Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Big news - And what it means about my eating

It's a LITTLE early to share but I'm going for it anyay, I'm pregnant!  It's very exciting news, this is baby number two and most likely the last baby I will have.  It's weird to think I have one, even, so two really blows my mind.  There is a lot to think about now, a lot of planning to do.  It's a little overwhelming and scary but we'll just take it as it comes. 

What does this mean for my eating?  Well, a couple of things.  Eating a well-balanced diet is always important during pregnancy (or all the time really) but especially important because I ALMOST had gestational diabetes last pregnancy.  Now, I weigh less this time around so that might help but it's still something I have to keep my eye on.  And to be honest, it's a great way to eat generally so I'll do my best to follow the diabetic diet regardless. 

My last pregnancy went wonderfully.  I was exercising and eating well.  I didn't gain one pound and after the baby was born I was down 36 lbs.  I have gained most of that back and I am down about 15 lbs from the first time I got pregnant.  But I had the motivation of having borderline gestational diabetes. 

It was very scary and nervewracking because I didn't actually have gestational diabetes so I didn't get the benefit of the education they would have provided me so I had to figure it out on my own.  The doc's advice was "just have a sandwich with half the bread and no mayo".  Oh, so simple.  Yeah right.

So this means that I need to get back into testing my blood sugar, eating 5 small meals a day, eating the right amount of carbs, having a small protein snack right before I go to bed and limiting my sugar BIG TIME.

SO, how do I feel about making these changes in my diet?  Ugh.  That's about it.  I like the idea of it but it brings up the whole deprivation issue that drives the binge-diet cycle.  I like sugar, I don't like having to give it up.  I also don't like being told (even though it's my own body telling me) that I can't have something.  I will do some belief work on this and post later.  I'm sure I will have a lot to say about this over the next...7 months, 3 weeks and 3 days.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Motherhood - My Biggest Fear Around Food

Being someone who struggles with eating and food, I have a lot of fear around what I am teaching my little bean.  I haven't yet mastered the skills of normal eating and yet, I have to find a way to teach them to my son. 
These are the things I feel I do well:
  • Introducing him to new foods as much as possible
  • Not putting a value judgement on what he eats (or doesn't eat)
  • Letting him try or not try whatever he wants
  • Being unemotional about his food intake
Things I need to work on:
  • I don't sit down with him as much as I want to and I am still working on preparing dinner early enough so we can all eat it together.
  • Sometimes I do give him processed foods like chicken nuggets but I figure, I don't want to be the food police and he likes them so, why not?  Plus they are convenient!
But my biggest fear and the thing that I have the hardest time not doing is giving him food to soothe him or bribe him.  If he is upset, it's crazy how my first instinct is to grab a snack and put it in front of him!  I KNOW this totally goes back to my own issues and my own upbringing.  It's amazing how ingrained this is in me.  And since it is so ingrained, I do it without thought.  That is the scariest part. 

At the same time, the fear can sometimes lead me to eat!  Ah the cycle of emotion.  So two things to work on.  Mentioning it here will help me notice it when it happens so I can try another soothing technique.

The thing that's coming up for me now is realizing that by bribing or soothing him with food, I am teaching him to stuff down his emotions with food.  I can't tolerate his emotion, much the same way I can't tolerate my own, and I am then teaching him that the only way to cope is with food. 

Oh man.  That is heavy, no?

So what to do?  I want to:
  • Learn to tolerate his emotion (it's okay, and even necessary for him to feel a  full range of emotions, it's totally normal and important for him to feel many things)
  • Find ways besides food to help him cope with his emotion (singing a song, hugging him, mirroring his emotion, showing understanding)
  • Realize that I don't need to stop him from having emotion, I can just let it ride until it passes, which it WILL
  • Just be there with him, helping him feel
Wow, this has been eye-opening.  It's larger than just soothing or bribing him with food.  Definitely an area worth my time and effort.

What are your biggest fears about food and your family?

5 Things My Toddler Has Taught Me About Eating

It's tough being a mom.  It comes with a LOT of responsibility and since a normal relationship with food has always been a challenge for me, it is especially tough to figure out how best to teach it to my son.  Turns out, he's teaching me.  Here are five things I have learned about normal eating from my sweet little bean.

1. How to share...aka how to resist the urge to say Hey! That's mine! - I may be eating my very favorite food but if that little face looks up at me, opening his mouth for a bite, how can I resist?  There may be a small twinge inside that says, hey, that's mine!  It is my favorite food, after all.  What can I do but notice the twinge, recognize that I am attaching myself to wanting this food, and use my skills to detach from that desire.  I remember that I can have more if I want, I am an adult, I can go to the store and buy more if I want more.  But right now, I am going to share so that he can get the experience and sensation of eating my favorite food.  Most times, one bite will do and he will be on his way.  Sometimes he comes back for more.  Who can blame him?

