Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I think we each have to find our own path, but here is what worked for me.
1. I had to WANT the weight loss more than I wanted the food.
2. I had to BELIEVE that I could do this (and that required constant reminders, because for years I had believed that I couldn't do it).
3. I had to REMEMBER that I hadn't gained 100+ pounds overnight and that it wouldn't come off overnight.
4. I had to LEARN that food that is good for my body is actually good and that I would come to desire it over the less healthy foods.
5. I had to PRACTICE healthy behaviors every day, like exercise and tracking the foods I ate, so that those behaviors could become habits and would be more natural for me to do.
6. I had to STAY INVOLVED here at SP because the involvement helped me in so many ways: It kept me focused on my goals; It caused me to help myself by helping others; It offered me endless options for new food ideas, new exercise ideas, new articles that taught me, new interactions that inspired me; It kept me from pulling inward and returning to my old ways.
Every day that you stay here and stay involved is another day of victory for you. It is one day more spent moving onward on your journey to better health and fitness, and before you know it you will be a year further along and then another and another. The years go by quickly and they can be spent fully engaged in life or drowning in too much food and its effects on us.
Monday, October 31, 2011
A week or so ago, I bought two BIG bags of candy at Costco for my daughter to distribute to the Trick-or-Treaters for Halloween. When I arrived home from the store, I unpacked all of my other purchases and left the candy in my trunk because I didn't want to be tempted by it or have my husband get into it.
Today is Halloween. The kids are allowed to Trick-or-Treat in our neighborhood beginning at 6PM. About 20 minutes beforehand I went out to the garage and retrieved the candy. I poured some of it into a bowl, set it on the dining room table and walked away. I realized then that from the second I closed the trunk of my car on the day I purchased that candy until I poured it into that bowl I had never thought about it. It had not preoccupied a single second of my time. It had not "called" to me, taunted me or even interested me.
Several years ago, I would have wrestled with that candy, and the candy would have won. I would have opened the bags and put a good dent in them before Halloween. Then on Halloween night I would have eaten more, plus some of what my kids brought home. I would have continued sneaking their candy for days afterwards.
This year, the candy held no power over me. I didn't give it a second thought.
Oh, by the way, when I opened those bags and poured the candy out into the bowl, I realized that I was hungry. I had just gotten off the treadmill following a 45-minute workout. When I walked into my kitchen, I reached for an apple, sat down and reveled in how delicious it tasted to me!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
So I have identified my compulsive eating tendencies and have set out to kick the habit by practicing what I call mindful eating. I try not to eat without giving thought to the situation that I am in and how my body really feels, and I try to be aware of things that will send me into a state of compulsive eating behavior.
On Friday I picked my daughter up from school at the end of the day and we headed off on a 3-hour trip to visit a college that interests her. We planned to spend the night in a hotel near the college and to see some of the surrounding area while we were there. I fully expected that during the trip I would "splurge" a bit on food. We would eat out. I wanted some good seafood and I looked forward to having a drink with dinner. That is okay by my plan and is expected at special times. (Splurging means eating something that I might not typically eat or going over my calorie range. This involves mealtime eating, not between meal eating. For me, my snacks must be well controlled. It does not mean gorging myself or going crazy with quantities of food.) What I did not want to do was to eat for the "entertainment" of it, particularly while driving in the car or while lounging in the hotel.
Since I was picking my daughter up at school, I knew she would be hungry so I picked up some flavored pretzel nubs and a drink for her. I had baby carrots and an apple for myself and lots of water. The pretzel nubs were a brand that she had never eaten before and she wanted me to taste them because she didn't think they were very good. I didn't really want to do that because that first bite can lead to many more for me, but she insisted and I tasted one. Then I reached into the bag and took 2 more. At that point, I put the mental brakes on. I knew where this was headed and that before long the whole bag would be gone and I would be the cause of it. I really had to focus on my goal in order to leave those pretzels alone.
Here is what you need to understand about this situation. I am not wild about pretzels and these were not the best ones I had ever tasted, but they were there and they were available and I could have driven along, eating them and filling whatever void existed in me at that time. Typically, I would have told myself that I was on a mini-vacation and that I was just treating myself to "something special". What was different this time was that I stopped because I sincerely want to break my habit; kick my addiction. I want to eat food and enjoy food and fill my physical hunger with it. I do not want to "use" it. Facing the fact that that is what I do has changed my response to certain situations. This time instead of rationalizing the idea of eating those pretzels (and make no mistake, I wanted to eat ALL of the pretzels), I thought about how great it feels to be free of cigarettes and I want the same feeling to exist in me about food. I want to be free of the desire to use food to fill the empty spaces in my life.
The craving passed and I ate about 10 baby carrots and had a diet soda during the trip. I had my great seafood meal, in fact, I had two of them during the trip. I went over in calories somewhat, but by a reasonable amount, and I did not graze or eat between meals in any way other than by having a planned snack. I know that with every victory, I come closer to kicking this habit of mine. There is definitely a long road ahead of me, but I only have to take it one step at a time.
Get An Email Alert Each Time WATOGA17 Posts