Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lessons in Self-Care

I had a choice tonight. To blog or not to blog. To cook or not to cook. You see, after struggling from a relapse with my old friend, "the binge monster," I gained a few pounds. Not a lot, but enough to make me feel uncomfortable. I've been doing much better lately by cutting out sugar, which in turn has cut down on my afternoon slump and nighttime cravings, not to mention reducing my headaches. However, I've been a weight-loss consultant long enough to know one annoying little fact: weight does not come off as easily as it goes on. Duh, right? I suppose you don't have to be a weight-loss consultant to know that.

I haven't been bingeing (phew), but I've been so busy with school, I really haven't been paying much attention to my eating at all. And when that happens, I tend to fall back into old habits of eating way too many carbs. My weight has been bothering me; just not enough to do anything about it. But this week, I had a little motivation to kick me into action. I'm going to a wedding this weekend, and I don't like how I look in any of my dresses. My jeans haven't exactly been comfortable either, and my formerly loose blouses haven't seemed so loose. Uh oh. Clothes not fitting? No longer wearing skinny jeans, and fat jeans have suddenly become my only jeans? That means time to stop biting my lips over my weight and start doing something about it.

My plan of action isn't anything special. I'm just going back to what always works for me. Going back to how I should be eating all the time. Eating smaller, portion-controlled meals with lots of veggies, a little protein and carbs, and light snacks in between meals. Simple right? Well, yeah actually. It is pretty simple. What's been stopping me is not having the time to make all those meals (my clients who work, go to school and have children are my heroes!). But this Sunday, I had a surge of energy (somewhere around the time I dropped my Organic Chemistry book and decided I was done studying), and ended up cooking enough meals for the whole week. I made a dairy-free quiche. Tuna burgers. Individual tupperware containers of baked salmon, mashed potatoes, and broccoli. A chickpea, tofu, and shrimp salad. Black bean chili. And I cut up all my veggies so they were ready to go. Enough to last me until the weekend, and with all the work done already, no excuses for eating junk when I get home.

So far, everything's been great. It's been...ahem...well...only two days. But two days of eating well is a lot better than I've done in a while. And the best part is that my clothes are already feeling just a teensy bit better. Now I told you that I had a choice to make tonight. Although I had already cooked all my meals, I was so in love with my tuna burger creation that I wanted to post the recipe. But in order to do that, I had to make them again so I could write down the recipe and take pictures. But that meant stopping at the grocery store on the way home from work, and possibly missing out on my exercise time. It also meant going to the grocery store when I was hungry, which as I'm sure you all know, is never a good idea. And not being able to eat right away when I got home, which could possibly cause a little thing I like to call: snacking while you cook. Never good for weight loss. As I sat at my desk at work, I started to feel a niggling little spider of anxiety creeping up my back. I know this feeling. This is how I feel before a binge. At first I thought, "I've been doing so well! Where is this coming from?" But then I had a moment of clarity. "If you just go home and eat the meal that's ready for you in the fridge, you'll be perfectly happy. You'll have time to exercise, you won't have to worry about making bad choices at the grocery store or bringing any of those bad choices home and eating them while you're cooking." This is when I started to argue with myself, "But what about my blog? What about my readers? I need to have a recipe!" But then my little sister's voice popped into my head, "Really? Really? Take care of yourself first, then the blog. Who cares if you have a recipe if you're bingeing while you make it? Once finals are over, you can cook to your heart's content. But in the meantime, go home. Eat your shrimp salad. Exercise. Brush your teeth and get a good night's sleep. Believe me. Your readers won't mind if you don't post your tuna recipe this week. They're all busy living their own lives"

Hmm...my sister's voice made sense. So I went home, I had shrimp salad for dinner, a pear for dessert, exercised, watched American Idol, and now I'm going to bed. I'm pretty sure I know what would have happened if I had tried to make my tuna burgers tonight. And because I could feel that binge coming, I'm glad I didn't make them. But if you've made it this far in my rambling, know that there's a delicious tuna burger recipe coming soon. And thanks in advance for waiting for it.

20 comments:

Chelsey said...

I can so relate! I have been losing and un-losing those four pounds...three times now. All due to binging. I love food, and I hate missing out. Not to mention I am a notorious snacker while cooking. It is relieving to read your post, especially seeings how you said no your binge monster.

Good for you Iris, listening to your wise sisters words. I will keep them in mind the next time I face the 'evil' one. lol!

Molly said...

Thank you so much for this. I really needed a reminder on self-care, on why it is vital to take care of myself before others. I wish I had a little sister's voice in my head, too!
Thank you, again. Great, great post.

Lauren said...

Iris ... your post is just what I needed to read right now. I've been on a major binge too ... is it Spring Fever do you think? Perhaps, now, I can get back on track too. Take as long as you need to post that recipe ... I don't like Tuna anything ... LOL

Just Call Me Zippy said...

