Sunday, February 12, 2012
As paleolithic and neolithic hunters and gatherers and early farmers, we evolved to be hungry part of the time at least. Hunger was what motivated us to exert the energy necessary to obtain the nutritional requirements essential to our survival. So: not only is hunger not an emergency. Being hungry is biologically normal. And what are we most hungry for? The foods that required the greatest effort to obtain when we were hunters and gatherers and farmers.
Fat: it took a lot of energy to chase down the mastodons! Obtain whale blubber!
Protein: ditto, with every other animal protein source: trapping wild pigs, spearing salmon . . .
Sweets: climbing trees, fending off angry bees . . .
Salts: miles of travelling to the ocean where salt had precipitated and could be gathered and hoarded as the precious substance it was.
Carbs: gathering seeds, ploughing, planting, harvesting, winnowing, grinding, baking . . .
The exercise necessary to acquire these highly-craved nutrients pretty much offset the calories that they contained.
We still need all of these nutrients to survive . . . but we're programmed to crave 'em way too much because earlier in our evolutionary history it required so much energy to obtain 'em.
And now: not so much energy is required. All of these nutrients are so readily available, cheaply at that. Fat and protein in burgers and fries from the drive through (duh, don't even have to get out of the car!!) . Salt and sugar and carbs in the snack food aisle. All of the above in the prefab meals in the freezer. Throw 'em in the cart!! Wheel it out to the car! Drive it home and microwave it!!
But . . . . .although I don't have to grow 'em for myself, those veggies would require some washing and peeling and maybe cooking. Soups and salads take work. Fruits too. Even chewing 'em would be a little more work. All that effort just to satisfy our rational knowledge about what we should eat?? But -- that's intellectual knowledge, logic. Less powerful by far than the biologically- driven craving for fat, salt and sugar.
On top of that, we're surrounded every day with thousands of cues to eat to excess what we are biologically programmed to crave: commercial advertising (TV, computer, even on SparkPeople), billboards.
"What would I like to eat?" Hmmm. As I'm leaning into the fridge. I'd like to eat what I'm biologically programmed to eat, of course. So: not a good question.
What do I need to eat? Vitamins, minerals, some carbs, some fat, some protein. Within my calorie range. To meet my pre-planned rational decision as to my nutritional needs.
This would be a better question probably. But it's less firmly located in that ol' limbic brain of mine. In fact, not there at all.
It's not so long ago that slimness was associated with poverty. Take a look at these famous Venus paintings. Pretty chunky, weren't they? And now they've been photoshopped to contemporary fashion in body shape by Anna Utopia Giordano:
Our ideal of beauty has changed: our biology, not so much.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
. . . . a follow-up blog to Hungry All The Time.
When I respond to feeling hungry all the time by eating all the time, I do get to be fat all the time. And that really would be fat ALL the time. Twenty-four seven. From morning to night. And while I'm sleeping too.
Been there, done that. Two hundred and thirty pounds. I did eat all the time. I was fat all the time. And even though I was eating all the time, I was still hungry.
And yeah. I'd rather tolerate being hungry. Not eating all the time. And being thinner.
Thinner all the time. Twenty-four seven. One hundred and forty pounds.
Always fitting into everything in my closet. Moving comfortably. Feeling good. Healthy. Looking as good as is possible.
Hunger is NOT AN EMERGENCY. I can tolerate it. Because the benefits of doing so outweigh (yeah, OUTWEIGH) the costs.
*Sorry about the caps. I'm having to speak to myself kinda loudly.*
Friday, February 10, 2012
. . . and I'm OK with that.
I was hungry all the time at 230 pounds.
And yeah, I sometimes think I'm hungry all the time at 140 pounds.
Actually, the hunger lasts about 30 minutes. Or less, if I distract myself. And I'm learning to think about it as "keen anticipation of my next meal".
But the point is: I'm not any hungrier thin than I was . . . um . . . not so thin. And I prefer being thin.
Also: I'm not sure there's any amount of food that would stop me feeling hungry.
Hunger is not an emergency. I can tolerate it.
Sunday, February 05, 2012
Saturday I was at my office at 8 a.m. to meet with a carpet installer doing some finishing touches . . . (nice of him to be willing to work on the weekend) . . . . And did not get home again until after 10 p.m. having worked all day with DH on moving and reorganizing my office.
Sourcing a new table, carrying it in . . . fantastic find at our local antiques mall (solid oak, central pedestal . . . $60!!)
Purchasing and then installing a new computer keyboard shelf (turned out to be waaaaaay more complicated than we had anticipated). DH is a hero: so fiddly, so exasperating. And he patiently persisted until he got it functioning just right.
Multiple trips upstairs with super heavy boxes: books, files, all kinds of stuff! (DD a big help here).
And then sorting it all out . . . throwing a whack of stuff out . . . getting myself functional for the work week.
All done yet? No -- still need to hang stuff on the walls etc. etc. Some plants would be nice. A new desk lamp? Finishing touches to "make it mine".
But: computer is humming, everything seems to be in hand. I will be able to put in a full week at work.
Speaking of full . . . . . hmmmm. Tracked yesterday and did very very poorly nutrition-wise.
Started the day with a hearty breakfast of DH's special scrambled eggs. His are THE. BEST. Creamy. Made slowly in a double boiler over barely simmering water. With a whack of grated cheese. And we each had two pieces of wholewheat toast, buttered. My second piece with gorgeous raspberry jam.
Lunch was pretty healthy: soup of the week (chicken chili) with Greek yogourt and berries. But a Coffee Crisp chocolate bar made an appearance.
Dinner: microwave chicken pie (horrendous calorie count) during a short moving break at the office. A glass of Chilean white!! Some veggies though; baby carrots, sugar snap peas. A fresh apple.
And: PC vanilla ice cream when I got home, plus hot chocolate.
Total calorie count in excess of 2000. (I'm usually 1200-1500 tops). But: total calories burned (conservatively estimated using the fitness tracker for "moving" and crediting only 5 hours of a 14 hour day) : also in excess of 2000. And no food hangover, none at all. So I'm pretty sure I really did burn it all off.
Feeling lean. But also achy all over: a hot hot soak in my claw foot bath really helped. Looking out the window, listening to the birds also really helped. Definitely some spring sounds out there.
OK: gotta get through the rest of the chores today. There aren't any groceries!!
Friday, February 03, 2012
. . . but an interesting day too.
And then (ahhhhhh) weekend. With laundry, soup making, gym, skiing: and I hope some office decor decisions too . . .
It's a full life, certainly!
And I'm working hard on getting back to middle 3 by rereading Beck.
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