The Trash Can Talks

trash can

Today, my eating has been less than stellar.  Earlier this week was not much better.  As I shared previously, it has been a hectic, crazy week. That’s not an excuse, per say, but it is an explanation for why I have given food less attention this week (or more attention, as the case may be).  

I started on Monday morning with a whole wheat bagel.  Not bad, but it quickly went downhill from there.  Today’s lunch was a disaster.  Some time after lunch, however, an epiphany came. 

Amazingly enough, it was my office trash can that provided the stimulus to recognize what’s going on with my food this week.  While throwing away a document I no longer needed, my trash can helped me face the truth about what I’d been eating for two days. 

I love my trash can. 

It is one of the most reliable narrators in my life these days.  It’s non-judgmental, literal, completely accurate and brutally honest in its appraisal of what I eat.  It doesn’t shirk responsibility for storing the left over waste following my meals, and in fact, acts in a utilitarian way to reveal the truth through non-confrontational means.  My trash can simply is, and within it lies the remains of meals that testify to the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

I guess I should thank my trash can for helping me, but that would be crazy, right?  Like eating fried foods and soft serve while trying to lose weight is not.

I hate to report bad news, but an honest admission of what’s happening in my life with food is a necessary component of my recovery, so I admit my mistakes. 

I have trash can confirmation, so rationalization reigns no more.  

When greasy fingerprints are everywhere, it’s time to begin again.

Advertisements

Crazy Busy!

 

Today was CRAZY BUSY.  I seriously ran from one project to the next all day long.

I’m exhausted!

Tonight will be a busy night, as well. 

It’s important on the Crazy Busy Days to remember to eat right.  It could be tempting to drive through a fast food joint somewhere and grab whatever, but that kind of behavior, a healthy gal will not make.

Instead, I’m going to have a conversation with myself about what is proper, what is beneficial, what is at home, and what will fuel my body, instead of adding to the trauma of a too-full day.

I’ll let you know how I do tomorrow.

Blessed eating is the best eating, so be blessed!

Celebrations & Food

peppers-1

Friday night we had friends over for supper.  It was David’s birthday and we celebrated with veggie packed stuffed peppers in red, yellow, orange and green skins.  I loaded the peppers with scant ground beef, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, black beans, corn and brown rice, then sprinkled on a little extra sharp cheddar and let them slowly cook in the oven.  Oh my, what a flavor explosion in your mouth when those babies were done!  We served ‘em up with a fresh fruit platter, green peas David had grown in his own garden (even though he was the birthday boy, I insisted he bring some of the fruits of his labor and the PA soil), and some whole grain bread slices with real butter.  I did not eat the bread, but I did mow down on those peppers.  Who said you have to fill a pepper with starchy mush alone?  Our peppers tasted like they had sprouted legs only hours before and fairly danced out of the garden and onto our plates. 

We ended our birthday celebration with a little something sugary for David, a pineapple upside-down cake.  I had a small sliver of the confection and left the lion’s share for others.  My hubs had requested the PUD cake, after having a slice at someone else’s house recently. I hadn’t made one in a long, long time, but it turned out fine.  It definitely is something I would not make all the time, but for this special occasion, it was good.  We spent the time after dinner watching the drama in Boston, as the younger of two brothers lost his freedom forever, a result of peer pressure and a faulty morale compass.  I’m praying for his momma.  It’s never easy seeing your children in trouble.

This weekend was a cold one at our house, and a windy one too.  I keep thinking about starting a small garden this summer, but we are weeks away from anything like that at my homestead.  Burrr, it is still chilly, too chilly to put plants in the ground.

I often dabble with the idea of having my own garden.  I’ve tried growing veggies in planters on the patio, or in car tires filled with dirt. No luck. I do not have a green thumb.  I either overwater, or underwater them, or the rabbits and deer eat the green shoots.  When they do grow, I get puny veggies for my efforts.  I am again thinking about doing something, but I’m not sure why.  I love fresh veggies, but I hate pulling weeds and I know NOTHING about making any plant grow. 

Cut flowers are more my style, since they are already half dead when they come into my possession. 

Over the weekend I lost my food journal. I looked everywhere for it, but no luck.  Hence, I did not record my food this weekend. This morning I thought, “You couldn’t mark what you ate on a scrap piece of paper?” 

Honestly, it never occurred to me to do that.

