Meal By Meal

Posted: August 25, 2011 at 8:01 am

Last night’s Wednesday small group session at church was a grand ole time! I am jumping into a new group, so I had the chance to meet some new friends I will get the chance to connect with weekly. It’s always fun to develop new relationships to learn and grow together. Although it’s also interesting to try to explain the whole blogging thing. Yes, yes. I take pictures of my food. Yes, yes. I talk openly about my life on the world wide web. Yes, yes. I may be slightly crazy. Winking smile 

For our meet up, we started off with some fellowship – aka chit chat and food.

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I loaded up a plate with some pasta salad, veggies, and party mix. Quite delightful. And not just because it meant I didn’t have to cook. And for dessert, I had some fruit plus one of the Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies that I shared in last night’s post.

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They seemed to go over really well. With their whole wheat flour, stevia, natural peanut butter, and all. Muahaha! although the butter and brown sugar helped I’m sure…shhhhh

We spent the remainder of the night discussing the previous sermon about God’s desire for joy in our lives and the various ways we can find it in Him, loving others, and growing personally. One of the questions even got me thinking about how old personal demons try to get a hold of me sometimes…like last week when I found myself dealing with a mini-binge experience for the first time in a long time.

I had many different factors that could have played into it, including the thought of an upcoming vacation where I wouldn’t have my “regular eats”. Then, I knew I would have my birthday, social events,and a lot of other such experiences coming my way as well. On some level, the old “all or nothing” mentality crept back in.

That’s when I decided I couldn’t judge my choices and get caught up looking into my future food choices, allowing them to determine how I choose to nourish my body in the moment. Instead, I determined that I would change my mindset…

Meal By Meal

It became my new mantra. When eating meal by meal, I can focus on making the best of my options and actively choose what will nourish me and satisfy my most at each meal. I strive for balance, so my life will certainly involve times that I indulge or eat something different than what I may have prepared for myself. That doesn’t make my eating habits any less healthy on the whole.

Having an unhealthy relationship with food makes me unhealthier  – not enjoying a weekend vacation. Sinking back into the all or nothing approach and experiencing old eating demons makes me unhealthier – not having a busy social schedule. Healthy living happens one decision at a time. It culminates into a better lifestyle, but it still breaks down into many smaller choices. 

Taking things meal by meal allows me to remove the stress from my eating habits so I can choose wisely and let each of those decisions add up to a healthier, happier belly. And a healthier, happier me. Meal by meal… Smile 

  • Have future indulgences ever affected your current food choices?
  • Do you open up about your blog to new friends/acquaintances?

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37 Comments to “Meal By Meal”
  1. nicole says:

    I share that mantra with my clients also. I really believe in it and that we require different nutritions each day and no meal or day is the same. :)

    I don’t really open up about my blog to new people right away. It takes awhile for me.

  2. i love that mantra…why haven’t i ever thought of it?! one day at a time, one workout at a time, one meal at a time :)

  3. Khushboo says:

    YES, TOTALLY! I was a nut job at one point in my life- if I was going out for dinner, I would eat ridiculously light all day- I’m talking an egg white omelet and salad for lunch with an apple as a snack! Unsurprisingly, I would go all out when dinner came round because I was so freakin hungry! LIke yourself, I’m all about the ‘meal by meal’ approach now- I eat the same every day and if something comes up, great- I’ll enjoy it and then resume to my normal eating habits the next chance I get! There’s no more ‘eat less to compensate’ in my mind!

  4. I think meal by meal is the perfect way to stay on a healthy track. That’s why I always tell my clients the good ol phrase:

    “Make one healthy decision. Now make another.’

