Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Sight, The Smell & The Taste

I have a high brain function, but it seems to be geared to the pleasure of food. I sometimes feel like a mouse in a lab experiment searching through the maze for the most appealing taste bud stimuli...what looks good, smells good and will taste good? No matter what I have in the house that is healthy I still search to see if there is something better. Better is not always best, just seems so to the tongue.
Everyone has seen and read in countless bits of advice when trying to make healthy changes, to clean your cabinets, fridge, pantry of any unhealthy choices. The unhealthy items will win the battle of decisions no matter how hard you try and say no, they call out your name, you know they are there. I have just experienced this first hand, the reasons to remove them! I have done a pretty good job of not even having them in the house and left on my own devices would remain successful. Like most people out there, I do not live alone. I have a husband who has the ability to purchase and bring home groceries. My husband is a treat-o-holic. He was raised with a mom who made numerous treats, multiple cakes and cookies in one weekend to prepare for Sunday gatherings and the week ahead. Before I met him and he was a kid I am sure she did this for the kids (6) for after school snacks and school lunches. I don't bake and it is a rare occasion when I do. Since I don't make treats instead he buys them, brings them home. He sticks them up high in the cupboard out of my reach basically, but I know they are there, I can use a kitchen utensil and knock them down. I don't find his purchasing very supportive of my efforts. I will search the cupboards to see what my options are. I can resist sometimes, but not always. If it isn't in the house I won't select it right?! He does not understand what he puts me through.
 The beginning of October I decorated for fall. I love fall! It is the season that most inspires my creativity and I seem to get alot of energy from that creative thinking. Anyway, I have a few clear glass candy dish pumpkins that I tend to buy Halloween colored M&M's and candy corn every year to add to the color of the fall displays...and nibble on. It is tradition! This year I thought about buying such items, but opted out and decided I can live with them empty. If it isn't here I won't be tempted to eat, so I didn't. After a couple weeks of the candy dishes sitting empty, what does my husband do? He decides to bring home some candy corn! Ugh!  I think to myself, "I can do this no big deal, besides they really don't taste that great". It will look pretty and I will leave it alone and just take the approach of how pretty it will look sitting there in the candy dish. Well, I open the bag and that wonderful delightful smell of candy corn hits my nose! The aroma is wonderful! The freshest candy corn ever! Now I have seen, I have smelled, now I want a taste! I take just a few and it is wonderful! The aroma matches the taste! As the evening progresses the smell is so delightful I keep taking a few here and there as I make dinner. In the next 24 hours I decide I can not handle just a few of these little morsels so I dump a large handful in my hand. I gobble them down and realize I am now miserable. The taste no longer matched the smell, because they still smelled amazing! As I sit miserable, I have come to the conclusion that I really, really, really like the smell of candy corn more than I like the taste You know this candy corn is a popular scent for a candle and I know now I will never buy one because it made me want to eat!
The question that comes up now is why could I not resist after all the planning of not purchasing. Then they enter the house and it becomes all I want! This is one reason why I so badly wanted to be on the biggest loser..yes they bring in temptations for challenges but it isn't part of the household.  Candy corn and me= failure! I smelled and I tasted!
Then came another test. Chips. I don't buy chips. I buy wheat thins, triscuts and raw nuts like almonds and walnuts and make hot air popcorn when I have the munchies. My husband, he bought chips! I like chips that is why I don't buy them! I came home one night after working at an exciting, sold out, crazy busy ReAL soccer game with them beating Cruz Azul- Mexico!  It was 10:30pm and I had not eaten since 3pm and I was hungry, wired with nervous energy, excited about the Team and all their accomplishments so far the year and on the prowl for food. On the table sits a bowl of apples and pears yet I begin to open cupboards. What is this I see up on the unreachable shelf? Doritos! I love Doritos!  I close the cupboard trying to avoid them and open other food storage places in the house and I go back open the chip cupboard again and close it again. My brain is now so focused on the chips, nothing else will do. I reason with myself "you have not had these cheesy wondrous triangles in a long long time"..numerous months, maybe possibly close to a year. I get a cereal bowl down and pour me some. Yummy, yummy crunchy munchie goodness. Even though I failed this test I see one good thing in this process, I got a small bowl and portioned it out. Usually I eat straight out of the bag and have no idea how much I have eaten till I think whoa I better save some for someone else. Or ask someone to move them aways from me! I saw and I tasted and it was good and yet it was bad, very bad! Fail!
 On to the very next day and I am not sure why I did not follow my same logic as the night before, but I make a turkey sandwich reached up in the cupboard and grabbed a can of pringles. I sit down at the computer to eat and facebook at the same time. Let me say eating at the computer has the same affect as eating while watching eat mindlessly and all of a sudden your snack is devoured, you have eaten the whole can of pringles! I have eaten the whole can of pringles! UgH! I tasted and tasted and tasted, I don't think I saw them or smelled them, just tasted.  I am not sure why this happened as I was on the computer the night I ate the Doritos. I like Doritos way better than pringles. Why did I not chow down on the chip I like more? It was the difference of pouring some into a bowl vs. having the whole package in front of me. So why did I not use that logic? I am guessing because they are thin little crisps and I don't like them very much so I guess my thinking was I might not eat very many so no controlling measures needed. Wrong! And why do I have to have chips with a sandwich anyway? There are so many other options I have used! On this day it was because they were there I saw them and reacted to the past, chips go with sandwiches.
