Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Back to the old rule book

Some of you may remember this post about what got us started on our weight loss journey.  For those who are new within the past 4 years, go ahead and read it...I'll wait.

Well, we were certainly gung ho about that plan at the time.  We had good intentions but you know what they say about the road to hell and all.  After basically wasting the first two months of this year on a program that didn't work for us, I felt completely defeated.  I broke my body (literally) and my plan had to be dialed down on the strength training front.  I did some tweaking and 3 weeks into mine, I was still not losing anything.  (If this is where people are going to start urging me to cut out a food group or something like that, please don't.  We need to do what is right for our lives and that isn't right for us.)  We knew we had to get back to the things that were working for us initially when we were both over 400 lbs...
I began noticing how fast I was eating...not eating consciously.  It'd take me 20 minutes to prepare a meal and less than half that to eat it.  Sometimes I'd still be hungry after dinner.  I wouldn't eat anything that wasn't planned but it would start to be a mental game.  I am just too friggin' old to play 20 year old mental games where food is concerned.  I've got enough other crap going on to worry about than adding old food issues on top of it.  When I mentioned something to the Mr about being worried about how fast I would occasionally notice myself eating, he agreed he was eating faster than ever as well.

We decided to break out the old Paul McKenna DVD's to see if we could glean the message that first inspired us so much back in 2008.  I'll admit, the set up of the cheesy presentation was a little more distracting than it was even then.  Several things jumped out at me but most importantly, this sentiment he shared:

"I've noticed something very interesting about people who are overweight.  They think about food all the time...except when they're actually eating it and then they shove food into their mouth as fast as they can!"

This had become me.  I never really considered myself a fast eater like the Mr had struggled with but sometimes I would say out loud to myself "slow down, it's not going anywhere!"  If we were ever going to master still being able to have what we wanted on vacation without it taking longer than it should to get the weight off when we got back, mastering eating consciously had to be high on our priority list.  That is what we spent last week doing.  Easter is usually a big downfall for us.  We still do Easter baskets and no, it's not worth it to us to change that.  It's a once a year thing.  But we could be smarter about what we chose to eat along with the basket so I made lunch at home and even when the day went in the crapper and I didn't have it in me to make dinner at home, we got a sandwich and a tiny bag of chips where we would've normally just ordered a pizza at 3x the sodium.  Compared to other Saturdays, sodium was probably 35-40% lower and that in itself was a victory.  I know it would've been less if I'd made dinner at home but this was our first weekend doing this so I have to consider it a success along the way to a better mindset.

Easter Sunday wasn't bad calorie wise at all compared to Easters past.  I pre-planned my calories and stuck to them.  I knew I'd have my annual ham sandwich, a serving of my homemade mac and cheese, a little baked beans, 2 crackers with a little cheeseball and my water.  The Mr and I agreed we would kick each other under the table if we saw the other eating too fast but that wasn't necessary.  Take a bite...chew to mush...drink of water...repeat.  By the time we were done, we felt like we'd gone back for seconds and that's exactly how you want to feel on a day when there is tempting food all around.  I may have had 3 jelly beans off of the Easter platter I made but given I burned 1275 calories that morning, I wasn't going to beat myself up over it.  I also had some sugar free banana cream pie which was factored in as well.  Since I made it, I knew it was made with skim milk and sugar free banana cream pudding so half the family diabetics could enjoy some too.  (I don't tell them that because they'll avoid it like the plague.  *rolling eyes*)

The only time I really kind of messed up is when I wanted to enjoy our Sunday night snack that I'd been looking forward to all day.  It had been an exhausting day and all I wanted to do was sit back and savor that time with the Mr and exhale that the day was over.  Instead, he was screwing with some TV issue and I sat there with some resentment that what I made an effort to time out for us was wasted.  So in anger, I just snarfed it down and didn't even enjoy it.  I could've just eaten it slowly myself and let him do his thing but I didn't.  Notes for the future, I guess.

One thing I always tell my mom is no candy for Easter.  It's too close to our vacations for my liking to work off two baskets.  Well, she got us a gift card for a restaurant and these guys...


I smiled and thanked her for them and told her she didn't have to do that.  I could've done what I've done before and lamented over the fact that she didn't listen (though we didn't talk to say "no candy this year"...I just assume she knows its a standing thing.)  But rather, I appreciated that I'm still her daughter and just as I like tradition, so does she.  She doesn't have to know that I had the Mr take them into work with him because we just can't have that kind of temptation in the house right now.

See?...


1100 extra calories in my gullet just isn't in line with our goals right now.  I feel bad and in years past, we've said 'eff it' and eaten it anyway.  But I'm tired of having that lack of control or having a reason to eat something with justification because someone was nice enough to buy it for me.

So for now, we are going to try to get this mastered so that it can be applied on our high cal day and vacations.  Even though our portions are in line 6 days a week, it's only going to help us.  My system will hopefully appreciate a well chewed meal instead of hunks of food coming down.  It's what helped us lose our first 100 lbs and it's something we know we have to get back to.

Are you a fast eater?  Do you think about food a lot except when you're actually eating it?

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7 comments:

  1. A lot of people might wonder how or why we would have gotten away from the slow eating thing, given how successful it was for us in the beginning especially. Truth is, it was eye opening in terms of our portion sizes and led to us reducing our portions tremendously which fueled further success for a long time and helped us reach new heights in terms of our weight loss. But eventually you start focusing on those portions, counting calories, working out regularly and all the other things that also make a solid foundation for a true lifestyle change. It became easy to continue all those other things to the point where it seemingly did not matter if we ate fast or not. But now it seems obvious that we have got to get back to basics a bit here because we are truly in this for the long haul and this is one area in which I have always struggled in my life. I feel like if we can master this and make it a part of daily life, we will be better off no matter what happens.

