Monday, January 14, 2019

How I'm changing my eating plan for 2019

I think about food way too much. Even before I open my eyes in the morning I think about what I'm going to have for breakfast.  I wish I didn't think this way. I should be thinking about my plan for the day but instead I think about how delicious breakfast foods are. For as long as I can remember food has occupied way too much of my brain. My grandparents (God bless them) believed that French Toast could solve any problem (and it kinda did). I love food. I love the smooth creaminess of macaroni and cheese. I love the way mashed potatoes make me feel warm and happy. I'm a carb girl. Chocolate, sweets, nope. Just give me a loaf of crusty warm bread and butter and I'm good. 

The problem is that this way of eating can only cause weight gain, especially if partnered with unbalanced portion control and lack of any kind of fitness program. To lose weight, I've tried all of the programs (No, really, all of them) from Weight Watchers to Nutrisystem, fasting to a 20-week weight loss program at my gym. I've met with a therapist (we discussed my past and what was keeping me overweight) and a doctor who prescribed a medication that made my heart and mind race (that was awful). I would lose a few pounds but I always gained the weight back when I tried to incorporate "real food" again. Then I would feel terrible about myself and seek solace in food which just made me feel bad about myself and there I was, falling down the rabbit hole.

Then five years ago I spent a week at Red Mountain Resort doing their detox week. Something in me clicked and even when I returned home I kept the program up. I ended up losing 100 pounds by eating proteins, fruits, vegetables and nuts. I felt myself glow like I never had before in my life. I was proud of myself and that just fueled my success. But then I started to feel deprived and angry about foods I was missing. I felt that binge twinge and then it happened.  I had just a little blueberry muffin and then I had a cookie and that 100 pounds I lost came back on.  I just can't control myself with carbs (flour, rice, grains) or sugar. Even just a little sets me off seeking more.  It was like I was almost at the top of a mountain that I had worked so hard to climb, only to let go and free fall. 

Since then I didn't think much about what I was eating. I was going through fertility treatments and my hormones were so unbalanced that food was one of the only things that made me feel better. I soothed myself with carbs which took my mind off of everything. Doritos melted my stress away. Now that Waverly is here though, I look at her and I want to be the best possible mom for this little girl. She is 16 months-old now and I see how she watches me and imitates what I do. 

I want Waverly to have a healthy relationship with food and her body. I want her to think of food as fuel, not comfort. We are careful not to use food as a reward and we try to give her as many fruits and vegetables as possible without resorting to hiding them in other foods.  A few weeks ago I realized that if I care this much about my daughter, shouldn't I care about myself the same way?

Here's the thing: I want joy in all aspects of my life. Including my eating plan. I want to be strong, lean and most of all I want my body and my mind for once to be on the same playing field. 

So, on January 1, I decided to follow a plan that works, a plan that makes me feel happy and satisfied.  I am following a plan that is for the rest of my life. I don't want to  diet. I want to fuel my body with foods that spark joy (sort of the Marie Kondo of eating programs). What I created takes from some of my favorite programs - Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean, Whole30 and my original Detox program. I'll be eating vegetables, fruits, salmon/tuna, nuts, some dairy and some shakes/bars that I found work well and don't trigger a carb-loading binge. This is the plan. I'm also going to adding some fitness from walking to kickboxing and hopefully things I've never tried before. I'm going to seek out others who have trailed this path before me 

So far, I've lost 11 pounds since 1/1. More importantly I feel my glow coming back. The sugar and carb cravings have subsided and so has the I-need-sugar-right-now headache. I've already gone down a pants size and I think this is a real fine start to a program that makes me feel happy and not deprived. One of the best things to come out of this in just a few days is that I don't think about food when I wake up in the morning, I know that whatever I have for breakfast (eggs/shake/protein bar/bulletproof coffee) will bring me joy. 

Coming up, I'll post my progress and what I've found that works and doesn't work. If you have any time on how you regained your fitness while increasing your joy, I'd love to hear it!

Glow on!

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