Mandie from Women are Hungry presents the second installment of…
I have spent most of my life staying home with my kids. My days consist of coloring, diapers, breast feeding, laundry and looking in the mirror wondering why I have such little self-control. Aren’t I supposed to be preoccupied with finding my ‘before-baby’ body? I would stare and think “if only I had enough self-control to not eat”. I wanted so desperately to have that ideal societal-standard body. That would be a glorious day! I would be skinny, controlled and perfect. Then I could stand in my cleaning rags, baby on hip, and look in the mirror and approve of who I was. I need THAT body.
We, as women, have been programmed to believe that the smaller we get and the more we diminish ourselves then the better we are. We have taken our acceptable place in society… being small. I took this cultural challenge to the extreme. All of my self-talk of guilt and shame for being lazy took me to a very dark place of anorexia. I found my thin. The funny thing is that when I finally arrived, I still looked in the mirror and thought “if only I had enough self-control to not eat”. You see, we must learn self-love before we can even talk about self-control. We will save that topic for next week.
I recently had a lady ask me “how do you stay controlled when your spouse and kids sabotage you by keeping junk food all around?” My answer was simple…I do not set my goals to a level I can fail at.
We go along in our lives living and being and eating whatever we want and then one day we declare “from this day forward I shall eat 1200 calories”. We just made a goal that we will likely fail. We will continue on with life, trying desperately to reach this 1200 calorie goal and as soon as life gets challenging and that number inches its way up we throw in the towel and declare “I have no self-control”.
We need to look at our habits again. We talked last week about finding fitness habits that will help us reach our goals. We start working out ONE day a week instead of trying to jump into a 5-day-a-week-at-5-in-the-morning workout habit. Habits built on one another will bring us results so that we won’t have to depend on “self-control” and “motivation”. We can use this same template to deal with our weight loss goals.
If you currently have no idea how many calories you eat and you want to lose weight, let’s not pick some random number and state “these are the calories I shall live by”. Instead, track your food for a few days and SEE how many calories you are eating. If you are eating 3000 calories per day, why don’t we move that down to 2500 per day? After you spend some time there you can move that down a little further if you need to.
Weight loss is not magic. If you have a history of eating disorders or thyroid problems, I would suggest finding professional help for yourself to help you meet your goals. However, if you are just looking to get to a comfortable weight, let’s start with finding out what you eat now. Let’s go from there and work our way to a livable caloric intake that will help you meet your goals and keep your sanity all at the same time. Just like jumping from never working out to working out 5 days a week is not likely going to last, neither will jumping to 1200 calories per day when you currently hold to no known caloric intake now. Make your goals livable. Start slow. You can find a very happy livable place with your calories AND lose weight at the same time.
Discussion: What will you do to start developing healthy eating habits?
Mandie Hall is an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified instructor who owns and operates a garage gym called “Women Are Strong” in the small, rural town of Judsonia, Arkansas. She runs a community on Facebook called Women Are Hungry to help empower women. She has been featured in blogs such as Feed Me I’m Cranky and Miss Fit Blogger .