Shifting focus

Hi, bloggies! How was your Wednesday? Mine was good, as promised :) I think having a positive attitude is very important, even during times when things seem stressful and overwhelming. The right attitude can make things just a little better, and it sounds from your comments on my previous post that many of you are quite the optimists so you must agree. 😀

Today was a day of lots of reflections. By trying to eat intuitively I’m attempting to shift the focus from weight loss to just a healthy attitude towards food and dare I say… my body. I have a feeling that ironically, if I try to just work on that, I’ll lose weight (something I’ve been unsuccessful at for over a year now). I know I’m clinically healthy and in general happy with my appearance (in clothes – definitely not in a bathing suit or shorts) so fixing my head and ridding myself of food related guilt will definitely lead to a happier life. That’s all I want! :mrgreen:

With that said, this journey is not easy. I’ve surprisingly been able to stop counting calories (even in my head!) and allow myself to eat whatever I want. On most days that means there is a lot of chocolate in my life, and I secretely hope that somehow I won’t get fat from it (I stopped weighing myself a while ago. The number on the scale is just that – a number). On some days I feet more guilty that others. Actually I don’t even know if “guilty” is the right word. I don’t think I feel guilty per se but I know that I feel better about my day when I don’t indulge in cookies and pastries, yet I love them and want them in my life and feel like I should be able to have them if I want them. Man, this is confusing! There is still a high correlation between what I eat and how I feel about my day, and I hope that with time it will stop. Rationally I understand that this shouldn’t be the case. “Normal” people don’t think that way. They eat a cookie, enjoy it and move on. It has nothing to do with their reflection on their day. Anyways, there was a lot more reflecting today, but I’ll stop here. You may “hear” about it more in the future 😉

Onto today’s eats. I actually am very happy with what I ate. It was all super delicious and satisfied me physically and mentally. :)

I woke up and wasn’t particulary hungry but nutella jumped into my mind for some reason (I must have seen the jar in the cupboards last night), so I toasted a ww pita, spread it with nutella and topped it with 1/2 banana and pine nuts. There was also of course coffee involved. This was a smallish breakfast but was really exactly what I wanted. Perfect!

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Mid-morning I had this deliciousness. I can’t get enough of fresh blueberries. They are so juicy and sweet. Love ’em! 😀

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Lunch was a HUGE salad with mixed greens, tofu, grape tomatoes, summer squash, chickpeas and cucumber, dressed with Annie’s organic goddess dressing (this dressing is amazing! I use only 1 tablespoon so it’s the same amount of calories as a lower fat dressing but is SO much more flavorful and is also made with 100% wholesome ingredients with no fillers or sugar). Most of the veggies were from the farmers market and I swear they were extra fresh and flavorful. This salad really hit the spot! *Sorry the picture is partial and was taken before I even added all the ingredients; the others I took were too blurry to share.

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This is a farmers market fresh apricot. We finally have stone fruit in season in MA! I was ecstatic when I saw peaches and apricots at every stand. It was so juicy. Man, I missed apricots!

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Attempt #1 of satisfying my sweet tooth: TJ’s 100 calorie dark chocolate bar

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Attempt #2 (actually successful this time!):

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You guys will be proud of me. The cookies were 2 for 1, but I told the salesperson I only wanted 1. I knew I would have eaten 2 if I got 2, but I didn’t need 2 cookies. Instead I got some white blossom tea with it, and slowly enjoyed just this 1 cookie. It was perfection! I was happy with treating myself to a cookie without overdoing it. That’s what I call true balance. 😀

And now we get to dinner. I finally cooked again! Felt good. I followed this recipe from Cooking Light for parmesan polenta with sausage and mushrooms, and it was the perfect weeknight dinner. Quick and delicious! I actually really enjoyed the sausage too. Not sure if you noticed, but I haven’t been eating much meat lately. Today I was craving meat and the chicken sausage (I’m usually not a fan) really hit the spot. Mushrooms and tomatoes, on the other hand, I’m always in the mood for, and these guys tied the polenta and sausage together really well. Great dinner!

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Dessert: Zen Bakery apple/cranberry vegan bran muffin -1/2 with a shmear of Barney Butter and 1/2 with some cherry preserves (unpictured – I couldn’t help but finish the muffin!). Hearty, healthy, satisfying.

