Nutella. Oh man, so much nutella.
Toast with peanut butter and copious amounts of jelly.
Doughnuts. Not one, not two…
All the carbs.
Not one pack of reese’s peanut butter cups, two.
This was how I used to eat when I was alone. (Yep.)
I’d sit down, watch some Say Yes to the Dress for 30 minutes and enjoy my random, completely un-healthy food selection without the constant white noise of little-girl-bickering. It was me… and food.
And I’d like forward to this time, too! I’d plan it. “When they nap, or have quiet time, I’m going to eat this….”
My little “rewards” got me through.
Funny thing, though… after I’d reward myself with these delectable treats I’d feel sluggish. And gross. And guilty?
WHO eats like that?
WHO seriously eats half a cake?
Who eats nearly an entire 2-foot-long loaf of french bread with salted butter and jelly? (Yum.)
I seriously did.
Somewhere along the way in my life I started equating food with enjoyment and reward.
It became a pastime, a hobby.
When I’d go visit my Mom in Missouri, she’d not plan out our activities, but instead, the menu.
Eating has always been something that I’d look forward to doing. And, as I got older, I’d eat by myself… because donuts, oh donuts… those cinnamon and sugar covered soft donuts from Costco.
But I’m getting older and 4 reese’s peanut butter cups don’t come off as easily as they did when I was 21.
And, eating that much JIF peanut butter on white bread? Not good.
So, about 3 years ago I upped my workout game. Still, I ate horribly. My only goal was to keep the scale consistent. As long as I could work off my extra carbs, I could still eat them. No progress, but less guilt… right?
THEN, about a year ago (maybe longer?) I started being aware of what I put in my mouth.
Oh man… when you pay attention to behaviors you’ve currently ignored, it’s ridiculously eye-opening.
“Ignorance is bliss” is accurate.
So, slowly, over time… the eating habits have changed.
And today I’m kind of proud.
I’m home. Alone. And have been all morning. And I’ve had a shake, some veggies, green tea and water.
And there are oreos in my house. And these beautiful chocolate covered marshmallow things from Costco (heaven) and there’s even my old fave: toast with salted butter and jelly.
But here I sit. blogging.
Because the truth is, I don’t want to feel like that.
I don’t want to make those decisions.
I don’t want food to have any sort of power over me. That’s silly.
Today I know that every decision I make is either going to get me closer to my goal, or set me back.
It’s my choice.
It doesn’t matter how emotional I am. Or how sad I am. Or how happy I am. I don’t need to eat to express any of it.
I want to eat good food and be mindful of it.
I want to ENJOY gelato with my family after a fun dinner, I don’t want to sneak a half gallon of Haagan Daas while the kids are asleep and the husband is working late.
I want to eat one ‘smore, not three.
I want to get stronger and be in the best shape I can for my 40’s.
I want my girls to see that food is necessary, not an inspiration for living. It’s fuel, not absolute fun and entertainment and friendship.
Sitting and eating a meal is about the experience. Food shouldn’t be hidden.
And today, in the silence, I’m proud of myself for s-l-o-w-l-y getting to this point.
My splurging has changed.
My tastes have changed.
My relationship with food has changed.
Am I perfect? Nope.
I still don’t love quinoa and kale is dumb.
Ask my daughters what my favorite food is. They will still say, “Doughnuts. Our Mommy loves doughnuts.”
But I also love me.
“Successful people do what successful people don’t want to do,” has been my mantra for the past year.
And that’s a tough one to hear.
We all define success differently, but for me — not sneaking a candy bar, even if it is a 3 Musketeers with less calories, in the school parking lot is success.
It’s the little things. The easy wins. The mindful decisions that change our lives.
Slowly over time, the right choices will eek out and you’ll see a difference.
Every decision you make to take care of you, will be rewarded and you will see it.
If I can do it, you can, too.
(I’m a coach. If you want to hear more motivational type-y stuff, follow me on Facebook and IG as @twoPretzelsFIT. If you want to hear from me everyday, join one of my no-stress, totally-private, all-female accountability groups. They’re 3-weeks long and well, I think they’re great.)