Eating vs exercise

So lately, I’ve been doing so well on the exercise — I don’t think I’ve been this fit since I was doing ballet in high school. My legs are strong and muscular, I can do 30 minutes on the elliptical without really breaking a sweat (OK, on the low resistance, but still), and I don’t really like Pilates or yoga because I don’t get exhausted in the classes my gym provides. I find myself looking forward to spin class, and not just because the guy who teaches it is cute.

But, then, on the other hand…my eating has fallen by the wayside. It basically has been for the last month, and I feel like I’m getting deja vu with this…I have this problem a lot. It makes sense in a way, I suppose…I think psychologically, when you’re doing good with one aspect of your life, you kind of give yourself  “permission” to let other habits fall by the wayside. I find myself thinking that it doesn’t matter if I eat fast food for lunch, because I’ll burn it off at the gym. I’ve earned it. And in a way, I’m right, because I’ve maintained my weight for the past three months.

There’s a large part of me that doesn’t see much wrong with this approach, and to be quite frank, I can’t bring myself to fully condemn my eating habits. I like food and I like exercise. I don’t really have the energy right now to be attacking healthy eating the same way I am with exercise. I also have a lot of stress going on right now, and I’m actually proud that I haven’t stuffed myself more. But I know I feel better when my eating isn’t totally out of whack. Friday, for example, I was totally stressed and emotional and ate 3 Hagen Daaz chocolate ice cream bars. Delixious, yes, but that’s not being very nice to my body.

So what to do, what to do? I don’t have the energy to go 100% on healthy eating right now, but there’s only so much exercise I can do — if I let myself continue down the path of overeating, I really WILL start to gain weight. I don’t want to undo all my hard work. And perhaps more importantly, I’ll feel gross, and perhaps even more importantly, I’ll feel like a person who can’t control her emotions and who lets stress blow her all over the place. That is bad for my self esteem.

So my strategy is to celebrate small food-related accomplishments. Hopefully this will help me eat a bit more mindfully — I’m not asking for or even desiring perfection, just maybe a bit more thought — and hopefully it will reinforce the good decisions I make and lead to more of them.

So, today, I am celebrating the following:

— I was going to make strawberry cake, but then I thought better of it, realizing that I was just bored and that the cake would taste much better if I waited until the weekend as a reward for getting all my work done and going to the gym at least four times.

— I ate a nice dinner of mango, baked cod, and red potatoes. I was considering a 1,000-calorie Marie Calendar’s pot pie (and believe me, I am still going to eat this) but again, thought better of it. I’ll save it maybe for Thursday, after spin class or some other day when I really burn the calories.

— I’m glad I ate the mango because it was going to go bad soon. I have a problem with buying produce and then procrastinating on eating it, and then it goes bad. Total bummer, right? Especially with mangos, I often misjudge their ripeness and then they get gross. Tonight, though, I caught my mango at the perfect state of ripeness and it was juicy-delicious. Wheee…

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