Thursday, June 10, 2010

One "good" day makes all the difference

It's been months and months since I've had a day that I was completely "on plan." When I was following Weight Watchers regularly, a "good" day was easy to identify. It was a day I hit my points exactly.

I can probably count on one hand how many times that has happened in the last year and a half.

What I didn't realize is that when I told myself, basically every day for the last year and a half, that I WASN'T doing the right thing, a lot of guilt built up. Even when I'd tell myself to forgive myself, I'd still feel this twinge of disgust. For me, the need for binges build up quickly and easily when I feel too restricted, too chastised, too fat, and too shameful.

What is it that sets us off when we don't eat 100% on plan?

Moreover, isn't it interesting how one "good" day can make anything seem possible?

Yesterday, I actually had a great day. I started the day off with an iced chai tea because I was hungry and I knew that I had a slew of meetings that I would have to attend upon arrival at work. I also knew that I hadn't packed anything readily available and I didn't want any of the "on the go" snacks I had in my car or drawer at work. So I stopped and got a the chai tea latte. Maybe I didn't savor the it quite as I could've, but I enjoyed it.

That kept me satisfied until about 10 am. And then I thought, "Crap! Lunch is in two hours! I probably shouldn't eat anything substantial. I don't want to throw off my whole day!" But I realized that that was silly. I didn't WANT to settle for a Fiber One bar or microwave popcorn at my desk. I wanted something really good and tasty. I had about 3/4 cup of nonfat Fage yogurt with fresh blueberries, blackberries, agave nectar, and a package of Nature Valley granola bars in it. DIVINE.

That kept me satisfied until around 2, when I was hungry. I had two slices of a individual pizza that I had ordered a few days ago from a local pizza place (margarita pizza: tomato slices, tomato sauce and a few slices/circles of mozzarella cheese). At the end of that, I was still hungry so I had a few small slices of a wedge of Gouda that I brought to work (along with a handful of crackers).

THAT kept me satisfied until I met a friend for dinner after work. I ordered something that I always stay away from - chicken fried steak. I had about 60% of it, 75% of my hashbrown casserole, some grits, a cornbread muffin, and about a half cup of coleslaw. What can I say? That is precisely what I felt like eating. No, I didn't have a ton of veggies today, but yesterday I had almost all veggies all day (as that is what I felt like eating then). And right now? I'm not stuffed. I'm actually happily comfortable.

Now, I know some of you are thinking "JEEZ lady! Count up the points/calories, I'm sure you'll be WAY over what you should be! Why, exactly, are you proud of yourself?"

It's because I'm completely satisfied.

Maybe I did gain weight today. Maybe I did go overboard. But I ate exactly what I wanted. I ate only when I was hungry AND I stopped when I was no longer hungry.

THAT is my plan.

And just like how I got a ton of exercise in on Monday because my body felt like moving, I feel great that I listened to my body. Typically when I have more calorie dense days, it's followed by a day where I don't eat as much. Maybe that will be the case tomorrow.

I'm not weighing myself daily. I refuse to be a slave to the scale and to hyper analyze the numbers it says (as I am wont to do). I'll weigh myself next Tuesday for the VBL weigh in and then adjust my focus if I need to then.

What feels good is that my eating today was mindful. I'm proud that I ordered what I really wanted - even if it was something that my mom would've told me that I couldn't have. That many starches for side dishes? No way was that acceptable when I was growing up. If I would've tried to order that in front of her (even now) I would've gotten at least a disapproving look and (when I was younger) her telling the waiter that I wanted maybe some green beans or fresh veggies instead.

But I didn't get to be 280 pounds by doing what my mom said I should do. I got to 280 pounds by rebelling against what she said; by eating in public what I "should" and then bingeing like crazy afterward in the comfort of my own home.

Today I was authentic. Even when my co-workers raised their eyebrows about me eating at 2 PM (because they didn't notice that I didn't eat at noon) thinking that I was having a second lunch. Even when my friend and Joe were seeing that I wanted a big ol' fatty meal tonight for dinner.

Being authentic is healthy.

Will I always have a fatty meal like that and lose weight? Well, no. I mean, when your calories in exceed your output of calories, you WILL gain weight.

I'm not on a magical plan and are therefore not exempt from basic math.

But as I give my body (and mind) what it wants, I know that it will release all of the judgment about food and what I can/can't or should/shouldn't have. It will release the rebellion - towards my mother, father, ex-boyfriends, and bullies from school. As I release my rebellion, I know I'll start choosing more and more foods on a more regular basis that are intrinsically healthier.

And THAT leads to a healthier me - no matter what.

Today I'm holding onto the feeling from last night - when I was pleased, content, proud, and happy. Tonight, I want to feel that same feeling again.

One day being on plan - whatever that is for you - makes all the difference. It's a building block to a healthier you.

Let's do it today, shall we?


Jams said...

Fantastic! I'm proud of you. It's about feeling good about ourselves and being able to think back and say - that was a good day.

Great job!

Waisting Time said...

"What is it that sets us off when we don't eat 100% on plan?"

Yes, I ask myself that too. And why are some days so much easier than others?

I guess we really do need to take this one day at a time... and you did great on yours.

Katy said...

I want to be like you when I grow up

Keelie said...

I like your philosophy. And taste in restaurants. A little Cracker Barrel? never hurt anyone;)

The whole building block image is right on. The goal is to begin the have the good days outweigh the bad and eventually the bad are the exception without feeling deprivation.

Doing great, girl!

Holly said...

It's so nice when you feel satisfied with yourself. That is truly the most important thing on our journeys to be healthier.

Dani @ WRW said...

I'm at the point now where I'm beginning to think that there's a reason why some days aren't "on plan" and it's necessary and natural. Especially on days that we expend more energy than usual.

I recently started calorie counting again after giving that practice up in an effort to experience an intuitive, organic relationship with food. I can tell that I've learned so much in my non-calorie counting days.

I'm so glad that you were also to look back over your day and feel good about it!

Missa said...

Sometimes you just need a day of changing it up. I think that is healthy too. If tomorrow, you say you want chicken fried steak again, then you might want to rethink :-)


Ginger said...

i took your advice today and went for what i want. m&m mcflurry yum. i couldnt eat it all but it was oh so good lol

Lala said...

I love this post! I think your plan is wonderful and I'm really enjoying following along on your brave journey. I think a big part of the difficulty of being overweight is the shame in being seen eating. We know that people think we should eat a single grape and wilted lettuce leaf because we are overweight, but the truth is overweight people actually need more food to keep a basic metabolism than thinner people! In any case, I think if you allow yourself a day of some heavy foods, then you will naturally want to balance it out with lighter foods (if you don't beat yourself up with guilt and shame). I believe in your program, and I think you are onto something powerful. Congratulations on having a perfect day where you listen to your body completely!

Fat Grump said...

You know what I like about this post? No recriminations. You did what was right for you at the time and enjoyed eating. I think that approach is a healthy one.

I am trying to ignore the scales (once a week I visit them) and calorie counting and diet 'plans' aren't for me. I know that. I have failed before because of restrictions.

Yes, I too recognise the fat person's hang-ups and appreciate that others might think I'll always be overweight because of my eating and attitude. As every day passes I am learning more about myself, foods and how I eat. It sounds like you are too.

I'll get there eventually and so will you :)