How to stop eating when it’s delicious

I don’t binge eat. But when I’m choosing the food that sounds most appetizing, I can sometimes struggle to stop eating. I swear my brain knows when I’m done, because I think about it. Then I don’t stop. Because I want one more bite, or even one last perfect bite. I truly think if I could sort this, I’d start making huge strides.

Reasons I keep eating:

  1. The meal is better warm. I know I can save it, but it won’t be the same later, even warmed up, so I want to stretch enjoyment now. Why I shouldn’t use this logic: because if I keep eating and feel over-full, I’m not enjoying anything. Over-full isn’t comfortable for me.
  2. It cost a lot, so I also don’t want to toss it when I know I won’t enjoy the leftovers later. Why I shouldn’t use this logic: the money is spent either way. How does over-eating make it more worth it? It doesn’t. See item 1 about being over-full.
  3. I want one more perfect bite. Then one more I perfect bite. This excuse doesn’t even make sense. But I find myself using this void of logic excuse a LOT. Why I shouldn’t use this non-logic: well, it’s not logical at all. But if I want to use it, fine, have one more, thoughtful, final bite. That’s it. Don’t create some sort of checking routine with finishing food.
  4. I might not actually BE full. So, I’ve noticed this week with more thoughtful eating, my brain signals when I should stop eating, even when I don’t actively feel full. Who knew? But for some reason I worry I’m not ACTUALLY full. I should simply stop eating for fifteen or twenty minutes, to see if I am full. Beyond that, I also shouldn’t follow this logic because: part of my form of intuitive eating is being present and trusting my instincts. So I should start!

These are my most commonly used excuses. I’ll keep being aware of them. And try to remind myself of these reasons to stop using these four. I’ll report back.

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Everything-Free

After taking a food intolerance test, I cut gluten and wheat/dairy out of my diet. Along with coconut, mushrooms, peanuts, shellfish, and being aware of yeast, peas, pepper and sesame seeds. It’s hard to be perfect. But I feel so much better, it’s worth trying. I’ve found there are good cheese alternatives, and avocados are a good cheese alternative. I’ve found it freeing to no longer avoid rice, bananas and nightshades. I’ve also really started eating more fish, and not avoiding ANY type of meat (beef, pro, chicken, turkey, etc., all on the table). My energy was fantastic, then I got sick, and it has waned a bit, but I’m still working out.

I also found Aldi not only has some great gluten-fee options (though many include eggs, sesame seeds, pea protein or yeast, all foods I try to avoid), they’re good options occasionally. Though, honestly, the gluten free cinnamon raisin bread this past week? That was more than occasional. And so good. I never knew gluten-free could be so good! They also had some vegan cheese shreds that were good with some gluten-free pizza crusts. They also have some gluten free chicken nuggets. I know, I’m not six. But I do like chicken nuggets.

I’ve found a bun-less, cheese-less burger is right up my alley. Add some avocado and some fries? I don’t even feel like I’m limiting. I also love fish, brown rice and any type of veggies. Or roasted potatoes? What a treat! I love bananas and strawberries with a bit of granola. And it’s strangely indulgent to have JUST an orange for a snack. Or a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. I’ve found fantastic cracker alternatives I can spread some nut-based cheese spread on. And I’m pretty pleased.

Weight hasn’t exactly been falling off, but I’m lifting weights a few times a week (plus cardio!) and I can see my body changing. My measurements at the first of the year showed losses across my body. I feel stronger and my endurance is improving. I wish my energy would go up and be stable. But with being sick, and hormones, that may never be perfect.

I have a doctors appointment this month and am hopeful she will do panels on me to ensure none of my numbers are out of whack. I take iron, B12 and Vitamin D regularly. I also went on a banana and potatoes bender those first few weeks, which makes me think my potassium might have been low. So I’m interested to see how that goes, and feel hopeful for the future.

This Is Not A Diet

I don’t know why the phrase, “This is not a diet” drives me so crazy. ESPECIALLY when it’s a group of people trying to eat the exact same way. Simply, a diet is what you eat. That can be restricted for health, weight loss or other reasons. But even if it’s not, what you eat is your diet. Also, collectively, what a community eats is their diet. So when you’re in a. Group of people eating keto, paleo, or even low-cal, that is still your diet. Diet isn’t a bad word. And saying, “This isn’t a diet, this is a lifestyle” doesn’t change how restrictive many of these ways of eating to lose weight are. And the restrictiveness is often the reason a different way of eating is temporary. It’s not because someone called it a diet.

