I know that until I was able to admit I had a problem — i.e., an obsession with food and exercise that led to disordered eating behaviors — I wasn’t going to get better.
I needed to see disordered eating as a problem before I could tackle it head-on.
Once you acknowledge a problem, situation, challenge …the rest is up to you. The next step in the process is to take action. In some cases, that might mean inaction. But for the most part, it means making a change of some sort, be it a behavioral change or a thought-process change. And this is the hardest part. Believe me, I know!
Speaking of awareness, today I read a great post by my new heroine, Bethenny Frankel, called Lesser Evils. She talks about how she doesn’t judge or qualify food, but sometimes we’re all forced to make a decision as to what is the “lesser evil” and how sometimes it can be surprising that what “seems” healthier might not be. I liked all that, but what really resonated was this:
She goes on to say, “Eat real foods. Your diet is a bank account. How are you going to invest?”
Reading that, I felt like I was hit with a bolt of lighting. I’ve definitely not been making good investments lately.
Yes, I know I’m pregnant and all, and yes, I’ve had some cravings (which I’ve given in to, save for the cheeseburger Happy Meal I’m still lusting for — it will happen! As will a Junior Arby’s roast beef and cheddar!!) but in all actuality, I’ve noticed my stomach fills much quicker now.
However, the urge to eat is still often there … and usually two or three hours after a meal I’m hungry again – which makes me wonder, if I’d made better choices at meal-times, maybe I wouldn’t be hungry again two hours later!
Anyway, pregnancy is not an excuse for not investing well — especially since I’m 100% fueling the growth and development of a little girl! I definitely don’t think I need to be eating “perfectly” but I could be eating better. (Apparently what you eat in the second trimester really matters, since this is when the baby sees the biggest growth spurt.)
And it’s not just about the food choices, but rather the experience of eating that isn’t being treated as a sound investment.
For example, when I suck the dusting of sugar off gum-drops and chuck out the actual gum-drop (yes, I’m weird; this is not a new behavior), how is that a sound investment? (Translation: I’m ODing on sugar I don’t need/not enjoying).
When I keep reaching my hand mindlessly into a bag of cheddar Chex mix (the obsession is baaaaack!) how is that a sound investment? (Translation: I’m mindlessly munching and not enjoying).
When I stand at the counter and eat dinner because I’m dining solo, how is that a sound investment? (Translation: I’m not fully involved in the experience and not enjoying).
And when I dig into the dark chocolate chips in the freezer multiple times, how is that a sound investment? (Translation: I’m stress-eating and not enjoying).
Notice a trend here? When I do those things … I’m not enjoying the experience … the art … of eating. It’s not just what but how.
So what am I going to do about it, you ask? After all, I started this post talking about how awareness is half the battle and behavior change (or thought-process change) is the other half.
First, I want to take advantage of the fact that I’m full on less these days, which should make meal-times more mindful. Just because I’m not in diet-mode now doesn’t mean I need to throw caution to the wind. That way, when I’m ready for a snack two hours after a meal, I make a good choice vs. an impulsive one.
Second, I want to listen to my body more. Whole foods — real foods, as Bethenny calls them — really DO do a great job of satisfying us. Even a cookie can have merit if it’s home-made with natural ingredients when compared to some chemical-laden concoction.
And finally, I want to discipline myself to sit down for each meal — even if I’m dining solo on nights when hubby has class. This also means stopping the car-snacking, counter-snacking … which equates to mindless munching. I’ve tried to do this before and it was an epic fail. I was aware but didn’t change the behavior. And I certainly don’t want to set the precedent for our daughter that it’s OK to eat food straight from the pantry or the fridge. Spoons and bowls are a good thing 😉
In many ways, I think see my pregnancy as a self-improvement project with an incredible gift at the end — something so much bigger than myself. I want to be a great mom and be a great influence on my daughter. And having eyes wide open is going to be the way to go.
How about you? Do you feel like you’re making sound investments in your life (not necessarily related to food issues) and if not, how can you make a change?