Cravings, Be Gone!

Today I had a thought about my food plan…

For a while, I have been skipping my daily sojourn in search of lunch and instead have been eating my first meal of the day later in the day, beginning with home-made oatmeal at lunch.

I’ve also switched to almond milk, instead of dairy on my oatmeal.

I’ve made sure I have fresh fruit to go with the oats, which already has walnuts in it.

When I baked my last batch of the baked oatmeal, I used half the amount of sugar that the recipe calls for, and it’s still sweet with 1/3 cup of raw sugar added to a 9-10 serving batch.

I replace half of the oil called for in the recipe with natural, no-sugar added applesauce.

I usually put blueberries on top before digging in.

It’s all good tasting, good for me, and a slow-acting infusion into my blood stream that results in lower BGLs and its helping me stop the cravings!!!!

What I realized today is that not getting in the car, not searching for lunch when I’m already hungry, and not eating something sugar-laden or factory-made (ie: highly processed foods), is helping me help myself.

Used to be, the time between lunch and dinner was my hardest time with food. It was that time of the day when I craved a snack the most.  I think it was more about boredom than hunger, but nonetheless, in the afternoon was when I wanted to get in trouble with food.

I talked with another compulsive over eater this week, discussing plans for eating boring foods at supper in an effort to quit the mind games we COEs suffer from.  The way this individual sees it, planning a supper that doesn’t include “favorite” foods, even if one can eat them other times, provides for a more tranquil day.  I’m in!!!

Serenity now, instead of in some distant fantasized time!  Sounded good to me!

It made sense, and this afternoon I realized that I had been doing the very same thing, but in my own way.  Ha!  Together, we get better!

Do you have a specific time, day or night, when you want to eat more than you need?  What tactics have you employed in order to fight back against food cravings?

Here is my Baked Oatmeal recipe again…

Lori’s Baked Oatmeal

2/3 cup raw sugar (I cut sugar in half, but recipe calls for this amount)
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup no sugar added applesauce
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla (optional)

2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp non-aluminum baking powder
3 cups old fashioned oats

Raisins and walnut, as desired (I add a handful of nuts and half handful of raisins.
Directions: Mix all wet ingredients in a bowl. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add the fruit and nuts, mixing well. Spray an 8X8 pan with Pam and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
I take it out when the top is a little brown, but if you want, you can finish at 30 minutes.
Serve warm or pack it for lunch. Its incredibly satisfying and good for you!
Makes 9-12 servings

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Here Kitty, Kitty

000catsWe live in the country, so it’s not unusual to see stray animals wandering up and down the road on any given day. One guys cows are in the road, while someone else’s dog is running loose. It’s not a big deal, but what burns my buns is when someone drops off a cat (or rather, kittens), in the dead of winter, at the bottom of our driveway.

Mind you, we are not farmers. Yes, we do have a three-sided barn across the street road from the house, and we do allow a neighbor lady to harvest our hay, but we do not farm, either for sport or commercially. So why, then, do people drop cats off at the end of our driveway, and why do they do it in January, February, and March–the absolute coldest months of the year?

I know the answer to that question.  Because they can!

They also drop them off at our house, I suspect, because they know we are softies.  Every single cat we have ever owned since living in the country has been a cat that was dropped off at the end of our driveway.

Zigzag was a drop off.

Mama Cat–a drop off.

Jingle Bells–a drop off.  And now we have a tri-colored, long-haired, shabby, but chubby, I’m-guessing-male-but-can’t-be-sure-cuz-he-takes-off-like-a-bullet-from-a-gun-whenever-you-see-him drop off living under our pine trees.  Actually,  I think he lives in our barn with the horse and donkey, but he has darted under the pine tree any time I have seen him about.

I do not want a long-haired stray as a pet.

Let me say that again: I do not want a long-haired stray as a house pet!

Ah, that feels better.

All this to say that sometimes things happen in life that we wish did not happen.  A stray cat ends up in your pine trees, or you fall on the ice.  Sometimes you get involved with the wrong people, or you overdraw your checking account, or you forget to buy apple cider while you’re downtown (and no, you are not turning around and going back the 6.5 miles it takes to get to town from the hill for that).  Guess you will have to experiment with the ingredients you have today, Lori, instead of trying that new recipe.

Here’s the thing:  Regardless of how chaotic or unexpected life becomes, and no matter what shenanigans it pulls, WE DO NOT HAVE TO EAT OVER IT!  Period, exclamation point!

Today, we can choose to surrender to the urges we have to overeat, or we can zip the lip, find something else to do, pray until the urge passes, and drive around the neighborhood looking for whoever it is that keeps leaving those cats at the end of the driveway–but know this: Overeating is not an option!

