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Food and Mood.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I used to date a man who always said, "I wish I didn't have to eat. I just don't care about food, and it's a chore for me to eat."

What?! I don't understand this at all. AT ALL. Food is such a huge part of life, and learning to co-exist with it peacefully, is my major challenge.

I love food. I love to shop. I love to cook. I love to eat. Is that "normal?" Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, it's me, and I need to work with it.

So, anyway, fast forward to February of 2011, when I am currently not peacefully co-existing with food at all. I read the SP boards a lot, and I see all these people, who are doing various diets and lifestyle changes, and they just... do it. They just say, "I'm going to start eating fewer carbs," and bam, they lower their carb intake by half. How do they do it? How do they just make the switch? I often feel like food is controlling me, rather than the other way around. I don't know how or when this happened. Rationally, I know that when I eat a pound of animal crackers before bed, I will wake up in the a.m., feeling like I got hit by a truck. Rationally, I am aware of the fact that 6 servings of pretzels, while zoned out on American Idol, will only make me look like a puffer fish in the morning. So, why do I do it? Why do I insist on having a food hangover every morning?

I have noticed that lately, I am a bear. I am moody, irritable, exhausted, annoyed, snappy, emotional, anxious, etc. My husband thinks I am totally burnt out. He thinks the kids are making me into a lunatic. Maybe so, but I truly believe that a lot of it is diet related. I think I am "over-carbing" and "over-grazing" in the evenings, resulting in awful mood swings and terrible food hangovers. Food directly affects my mood. That's it.

So, how am I going to conquer this? I don't know. Any ideas? A therapist once said to me, "Who is in control of the food? Can the food really be in control?" Um, no. The food cannot be in control. I am in control here. So how am I going to take back my control? I truly need to figure this out. I really have no problems during the day, but the evenings are really difficult for me. I would like to say that I have a grand plan for taking my power back... But I don't. So, I am reaching out here. How do we conquer those pesky cravings for carbs, salt, and sugar? I am not trying to lose weight, but to gain a healthier relationship with food. I want balance. I want to feel the confidence of having control over my habits. Right now, I am in a battle, which I am on my way to losing. I am ready to win.

So, I can only control one day at a time. Here is my plan for today. I will:

Eat when I am hungry.
Eat slowly and chew my food.
Stop when I am satisfied.
Plan ONE snack to eat between 8-9pm, and then brush teeth and close the kitchen.

Realistic, eh??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHEETARA79 3/22/2011 7:37PM

    Yes! One thing I've been doing lately is saying (out loud) after my last bite for the day, "The kitchen is closed."

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Slippity Doo Da!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Nope, I'm not talking about snow (though my driveway is a doozy) - I'm talking about slipping from my commitment to my health. The first few days of the year were sort of a cinch. I ate when I was hungry. I stopped when I was satisfied. I felt good. Then, last night came, and I did exactly what I didn't want to do - I ate when I wasn't hungry.

We had a nice dinner. Spiced Chicken with Black Eyed Peas and Brown Rice. I had a square of dark chocolate after dinner. I was satisfied. When the kids went to bed, I had my evening snack. I was satisfied. Then, without thinking about it, out came the pretzels. I didn't need them, but I wanted them. I knew, when I took them out of the pantry, that one serving wasn't going to cut it.

I finished the bag.

Now, granted, it wasn't a huge bag, and I could have made far worse choices, than pretzels. I know all these things, but it doesn't matter. The truth is, I ate when I wasn't hungry, and for that, I will pay, with a lovely tummy ache, a ton of water retention, and a puffy face. And as I ate the alleged pretzels, I knew all these things, and chose to tell myself, "Meh, you won't do this tomorrow, so don't worry about it."

Isn't it funny how we make deals with ourselves, deny that this isn't normal behavior, and engage in habits that hurt us? Hmph.

So, moving on... How will today be different? Today is busy. I have an awful cold, 2 kids to love and take care of, and a ton of driving to do. We are going to see Disney on Ice tonight. I want to be normal today. I want to be positive about the day ahead. So, here are my goals and plans:

Today I will honor myself. I will make lovely meals and snacks, and remain attentive to my hunger and satisfaction cues. I will practice patience with that nasty monster in my head, that tells me it's okay to eat when I'm not hungry. I will make today a great day. I am sleepy, sick with a cold, and upset with my actions last night - but today can be better, and it will be.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMSHARK 1/6/2011 11:48AM

    I know you can do it. Just remember how good it felt on all the days that you did listen to your hunger.

