Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tired But Good!

I just got home from work and I am bushed! I normally work from home, but I'm doing a seasonal job in retail part time to make some extra bucks. I am not used to being on my feet all day, but I like getting out of the house, it's fun.

Here's my food for today:

1/3 cup (dry) steel cut oats
1/2 Granny Smith
1/3 banana
1 TBL peanut butter

1 cup smooshed boiled potatoes
1/2 cup chick peas
handful spinach
1/2 oz cheddar
heated up and covered with Texas Pete

One Nature's Valley Peanut Butter Granola Bar
one cup Plain Almond Breeze

Dinner is going to be:
3/4 cup spanish rice
1/2 cup mixed black & kidney beans
some rotel tomatoes
1 cup ish broccoli

Snack will be...
Something! I'm very easily going to come in under 1700 calories for the day, yay!

Still feeling great...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I feel great, but not because of eating any Frosted Flakes. Remember those commercials with Tony the Tiger? He's probably a diabetic now. Speaking of sugary cereals - did you hear that it's now been proven, conclusively, that the cereals that are most devoid of nutrients and contain the most sugar are the ones that are the most heavily marketed to children? Sickening.

Why do I feel great? Well, my run this morning for one. I'm training for a half marathon and recently joined the gym. I don't have a Garmin and it's hard for me to know how fast and how far I'm going, so I thought the treadmill would help with that. Not to mention it's getting colder and colder. Today I ran about 3 miles mixed in with some walking and I also did some "hill" or incline work on the treadmill. I was a hot sweaty mess by the end, but my energy level ever since then has been great.

I'm also on a high because of my decision to just allow myself to eat whatever the heck I want, knowing I prefer healthy foods and good fuel for my training, whenever I'm hungry. Yes, I have set a calorie goal of 1700 a day, with hopes that every 3 weeks or so I'll lose ten pounds. I don't need this to be fast. I think that's part of what always derails me. I want to lose twenty pounds, NOW. I'm completely changed that. I want to lose ten pounds in 13 weeks. And maybe more later, but lets just see where that gets me.

I always get the huge sense of relief when I make peace with food, but for some reason I tend to get off track, usually because I think I need to lose more weight, now. I'm ready to get off that crazy train.

So far I'm at 900 calories and have my evening meal (which will be eaten super early, because I have to go to my part time job at 5) and evening snack (once I get home from work) all planned out. I can easily and happily subsist on 1700 cals today.

See Ya!

October 28

Phew, I worked my ass off this morning. The crazy thing is I burned about 400 calories and was sweating buckets...and I can eat 400 calories in two minutes! It's really all about the food, isn't it?

I did eat my breakfast as outlined last post, but it ended up only adding to 320 calories based on the amount of fruit in it. That's okay. I don't care if my calories come in under 1700, just over.

Also, today I set the intention for myself to go 40 days without binge eating. It's been a struggle for me for four or five years now. I've gone 30 days before, but usually do it once a week or so. I want to go longer. I intend to get myself free from my crazy relationship with food!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Plan for Oct 28, 2009

Goal: Eat roughly 1700 cals per day, run 4 days per week, cross train two days per week, strength train two days per week, eat intuitively without emotionally eating, lose ten pounds in 13 weeks.

My plan for October 28, 2009

Run three miles, including hills (on treadmill)

Breakfast: 1/3 cup steel cut oats, 1/2 banana, 1/2 apple, raisins (380 cals)
Lunch: Pear & Gorgonzola salad, no dressing (450 cals)
Snack: Tablespoon Peanut Butter on sprouted raisin toast (175 calories)
Dinner: Small sweet potato, 3/4 cup Spanish Rice, Asparagus (275)
Snack: 1/2 cup oats, Tbl peanut butter, 1/2 banana, raisins (350)

Total: 1630 calories (~70 calories can be added somewhere if needed)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I believe I can.

I started this blog because I thought writing every day would keep me accountable. But, amazingly, over the last couple of weeks I haven't needed any outside source to keep me accountable.

