I love to cook. I love to consume a variety of flavors and textures. And one of my biggest fears of starting the HMR Diet was that I would not be able to cook.
This is my third week of the diet and I am happy to say that I have been playing in the kitchen!
The first week of the diet I started looking up recipes online. Many of the HMR recipes appeared to be for Healthy Solutions or involved major manipulations that made me uncomfortable as I didn’t want to veer too far off from the basics until I knew the program and myself.
However after ordering a number of sugar free syrups, zero calories extracts, and spices galore — I have been amassing a number of recipes I want to record to use down the road.
I have a Vitamix blender. I got it before I started HMR but it has been a total lifesaver. It is the easiest to clean ever and makes my smoothies amazingly fluffy and smooth. I say this as a preface because results may vary if you try this with a different blender at home.
Pumpkin Pie Decision Free Smoothie
1 packet HMR Vanilla 800
3/4 to 1 cup of water
6 pumps Torani Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie syrup
7 to 9 ice cubes
Pumpkin Pie spice
1. Blend water, syrup, and powder on low for 20-30 seconds.
2. Add ice cubes and 2-3 dashes of spice to the blender.
3. Blend on high for 20-40 seconds (the longer I blend, the fluffier it gets!)
My brain is absolutely overwhelmed right now. I am “Decision Free” but full of decisions.
After a number of diet attempts. All of the restarts. The downs and ups on the scale (mostly ups). I started to do some research. I reflected. A lot. I knew a change was needed and I knew it needed to happen now.
Doctor visits. Medical tests. All confirmed what I already knew. If I didn’t start losing weight, I was heading down a very dark path.
I like food a lot. I took a hiatus from creating and blogging food recipes on Uncovering Food because I had moved to a more urban neighborhood where every kind of food I desired was right outside of my front door. And explore my neighborhood I did… bite by bite.
I realized I had lost my focus on health, and continued to fight myself. And when we moved to a new apartment and a number of other drastic changes happened around me, I woke up.
After attempting to be the Healthy Academic for so long on my own, I admitted I needed help. Being healthy isn’t just about eating vegetables or running a 5k. Being healthy means caring for your body and ensuring that excess weight doesn’t shut parts of it down. However I realized that with so much going on in my life, my present and my history, I was going to have difficulty staying with another diet-by-my-own-design.
After screenings, meetings, and my first night of class, I am officially an active participant in the HMR Decision Free program through my doctor’s medical network. I plan on writing more about it as we progress but for now I am still overwhelmed with all of my materials and all of the parts of this medically-supervised program…
It took me two weeks to publish this initial post about HMR because I felt like I have given up so much of my identity. I feel like I have to defend my choices to myself, let alone to others. However two weeks into this program, on Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful to myself that I didn’t let pride get in my own way. That I am doing this for my wellness.
Everything I have read and heard about addiction says that the first step is admitting you are powerless to your substance. Whether it be food or an illicit substance, you are supposed to admit and accept that you have no control and these substances control you.
You see, I am a food addict by every definition I can find. I love the way food makes me feel. It is a comforting blanket on a stressful day. It is a celebration when something exciting has happened. It keeps me from being bored and it entertains me when I cook. When I feel lost or when I feel found, food is there with me.
I don’t think I had this addiction my whole life. I don’t remember food always being the comfort it is today. I have spent a long time reflecting and trying to figure out where my relationship with food changed. It’s a worthy exercise if you are as overweight as I have become.
It started in high school. Between the stress of overcommitting myself to a bajillion activities to the insecurity of transferring midyear, I found comfort in comfort foods. There was nothing more comforting that a bowl of potatoes, microwaved until baked, and smothered in butter and cheese. When I felt lonely, cheese was there.
When I entered college, the comfort I had found became something I needed. I did not always have the best choice in significant others and the first guy I dated in college was a doozy. Without reliving the pain, let’s say that I quickly turned to food and the need for comfort lasted over two years. Looking back, I know all of the mistakes I made, but at the time the pain of the day was minimized by a two cheeseburger extra value meal.
After this extended period of bingeing to comfort, my relationship with food was secure and my weight battle was full-force. This is reflected when I lost a significant amount of weight early in my career, only to pile it back on in what seemed like the minutes after a family member was critically injured in a car accident.
I acknowledge now that I have a sordid relationship with food. I have an addiction to the way food makes me feel. And that addiction has significant power.
But I am not powerless.
Admitting you are powerless is a cop-out. It means you can never interact with the substance again because you cannot control it. And that would mean that I could never eat again… something that is actually impossible to do and survive.
However, I can reduce the number of decisions I have to make about food. Stepping away from our complex relationship in order to exam it and correct it. We will always have a relationship. However maybe our relationship could improve.
I am not powerless. Recognizing and acknowledging I am addicted to food and doing something to change this addition is the opposite of powerless. It takes strength and motivation. It takes desire and action.
I am not powerless. I am empowered.