From skwigg's journal:
I listened to a Jill Coleman (Jillfit.com) Moderation365 webinar today and I'm bursting with happy eating excitement! I'm also sleepy, so I'll just copy and paste my notes for now. :-) There are lots of juicy ideas here. Any thoughts?
Choose the middle path with your eating. One end of the spectrum is deprivation, the other end is overindulgence. Both of those are stressful and uncomfortable. At every meal, ask what is the middle path where I will be completely satisfied and feel great?
The more you restrict yourself on Monday, the worse your eating will be on Friday. The more you restrict yourself earlier in the day, the worse your eating will be at the end of the day. Deprivation is not benign. There's always an opposite reaction.
Is your HEC in check? - Hunger, Energy, Cravings. If those are all out of whack from your current approach, any changes you try to make will not be sustainable.
Choosing moderation = choosing satisfaction. A moderate meal is a satisfying meal. Satisfaction is always the goal.
Satisfaction can be increased both with the food you choose and with the ritual or experience of eating.
Think about your typical meals. Which ones are totally satisfying? You really look forward to them and feel great afterward. Which ones don't quite cut it? Maybe you feel hungry an hour later, or you feel rushed, or the environment is stressful, or you feel uncomfortably stuffed afterward. The least satisfying meals are the ones to adjust first.
FOMO - fear of missing out. Leads us to order the most indulgent over-the-top choice in certain situations because we give ourselves the choice between totally going for it or ordering lettuce, or black coffee, or skinless chicken breast. The middle path is in between blowout eating and restriction. Maybe you do get a salad, but with cheese and bacon.
Don't give up the rituals that are satisfying to you - morning coffee, wine with a friend, taco night.
Tools to avoid going overboard: consistent exposure and mindful eating, especially with "trigger foods." If a food has been a problem before, you want to expose yourself regularly in small doses and be more mindful of hunger/fullness/emotions while eating. If you do overeat (you will sometimes, it's an ongoing practice) resist the urge to tighten up. Why? Deprivation leads to more overeating! Come back to the middle instead. If you overeat at night, you still deserve a satisfying breakfast. Always the middle way. Include enough favorite foods and preemptive treats to take the edge off and keep satisfaction high. If things get weird for a meal or a day, just come back to the middle. "Perfect eating" isn't an option so don't feel bad for not doing it. The idea that it could ever work is absurd.
Q&A - Do I keep exposing myself to tricky foods until I can have them around and not care? YES! Have a small portion every day until you're bored. You don't want there to be foods you can't have in your house because what happens when you're at a friend's house? At a party? At work? You don't want to turn into a trembling moron every time there's cake in the room (Jill didn't say it quite like that. LOL) You want to be able to trust yourself to take it or leave it.
The way you eat is the same no matter what day it is, whether you're at home alone, eating with others, in a restaurant, at a friend's. Sit down to satisfaction at every meal. Break the restrict/cheat cycle.
The goal is to eventually eat intuitively but in the beginning you may need to eat a little more strategically. Think about your current meals, how to make them more satisfying, and how to make them work with your schedule.
Q&A - Breakfast grosses me out. I'm not hungry in the morning. I eat something small and not very satisfying just to get through it. Do I have to eat breakfast? NO! Try waiting a couple of hours and eat something more satisfying when you're actually excited about it. Maybe this will work better for you. Maybe it won't. You'll know based on what happens with your eating the rest of the day. Honor your own process.
Q&A - What if I eat a whole pint of Ben & Jerry's in one sitting every weekend as a "cheat" and feel physically icky afterward? Eat a smaller portion of Ben & Jerry's every day for a couple weeks until it's not as exciting. Maybe smaller portions eaten mindfully are just as enjoyable and feel better afterward. Limiting ice cream to once a week and labeling it a "cheat" keep it exciting and scarce.
Q&A - How do I share the moderation message with friends who are restricting and doing cleanses? Don't try to tell them that they're doing it wrong. Leave them to their own process of learning and discovery. You do you. Maybe you can be a positive example and share some of your own approach (especially on social media) without ever judging or commenting on what they do.