2. The joy of sitting down at the dinner table - I want him to sit down for dinner which means I need to do the same.  This is tough for us but most nights we manage to sit down and eat together.  He is only 15 months and I know it will get more and more important to do this, so we are all working on getting into the habit...and I like it.  I have visions of us preparing and eating dinner together forever, or at least until he goes to college.  I want dinner to be a fun experience that bonds us together.  I can't wait to teach him what little I know about cooking and hopefully learn from him, too.  I think families that prepare and eat food together really do stay in touch.

3. How to eat until I am satisfied - He only eats as much as he wants and when he is done, he's DONE.  It's really helpful for me to observe and honor this in him, that way I can obvserve and honor it in myself.

4. How to enjoy what I'm eating - I don't have a lot of time, raising a 15 month old, so when I do get a few minutes to relax and enjoy what I am eating it feels like a real gift.  It's also the one time of day when we are all together and he isn't running all over the house.  I appreciate this more than I ever have.

5. The excitement of trying new things - I want him to have a well-balanced diet which means I have to prepare one for the whole famly.  I have started The Fresh 20 which is a great service that helps me prepare unprocessed meals for every night of the week and we are eating things I have never made or even had before!  It's fun and educational.  It also makes me proud to answer the question from the doc "so, he's getting a well-balanced diet, getting plenty of veggies?".  I am happy that I can say "yes!" without any hesitation.  My mother would be shocked if she knew everything that I've made so far.  I have chopped and prepared more veggies in three weeks than I have for this entire year!  It makes me feel proud.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Voice

"The Voice," by Shel Silverstein

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long
"I think that this is right for me,
I know that THIS is wrong."
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend,
Or wise man can decide
What's right for you - just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.

Lovingly let go of old coping skills

I have so many ideas, so many blogs, so many thoughts, racing through my head all the time.  I was feeling overwhelmed with figuring out how and where to share the multiple facets of my personality and I realized, they all really fall under this category, because normal eating or intuitive eating is about so much more than food.  In fact, the food issues are what prompted me to seek out help and the help I got was not even really about food.  First it was about feeling and managing emotions.  Over time, it became about finding a life I could love, discovering myself, really.

We are all born into a world where we have certain challenges.  And we find ways to cope with those challenges, many times they aren't very healthy.  As we grow older, those unhealthy skills we developed start to affect our adult life in ways we don't like.  For example, eating to cope and becoming overweight. 

Becoming mentally healthy meant putting those skills under a microscope, deciding if I still needed them (I didn't) and then going through the process of finding healthier ways to handle challenges.

As an adult I have so many more tools and resources so those unhealthy skills and coping mechanisms can be left behind, packed up and lovingly shoved out to the open sea.  They did me a good service when I needed them, and I did need them, but can now be set free to make way for something new, something healthy.

It's a new world and it is a little scary.  Scary to let go of those things that got me through some very tough times.  But on the other side must be something more.  A world I can't even imagine.  And the best part is that I still have it to discover.  I get to discover who I am, what I like, what I love, what I dislike, and it's all about me.  It's not about anyone else in my life.  I am an adult, I get to decide. 

So that is what I will post here. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tired of the to do list?

Is it just me or does it seem like the To Do List just keeps growing and growing and growing?  I keep piling it on adding more and more to the list until I feel like I want to completely shut down.  Why oh why do I do this?  It's all me doing it to myself!  I bet I could remove 90% of the things on my list and it wouldn't make one difference to my life. 

I guess this is a way for me to try and exert some type of control over my life.  I am not getting enough sleep, the toddler just won't sleep through the night, this somehow feels like my fault or something that should be within my control, and I have way too much to do!  And so much of it is my personal life and where does my professional work come in?  Then I beat myself up for not doing more work and doing all personal stuff...UGH!

You see the pattern?  I work myself into a frenzy and get all stressed out.  So I am going to do something about it. 


First step, make myself some lunch and eat without distractions.  CHECK Next step, clean off my desk.  CHECK  Reduce work to-do list.  CHECK (reduced to 2 items)  Reduce personal to-do list CHECK (reduced to 1 item). 

Now all that's left is to complete those items and then CHILL.  Go home, pick up the toddler, make dinner, play, take a bath and go to bed. 

Everything else can wait until tomorrow.

Ah, I feel much better now. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Previous Posts

I have been posting about my journey toward normal eating off and on for several years and decided that I wanted to branch off from the blogging network where I started (Blog to Lose) because I wanted a space to organize and share all the resources I have found while taking this journey and my old network didn't allow for that flexibilty.  Also, I don't feel like normal eating belongs just in a food and weight loss community. 

I hope to continue my connection there because I know how hard it can be to try to lose weight, especially through dieting, and maybe I can inspire a few of those bloggers to hop on the normal eating bandwagon.  I truly believe it will set them free from dieting as it has myself and many others.

I am looking forward to this new space and where this adventure might lead!

If' you'd like to read my old posts, you can click here!