Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cravings...

All I want to eat these days is junk food.  And I'm conflicted about whether or not that's okay...

I know that I'm trying to not feel any guilt about food or exercise (or lack thereof).  So I'm not really feeling guilty about my days that begin with toaster pastries and end with ice cream.

But...  when am I going to start craving healthy stuff?  I am in that beginning phase of intuitive eating where I'm eating whatever I want without worrying about nutrition, so long as it's only when I'm hungry...  but...  but...  my desires for junk food are not getting any smaller.  (And I know all about the addicting chemicals within my processed garbage frankenfoods; that is not what this post is about.)

I'm wondering if I am truly giving myself permission to eat.  Perhaps I'm scared that some day soon I will go back on another diet and have to stop eating chips for lunch and pizza for dinner forever.  That's how diets work:  they suck me in, I truly believe that I will eat that way FOREVER, and I mourn the loss of eating my favorites of pizza and chips.

Then again, why choose?


So perhaps the reason that I am not craving healthy food at all these days is that I'm scared that some day soon, I will ONLY be allowed to eat healthy food FOREVER.  Like when I did the New Sonoma Diet.  Or maybe I'm scared that one day I will only be allowed to eat so many calories or fat grams or carbs every day, and that when I look at my food diary I will realize that chips and pizza aren't worth the calories/Points, like with My Fitness Pal or Weight Watchers...

Anyway...  I am just that by writing out what's going on with my eating, I will be able to identify and fix the problem.  I'm pretty sure that I have hit the nail on the head.  The problem is:

I'm not giving myself permission to eat.  

I'm not entirely convinced that I will never diet again.  

I know that dieting isn't the answer for me. However, I've been on so many that it's hard to believe that some day I won't realize once again that I hate my body and that the only answer is to restrict by monitoring my food and exercise with another diet.

I don't know how to fix this problem.  It's definitely not a quick fix.  If it were, then I would have done it already.  I suppose that I will continue on my path, and will hope that eventually I will trust myself around food, and truly give myself permission to eat, knowing that there is not another diet around the corner.

another bathroom selfie!


Meanwhile, I'm still working on total body acceptance.  Today I feel pretty cute.  And I know that I don't look thin.  I know that I look like a cute plus size woman.  And for the first time in awhile, I'm okay with that.  So that's a start there.

15 comments:

Asia K. said...

Hey, once again, I can really relate to a lot of this. I definitely think the explanations you came up with are right on. There is STILL this lingering thought that you won't be able to eat what you want forever ... I think it may just take time to convince yourself you REALLY do have unconditional permission, now and forever. I'm reading the Intuitive Eating book right now, and it seems that there are quite a few stages in the process and there is no set amount of time for each stage (indeed, you can even go back and forth between stages). You've been on a LOT of diets, so I guess it's normal to expect those fears to be more persistent. I think, the more you worry and question whether you're on the right track, the longer it's gonna take. That's been my experience anyway. Really, really trying not to treat IE as a diet this time and to truly be patient and nonjudgmental with myself and my choices.

P.S. Congrats on the huge strides you're making with the body acceptance. :)

Asia K. said...

Also, what's happened to me is that sometimes I realize those forbidden junk foods aren't as good as I thought. In a lot of cases, with more awareness, I end up realizing I don't like them or don't LOVE them, at least. Or maybe I just get sick of them! Most of the foods that I binged on relentlessly last year I have NO taste for anymore - it's such a relief! But it took quite a while to get to that point. Anyway, well that has been my experience, not sure if it's helpful in any way.

Shannon Tatlock said...

I think that one day, it will just click for you. That's what happened for me. One day, I just said, I'm done. I started desiring apples and chicken and salads and all those healthy things. I do still have chips and ice cream and pizza and all that other jazz, but I do it in moderation. Everyone is different. You'll figure it out. :)

Mariebop said...

I had the same question when I did IE. Their theory is that you'll get bored with the junk and I wasn't getting bored with the junk. I still haven't figured it out. I just keep buying the healthy stuff and some junk. The junk is for the hubby but I eat it b/c it's there. Hopefully one day I'll just reach for the fruit or veggie and not the chips.

Leah: Not Otherwise Specified said...

I have found that with the light snack foods that I was eating, like 94% fat free popcorn. It's so gross to me now! I only like the buttery type these days. Also, fat free chips are pretty salty compared to the regular chips. But I still love chips and pizza...

Leah: Not Otherwise Specified said...

I hope so! I think that as soon as I really commit to no more dieting, it will begin to hit me more. I'm still holding out hope that some day there will be a diet that works for me, or that maybe I just didn't try hard enough at WW or MFP. Once I get past those diet mentalities, it's possible that I will be able to stop craving junk constantly.

Leah: Not Otherwise Specified said...

I get that. I'm hoping that one day I no longer want chips and pizza for every meal.

Asia K. said...

Forgot to reply to this the other day ... wow, chips and pizza have always been my biggest weaknesses too. I like sweets, but not as much as chips and pizza. I even worked at pizza restaurants for nearly a decade. Anyway, my message here is that those cravings CAN get better! Probably at least half of the 80 pounds I gained last year were from eating gross takeout pizza (like Papa John's) ... and amazingly, I can't stomach those places anymore. I still like pizza, but I like it in higher quality and reasonable quantity. Never thought I'd say that. But it did take quite a while to get to that point - over a year. However, I think you're in a MUCH better place mentally than I was, so I'll bet it will happen for you much, much faster. :)

thewarpedwoodenbox said...

