I recently spent 8 days in Chicago for work, and before I went I was quite worried about the trip and the effect it would have on my weight loss. Having already put on 6lbs over my birthday, I was keen not to fall in to my usual trap of eating all the food just because I was away and my routine was interrupted.
Staying in control, or at least not coming off the rails completely, is something I’ve been trying to do for a while as I travel a lot for my work. This is not at all about denial, or being perfect 100% of the time, but more about recognising that if I lose all control every other week while away on business, then I will never get to where I’m trying to be.
I decided in advance that I needed to approach the trip with a different mindset – I needed to…
- be positive, not negative
- embrace the change in routine, not fear it
- work with my body, not against it
- adopt an attitude of moderation, not denial
Spending some time thinking through what I wanted to achieve and why meant that I didn’t need to worry about the internal battle when it came to food – I’d made my choices in advance, and could more or less operate on auto pilot. Of course this didn’t mean that I ate healthy foods all the time – I definitely had some treats (or ‘good for the soul’ foods, as Laura calls them!) – but I kept them in check and only ate the things I really love.
I think the other thing that really helped is that I’m far more in tune with my body lately. At the start of the year I began keeping a simple food diary and practicing being mindful of how I felt around different foods, mentally noting in particular when I felt full and satisfied. At first I didn’t seem to make any difference, and I found it very hard to tell when I was truly hungry, actually just thirsty, or perhaps just craving something due to another reason (emotional, hormonal etc.). I almost gave up on the food diary in fact, it seemed like so much hassle to constantly be writing down what I ate! The only thing that kept me going was the accountability aspect – I made sure to write everything I ate and drank, even on the ‘bad’ days. I also noted how I felt the day after a ‘bad’ day, so that I would have a way of reminding myself that I feel so much better wen I’m eating mostly clean food.
But just recently I’ve really noticed that I’m beginning to identify what true hunger feels like for me – and also at what point I’ll be full and satisfied. I’m definitely getting more in tune with myself, and can now stop part-way through a meal if I’ve had enough – something I never would have done before. After spending so many years over riding these physiological signs, I think this is a big step forward in the right direction
Are you able to tell when you’re truly hungry, and when you’re full?
Do you keep a food diary or any other sort of journal?
~ PoPpy ~