I have identified three things, or habits, that I need to change that keep getting in my way. I am trying to work on living in a more normal way instead of dieting all the time. If you have been following my blog you probably know what these three destructive habits are: 1. Emotional Eating 2. Eating too many sweets 3. Binging
So for the past year or so here is what my weeks usually look like
day 5- too many sweets
week 2 day 1- too many sweets
day 6- too many sweets
week 3 day 1- binge
day 2-too many sweets
day 6- good
day 7-too many sweets
and the cycle goes on and on. That is the cycle of if I am trying to be good. If I am not trying to be good then usually every day is bad, too many sweets or binge. Pretty pathetic and it's no way to live. Since I "got back on track" my weight has been doing something along the lines of this: lose 5 pounds, gain 3, lose 4 pounds, gain 7, lose 5 pounds, gain 2, lose 4 pounds, gain 3. And on and on and on. Not very productive. And it's no wonder. I can be really good for a while but then it catches up to me and by the end of the week my calorie deficit I worked to establish has been blown out of the water and now I have a calorie surplus. If I can manage to be good for a couple weeks then the binging just lasts longer. Say I'm good for three weeks, that usually constitutes a week of bad eating on week 4 most days being me eating everything in sight.
So I am trying something different. For now I am not tracking. I am eating more food during the day. Yes I know that I am eating more, but the idea is that over the week hopefully I will be eating less than I was before. I am hoping that by allowing myself more food throughout the week, the desire to binge will be lessened and I won't eat 3,000 extra calories in one day. The other thing I am doing is avoiding desserts. I know that this is a trigger food for me and often eating just a little bit of something sweet can cause me to lose control and then I eat more sugar and more and more and more. Which also affects my moods, and my energy levels for the next several days.
And lastly stress eating. I am working on recognizing stress triggers (not surprisingly mostly related to my kids) and saying "okay, I want to eat something sweet right now because the kids have been fighting for the last hour, not because I actually need something to eat". Eating more throughout the day this past week has helped me not feel so desperate for food during stressful times. It has also lessened my desire for sweet things because I am not as hungry, so my will power to resist candy and desserts is stronger. When I was tracking everything I would not really feel satisfied (okay I know about the whole "satisfied vs full" thing and how your perception can get messed up. So maybe I was eating all I really needed to but I still didn't feel satisfied I was still marginally hungry. I could definitely eat a lot more food). Not feeling full made it much harder to resist temptation. When you are hungry you want to eat! Makes sense to me.
If I can change these three habits I think I will be on my way to a new way of life. Making real lifestyle changes. Once I get these three under control I will see where that has taken my weight. I am hoping that my weight will stabilize. As of right now my dieting patterns are all I really know. I don't know what my natural food habits are because all I do is be good or be bad, and I'm tired of all that. Once I feel like I have made enough progress on these habits, I will identify the next habits that I need to change, and slowly, through changing my habits I will get to where I am meant to be and to a place I am happy and comfortable with. Then maintenance won't be so hard because I will just be doing what I am doing. I will be living a more natural life instead of trying to force myself to conform to dieting rules.
Now, changing these habits is not necessarily going to be a walk in the park. I have had to say no to brownies, and brownie batter, Easter candy, eating extra food after dinner, snacking, and saying no when I realize that my hunger is emotional not physical. I will also have to be able to stop myself from binging in the future and continue to gain strength to resist seemingly appealing food (such as desserts) that I know will cause me grief. I am still working on making healthy choices, I am still tracking my habit changes in my way of life app, still working on getting in more fruits and veggies and most importantly eating them in a way I like to eat them. You can only force yourself to do something unpleasant for so long. I am not a big fan of vegetables, but there are some vegetables I really like, and I do like to eat them certain ways. Today I made an awesome Green Smoothie out of a green naked, protein powder frozen mango, splenda, and spinach. The Green naked added extra calories (I usually use almond milk) but it also added more vegetables, nutrients, and flavor. The splenda added just the right amount of sweetness to make my healthy smoothie seem like a dessert. Even Lily ate it this time.
Liveable and Loveable. I can do this!
I feel like I have made a habit out of exercise. Even when I think of not trying to lose weight I can't see myself stopping Zumba. Or quitting my 10k training app. I have actually been enjoying my 10k training app, and soon I will start triathlon training. Lets see where this gets me. I'm still planning on weighing in and taking measurements once a month to track my progress. However what that doesn't track is my mental and spiritual well being. Honestly I would rather stay 150 pounds and be happy and live life more effortlessly than be 120 pounds and be miserable, terrified to eat, and dieting my way back there every day.