How I Stopped Lying to My Fitness Pal

March 3, 2012

Like I said in the last post, I wasn't raised with a food problem. I was taught to eat when you're hungry and to be happy. But peer influence tainted my food perspective. To catch up on  what created all the food noise in my head read here

Lucky for me I married someone who thought my need want to take diet pills was absurd, and his objection to purchasing such garbage really opened my eyes to the pills I was stuffing in my body. He is a naturally thin person though, who can eat his weight in lard with out showing a pound. But not all of us were blessed with height, on my stubby 5'3'' (5'4'' or 5'2'' depending on which doctors office I ask) frame ounces show up, and water weight is the devil. 

This year I have mentally resolved to continue to eat and be healthy (my family thinks I am a health freak by the way), like I said my healthy eating started years ago. I am a healthy eater who does like to splurge, but mentally I am not a healthy eater. I obsess over food, I plan every gram of food that in going in my mouth for an entire week in advance, and I complete freak out when I am invited somewhere to eat something other than what fits in my weekly food plan. 

I've used My Fitness Pal for a few years, but not consistently, and with my low calorie allowance I was starving some days. I would workout just to be allowed to eat a little more at dinner, and all it did was make me want more food. I am perfectly content to hide in a closet and shovel Ben & Jerry's down my throat without the ridicule that the calorie log app gives me when I over do my calories and tells you I will weigh "as much as a horse" in 5 weeks. Yes, I admit it, I have lied to My Fitness Pal, because some days it was more of a My Fitness Foe. 

This app went from being my friend to making me take on my Pop's take on dieting, which is pretty funny. About once a year my Nanny would decide they needed to go on a diet together, because in her words "he wasn't the man she married", but then again he did grow a few more inches after they were married and Pop was a lanky young lad. Nanny's sense of humor always cracked me up. Back to the story, they would start their diet (I have still remember the smell in that kitchen during the Cabbage Soup craze of the late 90's, a diet fad that can die for all my nose cares), and inevitably Pop would but ice cream and Little Debbie cakes under the pretense that they were for my sister and I for when we came over after school. Now I will admit, we stayed at their house after school until I was in high school, and even some after that, and we did eat ice cream and Little Debbie cakes as an after school snack, but I have to out Pop on this one...he ate them too. His rational/running joke was that calories that Nanny didn't see him consume didn't count. Don't you just love my grandparents sense of humor (I think that is half the reason they had a good marriage that lasted so long). 

My Fitness Pal became Nanny and I was eating ice cream when she didn't see me. 

Logical, no. But I felt so much better not seeing that snack in my phone. 

I eventually had a come to Jesus moment with myself and had to put a stop to the madness.   I wasted so much of my time lying to a food app to make myself feel better! Who on earth does that?

Let's skip ahead to what I am doing to knock the unhealthy food noise habit and quit lying to myself about what I eat(I've read a few books that have given me ideas of what to do in addition to what I was already doing):

#1 Pay more attention to what I am eating. It is so easy to just eat and not think about what I am eating. I am your typical couch potato. Mindlessly eating until my hearts' content. I stopped doing this by being more mindful while I ate. I let the bag in the cabinet and put my food on a plate or paper towel. I bought lunch containers (like Fit & Fresh) that had measurements on the side so I could better eyeball my portions without really measuring or misjudging it's actual size. It is so easy to eat more in a huge plastic food container when you big salad looks so tiny, don't add more food, get a smaller container. 

#2 Stop eating when I am satisfied. I don't have to eat everything I put on my plate. Like Bethenny Frankel says, when it stops tasting amazing stop eating. Lately I've been really good about this. I use to eat because it existed, now I will stop eating dinner when it stops tasting oh so yummy and just becomes eating. If I am still wanting something else later ( I tend to crave at night) I will brush my teeth to get the food taste out of my mouth and hopefully cut the craving. If I am still really wanting sweets I will make some chocolate milk with almond milk (it has more calcium that cow milk) and put a little whip cream on top so I feel like I am really indulging, or make a 3-2-1 mug cake which is only 80 calories and kills my chocolate cake crave quick. 

#3 Log what I am eating into a food journal. Yes, even though I have a love/hate relationship with food apps I still use them. It is a great way to see what I am actually eating, I tend to forget and misjudge otherwise. I can also log my exercise into it and it keeps me more accountable to work out a few times a week (more if I am not exhausted from tutoring after work) because I like to see that I have burned calories. Being more mindful about what I eat has really helped, I have not logged more calories than I was allotted this week except for last night when we grilled oysters at a friend's house. Not too shabby for a previous closet eater. 

Eating healthy food has not been a problem for me, it was more of an issue of eating more than I needed simply because I could or because I wasn't "full" yet. I happen to be the type of person who doesn't get "full" easy and I can eat nearly any guy under the table. A good friend of ours gives me hell about the year I mapped out everything we would be eating at the state fair, and the sheer amount I put down. There have been times I've said I wasn't hungry and he called me out on it...because honestly, it is rare that I couldn't stand to eat something. I am happily getting better and leaving food on my plate and consciously eating.   I just so happened to leave some gumbo and potato salad behind.

Baby steps people, baby steps. 

So there you have it, how I am trying to get rid of the food noise, and it appears to be working. I eat what I want, and stop when I am satisfied. As opposed to before when I ate at every craving whim I had and until the food was absolutely gone. 

How do you monitor what you eat, or do you simply eat what you want?

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