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TINKSMOM1 1/6/2011 7:41AM

    Have fun at disney on ice...I love those things! Busy days in my house are a blessing since i dont have time to roam and graze..dont be too hard on yourself ...we all have cruddy days..yesterday was not a proud moment in my journey...but you have the right attitude! start off better today...and remember popcorn at those things are way expensive, both for the budget and the waist! have a good day! emoticon

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Happy Beginnings

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happiest New Year, oh Spark Friends! Sorry this is a day late. I actually rung in the New Year with a pukey baby. Well, he wasn't pukey until we were at a party. Then he destroyed a lovely wood floor. Ick. Well, destroyed is a tad dramatic, but you get the idea. He is feeling a world better this morning, so here I am.

Yesterday was a good start. I feel positive, and ready to take on the year. No. I need to get rid of that sentiment. I am ready to take on TODAY. I am going to list my daily goals. A year is daunting, but I can do anything for a day.

Yesterday, I tracked all day, I stayed attentive to hunger and satisfaction cues, and I really just listened patiently, to my body. It was a good start. Today, I want to continue all those things, plus...

1. I want to space out my meals and snacks. This means, I need to stop eating lunch, then immediately eating my afternoon snack. I often do this, because it means I can have my snack while the kids are napping. Well, I think today I will eat lunch, then give my body a break, before I eat a snack. If I am still hungry after lunch, then I haven't eaten enough. It isn't time for a snack - it's time for more real food.

2. Evenings are a "white knuckle" event for me. I desperately try to reign in the snacking, and it's tough! Today, I will mentally rehearse my evening. Kids go to bed. I make a cup of tea. I settle in with my needlepoint. At 8:30, I eat my evening (planned) snack. At 8:40, the kitchen is closed. I need to repeat this plan approximately 1 million times. Rehearsing helps. I've heard that...

That's it. Those are realistic goals, don't you think? I do.

Today is a good day. I am excited to make a nice dinner for my family. I am looking forward to having my husband home for the day, since he was on call last night. I have wonderful children. I have a wonderful life. I am looking forward to a happy beginning to the year. I am present.

To all: Have a happy beginning!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALISHAB3 1/2/2011 11:12AM

    Rehearsing really does help. Your goals look reasonable.

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Replacing Bad Habits

Thursday, December 30, 2010

In the name of reducing body clutter in 2011, I have some "bum habits" that need serious replacing. This list will probably be a mish mosh of goals, and things I want to STOP doing. I realize it's never a great thing, to talk about things in the negative, but I need to face the music, and realize there are things that simply need to end. Mind you, I am fortunate that I do not have weight to lose. Instead, I have habits to lose. In my mind, there isn't much of a difference. It's all hard. Pick your hard.

1. The excessive snacking needs to hit the road. I am sure that if I really looked hard, I'd realize that my snacks are making up a huge portion of the food I eat - at least 50%. I really need to put the focus back on my meals. Even if they are large. I know snacking can be healthy, but it isn't healthy, if you can't stop. Know what I mean?

2. Is Diet Coke really necessary? No. It's an expensive and unhealthy habit. I rely on it. I am addicted to it. I need to stop the madness. I think it increases my cravings for sweet/salty foods, so I need to gradually wean it out of my diet. I know, I know. Cold turkey might be best, but I feel I must be honest with myself, and recognize that going from 4 cans a day, to zero, might be a tad... tough.

3. After dinner snacking is a monster to be reckoned with. Seriously. ONE snack before bed, should be all I need. Instead, I am walking back and forth to the fridge 18 times, eating stupid things, like pretzels and animal crackers. Come on, now. The graze-fest needs to end. I'm not sure how to make it end, but it must. I am sure I will mourn the loss of my after dinner treats, but I also know that I will be a healthier and happier me, if I can go to sleep without a raging, full belly. I am tired all the time. I have a tummy ache all the time. I am trying to ignore all these things, and pretend like grazing all evening is normal. Um. No. It's not.

