I had to learn that:
-I use food as a response to feelings, good or bad.
-I eat things without thinking, often because of boredom.
-I don’t understand portion size.
-I have no idea the nutritional value on most things I consume.
-The person I lie to the most is myself.
If you heard some of the conversations I have with myself about food, you’d probably have me committed. In my head of course, never out loud. That’d be really weird. Arguing with myself over dumb stuff like gummy bears (which actually aren’t dumb, gummy bears are glorious) and if I should eat them. I can obsess over something in the pantry that I’m not hungry for but want to eat just because it’s there.
So I had to start changing these patterns and practicing new truths. I had to be educated about what I was eating, had to understand how I ate and when, and come up with other ways to handle boredom, feelings, and emotions. I also had to stop buying things I loved to eat because I realized that I just don’t have the self control to eat a little and put it away. I was setting myself up for failure by bringing those things in the house. I’m never going to be the person who can leave buy a big bag of something and eat it slowly for the next two weeks.
This is still a work-in-progress for me. But now I have more good days than bad days. Bad days are normally right before my period when I want to eat everything salty and chocolatey preferably in a pattern of something sweet followed up by something salty and then finished off with something sweet. Like a three-course meal for PMS. Yum.
If you’re striving for a healthier lifestyle, you’ve got to have some honest conversations with yourself (out loud, if you must) and figure out your struggles. A few years ago, I would have told you I didn’t have any food “issues,” I just liked to eat. But I was lying to myself. I’m a pretty convincing liar when I want to be.
Write down your triggers, your food truths, your struggles. Keep them handy and don’t conveniently forget about them when it’s late at night or when you’re out to dinner with friends. Figure out how to handle them, make a plan, share it with someone who can hold you accountable, write it on your refrigerator, your mirror, your arm. No one is going to ridicule you when you share your goal of being healthier. And if they do, they probably shouldn’t be in your life anyway. Get rid of them now (extra advice for free; you’re welcome.).
Set some short-term goals as you’re writing down your truths: run for ten minutes without stopping, lose ten pounds, no fast food for two weeks, walk a mile after work every day. Write them down too. Seeing it down on paper and writing it for all the world to see makes it more real.
The first step in getting healthy is changing your mindset. Truly understanding where you are at right now is the first step to going somewhere else, somewhere new, somewhere better.
Part One: Resolve to be Healthy