Posted by: innerpilgrimage | September 22, 2010

Happy Autumn!

As I said one year ago today, I love Autumn. From the leaves changing in Vermont (I love seeing the aerial photographs), to Halloween, to Thanksgiving, to the lead-up to the Winter Holidays, I love Autumn!

In just over a month, I will be putting up the Holiday Eating Season Countdown again. The Holiday Eating Season starts on Halloween–when the mass consumption of candy kicks off the season and ends on January 2nd, when the New Year’s Day Bowl Parties have ended. In 2011, I may add the four weeks ahead of Easter as a Holiday Eating Danger Zone. Easter sideswiped me in 2010–I did not expect its pastel promises of a candy binge (unlike the jewel-toned candy binge-fest of Halloween through Christmas) to affect me so wildly.
The beginning of Autumn is also the beginning of my own life. As the year winds down, I enjoy the anniversaries of finding OA right when I needed it–right before the 25-lb. permanent weight gain that I associated with the last two months of the year.
Halloween, this year, isn’t going to be as big a frustration as normal. I can fit into many more costumes this year, so my choice of costuming won’t be as limited as usual. Last year, I was a pretty pudgy Velma from the Mystery, Inc. gang. It was pretty warm out here, so the sweater was a little unpleasant. I still wear the eyeglasses I purchased to be Velma–a pair of black-plastic rimmed glasses. My hair is longer, as well. It doesn’t matter, however.
As I near 41, I definitely am not going with the “Sexy” anything this year. Not sure what I’m doing for Halloween, but I know I’m not going to be sexy or dumpy. Not sure what I’m going to be. Just like me in program.
Affecting my upcoming year in recovery are For Today and Voices in Recovery. While I don’t read them as soon as I wake (something I read from a daily reader), I read them before I start the day officially.
I am trying to learn to be comfortable at my current weight, since I think it’s where I want to set my maintenance. My food was pretty yesterday, overall. Though I did have some junk food after dinner (a small dessert, including chocolate), I actually did really well with it. Instead of using the ice-cream scoop, I used my espresso scoop. So, I had two tablespoons of ice cream instead of one rounded half-cup measure of ice cream. I weighed it on my food scale, and I am pretty pleased that I was able to get a taste without overdoing it. What was most important was the regular self-query: “Am I really hungry?” The answer was no over most of the day. So, I ate reasonably. Though, at dinner, I think I could have done with half the portion I did eat. I wanted to get to the end of my food plan, which wasn’t as good as I wanted. But the awareness was good. It’s like I’m starting over with my abstinence, and I think that I may incorporate the three-meals plus two snacks around my food plan. I tend to break my fast with a low-fat, measured latte (1 cup of 1% milk plus sugar-free flavoring plus a double-shot of espresso), and that keeps me hunger-free for a few hours. This morning I had three dried plums, which came up to one fruit serving off of my plan.
I think spreading out my food plan might help. I was thinking of something like this:

6:30 to 7:00 a.m.: BREAKFAST
9:30 to 10:30 a.m. (whenever I’m hungry again, in that time slot): MORNING SNACK
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: LUNCH
2:30 to 3:30 p.m.: AFTERNOON SNACK
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.: DINNER

The time ranges are relative start times. From others’ experiences, I have found that being too rigid really causes a lot of problems for some OAers. It’s hard to follow a food plan like that. Anyway, the breakdown of my foods when I eat them needs to be changeable, but I think I can manage within my current food plan. A start-of-day with one serving of dairy, one serving of bread, and one serving of protein (if applicable) would work great. I have a four-cup theory of eating–I don’t need to eat more than four cups of food in a sitting. I am going to also try a one-serving theory, as well–one serving of any given food group at a sitting. It’s interesting about portioning, by the way. I’ve found that servings we see versus portions we are given are much different. For example, most pieces of fruit we find at a store are between 100 to 150 calories per serving. That’s basically my fruit calories for the day. So, a snack would look more like a half-piece of fruit (or three dried plums, if I’m in a prune-mood). Whatever changes I make to my food plan, it’s not going to be an increase in calories. It is going to be a new approach to food which is somewhat more organized. Instead of fighting with having no food eaten until lunch, when I start a mini-binge to get up to my minimum, I think I will change that all. A typical day (which can change) would look something like this:
Breakfast: 1 milk serving, 1 grain serving, 1 protein serving, discretional calories.
Snack One: 1 fruit serving and/or 1 grain serving.
Lunch: 1 vegetable serving, 1 protein serving, 1 milk serving, 1 grain serving.
Snack: 1/2 vegetable serving or 1 fruit serving, 1 grain serving, and possibly 1 protein serving (hummus and carrots is always a good one).
Dinner (which I eat daily with family): 2 grain servings, 1 vegetable serving, 2 to 3 protein servings–up to maximum.
Post dinner eating (dessert, nightttime snack before bed, about 8:30 p.m.): 1 milk serving.
I reach my maximum daily basic nutritional needs if I ate everything as spelled out there. The 450 spare extra calories are barely dented. That’s where I tuck in extra calories–like the 2 calories for an espresso or 4 calories for a 16 oz. coffee.
Part two of my eating needs to be my respect of my trigger foods. I have a list which I need to respect.
Outside of that, things are doing pretty good. Progress, not perfection, right?
My name is Jess, and I am a food addict. I look forward to the ups and downs that are coming over the next year. It’s like I’ve finally understood “Progress, not Perfection”, that while looking for the finish line, I lost the whole purpose of the journey.
I am not supposed to end up anywhere. I am supposed to be traveling through life enjoying the vacation from obsession from food.

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