Sunday, January 30, 2011

Realizing Simple Concepts

As I was eating potato chips smothered in Alfredo sauce, blue cheese and scallions Saturday night I was wondering why I enjoyed them so much. If you think about it we are all taught growing up that we should eat to live NOT live to eat. Sometime over the last few weeks I forgot that simple concept.

Not only did I indulge in what was quite possibly the most unhealthy (but amazingly delicious) appetizer of all time, I also indulged in TV gluttony this weekend. I spent a few hours (understatement) watching MADE, I used to be fat and True Life on MTV. One episode of True Life impacted me greatly. It was True Life: I'm addicted to food. The young lady featured on this episode talked about her incessant craving for food. I could relate... If you have never suffered from an addiction it might be difficult to understand what it feels like to crave food when you are not even hungry, and I don't even think it is explainable. I was watching this poor girl continue to walk in the kitchen and put more food in her mouth while admitting she wasn't even hungry but couldn't fulfill her cravings. Ultimately the girl found a purpose in life and began making positive changes. She also discovered something very simple, yet profound; she recognized that there was more to life than food. It was almost as if she was filling a void by filling her body up with anything from her kitchen.

Today the United State Department of Agriculture released the new dietary guidelines for Americans. I have yet to read the guidelines but after attending a health summit last week I do know the guidelines encourage increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables in your diet. As a matter of fact I believe the rumor is you have to have five servings of fruits and veggies before your body even realizes any positive impact.

Here are some basic principles from the USDA press release:
  • Enjoy your food but eat less
  • Avoid oversize portions
  • Make half your plate fruits and veggies
  • Switch to fat free or 1% milk
  • Choose the food with lower sodium numbers
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks


The culmination of all of these thoughts, moments, realizations have lead me to reevaluate why I make various food choices. While I continue to climb back to my running peak from a couple of weeks ago (6 days a week) I need to make sure what I put in my body will fuel me rather than weigh me down.

I would like to acknowledge that my Sunday run was terrible. I partly blame that on putting something in my body that weighed me down rather than fueled me up (but man was it delicious!!!).

1 comment:

  1. I was at a party in Oakland, California at least 12 years ago and a friend of ours and his wife were on a new diet: "not hungry, don't eat it". It was kind of a funny joke at the time, but it was their new mantra, and though I felt sorry that he might miss the best food at the party because he wasn't 'ready to eat' yet, I still remember that diet and try to enforce it on myself when I'm about to eat some junk. The other thing I do is make sure that when I am 'ready to eat', there's always 'good stuff' around to fill the need. This means always having fruit and nuts and grainy crackers in the break room at work, and always having fruit and plain yogurt around the house.

    Unfortunately, this whole "not hungry, don't eat it" thing goes out the window for me around 9pm, when my habit (not an addition, I don't think) is to sit down to eat something delicious, and often quite empty and laden with sugar and/or fat.