I think I have a problem...although I do think I've gained a ton of healthy habits, am more able to choose healthy things to eat, etc., I sometimes feel that getting healthy has actually ruined my ability to eat normally or enjoy eating.
For instance, I spend an hour or two planning my meals for the upcoming week to ensure I have the appropriate balance of protein/carbs/fat, and also ensure I stay at a respectable calorie intake (always trying to keep that calorie deficit around the 500 mark). I cringe when co-workers eat what they consider to be 'healthy food'. And the food isn't even that bad, but I can't help but feel guilty about regular low fat yogurt (like all those yummy flavored ones) knowing my plain, nonfat, greek yogurt is way better for me. And I don't do granola bars, I'm very selective about regular granola and crackers (carbs in general, very picky).
Going out to eat is a whole other monster...mostly because all the low fat or healthier substitutes that I use at home aren't generally used in restaurants. It add so much fat and calories and junk to my meal and I have a hard time accounting for it all.
Now I think I'm making a big deal out of nothing, but sometimes I just wonder if I'll ever be able to eat more normally. Can I ever enjoy an occasional piece of birthday cake without mentally counting up all the calories I've just taken in? That's my problem, I'm so used to counting everything that I can't seem to let it go. Last time I tried to ease up on my control, I lost it! I ended up making cookie dough just to eat it, even when I wasn't hungry, and didn't stop until I was so full it was painful. A lot of the time I think I am far from grasping a healthy lifestyle and I'm circulating painfully between extreme control and extreme non-control.
It gets mundane and we get bored or sick of the food or always having to be accountable. HOWEVER, and this is a biggie for me...."The Foods That Made Us Fat Are Not The Foods That Will Make Us Thin".
I diet along and then I get bored or feeling sorry for myself and I justify having a treat. The treat may be too big and lead to more treats which means binging. I can't let this happen to me anymore.
I also look around in the restaurants. I look like everyone else there. Overweight. The portions are too large. Diet food from a menu isn't any fun, and once again I feel sorry for myself.
The truth is, food has control over me and has for a very long time. In order to have control over my food, I need to be here on fitday. Writing it all down. Burning it off. Making sure that I get the weight off once and for all. When it is off, it's not over. I can't go back to eating a bag of fritos and dip, though that sounds really good right now. So instead, I'll be happy with my changing body and too big clothes, knowing fritos didn't get me here.
I have a son I need to be around for. There's no cake that is more important than him.
All the time. I wage a constant battle with the "All-OR-Nothing" beast. I do have enough self confidence now, that I know once Monday morning rolls around I will have my butt back in the saddle. I've started to feel like fitness is a M-F job and SS I can step off the wagon a little and it's okay, although I sometimes worry that if I hit a pot hole getting back in the wagon will be a whole lot harder than it should be.
I do know how you feel, but at the risk of sounding a little preachy, one of the benefits of FitDay is that it helps us learn how to eat for the rest of our lives, not just with the immediate goal of losing weight. If your expectation is that once you get to your desired weight with all of this food deprivation, you wil be able to go back to the old habits, you will probably find yourself right back where you started on this journey.
You do have options as pretty much everyone has noted. Sure, you can eat cake from time to time. And restaurant meals are OK too. Sometimes I keep my calories extra low during the day so that I can enjoy some extra calories during a meal out. And from time to time I just say f***- it I'm going to enjoy a great meal without stressing about the calories, because food is a pleasure. It won't solve any of my problems, but it is there to be enjoyed.
You've been around for a while, and I am sure you have done the internet searches and readings to try and figure out why some people seem to never gain a pound, while for most of us, just looking at a cupcake seems to pack on a pound or 2. In my opinion, part of how thin folks manage is that they make friends with food - good food, food worth waiting for, rather than the 1st thing we can find to stuff in our mouths. Making food the enemy, or something to be fearful of only maintains the control food has over you life, rather than the otherway around. You are the boss here!
I suspect your post was written at a particularly low point - we all have those . Try to keep in mind all of the great things you can eat, instead of focusing on the things you "can't" eat. Much of what you "can't" eat isn't really all that tasty anyway. And keep your eye on prize - a slim, healthy, and most important - happy you.
yep, I know exactly how you feel. That's why I love my cheat day. It's a free for all, whatever I want. Logging foods can be a PITA after a while but it keeps me on the straight and narrow 6 days a week. I think the biggest thing to learn here is that it's about making a change. Eating things now that you didn't use to and not eating what you use to eat.
Like shibaluvr said "The Foods That Made Us Fat Are Not The Foods That Will Make Us Thin". I think that is a big part of it, as well as portion control, learning why we binge eat and getting to the root of the real problem. I feel I have a pretty good handle on what I should and should not eat when I'm trying to eat clean, as well as portion sizes. I thought about taking a week off of logging on here just to see if I can stay as clean as I would if I were logging it, but I have a feeling I wouldn't. Then again, I logged everything this week and still ate like crap.
