Dr Brooke: A Walking, Talking Contradiction?
Well I’m one week into my living lean and loving it plan and I feel fantastic! Emotionally, anyway. Physically, my neck is still a mess (although not in my stylin’ foam collar anymore, so that’s progress). But for the first time in maybe forever, I ate exactly what I needed to eat to have my best body and I didn’t feel badly, restricted or sad about it. Because of my neck, I wasn’t able to do anything by means of working out last week besides a couple of walks. This normally makes me soooo agitated! I mean why bother with the clean diet if I can’t workout? Well, again, injured was not the ideal time to start this venture – but there will never be a perfect time. Waiting for the “right time” just keeps us stuck. This past week it felt effortless to eat this “strict” compared to the past. Before I felt strong at times because I had the willpower to do it, but most of the time I felt punished, deprived and often just pissed that I had to eat this way when other people didn’t have to. I felt the unfairness of it all and this time I’ve decided to just get over it. It isn’t fair that some people have an easier go of it with fat loss – this is true…but it’s useless to me. It is helpful to know I’m not alone. Many women with thyroid and insulin issues have share my struggle. But it is not helpful for me to dwell on how hard it is and focus on what I’m missing out on. I am missing out on treats, wine and eating more meals out. I am missing the freedom of ordering whatever I want. This is all true. But what I was missing out on before I reigned in a few bad habits was the freedom of knowing my clothes fit great, my stomach is flattening out and the calm confidence that comes from doing what I need to do to take care of myself. This week I was perfect….at least when it came to my diet. But isn’t that against everything I say? After all, BETTER is about being a little bit better every day, not being perfect. So why go all in for a bit? Why jump onto a super strict dietary plan? First, because I wanted to. This was my choice, I don’t have to do it. This time I am owning that 110% and leaving the “it’s not fair-s” and the “I have to-s” out of it. Going all in shows you what you’re capable of. A much more livable version of what I’m doing that would still give me great results would be to have just one splurge meal per week; or have one drink or glass of wine. I’ve chosen to go a full 4 weeks without any cheats or treats. I wanted to show myself I could do it – that I am in control of my choices, my emotions and my cravings. I am learning from this what will work in the long term. A strict stretch like this can be a huge learning experience because you’re forced to spend so much time and effort on cooking and eating. I’ve been reminded that I do much, much better in terms of appetite and energy when I have 4- 5 smaller meals per day than when I have 3 bigger ones. This keeps me from over eating, keeps me from getting ravenous come dinner time and I don’t fight any major cravings. I knew this, but had gotten out of the habit – thankfully I’ve been reminded. It reminds me just how much it takes for me to get good fat loss results. It’s so easy for me (and I’m sure many women like me) to underestimate just how clean my diet has to be to make progress. I am so not one of those ladies who can cut out dessert for a few weeks and drop 5 pounds (I normally don’t have dessert anyway and I struggle!) I have to do much more: keep my carbs very low, avoid big meals, eat regularly, stay hydrated, avoid getting overly hungry (it becomes impossible to make sensible choices for me in this state), and I have a habit of being great during the week and my Friday night cheat meal turns in to a weekend of less-than-on-track-eating. I’ve fallen into the trap recently of saying, “I can get away with this” and the truth is, I really can’t. (At least I can’t and have the body I want too.) Anyway, that’s what I’ve learned this past week about myself – how about you all? Whether you’re being more or less strict each meal is an attempt to learn a bit about your metabolism and what you can adjust in your diet to make more progress. A blog is in the work about using your blood sugar symptoms to create your best diet – stay tuned! I’ve managed to keep my mental state in a great place this past week, but I know there will be tough days ahead. It isn’t always easy to be happy about a salad with chicken. We get stressed, tired, emotional, bored, etc and all those same unhelpful thoughts and emotions start back up. But remember that it is always possible to feel better than you do right now. Just like getting back on the diet wagon when we slip up, getting back on the emotional high horse will need to happen again and again. So get back on baby! If anyone has joined me in cleaning up their act please share your progress, thoughts, struggles, questions, lessons, learned, or whatever here – would love to hear from you! And if you want some great meal ideas and recipes from this past week or many more be sure to follow on my Facebook page.