Monday, February 9, 2009

Day 28 Progress: Cooling the Fire

Things have been going well on the allergy-free diet. I'm learning to refine what I'm eating and when I'm eating it. 

The last week was difficult with my really bad cold and the fact that I wasn't doing much cooking so I was surviving on whatever I could scrounge up. It was all on plan food, but I noticed that I wouldn't eat for nearly 24 hours and then when I would eat I would need to eat ASAP because I was starving. 

The last few days I've been feeling a bit smug about this whole allergy-free thing too. Smugness is always a red alert for me. Anytime I start thinking that I'm doing pretty darn well on any plan is almost a sure bet for rough waters ahead. 

One thing has been going well though that I never expected. My response to some foods. I made candy bars last night. They are a recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers, Elana. I promised my sister I would make the candy bars on our cabin trip a week ago but it didn't happen when I got sick. So, I made them on Sunday after our family dinner. 

The first time I made the recipe several weeks ago, I was still a bit hesitant about my oven and I burned the pecans. While the candy still turned out good, the burnt pecan flavor was a bit overwhelming at times. This time, I watched the pecans much more closely and in the end . . . well, let's just say they were perfect. 

With the freezing time it takes about two hours to make these. As soon as I pulled them out of the freezer the second time, I had my mom try them. Then I rushed over to my sister's house and we dissected these treats together. Conclusions: They actually taste better the next day! The intensity of the chocolate seems to lower a bit and I actually liked them better the next day. Also, the pecan and almond butter mixture is yummy. I felt like an incredible cook because these are the kinds of treats that I would usually visit a chocolatier store to buy. And I made them in my own home. 

Really the best part for me though was I only ate a couple of these. And not because I was "limiting myself" or because I was "on a diet" but because after two or three I was completely satisfied. Which is a statement that hardly ever comes out of my mouth so it seems like an accomplishment in the extreme to me. 

Usually my experience is just the opposite. I can eat and eat and eat a particular food and never feel fully satiated. Some foods seem to light a fire in me. That fire says "More, more, more, more." So, I eat more. Then the flames are fanned higher and higher and burn with greater heat and the fire says "More! More! More!" so I continue eating and eating trying to satiate myself until the fire burns with such great intensity that I become a writhing mass of "MORE!" and that word seems to scream from every pore in my body. 

You don't believe me? I remember one particular day driving up to a fast food restaurant to order something off the menu. As I was ordering the food, in the back of my mind, I was contemplating the two other fast food places close by that I was going to stop at next to order more food. I suddenly stopped myself and realized that I was contemplating eating food from three restaurants for one meal and I could still think of a million more food items that I wanted to eat and needed to eat and couldn't wait to eat. In that moment it seemed that there was not enough time left in my life to eat all the food I could contemplate eating. 

I'm sorry, not enough time???? I knew that something was wrong in that moment. When my life becomes an obsessive hunt for more food then I am either truly experiencing starvation or something is messed up in my body. 

Something was messed up in my body. That feeling of fire, of never-ending fire is the way I experience metabolic syndrome. That fire is what tells me that something has to change because it is a desperate and terrible place to live to be constantly eating and never fully satisfied. 

I remember when I was in junior high and high school and my mom and I would talk about weight and weight loss and she would share with me her idea of "You just need to talk to yourself. Tell yourself your only going to have a little bit of that this time. You are not going to eat all of it. Tell yourself you are really full even if you are still hungry." That seemed like utter nonsense to me when my mother said that because I had never been able to have a rational discussion with my hunger. Ever. I remember telling my mom then that it wouldn't work because "I was always hungry." I'm not sure she believed me when I told her that. Always hungry? Who is always hungry? And why? And isn't someone who is always hungry really just using that as an excuse to pig out? 

But I was always hungry. 

The first time that statement was ever explained to me though was when I was reading a Zone Diet book by Dr. Barry Sears. He talked about insulin and how eating a carbohydrate-rich diet (breads, pastas, rice, cookies, crackers, etc) can cause a high-insulin reaction which eventually makes you hungrier and hungrier. There in black and white I finally heard for the first time why I was "always hungry" and why my body never seemed to be satiated. 

That's why when I eat something like Elana's candy bars and I feel satiated after two of them I know that something right is happening with my body. And I'm finally beginning to unlock the secrets to good health. 

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails