Anyone who knows me very well can tell you that I have the worst eating habits. I’m blessed with a high metabolism and I’ve always abused it. I know, some of you want to punch me. My metabolism has slowed down a little as I’ve gotten older and I, like most people, added a few extra pounds after having babies. I have a pretty long history of migraines and headaches. (There is a difference between them, even if my husband doesn’t understand.) I’ve always said I should try to eat better to see if I can get rid of the migraines. However, I basically live off of junk food. I never knew how to start nor did I have the motivation to do it. It’s really intimidating and hard to figure out on your own. When something is hard, I don’t normally do it unless I’m forced to. Since Quinten was born I’ve been exhausted and haven’t had much energy to do things. Two children is a lot of work. Especially when one of them has an awful sleeping record.
This isn’t a success story about healthy eating. Yet. I’d be pretty happy if it turned into one. I’d love to be one of those people who says they have so much energy after changing their diet. One of my good friends, Amanda Speese, is a health and fitness coach. I’ve been following along with her posts so I know the basics about her programs but didn’t pay a lot of attention because my body’s number one job has been to feed a baby. Since we’re down to a morning and night nursing only and I’ve stopped pumping during the day (can I get a ‘hallelujah’!), I decided I could finally focus on myself. (Nine months of pregnancy and 17 months of nursing is a long time to give up one’s body to another being!) She was doing a 5-day challenge and I decided it was what I needed to push myself into better eating habits. I won’t give away her program, but she plans the meals and snacks for 5 days and you follow it. It’s obviously a healthy, clean eating plan. Remember my eating habits? Yah, it was really, really hard. To be honest, I was super hungry all week. It was a 1200 calorie diet and I bet I’ve been eating one double that for over two years. When your body’s number one job is to feed another human, you don’t cut calories. And you’re hungry a lot. So I was eating a lot. Plus, I’ve always eaten about every two hours. (Heh, maybe that’s where Quinten gets it from.)
The meal plans focused a lot on vegetables and I ate a lot more lettuce than I normally do. I’m a fan of salads (with creamy dressings), but realized that I wasn’t eating them the right way. I was dumping some roman into a bowl and dousing it in dressing. Last week I ate cups of lettuce at a time, with broccoli and carrots and a little vinaigrette or lunch meat and carrots. After a couple of days, I realized that I could taste the lettuce and that was ok because I had other things in the salad. It was a good change for me. It gave me some ideas on how I could change my current foods and make them better for me.
One of the hardest parts was not snacking at night. I usually grab the Oreo’s and sit on the couch after the boys go to bed. I’m physically and mentally exhausted at that point and I need mindless television. I’m always hungry at that time, too. This week I used that time to prepare my meals for the next day or workout. I usually ended up on the couch, but with my water. On the really bad days, I’d grab 20 almonds to take away some of the hunger. As the week went on, I found myself on autopilot to open the pantry and grab a snack. I had to stop myself at least twice.
I had a migraine twice and a headache two other days. Since I’ve never determined what triggers them, it could have been hormones or allergies or hunger. It wasn’t water because I drank at least 9 glasses a day. The headaches really played with my mind. I used them as an excuse about why I couldn’t continue with these healthy eating habits. When I started to feel better at the end of the week (less hungry and headache free), my opinion changed. I didn’t get an abundance of energy like I hoped, but I got enough of a glimpse to realize that this could be a good thing. And that I could do it. I was forced to eat a lot of foods that I normally don’t like – eggs, cottage cheese, celery, tomatoes, tuna – and I ended up liking almost all of them. (I can only eat tomatoes in scrambled eggs. I just can’t do it in a salad.) The entire family ate the dinners and I was forced to eat a lot more vegetables than I normally eat.
Today, I took the boys grocery shopping. We went to two grocery stores and only bought two items in a box. (Granola bars for Bryan and oatmeal bars for Maximus.) Everything else was fresh. I’ve already cut up all my fruit for the week and I had a delicious and healthy lunch today. Turkey bacon and lettuce wrap with a salad. I’m tracking my foods in an app so I can track my calories. I’ve decided to increase from last week, but I’m going to try a 1500 calorie day. Focusing on healthy snacks instead of processed foods.
It’s a start and one I hope I can continue. I need to set good examples for my boys. That starts with less packages and more fresh foods! Oh yah, I also lost four pounds! 🙂