May 3, 2012
I'm not big on diet trends and going crazy with what I do or don't put in my body for fuel. I have a good understanding of what is and isn't good for me thanks to my three college food science and nutrition classes. To me though, it has just never been a huge priority. I like food but I don't love it. For the better part of the last decade it's actually been more of a chore to consume than enjoy.
When I had my big jaw surgery six years ago and was limited to broth, smooth shakes, and anything liquid, I admit I missed food. I even had a dream about eating some taco bell. Wow, low point in wanting something to eat. I drooled over a pizza hut commercial, which if you know me is absurd because I do NOT like pizza. It was all just so...solid. I craved solid. I remember trying to make mashed potatoes with lots of butter and milk in an attempt to make it smooth enough to go through my wires. It was a disaster that I'm sure ended in tears on my part.
While on my forced liquid diet, for 7 weeks, I ended up losing 22 pounds (14 in the first six days, I was very sick right after the surgery but I'll spare you the horrible details). I got down to 118 pounds, which at 5 foot 8 inches tall, isn't a lot. I managed to lose all the weight I gained in my first two years of college. I felt great. I had to buy new pants because mine kept falling down. It was weird. I was by no means overweight before but I was happy to have a fresh start from all the bad eating I'd done in my early college years.
So when I could finally eat normal food again did I change my diet and eat better? Ha! Of course not. I didn't go crazy though. I think it took me about four years to gain it all back, which isn't bad in my opinion. I filled out more as a person and I know I would've put some of that weight on regardless of my diet. We can't all stay at our 20-year-old shape forever, and really, who would want to?
In the next two years I managed to put on more weight. Not a ridiculous amount, but enough to make me actually feel uncomfortable at times. I grew up pretty skinny so this was so weird and annoying to me. It didn't annoy me enough for a while and I'm very good at dressing to make my body look better than it is, ha. When I went in to try on wedding dresses the girl in the shop had to go up 2 sizes from what she guessed I'd be just by looking at me.
This made me feel more comfortable in my skin and I settled that I was ok with my weight as long as I felt good. I did want to be more toned, but a number was not what I was going to live my life trying to achieve. David and I joined a gym and I set a goal at my job at the time to lose 25 pounds by Christmas. It never happened. I did enjoy going to the gym, but I enjoyed sitting at home knitting more. I also enjoyed sleeping in the morning so I never worked out then.
Then, life got busy. I was planning a wedding, stressing about a job that wasn't right for me, moving, and trying to figure out what do with myself next in life. I stopped going to the gym, though the four months I didn't work would've been the perfect time to make it a new habit.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I'd been growing discontent with how I looked and felt. After seeing pictures of myself and realizing it wasn't how I wanted to look I got really annoyed with myself. We had started going to the gym again but nothing was happening. Also, my jaw started hurting a lot again and eating was becoming a nightmare.
Last week I hit a wall. We had brisket for lunch at work and after eating it I ended up with a raging jaw/headache and felt miserable. I had a vanilla shake at dinner instead of the usual burger and fries at mighty fine. During praise band practice (where I could barely sing without wanting to cry) I made a choice. I was going to tackle both these issues at once. I decided to put myself on a semi-liquid/soft diet for a while in hopes of letting my TMJ relax and let the cartilage not have to be brutalized in the process of chewing. I had hopes that this would also help me get healthier.
David and I headed to HEB after practice and shopped for what I needed. First I knew I needed protein powder to make sure I stayed healthy. We also bought frozen berries, fresh spinach, bananas, milk, and lots of rice.
I've been very much over shakes since they were all I could eat six years ago but I stayed strong and made my first shake the next morning. It was okay. I made one for lunch too, and by the time lunch rolled around and I went to the fridge to get it...it was brown and so gross looking. Fail. Note to self: bananas don't have staying power in a shake. I continued with my morning shake to replace my usual breakfast taco and Dr Pepper. For lunches I've been eating soup, or other light but easy to consume foods.
For dinners we've switched from hamburger helper and eating out a lot to baked tilapia and chicken soup mixed with rice. Oh and water! I don't like water very much. Never have. I know it's what I need though so I've been drinking a lot of it. I've felt a bit sick sometimes because I think I'm just not used to that much water but surprisingly, I like it more now than I did a week ago.
So today, I feel better. My jaw still hurts, but I'm keeping the severe headaches away by eating lite. I still have a ways to go, but I've lost five pounds and I'm feeling better. I'm not starving myself, but I am letting myself feel hungry before I shove food in my mouth. I eat a lemon cookie when I want something sweet and I can have a dr pepper if we're out to eat, but not at home where I might accidentally drink three...oops!
Yes this is helping my general health and well-being, but I think what it's doing most in me is helping me with my self-control issues. I can know something is bad for me but consume it anyways. In this case, knowing is not half the battle, actually using the knowledge is. Sorry G.I. Joe, you were wrong.
Here's to continuing my journey into healthy eating and learning to feel great in who God has made me to be!