FullaBella's Journal, 15 March 2013

I started to respond to a post this morning regarding 'breakfast when not hungry, yes or no?' but as I began composing my answer in my head I decided it would make for a better journal and reminder to myself.

So feel free to read on at your convenience as an actual retrospective food and health journal follows (in comparison to the madness of the past few days). As always, comments appreciated. Oh, and for Erika - yes, this will be on the final exam. (LOL)

I believe it was Minnie Pearl, on the Hollywood Squares, who said 'Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day'. I'm not sure if she invented the phrase or repeated something she read elsewhere.

What I don't recall her sharing is the reasons behind the 'why'. I think the very wise Ms. Pearl left that up to our own interpretation and amusement. And boy oh boy, have we as a collective nation of eaters had fun with that one. Following is my latest rationalization of the theory.

I am never hungry in the morning yet I always prepare and eat my breakfast. I don't CARE if I shouldn't eat when I'm hungry NOR do I do it simply because someone is trying to convince me it kicks my body into a 'calorie burning' phase and is necessary for weight loss.

I would totally, truly, absolutely LOVE to be able to eat ONLY when hungry but I didn't grow up in a world or culture that lives and thinks that way and short of dropping me in the Serengeti with little more than a knife & zippo lighter, I have little hope that I will be able to adapt that way of thinking at this late stage of my life. The best I can do is not eat more than my body can process in a healthy way.

Nor can I continue to accept the theory that we can make our bodies burn calories by eating more calories or worry that my body will go into a 'starvation mode and refuse to burn weight' if I don't eat enough on a regular basis. But this is because *I* have probably screwed up my body and metabolism and energy burning machine so many times in the past forty years of weight loss shenigans nothing will ever work well with the cookie cutter approach so I am going to modify and rationalize my way of eating for me. Today. Right now. And if I get it right, well by golly, I'll get up tomorrow and do it all over again. If not, well, Plan B, something else.

While I get the 'primal man ate this way and wasn't overweight' theories, well, sorry, we are no longer primal. Not in Bellawood, certainly. Maybe God was an Atkins follower when he told Eve not to eat the apple, I don't know. (Sorry - not being blasphemous, just offering a little levity in this insane constant 'do this, don't do that' bombardment of 'how to eat' we encounter daily.)

So for this 51 year old gal who grew up in a time and culture where food was given, offered, advertised, sold and available to me for reasons far beyond hunger, I have to draw the line. I have to take all of the ideas, stir them up in a bowl, and bake into a dish to satisfy me in all areas: physical, mental and spiritual.

So I prepare and eat breakfast every day because while it may not be feeding my physical hunger, it sustains me when other areas of my life start to growl. I liken it to those times when you are about to leave the house and are reminded 'go to the bathroom now because we're not stopping later.' We argue back 'but I can't go now...' and the response is 'Well, go try at least..'

Breakfast is the only meal of the day, in my current life, that I am able to select, prepare, eat and enjoy without interruptions, distractions or demands. It occurs before MH is ready for his breakfast and while Mdog is still sleeping (and not on my lap begging for a bite or needing to go out to potty).

That meal alone feeds my 'taking care of Bella' need. Something, at least, one thing, I do every single day for just me in the 'nutrition' area so that I AM aware of eating and remember it with a reassurance that I am 'worth it'.

I go into my kitchen, open my fridge, and drink in the view of wonderful healthy food in vibrant colors and varying shapes and tastes I've now tested, have a firm understanding of their nutritional content and know I like. This morning I selected onions, fresh spinach, bacon, an egg, and cheese.

As the bacon, sliced into small bite sized pieces began to simmer in the pan on the stove I chopped a fresh onion. The wonderful aroma of the two filled the air and I breathed in, enjoying the food via the smell. The onions were added to the bacon followed by the spinach, After a couple of stirs to the pan as the entire skillet of healthy delights cooked and mixed I added an egg on top with a little water on the side and covered it again, allowing the steam to cook the whites of the eggs but leave that wonderful yolk soft enough to break later. The cheese was sprinkled on top and allowed to melt.

This entire preparation took less than five minutes but will sustain me in so many ways throughout the rest of the day. I poured the contents into a bowl. I don't know why I like eating from a bowl, but I do, so that's how I eat. I then curled up in my chair, bowl on my lap, Kindle in my hand, and enjoyed my breakfast while I read my buddies journals.

Each bite was eaten with attention but not obsession. I enjoyed and chewed slowly but my personality would not enjoy sitting in solitude at a table and looking just at the food to eat. I ate slowly while I read and commented and I stopped when I felt the 'had enough' signal I've learned to trust appearred.

I took so much time describing the preparation process because it is the recollection of 'living in the moment' that will sustain me throughout the rest of the day.

When I am struck with frustration and want to eat, I remind myself of my wonderful breakfast and the gut check tells me 'no, you're not hungry, now go deal with the frustration like an adult.' Same with feeling bored, sad, angry, just need a break, just want to put something in my mouth, need to chew, need to taste, need something... I reflect on my simple but fabulous breakfast. And even when I'm having a 'Woe is me, life is eating away at my soul' day, I go shopping and think of something new for my breakfast. Some new way to be really good to myself with nutrition the one time of the day when my time is my own.

