Last night I sat down with my girls to eat dinner. They split a can of whole wheat ABC & 123's with Meatballs while I had leftover chicken and mashed potatoes. There were no vegetables. Well, unless you count the sauce on the ABC's... The can says there is a full serving in there somewhere. That counts, right?
Oh well. We only eat like that two or three times a month. If my husband had been coming home for dinner I'd have at least chopped up and sauteed the Swiss Chard in the vegetable draw. But who was I impressing? My 3 year old was extra thrilled that I let her pick her dinner from the pantry all by herself. It was adorable.
But in my nutritional disaster that was dinner I had a triumph. At the end of dinner, I sat down and recorded my calories totaling everything up for the day. I was hoping I hadn't exceeded 1500 so that I could pull a chocolate chip cookie or two out of the freezer. I was at 1581. And I was full.
So I stopped eating.
I was satisfied.
And no craving came haunting in the night. No obsessive thoughts about food. No pepperoni drive-bys. I was quite simply just done.
And it was a superb feeling.
I have food issues. Given that I try to focus on the positives of working out and calorie counting, you might have missed the food issues. But they are here. They are big. All too often they dominate my thoughts and I do all these other activities to counter them. I work hard to find coping mechanisms. And when I'm not coping? I create avoidance tactics and diversions. I tell myself stories about the future and remind myself of why I'm doing all this. I fold clothes, vacuum or knit. I brush my teeth.
Last night I didn't need to. I coped. I coped without trying. This has been happening more and more lately. It is a great feeling. I am able to control my calories like never before.
Calories aren't loaded with emotion the way food is. Each calorie is just a unit of energy. I need a certain number of them and, when I have enough, I can be done. Points didn't translate that way. The formula used to determine them passed judgement on food. It was about more than just input and output. I didn't deal well with that. So far I'm counting calories without the negativity or obsession I've experienced in the past.
Someday I hope to move beyond the simple calorie counting further into a wholesome nutrition-filled diet, but for now this is good. I don't need to rush and I still have lots to learn without muddying the waters. It feels so good to have something objective to cling to during this process. Something serving my purposes so well. I'm kind of embarrassed that I never thought to try it before. But instead, I'll be thankful. Thankful for a judgement-free way to deal with one aspect of all this. Thankful this is working. Thankful for the time to find it.