Friday, November 10, 2006

What's there to eat?

Wrote this back in August whilst I was still muddling through how I relate to food. I was definitely straining at the calorie counting leash by this point I think. (This was also part of a short-lived daily motivational newsletter that I was writing for some online buddies at their request. Short-lived only because I had family emergencies crop up after less than a week, so had to reluctantly stop doing it. They and I were disapointed.)


**None of this applies if you are allergic to certain foods, or have medical reasons why you should not eat them, or only eat them in moderation.


Ever sat and stared into the fridge, and thought - 'If I have to eat another piece of rabbit food, I'll scream'?


Then, it's not the rabbit's food that you need to stop eating, it's your outlook towards food that needs readjusting.


What To Eat? I'm sick of Rabbit food. I'm sick of dieting! I feel like I'm not getting anywhere. If only X didn't taste so good.


I know that some of you have kids, some of you are around kids, and some of you don't have kids, but I'm sure you remember what it was like to be a kid. If an adult, or someone said to you, “you can't have that.” How did that make you feel? If you're anything like me, it made you fantasize about whatever it was you weren't allowed to have. Maybe even actively plot to get it. If you were bold enough, perhaps you went ahead and had it anyway.


Why do you think things will have changed just because you've aged a few years? Human nature doesn't change. Yet, all of a sudden we think our bodies, minds and souls will obey us because we say, you have to eat healthy, you can't eat (whatever food group or foods you think is bad for you.) I've been there, I've done that. Oh the nights I've laid awake daydreaming of whichever particular 'bad' food I craved that week.


Yet, funnily enough, the times I've been successfully losing weight, is when there's been no bad or good foods to be found in my scheme of things. Instead, I look at them as Everyday foods, Occasional or Every Now and Then Foods, Treats, and Food Necessary For Survival (aka PMS cravings)


Everyday foods. Look at the healthy food pyramid. There's your every day foods. Grains, fruits, veggies, protein, and yes, fats. They're all on there. I've tried eating the recommended daily servings of each group. You'd be surprised at how much food that actually is.


Occasional foods. These are the foods that ya don't eat every day, but may eat once a week, or slightly more often. Bacon, or eggs, waffles, grits, rotisserie chicken, takeaway. Whatever it is that you don't eat every single day.


Treats. Now, these are something It took me awhile to get a grip on. To start with, I mandated one day a month where I could eat whatever the hell I wanted. Didn't matter what fat or calorie content it had. If I wanted it, I could eat it, and as much of it as I wanted. Then I worked up to one day every two weeks. By the time I got to one day per week... I didn't feel the need to gorge quite so much. I now go by serving sizes. I'll buy a small packet of whatever it is that I crave, and dish out one serving. Once I eat that serving, I'll ask myself, am I satisfied. And I'm surprised at how often I say yes. Sometimes it's no, and I go back for a second serving. Especially of something like Doritos. But eating them as a snack, or a dessert for my main meal, I find that I really don't want the whole bag, or many servings.


Honestly.. when you binge, are you really wanting those foods? I know I didn't. Sure the first little bit maybe, but after that it was automatic pilot. Shoving in food to sublimate whatever feeling it was that I was trying to deny. How many times have you got to the bottom of the packet/tub/whatever and realised. Ya know, I really didn't enjoy that. Or, I didn't even taste the last three quarters of it.


The thing is, we've come to think of Treats as everyday foods. Thanksgiving Turkey. How many of you look forward to Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or whatever Occasion where you eat foods associated with that holiday? Birthday cake. Sunday breakfast. Mom's special dish that she cooks every time you come home to visit. Whatever the food or the occasion, think of how that food is treated in your brain, your emotions and your memories. It's a treat that you really, really, really look forward to. Am I right? These aren't bad foods. They aren't rewards for being good the rest of the year. They're just foods that you eat and really enjoy... but you only eat them occasionally. Remember as a kid when your favourite dish was made. How exciting was that! (especially if it was something a sibling hated. LOL) Regain that sense of wonder with your food. Treat food as what it is. Sustenance. Not a friend you can turn to in times of need. Not a blanket to warm your innards. Certainly not as an answer to your problems. Food is inert. It has no feelings. All it is meant to do is nourish your body.


Eat what you need to survive. Follow the healthy pyramid.. not slavishly, but as best you can each day. Learn to live a little. Enjoy every meal you eat.


Enjoy the fruits and vegetables. They provide necessary nutrients. Find ways to eat them that you like.

Enjoy your carbs. They're the body's best and easiest source of energy, essential for doing just about anything.

Enjoy good quality fats. They're the grease that keeps your skin, innards, heck everything running smoothly.

Enjoy the proteins. They're necessary for muscle. Muscle is essential for carrying you around, and the more muscle you have, the better you lose weight.


Muscle.. Hmm that's a topic for tomorrow.


Food. Enjoy what you eat, as you eat it. Remember, everything is good for you, just some should be eaten more often than others.


EDIT: {grin} I guess this was the motivational letter from the day before the muscles one .

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