I'm so glad you listened to your sister's voice. We out here in blogland love to hear from you whether you have recipes and photos or not. Thanks for always sharing your life's ups and downs with us.

I get so tired of having to think about food every waking moment. (Do I have something I can eat today? Does this have gluten or dairy? What can I take to work so I will have something to eat? Why do I have to explain cross-contamination at EVERY restaurant EVERY time? *etc*)

I have had a hard time giving up dairy..much worse than I did giving up gluten. Sunday I actually started crying in the grocery store while trying to find a "fake" cheese. All the "veggie cheese" had milk listed as an ingredient. What??? Why would anyone eat the nasty fake stuff if they can have or do not object to milk? Nothing like seeing an old lady having a nervous breakdown in Publix. I kept waiting for the speaker to say "Clean up! Leaky old lady in the produce aisle!"

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Bravo, my dear, bravo! So, so smart. :-) I'm amazed at how quickly one does feel better and the weight can come off (and tummy flatten), when one does eliminate sugar and more. I've been feeling so much better this past week. Still, those carb- and sugar-laden treats can call my name--just like you said--if I don't get in my veggies, eat good fats, and do some movement. Right now I'm getting ready to do my yoga, then drinking a green smoothie and heading to work--all good ... hooray! Will look forward to the recipe when you have time to post it ... no rush at all.

Hugs,
Shirley

Stephanie said...

Amen to that! Self-care is always most important for life. Thanks for the reminder and the stress-free feeling! :) Much love!

Marianne said...

Loved your post. It made perfect sense, and the next time I get that little feeling, I'll just do what you did, and not give in to my baser instincts. A lot of times when I need something at the store and it intersects with one of those days, I send my husband to the store, and crisis averted!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I can really, really relate. I'm glad you chose what is best for you. I struggle with making that correct choice too! My blog has suffered lately with the rest of my life getting in the way - trying to lose those overeating/binge pounds, trying to calm my out-of-whack digestive system down, trying to deal with added stress of an increased work load and a million other things...but you're right. Must take care of self first! Well, I for one am a reader that totally understands this - please, take care, and we'll happily wait your next recipe.

Elyssa said...

Nice blog entry. On a totally unrelated note: who do you want to win American Idol?

Iris said...

Thanks everyone! Elyssa, I love Crystal and think she's in a different league from everyone else. But I was really hoping Siobhan would win. She was so cute! Oh well...Crystal's got my vote. And Steve's too...he has a big crush on her.

Aubree Cherie said...

I'm so glad you decided to post even without the recipe! And good for you! I've been struggling with my food portions lately and exercising can be so challenging to keep up with! Thanks for your story though, it's so encouraging :)

~Aubree Cherie

Fayinagirl (means Free One) said...

I'm glad you decided to post too. Life happens. All the time. One little step leads to the next. You are doing great. Keep eating well, keep living, keep sharing. =)

Deanna said...

Great job taking care of yourself!

Cindy Sue said...

Good for you! And I love the idea of cooking meals ahead of time. This would be especially helpful when there is free goodies at work just begging to be taken. Better to have a healthy substitute :) Cheers!

Ricki said...

Good for you--yay! And yay for going home and eating the pre-planned dinner. I know exactly what you mean about the binge-spider (great image, btw--that feeling of wanting to binge really IS creepy!). And I always feel better when I get around it and don't give in to it. I've also been doing a lot more carbs than usual lately. Today is day 3 without grains and I feel so, so much better. Just a little jump-start to get me back on track. Thanks for the insights and honesty! :)

Farty Girl said...

Good choice! Take care of you. You are the most important. We can wait for the tuna burger recipe. :)

Selfishly speaking, this post is actually way more beneficial for me anyway! HA! I do the pre-making food thing, except I never thought to make the portion sizes smaller ahead of time. Smarty!!!

Anonymous said...

My goodness. You do blog a lot. This is awesome. Have you considered getting your blog published?

- Pat Ma

I Am Gluten Free said...

What a great post. Thank you! I've been there, for sure. I don't wish it on anyone, but it's nice to know that I'm not alone. And reading about how you made a decision that really was ultimately best for you was very inspirational. Thank you!

Ellen

saxifrage said...

Sigh. I know this struggle well, and I'd say you chose... wisely ;-)

Heather @CeliacFamily said...

I've been having similar problems this spring -- a few pounds heavier, and no time to blog. I finally cut out the junk that gradually made its way into my diet. Now I have to find the time for exercise, and maybe those pounds will come off. And really the demands of blogging we just put upon ourselves, right? I'm just now getting caught up and back online. I hope I can get it together to be able to join in on Adopt a Blogger this time.

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