I am doing very, very well. At home I've been mostly maintaining a plant based and low fat diet, though Friday night it was POURING and we decided to make pizza at home; I ate pizza with a white crust and cheese, the horror! :) Actually, it was great; I only ate two little pieces and had a salad with it. I made brownies, too, but didn't even have a piece that night. I'm starting to feel a little slimmer - that wasn't my goal in giving up dieting, but I figured if I stopped the restrict and binge cycle I'd drop some weight - and that feels good.

How did I do on vacation? Wonderful. I pretty much gave up the idea of trying to eat the way I do at home, and it was just fine. Our first night there (after eating the way I do at home all day) we were starving and at the last minute decided on pizza. Again, I ate a couple of pieces with a salad, and had a glass of wine, and that was it for me. We ate out a few times and I ate some things I wouldn't consider "healthy", but I was fine. We found a great breakfast place where he could get what he wanted and I could get a huge fruit plate with melon and pineapple and banana and grapes and kiwis and yum!

Somehow things have shifted a bit for me. I know that when I'm feeling my healthiest mentally I want to eat a low-fat and plant based diet. But I'm not going to try to do that for every single meal of my life. If we go out to eat and I want something different, that's what I'll get. The difference, though, is that I haven't been getting upset and anxious over eating something outside of my "plan". That is what always led to my downfall - if I ate outside of what I was supposed to, I got really nervous and sort of excited and would end up going waaaaay overboard.

I haven't even wanted to do that lately, with the exception of one night when I was sort of bored and stuff, but I cut it off quickly. I know I feel my best when I don't eat past a certain point, and I want to feel good! Also, like I said, I think I've dropped a couple of pounds, and I don't want to yo yo back to where I was.

So, things are good. I'll keep writing when it seems important, but I realized I can keep myself accountable without any other tool. Because I WANT to. I want to feel good. I want to eat a healthy diet. So often people will say life is too short and we should enjoy this or that that isn't necessarily good for us. I get that, and agree that I don't want to completely limit myself, but at the same time, we've taken that idea much, much too far in this country. Every meal is an over indulgence in some cases, and that's not what I want for myself. And honestly, food that is whole and healthy is DELICIOUS. Yesterday I baked a butternut squash and ate a piece of it along with a cooked honey crisp apple - OMG. It was so good, and after I didn't feel sick, full, or sugary.

That being said - I'm going out to breakfast this morning and plan on ordering the whole wheat pancakes with hot cooked apples. It will be delicious!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Hi there!

Tuesday. Back at work for most people, but I worked yesterday anyways! I have been working all day today, too, on a book project. Editing, writing, formatting. Realizing how thankful I am for automatic spell check, that kind of thing.

Food is still awesome. I really feel like a yo-yo or a see saw or something. Again, I'm noticing when I'm in this mode it is SO EASY to keep eating this way. When I see my man eating junk food at night I have no desire to partake. Very odd.

We shall see what happens when I am out of my normal routine, however! I won't be blogging at all over the long weekend, but I'll be back with a full report, for the three of you out there who actually read this.

Interestingly, I just got a newsletter from this woman who does this thing called "First Ourselves" that spoke to that exact problem, dealing with food on vacation. The woman, Karly, actually is completely sugar free and eats a very different diet than me in some respects, but she's had food issues and has struggled with weight, so I relate to her. Anyways, her newsletter mentioned that she'd gone on vacation and was feeling the need to plan, plan, plan. She wanted to plan for working out, plan for her eating, pack snacks, etc.

Instead she just had faith that she would be fine. She said she experienced some amazing things just expecting that she'd be okay, and listed many examples of things she would have missed out on had she planned the way she originally intended to.

I am so glad I got this newsletter when I did, because I'm going to copy her action plan! Of course I'll exercise, but it will be walks on the beach and in Charleston, not intensely planned sweaty stuff (probably). I will bring some healthy foods to cook and/or eat in our rental condo, like oat bran and fruit, but I'm not going to freak out and try to bring my whole kitchen. I have faith that I can make smart choices and that what I need can be found.

