Posts tagged ‘eating’
If you’re a fan of the movie “Office Space” like I am, you’ll know the phrase: “Does someone have a bad case of the Mondays?” pretty well. In fact, as it’s Monday today, people around the world are uttering those words right now.
Do you have a bad case of the Mondays? Are you tired from the weekend or not wanting to be in your job? Yeah, I understand. Me too, sometimes.
But for me, Mondays take on a different hue: I’m “back on” my “good” eating.
Does this sound like you? You eat “well” all week, go to the gym, feel good about your diet. Then then weekend comes along (I like to call it the WEAK-end) and you’re more relaxed, eating and drinking more, perhaps skipping a workout. And then before you know it again it’s Monday! “Oh crap!” you say to yourself, “I totally blew the weekend with my diet! I’ve gotta get back into healthy eating again.” And around and around it goes, until you’re trapped in the Mondays hamster wheel.
I thought you might know a thing or two about this.
So, what to do? Unfortunately the answer is deceptively simple: Don’t engage in WEAK-ends.
1. Continue listening to what your body wants. Don’t use the excuse “Well, heck, it’s Friday so I should have 7 drinks and pizza” because that’s what your conditioned to do. Listen to your body. Do you really WANT that?
2. Schedule in your workouts. And I mean in your calendar. With pen. Perhaps try hitting the gym first thing when you wake up to get it out of the way. Or, instead of your usual routine try something else: a new exercise class, a hike, or a long walk exploring your neighborhood (that’s my fave weekend workout)
3. Stock up the fridge on Thursday night. This is one I need to remind myself of, too. If you’re like me, you buy lots of groceries on Sunday night for the upcoming week, and by Friday, most of your food is gone, leaving you to rely on take-out, restaurants, and foods you wouldn’t normally consume (read=not as healthy). Why not make a trip to the supermarket on Thursday night so your fridge is stocked with all your favorite, healthy foods for the weekend?
4. Indulge more during the week. What the heck, Amanda? Yes, it’s true! If you’re trying to be too “good” and “perfect” with your eating during the week, not allowing yourself any treats, it’s no wonder you’re splurging during the weekend. Friends, my blog is called CAKE and carrots for a reason: there is room for both in your diet. If this scares you, start by adding one small treat during the week and see if that feels good to you, and if it makes any difference in the way you eat during the weekend. Perhaps a little dark chocolate is all you really need.
Do you have a case of the “Mondays” today?
That’s a tough question, whether you’re talking about cake or…a carrot.
So often we choose food for reasons other than pure physical hunger (duh). But how can we tell if we’re hungry, or if we need to find nourishment elsewhere?
Here are 5 questions I ask myself when in doubt:
1. Am I hungry? Of course that should be the first question. I rate my hunger on a scale of 1-10, 1 being ravenous and 10 being so stuffed my jeans button popped off. If I’m below a 5, it’s physical hunger and I eat.
2. Do almonds or turkey sound good? If I’m not sure if I’m hungry, I ask myself if I’m in the mood for some high-protein snack like almonds or turkey. If I want them, then it’s a sign I’m hungry. If they don’t sound good, the sensation I’m experiencing is more likely a craving (But then I have to decide if I want to give into the craving. That’s another story)
3. Am I thirsty? You’ve heard this one before…quite often we confuse thirst and hunger. I make sure to keep myself hydrated throughout the day.
4. What are you feeling? Tired, bored, frustrated, angry, giddy, anxious, nervous? Try to pinpoint your state of being to make a better food choice.
5. What do I NEED right now? This is the most important question by far. I’ve learned to ask myself what I need before diving into the cookie jar. So often we mistake the fleeting comfort from food with something else we might need. Do you need a hug, to connect with a friend, a bath, exercise, stop procrastinating and get work done, take a nap, to dance around buck nekkid in your home? Whatever it is, ask yourself if food will fill this empty space. If the answer is NO, then ditch the food and fill yourself up some other way.
If after asking yourself these 5 questions the answer is still “Gimme cookie,” then by all means, enjoy the cookie with gusto. But at least you know that you’re eating the cookie because you’re hungry and not for any other reason.
I hope you had a wonderful July 4th Celebration! I spent a fabulous 4 days in our house in the Berkshires, lounging around, eating good food, swimming in the lake, and spending time with my family, including my brother, sister-in-law, 2 year old nephew Gabe and 10 week old niece, Sasha.
