Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Diet soda and gum

DIET SODA AND GUM- Let me first say that I am in no way against either of these things.  I will not preach about the evils that artificial sweetners do to us, or about how these are not "real" things, but fake franken-food stuffs.  That is soooo not the point of this post.

What is the point, you ask?

Well.  It's just another post about my newfound status as an non-emotional eater.

Since I stopped eating for reasons other than hunger a few weeks ago, I've noticed something else that felt blog-worthy. 

I used to almost constantly be drinking a diet soda or chewing a piece of sugar free gum.  Seriously.  Almost constantly.  Some days actually constantly.

I would wake up, drink diet coke until I could get breakfast, then immediately pop a piece of gum in my mouth after my meal was gone.  After the gum went bad, I would either pop in a new piece, eat a snack, or drink another diet soda.  Seriously.  From the time that I woke up in the morning until right before bedtime, my mouth was either chewing or swallowing.

Last week I chewed only 4 pieces of gum and drank about 4 diet sodas a day.  For me, this is a huge decrease. 

This was not a consious move.  It was just an observation that I didn't have to buy my usual three pack of gum and three 12-packs of diet soda for the week.  Because I still have plenty left from the week before.

And it hit me:  I was not just an emotional eater.  I was an emotional drinker and chewer, too.  I was using diet soda and sugar free gum as tools to get me through those non-eating hours.  I wanted to constantly be eating.  But because that caused weight gain, I was contantly chewing gum or drinking diet soda between meals and snacks.

I also think that this was leftover EDNOS behavior.  Back in my severe ED days (about 8 years ago), I was all about the diet soda and sugar free gum.  Even though I "recovered" (I put that word in quotes because my food obsession didn't actually end until recently), I kept the diet soda and sugar free gum addictions as a safety net.

Why I drank diet soda before:
(1) to fill me up between meals
(2) to enjoy as a beverage between with my food
(3) to wake up!

Why I drink diet soda now:
(1) to enjoy as a beverage with my food
(2) to wake up...

Why I chewed sugar free gum before:
(1) to keep my mouth busy between meals

Why I chew sugar free gum now:
(1) when my mouth tastes bad and I suspect bad breath.

I'm not planning to give either up.  I enjoy my diet sodas and gum a lot.  And now that I'm consuming them in moderation (hey - four cans a day is low for some of us!)  I see no reason to be concerned about it.  If I naturally continue to consume less and less of each over time until they are just occassional treats or I just no longer want them, then fine.  Otherwise, they are in my life to stay.  :-)

Mom with her token Diet Coke in hand

Plus, Mom was a Diet Coke fan and I will always think of her when I drink that specific diet soda. 

What are your thoughts on diet soda and sugar free gum?  Do you consume them more than you would like; are you anti- or pro-?  Let me know!  :-)

Friday, March 8, 2013

a little perspective...

July 2011 - 146 pounds

I actually stumbled across this on Google images, while researching cellulite, LOL.

I forgot that how tiny I got a couple of years ago. I remember only kind of liking this picture back then. How crazy is my perception of myself?

This picture first made me a little sad, because I am currently 43 pounds heavier than I was in it.

But here's the thing: I am learning to love my body as it is NOW. How I ate back then was clearly not sustainable for me. I'm working towards self-acceptance, furthering my recovery from EDNOS by letting go of the ideas of perfection, nurturing myself by cooking and exercising most days, and really learning to enjoy both.

I'm happier with my body TODAY than I was 43 pounds lighter. Because I appreciate it more. I love it more.

March 2013 - 189 pounds

And oh yeah, I've learned that life is short. I have spent way too many days crying about FAT. I'm no longer willing to waste my precious time feeling terrible about things that I have no control over. (Yes, you may say that I DO have control over my body size, and you are mostly right, but I cannot change it IMMEDIATELY.) All I have control over today are my choices.

And I choose to eat (mostly) healthy food, to exercise (almost) daily, and to love myself and my body unconditionally. Join me, won't you?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

JUNK FOOD (the chip clip people)

I will start this post by admitting (once again) that I am eating junk food every day. 