I feel really good with everything I've accomplished the last 4 or 5 days, both work wise and eating wise.

How do you handle vacation eats and workouts?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Is Eating Healthy a Diet?

Happy Labor Day! I work from home, so I'm actually going to do some work today, but it's all fun stuff. My sweetheart is working, too, but on Thursday we're off for a long weekend, yay!

This morning, for the fourth day in a row, I had a nice big bowl of oat bran. Today I topped it with strawberries; other days I've eaten it plain and had some fruit a little later. My lunches have consisted of brown rice and veggies with low sodium soy sauce or left over vegetarian Shepherd's Pie. Snack have been fruit, organic whole grain cereal, sweet potatoes, oatmeal. Dinners have been similar to lunches.

I feel great. When I eat well my skin clears up (I struggle with Rosacea), I feel good, I'm regular. But is eating healthy putting myself on a diet? For instance, I've been avoiding dairy, partially because it's expensive (because we buy the organic stuff) and partially because I don't believe it's that good for me. So when I go on my trip, do I have to continue to avoid dairy? Only if I want to. I believe the trap that I fall into over and over again is eating healthy with the intention of losing weight. Also, often times when I'm on a healthy "diet" I tend to tell myself I CAN'T eat anything that's not on said diet. But that's just not going to work. Do I feel my best when I'm eating clean? Of course. But if I want a treat and can enjoy it, rather than shoving it down my throat, followed by six more servings because I feel so guilty about eating the treat, my life will be much better.

So right now I'm eating very well and feeling very wonderful. Truthfully, this is the way I'd like to eat for the majority of my meals. However, I do want to find a balance that will work for me, permanently. I went vegan about three and a half years ago and was miserable - it was so hard to find food when I was out and about. However, I was also in a really unhappy relationship and was already using food to deal with my emotions, so I was also eating lots of vegan junk food and was definitely not eating clean.

I can definitely stick to this without feeling deprived - I'm eating six times a day and am never hungry (okay, I get hungry every few hours, but then I eat plenty). I just need to keep my mindset about health, not weight loss.

In other news, I'm just trying to stay even. I've noticed that I ebb and flow, and sometimes when I'm not positive I know what to do to get there, but often can't motivate myself. This morning I looked up Caitlin's post that mentions a link to learn to do the Sun Salutation. I have done yoga on and off and thought it would be a good way to start my day, so today I did a couple of them. I'm tight in the morning! I'm going to go for a walk in a few minutes, then do some work this morning.

I am happy to be alive. I am happy to be coming through this journey - when I look back at where I was even a year ago, I'm amazed by how much my mental clarity has improved, how much my point of view on life has changed. Things are good:)

What are you doing for Labor Day?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What Would Don Draper Eat?

Anybody out there watch Mad Men? As I mentioned yesterday, I hadn't had cable for a long time...probably 7 or 8 years! However, the boy and I did get Netflix (until we got the new cable channels) and we became addicted to Mad Men. Now that we actually get the channel it runs on we get to watch it every week, yay.

So I was listening to NPR yesterday and the show Studio 360 did a story on Don Draper, and mentioned to check out a funny skit featuring Jon Hamm playing Don Draper in a skit for SNL. I love it! Check it out, it's hilarious.

Food stuff is really good. I went to "church" this morning, which is not in a church and does not celebrate a traditional's more of a spiritual gathering. This is only the second time I've gone, but so far I always feel much better after going. Everyone is so loving and non judgmental, it's great. I missed the meditation they do first thing because I wasn't done exercising and showering, but I'll try to make it next time.

It's so weird, when I feel good and steady with my eating, I wonder how on earth I can ever get so off track. Yet when I'm off track I wonder how I ever was so good and steady! Funny, isn't it? I'm going away for a few days with my sweetie starting next Thursday, and vacations are always a challenge. I am striving for a balance of healthy eating with treats thrown in - just not to excess.