Additional thoughts about the "HEC in check" part. She's really talking about maintenance. It's important to learn to maintain in an enjoyable way where you like the way you eat, aren't thinking about it too much, and your weight is stable. If you can do that, then you can make one adjustment at a time to begin to create a deficit. If you're currently dieting and your HEC (hunger, energy, cravings) is not yet in check. Making another run at a deficit while you're still feeling restricted and food-obsessed will likely only perpetuate the deprive/overindulge cycle.
Additional, additional thought. She actually doesn't weigh herself or encourage weighing. For maintenance, she means maintaining your size. Like your clothes fitting or your circumference measurements being stable.
Ha! Yes, about thinking in terms of calculated, symmetrical portions. Will I eat it all? Half? One serving according the label? None of that diet scheming takes into account how hungry you are or what sounds good, which means it will probably be a miss in terms of satisfaction.
I love the ice cream adventure. Earlier in my happy eating, I set out on a quest to try every flavor of Ben & Jerry's. It was a delicious project, great for becoming indifferent about ice cream. It went from being a rare and romanticized binge food to just not caring. If you can eat something whenever, you can relax. It's not going anywhere. No need to eat it all right now. It was interesting how when you do that with one food, like ice cream, the lessons learned tend to carry over to other foods, like potato chips or whatever. So, it's not like you need to repeat the process with every food you've ever craved or placed off limits. Your brain gets the message that there's no scarcity.
Still rocking + rolling with Moderation365. I have realized that I tend to get into food ruts based on "allowed" foods and am never adventurous with new recipes or meal ideas. That stops NOW. While I don't want to become too ambitious in the kitchen, something as simple as switching up snack ideas or buying a new salad dressing can be kind of magical. I have had enough Rx bars to last an entire lifetime (hopefully I'll start craving them again eventually because I have like 8 in my pantry, ha). My goal in the next few weeks is to buy new things at the store that look good, without hyper-focusing on their macronutrient values.
Something else I recognize is my tendency to think of food in terms of portions. Have the whole thing, or half, or a quarter. My brain is programmed to eat how much is "allowed" or "acceptable." This "a few bites" is new to me, because my disordered eating is very methodical, calculated, and symmetrical, if that makes sense. A friend baked a homemade shamrock funfetti cake and gave me a huge slice yesterday. I let my kids split most of it, while trimming off the very best few bites for myself. I ate them after lunch today and was amazed by how satisfied I was with literally 3 bites of cake. Magic, I tell ya! Completely satisfying, and I didn't want more.
I'm also making a new tradition with my kids called Weekly Ice Cream Adventure (literally just made that name up whilst typing this). Every week I'll snag a pint of a new ice cream flavor for us to try together. It's nice to know I can have ice cream in my freezer and hardly remember it's there, and that having a few bites any old time is ALLOWED (encouraged, even, under the Moderation365 mindset). That is freedom right there!
I'm so excited for you, @slh07! There is a lot of joy and excitement in your post. It reminds me of how I felt when I started Happy Eaters. It was like, wait a minute, dieting isn't working and I don't have to keep doing it. Woohoo!!! Diet Brain was freaking out and imagining dire consequences, but I couldn't ignore the facts any longer. Rather than making me happy and healthy, restriction was causing me to eat like a lunatic. It was pushing my weight higher and squashing all the joy out of my life. It was a whole bunch of social isolation, stress, and guilt, which is not what I signed up for.
I really related to what you said about not letting yourself eat even a bite of what everyone else was having, but then wildly overeating weird "allowed" foods later. The step beyond that is you deny yourself, overeat weird diet foods, and then go ahead and overeat the thing you could have enjoyed with everyone else two hours ago. Once that kind of thing was happening all the time, I could no longer delude myself into believing that meal plans and safe foods were the way to go and I just needed to try harder.
I'm happy to hear about any other thoughts you have or discoveries you make. You're doing great!
Putting #moderation365 into practice the last few days and it sure has been eye-opening! I hadn't realized how many foods I'd subconsciously deemed "unhealthy" and how scared I was to take 1 or 2 bites of something. Being a Mom to 2 teen boys, you can imagine how often I'm exposed to "bad" foods and I never ever let myself have a bite of something. I have realized that my pattern is to watch them eat [a frosty, cheetos, etc.] and then scurry off to over-eat on "healthy" foods. Feeling bloated and over-eating "allowed" foods is what drove me to seek a more sane way, and is how I found this forum and this particular post!
