FullaBella's Journal, 24 February 2013

By Jove - I finally got it! Cue music to My Fair Lady!

I've been struggling with the concept presented in the 'Eat what you Love' book about quantity and how, in my own summary (not word for word - the author expresses it more clearly ) the reader is reminded that their stomach is the size of their fist and therefore, the meal should not be, before chewing, larger than twice the size of the fist to avoid feeling 'uncomfortably full.'

I argued that with 'my salads'. Based on the saying somewhere 'never apologize for vegetables' of all things I've been eating mindfully in sensible portions, I felt a salad 'shouldn't apply'. I made my salad in the same size bowl you usually use to let bread rise - HUGE. And ate without abandon. I felt like 'gee, even the entire thing, with all of the spinach, tomato, cucumber, etc is only ### cals so nothing wrong there.'

Finally though - it occurred to me (( yeah, it took a while but eventually the bulb lit up )) this was much like when I look at the nutrition label on a food and go 'hmmm, XXcals per serving and there are Xservings in this package so even if I eat the WHOLE thing my cal total will be 'XX' and I can live with that.'

Come on - 'fess up, I can't be the only one who does that.

But this past week - after arguing mentally with the author for several weeks, I finally got it.

By calculating the entire cal portion of a whole 'thing', I was already setting myself up to EAT the whole thing because I was envisioning that, accepting it, preparing for it.

No longer was I eating to satisfy my hunger, I was actually telling myself 'go ahead, eat more than you need because your RDI can bear the total.'

And with the Salad - same thing. So WHAT if my 10gallon hat full of salad was less than 500 cals - why did I feel the need to eat THAT much??

AND... FINALLY - and this is why I write this crap down to get it out of my head and somewhere I can remember it - I reflected on my journal a couple of weeks or so ago when I referred to how I would eat when I was slim -- overeat, gorge actually -- because that's what I always 'imagined' slim people did: eat whatever, however, as much as they wanted. And I had finally realized how wrong that was. Yes, slim people eat as much as they want - but they don't make a pie eating contest out of every meal.

So with the salad - obviously I was still, though unconsciously, separating food into categories as 'good & bad' or 'high cal / low cal' - although I 'felt' I have allowed myself to eat 'whatever' I want now so that I don't feel deprived - if I still hold in my mind there are 'some' foods to be limited where others are unlimited, I was just setting myself up for repeated failure.

Because SOME day I would find myself with a lower resolve or grow complacent or find myself thinking 'what the heck, I'm slim now, I can eat a whole pizza or a whole double meat, double cheese burger until my sides are aching from the quantity' because I've kept my body used to eating too much while I was trying to get slim by eating too much salad.

And then, I'd be in trouble. I'd be right back where I found myself every single time in the past as I put the weight back on. Binging and unable to stop because the high quantity just felt right even with the wrong food.

So - I'd given up the salad festival about two weeks ago while I sorted this out. And I was finally able to get it. I got it. I got it. I got it.

Sorry for the repeating but this is something that I've battled for four decades.. the WTF happened everytime the weight loss failed.

Another stupid 'stinkin thinkin' gone. Another cobweb cleared. Another clearer understanding of how to make this successful and for the rest of my life.

Thank you for reading.
Bella

Diet Calendar Entries for 24 February 2013:
1031 kcal Fat: 34.05g | Prot: 50.43g | Carb: 134.77g.   Breakfast: Odwalla Super. Lunch: Mixed Greens Turnips, Sunsweet 60 Prunes, Select Harvest French Onion. Dinner: Salsa, Salmon Schwans, Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Bar. Snacks/Other: Spectrum Flax, Cinnamon Chex, Simply Kraft Cottage Cheese. more...
2078 kcal Activities & Exercise: Sleeping - 24 hours. more...

