Thursday, January 27, 2011

Current specific goals

I need specific goals/guidelines to follow if I'm going to get anywhere in life.   So, I have set some for myself.  I am going to take the next month or so and work on eating only when I'm hungry (more often than not, anyway), and stopping when I'm satisfied.  I'm not going to worry right now about what I'm eating- I'm only focusing on when and how much.  If, at the end of next month, my weight hasn't started dropping to my satisfaction, then I will worry more about what I'm eating.  But the when and how much is the true key to learning to eat for life.  Ideally, I should be able to eat whatever I want, as long as I'm eating when I'm hungry and not eating more than I need. 

I have decided I want to drop about 20 pounds from where I am now (10 below my goal weight, and the 10 that I have gained back in the last two months).  I weigh myself every Thursday, so I will post each weeks' results on this blog.  That way, I have someone/thing to be accountable to. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm learning to listen to my body

Okay, I haven't made the blueberry-maple muffins yet.  I admit, I didn't read the recipe very closely before I printed it out.  Turns out it requires, among other things, 1/5 cup flaxseeds, ground.  I have no problem with flaxseeds, but grinding them myself?  And, who in the heck came up with a 1/5 measurement?  Who owns a 1/5 cup measure?  Good grief.  I'm not sure I want to put forth that much effort for something that may or may not end up tasting like plywood.  However, I have managed to eat much more vegetables this week.  Yay, me. 

I got the book I ordered, finally.  It's called Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat by Michelle May, M.D.  It's not the only resource out there for learning to eat intuitively, but it was the one that caught my eye.  The basic premise is that you already have the ability to eat as much as your body needs, but you have to learn to really listen to your body, and heed what it is telling you.  Think about it.  If you ate just when you were hungry, and ate just enough to satisfy you, your body wouldn't have to store any extra.  I, personally, wouldn't have started this process before I lost most of the weight I wanted to, because it's going to take some significant patience, and I can't focus on quick weight loss.  The focus has to be on giving my body what it needs, not what my mind wants.  The good news is that my body gets hungry (like, stomach growling, real hunger- not cravings) about four or five times a day.  And, food tastes so much better when I'm really hungry.  The trick for me is going to be learning to eat just enough to satisfy me. 

So, my goal for the next few weeks is to learn to eat when I'm hungry, try not to eat when I'm not, and only eat as much as will satisfy me.  I do not expect perfection, this is a learning process.   Anyone want to join me?  

(If you have a hard time know when you are actually hungry- there are many, many articles on the web that can help you out.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More fruit and veggies

I have resolved to include more fruits and veggies in my diet. My hubby is very supportive of this particular resolution- he loves fruit and vegetables. Yesterday we were having a salad and pizza for lunch. My kids love salad, as long as it is covered with ranch dressing (doesn't bother me, as long as they eat the veggies rather than just licking the ranch off). I was very skeptical, though, when their daddy handed them each a cherry tomato and told them to try it. They all looked at me as if to say "he's serious? Mom, do we have to?" I covered each tomato in some ranch and told them to eat up. And, lo and behold, they did! Even the very picky eater, who tends to gag and sputter every time we make her eat her one spoonful of peas. I don't think any of the kids really enjoyed the tomatoes, but they ate them without complaining. Progress! See if I doubt my husband's culinary wisdom again. (Oh, I ate a cherry tomato, too. They're not my fave, but I know they're good for me.)

I love finding new recipes, and my family loves blueberries, so I will be giving this one a shot soon:

Blueberry-Maple Muffins

I'll let you know how it turns out!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Intro to intuitive eating

"Sometimes your tongue wants more and more, but you got to listen to your tummy, because he says 'I'm full'"

I borrowed this quote from my cousin Emily's running blog:
She got it from her four-year-old niece. I thought it was a perfect introduction to what intuitive eating is all about.

I believe we are all born with the innate ability to regulate our eating- until human desires, environment and habits get in the way. Intuitive eating is simply an effort to learn, or re-learn, how to really listen to our bodies. I want to learn to eat when I really need to, and to really enjoy what I am eating. I find that when I am eating what I love, if I pay attention to it (eating mindfully), I can eat less and feel more satisfied. Example: I love chocolate. My current habit is to pop chocolates in my mouth, one after another, while reading a book. Then, I am surprised and disappointed when I have eaten it all. I don't feel satisfied, I want more. Eating mindfully would be if I put the book down, take the same chocolate, unwrap one piece, smell it, eat it slowly, letting it melt in my mouth. I pay attention to the taste, the texture, the feel of the chocolate. Usually by the second or third piece I realize that I am satisfied.

Have you ever eaten something just because it was there? Have you sat watching a movie and eaten an entire bowl of popcorn without realizing it? I have. Many times. Those experiences aren't satisfying for me. I end up full but disgruntled. Then I end up fat. Dang. This is not the way I want to live.

I asked for a book on intuitive eating for Christmas. Unfortunately, (sorry Reed) I gave my hubby the wrong author, so he got me the wrong book. Now I have ordered the right book from Hastings and I expect it within a week or two. I plan to share what I learn on here, but if you would like to look into it sooner, here is the website:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Enjoying the Journey

I quit Weight Watchers. There. I said it. I'm trying not to think of myself as a quitter- I didn't sign up to follow WW for the rest of my life. I met my goals with them, now I want to try something else.
So, even though I am at my goal weight, my journey is not done. I still have many habits that need changing. Of course, isn't that life? Don't we all spend our lives trying to improve ourselves? My current health-related goals have to do with intuitive-eating. I know it kind of sounds all new-age-y and strange, but I promise it's not and I plan to blog more about it later.

Right now I want to talk about why I like to eat. No matter my size, I will always like to eat. I like to eat for a number of reasons- it tastes good, it feels good, etc. Everybody needs to eat, and we are supposed to be able to enjoy it. Right? But, I have discovered- what with trying to be more aware- that after about five Oreos, the taste kind of peters out. No matter how good something is, once I cross the line between enough and too much, it doesn't taste as good. I keep eating it because I want it to taste good. I know it used to, and I'm hoping it will come back.

Also, I have discovered that I love the idea of abandoning control. I find tremendous pleasure in the idea of being allowed to sit down and eat an entire package of Milano's in one sitting if I want to. We fight for control over so much of our lives. We have to go to work, we have to go to school, we can't sleep all day, we don't get to drive as fast as we want, etc. I find it extremely liberating to lose control over food. Except that then I have to deal with the consequences. And, one of the consequences is that losing control over food one time is not enough. That felt good, I want to do it again. It's kind of like a drug sometimes. The more we have, the more we find ourselves wanting.
Never fear, there is hope. I found that balancing out control and the loss thereof is the key. It's not a bad thing to eat with total abandon- once in a while. It gives me that feeling of euphoria, just like occasionally sleeping in. But, then I think logically about whether more will really keep that feeling going, or whether eating (or sleeping) more will actually make me feel worse. Realizing that it will probably make me feel worse gives me the power to stop.