I’ve decided that the person that came up with the saying “easier said than done” must have been dieting at the time. This, easily, is one of the most difficult things I’ve done. I’m realizing slowly but surely that I can’t just eat healthily and everything’ll be fine; I need a total lifestyle overhaul. So I decided to sit down and think about the things I do that I know contribute to my weight. And as much as exercise and genes and lifestyle flashed into my mind, the thing that never left it was food.
I’ve always been a do-something person. Either I’m doing something, doing several somethings, or I’m not doing anything. I spend a lot of time at the computer or reading, and I always feel like I should be doing something else – specifically, eating. I think about food a lot, and thusly end up snacking a lot.
If I’m reading for class, I’m munching on gummi bears. If I’m writing a paper, I’m crunching away at chips. If I’m watching Project Runway, I’m chowing down on popcorn. I’ve pretty much conditioned myself that I can’t do something without eating. I eat when I’m bored. And we won’t even get into comfort eating.
Of course, the first thing for me to do here was to get rid of all the crap. I tossed out all my candy (it was a heart-wrenching moment) and chips, then went down to the local health food store. People at health food stores are AMAZING and are super willing to help anyone who comes in. When I explained my plight, he offered the usual healthy snack foods, like baby carrots and trail mix. Then we went two aisles over, where they had…what?! Chips? Cookies?!
I frowned, and the guy noticed and chuckled. He pointed out different cookies that all had organic ingredients and explained to me that foods that are low in fat and sodium but high in fiber help cut down the urge to snack, not to mention leave you feeling full. The result is that you don’t really want to snack anymore, because while you really haven’t eaten that much, there’s a lot of bulk in your stomach that makes you feel like you have. Make sure you chew too! The more you chew, the more time your brain has to process and tell you whether or not it really wants you to swallow that bite. (This goes for big meals too; I’ve noticed that each night I’ve had some whole grain bread, a little chicken, and a big salad made me comfortably full until the next meal came along.)
Now, I really didn’t have that much money, so I stocked up on some trail mix, a few granola bars, and six containers of Nile Spice’s soups. A friend recommended these to me, and I decided to pick them up for when I got a major case of what Taco Bell refers to as fourth meal. They’re only 100 – 120 calories per pack, they’re a great replacement for Ramen, and they’re delicious. Some of them do pack a lot of sodium, so be careful with that.
So far, I’ve been trying – with some success – to only snack when I’m hungry. When I don’t, I try to go for the high-fiber things like my health food buddy suggested. If I’m bored, I try to find something else to do, like write or read or talk to someone (cuz it’s hard to eat when you’re talking).
At worst, I drink a glassful of soy milk (Silk Vanilla is AMAZING) or even water. It fills my stomach and makes it think I’ve eaten when I really haven’t
Remember how I mentioned comfort eating earlier? Well, when I went out to get these wonderful snackies, I didn’t realize that I was going to be doing a whole lot of it for the next week or so. Stress from school and life have been getting to me and I find my hand in the Wheat Thins box more than I’d really like – not to mention that it’s that time of the month, so I’ve got an especially bad case of the munchies.
When I’m bordering on a breakdown, I cave in, but I portion myself; instead of eating the whole bag of baby carrots (which I do not advise; I had a friend who ate a whole bag of baby carrots and got an intestinal blockage), I set aside six of them and do NOT go back to the fridge when I’m done. Surprisingly, the things that I’ve been doing to keep me from being bored help me when I’m upset: writing, reading, video games. Worse comes to worse, I sleep. I can’t let my emotions and urges rule over me when I’m asleep.
I won’t lie; this week has been hard as hell. But I’m sticking to the plan, come hell, high waters, or hamburgers.
Current Weight: 227.
Current Size: XXL, or 20/22.