Why FORGIVING is good for weight loss.

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,

Roxie 🙂

 

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If you’re gonna Binge…At least! do it the right way.

greengrocers-gavilaPicture 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.