Thursday, September 5, 2013

Talking to Myself About Food


I haven't been blogging much lately. I haven't had much progress to report, and I haven't had the time to flesh out any of my thoughts into posts "worthy" of a blog following.

Is it just me, or does it seem like more and more blogs have been going viral lately? Everyone is talking to someone -- a letter to my daughter, a conversation with my son, a note to other people's daughters, an address to the lady who wrote to other people's daughters, and so on and so on. Meanwhile, here I am in my own little corner, munching on my Fritos and talking to myself. Is anything I say worth posting in the world of viral blogs?

Get over yourself, me. You're being silly. Very little of what you write here would be interesting to anyone beyond the handful of friends and family who have followed you thus far, and that was the point of this blog in the first place. You are tracking your progress and making meaningful connections, and therefore your posts are worth sharing here even if they are short and uninspired and not designed to be reposted by strangers. So keep writing and stop worrying if your blog is "worthy."

WHEW. Okay, I got that out of my system. Now back to my struggle--er, ah...journey. I'm back to work full-time now and stuck in the same conundrum I experienced after my last baby -- just not enough hours in the day to work, nurse my baby, spend time with the rest of the family, AND exercise. The difference this time around is that I'm not beating myself up over it. I knew it would be this way for a while, so I'm just going to be patient and do what I can.

Meanwhile, I do still need to do something to start losing weight, because my plus-size wardrobe is in sad shape and I'm too broke to do anything about it. So, it's time to focus on nutrition!

I've said before that I don't diet -- I just don't like the psychology of it, and I haven't seen people make positive lifestyle changes while caught in that psychology. I just go through periods of my life when I'm making mostly healthy eating choices, and periods when I'm not even trying to make healthy choices at all. Pregnancy always ends up in the latter category, and then afterwards it's a struggle to change my mindset back again. Most of it is an issue of habit. When I'm in the habit of eating junk, then it's easy to stay in that habit. Once I get back in the habit of making good choices, it will be easy to continue doing so.

Here are the "rules" of my plan*:
1. No food is completely off-limits. That goes along with the psychology of dieting, and I don't think it's healthy. It just sets you up to play mind games with yourself and ultimately you will lose. Being healthy means being aware of what you're eating and what it does to your body, and having the good sense and self-control to eat less of the things that are bad for you and more of the things that are good for you. If you ban various foods, you will not be able to develop that sense fully. Also, I simply refuse to give up cake, and if THAT'S not off-limits, why on earth should anything else be? :)
2. Eat when hungry. Your body lets you know when it needs fuel. You don't refuse to gas up your car when the needle is on E. A body is not designed to run well on fumes.
3. Stop when full. This is a tricky one for me. I hate to leave food on my plate or my kids' plates, because then it's being wasted, and I hate waste. However, if your body already has all the calories it needs to function at the moment, the food is being wasted even if you eat it. If it can't be tossed in the fridge and saved for later, then it's wasted whether it's going into your mouth or into the trash. At least the trash bag can be taken out when it gets too big. My pants can't.
4. Don't eat when not hungry. This is the natural companion to #2 and #3, and has a lot to do with habit. Don't eat something just because it's there. Don't snack at a certain time just because you usually snack then. If you're not hungry (and don't have some other compelling reason to eat now rather than later), don't eat.
5. Start eating more whole, natural foods. I love me some processed crap, believe me. And please see rule #1. But in order for the crap not to affect my health negatively, there needs to be less of it. I'm not going to follow any particular fad diet, but I would like to start making small changes here and there to the foods we feed our family. I'm sure our current diet is not the worst one around, but there is definitely room for improvement. Now's as good a time as any.

*I use the word "rules" pretty loosely. They're really more like guidelines to keep in mind. "Rules" that can be broken, resulting in "cheating" and guilt over that cheating are all part of that dieting psychology that I find so unhealthy. If I have seconds on a particularly tasty dinner one night when I know good and well that I don't need to eat any more, I won't be doing anything wrong, just making an unhealthy choice. There will be no guilt and no punishment, just awareness and increased effort not to make that sort of choice the prevailing habit!

So that's it. It's pretty simple, but if I follow it earnestly, I believe it will serve me well. It's really just a matter of shifting from mostly bad choices to mostly good choices, most of the time. This has worked for me before so I'm confident that it will work again. However, if it really doesn't work, then I will re-think the whole thing, because that's how you learn and grow in life.

Very soon I hope to resume my weekly updates, and add in additional posts when I have time. You don't have to share them with everyone you know. My blog doesn't have to be the.most.exciting.thing.EVER in order to be "worthy" of existing. :)

And now back to my reasonably-sized bag of Fritos that is helping to satisfy my current hunger...crunch crunch crunch...

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