So, I have been living my new life for about two weeks now, and I have been noticing and learning new things along the way.
First - and maybe most important - is that I don't have any guilt about eating anymore. Before, even when I did have something that was healthy, I felt guilty every time I ate. I was overeating and then feeling stuffed and guilty when I finally finished. Because I felt so guilty, I would starve myself between meals, waiting to eat until I was so hungry I didn't care what I ate or how much I ate. Because I was so hungry, I would overeat, and the cycle would start again.
Now, I plan out all my meals in the morning and I know the snacks I plan to eat throughout the day. Honestly, most days - I plan too many snacks, but I'd rather have too many options than not enough. I'm starting my day with breakfast, everyday. Depending on when I have breakfast, I'll have a small snack before lunch and then another snack before dinner. And then, I even have room in my calories to have a small "dessert" (fruit). Because I know what I'm going to eat when I start my day, I don't feel any guilt about sticking to my plan and eating throughout the day.
I didn't even feel guilty when I went out for Cinco de Mayo with my friend last night; I had way too much sodium for breakfast and lunch, but compensated by drinking lots of water. I drank a lot of water with dinner and then another 500ml when I got home before bed. Of course, my weight was elevated this morning, but instead of letting it derail me, I planned a super low sodium day with plenty of water and fruit and a long walk. And I feel great about my food choices for the day (and I'm looking forward to getting my berries and whip cream for dessert).
I'm learning about appropriate portion sizes (like, did you know that an appropriate portion of lean protein is only 3 ounces? I got 6 appropriately sized portions of chicken out of two chicken breasts that I bought this weekend). I'm still eating boil-in-a-bag brown rice, but I'm measuring it out and only eating one portion and saving the rest for later. Fruit and veggies though, I pretty much let myself eat however much I want.
I realized just how much fat I was eating; even in the form of seemingly healthy fats (like olive oil). I made a fantastic salad dressing today out of honey, dijon mustard, and balsamic vinegar - absolutely no oil required! And I saved half to marinate my asparagus for dinner, which was fantastic, by the way. This is what I like about tracking everything I plan to eat in sparkpeople before I start my day (I update if I change anything throughout the day, but it gives me a starting point). That way, I can see right away if I'm going to go over my daily allowances of any macro nutrients, and make changes accordingly. And tracking in the morning as I eat breakfast is way easier than tracking throughout the day as I eat.
I feel so much better. I'm sleeping awesome at night and I've had very little acid reflux (it was so bad a year ago, that combined with stress I was throwing up 4 or more times a week). I'm looking forward to getting rid of acid reflux once and for all, without medications. Because I'm eating more often, and fueling my body with healthy things, I don't get hunger headaches anymore and my brain seems to be functioning a little better (more clear headed). I took my blood pressure last night and it was [almost] normal for the first time in a long time. I'm looking forward to lowering my blood sugar and hearing a doctor say (hopefully sooner rather than later) that I don't have insulin resistance anymore.
Working out isn't just a high for me, eating healthy is too. Every time I eat something that I know is good for me, I feel empowered and excited to keep going with eating healthy. I love getting to go to bed at night and rest my muscles, but I also love waking up still sore from my workout the day before. Those things combined, make doing the "right" thing everyday inherently reinforcing, so I keep doing it. I haven't cheat since I made the decision to eat healthy (I don't count my Sunday splurge as a cheat because it was planned and I made relatively healthy choices, all things considered). I haven't binged and I haven't eaten something I've said I wasn't going to eat. That's two trips to the grocery store with no bags of potato chips bought (incidentally, I love Trader Joe's because they don't carry the crap I'm addicted to - and yes, it is an addiction).
I've always said I like eating healthy foods - but I'm finding out it's really true. I love fruits and veggies and I'm excited to keep trying new things and new ways to eat them. I love my food co-op I tried last weekend, and I signed up for a new round this week - once I've tried a few baskets I'll blog more about them and show you some photos of the produce that I've gotten.
I feel energized to keep going; obviously what I'm doing is working (I lost almost 3 pounds last week), and even though I know this is going to be a long journey, I've broken down what I want into manageable goals. This feels permanent and sustainable because I'm going about it in a completely healthy way and I'm 100% committed to getting healthy, and I'm excited to keep going and reach my goal weight!