Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Be Free "Mmmmm"! Be Free!

"Why do you keep do you keep doing that?  Are you tired?"  -were the words that came out of my husband's mouth at dinner.  I didn't even realize I was doing it.  Here's the story:

 Earlier in the day, I was doing one of the focus activities for my Eat 2 Liv program.  This particular activity required that I eat something intentionally.  So I got some Guittard chocolate chips and based on the description of the activity, ate them one chip at a time, reminding myself each time that "I have food in my mouth".  

It's funny that you would have to remind yourself that often that you have food in your mouth, but well, I do!  I was amazed at how fast I zoned out with my treat and had to refocus.  "I have food in my mouth- oh and it's yummy."  "I have a yummy treat in my mouth, I'd better enjoy it!" 

Anyway, each time I reminded myself I had something in my mouth, I let out an involuntary "Mmmmm!"   Well somewhat involuntary.  I honestly was enjoying each little chip, because I was reminding myself to.  And so that little "Mmmmm", that is just waiting inside to be let out, was set free.  I think he's always there, and this time I didn't hold him in. 

Anyway, come dinner time, apparently I am "Mmmmm"ing over everything.  And that let my husband to question my sleep state.  But really it was me savoring every bite, without restraining my "Mmmmm!"

And Mmmmm is life good!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

True/False Game

I had a friend who posed the question, "How do you really get past the number on the scale?" 

I have given it a lot of thought and determined that I went in to the wrong field of study.  I have a degree in nutrition and what I really needed was a degree in psychology. 

All I can say, is that I feel strongly about the principles, but like anyone else, I struggle knowing how to really apply them.  However, during the course of my thinking on the subject I decided to play what I call the "True/False Game."  I have discovered it as a way to calm my anxiety over many things by differentiating valid concerns from erroneous thoughts. 

So here is my real live internal conversation with myself.  The True/False Game!

"I have to lose weight . . . False
I want to lose weight . . . True
I want to lose weight to be more healthy . . . False

I want to lose weight to get rid of the tummy pouch so people won't think I am pregnant . . . True
145 is the number on the scale that I believe correlates with no more tummy pouch . . . True
When the number on the scale is 145 I will no longer have a tummy pouch . . . False
So the number on the scale is actually not a valid indicator of my goal . . . True
Getting rid of the tummy pouch is enough motivation to get going on eating better and exercising more . . . False

Hmmm, what would be an adequate motivator?
Probably something related to the kids . . . True
Well that makes sense, because when do I ever get to do something for myself . . . True

I want my children to remember me as the mom who rode bikes with them . . . True
I want my children to experience nature, because I take them on walks and I show them nature . . . True
I want my children to love a variety of food and to appreciate the joy of picking it right off the tree or off the plant . . . True

I want to eat better and move more so that our family establishes patterns of healthy living to find the greatest joy and happiness in life and in the world around us . . . True
That is enough to motivate me . . . TRUE!

The deeper and deeper I dive into healthy eating and intentional living, I realize that these are not things I can explain to anyone else adequately.  It's only a path I can lead people down to discover for themselves where joy is to be found. 

I have noticed in playing the True/False game, when my thoughts start to turn to more and more statements that I can mark as true- I am creating solutions.  Try it out yourself next time your are overwhelmed with your own thoughts/feelings and searching for truth! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Most Insightful Frustration

I think that most of us have a magic number in mind when it comes to our ideal weight.  What tells us that is the weight we should be?  Maybe a weight that we used to be (in highschool, before we got married, before we had kids) or like for me, a chart or equation.

My ideal weight number came from an equation that we used every day to calculate ideal weight in the hospital.  I am a female at 5'9 and my ideal weight is calculated with 100 pounds for the first 5 feet and 5 pounds per inch after that.  So my magic 'number' is 145.

Well over the course of the Fit in 6 program and now participation, along side my pilot group, in my own Eat 2 Liv program, I have seen that number come and go.  I have overshot my goal.  And now I am actually feeling some anxiety over my preconceived notion that 145 was my number.  "I am not supposed to continue to lose weight beyond that!"

