So, FINALLY, I am getting around to posting Part 3 of my story. Thanks again to everyone who has stuck around through my somewhat erratic blogging schedule over the past few days. Like I said I had a really busy weekend (a friends birthday on Friday, my aunt arriving on Saturday and another friends birthday Sunday day). I also had my monthly assignment for my Bauman course due on Saturday - which I might have left a teensy tinsy bit of until the last minute. ;).
The good news is I got my assignment done (!!!) and I think I'm also going to share it here tomorrow. It's all about macronutrients, like carbs, proteins and fats, and how to assess whether you are getting enough. My assignment includes a bit of a Diet Journal for the past few days and, since that seems to be a topic I get a lot of questions about, I thought it might be good to share that again?
ANYWAYS, todays post is focussing on other signs, besides those listed in Part 2, that my previous 'healthy outlook' wasn't all it was cracked up to be. I focussed before on my diet and some of the negative behaviours it ended up inducing. Today I wanted to focus on some other habits I engaged in that I know didn't do my healthy any favours. Habits that I wish I had stopped indulging in long before I did.
The main ones that spring to mind are as follows;
Starving myself all day, if I knew I was eating at a restaurant that night;,
Okay, maybe starving is an exaggeration but I was terrible for doing things like fruit fasts, before any planned evening out. I hardly ever ate out during the week, but if I ever really had to I would go to such extents to ensure a deficit. I remember one time I was meeting my friend for Thai and I knew I really wanted a noodle dish so all I ate all day was two bowls of strawberry and banana salad. Ugh! The worst part is, by the time I got to the restaurant I was so focussed on eating that I barely enjoyed my friends company at all. Now I know some books recommend only eating fruit if you are going to have a big meal, but those books are written for people who are overweight and have weight they need to lose - not for people who are already a healthy weight and leading active lives. There is a huge difference there!
Eating nothing all day, on days when I would be drinking that night;
Such a classic - but again SO dumb. One of the most interesting things I've learned in my nutrition studies is that alcohol calories are not like other calories. I intend to do a full post on this soon but, suffice to say, not only is eating nothing all day before you go drinking totally dumb in terms of getting wasted - it is also so unnecessary in terms of creating a deficit. The way your body deals with wine calories is totally different to cake calories and even if you plan on drinking a bottle of wine (which I obviously do not recommend :)) you do NOT need to factor that 400 calories in to your daily intake. Full post coming soon!
Propping myself up all day with caffeine;
Drink enough tea and you won't feel hungry! The downside is you will totally wear out your adrenal glands. The other disadvantage is if your hormones are shot you are setting yourself up for osteoporosis, and high caffeine consumption makes this worse. I'm too much of a caffeine addict to ever pretend to advocate complete abstinence (nor do I think this is necessary!) but I do now limit myself to one cup per day.
Always working out on an empty stomach and leaving it at least an hour after exercising to eat again;
I got this smart idea from the 'Body for Life' books. After it killed my blood sugar regulation, and given that I now get panic attacks if I don't eat after exercise, I've decided it was probably never that great an idea! I now almost always have banana or dates before a workout, and if I ever don't I ALWAYS have some form of milk afterwards. Best post workout snack ever!
Panicking about other people cooking for me;
Oh the stress of eating dinner at other peoples housing and having no idea how much butter they put in their pasta sauce. Boring, boring, boring!
Having rigid and un-flexible schedules when it came to eating and cooking;
Sunday night was my eating out day/ night and the only day I would totally relax about having a meal out. Any other time being invited for dinner with a friend or at a friends, was a huge inconvenience and a massive stress. I got this smart idea regarding the strict 'indulgent' day from the Body for Life books as well. Agh - I now know it is SO important to embrace both flexibility and enjoyment when it comes to food! Don't get me wrong. Provided you get good quality fresh ingredients, the food you cook at home is likely to be a lot healthier than anything you eat out and it is important healthwise and financially to focus on this kind of fare. But its also important not to be a totally weird control freak. If you have a friend who is around only on Tuesday and wants to see you and has booked a table in a pizza restaurant, relax your rules, go out, choose what you want off the menu, eat a reasonable portion and dance round your living room for half an hour when you get home. Easy!
Choosing my dish in restaurants purely according to low calorie content, rather than what I wanted to eat;
Could I have the chicken stir fry without rice?/ The chicken salad with the dressing on the side?/ The ham pizza without cheese?/ The tuna steak without the sauce?
Boring boring boring... again! Concern for my body was the trigger, but I think it is actually my love of food that has really made me embrace my new eating style with such gusto.
Thinking the less I ate the better - always;
You know that expression 'you can never be too rich or too thin'. It's funny, but it's a lie. Eat too little and you will end up undernourished with a dry skin, crap hair, bad temper and a shot metabolism. Get too rich and you'll end up blinkered, selfish, narrow minded and convinced your money is more important than other human beings welfare. Sorry - I got political for a second there! I'll leave my politics at home, but trust me on the first part. You are not aiming to eat less than 2000 calories per day - you are aiming to eat approximatly 2000 calories per day. There is a big difference!
Phew - that's quite a list right? I can also promise you those arent the only ones - they are just the ones I continued with for the longest and the ones that come to mind the most quickly. I can also totally promise you that if you are currently engaging in any of those behaviours, and finding it hard to switch, I so understand.
It's taken me a good nine months of trying to really move completely on from some of them - the restaurant one I still struggle with sometimes. Sometimes I still just veer automatically towards the salad (dressing on the side), or some boring and totally blah stir fry when green curry, one of my favourite dishes ever, is right there in front of me.
The one thing I can say is the best way to overcome fear is to meet it head on.
Your body doesn't want to be lower than your set or healthy weight, and so most people who've been trying to maintain some super skinny figure get used to fighting their body the whole time. For these people (which included me!) it can be weird to switch to a trusting relationship. However your body also doesnt want you to be overweight! If you eat healthy foods, save the sugar and refined carbohydrates for special occasions (a few times per week), get plenty of protein and fat, and you exercise you will be able to totally trust your hunger cues and your food cravings. Seriously. You can eat until you feel full, you can dine at other peoples houses, you can even choose exactly what you want off the menu. So long as you are giving your body good nutritious food and eating for pleasure you will be fine!
Wow - so that turned into another slightly epic post. Im really hoping some of this information sharing is coming in useful for anyone who is reading - but I also have to say I'm looking forward to starting up some more normal postings where I share information about developing your Weston Price eating habits. I think I'm particularly stoked about it this evening, because for dinner tonight I made me and Louis cheese and broccoli 'egg pizza'. I've just realised what a Weston Price type meal this is! The idea is really basic - you beat some eggs together and lightly cook them omelette style with some butter. You then top them with whatever you want - we used broccoli and cheddar, but I'm thinking it would also taste awesome with goat cheese and red onion and maybe some purple sprouting broccoli. Shove this under the grill for a couple of minutes (you need to cook it in a frying pan) and 'whalla' - you have a high protein, super nutritious meal, without any refined carbohydrates or added nasties. It also all done in about ten minutes start to finish - which is less time than it takes to cook a pizza. I'll do a proper recipe posting later this week but I just wanted to give you an idea of some of things I hope to be posting about - you know begging you to stick around!!
In the meantime though I'll love you and leave you here - but will be back tomorrow for my final Part 4; the key things that helped me to change my attitude and overcome of the negative behaviours and habits I had been indulging in before.
Take Care xox