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  2. I only have 27 minutes for lunch at work, so I eat like Speedy Gonzales. I just don't have a choice. Unfortunately this habit translates to my other meals too. I try to make a conscious effort to slow down but if I don't concentrate I find myself wolfing my food then too.

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  3. I don't think I eat fast, but I do eat in front of the TV which is probably worse.
    My mother loves me with food items too! I asked her last year not to buy my husband or myself our favorite chocolates for Easter (he agreed) because we just binge on them by eating them in one sitting. I already know she's got some dark chocolate waiting for us this trip. That may be given to the ladies my husband works with who have made it clear that he needs to bring chocolate when he comes to work at their location.

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  4. I eat way too fast. I also eat when I'm not hungry. In fact, I LOVE mindless eating. You know the kind...you sit in a chair in front of the tv, with your hand endlessly diving into a big bowl of popcorn and stuffing it in your mouth. Or M&M's, or potato chips or....(insert junk food here). I didn't make Easter baskets for my grandkids this year, and it was hard. I missed that tradition, but I know they didn't need any more candy, so I got them each a card and put a $5 bill inside and put it in the mail last week. They all love to get mail, and perhaps they can put the money toward something they really want. I did the same thing on Valentine's Day this year, where I used to put together a bag of sweet goodies for each one of them (I have four grandkids). Traditions are tough to let go of, but I have had to forego many in order to maintain my weight loss. One of my favorites at Easter (or anytime, only they're not available any other time) is the maple cream Russell Stover eggs. In fact I had one this year. Only one. It is 140 calories. And it was delicious, just as I remembered. Your Grandma has good taste, isn't it funny that that is one thing she remembers, how good that particular flavor of eggs tastes? Not funny, ha ha, but you know what I mean.

    I was thinking as I was reading of your attempt to get back on the weight loss train instead of the maintaining only vehicle, I realized you are actually winning your battle. For years now you have dedicated yourselves (I'm including the Mr. here) to exercise and eating right. I got back up to 203 lbs. last October after maintaining at 150 (from a high of 328 lbs. in 2009) for several years. I let myself get side-tracked, once again practicing that tool of completely ignoring what I was doing with all the snacking. I did it all of 2015. I repeatedly tried to turn it around, but that number on the scale finally did it to me last Oct. I got down to around 196 before my knee surgery in late Feb. That might not sound like much of a loss, but I look at it this way, it could just as easily have been that much of a gain, if I hadn't made some attempts (half-hearted as they were) to reverse the trend. I'm still working on it, but more whole-heartedly, at least right now. The weight loss train is a hard train to re-board!

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  5. I've always been a fast eater from when I was a little kid because it was my job to clear the table and wash the dishes. All these decades later I still haven't gotten out of that habit. I've been making a conscious effort to slow down and I watch the clock now. And every single time I eat slower, I always feel fuller and satisfied. Part of being a compulsive eater is that my mind knows that it takes 20 minutes for my brain to signal my stomach that it's had enough, so I'd try to shovel in as much as I could before that. My OA meetings have been so helpful in this area because we all talk openly (it's a small group) about what each of our struggles are, but no one ever gives advice on what *I* should do. In fact, advice giving is discouraged because what works for one person could be a complete disaster for someone else (much like how you said eliminating food groups, etc is not a good fit for you and the Mr.). People can share what is or is not working for them and not have to worry about someone trying to tell them what the newest craze is to try. For some, eating three meals a day with nothing in between works great because they don't have to think about food. For others it's smaller more frequent meals because it works with their schedule and lifestyle. Some have to eliminate certain foods do to triggers, and others don't have particular triggers. It's such a personal journey and it's not a one size fits all mentality. And it makes the joys so much better when you find something that works for YOU because it feels more personal that way because you're really listening to what your mind and body need. If I don't write down my food I will obsess all day long about it. My compulsive overeating issues stem right from my head, and no amount of weight loss will fix that if I don't work on the mental/emotional part of it. I'll constantly have to go back to step 1 if I try to bypass the psyche stuff. I've tried to make it just a physical thing, and I've failed every time because I was avoiding the deeper issues. It can be draining, but the more I dig deep emotionally, I find I'm just a wee bit freer from my compulsion. But it's a one day at a time thing. When I get lazy about it, I'm in big trouble and the cycle begins again.

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  6. I'm so very behind on reading, but as always - you have given me some food for thought and I'm so glad you have!!! I could do with some more mindful eating myself and I'm going to really work on that this week. I have been doing pretty good, but this past week I got a little off track so I'm doing what I can to rein it back in right quick. Like not hitting the candy jar and eating an afternoon snack so I don't start bingeing on everything in sight as soon as I walk in the door while waiting for dinner to be ready.

    Thanks girlie!! You are as awesome as always and I'm so thankful for you and the Mr. sharing your journey! <3

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  7. I get a whopping 1/4 c of food and I'm supposed to take 20 minurptes, which I try to do, and no drinking 30 minutes after. I used to inhale my food, too, and it is practice to be mindful plus my little tool will reject anything g eaten quickly. You rock for working on all this now. Had I done so, I might not have had to go to extreme measures. Always enjoy the peek into your journey.

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