24 September 2010

Fitness: Can't identify with "mindless eating"

Before I start this post, I'm letting you gals know that I'm breaking my own rule. I said I wasn't going to talk about my weight loss and fitness struggles on this blog any more. I've changed my mind about that because I am trying to post more often and part of that is not editing myself so severely before the words even make it to the screen. However, I will put the word "fitness" in the title of all weight-loss and exercise posts, so if you don't want to hear me go on and on about this stuff you can feel free to skip it.

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I'm listening to a new-to-me podcast today called Ingredients for Life. It is put out by Farpoint Media, a company that has grown since back in the day when I listened to Slice of Sci-Fi and the now-defunct Wingin' It. Anyway, I started with the very first episode and was enjoying it until the presenter Romy Nelson began talking about mindless eating. If this show hadn't been recommended by two online pals, I would have shut it off right then.

Mindless eating is one of these concepts that I just can't wrap my head around. When I read Women Food and God, it was all throughout the book and it drove me crazy. Growing up in a family where food was not only my mother and her husband's work but also part of every celebration and entertainment opportunity, I learned to value the taste of food too much to eat mindlessly. Even when I'm eating too much, I know it and the little voice in my brain says, "I'm enjoying this and I don't care that I'm overeating." If something is bland or dry or otherwise not up to par, I will take one bite and skip the rest.

One of the examples Nelson gives is sitting at the movies or in front of the TV with a bowl of popcorn and getting to the end of the movie with an empty bowl and not remembering that you ate it. This is so strange to me that it almost sounds like part of a sci-fi movie! I am aware of every bite I take. I even tell myself to slow down sometimes if I am eating too fast and not tasting it. I don't eat because I am sad or bored or stressed. In fact, most of the time I lose my appetite when I am sad.

I will admit that when I am tired or stressed, my desire to stick to the plan decreases. For instance, yesterday I was feeling rather run down. I've been having problems with fatigue and it hit me all of a sudden right before lunch. At that point, I wasn't interested in counting my Weight Watchers points or taking my afternoon walk. If I had been working at one of my old jobs, I would have hopped in the car with a coworker and gotten some high-calorie fast food for lunch instead of sticking with my healthy lunch. If I had been at home, I would have probably blown all my points plus more on eating hot dogs and cake with the kids instead of cooking something for them and then something separate for me.

Anyway, it seems that I am going to run into this compulsive-eating talk on practically any health and fitness podcast I listen to or book that I read. As with most advice, I need to learn to take what I need and leave the rest.
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