AAT Week III

27 Jan

Week 2 was tougher than week 1.  This is to be expected from the likes of me.  I always get really excited about an idea and then lose interest just moments later.  My effort to fill out my forms dwindled and often occurred after the fact.  Sometimes, I would just fill out my entire form at the end of the day, but I was supposed to be filling it out before and after every meal.  In a sense, I am a little disappointed in myself.  On the other hand, I think that my binge eating is much better than it used to be and I am seeing improvements in my eating habits simply by keeping the AAT principles in the back of my mind at all times.

Week II recap:

Conscious Eating: I almost always make conscious decisions to start and stop eating.  I rarely stuff my face blindly, but it still sneaks up on me from time to time.  Old habits die hard.

Grazing: On the day before my birthday, I threw a party to celebrate.  I had made a decision ahead of time to allow myself to graze.  Grazing is a “no no” on this diet, but I was dancing the night away and eating whenever I felt the need to refuel.  I felt no guilt.  I think this is a good example of having a healthy relationship with food.  NEVER grazing is another black and white rule.  Avoiding grazing most of the time but allowing exceptions in the case of special occasions is a better approach.  I wasn’t worried about those calories going to waste.  Seriously, the amount of dancing my body allows in one evening is impressive.

Food Availability: I still have a problem with eating just because food is available.  For example, one morning I had already had a smoothie for breakfast and felt satisfied.  Then, Derek woke up and made scrambled eggs and pancakes just an hour later.  I wasn’t about to turn down a delicious breakfast prepared by someone else.  I don’t regret eating it, but I wish I would have cut my portions down.  He had already dished up my plate for me, and I didn’t have the heart to start pushing food off of it.  It’s funny, because this is a habit he got from me.  When I cook dinner, I almost always plate the food for both of us in an effort to help Derek avoid overeating.  What is the deal with boys?  They eat until they feel sick and have no quams about it.  Sheesh!

Unhelpful/Helpful External Cues:  I know that using smaller plates is a tactic that helps trick the body into feeling satisfied sooner.  When your eyes see a smaller portion on a larger plate, your brain assumes you’re being duped and primes you for seconds.  Food availability itself can be an unhelpful cue.  On one occasion I had eaten half of my meal at a restaurant, waiting for the other half to be boxed up for me to take home.  Unfortunately it was obvious to the server that my table mates and I would be lingering for awhile, chatting away.  As a result, 30 minutes after continuous mid-conversation glancing at the remaining food on my plate, I ate it.

Blood Sugar Battles:  Caffeine messes with my blood sugar pretty badly.  I drank one cup of caffeinated coffee on a semi-empty stomach (I had eaten breakfast about 2 hours prior), and suddenly I was craving food in an effort to feel normal.  I get brain foggy, anxious, and overall icky when this happens.  I usually drink decaf, because I know how sensitive to caffeine I am, but I was at a friend’s house and didn’t expect one cup to make me feel so awful.  On an unrelated note, I decided to eat a pear yesterday and feel like I’m about to give birth to a giant alien baby.  Damn my life.  Sorry.  I just had a poor me moment.

Mindless Eating: I am still multitasking while eating.  I love to eat and watch TV, and I don’t think I’m going to change that.  I will just keep making improvements elsewhere. 😉

Healthy relationship with food vs chronic multiple food sensitivities –  Overall, I eat pretty well.  However, I have loosened up on my avoidance of processed foods in an effort to chill out and discourage binge eating of “forbidden” foods.  With all of the low FODMAP restrictions already in place for my daily comfort, I have been making compromises where I see fit.  I eat salads at work almost daily and use whatever standard ranch dressing is offered on the salad bar.  I know it’s full of nasty ingredients, but my new healthy attitude towards eating says If you have to eat a couple TBSP of processed garbage in order to get a giant salad full of fresh vegetables into your body, just do it!  Sadly the other day while glancing at the posted allergen warning, I noticed MSG.  MSG is everywhere but usually disguised under terms such as “natural flavors”, so consumers are generally clueless about all of the products in which it lurks.  I often drink a mixture of unsweetened iced tea and sweetened green tea with “natural flavors” while on break.  It’s offered by my employer for free, tastes good, and isn’t the worst choice I could make in the beverage department.  However, it’s likely that those “natural flavors” are contributing to my MSG load.  Apparently MSG has been shown to contribute to symptoms in those with fibromyalgia and IBS.  Interestingly, I have been having more pain and anxiety than usual.  It was so bad yesterday that I couldn’t calm down, even after some deep breathing and a hot bath. Similar to aspartame, MSG in an excitotoxin.  Excitioxins have the ability to overstimulate neurons.  My nerves REALLY don’t need any more excitement.  Hence my caffeine and MSG hypersensitivities.  This is a good example of the impossible intersection of having a healthy relationship with food and eating for wellness in those with food sensitivities.  Welcome to my hell.  I am hoping to explore this topic in more depth throughout the course of the next year. 

Week III Goals (as outlined on the AAT form): “choose anti-deprivation eating, challenge excuses to binge, stop at the point of diminishing returns, reduce size of binges”

Sources:

Craighead, L. (2006) The Appetite Awarness Workbook: how to listen to your body & overcome bingeing, overeating & obsession with food.

http://chronicfatigue.about.com/b/2013/01/10/msg-in-food-may-worsen-fibromyalgia-symptoms.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1106764

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22766026

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