What's Different?

During the time I've been blogging, I have "started again" many times, and I always wondered why it was that the first time seemed easier than all the ones that followed.  True, I have had a few other attempts that were successful for a while, but most of the time, I found myself fighting even just with the idea of giving up sweets and junk, much less making it happen. 
This time feels so different from the others, both successful attempts and ones where I fell completely off.  I think the difference is that, in the past, my goal was to get to a certain weight, a certain body shape/type and look great.  Of course, in that mindset, I assumed that once I had the body of my dreams, my life would be so much smoother and happier; skinny people are always happy right?  Well, maybe not the ones who've always been skinny because they don't appreciate what they have, do they?  Laughable.  This time, I am not looking at some far-off finish line with preconcieved notions of what I'll look like, or how I'll be a fit, fabulous half-marathoner.  No, this time I just want to feel better on the daily. 
Last Saturday, when I ate a lot of the recipes I was making (which included oats and potatoes) I ended up feeling so bloated.  All the tastes, nibbles and bites during the process, I was full and beyond, and very aware of how much I dislike feeling that way.  I know part of the mentality of what I was doing was reversed, in that my body was looking for sweets and I didn't give in, so I ended up eating way more of everything else to try and quiet my mind.  It didn't work.  In the future, when I have the sweets thing totally fixed, I will allow myself to eat a small portion, slowly and mindfully, so that I can move on from the craving and feel satisfied.  I don't feel ready for that yet, but at some point, I may try to establish the kinds and amount of sugar that trigger cravings so I know what I can and can't do when a craving hits.  It's typically only 1 or 2 days a month, now that I'm off sugars.  I know I can always have one of these:
It's really creamy and indulgent and they have worked wonders for me in the past.  I try to keep to only one or two a day to prevent stomach upset and to make sure they are not too much of a crutch.  The last box I bought, I only had one, my kids had gobbled the rest up in less than 2 days. 
I have had some of these in my bag that I can use:
They are not sugar-free (neither are the fudgesicles) but low enough in sugar to not trigger cravings.  I don't have them planned in for snacks, they are there as a backup to my planned snacks, like in the instance where it is so busy at work that I can't get to the lounge to get my yogurt, or on the way home from the grocery store with my stomach already growling.  It works in a pinch and they are nicely portable.  They taste pretty good too, but now that I'm eating less processed stuff, I can kind of taste the non-food stuffs in there more than I could when I'd eat something like this while not dieting.  I look at these things as tools, and use them on occassion, but for the most part, I am having an easy time making better choices, and I feel pretty good. 
This weeks menu is a little lighter on veggies and fruit than the past few weeks, and I think that is something I need to be conscious of now that I am adding more variety into my diet.  The weather is getting cooler and cold salads just don't seem too appetizing to me, so I'll have to work in other ways to get veggies.  My dinner is zucchini 'noodles' with pasta sauce, meatless beef crumbles and green olives.  That is the most veg I'm getting all day besides the veggie stew I've been eating.  It wasn't really planned into my meals for the week, but it's a healthy recipe and is nice when I don't feel like making something.  Next week I plan on making a big pot of chili, and I like to put elbow macaroni in mine, I will seek out a wheat or other healthy version; I could leave the noodles out, but they add so much to the taste and texture. 
Maybe that's the other reason things are easier this time around, I am not holding myself to perfection because I am not genuinely following any certain "diet" I am just eating things that are better for me than others, cosistently making better choices and not being bothered by all the hoopla revolving around every little micro or macronutrient.  I am just plain eating healthier
The payoff is that I feel better, I move easier, I am not putting myself through the daily scolding in my head, I'm simply not stressing about any of it.  Maybe in some ways, I've stopped glamourizing foods, putting them on a pedistal, and started looking at them as something that can either help me feel OK/good or make me feel aweful and have health issues later on.  My body is changing, and I won't lie that it makes me happy to see and feel that, but for now, it's about keeping on an even keel so the apples don't go flying out of the applecart at the first little bump in the road.  With no magic goal or finish line waiting for me at the "end" I have all the time in the world to fix what was broken and make my choices work for me instead of making that applecart harder to push.  I wish I had some magic advice to give, and even to record here for my own reference, in case I fall off course again.  I know my body is sensitive to sugars, to a point, and once I jump on that train it's hard to get off, so I know my success will continue to involve keeping my sugar/carb intake at controlled levels from here on out.  I will not be that person who turns my nose up when my mother-in-law offers me a piece of pie at holiday gatherings, but I won't say yes to it everytime either.  I don't think it's about balance so much as it is about doing good most of the time and allowing some other stuff in from time to time.  If nothing else, it is a good way to judge how those things make me feel, and I think in time, the difference in how I feel may be a great tool in helping me say no to those things out of natural disinterest, sort of like how I can easily turn down super-spicy food without any inner conflict.  I think it's posible.  I'll let you know when I get it done!


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