact, I am beginning to wonder how I used to eat so much. Now, when I overeat a little, I am so uncomfortable, I truly wish I had stopped earlier. It is not a feeling of guilt (I still feel guilty regret from eating copious amounts of sugar, but that is another battle), but truly a wish I had eaten less (much like my frequent morning wish that I had gone to bed two hours earlier the night before). When I feel that discomfort in my stomach, I wonder how I used to eat so much.
Back before I began with SparkPeople, I used to feel happy when I ate well beyond my maximum. I thought that feeling was "full." I have since learned that what I was feeling was "bloated." Now I recognize that bloated feeling much more easily, and it often comes from eating heavy white breads such as biscuits. Now I am starting to recognize the too-full feeling of eating even quality foods. Recognizing that feeling makes it easier to stop when my body says it has had enough.
I am not tracking or worrying about quantities of servings of vegetables or measuring grams of protein. I know these habits work and have had success with them in the past. I realize now that I am not there yet. Instead, I first need to listen to my body is telling me and to learn to love it. The next time I track, I want it to come from a place of love and acceptance, not from a feeling of "should" or unacceptability.
Monday, March 03, 2014
How many times do we think, "I will be happy when [fill in the blank]"? Yet life's greatest happiness is finding joy in the little things. Today, I am excited because the library book I am reading (Command Authority by Tom Clancy, not a small book) renewed. I was supposed to return it in two days, which is not nearly enough time to finish it at this point. Now I have more time, and I should be able to finish without needing to wait for a second turn to check out the book.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
I lost my car today. In an effort to get more steps on my FitBit, I thought I would take the long way around to get to it. It is important to note that I really paid attention this morning when I got to work (early) so I would be sure to know exactly where my car was when I left at the end of the day: section 2B. When I returned to the parking garage this afternoon, I exited the elevator on the second floor and took the long way around to get to the vehicle. Why was it not there? I pressed the "lock" button on my key fob and heard the car honk, yet still couldn't see it. Where was it? Up and down and back and forth I went, looking for my car. Honking the horn occasionally, backtracking when I could no longer hear the honk. "Oh dear, someone is going to think I am looking for a car whose keys I have stolen," I thought to myself. Still, I had to find it, so I kept looking.
After nearly 30 minutes of wandering, I finally found it when I realized what should have been obvious from the start: when taking the long way to the car that is parked in 2B, it is necessary to enter the garage at floor ONE and work my way up, not start at two and go up. Honestly, my mind just does not work well when it is running on insufficient sleep and an early day at the office.
My "long way around" plan worked, though. I surpassed my 5000 step goal for the day by over 1000 steps!
Thursday, February 13, 2014
My fitness focus for 2014 is learning to love my body. My first goal to help me toward this is to visit the chiropractor and the massage therapist monthly. In the past, I have waited to go until I was in pain. As I reviewed my 2013 bills, I noticed I still made as many trips, but they were clustered at times of pain. This year, I am planning to go monthly to avoid the pain and optimize my strengths.
The second thing I have done to help me learn to love my body is to let go of "should" and "should not." I stopped telling myself I should not have sugar or I should exercise because I am too fat, I am a sugar addict, my pants do not fit, I would feel better, or I would have more energy. I stopped (well, I have not really stopped, but I am working toward stopping my habit of) telling myself all the things wrong with my body and all the ways I need to fix it. Occasionally, I even remember to focus on things I like about my body.
But my clothes do not fit, I do get winded, I am disappointed I cannot come close to doing the things I did just a year or two ago, and I know I would feel better if I took better care of my body. So I wondered what step I can take next to create more health in my body without damaging the emotional health I am working to build in regards to my body.
I believe my next step will be listening to what my body tells me about the food I eat. I tend to overeat frequently. There are several reasons for this. One, I enjoy what I am eating. It tastes good, so I keep eating after I am no longer hungry. Two, I fear hunger. If I stop eating now, I might be hungry again in two hours, so I keep eating after I am no longer hungry. This is especially true if I eat at a buffet. Three, it was expensive. If something cost a lot, I surely do not want to waste it. I sometimes realize it is worse than a waste to eat things that my body does not need and that will make me feel worse than if I did not eat them. Too much of a good thing is no longer good, but I forget this, so I keep eating after I am no longer hungry. Four, I am nervous, bored, or stressed. Somehow, I think crunching and chewing will make me feel better, so I keep eating even though I am not hungry. I never feel better because of it. Five, because I am not eating enough foods that are meeting certain needs. For example, if I do not eat enough fruits or vegetables, I find that I am hungrier and that no matter how much I eat, I am not satisfied. Six, because it is there. Seven, because someone else is eating it. Eight, habit.
I am sure there are others, but clearly, I do not always eat simply because I am hungry. I often regret when I eat too much. It may be because I feel the discomfort of my pants that are too tight or because I know there is no "undo" button for the mistake I just made. It may be because I feel bloated or tired. It is love to listen to what the one we care about is saying, especially when what they are saying is telling us what they need. Therefore, it is love for me to listen to my body when it tells me what I need: stop eating too much, start eating more fruits and vegetables. It may even tell me to go to bed a little earlier now and then. My job is to listen.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
I have always loved SparkPeople. Even when I do little else to take care of my health, I usually manage to at least earn a consistency award each month. Doing this encourages me to actually do real things (like eat vegetables or take a walk) that will truly benefit my health. There are not words enough to say all the good things I feel about SparkPeople and its wonderful staff.
I love how they are constantly working to update the website and keeping things fresh. I was so excited when we could earn bonus spins for earning 25 points in a day. It gave me a great goal to work toward. Sometimes I would get lucky and get a great spin on the wheel and not have to do much else to meet my minimum daily goal of 25 so I could get that coveted bonus spin.
Then they revamped the start page. I thought it was great to find the little flags that let us "donate" points toward our favorite SparkTeams. What a great way to support our favorite teams and encourage a sense of community amongst team members.
Alas, as great as I initially thought this was, I have to admit it has not worked out like I had hoped. It was fun at first to get some really big bonus points (as high as 50 for a single team!), but now I have found that almost every day I am able to earn my bonus spin by doing nothing more than spinning the wheel and giving bonus points to my favorite teams. I sometimes I have to read a couple articles or something, but most days I do not. And so I get my bonus spin and move on to something else in my day, never taking advantage of all the great things the Spark has to offer. Yes, this is my decision. It is up to me to find the motivation to take advantage of the site's benefits without needing the outside motivation of a bonus spin. I understand this. I realize that with this new set up, this new start page, I need to change my mindset and create a new goal. Just going for a bonus spin is no longer enough. I need to develop a goal that will help me gain real benefit from the use of the site.
Still, I wanted to put my thoughts out there. If, by some small chance, the developers see it, it may give them something to consider as they continue their ever-vigilant work of making the site better and better all the time. As always, I would love feedback from anyone. Do you like the new start page (and why or why not)? How do you get the most from SP... do you schedule a set amount of time each day, have a points goal, or something else?
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