I'm losing weight. As of this morning, about 13 pounds. I would never have believed that I could lose weight during the winter. Not only it is holiday time, but it is cuddle-up-on-the-couch-with-a-snack time . . . and eat-my-way-out-of-this-depression time. Also, I-hate-to-get-up-in-the-cold-and-exercise time.
I'm not sure why this winter is different, unless it's the stuff the doctor recommended to straighten out my neurotransmitters and adrenals. Actually, when he first was talking to me about needing to eat better and exercise, I actually went home and cried. I had NO faith that I was going to be able to change those habits -- and I couldn't bear the thought of making myself that miserable trying to do so -- and I was depressed to think that might be the only way to fix my sleeping problems. So, this has been a pleasant surprise.
I think one thing that has helped is I set up my own food rules and stopped listening to everyone else. I mean, seriously -- does anyone else go nuts listening to the nutrition "experts" out there? First eggs are contraband, now they're good for you. First, you need several servings of breads and cereals a day, now you need to eliminate carbs altogether. Nobody has a clue. It's ridiculous.
So, here are my rules. One, I try to eat a variety of different kinds of foods at every meal. Meat, breads, veggies, fruits, dairy, fats . . . nothing is off-limits as long as it's not overdone. Of necessity, this has meant I am adding more veggies and fruits to my diet, because I haven't been eating much of them. But my focus is variety.
Two, the closer the food I eat is to the state in which God created it, the better. Butter is better than margarine. Whole-grain is better than white bread. A clementine is better than frozen orange juice. Fresh green beans are better than canned green beans. Homemade is better than processed.
Three, I try very hard to only eat when my stomach is actually registering physical signs of hunger -- and to stop when my stomach needs no more food. That means my portions have decreased. We have a ridiculous idea of what is an appropriate serving size these days. I'm making myself do something else to meet my emotional needs other than eat. (Again, I think getting my body's chemicals in order is helping with that.)
Four, because I'm an genuine sugar addict, I'm planning my sugar intake. If I have a mindset that I'm just not going to eat it, or that I'm going to eat less, I just fret about what I'm missing and end up bingeing. Instead, I think ahead and plan what sweet I get to have when -- like, I'm going to have three Oreos after dinner tonight, or I'm making a pie for the family this weekend. Then it's a positive thought, not a negative one.
Five, I schedule indulgences and let myself completely enjoy them guilt-free. Every Friday for lunch, Eastin and I split our favorite brand of frozen pizza. It's processed and unhealthy, but when I know I have that coming, I can be good the rest of the week. Every Sunday, our family eats out after church and I don't stress about how healthy my meal is -- if I see a healthy choice I like, great, but if not, I don't worry about it. And I NEVER worry about how healthy my meal is on a date. Like I need that to spoil my precious time with my husband.
I'm also drinking more water. And I've started fasting one day a week -- just breakfast and lunch on Mondays (which is as much a spiritual thing as a physical thing). Altogether, I'm finding this much more manageable than any "diet" I've been on before. It's not a diet. It's just living like I'm supposed to live.