It's Monday again. I feel like the weeks have been flying by lately. This is the second last Monday of my job and then I will be back to school! With school about to start and unemployment looming, I have had a million things on my mind lately. You know one thing that is definitely NOT on my mind? How many calories I am consuming on a daily basis.
Since it has now been over 2 weeks since I decided to quit calorie-counting cold turkey, I thought I would give everyone an update.
I'll start by saying that life is so much better. I can't even express how freeing it is to not think about numbers when I am eating. I am so much more in tune with my body now than I was before. When I started this whole recovery journey, I knew I needed to eat more, so I increased the calories I was eating, but I still wasn't getting to the route of the problem; denying my hunger and satiety signals. Even though I was arbitrarily increasing the number I was eating, I would try to save a certain amount for later in the day; ignoring internal signals. When it got close to the end of the day and I hadn't eaten enough, I would deny my satiety signals and eat way past fullness. I wasn't listening to my body and I was still living in fear of going over or under my number.
Now, the fear is gone. There is no need for me to "save" calories for later because I am not keeping track. I have been having treats and desserts in the middle of the day, when ordinarily I would have denied myself until the evening when I was sure I would have enough calories left. I am no longer afraid to go out for lunch and get something substantial because as long as I'm satisfying myself, I know I am not going to need to pig out later. I am particularly excited to have lunch with Danielle tomorrow as we currently work right down the street from one another!
Last week, I went out for lunch on a whim and got this huge, delicious bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup. Ordinarily, if I were going out for lunch at work, I would stick to something like a salad with minimal carbs in order to "save up", but this was so much more satisfying and I couldn't have been happier with myself :)
I think the biggest change I have noticed is just a more relaxed approach to food. I don't measure anymore (unless I am baking something) and I even think I am starting to see food differently. Some of my once "forbidden" foods are coming back with a vengeance. My roommate just went to Scotland for a few weeks and she told me to eat whatever food of hers was sitting around so it wouldn't go bad. Well, I couldn't let her cereal go stale...
Even when I started recovering, cereal was an iffy thing for me. It wasn't terribly filling and it was sugary. Even more terrifying than regular cereal? Granola...
Now I have been enjoying it all! On oatmeal, in yogurt, by the handful, it has been my favourite thing lately! I don't know what magical little switch went off in my brain when I quit counting, but it is delicious. I still do find numbers pushing themselves into my brain, but those thoughts are pestering me less and less.
If anyone out there is still struggling with being chained to calorie counts, I am urging you to trust yourself and just quit! One tip that has helped me is to switch up your meals as you stop calorie counting. If you keep eating the exact same thing you were eating before, you will know exactly how many calories are in that "safe" food and you will experience much more anxiety if you eat more than usual. Remember, change is good! I never thought I could give up this habit and now, I'm never going back.
Have a marvelous Monday!