Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cravings, Sabotaging, and Diet Changes

I've been falling off the diet wagon more times than I'm totally comfortable with lately. I don't know if it is the underlying stress of trying to figure out Kid's schooling situation (although I think this is very likely) or what. But let's say a week that included eating an ENTIRE bucket of animal crackers followed up closely behind with a Cinnabon is not exactly representative of the kind of diet I'd like to be following.

One of the things that comes into play for me is just busy mom syndrome. I meet the kids' needs first...ALWAYS... and so sometimes that means I'm starving and I know I should make a sandwich but I grab a handful of animal crackers and then say "oh what the heck I'll just eat 3 servings of these and call it lunch". The thing is I do this ALL the time. ALL the time. I thoughtfully make balanced meals for the kids and then grab a coffee and some more empty ready-to-eat sweet carbs of one sort or another and think "I'll eat an apple later...".

So the time has come for me to start to take responsibility for the food I put in my mouth throughout the day. How am I going to do that? Well I think I'm going to have to extend my meal planning to include my lunch and snacks. I've had a couple of different ideas. I eat six times a day. Outside of breakfast and dinner (which are already planned) I eat four 200-300 calorie mini-meals. One idea included writing out several mini meals onto index cards and drawing one out for each meal. What I like about this idea is that there would a lot of choices and it takes into account that I might have different cravings for different meals. Don't want hummus & pretzels? How about apples & peanut butter? It would help me to come up with a healthy meal suggestion even when I'm feeling to busy and frazzled to think of one. The problem is it doesn't take into account what we have in the house on that particular day. I mean how many mini-meals can I have stocked up every week?

I think the reality is that I just don't want to meal plan all my meals. It seems daunting and tedious and a bit rigid. But the truth is I eat the same types of thing day in and day out... it is not like I'm eating at a buffet everyday. And there are days where I just eat what I see on the counter because that is what is easiest and not because what I really wanted for lunch was half a gnawed on banana and Kid's bread crusts. So I'm sucking it up. I really admire the way Eurydice eats... and guess what? She plans out her entire day so I am going to do it too. Of course there will be days when I really don't want a turkey sandwich or whatever I had picked out and that's life and that's fine. I think in the big picture this will help me make better choices more consistently. And yes I still plan to eat at least one dark chocolate caramel a day!

You can read my daily meal plan over on the sidebar. Want to know if I kept to it? Well maybe I'll let you know...


Julie said...

Yup, I have to revamp my eating style. Yes, I am exercising more, but since I am still in the weight loss stage (or at least TRYING to be!), I need to cut out more of the snacks.

I am doing a great job of maintaining my weight gain these days...even with the food diary.

Deb said...

WOW!! That is amazing. I can't bring myself to work up a dinner plan yet, but I can definitely see myself doing the "busy mom" thing you mentioned. Maybe I should skip the dinner meal plan and instead, focus on a daily meal plan for myself. I'm great at breakfast, but not so much at lunch.

Mrs. Furious said...

I know it is hard with kids and their snacks but during active weight loss phase I had to keep the house virtually sabotage free. That meant I only had snacks in the house that I wouldn't eat like Fruitabu and I did not bake at all. I had the chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer and Mr F & Kid would bake only what they were going to eat for dessert. I really need to get back to that. It is a very slippery slope.

I was super resistant to meal planning in general... mostly because I just don't like being told what to do and I think I'm too spontaneous to be confined... but it works and I can't deny it.

Bi0nicw0man said...

I meal plan every day. It's basically the first thing I do when I sit down at my computer with my first coffee. I type it into my blog, then I feel like I'm accountable to stick to it. Basically I just mentally stroll through what I have in my fridge & cupboards (and what I might be in the mood for) and type it out. It does work...and eventually it is just part of the routine and I miss it if I don't do it.

Do I always stick to it? No. But I sure eat a lot better than I did before I started planning.

eurydice said...

thanks for the compliment - but i have to say it's easier for me to plan it out because i have to bring most of my daily food to work with me in the morning... if i didn't bring it i can't eat it! i usually don't plan dinner out but once i've made relatively healthy choices all day it's easier to stay on track and not mess up the day after work. and i don't have that much food at home haha so my options are somewhat limited. if i were at home all day i'd probably have more trouble with unplanned snacking and

that being said, i think planning it out is a really great idea. when it's written out before you eat it there is a sense of power and a no surprises attitude.

