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LuckyLadyBug 03-09-2002 10:53 PM

What are we really hungry for? Exercise 43 & 44
 
What are we really hungry for?
The Non-Diet Approach, March 9, 2002

Lose weight without dieting? HOW?!?!

By getting to the root of why you overeat in the first place! "Why Weight," written by Geneen Roth, is a non-diet book that contains exercises designed to help compulsive eaters learn how to stop using food as a substitute for handling difficult emotions or situations. You'll also learn how to enjoy eating and still lose weight naturally. This program offers reassuring guidelines on:

-- kicking the scale-watching habit forever
-- learning to say no
-- discovering other pleasures besides food
-- learning the difference between physical and emotional hunger
-- listening to and trusting your body's hunger and fullness signals

Each week at least one exercise will be posted and you are encouraged to share your answers, thoughts, etc..

Please share any insight, ideas, articles or other information that you may have.

Join us in Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating!

LuckyLadyBug 03-09-2002 10:55 PM

Exercise 43: Immediate Reactions

What do you feel when you hear that you can eat what you want?

Scared Panicked Glad Ecstatic Relieved Suspicious

Complete the following sentenses:

I feel ____________________when I hear that I can eat what I want because __________________________________________________ ____________

If I eat what I want, I will _________________________________________




[COLOR=[purple]Exercise 44: I Want[/color]

We often want things, people, situations that we think we canít have. This holds true for food. When you imagine yourself eating what you want, what kinds of foods are in your mindís eye?

These are the foods I want:
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

LuckyLadyBug 03-09-2002 11:00 PM

Exercise 43: Immediate Reactions

What do you feel when you hear that you can eat what you want?

Scared Panicked Glad Ecstatic Relieved Suspicious

I would feel relieved.


Complete the following sentenses:

I feel relief when I hear that I can eat what I want because I wouldn't make myself feel badly for what I do eat.

If I eat what I want, I will be calmer, relaxed.
BUT think I will make "bad" food choices..unhealthy ones.



[COLOR=[purple]Exercise 44: I Want[/color]

These are the foods I want:
1 pizza
2 ANYTHING Olive Garden
3 Mexican food
4 Omlets
5 cheese
6 beer
7 buttered popcorn
8 cream sauce (I can't even remember the last time I had this)
9 And on and on it goes.

Amarantha2 03-10-2002 12:18 PM

Returning from La-La Land with only a broken wrist left to heal, this is kind of a relevant exercise re my recent three days with the Richard Simmons Foodmover. After being ill and eating my head off, I brought back control by falling in love with the Foodmover because for a short time, I wasn't driving myself nuts by trying to count calories at the same time I wanted to eat comfort food (in my case that equates to numerous cans of vanilla slimfast and candy bars). There is no moral to this story, other than my overly rational mind began to question the Foodmover's use of food exchanges (it doesn't do a bad job, just was a little off for me) and I don't really like Richard. I tried to register on his website and that didn't work and I hate seeing his name on the Foodmover, which is actually a neat and workable thing to manage an eating program. But I'm giving mine away today and going back to the program that works for me (counting calories and exercising). End of story.

But it does have to do with this thread in that how we perceive control and our state of mind re eating is the root of all of this. I'm not sure what I'm trying to say and I still don't type too well, so:

Exercise 43: My answer is that I would feel first relieved and then start the over analysis and eventually I'd be back counting everything in a journal. Even closing the RS cute windows didn't make me feel in control. I will never eat naturally. Sigh.

Completing the sentences: I feel disbelief when I hear that I can eat what I want because I know it isn't true unless I want to be obese again.

If I eat what I want, I will have fun for awhile and then gain weight.

Exercise 44: These are the foods I want:

Vanilla anything, especially slimfast in a can and then vanilla dairy foods
Cookies & Creme bars
Chicken (roasted from the grocery store)
Total cereal with brown sugar coating (tastes like pralines)
(Foods I don't want include vegetables of any kind ... sigh)

LuckyLadyBug 03-10-2002 12:42 PM

Crone what happened to your wrist?

