Shots out to Aunt Lee

Here is a hideous photograph of me that was taken by a professional “photographer” at work recently. I say “professional” because hi, could I look more tense and ill at ease? Isn’t it part of your job to get a relaxed and friendly looking picture out of your subject, even a recalcitrant and uncomfortable one such as myself? Regardless, this morning I was just wishing that someone at work would just freaking tell me how skinny I am getting, even though I know that is superficial and bad and lame and I must love myself blah blah blah, I just wanted to hear it, ok? I wanted someone to just give in and say “damn, girl, you sure are skinny now!” Was that too much to ask? Perhaps, but just as I was wishing this clearly futile wish someone awesome told me that she could really tell I was running alot more. I translated this in my head to “Damn, girl, you sure are looking skinny.” and I was happy. And then when this larger than life pic of me was projected across the whiteboard in an all staff conference, for the first time, in, uh, forever, I thought, wow, I’m skinny now. I might not be hot, I might look pissed off and uncomfortable, but I do not have to feel ashamed, in this moment, of being fat. It was really, um, amazing. I felt free.

I don’t know what my problem is. I’m driving myself nuts craving baked goods. Currently I’m obsessing about chocolate cheesecake, pumpkin chocolate spice cupcakes, chocolate muffins, brownies, and blueberry muffins. The really scary thing is that it isn’t even close to moon time, so I can’t blame that. It must be the fall weather.

I’m not sure how to cope with this. It’s driving me nuts because I can’t stop thinking about food. I think about food and what I can’t eat from about 3 in the afternoon until the time I go to bed at night, at 11 pm. Dinner doesn’t alleviate my obsessions, because I don’t want to eat chicken and salad and green beans. I want to eat chocolate pumpkin cupcakes!

What I’m going to try to do is to really think it through. To plan a realistic approach. To be brutally honest with myself and what the consequences of letting myself fuck up would be. For example, I’m not making cheesecake because it’s expensive and I don’t even like cheesecake that much. I’ll make pumpkin spice muffins for our Halloween party, next month. I won’t make brownies tonight because I wouldn’t trust myself around a pan of brownies right now. I really really really want to lose this week. I need to be honest with myself and acknowledge that making brownies right now means I probably wouldn’t have a loss on Friday.

What I will do is make fat free blueberry muffins for my office on Wednesday. I might make pumpkin muffins instead. And I’ll eat one or two with some nice caffeine free tea and try to move on.

Depending on how my knees feel, I might try to do other forms of cardio on Monday and Friday. Right now I am running five days a week. So I only have two break days, and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be doing NOTHING on those days, or if I should be doing other exercise. I suppose weight lifting couldn’t hurt. It’s really hard to eat only 20 pts on the two days I don’t get activity points, I’ll tell you that.

Off to move the weightlifting DVD to the top of my Netflix queue…

100 Diet Tips – Or Miss E needs to eat more veggies

Below are 100 diet tips from here:
http://www.prevention.com/article/0,5778,s1-4-88-279-2208-1-P,00.html

They’re ok. A bit repetitive. A lot of them I already do.
I added my comments below each one.
Basically I need to eat more fruits and veggies. Still.
That’s really hard to do here. But I shall rededicate myself!

I Can Only Handle One Diet Change Right Now. What Should I Do?
1. Add just one fruit or veggie serving daily. Get comfortable with that, then add an extra serving until you reach 8 to 10 a day.

I definitely need to do better with this.

2. Eat at least two servings of a fruit or veggie at every meal.

We’re up to one at dinner, sometimes two. And fruit with breakfast. But I need to do better at lunch.
I think I could modify this to: include a fruit or veg with every meal, and try for two.

3. Resolve never to supersize your food portions–unless you want to supersize your clothes.
I’ve got this covered.

4. Make eating purposeful, not mindless. Whenever you put food in your mouth, peel it, unwrap it, plate it, and sit. Engage all of the senses in the pleasure of nourishing your body.
I do this most of the time.

5. Start eating a big breakfast. It helps you eat fewer total calories throughout the day.
Hmmm. I don’t do this, but my eating (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner) works for me.

6. Make sure your plate is half veggies and/or fruit at both lunch and dinner.
I try to do this at dinner. Need to do more at lunch.

