Losing -115lbs is life changing. But you can’t do it without dramatically changing what you’re eating, how you’re eating and your basic understanding of food.
This post is by OYS writer Alexis from Trading Cardio for Cosmos. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram sharing her awesome weight loss tips and motivation!! She’s lost over 100lbs so she has lots to share!
When I started my weight loss journey I was 280lbs and if I’d been brave enough to go to the doctor, they would have classified me as “Category 3 – Morbidly Obese.”
It wasn’t that I didn’t like healthy food, or know that the foods I was eating weren’t the best options for me, it’s that I was using food for a variety of reasons and none of them was “to fuel my body.”
I ate when I was bored.
In front of the TV, while I worked at my desk, in the car – I would mindless snack directly from the container, which is a surefire way of eating WAY more than one portion!
I ate when I was anxious.
I would get nervous and eat to calm my nerves.
I ate as a reward. I would reward myself for personal triumphs and work achievements with an extra glass of wine, comfort foods like pizza, French fries or cheese.
I ate when I was sad or depressed. I would comfort myself and push down my feelings with food and drinks that helped me (temporarily) put off dealing with difficult situations.
I ate when I was tired. I made some of the worst decisions with my eating habits when I was tired. Drive-thrus, frozen meals, junk food for dinner, I did it all because I thought I was too tired to eat healthy.
But again, none of these reasons for eating were about taking care of my body, providing it the best possible fuel to be at the top of my game, mentally or physically.
So I made a rule with myself that I would only eat if I was hungry, regardless of the time of day. I stopped caring that it was 12noon and therefore lunchtime. Lunchtime became whenever I was hungry for my next meal – and that might be 11am, it might be 2pm.
I also considered WHY I was hungry, and I used a glass of water and an apple as my litmus test. If I thought I was hungry, I’d have a glass of water to see if it was really my body feeling hungry or if I was just thirsty. I would also use the apple to test my hunger. You see, when we use food to cure boredom, to self soothe or because we’re tired, we crave SPECIFIC foods to calm that emotion. By asking yourself “If I’m really hungry, I’ll eat whatever is available to feel satiated. So do I want this apple?” you can determine if you’re hungry or not. Because if you’re not “hungry enough” for the apple, you’re not really hungry at all.
Then, I found a new system to reward myself. Rather than utilize food or drink, I reward myself with new workout tanks, a fresh manicure or a new pair of sunglasses. For bigger milestones, I’ll buy new shoes, a new bag or even a massage. I’m actively rewarding myself with things that make me feel pretty or confident, which makes me feel good about myself and last longer than a donut!
Lastly, I started to look for healthier outlets to channel my emotions – like journaling, meditating, exercise, even a dance party in my kitchen. All of these outlets allow me to expend energy, release any pent-up emotions and deal with my feelings without eating!
What do you think? How has your relationship with food changed through your weight loss journey?
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