Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday food and some behavior thoughts

Not adding photos for the things I've already pictured....

Breakfast, protein shake and quiche slice
"Lunch"... teaching day, so one of those Not Really Food South Beach protein bars
And then when I got home, I had half an Italian sausage (see hideous food pic from Monday), 150 cal.... and all of the sausage that was left after Carnivorous Teenager hit the refrigerator, apparently. (The big mystery is why he left any at all...)

Then we had this lovely shrimp stir fry for dinner... shrimp, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, zucchini, bean sprouts, a few peas... no rice. Really good, although the picture doesn't do it justice. It's funny how you really don't miss things like rice after a while... there was a time when the idea of stir fry or curry without rice seemed impossible. Or inconceivable, anyway. But you stop eating these things and after a while, you notice that things like rice and noodles actually just detract from the fresh taste of vegetables. That's my take on it, anyway.

I am seeing that my new obsession is about to be, figuring out how to take food pictures that look good. Like I really need to be doing this, sigh...

And we stayed up a bit later than usual to watch Top Chef, so we had this bowl of blackberries and raspberries with a tablespoon of light cream. A little heavy on the berries, but they wouldn't have lasted another day... and that's always a good excuse to eat up all the fruit, right?

So here is what I've been thinking about today. I've been reading the Beck Diet Solution. I have to note that when I say, "reading", I mean, I've gotten through the chapters up to where you have to do actual work, and then I've stalled out because I haven't had time to do what you're supposed to do on the first day. Well, energy, I guess, more than time, but still... And I have read the beginning part very slowly because I have to keep getting past my irritation level, because I really want to do the cognitive things in this book. But I have kind of a love/hate relationship with this kind of book... that is, I want to think that someone can teach me how to do something that I don't know how to do. But I'm just beyond easily irritated by anything that is overly simplistic or talks down to me or is really cutesy. Actually, I have a pretty hard time just getting past the fact that the cover of this book is brilliant magenta (not picky or anything, am I?). And I keep getting just annoyed as hell because the first part of this book talks a lot about how "fat" people are different from "thin" people. Yes, I do understand what she's trying to get at, but I think that a lot of the reasoning both misses the boat totally and smacks of, "I have never really had a weight problem, and so I'm going on observation rather than knowledge." No, I don't think that you have to have had a particular problem to be able to empathize and understand it. But it does help, and it's a lot easier to be wrong if you haven't walked in those moccasins. It's very easy to observe behavior without really understanding what it's about.

But I do think that there is one "characteristic" of people with weight issues that she's got on the nose, for me anyway, and I have to say that I've never thought about it in this particular way. It's the notion that "thin" people don't really focus on hunger and cravings while "fat" people tend to think of these things as important. (Ok, I have to say, she doesn't say "thin" and "fat" people; she says "thin people" and "YOU", so I suppose I'm reading between the lines.) In other words, thin person goes, "oh, I'm hungry... guess I'll get something to eat laster..." and goes back to doing whatever s/he was doing. Not-so-thin person goes... "oh, I'm hungry. Crisis. What will I eat? When can I eat? What do I have to eat? There's some pizza in the refrigerator. Oh. Pizza. Don't think about pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Crisis. Must do something about this." In other words, hunger and cravings for food take on an importance that they really need not have.

I have to say that for me, this was one of those oh-so-simple things that people say, and you suddenly realize that you have never thought about it like this before. That hunger is maybe something that does not have to be paid attention to. That cravings can perhaps just be ignored. (I have to say that I'm not a big cravings person, but M. will get it in his head that he wants something in particular and will just obsess about on some level for days.) This sounds like sort of a "duh" kind of thing, but here's how it translates to for me... I start making dinner, and usually by this time, I am really hungry. So I'm cooking, and I'm thinking, hungry, have to eat NOW. And so, despite the fact that I'm cooking something that will be ready in half an hour, I start nibbling on cheese or whatever is leftover from some other meal, and by the time dinner is ready, I've picked up some significant number of calories just in random nibbling. And it's those marginal calories that keep me from losing weight.

So last night when I was cooking, I said, hey, I'm starving.... but I'm not starving. This is not a crisis. You do not have to eat NOW. You can eat in half an hour when the food is done. I did not nibble on anything. And this was ok. This was not a crisis.

I always feel kind of silly writhing this sort of thing down because I imagine someone reading this and saying, "well, of course you idiot. This is not a crisis. How could you not understand that?" And I do understand that, but the things that we do below the surface, the lifetime behaviors, are really not so obvious when you're in the middle of them.


LOLfitness said...

Lovely description of pizza thinking :) My boyfriend is very skinny and thinks like a thin person. Often he won't eat for the entire day, and then remember to eat in the evening when he has dinner and polishes off a few candy bars afterwards. By the time he has his first meal, I'm at my fourth or fifth!

He stays thin because his intake isn't that high, but it's hardly healthy either :)

Nina said...

My husband has a friend like this... he's rail thin, and he'll come over for dinner, and FORGET that he's supposed to be eating mid-meal. Food just isn't important to him, ever. I find this almost impossible to relate to!