I stood in front of the fridge this morning, like any other morning, and sounding like my kids, I said, "What do I feel like eating?"
It's not a stupid question when you think about it. It's a very basic question that goes right to the heart of the matter: what do you FEEL like...and how are you going to FEEL after you eat something.
It's quite visceral...and brings in the whole food/mood equation that not too many people are aware about. Basically: what you eat will affect your mood.
Look it up - read about it. It's quite interesting and honestly, quite true when you start to analyse yourself and the different food you eat.
Today, for example, I put down the second cup of coffee. Why? because I have been feeling "funky" and I am trying to get out of my funk, so when my gut started telling me to quite it with the second cup... I did. Honestly, it's been telling me to quite the second cup for the last month, but I haven't listened because "I am too tired" and "I am too sluggish" and "I am the font of excuses to have the second cup because it's what society is dictating me to do" (yes, I can fall into that mindset when I am exhausted),
So this morning I dumped the second cup down the drain. Hey, if I really want another at work later, when the afternoon doldrums kick in and my head is aching from the lack of caffeine, maybe I will indulge, but right now...no thankyou, my body is telling me different.
OK - back to the question at hand: "What do I FEEL like eating?"
We broach this same question when we are at a restaurant, right? We open the menu and and out of our mouths comes: "What do I feel like eating?"
Everything is tempting - it's a special occassion - it's stuff we don't normally eat at home or else why would we be at the restaurant anyway? - it's a celebration - we want to try something new - the list goes on and on and when we are not in "diet" mode, we turn and automatically go for the gusto and get what we normally wouldn't get, or we totally get the thing we have been craving. Bring in the large portions and we are in regret mode about 15 minutes into the meal.
Did we get what we FELT like having? or did our brains hi-jack our gut feeling and did we choose something not so great for ourselves.
I am the perfect example of the paragraphs written above. I will get something "different" from what I would normally want to eat at home. I will get something "special" for the occassion...and I will get that appetizer even though my gut AND my head are screaming "NO, DON'T DO IT!" Guaranteeing my misery later on.
True story - sharing time now.
Hubby gets me a great gift for Christmas a couple years back. It's a broadway show surprise and we are going out to dinner too. So I prod him and ask him and tell him to make some sort of reservation at a nice restaurant - one that he would enjoy thoroughly. So we picked a Steak House (not naming it here because it's just a steak house - and any steak house would have posed the same result at the end of this story.)
We order soup (I had beef barley - could have been my meal). I order a skirt steak and what is presented to me is half a cow's worth - - no joke. I eat about a quarter of it and wrap the rest up. Just roll me down the street to the theatre now... I am quite full.
Oh - I forgot to mention: this was the day that "SNOWMAGEDDON" hit the tri-state area and we got 24 inches of snow that day into night...it sets the scene now... But I digress....
We get to the show, which is still playing despite the weather...we sit down, and the feeling of ICK really set in. It is so bad that I can't even enjoy what I am watching.
Gas... gas beyond measure begins gurling up inside me.
The show has started... there is absolutely no release available to me...the seats are crammed together like sardines in the rows...there is no other thing to do but clench and pray it passes into the cells of my body.... which of course it does not... it just doubles back into my colon and creates more misery
all the while producing more gas.
The first quarter of my beloved Christmas present play is ruined with me sweating and clenching and miserable
After which I left to see if I could relieve this gastronomic nightmare I created by eating something "SPECIAL" at the a fancy dinner. (My gut prior to even going was wishing we went to a sushi place the whole time BTW - hindsight is SO 20/20)
There was no release by that point, even in a bathroom stall - the gas bubble was permanently lodged in my abdomen like a creature from Alien.
At intermission - hubby found me and he said it was OK if I wanted to go home...so we did.
We exited the building and it was 6 inches of snow on the ground. Moving felt great. If you know Manhattan, snow is different there..guanteed, we were looking at 10 inches on the rails. We booked home and took the 10:15 train instead of the 11:15. Glad we did - because the 11:15 train was stuck for 7 hours in drifted snow. I guess God had a grand plan with that gas bubble I got!
All in all - there was a lesson learned. (yes, a hard lesson learned, but one learned anyway). The lesson was this: my gut and steak do not mix! Not in large quantities at least. So now, I avoid it when eating out. It will NEVER be what I pick off a menu. A steak house will have fish, or chicken, or a salad even, but "no thanks" to the beef, I will pass. (well, except for a really good hamburger)
Hey - the gas could have also been from the barley - since I normally don't have barley, but still....barley is a whole grain, I would choose the soup again as my main meal instead next time! LOL
We laugh about the whole thing now.... I actually told a good male friend my tale of "whoa" and he couldn't stop laughing. Who talks about gas like that anyway? Well..... I guess I do now! LOL
Seriously, it's a great example of how to learn and listen to your body... I now veer to sushi and mexican as my out-to-dinner choices now. Lighter is better for me. Either that or let's make it at home so I can have portion and creation control over the whole thing without the guilt of overpaying for my misery! LOL
Why am I telling you this tale-of-woe today? Well, besides the previous question stated above - I have been a little "off" lately eating, and yesterday was a better day, and my gut is feeling better...and today will be another day of getting back to my "roots" of Sparking. I have my pineapple all cut up and ready to eat, I have a healthy lunch of turnip greens added to my plate. I have my dinner all ready packed for my late night at work. It's getting back on track with the foods that I KNOW will make me feel better - and in turn make my DAY better overall.
To feel good is half the battle some days! It's that little bit of taking care that matters when things are crazy and overwhelming. That little bit of control can mean the world to a person, just to feel better for the good of the self.
Self- care. Very important to do....and probably not done enough for most of us when we think about it.