An (obvious for everyone else) ephiphany
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Once i start keeping track of something, such as keeping track of what I'm eating, I get pretty compulsive about it. Tracking an "off" day has always caused me so much stress.
Say I've eaten a holiday meal made by someone other than myself. I am almost panicked about figuring out how many calories were in the foods I ate. Plus, some foods are easy to estimate portions, but others aren't, and so I feel compelled to round everything up "just to be sure" until I'm sure I ate several cups of some potato dish or whatever. I've also probably eating tiny portions of things and then gone back for another tiny portion of the things that are worth eating. Doing this while being distracted by whatever else is going on, I get confused about what exactly I ate, so there's this actual fear that I'm going to forget to record something. The stress of all this, and the hopeless feeling that goes along with it seems to result in my eating even more. Without stressing myself, I'd probably be able to get a grip and minimize overeating. I've noticed that I tend to go home and overeat after this sort of situation because once I get back in my own environment I'm so upset with myself for losing control.
Another situation that causes me excessive stress is when I've more or less grazed my way through a munchy day. Food planning just didn't happen and I've eaten lots of little portions of lots and lots of things. I'm so upset that I can't remember then all and am not sure at all of the portions. Again with the rounding up, making the whole day seem worse than it probably was.
The real issue here is that I've always felt that if I don't remember and record every single thing I eat every single day I've "messed everything up."
Guess what just occurred to me yesterday? The reality is that NOTHING BAD HAS ACTUALLY HAPPENED! All that has happened is that I ate more than I planned. Even if I ate an extra 2000-3000 calories, I didn't cause myself to gain several pounds. In fact, having a day or two like this once in a while probably doesn't radically affect my overall progress. At worst, I didn't lose a tiny bit of weight that I'd hoped to lose. That's it. Nothing more. If I agonize over trying to record all those foods and calories, I'm stressing myself and feeling like a failure for no reason at all. There is no actual benefit to figuring out how many calories I actually ate or recording them all. None at all. I can just not make an entry for that day and NOTHING BAD HAPPENS!!! I can just pick up where I left off and get on with my plan.
Ohmigosh, you have no idea how huge a problem this has always seemed to me. Well, maybe you do. That's why I like it here....