There's this thing that happens when every thought you have about food is about restrictions, when there's a moral overtone to decision making, when all the time the idea of failure is lurking in the back of your mind. It drives you slightly nuts.
I was starting to feel like I was fighting with myself all the time, it was all about what I shouldn't do, what I couldn't have, what I ought to avoid. Switching to Core has helped a little, much less of the counting and calculating and having to assess whether I could "afford" to eat even something that I knew to be perfectly healthy. It wasn't enough though, I could still feel the rebellious me waiting for a moment of inattention, poised to spring into the driver's seat and take me careering down the path of binge eating, takeaway dinners and a total lack of vegetables. This past week I was VERY distracted apparently and it has been less than wonderful on the food front. The scales at weigh-in this morning showed just how bad, 2.5kg gained. Bugger. That brings my total back to 7.6kg lost. Plus, I felt really crummy.
So I've been mulling it over and I think I'm beginning to find my way towards a solution, these aren't new ideas, but this is the first time I've felt the truth of them rather than just giving a token nod and not actually taking them on board.
I need to turn it round so that I'm concentrating on positives instead of negatives. I need to convince myself that there is no forbidden food, that I can in fact have whatever I want, whenever I want on one proviso - the food I eat must be feeding hunger and not just emotion.
I want to get to the point where I only eat food that will make me feel good for longer than the time it rests in my mouth. It must be the food my body really needs. Otherwise there's nothing to be gained by eating it. I need to be engaged in a process of finding the right answer to my body's and my mind's demands for comfort.
There are questions to ask myself before eating: Am I actually hungry? Will this food satisfy this hunger? Will I feel good 20 minutes after eating this food? If I can answer yes to all of those questions then well and good. If the answer to any of those question is no then the next step is to work out what's really driving the urge to eat and find other ways to satisfy that drive, because if hunger isn't the problem, food won't fix it and I just end up with something else to feel miserable and stressed about (or possibly even physically sick, which NEVER helps).
In the spirit of baby steps, this week I plan on concentrating on the first question, "Am I actually hungry?", and see if I can't get my head around the whole listen to your hunger signals thing. It's something I haven't been willing to tackle up to now, so I'm feeling quite excited to discover that I'm ready to go there.
I want to gain health, fitness, energy and enjoyment of physical activity for its own sake. I want contentment, peace and to have enough emotional reserves to be the mother, wife, daughter and friend I aspire to be. I want to spend more time feeling capable and less time floundering around barely scraping through the day.
And I'm going to have those things.