Those Deceiving, “Simple” Diet Rules

There are basic “rules” that undoubtedly feed successful mindful eating habits, especially if you’re trying to maintain or lose a bit. 

Without a doubt, I’m terrible at all of them – but it’s a work in progress!

I grew up with certain habits, and breaking them is tough.  I also have to take into account my personal values/mindset (like refusing to “not complete” something).  So, what simple rules do I struggle with?

  • Eat when you’re hungry.  I can’t tell you how much I do not do this.  I eat when it’s “time” to eat, whether or not I’m hungry.  This is sometimes fine, but mostly just makes me less enthused about my choice to eat when I wasn’t hungry.  I’m a very time-concerned person (and let me tell you, I test in the 99th percentile of ‘conscientiousness’ on a personality scale), which means that I struggle not having things on a schedule.
  • Share.  I never think about sharing things.  Maybe it’s because I’m an only child from a family of three?  I don’t think of asking to share things at restaurants, but this is something I’m definitely getting better at! 
  • Stop when you’re full.  I am convinced that I have this mechanism of ‘not full’ and ‘holy crap, sick.’  There’s no pleasant, ‘satisfied’ feeling located in my system.  Of course, this could be a mindset, or the fact that I eat rather quickly, or that (again) I tend to eat by “assuming” how much I need rather than listening to how much I need.  All potential problems.  Working on this one.
  • Saying no.  This is probably what I struggle with the most.  I love spending time with people, and usually that revolves around food.  I rarely say no to anything and conform to whatever the other person eats/is ordering.  This often leads to high caloric coffees from Starbucks, a nice muffin from the local bakery, etc.  You see the spiral.  I am getting better at this one, but it’s a work in progress!
  • Not constantly thinking about food.  Literally, I think about food all the time.  Not when I’m hungry – all. the. time.  It’s not so bad when I’m busy doing things, but often enough, I’m not that busy.  I need to find another outlet.
  • Cravings.  This kind of falls under the ‘eat when you’re hungry’ thing, but if I see something on TV or on a food blog that I’m trolling, I instantly want to make it and eat it.  Right then.  That second.  It couldn’t possibly wait until tomorrow.  I’m definitely getting better at this one, but some days are better than others.

Whew, quite a list.  But, at least I’m working on most of them! 

I have to remind myself: love the process.

They seem so simple, right?  What do you guys struggle with?

Everybody is an Athlete

I’m in love with the Nike Women’s campaign, “Everybody is an Athlete.”

Having played varsity sports for literally my entire life, it’s annoying to be riddled with stereotypes all of the time.  I’m sure I’ve been guilty of judging, at some point in life, but I’ve always tried hard not to judge a person’s athletic ability on their appearance.

Example in point:  You’re walking through the produce aisle of the grocery store, when you see a very large individual in front of you.  Your first thoughts are probably, “oh, she’s going to stock her cart with potatoes…” or, “I bet she’s never run a day in her life.”  Sad, but true.  That’s what the media tells us.  What the media doesn’t tell us, and what her personal appearance might not either, is that maybe she’s just lost 200lbs and runs everyday.  That this is the lightest weight she’s ever been.  That she grew up in a household of bad habits, but now she’s about to stock her cart with greens and veggies.

Travel ball, way back in ’05

Don’t judge.  Embrace yourself for the athlete you are, and don’t compare yourself to others.  I’ve never had ripped abs or arms, but I’d consider myself in very good shape.  Embrace yourself.  It’s the most valuable thing that I’ve learned through athletics, and it’s something that gets convoluted and taken advantage of.  It’s amazing to be able to aspire to something, to push yourself against someone or for something, and, undoubtedly, to fail.  All of these things make a great athlete. 

Have fun with it!

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting a professional or Olympic athlete, you’ll know that it’s this state of mind that sets them apart.  It’s something I’m always striving toward and – no matter how many roadblocks I hit (“gah, I should’ve pushed harder” etc) – I know that it’s up to me to make the change.

15-year old me meeting my idol, Brandi Chastain (who you hear commentating the women’s soccer matches in the 2012 Olympics!)

Here’s to you, athlete.



Bad Self-Talk and Regret

I don’t have the best willpower.  To be honest, it’s probably pretty abysmal.  Sometimes, I “overeat” to the point of sickness – and I’m sad to say this happens at least once a week.

However, the worse is the day after, or even hours after.  The self-talk that begins in my head from the moment I realize I’ve overeaten too much is much worse than the feeling itself.

I start thinking things like, “how can I work this off?  How long do I need to go on the arc trainer for?  How little can I eat tomorrow?  Maybe I should just give up carbohydrates for a week.  I wonder if this fat burning supplement is on sale.  Should I just eat more in an attempt to forget that it happened?  I mean, I went off the deep end already, might as well keep going…”

I kid you not.  I think these things, at least once a day, if not more.  I get anxious thinking about eating out, even with friends, and making a poor choice or overeating.  I get anxious when I start to get hungry because I fear the onset of these judgments/thoughts.  It’s a constant struggle for equilibrium that I’ve had for many, many years.

if only I could be this calm in my head on this topic..

So, my question is for you, readers –

Have you any of you shared these thoughts?  What did you do about them?