Monday, September 24, 2012
On the Road
Diane at Fit to the Finish wrote a post last week about the concept of snacking and snack foods that I think you should check out.
My comment to her thoughts was:
It’s all just part of our collective obsession with eating and this unfounded fear of being hungry. We are the most overfed and simultaneously undernourished society in history, with thousands of “food” choices available, literally 24/7, a stone’s throw away from wherever we sit most of the time…reasonably priced, attractive, tasty and very, very easy to eat (just rip open a plastic bag and start shoveling with your dominant hand) while doing something else (watching TV, on the computer, driving). Snack foods serve this market very, very well. How many of us feel a little growl in our stomachs on the way home from an errand and instead of driving the next 20 minutes to the house and taking five minutes to reheat some leftovers or put together a sandwich, decide that that dollar menu at that drive thru right up ahead is the best way to tide ourselves over? What is this terror we feel at experiencing slight hunger for short periods of time? It’ s my understanding that pre-1970s, adults pretty much ate their 3 square meals a day: breakfast at 7, lunch at noon, dinner at 6…and that was it. No 10am snack. No 2pm snack. No 4pm snack. This idea of constant eating came from…Big Food. Not from need or common sense.
Another of Diane’s readers, Janis, had a better comment on the post. I am copying it without permission, because Janis does not have a clickable screen name and I can’t contact her. But it’s basically my own thoughts verbalized by someone else, so should she happen to see this post, I express my appreciation and hope she understands why I want to share them:
Think of it this way: there is a big difference between thinking that one is entering “starvation mode” — a totally made-up condition that few Westerners will EVER confront — and being gently nudged by one’s body that it’s been a couple hours since you put anything into it. I confess that it bugs me to hear people who will NEVER feel true hunger, in a world where literally billions of people NEVER experience a filling, healthy meal, freaking out at entering what they call “starvation mode” but what is nothing more than a truly mild, perfectly normal sensation of one’s stomach being empty for a minimal span of time. Billions of people go without adequate food for their whole lives, to the point where it weakens their bones, stunts their intellects, and kills the babies they have. Panicking over not having eaten for four hours in the face of that is, to me, obscene.
Blogger friend Erika reflected on her newfound perspective about food, health and how to enjoy life after a very significant weight loss, successful maintenance and amazing fitness gains, saying, When I think about how often I would eat to excess, it makes me pretty ashamed. Especially considering how many people go without food, and here I was eating when I wasn't even hungry.
I had the “it’s easier to just grab something on the run” situation happen to me in a real-life example yesterday.
So, as you know, I went to the gym at about 8:45AM after having eaten a little mix of yogurt, flaxseed and blueberries. And, as you know, I was hungry when I got home about 10:15 so around 10:30 I made a whey protein shake with 1/2 c. almond milk, 1/2 c. egg whites and 1 tbs. peanut butter.
We got to the Scallop Festival about 12:45PM (Josh’s mom and stepdad met us there, which was cool!) and we had an excellent afternoon of rides, games, browsing and “snacking.”
Well, all I had at the festival was a half pint serving of the most amazing seafood bisque in the world from this local restaurant, Lindsey’s, which is a formidable presence at a lot of the fall fairs and festivals. We won’t get into what Josh ate right now. Maybe never. I don’t like to sicken my readership. Anyway, I ate that at about 2:00PM, after I’d had my fill of gravity-defying, potentially vomit-inducing carnival rides.
We had a blast at the festival. The weather was beautiful, the people-watching was, um, stunning, I guess would be an accurate term, and we had good company. At 4PM, we were ready to head home. Mind you, home is about a 20-minute drive (four songs, as is how I measure driving distance) from the fairgrounds. I felt a little growl in my belly and the smell of cinnamon-roasted almonds emanating from the food tent wafted by, and I’m thinking, We could share a bag of those, I just want a few bites of something. And then of course I gave myself the mental bitch slap and said You fucking loser, you almost fell right into FatNation Mentality!
We got home, 18 minutes and lots of radio commercials later. I went to the bathroom. I returned to the kitchen, opened the refrig and took out lettuce, cucumber, onion, peppers and a sweet potato. I grabbed a foil pack of tuna from the spinning cabinet. I put the potato in the microwave for four minutes and while it cooked, I assembled my salad and doused it with Frank’s Red Hot. So, you see, I waited a whole 28 minutes or so from the first “Hmm, I’m a wee bit hungry” thought and it took me a whole five minutes, total, to make myself a cheap, nutritious, easy actual meal.
Even those of us who’ve been at this a long time need to practice
I’m going to try not to trainwreck today, just for the hell of it. If I miss anything awesome, though, someone update me. I saw yesterday that The Amtrak is enjoying her delicious meals and DESSERTS at Fitbloggin. Yeah. They serve fucking DESSERTS at a convention for fitness bloggers. From what I know of this little gathering so far, anecdotally, Fitbloggin’ seems to be a serious misnomer. It sounds like a scrapbooking weekend where it’s mostly hugging, smiling, giggling and kissing each other’s plus-sized asses. The organizers, I guess, sprinkle in a few talks on being kind to yourself and body acceptance and maybe a live cooking demonstration or two that includes creative ways to use reduced fat shredded cheese and bacon as a garnish. Speaking of bacon, the peanut gallery (FYI: Peanuts are a legume, and as such, NOT PALEO) is still, for the most part, rallying around The Big Trainwreck, with one intelligent lass going so far as to remind our Intrepid Blogger to be kind to herself, because:
“It’s not fair that normal people get to eat so much and never gain an ounce!”
Yeah. I should probably invest in a helmet to wear during blog-reading, huh?
Okay! Onward. Today is a rest day which means I’ll be doing a half hour of cardio in the basement after the Spawn get on the bus. I have a tea date with my dearly beloved, recently widowed neighbor a bit later. And then some really stressful paperwork type stuff that I have been avoiding like the plague.
Constant vigilance is definitely important. It is so easy to get distracted, but it is not impossible to stay on task. Another thing that I've been learning to do more is to push past my fear. I've been so afraid to try, to give it my all, to go hungry even ... but it's all in my head. I don't know why I've been so afraid, but I know that letting go of my fears as helped me move forward in so many ways.
I've wondered a few times why people who weigh in at or over 300 pounds are so worried about being in starvation mode. I suppose it is a fad to think that way. Sigh.
I'm gonna go find a helmet to mail to that nice person.. :o)
It aint that easy and it's not really about the gym .... it's about the calories !!
so she burned a couple hundred calories at the gym...if that...the gym is for toning and feeling strong and healthy not for weight loss.
don't you agree??
"...although I can’t buy sexy lingerie, I drape a nice sheet over me.” that made me giggle!
and this was just priceless “... Although once, when she got on top, I couldn’t breathe.”
You see, there's hope for everyone :0D
@PW, yep...I exercised 2-3 hours a day (not bullshit like floating in a pool, either) when I was actively losing and probably ate 1300-1600 calories a day, if that....my energy was through the roof and my performance improved consistently.
@Lisa, I am afraid to click , but I'll do it!!!!
@Paris, you said exactly what I was thinking!
@Diane, if experience has taught successful maintainers anything, it is that! :)
It took me years to learn this information and even when I did, I still didn't "get" it. It wasn't until I did Whole30 (which for me was Whole7weeks) did I get the affect that even the tiniest amount of sugar (any sugar) had on my body.
I want to believe she's sincere but just misinformed...I really really do.
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