Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Food as Fuel - Part 1.......

I've been thinking about food and eating a lot lately.

Oh, I guess for the last .... 50 years or so. I was probably thinking about food and eating while I was still in utero.

I've come up with some ideas about food that if I could only put into practice myself, I would look like that princess chick who just married that prince dude. But at least I'm thinking about them, which is one teensy step better than only thinking about my next meal. Or candy bar. Or snack.

Disclaimer: These thoughts may sound like I have the whole eating situation completely figured out and I will never have a weight problem again. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Correction: I DO have it all figured out, I just can't figure out how to put it into practice. 

I read something a while back, and in fact I think I remember making one of my usual snide remarks about it on this very blog. The concept is that we shouldn't eat until we are full; we should eat until we aren't hungry anymore.

When I read that (and commented on it), I remember posting something sarcastic like if I could do that, we wouldn't be HAVING this little talk.

But the truth is, that one little mantra actually works.

IF I can remember to think it sometime before the next-to-last bite on my plate.

IF I can make myself stop eating even knowing that I'm not hungry anymore.

I marveled once at my principal during lunch because she was having "leftovers" that wouldn't have filled up a tablespoon. At least that's how it appeared to me. Seriously, the amount of food she had saved from the night before to have for lunch at school the next day was such a small one that I wouldn't have bothered. I would have ... eaten it, even if I were already full.

Therein lies the part of the problem.

I've always been bad (?) to eat EVERYTHING THAT WAS THERE. No matter the quantity. If the portions were small and the food disappeared, I was satisfied. If the portions were huge and there happened to be some food left, I ate MORE OF IT.

I came up with the bright idea once that it must be my mother's fault, so I asked her if she had ever made us stay at the table until our plates were clean. I'd heard that tidbit before, so I was ready to blame her for making me eat more than I needed.

Her response? "I had to push you away from the table from the time you could sit up."


There were seven of us when I was very young, and I distinctly remember going around the table after a meal and eating whatever anyone else left. My eldest brother called me the "human garbage disposal." I didn't even know what a garbage disposal WAS, but I had a vague idea that it wasn't a good thing to be called.

Anyway, that's one thing I'm working on. It requires that I be MINDFUL of what I'm eating, how much I'm eating, and how I feel at any given moment during a meal. I'm not there yet. But I'm gaining on it.


Did I really just say "GAINING on it"?


DJan said...

I remember watching my dad eat at the dinner table. He would do the same thing: finishing up whatever anybody else left behind. I've never felt the need to finish everything, but I learned that the size of the plate you serve yourself makes a lot of difference in how much you eat. So now I use a smallish plate instead of a dinner sized plate. It does work, but you have to not keep going back for more. :-)

Kelly said...

My husband is the one who would finish off what anyone else left behind. I was guilty of too much "tasting" while preparing the meal.

DJan's plate idea is good and I do that for some meals. I've learned the best thing for me is to measure out my portions. If I start out with what is sufficient, then I can clean my plate without guilt.

For the record, I've lost 33 pounds since last spring! I like to eat too much, so I'm going to have to stay conscious of my portion sizes the rest of my life.