Whew, the past couple of weeks have been busy! My parents were in town visiting for about a week and a half, I hurt my foot and couldn’t exercise for a week, and I have made a couple of big changes in my life, which are becoming a vegetarian and starting to eat intuitively. These are 2 really big things for me, and I’m definitely giving them both time to form a full opinion.
After doing a LOT of research/ talking to people/ watching documentaries, I decided I wanted to become a vegetarian. I think I eventually want to become vegan, but this is my way of easing into it. I will NEVER judge people based on what they eat, and hope that people will give me the same respect 🙂 My decisions are based off of studies showing the numerous health benefits of eating plant-based and cutting animal products out of the diet. It only seems like a positive thing. If you’re at all interested, I like this article which explains the benefits of eating plant-based! This switch has also been a really fun challenge for me! I’ve been buying/eating a lot of foods that I haven’t tried before and really like them! It’s definitely a shift in mindset because a lot of my “go-to” dinners include meat. But I’ve found that it’s pretty easy to replace. For example, I used to make a salad with grilled chicken in it for lunch, and now I’ve been replacing the grilled chicken with quinoa or chickpeas. Dinners have included a LOT more vegetables and veggie burgers/chickpeas/black beans as a source of protein. I also want to experiment cooking with lentils and tofu, which I’ve tried and liked, but have not prepared myself before.
I am still treating this as an experiment. I am definitely concerned about getting enough protein because I work out pretty intensely, and that is an important part of my life. But another aspect of my life is being open-minded and trying new things! I will keep posting updated about how the transition to being vegetarian is going.
Another thing I have decided to commit to is intuitive eating. For many people, this is something that comes completely naturally, but for me, my thoughts about food and eating have become so screwed up that eating intuitively is incredibly difficult. For so long, I haven’t been able to eat something without mentally calculating calories. This leads to so much stress and guilt about food. I have also used food as a source of control in my life. If I meticulously counted every calorie and hit my goal for the day (which used to be under 1200…NOT GOOD), then I felt like I was successful and had control over my life, even when everything else was falling apart. Restricting calories so severely only leads to overeating/binging, which makes me feel HORRIBLE and wracked with guilt. So, I decided enough was enough. I never want to feel so guilty and full of self-hatred for eating ever again. I’ve been reading the book Intuitive Eating and have found the principles so incredibly helpful. No, I am absolutely not there yet. I’ve only been doing this for a few weeks and am still learning. It takes time to recognize hunger and satiety cues when you’ve ignored them for so long. But the principles in the book and reasons against dieting ring SO TRUE for me. For a long time, counting calories was a crutch for me and I actually enjoyed it. But I think I am finally ready to let go of that, and I’m excited to finally (hopefully) have a healthy relationship with food and not worry about what I’m eating all the time. It is definitely a process though, so I’m working on it.
If you’ve actually read this whole post, I’m impressed! I will definitely have more to say on both topics, but wanted to at least post where I’m at right now.