Today is technically my last day of my food journalling habit do-over. The first time I tried this habit, my compliance was only 54%. This time around, I was much better with 93% adherence – the only day that I skipped some of my logging was last Saturday when I had that dinner party. So now I feel like I can actually evaluate the current state of my diet.
1. Consistency with PN-style eating and LE habits: Both weeks, 91% of my meals were consistent with my PNLE principles (including the 2 meals I didn’t fully document on Saturday night. I am really proud of that – and even a little bit surprised. As much as the perfectionist in me would like to achieve 100% consistency, I know that’s unrealistic and unnecessary. I feel like I’ve hit a really sweet spot where I am being nourished, eating to lose weight long-term but I’m still enjoying my food. This is a Big Freakin’ Deal! Because these are exactly the things I wanted but couldn’t achieve before I started PNLE. I just want to jump for joy.
One thing I did notice was that during both weeks of my journalling, I had a couple of meals that were not PNLE-friendly because they didn’t include a protein. I am eating protein more consistently than I have in the past – I am a recovering vegetarian, after all – but there is still room for improvement.
2. Food quality. Again, I think that this was another successful area for me. One thing I noticed is that I’ve been flirting with being Paleo somewhat unintentionally. This seems to be working for me, so we’ll see if it continues. Even when I didn’t eat a protein, my snacks were 99% dark chocolate or fruit and almond butter. And even my “splurge” on Saturday evening was pretty high quality: brie with baguettes – the first bread I’d eaten in months. I am feeling really good in this area and I think my PNLE habit next week will help me tighten up any last little areas where I could improve. But if you compare what I’m eating now with the things I was eating when I counted calories, the difference is like night and day. It’s incredible.
3. Food quantity. I would say food quantity is still the area where I struggle the most. PNLE recommends eating 4 or 5 times/day, but it’s not uncommon for me to eat only 3 meals. I could probably stand to eat more often because right now, I sometimes let myself get really hungry before I eat and I know that makes me prone to overeating.
In social situations, I’m still struggling to recognize that I’m no longer hungry. I think this is one of those things that just takes more practice and I’m not very social to begin with, so hopefully this will improve with time.
And I still clean off my plate most of the time. Granted, I only use small plates and I serve myself more reasonable portions to begin with, but I could probably be better in tune with my physical hunger cues.
4. Food and feelings. I noticed that I didn’t have a junk food bender during my 2 weeks of journalling. I’m a bit flabbergasted. But I do think I’m getting a better handle on the link between food and my emotions.
First, I’ve noticed that cutting down the amount of really sweet fruit in my diet reduced the number of cravings that I was having for sweets in general. I think I always assumed that fruit was healthy, but I was eating enough of it to screw up my blood sugar levels. Now that I have this awareness, I’ve really been focused on eating more vegetables and I think that’s keeping my emotions and mental state more stable.
But… I did struggle with my body image. Full disclosure: My period started a couple of days before I started journalling… and it’s still going. This is my 14th day of food journalling. Is it really a wonder that I’m frustrated by my body? As much as I feel like my hormones are less of a roller coaster, something is still out of whack. Yes, I feel like I am insanely proud of how much my nutrition has improved. But 50% of the time, I just feel bloated and disgusted with myself. So in the new year, I resolve to see a doctor about getting my IUD removed and we’ll see how that affects my mental state.
I also think that I might need to reevaluate some of my long-term goals. I’ve always said that if I lost 100lbs, I would get a tattoo to celebrate – but that would put me at 132lbs. And based on my last bodyfat assessment, I’m at a healthy level of body fat and I’ve still got 130lbs of lean mass. Those numbers make my end goal seem somewhat unrealistic and undesirable… but I admit that I am still struggling to divorce my scale. I try remind myself that no one cares if I weigh 165lbs, so I should just let it go… but it’s still a work in progress.
In summary, I have a couple of areas that could still be tightened up in my diet, but I’m not obsessively worried out about them. Instead, self affirmation (7): I did an awesome job of logging my food and I recorded a pretty healthy diet. I rock.
7:00 – Breakfast
- 1 slice swirly crustless quiche (2 egg, 1 cupped handful grated zucchini + carrots)
- 1 granny smith apple
- 2 thumbs of almond butter
- 1 tbsp fish oil
- 2 cups black coffee
11:00 – Lunch
- 1 cupped handful cottage cheese
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 sprouted grain english muffin
- 1 thumb almond butter
- 2 mini cucumbers
- 10 cherry tomatoes
2:15 – Pre-workout
- 1 green pepper
- 1 fist sized serving pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon
- 1 cupped handful brown & wild rice
- 1/2 thumb of butter
6:00 – Post-workout
- 2 thumbs 70% dark chocolate
6:30 – Supper
- 1 lemon and capers chicken thigh with skin
- 1 cupped handful of steamed green beans
- 1 cupped handful of baked sweet potato
- 1/2 thumb of butter
- 2 thumbs of dark chocolate