October 26, 2010

Real Change

I haven't blogged much about my journey into the world of real food. We are eating better and feel better, but I have yet to see the results I was hoping for on the scales.

I've been frustrated, to say the least. I haven't wanted to accept the fact that my commitment to change has not been as strong as it must be in order to actually see change.  I've been cooking more real food for dinner, but hitting the drive-thru at lunch about once a week. Even though I'm eating better, I'm still eating too much.  I haven't been exercising.

Why am I surprised that I haven't lost any more weight?
I'm reading Real Food Has Curves: How to Get Off Processed Food, Lose Weight, and Love What You Eat, and I highly recommend it (the authors also have a blog).  This book isn't as scientific as Real Food: What to Eat and Why (which I loved, but had so much information I just couldn't keep track of it all), but it does a great job of breaking real food down to basics.  I'm still pretty early into the book, but I've already learned that I eat so much because I'm not taking time to savor my food. I've noticed a big difference in the food I've been eating, but I still rush through it instead of taking the time to really enjoy the flavors.

I've started making a conscious effort to slow down while I eat, and it's really made a difference in how much I eat. Because I actually enjoy the food, I'm more satisfied.  When my brain tells me it wants a snack between meals, I ask myself if I'm really hungry or just used to eating between meals. I'm paying more attention to what my body actually needs instead of what I think it needs.

I'm also becoming more aware of how much I eat food that I don't really enjoy.  For example, I was rushing through my lunch hour one day and only had enough time to run by a fast food restaurant. I wasn't hungry, but I knew I wouldn't make it through the afternoon without something to eat. I got a small order of chicken nuggets (no fries).  I made myself pay attention to every bite.  When I finished them, I knew two things.  First, I was full. (before, I would've eaten them and the fries, too).  Second, chicken nuggets are tasteless and I don't like them.  At first I was upset that I'd even wasted my time, money, and calories.  Then I realized that this discovery was a learning experience.

I cleaned out our pantry.  When we first started changing the way we eat,  I said I wouldn't throw away food because it was so expensive.  I changed my mind because, quite honestly, soup from a can just isn't good enough any more.  By the time I was done, I'd thrown away quite a bit of expired food and had two shopping bags of food to donate to our food pantry.  My pantry is still plenty full, but with a jar of homemade hot cocoa mix instead packets of powder claiming to be chocolate, bags of dried beans instead of canned beans with added chemicals, and canisters of different flours instead of boxes of baking mixes.

I want a life that is full, not one that is merely filled. My choices need to reflect that - in the way I eat, the way I spend my time, the things I allow in my home (decor, entertainment, social media, to name a few) and the people in my life. ALL of it needs to have one purpose - to glorify God.

It's only then that real change begins.

(And, yes, I will be exercising!)