Wednesday, November 29, 2006

building new neural pathways...

Yesterday I had to leave work early to pick up my 9-year-old, who had a fever. It upset my planned out day and (natch) made me want to eat. I took the dog for a walk, ate my tuna and salad for lunch, and went on to make a cake my coworkers have been after me to make for them for a few weeks (I am the baker extraordinaire at work). In spite of having baked it for 15 minutes longer than the recipe said, when I took it out of the bundt pan it stuck to the pan and parts of it stayed behind.

I scraped out the parts and they looked mighty tasty. I tasted --mmmmm....chocolatey warm goodness, with lovely melted chocolate bits. I thought, OOhh..this would be so good with ice cream. I got out the ice cream, dished up a bit, and dug in. It wasn't as good as I had imagined. I thought, "I'll eat the whole thing standing here and then I'll eat the rest of the stuck cake." Then I thought, "Wait a minute, missy. You aren't the slightest bit hungry and this doesn't taste as heavenly as you thought it would. What's really going on?" I realized that I was frustrated over being home with a sick child, and was upset that the cake hadn't turned out perfectly, thus risking my fab baking reputation. I dumped everything down the sink and went on to make cookies for my daughter's school holiday program. I was fine -- ate one cookie and moved on with life.

Yea me!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Dimishing Returns

The Law of Diminishing Returns: "When someone bites into something delicious for the first time they have an amazing experience. However, by the 4th or 5th bite they're already bored no matter how wonderful the initial impression was of the dish." (from a cookbook -- can't remember which one)

Now, if only I had remembered that when it came to the pumpkin upside down cake I made for Thanksgiving. I was oh-so-sensible about the meal, eating tiny portions of the things I loved and skipping the rest. I was pretty darn full anyway. I wish I had skipped dessert and waited until I was not so full, but my MIL was dishing up and I chowed down with the rest. It was good, but would have been better had I waited until I actually felt a pang of hunger. I managed to foist off most of the leftovers on guests, but took home about 8 portions. I had one on Thursday night in lieu of dinner, two on Friday, two on Saturday, and the rest on Sunday. I guess the bright side is that I didn't eat it all on Friday!

In future when eating something fantastic (or not so fantastic) I will try to keep in mind the law of diminishing returns.

Our elliptical machine was delivered today -- I can't wait to try it out tomorrow! Though I will say that I think using the stationary bike 5-6 days a week has built up some muscle in my legs that wasn't there when I was switching between the gym's elliptical and the bike at home. I can get nearly to 80 rpm on the bike at level 3 for 45 minutes now. I was nowhere near that 3 months ago.

Friday, November 24, 2006

food labels

This is why I think programs like Weight Watchers or other calorie-counting programs aren't the greatest. I tend to think "Ohhh..I have four points left (or 200 calories)! What else can I eat?" whether I'm actually hungry or not. If the labels aren't correct on products, I may not actually have four points left. We bought some subs for a school fundraiser and on the label the sub was one serving for 350 calories. It looked awfully large to me to have so few calories, especially since it had on it salami, ham, and cheese. A serving size was one sub, __ number of grams (can't remember how many). I got out my food scale and weighed it. That sub was more than 1 1/4 servings according to the weight. If I had been counting calories, I'd have been over by more than a tiny bit.

It makes so, so much more sense to me to simply eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. Most of my choices are healthy ones and I don't have to be afraid of holiday meals -- or any meals.

Monday, November 20, 2006

another lesson learned

So, I went 10 days without bingeing or even overeating. I was hungry some of the time, but usually ate when I was hungry. I practiced leaving the dining room/kitchen after dinner so that I wasn't tempted to entertain or distract myself with food. Yea, me. I also talked myself out of eating just because I was procrastinating or bored. I had "last supper thoughts" several times, but told myself not to be ridiculous. So far, so good.

I went off to a scrapbooking weekend and learned another valuable lesson: food doesn't help you be less tired and cranky. This particular weekend is a yearly thing for me and is always a major food-fest because every woman brings a snack to share with the group. The organizer's mom always brings a decadent thing that consists of pretzels, m&ms, and Chex cereal covered with white chocolate and I usually make myself sick on it. So this year I told myself "You are a normal eater. You eat when hungry. You stop when satisfied" know the drill. Friday night I ate a very small dinner and was fine. I got hungry around 11 and had a small bowl of snacks -- okay. I even discovered that I don't really like the decadent snack all that much (!)

Saturday I ate small meals, skipped the snacks -- all was well! Wheeee..... Then I got really tired and rather cranky around 10pm (3 hours of sleep the night before will do that to you). I started eating and probably ate about 2000 calories worth of junk food. It didn't help -- I was still tired and cranky. So....lesson definitely learned. When tired, go to sleep!!!! Duh.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Do you think "normal" eaters spend a lot of time hungry? I've done well this past week with normal eating -- no overeating, no bingeing. But I've spend a lot of time hungry. No matter what I eat for breakfast at 7am (and I've tried it all, from oatmeal to peanut butter toast to frozen South Beach pizzas!), I'm hungry by 10am and positively ravenous by noon. My lunch is usually at 1pm so I almost always eat some sort of snack around 11, but it doesn't usually do much for me. After lunch I'm okay for a few hours, but I'm almost always ravenous again by 5pm. It seems ridiculous. What in the heck do normal people eat that they're not constantly dwelling on how hungry they are?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

ineffective coping skills

I didn't weigh myself this morning. Part of it was fear about what I'd see after having a bingey evening on Monday. But I'm also tired of having my mood dictated by the scale. I'm going to see how long I can hold off on weighing myself. I think (unless you count the time I was bedridden 16 months ago) the longest I've ever gone is 3 weeks or so.

At our CORE meeting Saturday, we were working through one of the steps in the 12-step marriage book (it's not as weird as it sounds), and I copied down something that struck me. It said "ineffective coping skills are a learned behavior. What is learned can be unlearned -- it is not a part of me or my character". It gave me new hope -- what is learned can be unlearned. Being a binge or compulsive eater is not part of me or my character.

It also went on to say that continuing in your coping behavior just means that your instincts are misdirected toward the fulfillment of needs you have as a human being. Acceptance of the underlying needs within you that are not being met is what brings transformation. Devising a more enlightened reasonable plan for dealing with your needs is the answer. The rule is that you take 100% responsibility for your behaviors.

So, what are the underlying needs not being met in me?