The concept of #moderation365 is not new to me. I've been a long-time follower of Jill Coleman but I never thought this approach would work for me. Well, I was wrong. I have never felt more satisfied with food than in these past couple of days. I've had (real, full-fat) ice cream, a burger, fries, and a homemade cookie gifted to me by a friend. I've also had salad, beans, berries, high-fiber cereal, eggs, smoothies, and tons of veggies and protein. For the first time in my entire life, I finally feel sane and balanced around food. Nothing is off limits and that feels amazing.
I find the pre-emptive treats (I agree with @skwigg, "treats" is much better than "cheats") to be especially helpful. I never really WANT to eat an entire pint of ice cream, a few bites is more satisfying in the long run, but it took eating ice cream on a Tuesday afternoon to realize this. To kind of take that food off it's pedestal. Having a couple bites of a real flour/butter/sugar cookie after lunch is kind of magical, knowing I can have more later if I want. "Navigate the middle" is my new mantra.
Grocery shopping yesterday was especially fun! I bought things I'd never normally allow in my diet, with the goal of exposing myself to small amounts of them throughout my days as cravings hit (exposure/intermittent sampling FTW). The next time my kids have a treat, I won't hesitate to ask for a bite or two, knowing I can just move on with my day - THE WORLD WILL NOT END AND I WILL NOT AUTOMATICALLY GAIN 40 POUNDS.
Key takeaways from @skwigg's notes above that I wrote down and have been reading every morning to stay on this path:
✔️Satisfaction is always the goal
✔️Eat while staying mindful of how I feel both physically AND emotionally
✔️Strive to always navigate the middle; I love this phrase!
✔️Patience + Consistency + Trust are key - that's the secret sauce
✔️"I don't know when or what I'll eat next, but I trust I'll get hungry and make a healthy choice at that point." ---> this is much easier when you leave each meal satisfied and not already thinking about the next one! It frees up so much brain space and mental energy.
✔️Know you can eat anywhere, anytime; each eating experience is a learning opportunity, never a failure
✔️Focus on things outside of food and body; purpose-driven living
Looking forward to moving forward with this new mindset. ❤️
I'm glad it helped, @slh07. Coming right out of a longtime diet mindset, I found approaches like Moderation365 really helpful. I couldn't go from ALL the control to ZERO control or not caring. The idea that there was middle ground between the two was honestly news to me. The more I focused on how I wanted to feel, the easier eating became. I want to feel good after I eat. I want flexibility. I want to be social. I want to feel relaxed. I want my food to taste good and satisfy. Dieting ignores all of that for the most part. You follow the rules and that's that. It leaves us feeling helpless and constrained. Learning to trust yourself is freedom.
Wow, thank you for adding all these notes! I'm finally admitting to myself that after a lifetime of dieting, disordered eating, and recovery, even though I feel relatively normal around food, I'm still living under this food template I've established for myself and need to find more freedom and trust. These notes are awesome! Looking forward to my Moderation365 journey.
There are a lot of things in these notes that I don't do or worry about anymore, but it was helpful at the time for getting from a life of dieting to something else.
From skwigg's journal:
Ok, so remember those DNC's I posted a couple of weeks ago? I've already abandoned them. Clearly I should never put anything in writing. :-) To recap, those daily nutritional commitments (JillFit thing) were eating satisfying meals when hungry, eating some protein and fat with each meal, and eating plenty of fiber, fruits, veggies, and nuts each day. Actually, I guess the third one is still in play. I do that spontaneously without thinking. Love my squirrel food. The others. Meh.
Eating a satisfying breakfast lunch and dinner, nothing in between, and being physically hungry for those meals was genuinely helpful for a time, life-changing even. Now, sometimes I want two breakfasts. Like I'll have a bowl of cereal before I walk the dog and run errands, and then I'll eat something more substantial two hours later. I'm hungry for both. Or I'll have a few almonds an hour before dinner. Or a cookie mid-afternoon because I made cookies and, hello, warm cookies. Sometimes eating a little something is more logical (and fun) than only eating substantial meals that will last six hours.
