Sunday, March 20, 2011

Feel Good or Eat Good

Why are so many feelings wrapped up in our eating patterns?  Call it emotional eating, comfort eating, weakness, or whatever.  The foods I love are foods that bring back feelings and memories of the past.  Comfort food.

Cardin's drive inAs I struggle to regain my focus on eating healthy and losing weight, I find myself doing a bit of comfort eating.  A friend and I took her son to his grandmother’s in another East Tennessee city.  We also went back several days later to pick him up.  Both times we took a ride through her childhood memories and they reminded me so much of my own.  I was on a memory high.  On the way back both times, we stopped at an old style drive-in.  You know the kind . . . you drive up and they come to the car and take your order.  Or you can sit at one of the wood picnic tables.  The menu boards list what seems like 100 options, from breakfast biscuits to burgers, hot dogs, chicken, chili, and sides.  And then there are the ice cream options – cones, sundaes, floats, and milkshakes.

Memories from my childhood came back.  I always loved crinkle cut fries with lots of salt and ketchup.  I ordered the large size.  I asked the waitress what kind of milkshakes they had.  She rattled of the standard flavors and then kept going.  She said banana and my eyes got very big.  “With real bananas or just banana flavored?”  She responded, “Real bananas” and I did not have to hear anymore.  Mmmmmmm.  My mom used to make us banana milkshakes.

Emotions definitely come into play when you make choices about food.  I let the emotions control what I ate and didn’t think twice.  I can’t do that all the time or I need to find healthier alternatives that will satisfy that emotion.  This is my biggest challenge on this road to healthy eating.

What is your biggest struggle?
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Here’s Your Sign . . .

There is something about keeping a blog that holds you responsible for what you say and do.  One does not really want one’s shortcomings or downfalls right out there for everyone to see, right?

Since September, I have not been eating healthy.  Mostly, I have been eating whatever the heck I wanted and as much as I wanted.  I have made some effort to get back on track but those efforts quickly fell by the wayside.  I maintained the weight for a while but could tell my body was changing.  I was eating more carbs so my stomach was growing larger where it had flattened out slightly.  Then, I wasn’t maintaining anymore because I was eating too much and the exercise was being canceled out by the number of calories I was eating.  Long story short . . . 17 pounds returned, making me unhappy and embarrassed.

It was easier not to come to my blog to try to write about weight loss because if I did, I had to face my failures.

So I didn’t.  I haven’t written in months.

Well, it’s time to face it.

I have gained back 17 pounds of the 52 pounds I lost.  And things have to change.

Have you ever received “a sign”?  You know . . . the sign you need to change something in your life?  Sometimes they are subtle and sometimes they just jump up and slap you in the face.

Last night, I was at work a little later and I was overly hungry.  I had eaten a Chick-fil-A sandwich at about 11:30 and had eaten nothing since then – almost 6 hours.  My stomach was growling as I talked to my boss on the phone.  I got off the phone and ordered dinner online at Outback so I could pick it up on the way home.  I ordered a wedge salad and a small filet with broccoli.  Again, overly hungry, I scanned the dessert menu and saw a carrot cake.  I added that to the order.  I left work, swung by the restaurant to pick up the order, and headed home.  It smelled soooooooo good.  My stomach was still growling away.

When I arrived at home, I took the salad out and began enjoying it.  Who doesn’t love a wedge salad?  I opened the larger container holding the steak.  Yum.  Where was the broccoli?  There were two smaller styrofoam containers so I checked them both.  The broccoli was in the first.  The other must be the carrot cake, right?  I opened it to look at it.  Inside were about 10 pieces of celery.  Celery.  CELERY!!!!!

celeryMy first reaction . . . no, make that my second reaction . . . was to call the restaurant and complain.  Then I thought about the situation for a bit.  Then I said some ugly words.  Then I thought some more.  I finally decided to take that celery as a sign that my time as a free eater is coming to an end.  Carrot cake is not a vegetable.
So I am here, confessing my embarrassment and stupidity but also trying to set myself right again.  I heard the celery talking and I am going to change my ways.  It will be hard and I’m not perfect so I am back to talk about my struggles and my successes. 

Ahhhhhh, that feels so much better.  Damn celery.
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