That's me, talking to myself. To my stomach really. I've come to the point in my stay on this planet where I need to better listen to my body. As of today, September 1, 2009, I've taken on a demon of mine and I hope that I can beat it to the ground.
I'm talking about calorie-counting. I've calorie-counted now for about three years. Virtuous? Perhaps. Enviable? Maybe. But honestly, it's been three years of training-wheels people and I feel that I SHOULD be able to ride this bike on my own now. Really.
When I got quite a bit "leaner" (click here for that part of the story), I wrote down every morsel I ate in my food diary: 5-almonds...no WAIT!! Was it six? OMG, and do I count it as 8 calories per almond or 10?? Keep in mind that I did not restrict my calories- I just kept count. There were some days that I went well over my desired 1800-2000, and many that I was under. There was a sense of relief in writing it down and having it "off my chest" so to speak, even on "bad" days.
this post on Charlotte's blog that really hit me. Her grandmother lived an entire lifetime with an eating disorder until the day she died. When Charlotte found her diaries, they were filled with numbers: every calorie the woman had consumed in her lifetime. The diaries did not contain records of memories- happy or sad. There was no mention of births of grandkids or the death of a spouse...just useless numbers. What a waste. That day, I decided to par back my food diary and make it more of a journal of my daily activities. I used it to track the number of fruits, veggies, shakes, glasses of water and total number of calories I was consuming, but not every bite of food. I also recorded my exercise here. This was a step in the right direction and freed up some of my time and energy.
"Piece of fish (250), crusts of bread (150), smush of butter (30), few sweet potato fries (150), those HUGE olives from Dad's martini- YUM!- (50)" and on and on. Exhausting. It's no way to live- trust me.
So I'm beginning anew today and hope that I can resist the temptation to tally in my head. Here is my game plan to keep it real:
- Really, really listen to my hunger signals. (my cue: emotional hunger comes on quickly and ferociously, but real hunger is slow to develop; Real hunger can wait. I learned this here.)
- Eat portions that a reasonable person would eat. (Think: husband (well, sort of) or sister-in-law.)
- Try NOT to eat empty diet foods (They are not satisfying mentally or physically)
- Try to get enough protein (I believe that I've been low in this regard- topic for another post)
- Try to eat for physical hunger rather than other reasons- most of the time. (Everyone wants a few bites of birthday cake even if they aren't starved, right?!)
- Make sure I'm still eating enough fruits and veg (this should not be hard... I <3 F&V
- Alcohol once a week or so- I love wine, but it is filled with empty calories, and lowers the diet inhibitions. Not good for listening to body cues.
- Continue with the morning shake routine (this just works for me, not most people)
- Not too many BLTs (that's Bites, Licks, Tastes...easy to sneak those in when I won't be writing the 16 calories for that fingertip-serving of peanut butter)
Speaking of train-wrecks, we are starting phase I of our kitchen remodel on Thursday by demolishing our kitchen. We will live like trailer-trash in the bedroom with a tea kettle, George Foreman grill & paper plates, so it's likely that I might need a small detour to the State Hospital. Stay tuned!
Do you have any habits that you want to try to change? Perhaps you'd like to join me in changing something, since today is the start of a new month?