Wednesday, April 16, 2014
What I expected:
To be weighed.
To be measured.
To learn my BMI.
To be shocked by my BMI.
To be told what foods are bad.
To be bummed out about all the foods on the bad food list.
To be told what foods are good.
To not like any of those foods.
To be told I shouldn't eat certain foods.
To be told how much to exercise.
To be given a food plan filled with foods I've never heard of.
To feel overwhelmed by all of the information.
What actually happened...
I sat down and the dietitian began asking me questions.
It felt like a counseling session...and I was uncomfortable at first.
She asked why I was there.
"I'm 48, food sticks to my body like barnacles to a rock even though I exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet but sometimes I'm bad and have treats that I probably shouldn't...but not very often."
"Wait...why are you so judgmental of yourself?"
"Food isn't bad...you're not bad for eating food."
"Well, I'm talking about cookies and sweets."
"Why are those foods bad?"
This is when I first began reconsidering my ideas about food...and why I eat it.
All food is permitted...good...it's WHY you eat it that matters...
"When do you usually eat. Do you know what hunger feels like?" she asked.
"Oh good, some people don't know that feeling...they've never allowed themselves to be truly physically hungry."
"So, is that when you eat...when your stomach is growling?"
"No, not always."
"When are other times that you eat?"
"When I'm bored...upset...happy...celebrating...with friends or family...in social situations."
"OK, so you eat emotionally..."
My first assignment was to write down or pay attention to what I was feeling every single time I reached for something to eat. Am I physically hungry or is there some other reason? I did it. Here's the overwhelming reason I eat: I reward myself...for running!
My mantra: Will run for food.
I could write it with a black Sharpie on a piece of cardboard and attach it to my back when I'm running...it's that true...
What the heck?
I'm completely sabotaging my efforts!
That was unbelievably eye opening.
What to do?
Well, awareness is an amazing first step. Once I know what I'm doing, I can make a choice to do something different...and I did...
I started rewarding myself in other ways...I'm drinking lots of water - a reward in itself - and doing nice things for me like taking a little more time to write.
I've bought myself succulent plants...I have several containers of succulents now...it's a little ridiculous, but really super fabulous at the same time!
I've bought more music on iTunes so my runs are more fun!
I have started to see running as it's own reward...my body thanks me...and I don't need to feed it...the run is something nice in and of itself! (yes, I really do love to run!)
I'm starting to change my mind....the way my mind gets wrapped around food...and eating...and exercise.
So now my assignment is to learn to stop eating when I'm almost full...because if I'm almost full, I'm actually full...and I'll feel it in 20 minutes.
Looks like I'll have to stay away from Olive Garden and the unlimited salad and breadsticks...and Mexican restaurants with those glorious baskets of chips...or learn to eat just a little of those things and save myself for the entree...
So much to learn...
And yes, we did talk a bit about eating a balanced diet...cutting back on treats but not eliminating them because...well...they're treats! Hallelujah!
I'm glad I went to see a dietitian...it wasn't at all what I expected and I'm actually relieved. I don't do diets...and honestly, I don't do exercise well either, but I have changed my perceptions...the way I think about food...and that has changed the way I eat for the better.