Hi Beadie’s readers! My name is Brandi, and I’ve been reading Beadie’s blog since it started. Beadie is actually one of the main reasons I started my blog, Bran Appetit, where I post my daily eats, recipes, and other health-related tidbits! I absolutely love her openness and creativity, so you can see why I was super excited that she asked me to do a guest post this week.
One of the biggest issues I’ve had to face in the past couple of years is finding my balance with my eating. I joined Weight Watchers in 2003 and made goal at the very end of 2004, after a bit of trial and error. Once I made Lifetime (maintained at my goal weight for 6 weeks), I, of course, assumed I knew everything and that I could just do what I wanted.
So, that’s what I did. I didn’t completely give up all the good habits I had formed or start eating all unhealthy foods, but I definitely had a little rebellion. I think I just felt some sort of entitlement – I had lost the weight, so now I deserved to have whatever I wanted, in whatever quantities I wanted, and I would be fine.
A few months later, I realized I was no longer at my goal weight. Not only that, but I had somehow formed some really bad and unhealthy habits that I did not have before I reached goal! It was almost like starting over, and it has taken me the past 2 years to get back to my personal goal and to get rid of those bad habits.
In this entire process of losing, gaining, losing and finally finding my balance, I think these are the most important things I’ve learned:
All foods have a place in my life. One bad habit I had formed was thinking of foods as “good” or “bad”, which led to this “all or nothing” attitude that was the main reason I gained some weight back. If I ate something “bad”, I would just give up on that day/week/month and eat whatever I wanted and lots of it. I didn’t pay attention to the servings sizes I knew so well or make sure I got in fruits and veggies that day. I don’t know exactly what changed my thinking, but allowing myself to eat anything and not label any foods as “bad” has really changed how I view food. I do try to eat healthy foods most of the time, but I’m not going to ignore a craving for onion rings, either.
I crave what I eat, and I don’t crave what I don’t eat. As easy as that sounds, it was hard to realize it and intentionally put it into action. I don’t try to cut out sugar completely (as you can see from all my truffle reviews!), but I noticed something interesting one day. I guess I hadn’t had much sugar in a few weeks (or at least non-natural sugar) and a coworker brought in these amazing donuts one day. I decided I wanted one, so I took one back to my office and ate it and enjoyed it. Just a few minutes later, I felt this huge craving for another – I guess this is what they call the sugar rush – it was almost ridiculous! I just had this unstoppable urge to get another, and another, and…it was all I could think about! I didn’t get one because I knew what would happen if I did, but I had never really felt that crazy rush before. It still happens every now and then if I have something that I haven’t had in a while. The quickest way to stop the intense sugar cravings? Stop feeding the sugar monster!! At least for a week or two. I’m telling you, the cravings will subside. I’ve also found that I crave healthy foods when I’m eating healthy foods. Don’t get me wrong – I still want chocolate. But the more healthy foods I eat, the more I want.
Exercising makes me treat myself better. One major thing that has changed in my life just in the past year is that I started running. I was “kind of” maintaining my weight for the 3 years before I started running, but some amazing things happened after. I started seeing myself in a different light. I saw what I could do and still couldn’t do, but I was at least out there doing something. I started being able to run a little longer, a little farther. I would bundle up and go running in the cold. Moving more made me want to eat healthier and take care of myself. I don’t think it matters what activity you do – if you’re moving and using your body, you’re more aware of everything that is going on (your body, your mind, and your spirit). A lot of those bad habits ended in this past year, and I think running played a big part for me. I couldn’t go for a good run (or even want to) if I had just eaten anything and everything I could get my hands on since I “messed up” at lunch. My views about my food, my self, my habits, and my motivations have changed and all for the better.
It definitely has not been easy, and there have been many times when I just wanted to give up. But I’m the only one that can take care of me. I realized that if I give up on this, there’s no hope. I want to have a long, healthy, happy life – but I have to work for it and sweat for it because no one else can do it for me.
I can’t say that I have this balance thing figured out completely, but I try. Every day is a new chance to find it. Some days will look completely different than the day before – but don’t worry! It’ll all balance out.
If you have any questions, please email me at branappetit [at] gmail dot com or visit my blog and leave me a comment! And thanks for reading!
Thanks so much for letting me do a guest post, Beadie!
Hi Guys, it’s me, Beadie! I hope that you enjoyed Brandi’s guest post! I wanted to remind you one last time that tonight is the deadline to get your BSI entry in. Remember, in order to be entered, you have to email me with a link to your blog post that has the recipe. All the entries so far look great, not sure how I am going to choose!
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