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Closet Fascination

A blog about a journey, smoking, not smoking, vaping and everything in between

Month

August 2016

Day 32 (of healthy eating): Keeping on Keeping On

3 months and 8 days nicotine and tobacco free. 

32 days into eating mindfully and working out again.

9 pounds down. I hit 164 pounds today… Apparently, without really reducing what I’m eating, just changing what and eliminating binge eating, I’ve managed to lose about 2 pounds per week. 

Was it hard? Surprisingly, after the first couple of weeks, my cravings for sugary and starchy treats has gone way down. I even made dessert for my husband and ate some but not the whole tray like I might have in the past. I think binge eating and eating too much sugar leads to the highs and crashes and then subsequent cravings not unlike drugs. I think reducing my blood sugar spikes as well as eating frequently and at proper times has also been key. I never get so hungry that I will eat anything in sight. 

Not having these swings due to sugar helps with nicotine cravings (the rare times I have them.) Although my cravings are psychological, they are always in response to very real feelings of anxiety. 

How do I deal with the anxiety? Self-talk, talking myself out of worrying. Deep breathing. Exercise. Distracting myself. 

I honestly thought this might be harder when I first started. Giving up nicotine was worse in some ways because after the first three weeks, once it was completely gone from my system, I felt raw. Like everything felt more intense, especially negative feelings. My natural calm wasn’t there. Giving up unhealthy eating habits started hard, but got easier very quickly. I’m still a little in awe as I’ve always had trouble losing weight and this time it has been so easy.

So I’m going to keep on keeping on because it works.

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Learning Moderation

Moderation is hard for me. I’ve blogged about this before, but it is on my mind again as I try to figure out moderation when it comes to food. With nicotine and smoking, in some ways, it was easier. I can say: I can’t control my use therefore I won’t use and never use nicotine again and I won’t die. I don’t need it to survive. Due to how I metabolize nicotine, moderation is never going to be an option and I’m OK with that. 

Drinking was, again, easier. I enjoy drinking more now that I enjoy drinks in moderation. They are a special treat, I have one or two -choosing only the best beer, wine or spirit to embibe and I savor it. Drinking in moderation, you don’t suffer the consequences of binge drinking- the hangover, GI distress and increased anxiety. If moderation didn’t work for me with drinking, I could simply quit entirely. You don’t need alcohol to live. 

Food is harder. I can’t stop eating entirely (nor would I want to) because you need to eat to survive. So far, I’ve been fighting my urge to over-control my eating and find moderation. I’m getting better at balancing macro nutrients in my meals without thinking about it too much. I’m going to keep journalling my eating until this is second nature. But to encourage moderation and an attitude of ‘no food is off-limits’ if I want something that isn’t as good for me, I eat it. Within reason of course. The within reason is what I was having trouble with before. My attitude before was, ‘No food is off-limits and I eat as much as I want.’ 

Today, for example, I packed a half decent healthy lunch, but not enough food. I was starving hungry and my husband really wanted McDonald’s.So I ate McDonald’s and didn’t feel guilty about it.

With both food and exercise, I’m slowly learning to moderate. It is hard because I have to resist my urge to over-control, over-try and the urge I have to push myself to the limit.

What is undeniable is I’m happier when I’m eating better. I’m happier when I’m exercising regularly. My moods are more stable. So those are things I’m going to keep doing. Mindful eating, exercise and meditation. As Oscar Wilde would say: Everything in moderation, including moderation. For me that means moderate, but don’t over control. 

Relax: Nothing is in Control

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Control has always been an issue for me, but I feel like I’m slowly getting a handle on not being in control all the time and it isn’t as scary or horrible as my anxious mind would believe. I’ve said this over and over: letting go of control was an essential part of me exploring nicotine addiction. And if you think I’ve gone back to ‘tight levels of control’ now that I’m abstaining, it takes surprisingly little ‘control’ to stay away from something I largely don’t want to do. I was watching a BBC documentary called Addicted to Pleasure about tobacco and while parts of me wanted to smoke/vape again, the cons lists totally outweighs my pros list.

My healthy eating quest us going well. So far am holding steady at my new weight 168. Not mentioned before, I’ve actually lost two inches off my chest and waist measurement.

While I was reading blogs, I found an article called: How To Eat Intuitively: A Guide To Mindful Eating – http://wp.me/p5lhm9-2v1

I figure it is a nice reminder.Anyhow, until next time!

Healthy Eating Update: Day 12

So it has been 12 days since I started paying attention to what I eat. I wouldn’t call it ‘a diet’ because I’ve even gone out to eat, although less than I might have previously (three times in 12 days). Paying attention is the correct term. You might even call it mindful eating.What I’m paying attention to is my macro nutrients: carbs, fats and protein and making sure I’m getting enough of each especially timed appropriately with exercise.

The first few days, I was really hungry because I was following the meal plans from the book, which are based on a 135 pound woman. Not enough food, unless I was trying to starve myself. So I went back to the book, looked up the recommended protein/carb/fat ratios and calculated what I should be eating. Much better. Then I simply tried to eat within those ratios, stopping when I was full, something I’m getting better at, but still struggle with. Also, I cut out artificial sugar and tried to limit added sugar. I stick to this for the most part, but I like a touch of sweetness in my tea and coffee in the morning, so I let myself have that. I am more mindful of how much, and I noticed since reducing the amount of refined sugar I’m eating, I don’t need as much.

The results so far: 

  1. I’ve lost weight. The day before I started this my starting weight was 172.5 lbs. Today, 12 days later, I’m down to 168.4. that is a total loss of 4.1 pounds in about two weeks. My goal was a pound a week, but I’ll take it. I also don’t want to lose too quickly, but I suspect my natural set point or one that my body liked for years is 160 lbs, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost quickly until then. To be honest, that is my goal weight. Actually, my goal is to have my pants not be tight anymore and I’m probably about 2 lbs away from that.
  2. Even though my pants aren’t looser yet, I feel better. No more guilt after over eating. No more gross over full feeling. 
  3. It has forced me to use other methods to deal with my anxiety. I’ve sewed a lot this past week (sewing is like a total mindfulness activity for me, it requires full attention and focus), exercised (30 minutes most days, starting to run again and making sure I recover),  and meditated. I’ve also channeled the nervous energy into meal planning. 

I couldn’t be happier that this is working out. Until next time! 

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