I too have checked out and tried some other "eating" methods but it seems that counting calories is the least work which is what I want. If I have to cook, cook and cook some more and then pack many containers of food for my lunch - well, it never happens more than one day. Counting calories doesn't make me feel like I have "screwed" up the diet, therefore quitting. I know I can eat anything - just count it. That includes, Slim Fast, protetin drinks, protein bars or broccoli. Lately I have fallen in love with asparagus...kinda spendy but hardly any calories.

I have been getting more protein in my diet and that has
seemed to make me feel better.

I still haven't gotten the exercise part in but continue to work on it. Baby Steps

Arabella 03-10-2002 12:43 PM

Exercise 43: Immediate Reactions

What do you feel when you hear that you can eat what you want?

Scared Panicked Glad Ecstatic Relieved Suspicious

Complete the following sentenses:

I feel all of the above when I hear that I can eat what I want because:

scared - I'm afraid of losing control and being fat forever
panicked - ditto
glad - because it feels like I don't have to deny myself
relieved - because I begin to believe that I can have power over foods that had power over me before
suspicious - because I think that allowing myself to eat formerly forbidden foods would make me fatter

If I eat what I want, I will have to reexamine what i mean when i say i want something. I believe that I should eat what I want, but only if I'm hungry. And, in that situation, when I'm actually hungry, I almost always want healthy food rather than junk.

[COLOR=[purple]Exercise 44: I Want[/color]

We often want things, people, situations that we think we canít have. This holds true for food. When you imagine yourself eating what you want, what kinds of foods are in your mindís eye?

These are the foods I want:
1 nachos
2 pizza
3 chocolate
4 cake and ice cream
5 beer
6 deep-fried everything
7 salads
8 seafood esp. lobster
9 good bread and butter
[/quote]

Funny, it didn't occur to me that I was allowed to put in foods that I consider to be okay until I got almost to the bottom of the list. I generally like healthy foods and if there's a healthier version of a fave I prefer it to the unhealthy one. Hard to get a really healthy cake & ice cream, though.... :rolleyes: :T

Crone, I know you disagree, but I do believe it is possible to learn to eat naturally. I'm so sick of spending most of my time and energy thinking about either my weight or food! I think that this is a type of addiction and an obsession, and although it's darn hard to beat, that it can be done. Glad you're starting to feel better!

Lucky, thanks for continuing to post these -- I know I haven't been the most faithful respondent, but I think it even helps to read them and think about the issues.

xo
babette

Amarantha2 03-10-2002 10:26 PM

Yo, guys! This is an interesting set of exercises. It does go to the heart of that issue of eating "naturally" or in a constrained or restrained manner.

Babette: I don't believe that everyone needs to be a chronic restrained eater, only that I do. For some people the "natural" approach should work out fine.

One thing, though, to think about is how "unnatural" is it, really, to count calories, points, food exchanges, whatever? For me, these are ways to be cognizant of what I'm putting in my mouth, a form of meal planning. But if "natural" means eating without restraint, then I can't do it because I am 100 percent sure I will gain the weight back.

But what works for me might be the very thing that won't work for someone else, so the exploration continues. :)


LLB: I broke a wrist (among other things) when I had a fall a couple of weeks ago. Much better now! :) Thanks for asking and for posting this thread, which always makes me think.

I tend to agree that calorie counting is the simplest (and most natural) method of tracking food intake. My skirmish with the Foodmover did help me get control by its novelty, though. Kind of a vacation from calorie counting. But calories are the basic issue in weight control, in my not particularly humble opinion, so I like to get to the heart of the thing and just count them.

When I feel well, though, I often do freeze portions in containers for future meals. When I don't feel well or am on the run or working on a tight deadline, I like just grabbing something from the store and writing its calories in my journal. I've been doing this so long, I know the calorie count of almost any food in the universe.

I like asparagus in a vege smoothie! I know that sounds odd, but I AM odd.

Arabella 03-11-2002 08:35 AM

Hard to argue with success!
 
