In my coaching group this week we have been talking about “change”. We all had to come up with something in our lives, that we felt we needed to change. I thought that if I wrote mine here, I’d have more of a reason to stick to it. My change is that I need to make better choices when it comes to eating. I am not overweight at all. I exercise daily – and this definitely helps me because if I didn’t, there is no doubt that I would have an issue with my weight. I have absolutely no portion control and eat more than I should. So I have made the decision to start eating better. Perhaps it will result in losing weight, but this is not really my biggest reason for doing it. A few pounds would be nice but I just feel like I need to be a healthier eater in general. My biggest problem is that I don’t really know how to go about it. Believe me, I have tried many times.
One thing that I would like to start with, is eating healthier foods. I am conscious of food labels and I do look at what ingredients are in things. I have been reading a lot about it and found that an easy way to go about it is to limit myself to foods that come from the ground, grow on a tree, come out of the sea or live on the land. Real foods, like meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts. Fortunately these are all things that I enjoy. This is nothing new. I have read numerous articles about eating healthy so I am aware of this, but I always found a reason to not stick to it. I find it funny that during Lent, when I always give up sweets, I have no problem at all going for forty days without ever straying, but the minute it is over, I am back to eating whatever I want and there is nothing that gets me to do it again until Lent comes around again the next year. Catholic guilt perhaps??
Perhaps eating healthy will be a good example for my kids. I have written about it before and they just don’t make healthy choices when they eat. Sadly that cause a lot of arguments between us. I know that if there are no unhealthy foods in the house, they won’t be there for them to eat, but when they are at school, or out with friends there is very little control I have over what they are or are not eating. I also don’t want to deprive them of junk food completely because I believe that will make them want it more, and therefore find ways to get it and gorge themselves with it when I am not around to monitor them.
In the past, I have been good about tracking what I eat. I usually eat very well for breakfast and lunch, and then fall apart at dinner. I do allow myself small snacks during the day and I try to keep them healthy. There are some great apps and websites to monitor my food. Some days I am better than others when it comes to keeping track. I know all of the “basic rules”. Eat protein at every meal, there are “good and bad” carbs, fats are essential for many reasons and drink a lot of water. I gave up soda a few years ago so that one won’t be hard.
My goal is to make permanent, lasting changes in my diet and I plan to take it slowly so that I can do it successfully. If I try to do it fast and immediately eliminate all foods that I love, I will fail. That is what usually happens. I also feel like I will never be able to eliminate everything forever. I know that would never work, but if I can try to eat well MOST of the time, and allow myself to stray once in awhile, I might be able to do it. I enjoy food too much to stop eating what I love. I am going to try to find ways to make it work. Among my favorite foods, I love pasta, cheese, pizza and meat! I will find ways to allow myself to eat these but to incorporate them into my “diet” in healthier ways. If I want a glass of wine with dinner, or something for dessert, I will have it. I will not stop going out to eat and I cannot always monitor what is in food that I order, but I will be more conscious of what I choose to eat there.
I think my changes for now, will be to monitor ingredients. If I do that, I am sure that I will see some results. I will continue to track my calories in a food diary, but limiting calories will not be my goal, although it might motivate me and if it does, that will be a bonus. By writing it in my blog, perhaps I will be more accountable to myself. I always say, “I will start tomorrow”, so tomorrow I will. As for tonight, (since I already ate pretty badly for the day,) I will have some dessert, not feel guilty about it and go to bed knowing that tomorrow I will begin the change.