Which brings us to the protein and fat thing. Already, my requirements were pretty low, a few nuts would cover both. But I've recently conducted some experiments with eating stand-alone plants/carbs. A salad, a green smoothie, cereal, or an apple. Do you know what bad things happen if I do that? Nothing. LOL So there you go. Now would just a green smoothie last me 7 hours like a bigger and more balanced meal? Definitely not, but if I eat again whenever I get hungry, that doesn't matter.
After a couple weeks of happily winging it like this, my weight has dropped back toward the lower end of my range. I definitely still eat when I'm hungry, so it's not that I'm ignoring hunger or mindlessly snacking or anything. I'm maybe just trusting myself to eat according to my needs. A little more mindfulness, a little less autopilot adding of chicken and peanut butter.
From skwigg's journal:
Ok, here's another massive brain dump of JillFit notes and thoughts from the webinars. I especially liked some of the Q&A. In no logical order....
Question the rules. We go around collecting control mechanisms and then become overwhelmed by them.
Moderation is the opposite of control-driven. It's heart-driven, trust-driven.
Reducing the daily mental effort required for eating opens up space for other things, like enjoying your workouts, improving performance, stress relief.
DNCs take care of 80% of what needs to happen in a day. It's automated. It's effortless. There's only about 20% of situations left where you might need decision-making or willpower.
Q: Can you overdo intermittent sampling or preemptive treats? A: In general, no. Snacking or grazing behavior is ok (What? What? This is a good reminder that there are no rules.) if done with awareness, if you learn how various amounts feel and make adjustments. The limit is not a specific "allowed" amount, but when you realize that you're not hungry, not craving anything in particular, and are just eating to be eating. Then it's time to take a step back, decide what you really need or want, and physically go do that other thing. If sampling behavior feels binge-like, it's often because you're lacking satisfaction earlier in the day/week. Maybe you're not eating enough for your activity or are still limiting types of foods. Maybe you're emotionally unsatisfied and looking for an outlet. Maybe it's a case of habit, or situational eating, or a scarcity mindset. If it's not about hunger or satisfying a specific craving, that's your cue to step back and get curious.
Purpose driven living. When you have an activity, hobby, or pursuit to immerse yourself in that isn't food. This is especially important if you use food as a reward, distraction, or escape.
Negative self talk interferes with our ability to be consistent because it drains willpower.
When troubleshooting, take the emotion out of it. Investigate objectively. Search for clues. Be curious. What would you tell someone else in that situation?
Google "JiilFit emotional eating" for several posts. It's just eating. Normalize it. Get mindful. Don't put "emotional eating" on a pedestal or make it into a separate big problem.
Q: How is a choice or DNC to eat a big salad with protein different from restrictive or disordered behavior where I would only allow myself salad with protein? A: The difference is satisfaction. The entire goal is satisfaction. Without even looking at the menu, "I know that I will feel satisfied if I eat ______." It's probably not going to be a plain salad with light dressing. Maybe it's still protein and vegetables, but with add-ons like cheese, bacon, bread, ranch dressing, a few French fries, or some dessert. It's satisfying physical hunger + satisfying need for pleasure/fun at the same time. Restriction doesn't allow for that.
Q: What do we do about foods that we can't control ourselves around? I bought a bag of potato chips to help normalize them and ate the whole thing in two days. A: Eating a bag of potato chips in two days is ok. Moderation can feel like failure at times. It's not. Exposure is how we normalize all foods and cultivate an abundance mindset. What if I suggested you eat your usual food all day, do your DNCs, and then eat an entire bag of potato chips every night after dinner. How would you feel about potato chips after a few days? After three weeks? Would they still feel exciting and hard to resist? Or would you be awash in potato chip abundance, totally over them, and have no problem stopping with a more comfortable amount after that? If the worst that happens is you overdo it for awhile and then have no problem being around chips, isn't it worth it? She also discusses how the increased nighttime food intake will begin to affect the next day. You'll wake up already more satisfied and less hungry throughout the day, knowing there's another bag of chips coming. Ugh. Chips. Right?