And the truth of the matter is, most people change what they eat, their diet, because of health or weight reasons. And, often, the dramatic changes many claim you MUST make make it hard for that change to be worth it in the long term. I’m in a Facebook group for a workout plan I bought. I’ve never subscribed to what is, for me,a VERY restrictive diet/lifestyle/list of allowed foods and number of calories. It’s way too restrictive for me to last. So, call it what you want, I know it will be temporary. So I don’t bother. (That said, many people can simply not eat to lose weight. I’m not one of them. And if that works, good for you!)

Today a woman asked if something she was eating was allowed on this diet. Another patronizing member corrected her, told her this isn’t a diet, then proceeded to say, “This isn’t allowed on this way of life.” Sorry, call it what you want, if this whole group is (allegedly)’eating from the same plan, that is our diet. And telling someone they shouldn’t call it a diet because that feels too restrictive, but then tell them they can’t eat what they’re eating? You are lost.

Instead, why don’t we all just tinker around with food, testing, etc., until we find what works for us. Then mind our own business about it? She could have just said, “if you feel good eating that, eat it.” Which in the long run would be more productive.

My diet consists of whatever I want to eat that makes me feel good. Right now, I’m experimenting with no wheat, dairy, mushrooms, coconut and pineapple because a test I took suggested my body may not like them. In six months I might find something works better. But the days of blanket restricting foods, food groups or other dramatic sweeping changes with no specific reason other than it worked for someone else are gone. But, that said, what I eat is my diet. And some days my diet works better for my health and energy than others.

Society’s Reinforcement vs Happiness

A week or so ago, I saw an article posted on social media about a couple who spent a few years really buckled down to paid off their home and traveled in their RV. They used that home and three other rental properties as income streams to finance the traveling. It was hardly revolutionary. I clicked on the comments thinking I’d see others who had similarly focused for several years and now were reaping the rewards of freedom from a corporate job, or some sort of middle,ground. My personal goal is to get to a point where I can work part time, but a part time job that still offers health insurance.

Instead, almost all I found in the comments were bitter people proclaiming, “No kids. Of course. Rich get richer.” It was interesting because last I checked, people aren’t require to have children (or get married). Although as a child, I assumed I’d get married and have children, I NEVER felt like either were a requirement as I got older and, quite frankly, realized I didn’t want children. I would maybe be drawn to help a teenager in foster care get started as an independent adult. But I’ve never wanted a bunch of babies, toddlers, preteens, etc., filling up my house. It never sounded like my perfect scenario. In fact, the older I got, even marriage sounded like a compromise I wasn’t willing to make. So many men I met wanted a wife who is submissive, does all of the housework (basically his maid and housekeeper). I know not all men are that way, but even if that’s off the table, my life has always been happier with more freedom. I have never once considered settling for any guy just to get married.

So, the question is, are these people being victims, but happy with where they are. Or bitter because they didn’t go for the life they really want?

We only get one go around at this life. We should be doing the things that we are passionate about, with ultimate goals that make us happy. Not that conform, please others, or get us things we don’t really want or need.

New Year, New Inspiration

I love New Years, months, even Mondays. OK, I don’t like Mondays. I have a soul. But as far as motivation goes, there’s something about staring fresh on the first day of the week, month and especially year. And for anyone out there looking to do more of something, less of something, start something, quit something, or anything else, good luck? I hope the new year is the push you need to make the change!

One of my pet peeves are negativity spreaders around the first of the year. All year long, these same people judge others for not having motivation to make changes. Then this day comes around, and they shit all over the shared inspiration. If you’re this hater, stop. Please. Everyone is on a path of self-improvement. We all have ways we could be better. Better to ourself, better to one another, better to the earth. Mostly, we could all be better to ourself. And when we are better to ourself, we are generally better to those around us.

