Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Girl Behind the Blog: Choosing Health

So it's time to get real and let you see a little more of the girl behind the blog.  Why?  Because yesterday was a little ugly in the eating department (but maybe not this bad).

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 I've told you before that a couple of years ago I basically overhauled my approach to my health and my life.  I was in a job that I liked but that I was letting take over my life.  And I couldn't see a way out, so I left, then spent three months on my couch.  

When I got up off the couch (eventually), I decided things had to change.  I started eating Lite'n'Easy, I began walking, then jogging and doing workout DVDs.  I found a new way of living and I loved it.

But the 'old' me still reminds me sometimes that she's not too far away.

Yesterday at lunch time I thought it would be good to get out for a walk.  I had been on a long (2.5 hour) conference call, and felt like the fresh air and movement would give me some energy and focus for the afternoon.  Although I was a little hungry, I thought that I would just eat when I got back.

I went to a local shopping centre in search of shoes for my sister's wedding (yes, I'm still looking, but I think I've found some online now!).  In the shopping centre is a discount lolly store.  They have all kinds of chocolate, lollies, biscuits, popcorn, chips etc pretty cheap, including American candy like Reese's.  I went in for a look, because I like to torture myself, but I resisted the urge to buy anything.

Then after a bit more wandering through the shops I decided to drop into a chemist to pick up a few things before heading back to the office for lunch.  As I was walking out to pay, I passed the food section.  As I waited in line, I could feel my stomach asking for food, and I could see those glucose jelly beans.  There was also a nut bar, so before I really thought about it, I had grabbed both, paid, and headed out the door.

Mmmm, jelly beans ...

On the way back to the office I ate some of the jelly beans, but before I headed up the lift I stashed them in my bag, then my bag went in the closet.

I had my Lite'n'Easy lunch, thinking that the damage wasn't too bad, and tried to settle back into work.  

But all afternoon, all I could think about were those jelly beans in my bag.  So now and then, I'd secretly grab a handful.  Before the afternoon was over, I had eaten the whole bag.

I didn't feel satisfied.  I wanted more. So I ate the nut bar before I left work for the day.

On the way home, I stopped at the grocery store at the train station, and managed to talk myself into a container of canteloupe and a bread roll, rather than the chocolate covered marshmallows and Pringles I really had my eye on.

I made it home, and ate a Lite'n'Easy dinner, but it didn't stop there.  I had made chocolate chip cookies over the weekend, and they were sitting in a container on the kitchen bench.  Again, I felt like I couldn't resist them.  I usually have a sweet snack in the evening, so I thought that it would be ok if I just had one cookie instead.  I ended up eating five, and hiding it from my husband (not so much of a surprise now, hey babe).

I went to bed feeling ashamed, guilty, overly full, bloated and honestly annoyed with myself.  I woke up this morning still feeling the after affects.  My mouth felt furry and feral, and my stomach felt round and bloated.  It was not pleasant.

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But I also realised it is a new day.  I can choose how I approach my food, and I can decide what I eat.  So I accepted what I did, forgave myself, and then I got up and went to the gym to start my day as I had planned.

On reflecting on my day yesterday, I realised that:
  • I didn’t listen to my body when it was telling me I was hungry and I needed food before lunch.
  • I know now (even if I haven't acknowledged it before) that choosing healthy food and rejecting the temptation will always be a struggle for me, just varying in degree day by day.  Sometimes I won't make the healthy choice.  But each choice is another chance to make a healthy one.
  • Sugar is powerful and addictive!  I know I don’t eat a lot of sugar these days, which is maybe why I had a strong overreaction to it, but this reminded me how much our bodies are hardwired to crave sugar (especially the extra potent, unnatural version).
  • My body really doesn't like me very much when I overeat, especially sugars.  I got a pretty strong physical rejection of what I had just done.  And my body deserves more respect and care than that.

I wanted to share this with you for a few reasons.

1.   I'm not perfect, and I didn't want you to think I was.  I try to live a life of real food and exercise, but I struggle every day with making that reality, and have the same temptations as most people.

2.   I know that I have a less than great relationship with food.  Mostly because I have a RELATIONSHIP with food.  In my life, food has been more than just body fuel and an enjoyable experience.  It has more meaning to me, and that meaning does not always positively affect my life.  So sorry food - I think we need to break up and just be friends.

3.   I think information and knowledge is powerful, and I enjoy learning about our bodies, food, health and exercise.  With knowledge comes the power to choose.

4.   I started this blog to share all things related to health in my life.  But although I will share what is real, I also want to be a source of positive energy, and I truly believe that we can choose to live a healthful life.  You are helping me choose health, and in turn I want to help you choose health.

So today, I am choosing health.  Want to choose it with me? :)


 How do you get back on track after slipping up? How do you support people around you who are having trouble sticking to their health goals?

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