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Another Eureka Moment

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Okay, I have a question: how many of you start tracking your food on many days, but as soon as you go "off program," don't track any more for that day?

That woman in the corner, with her hand half way up, covering up her face? That would be me..

How long have we been told that one of the best ways to really succeed in this weight loss thing is to record what we eat every day? I have been reading that for years and years. But I guess I was always under the impression that the reason that is supposed to work is that if you are faced with the carnage that your daily intake could be, you would be "shocked" into eating better, and therefore eat better.

Well, I personally have done it both ways. Very often, I just stop tracking once I eat stuff I shouldn't be eating, or go on one of my crazy night time eating frenzies, or eat more than I should. That has more to do with never remembering what I've eaten as anything, but also that "oh what the he!!, it's over now" feeling you have when that happens. I've also actually foreced myself to remember each and every morsel, and tracked it meticulously, and, as ugly as it is when I do that, it doesn't stop me from doing it all again.

But I am not writing to talk about how completely ineffectual the concept of tracking to shock oneself into eating better is for me, not at all. I am writing to share a "eureka moment" I had yesterday that, my goodness, really might be a breakthrough for me.

I have had a couple of really good days in terms of eating. Good breakfasts, but reasonable calories, healthy, imaginative lunches, filling but low in calories, greek yogurt with either veggies or fruit for snacks, yummy apples to take advantage of the harvest season, good, healthy well-portioned dinners, perhaps an after dinner morsel, but milk and a banana instead of whatever chocolate morsel I can find in the house.. Then, I have been going to bed early and getting a good night's sleep. In these days, I have eaten fewer calories, yet felt more satisfied, and managed to stay away from the grazing that is my downfall, and also the not so good choices that have also been a hallmark for me lately.

But yesterday, something else happened. Had the good breakfast and a mid-morning snack of nonfat greek yogurt with some cut up cucumber and mind (that's a Lebanese specialty that my dad always used to eat, and the thick Greek yogurt makes it oh so yummy), a great lunch of hummus and feta cheese on a whole wheat tortilla with tomatoe, cucumber, a couple of oil cured black olives, just really yummy and again, oh so healthy. Then I had to leave the office to do some things and forgot my apple on my desk. I found myself out and about, ready for a snack and going into the local CVS to get a bottle of water and not having much success with finding a reasonably caloried healthy snack. But I saw this display of the "new" M&M covered pretzels, looked at the package and decided I could affort 150 calories for my mid-afternoon snack, and bought them. They were worth every calorie as they were absolutely delicious and satisfying. But that's not the breakthrough.

After picking up my son from school, we went home and had much to do and little time to do it, has he had an appointment for his flu shot and then early hockey practice. I was feeling the stress, and as usual, when I feel the stress it becomes hunger.. So I gave in to the bag of doritoes that was sitting on top of my fridge and at some.. I guess progress is that I didn't eat a whole lot, but figured I ate about 2 servings while I sat there helping with homework, thinking about how fast the time was ticking by.. Ultimately, we got it all done, homework, dress for hockey practice, dinner into my son, and out the door in time for his appointment. But no time for dinner for me, which was okay because I had just had the doritioes and I wasn't hungry anyway. I also had time to throw on my workout clothes, and after getting the flu shot and getting my son to the hockey rink to meet up with my husband, left them there and went to the gym. I don't usually go to the gym at 6 at night, and though it was much busier than it usually is when I sneack in mid-afternoon, I have to say I liked it because there's lots of interesting stuff to watch on TV while working out and it made the time go by quickly.. So I did 40 minutes on the treadmill and then some lower body ST and stretching, and was home by 7:30. I went right upstairs and took a quick shower and DH and DS were just getting home.

Are you bored yet (assuming anyone is still reading...)? Well, wake up, here is the whole reason for this blog. I was hungry, but not starving, and I knew I had to eat something, but, but..what's this? I wanted to know HOW MANY CALORIES I HAD LEFT TO EAT. Hmm.. I've been at this for a long time, and many, many times I am within my calorie limits, but I have to admit, I don't think I've EVER though about how many calories I had left before eating dinner, I am pretty sure I've just eaten dinner and if I came in over my calories for the day, so be it... So I sat and tracked the M&M pretzels, the doritioes, saw I still had anywhere from 300-400 calories left, decided I still wasn't all that hungry and didn't want to eat heavy.. I pulled out a sandwich thin, threw it in the toaster, and made myself a sandwich. Grabbed 5 candy corns and ate them while I recorded my exercise for the day and finished up my day, and walked upstairs with my son at 8:30, for the night.

So my Eureka moment, which might not be to anyone but me, is that we don't track to shock ourselves into not eating junk (I'd like to use another word there, but I'm sure the censors won't let me), perhaps we track to STAY WITHIN OUR CALORIE LIMITS, DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!, and should pay attention to what we have left to eat before we have that spaghetti and meatball dinner!!

What amazes me more than anything is that I am still learning so much about this whole process, even though I have been fighting the weight battle for all these years and am as old as I am. Maybe one of these days I'll get it right.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    The Eurkea moments keep coming. I document but do not always focus my attention on the same things (because there are so many changes for me to adopt and I can only do it by breaking it down).

    Starting out, I did as you did and used the tracker to stop eating if I were going over the calorie limit. Now, I use it differently. The protein content at every meal and snack is important to me. If I have a craving, it is inevitably because I did not stick to the proper protein/carb/fat ratios and then I get back on track.
    3655 days ago
    Great AHA moment!
    3657 days ago
  • JOANN562
    You're doing awesome, Tina!
    Great job!!!
    3660 days ago
    Yeah, Tina!

    My best moments on this journey are always those moments when I am fully able to embrace the power in the most basic concepts!

    What I think is exciting for you is that you've now moved from what you 'can't have/do' to what you 'can'... you've officially crossed the line from 'dieting' to 'lifestyle'! I'm really excitred for you and I can't wait to see where this takes you!

    Still prayin'...

    {{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}
    3662 days ago
    emoticon I love eureka moments or as I call them ah-ha moments!! Hope you have a awsome rest of week
    3662 days ago
    Oh T... isn't it great when we finally allow ourselve to UNDERSTAND what we have been reading or hearing or seeing for days, weeks, months years.

    I love those sweet ahhh haaa moments in life. I think it's why I became a teacher, so I could see them and (God willing)help them occur. So much for me being altruistic, now you know the true selfish reason.

    I think this is one of those big hump moments for you. Enjoy and use it. Try to bottle the feeling for that next uphill time. Seems to me like you had a double ahhh haaa... the exercise one could prove to be pretty life changing as well.

    I am so happy for you!
    Lynn emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3662 days ago
    Glad you found the other spin to tracking. That's exactly how I look at the tracking....calories. If I'm consistently going over then I look at the items and see what has happened that needs changed.

    3662 days ago
    Way to go girl!! I am usually oh so good about about tracking or at least writing stuff down, but some days I "look the other way" on my portion control. I record what I ate, but I only record one serving. I know that I'm only sabotaging myself, but I can't help it! For example, today I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to record what I ate at the school with Jacob. I had skim milk and apple juice (those are easy), but they had breakfast bites. They were essentially a small piece of sausage wrapped in batter. One is about the size of two tater tots. I had two. How do I record that? Anyway, I digress. Back to you, keep up the great work!!
    3662 days ago
    It is so amazing the moments when you "get" it. Way to go! Especially the exercise! I like doing it and watching TV at the same time, gets the chance to use my time well.
    3662 days ago
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