Good morning! Happy Wednesday
Things have been a little crazy on my end lately (what else is new) and I owe you guys an update for sure. I’ll get to it! I also need to thank everyone for their sweet comments on Friday’s post. I passed them on to my sister, she thanks you too The wedding was such a beautiful day!
But anyway, I’m gonna switch gears and talk about something else that’s been on my mind recently. It’s been a little over a month since I first shared my struggles with food/binge eating, and I think it’s time for an update. I’ve been in the process of gathering and organizing my thoughts for awhile now. I think the best way to go about this is with the “then and now” approach, like Ashley has done before, and Chelsie did recently.
I’m calling it a What I Ate Wednesday, Then and Now. Thanks to Jen over at Peas and Crayons for hosting!
Breakfast then: Pretty similar to breakfast today, but with a few major differences.
1. Egg whites only. The protein/calorie ratio of a whole egg was simply not good enough for me. I was trying to eat at least 80g of protein per day, and only 1300-1350 calories. There was no room for egg yolks in a diet like that.
2. The cheddar cheese was an exact 0.5 oz serving. God forbid some extra cheese sneak its way into my daily calorie allowance. The horror.
Breakfast now: How did I live without egg yolks? They’re so delicious!
My sandwiches always include a large egg, with some egg whites added just for an extra boost. Cheese on top is whatever looks like a good amount, depending on how much I’m craving cheese. Sometimes I add jelly, sometimes I have a waffle-wich instead of bread, etc. No restrictions here, and nothing calculated!
Lunch then: I always needed a good source of protein at lunch.
A good source in my book was either chicken or ground turkey because the grams of protein to calorie ratio was high, with very little fat. Lunch meat was unacceptable, not enough protein.
Lunch now: If I find time to cook some chicken or turkey burgers, I’ll still go with it because it’s a nice hot lunch that I enjoy. If there’s no time, some deli turkey meat with salad and string cheese is my go-to. I’m all out of produce? A PB&J sandwich maybe.
Or I’ll go out with co-workers and grab sushi. The point is, I’m flexible here. I don’t get all anxious when I’m out of my prepared lunch for the week. It’s not the end of the world. It’s lunch.
Exercise then: I absolutely had to exercise 5-6 days a week. If not, I would feel extremely anxious and stressed out about gaining weight.
Exercise now: I still love to go for a run, hit the gym, or get a good Jillian Michaels workout in. Ideally, I would workout 5 days a week because I enjoy it. But when time simply doesn’t allow for it, or I’m away for the weekend enjoying time with the boyfriend, or I’m sick with a bad cold/flu, I don’t exercise. And I don’t have those anxious feelings anymore. Heck, I even went three weeks without exercising and lived to tell the tale (ha).
Dinner then: After putting in my Herculean effort at the gym and working out for at least an hour, I would maybe whip up a protein smoothie for dinner. Or if I cooked, I’d have salmon with rice.
Everything was portioned exactly using a food scale, then entered into a calorie counting website with extreme accuracy. I’m talking 3.788 ounces of salmon instead of estimating 4. God I wish I were kidding. But when you’re trying to live off too few calories and too much exercise, every calorie had to be accurate. I couldn’t eat too few, and I definitely couldn’t eat too much.
Dinner now: Totally up in the air. I’m still a fan of cooking a large meal and eating it throughout the week to save time, but I can’t remember the last time I perfectly portioned it into 5 dinners using a food scale and calculating every calorie. I don’t have time, and I’m not that crazy anymore
Sometimes, I really need pancakes for dinner. They don’t have to be “protein pancakes”. They can be whatever-the-heck-I-feel-like pancakes.
Bedtime Snack Then: Absolutely not. Eating at night was a big-time no-no. Maybe a half cup of strawberries or applesauce. Maybe.
Bedtime Snack Now: I’m usually not that hungry at bedtime anymore (since I eat enough throughout the day, who knew?) but if I am hungry or feel like a snack, I’ll have what I’m craving. Sometimes it’s a little ice cream, more often it’s a spoonful of peanut butter, maybe a bowl of cereal. Whatever’s floatin’ my boat.
Holidays/eating out then: I can’t even explain the anxiety I felt over getting together with family for holidays or any event that served food. I honestly thought they were trying to sabotage my weight loss goals. What now?
I cringe reading this excerpt from an archived post, “I swear, the day I decided to try and lose weight for real was the day my family decided that every single holiday should be celebrated with lots and lots of food and overeating.”
Past Meghan: No one is trying to sabotage you. Appreciate the food that was lovingly prepared for the holiday. No one is making you eat that much. You’re doing it because you don’t eat enough on a daily basis.
Holidays/eating out now: I literally cannot wait for Thanksgiving. I LOVE Thanksgiving food! And my mom said she’ll make the stuffing this year with gluten free breadcrumbs!
Holidays are not sabotage. Birthday get-togethers with pizza are not evil. And who knew, if you let yourself eat what you crave when you crave it, you won’t fall apart when confronted with a birthday cake. You might not even want it.
I used to think that given any day, my body needed a certain (small) amount of food, a certain (large) amount of protein, however much healthy fats, etc etc. If I didn’t get the perfect amount of all these things, I considered it a bad day and was fairly certain I would see the effects.
Newsflash Meghan! When you listen to your body, it all balances out! It doesn’t need to balance perfectly on a 24-hour basis. That’s not how our bodies work.
There are days when I don’t have much appetite (they’re rare) and there are days when I seem to be exceptionally ravenous. There are days when all I want is peanut butter all.day.long., and then there are days when honestly, all I want is a big salad with tons of veggies. It’s amazing how smart your body is, if you just listen to it.
Phew. I think that’s all I have to say for now
I’ll just add that eating intuitively and not thinking about food ALL DAY LONG has made me a much happier person.
Can you guys relate to this? Did you ever go overboard trying to eat “perfectly?”