How do I feel about my eating lately? I don't. That's right, I don't *feel* about my eating. If you've struggled with any kind of food obsession or compulsive eating, you know what it is like to be trapped in a loop of strong emotions, food thoughts... and usually, food actions. I am blessed to be once again, for the most part, freed from that kind of obsession.
And even aside from obsession, which is all about an emotional attachment to food and using eating as a reaction to one's stress or mindset, I am exceedingly thankful that I don't even have to *think* about food much these days. These days are full of emotion and thought and work and action and *none* of it revolves around food. I cannot even tell you how grateful I am that I have to expend so little energy and thought in the direction of eating right now. I am on auto-pilot: open a packet and eat it. By the clock, 8, 10, 12, 3, 6 and 9. Grab and go. I have to do basically *nothing.* It is SO helpful. Today my brain was working constantly, going 100 mph all day without a break while I called doctors and hospitals and pharmacies, schools and experts and the insurance company. I was on the go getting last minute Christmas gifts, taking paperwork to doctors' offices, and running my daughter to and from school and dance. I was stressed. And all I had to do was, without thinking or considering what I FELT like eating, grab a Medifast shake to drink in the car or a Medifast bar to eat between phone calls. All I had to do when I finally got home at 7 and fed the kids from the freezer was to pop a bag of Steamfresh broccoli in the microwave, measure out a cup and a half onto a plate for myself, top it with some reduced fat cheddar, and grab a hard boiled egg from the fridge to complete my easy, on plan dinner. Last night all I had to do was nuke a piece of leftover spaghetti squash lasagna from the freezer for myself. Easy. No thinking. No wondering, "hmmm, what do I FEEL like eating?" Because if I had stopped to consider my emotions, I'd have eaten a lot of pizza and quite a few chocolate chip cookies.
I don't mean I never get a craving. Heck, the other day when my kids were baking, I walked in the kitchen and really stared hard at those cookies. I even leaned over and smelled them. For a split second my inner brat tried to start a sentence in my head: "you could just eat..." But she never finished the sentence. I said "shut up" and walked out of the kitchen, and within a minute I didn't care about the cookies anymore.
Being low enough carb to stay in mild ketosis is key for me to lose weight. I get that. Staying under about 100 grams of carbs per day AND staying off sugar, salty stuff, fried foods, grains, etc results in me losing a lot of my obsession about food as well as my hunger and cravings. I feel freed to spend my energy on other things... to focus on important things. I am so thankful for that. Because I can tell you what I *would* be doing right now under these circumstances if I were not on Medifast. I would have used drive-thrus and fast food liberally this week and would have eaten an awful lot of the holiday sugar I see in the grocery stores lately. If I had to *think* about what to choose to eat... if I was basing my choices on emotion... oh man. I'd be in trouble right now. Miserable. Ineffective. In more pain than I already am. So yes, I am thankful... so thankful that I do not have to make a *choice* every few hours about what to eat. The only choice I have to make is: stay on plan? Or not? I decided already. Now if I can survive occasional moments of weakness, like I did with the cookies the other day, the weight loss and sense of control will continue. So that's what I need to do. And obviously I need an "autopilot plan" of easy-to-grab, always-on-hand mini meals that are rich in protein and low in carbs for when I am not on Medifast anymore. I already know a few things that work, like low fat string cheese, Greek yogurt, nuts, and other brands of protein bars and ready to drink shakes, but I want a good sized list... 10 or 15 options that I can always keep on hand... so that when I am stressed or busy, I don't revert back to bad habits because I eat what I *feel* like eating.
My weight is stable at 211 pounds every day this week; stress is probably a factor as well as lack of sleep. My feet are back to hurting as badly as they ever did and I have to take Aleve to get through the day. I haven't heard from the rheumatologist yet but that'll come.
Tomorrow my girl and I will go see Santa. That will make everything better for awhile.
I wish you peace, and I wish you to feel loved, safe, and happy during this holiday season.
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