Monday, March 25, 2013

Two Perfect Weeks

     Saturday was the half way point of my 30 fat release experiment.  These past two weeks were the longest time I've managed to stick to my eating resolutions since the beginning of 2010.  Before that, I've never been able to follow a diet perfectly for more than a week.

     The results and rewards of my resolve were wonderful.  My weight was the lowest it's been in over a year, my abs were starting to show, but the best part was my newly re-discovered ability to stop eating when I was full.

     I need to repeat that.  Within two weeks of stopping grains and sugar my appetite had normalized, and I was able to satisfy my appetite without going back for seconds or thirds.

     This is a powerful personal breakthrough, and I know that there are many people out there who could achieve incredible results in health and fitness if they could simply stop eating when full.  When I observe friends,  family members, clients, and colleagues, I see this pattern: naturally slender people find it easy to satisfy their appetites for food.  Those of us who struggle with fat storage have to deal with powerful appetites and eating signals.

     My cravings are like gunpowder.  They lie dormant until they are touched by the fire of sugar, flour, and excessive servings.

     To add to the challenge of maintaining health in the face of food obsession, once I've eaten sugar, grains, too much cheese, or processed meats for example, I feel bloated, achy, and depressed.  I also feel distinctly unattractive, which makes it unlikely that I'm going to want to hop into my exercise clothes and head off to the gym.  So the very thing that would pull me out of my food funk: movement I enjoy, seems less appealing because of the way my food has made me feel.

     Now for a dose of honesty.  On Saturday something wonderful happened.  Melanie, a former student who now has her Zumba license and who will be teaching at Gordon Studio, taught a demo class there which a smashing success.  Many students current and new showed up, had a great time, and bought cards for future classes.  Great news right?  There's only one snag: the success of the demo brought up what Dr. Gay Hendricks has called, "The Upper Limit Problem."  When things are going exceedingly well, in this case health and business, parts of the ego can get freaked out and say,

     I'm flying too high!  Success is scary!  Bring me down now!

     For a compulsive overeater, the one way ticket out of the clouds and back down to Earth is an episode of unmanageable eating.

   By Sunday, I was eating snack foods standing at the kitchen cupboard, and then piling my plate high with so-called treats that I knew were going to make me feel sick and miserable.

     So here I sit, blogging my disappointment in myself.  Still, I won't lose heart.  I'm really not any bigger to the eye than yesterday.  I'm not sick or injured, so I can still practice my Zumba and TT in anticipation of teaching this afternoon and evening.  Thank goodness I have students who are expecting me to lead them so I can't blow off exercise!  Plus, I have learned that the only good reaction to a bout of un-helpful eating is compassion.  Today, I will be kind to myself.  The kindest thing I can do after I post this entry is walk Tippy, then come back a cook a beautiful breakfast containing foods that satisfy me.

     The 30 day experiment is still on, and I can answer some very important questions now.

   Will my sugar/flour cravings come back?  Will I still be satisfied with my meals?  Will I feel different when I train?

     I've already answered on important question.  Yesterday, as I ate another organic blueberry waffle I thought to myself,

     "Am I going to blow off the blog, and the 30 day experiment now?"

     The answer to that question, thank goodness, is no.

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