I have this on again-off again relationship with healthy eating. Don’t get me wrong–I’m not stuffing my face with chocolate and peach shakes all day long. In fact, I really do eat pretty healthy…until 4:00…so yes, I could stand to cut a couple hundred calories from my daily food intake.
Monday I decided it was time to try yet again, so for two days, I tracked everything I ate and made sure to stay under a certain calorie allowance. I wasn’t miserable, but I hated thinking about every little thing I ate.
Today after I picked my nephew up from football conditioning, I put on my “cool aunt” hat and drove to Dunkin’ Donuts and we grabbed a breakfast treat for everyone at Nana and Gramps’ house. And I ate a donut.
Then I went to lunch with a friend to my favorite Chinese place in town. I at least had vegetables in my Cashew Chicken, but as is often the case when I eat Chinese, I was hungry two hours later. At this point, I figured the day was pretty much shot, so I really didn’t pay attention to anything else I ate.
Chalk it up to one of those “cheat days” I hear fitness gurus talking about.
Reading this article only seemed to validate my disdain for any efforts in healthy eating, because shouldn’t food, on some level also be about enjoyment? And don’t I enjoy chocolate and peach shakes? And waffle fries? And waffles? And bacon?
Then around 4:30, after some dark chocolate covered coconut, two cookies and a handful of potato chips I realized something awful. Something frightening. Something that I’m sure I should’ve figured out before my age, but did not.
I was still hungry, and I felt lousy.
Monday and Tuesday, when I carefully planned what to eat and focused on nutrient-dense foods, I never really felt like I had a hole in my side where hunger kept peeking out, Audrey 2 style, begging me to feed her. I was awake and able to focus. But today, a day when I’m certain I have gone well beyond the FDA recommended calorie intake for a woman of my age, size, and activity level, I have yet to really feel full, and I’m lethargic.
I’m not writing this to make any kind of statement about weight loss, I’m writing this to make a statement that the food I eat actually does make a difference in what I’m able to do. I’ve just never noticed the difference this starkly before.
So I will have a banana and a piece of whole-grain bread before turning in for the night, and will take tomorrow more seriously than I took today.
Right after I grab a peach shake.