Today I came across a great article on SparkPeople ( www.sparkpeople.com/reso
) about "normal eating". One of the main reasons that I began this mindful eating challenge was to permanently lose the 'dieting mindset', and regain some perspective, as well as get back intouch with my body (its hunger and satiety signals). I feel somewhere throughout the past 3 years, I have lost that perspective, and have forgotten what it feels like to eat because my body is hungry and needs nourishment. Being overly focused on calorie counting, as well as inches and pounds lost has caused me alot of anxiety.
I had a minor incident earlier today, when I measured myself (I do not have a properly functioning scale for the last 3 weeks), and discovered that I uniformly gained an inch everywhere! I know an inch is not alot, yet, I'm sure everyone out there knows how frustrating (and alittle scary) it can be to start see the numbers creeping back up again, instead of staying where they are, when you are doing your best in the given situation to eat healthy, exercise daily, and eat mindfully. Now whether that weight gain was due to bloating, hormonal imbalance, or over eating (I spent the weekend at my grandmothers house, where "low calorie" and "small portions" are not always options) remains to be determined. It's still hard to believe that 3 days of home cooking was enough for me to put on a pound/gain an inch, especially when I only felt stuffed and over-ate on one day, and fit in an hour of light/moderate exercise each day. (Can being bloated cause you to gain inches all over, not just on your stomach?) Anyways, enough ranting...It took alot of firm internal dialogue with myself (but it was not negative!), telling myself not to panic or become anxious, and begin obsessively counting calories again. I mentally went through my eating/exercising habits over the past few weeks, tried to assess them, then, after awhile decided to stop dwelling on the past, and on move on. I can't change the past, but I CAN change the future, and that starts in the present. So I made an action plan/goal list for the next week.
-I will keep a detailed journal of what/when/how much I eat
-I will continue to work on eating mindfully, in the present (it does get alittle easier each day, I am noticing...)
-I will continue to eat a clean, healthy, balanced diet
-I will eat every 4-6 hours (and stop eating 2 hours before bedtime), and assess if I am eating because my body is hungry, or for emotional reasons
-I will NOT panic if I see the numbers creep up, and remember that if they do, that I am in control of my habits and decisions, no matter what, and that I am not any less of a person.
-I will relax, and get 8+ hours of sleep each night
-I will continue to exercise an hour a day
-I will remember that this is a lifestyle change, not a diet, and it is natural for numbers to fluctuate slightly in response to situations (ie hormones and holidays) that are not always in my control
-I will continue to do the best I can, stay positive, and not give up!