I love coffee. I love it iced. Cold brewed. Mixed with creamy almond milk and a splash of vanilla. A squirt or two of liquid stevia. A pinch of cinnamon and a squirt of whip cream on top if I’m feeling snazzy.
You know what I love even MORE than good coffee? A good cup of coffee with a friend.
If only time and location allowed for me to sit down with every one of my readers for coffee and conversation, but…let’s face it, that’s just not happening. Sooo…I decided to start a weekly feature here on the blog called “Coffee Talk.” This is my version of grabbing a cup of coffee with you and chatting about what’s happening this week. The good, the bad and every now and again, the downright ugly.
So what’s happening this week?
Well, for starters I fell off the top step of a step ladder in my kitchen, hit my head on the cabinet door handle and landed in the ER over the weekend. As suspected, I have a concussion along with various bumps, bruises and the general feeling of having been hit by a bus (or at least a baseball bat.)
The only thing you can really do for a concussion is rest, so I took a long nap while my toddler played at grandma’s house. I am of course expected to make a full recovery, but I’m taking it easy this week.
It’s funny how it often takes getting sick or injured to force us to slow down. I have to wonder if those things would happen less often if we started routinely making time to rest and recharge instead of waiting until circumstances demanded it.
I also quit Weight Watchers this week.
I have been debating about this for a few weeks now. I thought for a while that I had developed an aversion to tracking, but it’s probably more of an aversion to honesty. If you track EVERYTHING that goes in your mouth, that means you have to come face to face with just how much (or how little) you’re actually eating.
It appears that some personality types take to tracking better than others. I am not one of those people. When I lost 70+ pounds ten years ago, I never tracked a thing. (I did eat a low glycemic diet about 90% of the time, though.)
I have tried to follow the Weight Watchers program twice since my son was born, and I hit some sort of wall after about 20 lbs. I don’t know WHY it’s so hard for me. In terms of food philosophy, I absolutely agree with the nutritional emphasis of the new SmartPoints program. The approach is more holistic now than even, and there’s a huge community waiting to offer their support.
I think it’s a great program for lots of people to lose weight and keep it off. If you follow it, it really does work and I would honestly recommend it to anyone who wants to really get a handle on your tracking!
However, something just isn’t jiving with me. I have lost about 20 lbs since January, but I’ve really just been maintaining since April. I’m sure that’s because of inconsistent tracking and binge eating. I may go back to it at some point, but for now, I think it’s most important for me to focus on treating my eating disorder.
Looking back at my own patterns of dieting and overeating, it’s clear that dieting triggers me to binge more often. I start obsessing about food, get fixated on “off limits” or “bad” foods, and spend a fortune on “clean” groceries only to binge at night. (Since we no longer keep chocolate chips in the house, there’s rarely anything “bad” to binge on anymore. So I find myself eating lowfat cheese melted on sprouted grain toast. In the middle of the night. It could be, and has been, much worse in the past, but the point is that I’m still eating when I’m not hungry.)
So what am I doing now?
A couple of months ago, we made the decision to invest in Lifestyle Transformation, an 18-month outpatient treatment program for my eating disorder and food addiction, and I am SO thankful for this program. It’s actually not a weight loss program, and doesn’t endorse a specific nutritional program. (Participants are encouraged to meet with a nutritionist and choose a plan that meets our individual needs.)
Basically, I attend a group therapy session every week, plus an individual session once a month. We’re working through a pretty amazing curriculum and I have already learned more in a month than I have in the last 10 years about my issues with food.
For the first six weeks, we’re working through these 3 hour weekly workshops and the Hubs has been able to attend those with me free of charge. It’s been great for him to share this experience with me, and he says he understands much better what I’m going through. I like the connection and dialogue it’s created between us.
We’ve still got a couple more workshops to go, and then it will just be me attending the weekly group sessions.
What I like best is that the program takes a holistic approach and encourages the daily practice of eight “Cor-Conditions” that are essential to recovery:
- Purposeful Activity
- Mindful Living
- Healthy Relationship with Food
Every night before I go to bed, I fill out one of these little cards with my meal plan for the following day plus a goal that uses each of the “Cor-Conditions.” It’s a great way to set tiny measurable goals each day, and it creates a sense of little “wins” every day.
I’m also doing a consult with a registered dietitian who can work alongside my counselor and my doctor as a part of my long-term treatment team. With Binge Eating Disorder in particular, it can be really helpful to work on a highly personalized plan.
This week I’m doing a little experiment: Instead of traditional tracking, I’m going to keep a simple journal of what I actually eat each day. No counting or obsessing over calories, macros, points, etc. Just noting what I ate and how I felt when I ate it. I’m also trying to listen to my body more and slow down while I’m eating to truly savor the experience. I’ll let you know how it goes in my Coffee Talk next week!
What’s your experience with dieting and tracking?
I’d love to hear what’s working/not working for you. Do you have a favorite app for logging your food, or do you even keep track of what you’re eating? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!