I’ve been feeling a bit “off” with my eating lately. Discounting the splurgeriffic vacation, I’m sort of on plan, but not 100%. (Keep in mind that my 100% means 90-95% on plan. Yes, algebra is required for The Tippy Toe Diet.)
Some days I feel like I’m a gymnast on the balance beam who lands slightly off center, wobbles a bit, and then has to go through all sorts of awkward, arm-flailing machinations to stay on the beam. She’ll still get some points, but she’s not going to win any medals.
That’s me. I’m still on the beam, but it’s not fluid or graceful. And it’s for damn sure not going to win me any medals.
On a positive note, I don’t have Tim Daggett and Andrea Joyce replaying my every move in slow motion and (over) analyzing what went wrong.
On the downside: I’ve got me for that, and I tend to be overly critical. Since that’s rarely, if ever, helpful, today I’m calling a timeout and re-centering my thoughts in a constructive way. Feel free to join me if you’re feeling a bit wobbly yourself. Or even if you’re off the beam completely and trying to suck up the courage to get back on. Ya gotta start somewhere, right? I’m starting with three simple(ish) questions:
Questions You Can Ask Yourself
1. Why is this (eating healthy, exercising, yada yada) important to me?
When I first began losing weight, I sat myself down and listed the “reasons why” taking control was important to me. Those reasons are mostly true for maintaining the loss and continuing this lifestyle, so after adding a couple of new ones (I like how I feel & I don’t want to buy new clothes), I’ve printed a new copy to keep with me to help with focus.
2. What’s going well and how do I continue?
I like to start with the positives and count even the small wins. I’m exercising regularly and vigorously an average of 40 minutes or so per day. I’m eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein in the proper portions. Yay, me!
This part is pretty easy for me to continue as it’s mostly habit. In fact, I get a tad grumpy if I stray too far from exercise and my normal diet for too long.
3. What’s not going well and how do I fix it?
In thinking it over this morning, I realized that my days are actually going really, really well…until about 9 or 10 p.m. That’s when the extra 100, 200, or 300 calories sneak out of the kitchen, hop down the hall, and propel themselves into my mouth. Or sometimes I just go in the kitchen and nibble. In either case, I’m usually staying within my calorie range or going over by 100 or so. Nothing major, but it makes me feel off-center.
Nighttime snacking has always been a slightly slippery slope for me, but I’ve managed it pretty well by planning my evening snack ahead of time (a yogurt “sundae”). Lately, though, I’ve been nibbling after the snack, and that could quickly become a problem.
I’ve pondered and pondered, and the most likely culprits are 1) anxiety, and 2) inadequate sleep. I want to nibble when I’m feeling anxious, and when I’m tired, I’m less likely to make good decisions, which makes me feel anxious. It’s an ugly little circle, isn’t it?
I know the cause of the anxiety and am working on it, and the sleep issue is part natural-rhythm and (I think) part hormone-related. I’ve never been one to sleep through the night, but waking up every 1-2 hours is unusual, even for me. To make matters worse, I’d noticed just before going on vacation that I was consistently waking up bear-level, can’t-go-back-to-sleep hungry around 2 a.m. (about 5-6 hours or so after my last meal or planned snack), which makes me think my nutrition is wacky.
So here’s my tippy-toeing plan:
1) Log my meals/snacks via sparkpeople. Maybe I’ll be able to ferret out why I’m waking up growly hungry in the wee hours.
2) Experiment with improving sleep quality, starting with shutting down the home office between 9-9:30.
And if those don’t work, I’ll try something else. The point is to do something to stay on the beam, even if it does require a bit of awkward arm waving and such.
What, if anything has you feeling wobbly? How do you regain your balance?
(Image credit: Public Domain via Pixabay)