Yesterday was the first day of the October Unprocessed challenge, and this year I have signed the pledge. During October I will be avoiding processed foods as much as is humanly possible. Well, for me, that is.
Going into the challenge this year, I was confident. I have been eating this way most of the time for three years now, so I am accustomed to shopping, preparing meals, and eating in an unprocessed way. Still, there are some hold outs in my food plan; places where I take the road more often traveled by people who aren’t concerned with weight and health issues like I am. For me, keeping on top of the weight and the consumption of sugar and junk is literally a life and death decision. I have to eat right and exercise to keep the diabetes at bay, so I do, most of the time. Mornings, however, are rough for me. I work outside the home and I have a 40 minute commute. That means that in the morning, I’m rushing around like a chicken with no head from the time I force myself to leave my warm covers, until I pop in the door at work and settle in with my morning routine. In the morning, when it’s time to eat, I want easy!
Easy for me is spelled TAKE-OUT.
My usual is a breakfast wrap from the local coffee shop; a small tortilla, a half piece of sausage, an egg, and some cheese. I eat this with my morning coffee and I’m set until lunch. I’m not doing this during October Unprocessed.
Is there a bond between eating and emotional responses? For me, the answer is a definite YES. In the past, when I was hungry, angry, lonely, bored, happy, sad, frustrated, or pressed for time, I ate all the wrong things. I ate the wrong things, in the wrong amounts, with devastating results. I gained more and more weight, until I tipped the scale at 315 lbs. I was fat, unhappy, sick, and ignorant of all the things others knew about nutrition, whole foods, moderate exercise, and my responsibility to get and keep myself healthy.
I didn’t know.
That might seem like a cop-out or excuse to some. Make of it what you will, but I promise you, I didn’t know. I had been raised by an unhealthy, unorganized, and unhappy mother. I never learned what it was to live a healthy life. I didn’t have that life patterned for me, and no one, ever, stepped in to adjust what was going on. Well, I take that back. My fraternal grandmother tried, but you can imagine how that went over at home. My parents divorced when I was five.
My family history is long and complicated, but I don’t want to bore you with that, so I won’t go there. Suffice it to say, my relationship with food has definitely been emotionally charged for as long as I can remember, so when I have a day like I had yesterday, it’s a challenge for me. Even without the October Unprocessed pledge I made, but especially in light of that pledge to stay away from processed, easy, fast foods this month.
To give you some insight into my frustrations, I thought I’d share my dirty dozen mishaps from yesterday here; events that fueled emotional responses with food.
Note: I did not overeat yesterday, and I did not eat fast food or the other types of foods I had decided to abstain from during October.
My take-away from yesterday, as I reflect on the day this morning: I did it! I’m proud of myself for that. This morning, that temptation to get take out with my coffee was strong. My response was to forego the coffee shop and have hot tea with my breakfast. I couldn’t trust myself in the coffee shop. Can you relate?
I’m slowly learning to break bad habits.
This was my day yesterday:
1. Flat tire at the coffee shop. My second in two weeks. Last winter I had three in one month. Ugh.
2. Can’t reach hubby on cell, and can’t change tire by myself.
3. Call co-worker to come get me. I will now have to make up 30 minutes at the end of the day.
4. Busy, busy, BUSY day at the office. I didn’t get everything done. A friend wants me to meet her after I get out of the office. Problem is, I have to work late, but meet her after that, anyway.
5. I have a meeting after work, a dinner meeting that I have to rush around to make by 6:15pm.
6. I get home to a house smelling of bleach. Oh, yeah, we bleached the water lines after installing a black light to help with contaminants from our well water. I had forgotten that was happening today.
7. I decide to shower before going to dinner, but no. The water in master bath commode looks like it’s been scooped out of a mud puddle. Hubby has left the water on too long when running the bleach out of the pipes.
8. I call to hubs, to discuss this with him, and find out how long the faucets have been running full-bore. Okay, so I’m ticked. Wouldn’t you be? I NEED to wash my hair.
fight disagreement ensues, as I realize for the first time that a beeper is going off. We don’t know where the noise is coming from. It’s the black light in the cellar. We check it and the filters-two of them-are black with sediment from the well. Everything that has been done thus far to sanitize the drinking water is now for naught, because the water has run too long and the pipes are now full of dirty sludge. We will have to go through all this again in 4-5 days.
10. Numerous evil thoughts run through my mind concerning my husband, at the same time he bumps his head on beam down in the basement and leaves a huge goose egg. I’m late for dinner. As hubby heads out to figure out the water sitch with his pal, Maynard, our dog sneaks out the front door and takes off like bullet across the pasture field. After EIGHT WEEKS of training, he still refuses to come when he’s called.
11. We have to go out to the car, open the door and yell to dog to go for a ride, because it is the ONLY thing he responds to when he’s being naughty. Then, we must take him for a ride, because if we promise but don’t follow through, he will quickly lose interest in this too and become road pizza. And while I like pizza, and I do not like house pet pizza. Note: the ride was very short, as was my temper by this time.
12. Dog is finally caught, I am ready to leave, I open the door and out he shoots again, for round two of naughty dog antics that make masters into monsters. No joke! Today? Right now? When I’m hungry? Is someone taping this, because I think we could qualify for America’s Funniest Videos!!!
I finally left the house hungry, angry, lonely (why can’t anyone do what you ask them to do—these kinda questions create isolation), and completely frustrated, then had to eat a stinkin’ salad with soup for dinner. Really?!
Some days are like this. It’s life, on life’s terms.
Hoping today will be better. I really want to be able to finish October Unprocessed clean.