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Perfectly Imperfect

This past year has not been without it’s challenges.  I went through a heart-wrenching breakup and my dietary self-discipline was touch and go.  The thing that kept me moving towards a positive goal was finally focusing on myself.  What did I need?  What did I want?  Health, yes.  Happiness, of course.  But overall, I wanted to accept myself as I was: perfectly imperfect.

I admire those who lead a strict disciplined life of impeccable health and physique, but I know that is not in my DNA, and that’s ok.  Recently learning from my physician that my metabolic blood tests were within a healthy range despite my being “obese” makes me want to share that it’s possible to reach that healthy balance without being perceived as perfect.  You can lead a healthy lifestyle without making the right choices all the time.

The Smart Ones© message of wiping the slate clean has been a running theme on my blog and it’s one that resonates strongly with me.     Giving in to unhealthy food choices at events, family gatherings, and any sort of environment you find yourself within reach of food temptations doesn’t make you weak.  It makes you human.  If you are able to say no to the extra slice of cake, that’s great!  But in my experience, deprivation of certain foods can lead me down a slippery slope of gluttony.  I’ve learned to take desserts home if I am full, wrap up half of my plate of excessively portioned restaurant food before I start eating, and most importantly I listen to my stomach.

Occasional food slip ups are part of your journey to wellness, and it may be difficult but not impossible to keep from starting at square one.  Schedules get busy and unhealthy food makes it past our lips.  As much as I wish I had the money for a personal trainer and private chef, that’s just not the case.  Try not to let momentary set backs become permanent by realizing that it’s not the end of the world if you aren’t making the best food choices for a day or even weeks.  It may seem impossible if you are in a viscous unhealthy food cycle, but with a little help and inspiration you can get back on track.

Time is not always on my side.

Time is not always on my side.

 

Social Events and Food Temptation

I recently attended a wonderful baby shower full of friends and family at a restaurant donned with a brunch buffet of french toast, fresh bagels, and more delicious breakfast items.  Most of all, let’s not forget the huge piece of pudding filled cake and real whipped cream icing for dessert.  Cake is my downfall but I was able to eat only half then make sure to have the remainder taken away so it was not tempting me on the plate.  I realized in keeping with my calorie logging I had already gone over my daily allotted allowance by 3pm and I would not have time to go to the gym that day.  At home that evening, I had a grumbling tummy but I just wanted a light meal.  I chose to eat a Smart Ones® South West Style soup for dinner at only 120 calories. Once again, Smart Ones® meals saves the day in helping balance out my meal choices.

baby shower

Whether it’s a baby shower, wedding, or another holiday celebration booking up your calendar, there will always be the temptation of high caloric foods at a party.  Most social engagements include an array of rich food  that you may not normally eat so your eyes may become bigger than your stomach.   I go to a social event with the attitude that “I will choose to eat the right amounts of foods and I will stop eating when I am full.”  This does not always go as planned.  I plan ahead if I know there will be the types of food I tend to to avoid.  Sometimes you get caught up in the party atmosphere and you end up overeating.  If a party has carbs and cake, I am like a kid in a candy store!  That’s why the day before a party I eat clean and exercise as normal, and the day after I plan to do the same.   I don’t starve myself, I don’t beat myself up for overindulging on the day of the event, and I don’t overexercise.  I just do my best to get back on track the next day.

Quick Confession of an Overeater with Anorexic Tendencies

katy edit

2/13/13
230 lbs.

I’ve officially gained back 4 lbs. since my 10lb. tonsillectomy surgery weight loss (226 lbs.) recorded exactly 2 weeks ago on 1/30/13.  I am OK with this.  The surgery’s all liquid diet was a fear of mine, a valid fear.  I wanted to maintain the weight loss after I was healed.  I knew this was not impossible but a long shot knowing my past habits.  When I decided to get the surgery, I was very nervous to be forced into a 2 week fast because of my history with feeling the high and euphoric rush of a quick weight loss.  During the 2 week recovery, I felt happy when I could tell that outer layer of water weight was gone and I could feel more of my collar and hip bone popping out.  I felt happy when I saw the scale drop 2-3 lbs. in a day, knowing very well that it was an unhealthy way to lose weight and difficult to maintain.  I told myself not to be happy with this, to fight your euphoria, but it was difficult.  It took until this morning to accept the fact that I have gained back 4 of the 10 lbs.  I came to terms with it almost immediately after stepping off the scale, I just don’t have the energy anymore to keep beating myself up over the feeling of going backwards instead of forwards.  If you feel yourself going backward, stop and re-evaluate.  Move forward again as soon as you can.  After a couple of weeks of ups and downs in my food choices, I now feel that I have a handle on my workout/movement routine and healthy diet.   I’m ready to accept and move on.  I’m ready to feel human and healthy again.

