Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thoughts about food

I can't say that I struggle with my weight, because I am not overweight, but I can say that I struggle with food. When I have tried to diet in the past, I have become obsessive about food. I would stand in front of the fridge and fret about what I should eat, all the while eyeing the freshly baked cookies on the counter or the hash browns my hubby is frying up on the stove. It is difficult for me to say "no" to myself, and to practice self control. It is so much easier to just give in and eat whatever enters my line of sight and pretend there are no calories attached. Dah! I want to gain control of my eating habits, and learn to practice portion control. Right now I am at a reasonably healthy weight for my body type but I know that as I get older, my metabolism will slow down and I will be overweight if I continue to eat as I have.

Before I had children I biked to work everyday, swam laps for the joy of it, and went trail running on the weekends. At some periods in my life I was biking and running for hours each day to prepare my body for various races. I ate like a horse then and boy did I enjoy it! Now that I have two little ones, live in the boonies and contend with -40 temperatures I have had to alter my eating habits. As much as I would like to, I can't eat steak and a baked potato followed with a nice slice of pie every evening. I LOVE food. It is the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I think about before I go to bed. Once my kiddos are asleep I can hardly wait to eat something tasty in peace. My favorite evening snacks are: blueberries and yogurt, or squirrelly bread toast with peanut butter and jam, or a bowl of cereal, or a grapefruit or if I'm watching a movie with my hubby, some popcorn or chips. I would really like to stop snacking after dinner, because once I start it feels impossible to stop, especially if I am on the Internet or watching TV.

I think I have a healthy diet. I eat loads of fruit and vegetables, sprouted grain bread, drink lots of water, make the majority of my meals from scratch, take the skin and fat off my meat before I cook it and I always eat breakfast. I don't drink coffee, I hate soda and most candy makes me feel sick to my stomach. However, I think that I eat too much, even if 90% of it is good for me. I don't like feeling hungry and rarely let myself feel anything remotely close to it.

So all this blather brings us to my present situation. I recently joined a local group of people that are participating in a medically supervised weight loss clinic. It is 12 weeks long and is geared towards not only helping people loose weight but also change the way they approach food. We were given a list of foods that we can and can't eat, are told to weigh everything, drink lots of water, eat our meals over the course of an hour, and to wait 5 hours between meals. I am not counting calories, but rather grams. Aside from loosing weight ( I have already lost 10 pounds) I am learning that I CAN live on less, that I don't NEED to snack to keep my energy levels up, and that I feel so much better when I avoid high glycemic foods. I am making healthy choices, eating lots of raw veggies, lean protein, and only three pieces of fruit a day (normally I eat at least 5-6 a day). I love the simplicity of it, and and the fact that I haven't stressed about what I am eating even once. I have to admit that it was difficult to eat my lean chicken breast with a side of green beans and spaghetti squash when my husband had perogies with bacon and caramelized onions for dinner, but I survived! Each day it gets easier to say no to the things I would have ordinarily stuffed into my face without a thought, but I am loosing inches, pounds and feeling fantastic. So, what it going to happen after the 12 weeks are up? Well it depends on whether or not I have reached my goal weight. If I haven't reached it, I will continue to follow the eating plan, and if I have, I will start the "maintenance program" which basically means that I continue to weigh two of my meals and then eat whatever I want as my third meal. I really want to make this a lifestyle change. It sounds weird, but I really like weighing my food. I like knowing how much protein and vegetable matter I am putting in my body. I am not saying that I am never going to have cheesecake or butter chicken again, but I will do it less often and pay attention to how much I eat. Perhaps I will even half my plate and take half home with me! I normally lick my plate clean :0)


Dan Richardson said...

Welcome to my world! It seems the battle doesn't ever go away, you just get better at managing it. The key conclusion that you came to was that you were simply eating too much even if it was all healthy. Too many people think that if it's healthy they can eat whatever they want but it's not true.

By the way, your picture on this post looks delicious!

Caroline said...

Jocelyn, I am so glad you posted this. It helps me to understand you more. Here I thought you looked fine, just the way you are. I didn't know the reasoning behind your goal. :0)