A simple way to stop mindless eating

I have to admit I’ve been a little self conscious about things said in front of my daughter in regards to weight, food, certain words. I didn’t know this would happen but it was an innate reaction. Everyone loves fat babies. They are the cutest, they are the healthiest. And although I know this, I find myself flinching whenever anyone says she’s fat, even though it’s a compliment.  When I realized my natural reaction to that word it made me aware of other things people, including myself, say out loud.  With that being said, did you ever notice that we all narrate our food choices out loud? We broadcast to anyone within ear sight what we’re choosing to put in our mouths.

For example, we’re  at a party. We are seated at a table filled with all our high fattening favorites. We’re  a little self conscious about our over eating at this event so we speak our over-indulgent insecurities out loud. It sounds something like this, “I know I shouldn’t be having another cookie but I’m going to do it anyway” or “Well I’m completely off my diet so I might as well enjoy this pie.” or “I know this has too many calories but I am going to eat it anyway because it’s so good.” 

I found myself doing it this weekend. I was at a friends party and I showed up starving. I sat on the couch and in front of me was a bowl of Utz Party Mix. You know, the one with the Doritos and the Cheetos and the pretzels and tortilla chips, it comes in the big tub. I love that stuff.  I truly did enjoy eating this and I did feel like I had calories to spare for the day/weekend. However, I probably said out loud a minimum of 13 times to my friends around me things like this, “I’m literally eating this whole bowl” and “I cannot stop eating this.”

Well guess what, who cares. Literally no one cares what I’m eating and no one cares what you’re eating. No one is watching what anyone else is eating. I’m actually bringing more attention to myself. I’m reminding people that I’m eating like crap, when they probably didn’t even realize.

The truth is, we think people are judging us. But the reality is, we are just judging ourselves. No one is shaming us, we’re shaming ourselves. The judgement and shame we place on ourselves when we eat poorly makes us emotional, emotions make us eat. So stop judging yourself. Own your decision to eat what you want when you want. The judgement is weighing us down more than any calorie ever will.

Happy Monday!

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I’m just going to go ahead and eat two ice cream cones.

LOSING 200 POUNDS AND COUNTING.

I’m in awe of any and all weight loss success stories. Anytime someone shows me a before and after photo of dramatic weight loss, I’m amazed. We see these stories online all the time. The pop up on the right side of our Facebook feed. They’re attached to every major diet promotional materials. We read about them in magazines like ‘People’ where they show people who’ve lost almost half their body weight. These photos solidify success.

I praise the dedication it took for these people to lose so much weight. And then after thinking about them, the selfish nature of humanity takes over and these stories make me think about myself.  This person can lose 200 pounds I think but I’ve had trouble dealing with the same 20 pounds my whole life. Insert the feeling of defeat.

Many of us have that number of pounds that we fluctuate with; 5, 10, 15, 20, 40, 60. We know the times in our life when those pounds have been off and the times in our lives when those pounds are on. Every time those pounds are hanging around, maybe even right now as you’re reading this, you’re feeling like you still haven’t lost the weight. You don’t feel like an amazing success stories like the amazing people you see.

But then I thought, I estimate I’ve lost 200 pounds in my life. The same 10 pounds, 20 times, in 20 years. Some of you maybe have lost 400 pounds in your life. The same 20 pounds, 20 times in 20 years. You’ve maybe lost even more!

If you’re reading this right now and feeling like you aren’t a success story, be your own success story. Don’t let what you look like right now be the judgement you bestow on yourself. Only we know ourselves, we know how we eat, we know what we do, how hard we try. The outside is a representation of the inside but it’s not the whole story. Many of us hide in the shadows of our success because on the outside we feel like we look like failures.

The way we look on the outside often doesn’t show the healthy sacrifices we make for our health everyday. Maybe you’re 20 pounds overweight right now but you’ve been walking everyday. Maybe you’re 40 pounds overweight right now but you always choose Whole Foods over packages or processed. Maybe you’re 5 pounds overweight but you’re fridge is filled with fruits and veggies. Every little sacrifice or decision we make when it comes to eating and our health matters and is something we can celebrate.

Since writing Monday Dieter I’ve had so many people stop me and tell me about their own journey.  They always lead with their flaws. “I’m 20 pounds overweight” for example. OR “I can’t stop eating dessert every night” or “I hate the way I look right now” They never lead with their successes. We fail to focus on the GOOD things we do.

I want us all to change the way we walk around. Change the height we hold our heads up when it comes to our health. We are all success stories, in our own special ways. And who cares if you don’t see a change in your before and after, you know everyday you become better than before 🙂

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who cares if your before and after picture looks the same year after year:) you’re a success story in your own!

How to overcome emotional eating

I long to be the type of person who can just eat one Oreo, but for me, it’s the whole sleeve.

The urge to snack sneaks up on us with absolutely no warning.  It’s hard to describe that urge.  But the minute the flood gates open, during a single episode of Modern Family, I can easily put back an extra 500 calories.

I have always envied the type of person who can eat one cookie and move on. Grab a Twizzler and get on with their day. Have one or two chips with a bowl of chili. And week after week at the grocery store I would convince myself that I could be that person; this would be the week I learned self control. So I would buy one or two of my favorite things hoping that each night just one bite would do the trick. It never did.

As each snack session came to a close & the whole sleeve or half bag was gone, I felt weak.  Worse, I was disappointed in myself for upholding my reputation of being the girl who always seemed to exceed the serving size.

One night after half a bag of Tostitos (Hint Of Lime flavor) I was feeling particularly angry at myself when it hit me… I will never be her. I will never be a single-serving kinda girl.

Yet, still in denial after the Tostito incident of 2013, I did what any rational 30-year-old woman does; placed blame on someone else. For me, it was my husband. After all, he brought home the irresistible, cantina-style, white grain tortilla with just the right amount of artificial lime flavoring.  Must be nice to be him, must be nice to never know what it’s like to feel fat, or bloated or out of control in the face of carbohydrates.

Resentment is a place none of us should visit frequently. More importantly, we shouldn’t drag our loved ones there because of our hang-ups.

When I sobered up and realized how irrational I was being, blaming my poor husband for what I had eaten, I did something that made me feel completely vulnerable. I asked my husband to hide the chips from me. If he wanted chips, cookies or candy in the house I didn’t want to know where they were. I felt embarrassed by this. My husband didn’t make me feel embarrassed in the slightest; he actually didn’t think twice about slipping the chips into a cabinet I couldn’t reach. But, I felt ashamed.  How pathetic am I that I am asking my husband to hide food from me? How weak am I? How helpless am I? Basically what kind of a freak am I? I still feel a pang of embarrassment even writing this.

But, that was the best thing I ever did.

The weeks following, when I had food hidden from me, I had time to think and reflect.  Although I thought not having the food in the house was the reason I felt more in control, it wasn’t. I felt more in control because I had admitted, out loud, to a person I love that I was powerless.  I accepted my weakness instead of trying to fight it alone.  Little did I know that insecurity of mine, the insecurity of labeling myself the entire sleeve of Oreo’s girl was seriously shaming me.  And that day, I shed the shame.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t sworn off Tostitos.  I haven’t sworn off Oreos.  Because remember, we don’t do the all or nothing thing here. And although I do admit it’s rare we have these types of foods in our house, it’s more than that. It’s understanding who you are and that sometimes you have to get out of your head.  When you take advantage of a support system, you might be surprised how your struggles dissolve and how much stronger you are then a sleeve of cookies.