Food Psych

I recently started listening to a podcast called Food Psych. I heard about it from someone on Twitter and decided to check it out. It’s about intuitive eating, breaking out of diet culture, eating disorder recovery and Healthy at Every Size.

I’ve listened to about 10 episodes so far. They are long, a little over an hour or so. Each episode starts with a Q&A and then the rest of the episode is an interview with someone new each week, depending on the topic.

I am finding it very informative and interesting.

I learned that bulimia isn’t always about throwing up after eating. It can also mean a binge and then a strict restriction period to “make up for” the binge. I did not know that.

I also learned about orthorexia.

It was interesting to hear this term and learn more about it. Reflecting on my time blogging and reading “Healthy Living Blogs” for almost a decade now, I can see clearly that that whole “thing” was probably orthorexia. Focusing on diet culture, weight loss, over-exercising, being rigid about workout schedules and only eating “healthy foods.” There was a blogger that put a carrot in a hot dog bun instead of eating a hot dog, and a bunch of other truly bizarre (and disordered) things.

I was definitely part of this culture. It makes me think long and hard about my own journey. The podcast talks about how 90% of people who lose weight cannot keep it off. I guess I fall into this category? I lost 110 pounds and kept it off for over 10 years. I think that is pretty commendable. But at the same time, I maintained my weight by strict workout schedules and very low calorie intake. I don’t know that I fall into the eating disorder category per se, but definitely the diet culture category.

Something that happened recently: Logan has been telling me repeatedly lately that he’s hungry. This is after a meal, he had plenty of food during the meal. Michael and I have questioned if he was hungry or bored. We offer “you can have applesauce or a banana or some carrots” and of course he says no. He wants the crackers or granola bar.

This has been very triggering to me. First, I remember being a kid and wanting a snack and my mom would offer fruit or vegetables only. I grew up in a very strict food house, in the 90’s when it was the all low-fat/non-fat/no-sugar craze. So we didn’t get “treats” which lead to me bingeing later.

So hearing my son tell me he’s hungry and he wants to have a sweet treat, is triggering. Michael and I have been very conscious about letting him be intuitive, not being strict with food. We don’t want him to grow up with body issues/food issues etc. I especially don’t want that because I know how it feels and what it leads to.

But here I am, Saturday afternoon when Logan has had some crackers and raisins as a snack (with watered down apple juice to drink) and he’s whining that he’s hungry and I feel MY food issues pop up and I am mixed: do I restrict him? Do I give in and potentially create not healthy eating habits?

Boys can have eating disorders, too. It’s not just girls, even if it USUALLY is girls. I don’t want Logan to grow up like I did. I don’t want him to have body shame, or become obese, etc. It’s a hard balance for me, especially since I am still trying to come to terms with my own food issues.

At one of Logan’s recent “well baby” check up appointments with his doctor, whom I REALLY liked, gave me pause. She weighed him and stuff and suggested we “monitor” his weight. I was flabbergasted. Logan has been in the 97% percentile for height his entire life. 95% sure he will be a very tall boy (my brother is 6’6) because there are a lot of tall men in both sides of the family. His weight was around the 50% percentile, as it has been his whole life as well. I didn’t question the doctor, partly because I was so surprised she even mentioned my toddler’s weight. But I left feeling like “WTF”. Logan is tall and skinny as a rail. His clothes in his size are always a little too big.

This was the first experience as a parent of “Body shaming” my kid. It stuck with me for months. And listening to Food Psych Podcast, I am hearing in these interviews of people who had their body and food issues start at a VERY young age. Like ME. I was 9 when I suddenly realized there was something “Wrong” with my body. (I was not fat in anyway, but I THOUGHT I was.)

I’m working through a lot of things right now, thinking about stuff. But I wanted to pass on the info about the podcast because I am really enjoying it and I think a lot of people will too.

Reset

I stopped counting my calories when Logan was born. I had other priorities at the time and honestly I just needed a break. Plus, my schedule was all over the place. I wasn’t really eating meals, or preparing food for myself. I just ate whatever people put in front of me, gratefully! It was a nice break mentally. I focused on eating enough food to not feel starving all the time (which was hard–I think Logan would go through growth spurts because I’d have days where I just could not eat enough food to feel satisfied!).

But a little over three weeks later and it was time to get back into a routine. After the fog of the early days cleared and Michael went back to work, I was starting to feel more myself again and I could also see myself getting into some bad habits. I needed structure again. As much as I could get, anyways.

So I started counting my calories again. In some ways it was kind of a bummer to be back to doing it after a nice little break; but overall it was also comforting and familiar to be sort of “back to normal.”

