Friday, June 17, 2011

The Trip...

Recently, I went back home to Michigan (mainly the suburban area of Detroit) to visit some family along with my sister. It was a great trip, but it was FULL of nothing but poor food choices. Literally, everywhere I looked I saw some of my "old favorites". Ya know how in the cartoons, the words that the characters are saying are in those air-text bubbles? Well, those text bubbles were ALL OVER THE PLACE on this trip. Different foods were screaming, "EAT ME!" while the text bubbles were reminding me, "You know this dish has to be waaaaay over 1,000 calories...". I started to get a little overwhelmed and worried, I mean, I just hit 172 (the LOWEST I have been in my adult life) and I didn't want to throw it all away. But at the same time, I didn't want to be worried and panic-stricken over food for this short, 3-day trip. When visiting my Grandma there are many things to look forward to and one of those things is her cooking. My Grandma cooks southern-style foods. Which means everything is cooked in bacon grease and fried and so so SOOOOOOO good, but not exactly good for your waist-line.

But while I was on this trip, I thought of one thing. My Grandma has cooked and eaten foods like this her entire life (she's now into her 80's) and I cannot remember EVER seeing her overweight or 'obese'! I thought to myself, 'how is this possible?' With all these foods, how has she never gorged herself into an overweight oblivion? And then it hit me, she eats what she wants but she doesn't let herself overdo it! This is a very new way of thinking for me.

Its obvious that many of us who have weight problems have an issue with self control around food. We tend to overload ourselves on the foods that we really like, even when our bodies are screaming, "STOP! I'M FULLLLL!!!!!" we'll keep shoveling mouthful after mouthful down our throats. So for me to think of eating my Grandma's homemade mashed potatoes and gravy without have three or four servings, well...this was something that never occurred to me before. And now, since beginning to live a healthier lifestyle and losing so much weight, I have MAJOR control issues with food, but in the OPPOSITE way. I now exercise TOO MUCH control over food. What I mean is, I strictly regulate what I eat, how much of it I eat, and when I eat it. I literally control EVERY ASPECT of my eating and I've had to do this in order to be successful. So, the thought of NOT controlling these factors in regards to food and just "winging it" while on this trip to my Grandma's, was actually very scary to me.

Before the trip, I was reminded of a wonderful quote/idea/way of life, that one of my FAVORITE celebrities says in her book. Her name is Bethenney Frankel (I love this woman) and here's what she says about food, "Taste everything, Eat Nothing". Hm, think about that for a minute. Its okay to taste, meaning: very small portions of everything (even desserts!) but we stop ourselves from 'eating': which to me, means gorging and having seconds and thirds of things when it is unnecessary.

Think about that as well, when is it ever REALLY necessary to have MORE than ONE serving of ANYTHING??? If you're honest with yourself, then you'll admit that there really ISN'T any time where its necessary. If you give yourself the correct portions of foods on your plate and you do your best to eat the necessary food groups within your meals, then one serving of each food item in your meal is really all you need. So, what I'm saying here is that THIS is what I did on this trip to Michigan. I ate EVERYTHING I wanted, but it stopped with the first serving.

But the question still hangs in the air, "well, did you gain weight?". I'm not sure. I don't FEEL heavier, but I have given myself this past week and even this weekend to get back to my regular healthy foods and exercise routine and on Monday I will be answering that question. But even if I DID gain, to me its no big deal. Why? How is this possible? No, I'm not in denial. No, I'm not going to blame it on water weight or whatever else I could blame it on. No, the reason why its no big deal to me is because I know this gain (if there is one) will only be a temporary gain. Its not permanent. And WHY is it not permanent? Because EVERY DAY I get up and I eat healthy foods. Almost every single day I get up and I exercise for a good 2 hours. Every day I make a good faith effort to be healthy and active and continue to shed weight. Therefore, its only a matter of time before I get rid of this gain (again, if there even is one) and keep moving down in pounds.

I think sometimes we all get a bit too worked up over gaining weight when we have life situations (like the trip to my Grandma's). Life happens. There are going to be parties, holidays, birthdays, cookouts, work parties, etc. etc. etc. So enjoy your life, but be as responsible as possible. I've found that when I over-stressed myself about these certain life situations, I would actually LOSE CONTROL at these functions and go on a mini-binge. I find that if you go into these situations telling yourself, "its okay to taste, but leave it at that" takes so much pressure off and allows you to enjoy your life, while still doing your best to make good and responsible choices.

Remember: "Taste Everything. Eat Nothing." - Bethenney Frankel

1 comment:

  1. Hey there Jules.

    Always love your blogs. As we talked about before this is essentially the core of my philosophy. I've tried in the previous 2 weight losses to restrict or eliminate certain foods but over a long term of course that never works. I've also never been comfortable with "lifestyle change" being defined as only eating "healthy" foods and never things like bacon or ice cream. And the way around it is exactly what you said here, and what you and I talked about.

    Something I hope to vlog about on Saturday's weigh-in (or maybe on a bonus vid) is the subject of "irrational hunger", or hunger that seems to be caused by hormones out of whack. I've now identified this as another demon for me. I think it plays a role in some of my roller-coaster weeks. When these hormones (which is what I'm guessing they are) kick in, I feel a hunger that seems to be insatiable. A couple nights ago this hit me and I did what I normally do these days when I'm hungry -- I ate about 100 calories of some item, then waited about 1 hour. Still hungry. Had another 100-200 calories of something else. Again, waited an hour. Still ravenous! By this time I knew I was well past any normal calorie load for me for my day. Still, I was SO hungry that I had one or two more of these "snacks" till the sensation passed.

    On weeks where this happens, I don't lose much at all, or I maintain. On weeks where this does NOT happen, I lose 2 lbs or more usually (the 2 weeks I did my "no weigh" experiment, I did not have this craving thing).

    So, I guess what I'm getting at is when that "thing" kicks in, it becomes extra hard to restrain from the over-indulgence. Sampling the good stuff becomes impossible for me sometimes, I just eat too much. Even with all the tricks I've learned -- eating fruits/vegetables, exercise, whatever -- sometimes NONE of this is enough! And again this seems like a new learning for me. I can of course force myself to NOT eat beyond a certain calorie number, but then I'm back to counting calories, which is something I don't want to do. I may have found the limit to my non-counting ways.

    I really wish more people could write like you and I do, I find these topics to be so helpful to me. :)