Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The End of Super Expanding Girl

The only way to put a stop to an expanding waistline is to end the war that started it all, the war between mind and body. My plan isn’t about cutting calories, going to the gym for hours or subscribing to a crazy diet. It’s about starting a dialogue between what my brain wants and what my body needs. My problem isn’t so much what I eat, but all those reasons apart from hunger. Yes, too much homemade vegetarian lasagne leads to super expanding girl.

Deprivation has never worked for me. Every time I have decided to actively try to lose weight, the battle between my brain and my stomach begun. As soon my brain decides that I shall eat less food at each meal, I’m starving an hour later. No snacks means I only think about food especially during the morning. No sweets and the moment I think of that slice of cake in the fridge, it’s gone, mysteriously. Yes, limiting foods seems to have the opposite effect of contraction.

And then there is counting kilojoules. I recently figured that I surely would be successful if I knew how much energy I was eating each day, so I gave it a try. I calculated what I had eaten the previous day and was shocked by the figure of around 10 000kJ. Well actually, I wasn’t at first, since I had to find out what that number actually meant for me. It turned out it was quite high, which surprised me because I thought I had eaten well that day with plenty of veggies and fruit as snacks. So for the following 3 days I vigilantly weighed and counted and estimated. It wasn’t difficult to reduce the total, but I was constantly thinking about food, or really the kilojoules in that food. Finally on Friday evening I cracked. I was going to three social events on Saturday and I knew I couldn’t control what I was going to be served. I lost it – crying and abusing myself for looking the way I did. I went to sleep miserable and woke feeling helpless, angry at myself that I was living in this body. When I calmed down that day, I decided that I would never again look at food and see kilojoules.

So, to avoid feeling deprived, my plan is to eat anything I desire, meaning no food is excluded or labelled as “bad”. The idea behind this is that I start looking at food today, the way I want to look at it if I was 13% smaller. But the catch is I must be hungry and stop when I no longer am. If it’s for any other reason than hunger then I have to find some other way to feed that need. Basically, it’s all about being conscious of my emotions and dialogue between my mind and body as well as physical hunger cues. To keep myself honest, I am going to keep a journal of all the emotions and thoughts behind my eating. Listening to all of me so that one day super expanding girl will be “now 13% smaller”.

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