This post was inspired by a few things I’ve been reading on other sites and a discussion I had on the phone yesterday with my bestie Sarrah.
I was telling her about how I wrote yesterday about yoga saving me from really falling into a real depression and how it also helps me to deal with being a mom and handling my kids. We were talking about how it’s okay sometimes to lose it with your kids….in a sane way….because they have to learn how to deal. I was also talking about the need to stay engaged with the fitness industry so that I don’t swing too far one way.
For example….most of my family is overweight and obese and has health issues galore. Therefore, I entered this field a long time ago with the sole purpose of avoiding that genetically inclined future. Some of it is lifestyle choices, some of it is genetically predisposed. This lead to a swing in the opposite direction to where I had an eating disorder to overcome. I had a hard time even stomaching the idea of food entering my mouth, let alone eating it. This was also a product of some verbal abuse on my dad’s part and a lot of other factors that I don’t feel like going into today.
I was a physically active teenager and didn’t quite grasp the idea of eating for fuel….or eating at all. Then, when I started to allow myself to enjoy food, I found that I could easily swing hard in the opposite direction. When I got married the first time, it was nothing for me to polish off an entire carton of Oreos in one day….and the bagel/cheese sandwich which was just a plain white bagel, toasted, and containing anywhere from 2-3 slices of colby jack cheese between the bagel halves. Oh, this was the life I was living at 21. These foods had little distinguishing flavors other than sweet or salty and that’s all I needed.
Now, yoga helps keep me balanced, but I also employ other strategies like Mindful Eating which I learned at GMFR. My strategies include keeping certain “trigger foods” out of sight in the pantry and refridgerator. I still know they’re there, but it takes me a little longer to see them and that means I’m not as likely to reach directly for them….mindlessly. I also try to avoid keeping certain things in the house on the regular.
There was a time when ice cream was always on the grocery list. Every night I would follow a routine….put the kids to bed, get my jammies on, eat ice cream and watch tv. EVEN IF I WASN’T HUNGRY! So, the ice cream has slowly found it’s way into the “only when we really want it” purchase list. I also try to avoid buying the chips that I like and focus more on the ones my husband likes. He’s the one who asks for chips in the first place, so I should get the ones he likes and I don’t so that I won’t be as inclined to eat the whole bag.
I use a different strategy all together at Dunkin Donuts because I find myself eating there a lot when I travel. First, who doesn’t love donuts?! Second, they’re reasonably priced for what I order and open early. I usually get tea with honey or an orange juice (depending upon the gig), the veggie egg white flatbread (as long as it’s without mushrooms as I’m allergic), and then the munchkins. At 5/$1 I can trick myself into thinking I’m getting more donuts for less. On top of that….they have 5 flavors of munchkins at Dunkin and by getting one of each and taking 3 bites of each munchkin, I can pretty much convince myself that I’ve eaten 5 donuts instead of 5 donut bites.
Why all of these strategies when I’m a fitness professional? Because we all have our baggage and we all need things that work for us. Remember that there’s no right or wrong way to eat well and live well unless it hurts you or others around you. Admitting that I need these strategies even though I know “the right way to eat” just makes me more human.
What are your strategies for eating well?