First off - Kelly - thanks for checking in with me. Yes - I am still drinking my water. I followed delayed eating in a haphazard fashion - but I did allow myself to feel hunger a few times. I do tend to post updates over in the Goals section but I have been a bit lax of late.
I’ve had some reading splurges of late. I LOVE magazines. I mean LOVE them. But I hate the clutter and do find I tend to not indulge so much in the “I NEED that” mentality when I limit my exposure to magazines and all the advertising contained in them. BUT, I indulged this weekend and bought a digital subscription to Experience Life magazine. No clutter on the iPad! And some very interesting thinking.
The magazine has a habit challenge and readers get chosen and their progress chronicled. You know the drill. The first challenge presented was about a woman who wanted to kick her addiction to Mountain Dew - ie, sugar. The call out quote that caught my eye was this:
“Whenever we tell ourselves we are ugly or fat, we create the kind of stress that signals our bodies to create cortisol and store fat.”
WHOA! I know about cortisol. I know about positive thinking, but I had never considered the relationship between the two! For the past several months, I have been silently berating myself for having gained back the weight. Adjectives like fat, hopeless, ugly, and worthless are constantly in my brain. Followed up with thoughts “I can’t eat that.” or “I can’t do that.” I have been a walking mass of stress - much of which I created myself.
Then I decided to investigate the source of the quote. Marc David, MA, founder and director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. And author of the book: The Slow Down diet. Yep, that was the next reading splurge.
And I read most of it in an afternoon. Finally, I have a scientific reason to eat slowly and mindfully. To do otherwise creates stress! Stress for me, creates an overweight body. He has 8 steps (isn’t that a typical formula?) to start eating slowly, mindfully, and most importantly - without stress.
Week one is to breathe. That’s the physical exercise. The mental one is to identify if you eat when stressed. How often. What you eat. And how it makes you feel. Um - the answers are yes, 100% of the time, starch and sugar please, but anything will do, and awful. Next he asked about a relaxed eating time. Interestingly enough - I actually had one Saturday. I enjoyed my meal, I was relaxed and I ate what I wanted and felt good about it. Not like I would have to do penance later. I also didn’t over eat. And I also didn’t have the typical yucky feeling I have after eating penance-invoking foods. In other words, I felt great. And after reading this book, I realized that for the past 5 years I have harbored entirely too much stress about food, exercise and my weight. Most of the stress was self-induced and it’s been killing me.
Back to the breathing - for this week, I am to make sure I breathe deeply before eating to release as much stress as possible. And to slow down. Add at least 5 minutes to each meal. I’ll report my progress.