is it still called breakfast at noon?

I’ve been trying to motivate myself to get back on track with eating better since I fell off the wagon on February 13th.  The plan was to resume on Monday (Feb 24th), but I didn’t.

Then, Wednesday morning I woke up feeling absolutely horrible.  I was down most of the day and only got up to use the restroom and do my 3 mile indoor walk (which was torture, but hey, keeping the streak alive).

When I woke up Thursday morning feeling much the same way, I started thinking I’d just wait till the next Monday to work on the food because I didn’t feel like dealing with it.  As I lay in bed, trying to make myself get up, I received a text from a friend asking if I had started back on Monday (I had told her at the memorial that was my plan) – oops.  I fessed up of course.  I thought about telling her I’d changed my mind and would start next week, but I just couldn’t bring myself to type that.  It felt like I was giving up again.

Barb Raveling’s “I’ll Start Tomorrow” chapter from I Deserve a Donut (and other lies that make you eat) echoed in my head.  A battle waged.  Would I concede defeat?

NO!

I knew could do something that day to move me back in the right direction nutritionally.  Last week I read Mastering Diabetes by Cyrus Khambatta and Robby Barbaro.  I have been following the “mindful diabetic” (Robby) for a while on Instagram.  His meals are so simple, his enthusiasm is contagious, his exercise regimen is inspiring, and it’s nice to see a diabetic who is thriving.

You may wonder why I would read this book? Diabetes runs in my family – both sides – all “types”.  I was a gestational diabetic (delivered five big babies) and it’s highly likely I’m headed for type 2 (if I’m not there already).

I’m sure I’ll discuss this book more because I’m one of those nerdy people who finds the operations of the human body insanely fascinating.  I LOVED all of the detailed explanations about cells and insulin and case studies.  Plus, I do believe in their program.

Anyway, a suggestion which really resonated with me was to just start with breakfast and make-over that meal for seven days in a row before moving to lunch.  Ironically, I did this many, many, many years ago before I ever read the idea in a book, and it does work if you can be patient with yourself.

I decided that was the thing I was going to do – prepare a breakfast according to the “Mastering Diabetes” guidelines.  Of course, since I’d already implemented intermittent fasting (which they add about 3 weeks into their program), I wondered, “Can I call it breakfast if I’m not eating till almost noon?”

Greens, pineapple, blueberries, dates, and chia seeds 🙂

I suppose I can call it anything I want.  Besides, if breakfast stands for “break fast”, I suppose it applies regardless of what time I eat my first meal of the day.  I tried to load up my serving bowl with whatever I had in the house which qualified.

YUM… and I instantly felt more energized than I have lately.  Then, I ended up eating “lunch” around 3PM, and it was within the guidelines too (mostly oranges).  Dinner? It was not within the guidelines; however, I didn’t get take-out and I finished by 7PM.  So, that was another win.

Unfortunately, at around 10PM I could no longer take the horrible migraine which began to creep in at 8PM and I ended up eating again.  I refuse to beat myself up over this.  I did what I felt like I needed to do at the time and I’m hopeful this will improve if I keep pressing forward.  Since I didn’t eat till noon on Friday, I still had a 14 hour fasting window, which I am perfectly happy with.

I don’t know how many days I’ll just focus on “breakfast” in the food arena, but I do know I plan to keep “showing up”. Besides, the slight changes I’ve made since Monday, coupled with the walking habit I’ve been building since January 1st, have resulted in a reduction of 3.2 pounds on the scale in 4 days (weighed Friday morning).  I’m headed in the right direction, thank you, Jesus!

So, until tomorrow, I pray you’ll join me in doing what we can today and not get hung up on meal names or perfection.  It’s “Leap Day”, make it count!

from beneath the waves

jesusonwater1

Well, I honestly thought I was ready to move to another set of boundaries, apparently not. The “diet mentality” noise in my head reached deafening volumes about two weeks into the boundary shift. I know it had everything to do with eyes of my heart shifting from relying on the Lord to relying on the diet. I stepped out of the boat to walk on water with Jesus, but as we know, humans can’t walk on water in their own strength.

As soon as my inflated ego got in the way, I began to sink. Over analyzing every little thing I ate returned along with feeling the weight of taking back the responsibility of making my own transformation happen. It seemed all I thought about was food and exercise and weight.

Then, I broke the boundary… and broke it again… and again…. and the hours of fruitless research returned. I would find myself googling and reading about all kinds of diet plans, supplements, and exercise programs. Finally, I started through books in my own library that I’ve read over and over.

UGH!

The  noise of “diet mentality” running amuck is horrible and dare I say, torturous! And trying to control my weight and flesh desires is exhausting (and futile). I’m glad I kept up with the practice of renewing my mind but I was so bombarded I felt frozen in my old pattern of behavior.

When I awoke from falling asleep on the sofa after downing an entire bag of snack size Almond Joy, I knew I wasn’t ready for “walking on water” when it came to my food boundaries. Pride is still very much alive in my flesh. I really hate admitting defeat, but I needed to humble myself and cry out to the Lord for help.

Fortunately, on the timeline of my journey, this will be seen as a tiny blip, hardly significant in the realm of damages, but a very significant turning point for me.

