Saturday, March 12, 2011

A New Perspective

Remember when I used to complain about how much harder it was to eat right on Saturday's because I am home all day without much to keep me busy and away from the kitchen?  I'm not sure when that changed but I think it has *knock on wood*.  It helps, of course, when I actually plan things to keep busy on Saturday but, at the same time, my week days are so full of things that need to be done that it's really nice to be able to wake up late, mosey around the house, watch some Netflix, maybe take a nap, and do something with my hair other than putting it in a pony tail.  Snack Monkey tells me he's going to be coming by after work today to clean the carpets so I do have some work to do today, moving all the furniture out of the living room (sans couches) so he can just pop in and get the job done quickly.  But other than that and a school assignment on United States Centric Views for my Ethics class that's due tomorrow I've got absolutely nothing on my plate all morning and it feels great.

There is a major change that has happened at some point over the past few months; one that I think it's really important for me to share.  When I first started this blog I was afraid of food and I avoided many types of food because I felt certain that they would lead me to failure.  Foods like cheese, wine, and the occasional dessert.  I refused to watch shows like Top Chef, Giada At Home, and Man vs. Food because those shows created this violent craving for me to eat bad food that would torment me for hours.  I wouldn't let Snack Monkey watch those shows in the same room with me either and I would glare at his food when we went to a restaurant because it always looked so much more delicious than mine.

That's changed!  I don't know when and I don't know how but it has.  The other night we watched three back-to-back episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and I didn't feel the desire to climb out of bed and raid the kitchen even once!  I watched with as much objectivism as I would a dog show (maybe more because dog shows always make me puppy hungry).  Snack Monkey and I went to our favorite sports bar on Tuesday night before softball and he ordered a Philly cheese steak sandwich ... it looked good, but it wasn't killing me to watch him eat it as I ate my turkey Reuben w/Pico instead of Russian dressing.  Food used to be like a car accident for me.  You know how any time there is a bad accident everyone who's driving by seems to pay more attention to the accident than to their driving?  Sometimes this even causes new accidents because people aren't watching where they're going?  Well that's what food was like for me but now it's more like a bus stop.  I drive by and I know it's there but I barely give it more than a glance from my peripheral vision as I pass.

This is proof that with enough time and self-mastery we CAN learn to not be controlled by food.  We can learn to eat to live instead of living to eat.  We don't have to completely sacrifice flavor but we can learn to like new flavors (healthier ones) and to forget the temptations of others (unhealthy ones).  I no longer feel deprived when Snack Monkey pours alfredo sauce all over his dinner crepe and I'm eating mine dry.  I used to.  I even used to resent him for it; but last night I ate my crepe without giving it a second thought and when it was gone I rinsed my plate and went on with life.  If I can do this I promise you all can too.  I'm not going to say it's easy to do but I know now that it becomes easier as you go.  Those of you who have known me for a long time (family and close friends) know how important food has always been in my life (and in my family).  Food used to be a source of motivation and each and every day revolved around what we were going to have for dinner or which restaurant we were going to.  My parents can especially attest to this because I used to always have a very strong opinion on where we should eat out as a family based on whether or not I liked the food at a certain place and was in the mood to eat it.  I do, occasionally, still have strong opinions but they're based on whether or not I can find something that won't mess up my diet.  Buffets, for example, are still a challenge I'm avoiding because I'm not sure I'm strong enough for that yet.  And flavor is still important but I'm learning to place less emphasis on it in the sense of "making up for bad food".

Making up for bad food is something I would do if I went to a restaurant and ordered something that turned out to not be very good.  I would eat it, but I would feel cheated and let down by the fact that my taste buds didn't get the joy ride that they were expecting and I would eventually (maybe an hour later or so) go looking for something else to eat.  Not because I was hungry, but because I had this strange feeling that I'd "missed out" on a chance to eat something good.  Meal time was an opportunity and when it didn't turn out as expected it felt like something had been taken from me and I had to make up for it.  I can't remember the last time I had the urge to do that.  Take the potato soup we made the other night for example.  It wasn't good.  Snack Monkey put Ramen noodles in his to make it better and an hour later he was in the kitchen looking for a snack because his taste buds had been disappointed.  I ate my soup, like it or not, because I needed to eat something for dinner and that's what I made.  And then I rinsed out my bowl, left the table, and went about my evening.  It's not that I'm somehow better than Snack Monkey because I used to do precisely the same thing he did.  But I have changed ... I no longer felt cheated.  Disappointed?  Yes.  Will I make it again?  No.  But did I feel the need to make up for it because I believed that somehow eating something delicious for dinner that night was important or necessary?  No.  Tomorrow is another day with three opportunities to eat something for nourishment's sake and maybe tomorrow's food will taste better.  Is that weird?



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 lean cuisine meal (lemon herb chicken)
1 chicken sandwich with mustard
>>tomato, onion, pickle
4 oz baked fries
---------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 799



Activity:
Walking; 3 miles (6,170 steps)

5 comments:

  1. What a milestone - congratulations. Being in control instead of being controlled is huge. Food is not your master anymore. Well done. We must be ever vigilant - those demons can rear their ugly heads again but now you are ready for it. Way to go. -Myra

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  2. Myra: You're right. Temptation is still a factor but in a different way. I'm learning out of sight, out of mind. Snack Monkey has his usual fare in the house even now but I don't sit around all day thinking about it and wishing it would go away like I used to. I'm still tempted at times, like walking by the candy bars at the checkout line, but once I'm through I stop thinking about it now whereas I used to torture myself with thoughts of it for an hour or more after I left the store.

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  3. I agree, I'm going through something similar now. I've been on plan for 5 months on the 19th, that will be one month longer than I've ever stayed on plan straight through before.

    Things are getting easier. Certain trigger foods I'm starting to allow myself (only if I'm normal, not in some emotional state) and I eat one serving and I'm okay. Now, if I ate that same food feeling emotional/angry/sad, I'd go overboard I'm sure.

    I can eat bread again, (rarely), and I've learned from the start when/how much pasta to eat, and I can even eat the occasional half serving of french fries.

    I can step away when I'm done now, all sorts of small changes that have added up to a big difference. a 55 lb difference!

    Still I look at your food from yesterday and I'm still concerned, you could easily add 400 calories to that and still do just fine, esp with your amount of activity.

    Do you not eat fruit? You could get a lot of filling fiber from fruits and veggies and you can eat a lot of that stuff for 400 cals. You could probably have 3 piecs of fruit and a salad with some type of light dressing or vinegar, very filling, not much cals.

    Keep up the positive atittude/changes though!

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  4. Yeah yesterday was low, I'll agree. It was low because I popped on the Netflix, kicked back in my chair and started to cross stitch and before I knew it, it was 2 p.m. So I had some lunch and then Snack Monkey picked me up to do some errands. We stopped for supper after the errands and I came home to add them thinking they would be higher than they were. But I'd just eaten so I wasn't hungry so I started to exercise and then, before I knew it, it was 10:30 p.m. And I looked at my calories and thought "wow, that's kind of low" but I wasn't hungry and I definitely don't like to eat late at night like that so I just shrugged it off and went to bed.

    I do eat fruit on occasion but I'm not big on most of it. I like grapefruits ok, kiwi's are good ... but most of your general run of the mill fruits aren't on my fave foods list. I did pick up some baked rice chips that are garlic flavor the other day at the store. They look pretty decent when it comes to fats, carbs, etc. so I'm looking forward to trying them the next time I need to add some calories to my day.

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