Hi Leah, I recently found your blog and have been reading bits from various timeframes. Hope you don't mind my babbling here... I have struggled with my weight and self loathing issues for my entire life and I totally relate to what you write. I think it all, but I don't have it written like this and I just wanted to share with you some things that have helped me manage.

I read your piece on WW and how you struggled with your points. I also follow WW and I don't really see it as a diet but a tool to relearn about eating, and wow, it's been fantastic for me. I'm not exercising as much as I was before and I still lose 1.5 pounds a week - something that has made me feel horrible over the past year is to work out like crazy and feel like I'm eating ok and still see the scales stuck or worse... getting higher. I guess I just can't manage my food properly without structure, and with WW I know that by staying within my daily point allowance, I'm able to understand how much food I should be eating, and I also see how much I ate before. I was analyzing my weekly progress report and I can see that once or twice a week (usually in the weekend)I use some of my weekly allowance, and I just allow it without beating myself up, because I WANT to be able to eat pizza and chocolate and drink some wine with my dinner. I don't think you need to give up those special foods that you love, but just have a little less. I know it's not easy all the time - my weight fluctuates by 50 pounds every few years and I'm always struggling to find the balance that my body needs to lose that weight. Do you feel that WW is not an option for you due to your bad experience in the past?

One other thing - when I was looking through some of your shopping cart pics, I noticed that you buy Silk products. When it comes to nut milks, you can make fantastic almond or cashew milk at home, and you don't have the "fortified" crap they put in. I live in Europe (but I'm from the US) and here, I eat plain yogurt, make my own nut milk, I make as much as possible from scratch, including salad dressing,ketcup, vanilla extract... and I love it. When I go home to see my parents, I feel SO frustrated with the difficulties I have finding natural, un-fortified, non-chemical, non corn syrup foods. It's unbelievable.

Try not to be so hard on yourself, and try to love food, cooking it, and the craftsmanship that goes into making everything fresh. I'm still 180 pounds and a size 16, but I feel like I can love myself a little more knowing that I savour my food a little more and take the time to make all these delicious and unprocessed meals.

OH - and chew your food A LOT (aim for 30 times per bite). I've recently started this and WOW - it takes a long time to eat my meal, I get full by the time I'm done, and I have less bloating and digestive issues. For years I've had reflux, fullness, bloating, etc.. and I recently went to a holistic doctor who was checking my back and he felt my stomach and intestines and said, "You eat too quickly and you don't chew enough. Do you have digestion problems?" I was shocked because it was the 2nd time I'd been told this so I took the whole chewing idea on board and it's helped my insides and also helped with making my meals last longer :)

So - long post there... keep writing and sharing your journey here. I think it's invaluable for you - and also many many people who wander and and look around.

thewarpedwoodenbox said...

PS: I also eat mainly vegan and I can send you loads of great food blogs that I follow, if you're interested :)

Chris said...

Have you ever checked out the Eat to Live program?
(so your body gets the nutrients it needs)
http://fiftynotfrumpy.blogspot.com/2012/03/happier-and-healthier.html

MJ said...

I can relate to a lot of what you are saying. For a while i was obsessed with tracking calories/exercise and as a result that guilt thing started that you are talking about. it did create this mental thing where i wanted to eat just to rebel. it was very challenging to get over. i found that when i first stopped tracking there was a honeymoon of wanting to eat junk food all the time. but after a while i stopped wanting that. it was rebellion. i had restricted and deprived for so long that once i could actually eat what i wanted it was hard to stop. but i did. i didn't go back on another diet, i just got through it. i still eat what i want but in moderation. it is definitely a mental process. no diet will ever cure mentally how we see ourselves. the total body acceptance is very important. we have to accept ourselves, and embrace what we used to call 'flaws'. otherwise we undo all the good work we are doing. anyway, i admire you telling the truth on here and seeing your truth in yourself. it's rare these days!

Leah: Not Otherwise Specified said...

Wow, thanks for the comment! I can tell that you put a lot of thought into it and really care. That means so much to me. :-)

I'm not against WW, but I'm not going to do it again. Or I hope not to. I'm trying to stop dieting altogether, no matter how flexible a plan may be. But thanks for the tips, and I'm glad that you enjoy WW. It's great for some, but I'm not one of them anymore.

Great advice about chewing, I tend to inhale my food pretty quickly. You are so right about not being hard on myself! It's something that I work on every day, giving myself a break. :-)

Leah: Not Otherwise Specified said...

Thanks! :-)

I actually did Eat to Live a while back. I think early 2012? Check out that period in my blog if you want to see how I did with it. It definitely is healthy! I lost several pounds in the first bit, but it ended up being too strict for me in the end. I think that my issue is "all or nothing" thinking. I need to find a balance where I eat mostly healthy stuff, but don't feel deprived from junk foods either.

Leah: Not Otherwise Specified said...

This is very encouraging to me! Thanks for sharing. I hope that my rebel days are nearing an end. :-)