One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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My Conscious Eating Correlation

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Woman choosing food

The past few weeks I’ve been training hard at the gym, rediscovering running and just trying to be more active overall. Even though I normally start my day with a good workout, sitting at my desk for hours upon hours isn’t doing me any good. That’s why I really embraced the Fitbit (and our 100kSteps Challenge). It makes me much more aware of my inactivity throughout the day.

In addition, I’m starting more and more to see how my diet affects my performance at the gym. I’ve been CrossFitting now for about 18 months. I’m by no means an elite athlete, but when you lift weights and challenge yourself physically on a consistent basis, there are quite a few changes your body goes through. 

You guys probably know this about me already, but my diet has always been far from perfect. I have no desire to eat like a rabbit, bird or any other animal that doesn’t indulge in a McDonald’s cone or a bacon cheeseburger from time to time. I do my best to eat well rounded,  vegetable-filled, and home cooked meals, but I’m not a stickler about it for me or my kids. I  feel like life is too short — sometimes you have to just go with the flow.

Interesting enough, my diet is much “cleaner” now then it has ever been, even when I initially lost weight. Back then I depended much more on processed foods and convenient items, which I’ve been slowly phasing out over the years.

Side Note: I talk more about this transition in a post called Tubs of Greek Yogurt and Bags of Kale Don’t Lie — click here to check it out.

My goal from the beginning has always been to eat consciously. We always say/hear things like, “There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods blah blah blah…” but the truth is, there is. Some things are just not good for you. And somethings we think are good for us may not be. And somethings we think are bad for us really aren’t that big of a deal.

Am I right?

Anyway, I’m losing my focus here, aren’t I?

What I mean to say is I don’t think there’s anything wrong with “bad” foods. The problem doesn’t lie with food, it lies in our reaction to the food.

Eating consciously means if I want something “bad” I eat something “bad” with no guilt or fear or punishment. There’s no desperation afterward or extra exercise or cleanse or “might as well” moments — you know, the I-already-ate-a-cookie-I-MIGHT-AS-WELL-finish-the-bag-now moment. There’s just a very conscious decision to enjoy the “bad” thing and then move on.

In my 9 years of maintenance I’m still trying to master this conscious eating thing. I’m not a Jedi Master YET, but what I’ve learned in my practice is, as long as you do the “moving on” thing you’re golden. That’s the secret: continuing to move on to  your next “good” choice despite your indiscretion. Don’t use the indiscretion as an excuse to walk away.

This approach has worked for me for, well, 9 years but now I’m finding I don’t want to indulge in the “bad” things as much because I really do see a correlation between my athletic performance and my diet.

You would think this would be a good thing,  leading to making better and better food choices and, in a way, it is. But I’ve taken a step backward in my conscious eating progress.  With the added pressure of wanting to perform better at the gym, I am starting to feel guilty again about “bad” food choices. This is resulting in a return to the dieting mentality more and more.

And I don’t like it.



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Discussion

There are 10 comments so far.

    Monique

    May 30, 2014

    Long-time reader but don’t think I’ve ever commented! The last couple posts you’ve written that you don’t want to feel thick and bulky, but you don’t want to give up junk food. You also want to improve your athletic performance, but you don’t want to give up junk food. We all want balance, for sure. But is it really worth it to keep eating junk food if it makes you feel badly?

    I hope you’re able to find balance that lets you live your life freely and be as happy as possible! I think it’s a lifelong challenge. :)

      RoniNoone

      May 30, 2014

      No but “junk” food is a very loose and loaded term. I’m not sitting around eating tasty cakes and popping M&Ms in my mouth all day. I’ve given up TONS of “junk food” that frankly I don’t even want nor crave like I used to. I’m not even tempted by The Husband’s Dorritos anymore (HUGE WIN!) ;)

      The balance I seek is to make my food choices without the guilt and yo-yo dieting mindset that stuff is off limits and therefore if I eat it I failed which leads to the “why bother eating healthy at all” mentality.

      I just want to be able to make the decision of “is it worth it” without the baggage of my broken diet-trained mind getting in the way.

      Monique

      May 30, 2014

      I don’t think I implied that you eat tasty cakes all day, but I’m sorry that’s the impression I left.

      To me, if I feel bad after doing something, it’s easier just not to do that thing. Of course I would love to be a woman who can eat ice cream and pizza without gaining weight, but that is not my reality, so I don’t eat those foods.

      It wasn’t my intention to offend you. Do what makes YOU happy; my comments are just my own opinion!

      RoniNoone

      May 30, 2014

      Oh no, no, no! I’m not offended! You just got me thinking and actually you helped me pin point why I’ve been frustrated.

    Brenda

    May 30, 2014

    Roni
    I struggle with the same. I have come so far, but still have goals that I want to achieve. Lately I want to reach them but not give up on eating certain foods and feel like I’m on a “diet” it’s a balance I seek as well.
    Thank you for keeping it real!

    Kim Allison

    May 30, 2014

    Another good day with steps, not the 17,000 plus form the previous day but
    13,000 plus works for me! Note on topic: “feed the monster or it grows”—
    Make a choice, live with the choice then move on. Worked at See’s Candies
    For seven years. Funny, but nothing cured me more in this line of thinking.
    Scotchmallow or Carrots—–if the candy is talking to you, listen! If not,
    Make another choice… The chocolate will always be there tomorrow! BUT
    don’t deny all the time or the need will grow! Happy Weekend!

    Paula

    May 31, 2014

    You are talking on a topic several other bloggers I follow are talking about too. You certainly nailed it when you wrote “That’s the secret: continuing to move on to your next “good” choice despite your indiscretion. Don’t use the indiscretion as an excuse to walk away.” I find that if I follow this, the all or nothing mentality doesn’t strike me. And as time goes on, I find I make less poor choices less often. One book I’ve been reading was “intuitive eating” I think there is some good stuff worth reading. Not sure if you’ve read it already but for those like me who want to have a normal relationship with food, it has helped.

    Brenda

    June 3, 2014

    Wow! This is a great article. I think developing a consciousness about eating healthy is the key factor to not only losing but maintaining the good weight. I used “the eggplant diet” (there is an ebook available on amazon that talks about that) to get in shape and the program really helped me develop that awareness.

    DL Grage

    June 11, 2014

    This is so interesting, because I did basically the same thing. Only I did without dieting or really changing what I ate. But as I worked with the method, which takes about an hour a day. I just naturally gravitated to a healthier non-meat diet. I wrote an ebook on how to lose weight this way. I have lost 19 lbs of the 40 lbs I need to lose. Virtually by doing this every day even on Sunday with no stress, no hassle, no dieting, and no starving. http://www.40lbsin40days.com

    aicha

    June 21, 2014

    This is resulting in a return to the dieting mentality more and more.thanks