Monday, March 19, 2012

Random Thoughts on Cravings and Hunger...

And why I eat a fairly monotonous diet most of the time.

First, let me say that I am not a foodie.  Sure, I ate a lot of food when I was overweight, but it's not like it was gourmet...I got fat on fast food (hello Taco Bell and McDonalds), convenience food (hello pizza delivery), junk food (the three C's - candy, chips and cookies), and, of course, quantity - back in the day, I could pack it away like no one's business.

These days, I am pretty boring, and I know that what I eat would drive some of my friends crazy, because I tend to have the same things over  and over.  Why do I do this?  Well, because it's easy.  I don't have to think about it - and quite frankly, I don't want to spend a lot of time focusing on food.  For me, when I do that, food becomes FOOD.  And as you can see by my "before" pictures, I had a lot of years where FOOD was a huge priority in my life.  No more.  Most of the time, it's just something to stop my hunger.  Sure, there are great meals, but I prefer for them to be few and far between.  I've (mostly) lost my obsession with food - it no longer has the hold on me that it once did.  And as with other addictions, I've accepted that it's a daily reprieve, which becomes evident when I do eat something that sets off my cravings and brings the actions of the "old me" back.

One thing that is almost always guaranteed to throw me off my path is sugar.  I get more crave-y when I have sugar.  Dark chocolate doesn't do it to me as bad as milk chocolate, but eating much of anything that's sugar-laden sets me off.  I know some people can work that kind of food into their daily diet based on calories, but I have to consider the consequences, too...and most of the time, setting off cravings is just not worth the internal battle for me.

Also, if food is too good, I will actually avoid it.  Jeff and I have even said, while eating something particularly delicious, "this is too good - we can't have it again" because we both know how easy it is to go down that path of overindulgence.   Yes, this may sound crazy and abnormal to many of you, but after all of the struggles I've had with my weight over the decades, I'm probably not normal.  Then again, who's to say what IS normal, right?  All I'm doing is muddling through this lifestyle the best way that I can, figuring out what works for me, and, in the process, maintaining my weight loss.

And for me, that's enough.

33 comments:

  1. Im the same too.
    the oddest supersimplesugar things make me troll the kitchen for me.
    one especially VITA TOPS.
    other people love them.
    they are horrible for me and it's not just the gluten :)

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    1. I've never tried the Vita Tops - the frozen doughnut craze that went around blogland a few years ago was enough for me, lol!

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  2. Your last sentence says it all Shelley. You do what you have to do to make things right for you. And it's really not anyone's business how you do it, as long as it works for you. And that it's working you've proven.

    I could say more often to myself that something is too good and I shouldn't have it again because I can't stop eating it either. And why confront yourself with that because losing weight itself is already hard.

    Same with sugar, I do eat it sometimes but I always feel tired afterwards. I feel so much better when I eat healthy.

    Shelley you're an inspiration to so many of us and doing things your way is your strength and something I admire.

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  3. I had the realization last week finally. Don't apologize to anyone for what works for you.

    For the last two years I've been trying to find the right combo of healthy food blahblahblah. When in reality if I just ate what I ate before (in moderation!) I would not have my cravings go up and down.

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    1. Love it - and I wonder WHY we take such a roundabout way to find our true path?

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  4. I am trying to get myself off of sugar (or to cut back), but it has been really hard. I'm the same way in that the more sugar I eat, the more I crave sugar. It sets me up for a habit/pattern that is destructive for me. I went several months with having very little sugar, but it got so I had a really hard time resisting it, and I started adding it back more and more. It can be a slippery slope!

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    1. Yep - and that slippery slope is too darn easy to get on!

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  5. This is very interesting to me - because eating the same things day in and day out actually trigger me to want to overeat. Because I am a foodie, I need the variety to stay satisfied and on plan.

    I completely agree about the chocolate thing. I actually prefer dark chocolate and it's what I generally have on hand to eat if I want some. However, just recently I was given some milk chocolate and ate a piece of it and a few minutes later realized I wanted to just stuff my face with it - not at all the case with dark chocolate.

    This whole process both the losing of the weight and then the maintaining of it is a constant work in progress. I see you as someone who has figured it out for themselves and knowing yourself and what you need is really all that matters.

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    1. Well, I don't think I've got it all figured out, but I'm getting there. And I think it's interesting that both a foodie like you and a non-foodie like me can be successful - because we are doing what works for us.

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  6. For me, its not sugar but salt. Popcorn, chips, tortilla chips, pretzels - are like crack to me.

    But you should be proud of yourself Shelley - you are maintaining your weight which in an of itself is an accomplishment. You haven't gone back to old habits, fast food is not on your radar, and you are eating they way YOU feel comfortable.

    Hugs!

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  7. This cracked me up. Because you know what one of my current favorite foods is that I have to be careful to limit? And then it still calls to me from the cupboard sometimes? SHELLEY'S HIPPIE GRANOLA! LOL, that just cracks me up. At least if you are limiting your food selections, you are limiting them to something that tastes darn good!

    I liked reading this. It just gives us all insight into something that works well for one person. I take bits and pieces of what works well for others, and sometimes incorporating that into my diet helps me too. I kinda like having the same easy things available repeatedly. Like the oatmeal packets, the yogurt and granola, cottage cheese and pineapple and walnuts. But then I like the days where I get every vegetable out of the fridge, and chop and mix and cook and combine. And make a 'masterpiece.' If I still didn't have that to do sometimes, you're right, I would go crazy. Or maybe the fact that I felt the need to write all this in response to your blog shows that I AM already crazy. Whatever. I really enjoyed this blog entry!

