“And I said to my body. Softly. “I want to be your friend.”
It took a long breath.
And replied “I have been waiting my whole life for this.”
– Nayyirah Waheed
So it turns out, I don’t know how to eat.
I think I know how to diet. I mean, I can take off weight like nobody’s business. Despite the fact that this has never worked for long and that I started telling myself that “diets don’t work”, I still joined OA and went on a diet.
When I really started tracking again, I found that I was only eating around 1100 calories a day. (That’s on days I was on program. Other days I was racking up 5-7 times that.) That’s an okay total if I was lying in a hospital bed all day, but I’m walking 5+ miles a day and doing pilates five hours a week. I need fuel for that.
So I asked my sponsor and the other folks in my meeting for help and even – gasp – asked my higher power for guidance. I got a resounding “Google it” which might have been me talking but then the quote above showed up and I figured I was on the right track.
OA doesn’t not dictate or even really recommend a diet. They have different plans of eating that are very generic and you can modify to suit your needs. Everyone one of us is different and reacts to different trigger foods. We have different body types, weight, exercise and so many variables.
When you think about it, anyone writing a diet book is pretty bodacious to say that this diet will work for everyone (please consult your doctor before beginning…..)
So I Googled and I made a list of super foods and power foods and nutritionally dense foods. Then I looked at the OA Dignity of Choice pamphlet to get more ideas. Then I played around with the food tracking module on FitBit for a couple of hours. I finally came up with something that was under calorie recommendations for me, but only slightly, and seemed like it was simple enough to work and hit the high points for protein, carbs and fat. I added in fruit and grain and dairy (which I NEVER eat when I’m dieting.)
That was a little scary so I sent the plan over to my sponsor to see if my compulsive brain was on the right track and really listening to my higher power. Asking for help is new to me. So is the idea that just researching isn’t enough to make me 100% positive I am on the right track. Freaky.
So my plan of eating is this: 12 ounces of protein, 1 fruit, 1 dairy, 1 starch, no more than 32 grams of fat, 2 cups of cooked vegetables, 4 cups of raw vegetables and 96 ounces of water, plus vitamins. Since I have diabetes and had WLS, I decided to split these up into 6 meals/snacks. To get that many veggies, I’m going to have to make vegetable soup and smoothies and drink my veggies.
I am still avoiding my trigger foods, so in general avoiding processed food, junk food, soda, candy, sugar, etc, etc, etc.
Trying to eat at the table, put my fork down between bites, don’t drink with right before, during or right after my meals, be mindful. It’s a lot, but I don’t have to be perfect and I’m going to stop expecting that.