Saturday, November 20, 2010

The End of Lean Eating Phase 4/Month 4

As we approach the end of Phase 4, they ask us to reflect, and find 2 ways that our mindset and our habits have improved in the last 4 weeks (as they do at the end of each phase).

Before I even get there, I find myself flabbergasted that we are 2/3's of the way through this program. Johanna mentioned in her log the impact of fully internalizing the knowledge that our pictures are 2 short months away, and I sympathize with her. TWO MONTHS! OMG! It just doesn't seem like enough time to be where I want to be when I dump a chunk of money into some pictures. They will serve their purposes, however. One, I will have pictures for the end of the program. Two, I'll have a Valentine's Day picture for the hubby, and while I might like it better if I were all buff and defined in those pictures, he loves me and finds me beautiful as is, so he'll love them regardless. But, really, two months?!

And I'll not even begin to get into the sense of loss I already feel not having the daily lessons and the online connection with "my girls." I really hope the alumni program is all that I want it to be.

About two of the ways my mindset has improved...I find myself obsessing less about the details of everything and just doing what needs to be done. Mentally, the habits are just that. They are automatic, so much so that I had to delay the "Low Fat Day" assignment because I took my fish oil before I thought about it. Another thing I have noticed is that I find myself less "food motivated," to borrow a term our vet uses to describe Luna. I look forward to and enjoy my treat meals, but I do not obsess over them. I definitely feel much more in control of what I choose to eat and when.

My improvements in my habits really overlap my mindset improvements quite a bit. I consider the rote nature of practicing the habits one of my best improvements. My other habit improvement has been to truly begin to internalize the eating only until 80% full. I no longer feel disappointed with this. I do occasionally have difficulty finding balance with getting my veggies and protein in without becoming too full, but most often I do ok.

I feel myself settling into this as a permanent change. Occasionally that concept--of its being the way I will live from here on out--begins to stifle me a little, to give me a small sense of panic. Then I begin to think rationally about it, about having lived this program for the last four months, about its being a choice that I make with each meal, one that I can continue to make, or not continue to make. But I am internalizing it as a part of how I function. I have done this before with nutritional habits and "fallen off the wagon" as life stressors hit. I think, though, that with age has come a wisdom that will allow me to resist that. At least I hope it will.

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