Finding Real Comfort in Food

Up until just a few months ago, for most of my life, food has been my security blanket. Whenever I had a rough day, an interaction that left me feeling insecure, or my depression began to enclose on me again, I knew exactly how french fries and a cheeseburger would make me feel. I knew they wouldn’t reject me, they’d make me feel the same way they always did, and I could enjoy them for about ten minutes. Ten minutes of comfort. Ten minutes of easing the pain of being tormented by depression and insecurity. Ten minutes of feeling “happy”.

For a brief moment, I felt good.

But all of those brief moments of good tasting mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes, garlic bread, and pizza left me feeling empty inside. When my plate was clean and the dishes were done, I was still insecure. I was still depressed. I was still ashamed of my body.

And each time I ate a curly fry dipped in Arby’s sauce, I gained a little more on my waist, and lost a little more confidence in who I was.

Why couldn’t I control my weight? Why couldn’t I have controlled what I had ate three months ago, so I look different today? Why was the person in the mirror so much different than who I thought I was?

To be fair, I didn’t eat fast food or carbs all of the time. I did not seek comfort in every single meal. Primarily, I ate pretty good. I ate a standard “food pyramid” American diet with the occasional fast food.  But I did eat impulsively sometimes. And sometimes I’d stretch those ten minutes of feeling good into twenty minutes by getting a second helping of a meal. Part of this was biological; when we eat a few carbs, our body starts wanting more, so we eat more. The other part of this was psychological. We feel good when we eat carbs, so we want more.

So, week after week, I lost the food battle. The weeks turned into months, and the months turned into years. And after I had lost enough battles, I became overwhelmed with the feeling of defeat. That feeling of defeat controlled me. It became a part of who I was. Most of the time, I hung my head down in shame. I avoided pictures with my family. I avoided mirrors. I avoided people, because I didn’t want them to see me like this.And the extra weight that stuck to my body stood as a testament to my lack of self-control and my battles lost.

And so the cycle would continue. I’d eat to numb that pain. I’d eat to feel in control. As if I were telling myself, This isn’t something that is happening to you, it’s something we are choosing. It’s ok to be a little “thick”. I’d eat for that ten minutes of feeling “happy” again.

Then, I started Keto. For those of you that are already ketoers, you probably know the feeling of eating just for the sake of getting your body some nutrients. Eating keto usually means eating a lot of the same foods over and over. After about two months of keto, your body starts to stop craving carbs all the time. I thank God that I had the discipline to keep it together for those two months, to get those cravings out of my body!

It wasn’t until recently that I realized I’d been winning the battle, though. While at multiple Christmas dinners this year, I realized my plate was not as full as it was in previous Christmases. I did not make excessive trips back to the food to fill my plate again. I did not feel overly stuffed or uncomfortable with the foods I ate.

In fact, over Thanksgiving, I lost a pound. And over Christmas, I maintained my weight.

That is what real comfort food, my friends.

Food that makes you feel comfortable in your own body. Food that helps you exude confidence, rather than defeat.

Food that’s “good feeling” lasts longer than the ten minutes you are tasting it, you have that good feeling every time you look in a mirror. Food that gives you fuel to be the person that you know you are. Food that doesn’t make you feel guilty or fuel your depression.

Real comfort food isn’t about what makes you feel good for a fleeting ten minutes. Comfort food is about fueling your body so you can be confident in who you are.

And this is why I won’t go back to the other lifestyle. Its about more than what is on my plate. I don’t want to go back to hanging my head in shame. I want to continue to be happy with who I am. I want the food I eat to reflect who I want to become.

I broke the cycle. I’ve won the battle. It’s about keeping it that way now.

A long overdue update

Ok, before this post starts, I probably should apologize for the lack of postings lately. It is not because I have fallen off the keto wagon, but because the holidays are extremely busy. My husband and I have to travel a lot for the holidays. Additionally, I had to pick up more than a few extra shifts at work to help my co-workers get some time off.

I also feel really guilty that I haven’t finished my “one week of keto” posts yet, but that will get done this weekend.

An update on how I’ve been doing. I’m down to 145 pounds now. That’s 28 pounds down!

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This is me at about 100 days of Keto. I’d dropped about 26 pounds at this point. I’m also rocking my new Doctor Who gear my hubby got be for Christmas. I never imagined being able to fit into a size Medium. Especially while I was in the 140 range. I think that I’m putting on a lot more muscle.