The other thing I have had to face is ice cream. My husband brings home ice cream alot. For the most part I can resist but it also depends on the flavor. I have had ice cream several times in the last week +. He knows what I am trying to do...lose weight and get healthier yet he still asks if I want some when he is dishing himself out a bowl. When I do give in to the temptation I ask him to serve only 5-7 bites worth so I get a very small taste. I need to stop that! He needs to stop buying these things and tempting me with them. I need to learn that, I doubt he will change so I have too somehow move past the choices and pick what will be of nutritional value for me. It is hard! I see and I taste!
 To add to the poor choices this last 8 days I have not turned on my Wii even once. I have not done an actual workout. Well, I have done some things that burn calories and build muscles, but not a typical workout. I have spent a couple days for 2-4 hours on each day, trimming bushes and tree limbs, raking and bending over cleaning up the messes I have made from such chores. I have deep cleaned a couple rooms in the house and reorganized my pantry. I did get my heart rate up doing most of these activities and my body did hurt when completed so I have not been sitting still. But have been scared to death to get on the scale. At first I was going to skip it all together knowing I have had a bad almost 2 weeks. But then I thought, I need the accountability and need to be honest as this is what this blogging is about for me. It helps me see myself and helps others struggling with the same issues I am facing, so I have posted it. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I am happy. Even though it still went up instead of down, I am happy because I seriously thought it was going to be really bad and make me cry. I have hope and have stayed below my 300 that took so long to hit. I can learn and get back on track!
 I wish the sights, smells and taste of food wasn't so enticing, did not trigger sensors in my brain to desire what I try to resist. I also wish my husband understood what he does to me by bringing in the tempting foods into the house. Even if I could say no each and every time it still should not be there! He does not have a weight problem and even still, they are not healthy for him either.
 My daughter recently bought a book for me that I just started reading this week, I am only on page 50, but it is titled " The end of overeating" by David Kessler MD. So far I am understanding some of the reasons I don't have all the control I desire out of myself and hope to learn enough to take better action. It is explaining so far how sugar, salt and fat play to our brain sensors for reward and pleasure. Sounds like me for sure! I don't get why this has to be so hard, this making wise eating choices deal! I have plenty healthy options in the house, but I still select the wrong items. (Not every time, but why even sometimes)  I have more to learn, more to conquer, more to understand, more adapting to a new way of living. The sights, smells and tastes are always going to be there, I need to learn not to do so much tasting when I smell and see the things I try to avoid. Food is like a drug, it gives us a momentary satisfaction, a feel good moment. I have to remember this statement and I am not sure if I thought this on my own trying to encourage someone else or I read it first, but I have used it a couple times in conversation with people trying to lose weight vs the exercise we attempt. "Eating brings us temporary pleasure, but we fill miserable when done, exercise makes us temporarily miserable, but we feel great pleasure when we are done" I need to put this on my fridge!
 I know I feel more energy and more mental clarity when I exercise yet food has a better grip on me for it''s pleasures. I am not giving up and will keep learning and applying what I learn. I know I can get to the place where this will reverse and exercise will be a joy. I have been getting close to being excited to go do a workout. I am getting there it was just an awful week with to many temptations.
Before I sign off I have this one more thing to say; if anyone in your household is trying to lose weight and you are not, it still is not very supportive of you to bring home things that would be a temptation to your friend or family member. No matter how much you enjoy those things yourself they really aren't good for you either. We all can be strong in words saying it won't be a problem, but deep down it is a problem. Our brains focus on that bad item even when we aren't even looking at it we know it is there. Don't bring it in the house! Find another way to enjoy life, a walk, be creative, listen to music anything that takes pleasure focuses away from food. The holidays are approaching and we all have traditional dishes and activities that just happen, because that is what we have always done it is called tradition. I am going to try to change things up and start a healthy new tradition. The sights, smells and tastes will be all around us, do you have a plan to avoid some of the unhealthy traditions and start something new? Do it for you and your family! Activities bring memories even more than food can! I think after these last couple weeks I am going to make a daily meal plan at the start of each day. It may help me avoid searching out what may be lurking in the cupboards.  The sights, smells and tastes will not consume me!

1 comment:

  1. For those of you who are supporters or need to bring the point home to someone of the temptations, my daughter mentioned to me after she read this that bringing junk food into the is like living with an alcoholic and bringing alcohol into the house and you would not do that to an alcoholic! Be mindful and supportive and watch what you bring into the house.