since i began exercising, i've actually gained a few pounds. yeah. not right. at first i thought i was gaining muscle, but i really don't think so. tonight as i was getting dressed to go out for dinner, i put on a favorite pair of slacks only to find i was holding my breath and jumping around to get into them. ok, so it wasn't quite that bad, but they were very, very tight. i took them off and promptly hung them back in the closet. oy vey.
i think the explanation is two-fold: first, i'm honestly hungrier since i began running. consequently i am eating more. i'm not making poor choices, but i'm eating larger quantities so it only makes sense that i'm gaining a bit. secondly, i think there's a slight sense of entitlement, or a feeling like i deserve a reward (which has become my nightly Skinny Cow ice cream cone, which, at 150 calories isn't bad at all, but the fact that i am eating it at night is awful). i catch myself sometimes thinking, "oh, well i went running today, so i can eat a few more of those wheat thins," or, "i did such a good job working out that i can have that yogurt and granola." don't get me wrong---i am hungry. a lot. but perhaps there is a third reason, and it's the same one that's always plagued me: emotional eating. i suppose when you combine these three things, it's no wonder i've gained a few pounds. regardless, i'm quite upset with myself and i really want to put a stop to it. but how to do this when i really AM hungry most of the time? sometimes i even get sweaty and shaky, like i have low blood sugar. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
i've often thought about posting pictures or signs around the kitchen. it's not as easy as just not buying certain things because i have kids. i'm not willing to deprive them of foods just because i hear the cookies calling my name from the pantry. i am a firm believer that if you're denied something, you want it all the more later. we don't keep a lot of junk food in the house---we have pretzels and Sun Chips (not greasy Lays/Ruffles). We have cookies around, but they are mostly Fat Free Newtons or the Archway oatmeal raisin cookies (I also make my own cookies when I can summon the energy, as those are far better, although still not good for you). we eat lots of fruit and veggies, eggs, yogurt, milk, cheese, whole wheat bread, turkey, chicken....I am talking in circles. Perhaps if I taped signs around that read, "Do you really need/want to eat that?" or, "What's really eating you?" or even, "A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips," I would be less inclined to indulge my every food whim. Certainly a magazine clipping or two featuring swimsuit models would be enough to stop me from stuffing my face unnecessarily.
I have also read about keeping a food diary, which I've never attempted. It seems like it wouldn't work, but perhaps I ought to give it a shot. You do just that---write down everything you put in your mouth. I suppose with the result being that you begin to fully realize how much and what sorts of foods you are putting into your body daily. And maybe writing it down prompts you to consider whether you really need it. I can't remember for sure, but I think you're also supposed to jot down how you're feeling that day or what's been going on. Hell, maybe I should post my food diary on my blog! I can see that being a very effective diet!!! It would say:
"Saturday, August 9, 2008. Today I ate an apple and a large glass of fat-free skim milk. I wasn't really very hungry for some reason. My kids were absolute angels and took three-hour naps, and I used that time to mow the yard and wash my car. D came home from work early and loved the delicious, wholesome meal I prepared for the family (which I declined to eat because I wasn't hungry). I did 22 loads of laundry, took the dog to the vet, vacuumed and mopped my floors, had hot sex with my husband, read a novel, went to the grocery store, and ran 10 miles followed by an hour of strength training. I am so happy and fulfilled and my life is perfect! I always manage to squeeze so many productive things into my day. It's very important that I keep my mind sharp by reading and writing, but sometimes I then don't have time for my other chores. So I just pop a few pills and stay up all night. It's fabulous!
I don't know how so many moms do it and make it look so easy. I feel like a failure. This post started out about eating/gaining weight, but it's really about so many things. Isn't it funny how many thoughts and feelings are related and constantly bending into each other? How we think eating/hunger is a physiological thing, a need answered. But my brain and stomach are victims of miscommunication. My stomach's sending a message to my brain, "Feed me, feed me," but maybe the emptiness it feels isn't a hunger for food. Sadly I haven't fully realized that until now, and I don't know how to fix or change it. Maybe I'm blowing it out of proportion. I tend to over analyze sometimes.