Please don't think I am trying to minimize anyone's frustration in even getting down to their 'number'.  I recognize that many may wish they had my problem.  But my reality is, like anyone else's, a need to let go of the 'number' and engage in a healthy lifestyle letting my body settle where it may. 

For me it has been a most insightful frustration.  I didn't think that I was the person who needed to move past the number.  I honestly thought I was the informed, educated dietitian who understood alternate measures of success and as ridiculous as it sounds- I knew, without a doubt, what my number should be 

But it turns out I have the same lesson to learn as everyone else- Let go of the number, and just LIVE!  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

20 minutes till you can recognize you are full? Baloney!

I am not sure how I missed this in school, but I have always had a hard time believing that when your brain can send and receive messages so instantaneously, that it would really take 20 minutes for your stomach to send a message to your brain that it is filled with food, then your brain to interpret that as enough, and send a message to your stomach to start telling you that you can stop filling it with food.  I just has never made sense to me. 

Another dietitian, who has done a lot of work in the area of mindful eating, explained it this way:  It takes 20 minutes for the food in your mouth to make its full journey through your stomach and intestines, with absorption into your blood stream.  Your brain then signals that you are done eating when it senses the change in nutrient level of your blood.  

Okay that makes more sense.  Like I said, I don't know how I missed that obvious explanation in school.  Pondering on it in that light gives a better overall perspective as to why we eat- TO NOURISH our bodies.  When our bodies need nourishment, our hunger kicks in to alert us.  When we have been nourished adequately, our satiety kicks in to tell us we are satisfied.

Do you feel differently about your hunger/fullness cues understanding them to simply be biologic triggers for nourishment?  Would you treat them differently recognizing their purpose?  Might we choose to be more mindful of what we feed our bodies when we feel hungry, and keep from overfeeding our bodies when we feel full? 

Next time you feel hungry you don't have to do anything else, except at least think "I need nourishment"- your choices from there are completely in your hands.  Same goes with fullness.  Once you have obtained a pleasant level of fullness- think "I have been nourished".  Your choices from there are up to you.  At least give an appropriate interpretation of the sensations you are feeling.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The final results . . . and final thoughts.

Well I was going to post a final update on my experience with the Fit in 6 program yesterday, but then decided to wait till today after the official competition results were in. 

I had an incredibly difficult weekend.  My husband made a black forest cake and the chocolate cake scraps on the counter were calling my name.  I totally gave in and ate 1.5 of my free indulgences worth of the cake scraps.  I tried really hard to eat mindfully, paying attention to the flavors and textures, but mostly just wanted to eat it by the mouthful.  I will tell you was delicious and totally hit the spot.  However, I was then left again without any free indulgences as the weekend began. 

We had a big lunch for a family occasion on Saturday and that's where the black forest cake was served.  I had to have a bite or 10.  Then we went out to dinner than night, because we were just coming back into town and everyone was starving.  I was just concluding one 6 week program and about to start into another one (my own Eat 2 Liv program) and wanted more than anything to just eat what I wanted.  I made a conscious choice to enjoy my meal with my family and not give up all of my satisfaction, just for points.  Now, I was still reasonable, but some of the things I chose to eat gave me negative points because my free indulgences were all used up.

Want to know what was totally worth the negative points?  The yummy Sizzler white dinner roll, and real live ranch dressing on my salad.  I didn't even hit the dessert bar, because I was already satisfied.  I took a look at it, but nothing looked absolutely fabulous, so I passed.  It wasn't a matter of self control- had I really wanted it, I would have eaten it.  But it was a matter of listening to my body and mind, and realizing that I was satisfied where I stood, even without dessert. 

