Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Food idiot

What is it about food that makes us turn into illogical idiots? I don't think I'm this way about anything else in my life. Well, maybe boys when I was younger. But that doesn't count, right?

Anyway, while I was losing, I worked out a pretty good routine. I ate three times a day at first, then four times, then five times, as my workouts increased in duration, quantity and intensity. I had breakfast in the form of a shake around 9 AM, protein and veggies for lunch around noon and then pretty much ate every 3-4 hours after that with a bedtime around midnight. It worked out to a reasonable amount of calories and my hunger was controlled.

But then I threw a wrench into that routine by deciding to train for a Half Ironman. Suddenly, I'm getting up at 5 AM and getting to bed at 10 PM (okay, I'm trying to go to bed by 10 PM). By coincidence, this happened just as I decided it was time to maintain and not lose any more. So I'm trying to become a maintainer while simultaneously completely changing my schedule.

Which would probably not be a problem if I truly had a "thin person" brain. But I still don't trusted myself to eat when I am hungry and eat the right things. So I have been stubbornly sticking to my old eating schedule and routines even though they no longer make any sense.

As a result of my new schedule, I've been hungry between breakfast and lunch, which never happened before. But I wouldn't eat because I didn't want to graze and I don't have an AM snack in my plan. Then, by the time lunch rolled around, I was starving and my lunch only lasted me a short time. So all afternoon, I'm having a handful of this and nibble of that, while trying desperately not to eat too much, but trying to tame the hunger pangs.

I was starting to think I wouldn't be able to maintain because I'm just too hungry all the time. Until I had a "d'oh" moment and realized that, if I get up at 5 AM and eat breakfast by 6 AM, then 3-4 hours later it is 9-10 AM and so it's perfectly appropriate to eat then. Before there wasn't room for an AM snack between breakfast and lunch, but now there is.

Which means all I have to do is move my evening snack to the morning and I'll still be doing three meals and two snacks a day and only eating every 3-4 hours, just like before. Problem solved.

Which leads to the question: why did it take me two weeks to figure that out? Shouldn't it have been obvious? I can't help believing that if I just ate when I was hungry and stopped when I wasn't hungry any more, I would have naturally done this.

Bottom line: I need to learn to eat intuitively and also to trust myself.

Anyone have any recommendations on a good book on intuitive eating? I'm thinking I'll start with "The Rules of Normal Eating", but I suspect that I'll need more and the choices on Amazon are a bit overwhelming.
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