Sunday, October 17, 2010

I love you, I love you not...

All my life, like so many overweight people, I've struggled with a bad relationship with food.  I don't consider myself to be an emotional eater, I just really liked food!  I liked the way it tasted, and that made me happy.  So, what do you do when you find something that makes you happy?  You embrace it.  You never let it go.  I loved food.  But, I didn't love what food made me see when I looked in the mirror.

Honestly, the biggest part of my journey has been about building a better relationship with food. I came to the realization food isn't something that I needed to make me happy.  When I looked at my life (conveniently not looking at the jobless end of the spectrum...) I realized I lead a pretty good one.  I live in New York City and have a career that I absolutely adore.  I have a great group of friends who would be there for me at the drop of a hat (and have been.)  I have two great sisters that make me laugh and smile, and a mother whom I love with all my heart.  All in all, not too shabby!  Food shouldn't be playing into my equation for what makes me happy.  Food is fuel, and I needed to start viewing it as such.

This has, of course, been a great struggle.  I was never much of a vegetable person, I was more of a fruit fan.  But, since I started, I have found myself standing in the frozen food section debating between the green beans or broccoli.  I have started adding actually healthy things to my salad instead of the croutons.  Red meat is rare if at all.  Whole wheat, instead of white.  Egg whites.  You name it and I've tried to alter it.

Here's where the problem comes into play...  Remember that 6 Week Itch?  Yeah...  It included food exhaustion.  The problem that I was having was that while I had found healthy alternatives to my diet, I was tending to repeat them as I didn't really know of many other options.  So, what did that make me do?  I started to drift from the path.  Not drastically, but I just noticed a little bit here and a little bit there.  This continued until I saw that (albeit incorrect) number on the scale.  Since then I've tried a little bit more realistic approach.

I never eased into my new way of life, I just changed everything cold turkey. I've realized that I can't go from zero to sixty at the drop of a hat. It's okay to have a slice of pizza once and a while!  Just don't eat half of it!  It's okay to have french fries once and a while, just don't supersize!  I've learned that it's all about moderation.  If I'm going to have these special treats, I need to accommodate for it by being incredibly careful in the rest of my meals.

Actually the days that I would really beat myself up about my calories going over my suggestion number, was on the two days a week I'm not walking.  I need to stop that!  I wasn't going over by much, but I was beating myself up about it.  I need to realize that the suggested number of calories in order for me to lose two pounds per week, is just that.  SUGGESTED!  If I go over it by 100 calories it doesn't mean that I've ruined my entire week!  It just means I might not see a full 2 pounds dropped.  Or, that I need to walk a little bit longer. Either way, I need to not beat myself up about food anymore.

Food isn't the thing in my life that I can call if I need to talk to someone.  Food isn't who I tell funny stories about the crazy people on the subway to.  My relationship with food has moved from rampant love affair to mere acquaintances.  I think it's a good change.  It was time that we started seeing other people...

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