I've been thinking about my last post and comments, and wanted to share a bit more about how I feel about eating the way I have been lately. I shared that "On a bad (not healthy for me) day, I had a pancake, an egg, and bacon for breakfast with orange juice, a burger and fries for lunch, and a bean/cheese burrito with sour cream for dinner. Snacks were iced coffees with cream, a donut, some M&Ms, and a bowl of Doritos." I got a couple of emails and comments that scolded me for eating such things, which made me pause to think, why do some people see this as some kind of naughty behavior like a child with their hand in the cookie jar? Is *not* eating Doritos something that makes a person morally superior?
Well, I *did* call it a bad day. I didn't mean "bad" in the sense of sinful, evil, or shameful. I don't believe eating *any* food, even junk food, is a moral issue. I don't think going "off your diet" in a moment of weakness makes you a bad/evil person. (I am not on a diet, obviously...) What I meant by a "bad day" and what I tried to clarify by putting "not healthy for me" in parenthesis, is that some days I eat in a way that makes my body FEEL bad or become less healthy. For every person there are different "bad" foods FOR THEM. Maybe for you, shrimp is a good, healthy food. For me, it is a bad food because I am allergic and it will kill me. For some people, whole grain bread is a wonderful, healthy choice while for others who need to eat gluten free, it is a bad one. This isn't a moral thing. It's a health one. Mental and physical. I don't feel well and my body is not its healthiest when I eat a lot of carbs, especially sugar.
So another comment told me I did not eat anything healthy on my "bad" day, and that made me do a double take at my post because I don't remember having a total junk day. I do try to eat healthy things every day. Let's examine the foods I listed for my bad day:
Breakfast: a pancake, an egg, and bacon for breakfast with orange juice
Lunch: a burger and fries for lunch
Dinner: a bean/cheese burrito with sour cream.
Snacks: iced coffees with cream, a donut, some M&Ms, and a bowl of Doritos
Interestingly, a lot of these things would also be eaten on a "good" day. What made it bad was the inflammatory, higher carb choices.
Eggs and bacon are a usual breakfast choice. Good protein. But instead of a piece of fruit, I had juice. And I added a high carb pancake. (Yes, one small pancake, not a stack of pancakes).
The burger was composed of lean, grass fed beef (a healthy choice for me) but having it on a bun instead of on a plate also increased my carbs. Baked white potato fries are not a usual choice for me either; I'd have felt better with a few sweet potato fries and some green vegetables.
As for a burrito, I don't eat beans very often (carbs) but they are still a nutritious food. Cheese is also something I eat on "good" days, and so is a spoon of sour cream as a condiment. So what made this one unhealthy for me was the tortilla. What is lacking here is vegetables.
Obviously the snacks are where I went totally south, except for the coffee and cream which I have daily (no sugar).
Did I eat the donut because I had given up and was just eating whatever I wanted for the day? No. I ate the donut because someone offered it, it looked good, and I felt like it.
Did I eat the M&M's because I was on a binge run to the store, craving candy pellets? No. I ate them out of boredom, waiting for one of my kids for an hour in a parking lot by a 7-11.
Did I eat the bowl of Doritos in shame and craving? No, I just felt like having them. They taste good and my son had bought some so I put a serving in a bowl and ate them.
To me, it makes a big difference whether I am feeling out of control and running to the store for food and eating it all, or am I just eating stuff in smaller amounts because at the moment it seems like it would taste yummy and I am not really in diet mode and honestly don't give too much of a darn whether or not I am eating healthy. I dunno, I guess I am in a place some days of just focusing on other things, not weight loss, or carbs, or "omg I better not eat this chip, I better eat celery."
Really, today I was shopping and bought a chocolate bar with almonds. Why? I wasn't really craving it. It wasn't in my brain or calling to me. It is just nice to have it. It changes my emotions when I eat it. It makes me feel so cared for and nurtured and happy and calm. Is that nuts? I don't think it is. I've battled against those feelings (trying to get them from other places than food) but somehow going back to the chocolate bar is like a hug from an old friend. It's my safe place.
I know that isn't a great mindset to have and will get me fatter if I keep letting myself slide into that comfortable place. I have written about it *a lot* on this blog and I *know* this is a habit that will not serve me in the long run. But yet I am there, again, and not feeling very motivated to change it.
I do find joy and comfort in other things, other people in my life. It's not that chocolate is my only thing. It's that it is a very long, long standing thing that I know I can get any time, any place, and it ALWAYS has the desired effect.
I wish there was a pill that made me feel like chocolate does. I would be skinny then...
Anyway, I wrote this to let you know I am aware of what I am doing and where I'm at. I don't know *why* I landed here and I'm not even sure how or if I am going to break out and get some weight off. It is a mental state, one that is comfortable and happy and familiar even while physically it is miserable with the joint pain and other unpleasant effects of junk and high sugar and gaining weight. It is a limbo of sorts, but in my limbo room there are two doors out: one to the binge cycle and morbid obesity, and the other to the controlled healthy eating and exercise, because I can't stay in limbo forever.
Thanks for listening. I am happy... happy with my chocolate... but there is that nagging little voice telling me it is all an illusion.
I am 38 years old, female, a degree-holding stay-at-home-mom, and I weigh 278 pounds. I have been obese for ten years now. Time to get out of this fat prison I have made for myself.
--This is the original introduction I wrote when I first started this blog in 2007. I leave it as a reminder to myself of where I came from. Currently, I am 46 years old and weigh significantly less...see the blog for details. I lost 103 pounds, then had a partial regain, and am once again working at weight loss and better health.
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