Yes, this past week was a good one! I think I must have reached the point of no return with my diet, and when Stuart proposed going to do the shopping on Monday, I did not lazily refuse and order online. I hauled myself out of the house and off we went to Whole Foods. Once there, it was a joy to reconnect to actually touching the fruit and veg, and think about what I was buying.
It was simple and easy - I bought things which we usually buy anyway, only this time I did not get any 'treats'. When we were living in Switzerland, we would have a treat once a month, that consisted of us sharing a pizza. Now we have a treat every week, that consists of us having a pizza EACH! My nemesis is the blueberry pie baked by Whole Foods. Well, I can certainly see the results, and whilst I am still the same size, my clothes are feeling decidedly snug. So no blueberry pie.
What I did get though, was an old favourite: Black and Green's Dark Chocolate. Yes, since moving here I discovered Dunkin Donuts and the worse trap of all - fat free items. I knew better, but it did not stop me from trying out 'fat free' ice cream, and 'fat free' cheesecake. The list could go on, but the point is, the fat is taken out and sugar is added instead. Before discovering all this fat free stuff, I would eat everything, just in small quantities. Still, so far so good. Where it really started coming apart at the seams, was when I started doing bricks (triathlon 'bricks' that is).
I was too lazy to work out exactly what my energy needs were, and to divide my daily calories according to my schedule. Instead I started 'guestimating'. No good could come from this, and indeed the chickens have come home to roost. On the one hand I am cross with myself as all this uncontrolled nutrition has made me feel off-balance and cranky. However, I am also pleased that I have the opportunity to challenge myself again, lose a few pounds and perhaps encourage someone else who is struggling with a similar issue.
Make no mistake, it is hard to break the cycle. The challenge does not lie with not ordering pizza or donuts - that is easy; I just walk past the shop or supermarket aisle. The issue is about getting back into organizing my meals, calories and life! It does take an enormous amount of energy, especially if like me, you have gravitated towards treats such as 100 calorie packets of shortbread biscuits. Believe you me, they do not work. I need at least 2 packets with a cup of tea after work. I find it easier not to have any, than having to suffer the 100 calorie fixes. These give the illusion of control because you feel you are having what you want, but are in control because of the fixed quantity. Wrong! I need to think about what I want and decide whether to have it or not. For some people the 100 calorie deal is perfect, but it does not work for me.
So once I could clear all that up, the next step was to admit that good nutrition is not automatic. I once read that it takes 30 days for an action to become a habit. I knew how to eat nutritiously 8 months ago, but that is no longer a habit. Therefore it is a behaviour that has to be relearned. And it will take 30 days. Spelling it out like this is quite important because it reminds me that the results of my new eating habits will not become apparent tomorrow. However, maybe in 30 days time I will be feeling more like the old me. I am also curious to see what the scale will show on Thursday 15 October!