(skwigg talking now) I did this first with ice cream and then with baked goods. If you're eating something rich and crazy more than once a day, or several nights in a row, even overeating it at first, you become so habituated to that food it's almost boring. This is how I have a dozen Peanut Butter Insanity Brownies, 5 pints of ice cream, and a Ziploc bag full of chocolate frosting in my freezer right now with zero temptation to eat any of it today. I've had plenty already. I'll have more in the future. Total abundance mindset. This allows me to eat to feel good and not obsess about foods I really want but can't control myself around. In a way, this normalizing (habituation) puts brownies on the same emotional level as carrots. I have those too, and I enjoy them, but I'm not resisting the urge to go eat the whole bag. I'll have one when I feel like it. The brownies are no different. This feels miraculous after years of restrict/rebound adventures, but it was chronic dieting, a scarcity mindset, and the idea of forbidden, dangerous, "trigger" foods that created that situation in the first place.
Active Acceptance - accepting the reality of where you are now frees up mental space to continue to strive.
Guilt and remorse are distractions that drain our resources and prevent us from moving forward in a positive way.
Strive from a grateful place and not a self-hate place.
Negative self-talk is not a solution. It's what keeps you from coming up with a solution. Beating yourself up mentally is a choice. Being ok with yourself is also a choice. They are not caused or solved by weight or behavior.
Blame, shame, guilt, remorse, obsessive rule-following, looking out there and asking, "Who is responsible for me being miserable?" I'll give you one guess. (LOL) It's not the meal plan or the diet book. It's you. It's a choice. (My initial rage at intuitive eating comes to mind here. I wanted to blame it so badly!! It's not me, it's that stupid concept that ruined everything!)
We say no a lot. When is it ok to say yes? Jill says, I want you saying yes more than ever. Yes, I'll have a French fry. Yes, I'll go to the pizza restaurant. Yes, I'd love a bite of your dessert. How do you navigate the yeses in a moderate way? It's great mindfulness practice.
The old neurotic way will always be there for you. You can always go back to counting everything and being crazy.
Physique Automation - how can I spend less time and energy maintaining my body?
Mental aerobics drain willpower. What are they?
- mental planning, counting, neurotic rule-following, zero resiliency when you "mess up" - Guilt, shame, remorse, disgust, negative self-talk, negative reinforcement - Excuses, blame, complaining
These lead to the same or worse outcomes and result in the "what the hell" effect (defeat, discouragement, giving up).
How do we overcome mental aerobics? Give yourself permission to:
- Choose moderation instead of all-or-nothing (preemptive treats) - Be human - "Mess up" and LEARN from those instances (resiliency) - Give yourself the benefit of the doubt (self-compassion) - Be an example - 3 Daily Nutritional Commitments (DNCs)
From skwigg's journal:
A few more notes and thoughts from Jill Coleman's Food Obsession Bootcamp.
This week was about control versus trust, and the mindsets surrounding abundance/scarcity and situational eating. I loved some of the questioning she suggests. If you're feeling scarcity and worried there won't be enough food, ask yourself, "What's the worst case scenario?" You aren't actually going to die. Maybe you need to go out and get more food, or maybe you wait and eat later. Ask, "Is this the last opportunity I will ever have to eat this food?" Probably not. Probably you could get more any time. Ask, "What am I missing out on if I skip it?" Maybe you're only missing out on feeling stuffed and disappointed. Ask, "Will I regret skipping it?" Tomorrow morning are you going to be sad or pleased that you passed on the whatever it is? Remember that the flash of disappointment from turning something down tends to be fleeting. Maybe 30 seconds or a minute or two. Then you probably either won't care or you'll feel good about it.
Situational eating can be people or peer pressure (grandma insisting you have one more, everyone ordering appetizers). It can be fear of missing out (food FOMO). Maybe you always get popcorn at the movies or dessert at a restaurant and are afraid you'd really be missing out if you made a different choice. Situational eating can also be emotional eating or brain shut-down where you link certain eating behaviors to certain events, like snacking when your show is on television or rewarding yourself with takeout food after a stressful day at work. Some tools are to reaffirm your goals. With food pushers or peer pressure, resist the urge to get defensive or make excuses. "No thanks, I'm good." is better than blaming them, explaining your whole approach, or trying to get their approval. Choose food that is both moderate and satisfying from the middle range of the deprivation/indulgence scale. You don't have to either say no or eat everything.
