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Struggling to Get Back on Track

I’ve been struggling with my eating since I got back from a vacation last week.  During my time away from home, I slipped back into eating some foods that I hadn’t been eating because it was easier to eat them than to refuse.   I didn’t speak up to my relatives when they served foods that I don’t regularly eat anymore.  I wanted to taste that pizza crust and homemade sauce on the pasta.  Those jelly beans really did help me cope while sitting in the backseat of the car while being driven around on a “three-hour tour” of sites that really didn’t interest me.  To be a good guest, I needed to keep quiet.  Somehow, allowing myself foods that I don’t normally eat made it all tolerable.  It seemed okay, since I was on vacation.  This isn’t my normal routine.

Some of my elder relatives treated me like a child, so I coped with my discomfort and anger in the same way that I did when I was a child.  I rewarded myself with food.  Aha!

Now that I’m home, I’m struggling to get back on track.  I know what is good for me.  I cooked some healthy meals and have been eating more healthfully.  But I continue to choose to eat some foods that aren’t good for me.

I read a really great post on Medicinal Marzipan today, one of my very favorite bloggers:  On Ice Cream Sundaes, “Treating Yourself  Well” + Self-care

The article really spoke to me.  Just last week, I was feeling some anxiety about my cat’s surgery.  I actually ate an ice cream sundae – a peanut buster parfait from Dairy Queen.  My rationalization was as follows:
1)  it was on sale that day for $2.49
2)  one peanut buster parfait a year is reasonable
3)  I deserve it today
4)  it will make me feel better

I could really relate when the author of the article talks about how eating an ice cream sundae is about rebelling against the rules and relaxing at the same time.  For me, it was about comfort too.  It was my way of handling my anxiety and stress.

But that sweet treat wasn’t really a healthy way to handle my feelings, just like eating during my vacation to cope with family situations wasn’t good for me.

Life is hard.  Food tastes good.  And certain comfort foods really do help me feel better sometimes.  But habitually eating unhealthy foods isn’t good for me.

I’m not going to beat myself up here.  I’m simply reflecting on my eating behavior, learning from it, and moving forward.

I’m looking for progress, not perfection.  I think my awareness will help me have a better week with healthy eating an get me back on track.


We are the way we are


I just read this great blog post titled “What If Your Body Is Not to Blame” .  

I’ve been changing my eating and exercise habits with the goal of becoming healthier.  But I’ve got to admit that I’m looking for a positive change in my appearance too.  I do want to lose weight, wear a smaller size, and take up less space – and it’s not only for health reasons.

Loving my body as it is today really is an important part of my goal to become healthier.  How can I truly take good care of my body if I don’t love all of me as I am today?

My favorite quote from the above blog post is this: 

“We are not born with flaws, and we do not die with flaws. Our bodies are exactly how they are meant to be at each moment in time. There is nothing inherently wrong with our bodies. And do you know how I know that? Because they are the way they are, and that is reality.”

That sounds like unconditional love to me.  And that’s really what I want for my body, at any size.

So instead of believing what someone else says about how my body should look, I’m reminded that I need to appreciate the perfection of my body, just as it is today.

Loving my Body is a Process


I was searching the internet for positive images and sayings to pin on one of my boards in Pinterest. I came across this great blog post: 20 Things People with a Positive Body Image Know  It’s really worth a click and a few minutes to read.  I wanted to post the link here so that I could come back to it often.  I know that each time I read it, it will be meaningful to me in a different way.

What struck me the most on this list today is #19:  “That having a positive body image is a process. Day by day. It might seem oh-so impossible at first but if you start small, it’ll improve.”

Loving my body is a process, especially after feeling like I had to battle my body for so many years. I’m not fighting my body any more.   My negative self-talk about my body has significantly decreased, and I catch myself when I think negative thoughts.  I’m not defining the worth of my body by a number on the scale.  I’m appreciative of the things that my body does for me.    I’m making progress. 

I’m growing into the belief stated in #20:  “That you deserve to love your body at any size, shape or weight!”

My body does deserve lots of love.  I’m giving myself as much love as I can today and I’ll continue to grow in loving my body unconditionally.

Beware of the Diet Mentality


I just read a great post on one of my favorite blogs, Medicinal Marzipan called

When How You Do Food Is How You Do Everything

MM’s point is that the diet mentality sets up the belief that you truly don’t deserve the food that you want to consume.  

“I want, but I do not deserve.

