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Saturday, October 1, 2011

What's Going Well

I think I've been a bit unbalanced in my self-reporting.
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.
I am feeling physically better than I have in quite a long time. Until I made major changes to my food (I'm referring here to letting go of dairy, grains, most sugar, peanuts, and most roasted nuts) I had no idea how many of the limitations I'd grown used to were related to food. Since then, I'm:
  • 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?).
Boosting my protein intake in the first half of the day has really helped my memory, recall, attention span, stamina, and work output,, while reducing brain fog. Who knew?
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.

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