A lot of times I make goals, especially with improving my eating, that are too hard, too complex, or too obscure.
I think clearly defining goals and laying out a step-by-step plan for them are essential – like I am doing with my PCAT studying (got back on the ball with that and started Chemistry yesterday by the way) and with my overall pharm school plan. See Caitlin Boyle (from healthytippingpoint.com)’s great post on this, my favorite of her’s ever!
That said, sometimes I neglect to make smaller, fun goals that are really the easiest and funnest to do. Actually, I don’t even know if I would say they are the easiest, they are just much less pressured. This makes them much more attainable, and less stressful!
My goal for the month of September, that I am actually going to keep track of on here, is to increase my fruit and vegetable intake. See isn’t that fun? Isn’t that funner than saying, I am only going to eat this or that or I am going to eliminate this from my life?
I did this once two year ago. My goal was to increase my fiber intake. I wanted to lose about 5 pounds and just feel and eat healthier. Instead of merely trying to lose 5 pounds the way I would usually do it (read: depriving and obsessing over it every second of the day), all I did was focus on increasing my fiber. If it was full of fiber, I could eat it.
(You probably don’t want to know this, but I was having severe constipation problems at the time – the real motivation behind this originally. This has been on ongoing problem in my life that thankfully is much better nowadays for some reason. Knock on wood. – Yes I just knocked on wood, I am very superstitious).
I ate all-bran for breakfast, lots of veggies, whole wheat toast, etc.
I don’t think I lost any weight then, but I remember feeling so good.
I had more energy to run, I felt good when I was running.
I woke up refreshed and felt calm, I felt happier.
This mindset, focusing on what I can add in, instead of take away, is very unusual for me, as I know it is for many women (and men perhaps). That is something I have learned from the blogging world though – when you switch to adding in healthy things instead of taking things away, that is when you succeed and stop obsessing so much.
You see, my natural tendency, ESPECIALLY since I quit my job two years ago to move out of state and haven’t been able to find another one since, literally, (I can’t believe it has been TWO YEARS 😦 ) is to deal with the worthlessness of not being productive and unemployed by not eating much, and (pre-disability) exercising a lot. (I love exercising and don’t really feel like that was a problem except for that I didn’t want to eat so I wasn’t fueling myself enough.)
To me, still often, I have a problem with volume, although it is getting so much better. When I don’t eat, I feel like I am accomplishing SOMETHING challenging, working hard at something. I truly see this as getting better when I really am working hard at something more tangible to replace that with, but also I know that I have to fix that because I do it no matter what to some extent. Nothing I am working on is ever enough.
So for many, many years, I didn’t want to eat anything. I would rather eat a scone so I don’t have to feel full (plus I love scones – one of my top favorite foods 😉 ) than have a huuuuge salad for the same amount of calories. I took this to an extreme when I lived in Tennessee, even though I was running 5 miles a day and walking everywhere. Can you imagine how much I felt like shit?!
This summer I have kind of worked on that – realizing how much better I feel when I eat salads, dairy-free, gluten-free, avocados, cantaloupe, turkey sandwiches, etc – with scones thrown in for treats, not meals.
Lately, even though I have struggled so much with bulimia this month, I have had a lot of times when I felt really proud of this – when I ate as much cantaloupe as I wanted and just let my stomach be.
When I was in an intensive eating disorder outpatient program last winter, the dietician told me that she thought it would be easier for me to recover since I just have a volume issue and no fear foods like many girls there. I totally disagree, at least for me. I have recovered from that fear foods thing, and it was much easier for me than this is. I think that is an individual thing though, whatever your personal demon is.
So anyway, my goal this month is to eat more fruits and veggies. To eat things that feel good before and after. Wait…see how I make things more complicated. No. This goal is just focused on eating more fruits and veggies.
I don’t like that many fruits – but I do like cantaloupe right now!
I love veggies.
I got this calendar from sparkpeople.com:
I don’t have to follow this exactly; I just want to print it out to remind myself of this goal and to log my fruit/veggie total intake on it each day. Aiming for five servings, but really just as much as I can. 🙂
That is the one eating goal, K? I tend to find that one healthy eating goal like that leads to much more healthy eating following unconsciously (like with the fiber thing).
As I type this I kind of see how far I have come with this. Wow. And I was thinking the other day, in my intense depression, that I am no better off than a year ago when I was in the psychiatric hospital.
I am glad I am back into blogging lately – there are so many nice people out there. I was especially touched by everyone’s kind words about my dog’s death. So many of us are animal lovers! I love animals. I have this joke that if I have a kid that is allergic to dogs, I am sending him/her to live with my sister who dislikes them. Kidding! I would never do that, but kind of funny, no? Oh man, my family has a weird sense of humor. 😉
Is anyone with me in adding a positive change? What are you going to add? Do you want to do fruits and veggies too?
Are you excited for fall? I am extra excited this year for some reason. I love the month of September. It makes me feel peaceful.
Extras: The puppy I babysat for my rescue found a home! 🙂 I am disappointed she got a home without another dog, because she would obviously love a companion, but there are three elementary-age kids that will keep her busy! And the mom is home all day – either works from home or a stay-at-home mom, I’m not sure – so that is good!