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Comments 
Conscious eating (basically, eating according to your hunger cues and not overstuffing yourself) has been something I've been familiar with for a while now and I keep going back to it, even though I have tried other "methods" of controlling my intake in between. It sounds simple and, in theory, it is but it does require a constant state of awareness so it's easy to glaze over and become "unconscious" again. But I do know it works when I stay focused. Anyway, what I'm trying to say in a very round about way is I'm glad you've made this connection, too! The key to the whole concept for me is to eat slowly, learn to not be afraid to leave food on the plate when you even suspect you are feeling full and always know that you can go back for more food later "if you feel hungry".  
24 Feb 13 by member: evelyn64
Thank you Evelyn - are there foods you feel (or felt in the past) that were limitless compared to others? Like .. salad vs chocolate cake? 
24 Feb 13 by member: FullaBella
Brilliant summation! Congratz on knocking down another barrier to keeping it off. I grew up with the "eat what is on your plate" and also in a big family so if you didn't grab "your share" you missed out. It took me years to get over feelings of scarcity over food. If I am totally over it. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading your post and it is a great reminder. :) 
24 Feb 13 by member: Rowanfair
Thank you Rowan - I grew up with do many food issues I'd not be able to list them here in comments :-) I'm 4 mos into journaling and still working. Thanks for dropping by - come back anytime. 
24 Feb 13 by member: FullaBella
Yup Bella, slim people eat whatever they want, but in small quantities. I have a friend who is 100+ kg and one who is 50- kg. They are both eating cookies every day, the difference is the skinny one eats only few of them or replaces dinner with cookies. Actually the skinny friend eats very unhealthy food, but so little that you don't notice in her body shape. The secret is teaching your stomach to be happy with less food, that's it. Easy to say, less easy to achieve, right? It took me 18 months to learn it myself again.  
25 Feb 13 by member: Lizzie983
Wow Bella! Thanks! I need to get a copy of that book. I still cling to my salad fest citing it as my "afternoon snack." It is a dinner plate full and I am convinced that it puts me over the top for my vegetable servings for the day. Hmmm. Who'd of thought that losing weight required so much brain power? Thanks again! 
25 Feb 13 by member: RiverRes
RiverRes: You might be surprised at just how much salad constitutes a vegetable serving. It's disturbingly high for salad leaves particularly. 
25 Feb 13 by member: riocaz
Yes, Bella, I had the same mentality that if something was healthy, I could gorge myself on it without guilt. It didn't matter that I was eating a portion big enough to satisfy two or three people because it wasn't high in calories. And still, to this day, I struggle with that mindset. My post-workout omelette, for example, is healthy and low in calories but it is HUGE and I could easily stop after eating half of it and be quite full. But I'm SUPPOSED to have a sufficient serving of protein to build muscle so I feel obliged to eat it all. Conversely, my daughter turned me on to these protein bars that are higher in protein than the regular ones - they contain a full 20 g - but because they taste like a chocolate bar, I feel guilty eating one instead of my omelette even though they are roughly the same amount of calories and the omelette has only a few more grams of protein.  
25 Feb 13 by member: evelyn64
Don't you feel good when that light finally pops on and you realize how it works..and we can still learn...Great job my friend...Your doing a wonderful job on the journey...Proud..yes I am...:O) 
25 Feb 13 by member: BHA
Okay, thanks for reminding me of my cobwebs! I calculated the total calories in a package of kale chips, or roasted garbanzos, or baked apple chips, and eat the whole thing. I have been feeling hungry a lot, and it could very well be that I stretch out my stomach toooooo often. I tend to eat relatively small amounts frequently, but I do stuff like eat four cups of steamed broccoli with dinner; a bit excessive! I want that full feeling, but if it takes that much to achieve it, I've trained my stomach to expect too much. I'm doing okay with my weight, but vacation might be a challenge with all the delightful meals I know we'll go out for. I should prepare myself to not eat that whole wonderful salad at Cafe O' Lei, to carry a cooler for leftovers, to make healthy choices. We're going to a farmer's market the morning after we arrive to stock up on healthy foods; apple bananas, papayas, pineapple, veggies, whole grain bread, etc. I need to work on the 'vacation eating' mindset; I don't need macaroon trail mix or any of the macadamia macaroons! I don't need the huge mahi burrito from Maui Tacos! I should be working this out in my own journal, sorry (blush) . 
25 Feb 13 by member: crabby Kat