    Looking at an overall goal can be too overwhelming. Best to take things step by step :)

  5. I love your idea about Meal by Meal! I also love those Peanut Butter cookies ;)

  6. I like the meal by meal idea but definitely try to think through my day in terms of when I’ll have the majority of my calories… I try to achieve balance one day at a time! :)

  7. Trying to explain my blog to people is always a trip– It even took Will a good amount of time to warm up to the whole idea

  8. jobo says:

    Ya know…that is such a simple statement but so true, go it meal by meal. I always tend to jump ahead and plan plan plan but doing that does make me not focus on the meal at hand or that it is fuel for my body that I need before the next, more than anything. Good post and good choices :)

  9. Love your mantra. :) thanks always for opening up to us. It really reminds me to keep working at recovering from unhealthy eating habits. You’re a beautiful soul Tina!!

  10. Great mantra! Thanks so much for sharing your life so openly with us. It’s so reassuring to know there are people that battle the same things as you & now live victoriously! Hope you won’t mind if I use your new mantra too! Have a great day! :)

  11. I love that Tina! I have an upcoming vacation and I can’t help but wonder if I will be able to eat healthy. I will definitely be using that mantra, thank you!

  12. Suzanne says:

    I have a problem binging when its that time of the month. EVERY MONTH………37 years old and I’m still working on controling it.

    Yes and no……..I pretty much blog for me…..anyone that wants to follow is more than welcome

  13. Lisa says:

    I love this Tina! I am so lucky I came across your blog. I can relate SO MUCH to you. Every thing you have experienced and shared about your binging (and thank you so much for doing that) is what I have felt, but often times couldn’t verbalize and understand.

    You truly have helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel and helped me to have hope that I get through my own struggles.

    • Tina says:

      Aw, Lisa! Happy it resonates. I think its so important to share openly and support each other. Thank you for being there for me and hope I can continue to do the same for you. :)

  14. What a powerful mantra Tina! About a month ago I started telling myself to “Respect my food” and started writing the words perseverence and self-control everywhere around me. I found it very helpful to help me with overcoming binge eating.

    And as for telling others about my blog…if I do a post about friends I usually put the link on their facebook wall. Otherwise it doesn’t come up in regular conversation…even when people ask me what my hobbies are! I think that will change very soon though :) .

  15. I have slowly been switiching over to a meal by meal approach. For a long time (years!) I have planned out my meals each day and to be honest I never really looked forward to any of it. Now, I’ll plan out a few dinners and such in the beginning of the week (to help grocery shopping) but I don’t decide what to make until that day. Sometimes I want pasta, sometimes I want pizza, sometimes I want a big stir-fry. It all depends and I’m trying to listen to my body more — about what it wants at the time.

  16. JJ says:

    Tina, you totally hit it on the head….knowing I’ve got future indulgences often triggers my binges and I too have to break it down to the moment I’m in, instead of worrying about what’s to come.

    Bingeing is still my struggle, but I’m proud to say that I found a forum on sparkpeople (not doing anything else on there besides this one group) and our goal is 21 days binge free in a row. I’ve made it to 21 once, had a few mini streaks here and there since, and now am working on day 17 today! And the only way I get ANY streaks is to take it one step at a time, allow myself to be flexible (I’ll admit…my first BF streak included a lot of chocolate bar suppers b/c that’s what I “needed” to avoid bingeing on them later!), and to forgive myself if I make a “bad” food choice that would normally lead me into a binge.

    Great post :)

  17. Such a good mantra! I need to live by this as well. I definitely let future food choices affect my food choices now…if I know I’m going to be eating unhealthy tomorrow for whatever reason, but then I’ll overdo the veggies and cut back on the good stuff TODAY. Instead of stressing out over future meals, why don’t we just enjoy every meal and take it as a blessing from God?!

  18. Rebecca says:

    This was so good for me to read. I can get overwhelmed trying to plan a whole day of eats, especially when things don’t go as I planned. And that can be so thought-consuming and frustrating. Taking things just a meal at a time, making small healthy choices is so much more freeing. It allows me to not get so caught up in food, but be able to devote time and energy into my relationships with people and God. Thanks for this reminder!!