Crone, you have had such wonderful success with your method and here I am significantly overweight, so who am I to make these kinds of judgements. :rolleyes:

I don't in any way believe that we can just start to eat whatever we want whenever we want and maintain or lose, though. I'm trying to retrain myself to eat when I'm hungry and not otherwise. I know that people (even thin people) eat for reasons other than hunger. Some people can do this, but I can't and I don't think I should. If I'm eating for reasons other than hunger, the actual needs that I'm responding to are not being met. Plus I believe that I (and a lot of people with any kinds of addictions or obsessions) use my weight and obsession with it and food and/or dieting as an excuse not to fully live my life. For me, a binge is so similar to a junkie taking drugs. I hate it and don't want to do it. These things just take up way too much space.

I do try to control my hunger so that it fits in with social events & etc. but haven't found that very hard to do.

Anyway....you've done fabulously, taking your own approach. I hope you don't mind what I've said. In some ways, I'm working it out for myself by posting about it.

We will fight the good fight, as we see fit!

xo
babette
:wave:

deleted2 03-11-2002 03:23 PM

Thanks, LLB!!!
 
If I got the news I could eat whatever I want I'd feel suspicious and panicked because I'm afraid that I'd automatically go back to binge-eating.

If I eat what I want I'll lose control and re-gain all the lost weight.

These are the foods I want:
-pizza
-buttered toast
-buttered anything [I WON'T have butter in the house!]
-chocolate
-ice cream
-macaroni and cheese
- french fries
-cake

At least I think I want thse foods. I'm attracted and repulsed by them! I'm just as happy with a healthy low-fat version of them though so that's good. [Trouble is I have to make it!]
The thing that annoys me is feeling different. It seems to me that so many people never give a thought to what they eat--they have the doughnuts or whatever and go on their merry way, and I have to think about anything that I eat and I resent it sometime and I can't imagine being free of it. I simply have the kind of body that holds onto weight and gains easily--at least that's become part of my belief system.
On the other hand, sometimes I find great joy in carefully selecting the foods that I know work well with my body. But today's not one of those days!!!

Amarantha2 03-11-2002 05:30 PM

Babette: You are 100 percent the person who is best to judge what works for you! :) And I absolutely don't mind anything you ever say and am especially interested in discussing this topic and think this is a great thread. We may be more in synch than semantics may lead us to believe.

I'm understanding now that by "natural" you mean responding to your body's hunger signals and eating only when hungry, stopping when full. I think this is an admirable goal, although I'm still disagreeing that nutrition is the only legitimate use of food, at least for me.


"Plus I believe that I (and a lot of people with any kinds of addictions or obsessions) use my weight and obsession with it and food and/or dieting as an excuse not to fully live my life. For me, a binge is so similar to a junkie taking drugs. I hate it and don't want to do it."

I totally agree on the above quote. I can tell you that my three days with the RS Foodmover were merely a distraction from working on an assignment that I don't want to do (as is posting on 3FC right at this moment). And as a former bullemic, I can say that the binge/purge cycle is exactly like a junkie taking drugs or an alcoholic going off on a bender. I don't want to do it, either. And I think, as I seem to hear you say, that if nutrition is met (rather than my lust for cookies & creme bars), binges are less liable to happen.

I envy you the ability to manipulate hunger to fit in with social events. I can never do that. I usually start craving things too early on the day of an event and by the time I'm around a lot of people, I don't want to eat a thing. If I were a nice person, I would eat, work and play well with others and they would like me better, but as it is, I gotta do what I gotta do!

"I'm just as happy with a healthy low-fat version of them though so that's good. [Trouble is I have to make it!]

Edyie: I feel that way, too. I am a good low-fat, low-calorie cook and when I do it, I'm just as happy with my healthy efforts as with the junky stuff. But it's like housecleaning. When I finally decided I didn't want to do it much and hired someone, my life opened up in ways I couldn't believe. If I could hire a cook, I'd be in good shape. Seriously, though, I would just love it if some fast food giant would come up with a whole chain of establishments just devoted to healthy, simple food, in sensible portions, as easy to get to as McDonald's, WITH NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION OPENLY DISPLAYED, and with a wide selection, not just a few overspiced vegetarian dishes, and NO EXCEPTIONS TO THE HEALTHY RULE, e.g., no "ringers" that the chain sticks in ostensibly for those who want to eat large ... unhealthy eaters can go elsewhere ...

