Monday, August 06, 2012
So, over a week later then I'd originally planned to post this, & then over three days later, but here I am, posting the blog post that I'd promised about my reflections about my two week time of recording my eating & fitness (or lack of it).
Wow! What an eye opener!
I already knew that I ate too much & that my diet's not the healthiest in the world, but I also knew that it's better than it has been & that I don't eat nearly as much as I used to. At least that's what I thought.
The first thing that I came to realise by the end of the first week is that I do a lot of mindless eating. I'll have a bag of chips - a large bag, mind you, & not a so-called individual bag (which actually contain enough for two people when you look at their amounts & how much is recommended for individual servings) - &, before I know it, it's all gone or mostly gone. Even half gone in a sitting is not good. It was all done mindlessly, usually while I'm bored & while my hands are idle & while I'm watching TV. I do a lot of reading, but I don't snack nearly as much when I'm reading as when I watch TV or movies or the like. If my hands are busy with crafts or writing or on the 'puter while I watch TV, I also don't eat nearly as much. It's almost always junk food, too.
So the key for me to get a better handle on my eating & to not eat mindlessly is to keep my hands busy when I watch TV. Not a problem, since I like to loom knit & crochet & a few other things. Sometimes, too, my writing is highly inspired by what I watch on TV or see in commercials, or the ideas just come & I want to get them down. As long as my hands are busy & my mind's working, I eat less junk food & a lot less mindlessly.
Another thing that I realised is that, when I'm bored & not really active, I eat a lot less healthy food & a lot more junk food. I'd clued in on that quite a while ago, but it hit me anew during those two weeks. If I'm actively exercising & keeping fit, I eat a lot healthier & a lot less unhealthily.
The key for me to avoid this is to be active & to exercise daily, or almost daily. There's something that gets into my brain when I'm physically active that makes me crave healthy food & to make healthy choices overall. I do like to move & I do like certain kinds of exercise. I need to move - we all do - in order to keep healthy, but often I choose laziness. Part of it is due to honest tiredness & exhaustion sometimes because of my work schedule, but way more often than not, it's because just plain laziness, & I need to get past that.
Something that was no surprise was that I often eat way too much, & so I need to eat smaller amounts. Easier said than done, but it is fully possible. I need to start measuring my food amounts, which I don't like doing, but it's worth it. I do have a scale & measuring cups & measuring spoons & all, & so there's no excuse. I need to start getting into that habit & into the mindset of measuring my food (yes, a mindset). It needs to become something that is so obvious & automatic to me that it's second nature to me.
Well, maybe that's a bit overboard, but it'd be all part of eating consciously.
Another thing that hit me is that I tend to eat in one big session & then have one or two large snacks. This is, of course, not good.
What I need to do to change this is to start grazing. I went through a period where I became a grazer, & it worked wonderfully. I didn't measure what I ate, but I ate 4 to 6 smaller meals a day, spread throughout the entire day, with 2 or 3 hours between each session. That way my body's getting fuelled properly throughout the day & in smaller amounts each time. What this tends to work out to is by eating a good breakfast, & then a smaller snack a couple of hours or so later, Then a good lunch, snack, supper, snack. If I'm not hungry after supper, then I'll leave off the last snack.
I have found when I've had this as part of my lifestyle that I'm full for longer and intense hunger doesn't have a chance to build up, & bingeing is avoided. I no longer purge, thankfully, but that super full feeling that comes as a result of bingeing is awful, a terrible thing, & is a preventative for me to activity. Who wants to move on a jam packed full tummy? Not me. Ugh!
There were more things that hit me, but these things are the main ones. As I reflect upon them & the other things, I see that they all go together. One thing leads into another & they're all key for the other things to work.
If I keep my hands busy, I snack a lot less. If I'm active, what I do snack upon, & eat in general, is healthy. If I eat smaller amounts & more often throughout each day, I'm a lot more satiated & don't end up with that super stuffed feeling. If I don't end up with that super stuffed feeling, I'm a lot more able to be active. If I'm more active, I crave healthier foods. If I crave healthier foods, I'm healthier & a lot better off than if I crave & eat unhealthy foods. If I'm satiated, I eat a lot less but am a lot more filled & for a lot longer.
It all works together. It's all connected. I never saw that before, & that is the main thing here for me. Sometimes it never seems like things are connected, but they are.
All of this about food & exercise is, at it's most basic, about my physical well being. My body is fuelled by food, & it's up to me to make sure it gets the best fuel possible. Fuel allows my engine (heart, lungs, liver, mind, etc.) to work at it's optimum levels, especially when the best fuel is used. If I keep my body active, it helps to keep my engine at its best as well.
Keeping my body well fuelled & active will also help the rest of me - my mind, my heart (both the "blood pumper" & my emotions), my soul - at its best. I'm at my most alert & my memory will improve once again. I used to have a really great memory, & it's still not too bad, but it has waned in the past few years, but it needs to improve, & taking care of myself will help to improve it.
I'm taking a course, & being at my best physically will help me to study harder. My studying's been poor, but it must get better, & it will as I increase my activity & fuel my body properly. I'll be less inclined to be all out of sorts & my system won't be out of whack nearly as often. I don't like it when I'm out of whack & out of sorts. Ugh!
I hope this makes sense. I'm writing off the top of my cuff here, & I know that I repeated myself, but some of this has been repeated more for my own benefit than to share with others. I'm very glad to share it with all of you, though, & I hope that this will help someone else as well.
I have to admit that I am disgusted with myself that I've let myself get into this - yet again (it seems to be a never ending cycle in my life, BUT it CAN end, & I choose to end it NOW) - BUT it's also a great encouragement to me because it means that I know how combat this & how to fight the patterns I've gotten into my entire life. I'm very glad to've realised all of this & to know what to do. I've known it all along, but sometimes it takes something that really shakes me up - like this period of reflection - to get me off my duff.
I am at another fork in the road of my life, & I have a choice to make. Choose to keep going the way I've been going of late - laziness, junk food, apathy about my health & well being - OR choose to go a different way - health, activity, nourishment, great interest in my own health & well being.
I choose the second. I choose health & to be at my best.