August 4. Who hasn’t made the wrong decisions about food, even when we know better sometimes? Thank you for your honesty. I’m raising my hand too. So I am learning that losing weight and maintaining it: Is not really about food at all. Really. Yes we must make the right choices and choose fruits and vegetables over processed, canned or bag “food”. But the root of it, the raw of it…isn’t about the food. It’s about the decisions we make and WHY. It’s also about allowing ourselves to mess up, forgive and move on. Forgive who? Ahh, as the saying goes “There’s the rub” (not the kind on my favorite brisket either).
It’s not really a trick question. The realization began when, just last week I realized after some Bible reading and meditation, there were two people in my life, one of whom I knew very intimately, that when I thought of them my teeth clenched and my stomach tightened. Why? Because without realizing it. I was holding a grudge for an “offense” they committed against me – whether real or imagined isn’t the point right now -because I felt a very real, very physical internal pain when I thought of them. But at that moment It dawned on me. I was choosing to hold on the pain. And so, I verbally released it by saying, ” I forgive you (insert name of perceived offender) for (insert what they did or said to hurt me)” and then I thought about God’s forgiveness and how undeserved I am to receive it- I and realized that in the grand scheme of things, today, that wasn’t too hard.
At that moment I made a choice. A decision to forgive. It didn’t change the other person. It changed me.
That is the approach I need to have with my choices in food and how I feel about those choices, one I make them. When I choose to eat right. It’s me that benefits. But when I make the “not so right” choices I must choose to forgive myself the way I allow myself to forgive others. The decision to do otherwise leads to the vicious vortex of :eating to feel better, eating because I feel guilty about eating to feel better, then, being angry with myself for eating to feel guilty so… I eat again…yup, to feel:better. That too is a choice. A bad one. One I have paid for in weight gain and depression. But It is one I choose to make and no one else makes it for me. I choose to get stuck in holding a grudge against myself. In the words of one of my favorite female singers “Why do I do that?”. But this is where it stops. I forgive me for a binge(yes, I am saying this audibly), and I will show it by choosing to eat healthier, make better food choices, not tomorrow, today.
But that wasn’t the biggest discovery. The biggest discovery came when about 5 minutes after saying those words out loud about the people who I felt so hurt by, I felt lighter. No.Lie. I felt like, a good 5 lbs lighter! and I realized: hey! this forgiveness thing… is working already!
Until next time,
Picture courtesy of Gavilla from Pixabay.com CC0 Public Domain
July 14. Oh this weight loss thing I call a “Journey” (it’s what I call learning my hair too…understanding my whole body has become a never ending “journey” I suppose) has taken me to so! many! places! And just when I think I’ve arrived at my destination, I am forced to pick up my bags and keep moving…cuz I ain’t there yet. That is especially true whenever I get on my high horse thinking I’ve conquered my food addiction. I can go for a long stretch feeling completely empowered and in control of my emotions and my so-called hunger ( I go into details about what that means in an earlier entry where I discuss how for me “hunger”isn’t always about food- but rather a false response to needing things not even in the genre of food, like needing to hear a friend or family member’s voice, or maybe needing a hug…). Then one day “out of the blue”: I’m not in control anymore. And sure, the reasons have been for an unending list of factors (I’m grown enough to admit are more often than not) all on me. I won’t go on forever but a few factors that can cause a “un (yeah, right) expected” binge are:1. After feeling in control for a few weeks, I let my guard down and eat things that kill my “intuitive eating” signals (For me it’s usually anything in the grain and processed fats category). Other times it’s just 2.stress, from any direction. Then other times it’s just plain 3.lying to myself that I can eat a food I know is a Binge trigger because “I’m over bingeing now” YES,THAT IS A LIE…I will always be in “recovery” but never “recovered. I’ve had to come to terms then, to this very undeniable truth, in my case. I WILL GIVE INTO A BINGE SOONER OR LATER.
