On Stress and “Cheating”
I know I’m a day and a half late with my mid-week update, but it’s been a heck of a week. I’ve got some major personal-life stress going on (and my fiancée has been incredible throughout it all), and as a result of that I haven’t been eating properly – by which I mean both that I’ve been eating things I shouldn’t (specifically an entire box of chocolate covered almonds – the kind kids sell for fundraisers), and that I haven’t been eating what I should or when I should.
Retraining your body in how it processes food requires a number of things. First, you have to change how you think about food – one of my best friends, who is also my “gym sponsor”, frequently reminds me of this. “Food is fuel,” she says, “not entertainment. Don’t use crappy fuel or you won’t get good results.” What she means by that is – as little processing as possible; whole foods; a lot of lean protein every day; and understanding how different types of food serve different processes in your body. Eating as much fresh vegetables as we are “supposed” to, based on the food guide, is actually really challenging!
But another side to this is eating regularly. Now, some studies show that three large properly proportioned meals are fine for blood sugar levels, and we don’t really need to eat five or six smaller meals a day to improve metabolism. However, I’m also trying to accomplish an entirely separate but still related goal, which is to feel full with less food.
Eating North American sized portions for most of my adult life means that my stomach (the actual organ) is much larger than it needs to be. This can be surgically corrected for about $10k with gastric banding – or you can fix it for free by just eating smaller amounts. It takes months of eating less volume more frequently to actually shrink your stomach back down to sheer a reasonable sized meal is satisfying though. And when I’m stressed out, even if I am eating the right stuff, I tend to just starve all day while I’m busy at work and then eat a ridiculously big supper – not conducive to a better lifestyle at all!
Ok I was actually going somewhere with that, but the battery in my phone is dying and it’s time to put my kiddo to bed. Happy valentines day everyone!