Saturday, August 21, 2010

Old Dogs and Old Tricks

Above is my sister-in-law's (and brother's too, I suppose) pantry. As I perused it, I was thinking that I could learn a lot from this pantry. It is a normal eater's pantry. In it are at least 8 boxes of cereal, several types of cookies, store bought and homemade, open packages of graham crackers and chocolate, many types of snack crackers and chips, at least four types of bread and bagels, granola bars....and so on. They don't worry that the chips or cookies may get stale before they're eaten. They don't hear the siren song of the graham crackers whispering, "Eat me...I'm open, so you might as well finish me..." They don't stress out that no one is eating the seedy crackers bought at Wh0le Foods - so they'd better be the ones to down them or they'll go to waste. They don't look at the cookies and plan not to buy them again. No. They walk past this cornucopia of food dozens of times a day and barely give it a thought unless they're hungry. Even then, they don't eat a cookie, decide that all is lost, and finish off the bag. They fix a snack or meal -- that might include a cookie -- and move on with life. Amazing.

We just returned from two weeks away from home. My eating was a very odd mix of mindful days spent eating small portions and/or healthy foods, and days that seemed like one long foodfest. I mindfully OVERate on several days, feeling that old "uncontrollable" urge to stuff it all in, while at the same time, realizing that I was stuffing it in and could stop at any time. Didn't stop. I think I put too much pressure on myself to try and NOT gain weight on this vacation. I set off all determined to stick to a vegan diet, eat lots of vegetables, stay away from sugar....only to end up staying with people whose idea of a balanced dinner was: your choice of hot dog or hamburger, Doritos, and soda. Not kidding. Here and there I was able to stop at a store, so for a few meals I had greek yogurt as my main dish, and tried to fill in with fruit and veggies (if they were available), but I ate more meat over the two weeks than I had for the previous two months. Even at the restaurants we went to, most of thet time I had to get fish or starve. None of that is really an excuse for my behavior though. I purposely overate things that no one was force feeding me. I need to pull myself out of this cycle and get back on the road to health.