I’m a little overwhelmed right now with personal stuff going on at home, so I’ll give myself a pass this time.  It never helps to harp on my food failures anyway, and I’ve promised to double record my food the rest of the week.  Not sure why, but it seemed the right thing to do. 

I am finding that I’m more honest with foods since I’ve been journaling.  And journaling seems to have awakened my mind to the different food types I incorporated into my diet a year ago, when I was trying hard to lose weight and cut out all that sugar due to a diabetes diagnosis.  I’ll be rebooting my food plan before the end of the month, inserting some of those other foods that worked to get me healthy, and changing around some things with the foods I’m eating now. 

I’m still working on my April goals, as follows:

     —Journal what you eat each day, each meal.

     —Exercise for 30 minutes, at least 3 times a week.

     —Eliminate carbs at dinner time, at least 3 times a week.

That last one is proving harder than I expected, but I keep re-committing myself to it. 

Today is the beginning of another week ripe with possibilities.  I’m excited, because I believe Change Is Possible!

 

Four Things I’ve Discovered

stupendoustidbits.wordpress.com

stupendoustidbits.wordpress.com

This morning my hair looked good.  That might seem like small potatoes to some, but it was the beginning of a good day for this gal. What does it have to do with food or health, or even fitness?  Not much, except that I have noticed that on the days when I wake up feeling good, I seem to have more motivation to eat right.

It appears that being in a good mood, even for wildly speculative reasons results in stronger will-power, a better disposition toward food, and an increased desire to move.

Who knew.

Today being Friday, I thought I would post some random observations I’ve made this week. 

1.  Journaling my food this week, has revealed weak spots in my selection process.  I know I have a problem with portion size, and I’m working on that, but this is different.  I’ve found a few spots in my journal where I had heavier than necessary carb loads at every meal in the day.  I’m working to trim that a bit. 

2.  I’ve realized that recording my food in a food journal helps me understand the emotions that kick in when I’m eating, and the shift in energy levels throughout the day.  This has been helpful in tracking times when low blood sugar makes the craving to eat more prominent.  If I can remember to eat before I feel deprived, I think I’ll do better.

3.  I’ve been consciously aware of what drives the urge to take second helpings, this week.  I think I need to stop serving meals family style, and start asking everyone to fix plates at the sideboard/countertop. This way, I won’t have to stare down bowls or plates full of extras that are only inches away from my compulsive fingers.  I often eat with my eyes first, and reach for more when the amount I have already eaten is sufficient. 

4.  I have been reminded again that the food on my husband’s plate is much smaller than that on my plate at mealtime.  I make healthier choices with food, but he eats smaller amounts.  He is by far the slimmer of the two of us, which means either 1.  His metabolism is roaring, while mine purrs along, or 2. Cheap hotdogs really do make a better protein source than black beans.  Which one do you think the more likely?

The weekend is ahead, when I’ll be able to do all the research catch up on the blogs I didn’t get a chance to read this week.  Reading what others are doing with food keeps me encouraged to continue with my own work.  I’m planning to tweek my menu a little bit this coming week, to see if changing things up will stimulate the scale to move off this insane plateau I’ve been on lately.  I’ll report on those changes next week. 

Food Journals Help

infed.org

infed.org

For me, the world is viewed through the tip of a pencil.  I’m a writer.  I’ve always been a writer.  I write as a means of understanding my world.  I write to refine my thinking.  I write to dispel confusion.  I write to express my opinions, and I write in an effort to know myself.  It is therefore quite reasonable that when trying to regulate my eating and gain control over an overactive appetite, I would find food journaling helpful. 

On second thought, maybe helpful is not the word I’m searching for when commenting on how writing assists my recovery from food addictions.

Is it helpful that my writing points out eating behaviors that are self-sabotaging? 

Yes.

Is it helpful that my writing exposes tendencies to crave food at certain times of the day that are not meal times?

Yes.

Is it helpful that through writing I’m able to identify certain people/activities as eating triggers that result in the urge to eat throughout the day on holidays or when office parties are set to occur? 

Yes, yes it is.

This morning, I was writing about my food program.  More precisely, my inability to change-up things in the morning.  I know I need to cut my calorie count in the early part of the day, but doggone, I am unwilling to embrace fruits and veggies, or even eggs at that breakfast meal.  I don’t now why I am so resistant to do something I know would help me beat the breakfast carb habit.  I just know that at this point, I am totally unwilling to change what I know is not working for me.

Ugh, this is the face of food addiction.  It’s ugly, and demoralizing, and hard. 

