January 4, 2012

Getting Back on the Food Wagon

Before my birthday, back in November, I was eating very clean.  I had cut out all gluten, only ate squash, vegetables and occasionally rice noodles for carbs and once a week would have a "cheat" day, which consisted of a yummy wholesome meal, most of the time vegetarian.  I fell off the wagon.  It's so easy to do.  That slope slides out from underneath you very quickly.  While my food intake was not nearly as bad as it has been in the past - years ago - I was still eating too much once Christmas rolled around.  I would sneak in a sweet here and there, started eating white pastas again because it was a special time of year!  My wonderful Mac and Cheese graced our plates twice in December.

I know myself well enough by now that I know what works for me and what doesn't.  In order to get back on the clean eating band wagon I need to start slow.  If I jump right back into how I was eating before my birthday it would last a few days but then I would fall hard.  Some people would say, well just don't let yourself fall.  I simply don't work that way.  I am working on building compassion for myself and setting myself up for failure is not a way to do this. 

So last week I started keeping a food journal again.  I track my food on  I tracked my food on here for over a year and decided back in November that I was going to see how I did without recording my food intake.  Well, it turns out I do need to hold myself accountable for things or I make excuses for myself.  

I have removed all sweeteners from my diet, while I rarely eat sugar, I had started putting real maple syrup on my oats in the morning.  This is one of the best things ever.  But I am resisting this because I find if I have anything other than fruit sugar in the morning I crave sweets and bread all day.  I am measuring out my portion sizes.  One cup of cooked steel cut oats for breakfast, I could easily eat two because they are so amazing, but it is simply unnecessary.  Half a banana in my shake, there is no need for a whole banana, especially when they are massive.  I drink half a lemon squeezed in water when I am craving something sweet.  The instant sugar from the lemon juice is quite satisfying.  And I'm on day 5 of no booze!  I started buying scotch right before Christmas, I'd drink 3-4 ounces a night.  While some may say this too much and others may say it's OK it's not that much.  I know deep down that that alcohol does turn directly into sugar in my body.  Which causes my metabolism to slow down and causes me to crave more sugar.
As I reread this, it all seems so easy.  Let me tell you if you think that you are ever alone in your struggles with resisting sweets or chips or hamburgers - picture this.  There I was yesterday right before dinner time walking through the mall after having tea with my aunt and cousins.  I specifically had rooibos tea so that I would not have any cream in my coffee.  There I was so proud of myself for making the smart choice and like a beacon blinking at me is Purdy's Chocolates.  I think to myself, ah no harm in having a peak, but I resisted.  I kept walking.  I didn't get 50 feet past the store and I literally turned right and right back towards the chocolate.  I stood at the counter admiring the many different chocolates, thinking I could get three bars because they are 3 for $7.00.  I could eat one immediately and bring the other two to have after dinner for me and LW.  As soon as that thought crossed my mind, I bolted and got out of that mall as fast as I could.

So, if you're ever struggling or if you have a sweet one day when you're trying to eat clean, don't beat yourself up about it.  We all struggle with all the amazing yummy food out there.  Just try to make the smartest choices you can.  And if you don't at one moment - meh - just start again from that moment.  It's OK to make mistakes, just acknowledge them and move forward.

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