Have a mental plan, and then make another one if it doesn't work out. She gave an example of her husband ordering a dessert she didn't care for. She passed, but planned to pick up her favorite frozen yogurt from the place next door. They were out, so she shifted the plan to have something she enjoyed at home. Roll with it. You always have choices. Mindfulness gives you time to decide and implement. You don't have to eat something you don't really want just because it's there.
More random notes:
The goal isn't to not binge. The goal is to never feel deprived.
Rules are a crutch. They keep you dependent and give a false sense of control.
If you can feel more satisfied on Monday, you'll indulge less on Friday. If you can feel more satisfied at breakfast, you'll indulge less at lunch. Don't think about days or meals in isolation. Each one affects the others.
You can never trust situations and circumstances (what your mother in-law is serving, whether there will be healthy food options in a meeting) but you CAN always trust yourself. The ultimate freedom is knowing you can eat anywhere anytime and choose the best option for you. (Self-trust)
Start questioning the rules you may have internalized. Things like: 100g of protein per day, 5 servings of vegetables, no carbs at night, or drinking a gallon of water. They are a mental drain. If you're trying to keep track of lots of external food rules every day, you won't have enough energy left to practice mindfulness. Our minds weigh all decisions the same. Your willpower doesn't care about impact. It will treat grams of sodium in peanut butter or white rice versus brown (little rocks) the same as decisions that actually matter like eating satisfying meals when hungry (big rocks). Too much food noise depletes your willpower for no reason.
Eat according to your HEC (hunger, energy, cravings), not the clock. There is no external formula that will solve all your problems, make the process effortless, and give you the body of your dreams. Easy is earned through practice. (Oh, snap! Isn't that last sentence the truth!)
Ask: Is this way of eating making me more or less neurotic? If it makes you more obsessed, don't go there.
This week's homework is to pick 3 of your "rules" and shirk them. Again, I've shirked all of my rules to bits already. :-) I don't have any new ones I want to work on. This will be a really exciting week for people who are just moving away from obsessive rule-following. Nothing bad happens, I assure you.
From skwigg's journal:
Here are some more of my notes from Jill Coleman's Food Obsession Bootcamp. These are from the second webinar.
Don't ask "Is this working?" ask "Am I learning?" This is an ongoing practice, not a diet that works or doesn't. The focus is on learning and improving. The old way will always be there for you if you miss white-knuckling your way through 12 week fat loss programs and then rebound bingeing.
Ending obsession is about being mindful and moderate.
Moderate - Nothing is ever off-limits and you never feel deprived. Choosing the middle way.
Mindful - Avoiding brain shutdown mode where you check out and overeat because it feels good in the moment with no thoughts about consequences, or vague "I'll do better tomorrow" thoughts.
Mindfulness is the midpoint between too much thinking (obsession) and too little thinking (binge eating). To be mindful, ask 2 quick questions in the moment. How am I feeling emotionally? How am I feeling physically?
You become mindful and in that moment put together your strategy. It requires staying present. Choose a middle way between deprivation and overindulgence, something that will feel good both now and after you're done eating.
When you get hungry, surf the urge to eat for 10-20 minutes as you decide what to do and make it happen. Also surf the flash of disappointment that happens when you realize you're not choosing to eat the whole huge super indulgent thing right now. It's momentary. It will dissipate within seconds. You'll enjoy and feel even better about what you did choose. Maybe it's a smaller portion of the super indulgent thing, or maybe it's an equally satisfying alternative that won't leave you feeling stuffed and uncomfortable.
Preemptive cheats (hate that term), but some of my preemptive treats that I eat daily that help with satisfaction and joy are things like honey, chocolate chips, cheese, and peanut butter.
Have a strategy/ritual for tricky times: mid-afternoon, when you get home, after dinner, anytime you crave sweets.
Know ahead of time what you're going to do to take the edge off.
Daily treats beat the deprive-then-binge cycle for both results and sanity.
Perfection is not an option.
PAW - Pull Away & Wait. Give yourself at least 10 minutes away from the food you’re wanting to overeat right now. If you still want to eat more after the pause, go ahead. It’s just giving yourself time and space to choose.
Tools: intermittent sampling, one fry rule, 3 polite bites. These allow you to practice and gain confidence with tasting and enjoying anything. You don’t have to eat it all or resist completely. A few mindful bites can be both fun and satisfying.
