Tuesday, May 25, 2010

DAY 289 Juggling the Balls & Determination

Hi Journal & Friends,

There are so many things that I am trying to learn on this journey. From the beginning I decided to NOT try to take them on all at once. Rather, one or two at a time, then add as I go.

When I take too many on at once, I don't seem to do well at anything. Then I feel as though I am juggling too many balls in the air, and end up dropping them all.

For the last 14 months, I've been getting used to life without sugar or flour. I also worked on learning portion control, and eventually found that--for me--the best method was simple calorie counting.

I have FINALLY reigned in the portions. No, I haven't done it "intuitively", but by the artificial method of tracking calories. But for me, it worked. It's a place to start.

But... this method has it's downside, too. Yes, it's helped me reign in portions, something I've tried to do for YEARS. I didn't succeed until I was willing to set a calorie cap and abide by it. But I still haven't mastered other areas.

Here are some of the things I still want to improve, that have to do with my eating plan:

1. More veggies and fruits
2. More water
3. Less processed stuff
4. Less Splenda
5. Less treats
6. Calories more evenly spaced thru the day

I finally feel ready to throw a couple of more "balls" in the air. There is the Ideal, then there is Reality. My reality is, if I'm honest with myself, that I still have a lot that needs improving!

The last one on that list, #6,  is a biggee for me. Several times I have ended up with barely any calories left for the evening, and it totally messed with my head. It's not the physical hunger. I've fasted for days in the past... I can survive that just fine. 

It's the mental/emotional havoc it wreaks. All my life, overeating at night has been my Achilles heel. It's something that ruined my progress every single time on previous attempts. The only way I have been able to stay within my calorie budget this time was to make sure I allowed enough calories to cover the evening meal plus a snack later. But to do that causes the daytime allotment to be mighty scimpy.

It's a catch 22 for me. And I'll admit, it kinda scares me. I don't want to put myself in a position again that might push me over the edge in the evening and open the door to nighttime bingeing. Yet, I need to get my calories more balanced throughout the day.

This is a learning process. And I still have a lot to learn! I'm ready to add
a couple more balls in the air, but right now the "Calories more evenly spaced thru the day" ball feels as heavy as a bowling ball! I guess it will have to wait til I make more progress on this journey. 

The first 5 items on my list don't seem so daunting compared to that last one! Those, I am consciously working on. When I feel more stable and ready, I'll tackle number six. 

I'll get there eventually. I'm not obsessing or stressing over it... but I am determined to make it.

From Dr Phil's book: "Your food plan sustains your commitment in the absence of emotional energy."

My verse for today: "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love."

My quote for today: "The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones." --Chinese proverb

Enjoy the Journey,



Anonymous said...

Tthe veggies thing has been key for me. I HATE most vegetables--to the point of gagging. so I had to focus on those I like...or at least could tolerate.

But eating 5 servings a day has really brought down my calorie total--and allowed for more fruit and snacks at night. The veggies simply fill me up w/ less cals! And, I'm getting to like them more.

I've moved on to looking at--looking at--improving the nutritional quality of my food intake as far as vitamins and minerals, etc. For now, I'm focusing on the ratio of carbs/protein/fat--and those veggies.

I already cut out most processed food when I had to dump qluten. You'd be amazed at how many packaged food items have gluten added. (Here modified food starch)

I think this eating healthy thing is a progression. First we cut back amount of junk food and calorie consumption generally, then we try to "healthy up" what we like to eat--then we increase amount of genuinely healthy food--then we fine tune nutritional quality. Seems to be a pattern on a lot of blogs. so, I guess we're right where we're supposed to be.

Onward and forward, WLW!


M Pax said...

You're smart to go at it one thing at a time. I found eating cleaner, naturally led to less processed things. I eat fewer and fewer. I even have my cats on organics now. LOL

Spacing the calories over the day was a big one for me, too. Take it gradual. Find things you can eat more of but stay in your calorie range when you start easing your way in that direction.

What I've found though is that when I eat at regular intervals I am less hungry when it comes to the next meal. If I don't let myself get too hungry, I am in better control. If I let myself get ravenous, well, it's not so pretty. That hungry signal does not turn off as quick as it ought.

Think out ways to experiment safely, then see what works. It took a bit of time for me to trust I would be less hungry in the evening if I ate more during the day. But when I've not eaten so much during the day because I'm busy, I've learned that I do much better if I don't save those calories for later.

PJ Geek said...

I am not trying to throw a wrench in your plan because THAT is a stellar plan. I am trying to follow it myself . But I'm a walking encylopedia of all things diet / nutrition .

(just cuz I know it don't mean I follow it... always).

There is a school of thought that you should eat more calories in the morning and then less through the day ..I think one saying is "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper". I don't follow this school of thought, personally, but if I did I would save salads and veggie soups and fruit / veg crudites for evening time with a little protein mixed in. Maybe that could be your back up plan in case you ventured to try something like this. That's what I'm trying to do is just have salad or celery with peanut butter when I'm outta calories for the day

Leslie said...

More excellent food for thought, Loretta. Night time eating has been the bane of my existence as well. I don't know what it is about it that is such a boondoggle for me. But you remind me of a food plan I got from a nutritionist once that actually took that tendency of mine into consideration. She gave me a "metabolic" snack at 8:30 or 9 of cereal with milk, in measured amount of course, and it was a sugar free cereal. But it really worked out great for me and I looked forward to it all day, knowing that I could "legally" have it.

Ice Queen said...

I get taking it one thing at a time. That has been a big one for me, too. I have accomplished a lot but I still have a lot of work to do. But I feel pretty confident that I can do it, now. :D

I love veggies so getting enough of them into my day is no problem. If anything, I tend to eat too many... I go for volume, since they are low in calories and I end up having far too large portions. lol

I used to have trouble balancing my calories, too. I finally figured out that I needed to shoot for approximately 400 calories per meal. That can vary up or down a little, as my target calorie range is 1200 to 1500. That gives me a little wiggle room. I don't know if this would be of help to you or not but it has helped me. :D

that TOPS lady said...

You can do it :)

financecupcake said...

Good for you! I'm in the same place: I've got the calorie-counting thing down, and now I'm ready to focus more on the details. I think you're smart to recognize the toughest part and save it for last. Number 1 on your list is my biggest focus right now. Good luck, Loretta!

karen@fitnessjourney said...

Can I offer a suggestion that's helped me with my evening snacking? This has been a hard area for me as well. I cut up fruits and vegetables once a week and store them in containers in the frig. While doing this I always make a big salad. When I'm hungry at night I'll grab a salad instead of a less healthy treat. If I can afford the calories, I'll add some protein like egg whites (hard boiled eggs are a staple at my house!) or maybe something sweet like raisins or dried cranberries. It takes a while to eat a salad so I feel satisfied and don't feel the need to go to the kitchen a second time.

Also, would your husband be open to the idea of not keeping processed foods in the house? If you don't have them on hand, it's unlikely that you'd go to all the trouble of going to get some. This is another strategy that has been really helpful to our family.

Good luck!

Sskar said...

#6 - that is a biggie for me also. Hormonally (leptin, insulin, ghrelin, etc.) it makes so much sense to eat every few hours during the day rather than bunching them up. My body, however, (maybe my brain) just is struggling with this, and I continue to find myself skipping food after breakfast then loading up at dinner. If I don't eat all my calories then I'm physically hungry later in the evening. So, I understand how hard #6 is.

Plus, I really like the quote from Dr. Phil in this post, even though I am so NOT a Dr. Phil fan.

Anonymous said...

i dropped every ball today and tried to take a Me day. Nope, didnt happen. Sigh.

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