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Sunday, January 10, 2010: Dieting Insights; Seeing is Believing

          Two seemingly unrelated observations suddenly came together yesterday. The first involved my new dieting technique. Heel spurs kept me off the treadmill for months and months; instead of gaining the usual two pounds for the month of December, I gained five.  They weren’t coming off easily, despite  my efforts to restrict food intake.

           Randy and I eat very healthy.  I’d already switched from large dinner plates to the smaller lunch plates and was trying to cut down serving size. My serving sizes for the morning and afternoon intake would be disciplined; then everything would fall apart after four o’clock. My mind would be shouting not to eat (my stomach was full), and I’d still be in the kitchen getting a bowl of grapes, almond butter on whole wheat bread, or seconds on dinner.

            I picked up the book, “Mindless Easting” by Brian Wansink, hoping I could overcome this obvious lack of willpower. Many suggestions from the book will be incorporated into my new 2010 lifestyle, but the most noticeable change occurred when I downsized to a dessert plate. Now my reasonable servings look like I’ve gone to an ‘all you can eat’ banquet and piled a week’s worth of food on my plate.

            I know exactly how much is on that plate (a bit less than when I used lunch plates) yet I find myself totally stuffed, and I’m not returning to munch shortly after the meal. Turns out your eyes are judging whether you have enough to eat. When they see empty spaces on the plate, when we munch from unlimited or oversized sources (with no way of gauging how much we’ve eaten), the eyes can’t accurately decide if we’ve had ‘enough’. We eat when we aren’t even hungry. It was shocking to realize how forcefully my eyes could override my intellect.

            The second situation involved yoga balancing. Being sixty, I try to throw in balance routines several times a week. I stand on one leg for a count of 40 or 50 before shifting to the other leg or next position. So why, when I close my eyes, am I prone to immediately lose my balance? Even after multiple attempts I can only get myself up to a count of ten or fifteen.

        Once again, I seem to be overly dependent on what my eyes are telling me. I have to consciously shift my awareness of balance from the eye’s system of ‘determining level’ to other areas of my body.  How easy it is to get lost in outer cues and ignore the inner ones.

      Having these two observations come together yesterday is a powerful reminder. I need to focus this year on listening to what I’m really feeling on the inside, instead of getting lost in outer perceptions.



Posted on Sunday, January 10, 2010 at 08:52AM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | CommentsPost a Comment

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