Go find those knitting needles, or your journal, or the herbal tea you love with the peppermint in it.  The food will wait for you.  It never goes away.  Dinner will be here soon, and then you can eat free of guilt.

That’s my advice to myself and anyone else who needs it today. Don’t let food steal your joy away or run your life.  The decision is yours–choose well.

What do you do when you are frustrated?  How does food “weigh” into your thinking when you feel stressed?  What is your go-to answer for dealing with food urges?

Easy Peasy–I Can Change!

What do you say to someone who thinks they understand you, but they don’t?

As I shared in a previous post, I have a friend who is about to get gastric bypass surgery.  A new gastric bypass center has opened in our area. From what I hear business is good!  I have close connections with several people in the medical community, and a couple of customers of the center who tell me that you need be no more than 60 pounds overweight to qualify for the surgery.

60 lbs!

As you can imagine, schedules in the OR for this type of procedure are full.  Everyone wants to be thinner and more in control of their lives, it seems.

Me, too. I want that, too, I’ve just chosen a different route to get to my goal weight.

A member of my family of origin (FOO) had gastric bypass surgery in 2005, so I have first hand knowledge of the procedure and what happens after the incision heals.  This post is not about avoiding surgery, however,  Each person has to decide for him or herself what is appropriate care, and I know from experience that weighing 150-200-300lbs more than one should is extremely difficult.  I know.

This post is not about the pros or cons of bypass surgery.  It is about being realistic when it comes to change–difficult change.

Being morbidly obese is hard.

Morbid obesity limits.

Morbid obesity kills with every bite.

Morbid obesity destroys relationships.

Morbid obesity crushes joints (literally).

Morbid obesity is spelled: I.S.O.L.A.T.I.O.N.

For these reasons, and more, no one would choose to be morbidly obese.  But in my experience, food obsession doesn’t play by the rules.  And when I say the rules, I mean the concepts and practices food addicts “think” they can safely rely upon when squaring off with food.

Somehow, along the way to getting morbidly obese, healthy guidelines for eating normal-sized portions flew out the window for me.  I think it was a combination of poor education, poor understanding, and poor support that got me in trouble so long ago, but I don’t want to discount the possibility that my perceptions about health and weight control, through some means I don’t fully comprehend even now, was broken.

Or twisted beyond recognition.

Or buried.

Or cast away.

Or neglected.

So when I recently had a conversation with my friend about the challenges of changing such a fundamental thing  as how one eats, I was quite naturally frustrated with his lack of understanding.

His final statement to me on that day was this:

You know, I was thinking. I will have a lot of changes ahead of me…… but there are a LOT of things in my life now I don’t do or I have to do because of my size or weight. So, the theory will be the same….. just the actions different.

He doesn’t understand.

He doesn’t “get” it.

He hasn’t come to the realization that the majority of people who lose weight gain it all back, and more (especially compulsive over eaters suffer from this problem).

Change is not easy.

Change is not simple.

Change is hard work.

He doesn’t understand. Not yet.

Theory doesn’t arrest compulsive eating, and will power (should there be such a thing in the life of a compulsive eater), has never been much help to me in fighting off food cravings.  It’s hard to understand why these strategies don’t work for morbidly obese individuals like me.  Again, maybe my problem stems from a  broken ability to use will power properly, but if that is the case, I am certainly not alone in experiencing that phenomenon.

I have found that HOPE is a help to the compulsive eater.

SUPPORT definitely helps.

EDUCATION, and TRAINING, and practice, practice, PRACTICE, along with cozying up to SELF-DENIAL on a daily basis and making it one’s friend can help.

Thinking it will be easy to change the way one eats, as easy as deciding not to sit in a particular chair because it might not hold your girth, that’s uninformed thinking.  The decision to not sit in the chair is a conscious thought.  The decision to not eat the whole bag of chips never was for me.  I had to train myself to think in a different way, to act in a different way, to use cues to solidify habits; to train myself to use using a bowl to portion out chips or popcorn, instead of walking away from the cupboard with the bag in my hand.  It was not easy and it did not happen quickly. It took time and repetition.

Can change occur for the compulsive eaters among us? YES. I’m proof that it can.

Is it easy or simple, or something as natural as thinking your way through a logical discussion with yourself? No, I never have found it to work that way.

In my experience, there is no easy fix for compulsive eating.  What brings results is trying, and then trying again…doing, and then doing again…planning, and then planning again…practicing, and practicing some more, until you finally know what brings lasting results for YOU!  It’s never been easy and I don’t expect it ever will be for me.  I accept that and I do the hard work to make change happen, because I want to be better, not because it’s easy.

What do you think about change, is it easy?  What changes did you make that stuck?