Looking forward to 2015

I’m hoping to do a 2014 wrap-up/looking forward to 2015 post at some point in the near future, but I think 2015 is off to a good start. I’ve run at least a mile every day of the new year, for a 6 day streak to start the year.  I have some concrete goals for the new year, and some challenges I’m looking forward to.  Goals include continuing to get at least one mindful mile walking or running every day of 2015, and to run at least 365 total miles for the year.  I’ve also set myself the challenge of training for and completing a half marathon in April.  That’s 96 days away- a little over 13 weeks.  I’m terrified, but ready to take it on.
I don’t have any particular food/nutrition related goals for the year, other than properly fueling to support my half marathon training. But as part of this, I’m hoping to continue the transformation of my relationship with food that began last year, especially through my experience doing Whole30.
Last night was a crackers to crackers & cheese to chocolate to mac&cheese to wine to ice cream with hot fudge sauce kind of night.  One choice (to grab a couple “leftover” crackers while putting away the groceries) started a snowball of increasingly bad choices as the night progressed.  It’s not that there is anything “bad” about any of these food, inherently- it’s how they affect me and my ability to make choices that is the issue.  Once I start the spiral, it has a trajectory- and I have years of habitual giving in that lead me on the path as soon as take a bite and realize I’m on it.
I had excuses- first day back at work after the new year stresses, having a bad cold, PMS, “having” to get rid of leftovers… There are always excuses when I look for them to justify the choices I make.
Was it as bad as some other binges I’ve had? Not even a little. The portions were controlled, I stopped myself at ONE glass of wine, ONE bowl of ice cream, etc. I also ate yummy healthy foods- roasted chicken, sweet potato, sauteed kale. I also ran a mile on the treadmill. I also spent some time with my family. I wasn’t hiding any of it (though the crackers and cheese and chocolate that started the snowball were while I was alone, standing in the kitchen).
I choose to learn from these moments, when I have them. Being in the kitchen, around the food, is a trigger for me. I got home from work and immediately needed to start unpacking the groceries- which put me in proximity to the foods that started the binge.  One of the counter strategies I’m considering includes a ritual of getting myself a big glass of water and sitting down at the table to drink it before I do ANYTHING else when I get home.  I think that a pause like this would help me adjust to being home, stop the stress cycle that is the go go go from work/commute into home, and encourage a healthier habit than mindless snacking- hydration!
Not properly fueling is a also a trigger for me, and I ate breakfast too late and skipped lunch yesterday (only eating my apple, the sugar of which without the balance of protein I’m sure was a trigger).  Working on eating more regularly will help keep me from reaching this hangry state where my decision making ability is impaired.
And I found myself today with a bacon milk chocolate bar gifted to me… and I ate it. I ate it, I enjoyed it, and I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  But I do recognize that the pattern needs to stop, that I’m using food as a comfort and stress relief- as a drug- and I’m the only one who has the power to break the pattern and make better choices.  I could have said thank you, but no thank you to the gifted chocolate. I could have had another cup of tea instead. There are a lot of other choices I could have made- but I made a choice, and now it’s done, and all I can do is reflect on it and learn, and be mindful the next time I come to a choice.
I’m starting a class tonight that I’m super excited about- the Pleasure Principles course with Kelly Coffey over at http://www.strongcoffey.com/.  Kelly’s posts have been inspiring me for a while, and I’m excited to join others in thinking about wellness and ways to make a healthier me. It was one of my holiday gifts to myself, and I think right now is a perfect time for me to get started.
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