I also talked to my midwife about doing some light exercise again. I didn’t really want to wait until my 6 week postpartum appointment because honestly at 3 weeks I was feeling a lot better. She said no swimming yet (which I kind of guessed) but said I could do some light, easy exercise like the elliptical, walking, and yoga. She said if I started having postpartum symptoms come back then I needed to take a break or back off. Fair enough! I was going to listen to my body and see how I felt.

I need to get rid of some of the bad habits I let slide back into my life. Drinking diet soda is one of them. I did really well and pretty much gave it up for my entire pregnancy. It wasn’t like I drank a ton before I got pregnant but I was starting to get into the bad habit of having one every day. And honestly diet soda doesn’t make me feel great and makes me crave sweets. I started drinking it again recently and found that I was back to drinking it every day, craving soda and also eating more junk food as a result. No more! Back to sparkling water.

Also, when I was pregnant I craved orange juice like mad. Like had I not reigned it in and controlled myself I could have drank an entire gallon in two days. Now? That craving for orange juice has diminished so I’ve stopped buying it. While I enjoyed drinking it, I don’t need the calories.

I’m trying to make better choices with my food, especially my snacks. Some days it’s hard, especially if Logan is fussy and I can’t put him down to fix something. I need quick and easy food that can be eaten one-handed. I’m trying to get back to focusing on fruit and protein for snacks instead of convenient stuff like protein bars and granola bars.

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I do pretty well with breakfast. Most days Michael helps out and makes me breakfast before he leaves for work. Days he can’t I have oatmeal or I try and make my own eggs. Some days when Logan is super fussy it’s plain Greek Yogurt with fruit gulped down!

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I intend on blogging my weight loss efforts in the future, but right now losing weight isn’t really on my mind. I have days where I feel really good about my body–even though I am 20 pounds over what I was a year ago–and then there are days where I just don’t feel like myself. I miss being active. I’m kind of going stir crazy in the house and would like to get off the couch. Some days it just isn’t happening (like the other day when Logan decided he was not going to nap at all and was fussy and cranky and nothing would soothe him but me cuddling him on the couch).

This won’t become a “mommy blog” per se, but this blog has always kind of been more about just my life and balancing fitness and eating healthy with indulging and living life like a normal person. My intent going forward is to blog about that–balancing life with a newborn, trying to find time to work out and to lose the baby weight– but that isn’t my priority right now. The first step for now is getting back to being accountable (counting my calories) and getting off the couch and back in the gym (when I can).

So I’m counting calories — CHECK!

Now the fitness part!

After the doctor gave me the green light to give it a try, I decided to go to the gym and try out the elliptical. I have to admit, it was kind of hard! After nearly a month off, I definitely felt out of shape. I was winded walking up the stairs (much like I was when I was pregnant), I was slow and had to keep the resistance down but I was able to do it and that felt great!!

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None of my clothes fit really well right now (I think I need to buy some new workout clothes–especially a new sports bra), but I got out there and did about 2.8 miles on the elliptical, around 35 minutes total and then called it good. I was starting to get tired and I suddenly felt REALLY HUNGRY. Like starving. So I headed home and called my first time back a success! (And then took a nap!)

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The next day was really gorgeous out! We planned on going for an urban “hike” in a park but shit went sideways and we never got to do that. 🙁 Everything kind of went wrong (including our garage door breaking) so instead I took Logan for a long walk around the neighborhood. It was something!

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We ended up walking a little bit further than planned but it felt nice to move and be outside in the sunshine and warm weather. Plus, our neighborhood is really hilly so that burned some calories.

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Since our family hike was kind of a bust, we decided to go to a nearby park for a picnic lunch to try and salvage the day. Michael got us a sandwich from Subway and then we took a little walk around the park. It sort of made up for the catastrophes of the morning!

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Sunday Michael went for a run while I fed the baby and then pumped and then I got to go to the gym for a quickie elliptical workout. It was MUCH easier this time around. I don’t know if I got my stamina back already or if having a decent night of sleep did the trick but it was a good workout.

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After that my cousin and a friend came over to make us brunch! It was so sweet of them! They brought all the ingredients and made us chilaquiles, which I’d never heard of before but might be my new favorite breakfast. It was absolutely delicious!

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And of course, mimosas. 😀 I’m not sure how many calories was in brunch, probably a lot, but it was worth it and I enjoyed every bite and it satisfied my insane hunger that I’ve been having lately.

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We sat outside on the deck in the glorious sunny, warm weather and enjoyed the light breeze while we ate brunch. It was kind of the perfect day. After they left Michael and I took Logan and Bella for a 1.55 mile walk in the sunshine. Then I was pretty much pooped for the rest of the day!

This coming week I plan I going to yoga again (looking forward to that!), another gym session and if weather permits, a few walks with the dog and baby!