Body Back Week 4: Food

I don’t have the greatest relationship with food. I eat my feelings. I drink my stress. I starve uncomfortable thoughts. The day my son started PreK, I went to Shipley’s and ate $12 of donuts. Do you know how cheap donuts are? Do you have any idea how much $12 worth is? Then I didn’t eat for the rest of the day. Partly because of the sugar coma and partly to “make up for” the donuts. It’s not rational. It’s just how I operate.

These habits and some lucky DNA kept me skinny during my 20s. It doesn’t work anymore.

The thing is, I know what to eat: fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, whole grains and low-fat calcium. I know how to eat: small portions every 3 hours to keep my metabolism up. I know to make a meal plan and follow it. I know to pack my lunch and snacks to avoid poor choices. This is not revolutionary to me. When I do these things, I feel better. I look better. I am better. It’s very logical.

My trouble remains emotional triggers. My kid is bioterrorist and brought home some fever virus that’s working its way through the entire family. It’s my turn. I feel terrible. Yesterday I really wanted a cheeseburger and fries for lunch. Nothing tastes better than fat, salt and sugar when I’m like that. It became a moral imperative that Charlie go to McDonald’s and get it for me.

I know that it’s one meal, so it’s not the end of the world. We had a healthy dinner. But I also know long-term, my biggest challenge to looking and feeling the way I want to remains my complicated relationship with food. I know I can’t make anything forbidden or I’ll just binge. It’s all about moderation and perspective. It’s just hard. I’m an “all-in” sort of girl.

The good news is I have a lot of support. The Body Back program comes with a diet plan and recipes to get me on the right track. My coworkers are health conscious and we often talk about tasty foods and dishes that don’t come with a hazardous warning label. Charlie would rather eat quinoa and roasted vegetables than Taco Bell any day. (I always knew there was something off about him.) He’s been great about trying new foods and recipes and the occasional dinner failures that come along with that. (There was a whole situation with a spaghetti squash.)  Susan has created an atmosphere among the women in my class to share success and failures both in food and life.

I’m working through it. Part of that process is acknowledging my weaknesses and being honest about my pitfalls. I know I can’t be alone. What’s your weakness? What do you do to keep yourself on the right track?

Disclosure: I am blogging about my experience in the Body Back classes in exchange for an eight-week session.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Body Back Week 4: Food

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Kerri. I’m RIGHT THERE with you.
    Other than illness, I have never responded to stress with a decreased appetite. I always want to eat. Happy? Eat. Sad? Eat. Angry? Eat. Bored? Eat. I eat without thinking. I eat when I think I’m hungry but I’m really thirsty.

    My weakness is salty carbs. Pretzels, wheat thins, triscuits. I might as well weave a belt of them and put it around my waist because that’s where they go.

    Once upon a time, I thought those snacks and fruit were healthy alternatives but the truth is my body processes them just like any other sugar.

    So what’s the alternative? Planning my food and packing appropriately. A fave snack is 1/2 an apple with almond butter. Or a handful of almonds. Even those, I overeat portions. Or celery. Celery is really good for angry eating…chomp, dammit, chomp.

    Also, keeping in touch with folks like you who are like-minded in being conscious about fitness and nutrition helps me to be accountable. Keep posting! Thank you!

  2. jblocker

    Me too! Me too! I’ve been reading 100 Days of Weight Loss by Linda Spangle, TN, MA it offers a daily ancedote of eating and your triggers and how to cope with them; it’s really making me realize how emotional my eating really is!

  3. You’re awesome and beautiful. Just wanted to say that.

    Also, I just like food too damn much. I don’t know what to do about that. I love eating, but I don’t love being fat. The two are not mutual friends, unfortunately. Because I’m sorry, there is no version of reality where quinoa tastes better than nachos.

  4. lovesbattlefield

    I agree with Amy. I can sneak in nutrients all day (I’m hooked on the Green smoothie) but ask me to say no to cheesedip? Oh honey…That’s not possible!

  5. Carol Auger

    I was a skinny kid. Gangly and could eat massive quantities of food and never gain and ounce. I was a late bloomer (think almost high school); but after puberty I kept eating the way I had as a kid and I just kept blooming. In college a typical dinner or lunch for that matter was a six pack of becks beer and a pizza. So it was in my senior year of college that I looked in the mirror and couldn’t figure out who the hell was looking back at me.

    The good news is that I’m very stubborn and I refused to be this stranger. I changed my eating habits and began a fitness program that I’ve been relentless about. It took about a year or more to create real change, but I’ve gone through 2 pregnancies and so much more without getting off track. It can be done. I still enjoy dark chocolate almost daily (but a bite or two will do me). It is NOT easy. It is NOT always fun. But it is rewarding, in that my self image, and therefore my confidence, remains strong.

    The good news for you is that you don’t have far to go. You need a tune up, I needed an overhaul ‘ – )

  6. I’m a bread junkie. I enjoy bread and butter about as much as cake. Ideally I’d eat bread as my main course and cake for dessert- at every meal.
    Keeping my myself on the right track? I really like carrots. Not as much as bread but they crunch nicely. When I count calories for the day I never include vegetables. This makes me feel good about eating carrots and easier to eat less bread. Like the carrots are free calories but the bread counts against my daily intake. The right track is tricky though. I don’t want my daughters to see me miserably deny myself food for the sake of my weight and think that skinny misery is the way a woman should live. I guess that, just like with everything else, there has to be some sort of balance. Healthy people don’t eat bread and cake at every meal, but happy people sometimes do.

  7. YES! I love that quote, except for the typo (“Abs” are made in the kitchen. NOT “ab’s.”). I do OK with my “diet.” But there are days when I’ve packed a healthy lunch (tuna, whole wheat pita, Greek yogurt, strawberries) only to succumb to the Damgoode pie someone shared in the break room. I don’t beat myself up, though, so long as I stick to my intense bootcamp workouts (where we burn a bazillion calories). I try not to miss a single class. I will put off birthday parties, happy-hour invites, ladies’ nights, etc., if they interfere with my workouts. People know this about me, and they are fine when I arrive later and smellier than everybody else. You have LOTS of support here at the office – if we can seek and destroy those coworkers who bring Shipley’s and Damgoode. Who are THEY?! 😉