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.