I may not be fixed, but I am definitely on the mend. Earlier, I mentioned I felt BROKEN. If you follow Randomocity at all, you are realizing that Oprah and I have something in common, and it's not our palatial estates in Hawaii. We are soul sisters who share a love of eating. My weight goes up; my weight goes down. I'm all over the place with my relationship with food. I have my "comfortable at nearly any weight" jeans, and I have my (relatively speaking) "skinny" jeans. I have had a love/hate relationship with food most of my life. I love the food, obviously. I have hated the head games I play when it comes to body image and eating.
One thing I'm realizing is that there is not a BAD food, but there is, for me, anyway, an unwise portion size. I need to relax, eat healthy food, and when I indulge, I need to give myself permission to eat a bit of the foods I love, and stop when I am satisfied. I had forgotten what that felt like. Rarely does satisfaction come, no matter how much I've eaten, if I am in a wild-eyed eating frenzy, trying to fill the void of an uncomfortable feeling.
This week, I have bombarded myself (in the gentlest, kindest way possible) with uplifting, motivational messages regarding self-acceptance, healthy eating, and exercise. I have listened to guided meditation, and practiced visual imagery. I am realizing that when I am stuffing cookies and ice cream into my mouth, there may be an unsatisfied hunger being met, but it's not a physical one. Oftentimes, I am avoiding a necessary discussion, or denying that there is an unresolved issue, or trying to soothe a feeling of inadequacy or emptiness.
Would you believe me if I told you my weight is down another pound this morning, and yesterday I'd had waffles, takeout from Wendy's, and Little Caesar's pizza? It's true. Did I go hog wild, and eat anything I wanted, and as much as I normally would have? No. No, I didn't.
With all of the soothing thoughts that are sauntering through my mind this week, I knew that I could enjoy my favorite foods without shame, and without any sense of deprivation; I just needed to sit down, eat slowly, and stop when I was satisfied.
Yesterday was a very different day for me. Bridger and I had waffles WITH SYRUP for breakfast. I had decided first thing in the morning that I was going to enjoy my son's favorite breakfast with him; I just wasn't going to go crazy with a mountain of waffles or a river of maple syrup. I was going to simply eat something yummy, and not beat myself up over it later.
My mom and I went out to Wendy's for lunch. As much as I love frosties and hamburgers, I decided to have a pecan apple chicken salad. Mom offered to split the salad with me. Perfect!
Then since the night before was to be my last night with my kids for that trip, Sierra and I decided to pick up a pizza and take it to Bridger's work so we could have dinner together. Before we went to town, Sisi and I ate spinach salads, and I finished off a small protein drink. This girl loves her pizza, but eating some pure nutrition before dinner allowed me to stop eating after I'd had a piece of pizza and a few more bites. Sierra and I sighed at the same time, and she reminded me that those sighs are a sign of feeling satisfied after a meal.
The next time I am eating, and I notice my body involuntarily sighing, I will push back my plate, and declare the eating finished. Even if there is still food on my plate. Even if it's my favorite thing in the whole world. The sigh is my body's way of telling me, "We're good. We've had plenty. Thanks, we're done." Yeah, I need to remember that more.
Portion size matters. And just as important: sighs matter.