This year, I have been lucky enough to make some changes and be inspired prior to the start of the year, so I don’t have a lit to change tomorrow. However, I do have a lot to keep up. Everything I’ve changed in the past several weeks still needs time to set into a habit. And I want to see physical progress. So, what are my goals?

  • Workout 250 times. This is about five times a week. And admittedly a stretch. When this past year, there were weeks and weeks in a row I had no energy to workout at all. What I did learn this past year: when I can’t workout hard, a walk is a good, respectable workout.
  • Meditate 250 times. Same pace, and also a stretch. These meditations can be 10 minutes. The goal is to keep my mental wellbeing at the top of my list, next to physical. What I’ve learned over the past year: the more I meditate, the better I deal with everyday stress.
  • Stick to eliminated diet through March. From there, I can consider adding back foods as a test, or if I’m not feeling well, maybe try eliminating some of the lower ranked items. For now, I’ve eliminated a decent amount of foods and feel leaps better. I know compliance with this restrictive diet won’t be 100%. It is almost impossible to join someone at their house for dinner without being high maintenance, or enjoy a dinner party even I throw, without having some deviance. But I am hopeful over time, I’ll feel less and less inclined to “cheat” on special occasions. For now, my goal is to stick to the diet 100% of the time when I can control it. Which is at least 80% of the time, if not more.
  • Get in a size 12. This is my vanity goal, and lowest priority. Though I know the three above will improve my health, I’d love to lose inches while I get healthier. To track this goal, I’m going to keep measurements.

That’s it! It seems like a lot, but all it comes down to is tracking workouts, meditations and measurements. I’m already used to tracking workouts so I’ll add a red star on days I meditate. I’m also tinkering around with the Habit app. And being honest with myself and organized enough to not take the easy route on eating. I’m not quitting carbs or eating paleo or giving up all eating out or anything else extreme like I’ve done in the past. And unlike all of those diets, I actually feel better eating this way. For the first time. I hope the years of fatigue will make eating better easier. I actually like working out, and see results fro, meditating. So this s like the past six years of experimentation are coming together!

I am truly excited for 2018, and hope anyone else, even if you’re like me and have tried and not quite succeeded in the recent past, will join me in harnessing the new year motivation and inspiration! May as well start now, because then we will be started!

The Addiction to the Process

I was watching an older Intervention episode last night where the addict said she also finds she’s addicted to the process of getting high: acquiring the drugs, preparing them, tying up her arm, shooting up, etc., and I felt like that was really observant and self-aware. And I started to wonder what processes I’m addicted to. I have found there’s a process for me to get ready to workout. Some days I can jump right in. Others, I have to research my videos, select just the right one, find the right clothes, etc.

Now I’m NOT comparing exercise to the true addiction of heroin. But I do think part of what I love is getting everything setup. The anticipation of the workout is exciting, too. I spent a few hours today poring through workout attire, and bought some new tops, bottoms, sports bras and even heavy cover ups if I ever get back into running or walk during these colder months. Sometimes not having everything just so stops me from starting that workout, or even simply going for a walk. This way, clothes are always there.

I’ve also tried to spend some time sorting my workout DVDs so I know what kinds they are, length, and even will start rating them. As I posted yesterday, I wrote a workout rotation to hopefully cut down on so,e of the exercise choice issues I’ve had. Now some additional workout clothes and sorted out dressers will stop me from hunting for the right clothes, or not working out because I haven’t done laundry. I did the same thing with additional socks last year. Just having more socks increased the frequency of my walks.

I’ve also found there’s something exciting about reading about or discussing workouts with others that gets and keeps me motivated. In the early 2000s, when I was most motivated working out, I was on a very active workout board. Now with Facebook, it’s much harder to be anonymous, and I miss the ability to be more open, so I connect less. But that full circle is part of what makes working out fun for me. When I talk to other friends about the workouts I love (mostly The Firm and a few Cathe), my IRL friends recommend workouts at the Y or other video workouts that are more trendy.

But I’ve found simply talking a little here, even into a void, is very motivating for me. It’s part of the process, and the process can me as much fun as the high of doing.

Firm 90 Day Rotation

In an attempt to ride my motivation wave all the way to the shore, I did some research and wrote a Firm rotation calendar last night. That’s when you know you’re ready – you don’t make the excuse to wait another week until January 1st. Instead, I’m starting tomorrow. I even had to force myself to take a rest day after seven straight workouts.