Wow, today is flying by, it's nearly 3pm! I've got beans on the stove and a kitty on my lap. Things are good :)

Have a nice Sunday.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Trashy TV!

Happy Saturday. My sweetie is working, so after I worked out this morning, cleaned the bathroom, and took a shower, I started watching TV. Trashy TV. Mostly celebrity gossip stuff on E! I try to be a spiritual person who is constantly learning new things and trying to find enlightenment, but I love me some trashy TV.

Food stuff is good. I was really struggling with over eating again a few days ago, but my body told me "ENOUGH!" and I've been back on track.

Trying to permanently change the record (tape? CD? Mp3?) that plays over and over in my head is an interesting challenge - I certainly have known for years that telling myself positive things would be helpful - but have you ever noticed just how often you're thinking something negative about your body? Even if I'm not actually thinking, "I am lumpy and grotesque", I might notice my jeans don't feel as good as I want them to, or if my hand is resting on my stomach I might notice it's not as flat as I would like - and those things going through my head, even subconsciously, probably aren't very helpful.

But you know what? Things are good. I'm happy to be alive. I'm happy to have this body that I know responds to eating right, exercise, etc. I know I can lose weight. I know I am healthy. I'm thankful I can walk and move and all that stuff. Oh, and of course I'm thankful I can watch trashy TV.

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

If It Was My First Day On Earth...

This afternoon I was snacking, picking, etc. I started to feel guilty. I started to think, "How am I ever going to change my habits and emotional eating patterns?? I always fail! I keep doing this over and over again!" Then I stopped. That way of thinking is not helpful to me and does not feel good!

So I wrote in my journal as if it was my first day on earth. I was thankful to be alive. I was thankful to have this body that can walk, and run, and taste, and smell, and see. I'm thankful to have a beating heart, a thinking mind (sometimes), and plenty of skills. If today was my first day on earth and I looked at my body and thought, "I'd like to lose 20 pounds", it wouldn't be overwhelming. It would simply be something I wanted to accomplish.

I'm trying to look at my journey as something that is easily attainable; like this really is the first day on the journey. All the other stuff that happened has no bearing on what happens today or in the future unless I let it have a bearing. And, admittedly, that's what I've been doing. And that's why today I wrote as if I was brand new. Nothing from last week, or last month, or last year matters. None of that exists. Only in my mind.

I am flipping the switch. My brain is filled with light and hope. I expect to reach my goals. It might take consistent dedication to change the way I think about this, but I'm willing to do it. This will work.

In unrelated news, the boy and I got extended cable yesterday, we've had the plain old cable with ten channels for YEARS now. Who knew there was so much crap on TV...crap that I love. Oh, the Kardashians. Oh, Cribs. Oh, child stars of yesteryear. This might be a problem....

Day Two Take Two

So far so good! I may have said that before, but I really feel as though my mind set has shifted this time. I was really stuck in a place where I kept telling myself a) that I HAD to lose weight and b) that nothing I ever did worked permanently and I was just going to binge my way out of it. What am I telling myself now? A bunch of positive things, but mostly that I believe I can change the way I think about food and that I can permanently lose weight.

Ever notice how different things work for different people? And I know you're as confused as me as to what the "healthiest" diet is. I've decided the healthiest diet is the one that brings me joy. You might be thinking, "But if I ate what brought me joy I'd eat chocolate cake and cheese fries all day!" I just don't think that's true. There are tons and tons of natural, whole foods that I absolutely love. And lots of less-than-natural foods that I love, too. It's my decision to enjoy everything I eat.

Enjoy what I eat. Yup, that's something I'm going to start really paying attention to. Often I'm feeling so anxious about the fact that I'm eating something I "shouldn't" that I don't even taste it!

Okay, I've got some work to do, including a fun project that I haven't worked on in a while! Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Food Is My Friend

Hi! I'm in a great mood. I am feeling SO much better! I really, truly believe that the ultimate indicator of my health is my joy for life - and when I get bogged down with worrying about food and weight constantly, I'm doing absolutely nothing for my health!

