Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Finding out why I was overweight has been like the proverbial onion. Layers and layers of reasons and excuses. So many facets to be examined and explored. I thought that I had worked to a basic understanding of the major points. First - I ate crazy portions. Second, I did not eat enough during the day (in a misguided attempt at dieting) and set myself up for crashes in the afternoon which unfortunately coincided with the kids coming home from school. The perfect storm of emotional eating and low blood sugar - cue the Triscuits and chips. Third, I like to snack on chips, I love beef and starch - so I was making poor food choices as my main meals (yes snacks qualified as meals). Fourth - mindless eating, half a can of nuts at night (but they were heart healthy) - oh boy.
I change my eating when I started spark. I cut out beef except for small portions on rare occasions - don't miss it as nearly as much as I would have thought. This is probably tied into my daughter the vegan being home also. I cut out a lot of starches - these I miss sometimes but I have substituted some higher quality products. I don't know what I would have done without Ezekiel breads - I eat an Ezekiel English muffin every morning with egg whites and I have my lunch on either their bread or tortillas. For the most part I look forward to those and don't miss the other choices as much. I have identified some trigger foods that I just avoid - like nuts and chips. I find that it is easier to just not eat them. I think that like people who avoid sugar and find that over time the cravings decrease - I find the same with salty crunchy. Eating these sets me up for eating large quantities.
I have really focused on satiety cues and recognize hunger and thirst. I still am not great with portion control - I just eat lower calorie items. I do portion control things like pizza, desserts and then eat as much as I want of fruit, veggies, and light proteins. I usually come in at the lower end of my calorie range without hunger or cravings.
With all of these changes I felt comfortable that I was under control and could manage this for a lifetime. I felt healthy and confident and "clean". I thought that I was sailing in clear waters with a light breeze in my sails - I did not see those storm clouds over the horizon.
Which leads me to a new layer of that ole onion. I like to eat. That's it - I like to eat and I miss eating a lot of food at one time - a lot ( I know sounds funny). A lot of everything. This came about this weekend. It was my son's birthday and he always wants to have his party at home. Some of the Connecticut cousins were coming to stay with us so we planned a big party at the house. He wanted chips, and hamburgers and hot dogs - he is a 20 year old boy after all. So I cooked and prepared and suffered. I wanted to eat everything - not portion control, not choose one thing to indulge in - just a lot of everything. I wanted burgers dripping down my face, I wanted to talk to family while mindlessly eating chips and salsa. I wanted to eat ice cream and cake with nuts and syrup. Instead I ate chicken and squash and salad - and it did not satisfy me. (I did have cake and ice cream). I know that I could have had the other items and either just enjoyed them for the day or portion controlled them - but by this time I could feel a shift in my attitude towards food and I was afraid.
This feeling of want has not subsided - the craving to eat for eatings sake. The craving to eat a lot of all of those foods that are not the best choices like McDonald's fries - supersized. The desire to eat until I feel stuffed despite realizing that afterwards that I will not feel good, that it makes me feel sluggish. That it is gross. That it is not healthy. That it is not what I have been learning for all of these months. But still I want to not think about portions or calorie content - I want to just eat.
I normally don't write about things like this - but I think that this is significant for at least my stage of Spark. So many people who feel in control of losing weight - eventually gain it back. We are in a group of people who all started spark around the same time. We all have had various degrees of success but recently I have heard murmurs of struggle, boredom, frustration. I think that it is important to stop and figure out the cause and root it out - bring it to the light so that we can continue to work towards health.
My plan is to see how waiting it out and thinking it out works first. (I know - no one is hiring me for strategic planning anytime soon.) I do find that for the most part there is a gentle healing that takes place in mind and spirit if we take the time. So I will gut it out on willpower while waiting on that process. I will continue to blog and talk about this because I do not feel like this is unique to me. Face it we all like to eat and at some point this will become an issue for us all. So I will continue to sort this through and tease out
I want to thank you all for the encouragement that I have received from so many so far while I have been working this through - thanks you are the best.
This is a cautionary tale.
I have read the comments and I know what eating correctly without deprivation and feeling satisfied is. I know how to eat a little of what I want and to budget my calories so that I can "splurge" on something to avoid binges and frustration. For the last five months I found it all to be reasonable, natural and even easy at times. It is like (Sherwoodcycler) said - I do not remember the switch in my head going on when it became easier to go along with spark - but I do remember the click in my head when that switch clicked off. I guess this goes along with my motto of Be Ever Vigilant - don't get too complacent.