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And that’s it for today’s eats.  I was unable to work out today. This makes 2 days in a row. I’m weirdly ok with it, although it’s going to throw off my 1/2 marathon training schedule a bit. It’s ok, I built in an extra week and today spending time with Adam after dinner seemed more important than going for a run. Hope you have a lovely, healthy and delicious day! Peace 😀

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21 comments to Shifting focus

  • Farmers market produce is definitely always more flavorful and fresh than supermarket produce. I’m a huge supporter of local agriculture – it’s totally the way to go. Yay real food!

  • Paradise Bakery! I miss that place so much! The cookies are the best.

    I definitely like the goal of intuitive eating – focusing on health rather than weight loss. But unfortunately the goal of weight loss is always in the back of my mind. Or if I don’t need to lose weight (which I really don’t) it’s the goal to not gain weight. It’s a hard balance to make.

  • this post made me smile, b/c i could see how happy you are :) love it!

  • Thank you SO much for sharing your journey with IE, it helps a lot! Im glad you are feeling the changes and as I am reading it is something gradual. You are doing GREAT!!!!
    Super yummy eats!!

  • P.S Paradise Bakery…LOVE those cookies.. I got them whilst in Utah, we dont have here!

  • You are doing so well with your “food attitude.” I know that I used to be obsessed with making sure calories in and calories out–all that jazz. I then had an epiphany and realized, “this is not how I am supposed to be living.” That was not living life at all for me–numbers do not equal happiness. It was when I truly let go of that and enjoyed a healthy balance–did I realize food is meant to be savored and enjoyed–but the ultimate purpose of food is to fuel our bodies so we can GO and live our lives and do the things that make us happy. :) That felt so good to say…thank you for your post.

  • Zen bakery looks great!

    Loving you food attitude and how far you’ve come with IE! Impressive 😉

  • sister inna

    your food always looks so good
    i need to start cooking again… and i need to start planning my meals in advance.
    a little help please ? 😀
    good job on the IE stuff — you’re starting to sound much more relaxed — which in turn gives you more control, you are making more level-headed decisions (i hope that made sense).
    yay you :)

  • Elina

    Daria – I recently started trying to buy most of my veggies at the farmers market and it’s not only making me step outside of my comfort zone, trying to encorporate local ingredients in different ways, but has also made me so proud for being able to support the local farmers. Very cool! :)

    Jenny – glad it’s interesting for some of you. I think it’s such a level-headed approach and if it works for me (which I think it will) will definitely lead to a more balance/less food obsesssed life. I’m excited!

    Madison – that’s so great that you were able to figure this out. I’m inspired! 😀

    Shannon – the muffins taste slightly like cardboard but I think I like this kind of cardboard 😉 lol

    Innz – yay! You obviously know me in real life, so I’m glad that you are seeing positive changes in my attitude. It’s obviously not easy, but I really feel like I’m making real progress. Finished the book today. Not sure if you need it, but it may be a good read anyway. You should come visit us soon and borrow it :)

  • Who are these “normal people” you speak of? Haha!
    I find that eating something unhealthy can definitely make me feel pretty bad for the rest of the day. I think part of it is psychological, but part of it is that I feel bloated and tummy-achey, then get a sugar crash and still feel hungry. I don’t eschew treats all together, but I like to make sure they are “worth it.”
    Homemade treats brought in by coworkers? Yes please!! Candy from the candy machine? Not so much.
    I have a huge sweet tooth, and even when I eat very healthy food all day, I think that my sweet tooth is very evident. Today is the perfect example. So far I’ve had 2% greek yogurt with a little honey, blackberries, strawberries and (low cal) vanilla almond granola. My snacks for today are dates with almond butter, cherries, and a kind bar. (This is kind of a lot, but I’ve been ravenous lately, so I’m bringing extra snacks.)
    I have never been the kind of person who can dip veggies in hummus and call it a snack (maybe an appetizer, but not a snack).
    I need sweets! I just try to eat them in a form that will make me feel good. (Sometimes I worry that I’m eating too much fruit vs. veggies, but then I think I’m silly for worrying about that b/c it’s much better for me to chow down on fruit that candy!)

  • Oh and I meant to say that your polenta dinner looks awesome. I love to make turkey sausage and green peppers in tomato sauce and serve it with polenta.

  • That Trader Joe’s chocolate looks delish!