Mrs. Furious said...

Do you post that on your food site? I'm going to go check it out.
You work from home don't you? So I think this will be doable. I like your idea of planning it out in the morning... I think you are right that that will help me take into account what I have and my food mood for that day. Much better than trying to do the whole week (not sure what I was thinking!).

yes actually leaving the house would definitely help me out... ;)

Heather said...

I agree -- create a system where you've got your protein and healthy carbs on hand, and don't bring things into the house that you can't control yourself over. (for me its any type of cookie -- I cannot be stopped, although the Kashi oatmeal dark chocolate cookies are so rich that one satisfies me). Anyhoo, despite my crazed, hormonal cravings, I portion out two snacks every day with protein and carbs. And I always have them on stock, so that I never have to default to chips and guacamole or something like that. My standard is almonds and prunes, but I also was on a 1/2 PBJ bender for a while. The point is, have the stuff on hand so you get a bit of variety, but always have your trusty faithfuls to rely on...

SawSaw said...

Mrs. Furious,

I've been having a lot of trouble staying on track this week as well. Maybe something is in the air.

All I can do is just try to get back in gear and not beat myself up too much for slipping.

I think we should both just start anew. If you do it, I'll do it :)


Mrs. Furious said...

Saw Saw,
Sounds good. Starting tomorrow... I went out to dinner and ended up eating 2.5 white choc macadamia nut cookies (damn it they bake them fresh)... tomorrow I am getting back on track for real.

SawSaw said...

me too... me too :)

Meri said...

First let me say i've been reading your blog for a couple months now, and although I don't have kids yet, my life is hectic w/ work, husband and out of town family, and you have been a huge inspiration to me! You have made me realize I don't need to shop and cook for a family of 6 every night and that portion control is a HUGE problem for me. The fact that you still get your cardio in with 2 kids at home and alot to do, makes me realize I have no right to sit here on my sofa at night and not get my cardio done. I do strength train 3 days a week, but I am a huge slacker when it comes to cardio. And then the meal planning. Husband and I SUCK at this. He would rather eat fast food, I will not do that. SO, this weekend I sat down w/ my Eating for Life book, author of Body for Life- Bill Phillips. Printed out the weekly planner and plugged in all my meals for the week, including midmeal snacks! I then figured out my grocery list which includes only the amount of foods on the weekly planner. I was shocked when my grocery bill only came to $60! It did take about an hour to pick and choose for the recipes in the book that I wanted this week (and also keep my husband in mind for the dinners), but now I won't have to think about what i'm eating during the day.
Its really a great book, you can check it out online
I can tell you what the secret password is if you want to downloaed the planners and shopping lists. Just let me know, i'll check back here:)

And thanks again for the inspiration!!

Mrs. Furious said...

Oh thanks so much for such a nice comment! :)
I was in your same place a couple years ago.. plenty of strength no cardio... and I never really understood how much thinner I could be with the cardio (I guess I was just in denial). It's hard to fit it in but it is worth it.
As far as the meal planning If/when you do have kids you'll be way ahead of the game. It's taken me nearly 6 years to pull that together!
And yes please I'd love the password. I'm always looking for more info :)

josey said...

hello mrs f :) i've been lurking about off and on for a few months and thought i'd finally materialize *lol*

i just kept nodding my head as i read thru this post. thank you for sharing!! i've been talking a lot about the same issues ever since i started my blog a few years ago. lol. and this year i started a mini-blog--a health journal--in addition to that where i sometimes post my food, recipes, and daily struggles (and successes!).

currently i plan our weekly menus but i'm not tracking my food anymore. it got too stressful (i did it on and off for 4 years!!), and my perfectionistic self kept screwing the rest of me over anytime i'd fall off the wagon. (can anyone say fast food binges? LOL.)

stop over anytime and let me know what you think. i'd love to hear your opinion! :)

on another note...i have to say i thoroughly enjoy your cooking vids :) its like having a mid-western version of rachael ray! haha!! (sorry if you dont like the rach. hehe.) but seriously, i appreciate your style--simple, healthy whole foods that have flair and i'm sure they taste wonderful!

Mrs. Furious said...

Hey thanks for de-lurking and for reading :)

Fast food binges... yes I know something about that ;)

Rachael Ray... no I'm not offended... I could do worse. And truthfully I learned a lot about quick cooking from watching her shows.

Okay I'll go check out your blogs!

Thanks again for the comment

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