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For Comparison…
(The pictures are all taken within a week or so of the date it’s listed at)

Right now, I am holding strong at 145. I kept my diet over Thanksgiving and Christmas! My family has been really supportive of this lifestyle change and have even inquired about it themselves. My sister and mom began the keto journey this last week. Every time there was a family gathering, my family made sure there was food I could eat there!

So, in case you were curious, I am still ketoing on. It’s just been difficult to take the time to write down what’s been going on.

One Week of Keto: Wednesday

Water: I slacked a little on the water consumption today, but am not to worried about being dehydrated. I ended up drinking about 50 oz of water today, about 1/2 or 1/3 of what I normally drink. I just had a really busy day at work and didn’t have the opportunity to drink a lot of water.

Exercise: I normally take Wednesday’s off, since I normally work a 15 hour day. But this week I ran Physical Training laps with the boys I work with. I probably got 1 mile in today.

FOOOOOOD: Today was Thanksgiving dinner at the group home I work at, so for lunch I ate roast turkey, mixed veggies (peppers, onions, squash) and some bacon wrapped jalapenos. For dessert, I had a few tablespoons of cool whip.

For dinner, I ate 1/2 cucumber, ranch dressing, fat bombs, and an Atkin’s shake.

….and that, folks, was my Wednesday!

One Week of Keto: Tuesday

I know I’m posting this late. Monday through Thursday are rough times for me to get posts in, because I normally work 40 hours between 6:00 am on Monday and 11:00 pm on Thursday. However, this week, I worked a little more on Wednesday, giving me an 18 hour workday. Anyway, posting wasn’t as high of a priority as sleeping, so I decided to save my Tuesday and Wednesday posts until this morning.

Tuesday

Water: I was able to consume around 120 oz of water today. This was spread throughout the day starting at about 9 and ending at about 11.

Exercise: I had several errands to run, so my normal “running” was cut a little short. Rather than decide not to do anything at all, I went ahead and ran a mile and half in 18 minutes. Not the best cardio workout… but definitely better than nothing!

FOOOOOD:

For breakfast I ate some toffee fat bombs at about 11:00.

For lunch, I had a ham, lettuce, mayo and cheese wrap with a side of Fiesta Chicken.100_2367

 

Dinner was cucumbers and fat bombs, like the day before. 100_2354

 

I didn’t plan this into my day, but after work I did go out with some co-workers. I had an order of buffalo wings (which I only ate half of). This isn’t a regular thing that we do. However, before Keto, I probably would have considered this a “special occasion” and eaten whatever I wanted. Instead, I stuck to the guidelines of my diet and stayed on track!

Fiesta Chicken Casserole

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Ingredients:

1/8 cup of queso con salsa

2 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenderloins

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup of shredded cheese (divided into 2 1/4 cups)

2 Tbs Taco Seasoning (about 1/2 packet)

2 cups of chopped cauliflower

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

4 Tbs Cream cheese

1/2 package of bacon

Directions:

  1. Cook your chicken and bacon. I baked both of mine for about 30 minutes at 350.
  2. Set aside you cauliflower and 1/4 cup of cheese. Mix all the other ingredients into a bowl until it looks like a chunky sauce.Image
  3. Add your cauliflower to this batter.Image
  4. Check on your chicken. Once it’s ready, shred it! You can use two forks to pull them apart or a salad chopper works, too.Image
  5. Mix your chicken in with the other ingredientsImage

Put this mixture in a casserole dish. Top with the other 1/4 cup of cheese and crumbled bacon. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.Image

Let it cool a bit before you serve it.ImageImage

Nutritional Information:

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One Week Of Keto: Monday

This is what a normal Monday looks like for me

5: 00 AM — Up for Work. Drink 32oz of water.

Work from 6:00 AM – 9:00 AM and then drink another 32 oz of water.

Work out at the Gym from 9:30-11:00. This was my routine today:

  • 30 minutes elliptical “cardio setting” 300 calories burned.
  • 30 minutes running at a 2.0 incline. 2.33 miles done 225 calories burned.
  • 100 crunches
  • 3 sets of 30 of the following: bicep curls, tricep curls, and push ups

All this… without food. Oh, and drink another 32oz water.

11:00-12:00 rest, water, food

  • Today I ate some toffee fat bombs at about 11:00
  • At about 11:45 I ate my lunch. Mashed Cauliflower with bacon. Ham, pepper jack, and mayo roll up. A side of Hot Chocolate.Image
  • Then I make dinner. Today it’s just 1/2 cucumber and 2 fat bombs. I’ll probably dip the cucumbers into some ranch.Image

I finish my day at work. I eat my dinner at about 5:00, then I stop eating until the next day. I keep pounding down the water to stay hydrated.