Tuesday, March 31, 2009

One Choice at a Time...

...still feels overwhelming.

One of the things that I am wrestling with is looking ahead.  I know conventional wisdom says to take things one day at a time, but that is a mind set I can't seem to fully embrace yet.  Never, ever did I anticipate the mental toll a complete lifestyle change would take on me.  Suddenly the struggles I'd watched others have (and chalked up to lack of effort) are the struggles I am facing right now.

I've done a great job so far staying right on the detox diet.  I haven't strayed.  I'm taking my supplements and drinking my powdered drink.  Lots of fresh vegetables.  Nothing processed.  No refined anything.  So looking back, I feel pretty good about things.

But when I look ahead, I instantly start to feel anxious.  I am overwhelmed trying to picture this as the rest of my life.  Sure, I know I will get to add food back in as we go along.  But I can't imagine how I can ever successfully go back to the life I used to live when it comes to food.  I ate McDonalds.  I ate candy bars.  I drank vanilla Dr Peppers form Sonic.  Whenever I wanted.  That is so over.  My health has improved drastically enough that I would be foolish to ignore my body's very obvious cues.  I need to do this.  Eating like this is going to have to be a permanent change.  And thinking about that scares me.  

One of the things that triggered my anxiety was a meal I fixed for the guys the other night.  They had grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.  That's not too bad for a person, right?  I mean, the soup can brags that it is a full serving of vegetables.  And I used butter instead of margarine on the sandwiches (thanks, Aly!).  But after further inspection, I realize that the soup has high fructose corn syrup as its second ingredient, and while the bread was whole grain, it still was made with additives that aren't healthy.  Even grilled cheese and tomato soup aren't very healthy foods!  

I know I need to make these changes, not just in my life, but in our family's life.  But in my fear, I really have to wonder if I can do it.  Can I find enough healthy, delicious recipes to feed the boys?  What about when we meet friends out for dinner?  When I need a snack, will I be able to choose wisely?  Or will I give in and grab something easy that fills a need deeper than hunger?

I have never had to give my food choices much thought.  I could eat anything I wanted to with little if any effect on my weight.  With false bravado, I chalked it up to me making better choices than people with weight problems.  Instead, my metabolism was to thank, and my body was paying a high price.  And now when I actually do have to make hard choices about what I eat, I feel completely overwhelmed.  Choosing to eat right foods, whether for calorie count or for health, is just plain difficult.  Every time.  

So right now, at the start of week three of this detox I am focusing on taking all of this one day at a time.  Some moments I have to think one meal at a time!  I know cognitively that I can do that,  but it is emotionally and mentally more difficult than I could have imagined.  I am going to have to do this the way everyone else does - one food choice at a time.  And although that sounds simple, I'm learning it sure isn't easy.  


Aly-Rae said...

Has already been 3 weeks? WOW! You haven't cheated once? Ann, that is so incredible! You should be so proud of yourself, especially under the circumstances, 2 birthday parties, pizza, having to cook grilled cheese sandwiches. Really, you need to give yourself some credit.
I know it may not seem like it but eating like this will soon become second nature to you. The foods you once thought irresistable, when you do give in to "enjoy" them you will be surprised that they don't taste near as yummy as you'd remembered and afterwards when you feel like CRAP you'll have no trouble resisting them again, and then...FREEDOM!

Renovation Girl said...

Unfortunately, the key to this lifestyle is going back to the basics-making everything from scratch. I bet you could make a rocking tomato soup that was healthy. Same with bread. I got a bread machine from Remodel Man a few years ago and we love it. I don't use it as often as I should, but you can make whole grain all natural unrefined bread in there and it is delicious.

I agree with Aly, too...it will become second nature. After my dad's stroke, he had to completely change his diet. Mind you, he was already in the best shape of his life at 69 (now 70), but he wasn't making the best food choices. Now, making better choices, he's lost 30 pounds...is not "borderline diabetic" anymore, and is almost back to his old self. And he doesn't miss the things that were really bad for him...mostly because he knows that they could literally kill him.

I'm so proud of you, Ann. Truth be told, I could never do this. I do not have the willpower, so I am in awe of you!!!