So my tip for today, to myself, and to a few out there like me, is:
If you’re gonna binge… do it right, for Peter’s sake! First. Y’all must know this about me: I am in noooo-OH! way advocating that giving into a food binge is ever “OK”. It really isn’t. But neither is a car accident. We still wear seatbelts don’t we? and If by encouraging me to wear a seat belt I’d interpret you to mean I should get into a car accident once in a while?…sure.You have the right to call me crazy. Same vein, I am advocating how I safely do what I may, unfortunately, experience at any time as a food addict, or any normal day, or what sneakingly starts out as one. So when it hits, I like to be prepared. Although, like a car accident, its much better to avoid a binge altogether.
So with that disclaimer. What do I mean by doing a Binge “right”?Well there isn’t anything technically “right” about a binge. But if it’s going to happen I will try to ALWAYS have the right foods in the pantry and fridge to lessen the impact and unwanted results from a Binge. My reality is: in my most desperate moments when I am trying to feed an insatiable “hunger”, or quiet an uncomfortable emotion that feels physically painful! I’ve given in and O.D’ed. I.E.Binged. Because my brain is beyond convinced that the answer is not in my husband’s touch or in my mama’s voice but for sure this time, eating is the cure!!!… on… Kettle chips? Nope I won’t buy ’em, I love em too much! Same ban on regular ice cream, Peanut butter- even the organic kind ( I’ve tried them all, I love them all and I’m intolerant to them all. Plus, they’re too high in fat and mold anyway) is a no go either…. Sunflower seeds? Cashews…love ’em! Too addictive. Won’t bring those in the house anymore either.
So I binged on carrots. Yes.I said carrots. Like 8 big stalks of them. Because that is what I had in the fridge and it was colorful and crunchy so yup. I binged on carrots. Don’t laugh… OK… permission to laugh. Seriously though, I’ve cried myself to sleep because I couldn’t stop at one carrot! I use to believe that any lack of self-control was a failure. THAT IS STILL TRUE. But the difference between Roxie now and Roxie then is this: Accepting that failure: will happen. It is a moment in time but not who I am.
Repeat: A Failure WILL happen, but it is a moment in time, NOT who I am.
And in the end. I got a lot of needed vitamins for my binge.
The point is: I don’t do this every day(anymore). And it is the LEAST of the horrible things I can binge on. Which is why my Trick is: Keep the pantry and fridge stocked with BINGE Safe foods. Like Apples! bananas! Cherries! Pineapple! Watermelon! blueberries! Strawberries! Jicama! Broccoli! Celery! Apricot! ( Try O.D’ing on those!!.. yeah well… I have. I’ll just say: not for the first time Binger!) and… Carrots!! Lots of ’em! And my eternal goal is never to stock my pantry with things that I should only eat in very little quantity or in rare moderation due to an intolerance or harmful ingredients, and definitely not things I’m allergic to. (And yes my husband has a shelf of all those things: My trick for that:Put those waaay far away and waaaay out of reach. Thankfully, my binge self likes more instant gratification, nothing I have to get a stool to reach.and my husband is a bit taller than I am.)
OK. Now. Rewind. The “unexpected” binge comes back. This time. I eat 5 Mangos. I try to go for a 6th but I’m full and my tongue feels all weird and sore from the acidity in the fruit. Nature has a very physical way of communicating when enough is enough. I’ve just never gotten that feeling with Donuts, until the entire 4,ooo calorie box is gone! Then I’m left feeling queasy, bloated and angry with the donuts, myself, the world. 5 medium size mangos? :1,000 calories max. And I’m not queasy, maybe a little bloated…but not very angry. True, I still believe calories matter. But I’ve learned when it comes to binges, the lesser of any evil -is the goal here. And if it’s a fruit or a veggie, it’s not even in the evil category ( unless you are allergic or intolerant,like I am to citrus and sigh, to my beloved bananas,moment of silence while I eat a banana).
