18 October 2013
Setbacks, Honesty and Changes
Since starting my weight loss journey about 10 weeks ago I have experienced the highs and the lows of weight loss. At about week eight when I posted Apparently I'm Motivated I had just began to get this terrible, back pain. So beginning that week I didn't go to the gym like I should have, it didn't help that the scale was just going up and not down. So for week eight and week nine I just sat at home, truly missing working out but lacking all motivation to continue. So with the scale going up and I don't mean by a pound or two but by a whole 10 lbs, being out of my routine, having job issues and stresses, I just didn't go to the gym.
I am an overeater, I don't just eat pizza, I eat a pie of pizza. I don't just sit down and have a meal and then wait for the next, I eat another meal 2 hours later. I would love to blame statistics and tell you that because food releases dopamine, that it makes sense, but that wouldn't be honest. I eat because I'm bored, lonely, angry, sad, frustrated, and any negative emotion under the sun; but that's not where I do the MOST damage. I eat to reward myself for a good workout, or for cleaning, or anything really that needs a celebration. I've done it for years. I get food when I feel good. So no matter if I'm happy or sad, I get food. Unlike sad food, I hope that I spend more of my life happy then sad, so I end up eating MORE when I'm happy, because I buy bigger and better food.
How many of you out there use food as your reward system? I know I didn't want to admit it, because that's the first step, the next is figuring out what to do about it.
How do I, as a twenty-three year old, rewrite the reward system in place in my brain? How do I overcome something that feels so good? I may sound like a drug addict or an alcoholic but I can't go cold turkey off food. I can't just give up on food. So how do I begin to rewire myself so that food doesn't hold that over me.
I begin by NOT changing the reward system and instead subsituting. Denial of food and huge changes of the reward system will come, I'm not saying they won't but right now to make the leap from incredibly fattening, junk food to something else is a huge step, and one so big I might not succeed. So instead I'm going to portion out yummy healthy foods. Graham crackers and peanut butter, chocolate yogurt covered raisins, cashews, yogurt, frozen grapes, portion size of crackers or chips; not the whole bag of chips or raisins or cashews, but a portion. Now when I do good I get those, specifically the raisins and the chips. I get those no other time so it's a true reward.
How else can I change? By starting two very important routines.
Food training, no I'm not talking about eating competitions and training for that. If you've ever had a child and sleep trained them it's very similar and something I had to do for myself with sleep. So when I sit down to eat, I'm only allowed to eat at the kitchen table, with a specific plate, or plates that all look the same, place mat, glass and silverware. Even if I sit down for my reward of 10 chocolate covered raisins, I eat them there. No distractions of tv or computers or anything, just me and the food. Do I love food enough to spend a lot of time alone with it?
Recording, it seems so basic to record your food, but it's a routine I've yet to start. I don't track what I eat, so I'm going to start. Even if what I put in there is complete crap, I'm going to put it in so I can begin being held accountable for what I'm eating. Makes sense right? From this I'm then going to start looking into weight watchers so that I could possibly just move right into their etools.
If you're reading this and you're like, "Abbi, those aren't real changes". You're wrong, sorry. They're not taking away food, they're not starving myself or working out more. They're simple huge changes that will effect how I eat and what I eat. If I start making better choices food wise, the healthier I'll be.
One day I'll cut down on carbs and eat better forms of protein and more complex carbs, but for right not those are big words with big commitments and not only do I not have a routine established I'm not ready because I haven't taken the first steps yet!
Friends please check out my new tumblr account dedicated to nothing but weight loss!