Are there Any Easy Tricks to Help Me Cut Calories?
7. Eating out? Halve it, and bag the rest. A typical restaurant entree has 1,000 to 2,000 calories, not even counting the bread, appetizer, beverage, and dessert.
I almost always eat half or less, and then give the other half to Mr. E

8. When dining out, make it automatic: Order one dessert to share.
I almost never order dessert anyway. Usually I’ll eat less dinner and then have dessert, sometimes shared. My rule is that I can only order dessert if I’m not full from dinner.

9. Use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate.
I do this for snacks, not for dinner. I need room for all my veggies!

10. See what you eat. Plate your food instead of eating out of the jar or bag.
I try to do this. When I don’t it’s a disaster.

11. Eat the low-cal items on your plate first, then graduate. Start with salads, veggies, and broth soups, and eat meats and starches last. By the time you get to them, you’ll be full enough to be content with smaller portions of the high-calorie choices.
I try to do this also. It helps if you have the veggie when the rest of dinner is still cooking. That makes you more hungry for the only option you have (the veggie)

12. Instead of whole milk, switch to 1 percent. If you drink one 8-oz glass a day, you’ll lose 5 lb in a year.
Done.

13. Juice has as many calories, ounce for ounce, as soda. Set a limit of one 8-oz glass of fruit juice a day.
I never drink juice. I don’t drink calories. (See #14)

14. Get calories from foods you chew, not beverages. Have fresh fruit instead of fruit juice.

15. Keep a food journal. It really works wonders.
Done – online (WW)

16. Follow the Chinese saying: “Eat until you are eight-tenths full.”
I try to do this, but I often get hungry right away unless I make myself eat until full. But not gross full. Just full.

17. Use mustard instead of mayo.
I don’t really use either that much. I never order mayo out on sandwiches, but I use rf mayo at home sometimes.

18. Eat more soup. The noncreamy ones are filling but low-cal.
Done.

19. Cut back on or cut out caloric drinks such as soda, sweet tea, lemonade, etc. People have lost weight by making just this one change. If you have a 20-oz bottle of Coca-Cola every day, switch to Diet Coke. You should lose 25 lb in a year.
Done

20. Take your lunch to work.
Done – except for Wednesdays.

21. Sit when you eat.
I try to do this.

22. Dilute juice with water.
Ok, this tip is getting annoying. I DON’T DRINK JUICE.

23. Have mostly veggies for lunch.
I won’t be full – so I can have some veggies, but this won’t hold me. I have to have the protein.

24. Eat at home.
Done

25. Limit alcohol to weekends.
Done

How Can I Eat More Veggies?
26. Have a V8 or tomato juice instead of a Diet Coke at 3 pm.
Again, I don’t drink calories ever, so no.

27. Doctor your veggies to make them delicious: Dribble maple syrup over carrots, and sprinkle chopped nuts on green beans.
I sort of do this. I don’t like to add a lot of calories to my veggies.

28. Mix three different cans of beans and some diet Italian dressing. Eat this three-bean salad all week.
I buy this in a can, but also, beans and I are not really friends.

29. Don’t forget that vegetable soup counts as a vegetable.
Done

30. Rediscover the sweet potato.
Done

31. Use prebagged baby spinach everywhere: as “lettuce” in sandwiches, heated in soups, wilted in hot pasta, and added to salads.
I do this sometimes, but it’s not my fave. It makes me feel oddly ill sometimes. I once ate it and got sick afterwards and ever since then it’s iffy for me and the fresh spinach.

32. Spend the extra few dollars to buy vegetables that are already washed and cut up.
Done

33. Really hate veggies? Relax. If you love fruits, eat plenty of them; they are just as healthy (especially colorful ones such as oranges, mangoes, and melons).
Done

34. Keep seven bags of your favorite frozen vegetables on hand. Mix any combination, microwave, and top with your favorite low-fat dressing. Enjoy 3 to 4 cups a day. Makes a great quick dinner.
Ick, but ok, I do buy frozen veggies.

Can You Give Me a Mantra that will Help Me Stick to My Diet?
35. “The best portion of high-calorie foods is the smallest one. The best portion of vegetables is the largest one. Period.”
Done

36. “I’ll ride the wave. My cravings will disappear after 10 minutes if I turn my attention elsewhere.”
This doesn’t work for me, but I will wait out a crave, and then give myself one “real” version of it when I have the “room” in my diet. For example, I’ll have a brownie craving for three weeks and then get one at the Borders Café and eat half.

37. “I want to be around to see my grandchildren, so I can forgo a cookie now.”
This confuses me, but ok.

38. “I am a work in progress.”
Yeah, I don’t know about this one. I don’t want to always feel like I have something else to fix.

