A Follow-Up to Yesterday’s Post

I know yesterday’s post is probably not what you’re used to seeing here on Darlin’ Rae, and I wanted to take a minute to address that instead of jumping manically from yesterday’s difficult topic to the app review post I had scheduled for today.

I try to keep it positive most of the time, because nobody wants to hang out with a Debbie Downer.  And it can be scary or uncomfortable to talk about things like body image, self-esteem, and eating disorders.  I’ve started and stopped posts similar to what I wrote yesterday countless times, but always held back because I almost feel that I don’t really have anything new or constructive to add.  Body image has been discussed so many times in so many different forums I feel like the reaction is “Yup, ok, we get it, move on, please.”  But it’s really important for me to be able to be real and honest here.  It’s easy in the internet world to pretend like everything is sunshine and rainbows all the time.  To present only the best parts of yourself to your readers.  But that’s not reality.  Everyone struggles sometimes, and I don’t want to ever pretend that I’m someone I’m not.

I feel like I’ve found an incredibly supportive community here, and I felt safe enough to share something that I usually keep locked up pretty tight.  Not every day is great.  Not every workout makes me feel good.  I (like most people, I imagine) have a hard time loving myself 100% of the time.  But I’d say that at least 98% of the time, I do.  And that’s why 98% of the posts here will be positive.  But sometimes, I just need to be sad, or angry, or frustrated.  And I hope you’re cool with that, because I expect the same from all of you.

I promise that tomorrow we’ll get back to the normal stuff.  I’ve got lots of fun stuff to talk about in my Friday Free For All, and I’m very excited about my plans for the holiday weekend.  I have an app review ready to go, and I’m putting together a brief review of the hydration belt I’m currently using as well.  I hope you have a lovely Thursday!

 

Calorie Counting Woes

You may recall that on Monday I mentioned going back to My Fitness Pal for a bit to try and get a handle on my eating.  Boy, has that been educational.  And frustrating.

It’s amazing how much you can trick yourself into thinking that you generally eat “well.”  You can ignore super-sized portions because it’s brown rice instead of white, or think that grilled cheese is a valid choice when paired with salad, or believe that eating dessert after every meal is acceptable.  And then you wonder why the weight on the scale is creeping up.  Why pants are a bit more snug.  Why you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.

I had a wake-up call recently.  One of my favorite pairs of summer work pants no longer fits.  Granted, they were always a bit snug, but I could get them on, zip and button them, and wear them all day with no issues.  Now, I can’t even pull them up over my butt.  If it weren’t for the number on the scale, I could maybe believe that my butt is now just extra muscular because I’ve been running and working out so much.

But when your macros look like this:

So much fat.  So little protein.

So much fat. So little protein.

 

…It’s not hard to understand why these things are happening.  And when you only have 317 calories left in your daily allowance and it’s 3pm, it’s pretty plain that you’re not doing as well as you thought you were.  In fact, you’re doing pretty poorly.

Bad Diet

Click for Source

I (foolishly) assumed that as I started running more, I would automatically lose weight.  Instead, I have used my extra calorie expenditure as an excuse to eat more and worse foods.  I just ran 8 miles, give me that pasta!  I deserve fro-yo, I went to the gym today!  I am proving to myself the truth of the saying, “abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.”

So now I feel the need to do a massive diet overhaul.  Make better choices.  Plan better.  Prepare better.  Actually, oh I don’t know, measure my servings instead of guessing.  More protein, more veggies, and less sugar.

Unfortunately, healthy eating doesn’t come naturally to me.  It’s not how I was raised.  Growing up, most of our meals consisted of meat and starch with a side of starch.  “Vegetable” was a four-letter word to my dad, and since he did all the cooking, I never tried or developed a taste for most vegetables–the only “vegetable” he ever made was corn.  As an adult, I have had to learn to prepare and like vegetables that are second-nature to most people.  Over time I’ve gotten better, but it’s still not my first instinct to order a side salad instead of fries, or prepare a vegetable with every meal.

I have started down this path so many times and only found frustration.  Undoing 28 years of eating habits is REALLY HARD.  Retraining your brain and your taste buds is REALLY HARD.  Right now, I’m approaching the heaviest I’ve ever been, and if I were truly being “healthy” and eating well, I honestly wouldn’t mind so much.  But I know that what I’m doing isn’t healthy, and with a family history like mine (type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure, breast cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and on and on), I can’t keep doing what I’m doing and expect to live a long, healthy life.  Something’s got to give.

Logically, I know this doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  I know that making healthy choices more often than not will make a huge difference.  I know that small changes will add up.  But I have a hard time even committing myself that far.  Emotionally and irrationally, I’m afraid that I’ll “miss out on things” by adopting healthier eating habits.  No more muffins at the office?  No more maple creemees on a summer night?  Is that really worth it?  My little sister has an eating disorder, and I’m terrified of becoming like her.  I don’t want to be so consumed with fear of being overweight that I’m afraid of food.

I know, I know it’s possible to find balance, I just haven’t found it yet.  I need to keep struggling along and hope that as I keep trying, things keep falling into place.