So, I wanted to talk about loading today. Because it sounds like it should be a big lot of fun, no? Eating whatever you want. Hey, eating MORE than whatever you want. I'm not kidding, I ate chips and dip with a spoon. And polished off almost an entire pumpkin pie on my own. My brother made the pumpkin pie, by the way. He is FULL of surprises.
I'll tell you what, the first day was awesome. It was Thanksgiving. I ate while I cooked. I ate while I watched the parade. Then we went to my brother and sister-in-law's house. They got a whole wheel of brie for me. Because I love cheese. Second only to my family. I ate almost the entire wheel myself. And of course, there was turkey, and green bean casserole, and stuffing and pies and tarts, and all kinds of yummy yummy fattening food.
Yeah, Thanksgiving was kind of awesome.
The day after Thanksgiving, I was still loading. It started to lose some of the luster. I was kind of sick of gorging myself. I felt bloated and fat, and uncomfortable. And my body was making unpleasant noises and smells. But, I set a goal for myself on Friday, to polish off anything in the house that would tempt me come Saturday. So, I downed half a case of cherry Coke, as well as a couple cans of ginger ale. I finished off the Thanksgiving leftovers. And hit those chips and dip. With a spoon.
Let me tell you my favorite part of loading. Giving myself permission to just eat whatever I wanted to. For years, I've been silently judging myself for every single bite that passed my lips. Not on those two days. I had permission to eat and eat and eat some more. And not just to eat, but to eat the absolute worst foods I could find. So, when I dug into that dip with that spoon, I wasn't feeling guilt, or anger, or shameful. I was feeling joyful and hopeful. I remember thinking to myself, "The fat in this dip is going to help fuel my body tomorrow." I wasn't just eating to eat. I was eating with purpose.
That was my introduction to eating with purpose. It was the first time I've ever done that. I mean, aside from purposefully drowning my feelings in a bag of Cheetos and a gallon of soda.
And the eating with a purpose continues. On the HCG Protocol, you can't mindlessly eat. I mean, you can, but you'll put weight on faster than you can say "Oh crap! I accidentally ate a box of chocolates!" You have to remember that the HCG is releasing the fat on your body, IF you need it to be released. If you don't? It'll hold on to it, as well as the food you overate. So, it's beyond important to stick to the diet in the protocol. This cannot be stressed enough.
I never realized how many mindless calories I dump in my mouth throughout the day until I started the protocol. When I cook dinner, I'm a taster. If I pass a box of chocolates in the pantry, I'll stop and grab one. I mean, what can one chocolate hurt? When my kids don't finish their dinner, I do it for them. Because, I mean, what am I supposed to do? Let it go to WASTE?
I'm more aware of my natural tendency to munch. And being aware of it is the first step to overcoming it. So, I am OVERCOMING my natural tendency to munch.
See, this is how this is working. Because I can't munch when the urge presents itself, I have to, instead, deal with whatever's going on that's causing the Munch-ster. (That's the Munch Monster. Just, shortened.) I have to identify my feeling, then identify what's causing the feeling, and deal with it.
Guess what? When I do that, the Munchster goes away.
When you're limited to 500 calories a day, you really start to pay attention to your body's cues. If I feel hungry, I check to see if I'm really hungry, or if my body is trying to deal with something that my mind should be dealing with.
The other day, I got into a, um, "disagreement" with my Joey. Poor Joey disagrees just like her mom. Loudly. So, yeah, we yelled at each other. For a while. She hates me, wants a new mommy, I'm mean, yadda yadda yadda. This stuff hurts me. She doesn't mean it, but oh my God, it hurts. Now, we've established in previous blogs that I'm an emotional eater. Although, I kind of recently figured that out myself. So, it still surprised me, when, after yelling at my daughter to "Stay on your bed until your father gets home!" (which was five hours away. I don't mean the crap I say when I'm mad, either.), I found myself standing in the middle of my kitchen, literally spinning around, trying to figure out what to do next.
I needed to calm down. I needed to calm down and go take my baby in my arms and love on her and apologize for losing my temper so we could begin to heal from this latest dent in our relationship. But, how could I calm down when I couldn't grab a soda from the fridge, or a chip (or 18), or a cookie (or 12)? I was at a loss. Spinning around in my kitchen, at a loss as to what to do next.
It suddenly hit me that I am an adult who has no control over my emotions, and it's kind of ridiculous to expect my daughters to be able to reign themselves in, when I can't do it without a popcorn covered brownie.
I wasn't hungry. But I wanted to eat. Because I was angry, and hurt, and upset. And I didn't know what else to do.
I did calm down, eventually. And that's kind of a dramatic example. But that type of thing happens all day every day for me. I'll suddenly want to eat and then need to step back and ask myself, "Wait, are you hungry? Or what else is going on?" I found myself reaching for Kimmie's baby carrots when a friend told me she had to cancel a trip we'd been planning together. I wasn't hungry. I was sad. I went for Joey's leftover oatmeal while I was hurrying around to get her out the door to school. I wasn't hungry. I was stressed.
These are things I'm learning to identify, that I've never been able to identify before. And these are the things that are going to help me keep the weight off once it's all gone.