Summary: So a Binge is never a good idea. But when (not if) it happens, my kitchen is wearing the safety belt: Lots of fresh fruits and veggies (no dip!)- washed and ready to eat. because when I’ve bulldozed through my pantry and fridge like an out of control 18 wheeler…at least it has a fighting chance at survival. And so do I.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons CC0 at Pixabay.com
July 6. So If you have heard this before you’re not alone “I don’t know how I lost the weight, it just started coming off”. When I hear it, I think one of two things “Are you physically ill and need to see a Doctor?” or, well…”Are you physically ill, and need to see a Doctor?”
Trust me I use to say “Please tell me your secret!!!” But In the last 30 years or more struggling to win the battle of my own 70 lb weight loss …I have learned this undeniable truth: When you are overweight, as I was, losing weight, unless you have a medical condition, doesn’t happen by accident. It comes from focused, concentrated effort. I’d like to repeat that…it’s pretty key: If you are overweight, losing weight does NOT happen by accident. It comes from focused, concentrated EFFORT. It makes me mad to believe it. Madder to accept it. But once I came to terms -here’s another undeniable truth I’ve learned:
LOSING EXTRA WEIGHT ON PURPOSE-IS SWEETER AND MORE REWARDING THAN ANYTHING I’VE EVER EATEN TO “FEEL BETTER” (if you have been there before, do you remember the feeling of losing the extra lbs after many “long” months of skipping out on the social eating, the “junk food” and the “splurges” to hit the gym and eat a salad instead? Do you remember the sweet taste of victory you enjoyed? maybe it was short lived…but you LIVED IT! and yeah…yeah it was sweet!!… hold on to that memory for the duration of this reading…if you haven’t had it yet, use your imagination and trust that it’s better that it feels even more fulfilling and victorious than that. I’ve been there)
Here are 2 TIPS, from experience, TO ARRIVING OR GETTING BACK TO YOUR GOAL WEIGHT “Wonderland” …ON PURPOSE.
( and one very personal BONUS tip for those of you, like me, who thrive on …Bonus tips;) )…
#1: Wean yourself gradually off of 3 big meals a day. For me it meant one full “meal” ( you know the veggie, carb and protein combination you see on the “perfect plate” image in health magazines). The other two meals were more like “snack size”. But more than the size of your plate, what’s on it matters even more. Here’s a hint for the next one…It’s calories.
#2 Calories, watch ’em. Yup. I’d be the first to want to poopoo my own message here, but experience has taught me: Focused weight loss means consuming less calories than you burn in a day. There’s a lot of intricate science out there that explains how every individual burns a different number of calories when resting due to metabolism etc. And most of it is true. But without having to understand it all you can follow a very simple principle using one of a list of websites that will actually calculate for you how many calories you need to consume in order to lose weight. Yayuh! Hey, I appreciate every last bit of help I can get in the struggle, so I don’t have to figure it out myself. Just follow the steps- it will do the rest, well, eating less calories is still up to us. But knowledge my friend is OH so powerful! and it starts with asking this simple question: ” how many calories do I need to consume to shed this unwanted weight?”. Here’s two sites I highly recommend that will supply the answer very simply for you : http://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator and my all time fave (Clue to next tip…) : https://www.myfitnesspal.com/
But, it’s not just about the calories either. Of course. We’ll address that in the tip list to follow…
Ah! My BONUS TIP: It’s so simple it’s the hardest one of ALL:
#BONUS: BE!LIEVE! Believe that you will lose the weight and tell yourself that you can and you are losing weight. ( even if it feels like a lie…I know, but it’s not a lie. It is a fact and will become a fact if you trust it. The most important part? is that it WORKS) Our mind is the most powerful weapon to fight the battle of weight loss…yeah, sometimes it wins the battle over me too…but the WAR (pause for it!…) is never over.
Stay with me, as I will continue to share my personal tips that I’ve used to lose weight on purpose, more throughout the week. They are all interrelated. but I’ve learned most of us-read:ME- can only handle a few small life changes at once. So we’ll work together at this, poco a poco…litle by little…we we’ll get there together…bit by bit. Until we meet again…