But for me, this is actually a victory.

Let me explain.

For years, ever since age 11 or so, I have had an unhealthy relationship with food.  I've considered myself addicted to some foods, and to be an emotional eater, a closet eater, an anorexic, a binge-eater, and a chronic dieter, to name a few...

I would always be amazed when I went into someone's house and saw a bag of chips with a CHIP CLIP on it, as if the idea of not eating the entire bag in one sitting was impossible for me.  I didn't know what these people who could keep junk food in the house without obsessing about it.

Some examples of my obsessive thoughts about junk food in my house:

"When will I be alone so that I can eat it?" 
"Why was I so stupid to buy this junk food?"
"WTF is wrong with me?"
"It's okay, I can eat them later..." 
"When can I eat the whole thing???" 
"Why did I eat the whole thing???"
"DON'T eat it.  Just keep it as a reminder of the fat pig that you used to be."
"Why am I torturing myself?"
"Just eat it, then start over tomorrow!"
"And never buy these again." 
"Bad girl for buying these!"
"Good girl for not eating these yet!"
"Bad girl for eating all of these!"
"Good girl for only eating a couple!"
"Bad girl for buying them in the first place.  Seriously, NEVER AGAIN."
"If they weren't here, I wouldn't have eaten them.  STUPID."

And on and on and on.

Whenever I tried Intuitive Eating, I would end up eating mostly junk food.  This was probably because I was still looking at IE as a diet, and I knew that some day it would be over, and that I wouldn't be allowed to eat chips and cookies every day anymore.  Because no one can eat those daily and  be healthy, right?!

Now that I have truly let go of emotional eating, and am allowing myself to truly eat whatever I want without restriction (besides staying within a very generous calorie range and trying to listen to my hunger signals), I am able to enjoy a moderate amount of junk food every day.

I'm finally one of the chip clip people.  I have a box of cookies in the pantry, and a couple of bags of chips.  I enjoy some every evening that I want to, and that has been most evenings these days.  They fit effortlessly into my daily calories, and I am able to stop after a serving or two EVERY TIME.

No longer do I experience true cravings for junk food.  There is no need to crave it, because I can have it today, and again tomorrow, and again the day after that, indefintely. 

That part of Intuitive Eating that I was missing, the part about unconditional permission to eat...  I'm finally there.  And I'm enjoying copious amounts of healthy meals, alongside some junk food every day (see yesterday's Tasty Tuesday).  And I'm 100% okay with this.

Forbidden fruit?  Not any more!  Goodbye, chip fantasies.

One side effect of this is that it's no longer exciting to go down the chips aisle at the grocery store, because I'm no longer thinking "this may be the last time that I will buy this, because I may decide to do a no-junk-food-challenge again soon".  Having chips always available to me has really taken away some of their allure.  Which is  HUGE victory for me.

I think that eventually, if I continue along this path, I will no longer want junk food every day.  But for now, I do.  And that's okay.  My food diary is a judgement-free zone.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tasty Tuesday!

the "no more emotional eating"/ MFP / 
listening to my body edition.  

my preferred intern breakfast:  unfrosted poptarts and diet soda

Leftovers for lunch! (recipe for this dish coming soon!)
Not pictured:  Fage 0% peach yogurt and some carrot sticks
Dinner: mango salsa over broccoli, cauliflower, and a
black bean chipotle gardenburger.  Delish.

me after an elliptical workout at the Y

late night snack #1: Keebler cinnamon roll cookies!

late night snack #2: Baked Ruffles.
Total calories consumed: 1793
Total calories burned: 506
Net calories for the day: 1287

This day is pretty typical for me these days, except sometimes my evening snack is bigger and I don't eat a "proper" dinner.  This is just me, listening to both my hunger signals and my mind, and tracking it all on My Fitness Pal.  I wanted to get this post out of the way because it is in fact Tuesday, so tomorrow will be the post about junk food.  (Though based on this post, you can probably guess how I feel about it).

Coming soon:  A post about junk food, a recipe post (for today's lunch), and possibly another book giveaway...  ;-)