39. “It’s more stressful to continue being fat than to stop overeating.”
Ok, weird, in my opinion, but maybe that is because I am trying to lose my last ten pounds. Maybe for me it’s “This cookie isn’t going to help me with my goal”.

I Eat Healthy, but I’m Overweight. What Mistakes Could I Be Making without Realizing It?
40. Skipping meals. Many healthy eaters “diet by day and binge by night.”
I don’t eat after eight.

41. Don’t “graze” yourself fat. You can easily munch 600 calories of pretzels or cereal without realizing it.
I have a hard time with this but the regimented snacks help.

42. Eating pasta like crazy. A serving of pasta is 1 cup, but some people routinely eat 4 cups.
Done

43. Eating supersize bagels of 400 to 500 calories for snacks.
Done

44. Ignoring “Serving Size” on the Nutrition Facts panel.
Done

45. Snacking on bowls of nuts. Nuts are healthy but dense with calories. Put those bowls away, and use nuts as a garnish instead of a snack.
Done (I measure and count nuts)

46. Thinking all energy bars and fruit smoothies are low-cal.
Done

What Can I Eat for a Healthy Low-Cal Dinner if I Don’t Want to Cook?
47. A smoothie made with fat-free milk, frozen fruit, and wheat germ.
Ick – no thanks. And again, I don’t drink calories.

48. The smallest fast-food burger (with mustard and ketchup, not mayo) and a no-cal beverage. Then at home, have an apple or baby carrots.
Yeah, I do this. Sometimes you just want a mcdonald’s hamburger.

49. A peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread with a glass of 1 percent milk and an apple.
Or I’ll have half a pb and j. Yum.

50. Precooked chicken strips and microwaved frozen broccoli topped with Parmesan cheese.
Ok, ick, but whatever.

51. A healthy frozen entree with a salad and a glass of 1 percent milk.
For lunch this works well. I will add veggies to a Lean Cuisine if I can.

52. Scramble eggs in a nonstick skillet. Pop some asparagus in the microwave, and add whole wheat toast. If your cholesterol levels are normal, you can have seven eggs a week!
I make egg white omelets with peppers and then low fat cheese and whole wheat toast. Yum.

53. A bag of frozen vegetables heated in the microwave, topped with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts.
Again, ick

54. Prebagged salad topped with canned tuna, grape tomatoes, shredded reduced-fat cheese, and low-cal Italian dressing.
Hmm, sounds gross, but I could eat more tuna with veggies, or hummus with veggies, on pitas.

55. Keep lean sandwich fixings on hand: whole wheat bread, sliced turkey, reduced-fat cheese, tomatoes, mustard with horseradish.
We have super gross lunchmeat here, but we try. The rest of this we have, yes

56. Heat up a can of good soup.
Ok, done

57. Cereal, fruit, and fat-free milk makes a good meal anytime.
Done

58. Try a veggie sandwich from Subway.
Done, gotta get the roast beef, way more filling and lasting

59. Precut fruit for a salad and add yogurt.
Do, and also I add granola

What’s Your Best Advice for Avoiding those Extra Holiday Pounds?
60. Don’t tell yourself, “It’s okay, it’s the holidays.” That opens the door to 6 weeks of splurging.
Will try this year. Last year, not so great.
But this year I have my new “don’t eat to make it better” life philosophy.

61. Remember, EAT before you meet. Have this small meal before you go to any parties: a hardboiled Egg, Apple, and a Thirst quencher (water, seltzer, diet soda, tea).
Done. And also, don’t break the seal.

62. As obvious as it sounds, don’t stand near the food at parties. Make the effort, and you’ll find you eat less.
Done.

63. At a buffet? Eating a little of everything guarantees high calories. Decide on three or four things, only one of which is high in calories. Save that for last so there’s less chance of overeating.
I would just probably not eat. Or eat veggies and fruit only, and only one plate, and then drink a lot of water.

64. For the duration of the holidays, wear your snuggest clothes that don’t allow much room for expansion. Wearing sweats is out until January.
Good idea! Will do. I try to do this all the time anyway. My clothes give me good indicators of my progress.

65. Give it away! After company leaves, give away leftover food to neighbors, doormen, or delivery people, or take it to work the next day.
Done

66. Walk around the mall three times before you start shopping.
Well, I mainly window shop anyway, and this seems like a waste of time, but maybe.

