Category Archives: Mindful eating

Not a Lean Cuisine


I was so tempted to just heat up a Lean Cuisine for dinner last night…..

I was on my own for the night. The boys took off to do boy things. Since it was a Rest Day, I decided to use my time wisely and run errands. Library, grocery store, dyed my hair, cleaned the bathroom, did laundry, and got sucked into hours of Netflix TV.

It would have been super easy to just heat up a frozen meal and call it good. I was very tempted. And I was feeling very lazy. I decided to suck it up and make something. Oy.

First, I cooked some plain whole wheat Couscous. Opened a can of chickpeas:

Then I steamed broccoli and tossed both on top of the couscous.

Then I drizzled some Goddess Dressing on top of everything. Fairly low in calories for the whole thing and I was filled up.

I also munched on some green grapes after dinner. Something else that saved a lot of calories? Not drinking wine with dinner. It’s amazing how many calories I save by NOT drinking. Which sucks because I love wine, I love trying new wines, I love wine-tasting. But really, who can just stop with one glass of wine? Those calories add up fast!

Today (Wednesday) Michael’s father and step-mom arrive from Texas. They will be visiting until Sunday. The step-sister and boyfriend arrive on Thursday and will be visiting until Sunday as well. Jeremy is still here with us too. So I think the plan for the next few days is a lot of EATING OUT! Gasp. Michael told me our dinner plans for the next 5 days and I think we are hitting every good restaurant in Portland. Which is understandable because they are also the favorite restaurants of the family visiting! It’s all good……

I will be strong.

I will be strong.

I will be strong.

I will…..be…..oooh is that cheesecake?

Oh.

I will BE strong!!!

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The Weekend Eater


Are you a weekend overeater? It’s a common trap for “dieters” or people watching what they eat. They eat so well all week, follow a schedule/plan, work out, then Friday night comes.

I Want 3 Please

Happy hours

Birthday Parties

BBQ’s

Picnics

Date night out

Movies with popcorn

The traps are endless.

BBQ

Eating the ideal number of calories 355 days of the year and an excess 1,000 calories on the 10 big holidays (with no extra exercise to compensate) would lead to a 3 pound weight gain, but being over your calorie needs by just 200 calories EVERY day of the year would result in gaining 20 pounds! Most Americans consistently eat too many calories, day after day after day. I call it the β€œsnowball effect.””

1,000 Calories in Movie Popcorn

Tips for Eating Better on the Weekends

1. Don’t stop exercising on the weekends. I try to take 2 days off a week from exercise. I need those rest days (even if I don’t want them) so I usually plan my rest days for Tues/Thurs. It helps break up the monotony and I KNOW I will eat more on the weekends–so I make sure I get my exercise in.

2. Keep tracking calories/points on the weekends. Weekends do not equal a free pass. Those calories count the same as Monday’s calories. πŸ™‚

3. Avoid the “I’ll start the diet on Monday” mentality. I go by the 90/10 rule. Splurging once in awhile is not license to eat everything in sight all the time.

4. Plan ahead. If you have a big event planned for the weekend, try eating about 100-200 calories less the few days leading up to it. But DON’T starve yourself. That’s not the answer. An example would be: don’t eat dessert Thursday or Friday night and eat dessert on Saturday night instead.

5. Don’t drink your calories! Alcohol really adds up. You can still have fun, but maybe drink something “lighter”. Instead of a Strawberry Daiquiri for 500+ calories, have a Rum and Diet coke for 100 calories.

6. Don’t starve yourself during the day. It’s one thing to eat lighter in preparation for going out to dinner on a Saturday night, it’s another thing to starve yourself and then make bad choices later.

7. Split entrees with a friend. Or even better, split dessert with the whole table! It saves money and calories! Another alternative would be to order a few appetizers, soup and a salad as your meal instead of an entree.

8. If you weigh in once a week, or have a Weight Watchers weigh in, change your date to Monday. That could keep you on track during the weekend!

QUESTION: Are you a weekend over-eater? What tips and tricks do you have?

Potluck Anxiety


Today at work there’s a potluck for lunch. I usually don’t participate in these things because I feel like I can’t eat most of the food. It’s a goofy food issue, I know. I just get anxious about how many calories I’m eating. I didn’t make the food, I don’t know how many calories are in what I’m eating, and it’s always really tasty stuff — which means there’s a risk of overeating.

I brought some Biscotti and sliced a few oranges.

Someone else brought pizza, and a few people also brought Fried Chicken from Popeye’s!

Strawberry salad. MMmmm! I love my coworker’s strawberry salad because it’s so crunchy. I MUST get the recipe so I can recreate it. πŸ™‚

Of course, the dessert table is out of control!

I saw a tiny piece of pizza and I snagged that. I got 1 piece of chicken. 1 scoop of hummus, 1 scoop of artichoke dip, a few crackers, 1 scoop of coleslaw, and 1 scoop of mashed potatoes. My goal was to just have a taste of everything I wanted to try and not go overboard.

After I ate that stuff, I got some of the strawberry salad and a slice of watermelon. Wonderful! I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to resist the desserts or have a bite.

On another note, I wrote a short review of my new running shorts over on my Product Reviews Page. Check it out!

QUESTION: Do you like potlucks? Do you feel pressured to eat things you wouldn’t normally eat? How do you deal with that?

UPDATE: I went back for some more Strawberry salad and gave in…I had a taste of the key lime pie and the chocolate pie!!!


