There was once a time when I bemoaned the thought of “not being able to eat like everyone else.” In my mind, I was all alone on Diet Island with only guilt and shame as my companions. And over on the “mainland” everyone else was eating and drinking and being merry and never gaining a pound. Of course, that wasn’t reality. Reality is, there are very few who can eat and eat and eat without worrying about that leading to packing on the pounds. Reality is that even though walking on the road to better health feels like a lonely road, it doesn’t have to be. Many others are trudging along, too.
I used to get so frustrated that I’d have to cook supper for my family and then cook something completely different for myself in order to stay on track. It actually made me pretty mad! They were eating spaghetti and garlic bread while I was having meat in marinara sauce with a salad. They were eating macaroni and cheese and I was eating cauliflower. They were eating Burger King burgers and fries and I was having tuna and a pickle. Before I detoxed from the sugar and carbs, this was torture! It was so hard! It felt unfair that if I ate just like they did, then I wouldn’t lose weight. I might even gain more weight. It was overwhelming, in the beginning, to think that I’d have to make a lifelong commitment to changing the way I eat if I ever wanted to get healthy and stay healthy.
I’ve struggled with binge eating and with food addiction in the past. I know what it’s like to feel like you can’t stop. I know what it’s like to absolutely hate what you’re doing, but still do it anyway in the middle of spiraling binges.
After my weight loss surgery, my last hope at getting healthy and gaining control for good health, I made a promise to myself that if I was going to put myself through all of that, that I was going to do what it takes to be successful. That meant committing to the food plan my surgeon’s office gave me, gleaning from the knowledge of other successful wls patients, and becoming a student of low carb living myself.
There are some things that I did that may seem a little extreme or like they weren’t necessary, but I wanted to do what it took to be successful. I did what I could to remove temptation from my life at all costs. I was very aware of my triggers, temptations, and tendencies and took necessary actions to negate those things.
One thing I did to remove temptation was to unfollow Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest accounts that constantly posted unhealthy foods. If my friends on Facebook were always sharing calorie dense, high carb food recipe vidoes, I hid the posts. I avoided watching the Food Network. It’s your social media feed, and you can control what you see. If that is a source of temptation for you, then UNFOLLOW that stuff! Don’t even let it come across your line of sight. I would even add that you should surround yourself with things that will help you and support you while striving toward your goal. Get serious about removing things in your life that tempts you to the point where you are struggling with it. If this isn’t an area that you struggle with, then identify what those things that are for you and then figure out how to remove that from your life altogether.
Avoid Trigger Foods at All Costs
If you’ve ever struggled with binge eating or food addiction, then you know that you may have certain “trigger” foods or “slider” foods that will lead you down that slippery slope of binging or just be a huge source of temptation. Even though I am a little over two years out from weight loss surgery and over two and a half years out from start a low carb lifestyle, there are still certain foods that I absolutely will not let myself have. Period. (Little Debbie brownies, a whole slice of pizza, sodas). Those were things I struggled with in the past and I never want to put myself in the situation where I’m tempted and could spiral out of control. What are those foods for you? Is it something salty or something sweet? Identify what they are and avoid them like the plague. Find other foods on plan that you really enjoy and don’t entertain the thought of your trigger foods.
Have a Plan in Place to Deal With Stress
Along the same lines as binging or food addictions, sometimes when stress hits, some are prone to cope with food. I have struggled with that in the past. I even went to counseling a few years back to deal with it. (Counseling is always a great idea if you struggle with binge eating, food addiction, or you use food as a coping mechanism.) If you use food to numb yourself from the stresses you deal with, then it’s time for you to put a plan in place. You need to come up with a constructive way to deal with stress so that when the going gets tough, you don’t find yourself in an all-out binge just to deal. If you need to get out of your house and away from your kitchen, then do it. Is there a trusted friend you can text or call that will support you and talk you through it?
Here are some constructive ways to deal with stress: run or go for a walk or any exercise, pray and meditate on God’s Word, take a bath, clean your house, talk to a friend, do something artistic like painting or crafting, get out of the house or change your scenery for a bit, do yard work or water your plants.
Find something that you can do to relieve that stress without turning to food, alcohol, or nicotine to cope.
If you missed the conversation we had on Facbook Live yesterday, then you can go HERE to watch and join in on the conversation. I hope this helps!