When I first joined this way this used to happen to me. Logging in everything, including calculating things I ate at restaurants and parties. I couldn't eat my mom's food without asking how she made it, what she used, in what quantities. It was always on my mind and was taking over my life. So I just stopped. It wasn't fun anymore.
What I've learned is that a lot of our health problems can be pinned on stress. Low-level, chronic stress. I don't fault anyone for planning their week's meals ahead of time, cooking food in bulk and putting it into tupperware for the week, maintaining discipline, eating well, counting calories religiously, etc. If you do it passionately and feel better about yourself at the end of the day, more power to you.
But if this is turning into a major worry for you, you might be just spinning your wheels. People downplay the effects of stress, but it disrupts sleep and causes the body to hold on to fat, which might make you more controlling and stressed-out. If your control level causes you to judge people for what they eat, that's an added stress burden on your life. It might be time to backpedal a little and focus on you, what makes you happy (and I don't mean short-term happy like chocolate cake), what lifestyle you can sustain for both having a long life and having a life.
On a more practical note, if I weight train hard and heavy a few hours before I go to a party or a restaurant, I've found I can eat practically anything (within reason) and not ruin my progress. And I don't worry about counting anything for this meal. It's not worth the mental burden.
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.
Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
Can I ever enjoy an occasional piece of birthday cake without mentally counting up all the calories I've just taken in? That's my problem, I'm so used to counting everything that I can't seem to let it go. Last time I tried to ease up on my control, I lost it! I ended up making cookie dough just to eat it, even when I wasn't hungry, and didn't stop until I was so full it was painful. A lot of the time I think I am far from grasping a healthy lifestyle and I'm circulating painfully between extreme control and extreme non-control.
Hello. I wanted to tell you that this is exactly the reason why I quit Weight Watchers. I was counting EVERY single point I put in my mouth. And while I did lose weight with it, I didn't feel like I could enjoy life anymore. I've tried it many times with the same result.
This time around, while I'm counting calories and have goals, this is my lifestyle change. Not my diet. My goal overall is to be healthy. But what's the point in being healthy if you can't enjoy yourself once in a while? I love food. I love tasting food. And thank the lord my husband is a fantastic cook. I don't want to miss out on family events or my husband's fantastic cooking because of being afraid I'll gain a pound. Heck...my weight fluctuates up to 5 pounds PER DAY based on water!!
I say relax. Indulging ONCE IN A WHILE is not going to hurt you. Maybe just remember to compensate for it the next day! Enjoy the moment but make up for it too.
Starting Weight: 219 (1/18/11)
Current Weight: 208.5 (6/3/11)
Goal: 175 by Feb. 10, 2012 (Day we leave for Cancun)
I do appreciate the words of wisdom and encouragement, so a big thanks to everyone. I know I can’t ever go back to eating crap (that is what made me unhealthy to begin with), but I do need to find that balance where I can have a cheat here and there without any guilt. My issue is that darn pie chart on fitday! I can plan for a cheat here and there, or even add maybe some peanut butter to something I normally wouldn’t because I love it so much, but when I watch that darn pie chart add up the percentage of fat or carbs that cheat is adding in, I backtrack and end up having one of my staple snacks that provide more protein and less carbs/fat instead.
Knowing how much work goes into my eating healthy, it’s no small wonder I was so unhealthy before (it’s easier to live that way, even if I didn’t feel better living that way). Even now, one glass of wine and I feel crappy the whole next day. Armed with that single fact, I’m able to resist even the occasional drink I might have otherwise had. I have similar feelings about eating overly greasy and sugary foods…I just feel like crap the whole next day while that junk is worked out of my system. Moving my weigh-in day to Sunday morning also helped curb some of the junk eating I used to do on weekends. Cheating on Saturday affects that Sunday weigh-in, so I eat much more carefully.
Healthy habits certainly aren’t a means to an end for me, I know that, but sometimes I like to dream that I can eat whatever I want and not get fat again. I know, I’m just complaining and really the control freak in me wouldn’t have it any other way (all the meal and workout planning, etc., is right up my alley!). A major accomplishment for me was coming to terms with being hungry. I’m not talking about deprivation, but knowing that a little growl in my tummy won’t kill me and is in fact preferred to that overly full feeling from my binge days. I’ve just had to figure out what keeps me on track and what motivates me without it feeling too overwhelming. I’m so looking forward to summertime and fresh, cheap produce too! Meal planning seems so much easier when I can stock my fridge with those kinds of goodies and snack on them practically as much as I want to. Not to mention that the weather in Michigan has gotten a tad warmer, which means I’ve resumed my morning runs. As tired as I am when I finish, I do love to catch the sunrise and the way I smell of fresh air when I get back home.