Saturday, November 1, 2008

Milestones with Eating

Maybe I talk about eating way too much. It's just a reflection on my thoughts. I think about it far too often too. But I love when my thoughts are a recognition on how I've progressed -- how I've improved from one year to another, from one season to the next.

A little over a year ago, I realized that I'd succeeded on taking my first vacation without gaining weight -- well, at least since I had my last baby. Before my late-30's, I was able to maintain my weight for a few weeks of vacationing or holiday eating as long as I exercised. Since I had my last baby at 38, that's no longer been the case. In fact, I can't even go a whole weekend at home without watching what I eat without gaining weight. My body is that sensitive.

Other milestones I watch for are certain times of year when I yearn for certain foods and finally break that cycle. I used to think I needed pumpkin cheesecake on my birthday. I love cheesecake and Costco sells the Cheesecake Factory's pumpkin cheesecake in the fall just before my birthday. For years, I would buy it and would love every single bite. My family didn't eat as much of it as I did, so I'd end up eating it for a week or so afterwards. (This photo brings back memories. The cheesecake is pre-sliced at intervals on each side of the whipped cream mounds. It breaks away perfectly, which is wonderful. But I never felt wonderful AFTER eating it, just before and during).

Last year, I had a sample of the cheesecake at Costco just before my birthday. Within about 10 minutes, I had a headache and felt tired. I knew it was a sugar headache. I used to get them in the late afternoons all the time when I ate a lot of sugar. That somehow propelled me into not buying the cheesecake for my birthday (yes, I know I haven't eaten dairy for years, but I still was making these exceptions for these certain occasions). It wasn't easy. I eyed those boxes of pumpkin cheesecake for as long as Costco sold them. I even 1/2 hoped they'd clearance them out at the end of the season so I could justify a sale purchase (I do weird things like that -- used to do it with Breyer's Ice Cream way too often).

This year, I actually forgot about the cheesecake until right now. Pretty exciting!

I used to have to make goals not to eat candy before and during Halloween (and most definitely afterwards too), but this year, it wasn't a struggle at all. I don't think it was hard last year either. Refined foods -- especially in wrappers -- rarely tempt me. If Andes mints were a Halloween candy, maybe I'd think twice, but that doesn't seem to be in abundance until Christmas time.

I'm really hoping this will be the first year I make it through the holidays without losing control of my eating or without gaining weight. Last year, I did really well up until a few days before Christmas, continued on until a few days after Christmas and somehow gained 8 pounds (the national holiday weight gain average by the way!) I've had all sorts of strategies to keep me from faltering in the past. I'm hoping I will do it effortlessly this year.

I'll keep you posted as Thanksgiving and Christmas grow nearer. TTFN!

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