So I was in a friend’s clean-eating challenge group this week and she’s asked us to recap. I have a lot to reflect on and felt it was too long for a Facebook comment (lol).
1. What is one thing you enjoyed about the group?
I enjoyed seeing how other participants were planning their day, because it encouraged me to make similar plans for myself, reassured me that I was on the right track, and gave me ideas for my own meals and snacks. I liked the intro to clean eating document and the sample meal plans, even though I was unable to follow any of them. Looking at them gave me an idea of the overall goal and structure of the clean eating philosophy, and gave me good ideas for snacks and meal sizes.
2. Share one thing you learned about yourself.
I learned a lot and I am more aware of what I have yet to learn.
I lost a LOT of weight, before I was pregnant, using Weight Watchers — and at that point in my life, the restrictiveness of the WW plan was really good for me. After River was born, and I was shifting the pregnancy weight, I rejoined WW with the idea of jump-starting weight loss and resetting in my head my thinking about proper eating — and it FAILED. The tracking was annoying. I found the program over-restrictive and downright naggy. The “clean” eating approach, however, is not as restrictive and it allows for a lot of freedom and personalization that WW doesn’t. I learned that I need the freedom to be creative and personalize my meals/snacks. WW makes much of fats, but clean eating doesn’t as long as they are in logical amounts. I can eat a whole milk yogurt and not feel like I am falling down on the job. I am not made to feel guilty about what I eat. I am not made to feel pressure to “count points” and “play the numbers game.” I answer to myself and I am asked to be knowledgeable and responsible for myself. This is the way better approach for me right now.
The most important things I learned and internalized:
1. Drink water. Drink water. Drink water. Drink MORE water.
2. I can’t eat large evening meals. I don’t sleep well afterward, and if I don’t sleep soundly enough, the following day I am dragging, mentally fogged, and sad. Even if the meal I eat is a small, “clean” meal, if it is larger than a bowl of cereal or a few crackers with cheese and salume, I am in trouble for the next day.
3. I think I am going to have to seriously start giving up animal meat proteins. I think they contribute, even in small, 2 oz portions, to my feeling of over-full-ness and my bad sleep. Getting my protein from eggs, cheese, and nut butter was much better. I have been telling myself I should push more toward vegetarianism, but I’m seriously reluctant to give up bacon, chicken, and turkey. We’ll see how that goes!
I lost a few pounds and I think a lot of that has to do with drinking large amounts of water and really keeping my cells hydrated and my body systems lubricated. If I can keep it up and lose a couple more pounds, I’ll have dropped in to the next “decade” of pounds, and once I do that I swear to myself I won’t go back up to the next decade. So far sheer willpower has worked for me on that front. About 3 1/2 pounds more and I’ll be in the next “safe” zone!
3. Complete the sentence: I am worth it because ____________.
This is a tough one. The trite, expected answer is “because I’m investing in my health” or something. I don’t know how to answer this without being trite. Because I have a family to take care of? But that ignores who I am. Because I’m worth it? That’s a marketing slogan. I don’t know how to complete this sentence because I don’t know what I’ve yet to accomplish.
But I can say this.
I deserve to be in my best potential health.
I have the right & responsibility to choose what and how I eat.
I can make intelligent choices that take in to consideration both my physical and mental health.
I can get up when I stumble, and I don’t have to hold grudges against myself for being human.