  • Eve

    It’s really great to see your mental process. You are being true to yourself and moving in the right direction. Nutella is amazing!! I would have wanted it too if I kept it in my pantry :)

  • Julie

    I am taking the same approach! I shifted my focus from weight loss and killing myself at the gym to just being healthy. I used to aim to burn 6-700 calories per gym session, yet I totally underfueled which caused me to over eat. I was always tired too! More recently, I have decided that beating myself wasn’t worth it. I’ve been eating organic, whole, clean foods for a little over a month now and I feel amazing. I still work out, but instead of and hour and a half of cardio (yep) I toned it down to about an hour (maybe a little more on spin days because I need to kill time before class). I don’t lift every day or do 8 million different styles of crunches to get a six pack.
    Honeslty reading Jillians book and IE helped me a TON with with this (more-so Jillian)! I don’t need to kill myself to be a certain weight. Surprisingly, I have lost about 4-5lbs in the month and a half I’ve started this new “lifestyle” and maintained it. So theres my proof. The only thing I really got from IE was to ask myself if I was truly hungry when I was grabbing for the ice cream/ab jar/pb jar/cookies. I’ve learned my fullness and although it’s still a work in progress, I’m leaps and bounds from where I was six months ago.

  • Krystina

    Hello Elina !
    I’m a long time reader but it is actually the first time I comment on a blog ! I wanted to tell you that I am in the same process as yours…trying to stop counting calories and eating intuitively. It is definitely not easy, but as I see you progress a little bit every day, I know now that it is possible to achieve this goal. Keep it up girl, and you seem already happier ans serene this week than two or three weeks ago when you were doing your challenge. Keep this in mind 😉

  • you are really an inspiration! I have been having a rough go of it since coming back last night from a quick vaca and seeing you reflect and move forward in intuitive eating is so great to watch and read about! Keep it up girl, like I’ve been told, life is not a straight way up, but a roller coaster with dips and valley’s keep your head up! None of us are perfect :-)

  • Elina

    Haha, Shelly – I think those normal people are out there 😉 I totally agree with you on indulging only in things that are worth it. There is nothing I hate more than wasting calories on things that don’t even taste good. Your snacks sound delicious. I too, more often than not, prefer sweet snacks. They satisfy me a lot more mentally than the savory ones. :)

    Julie – I think that’s definitely the right approach. I’m so glad that Jillian’s book really helped you find that balance. It’s definitely on my to-read list (because of your previous email to me 😀 )!

    Yay, Krystina – thanks for coming out of the lurking shell! 😉 You are SO right – I feel much more at peace with what I’m doing vs. the challenge. I WAS happy about the challenge at the beginning but the feeling of deprivation kicked in soon enough. I love that with IE, there is truly no deprivation. That’s something I can definitely live with for the rest of my life! :mrgreen: Feel free to comment here once in a while (or email me) if you want to share your experience with eating intuitively! I think we can all learn from each others’ journeys.

    Chelsea, you’re so right! Good luck with getting back on track. Post vacation time is often hard but eventually you get back in the swing of things and everything works out. I think vacations are definitely worth it, don’t you think? 😀

  • I love those Trader Joes 100 Calorie Dark Chocolate sticks! have you ever tried them in the freezer? they’re decadent!

  • I love those 100 calorie dark chocolate bars. I had one today as dessert actually after a wine tasting. Hang in there hun. I agree with you that it is not easy but I think you will get there. I have an easier time with food but it’s exercise where I have a hard time not beating myself up. I seem to think that unless I have a super intense workout I am not doing enough. It’s a constant battle for me just to recognize that I am not and probably will never be a runner and should embrace the things I do love like vigorous yoga and dance classes. I think we can both get there.

  • Elina

    Ooh Courtney, I’ve never tried them frozen… putting one in the freezer right now! :)

    Kelly – isn’t chocolate the best with/after some wine? Ok, chocolate is the best any time 😉 I have similar thoughts about working out sometimes but I remind myself that those “less intense” workouts are also helpful just in a different way. You can’t go balls to the wall 100% of the time. Your body needs to recover, and yoga and dance are amazing workouts! 😀

  • Hey lady,
    I SO appreciate your honesty about your whole journey. As always, I can relate. I want to just focus on health but of course weight is always in the back of my mind. Sigh.
    I won’t keep repeating myself so I will just say how much I respect you and your blog and really wish you the best with this <3

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