I’m proud to say the past few days have gone really well and today is off to a great start. Choices are mindful – even the popcorn I had on Monday night during a girls night out was less than I would typically eat and I mindfully made the choice to enjoy some after a terrifically healthy day – no guilt whatsoever.
Already I feel the difference. I can tell my blood sugar is stable because I am not experiencing the highs and lows of lethargy and energy that typically come with binge eating and overdoing it with simple carbs. The feeling I have at 2pm mirrors how I felt at 8am… this is not the case when I am making poor choices. Poor choices typically equate an overwhelming desire to nap in the afternoon :)
Yesterday after work I visited a friend who recently had a baby… after that I ran a few errands. I was a good drive away from home, it was nearly 8pm, I hadn’t eaten in hours, and all I could think about was getting food down my throat. There were fast food joints along the way that sounded good and I quickly went down the path of justifying a poor choice in my mind. “It’s late… I’m tired. I haven’t eaten in awhile, so extra calories are ok.”
I had an overwhelming moment where I told myself, “There’s nothing healthy to eat! Nothing! I have no options! I hate this!”
It was a total hissy fit, unfortunately.
Then I took a few deep breaths. Remembered my long term goal. Remembered that there WAS a time where I could always find options of some kind. Remembered that being hungry will not kill me. While it’s uncomfortable and I really dislike that feeling, being hungry for a short period of time is perfectly ok! It wasn’t a crisis. It wasn’t an emergency.
Then I remembered along the way there was a bulk food store that I knew sold soy nuts. Perfect! A protein snack that could tide me over.
I drive past and quickly see that it is closed.
Feeling disheartened and knowing gas stations were coming up (with all of their sweet and salty goodness offerings that I would have a hard time bypassing for a string cheese and jerky), I remembered that a large farm stand is typically open throughout the summer. And a sign appeared! Indicating fresh blueberries in just one mile! Woohoo! Salvation!
I can’t even pull into the driveway because there is a sawhorse with a sign. CLOSED. Crushed, I merge back onto the road.
It’s late. My emotional energy is extremely low. I feel overwhelming frustration at how difficult it seems to find something to eat along my drive home. Sign after sign I was turning down the marketing ploys, encouraging me to eat highly processed, high fat junk. With each sign I passed, I felt a weird mix of deprivation and pride.
Then I remembered my post on Monday. “In kindness.” I most certainly was not being kind to myself. What would be a kind action?
Not too far from home I finally stopped at a grocery store. You locals know it as Wegmans :) It is food utopia, man. I wouldn’t have gone in if I didn’t feel strong resolve about what I would get. I marched up to the deli counter and before even considering other items, I ordered the staples that I KNEW would be there: grilled chicken breast and two sides of steamed and grilled veggies. Swung by produce and purchased a large container of the blueberries to munch on during the remainder of my ride home.
I enjoyed the rest of my drive, mostly throughout the country, happily eating blueberries and watching the sun begin to shift down. I breathed. I felt relieved to have survived the mental hurdles that I had put in my path.
Once home, I heated my dinner and while I was tempted to eat quickly while browsing the internet, I knew I would eat more than I needed and I knew I wouldn’t fully taste and appreciate my meal. Outside I went, enjoying my dinner in silence, chewing mindfully and appreciatively.
I ate half of each item and was then full. As I said on Monday, my tool works if I make the right choices. And now the remainder of dinner is my lunch :)
Now that I am breathing and more logical, I fully know there are many options and many ways that I can handle hunger while not at home. I’ve made a list of items in my phone to remind myself when I feel a hissy fit coming on. It is so easy to come up with excuses – to justify poor decisions. Once in awhile that is going to happen – it becomes a problem when I do it with a frequency that is damaging. And that’s where I was living my life for months.