Monday, 17 November 2014

The Next Food Phase: Back to Being 'Real'

As you know, I've decided to part ways with Lite'n'Easy, because I think my views and approach to food has evolved significantly in the last 3 years.  Lite'n'Easy has served its purpose in my life.  I'm moving on.

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I'm going to be honest with you, I've put back on quite a few kilos since my wedding in April, but due to a couple of things.
  • I actually think I was too slim to sustain my weight at the time of the wedding.  I'm really happy I made the effort, because I felt beautiful on my wedding day and in my wedding dress, but it was the result of being a bit too controlling and restrictive to be sustained for long.
  • I've cut back a lot on my running because of my knee injury and because I've wanted to focus on getting stronger and building muscle.  I'm hoping some portion of my extra kilos are due to muscle!
Upon reflecting on what I want and I have been unhappy with my diet in the last couple of weeks, I came to the realisation that going back on Lite'n'Easy has brought out some of the negative diet behaviours in me that I thought I had left in my past.  My recent slip up is just one example (there have been more that I haven't owned up to) where I have kind of rebelled against what I thought I should be eating (Lite'n'Easy), and what I really want to eat, but not in a healthy way.  My bad diet behaviour includes binging on food with no nutritial value or substance, eating secretly, and eating mindlessly.  

I DEFINITELY don't want to fall into these bad behaviours again, so, after also reading Intuitive Eating (highly recommend, and I'll probably review here in the near future) and getting some new insight and ideas, I've decided to make a few changes to rebuild a real healthy relationship with food.

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  1. Get back in touch with the food needs of my body by OBSERVING things like hunger, fullness and satiety preferences.  I'm actually going to keep a bit of a food journal to try to track this and get a feel for what my body needs.
  2. Remove the feeling of restricted eating but stopping Lite'n'Easy.  This means food planning (kind of a practical requirement of life), but having the flexibility to choose what food I eat depending on activity levels, other events ie. lunches, weddings, etc, and just satisfaction - taste, amount and frequency.
  3. Try to stop the negative feelings I can associate with food, especially guilt.  I know that if I eat a food I think is 'bad', I feel guilty, and often try to hide it from people close to me, especially because I'm seen as the 'healthy' one.  And when I try to take 'bad' food our of my diet, I get a bit obsessed and tempted with the 'bad' food, and can eat more if it than I should - that kind of 'I've blown the day, so why stop now' mentality.  If no food is bad, then I won't feel guilty about eating it, I can actually enjoy the experience of having truly decadent, rich and indulging food in moderation, and not be tempted to have it more than I should.
  4. Try to minimise my eating that is not related to hunger.  I know that I eat when I'm bored, stressed, and also just because I'm doing a certain activity (watching tv on the couch).  This is just a habit, but hopefully by increasing my awareness I can minimise my mindless eating.
I guess I'm a little bit scared of trusting myself during this process.  There are a few pretty hard coded habits that I need to break.  I also don't want to put on more weight - the goal is actually to find a way of eating and exercising that normalises my body size and weight.  I'm kind of getting tired of buying new clothes every few months to suit my new size and shape! (I can't believe I just said I want to shop less).  I was also guilty of buying a bridemaid's dress for my sister's wedding in a size I wanted to be, and not what I actually was.  Spanx can assist to a certain degree, but I do still want to look good in that dress :)

I've discussed this with my husband because he is going to see me eating differently to how I have for awhile.  I hope he doesn't mind me saying, but I don't think he really understands, because he has a good, healthy relationship with food.  He doesn't quite get that I struggle with things he doesn't even think about.  But as always, I have his support to do what is going to make me happy :)

I'm choosing to give this a try, because I think it's important in my life right now, and I respect myself enough to want to be a healthier version of me.  So I'm also choosing to trust that it will work if I let my body guide me.  Fingers crossed!

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What do you do or have you done to treat yourself with love and respect?



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