easy, and I guess you can say the lack of money and the replacing of a very expensive phone was the culprit. But I also think about the other problem, which is something a lot of other people go through on a daily basis--hunger. Now this is not the figurative hunger, but the legitimate hunger that resides in our bodies and makes us long for foods we cannot eat. I’ll admit, I’ve been feeling this way all week, and the results have ben staggering. Typically, I have a pretty standard diet, but this week I shaved back a lot just to be able to save a little cash in hopes of paying my bills and keeping the electricity on. This is something I will probably have to do for a another week or two, but we shall see. Anyway, I’ve been eating a very bare bones diet this week eating some good kale salad with onions, mushrooms and tomatoes for lunch while eating some potatoes or rice for dinner. It’s been barebones to say the least, for I have been limiting my choices merely because I fed myself on nearly $13 dollars for the entire week! Now I don’t like doing this per se, but sometimes you have to make these choices in order to survive, and I have to say the results were rather staggering. I lost five pounds this week, which is something I wasn’t really interested in doing, but it happened. And the worst part of all this, I had trouble sleeping again. If anything, the money troubles caused a little stress, but I also haven’t seen my chiropractor in a couple weeks and so my body is a little out of whack (but I will make the effort to go the day before Ragnar Del Sol, which is next week!). And then of course, my pups got sick this past week and I helped out a friend with some electrical problems, so that means I had sleep issues as well. But in spite of all this happening, it really affected me in my fitness. I really dragged all week, and I even conked out on Thursday and ran my first sub four-mile run in quite a while
No here is the conclusion to my plight this week…..all of these things happening this week have really ratcheted up my desire for food I really don’t want to eat, and not just because of my diet. Fortunately I was able to quell some of those feelings, for my good friend Kim decided to hook me up with a nice little dinner at Pita Jungle, which is actually much nicer than the name makes it out to be. Considering I have been eating so clean and simple for the entire week, having the opportunity to eat a good black bean burger and some Dolmadas was a welcome change of pace. And here is the kicker, I instantly felt better, like I had no cares in the world. Maybe it was the good extra virgin olive oil that I dipped my Dolmadas in or just the fact I was eating bread for the first time in nearly a month, it felt so good. I was pretty chilled for a couple hours, and it was made all the better when I watched one of my favorite movies of the year in “Gone Girl” with a couple of my friends (and yes, I love Rosamund Pike in that movie!). Either way, this brings up one of the many problems I have had in the past and I’m sure many are having today….food addiction.
I have touched on the subject many times during the course of this blog, and while my last post described the darkest recesses a person can get into when devoured by these urges, the real battle is learning to how to make these urges less damaging. I’ll admit, it was a welcome change of pace to check out a restaurant I had never been to, which had plenty of veggie options to choose from. But I think it was what the body needed, merely to the tune that a little variety is necessary to fight the urges from deep within. But here was the difference from back in the day to the current day….I don’t like following up that satisfying and addicting meal with another. If anything, our society seems to love and even appreciate addiction. But here is the bigger issue in regards to the problem. Our society doesn’t consider excessive food eating as an addiction. Now you would think such an unhealthy, overweight and diabetes riddled country as ours would tackle this public health sentiment, but it doesn’t. The very definition of an addiction regards a person that cannot live or operate without the need for their specific drug, so I doubt very few people actually fall into this category (unlike myself back in the day). But one thing is for certain, a great many of our foods are “addictive” and can lead to multiple eatings and increased portions. And don’t think for a second the food industry is not thinking about this very idea of hooking people to their product. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
If you have the time to read the entire article, it is quite mesmerizing in the degree of how far companies (and possibly even restaurants) will go to find the key to consumption. The fact marketing executives are no longer the leaders in regards to how a product is sold, but the chemists, indicates just how difficult this battle against food addiction will be. Look at it this way. We have hundreds of additives and ingredients to all our food. One of my favorite junk foods from back in the day happened to be Pringles, and when you look at the label, its like I’m reading a rundown for a quiz in a chemistry class rather than something that labels itself as “chips.” Heck, one thing I noticed in “Gone Girl” when I watched it for a second time was how much junk food the main characters were eating. Now I’m sure Kit Kat, Twizzlers, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Frito-Lay put in some good money to help the movie pay for itself, but it seemed rather jarring when the main character would eat Kit Kats and drink Mountain Dew when she was passed off as a high society socialite (while maintaining a perfect size 2 body I might add). It’s not like the food industry is trying to adjust either, for many companies are trying this whole “limited ingredient” movement that is kind of sweeping the nation (on the other hand, they are adding more sugar and salt regardless). This of course brings us back to the original problem in regards to how we label food addiction. Medically, it is not considered an eating disorder, much less an addiction. While we do have an Overeaters Anonymous scattered throughout the country, this very foundation has been mocked in popular culture (TV shows and movies always depict overweight people talking about food, then everyone in the audience acting like they are about to have an orgasm as they describe the food). Food addiction tends to hit people in different ways, which was interestingly displayed in a book that came out last year titled “Food Junkies: The Truth About Food Addiction.” http://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2014/11/15/food_junkies_the_truth_about_food_addiction.html
Food doesn’t affect us all in the same way. For me, it ultimately covered my feelings and became a crutch in all shapes and form. But for some people, it might be a heavy addiction to cheese, Oreos or maybe Twinkies. Addiction might lie in the realm of perceived need, where someone overeats something because they think they cannot get enough of it or they think they have a deficiency. It’s a complicated subject that injects multiple parameters of distinction, which is why the subject is rarely talked about in many circles. But when you look at the two biggest culprits, it is easy to see why. If anything, the advent of dairy in our society has created a sea change, for something whey related is always injected into some product. You could imagine my initial disappointment when I saw plain Gold Fish crackers still have whey products injected into them even though they are not made of cheese! Heck, even the pretzel ones fall under this pretense. Dairy gets it’s addictive properties from casein, a casomorphin that delivers similar dopamine effects to morphine. The more water is removed from the equation, the more dairy becomes addictive. So in this case, dairy is less addictive as milk and butter, but more so as cheese (which is what explains why I loved dryer, harsher cheeses during my meat eating days). And I’ve already spoken frequently about sugar, which is added to just about every food we eat today. Now it is not completely without hope, for some interesting research is being carried out in hopes of solving the sugar problem in our society. http://www.medicaldaily.com/how-stop-binge-eating-brain-circuit-controls-compulsive-overeating-and-sugar-319972
According to some research being done, the hypothalamus may be the key to solving the problem. According to a recent MIT study, a group of mice were well fed a steady diet of good food. One group had their hypothalamus activated and the other side didn’t. Even though going after sugary snacks would cause a foot shock over an electric panel, the mice with their hypothalamus working would still go for the food, while those that had their hypothalamus deactivated would eventually give up and not go for the sugary food. While this seems like a rather barbaric method to go about solving the obesity epidemic, let’s just remember there is well over 100 millions people who are either obese or overweight in this country. Because let’s look at the alternative, where we demand companies to stop lacing their food with so much sugar. Since that is never gonna happen, we might be forced to do the alternative.
I’ll admit, going the route I have taken has not been easy. It is not a decision that can taken lightly, because once you start, you may never be able to go back. But I will also tell you: it is worth it. It is worth seeing your body as a temple and seeing it lean as opposed to gorged and unhealthy. It is worth being able to sleep (when I can sleep) because my body is not having troubles digesting food. And it is worth knowing the difference between the old me and the new me. I’m starting to kind of like this version of myself.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.