Uhh, sorry, rambling & ranting about the apparently impossible dream.

I know the frustration of noticing how some folk seem to "go their merry way" eating whatever and of feeling a need not to do that. Like you, though I get tired, I find joy in being careful and choosing carefully. My less than saintly side also gets a smug kick out of a good day when I know I'm eating mindfully when my friends are just shoving stuff in their mouths and plugging up their arteries. Not that I want them to plug their arteries, but they don't listen to me anyway.

LLB: Thanks again for posting this thread. I'm going to do some work now ... or take a nap. Haven't decided which.

LuckyLadyBug 03-11-2002 07:58 PM

babette

Quote:

If I'm eating for reasons other than hunger, the actual needs that I'm responding to are not being met. Plus I believe that I (and a lot of people with any kinds of addictions or obsessions) use my weight and obsession with it and food and/or dieting as an excuse not to fully live my life. For me, a binge is so similar to a junkie taking drugs. I hate it and don't want to do it.
You stole my words!!!! I know I use my weight as protection and to some degree I know from what but I STILL canít control it. Okay, I have to say I do control it somewhat but not totally.

I donít eat from hunger Ė hardly ever!!!! Itís either because itís time according to the clock or itís at night and I want to ďfillĒ myself up.


Eydie I have watched my thin friends for years and I donít know if your statement is correct.
Quote:

It seems to me that so many people never give a thought to what they eat--they have the doughnuts or whatever and go on their merry way, and I have to think about anything that I eat and I resent it sometime and I can't imagine being free of it. I simply have the kind of body that holds onto weight and gains easily--at least that's become part of my belief system.
It is true, from what experts say some people may gain and keep weight easier than most, but I do know my thin friends watch what they eat. I think the difference is they take it as part of life. ďOh, I will eat less at dinner because I had that donut this morningĒ. I traveled with a very small, thin friend for a year through work. She would have ďfatteningĒ food but I noticed the other meals were small or she would only have a few bites of food or would eat much less the next day. I believe she could do this because she doesnít use food to satisfy (or try to satisfy) her feelings. If she was stressed or upset about work she would come to me and rantÖ.when I was stressed or upset my thought was to call room service. See what I mean?

Crone Your welcome and thanks for posting your thoughts. You help me look at things differently and yet the same!!!! My hope is in prodding each others brains we will learn how to live in peace with food.

:wave:

Amarantha2 03-11-2002 11:04 PM

LLB: I think your thin friend is typical, but I also know a number of people who seem unconcerned about what or how much they eat. The operative word, of course, is "seem" ... for all I know they just agonize more privately than I.

I think I posted once about a friend who lives with her teen-aged children and her parents with lots of relatives and friends coming and going all the time. It's a happy extended household and people eat all the time and seem so unconcerned about any of these issues. But now I find that the parents have health problems and have been quite worried for some time about losing weight, though they are not obese. I think it is harder for people like this who have never had a weight problem and who are around a lot of happy eaters than for a chronic restrained eater such as me.

I got no work done today and the fridge is calling, so I need to go read something!

deleted2 03-12-2002 07:33 AM

If I haven't shared this earlier I'm a chef at a continuing education center and I do receptions, lunches for art classes, etc. and working around food constantly is so challenging. I have a reputation for cooking vegetarian so people expect that of me so I can be creative with making things healthy and low-fat and that's great but I've found that people aren't willing to negotiate with their desserts so I also have to make some pretty decadent sugary stuff! I truly love my job and can't imagine doing anything else, and you've gotta admit, a chef with food issues is pretty comical!!! :lol:

Crone, when I said the trouble with wanting healthy food was I have to make it, I certainly didn't mean that I didn't like to cook but I don't want to make it when I want it NOW so I settle for the junky version. I try to cook alot of basic things at the top of the week that I can vary thruout the week, that works pretty well.

