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How Much of It is Mental??

Friday, February 01, 2013

LOTS, I say!!!

So I'm trying to embrace this "doing the best I can" approach, and I feel pretty good about it. Suddenly, getting to 30 minutes of cardio a day doesn't seem nearly as daunting as it did even a week ago, and I am so thankful for that.

Yesterday, I decided to really "let go" and conduct and experiment. Now, this experiment was borne out of an experience I had early this week, when one night, I had dinner and cleaned up, and then pretty quickly afterward went upstairs to my room to read and watch some TV under the usual theory that when I do that, I tend not to eat at night just for the sake of eating at night. However, on this particular night, I was truly, genuinely hungry. I knew I was hungry, but I tried to ignore it. I had not eaten a whole lot of food that day, so even though I'd had dinner, it just wasn't enough. So why did I try to ignore it? Because I was afraid to trust myself. I was afraid that if I went back downstairs to make a good choice and try to quell the hunger, I'd end up eating everything in sight. So I ignored, ignored, ignored. But ignoring wasn't going to work, because, as I said, I was darn hungry. Sadly, by the time I did give in and go downstairs, my fear had become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and instead of thinking and making a good choice (many of which were available), I just grabbed a piece of American cheese and a slice of WHITE bread and ate it. Why? Because those were the first things I saw when I opened the fridge.

The night before last, I went home after work, ate a good dinner, and then had to go out to a meeting. I got home about 7:30, spent a little time down in the living room watching TV, resisted the little voice that kept telling me it wanted to eat, and then went upstairs to get ready for bed.

So fast forward to last night, as I was preparing dinner. I was making lean pork chops, but realized that the package of frozen veggies I had in the freezer was not broccoli, as I thought, but the far less healthy corn. And my mom had made us a yummy casserole of baked macaroni and cheese the night before that I had decided to serve as a side. And I was very hungry, as I had not had a chance to eat my afternoon snack. So I decided that I was going to allow myself to eat a bit more for dinner, even though, let's face it, on the "healthy scale" it was not, except for the lean pork chops, the healthiest of dinners, probably the least healthy dinner I made all week, to see if eating more would keep me from getting that hungry after dinner feeling. Because I had not eaten a lot of calories during the day, even though I had eaten to satiety (hoped I spelled that right) at breakfast and lunch, I had plenty of calories available to accomodate the extra food.

It worked, I was not hungry!! But I didn't want to run right upstairs, I wanted to stay down in my living room, sit on the couch, relax a bit, maybe even allow myself to snooze a bit, as I was very tired. . But the problem with staying downstairs is that something clicks in my head, and I feel like I just have to eat. Now, I did okay, I had a few raisins, and a few dark chocolate chips, kind of my own little trail mix. But I wasn't hungry, and if I hadn't then gone upstairs to avoid eating more, I would have eaten more. I knew what was happening, I was totally conscious of it, and yet, even with that level of awareness, I could not talk myself out of it as long as I stayed down near the food.

So, my lessons from this experiment are as follows: #1: listen to my body, let it eat when it is hungry, don't let it get so hungry that I end up making bad choices when I finally do allow myself to eat. #2: until I figure out this inability to NOT eat, do the avoidance thing. But I can't avoid forever. #3: It is ENTIRELY mental. Gotta figure this out!!

It would be fascinating if it weren't so freaking frustrating!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I think the key part of this whole crazy process is knowing that we are not perfect. Try your best, prepare for mistakes, forgive ourselves and then move forward again.

    2857 days ago
    There is a lot to the mental side of this, but we can conquer it by doing just what you are. Figuring out the triggers and what works or doesn't. We're going to do this!!!
    2858 days ago
    When you figure it out let us know. Most of us have this issue, it is finding a way to deal with it. Water works (sometimes). Brushing teeth after dinner (sometimes)...
    2858 days ago
    T... I don't think it's entirely mental. Our bodies are like (just learning this) a laboratory where a certain amount of ___ and ___ are needed to create ALL the necessary ingredients to perform at TOP levels. If we eat "0" calorie *stuff* or force ourselves to ignore that we do NEED fats (good fats, i.e. olive/coconut oils) than our body STARVES and will 'stock-up' every ounce of BAD fat because it's in 'famine' mode.

    I read (edited)

    White and wheat bread are closely comparable in fat/calorie content, but the difference is in how they're processed and then, how they're ABSORBED in our body. There's EMPTY calories and generally no protein and this affects our body the same way white sugar does. Try to find a whole wheat bread w/o 'dough conditioners' or high fructose corn syrup.

    American cheese is called a 'cheese product' made from blends of milk fat, whey, salt and protein concentrates. It doesn't meet Federal Regulations for cheese, just like cheese in a jar, cheese in a can, or cheese in individual wrappers. Try healthier sandwich toppings, like soft cheeses, mozzarella (6 grams fat per ounce) or feta. American cheese contains about 10 grams of fat per 1 ounce. Soft cheeses have more flavor too, so you can use them sparingly.

    Guess, what I'm trying to point out, T, is... our bodies need way more protein and healthy fats. They're engines that can't function on half the *stuff* we've been led to believe is edible, but they'll 'store' in because they're in critical NEED.
    2858 days ago
    Tina - you can do this. You will figure it out. Have a great Friday!
    2858 days ago
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