So the PMS monster is full swing... well she was anyway. ;)
I woke up feeling cranky for no real reason at all. I just felt grumpy. So I got up drank a bunch of water, all the while wanting some kind of chocolate to soothe my grumpy self. I've been so mindful about my food this week that I immediately recognized something wasn't right. Now it seems obvious that nothing about diving head first into a vat of chocolate-y goodness is healthy or productive in losing weight. Yet, that was my desire. Give me SOMETHING that is chocolate. I drank a bunch of water hoping the craving would subside. Not this time.
Now I am in tune with myself enough to know that if there is something bad to eat in my house it will get eaten. I may resist for awhile, but in a weakened state I will consume. I am not to a place where I don't crave things. I hope that day will come, but I don't expect it for awhile. I had purchased some things to make a "treat" for myself. Thanks to Chocolate-Covered Katie, I found a decently healthy alternative to the evil girl scout cookies Samoas !
I don't call these things cheats. I'm not cheating. Its a planned treat. Something to calm the inner cry baby who has been fed sugar-laden foods for so long. I intend to make healthy alternative meals once a week so that I don't feel deprived. This keeps me on course without feeling deprivation that leads to a binge. Yeah, I said it. BINGE. I can eat healthy all week and blow it all in one night of crap foods- starting with dinner, followed by desert, drinks and after dinner drinks. The way I see it, a healthy flat bread or pita pizza with salad and a little Samoa cup is much better than a delivery pizza, pop or wine and then a whole box of Girl Scout Cookies. I can try to keep those portion sizes down but usually I feel like a deprived fiend by the time I place that kind of order.
On to my victory.. While in California at Deer Park Monastery, I put Mindful Eating into practice more effectively. I was in a place where there was no hurry to get anywhere and I was surrounded by others who were eating mindfully, too. I also had to let go of any neurosis I had about what to eat. I ate what the nuns prepared. There were choices at each meal, but it was vegan and my fallbacks- protein powder and egg whites weren't on the menu. I enjoyed oatmeal with a variety of "fixins" each morning for breakfast. And it was divine! I let go of my paranoia that I would get huge from carbs and fats. I was thankful for the meal and I enjoyed each and every bite.
Today I called upon those experiences and my commitment to following a healthy eating plan. I made up my oatmeal (without having done a workout prior- *gasp*) and added all sorts of scrumptious ingredients to soothe the PMS Monster. Craisins, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, 14 chocolate chips, and one packet of Justin's Almond Butter. Each thing was in a small portion and my calories are still in line. This was the perfect solution to the clamoring within. I ate slowly, enjoyed each bite, and I am satisfied.
They key lesson I learned about eating while I was in California was that slow and mindful eating led to much more satisfaction. I honestly did not feel like I lacked for food or felt any cravings. It was such a beautiful thing to not be so focused on food and my feelings. I was able to be reflective rather than longing for something or battling some craving or planning and stressing over meals and timing. I let go and in that letting go I arrived at a deeper level of acceptance and peace. I feel much more ABLE. I am able to approach my eating in a different way. As I became aware today, the cravings didn't magically disappear (darn!) but I have tools and skills to handle them in a healthier way. I could have had plain oatmeal with egg whites and still had cravings to battle the rest of the day. Or worse, I could have had the brownies my mom made (much to my dismay). Instead, I let go of the rules a bit to find an alternative that was healthier mentally and physically.
I am victorious! And I am at peace. I have no guilt eating carbs without working out first. It would have been wiser perhaps from a micro point of view, but in the overall picture- I did the right thing and I feel so good about that.
For anyone that struggles with eating issues, it is a hard thing to get handle on. Mindful eating in a fast paced, rat race world is hard! But I promise that with some attention and dedication to trying it, the results will come. I'm not saying anyone will lose x amount of weight, but I can say that the satisfaction that is felt and the reduced stress over food will make a HUGE difference in the long term. I have struggled with meal compliance for .... ever? This week was so much easier than it has EVER been. Really and truly.
Until next time....
Peace and Balance My Friends!