Out of Control?

Out of Control?

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Happy New Year to you! This is my first post of 2013 and some of you may know that I have had a series of medical issues for several months. So if I have or need an excuse for not writing more…it is due to my current health struggles. None the less I had something on my heart today to process & share.

Superbowl weekend. It may be the first big “Food Holiday” of 2013 and seems to be as fierce as ever. 2 years ago on this weekend I know doubt cooked and ate my fair share of 10,000 calories or more. 2 Years ago was of course before we started on this healthy journey. I love to entertain and food holidays provide a terrific outlet for the “hostess with the most-est” in me. 1 Year ago today I would have probably been having a panic attack at facing this food holiday. 1 Year ago I would have been on this journey for about 5 months. In the early part of this journey I struggled so much when we would go to people’s homes for parties or potlucks. I struggled emotionally with feeling out of control, or at least thinking I would be out of control around such a variety of unhealthy foods. I remember a distinct time we were driving on the way to a potluck dinner and due to circumstances I don’t even remember now, I didn’t know what food would be there and anxiety overshadowed me to the point that I literally had a panic attack. My sweet husband was driving nearly oblivious to the mountain of emotions raging inside my head which provoked this intense panic. We pulled the car over and he talked me down off the cliff I had built for myself emotionally.

That seems so long ago and yet the emotions still feel very real.  The feeling of being out of control has been a theme that comes up usually around food holidays for me. Why is that? Well in a normal week I will have purchased, cooked, and eaten all foods which have been 100% in my control. So approaching an occasion in which that percentage is significantly decreased tests the limits of my restraint. My self control around enormous amounts of high calorie, low nutrition, fatty, and sugar packed foods has over and over again been the determining factor for a backslide of whatever healthy eating plan I may be trying that day. Just typing those words rings with irony in my heart, why on earth would I have put for over 20 years those types of insignificant temporal items over my own health & well being???  That sounds like a blog for another day!

Today I am facing a major food holiday. This evening I will be attending a football trivia party where each guest brings a dish. Tomorrow I will head over to my Mother in Law’s home for a dinner in which I will be bringing a few items and we will enjoy the game with our family. Today I am armed with a lot more successful experiences and a plan. At this point I have survived many major food holidays and feel confident that I will face this one head on and come out alive & well. My perspective has changed which is my biggest asset. These events are NO longer about food, the power of food has been decreased, and these events are about the people. Getting to know people, meeting new people, sharing, loving & knowing people….isn’t that why we go to these parties? Well it wasn’t why I always did in the past…I went often to gorge myself on all the food I thought was so yummy.  Now my first priority is the people!

It’s not enough to just go there and focus on people. I have to have a plan to back me up. So here’s what I’ve done.

  1. For tonight’s party I am choosing to make an awesome but healthy dip and serve it with fresh cut veggies. My own dish is within my control and I am choosing to bring something I can feel good about eating.
  2. I have eaten normally all day and will eat a small dinner before going to the party. I have learned that going to these events starving does horrible things for my restraint. Eating a small dinner still allows me to nibble on a few items but also be able to maintain my self control.
  3. Position myself away from the food. I have no idea where the food will be at this home I have never been to BUT I know that if I sit hovering over my greatest temptations I WILL eventually give in. So I will position myself near people, packed full of conversation, and not directly over the food.
  4. Deprivation kills me every time. Did you notice in my plan that I am still planning to eat while there? It is NOT realistic and it is NOT emotionally healthy to think that I am going to go to this party and not eat anything at all, drink water all night, by the end of the party I’ll be binging in the corner with the greasiest item there! No, I have to plan to eat and enjoy myself.
  5. Choose wisely. At this point in my journey I value every calorie (point) I eat. So I may fill my plate with a few options, but then if I try something I don’t like I WON’T continue to eat it. I want to enjoy the foods I really really like and still stay in moderation.  I won’t put items on my plate that aren’t interesting or appealing to me. If I do eat something that isn’t wonderful I’ll politely set it aside and throw away later.
  6. Don’t beat myself up afterward. It doesn’t do me any good if I go over the calories (points) I planned on to hammer and hammer myself that night or the next day. Each new bite is a new chance to honor God with my body. So allowing me to be renewed and refocused with that truth is really helpful.
  7. Exercise. Let’s be honest this whole weight loss thing is all just a numbers game. So fitting in some exercise before and after this food filled weekend is a perfect way to combat any weight gain.
  8. Lastly to repeat my first point – making it about the people. Laugh, enjoy friends, and enjoy the game. I am not going to get so hung up on myself that I miss the opportunity to invest in relationships I cherish so much!

So before this big food holiday this is my perspective. I hope that it helped and encouraged many of you! Looking forward to an amazing 2013 together!

9 thoughts on “Out of Control?

  1. Marjorie Klinger says:

    I have experience all of the emotions you have described above, but have not had the will power to succedd many times. I have done well often, but then when I get home, I might indulge. You are a cook, so that is a big plus to help you overcome attacks. Pray in the car going over there and I bet that will help a lot. I am sorry our family has built some of these cravings. Just like any other family short-coming, you are an overcomer. We are so proud of you. We know you will have victory tomorrow. You are an awesome woman of God. You are a woman of God. We love you and Adrian. Enjoy him and your family and the game. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXXOXO

  2. Judy Miller says:

    Jen,
    You’ve come a long, long way, and your whole, extended family is very proud of you and Adrian. Keep up the good work, and the inspirational writings. Love & hugs!

  3. Jeannette Davis says:

    You are a beautiful writer Jen! I’m so proud of your accomplishments! I know you’d have health issues while on this journey and many people would have probably fell off the wagon due to being frustrated. You keep marching right along to the beat of your own drum and you haven’t let anything get in your way. Keep up the good work. I truly enjoy reading your blogs. You really need to consider possibly writing an autobiography about your journey. I’m sure it would be on the best sellers list! Much love! 🙂

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