Is this 'exactly how everyone else in the world' should do it? Absolutely..... not! I'm just sharing one of the things that's worked for me, and the reason why.


**Disclaimer ~ I reserve the right to change my opinion at any time. The opinions expressed in this journal are not endorsed by anyone with any believable credentials, acronyms or initials following their name. Don't do as I say or do as I do ~ use your own minds to make your path in life.

Diet Calendar Entries for 15 March 2013:
1143 kcal Fat: 71.81g | Prot: 72.95g | Carb: 54.21g.   Breakfast: Bacon, Sauerkraut Libby, Egg, Onion, Spinach, Sargento 4 Cheese Mexican. Lunch: planters nut rition, Cracker Barrel Cheddar, Romaine Hearts. Dinner: Cottage Cheese, Campbells French Onion Soup, Chicken Breast. Snacks/Other: Chocolate Cake, Smart Balance Peanut Butter. more...
2058 kcal Activities & Exercise: Sleeping - 24 hours. more...


That's beautiful, Bella! I am particularly struck by the "need to chew, need to taste, need something". I think that's very profound and an indicator of something that we as the caretakers often overlook. We NEED-WE have NEEDS. Sadly, many of us put ourselves in a position of always meeting other peoples needs, and not even asking for, of expecting, reciprocation. You are meeting a need within yourself, for time alone (and oh how I can relate), for peace and quiet, for comfort, and yes, tangentially, for food. I too am not actually hungry most of the time in the morning-if I am, great. If I'm not, I generally just wait to eat until I am. If I'm not, but I have to go somewhere, I do eat something so that I am not feeling ravenous by the time I have a moment to eat, for that way lies binge eating. I am not quite at your level of listening to the "had enough" signal, though I'm working on it and you're definitely helping me remember to look for it, and eat mindfully. I do learn so much from your journal. 
15 Mar 13 by member: CollyMP
I loved you post!! You are an excellent writer, and it was very engaging. Actually, you sound alot like me, especially being 51, the eating from a bowl, curling up in a chair, and reading from your Kindle. :) I was never one for breakfast until about a year ago. Then, merely toast and coffee. I began eating "real" oatmeal instead, but have recently changed to having an egg, as protein. My sister, charleesue, totally believes it keeps you feeling full longer, and since I've tried it, I totally agree! I will have a piece of lite wheat toast with just an egg, and I feel great until about 1:30. I do realize that that is a long time to go without eating, and I honestly do have a light lunch about 12:00. At least, this will allow me a decent amount of calories for dinner and snacks! :) I love your disclaimer, and again, I totally agree with you! Enjoy your healthy day! 
15 Mar 13 by member: Alwayspretty
Yum! Your breakfast sounds good. I have to force myself to eat in the morning. Usually just yogurt with granola mixed in and some fruit.  
15 Mar 13 by member: mntwinsfan
Yes, sometimes food can feed the soul as well as the body - if we allow it. Your breakfast ritual sounds full of nutrients for both :) 
15 Mar 13 by member: evelyn64
Hi Bella, haven't been around for about a week. You have been busy! Sorry you are having so many issues with identify fraud. Can't believe how well you are handling it ie not face down in a bowl of something. As always - inspirational. I envy you because I am so not there yet and I've been on this facet of my journey for 2 years now. This is obviously 'your time'. I believe that for everyone there is a time when its right for them and it sounds as if this is your time. Again congrats on doing such an awesome job.  
15 Mar 13 by member: sarahsmum
Sarahsmum-you know, I've often wondered about that. I too have sometimes felt that it was just "the right time" and things just worked out well, and at other times it just felt "wrong" and nothing worked. I wonder if there really is something to that, something in the weather, the change of seasons, hormonal levels...something. Sometimes it seems easy, sometimes, definitely NOT. Oh if we only could find the formula! LOL! 
15 Mar 13 by member: CollyMP
I loved your entry Bella and made me smile after a long frustrating day at work, you offer lots of good advice and written in a way I can relate to! There are so many people out there giving advice and feel now I need to do what I feel right with! Small steps I hope will get me further in my journey to get healthy! X 
15 Mar 13 by member: Anneemai
Ah crap.... Final Exam?? I took notes... :) I'm also very guilty of eating on a schedule instead of just when I'm feeling hungry. I loved reading about your breakfast experience, you are such a great writer. :) 
15 Mar 13 by member: erika2633
Thank you. You are a wonderful writer. And..and inspiration to me.  
15 Mar 13 by member: CharleeSue
You have such a way of conveying thoughts, feelings, and sensations that I find myself craving your journals. It feeds my psyche. Thanks Bella, for another stellar journal entry. 
17 Mar 13 by member: RiverRes
Enjoyed this journal. Love that you gave me something to think about today when the many reasons call me to eat when I don't really need to.  
17 Mar 13 by member: Neptunebch


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