February 21, 2011

Eating Crap and Feeling Defeated

There's a program problem gamblers can sign up for that
puts them on the list of "do not serve" in casinos.  There
should be something like that for people like me.
I hope you can excuse my public self-flagelation, but I'm very dissapointed in my behaviour over the past week. I was in Winnipeg for work until Wednesday night and, although I created a plan of action to help me continue to eat healthy and even brought resistance bands and an exercise plan for fear of losing momentum, I failed miserably (only to watch my first "Jershey Shore" on TV....an hour I will never get back). Not only that, after I came home, I didn't jump back into old habits...I just continued down the same shame spiral until today...Monday morning. That's why my book (the one I'm supposed to be writing) is called "I'll Start on Monday". I know I'm repeating myself, but even with all the planning, menu creating, self-awareness, and education I have, I still fall off the wagon miserably (and very hard).

I think the worst possible place to be, when one is trying to commit to a cleaner diet, is the military mess. As a guest on another base, I am provided a meal card. With one swipe of the card, I have "complimentary" access to chicken fingers (and if you have read my Mexican Vacation blogs you will know how I feel about chicken fingers), chocolate chip cookies, chineese food, cakes, fries.....you get the idea. So the first day or so I come into the mess for breakfast, lunch, and dinner ,with the goal of eating from the salad bar,...but end up grabbing the odd cookie and french fry while I'm there (and once I have one....there's no going back) I have what you call an "all or none" personality...always have.  I cannot be around chicken fingers (if it was possible to put out a restraining order against chicken fingers, I would go to the nearest police station today). So by the last day of work, all hell broke lose and my craving for deep fry won the internal battle between good and evil. I loaded my plate full of chineese food and chased it down with a slab of deep chocolate cake followed by a chocolate milk chaser. Nice. The result? Having to fly all day (and night) with my pants unbuttoned 'cause my muffin top was too much to contain (I know...it isn't pretty, but them's the cold, hard - in this case fleshy - facts). 

Now if something like this was posted near the "all you
can eat" fry bar, I think I would be turned off...I hope.
 So needless to say, that coupled with no real exercise to speak of, I feel loagy, bloated, and defeated once again. Time and time again I try, with a great deal of confidence, and time and time again (when faced with a challenge like a vacation or change of routine) I fail the test. However....the learning experience in all of this (and I wouldn't be blogging about it if there wasn't one) is I must understand my limitations or weak spots before I can truly create an action plan that works. Next time I am faced with a mess(y) situation, I have decided to pack and store breakfast and lunch items in my room and avoid the intoxicating smell of gravy and french fries.

Last night I created another fabulous menu plan for the week, but this time I also added one important rule..."If it isn't on the menu, it isn't in my mouth". Therefore, if I'm looking for munchies, I must list healthy options and get the ingredients in before the week begins. If I don't...all hell will break lose...again. I have found roasted yam chips (400 degrees on a baking sheet with a spitzer of canola; flip after 15 min for a total of 30 minutes) is a fabulous choice. I have also gotten into putting 3/4 cups of corn kernels into a brown paper bag and microwaving it...just like microwave popcorn without the crap. I have flavored my water with lemon or cucumber and used more avocado in my recipes as a way to get more natural fats.

In addition, I reacquainted myself with my goals of eating healthy (cleanly) and exercising for strength, cardiovascular fitness, and injury / pain management (not for weight loss). I sat and wrote my thoughts out in a journal this morning and continue to search for new and inventive ways to cook well. Tonite, for example, I'm making a grilled chicken breast (3parts soy sauce; 1part honey marinade) overtop a salad made of kale, swiss chard and spinach, kalmata olives, avacado, grape tomatos, and almond slivers (with a balsalmic/olive oil dressing).

It is important to find the right motivator for you. Mine is aging well without illness and injury (and holding on to whatever looks I have left....let's face it - pardun the pun).
I know I will never give up on this goal of eating a clean diet full of vegetables, but the behaviour change part is such a bitch! It's exhausting at times and I have to be honest...it does bring me down a little when I disregard my health like I did last week. I think it is really important to write this blog as a health promoter because no matter what I know or do as a profession, behaviour change is one of the hardest things you can do in life. It doesn't matter if you are a PhD on the subject or have lost 100 pounds on your own...it is hard for everyone. I think there is still a belief that if we fail during a behaviour change, we are weak. Well, if that's the case, I'm here to say...I'm weak (but gaining in strength every time I "fail"). I have a hard time overcoming the siren song of the chicken strip. So what? I'll just go home and make my own home-made chicken strip and be done with it.

I have read a great book on this topic and will have to revisit it again. "Food Matters; A Guide to Concious Eating" is a great read and also includes easy recipes (gathered by a guy who never cooked for himself). If you are looking for some great information coupled with practical application, I highly recommend it. I have included a link and image for your consideration. Mindful eating (not eating on the run) has a huge influence on our digestion and our appreciation for what we put in our mouths. Something to think about.

That's all I have today. Thank you so much for reading and have a great week.


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