LLB, when I talked about the people that go their merry way and never give food a thought, I meant anybody, fat or thin. The people that simply don't have food or exercise as a concern. This journey has become such a part of my life that I can't imagine what it's like to just wake up in the morning and not be mentally plotting out my menu and scheduling my workout! Actually, truth be known, I'd miss this aspect of my life! Could it be that I'm enjoying the "thrill of the hunt" so much that it's why I've never reached my goal weight?

By the way, at work some days are better than others. On those days when I make mountains of cookies ,for example, I can enjoy the 'assembly line', meditative aspect of it and other days I want to sit down with a few and enjoy!

My husband said something to me on Valentine's day that has haunted me. It's quite profound. When he brought me flowers and no candy, he said he wanted to, that he loves to bring me treats but that he's noticed that sometimes when I say I'm allowing myself to have some particular treat, I immediately regret it and he doesn't want to be a part of that, that the line between treating myself and punishing myself is blurred. He's very insightful and I'm still processing his statement. Anybody have any thoughts on it?

My, my--I do go on. Wow, see what happens when you get started?! No wonder I just 'lurked' here so long! The floodgates are opened now! :lol:

Arabella 03-12-2002 09:15 AM

Good Morning!
 
Hi Wonderful Women!

Weighing in on the "skinny people who eat like sumo wrestlers" and "skinny CREs," I sure know members of both groups! My MIL is 87, MAYBE five feet tall, and has never had a weight problem in her life. Her idea of exercise is the five minutes of calisthenics that she does five days a week. And it is a constant battle keeping her fed when she visits. It's funny, too, because she's from the generation that doesn't think an appetite is ladylike, and will always say she doesn't want anything much. Then she'll just keep piling it into her. She eats until she's stuffed sometimes, too. Always wants dessert. Oh well, maybe I should look at not needing so much food as being less expensive?

And on the other hand, a thin woman I know who was friendly with me and my sisters growing up used to naturally vary how much she ate. She would eat a lot sometimes, but then would be less hungry the next day without ever thinking about it. But my sisters & I were chronic dieters, and she started thinking that she shouldn't eat as much as she did sometimes so she started restraining her intake and ended up bulimic! She's the clearest case I've ever seen of diets causing eating disorders. It took her a very long time to get back to more or less normal. She binged throughout her pregnancies but walked 10 miles a day so she wouldn't feel like she had to purge. She still gained 75 pounds!

Oh, I would prefer my MIL's lot, but t'is not to be! We must struggle on and do the best we can...

Have a great day!
xo
babette

Amarantha2 03-12-2002 12:53 PM

"Actually, truth be known, I'd miss this aspect of my life! Could it be that I'm enjoying the 'thrill of the hunt' so much that it's why I've never reached my goal weight?" ~ Eydie

Eydie: The above is true for me, but I sometimes have problems explaining it to people. In fact the 'thrill of the hunt' is what I am about, though I wouldn't harm a hair on an animal's head ... though I am now a carnivore. It is true in all aspects of my life, but especially in hunting down those pesky pounds and chasing them out of my body. Thanks for posting that!

Babette: I think it's fascinating to watch sumo wrestlers eat. I do kind of envy them that, but I wonder how long they live. Now your MIL is another story. I bet she's wonderfully healthy. My 83-year-old friend who is one of the first pioneers in a town near here is about five feet also and eats all the time. She does understand nutrition but doesn't understand why anyone would limit themselves. She thinks some people were just designed by nature to be heavier and that is that. She's not heavy, BTW. Ninety percent of the time she chooses good stuff but enjoys the best of the junk also. Until a recent accident she did most of her own yard and house work and she keeps her mind and spirit active. She would never deliberately exercise, but is well-muscled and looks considerably younger. Someday I hope to get to be just like her!

LLB: I get that feeling of wanting to "fill myself up" about every eight days and that can signal a binge for me. Someday I hope to get to the point where I never have that feeling because of the fullness and richness of my life, of which good food everyday is a part. Not there yet, though. We preserve, I guess. :)


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