@Lizzie - thank you - and yes, it is easy to say but takes work to achieve it when we've grown up having so much or too much available at any given time. It took me nearly a month of concentrated effort to allow myself to FEEL hunger and recognize when it happens to react accordingly by feeding myself when hungry rather than on a schedule in a restricted way. I had to give up the old myths of 'going into starvation mode and damaging my metabolism' and all of that crap that has been shoved in my head while I shoved crap in my stomach. That's why I am working so hard with this journaling and thinking and really paying attention this time - I'm tired of doing it over and over.  
25 Feb 13 by member: FullaBella
@Paula - the book is 'Eat what you Love, Love what you Eat' by Michelle May. I'd read the article online from Chap6 about mindful eating back in Nov and it really changed my approach toward food but thanks to Angel Ruth suggesting I read the whole book (she's soooo thorough) I did download it and found new 'cobwebs' to clear. I kept arguing because I'd say things like 'sure, if I were thin, this would make sense but right now I'm trying to lose weight...' and finally it clicked this weekend how backward I was thinking.  
25 Feb 13 by member: FullaBella
I have been queen of the clean plate club for a very long time so I get the whole giant salad bowl theory...and if I filled it up I would eat it all. I genuinely would love to be the woman who says. I m full and pushes the bowl away no matter how many calories or forkfuls are left ....there's a novel concept. Quit eating when you are full : )  
25 Feb 13 by member: sharonfriz
@Rio - yes, that's what I was thinking 'gee, this entire BAG of spinach is only XX cals ~ and I need my veggies ~~ but that again was creating a clash of quantity and quality in my head that a lifelong 'overeater' like me doesn't need to hold. That's why I'm looking forward to my processor coming intoday so I can make a veggie smoothie that condenses the quality into a quantity that doesn't become a battle of the wills as I proceed with the rest of my journey toward healthy. 
25 Feb 13 by member: FullaBella
@Evelyn - yeah, I do the same with omlets - esp when I was doing egg whites only ... holy smoke. But when I started adding the yolk back in and some spinach and a tomato I was getting enough enough protein without feeling stuffed. Yeah - it was CRAZY how my omlett would fill a whole PLATE. I had to get out of that mode of thinking but did not want to go to processed bars.  
25 Feb 13 by member: FullaBella
@Bren, yeah, I literally felt like Eliza Doolittle dancing around in my bathroom going "I got it! I got it!" This was a really difficult connection for me to make in my head. I was thrilled! 
25 Feb 13 by member: FullaBella
@Kitkat - you can work it out here - it's okay :-) I was relieved to read you do the same 'hmm, whole package huh...' Crazy thinking we do, huh? When I had my Eliza moment last night I started looking at quotes from My Fair Lady and this one rang so true to ME: """Professor Henry Higgins: [singing] Women are irrational, that's all there is to that! Their heads are full of cotton, hay, and rags. They're nothing but exasperating, irritating, vacillating, calculating, agitating, maddening and infuriating hags!""" I don't feel that way about myself ALL the time but I do recognize some of that when it comes to food and eating. But I'm getting better!!!  
25 Feb 13 by member: FullaBella
@Sharon - yep, again, another struggle - esp at a time when i'm recording all of my food before I even eat it so I feel like 'well, I've already planned out my day to eat XXXX cals and I've already recorded it and if I don't eat it all 'now' and I'm hungry later I have to go back and edit and then what if I'm over or under and it's not accurate and.. '' CRAZY huh!!! ONE of the things I noticed EARLY on is that I'm usually NO longer HUNGRY after a few bites ((go figure)) but IF I keep eating LONG enough I CAN finish the whole bowl and clean my plate. And that led to my repeated weight regain. It wasn't an overnight connection for me - nor is it solidly ingrained just yet but I CAN make this a habit. I don't CARE if a portion is suppose to be Xamount, I'm going to stop when I no longer feel hungry. I realize there WILL be some times when this may end up being a waste of $$ for food if at a restaurant w/o a way to take it home for left overs but you know what, I LOVE MYSELF more than I love money. (( part of my new daily affirmations )) I'm worth it. I'll keep nuts or fruit in my bag so I'll be prepared if the hunger comes back. This is do-able.  
25 Feb 13 by member: FullaBella
Another great journal! I too have thought if I eat EXTRA of the good stuff, maybe I won't eat so much of the bad. Also if I have weighed out a portion on the scale and start to feel full I will go ahead and finish all of it because who would get back up and weigh what they didn't eat and then minus it off of food diary. This has been a good reminder for me to NOT tell g-kids they need to clean their plates. Thanks again for all the research you do to help all of us. 
25 Feb 13 by member: 2toofat
@Sandi - thank you SIL :-) I'm glad to share whatever I read or watch as well as my own personal experiences. It's ironic - all of this stuff is from others books and movies, etc., but I feel so proud to share when *I*, a normal everyday person, not a PhD Rocket Scientist, can actually get it, understand it, and live it.  
25 Feb 13 by member: FullaBella

     
 

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