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Still Under Tall (Still Keepin' On)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Today is my 174th day of tracking my food. I know I have never tracked for that long a time. In fact, in the past, my usual time for staying with a healthy eating plan was 4 months tops.

I was watching a "Mike and Molly" episode the other night. The premise of the show is about a love story between two people who met at an Overeaters Anonymous Meeting and built a relationship. The cast is chock full of very funny actors, and the episodes make me laugh out loud...no many how many times I've seen them.

The other night featured an episode where "Mike" celebrated a 50-lb. weight loss by planning to have a slice of pie. We've all been there, right? Celebrating a weight loss by eating a food we've been denying ourselves for a l-o-n-g time until reaching a certain goal. At the end of the episode (which was very funny), "Mike" confessed to "Molly" how he had gone off the rails. He expressed the same fear and guilt we have all expressed at one time or another: guilt for eating "bad" food and fear that all his hard work would be undone after one binge.

Later on I was thinking about the episode, and how Mike's confession made me feel guilty. I have nothing to feel guilty about, but I so identified with the character's feelings that I felt guilt by association! I spent so many years feeling that guilt and shame...not that others made me feel those feelings, but I piled more guilt and shame upon myself than anyone else could have. (Well, actually my ex-husband did a great job of making me feel ashamed of failing in the weight loss department...but that's another story.)

I suddenly felt so silly reliving those feelings, and then I wondered why I felt silly. It's not that they were in the past, and I certainly continued to have those feelings many more times until I joined Spark People at the end of January. I realized it was silly because my food plan treats all food equally. There is no "bad" food.

Oh, there are "bad" choices...non-healthy choices...but there are no inherently "bad" foods existing in their natural form. The preparation and additives used in these foods may be non-healthy, but foods in their natural state are not bad.
That's simplistic, I realize, but I speaking in general terms. Some foods are less healthy in their natural state, and others are pure nutrition. It's up to us to discover the healthy foods and then choose them.

I do eat whatever I want. I eat single or partial portions of the food I want. If I decide to eat a less healthy food, I allow for it in my daily calorie/carb allowance. The point is, I now use my head instead of my hunger to determine what I'll eat. I know what my trigger foods are and I keep them out of the house. I learned all the little tricks and tips to plan and cook healthy meals. As long as I track everything and watch my carbs (I'm diabetic), I have enormous leeway in my choices.

I no longer feel guilt or shame when I choose to eat something I used to call "bad" because I take responsibility for what I eat and drink. There is no one holding me down and stuffing unhealthy food into me, so there is no one to blame...but me. You can bet if I feel unwell in any way after making a poor choice that I will never make the same mistake again. My overweight resulted from poor choices, and there is not one person on this earth who forced me to make them; it was all free will.

No one can "push your buttons" unless you allow them to do so. It's up to each and every one of us to declare freedom from button pushers. It's not easy, it takes a lot of hard work to keep our buttons free and clear, but it is attainable. You may lose a friend along the way, but really, if they know how to push your buttons, were they truly a friend? (Relatives are another story...you're stuck with relatives, except for those you can divorce.) Believe in yourself, and stand up for yourself. If you don't stand up for yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?
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