So, here's my list of things I have more time for when I'm not worrying about the calorie count of my next meal:
  • Petting my two beautiful cats
  • Playing games with my boyfriend
  • Talking on the phone with friends
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Dancing around listening to music
  • Enjoying my life
I am getting distracted from my list making because my boyfriend just came home. He hopped in the shower, but suggested that we go into town so he can look for some new clothes, and he wants to go to dinner after. This is a PERFECT example of why I'm so happy I'm moving forward with making food my friend - if I was dieting I'd immediately worry about where we were going, what they'd have, how much I'd eat, etc. Instead, I'm excited about all the tasty possibilities and trust myself to eat what I want, stopping when I'm full.

This feels good :)


Wow. That's all I can say. I totally disappeared, and with good reason - I put myself on another diet. This time I had myself convinced that it was the best possible way for me to eat, that it was incredibly healthy, that I could eat that way permanently.

I lasted about a week. And yes, it was very healthy, it was a "good" way to eat, and for a while it was easy. But then the temptations came. And I kept telling myself no. And then when I finally did give in to temptation...let's just say it's the same old story. I say I want to stop the dieting/binging cycle, but then I just do it to myself all over again!

I wasn't hungry at all during the "healthy" week, but the diet I was doing was very restrictive - lots of things I couldn't eat. The plan is supposed to be incredibly healthy and reverse heart disease and keep a non diseased heart healthy. You know what, though? I don't have heart disease. I have disordered eating.

I'm here again because I want freedom. If I want freedom that means NO DIETING. That means no restricting myself. I can't tell you how many times I've done this to myself over and over and over again. So now I'm starting again. I need to keep writing if I put myself on a diet, not back away and avoid facing the fact that I'm not doing what I said I'd do. So, am I back on day one? My goal was to go a year without dieting, so I guess that's exactly where I am.

I think I should pick up the copy of Intuitive Eating from the library again. I've read it twice already, but I think it would come in handy.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day Four, Feelin' Blah

I am up WAY too early. My cats woke me up around 5:30 and I couldn't fall asleep. I was motivated to do some organizing, so that was a good start to the day, at least.

Thank you guys for your comments on my post about late night eating. I wish it was as easy as just saying, "I'm not going to eat at night" or saying, "tonight I might indulge, but tomorrow I won't". Example: all day yesterday I listened to my body, which wanted mostly healthy foods, plus a few dark chocolate chips. Even at dinner I listened to my body and stopped when I was full, because I was out with my parents and sweetheart and knew we'd get dessert after. I thoroughly enjoyed my dessert, which was eaten around 7:00 at night, but then later I really, really wanted a piece of the homemade carrot cake we have in the house. And I had one. And I wasn't hungry when I ate it, it was for purely emotional reasons that I indulged. And now, many hours later, my tummy hurts.

The thing is, just reasoning with late-night eating doesn't work for me. I don't just say, "jeez, obviously you're not hungry and you know you're going to feel off if you eat this treat late at night", because it's like some part of me wants to rebel and eat it anyway. It seems like it's become a habit.

I know myself too well to think I can just say, "that's it, no eating past 8:00 pm". In fact, that's exactly what I don't want to do. You know they say when you start to eat healthy you should add in healthier foods, not just remove the stuff you already love? I think I need to add in things to my night time routine. Not food, of course, but other ways of comforting and nurturing myself. Also, the boyfriend and I have both agreed that we've fallen into a pattern of too much late night indulging, and once the cake we have now is gone we're going to ease up on desserty stuff, though of course I'm not going to restrict myself from having treats.

Late night eating for me is comfort and emotionally based. I don't want to remove all sweets from my house. I don't want to set another restriction on myself. I want to eat when I'm hungry. I want to listen to my body. But I think to really do that I need an action plan for dealing with late night eating. I've learned various techniques from the many books I've read, so I'm going to have to sit with this and figure out what I think might work for me, then try it. I also need to find something to replace late night eating with - a non food reward or ritual.

What do you guys do to reward and comfort yourself - something that is cheap and non-food related!

