Comfort zone? No thanks…

“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”

I mean growing as in getting better, not growing as in getting bigger (that’s Ed). Today was a tough day but tough is not the same thing as bad…I’ve been struggling with some family stuff lately, feeling a little lonely (with friends in other cities, family in other countries, etc. it’s kind of natural), and then the addition of my knee bothering me is just less than ideal. Still, I’ve managed to make progress in my recovery rather than letting a stressful time send me backwards (though I may have fallen backwards, it was like a running start!).

Today’s food was what I might have called “weird” or even “bad” in the past.

I started my day with an experimental breakfast. It took me a while to get it through my head that it makes sense to eat breakfast, wait a little (maybe do some blogging? writing? etc.), and then go into a workout fueled (rather than eating something tiny or whatever and heading to the pool, gym, etc. right away to ‘get it over with’ in a way and set myself up to be uber hungry/ready to overeat when I’m done), but I did it. I even made a decision to eat something as fuel: dense and full of energy and nutrition. WIN!

Apple cranberry flaxseed bun with peanut butter, apple butter, and shredded carrots...less volume, more energy = smarter pre-workout breakfast!

I had a good swim — my knee couldn’t bother me in the water, I drank plenty of water and even had Gatorade with me (another food win), and had good company (Sarah and Rachel). I am really enjoying this training (one more reason why I hope this knee-pain is short lived!).  I wasn’t very hungry until after my shower, and it was only 10:45. I contemplated lunch but then I realized I was really hungry for a snack…pretzels and cheese. It’d been a while but I had one of those cravings that I just knew what I wanted!

I wasn't sure how these Laughing Cow cheeses (they're spreadable, almost like cream cheese) would be, but they were awesome! Such a perfect snack!

After my satisfying snack, I got my errands done (bank, dropping things off, etc.) and I was getting hungry (but not starving, I win again) for lunch. I made a ham and cheese sandwich and had an apple with it (I love it when I know what I’m hungry for). So satisfying.

Whole wheat bun with ham and cheese, lettuce, half avocado/mayo, and an apple!

I went to my dietitian this afternoon, ready for a much needed session. We talked about what it would mean for me to get rid of the chocolate that’s been stressing me out at night. Things she suggested and/or I’ve come to decide for myself:

  • keeping ‘fear foods’ in my apartment is a sign of progress, but getting rid of them in times of stress or when I feel vulnerable to a binge is NOT a sign of weakness or a sign of me falling back — it’s just another way that I’m taking care of myself
  • some foods are ‘safer’ than others — grabbing mindless handfuls of chocolate chips, m&ms, and croutons, etc. is far easier than spooning out bowls of ice cream, opening multiple single-serve packages of these same foods, etc.
  • having an evening snack is not a recipe for gaining weight — even when I first started seeing the dietitian to get help to lose weigh healthfully, we always always always left room for an evening/night time snack to make sure that I didn’t feel like I needed to overeat to stay full at dinner time …lately I’ve been trying to avoid having that food after dinner and it’s showing (going back and eating more leftovers as I’m putting them away, etc.)
  • cleaning my plate isn’t mandatory, but it’s also not bad … I know how much food I like to eat and serving an appropriate amount means I will likely finish my plate. If I’m feeling full part way through, I can save it, throw it away, or wait and finish it later. I don’t have to eat til I’m stuffed, and I think remembering that I’m going to eat a snack after dinner will help me with this.
  • there has to be some turning point: lately I’ve avoided going out for food with friends. It’s July and I’ve yet to go for ice cream (if you know me, you know this is weird and almost like a sin). I’ve been so busy feeling guilty for eating a handful of chocolate or whatever at night that I have avoided these situations, but to be honest, if I went out every once in a while I probably wouldn’t have such a need to eat the chocolate at home. So what if I ate chocolate last night? At some point I need to deal with the guilt of eating whatever at home and still go out and enjoy myself, reminding myself that no matter how much I weigh, how fat I feel, etc. does not mean I don’t deserve to be happy/do what I want to do!
  • food for me can be a distraction, entertainment, or fuel in any combination. It’s not necessarily bad to eat for reasons besides hunger (i.e. cake at a birthday party, etc.) but when I’m using it as my primary way to cope, I need to get things back under control. Lucky for me, blogging is becoming an extremely soothing way of coping and getting feedback that people are reading is good (please comment, or feel free to message me on facebook or via email)!

After the dietitian, I had a meeting at Campus Rec and got fired up again for the things we are going to do as a gym. I am really excited, and I had a little bit of a moment when I walked out of the gym. I have two of the most amazing jobs ever (three actually, when I’m also teaching fitness), I live in a city where there are plenty of opportunities, I am training and have a goal, I am allowed to grow up and find new people to be in my circle of friends, and I am in charge. Just realizing that I’ve been feeling sorry for myself lately and seeing all the potential there is (without the pressure to do it all right this second) for me is really EXCITING.

I went to a yoga class at Moksha instead of run club (back to the knee situation). I enjoyed it, I earned points for the class challenge, and I got to get out of my head for an hour.  It was extra sweaty and my epiphany moment kind of carried over. I cried in savasna (happens all the time).

Dinner was another natural, intuitive choice: breakfast!

yogurt/soy milk combined, kashi and fibre 1, and berries! yummm!

I felt good enough about myself to do my hair and come to Starbucks tonight. I read a post earlier on sparkpeople about the ways people punish themselves for being ‘fat’ or ‘gross’ or whatever. I’ve mostly blogged, but I’ve got my head wrapped around the to-do list (which is filled with more things that I actually want to do) and I got myself a delicious mocha. I am going to have a granola bar now, keep working away, and then head home.

I did my hair! It's a miracle!

I’m thinking the chocolate’s gonna be sitting there, not calling my name.  Good day after all…

How do you deal with stress?
Do you keep a diary? A blog?
How can you tell when things are off for you?




2 responses to “Comfort zone? No thanks…

  1. I tend to go through “stress cycles”. I will be relaxed and add a million things to my to-do list and then work frivilously to complete them. I’ll run myself into the group worrying about getting them all done. Then I’ll have to take a break of a few days at least to recuperate. I really don’t have a way with dealing with stress, which is a huge problem for me right now. I considered doing meditation or getting massages a few times. And also have considered yoga. Do you find yoga helps you to relax?

    Oh and I have a blog for more public things that I feel like sharing and a journal/diary for more personal things that either a) I don’t think other people would care about or b) I don’t think other people need to know. lol

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