Another tool: pass one time a day on something. Don’t say yes to every work sheet cake, movie popcorn, bread basket, meeting bagel, or candy jar you encounter. Pick and choose. Build confidence in turning down foods you don’t really care about.
From skwigg's journal:
Some of my notes from the Food Obsession Boot Camp webinar:
Obsession is thinking about food all day. Automation and trust reduce the % of time spent thinking about food. Food journals, software, calorie and macro counting, off-limits foods, and diet rules are control mechanisms that increase food thoughts.
Control is the opposite of trust.
Effortless eating. Eating the same on Saturday as you do on Monday. Knowing you can make good choices no matter where you are or what's being served. Not freaking out about "your food" or not being able to have "your food" when you're eating in a restaurant or at someone's house.
Where you sit day to day, hour to hour on the deprivation/indulgence scale determines your ability to eat like a sane person. Deprivation leads to overindulgence in equal measure. The goal is to never feel deprived.
I realized that I never feel deprived anymore. Like I can't even think of a time or an example. I routinely eat favorite foods to satisfaction. This week's homework was to include a satisfying portion of a troublesome or trigger food every day. I thought about chocolate, no, already eat that every day. Ice cream, no, I have that all the time. Hey, bread! Nope, english muffins and sandwiches are a daily occurrence already. I'm already rocking this homework so I'll just carry on.
The other thing I thought was interesting, and this was from the AntiFragile2016, was the importance of nailing maintenance. Eliminating obsession is mostly about maintenance and sustainability. If you can't eat effortlessly and maintain at this weight/size, you won't be able to do it at a lighter/leaner one without deprivation and willpower entering into it. Then back to FOBC, these all blurred together because I listened to them back-to-back. She talks about urgency. Urgency is the enemy because when you're feeling it, you'll restrict and deprive in an attempt to get results quickly. That "I'm not ok now" mentality will send you careening toward the deprivation end of the scale, which slams you back to the overindulgence end even harder, which causes you to restrict harder to make up for it, which leads to more and worse overindulgence. She put up a graphic of a tennis match. Back and forth in equal measure. If one side hits hard, the other side hits back harder. It's best to step out of the game completely and aim for middle ground in your choices and thinking. That's how you genuinely don't care about there being a dozen cookies in the kitchen, or cake at work, or delivery pizza at a friend's house. Those situations don't cause panic and all-or-nothing thinking if you're not deprived.
My own thoughts now. Maintenance is so refreshing. I don't know that it's physically maintaining my weight that is so magical. Maybe it's not dealing with a fat loss mindset every minute of the day. Ironically, that's how I lost fat, eating at maintenance for a happy, healthy me and continuing to eat that way. I didn't eat one way for fat loss and another way for maintenance. Every day, I enjoy thinking in terms of satisfaction and eating enough. What will I enjoy? What will be nourishing? What will be fun? What will allow me to go many hours without thinking about food again? That's what I eat. Sneakily trying to always eat less, restrict, reduce kept me stuck in the deprive/overindulge tennis match.
I've also enjoyed eating the same way no matter what day it is. Wow, that took some doing! The funny thing is that it wasn't so much about cleaning up my weekends (as I thought), but about deliberately messing up my week. :-) If I eat pizza for breakfast on a work day, or an ice cream cone after lunch, or I take a candy bar with my dinner, and that's my usual behavior, to build fun foods into each day, then I don't hit the weekends half-crazed and ready to eat all the things in mass quantity. I enjoy some lighter meals with vegetables and no dessert on weekends (or any day) and I'm perfectly happy because I know I can still have the ice cream whenever.
From skwigg's journal:
During one of the Q&As, someone asked if she could share the moderation365 webinar links with interested friends and Jill said yes, so see if these work for you:
They're long! Some almost 90 minutes. I downloaded the .MP4s on my laptop and pushed them to my phone via iTunes.
Here's her blog which also has great related posts on food, productivity, and mindset: http://jillfit.com/blog/
From skwigg's journal:
Here comes another big brain dump of my notes and thoughts from the 3rd JillFit moderation365 webinar.
The Sunday Night Roundup - when you go through the kitchen eating all of the leftovers, processed foods, and sweets from the weekend so that you're not tempted by them on Monday when they'll be off limits again. Because logic.