I came up with another truism "My body is not a take home container!"  So obviously we were at Sizzler with an all you can eat salad bar.  I, being the penny pincher that I am, would normally gorge myself on "all I could eat".  Why?  I have a couple of good excuses ('I don't want to be hungry later', or 'Dang it, I paid $10 for this buffet and I'm not leaving until I got a deal').  But no good reasons- are there any good reasons for eating yourself sick?  Really, if $10-$15 is too much to pay for a normal amount of food, then don't go to that restaurant. 

You're body is not a take home container!

 Okay, enough rambling.  The results for the Fit in 6 program . . . Nothing!  If fact I had a friend that was at least a couple hundred points above me and she didn't even get first or second place.  I must have been down near the bottom- it's because of all of my rebelling against the no eating after 8 PM rule.  

That's okay.  It was great motivation and I am so pleased with the healthier habits I have created over the last 6 weeks.  Thanks to everyone for your support and for joining me on this journey.  I intend to continue posting here as I continue my own educational journey on healthy eating.  But you won't see posts with the same frequency as I will be spending a lot of my time assisting others on their journey to LIVING through my Eat 2 Liv program.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wk 6/Day 40- Bad Cookies

Since we are on fall break from school, I decided to be the best active mom ever and enjoy some activities of living.  I packed up my 3 little boys along with a lunch and decided to bike to a park we don't usually visit.  I worked hard to pack up a healthy lunch of turkey sandwiches, apples, and carrot sticks, crackers, and of course cookies.  Packed water for everyone, bandaids for any scraped knees, diaper and wipes for the baby, a change of underwear just in case, helmets, and of course children and bicycles.  Just the preparation was a workout.  

We set out, ready for some fun.  Only made it about 1/2 way to the park, when my oldest ran over a goathead weed.  The thorny weed imbedded itself and wrapped all the way around his tire.  So we had to stop and untangle his bike.  As I pulled off the weed, I could hear the tire air escaping.  So what more can you do now, then head home as quickly as possible? 

We were almost home, when I realized the bike tire was still holding up pretty well, so we continued on to the elementary school.  We ate lunch on the top platform of the kindergarten playgroud- fun atmosphere.   I had packed 2 cookies for each of us and had planned to use one of my indulgences to have 2 Keebler Coconut Dreams.  

I say planned, because I closed my eyes to savor the first one and realized it wasn't really that good.  It certainly wasn't worth using up my free indulgence on crappy caramel, mediocre coconut, and really crappy chocolate, even on decent shortbread.  So although I was sad I didn't get a yummy treat, I didn't finish my 2 cookies.  Not worth the calories! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wk 6/Day 39- Dancing around with maseca flour and elbowroni

I had a fun experience with one of the bonus challenges this week.  I was supposed to wear a backpack while exercising with added weight equal to that which I had lost.  So I got my sons Lightening McQueen backpack and filled it with 6 pounds of maseca flour and elbow macaroni.  Then I danced around to my Zumba DVD.  I took it off 1/2 way through and felt like a champ.  It was amazing to take off just 6 pounds of weight.  It was a neat way to celebrate the changes I had made.

A friend asked me the other day, how things were going with the diet.  I replied with a kind of  "ehh!" and accompanying shoulder shrug.  She said "well you've lost weight!"  Only a few pounds.  "But don't you feel great?"  I didn't know how to answer that one.

Yes, I am pleased with the changes I have made in my routine that make me more aware of my choices- no more mindless grazing on my kids random leftover food.  I feel more drive to actually get involved and play with my kids.  I have learned that even though certain treats are sweet, they actually don't taste that good and aren't worth the indulgence.  But I really can't say I feel so much better, because I am eating more fruits and veggies and fewer sweets.

My prevailing feeling is that I am absolutely sick of the external diet rules.  I am sick of a little chart on my fridge dictating what I must eat and what I can't eat.  I am just ready to be done.  Looking forward to Monday morning when I can have full sugar jam on my toast, and not have to force in one more serving of carrots before 8 PM. 

This picture seemed just to sum up how I feel about carrots right now!  They are my main source of veggie points and I am getting sick of them, but they sit in front of me taunting me to eat more, because dang it, I want the points!