One really positive result from this was a re-reading of Lisa Bevere’s You are Not What You Weigh and Sharon Hersh’s The Last Addiction (which I’m still in the middle of). Ironically, reading them again, I came away with an entirely different message which has dropped another layer of scales from my eyes and shifted my focus even more intently to the Lord. I hope to post more about this soon.

I did return to Weight Watcher points as my boundary line, and much of the diet noise dissipated almost immediately. I still have to renew my mind about keeping my boundaries, but it isn’t like having a screaming banshee in my ear all day long. Obviously, clear boundary lines that allow for “real life” are better for me right now.

If you find yourself slipping beneath the waves, cry out to Jesus and then grasp His waiting hand. Don’t let it go on simply because you feel powerless to change… admitting your powerlessness is pivotal to tapping into the unfathomable power of the Almighty.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NIV)

food related guilt

The forum I frequent has a lot of talk about “feeling guilty” over food. I know this is a topic I’ve addressed, but since it seems to come up so much with people new to intuitive eating (mindful eating, hunger directed eating… etc), I thought I would do another post on it.

I have some pretty strong feelings about the role guilt has played in my dieting career. It’s a process, but I’m trying to change my belief system in regard to food, one belief at a time. Guilt is a big one for women. It’s really quite sad that we spend so much mental/emotional energy beating ourselves up over what we put into our mouths. Feelings are so fickle and when we let them dictate whether we are “good” or “bad” when it comes to food, we will find ourselves on a rollercoaster ride with frightening repercussions.

I’m trying to remove any guilt associations from food or the act of eating food. Guilt serves in regard to morality. Unless you’re stealing food or killing for food, what, when, or how much you eat shouldn’t be a moral issue. I want guilt to prompt me that being rude to someone is wrong, and I should apologize. Yes, guilt does serve a moral purpose. But, in regard to eating more or less food, this should not be a guilt related issue. Associating guilt with food is a diet/health industry tactic, and it serves that industry very well (read: “makes them wealthy”).

Now, that doesn’t mean what, when, or how much you eat it isn’t a physical issue. We most certainly should acknowledge our physical beings in regard to food. So, rather than feeling “guilty” (moral or immoral), what I’m trying to do is associate the physical feelings with my actions. If I ask myself the right questions, and make a conscious choice to eat a particular item, or continue eating for whatever reason, then I am acknowledging my capability to make these decisions. Eating is as basic to human existence as breathing. Eating is necessary. Now distinguishing between guilt (which is unwarranted with food) and discomfort (which should be acknowledged) looks like this…

How Much I Ate:

Do I feel bad about the amount of food I ate because I think it was a perceptively large amount and it seems I should not eat that amount of food in one sitting no matter how hungry I am? OR Am I really feeling poorly because my stomach physically hurts (or is mildly uncomfortable) from eating past the point of satiety?

What I Ate:

Likewise, do I feel bad because I know that a particular food is laden with things that the health experts tell me aren’t good for me? Or perhaps because it’s on the “do not eat” side of the food list of any particular diet? – OR – Am I really feeling poorly because that particular food doesn’t sit well with me physically… it makes me feel physically ill… or it makes me feel physically sluggish?

When I Ate:

Do I feel bad that I waited too late to eat breakfast, or ate past a certain time in the evening because the gurus say I should eat breakfast by X time and stop eating by X time? – OR – Do I feel ravenous because I waited past the cues my body was giving me, or have trouble sleeping because my digestive system is working overtime while I’m laying in bed?

External Prodding vs. Internal Cues

If I’m placing an external “rule” on the amount I ate (or what I ate, or when I ate)… it’s unwarranted guilt. If I’m actually noticing how eating makes me feel physically, then I am acknowledging what nourishes/benefits me and what doesn’t. When natural intuitive eaters eat past the point of satiety, and they find themselves uncomfortable, but they don’t berate themselves over it. They make a mental note that their actions hurt them physically, and they move on (remember the “Let it go” theme?). Next time that situation arises, they remember the feeling and are more aware so they can make a conscientious choice to do whatever they want in regard to that food related instance.

Of course, ideally we should strive to eliminate guilt from the food equation; However, in the meantime, there are sooo many things we can learn from each eating encounter where guilt rears its head. First, maybe it roots out some of that diet mentality that’s lurking in the shadows. Second, it gives us the opportunity to reiterate to ourselves that food should never make us feel guilty. Third, it allows us the opportunity to explore why we were so hungry… how the food made us feel physically and maybe even emotionally… why we really want to keep eating even though we’re full (is it “last supper mentality?). If we dissect what all went down, we will discover all kinds of little nuggets that can serve to equip us to handle the next eating situation.

The more I pay attention to how a food makes me physically feel (immediately and even hours later), the more I realize what does nourish me and what doesn’t. BUT, if I attach guilt to it in anyway, it drowns out the natural intuitive eater within me and tacks up a list of “man-made” rules instead. If I do happen to eat past satiety (which does happen), I just say something like, “Ok, I feel this discomfort. I don’t really like how this feels, but I will recover. It is not the end of the world. It’s part of the healing process. What can I learn from it?” Then I move on as quickly as I can. Some days those condemning thoughts come back a few minutes later and I have to reassure myself all over again. But, the more I address the thoughts and feelings, the more able I am to head them off before they even get started.

Let’s keep guilt to moral issues and stop serving it up on our plates.