A commitment is something I choose. A rule is something put upon me.
Choose 3 Daily Nutritional Commitments (DNCs) that are 3 Es: Effortless, Enjoyable, Effective. These limit the amount of mental energy spent on food.
Jill's are: eating a Big Ass Salad every day, eating some protein with every meal even if it's only 10g from nuts or cheese, keeping a favorite dessert-like protein bar with her and having a piece after meals or if she gets hungry between them.
These are things you already do. Things that come naturally and are already a cornerstone of your eating. Not something new you want to try or something you think you should be doing. Someone asked what to do if their current eating is a trainwreck. Jill said to start with eating in ways you think you would enjoy. Then see how it feels and make adjustments. So it may take some practice and investigation to narrow down the three things.
Some of mine: eating satisfying meals when hungry eating some protein and fat with every meal eating high-fiber cereal, fruits, vegetables, and nuts every day
Those things are second nature and make me feel good. They also support being healthy and eating an appropriate amount.
Give yourself permission to be the expert on your own body.
How are you getting your protein, fiber and water every day in amounts that feel good to you? Taste good? Are easy?
Greek yogurt, chocolate whey protein, cooking enough burgers and chicken for leftovers, tuna pouches, eggs, cheese, nuts. All-Bran, beans, veggies, apples, green smoothies. Having a glass of water or a water bottle nearby all day, but drinking to thirst, not forcing it.
Some people feel better with a higher fat intake vs a higher starchy carb intake. To determine which it is for you, ask which provides the highest satisfaction factor in a meal? Which produces the best outcome in terms of hunger, energy, and cravings (HEC)?
For me, it used to be dietary fat by a landslide. Now that I'm more active, I feel better with more starchy carbs than before, but I still tilt toward a balance of everything. Like my English muffin lunch today. Protein, fat, starch, veggies, and fruity.
What is very important to you in terms of enjoyment / treats? How can you include those regularly to boost satisfaction with the way you eat and reduce feelings of deprivation?
Baking and partaking in delicious homemade desserts is very important to me. Cheese rules. A little chocolate does wonders for a meal. Regularly including smaller portions of these foods keeps me from getting overly excited about them or romanticizing them into bingey territory. It's also important for me to be able to eat anywhere with anyone and not stress about it. Dieting made me socially awkward.
What kind of meal timing works best for you? Are you hungry in the morning? Do you like to snack? Do you like bigger meals? When do you have time to eat? When do you usually get hungry? How does your meal timing affect your hunger/energy/cravings? You get to decide what works best for you. There are no rules. Question everything.
Me, I'm a breakfast, lunch, and dinner person. Although, I'll throw in a fourthmeal (as Taco Bell calls it) if I get hungry between meals or before bed. I like feeling a little hungry before bed, just a general light and empty feeling that I barely notice. If I do notice, it just makes me look forward to breakfast. But if I'm so hungry it's distracting or might keep me awake, I'll go ahead and eat something
How do you teach yourself:
Moderation - have 3 bites of a shared dessert in a restaurant or birthday cake at work, one fry off of someone else's plate. Little challenges that flex your moderation muscle and build confidence. You don't need to have all or none.
Mindfulness - asking if you're still enjoying what you're eating, checking in and eating just enough. She says 80% full but I translate that into EJE. At "enough" you feel like you could still eat more. You're not stuffed. You're comfortable and satisfied.
Abundance - practice intermittent sampling. That's eating some and saving some, of one specific food. It's not snacking on lots of things. It's breaking a chocolate bar into pieces and having one now, one after dinner, and one tomorrow. Knowing you can always have more reinforces abundance. Exposure is important. There shouldn't be any foods that you're terrified of and can't have in your house. Expose yourself in small doses. Practice intermittent sampling.
Q&A - How do you reconcile everything you've ever read about what's healthy and unhealthy with what you actually like? "I will always choose a food that I'm satisfied with over a food that I read somewhere is healthy." The more you choose a food that you enjoy and that satisfies you personally, the less likely you are to overeat more and worse later. If you eat something because a book or an expert says, and you feel you should, but you don't even like that food, trouble will follow. Trust yourself more than you trust the rules.