If we are what we eat then I’m baby spinach, arugala, romaine, tomaotes, cucumbers, chick peas, strawberries and onions this week. Okay, so I’ve eaten a few processed foods each day, but the overwhelming majority of my intake has been whole, unprocessed foods. And my body seems pretty happy about it. I feel satisfied and confident because I’m eating well and exercising hard so I’m trying to let go of desire to step on the scale every five minutes. When I weighed in at my new Weight Watchers meeting Thursday, I told myself that I need not weigh in again until then. And though it’s not quite Thursday yet, I’m so excited to step on the scale because I know that I’ll weigh less than I did a week ago.
As I look back at my week and my choices, I’m confident that the scale will reflect a loss, but I really want it to reflect my efforts. I’ve eaten bread a few times and an ounce of cheese here and there, but I am eating more vegetables than anything. And so far, I’menjoying it. But tomorrow I have to be up before the sun rises, and I have to drive by my favorite local bakery. (Do you see where I’m going with this?) The donuts are so fresh at 5am, and being up at such an ungodly hour seems so much brighter when a donut is on the horizon. (Yeah, I said it…It’s true!) So I’ve been telling myself that I don’t need to donut tomorrow just because I have to drive by the bakery. And I know I don’t.
But I was telling my friend, Ryan, who blogs at 1 Year 100 Pounds, about my doughy desires, he asked why I couldn’t have a donut. “You’re eating fruits and veggies, healthy fats…and you’re working out hard. Why can’t you eat a donut?” And that spurred a conversation about intuitive eating. I know that some of you have a lot more experience in this area than Ryan and I do, but we talked about it in theory, relating it to our lives. And while Ryan suggested that intuitive eating could be like “bringing a child into a candy store and telling the child to eat only what they needed,” he also suggested that I look for a balance between enjoyment and reaching goals. (Seriously…isn’t this guy awesome? Yeah, I know. He even elaborated on his analogy in the comment section below.)
In short, it’s okay to enjoy a donut from time to time if my healthy habits remain in place, and I know he’s right. I’ve said it, practiced it and owned it so many times on this journey! So I’ll allow myself to stop in for a donut or a piece of angel food or something which takes off a lot of pressure that I’ve been experiencing since I learned that I’d have to be up early for this appointment late last week.
I know that I don’t have to deprive myself of every food I enjoy in order to lose weight. At the same time, I also know that I have to be mindful. And I have to remember that I can eat a donut again on another day. I don’t have to have a donut every time I drive by the bakery (and I don’t…I promise!) Nor do I have to overindulge or undo the work I’ve done all week to enjoy 200 lousy calories. I can enjoy the donut and move on. It doesn’t have to control me or consume my thoughts in the way that I’ve allowed it to today. In fact, I’m hopeful that my cravings will change over time if I continue eating foods from the earth. I have craved tomatoes, strawberries and salads (not all at once) in a major way all week, and I’ve eaten them. Perhaps if I continue in these new efforts I’ll be craving berries next time I’m up early…Maybe?
I’m trying to do things right, and regardless of the numbers on the scale Thursday, I’ll be proud of myself for making a solid effort this week. So, for now, I’m going to keep doing exactly what I’m doing – making good food choices, listening to my body and exercising. And I’m excited to see the results of my efforts. Maybe I’ll think about that as I pass the donut shop. I’ll let you know…
How’s your week going? Are you happy with your choices?