  19. Oh that pasta salad looks so yummy! And the cookies just sound too amazing :P

  20. I love your healthy attitude!! Eating one meal at a time is the way to go :)

  21. I don’t mention my blog to people right away, but if I’m taking a picture or referring to something I have posted…or anything that needs an explanation, I just quickly say something like, “Well, I write a blog so that’s why (I’m doing what I’m doing).” I leave it at that and if they ask me about it, I talk about it further, but if they don’t say anything else about it, I just continue on with our regular conversation. :-)

  22. I like the meal by meal idea, Tina! It makes so much sense. I will try that!

  23. I, too, get the weirdest looks from people when I carry my camera around. Normal people just.don’t.do.that. ;)

  24. I’m still a little shy about mentioning my blog to other people (most of my family knows though).

  25. Future indulgences have definitely affected my current choices when it come sto food. I’ve caught myself thinking “Oh better not eat that! You’re having cake later!” but I love your meal by meal mantra. If you’re living a healthy lifestyle, it will all balance out :)

    In regards to sharing my blog, I actually don’t tell anyone! I’m so shy about it but I don’t knwo why. I started it as a chance for me to express myself, as a creative outlet for myself and it’s grown so much! I love that I’ve made so many bloggy friends and others read it, but I don’t know how I would feel about my friends and family reading it. They have no idea I have a blog! I definitely need to gain some courage and share it with them though, I know they would love it.

  26. I definitely think about future meals when considering what I’m eating in the moment. Sometimes I think it’s necessary if we’re going out to dinner because then I won’t eat as much for the current meal because I want to be able to indulge a little more later.

    With blogging, I tell my friends/fam about it and they’re all supportive, but I don’t tell my co-workers because I don’t want them knowing so much about personal life. Gotta have my boundaries!

  27. Jess says:

    What jumped out at me in this post was the mention of God wanting us to seek joy in our lives, in even the littlest of things. I need to remember that when I’m in a funk like I am right now. God doesn’t want me to harp on the things I cannot control or the things that leave me feeling less than stellar/less than me, and instead I should focus on those things that bring joy to me everyday. Thank you for a much-needed reminder Tina. I’m feeling the funk start to lift. :)

  28. Kelly says:

    Meal by meal is a great approach! It is kind of like breaking down a problem into it’s smaller parts or not getting overwhelmed by looking at a long to-do list. Sometimes it is essential to focus on the big picture and not get bogged down with details but other times the details (aka: small pieces) are easier to deal with than the big picture.

  29. Katie says:

    This was an amaaaazing blog choice for the day! So, this weekend i’m going to a concert with an all day tailgate and good timee–which means, chips, burgers, hotdogs, jello shots, beer, lots of beer. So everytime I’m thinking of what to eat i always think of what i’ll be doing on the weekend to deter myself from minor indulgences which honestly just leaves me craving them even more and eventually leading to a binge. I’ve gotten much better at taking one day at a time, but if i have a social event or holiday coming up it really does affect my thoughts about exercising and eating the days leading up to it. I swear you read my damn mind!

  30. Maria says:

    Great approach to healthy eating! I think starting off the day with a healthier meal makes it easier for me to stick with it for the rest of the day.

    I tell my new friends and family about my blog, but I’m really hesitant to cross the line and tell my coworkers. I like a separation of business and private life.

  31. Sherri says:

    The way that you articulated your thoughts in this post will help so many of us. Thank you… truly.

  32. I always find it hard and weird to explain my blog to people. They are like, ‘Huh you talk about what you eat and your workouts? So is it like a diary?” haha it always makes me giggle.

  33. I love this! Back in my disordered eating days I would go all day long starving myself if I knew I’d have a big meal that night or was going out to dinner and wouldn’t be able to have my “safe” foods. Now like you, I try to take it meal by meal and never fall back into the demons of deprivation…taking it bit by bit is so helpful for me and it allows me to stay so much more balanced…leading to a healthier me inside and out :)

    The other night we went out to dinner with the hubby’s coworker and his wife, and it was a first for me in having to take pics of our food in front of strangers and I admit it felt super awkward. Thankfully they were privy to the whole “food blogging” revolution, but it still felt weird!

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