I really wanted to give up something for lent, but giving up sweets last year didn't work out so well. I was successful, but ate way too many sweets on Sundays (which aren't technically part of lent -- doesn't that seem like a cop out?). I debated trying to eat a healthy vegan diet for lent, but in the end, didn't want to do anything that might trigger restriction panic. I decided to try and eat vegan four days a week. I started Ash Wednesday, and wow, is it far more difficult than I had envisioned! I wanted a few chocolate chips on a graham cracker, but the chips had "milk solids" in the ingredients, so that was out. I bought some bread at Great Harvest, but it had egg yolks in the ingredients, so that was out. I swear I never wanted Greek yogurt so badly as I did on Thursday, though I usually go days without having any. Thankfully, my family has eaten three vegan dinners in a row without complaint. None were incredibly successful, though they seemed to like the "shepherd's pie" pretty well. I can say with certainty that sticking to a vegan diet for life would be extremely hard for me.
Lately, I've been up and down more than a roller coaster. In my weekly weigh-ins for the neighborhood contest (which is, thankfully, almost over), I've been up one pound, down 1.5 lbs, up 2 pounds, down 1 lb, etc, etc. Overall, I've lost 7.4 lbs since January 1, which isn't thrilling, but isn't anything to weep over. Unfortunately, I can't say that my eating has been stellar. I usually eat very healthfully Mon-Thurs, but fall apart after the Friday weigh-in. That's why I'm glad the contest is almost over. I want to get back to not feeling pressured to lose weight. It is fun to do this with my neighbors because it makes me feel like part of a group, but I sort of hope dh doesn't want to do it this summer if they start it up again. At least he isn't as determined to win this time. He doesn't really care how we do - he just wants to lose a bit of weight. He isn't really overweight - maybe 5-10 lbs?
I have gotten really good at pinpointing exactly why I want to eat when I'm not hungry, though I don't always let that awareness keep me from doing it. Unfortunately, too many times it's because I don't want to do something. I need to just do it - whatever it may be. Or not do it, and not feel guilty about it. Sometimes you just need to lie around on the couch and read a book.
I just finished a book called Hungry, by Allen Zadoff. It was a very interesting read, though it seems that he decided that his problem was a lack of willpower, and only abstinence could save him. He never names them, but it seemed like he joined OA. He is not a believer of "everything in moderation", but rather thinks that compulsive eaters need to abstain from sugar -- or whatever foods trigger them. Anyway, one thing he said that I identified with was that he always rationalized that he stayed home because he was too fat. I'm paraphrasing from memory here, but he thought he didn't socialize or date because he was too fat - but the real reason was that he was out of control with his eating. When I feel like I'm spiraling out of control, or have had some "bad" days of mindless munching and/or overeating and/or bingeing, I just want to put on my pjs after work and not go anywhere. I don't even want to run the errands that I really NEED to run. I just want to hibernate. I think I don't want to go to so-and-so's tupperware party because I feel fat, but it's really because I feel out of control. I am scared that I will inhale the entire snack table and sit there feeling bloated and miserable, because the truth is that I already feel miserable before I go. Here's to fewer of those days, and more....normal....days.