I would like to say, though, that overall since I've decided I'm not putting myself on any diets and trying to be loving towards myself, I've felt better emotionally about my looks and weight. Imagine what we'd all be capable of if we stopped wasting time on worrying about what our butt looked like?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day Three - Late Night Eating

Good Morning!

So last night I went out to dinner with my sweetie, ate a pretty comfortable amount, loved what I had, all that good stuff. After dinner we ran a million errands, mostly for him: the mall, a sportswear store, the grocery store, Home Depot. When we were at the grocery store I told him to get me something chocolate while I filled up our water containers. When we found each other again he'd gotten me this thick, chocolaty spelt and walnut brownie from the bakery, something we couldn't give back but that scared me.

Scared of a brownie? Yes! It was so thick and rich looking, and I know there was real butter in there. On the drive home I was actually getting a bit hungry again because it had been hours since the sushi and, well, sushi, especially the veggie kind I eat, never holds me over for long. I planned to have a teeny bite of the brownie and maybe some dry cereal to stop my rumbling tummy. However, that's not what happened! I ended up eating the teeny bite, plus a couple of pretzels and a handful of cereal, but then I went back for more brownie. I ended up eating the whole thing!

This is what happens to me: I overeat and start worrying about gaining weight, beating myself up for eating late, try to come up with a plan so I never overeat at night again, and end up back on a diet. Obviously this is not an option right now. I was eating the brownie and about halfway through my body told me, "Eh, I've really had enough of this. It's rich and delicious, but it's beginning to be overkill" and my brain said, "eat, eat, finish it, don't let it go, it's delicious, you should just keep eating it." And my brain one.

So, I want to stop late night overeating without turning to dieting or restricting or some plan that limits the times I eat. I want to pay attention to my body's hunger and fullness signals all the time, including late at night, when I struggle with it the most. I'm not exactly sure what my plan is, at the moment, but I wanted to write about it.

In other news, happy Friday! I'm not working today and I plan on taking a nice walk, relaxing, maybe doing some very overdue cleaning, and I don't know what else. Tonight I'm going out to dinner again. I swear this isn't normal, but my parents had been planning on taking me and my boyfriend out tonight for the last week or two, so it just ended up that I'm going out a bunch of nights in a row. Should be fun, though!

How do you guys cope with late night eating?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Still Day Two, Still Doing Well

You know what I'm finding hard about not "dieting"? Listening to my body and eating when it wants to. In the past, when I was counting calories or on some other plan, I knew when I could eat and how many calories I should be consuming. Not counting calories and listening to my body's signals is interesting.

For instance, this morning I ate a breakfast of oats that I mixed with shredded carrots, raisins, and applesauce that I'd let soak overnight. I added a chopped apple this morning. I have no idea how many calories were in this concoction, because I measured nothing and of course don't want to count anything anyways. About two hours later I felt empty again, and was getting ready to go on a run. I kept thinking I'd wait and eat after the run, that I should wait until lunch to eat again, but my body was kind of being insistent with me. I ate a banana and a spoonful of peanut butter, gasp, without measuring it!

Then, at lunch, I put some Vodka sauce on my rice/lentil/veggie combo. Normally I stay away from that kind of sauce because of the cream in it, but I put some on and had to STRONGLY resist the urge to look at the label to see how many calories were in it. Why does it matter? I ate lunch when I was hungry and put a moderate amount of sauce on my food and that was that. In the late afternoon I felt hungry again, and also annoyed. My brain was telling me it was too late to eat a snack because dinner would be relatively soon, but again, my body was like, "hello, feed me!"

I'm glad I ate, because it turns out I'm going out to dinner again tonight, but it will be a little later, so thank goodness I ate when my body wanted me to!

It's amazing to me that so many of us have gotten to a place where we live in fear of food - fear of the fat grams, fear of calories, fear of what it will do to us. I eat a diet very, very heavy on the whole grains, veggies, and fruits. I've been a vegetarian for 13 years. I exercise almost every day. I live a healthy lifestyle, except when it comes to what I put my brain, and sometimes body, through when it comes to the way I deal with food.

