When I decided to embark on this journey of food intake change, No one can make you happy..., based on "mind over matter", I didn't realised how close to truth I was.
Keeping my food diary, trying to lower my food intake and increase my energy output has made me learn about myself and my mind more than ever. It's a struggle to control my mind, but at least nowadays sometimes I am in control. I become aware of the MASSIVE link between my "not so slim" body to my "not so strong" mind control. Let me explain more.
For as long as I can remember, I've NEVER been slim. Some people will argue that it doesn't matter (which the old me will totally agree with), but the new me realises and admits it matters (at least to me). I believe I deserve the experience of being slim and proud of my physical appearance (or at least become more confident). I don't want to be 50 and still be a little sad sometimes that I have never been slim.
Some people would think that writing down every one of my food intake and controlling seems like too much work and a bit too extreme. But, I'm trying to change a habit that has been with me pretty much forever - my eating habit. So personally, the 'extreme' effort is really needed for me and I also find it is much more fun to take control over my mind than feeling sorry for myself or envious of others. Don't get me wrong. I'm not ALWAYS feeling sorry for myself or envious of others. It happens occasionally. And, I know that being slim will not make my life suddenly perfect. But I do realise that it will give me one less reason to be envious of others and love myself. So, why not?
The funny thing is, the more I'm doing this, the more I realise how much it is really about "mind over matter". When the temptation is being shoveled to me in my face, as in the "free food" or the "food that my mom has put so much effort into cooking" or the "awesome exquisite cute food" or something else, I have a choice. If I don't want them, I can say No. Or if I really want them, I don't have to completely deny them. All I have to do is eat them in moderation. I have to be in control of my mind and stop myself before I over-eat. THAT is one of the key thing.
The first few bites are not the problem, the problem is cleaning up the plates and not registering it in my head. Letting myself get back to be the person who mindlessly put things into her mouth while watching something or doing something else, or eat to counter-act boredom or to make myself feel better (very temporarily). That is the habit that I need to change. It's that big cycle that I go through every time I go on a diet. The big choice that I have to make. Giving up on my good effort and falling back into my habit. Well, people do say, "old habits die hard". But it's OK, this time the habit is going. Slowly. But surely!
I'm armed with a really good lifestyle changing method. Perception change.
Forgiving myself is also another key thing. Knowing that I'm learning to be in control of my mind and it's difficult makes me more forgiveful. It makes it OK to slip back to my old self once in a while... as long as I realise that it has to be occasional treat. Not on daily basis.
It's quite funny really, this learning to control my mind thing, it has made me learn so much about my head and my mind, like:
* I have this thing about not wanting to miss out on something, especially food. :P So even when I'm bloated, I will still say yes to that Chocolate dessert offer (especially when it's free), because I feel like I don't know when else I might get to eat that cake. But now I know, I can have that chocolate dessert anytime. Most importantly, I'm not missing out on anything! In fact, I'm helping myself big time by not eating that piece of cake!
* My portion control is really bad. Really. I tend to over-eat. That's why I have to make sure (when I can) I'm eating something low in calories, so that when I eat lots, it doesn't kill my whole progress the way 1 big plate of lasagna would do. The good thing though is that I like salads and fruits. I do.
* This week, when I was wondering alone in the city, I bought some snacks only to realise that I totally wasn't hungry and the snack wasn't even tempting. It was merely out of habit and temptations of other snacks that I walk past which causes me to buy this one.
* Since I know I'm still very weak (in the whole mind control game), it is best for me to avoid bad free food events. :P
I have to admit, some form of restrictions are really good for me. It actually helps me savour and thoroughly enjoy the occasional treat. I know this sounds cliche, but it's very true.
Mantra for the week? "Eat because you need to or actually want to, not because you're idle or bored or out of habit (e.g. snack in front of TV). Stop gulping and savour them!"
This week average: 1467 calories. (i.e. average of 1230 calories after calorie burnt through 3x Bikram Yoga classes and 3x walking up the stairs from Ground level to 19th floor.)
Check out this kewl blog, I Eat, I Shoot, I post, love his tagline! "Never waste your calories on yucky food!" Totally relate-able!