Thursday, June 16, 2011
I grew up in a large family and we were all healthy and hearty eaters. Healthy in the sense that my mother did not make a lot of baked desserts, she reserved those for special occasions. My parents had a garden so we had lots of fresh vegetables in the summer and homecanned foods throughout the winter.
We all ate well and we ate a lot. I often describe mealtimes as "he who grabbest the fastest gets the mostest." It was the same with those treats and I realized in my adult life that feeling the need to eat as much as I can in the shortest amount of time seems to be a learned behavior. I felt the need to make sure I got my share.
I recall during Easter and Halloween season, we would all have our own treats and my sister would always steal my candy. So, to prevent her from stealing my candy, I would eat and eat it all as quick as I could..
Last night, I went shopping with my DH and he wanted to buy some candy. There I stood in the candy aisle, I wanted some candy but I knew really should not have it. I walked the aisles (yes, that is plural, there was more than one candy aisle) and had a dialogue in my head: Should I? I really do not need this? But I really want it. I know I can live without it ...
It was the thought, "If I do not buy something and eat it, then that is all I am going to think about and I will wish I would have just bought the bag." I gave in to that voice and bought a bag of candy. Of course, I ripped open the bag as soon as I got into the car and began eating. I even became a wee bit resentful when DH reached in and grabbed a few pieces. He was in the candy aisle and bought his treat, so why is he eating mine?!
This morning as I was doing my journal (My Thought Keeper) I realized that I seem to be falling victim to the idea that if I do not have my sweet, overprocessed, high-fat, low nutrition food that I will feel deprived, so I might as well have my so-called treat in order to prevent a binge later on.
My problem is that I cannot stop after one or two bites and so, I really ought not have the so-called treat at all. And what am I really being deprived of? Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
I realize this morning that just because I learned a behavior as a child (eat as much as I can so I don't have to share) I can unlearn that behavior and replace it with a new learned behavior (eat my sweet treat in a whole food form) and start feeling deprived of many of the chronic health issues that are caused by the standard American diet.
Monday, June 13, 2011
and I answered. I know I should stop eating sweetened overprocessed foods, yet I find myself eating them over and over and over again. Just yesterday, I had to drive into town so my daughters and I could see the baby (premature birth so he did not get to come home) I did not sleep well the night before. worked in the yard for a couple of hours and I was tired. So, what did I do? I stopped at the Dairy Queen and got a cherry chocolate shake.
My reasoning, or shall I say excuse, was I needed something to wake me up and I already had my coffee quota for the day. Well, as we decide what we want to order, we are making comments on how bad we want to be and are discussing the chemicals and possible gmos that are added to the food (can I call it food?). Does that cause us to stop and rethink what we are going to put in our mouths? NOPE, well, it did me, I asked to withhold the whipped cream - a small step, but a step nonetheless.
On the way home, one of my daughters wanted to buy some juice so we stopped at Wal-Mart. The produce showed signs of decay and just did not look very good - but as we walked through the store and there was a center aisle display of Hershey chocolate bars, graham crackers and marshmallows. S'mores. Oh, it looked so good, especially in comparison to the fresh produce aisle - Is this a marketing ploy? Hmmmmm, I wonder.
On the positive, I did not give in at Wal-mart and the only slip was the DQ shake.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
I weighed myself the other morning and discovered I actually lost weight. I joined SparkPeople mostly to maintain my weight. I have been busy with moving and yard work, plus with my running class.
I am not sure if it is the right weight for me because I seem to have a hard time maintaining. But I am sure that if, that is a big IF, I watch what I eat and eat nutrient dense foods and limit the junk foods that I should be able to stay within my acceptable range.
I guess I am kind of excited about the weight loss because I really have not weighed myself or tracked my food intake for about a month. Apparently, I must be doing something right.
Friday, June 03, 2011
Today, we are facing many difficult challenges to eat healthy that are different from the decades before us. When I was growing up in the 60's and 70's eating out was a rare treat. As I child, I remember eating out only for breakfast on our yearly camping trip and that was only on the first day of the trip because Dad would always start out at about 4:00 am. My mom always packed food for our meals and we ate at the campsite.
When I raised my children in the 80's and 90's eating out was more common. We went out at least once a week. Back then, it was still considered a treat and we planned for it.
Now, it seems that eating out is common practice. It is easier to stop and grab something from the drive-through. Also, those value meals seem to be cheaper than cooking at home.
However, today, I do not eat out very often because after I went to a Culinary Training Program and see what actually goes on in the kitchen - I do not trust restaurants to provide me with healthy choices. Whenever I was at the stove cooking something that needed oil added, I would add the minimal amount and the instructors would always be right behind me dumping in more. I do not know how many times I complained that they just ruined my dish. And they would laugh at me. It seems that fat is a necessary component for the majority of people to enjoy their food. It's for that mouth feel - or so I am told.
My daughter moved back home with us a couple of weeks ago and we were eating lots of salads and soups (broth based). Since she was used to eating processed meals, this was a change for her. The other day, she bought a bag of Cheddar Cheese Potato Chips and as she was eating them she commented, "I never noticed how nasty these things taste. It taste like grease." It appears she has cleansed her palate and no longer liked that "mouth feel".
Even though I cook at home, it is hard to find processed foods without any added sugar. Today, food manufacturers add sugar as a filler because it is a method of cost control for them. Today, it is necessary to read labels to have an idea of what we are eating. It takes more diligence today, more than ever to buy foods that do not have added extra unnecessary ingredients.
How do we overcome these challenges? I am finding that buying food in as close to its natural state is one of the easiest ways to cut out added sugars, fat, additives, etc. Whenever I need to purchase processed foods, I usually try to find the products with the fewest ingredients and with those that I can read and know what it means.
Yes, we do have different challenges today to eat healthy and those who are not up to the challenge are suffering from weight and health issues. One of the most important things I heard about how to get food manufactures to provide us with better choices is: "You cast your vote at the checkout."
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Yesterday, I posted a blog "How I am Going to Tame My Sweet Tooth" and this morning I came across this blog: www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=why
I often call my choice to eat sugar laden overprocessed foods an addiction to sugar, but seriously, is it an "addiction"? Or is it because of learned behavior. For example, I often eat candy bars and drink soda pop when I am mowing my yard. I have a large yard and often try to finish it in one day, so I have told myself that I need to have a "sugar rush" to have the energy to complete the task.
In other words, I have justified my actions to eat junk and that outweighed the negative consequence of eating too much sugary food. In reality, if I wanted to have energy to finish the task, wouldn't it really be better to have a more nutritious food choice? Would not an apple or a banana provide me with energy?
Perhaps, it is easy to justify my choice of snack because I sense the immediate surge of energy and do not feel the negative consequence of eating too much sugar because that needs to accumulate over time. To have the delay of the negative makes the reward of the candy bar so much more appealing.
In conclusion, according to this blog, I may not really have an addiction but a learned behavior that I am not wanting to give up. If I really want to be successful in not eating so many sugary snacks then I am going to need to learn to replace my thinking and actions with something else and do it repeatedly so that new way will become my "habit" or rather, my new addiction.
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