I love watching children around food, because we ALL started our lives with a normal relationship to food, aka Intuitive Eating. Then life happens to us, we get older, form ridiculous rules and guidelines, diets happen, and as Gabe would say, Kaboom–“normal” eating goes out the window. So it delightful to be reminded of how human beings truly were meant to eat.
1. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. Always the simplest and most direct guideline, but often the most difficult (I know it is for me). Gabe would eat when he was hungry and stop when he was full, no matter how much food he had left on his plate. Even if it meant setting him up in his high chair, preparing his meal, only to have him take 1 bite and proclaim himself finished!
2. If you don’t like what you’re eating, stop eating it and ask for something different. It’s amazing how a little boy could put down a sandwich after one bite, say “Yuck” and then ask for what he REALLY wanted. How often have you eating a meal because it was in front of you when you could’ve ordered something else.
3. Prepare. I’m not a mother yet, but if you are or have friends with children, you know it’s all about thinking ahead and preparing. Wherever we went we were armed with a juice box, raisins, animal crackers, or some other snack. Do the same for yourself. Don’t get stuck without the food that YOU like…always prepare!
4. You can always eat again later. I love how Gabe would eat his meal and then an hour later, want to eat again. Does that happen to you? You eat a meal and then you feel hungry, but you say to yourself, How can that be? I JUST ate? Perhaps you had a light meal, you’re catching up for eating less food the day before, or your meal was devoid of fiber, fat, or protein. If you’re body is hungry, eat! Or, you can try drinking some water or tea first, because many times we confuse hunger with thirst.
5. Make eating fun. Watching a child eat is fun, right? Messy, too. But when a child is in the mood to eat, they delight in it. I couldn’t tear a bag of Pirate’s Booty away from my nephew, and I enjoyed watching him eat with gusto. So, enjoy your food!
6. Sharing is caring. I am blown away at how good of a sharer Gabe is. If I asked for an animal cracker, he would take one and place it in my mouth. And then he would keep going, offering me his snacks with a huge smile on his adorable face. So often we (me included) enter this place of scarcity with food. We have to eat fast, fast, fast before someone gets our portion. And, oh no! What happens when I get to the bottom of the bag? Well, the answer is…you can always buy more. Share what you love with others. Except if it’s a tiny square of dark chocolate. I take that all for myself.
So go ahead and bring out your inner child! Not only with food, but with life itself. Go ahead: have fun, giggle, and make a mess!
Matt (my husband) told me that I MUST write about this. I’ve been projecting my food issues. It happens. But I’ve been projecting them onto…my DOG!
Yes, I know, I’m certifiable!
Here’s what happened this weekend: We changed our puppy’s (Gola) food because she wasn’t really enjoying what we were feeding her before. So we tried giving her a mixture of wet and dry food, and hot damn! That girl ate like it was going out of style.
I was SO pleased that she was eating and that she had a hearty, healthy appetite. For over a month, I watched her barely touch her food. And now that she loves it, I just love watching her eat.
We also feed her out of food “toys” and not a bowl. If you own a dog, you’ll know what a Kong is. For those of you who don’t, it’s a bee-hive shaped rubber toy with a hollow center. We put all her food inside of it so it takes her longer to eat and gives her some mental stimulation at the same time.
So, anyway, we stuffed this wet mixture inside the kongs and she greedily at it. When she stopped eating, I figured all the food was gone. But at the top, where she couldn’t quite get to, there was a lot more food left. So, rather than let her be creative and get it out for herself, I helped her by moving the food to the front.
Matt scolded mye (nicely) by saying that I shouldn’t help Gola. She’s a dog, and dogs forrage for food, and I should let her be a dog. Well, feeding time came around again, and again, and I just couldn’t RESIST helping her get all of her food.
It finally got to the point where Matt wasn’t laughing anymore and asked, “What is your DEAL with this? Why can’t you just let her do it herself. She can do it, I know she can.”
And then it hit me. I’m projecting my food issues onto my dog. I was just so friggin HAPPY that she was enjoying her food again that I wanted her to continue to be happy. I wanted eating to be EASY for her, since for the past 5 weeks it wasn’t.
For many years, the act of eatings (and emotions, feelings, and rules) was so difficult for me. It still is…I’m not yet a “normal” eater. I guess when I saw Gola so happy with her food, I just wanted to give her more of that. So that she can enjoy and not suffer like I have.
I told you, I was certifiable. And yes, I am aware that she is a dog and that NONE of this has crossed her mind. But Matt made me promise to tell you, so there you are.
Oh, and I’m not allowed to touch Kongs once they’ve been given to the dog!