The plan:
1. Eat great meals. Get variety. Eat when I'm hungry for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
2. Quit the diet drinks. Say no more.
3. Plan an evening snack. Only eat the evening snack. Even if it's a meal - ONLY eat what I plan.

The moral of the story? Eat good meals. Eat until satisfied. Eat when I'm hungry.

In 2011 (or right this minute), I pledge to stop the madness. I pledge to be honest. I pledge to replace goofy behaviors, with positive ones.

Oh, you mean, behave normally, logically, and reasonably?? Ohhhh. Okay. Will do.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNRISE14 12/30/2010 6:50AM


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MARYCLARE8 12/30/2010 6:44AM

  Congrats on acknowledging your bad habits & determining what you feel needs to be changed. When I was trying to ween myself off the diet coke,I turned to carbonated water. It doesn't have any calories, & the carbonation made me feel like I was not drinking drab old "water". Hope this is a helpful hint for you. emoticon

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AZMOMXTWO 12/30/2010 6:41AM

  Great Idea I will do my best to follow this plan thanks for sharing

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More on Body Clutter.

Monday, December 27, 2010

My mom always hated clutter. When I was growing up (and even now), if you left anything on the coffee table, we would joke that my mom would throw it out by morning, no matter how important it was. She was always on a rampage of throwing things away. Case in point, she found my massage therapy diploma, for which I went to school for 2 years, and because I am currently not working (staying at home with kids for a short time), she actually called me and told me she was going to throw it away. She honestly just didn't want another piece of paper in the house - it wasn't meant to be offensive!

Anyway, fast forward to my adult life - I also detest clutter. I throw away happy meal toys from my kids, sneakily donate old mugs from my DH's childhood, and "lend" books and magazines to friends, just to rid my house of them. I am like everyone else - I hate to waste things. That being said, isn't it wasteful, if you have it, and don't need it?

I read a lot of books about emotional eating, because I know I am part of the emotional eating crowd. One thing I read, and i have no clue who wrote it, though I suspect it was Geneen Roth, was that if you are eating, and you have excess food on your plate that you don't want to eat, it is just as wasteful to eat it, as it is to throw it away. It is wasteful to put excess food into your body, that your body doesn't need or want. Sure, we all do it on Thanksgiving, our birthday, at Christmas dinner (or on Hanukkah latkes, in my house), or on vacation. This is entirely normal, and acceptable, but shouldn't be typical, or happen daily. For me, it does happen almost daily. Here are some excuses I use, to rationalize overeating, or wasting food by letting it into my body when I don't need it (coincidentally, I have added some competing commentary):

1. I am hungry. (Really?? You ate dinner an hour ago! How are you hungry?)

2. I didn't eat a big dinner. (Really? Well, maybe you should have eaten a bigger dinner!)

3. If I finish these (insert food item) now, then I won't eat them tomorrow, because they'll be gone, so I can start fresh tomorrow. (That's dumb - you know you'll just buy more tomorrow, if you want it.)

4. I can't control myself after my kids go to bed. (Yes, you can. You just haven't really tried, because you don't want to try.)

5. This is hard. (Um, you've never done hard things? I think you have. So keep remembering, you CAN do hard things.)

6. I'm so tired, I just want to zone out. (Okay, well, zone out doing something else, but food isn't really the drug you're looking for. Try a craft. Get over it.)

Excuses, excuses. By making these ridiculous excuses, I am adding to my body clutter. I am eating food I don't need. I am hurting my sacred body, by putting excess into it. No matter what my weight it, I don't need excess.

Who's with me? Is it time for YOU to declutter your body?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNDARCYRUN 12/27/2010 7:27AM

    I'm with you!!! I love # 3 - eating it now so it won't be there tomorrow! Laughed when I read that, because I try that one all the time on myself.... Best policy - avoid buying it at ALL costs!! If you do have some, and it's a problem, give it away to someone else. ;) That's what I TRY to do... Though it doesn't always work.

Comment edited on: 12/27/2010 7:29:32 AM

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DONNAKOVAC 12/27/2010 6:56AM

    I read the book "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?" by Peter Walsh.

Great book and I'm not a reader.

Now to practice what I read! I also read all my learning materials for my personal trainer course and today I'm hoping to put to use the fitness information and walk a couple of extra miles. It's that much harder to raid the fridge if I'm a mile or two away from it! ;-D


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