Thursday, 21 March 2013

Food Plan & Abstinence: Truth.

Tuesday was a difficult food day.
Actually, let's be honest.  Food has been difficult since September of 2012.

I have come to terms with a few things since diving back into my recovery work.  
1 - I need to be more specific with my abstinence list and food plan.
2 - I have relapsed in terms of portion sizes and not acknowledging some problem foods and overdoing it with them.
3 - Sugar is a no-no, however carbs are a definite problem of mine.

It's been extremely important for me that I follow the Canada Food Guide as a means of eating healthy.  Along with that, using my tools and working daily in recovery.  If I am not actively working on my program daily, then I am setting myself up for hard days.  Being honest with myself today, regardless of how much I work on my program, I feel as though I am pushing myself down further and further rather than climbing up and stepping forward.

My hard truth: 
When I eat carbs, I crave them more.  My mind starts misbehaving.  My behaviours surface and I find myself pocketing crackers or sneaking slices of bread or spooning extra portions of pasta.  In the morning I usually start with a bowl of cereal as my first meal of the day carb.  I fill that small bowl to the very top with that cereal and call it one cup.  Is it truly? No. It wouldn't be quite 2 cups, but it's definitely more.  I eat my egg and a piece of fruit, and it's a perfectly balanced breakfast for me.  However, after consuming that breakfast I then find myself not even an hour later shuffling through cupboards or thinking of toasting bread.  Then, at morning snack I make a perfectly balanced snack of protein and fruit, but am sneaking carbs by again grabbing a handful of crackers or something because I can't stand "just" having fruit and protein.  Then, by lunch time, I am ready to eat but I am so overwhelmed by wanting to toast up 4-6 slices of bread with jam (NOT because I am hungry for all of that mind you), i just crave the carbs in abnormal amounts.

How does that make me feel? 
When I consume a normal helping of carbs, it triggers something in my mind to want more.  Not from hunger, but what feels like sheer greed.  I am substituting the carbs for the craving of sugar and foods I am abstinent from, and so carbs has become a really big problem for me.  I have gained over 30 lbs back since September because of my inability to control myself and inability to be honest with myself.  So now I am laying it all out, making myself accountable and reworking this food plan and abstinence list because I have to, and because I need this.  When I have consumed an abnormal amount of carbs, it leaves me feeling lethargic, sluggish, non-energetic and I can't even begin to express what my mental state goes through.  I get so hard on myself and my self-bully comes alive JUST as it does with overdosing on sugar. So in being honest with myself, all of these things tell me I need to back off of the carbs.

What is important to do? (in my case)
1 - I need to maintain a calorie count of 1200-1400 calories a day.
2 - With eliminating carbs, I am going to allow increased protein.
3 - I usually eat balanced with a carb/protein/fruit & vegetable for each meal, and a snack of protein & fruit/vegetable.
4 - Vegetables (not fruit) are considered a free food for me (unless it's a vegetable high in carbs)
5 - I will allow vegetables high in carbs, but in lower amounts. (no filling the plate half full with them)
6 - High carb vegetables (carrots, beets, peas, winter squashes(such as acorn and butternut), water chestnuts, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, plantains)
7 - There are three types of carbs that I do not crave more of, or crave other carbs from, as of yet anyway. Steel cut oatmeal, brown basmati rice & quinoa.
8 - If I feel it absolutely necessary to consume carbs, they are safe foods for me.

So yesterday was my first day, no carbs. I fared really well.  The cravings are still there and I have some food anger to work through, however, NOT putting the carbs in my mouth has given me my first truly successful day.  I used my tools, I have exercised and I am feeling far more positive mindwise than I have been since September of last year.

Honesty isn't easy.  But I feel like I am on the right path, after all;
Step One: We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.

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