Overcoming obstacles and mindful eatingPosted: September 26, 2011
Since I don’t have any photos to go along with this post, I’ll share a photo of Jackson at the top of our neighborhood that I took during a walk last week:
It’s only 10:00 on Monday morning, but I already have a lot on my mind. Since my public confession and coming clean about my exercise addiction a couple of weeks ago, I have actually changed a lot of things in my life. And I have to say- those things have definitely been changed for the better! It’s been almost three weeks since I had my “a-ha” moment about how badly I was taking care of my body, and I was able to stop all of the bad behaviors pretty much cold turkey. And what I mean by “bad behaviors” is my exercise addiction: over-exercising, obsessing about it, basing everything in my schedule around it, and not ever giving my body a chance to recover.
For the last 3 weeks, I have had 3 “hardcore” workouts each week: 2 days of teaching spin + some other kind of cardio and/or strength-training and 1 day working out with Ken, which always some kind of high-intensity combo of cardio and strength training (for 60-90 minutes, depending on the day). For the other 4 days out of the week, I’ve generally done an hour of yoga 2-3 days and something else the other day, like a hike… or nothing at all.
I have really, really gotten to love yoga. I know I’ve already gushed about it, and I’m sure I will again many, many times. But, I just really love it. I feel like I’m being so good to my body and mind when I’m practicing. I work up a good sweat and I can feel my muscles getting a good workout, but I don’t feel completely exhausted afterwards like I do with my “hardcore” workouts. Plus, it’s such a confidence booster. I feel like I get a little bit more flexible each day and can go into each position a little deeper. I feel stronger.
I really like that practicing yoga focuses on so much of your physical and mental well-being. It teaches you to deal with thoughts that come into your mind, and process them- rather than just ignore them. What I’ve learned from yoga has bled over to so many other aspects of my life. I feel calmer, more focused, more balanced – which is exactly what I’ve been seeking.
Don’t get me wrong though- I still have my challenges every single day that I am somewhat struggling through. And obstacle #1 is definitely mindless eating.
Here’s my issue:
I do really well with eating all (week)day long, because I pack my breakfast and lunch and don’t even have the option to “snack.” If I wanted something else, I’d have to go get it from a vending machine or the school cafeteria- neither of which is an option I’m willing to take. There are constantly “treats” in the staff lounge and at faculty meetings, but 99% of the time it’s junk food- which does not tempt me in the least. I feel lethargic and heavy when I eat processed crap- so I’ve learned to not even have the desire for it.
But then, when I get home, I walk into my kitchen and see a whole pantry and fridge full of healthy, organic ingredients that I can think of a million things to create into. I’ll typically much on trail mix or cereal while I’m deciding what to make for a snack. So, before I’ve even consumed my “snack,” I’ve easily eaten 300 calories. I continue to snack when I make dinner, and then usually have a few bites of something else after. But all of these mindless calories that I consume after I get home sure do add up. For some reason, I haven’t been able to figure out how to STOP the mindless eating. It’s completely sabotaging all of the efforts I do to exercise and eat right.
I’m not tempted by junk or fast-food. I don’t eat the “entire bag of chips” or the “whole container of ice cream” or any of the other typical diet blunders I see. I’ve tried journaling everything I eat, but that just makes me obsessive- and I want to stay away from that. I want to be able to just control it myself without tracking calories or points or anything like that.
I also refuse to make anything “off-limits” because I find that just makes me want it more. I will never, ever give up carbs or dessert or beer. Everything in moderation. 99% of what I eat is healthy- I just eat too much of it miindlessly.
I’m not really working towards a specific number or anything in regards to losing weight, but I would like to just feel comfortable in my body again. I’m anywhere from 10-15 lbs. heavier than I was at my “happiest” weight, and I’d really like to get back there. Plus, I have a whole closet full of cute clothes that I bought, which are all a bit too tight now.
I bought the book Intuitive Eating last spring, and started reading it, but never finished. I felt like it was a little dated- maybe there’s a newer version out? I was looking at a couple of other books on Amazon about mindful eating, but there are many- I don’t know which are actually helpful.
Please share: if you have any tips, suggestions or personal stories for overcoming mindless eating, I’m all ears!!