Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Triggers and Solutions

Day two had some flickers and flutters throughout.  I was a little more aware of food, had a bit more of the desire to simply eat food, and a little sugar craving but it was much weaker than when I am actually eating sugars.  I was much more aware of my triggers, and how I've built them into so many parts of my day without realizing what I was doing.  In the morning, I had gotten used to popping a bagel in the toaster.  It tasted amazing, and it was the easiest "meal" I'll ever cook.  So my morning trigger is for quick,easy foods that taste good and give me a little burst of energy.  Since I've cleaned up my act, my breakfast has been eggs with cheese, which is satisfying but takes more effort than popping a bagel in the toaster. 
Work is another trigger, because I typically snack all day long, and usually on total garbage.  When I take a break to check my phone or take a drink, I grab a handfull of whatever junk I picked up on the way to work (grocery/convenience stores are also a trigger, especially in the mornings) and mindlessly shovel it in.  So not having a quick and accessible snack around feels a little like someone moved all my things, I don't know what to do with myself, haha.  I do have healthy snacks with me, but they are for planned eating, when I am truly hungry, and maybe that part is more of a change that the composition of the snack.  I intentionally chose nuts as a snack because they have a decent fat content to help me feel satisfied, and the sea salt makes them tastey so it feels like a treat and not a punishment, the way some healthy food can taste.  When I found myself craving sweets, I had a piece of sugar-free gum and it did the trick.   Honestly, have you tried this gum?
Anyway, my other trigger from day 2 was coming home from work.  Since my husband cooks for himself (he is very disciplined in his diet and likes things a certain way) I have gotten in the habbit of cooking myself whatever I can scavange from the fridge or freezer when I get home at night.  It could be anything from a veggie burger to a bean burrito to baked greasy turkey(substitute) patties with fries.  Rarely do I get home from work and cook an elaborate meal, and even more rare is it something healthy.  So, when I got home last night, starving, it was really hard for me to not reach for the nearest (and easiest) thing to satisfy my growling stomach.  The meal I've planned for dinners this week is tofu with quinoa and veggies.  In order to give myself time to make it without caving to something else, I ate a few cheese curds and felt much better.  For those of you who aren't familiar, cheese curds are the absolute freshest cheese, in small curds that are easy to eat. 
I am from Wisconsin and count myself lucky to have easy access to them because they are absolutely cravable!  The beauty of eating low-carb is that cheese is allowed. 
So, I feel good that I was able to work through some sticky spots, and being more aware of what my triggers or obstacles are is going to help my build a plan to make it even easier.  I know for myself that having foods that are quick and easily accessible is going to make it easier for me to reach for the right stuff more consistently.  So my work for the week is to find more foods that meet those needs, and making some things ahead in order to have them available instead of having to cook and wait.  It actually feels a little exciting to think of putting my own twist on recipes and planning out meals and snacks to keep around. 
I am making baby steps forward and it feels good to feel like I'm in control of it for once.  I kind of get how willpower alone doesn't work, it's more of a mindgame, a puzzle to figure out what our own personal challenges are and planning ahead to ensure we can overcome them.  I know my triggers and I have some good strategies to get past them right now, but I also know that at some point I will give into the chocolate that beckons me or the piece of pie at Thanksgiving dinner or a restaurant meal with family that isn't the healthiest choice.  My mindset is more focused on gaining health rather than losing weight so I know I'll be OK if that happens from time to time, because that is perfectly normal.  The only difference is, that if I eat those things it will be not because I am on autopilot and just eating mindlessly; everything I put in my mouth is by choice, knowing full well how it will make me feel.  I think I can make some positive changes this time.  I don't feel giddy, but I do have more energy (with less caffeine) and feel a lot more relaxed and content.  I have also been having less problems with asthma (if that's what it is, my test is next week).  For now, I'll gladly take that over feeling tired and disappointed in myself.   



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