67. Make exercise a nonnegotiable priority.
Done.

68. Dance to music with your family in your home. One dietitian reported that when she asks her patients to do this, initially they just smile, but once they’ve done it, they say it is one of the easiest ways to involve the whole family in exercise.
Done – Gravey loves to dance to Shakira.

How Can I Control a Raging Sweet Tooth?
69. Once in a while, have a lean, mean salad for lunch or dinner, and save the meal’s calories for a full dessert.
Done

70. Are you the kind of person who does better if you make up your mind to do without sweets and just not have them around? Or are you going to do better if you have a limited amount of sweets every day? One RD reported that most of her clients pick the latter and find they can avoid bingeing after a few days.
Done – no sweets period works best for me.

71. If your family thinks they need a very sweet treat every night, try to strike a balance between offering healthy choices but allowing them some “free will.” Compromise with low-fat ice cream and fruit, or sometimes just fruit with a dollop of whipped cream.
Too bad for them. Erik eats chips, that’s cool with me.

72. Try 2 weeks without sweets. It’s amazing how your cravings vanish.
I’ve got to get back on this wagon.

73. Eat more fruit. A person who gets enough fruit in his diet doesn’t have a raging sweet tooth.
I need to eat more fruit, yes.

74. Eat your sweets, just eat them smart! Carve out about 150 calories per day for your favorite sweet. That amounts to about an ounce of chocolate, half a modest slice of cake, or 1/2 cup of regular ice cream.
If I have the calories, and a craving, I will eat a little something, yes.

75. Try these smart little sweets: sugar-free hot cocoa, frozen red grapes, fudgsicles, sugar-free gum, Nutri-Grain chocolate fudge twists, Tootsie Rolls, and hard candy.
Yeah, not a fan of this suggestion. I gotta have a tiny bit of the real stuff or nothing.

How Can I Conquer My Downfall: Bingeing at Night?
76. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The large majority of people who struggle with night eating are those who skip meals or don’t eat balanced meals during the day. This is a major setup for overeating at night.
Done

77. Eat your evening meal in the kitchen or dining room, sitting down at the table.
Done

78. Drink cold unsweetened raspberry tea. It tastes great and keeps your mouth busy.
Water, but ok.

79. Change your nighttime schedule. It will take effort, but it will pay off. You need something that will occupy your mind and hands.
Done – but coming up on fall, we need to watch less tv. Maybe we can play more tennis?

80. If you’re eating at night due to emotions, you need to focus on getting in touch with what’s going on and taking care of yourself in a way that really works. Find a nonfood method of coping with your stress.Need to do. And I need a winter hobby. Crafting here I come.

81. Put a sign on the kitchen and refrigerator doors: “Closed after Dinner.”
Ok, that’s just weird.

82. Brush your teeth right after dinner to remind you: No more food.
That’s a good one.

83. Eat without engaging in any other simultaneous activity. No reading, watching TV, or sitting at the computer.
I try to do this all the time, it’s hard sometimes. But most the time I follow this.

84. Eating late at night won’t itself cause weight gain. It’s how many calories–not when you eat them–that counts.
I don’t believe this, but ok. 8 is still my cut off.

How Can I Reap Added Health Benefits from My Dieting?
85. Fat-free isn’t always your best bet. Research has found that none of the lycopene or alpha- or beta-carotene that fight cancer and heart disease is absorbed from salads with fat-free dressing. Only slightly more is absorbed with reduced-fat dressing; the most is absorbed with full-fat dressing. But remember, use your dressing in moderate amounts.
Done

86. Skipping breakfast will leave you tired and craving naughty foods by midmorning. To fill up healthfully and tastefully, try this sweet, fruity breakfast full of antioxidants. In a blender, process 1 c nonfat plain or vanilla yogurt, 1 1/3 c frozen strawberries (no added sugar), 1 peeled kiwi, and 1 peeled banana. Pulse until mixture is milkshake consistency. Makes one 2-cup serving; 348 calories and 1.5 fat grams.
Done – I always eat breakfast.

