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Beware the Vacuum!!

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Old 12-06-2005, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default Beware the Vacuum!!

Recently it was forcefully brought home to me how much I need to eat regularly, and not let myself get too hungry, even if it means eating only an hour or so before a meal I know is coming.

I went to church on Wednesday of last week, for a dinner before the evening Advent service. Usually I eat a snack before heading home from work so I'm not a ravenous beast, or have something small with protein when I get home like a glass of milk or some cheese or herring. That night I ate some almonds before heading home, but when I got home I knew I'd be eating dinner at the church in two hours, so didn't have anything else.

The almonds were not enough to tide me over.

The dinner wasn't what I would have chosen. Besides the very tasty fried chicken, there was down home country fare: mashed potatoes, corn, and rolls with butter. Nothing green. Carb city. Oh, well. I figured I'd make do. I started with the chicken, knowing that getting some protein and fat in my system was the highest order of business. I planned to eat the roll, half the corn, and a forkful of potatoes.

Before I knew it, and without even tasting it, the chicken, roll, and corn were completely gone and the mashed potatoes were fast disappearing. I made myself stop. I could easily have eaten another couple of rolls, but didn't. (I'm a bread hog, which is why I won't go full low-carb.)

I am proud of myself for stopping at half the potatoes and only one roll. I am disappointed that I fell into old habits at first and ate without tasting, to fill the hunger I could barely feel as yet. My plate was almost bare before I came back to my senses.

But good choices make a big difference. Compare that situation to the one yesterday, when we went out to a country restaurant for lunch when I was very hungry. Here I could choose my dinner, so I got pot roast with two sides: green beans and carrots. We had corn muffins as well. As with the chicken incident, I began with my meat to get some protein into my hungry system. Then I switched to eat my green veggie and began on my carrots. By the time I was starting to feel human again and could slow down to taste and enjoy the food, I still had some pot roast to savor, and the rest of my carrots. I had half a cornmeal muffin for "desert" (the slight sweetness of cornbread really hits the spot sometimes when I want something sweet).

In both instances, I allowed myself to get overhungry. In both instances, I turned on the vacuum and began shoveling food into myself quickly, barely tasting it. But the food choices made a world of difference. And I made myself slow down sooner in the second instance, so I enjoyed the food tremendously more.

Hunger cues for me are not rumbly tummy sounds. If it's gotten to that point, it's too late. I have to try to be aware of how subtle my cues can be. Irritation is a big one. If I'm getting *****y and short-tempered, there's a VERY good chance I need to eat. A slight tension and the beginnings of a headache. Tightening my jaw a lot. A feeling of restlessness.

If I let it go too far, I lose touch and withdraw into myself. I can remember going out to dinner with friends and sitting there very quietly, not saying a word, just staring a bit. Twenty minutes after the first mouthful, I am cheerful and have jumped into the conversation. I'm "human again". It's like food is a drug to me. No wonder I've learned to overeat all my life. I'm more pleasant and I like myself better when I'm not hungry.

Better, healthier food choices, and consciously slowing down as I eat, can go a long way toward feeding The Beast and still eating normal amounts of food and calories. Vacuum mode is not a good thing for me. I must be more aware of my hunger cues, and prepare strategies for the times when I will need to face this sort of situation again.
~~ Synger ~~

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Old 12-06-2005, 01:01 PM   #2
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I'm going out for lunch in an hour and you just encouraged me to have an orange so I don't "vacuum" out the bread bowl. THANK YOU!


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Old 12-06-2005, 01:26 PM   #3
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I totally know what you mean about it being too late once your tummy starts to rumble. If that happens to me I have to tell myself to slow down and eat something small but filling like a piece of cheese or something, before I totally lose control. There have been so many times when I've eaten meals that were probably big enough for 4 people without tasting a bit of it and not feel satisfied. Now I find it more satisfying to savour the flavour of the food and not the act of just eating.

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Old 12-06-2005, 01:48 PM   #4
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Great post! I always try to carry a Nectar Bar (nuts and fruits only bar) or some dried fruit and nuts just to be sure I don;t get caught up in the "vacuum"
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Old 12-06-2005, 02:09 PM   #5
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Great Post!!
One day at a time is more than just a saying.....
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Old 12-06-2005, 02:35 PM   #6
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What an eye opener to read your post. So much of it could have been written about me. I, too, need to slow down and really taste the food. My big downfall is portions. My choices are usually good with an occasional fall off the straight and narrow diet path. I, too am addicted to breads..all breads... every kind of bread in the world... any time any place for any reason and for no reason: biscuits plain and otherwise, muffins, fruit breads, flat breads, sourdough, and french bread and italian bread and dark german bread and ...sigh all of them. My biggest challenge and biggest temptation is, yup breads.
I only lost 1/2 lb last month, but I lost 15 inches so my exercising is doing something.


one step at a time and one bite at a time

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Old 12-06-2005, 04:15 PM   #7
if only she'd lose weight
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Awesome post! I know how important it is to 'keep the beast at bay' otherwise, look out!

"It's never too late to be what you might have been." -George Eliot
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