The Firm is known for their 90 day rotation calendars. You got a rotation calendar with each system when they started making the BSS sets specifics to the workouts in that set. And although I didn’t know of The Firm in the 80s and 90s, I have seen rotation calendars from then that were more generic. Do this type of workout this day. So I pulled some information from a 90 day calendar, adjusted it slightly to let me do more tortoise-style workouts, and feel excited for the next 90 days! I setup my calendar with the same day off every week (Monday!), and did six days a week, with the option to take an additional day off. Hell, even if I workout 3-4 days a week, that’s leaps over last year.

If you want to write your own rotation calendar, first you want to categorize your workouts. If your workouts are listed in this compendium, it’s pretty easy to categorize. Or, you can make an educated guess. I think sculpt, cardio, hare and tortoise are easy. But the classics are a bit more confusing to separate from hare and tortoise.

Sculpting– These are the all weights-based workouts. They can be total body, or upper/lower split workouts.

Cardio– Though I don’t know if there’s a Firm workout that’s 100% weight-free, these are the workouts that just use the lightest weights, and are high step intensive.

Tortoise– These are slow and heavy workouts. 75% weights, 25% cardio. These workouts tend to let you go heavier, have less four-limb. And also seem to have less of those upper and lower combined lifts (squats and overheads combined, etc.). These are closest to Sculpt workouts.

Hare– These are fast and light. 75% cardio, 25% weights. You do more four limb in these workouts. More cardio based, more lighter weights with more, faster reps.

Classics– These are 50/50 weights and cardio. These are the first six Firm classics videos (volumes 1-6). This is how The Firm started. There are other workouts classified as Classics. For example, Complete Aerobics and Weight Training from BSS2 and Total Muscle Shaping from BSS3.

Then I created my calendar based off of information in the compendium linked above. Adjusting a bit to allow me to do more tortoise-style workouts, and to have some repetition among weeks to hopefully see improvement. 90 days is 12 weeks.

Week 1, 3 and 9

  1. Sculpt
  2. Cardio
  3. Classic (R)
  4. Sculpt
  5. Cardio
  6. Tortoise
  7. Rest

Week 2, 4 and 10

  1. Tortoise
  2. Hare (R)
  3. Sculpt split
  4. Cardio
  5. Tortoise
  6. Hare
  7. Rest

Week 5 ,7 and 11

  1. Sculpt split
  2. Cardio
  3. Tortoise
  4. Cardio (R)
  5. Tortoise
  6. Cardio
  7. Rest

Week 6 & 8

  1. Sculpt
  2. Hare
  3. Cardio
  4. Hare (R)
  5. Sculpt
  6. Cardio
  7. Rest

Week 12

  1. Tortoise
  2. Classic
  3. Hare (R)
  4. Tortoise
  5. Cardio
  6. Tortoise
  7. FINISH!

Unless listed as a sculpt split, anything listed as sculpt should be total body. If you prefer classics for some reason, you could easily swap some of the tortoise workouts for more classics. The (R) next to a workout means it’s an optional workout. I leaned toward skipping cardio and hares. Thought that’s again purely preference. If I do six workouts, I’ll stick to the program. If I want a break, that gives me a planned potential rest.

I’ve recorded my measurements, weight, etc., and I’ll check in with my progress. Hopefully I haven’t been too optimistic in what I can do!

Anyone out there seen great results with a rotation? I don’t think I’ve ever done a rotation all the way through. Partly because I didn’t have enough workouts in the past to follow the published ones. And with the BSS1 rotation that came with the set, I improved slowly at first, so I went slower. Then I went faster and wanted to do workouts more quickly. So I modified. But in my years in between, I try to alternate sculpt and cardio, or not do too many tortoises in a row. So I’ve been doing a modified calendar, except with a lot of, “What workout should I do?” leading up to workouts. This way, I’ll have a planned workout, or can easily shift to a similar workout.

We’ll see if I still love tortoise-style workouts after this! :) I got a ton of success with just Cardio Sculpt and Body Sculpt (heavy on Cardio Sculpt), so I feel hopeful!

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