Friday, January 11, 2008

4 I Must Be Dreaming?! Or Is It A Nightmare?! Hahahaha.


Well, as usual I just couldn't resist hopping on the scale after a previous evening of running. And guess what?! The news isn't as horrible as I'd originally expected.

True, I did gain 2.6% body fat percentage points, but I dropped 1.4 lbs.

OK, so I know the body fat is the more important number I should be paying attention to in this instance, but my point is that the gain is minimal & that, even so, it's not the end of the world.

I also realize that this recent weight loss could be due to the fact that I had a small dinner, but I don't think it's due to loss of water, because I certainly drank enough water after my run, several bottles in fact!

But back to my original point, which is that I was expecting to gain several pounds & a much more body fat by eating dim sum with my friends. And lo and behold, my worst fears about such a gain were simply not realized. Again, one single, fattier-than-normal meal isn't going to devastate my body or my health, although several consecutive meals like that might! ;-) If you've got an imagination anything like mine, it's patently clear that the mind can often exaggerate scenarios far beyond the actual reality! So let us now return to that reality.....

All the same, it's back to the drawing board for me, or should I said "back to the treadmill"! ;-) OK, I truly despise treadmills, but you get the point. ;-)

The even funnier thing about the body fat gain is that I don't really even feel badly about it at all. These days I rarely brace myself when I hop on the scale, because despite whatever sinfully delicious meals or snacks I might've consumed in the previous few days or weeks, I'm secure in the knowledge that I have the power to reverse any damage I incur through eating via my exercise & a return to healthy eating. That's right, the power to change that rests solely on our shoulders, & we should take that as very happy, wonderful news! The scale is simply a tool to keep us on track, so things don't get too far out of hand in one direction or the other.

So what's wrong with me? Shouldn't I be feeling pangs of guilt & such? Well, no, actually. Because it won't do any good to think like that! Yes, apparently I've completely gotten rid of the guilt associated with the ups & downs of my weight management. And I think that's just grand.

I really believe that having a treat every once in a while keeps on a path to overall good nutrition. If we have a craving, the best thing to do is to give voice to it by acknowledging & talking or writing about it; this way, we become aware of it, and also take away its urgency and inaccessibility (which usually make it far sexier & tempting!), as well as it's power/hold over us. You know that saying about people who always want something they just can't have; of course, the simple solution is to just make that "something" accessible & then its appeal/lure immediately evaporates into thin-air. Similarly, I find that usually after I get a little taste of something I want, it satisfies me, & keeps me from going overboard. Everyone knows that feeling of when you are having a particular food craving & your kitchen cupboards are bare, so instead you go bonkers & eat practically everything else in site (LOL!). But of course, in the end, it still doesn't have the net effect of sating the original craving you were having in the first place. So, it's better to just have a taste & get it out of the way. That way, it makes it so much easier to stay on track.

So, likewise, now that I've had my eating fun for the week, all I can do is just get back to eating healthfully & continuing to run & lift-weights. So there! ;-)

I have to say that I do enjoy eating healthy foods, so it's not exactly a punishment. I do like lots of fruits, vegetables, & whole grains, but like any normal person, still have all-too-human food cravings from time to time -- usually for crunchy foods, salty foods, salty-sweet foods, or just plain old sweets! And yes, sometimes orange wedges just don't cut it when what I'm really craving is more along the lines of a chocolate bar with raspberry filling! ;-)

So, now let's open up the floor to your comments: What types of foods do you crave? How do you usually deal with food cravings? Are you finding that your "coping mechanisms" are working? Have you found any of my posts to be helpful in retooling the way you think about food & eating?


Blaine Moore said...

If I have a food craving, and the food is available, then I just eat it. I don't actually care for sweet foods, though, so when I crave something it is usually along the lines of beef jerky (I make it at home), apple leather (again, I make it at home), pretzels, almonds, bread (sometimes I make it at home, depends on how much time I have) things that I'd normally be eating anyway.

cyberpenguin said...

Hi Blaine,

Sounds like, even in your snacking habits, that you eat a lot of good sources of protein & fiber, with some carbs for extra energy. That's great!

With all of the mileage you do, you probably instantly burn off whatever you eat the moment the food is digested! ;-)

Speaking of which: While attending a nutrition & exercise seminar given by a nutritionalist at Canyon Ranch, I learned that it's best to eat within 40-45 minutes of exercise, as the food is metabolized more efficiently. At the same token, it's recommended that a person allow atleast 4 hours between their last food intake & their bedtime, as the "thermal effect" of eating is maximized by doing this behavior. Anyhow, just thought I'd mention this, since you might be interested or would find it useful.

Abimars said...

BREAD, THICK WHITE SLICES OF BREAD, thats my vice, I'm not talking two or three slices, I've been known to eat a whole loaf in one day. So I never have bread in the house, I ask for the bread basket to be taken away if I'm eating out,lol, a bit extreme but thats my coping mechnism, I just abstain. I tried having it once a week but it didn't work just made me crave even more so now its out.

cyberpenguin said...

Hi Abi,
Yes, that's a good way of handling both scenarios. Very wise indeed. It's out of mind, out of sight!

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