87. If you’re famished by 4 p.m. and have no alternative but an office vending machine, reach for the nuts–. The same goes if your only choices are what’s available in the hotel minibar.
Done

88. Next time you’re feeling wiped out in late afternoon, forgo that cup of coffee and reach for a cup of yogurt instead. The combination of protein, carbohydrate, and fat in an 8-ounce serving of low-fat yogurt will give you a sense of fullness and well-being that coffee can’t match, as well as some vital nutrients. If you haven’t eaten in 3 to 4 hours, your blood glucose levels are probably dropping, so eating a small amount of nutrient-rich food will give your brain and your body a boost.
Done

89. Making just a few changes to your pantry shelves can get you a lot closer to your weight loss goals. Here’s what to do: If you use corn and peanut oil, replace it with olive oil. Same goes for breads–go for whole wheat. Trade in those fatty cold cuts like salami and bologna and replace them canned tuna, sliced turkey breast, and lean roast beef. Change from drinking whole milk to fat-free milk or low-fat soy milk. This is hard for a lot of people so try transitioning down to 2 percent and then 1 percent before you go fat-free.
Done

90. Nothing’s less appetizing than a crisper drawer full of mushy vegetables. Frozen vegetables store much better, plus they may have greater nutritional value than fresh. Food suppliers typically freeze veggies just a few hours after harvest, locking in the nutrients. Fresh veggies, on the other hand, often spend days in the back of a truck before they reach your supermarket.
Done

91. Worried about the trans-fat content in your peanut butter? Good news: In a test done on Skippy, JIF, Peter Pan, and a supermarket brand, the levels of trans fats per 2-tablespoon serving were far lower than 0.5 gram–low enough that under proposed laws, the brands can legally claim zero trans fats on the label. They also contained only 1 gram more sugar than natural brands–not a significant difference.
Done

Eating Less Isn’t Enough–What Exercising Tips Will Help Me Shed Pounds?
92. Overeating is not the result of exercise. Vigorous exercise won’t stimulate you to overeat. It’s just the opposite. Exercise at any level helps curb your appetite immediately following the workout.
Done – and true.

93. When you’re exercising, you shouldn’t wait for thirst to strike before you take a drink. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Try this: Drink at least 16 ounces of water, sports drinks, or juices two hours before you exercise. Then drink 8 ounces an hour before and another 4 to 8 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout. Finish with at least 16 ounces after you’re done exercising.
Done

94. Tune in to an audio book while you walk. It’ll keep you going longer and looking forward to the next walk–and the next chapter! Check your local library for a great selection. Look for a whodunit; you might walk so far you’ll need to take a cab home!
Boring, but I do watch tv. I should look into audiobooks. Or I can download TAL.

95. Think yoga’s too serene to burn calories? Think again. You can burn 250 to 350 calories during an hour-long class (that’s as much as you’d burn from an hour of walking)! Plus, you’ll improve muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance.
Eh. Maybe sometimes. But not enough cardio for me, personally.

96. Drinking too few can hamper your weight loss efforts. That’s because dehydration can slow your metabolism by 3 percent, or about 45 fewer calories burned a day, which in a year could mean weighing 5 pounds more. The key to water isn’t how much you drink, it’s how frequently you drink it. Small amounts sipped often work better than 8 ounces gulped down at once.
Done

How Can I Manage My Emotional Eating and Get the Support I Need?
97. A registered dietitian (RD) can help you find healthy ways to manage your weight with food. To find one in your area who consults with private clients call (800) 366-1655.
Eh

98. The best place to drop pounds may be your own house of worship. Researchers set up healthy eating and exercise programs in 16 Baltimore churches. More than 500 women participated and after a year the most successful lost an average of 20 lb. Weight loss programs based on faith are so successful because there’s a built-in community component that people can feel comfortable with.
Eh, no thanks

99. Here’s another reason to keep level-headed all the time: Pennsylvania State University research has found that women less able to cope with stress–shown by blood pressure and heart rate elevations–ate twice as many fatty snacks as stress-resistant women did, even after the stress stopped (in this case, 25 minutes of periodic jackhammer-level noise and an unsolvable maze).
Done

100. Sitting at a computer may help you slim down. When researchers at Brown University School of Medicine put 92 people on online weight loss programs for a year, those who received weekly e-mail counseling shed 5 1/2 more pounds than those who got none. Counselors provided weekly feedback on diet and exercise logs, answered questions, and cheered them on. Most major online diet programs offer many of these features.
Done

Is it neurotic…

to add something you’ve already done to your “To Do” list, just so you can cross it off?
Just checking.

VooDoo

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh.
“What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
“It’s the same thing,” he said.

AA Milne, Winnie the Pooh

I always thought I ate because I loved food, and because when I got bored, food was my entertainment. Duh! Doesn’t everyone love food? I knew I didn’t need to do a lot of psychological work in this area. After all, I already had this problem solved. I was a bored eater. I just needed a hobby or something to keep my hands busy so they didn’t have time to shove Doritos in my mouth. I definitely did NOT need to do a lot of work thinking about what was wrong in my head that made me eat because I had it all figured out already.

