No carbs. Just the thought of it makes me sad.
But sitting at a traffic light and feeling the muffin top spill over is just as sad…and gross.
Being Filipino, rice is a staple. I thought I was a superhero when I managed to replace white rice with brown rice.
My celebrity starch status lasted for a few months. Because even with brown rice, I still gravitated toward the breads, waffles, croissants, muffins and bread pudding. And that’s only at church!
So what does the effort of cutting carbs look like for the average single mom who relies on the quick and easy bread solution to fill the tummies of the household? How do I overcome the need for the texture of breads and starchy grains?
1. Writing down what I eat. It’s elementary but it shows me exactly what and when I get my starch triggers. Maybe it’s in the afternoon with the cookies. Or maybe it’s the morning meal with two pieces of toast instead of one. It could also be a pattern that I take in more starch on days when I don’t get enough protein. The data will show after an honest list of what I’ve eaten.
2. Win with one meal at a time. Do I need that portion of rice? What about if I do half? What can I substitute for the pretzel bread? Do I really want to invest that donut in my midsection? Can I wait one hour before eating it? Can I do a set of twenty squats and then see if I still want it?
Cutting carbs also means exploring other foods, like fruits and vegetables and proteins, that will give me a satisfied appetite. It means developing an interest for stuff I may not have tried before and pacing myself so I’m not rushing back to the bagel-only morning again. This effort also means I need to be realistic with what I enjoy. It doesn’t mean “no pizza, ever.” It just means, “not right now.”
What did you do to be careful with carbs?
I’m down ten pounds from last year. And I’ve kept it off. It wasn’t always about food. It was more about impulse control. I’ve learned that a lot of my emotional connections with food ran deeper than I thought. I’ve learned a lot about myself, how God cares about fitness and health, and that a simple, healthy meal doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly leafy and bland.
In the last six months, the biggest lesson I learned was that I don’t have to eat what’s in front of me. And if I do eat it, I don’t have to eat the whole thing. Life strategy coaches will tell you that exercising discipline in one area of life will automatically spill over to other areas. As I got more conscious with my budget and what kind of groceries I bring into the home, I got more conscious about the food I buy. My friend, Jonathan, a super workout hero, said that he spent more time in the kitchen than the gym. I took that to heart and started snacking on healthier things. I’d have the carbs and sweets on the weekends, and after feeling the difference of what those food would do, I would inevitably cut back or not eat it at all. The results were lower numbers on the scale and better sleep.
As a culture, Filipinos like to connect through food. It’s a term of endearment for us. It’s how we show love. We ask if you’ve eaten yet. Or we scurry around the kitchen trying to find what we can feed you. So turning down food is kind of like turning down a relationship! It sounds extreme, but I think you can understand how it could feel that way.
So a runner-up to the lesson on “you don’t have to eat that,” was finding out how to still connect through conversation at meal time without overindulging on the salty foods. That became training ground for communication and relationship skills. Not willpower to push away good food. It’d be easier to stuff my face and feel sluggish. But the price I’ll pay over time is too high. and TOO HEAVY! That’s how I got to this pudginess in the first place!
Anyway, the five-word rule of thumb, “Eat less and exercise more” is true. I was just so focused on the second part that I didn’t understand the real life application of the first part. It really meant, “eat less.” Funny how that works.
Cheering you on today with the foods that weigh you down. Remember, you don’t have to eat that!