Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Eating your feelings

You know those days when you come home after a stressful day and head straight for the cupboard?  Yup, I'm guilty of it, and it used to control me and my expanding waistline.  It would be a mind game to myself.  If I had previously been on track, I would somehow convince myself that I didn't deserve the results I was after and I would graze continuously on crunchy, salty, sweet, fatty foods.  A downward spiral, right?

No.  Not anymore.  Yes, I still crave "bad" foods when I'm stressed or have a lot on my mind, but I have REPLACED these habits when I recognize what's going on.  I have a self-check method.  As soon as I hit the cupboard, I ask myself this:

Am I HUNGRY?   (the answer is usually no)
WHY am I reaching for food?  
WHAT is bothering you?

You can see where these questions might lead me.....away from the cupboard.  Some habits I've replaced the destructive eating with include working out, taking the dogs for a walk, doing laundry, painting my nails, mud mask, calling a friend or family member, cleaning the bathroom (HUGE appetite suppressant, lol), and anything that gets me out of the kitchen.

I'll be quite honest, I don't always win, but I think I win enough to make some progress.  I'm fast approaching being the leanest, strongest, physique I've ever been, and I have to believe it's because I have diffused this "bomb" at least 75% of the time.  I do have a method for when I absolutely cannot resist the urge to stuff my face, shakeology.  Yes, seriously.  It has saved me these last two + years.  I normally have it for breakfast, but I will also have it at night when I'm suffering the snack attack.  I love icecream.  I love it so much that I cannot buy it because it will call my name from the freezer until it's gone.  Who's with me on this?  Well, I now make shakeology icecream.  I purposely bought a jet-speed blender with an ice cream button for this purpose, and it comes out like beautiful soft serve ice cream. To find out more about my food hero:

Here's my recipe:
1 cup liquid (I use almond milk, coconut milk, coconut water, water, or a combo of)
1 scoop shakeology
Optional-2 Tbsp PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
1 cup frozen fruit (some goodies are strawberries, bananas, mixed berries, pineapple, mango, etc)
1-1.5 cups of ice (add LAST, a little at a time and pause blender to stop air pockets, push down with rubber spatula)
Pour into a bowl, grab a spoon and a wool hat to wear ;)  So YUM!

Of course there are times I head for the cupboard and I actually AM hungry.   That's when I start to make a healthy meal.  As I'm cooking, I sometimes have a pile of raw veggies to snack on.  Carrots are a great remedy.

If you are reading this, I encourage you to comment about some of your methods to stop emotional eating.  We can help each other out.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

No More Shame

I've been doing a lot of soul searching this year.  I am in a position where I now help coach people to better health and fitness.  Learning about these people and listening as they discover what is at the heart of their drive has helped ME look within to understand where I've come from.  It has been a long (and necessary) road.

I was never a popular kid in school.  I grew up in a lower middle class family and I didn't wear designer clothes, hang with the "in" crowd or participate in pay-to-play sports.  I was a band geek, science nerd, drama freak.....and internalized my shameful feelings that developed from ostracism, lack of support and understanding at home and being bullied.  Growing up, I always felt there was something "wrong" with me and that I was unworthy of success.  I tried to make myself invisible and wanted to hide most of the time.  I hated my body and fixated on it because I felt that was why no one liked me.  When I was 13, I was buying dexatrim pills.  That was only the beginning of a dangerous cycle of self destruction.  I buried myself in my schoolwork, acing almost all of my classes.  This continued all the way into college.  Instead of being proud of an A assignment, I obsessed with the answers I got wrong.  In my eyes, I was not good enough. 

Why?  The exact answer is unclear.  There has been a lot of pain, embarrassment, shame and regret in my life.  I'm not proud of all my past choices, but I realize as an adult, they HAD to happen to make me who I am today.  I AM good enough.   I deserve greatness.  I am worthy of success.  This acceptance has given me the strength to move forward and help others.  For this, I am grateful, more than words could ever describe.