Better Fooding Update
One of the things I liked best about my reading about the Slow Carb diet was the focus on generalized rules and small, meaningful changes. Being stuck in Midwestland* over the holidays, I haven't been able to eat anything like a strict diet, but I have been paying extra close attention, and working on identifying and making positive changes — some in line with Slow Carb, and some not.
Good changes that were easy and awesome to make:
- protein shake in the morning! OMG awesome. This I brought a blender from Boston with me for, and bought the ingredients as soon as I got here. I can feel how this improves the whole day, nutritionally.
- moar veggies! I keep a ton of them around now — it's cheap, and while having tasty variations of ways to eat them is tough when not at home, "raw with salt" works a good portion of the time.
- hide the junk! This one I just really got the hang of (it also helped that there finally stopped being literally tablesful of junk-food in the house; thanks Mom) — but it helps a lot to make sure all the junk food, if it exists, is in containers in the fridge, and not sitting on counters with a fork in it (which, I swear, is the family norm). So I've started putting it all away, and as a result have been largely able to leave it alone. (At home, I just don't have it in the house at all, which is obviously the best solution!)
- No drinking calories! I mostly did this anyway — I gave up soda and juice years ago — but I've been really focusing on drinking more water and tea lately, and with good results, at least in terms of how I feel.
- Beans and Veggies! The "can of beans plus can of veggies" form of midday food was a revelation for me
- MAKE exercise happen! It's easy when you build your life around it, as I have in recent months; but when you can't have automatic exercise, you have to make room for it however you can. Even when it's not fun or automatic, it's also, I've learned, not optional. I had a hard time here at first, but then I started doing plain old pushup and situp sets a few times a day; and now I've moved onto making room for swimming — I've been to the local rec center three days in a row, and holy COW do I feel better!
And my latest one:
- Fast after dinner. Since eveningtime is my worst snacking period, I'm trying going liquids-only after my last meal-type thing. For some reason, drawing a hard line and calling a period of time "fasting" really helps me, and the first two evenings of doing this have worked!
Things I'm NOT doing by the SC plan:
- Fruit. I don't eat much fruit anyway, but when I'm craving sweet things and it's an orange or fudge? I'm going for the orange, and calling that just fine.
- Beer. Sorry, I just like a beer in the evenings, or after hockey. I do keep a bottle of red wine around now, and replace my evening beer with a glass of wine about half the time, because I do grant that wine is good for you and anyway, I like it fine — but cutting out beer? No way! ;)
- Meat. One thing that being more conscious about my eating for a few weeks taught me is that I really feel better when I don't have as much in the way of animal products. One "problem" with eating no carbs or starches is that you wind up eating a ton of eggs and meat, and I did that for two weeks and didn't care for it, so I've stopped. I do try to lean on vegetables as much as possible still, and as per above, I like the addition of beans; but I seem to be much happier if I let a little (gluten-free) starch into my diet instead of all that animal protein.
…And of course, there are things that I still need to improve, most of which center around internalizing edicts like "Do not wander past the fudge and grab a bit, especially if this is the sixth time today you have done so". Some more Good Defaults like the above (gods I love Good Defaults!) may help; but the other thing, the main thing I'm finding, that helps with behavior like that is my New Year's Resolution — being more conscious of each moment. It's amazingly — really shockingly – easy to change bad habits and behaviours when you're paying attention! And so, as the New Year rolls in and I work on this change in consciousness, I'm noticing more and more times when I'm automatically reaching for the fudge: and when I notice it, I stop.
It's really fascinating — I don't have to tell myself to stop. I don't struggle about it. I just push, gently, further into paying attention; and as I go further, the urge to do it ceases. It becomes apparent — not in my verbal thoughts but in my guts — that I'm grabbing that snack not because I'm hungry, but because my mind is bothering me; and Noticing makes it stop bothering me, which results in my thinking "But I'm not really hungry" and moving on. Once, yesterday, I did consciously decide to have that snack — but only once! Must keep that up, for sure.
Oh hey, didn't I write about this in theory before, as Zen Dieting or something? (Edit: OMG it looks like I actually didn't, though there are posts from years ago, like these, where I talk about it as if I did — AHAHAHA wow. Also, I'm getting old I think, because I saw the 2009 timestamp on one of those and thought, "Oh, that's just last year, yeah?" before my brain got around to how that was FOUR years ago…at least that explains why the writing is so different though! Maybe now that I'm starting to do it — assuming I keep doing it — I actually will write it, heh.)