An update, one month into my new mindful-eating lifestyle change.
Things are going really well. Taking into account all the many, many times in the past that I’ve dieted and failed, I took some good advice from my friend Beached Librarian and aimed for an 80/20 ratio of healthy choices to indulgences.
I have struggled with disordered eating in the past and I have no interest in re-visiting that, so within reason, I’m not denying myself too much. I had cake on my birthday. I’m still having my weekly Chinese take-out night, although I’m steering clear of the battered & fried General Tao’s chicken and I limit myself to one eggroll.
Most days I have a really good chocolate once all the kids are down for a nap. I make sure to take my time with it. It’s enough.
Last night was rough. Shark Week is looming, so my cravings for salt and fat were really bad. I was pacing. I was short-tempered. I tried eating some raw vegetables for the crunch, but that just made me mad. Then via Twitter another good friend sent me a link to a recipe on her blog for homemade microwaved potato chips. I made some right away. One small potato’s worth. They weren’t perfect – I’ll need to experiment a bit with cooking times and I think the paper towel is actually a critical step, needed to soak up some of the moisture – but they were tasty, and totally did the job at putting my craving to rest. I’m going to try them with sweet potatoes next and I’ll bet that’s delicious.
My favourite green smoothie combinations are spinach / fresh pineapple or frozen mango / banana, with water. Most days I’ll have a 1/4 cup of almonds with it just so I can be chewing something, but if I’m in a real hurry I’ll blend in some shelled hemp hearts instead.
My only notable smoothie failure was a recipe I found on the New York Times website; baby kale / ginger / apple / lemon. It was a horrible colour. It smelled strange. And it tasted like funerals and sourness. It was AWFUL. I gagged it down, but I have not revisited that little disaster again.
I keep hard-boiled eggs on hand in the fridge for a quick protein hit with breakfast. I’ve also started trying plain Greek yoghurt, fresh or frozen berries, and almonds mixed together with a little drizzle of honey.
So, what has all this virtue brought me?
- I’ve lost about 10 pounds, give or take a pound or two for my wildly inconsistent bathroom scale
- My oh-my-god-fat-jeans actually slid down over my hips the other day when I was running. I threw them out.
- I haven’t had a headache in a month. A MONTH. Usually it takes pregnancy to let me be headache-free for that long.
- I have much more energy. I don’t need a cup of tea mid-afternoon just to keep my eyes open.
- I rarely drink more than a cup of coffee per day, whereas before I needed 2 – 3 big ones just to get to lunchtime
- I bought a used treadmill (!) and am using it (!!) on a regular basis (!!!)
- Using the treadmill actually helps me to not indulge in less-healthy food, because I still fucking hate, loathe, and abominate capital-E exercise – so after sweating my guts out to burn 140 calories I have less than zero interest in eating three times that much in front of the TV.
I’m feeling good. I’m trying not to think about an end goal – I’m really struggling to not set an “ideal target weight” because that just stresses me out. I’m encouraged and pleased to be having such positive results already.
Oh, and one final pro tip: I’ve learned that using frozen spinach for a smoothie works perfectly well, but that using canned pineapple does not. My grocery store doesn’t carry frozen pineapple so if anyone local to Halifax knows of a store that does, that would be great. Fresh ones are in season somewhere right now so they aren’t too expensive but I know I’m living on borrowed time.