Several people (including strangers!) said I'm excessively self-critical. I admit I do have tendencies in that direction.
So this post reviews some of the benefits I've received from the changes in my food, myself, and the process of change.
I am much more conscious of the food I eat. Tracking my food, observing how my body responds to the food I do eat (and, in some cases, when I eat it) has provided me many pluses. For example, I:
- Recognize much more quickly when I am eating for avoidance/to numb out versus easing hunger.
- Eat smaller quantities of food than before.
- (Usually know) when I am hungry and what it is I need to eat.
- Generally eat a lot less compulsively and inattentively than before.
- Much more flexible. For example, I no longer lean on something while I bend down to put the cat dish on the floor, and no longer need to do a 3-point, 2-position maneuver to stand up after sitting on the floor.
- A whole lot less bloated.
- Digesting my food more completely.
- Feeling a lot less congested in my body.
- Haven't gotten sick, and heal much more quickly from cuts and scratches (from my cats).
- Carrying around a much smaller belly.
- Much more conscious and happy with my physical self.
- Feeling sexy and attractive in ways I've not in quite a while.
- Feeling a lot less self-conscious (which is a great match with the previous bullet point, yes?).
I now eat around 100 grams of protein daily, always in the first two meals of the day. When I don't, I see a clear drop off in my recall and memory first, and then the attention span gets shot to hell (it's still a challenge, but gets even worse without sufficient protein).
My experimentation and spirit of inquiry has made it possible for me to now judge much less harshly my process, weight, and myself. A speaker at a 12-step meeting I attended recently used a phrase that has stuck with me. "I was locked and loaded," he said, "on a fixed idea."
That was me--with my food, my concept of what I needed to do, and how I was going to do it. My original goal was to go nearly or completely all-raw, with my protein from nut and other plant sources (e.g., soy). I was not going to eat sugar, and I certainly saw no need (and had zero desire) to track, much less measure, my food. And I certainly was not going to weigh myself for at least 90 days. In fact, for months I didn't care to admit that weight had anything to do with why I was making changes.
Now I'm hammering 3 eggs and 2 pieces of meat daily. I don't eat soy. I'm testing to see whether or not I can have some sugars (e.g., agave, honey, and cane sugar). I (generally) measure and write down the food I eat (I'm now writing it down before I eat it, to see how that affects the volume of food I eat). I weigh myself weekly, and write that down, too.
There is a wonderful ease and acceptance I've gained. I put on 1.5 pounds last week (and a pound the week before that), yet I'm not freaked out, I'm not muscling myself; I'm breathing and being with ease. I realize I haven't been eating nearly the amount of vegetables I was last month, so I've eaten more this week. I'll weigh myself next Tuesday, and perhaps make adjustments. I might, for example, see what happens if I reduce the amount of coffee (and the coconut milk I put in it), or not eat any sweeteners.
My point is: I'm not acting out of shame or fear (nearly as much); I'm much less reactive, too. What freedom.