As I shared in my last blog, I have all the tools, the know-how, and at times even the will to do what is right. Despite all this, I continue to let stress dictate the foods I eat. I equate my food addiction to what an alcoholic or drug addict goes through when they fall off the wagon. Now I know that seems a bit extreme as, for the most part, my food addition doesn’t hurt my family, doesn’t lead to rehab, and will never, hopefully, lead to jail time. The one thing that food addicts deal with like no other addiction is that we need food just to survive. A drug addict and alcoholic can, theoretically, go cold turkey. If I do that, I will have reverted back to an old problem…eating disorder.
So here I am, unwilling to go back, and needing to do something to continue my journey. This is when I realize I need to go back to what worked in the beginning, tracking my food. Now I do not like tracking, in fact, just threatening myself with tracking usually improves my food choices in no time, but it is time to put the pencil to the paper and take a closer look at what I am eating.
Starting today, I will be writing down every morsel of food that I put in my mouth from the time I get up with the sun to the time my head hits the pillow at night. Why does this work? First, it makes you think about your food choices. Who wants to write down and calculate a spoonful of ice cream, a handful of tortilla chips, or a leftover bite taken from a child’s plate. Secondly, you will start to see patterns in your eating that will guide you to what is causing your weight to go in the wrong direction. You may need to get rid of some tempting food, have better food choices available, or be more mindful of the portions that are going on your plate. Finally, tracking your food enables you to have a written record of healthy meals that can be referred to during weeks when you are too busy to think about your food.
I also want to share a very timely email I received this week from Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillien. In addition to tracking my meals, I will be living by her Top 5 Food-Related Rules:
1. Don’t Drink Your Calories
2. The 80/20 rule--80 percent of the time eat what you know you should be eating, and 20 percent of the time, allow yourself to stray a bit.
3. Don't turn a bad meal into a bad week.
4. Identify and avoid your trigger foods.
5. Don't make excuses -- it's all about being prepared.
So this Mother’s Day weekend I will be prepared and tracking so that this little detour does not stand in the way of the more flabulous me that is just waiting to break out.