How I Tackled The Food Demon
Healthier food choices
A Daily Reminder
Acrostic Look At Gaining Weight
A bove the
T o have
I ntention of
S hrink with
Weight Loss Takes Discipline
My parents made me aware of how important a nutritious diet is. My mother is the first person I knew in my life who made provisions in her own life to modify her diet. I grew up watching her count calories, measure food portions, and go to countless different kinds of therapies to lose weight. I never struggled with weight at all until I became an adult and started making my own meal choices. My lifestyle choices also had an influence on the changes in my weight of my body.
When my lifestyle changed, my eating habits changed. And my allover health changed as well. I struggled with weight gain when I moved away from home and localized my enjoyment of socializing on a college campus in the cafeteria. I would prolong my time in the college cafeteria to accommodate my social interactions with my friends (not everyone I wanted to be with had the same dining schedule). When I came home for summer vacation and found that most of my clothes did not fit me, my Dad motivated me to go on a diet, and I eliminated the fun, "social" foods out of my diet, such as pizza, french fries, ice cream, double portions, and soda. I thought that I kept it under control. By the end of summer, I lost the seven pounds I had gained during the two college semesters I lived away from home.
Another time in my life that I struggled with increased body weight was when I permanently moved away from home into my first marriage. I was twenty four years old. I was not overweight at all. But the new experience of filling my own refrigerator, and feeding my new spouse was a major influence on what I chose to eat. The husband's food choices became a part of my food choices. I blamed my weight gain on other things, such as, no time for exercise because I had to drive to work and I had to work all the time, and I also blamed my weight gain on birth control pills.
Three and a half years after I got married, my life changed due to pregnancy and giving birth, so I had another excuse for gaining weight. Even after the birth of my son, I gave excuses for gaining weight, so I modified my diet and activity plan and even though I never returned to pre-pregnancy weight level before my first child was born, I adapted to the modified weight level I was.
Lifestyle Changes That Still Effected My Diet
When I decided to separate and divorce my husband, the father of my two children, I never thought about what it would do to my weight. I maintained my weight well, until within six months of being on my own again, I took chances by social habits. Oh how great I thought free home delivery of fast food was! And then, my friends who worked in fast food establishments would give me the free food at the end of their shifts. The invitations to parties, and the freedom to fill my refrigerator with all my favorite comfort foods made it easy to gain weight.
Comfort In Foods
Comfort foods are foods that one eats to make you feel good, and it is what one craves during stressful times. My choices for comfort foods became pasta, fried chicken, Chinese food, crunchy snack foods and fruit smoothies. When I learned to make fruit smoothies from scratch, with fresh ingredients, I considered that to be healthy. But I never eliminated any thing else in my diet, so I was just adding more calories to the meal plan. Back in my divorced days, I also discovered comfort foods such as wine coolers and fun mixed drinks like Mudslides and Frozen Daiquiris. I had no idea that those choices would put on the pounds. During my second, mistakable failed marriage I learned how to cook southern foods such as Pigsfeet and Barbecue Chicken.
A few years ago, I spent a lot of my free time with an elderly Senior who I knew as a retired Pastor in one of the churches I had attended. I would help him with his medical needs, such as sorting his pills in his daily pill box, help him with diabetic fingersticks, and keep him company. Because of all the nice things I helped him with, his reward to me was taking me out to the local "All you can eat" restaurant. I was not discreet in what I would eat, unfortunately.
I had to come to big decisions in my life to change my eating habits. This is something that has not an overnight cure. I still have to deal with the "Food Demon" since food is all around. Applying my Spiritual principles to my eating habits has helped me and I am grateful to the Lord being in my life. Giving up bad food habits takes a discipline that needs constant reminders.
Foods With Hardly Any Calories
When choosing alternatives to foods that were comforting and enjoyable, I had to replace them with foods that had little caloric significance. I also had to enjoy these foods, and find ways to change my way of eating. The foods I had to choose from were generally crunchy and raw- vegetables that have high fiber and some nutrition. A measuring cup is important to have in order to control the meal size. The most favorite crunchy foods that have very little calories are celery and carrots. Using fat free dressings to dip them into always helps to please the taste buds. Small amounts of sunflower seeds, or almonds, or cashews can be a substitute to gooey yummy cookies, cakes or pies. Even some way to ease the nut family into the diet is to mix the nuts with raisins, coconut flakes and unflavored unsalted popcorn. These are just a few suggestions. Motivation can come from the deep desire of a final result- a healthier food choice is a healthier heart.
The Current Economy Influences My Diet
Eating out is now a luxury. As I review my spending habits, and plan my meals, I have learned that my meal choices are influenced by what choices I make in the grocery store. As the meal planner in my household, I find that the changes in the economy have yielded the habits of impulse eating behaviors. I cheer to myself on a daily basis when I bypass the fast food restaurants and the convenience stores for that quick meal or that quick beverage. I don't mind my daily habit of filling my water bottle with refrigerated water from the tap and taking it with me. I am glad we have a coffee maker at home, and I bring my only second cup of coffee with me to the job. My portions of food are smaller, and I love left overs for lunch! I eat fresh produce daily, and my husband is glad to find fresh vegetables in the fridge every day when he gets home. Our "eating out" habit is probably close to twice a month now.
My List of No Mores
I am glad to be able to share this list of things that I try to stick to as a guideline to what I do to stay healthy:
No More Butter
No More Margerine
No More Crisco
No More Salt shaker
No More Pork chops
No More White Sugar
No More Mocha MudSlides
No More Pigs Feet
No More Popeyes Chicken
No More Taco Bell
No More Big Macs
No More Excuses
No More eating in bed
No more eating because I'm just sad....
There is actually more to add to that list. It can be an endless list, but these are just highlights of mine. We are all subject to fall weak, as this particular list emphasizes things that influenced me to gain weight.. But with the right motivation, the end result is to stay healthy, and losing weight can be done.
I did not yet bring about the most important part of dieting in this hub, and that is the importance of exercise. That is to be the next hub I will write. One can not lose weight effectively without proper exercise. As I have said, weight loss takes discipline.
© 2011 CMCastro updated 8.10.2013
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