Looking back I’d tell anyone who tells me they eat because they like food or food is love or they eat when they get bored that they’re just bullshitting themselves with easy answers, because there’s a simple easy fast answer, and underneath that bullshit fake answer is the REAL answer.

My real answer came to me after I’d already done a lot of the work on the outside of me. I was well into running and not watching so much tv and not spending all my weekends on the couch. I knew how many pts were in 22 peanuts and what kind of oatmeal had the most fiber and would make me the most full. I’d given away my size 12 jeans and was wondering if my winter pants were going to fit. And I still thought of myself as a bored eater who needed distraction from eating if I had any chance of losing the last 20 pounds to make it to my goal.

But that was a lie I was telling myself so I didn’t have to change anything else. I didn’t want to get too close to the pretend world I was living in inside my head. That seemed like SO much work, to figure out what was really wrong, why I was really fat.

But one night I was watching a travel show on PBS, and they were visiting New Orleans. Somewhere I have never been but always wanted to go. The host went to the bayou and interviewed an old Creole woman about voodoo. She explained that voodoo was actually misinterpreted all the time, and it wasn’t in fact about sticking pins in a doll to try to cause someone else pain. It was, in fact, simply a way of identifying your own issues, the things that other people did that bothered YOU, because, after all, and here she paused, “YOU CAN ONLY EVER CHANGE YOUR SELF.” That moment, that sentence, that idea, pretty much changed everything in my world for me. In a split second, I realized what a complete waste of time my control freak existence had become. Why why why was I spending so much time worrying about everyone else all the time? Why not just worry about me? After all, you can only ever change yourself.

I am the ultimate control freak. I worry all the time about what people might do or say or what someone might try to make me do. It’s really who I am. I never ever thought before that this might be a fruitless endeavor. That I might be wasting my time trying to make other people do what I want. And honestly, when I began trying to change myself, that is when the real change in my life began, but it didn’t happen overnight. And this was not the end of the lesson.

When times got tough for me, I reverted back to trying to make other people do what I wanted them to do. I began to worry again about how someone else would screw everything up for me. I freaked out whenever I thought someone might try to make me do something I didn’t want to do. Sometimes I remembered my new mantra (You can only ever change yourself), sometimes I didn’t. But mostly, I did. And the more I focused on changing myself, the more I felt like I was the one in control. See what I did there? I shifted the control. I couldn’t control other people. Instead, I’d control me. As long as someone was in control, and that someone was me, I felt ok.

One night after dinner, I was talking to Mr. E about a trip that I was about to take that I knew was going to be really stressful for me. It was going to be a lot of family time. This particular group of people is a group that I don’t get a long with all the time. We’re all really bossy and we like to get our own way. And travel is really stressful for me anyway. I thought this would be a great time to try out my new way of thinking in a practical setting. I kept saying over and over to Mr. E “How can I make sure I have a good time? What can I do to make sure it’s a fun non stressful trip for me? How can I ensure that it’s a good trip for me?”

And then, something snapped.

And I realized. I didn’t have to have a good trip. It wasn’t about me. I was going on this trip because my mom and my sister wanted me there. And I might not have a good time. And that was ok. I would have a good time, some other time, during me time. Mr. E and I would have fun some other time. This particular family trip wasn’t about my good time. It was about doing something nice for someone else, so that they could have a good time. I might have to do some stuff I didn’t want to do. I might not have a good time. And that was OK.

Wow.

Something was lifted off me in that moment. I finally figured it out. I didn’t need to control my mom to make sure I had fun. I didn’t need to control my sister to make sure I had fun. I didn’t need to control me to make sure I had fun, and I didn’t need to control the food I ate that weekend to make sure I had fun. I could just not have fun.

So that’s my reason, right there. I used food as a safety net, to pull a good time out of times that weren’t so good. I craved a fancy breakfast when I was traveling because I thought I was owed a fantastic experience every time I traveled, because I didn’t have fun when I traveled and life owed me fun, dammit! I needed brownies to redeem disappointing family vacations, and I ate chocolate donuts in the car over Christmas break at my mom’s because I wanted something to make it better and I couldn’t do it myself so maybe the donuts could.

The real secret here? That weekend I was so nervous about? I ate oatmeal for breakfast and salad for dinner, and I did a bunch of stuff I didn’t want to do, and I didn’t tell anyone what to do or try to make anyone do what I wanted them to do. And I had a really really really good time.