Something to chew on

What? Two posts in the same day? Yeah why not.

I’ve been thinking of posting about this topic for a long time, but I always talk myself out of it thinking “Everyone struggles with food and their weight.  Big deal. Get over it. Do another link up!”  The fact is, I don’t want this to come off  as (or even become by the time I’m done writing it) a whiney, navel-gazing post about how I think I’m fat.  But, I’m getting tired of thinking negatively about myself and I’m getting tired of blaming food and then baking a batch of cookies and eating half of the dough.  Then last week, the awesome Jenny of Mama Needs Coffee delivered a line that finally brought home to me what my problem is.

“It was like having a healthy, grown-up relationship with food.” (read the rest here)

Bingo!  That’s exactly what I DON’T have.  That’s exactly what I’ve never had.  This is why I hate diets.  I think “If I only try this fad or if I only eliminate this food group, I’ll lose 20 pounds and I’ll be a whole different person!” Fast forward a week, maybe 10 days and I’m crashing and burning and crying to poor long-suffering Dave. Ultimately I always come to this dramatic conclusion à la  Scarlett O’Hara: “Diets are crazy!  I hate diets! As God is my witness, I’ll never go hungry again!”

So, I focus on working out, which is something I actually enjoy doing, and a few weeks after really devoting myself to fitness (and not worrying about what I put into my mouth because I’m hungry dammit!), I stupidly step on the scale.  And the cycle starts over again.

The thing is, though, if you truly do eat more than you should, especially carbs and processed and/or sugary foods, despite your best working out efforts, you really do need to cut back your calorie intake.  That’s just common sense!  Now that I’m nearing 30, it’s finally getting through my thick skull that I need to be an adult about my relationship with food and acknowledge that weight loss and weight maintaining comes down to simple input-output.  I also need to be an adult and face the facts about the size of my portions and the content of what I’m eating.

So, I started this week, cutting down on my carb intake and eliminating seconds at dinner.  That’s it.  No gimmicks, no absolute restrictions.  All I’m doing is eating two carb free meals and a normal dinner with no seconds. I know that carbs are my kryptonite.  But I also know that when I completely eliminate carbs I become a maniac.  So this is my adult solution and I’m admitting it here on the blog so that I have a little more accountability.  

Hi, my name is Ellen.  I have a dysfunctional relationship with food and I’m striving from now on to be an adult about it.

Ok, I also have a body image issue as well.  I blame Gwyneth Paltrow! No, but for real, part of this process is accepting the body type that I have (that I’ve always had) and the roles that pregnancy, motherhood and aging have in the current and future state of my body.  When I get to the break-down stage of the dreaded self-hate cycle, it’s always me crying because I don’t like my body, I feel unattractive, yadda yadda yadda.  And that’s the most frustrating silly part about the whole thing.  My body is my body.  Should I take care of it? Absolutely! Will I look like Gwyneth Paltrow if I take proper care of my body? Oh no no no no. Never. So enough’s enough.  Time to put my big girl pants on and get over it.  (That last sentence is highly ironic.)

So, you’ve started Ellen!  Keep us updated! Post before and after pictures! Yeah, no that’s not going to happen. When it comes to fixing dysfunctional relationships, the work is never done, is it?  People don’t go to counseling and then leave totally changed with no problems whatsoever.  I’ve always had this problem with food and with my self-esteem and I always will have this problem, so I’m viewing this as a life-long project. But that is a comforting thought to me.  I don’t have some 2 week or month deadline in which to complete some diet or cleanse regimen.  This is just me working on my input output, like a normal human being and praying for the humility to see myself as I truly am and to praise God for the gift of my life.

8 thoughts on “Something to chew on

  1. About a year ago Jeniffer Fulwiler had a post about a simple structure for getting control of your food intake:

    NO Snacks

    NO Sugar

    NO Seconds

    except on days that start with an "S"

    I started doing it and it REALLY helped! I found I'm actually hungry a lot less often than I had thought, and now I really don't want all that extra food. I also found out that coffee with cream but no sugar is perfectly drinkable!

    • Thanks Anna, that sounds like a pretty common sense approach! As for the coffee, though, I have a lot of work to do. Those criminals at Coffeemate own my soul.

  2. I like your plan a lot. In fact, it sounds very similar to what I have been doing for about a year. So quit knocking yourself. It took me 55 years to find my solution and you are not even 30 yet. I have to add that the plan needs a regular day off like Anna said, days starting with S or whatever. Mine is Sunday, always a feast day. I just start the celebration after 4pm on Saturday night:)

  3. I would add: Get used to 1/2 sandwich being the norm and eating your daily cereal in a toddler bowl, since that actually makes a serving size look like a full bowl! If you fill a regular-sized bowl with anything you're almost definitely eating 2 servings at least. I've taken to checking serving sizes on lots of things — usually it's 14-18 chips, for example (which you shouldn't eat every day, anyway). I can't say no snacks would work for me, especially since I've been pregnant or nursing for almost 5 years, but choose your snacks well — raw nuts (again, check serving size) and fruits and veggies. NO breads, chips, crackers, or granola bars. Stay away from dried fruits, they're high in sugar, and I don't know about you but dried cranberries disappear pretty fast in my house!

  4. Personally, I don't know how people can go all-paleo. Maybe it's because I'm seriously lacking in the motivation department, but I'd probably starve. I have been trying to be better about what I eat, though- I find it's easier if I don't keep junk food/desserts in the house, so I won't be so tempted to eat it. We also sometimes use smaller plates when serving up a meal, so that it doesn't feel like we're eating less because the plate looks fuller. Anyway, I think you're taking a healthy approach by giving yourself a break- it's not like people like to diet! You can do this! 🙂

    • Thanks Francine! I tried Atkins when I was in highschool and before the first two weeks were up, mom had to scrape my near lifeless body off of the floor. I've never forgotten what a terrible experience that was… and I don't think it helped my dysfunctional relationship with food!

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