As we are nearing the end of January, I decided it would be a good idea to write an update about my New Year’s resolutions – or goals. I’ve been working hard to ensure the changes that I’m making are long term and sustainable. Life may throw us various curve balls and we may not be perfect in achieving such goals, but the focus for me is to be as consistent as I possibly can.
This month I’ve enrolled into my Uni course, completed most of my training, have spent some time coaching and have also been working on my nutrition.
The nutrition practices I have been working on with Georgie and the One on One nutrition crew have been – eating three to four times a day and secondly, learning to feel genuine physical hunger before each of those meals. On both counts, I have been able to be consistent on each habit most of the time. I haven’t worried about calories, macronutrients or the nature of each meal, though I have naturally gravitated towards whole food sources as they seem to give me the best bang for my hunger buck. This seems to fit nicely with all of the studies out there suggesting that eating a lot of processed foods can wreak havoc with your hunger/satiety signals.
What has shocked me the most is the “results” (I’ll put that in inverted commas because first and foremost I have aimed for psychological relief from feeling awful) – I’ve lost 6kg over the last two months. If I was a diet guru and wanting to sell you something, I would tell you that it has been “effortless” and that I’ve eaten “whatever I wanted, even cheesecake and Lindt balls”. On a completely physical level, this is true – however cementing a permanent mental shift in thinking has been much harder.
A few of my friends have noticed the loss and that started to pique the anxiety of “when are the wheels going to fall off the wagon?” thoughts. These thoughts are about a fear of loss of control. I have been able to counter this by deliberately choosing not to eat any foods that I associate with dieting, getting leaner etc and telling myself I need not panic because there is no wagon to actually fall off. Choosing to try different habits when it relates to food intake is all about practice – and when I view each day as an opportunity to practise new habits rather than another day to “try and hold on to my success streak”, everything seems to be much easier – both psychologically and physically.
Using the model of being hungry before each meal and eating to the point of satisfaction is really freeing because it gives us freedom to choose and actually eliminates food panic. Much of my food anxiety has developed from focusing on meals that I had considered to be “safe” i.e. wouldn’t impact on my weight/size. It has been a little scary to try new meals, but oh so worthwhile – it’s completely stomped on any feelings of deprivation I have ever had surrounding the decision about what to eat. Eating to satisfaction has also eliminated that horrible position where I used to think about food 24/7.
It’s still early days in the process but I feel like I am making good headway!
Have you ever created odd food rules for yourself?