Today I thought, "Oh my gosh...a YEAR without dieting??? That's a long time!" I honestly have never, ever gone that long without trying to put myself on some plan to make me "better". Maybe in college before I started going on diets, but I graduated 8 years ago and I think I've been on and off diets ever since! I really, really want to keep this blog up, because it means I'm keeping up my agreement with myself to stop dieting. To step off the roller coaster of restriction, overeating, and negative body talk. I can do this!

If you struggle like I do, please consider trying the "no diet" mind set on for a little while. Believe me, I know how scary it is, but when I picture my future and where I want to be, "Free from food and weight obsession" is what I really long for, not, "perfect body".

Day Two, Dawn

LOL, I just thought I'd give the title today some drama! I just woke up and wanted to post about my experience yesterday and some other stuff, too!

Yesterday I really did get through the entire day without counting calories and eating what I wanted. I went out to dinner with a friend and didn't even finish my meal. My sandwich was so-so and although the sweet potato fries are got were good, I was getting full, plus we were heading for a to die for chocolate place for dessert after, and I wanted to save room. I'd say that's unusual for me to do, to save room. Normally I'm either in diet mode where I'm very "careful" and don't eat too much so won't even go for dessert, or I'm in "FEED ME!" mode, where I'd tell myself to eat the whole sandwich, all the friends AND dessert, because what the hell!

Dessert was delicious and I didn't finish it, either. Huh. We'll see if I can keep this up! As I've mentioned, I've managed to get to this place before. I feel a good balance and I think what happens to me is similar to what happens to someone who is on, say, medication for depression or other mental disorder. (BTW - I am NOT making light of someone with that sort of disorder; my second cousin is schizophrenic, I have an uncle with mental issues, and various other relatives on anti-depressants, PLUS I've been to therapy a number of times and make my living helping people deal with their stuff!) So, I always try not to diet. Then I do well for a while and I feel so good, and often times even lose a few pounds, that I think, "I don't have to practice intuitive eating anymore, I can just cut down on my calories, lose the weight I want to, then I'll get back to eating mindfully." That always backfires, though, which is why I'm here today, writing this blog about not dieting for a year.

I want to be held accountable, and I have to say I'm so thankful for the comments I've received from all of you guys so far! A couple of you mentioned books you've read or recommended books, so I thought I'd give you a history of what I've read and how it helped.

Intuitive Eating - I've read this book. Twice. I read it the first time about three years ago and a second time within the last year. Everything in it is wonderful and makes complete sense. You know how you read something, get it, and think you'll just integrate it into your life and never stop doing it? I think that's what I keep thinking, but then I get off track again.

Breaking Free from Emotional Eating - Geneen Roth, the author of this book, is the very first person to introduce me to the concept of eating whatever the heck I wanted as long as I only ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. When I first read the book a few years ago I thought she was insane and that there was no way I could ever do that. However, I've learned since then that I am capable of doing that, I just need to keep practicing.

When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies - I actually haven't read this since the first summer I bought it three years ago, I probably should read it again. I strongly believe that I would never, ever go on a diet if I loved my body the way it is. If you lived on a dessert island and never, ever saw "perfect" women on TV or in magazines, don't you think you'd feel better about your body, too? I do want to love my body. I should get this back off the shelf!

The Four Day Win - This book is an excellent guide to the way our brains affect our attempts at dieting. I've read it twice within the last year, and whenever I'm actually doing the exercises from the book I feel great. It starts off by concentrating on taking care of our minds before it ever delves into ways in which to move more and eat less. Good stuff.

If I'm So Smart Why Can't I Lose Weight?
- Another book about feeling your feelings instead of eating through them. Short and to the point.

Runaway Eating - Dealing with very mild disordered eating.

