Boy wasn’t my last post juicy!
Before I ramble, I wanted to thank you all for your comments on yesterday’s post. Even if you read it but kept silent because perhaps even you are silently struggling with this demon, I hope that at least, as Melie said, it “struck a nerve” with you. I didn’t mean to say I hate people with eating disorders or that its a “choice”. I think its a disease. My mom had cancer. I didn’t hate my mom, but I hated her cancer. The disorder is not part of the individual.
It would be a little unclassy of me to write about funny pickup lines or what makes me feel stupid after such a heavy post.
So instead, I would like to address some of the comments I received.
“I wanted to ask you how you actually got over the counting/measuring? I tossed both my food scale and other one the other day and have been doing ok without them. It was a big step for me. Any tips as to how to stop the mental tallying? It’s cumbersome, but I feel if I could stop that, I’d be so much further along…”
I think thats an excellent question that even pertains to people without eating disorders. But I will warn you, this is my opinion, everyone is different and somethings work for some and not others but I respect everyone even if they dont agree.
In treatment, I had to measure my cereals and rice, weigh my meats. Its a good step for anyone who needs to gain or loose weight, but lets face it, it makes life suck a little bit. I was always weirded out about putting food on a scale. In culinary school, you MUST use a scale when in the baking courses because an oz of flour is cant be measured by teaspoons or whatever. And baking is a science so you must be exact in that.
But personally (again, some of you may choose to disagree and thats fine too), I dont want my eating habits to be a science. Maybe being obsessed with it so long has made me bored to death of it by now.
SO lets do this is a sort of “step format”:
Step 1: Self assessment
Take a good hard look at your physical health. Are you at a “healthy” weight? I know that question itself is subjective but are you getting your period? Is your hair staying intact (and I don’t mean male pattern balding)? I hate to use the “BMI” scale, but seriously, are you at a very low bmi? My point is, you have to be a stable enough weight to give yourself the “room” to ditch the measuring cups. Because from what I’ve seen, many people loose weight when they try to be intuitive or stop counting. Get yourself to a good weight for you and then consider ditching the counting. In the beginning when I first started treatment, I didn’t have that room. I had to eat a lot to restore the weight and it was only after a few months and with some cleavage that I got the luxury of leaving the measuring cups in the drawer.
Step 2: Cover your bases:
What I mean by this is make sure you have all the components to your meals or snack. Instead of counting calories, I just thought of “bases” I need to cover. Do I have a protein, fat, and carb source in this meal/snack? No need to get anal. If you didn’t have a hunk of protein with dinner, have a protein heavier snack. If you missed a carb, have dessert later. Just keep your day overall balanced. When I first left treatment, I found it weird to not have a “fat source” at breakfast this one time. But I just had a handful of almonds a little later in the day….and speaking of handful…..
Step 3: Get Good at “Eyeballing”
ugh! I hate using the term “eyeball” because its SO Rachel Ray and she annoys me, but what I mean to convey is to get good at estimating a serving of a food. It’s not rocket science and a few extra or more calories that you may or may not consume from the “eyeball” shouldn’t make a significant dent in your weight. So relax! Remember, you should not be at too low or even too high of weight to begin the “no measuring” adventure. So even if you gain or lose a pound, it wont hurt you. I know my bowls that I use at home, and I know how much cereal, yogurt, salad, rice, quinoa, etc fills them when I eat it. I know that a “handful” (I have small hands, mind you) is only about 10 almonds. I think from counting and measuring for so long, I’ve know how much “1 cup” is.
Step 4: Have Set Meals/Snacks: I think if you stick to your meal and snacks, you will have a much easier time ditching the counting. I know, its not exactly intuitive, but it helps. For example, on Tuesdays, I eat my lunch very early because i know I wont be about to eat again until around five. Am I “hungry” for lunch. Not exactly, but I try to stick to a solid eating schedule so I don’t let myself get too hungry. But, even if you have the ability to eat whenever you want, having a stable meal schedule (like a solid sleep schedule) helps!
Step 5. Start eating more things that dont have labels:
Start buying your foods from the farmers market where the only label you see is a price! I think this is the biggest step I’ve taken in the effort to stop counting and even for my overall health. When I was really into my ED, for some reason, things with labels felt “safer” because I knew exactly what was in them. But you want to know the truth, I think the best foods dont have labels and you shouldn’t care whats in them. I don’t count my strawberries or potatoes. I don’t weigh my chicken or fish. I serve myself some, if I want more, I get more. But I’m not scared of eating too many asparagus or eggs (yes, I know eggs actually have labels, but you know what I mean…). I used to eat balance bars but I’ve even ditched those. I make some pretty damn fine homemade cookies that are way better than any bar.
Step 6: Know Thyself:
I know there are some things that I’m terrible with portion controlling. Ice cream being on of them. I can eat it until days end. So what I do is, I go out for ice cream, get a cone or whatever, and thats that. Or I make my own (and its totally more fun to make your own). My point is, know your weak points. Even if you tend to “under-portion”, recognize that. Own it.
Step 7: Cut yourself some slack!
Like I said, its not rocket science. I’m sometime fascinated when I see people act completely nonchalant about food, food intake, calorie, and whatnot. But when you get down to it, its really not all that complicated. Our minds complicate things. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. So although it can be intimidating to eat a piece of un-presliced bread or ordering steak at a restaurant, I kind of like that “not knowing”. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I thought calories was a disease or something. And don’t beat yourself up if you arent ready to ditch your counting and measuring. It takes time, practice, and patience. And if you aren’t ready to stop counting, no biggie. There are worse things in life. I’ll let you in on a little secret though…its not really all about the food.
So lets here it from you! Have you got any tips on how to ditch measuring/counting/weighing? Do you even want to ditch if you are currently doing all those things?
And note: I DO measure indgredients for when I bake or cook certain things (ie, cookies, waffles, pancakes, etc) beause trust me, you can end up with a big mess if you dont sometimes ;
And speaking of cookies…..incase those thin mints turned you off, I got a chocolate chip recipe to turn you on!
- 1 1/3 c all purpose flour (I did half coconut flour but you can use all coconut flour for a gluten free version)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, room temp
- 1 cup brown sugar
- two eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Add the eggs and vanilla and then gradually add the dry ingredients in increments until its all incorporated. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips. Roll into balls and place about two inches apart on your baking sheet (they grow quite wide!). Bake for 10-15 min or until golden and delicious looking.
O wait, lets balance this snack out
thats better 😉