Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Confession #2: I do not always make the healthiest choices.

Just because my numbers have been good, doesn't mean I'm always following the rules of eating healthy.

I confess! I do fall off the healthy eating wagon.  The last couple months, I've been extra busy.  It's been hard to find time to cook and prepare fresh snacks.  I own that I could make time and that I could scale back on my commitments.  I love my busy life, though, and it keeps me moving.  So, I'm not trading it in.

About the end of March I noticed that my numbers were starting to creep up a little.  In fact, I had taken my A1C down to 5.3 while I was singing and dancing in a show last year.  I have a sneaky suspicion, I'm now back to 5.9 (or possibly higher).  I'll find out next month.

I started thinking about it and I realized it's because, while I've been busy, I've been making some not-so-healthy choices.  I will have 2, 15 carb gram, bags of crunchy munchies in a day instead of the 1.  I'll have store bought mashed potatoes instead of corn.  I'll have a couple sandwiches in a day instead of a sandwich and a meal.  I also noticed that I was "stuffing" myself at meal times.  I had gotten good at eating til I was full, but lately, I'd been eating until I was stuffed.

When I fall off the wagon, there are guidelines I follow to help me get back on track.

  1. Don't panic!!  My first instinct is to panic and run right to the grocery store to buy the healthiest food I can find.  I followed that instinct once.  All the healthy food I bought went bad because I didn't eat it. So, this is NOT helpful.
  2. Choose in the moment.  I find it's better to choose in the moment instead of forcing myself to eat healthy.  So, the next grocery trip I look for foods that sound good.  Then I ask myself what the healthier option may be.  I don't trade in my mashed potatoes for broccoli.  I trade my mashed potatoes in for some new potatoes this week.  I like new potatoes, but I don't eat as much of them as I do mashed potatoes.  So, I still get my potatoes, but I'll eat a healthier portion.

    Gradually, by honoring my craving with healthier alternatives, I stop craving the bad foods.

    The same applies to stuffing myself.  Each meal, I choose to stuff myself less. I find that if I have a pile of tasty, healthy snacks in the house, this is easier.  For some reason when I'm in stuff myself mode, I worry I'll be starving later.  If I know that's not true, I can choose to eat a little less.  As I continue to reduce how much I eat in a sitting, it gets easier to not want to stuff myself.

    A few weeks later (sometimes longer) and I'm back on track.
  3. Learn from my mistakes.  Usually, when I fall off the wagon, it's because something has changed and I haven't taken the time to figure out how I want to manage it.  I need to learn how to incorporate it into my life.

    This year, I've been out of the house/office a lot more.  I've been doing things in the evenings and my business has been busier than I'm used to, so snack times are rushed.  I have not quite figured out how to do busy life and eating healthy.  Now that I'm aware of this change, I'm looking for new ways of coping.  I've discovered low-carb frozen dinners with a little side dish (30 grams of carbs or less) are good between work & evening activities.  Then I eat again after the activity (again, 30 grams or less).  So far, this works well.  In fact, because I'm in a hurry, I don't really care what I eat.  I just need to eat so I can enjoy my evening without a low.  As long as I have quick, healthy choices, there is no choice.  I just eat what's there.

  4. There is no bad girl here.  Sometimes my brain wants to blame myself and get all mean.  I put the k' abash on that really quick. Things happen.  I'm not perfect.  Always eating healthy does take work and sometimes I get off track.  That's ok.  I'm human and I accept my flaws.  What's important is choosing to get back on track.  It's always a choice.  If I focus on making that choice, I get back to where I want to be.
  5. Celebrate!  Once I feel I'm back on track, I celebrate.  I congratulate myself and do something for me.  I've been known to buy clothes to celebrate weight loss.  I'll give myself a techy toy.  I'll dance around shouting "I rock!!" When Hubby's not home, of course (he doesn't need to witness that).  Pat myself on the back.  Give myself a hug.  Brag to Hubby or a friend who loves to hear these things.  Anything to celebrate getting back on track because darnit, I did the work to get back and I deserve to celebrate that.  
I'm in the process of getting back on track.  It make take me until the end of May, but I'm definitely moving in the right direction.  

What do you do to get back on track?

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