If you're friends with me on Facebook, you may have seen my post from last night offering up Maddie for free to anyone interested in a three year old. I jest, of course, but it's true that Maddie has been rather challenging lately. She's going through lots of transitions, plus I hear the age of three is prone to emotional maelstroms, so it is what it is and I'm doing my best to remain calm in the face of the fact that in Maddie's mind, right now nothing is ever the right thing.
But here's my problem. We'll get through a morning like we had today (a time out for hitting Mama, another time out for slamming doors in anger, generalized whining and no-saying, etc.), and all I can think is, "Wow, after all that, I deserve a bagel!" Or a donut, or a waffle or a muffin or an egg sandwich or any other manner of bad-for-me treat. In the evenings, it's "Wow, after all that I deserve a bunch of chips or a big bowl of ice cream or . . . " The list goes on an on.
Rewarding myself with food is a deeply ingrained habit for me, and one that's really, really hard to break. But since there's a direct correlation between food rewards (lots lately) and how my pants fit (quite poorly, if at all), I need to rein it in.
In concert with getting the food rewards under control, I just need to start eating better. I've been blathering on about this for months without actually making any changes. Mostly I've just been lazy, but I've also been unsure about what I want to do. I had contemplated going back to Weight Watchers, but the measuring and the points and the weekly weigh-ins make me feel tired and defeated before I've even begun, despite the fact that I had great success on the program in the past. What I really want to do is focus on general healthy eating: lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, minimal processed food, reasonable portions, no evening snacking. I'm exercising regularly, so that part is in place.
When I was in grade school, my parents followed the Fit for Life eating plan fairly strictly for quite some time. I linked to the Quackwatch page about the program because I agree that the "scientific" basis is complete bunk. But the program does focus on fresh, healthy eating and the second half of the book has meal plans and menus for a month or so worth of eating. It's with that planning that I need a lot of help, so I think using that book and their menus as a base could help to get me on track. So mom:if you're reading, can I borrow your copy of Fit for Life? Thanks. And so, I shall try to start eating better.
As for the food as rewards? Food just tastes so good! And it's so easy to eat a cookie to feel better after the kids go to bed, or to stop for a muffin on the way in to work. Finding quick rewards that aren't food is not easy, and I'm telling you: I need something to look forward to in the evenings. Wow. Ideas?