I long for _________, but that’s reserved for people who are ________ than me. “

 She goes to explain that this kind of thinking goes beyond just food for many of us who struggle with food and weight issues.  That many of us don’t deserve whatever we are truly longing for and don’t have.

Whoa . . . this really speaks to me.  First, I was struck by this on a food level.  This is the crux of why dieting becomes so hard.  When I deprive myself of what I really want to eat, I do become angry and resentful.  If I give in and eat whatever it is that I’m wanting,  then I feel frustrated that I didn’t stick to my commitment to not eat the forbidden food.  In the end, I don’t get to enjoy whatever it is that I’m longing for whether I eat it or not.  And the reason why I couldn’t have the food that I want or enjoy it when I do indulge is because I am flawed and lacking.  What a set up for failure!

So how can I change my eating habits to healthier food choices without setting myself up this way?  What popped up for me is how I transitioned out of drinking diet pop.  For as long as I can remember, diet pop has been my beverage of choice.   In the last few years, I came to the realization that the artificial sweeteners really aren’t good for me and that the way my body reacts to diet pop isn’t helping me lose weight.  About 18 months ago, I made it my goal to stop drinking diet pop.  Instead, I replaced diet pop with beverages that I liked:  juice and club soda, pop made with cane sugar, flavorful herbal and green iced teas, and LaCroix carbonated waters.  Gradually, I cut way back on the juices and cane sugar beverages until now I drink mostly calorie-free beverages.  I was never so strict with myself that I wouldn’t allow a diet pop if I really wanted one.  But in fact the few times that I had a diet pop, I really didn’t like it after not drinking it regularly.  I just don’t want it anymore. 

So maybe I need to replace foods that just aren’t good for me with healthier choices that I really like.  I need to be careful not to deny myself any food that I’m truly longing for.  By adding more healthy foods that I enjoy, I probably won’t want the unhealthy foods as often or as much. 

I also want to consider this notion beyond my food and eating.  I can imagine myself filling in the blanks with what I long for but feel undeserving.  I’ll bet there will some connections and aha’s for me.

But I’ll chew on that another day.

Numbers on the Scale


I’ve been reading more blogs than writing lately as I find motivation to take steps toward more exercise and healthier eating.   The last several times I’ve attempted changes, I’ve been so discouraged by the slow and sometimes non-existent progress on the scale.  My discouragement with the number on the scale has lead me to give up. 

This wonderful blog post from Tiffyfanny on the Sparkpeople website is very encouraging and definitely worth a read:

Tiffany, the author of this post, has another blog with her friend Chrystal called 2FitFreaks and she has a page on Facebook writing as Work Out Girl.  I find her story very inspiring.  She has made significant progress toward health and fitness that she measures beyond what shows up on the scale. 



Michael Pollan’s Advice for Healthy Eating


Yesterday, there was an article in the Plain Dealer about Michael Pollan’s recent visit to Cleveland.

I like Michael Pollan’s simple approach to a healthy food plan that he sums up in just seven words:

“Eat food, mostly plants, not too much”.

I can handle that!

He elaborates with the following seven rules:

    1. Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. “When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can’t pronounce, ask yourself, “What are those things doing there?” Pollan says.
    2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.
    3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
    4.  Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. “There are exceptions — honey — but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food,” Pollan says.
    5. It is not just what you eat but how you eat. “Always leave the table a little hungry,” Pollan says. “Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, ‘Tie off the sack before it’s full.'”
    6. Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It’s a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. “Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?” Pollan asks.
    7. Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.

Michael Pollan has a new book being released tomorrow called Food Rules:  An Eater’s Manual . Some quotes from the book were shared in the PD article.  These are the ones that I particularly liked:

“Make water your beverage of choice”

“The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead”

“If you aren’t hungry enough to eat an apple, then you’re probably not hungry”

Michael Pollan advocates that if we allow ourselves to enjoy real food, we will be healthier.  I can do that!



10 Day Plan to Accept Who You Really Are


I came across this article via the Oprah Lifeclass curriculum. It’s entitled “How Self-Acceptance Can Crack Open Your Life”. There is a brief 10 question self assessment and then a 10 day plan to accept who you really are.

Self-acceptance is an invitation to stop trying to change yourself into the person you wish to be, long enough to find out who you really are. Robert Holden has a 10-day plan to help you figure out who this self is that you’re supposed to be accepting and how to say yes to your life. 

Do you accept yourself as you are? It’s a simple question that many people find difficult to answer. At the deepest level, self-acceptance is either complete or not at all, but for most, yes/no feels too limited because you worry about all the things you would like to change about yourself.

Check out this link and see what you think.