Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I'm No Cheater.

A lot of thoughts ran through my head after my accident last Wednesday.  (You can read about that here.) 

We are so blessed to be ok.
That could have been so much worse.
I can’t wait to see my Jack. 
Is there a cookie anywhere?

Wait, what?

Yeah, that’s right.  I was thinking food.  In fact, the first thing I did after looking in on my sweet boy sleeping, was head to the kitchen and eat a mini chocolate chip muffin.  We never have those readily available in our house.  Someone knew I was going to need some sugar comfort. 

I don’t think any of you would be overly shocked to learn that I’ve found comfort in food throughout the years.  It’s been there for me when I was at my worst and my best.  Treats, candies and good meals have been my shoulder to cry on and my reward for jobs well done.  Eating my emotions was pretty delicious; I ain’t gonna lie.  And it also led me to the heaviest and unhealthiest I had ever been. 

You’ve heard that quote by some underweight model: “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”  Well that’s crap.  She’s clearly never eaten half the stuff I have.  But I will give her this, she was on the right basic track.  Maybe we should switch it up some: Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.

And that’s why I don’t diet. 

Say what?

Yeah.  You heard me. 

The assumption is that because I have lost weight that I’ve been on some type of diet to do it.  Most people think I’m on Weight Watchers or countless fad diets they have heard of.  Believe me, I’ve tried lots of diets.  And some of them have worked, and worked well.   At least for a while.  But none of them have stuck with me for the long haul.  Because none of them changed my life and how I live it.  A diet won’t do that.  I had to. 

Now I’m not knocking the big WW.  I know that it works for lots of people and I think that’s awesome.  It just wasn’t for me.  And a lot of those diets that are so popular right now are based on some good principles that can really benefit your health and weight loss goals.  Just be sure to get the facts behind what you’re doing.

Because everyone thinks I’m on a diet of some kind, they have funny reactions to the sight of me eating what they consider “normal food.”  For instance, I was at a birthday party not too long ago and I ate a piece of cake and had some ice cream.  You know, because it was a birthday party and that’s what you do.  And I love cake and eating it is what I do.  Someone said to me, “don’t worry I cheated on my diet today, too.” 

I didn’t take a offense.  I know what they meant.  But I wasn’t cheating.  I was eating.  Was the piece of cake as big as one I would have eaten a year ago?  No.  Did I share the ice cream with my child instead of getting my own bowl?  Yeah, so, no.  In hindsight that may have been the better option, but whatever.  It was a small bowl. 

Food is not my enemy.  How I used it eat it is.  A piece of cake every now and then or big ol’ slice of pizza is not going to ruin your life.  It’s when you eat those things and then take that as permission to eat nothing BUT those things from then on, that you get in trouble. 

The truth of the matter is that I don’t eat everything I used to eat.  But that’s because I made the decision that certain things are not worth it to me anymore.  If doughnuts come in to the office, I don’t eat one.  I consciously make the decision.  Or if I just gotta have one, I cut off a fourth of it and eat it.  Then I walk away.  Quickly.  Because we all know doughnuts are a gateway drug.  You eat one bite, and before you know it, you’ve downed half a dozen. 

I’ve made up rules for myself that work.  Because they are ones I can stick with. 

Some examples:

  • Desserts at work are eaten with my dessert spoon.  I allow myself one spoon’s worth so I can taste the new stuff.  If I’ve eaten it before, I walk away.  That doesn’t mean it’s not delicious.  It just means I don’t need it. 
  •  After coffee in the  morning, it’s water, water, water.  The only time I have anything else is at meals.  And then it is limited to unsweet tea (an acquired, but now loved taste), green tea (had just after every meal) and lightly sweetened lemonade (on occasion.) 
  • Every meal does not need a side of bread.  In fact, meals don’t really NEED bread at all.  Sigh.  (PS—I’m not anti-carbs.  I love carbs.)
  • Red meat, shmed-meat.  If there is a veggie or turkey version, I’m on it.  Black bean burgers are amazing! 
  • Real is better than fake.  Look, cutting down on sugar is a must.  But if you need something to be sweetened up a bit, use real sugar instead of sugar substitutes.  Just don’t use the whole container.
  • I stay away from things that give me permission to go crazy.  I know if I eat a half handful of M&M’s, I’m going to go back two, three, ten times.  So I stay away.  Be self aware.  And own it. 
  • If I have a day where I go overboard, I let it go.  No one is perfect.  Bad days happen.  Shoot, bad weekends happen.  Let.  It. Go.  Sing it, Elsa! 

Right  now I’m not able to work out because of the accident.  Doctor’s orders.  The old me would kind of love that.  The me that I am now is hating it.  My body really wants to move!  But I know that moving too much could really result in hurting myself more than helping me.  Plus, I tried to do yoga the other morning—poorly—and regretted it all day. 

So, with that in mind, I’ve got to be pretty mindful of my eating habits.  I might have needed that chocolate chip muffin on Wednesday night, and that maple fudge on Friday (look out for a whole blog post on where that come from in the near future), but it’s pretty easy to fall back into old habits.  Get back in with the wrong crowd.  Can you just hear those potato chips calling, telling me that lie that I can stop at just one…bag?

I’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring the taunts. 

After all, I’m no cheater.  The only one I’d be cheating is me.  And I’ve come too far and am far too fabulous for such nonsense. 


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