Food Remorse


I’ve been beating myself up since last night. I over-ate at dinner. 😦

We made burritos for dinner. In my burrito I put in: leftover quinoa, pinto beans, shredded cheese, guacamole, salsa, light sour cream, and sliced olives. It wasn’t overflowing, so that’s good.

Dinner

I also split a cheese quesadilla with Michael. That’s where I should have stopped. The burrito was enough food. Especially since we had tortilla chips and guacamole….

Guacamole

SIGH! I seriously ate too much food last night. I wish I’d been more conscious about my eating. But today is a new day.

For breakfast we had scrambled eggs, 1 piece of bacon and 1 piece of toast.

Standard Breakfast

Last night we watched the Blazer game and I read “Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition” book. I took lots of notes, which I will post more of later!

Your Inner Food Critic


I just finished reading the book “Mindful Eating.” I’ve posted quotes from the book in previous posts but I wanted to follow up with a few more thoughts.

“When our relationship to eating and food is out of balance, it is easy to be overcome with negative emotions. [pg117]” Do you think you have a good relationship with food? Do you regret what you eat, even if it’s healthy food?

One topic in the last chapter of the book really hit home to me. It discussed the damage our “inner critic” can do to our self esteem and well-being. It’s also called “negative self talk.” I have to confess that I don’t always have the best relationship with food. Even if I eat healthy, sometimes my Inner Critic will start chatting in my head saying things like “Why did you eat that? Did you really need a second helping? You’re going to get fat.” Some other thoughts:

The Inner Critic says:

“You should eat less.”

“You should not be so uptight about food.”

“You should not drink so much, it makes you gain weight.”

I also confess that I analyze myself in the mirror sometimes to see if there are any changes. Instead of looking at my body and seeing the muscles, seeing the fit person who just ran an 8k race, I see the extra flab that I still “need” to lose. Can we ever really be happy with who we are?

“At Plum Village, the Zen practice center founded by Thich Nhat Hanh, before meals they say, “In this food I see clearly the presence of the entire universe supporting my existence. [pg 139]”

QUESTION: what steps are you taking to silence the Inner Critic? Do you think you have a good relationship with the food you eat?

Weigh In & Measurements


Today I weighed in for the first time since December. I am NOT happy with the number I saw.

I weigh EXACTLY what I weighed in December. What?!

*I’ve stopped taking a medication that I think is responsible for some of my weight gain.
*I’ve stopped drinking alcohol for over a month, and when I do drink it now I limit it to one or two servings once in awhile.
*I’ve been counting my calories again and being diligent with my food.
*I’ve been working out even harder to train for the upcoming Shamrock Run.

So what happened? I have no idea. Perhaps I have hit a plateau and need to be patient. Perhaps I am not eating the RIGHT foods. I need to sit down and look back at my food diary and see where I’m lacking. I’ve plateaued many, many times before in my journey to lose 100 pounds. I think this current Plateau is my body telling me that I need to have a better relationship with food.

“When our relationship to eating and food is out of balance, it is easy to be overcome with negative emotions. We may feel aversion to the sight of our body in the mirror, jealous toward people who can eat ‘anything they want,’ or anger towards ourselves for our inability to end our struggle with food and eating. What can we do to counteract these unhappy feelings? [Mindful Eating, pg 117]”

When I weighed 143 (my lowest weight), my life was very different. I ate a very limited diet and counted my calories. I ate a lot of Lean Cuisines. My diet was plain and boring. My exercise routine was swimming and the elliptical machine at the gym. Now I swim, run and do a weight routine. Perhaps the weights are adding weight to me.

UPDATE: Tonight after swimming I measured myself. Here are the numbers:

From 12/30/09:
Chest: 38 inches (which is weird since I wear a 34 bra)
Waist: 36 inches
Hips: 39 inches
Thighs: 22 inches

From 3/8/10:
Chest: 38 inches
Waist: 35 inches
Hips: 38 inches
Thighs: 22 inches

So I’ve lost about an inch around my middle section. That’s something! πŸ™‚

Mindful Eating, Part 2



I am really enjoying the book “Mindful Eating.” I’ve been reading it slowly and really trying to learn from it. Like many people with eating disorders or food issues, I’ve never had a positive relationship with food.

The current chapter I’m reading is about recognizing your emotions surrounding food. “If you were raised in a difficult family, mealtimes maybe have been unpleasant. [pg65]”

Here is my favorite concept so far: “In Pavlov’s experiments with dogs, food was paired with a bell. Perhaps in your home, food was paired with stress, shame, anxiety and danger. In Pavlov’s experiments, the sound of a bell made the conditioned dogs salivate….[For humans] there could be many different results, many possible behaviors, that result from the pairing of eating with stress. Even after you grew up, left home, and could eat alone in safety, events could trigger the body and mind to react as they did when you were a child. Because the family table was the scene of unhappiness, you may feel subtle anxiety when you sit down to eat.[pg66]”

It will probably take the rest of my life to accomplish my goal to have a better relationship with food. To work towards my goal, I will:
1. Learn to recognize real hunger and when I am full.

2. Learn to eat slower so I enjoy and experience my food.  

3. Recognize what my triggers are for “mindless” eating (emotional, etc) and stop doing it!

4. Realize it’s quality not quantity of food.  

5. Stop feeling shame when I “slip up.”

Note: There are donuts here at work today. I actually have no desire to have one! Shocking! I’m actually excited to eat my banana for snack. Why? Because I know how that donut will make me feel after I eat it.

QUESTION: How does food make you feel?