If anyone out there in cyberland has difficulty forcing herself to exercise, get a dog! "Santa" brought R a Jack Russell Terror --er, Terrier four weeks ago and I have walked more in that four weeks than I have in months. To be honest, I was avoiding walking as exercise because it hurt my knee even a month ago when I took a long walk on my scrapbooking weekend. But since getting Princess I've been getting 11,000-14,000 steps on my pedometer every day (in addition to my regular stationery bike/elliptical exercise) and my knee is okay. I got shin splints at first, but they're better after a few days of walking in the grass alongside the road, instead of on the pavement. I did step in dog doo at 6:30am this morning, however. Ick.
"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."."~ M. Scott Peck
Not bad -- almost what I weighed on halloween, which is the last time I stepped on the scale. I was especially pleased considering the number of cookies I ate over the past ten days. I don't want to "give up" on intuitive eating, but I have realized that constanly being surrounded by food that is unhealthy is not any way to "cure" my eating issues. As I wrote in my previous post, I have a definite problem with variety. I am not going to go on a diet, but am going to renew my efforts to resist bingeing or eating just for the sake of eating.
I sat down and really tried to think through what I need. I started listening to the book "The Joy Diet" by Martha Beck. It's not a diet book, but a book on how to add joy to your life and find that elusive thing that's been missing. I've felt that "something is missing" feeling for a while now. Her first assignment is to spend 15 minutes a day doing nothing. I immediately thought, "Oh yea, right." But I listened on and realized that I've known I need more time to relax and do nothing, but have always resisted, feeling that I'm wasting time. So yesterday I hauled out my meditation CD (the one I bought in September and never opened), set the timer for 20 minutes, and listened. Section one was affirmations and section two was breathing. I was so relaxed I'm pretty sure I fell asleep. You have no idea how unusual that is for me -- the person who didn't even nap when pregnant. After the timer went off, I felt relaxed and wonderful for the rest of the day! I had no desire to compulsively eat anything all afternoon. At dinner (at my aunt Sue's house -- aunt Sue is the most fabulous cook in the universe!!) I didn't overeat. I ate three cookies, but for the first time in ages I didn't have to fight the urge to eat more, more, more when I got home. Today I listened to the CD for 15 minutes during the afternoon. I felt great when I finished.
So, at least 15 minutes of meditation is definitely on the list of what I need. I also think I need to stop being the food provider for my kids. I am turning into a food pusher -- I ask them what they want for breakfast the minute they awaken, I announce that it's lunchtime at the stroke of noon, I offer snacks, I ask if they want dessert, etc. I get stressed out when they don't eat everything I give them. I need to STOP. I will let them ask me for lunch when they're hungry -- or better yet, ask T.
I also would like to stop being the person who puts the leftovers away after dinner. T can do it. When I put them away, I end up eating more at least half of the time.
I no longer want to be the person who brings dessert to every freaking family gathering. Either that or I will start making desserts I'm not all that crazy for, or make something that isn't easy to snitch from, or at the very least make ONE dessert, not three.
I've been doing fine with exercise, so I will keep that up. The one thing I want to increase is weight training, which has fallen by the wayside since my gym issues. I will also continue to eat lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, etc., avoid diet soda, and I'm toying with cutting out caffeine. I'm down to 1 cup of half-caf coffee per day now. I'd love to switch to green tea, and eventually decaf green tea.
I plan to weigh myself once a month and add in more changes as I go along.
Do you think some people are hard-wired to be greedier than others? I was reading "Mindless Eating" by Brian Wansink (quite fascinating BTW) and he found that overweight people ate more than other people in his experiments. Whether it was a never-ending soup bowl, a dish of ice cream, m&ms, or stale popcorn -- the overweight ate more than normal weight people (who also overate when faced with larger portions). Were they hungrier or were they just...greedier? As far back as I can remember I have always coveted the largest cookie, the largest piece of cake, the dish with the most pudding in it. It used to be that I'd make sure I was first in line at any buffet -- to make sure I got the food I wanted. I'd feel slightly gypped if the waitress gave the person next to me the plate that had more fries on it. I tried to get the corner piece of cake -- because it had more frosting -- well, unless the corner piece was smaller than the others. As a kid I remember eating so much at buffets -- especially desserts -- that I felt sick.
These days I still want the biggest cookie, but I hang back for the buffet line -- hoping that some of the good food is gone and I won't have to wrestle with my desire to eat some of everything. Wantsink found that people ate more when there was a variety -- even if the variety was m&ms that were all exactly the same save for color. I am definitely a variety victim. When I had tea in London, I cut all of the cakes in half so I could taste all four or five kinds. The women with me each had 1 or 2 cakes; the end. They didn't seem to feel any compulsion to taste everything available. Lately coworkers and customers have been bringing in huge platters of various kinds of cookies for us. I look at the platter with 12 different homemade goodies on it and flee. I have the same problem with menus -- I want one of everything. I agonize -- should I have the burger or a sandwich? the pancakes or an omelet? the fries or the onion rings?
I think this is really the root of my issues with food. How can I overcome my greed? Is it partially fear? I'll never have this cookie or this cake ever again! I'll never come to this restaurant again and even if I do, they may not serve this sandwich anymore! Tis true that there are ALWAYS more delicious cookies in the world and there are ALWAYS fabulous sandwiches. How can I convince myself of this truth and overcome my natural greed? I worry about finding the answer -- not just for me, but for my 9-year-old daughter. She is a skinny little thing right now, but I watched her eat five desserts at her sister's Christmas program. God forbid that my legacy to her is a lifetime of food and weight torture.