Never Think of Food Again?

Hi All!

We were talking on our previous visit about the most difficult challenges you face along the fitness trail. From the comments and from what I know as a fitness instructor, most people struggle at some point in their life with their weight.

For many, it’s a constant struggle. I honestly haven’t had to struggle too much with my weight. As long as I ate really well and exercised, I seemed to stay stable.

But then I lost my job in March and my stress level went through the roof. I found myself ravenously hungry at night–I mean so hungry that I could not sleep until I ate something. The weight started to creep up. I felt completely out of control for the first time regarding my weight.

Since March, I’ve been eating incredibly well but weight that would slip off before, was now staying put!! For the first time in my life, I knew what other people felt like that struggled daily with their weight.

My sister, Erin, and I have been discussing this matter lately and decided we don’t want to struggle. We don’t want to be thinking about every morsel we put in our mouths (“is this going to go directly to my hips”). To not ‘jones’ for something sweet or salty. We want the joy of eating to nourish our bodies and that’s it. We want to think of food and move on.

This is a tall order for my sister since she’s a Type 1 diabetic, which means she has to constantly monitor what she eats.  But is there a way to do it so it’s just another moment in life? Not “oh geez, if I eat this cinnamon bun I’m going to have to take 8 shots of insulin!”

I don’t know. That’s my answer. But I do have a couple of clues that helped me and might help you. AND maybe you have ideas that can help Erin and I on our quest!!

1. When things are normal, I think a healthy diet is the way to go all the time if I want to beat the cycle. That is, when I crave sugar in the form of a donut, firstly I need to understand that a craving doesn’t last. It will pass. Ignoring it could make it disappear. OR I could reach for a piece of fruit, which will make it pass quicker. Getting rid of refined sugars in my diet makes me feel better. But it needs to be always out of my diet to overcome the strong pull of sugar. And, of course, when I’m not filling myself with sugar and unhealthy carbs, I have room for eating whole grains, lots of veggies and lean proteins. When I do that, I don’t get hungry very often and I, therefore, don’t crave unhealthy foods.

2. When I’m stressed (ie not normal), I need to adjust. I was caught off guard. I had no idea that stress could affect my appetite so much. In the last month, I’ve focussed on releasing stress. This seems to be helping my weight come down AND I’m not focussed so much on food. If you’re overweight, it might not have anything to do with what you eat or how you exercise. The main culprit just might be stress.

I don’t know if these two things will make me never think of food again, but I know I’m not thinking of sweets much any more. I know when I eat a really healthy diet (all the food groups, 6 small meals a day), I’m not hungry. And, finally, I know that working on my stress level has alleviated some of the thoughts about food.

What strategies do you use to overcome food challenges, like cravings, overeating, night eating, etc.?

To Your Health!

Tracy

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About tracygagnon

Tracy’s life-long passions have intertwined to create an interesting career. Since childhood, Tracy has loved writing, public speaking and fitness. She graduated from Carleton University’s School of Journalism in 1986. Since that time, she has written for the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, created and written several newsletters, written award-winning technical manuals, as well as marketing materials, reference check reports, proposals and other materials. She has written for all levels of government, private industry and the not-for-profit sector on a variety of subjects. Throughout her life, Tracy has also found herself publicly presenting various types of information—from teaching small children to swim and adult fitness classes to presenting communication seminars and creative speeches (through Toastmasters International). In order to pull all her interests together, she created Inward Journeys in 1994. Her purpose was to help individuals and groups draw out their potential. She wrote programs on communication, teamwork, self-esteem and motivation. Each program was interactive and very often had a physical element to help participants internalize key points. Some of her experiential team adventures included: rock climbing, whitewater rafting, sailing and dogsledding. The final thread from childhood was a love of fitness, which was already manifest from the days of Participaction and flexed arm hangs (yuk!) to Inward Journeys and finally onto a new challenge at Carleton University. At 42 she became a fitness instructor at Carleton U—a dream she had had since she was 16! Eventually she was offered a full time contract position, where was able to finally put all of her skills to work as a writer, presenter and fitness enthusiast. She created the Fitness Now newsletter, the To Your Health blog, and taught fitness classes to people from all walks of life. After a year and a half, however, her contract wasn’t renewed and it was time to move on to a new adventure. Her passions have never dimmed and because of that Tracy has created a new fitness blog called Along the Fitness Trail. Please join her on her new adventure.
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