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It’s just food!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It seems so unfair that most of us are fighting hard against an opponent that has really no other power than the imaginary ones we convince ourselves of.
And if we are honest about it, we know that this freshly baked cookie is not blowing its warm goodness on us on purpose, that the crisps are not gently calling our name, and that no food item I can’t think of will force itself on us until we can eat no more.

It’s just food!

Yet everyday I have to make choices, yet everyday I have to avoid tempting marketing ploys and well meaning colleagues or friends, yet everyday I have to remind myself that I am the one in charge, worried of letting my guard down in case a donut catapults itself into my mouth (could happen...I'm sure).

But you know what.....I am ok with that, because it really is getting easier every day., in ways I never thought or dreamt possible…and it is all down to this website, to this community, to my Sparkfriends.

This weekend I was in England for a reunion with my friends, and for some catching up with other friends and family of the boy, and the food offerings were not ideal: in the mere 3.5 days we were there we managed to scoff Chinese takeaway, Italian restaurant food, Indian food and a full English pie meal with mash and beans, followed by ice cream, and a couple of ‘on the go’ meals eaten in the car and on the plane. All sounds like a recipe for disaster, and a year ago, maybe even 6 months ago, it would have been…but this time there was damage control.

Sure I ate Chinese food, but I had a wonton soup starter and only had a small portion of meat and rice after. Sure I went for Italian with my friends and they all had pizza (on which the crust was too hard) and I had…roast chicken with mixed salad and it was delicious (and dessert too, which was equally yummy), sure I went for Indian but we walked all the way there and after finishing my meal I felt too full and bloated (it was late) and sure we ate on the go and had to get our breakfast, and it did include a box of mini brownies because they looked divine (they were)…but the rest was prawn salad, low dressing chicken, carrot sticks and hummus, and greek yoghurt with blueberries. Not because I felt I ‘had to’…because that what I wanted to eat.
After a couple of days of eating out I felt so full, so bloated, so unhealthy that on the plane back I could only stomach carrots sticks with hummus and some nuts and dried fruits.

On the way back to the house I the evening I contemplated getting a nice apple as a snack (never happened, I was not even hungry).

Bottom line is. I still eat junk food sometime, but my body now invariably tells me it is not right. I don’t even fancy the stuff anymore. I do however still crave indulgent food, but it has to be truly good, and even then, I will stop in time (well, not when a peshwari naan is involved or fresh gingerbread) to not over-do it.

But I still worry, because as an emotional eater the food in its most calorific form is still over me, like a sword of Damocles ready to drop. Will I ever have the confidence to know that I am in charge for good, that I wll not ever binge, that I will always eat well? Probably not. Because, simply, I am human.

So for now I pat myself on the back for every time I make the right choice, for every time I look at food reminding myself that I can always have more chocolate tomorrow, and for every time I crave exercise more than I crave any sort of food.

I am learning moderation but I know it is a long and windy road, and I have also learned that I must accept that exercise is the only way I can eat in a way I truly enjoy...with little pleasures thrown in and the occasional feast. But my biggest lesson I feel I have already learned: I have let go of guilt (well, mostly!)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Yay you!
    3823 days ago
    Great blog! It sounds like you handled your trip perfectly. You ate in moderation, still had the treats that you wanted (seriously...who can pass up a really good brownie?? and why would you??). You've got the perfect combination, eating great most of the time with a few indulgences. Good job, I hope to be at that point someday!!!!
    3845 days ago
    You make wise choices, throw in a few not-so-good choices and what do you have? A human being with shortfalls, just like all the rest of us. No one is a saint. No one makes good choices all the time. So accept yourself and move on. Make the best choices you can given the situation and stay focused. Food will always be there to tempt you so treat yourself once in a while. But most of all, just treat yourself kindly!
    3845 days ago
    I really enjoyed this blog. It is amazing that all of the small changes we make over time can have a big impact when we are faced with a real challenge. I definitely realized that my eating habits had changed when I was on vacation, eating in restaurants for three meals every day, and would still search out the healthy options with vegetables, because that is what I wanted. It was what I craved. After one or two meals I didn't want the big portions, fried items, giant pieces of meat, or carb heavy pastas. After a while I was craving a good, large salad with some grilled chicken and granola with yogurt for breakfast.
    3846 days ago
  • no profile photo ALEMAPO
    Sounds like you are really learning great things!
    3846 days ago
  • CESAU5679
    All of the best!
    My challenge to myself this year... "Eat when hungry, STOP when full"
    3846 days ago
  • JBMT08
    You did GREAT on your weekend trip! AND you seem to have everything in perspective! See what learning can do?!?!
    3846 days ago
    Just as an alcoholic will have to resist alcohol you are addicted to food. You will have to always keep trying to make the right choice. But just remember if you slip and over indulge in a non-healthy food that the next meal gives you a chance to make the right choice. Also REMEMBER that beating yourself up for slipping is counter-productive. It accomplishes nothing except giving you a mental bruise.

    So remember "Tomorrow is just another day" to make the right choice.
    3846 days ago
    FABULOUS blog, my friend! So funny and poignant. Emotional eating is like alcoholism, I believe. It is so part of who we are but it can be overcome. I was just talking with a friend about my sugar-freeness and his fight against going back to the bottle and the trick for me is to REPLACE THE HABIT WITH A HEALTHIER ONE. I grab a carrot stick, he grabs a sparkling water and the urge fades away...

    I love how you say it is just food. You are so right! No one forces us to put anything in our bodies but ourselves! We are so responsible for ourselves. Let us take control of our nutrition!

    The best to you and great job with the running etc!!
    3846 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/27/2010 4:45:08 AM
    emoticon You're on your way! I am also an emo-eater and I need to be sure there is no temptation in the house for me. BTW, I love carrot sticks and hummus!
    3846 days ago
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