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    1. We can be crazy together! I'm sorry about the Hippie Granola...it IS good, I know!

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  8. I am a bit more like Helen with food. I used to just eat lots of food, processed, McD's, pizza, etc. Now I have become much more appreciative of the kind of food I eat and while I do like variety, I tend to rotate most of the same things in my diet. Sure does make grocery shopping easier LOL!

    It really is a matter of finding what works for each of us and to not feel bad if you don't eat the same way someone else does. Your body, your food = your maintenance.

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    1. And it's so easy to compare what you're doing to other bloggers, but nothing works the same for everyone...hard to remember that, sometimes.

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  9. Thanks so much for this post, Shelley. I am like you - I do better if food isn't too good, yet I love to cook and make good food. And eat out - good food, not fastcrap.

    As far as the repeating the same meals over and over, I definitely do that with breakfast and lunch. Very few variations during the work week. Dinner gets a little dicey for my effed-up head, and after dinner is where the behemoth lies in wait to sabotage my day. Weekends are also a little more challenging because the lack of structure, but navigable if I don't start with the wrong things. And I love the notion of the daily reprieve - which is granted me if I do my part, and if I accept it.

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    1. Love the reminder about doing my part AND accepting it...so true!

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  10. My friends at work tease me about my lunch because it is the same every day. Little do they know, so is breakfast! I find I just don't stress over what I'm eating when it's the same and I am so much more comfortable about my choices.

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    1. ...and lack of stress over eating is a very good thing! :)

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  11. Before I started losing weight I read one of Dr Oz's books. One thing he said that really helped me was to keep breakfast the same every day and have just a few lunches to choose from. Make it simple was his advice. I knew this would really help because all the diets I had ever tried overwhelmed me with all the shopping and cooking. I still eat very simply and it makes it doable for me.

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    1. I remember reading that same thing, and have stuck to it with my breakfasts, especially. Glad to hear I'm not alone with the shopping/cooking prep, too!

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  12. I get it! I tend to get into a rut and that works for me until I get bored. It's easy. And also those things that are too good - yep, I avoid them. Or be sure I only have them outside my own home so I maybe have moderation!

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    1. YES - that is why we go out for dessert. Too much drama to keep out of it at home.

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  13. I found this very interesting, and I totally get it! I eat a lot of the same things too, because it's easy and it makes planning easier. :)

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  14. Shelley, I tend to eat the same things all of the time as well - even my binge foods remain the same.

    I keep meaning to be more adventurous, but laziness wins out every time.

    As for binge foods... anything that takes a while to eat (like popcorn, chips, individual chocolates etc) seems to 'do it' for me!

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  15. Hi Shelley. I'm like Helen, I need variety or I get bored with food and eat too much of things that aren't healthy. I love trying new ingredients and recipes, and "healthifying" those old favorites with smarter ingredients. I find now too, a small serving of good food is enough. For example, in the past a big plate of something yummy like pasta...now, a cup or so of the same pasta does it for me. Not to say I don't WANT more, but I've learned a little goes a long way for me. I know that wouldn't work for everyone...but as you said, you've all just gotta find "what works for me". Have a great week.

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  16. I find that my appetite/hunger has become rather monotonous too...and it doesn't bother me at all, except to wonder where that more adventurous eater went! I wonder, is it hormones/age or that my body craves what it truly needs now or a combination of both? I have found that when my hormones are as balanced as possible, I don't have cravings or false hunger...I don't have to "be in control" if that makes sense.

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  17. That's interesting. I've been having a lot of the same foods lately and it really does take my mind off of eating. I don't have to worry about what I'll eat because I already know.

    But something being too good cracks me up. LOL

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  18. I agree completely. Boring is a good thing when it comes to food.

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  19. I know what you mean about sugar. The less of it I eat, the better off I am. This pregnancy/diabetes thing is throwing me off my game. First appointment they tell me I don't eat enough carbs, and the baby needs them. I'm not sure how this could be, since my blood sugar is within normal range, but whatever, I obey.
    Now that I am TEMPORARILY on insulin for the duration of the pregnancy (and no longer, no matter what anyone says and you diabetes clinicians can shove your predictions of Type II diabetes right where the sun don't shine because I AM GOING TO GET BETTER - GOT IT?) it has become even more important for me to keep up on my carb intake.
    Carbs make me hungry. This morning, I hadn't had enough carb at breakfast, so I ate a piece of a doughnut. I don't even like doughnuts, and this wasn't a very good doughnut anyway. But as soon as I finished the piece, I wanted more. So, I ate more. Before the morning was over, I'd eaten the whole thing. I could have eaten my snack carbs as fruit, like I usually do, but there was that stupid, gross doughnut. It was so easy. No peeling like with an orange (seriously? I even have fresh cuties in the house!)
    Well, now those stupid doughnuts are gone. Jeff ate the other ones. And I still have my cuties.

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  20. Thanks for your post Shelley. I find that WHAT I eat has the most bearing on my weight, because if I indulge in sugary things, my body just wants to increase HOW MUCH it consumes of sugary things. You notice how I distanced myself from my body there? The same (healthy) foods are the safe foods.

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  21. Oh, I get it too. There are certain things I can't have in the house because they are too good and I will eat too much of them. Even weird things like peanuts - I threw away three tins of peanuts because I was eating them every night after work and before dinner.

    Sugar is particularly bad, I crave it immediately after lunch. I have a little dark chocolate and that seems to help.

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