Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Food Issues

Oh, it's a struggle.  

The Lovely Daughter and I are talking about trying to lose some weight together.  For her, it's a matter of a few post-college pounds.   For me, it's a good many more.

A few years ago, a friend of mine who also struggles with weight, as well as with some unhappiness and dissatisfaction with her life, told me that food "gives life a little sparkle" ~ and she wasn't much inclined to give up that little bit of glitz.  

Like most emotional eaters, that "sparkle" for me helps to deal with just about every kind of negative emotion.

I also have an unusual pragmatic issue around food:   No sense of smell so little sense of taste.  All those recipes that promise intriguing flavors are lost on me.  Food for me is about texture and addictions to the tastes of sugar and salt and   ~ ahem ~ fat.  Lean meat and diet foods -- nothing whatever appealing about them.  Fish with lemon? ~ I might as well consume a piece of notebook paper.

I think that mindful eating might be something of a solution.  But honestly, the whole idea depresses me.  I have so many things about which I have no choice but to be mindful.  Food is the one thing which I completely let slide.  It feels like a punishment to have to be mindful about eating as well as everything else. 

I've gained about five pounds in the last three weeks or so because I injured something   ~ or a combination of many somethings  ~ in my leg at the gym.  So in place of walking there's been all that RICE folks suggested, which means more boredom, more food, more depression about my appearance.  And fewer clothes that fit.

I'm guessing that I've just got to bite the bullet and become a mindful eater of small  portions and get my butt out there and move through the pain.

Suggestions?  Has anyone managed the leap from mindless cramming of unhealthy junk into mouth to calm and appreciative eating of cupfuls of, say, broccoli?


  1. Would that I had suggestions! The only one that works for me is the visual, to make the plate pretty and to not eat standing up. I still need to lose about 10 pounds gained when I tore the ligament in my ankle a couple of years ago.

    My dad has no sense of smell either, and is sure that's why he salts his food pretty heavily (I always cut the salt in any recipe he shares with me waaaaay back.)

  2. I am sorry. I am a foodie myself, and absolutely no hlep at all. But the new year is coming and that always tends to give a burst of motivation...
    Wishing you success.

  3. As someone with a very "heightened" sense of smell ( I should have been one of those perfume or coffee or choclate smellers) it's not any better. Not only do I eat for the taste, I eat for the smell. And so, I find myself a few stones,as the English say,over what I should be. But the New Year is upon us and hope springs eternal. This time next year I will be a "few stones iighter" Yeah right. This time next year, I'll probably have a BOULDER named after me, never mind a stone.... Leenora (from Mitford)

  4. I have found Geneen Roth's work tremendously helpful. Not her more recent work--especially not the latest book about women, food and God. To me it mixes some of her old compassion with a lot of shaming of large people and compulsive eaters. But what I consider her classics: Breaking Free of Compulsive Eating and When Food is Love. And trying to love and comfort myself in every other possible way, and slow down my pace as tiredness and stress are huge triggers for me. Not easy when you are in the early stages of both horrendous grief and a career change, I know.

    I am trying to make the same shift myself, finally feeling ready (practically and emotionally) to begin releasing the med-and-stress weight I put on two years ago. So I'd love to support each other in prayer on this issue, if that feels right to you.

  5. I'm right there with you on this. 20 pounds at least. With no easy answers or solutions. I like the idea of mindful eating. And a food journal.

  6. I LOVE good food. Taste, smell, presentation, the art...all of it.
    The only thing that has worked for me is to adapt the South Beach Diet to our tastes - skipping Phase One altogether, because we knew we could not do it - and eating as few refined carbs as possible, replacing them with whole grains and other whole carbs. Gregg and I shop together, and prepare the food together - that's part of the process of making it enjoyable, too. And TREAT YOURSELF - don't be too strict or "diet!" Have you ever looked at the recipes? The food is gorgeous, and delicious.

  7. Laura, sounds good to me.

    I enjoyed Geneen Roth's first books, too, but the last one left me cold.

  8. The way I keep on top of my weight is not to eat while reading or watching tv. I forget what I've eaten because of the distraction. Eat foods which require little processing. The more highly refined they are, the higher their GI index and the faster they will be metabolised and sent straight to your hips. Eat more fruit and veggies and less fatty or junk foods. Cook your own meals and eat out less. Eat food with a high fibre content b/c the slower your digestion takes, the longer it has to be absorbed into the body. The higher bulk of fibre also leaves you feeling satiated. Cut out the soft drinks which are 10-13% sugar by volume. Use artifical sweetners in your coffee or tea. If you drink 6 cups a day, that removes 6 to 12 teaspoons of sugar from your diet. Exercise more - 2 or more times a week for 40 mins each time. That requires discipline and organisation, the same two qualities required to loose weight. I've also noticed that when I'm tired, I eat to get a quick fix of energy. When I'm on holidays and sleeping enough, I eat less, so you might need to get your lifestyle and diary back under control. Rob