Friday, November 27, 2009

Healthy attitudes about food

Although I got through Thanksgiving without ANY damage on the scale, (that's right, holding steady just 3 pounds away from the 270's) reading through some of the content in my next level of Calorie King, really has me thinking about my incorrect attitudes towards food. Yesterday was a good example. To be honest, going into yesterday's Thanksgiving celebration, I was DREADING sitting down to all that food. I played the whole thing out in my mind in the days leading up to it as a "battle". Thanksgiving dinner is the enemy and I was either going to be able to avoid it or I was going to leave and go to Subway. :)

According to Calorie King, these are unhealthy attitudes towards food and actually make weight loss and weight control more difficult. CK suggests several general guidelines for a healthy attitude towards food. One is to "respect my food". Food is there to nourish my body and provide fuel for all the things I want to do in life, like being a good father, and doing a good job at work, and running.

Second, I shouldn't "resent" food or see it as a problem that needs to be overcome. I can enjoy my food and enjoy mealtime. I always thought of my best memories growing up being around food and mealtime and considered this to be problematic and one of the main reason I overeat. Church picnics, family get-togethers, even dinnertime with my mom and dad, big meals on Sunday afternoon followed by a nap...these are NOT bad things. I can still enjoy these times and stay in control of my food. And it won't send me into a tailspin to indulge in a reasonable portion of a special treat now and then. For example, yesterday, I enjoyed a piece of what's known in my family simply of "Nana's chocolate dessert thing." Having a piece of that and in a little way remembering Nana and Thanksgiving's growing up and how I felt loved and how I belonged to a family. How in the world could any of that possibly be a bad thing?

CK also states the obvious. They say to be the "boss" of my food. For so long, food has had control over me instead of the other way around. And finally, be creative. Jan and I did some of this yesterday. We improved on tradition and did something different for our Thanksgiving feast. We had a BIG, beautiful fruit tray to snack on while we were finishing up the final tasks for the main meal. Jan also put some mixed nuts and dried cranberries out which is a great way to get a head start on feeling satiated before the main meal. Instead of indulging in my HIGH fat garlic mashed potatoes, I roasted a simple pan of sweet potatoes with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and a sprinkle of olive oil. It was scrumptious. So, be creative.

So, while I'm working on healthy food, I'm also going to be thinking about having healthy attitudes towards food.


Dan said...

I appreciate your writing. I too have had a horrible attitude toward food that needs to stop. I keep thinking of it as three battles a day, but the reality is that I just keep losing with that attitude. I like the idea of thinking about food as nourishment, which would maybe help me keep from abusing it. We'll see.

TX Runner Mom said...

Great post Vic! I am trying to think of food as "fuel for the machine". Rather than just eating whatever I want to, I try to stop and think, "will this help me run faster and have more energy?". It seems to be helping!

Humble Runner said...

Note to self: Don't read Vic's post this late with an empty stomach. Now I'm hungry....