I don’t approach food the way normal eaters approach food.  For some reason, food has a hold on me, and right now it seems like it is a greater hold than any other hold I have ever experienced in my life.  It may be that it feels that way because the habit of eating what I want, when I want, is still with me (even after losing considerable weight over considerable time). 

Stopping a bad habit is never easy, but I guess I was not prepared for it to be this hard either.  I’m a pretty determined individual.  When I make my mind up that something is bad for me, I quit it, whether it’s a toxic relationship or a bank that wants to charge me a fee for moving my money from one account to another, within my own institution. 

Recently, I heard it said that learning how to play the piano, dance, sing, or move a ball through a metal hoop when that hoop is well over your head, is not about growing a concert pianist, ball room dancer, American Idol winners, or NBA star.  It’s about teaching someone to hang in there when the going gets tough, knowing that if you don’t give up, you will cross that finish line.  It’s about building mental toughness, determination, achievement and self-pride into another person.  Finally, I see. 

If I hang in there, keep writing, keep journaling, keep researching, and learning, and accepting wise counsel, I will get where I’m going. 

 

Cue, Routine, Reward, REPEAT

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I am reading Charles Duhigg’s book: The Power of Habit.  It’s a fascinating read.  I’m learning plenty about how professional athletes, Fortune 500 CEOs, and the average guy or gal meets success at the crossroads of cues and rewards.  This has gotten me thinking about the cues, routines, and rewards I am using in my life to increase my likelihood of success in the realms of healthy eating and personal fitness.What cues have I incorporated into my life that have helped me build good habits?  One has to do with cleaning off the top of my range after washing the dishes every night.  I had a friend who had the cleanest range top in the world and I wanted the same.  I had heard that it only takes 21 days to develop a habit through repetition, so I put the theory to the test.  I wrote on an index card the words:  The dishes are not done until the range top has been cleaned.  Then, every time I did dishes, I washed off the range top.  The experts were right, after 21 days of practicing washing the range top before putting the dirty dish water down the sink, I had a habit in place. 

My range top has not been a mess one day since that time, except when I am away for a few days and my hubs takes over cooking.  He doesn’t care one whit about whether that range top is clean.  I don’t get it, but it is what it is.

Another habit I have built over the years has to do with making my bed every day. 

For whatever reason, I wanted to have one of those houses where people could stroll through, go into any room, look around and feel good about the state of my house.  Maybe that desire was more about my need for external validation than having a picture perfect house, who knows.  But in any case, I wanted that open feeling throughout my home.

To change my non-bed-making habit, I attacked making my bed with the same strategy I used to become proficient at cleaning up a dirty range top.  I did this by putting a note on my vanity mirror that said, “Your morning is not complete until you make your bed,” or something like that. 

Whenever I saw the CUE to make my bed, I performed the bed-making ROUTINE, and enjoyed the REWARD of heading off to work with a newly made bed that was going to be waiting for me when I got home at night. 

I love climbing into a bed that’s made, so this reward was sufficient to propel me forward and establish the routine. 

As I reflect on these changes I have consciously made in my life, the good habits I have built, I’m anxious to get to work identifying possible cues, routines, and rewards that could make it easier for me to get to my ideal weight. 

According to The Power of Habit, cues, routines, and rewards can be utilized to develop any number of new habits or patterns for living.  by simply identifying and practicing these three steps over and over again, I may be able to direct better habit-forming diet and exercise behaviors.  

Already, I’ve thought of a cue to help me be more motivated to exercise.  I will leave my work out clothes on my newly made bed in the morning, along with a note that says:  Your day is not finished until you have exercised. 

Here’s to another good habit born-woohoo!

Food Worries-NOT

worry

Are you a worrier by nature?

Have you ever thought, even for a moment, that this or that wouldn’t happen if you stayed vigilant?

How much time do you spend hovering over your kids?

How often do you consciously think about issues of safety or protection?

Do you ever find yourself clenching your fists, your jaw, or other muscle groups?

When was the last time you medicated yourself for anxiety?

We live in a troubled world, for sure.  However, eating foods that neither nourish my body, nor fuel my thoughts will not help.  I will not do that.  I will not worry about food. 

Worry never helps. 

I will continue to journal my food, continue to practice making good food choices, and continue to put one foot in front of the other on this food journey.  By doing so, I am developing a way of eating and living that brings recovery, one day at a time.  I only have today; not the promise of tomorrow. 

Today, I choose fearless food management.