I wanted to give an update to my Aug. 23 post. So far, making myself earn my meals has been working well. I get up in the morning, try to drink water before I have my coffee, and have a healthy breakfast (whole grain cereal or fruit and eggs, for example). At work I wait until I am feeling pretty hungry and then get as healthy a lunch as I can in the cafeteria. Then, I either walk the dog or do another active task before dinner, and I make myself clean up the whole kitchen before I settle down to have dessert (yogurt or a light fudgesicle).
Now, it hasn't been working every day — one afternoon last week, the fresh blackberries I had brought for a snack turned out to have mold on one or two of them, so in a moment of insanity I got a bag of peanut M&Ms and a cereal bar from the vending machine and scarfed them down. But, for the most part, I am feeling more energetic and productive, because I am keeping myself busier with earning my next meal.
It's also helping me be more mindful of what I eat. I noticed a dramatic difference on Saturday when I had to attend two birthday parties in the same day, one in the afternoon and one that evening. Normally, parties are a recipe for nutritional disaster for me. But this time, I had a healthy breakfast that morning, then a salad for lunch and a soy-milk latte for a snack before the first party. Then, all I had was less than one bottle of Miller Lite and small piece of the birthday cake with no icing. At the second party, there was barbecue, so I had the grilled fish and veggies, a few small fried vegetarian items, a couple of beers and literally just a few sips of a vodka and Sprite.
By the end of the night I still felt energetic and not at all how I usually feel after a birthday party — bloated, stuffed and vaguely ill. When I woke up the next morning, I did have a tiny hangover, probably more from lack of sleep than anything else, but after some juice, boiled egg and fruit for breakfast, it was gone. I was so impressed with this accidental discovery that I kept talking about it to my fiancé the next day. I hope I remember this the next time a party rolls around.