Monday, June 16, 2008

Finding a Balance

The way I feel today is precisely why I fare better when I'm able to avoid carby foods. I had a super-indulgent lunch today of breaded chicken tenders, french fries, and non-diet Coke, and even though it was way more food than I usually feel the need to eat all at once, I feel anything but full. There was plenty of fat in my meal to fill me up, but all the sugar and starch have just left me craving more of the same stuff.

When I can stick to low-carb eating, I don't even really think about food until the next meal, but right now, all I can think about is how much I want to go down the hall and buy a candy bar and another Coke. Low-carbing really does prove to me (over and over and over) how sugar and starch really do have additctive qualities. There may be plenty of people who don't experience symptoms of addiction when they eat carby foods, but I am definitely not one of those people.

That said, I really don't regret the lunch I had today. It was delicious, I didn't overeat, and I can overcome the effects of this meal with relatively little discomfort.

As you can tell, I'm not the strictest low-carber in the world -- sort of an on for a couple of weeks, off for a couple of days, then back on eater. I feel like I'm constantly re-evaluating how strictly I want to adhere to any particular way of eating. Only a year into this, I still don't think I've struck a good balance between eating what I want to eat and eating what makes me feel the best. (And the foods that make me feel the best emotionally are usually not the foods that make me feel the best physically.)

When I read books and blogs by folks who have been doing low-carb or sugar-free eating for a long time (like four or five years or more), I'm always struck by how confident and committed they seem to their particular ways of eating. I sometimes wonder if it's because they've just been doing it long enough to have really found what works for them, or if they're just trying so hard to sell others on their "lifestyles" that they end up convincing themselves that they've got it all figured out.

I do not have it all figured out. But I think it's definitely worth it to me to keep trying.