Cravings and Self-Sabotage

Image

Public Domain Image by Shirley Hirst

When I get unhealthy cravings that are not satiated by healthy alternatives I tend to teeter on the brink of self-sabotage.  This week has been full of cravings of the processed sweets variety and giving into them, while at the same time trying to rein back the urge to eat everything bad for me in sight.  I just could not get full on Wednesday.  I am sure it’s the fact that I’m able to eat solid foods again post-tonsillectomy, coupled with that once a month time in most every ladies life between 12 and 51 year of age.  In order to satisfy these cravings I had to make a decision.  What am I going to eat, and how much am I going to allow myself to consume?

In the past, I could easily eat an entire box/bag of something I was craving then feel horrible about making that poor decision and think to myself, “Well I screwed that up, might as well eat like crap again tomorrow…and the next day…and the next day”.  I always had a problem knowing when to stop eating food in general.  This is something I still struggle with, so when I get the bottomless pit feeling I remember to breath and not freak out.  Something as simple as taking a few seconds to ask yourself, “what is the better choice” can make a huge difference in how you are going to feel about yourself later that night.  Though I still struggle some days, I am determined to change how I think, leading to changes in how I act.

Portion control is something to be kept in mind during these ravenous times.  When I am feeling insatiable, I make sure to purchase smaller portions of unhealthy items if I decide to give into temptation.  For example, I really wanted a dessert roll I found at the local grocery store.  Upon further searching, I found a container with a few tiny dessert rolls at 210 calories per roll.  This was a decision I made to feed my craving but not feed my self-hate.  Sure, I could choose to eat a lot more healthy food for 210 calories, but would it satisfy me?  Maybe.  But I wanted what I wanted.  I can usually get my sweets cravings satisfied by a piece of fruit, but there are certain times when that just doesn’t cut it.  I want that processed sugar in my belly!  These are the times I must remember to pay close attention to portion control.

Also during these times of dangerous cravings, I make it a point to avoid the scale.  This is a personal choice because I know my self-sabotage triggers.  The scale can trigger some negative reactions and actions if I see the numbers going up instead of down on my journey to weight loss.  I can be the poster child of self-sabotage if these numbers get in my head.  But these days, I keep reminding myself even if I decide to eat poorly one or two or even three days in a row, all hope is not lost and to not be so hard on myself.  Even if it’s a week of poor food decisions, a month, 2 months, it’s never too late to get back on track.  Given, the longer I allow myself to fall comfortable into the world of bad habits the more difficult it is for me personally to get back on track.  So if you feel you have the power to change how you think sooner rather than later, then do it sooner.  Also, keep logging your poor food choices.  It’s not fun to realize how much you went over calories, but it makes you accountable. For example, I went way over calories on Wednesday, but after averaging in the week via myfitnesspal I can still hit my weekly weight loss goal if I stay under my alloted calories through the weekend.

I’ve noticed a lot of my friends have been vocal recently about getting off track with their health and food choices, feeling hopeless about getting back on their own personal quest for health and happiness. I’m here today to say it’s not impossible, albeit not easy for some.  One may say it’s easy to not do something; don’t eat that extra piece, don’t eat the entire plate of nachos. etc.  To me, I laugh in their face!  I frikkin’ love nachos!  Food is my drug, it tastes delicious and makes me happy in the moment.  Why wouldn’t I want to feel that way all the time!?  Regardless of the negative aftermath of overeating, I still have these bouts of weakness and instead of fleeing or giving in completely, I try to hammer out a balanced plan.  If I choose to eat this, then tomorrow I will choose to not eat as many calories or I will choose to move more to burn more calories.  Food is something you cannot stop eating cold turkey (or tofurkey for the vegetarians) and you obviously need food to continue living in this world of ours.  Unfortunately we can’t take a meal pill ala The Jetsons…yet?  This causes my “all or nothing” personality to have quite an internal struggle.  It forces me to be strong willed and make the best decisions for my long term health if I want to live past 50 without a ton of ailments.  Making the right decision causes me to become friends with my food monster.  It reminds me I am a lot stronger than I think.

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