I've read SO many books. I know what I have to do, I just have to do it now. Thanks for listening and all your help!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More on Day One

It's 1:00 pm on this first day without dieting. I wish I could say it was fun and easy, but when portioning out my food I had to remind myself, "don't measure, don't count calories". And when I was eating I had to believe that I could listen to my body and stop when I was full. It's amazing how many times a really unpleasant thought goes through my head, and how scared I am to gain weight.

It's a little embarrassing to even talk about this. I can't believe I spend so much time and energy worrying about food and my weight, and thinking I'm not good enough where I am. I need to rewire my brain to remind me of my good qualities, and change my story to "I'm perfect the way I am" instead of, "until I lose weight/build muscle/get a great haircut there's something wrong with me".

I really don't think I was always like this. When I was in college and gained 20 pounds over the course of the four years, I barely even noticed it, it was weird. Finally when college let out I realized I was over a healthy weight and needed to get my act together. Even back then when I dieted it was healthy and I never felt obsessed or crazed about it. I lost weight slowly and steadily. The weird thing is, back then I just got myself back to my high school weight, which was not terribly thin. But I was happy and confident. Since then I've lost, then regained, weight. I actually weigh less now than I did then yet I'm still not confident.

Ugh, enough complaining! So far today is going well, I just want to start changing the voices in my head to positive ones. I actually left some of my breakfast because I was full, and made a delicious snack, then lunch, and I didn't measure anything. Which I think eventually will be freeing, assuming I continue to tell myself I'm wonderful. And I am.

Oh, today I also have been eating with my non dominant hand. One of the things I want to do is become more aware of the actual eating process. Often I sit down and suddenly my food is gone...bam! Where did it go? I want to be mindful in my eating. Eating with my left hand is certainly slowing me down.

How do you make sure you eat mindfully?

Day One, Can I Do It?

I am SO. SICK. OF. DIETING. I don't just mean the dieting where I'm on a certain program or counting every calorie, I mean the way I obsess about losing weight, my body, whether or not I should eat peanut butter, if I should allow myself to eat chocolate, if I can eat after 8 pm, if I should be able to have a glass of wine with dinner, what my jean size is, why I don't look like that girl on TV, it's all too damn much!

So I've decided to give up dieting. For a year. I am so exhausted by what I've put myself through over the years, and I'm ready for a break. Unfortunately, I've tried to give up dieting before, and I always fall back into the trap, so I am hoping that blogging about it will keep me in line.

This is not going to be a food blog. Though I may occasionally take pictures of something I ate, or talk about it, I'm not here to track every single thing I put in my mouth. I'm hear to talk about the reasons I diet, and why I think we all are constantly trying to improve our bodies. I hope other women (and men!) can relate and perhaps will look at their own eating and exercising habits, too.

So, more about me. I'm almost 30. I'm within the healthy range of weights for my height, but I'm at the very top end. I've been 20 pounds thinner but also 25 pounds heavier. I exercise almost every day, love to eat a mostly healthy diet, and have struggled with emotional and binge eating for the last 3 or 4 years. I have a good life and a partner who loves me, yet I can't let go of the idea that I need to lose those 20 pounds I gained a few years ago.

Truth be told, I weigh less now than I did in high school, by maybe 5 pounds. I'm not fat. But I'm not thin. I'm not like so many women I see on TV. But I want to let this all go. It's torture to worry about food every single day. I want to go for a year without dieting.

So what does that mean to me? For me, no dieting means:
  • Absolutely no counting calories
  • No restricting food groups (with the exception of meat and fish, I've been a vegetarian for many, many years)
  • No following ANY eating plan (sometimes I go low fat, sometimes I go vegan, sometimes I eat only at certain times...all with the intention of losing weight. No more!)
  • No measuring in attempt to control my food intake
Ideally, I'd like to get to a place where I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. I want a healthy relationship with food and my body. I can see it, and at times I've felt it, but as long as I keep telling myself, "You're too fat. You have to lose weight", I am going to continue to limit my potential.

I'm ready for a change. I'm ready to love myself as I am and stop trying to force myself to shed pounds. At least for a year, anyways.

Have you given up dieting? Does it ever sneak back up on you?