The other night, we hosted a party for – who else? CrossFitters. I was getting dressed, feeling snazzy, and put on my skirt that Anthony bought me two years ago. And it was snug. I mean S-N-U-G. We’re talking, barely zipping snug. As any number of people have done before me, I had a mild freak out. “How is this possible?” I wondered. “I exercise so much, eat primal, I do CrossFit, for crying out loud! Aren’t I immune to weight gain?”
But of course, the answer is, I’m not. And in honest and compassionate appraisal, I have been eating more than my body needs, and I’ve known that for a few months. While, by the grace of goodness, nearly every bite that enters my body is whole, unprocessed, and easy on my digestion (save for, ironically, the day of the party, when I ate some processed mozzarella cheese that went into a dish I was making, which is most likely partly responsible for why I blew up like a sausage), eating whole foods does not mean that they do not have calories.
I eat a ton of healthy, natural fat. While I think fat is amazing and incredible and I wouldn’t trade it for the world (my mood, energy, hair, skin, and muscle tone have all improved dramatically since introducing a higher fat, lower-carb diet) it’s also very filling. I’ve been programmed for so long with a low fat diet to be hungry, and thereby have to eat fairly constantly to match my exertion levels. Eating higher fat, I don’t have to do that as I am satiated, but my body really hasn’t been recalibrated to recognize that fullness. Which leads, quite simply, to eating too much for my bodies needs.
So, after my freak-out (and after changing into a more comfortable outfit so I could enjoy my party and not be body-focused) I decided to take action. First, I meditated to get myself into a clear and higher-power focused mind set. If I am wrapped up in my ego, it is rare that any thoughts that come are for my highest good. Then, I called an incredibly wise women who has a lot of experience with healthy eating and moderation, and ran through my thoughts on shifting how I eat. I didn’t want to change how I ate too much, because I have never felt better. I just wanted to let go of the feeling that is all too common for me of being overfull, and not hungry for mealtime. I also wanted my fancy skirts to zip, dang it.
The plan is as follows (for today):
Three liters of hydrating liquid per day. Water, sparkling water, stevia sweetened homemade ginger ale, bone broth, and herbal tea all can go towards this goal.
Wine two nights a week, with a max of two glasses. I love wine, and know it is excellent for me in moderation, but the stuff ain’t calorie-free, nor does it make me feel full.
No seconds at meals. This is a toughy, as I nearly always have “a little more.”
No fat adding to snacks. If I’m hungry, vegetables with lemon and salt or salsa, an egg, or plain yogurt are all fine, but I tend to have carrots and almond butter, or yogurt topped with nuts and seeds, or berries with full fat coconut milk. These, when unnecessary, are incredibly filling and high in calories. I eat big meals for lunch and dinner, and don’t need to have high fat snacks as well.
So far, so good. The snacks have been by far the hardest. What has been really helpful for me is to have an accountability partner – a friend who has similar goals, who I get to email at the end of the day to just turn over how I did, and she does the same for me.
Today, I opened my lunch, and felt so overwhelmed. Normally, I have lunch and two filling snacks afterwards, and I knew today my snack would be smaller and lighter. I instantly looked at it and wondered if it would be filling enough, and if I would be hungry.
After I paused for a moment and reflected, I realized that if I let it, this meal would be enough. After all, it was more than enough nutritionally to carry me through, just perhaps not enough for my eyes. I made a decision to let it be enough. It was. In fact, it was so filling that it was almost difficult to finish (key word: Almost.) This inspired me, because I realize how much hunger for me is a mental, rather than physical game. I always have enough food, and have never truly been hungry. This act of simplifying my food day has helped me become more aware and in touch with my bodies needs.
QOTD: Do you have guidelines for how you eat? What works for you?