Friday, May 26, 2006

Is there such a thing as a trigger food?

Some of my listservs and bulletin boards have been discussing trigger foods lately. I find myself agreeing with everyone. I know that logically I shouldn't be afraid of food. A "normal" eater would allow the brownies to get hard and stale and not care if she had to throw them away -- or would a normal eater not make brownies, knowing that they are very high in calories and she doesn't need them for proper care of her body?

Sheryl from says, "I don't think it's ever good to put so much power in an inanimate object outside yourself that you need to shun it and flee from it. The power to decide - to choose - is in you. It's important to know that and believe it. You have the power! Feelings do not mandate action. It's possible to have feelings that you don't act upon - really, that's the definition of maturity. "

Well, yes I do believe that, but.... don't you think that most people who are naturally slender don't buy junk food and don't bake very often? I have tried for YEARS to be able to eat certain foods (good ice cream, homemade brownies, homemade bread, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and graham crackers spring to mind first) in a "normal" fashion and have failed miserably most of the time. No, they don't "trigger" a binge in me unless I'm trying to diet. But I almost always eat a larger portion than would be considered "normal". I eat a large bowl of ice cream or 2-3 brownies or a whole inner package of graham crackers. I always laughed at diets for which you are allowed "1/2 cup of ice cream" or "2 graham crackers". That would never satisfy me in a million years. Most of the time I just avoid those foods, rather than deal with a big struggle.

Oddly, I have been able to normalize some foods. I can now have chips, m&ms, cheese, and sugary cereal in the house all the time and rarely feel the urge to eat a bunch of it. I definitely wouldn't have been able to say that 15 years ago. Why the change? I think part of it may be the "not wanting to waste food" thing. I know that T and the girls will eat chips long before they go stale, and the other things take forever to go bad. My "problem" foods are all things that will get hard, stale, or otherwise ruined if not eaten fairly quickly.

I haven't been doing very well with leaving a bite of food on my plate and each meal and that probably relates. I do serve myself rather small portions, but still -- I want to be able to leave at least ONE bite on my plate. After all, I can go back and eat more food whenever I want. I'm an adult and no one will tell me I can't eat!

I rode my stationery bike this morning and tried doing a "program", as opposed to just 40 minutes on level 3. HOLY COW! I'd been doing level 3 and sometimes 4, but this program went up to 8 at times. I was so out of breath at one point that I had to reduce the resistance. Something to work toward, I suppose. I did the "weight loss" program at the gym on the elliptical on Wednesday and had the opposite experience. I had to keep upping the resistance. Huh.

I'm getting my bike back from the shop tomorrow and I'm pretty excited. I hopped on it a couple of weeks ago and slowly rode up and down the street. I wasn't nearly as scared as I thought I'd be, but it still felt too big for me. The bike shop said they'd switch out the seat for one that goes lower and crank the handlebars a notch closer to the seat and see if that makes a difference. I'm also going to try out the next smaller size and a totally different bike that is a bit more recumbent and thus, lower to the ground. They were super nice and said they'd replace the seat and odometer for free! I told them it wasn't their fault I crashed and broke my leg!


Isabelle said...

I find it varies a lot. If I'm feeling determined, I can ignore high calorie food easily. But if I'm not, I'm more likely to be tempted. And at the moment I just can't get that determined feeling going. You sound as if you're doing great, though.

Spider63 said...

I have lots of trigger foods, and I believe that sometimes caving in to the temptation can totally break you down and trigger a food-binge!