Just Wonderin’

Just wondering about a couple of things.  Yesterday the breakroom at work was a lollapalooza.  I walked in at 7am and the table was covered with cookies, brownies and candy.  I made some comment about ‘will someone get rid of that sugarfest in the next ten minutes?’  But of course, no one did.  And of course, I HAD THE CHOICE to not go back in the breakroom, but of course I did, fully intent on eating some of that stuff (didn’t quite fit into my ‘minimize wheat and sugar’ goal…)  So my first wondering is about when I retire.  Because it seems like the breakroom at work is my achilles heel.  So when I retire, will my eating vastly improve, or will I find another outlet to eat way too many sweets and goodies?   And the way I ate yesterday– 3477869382 cookies and brownies– brings up the other thing I’ve been wondering about.

I have been seriously reading the ‘Intuitive Eating’ book since we had that little discussion a few months ago.  When I am completely done reading, I plan to do a review of it.  But this one point is really making me ponder my own self.  I’m not sure I can describe this correctly, but I’ll give it a try.  In the book they describe some dieters who have a ‘last supper’ mentality.  These dieters believe that certain foods should be banned forever, so that when they are confronted with those foods, they eat them like it is the last time they will ever get to eat them.  I’ve never thought I was like this.  I know certain foods are ‘triggers’ for me, and so I avoid them.  But I am wondering if, deep down, I do have this mentality, and that is why I eat ridiculous amounts of them at times.

Oh, the human brain is a mysterious and complex invention.

You all might be interested in how several of my co-workers reacted to the breakroom.  One girl is very slender ‘naturally.’  But she works at eating really healthy food, works out regularly, and had mentioned just a couple of days ago that she doesn’t eat sugar anymore.  This is the same girl that had ‘mentored’ me when I started losing weight by gently providing information about good food choices.  I don’t believe she touched any of the goodies.

The second girl has also been slender as long as I’ve known her.  She took one brownie and enjoyed it with a good cup of coffee.  We talked about the temptation of all the stuff, but that is all she took.  She had a second cup of coffee in the afternoon, but she walked out of the breakroom sans goodie.  She exercises regularly–yoga is her favorite–and she also actively works at making really healthy but tasty food choices.

The third girl is the most athletic of all.  In fact, when I was quizzing her, she said she went to the gym 3 days/week and lifted weights, and did spin class 2 of those days.  Two days a week she runs 5-6 miles.  And almost every day she goes out and rides her horse.  She actually looks like an athlete, like a body builder.  But when she came back from her morning break, she said, ‘well, that was a bust.’  And described all the goodies she had eaten.  I have talked to her about this before, and I talked to her again yesterday.  And she said it is a terrible problem for her.  And when she eats like that, it is difficult for her to get back on track.  (She eats EXTREMELY clean otherwise.  I have observed her for 22 years, and have never seen her bring anything to eat except a large protein filled salad for lunch, and an equally nutritious breakfast.)

I don’t know.  I guess its just interesting to me.  Encouraging that someone who is in such great shape and seems so disciplined, can still have a ‘problem’ and yet still maintains an overall very healthy profile.  I’d like to become more like the second girl [do you like how I call all my middle-aged lady friends girls.’]  I’d like to enjoy a treat once in a while, IN MODERATION, and continue on.  Sometimes I do this and sometimes I don’t.

This working every other day is tiring.  But I’m off to a quilt class with a good friend.  Plan to relax there, so might not get too much accomplished, but it will be fun to hang out with my friend.  Gonna try to fit in a walk with Noah and a workout at the gym beforehand, so I’d best get a move on!


10 thoughts on “Just Wonderin’

  1. The thing is, we are human. Not every choice we make is going to be the best one. For some people (like myself), sugar is almost like a drug. I have a very difficult time stopping with just one thing and often will face plant if there is something particularly problematic for me around (ie reese’s mine PB cups, or no-bake oatmeal chocolate cookies, or pralines).

    Most times I cannot just have one of those and it is best not to have at all. Other times I can have 1 cookie and be done with them, because the sugar synapses in my brain haven’t completely fired all the way, or they have gotten dulled because I have not partaken in stuff for a while.

    Fitness or eating habits can change body chemistry a bit, but the hard wiring for things is still there. The predisposition to be overweight or a sugar addict (or even an alcoholic) does not go away just because we change our habits.

    I do try not to ever really ban a food, because that does make the last meal mentality come out. It is more like a break than a ban. I tend to be a bit rebellious in nature, so if you tell me ‘can’t have’ – I want.

    Oh, you did want a novel about me, right??

  2. I think Lori said it all brilliantly. Some days I can not partake, and some days I will inhale it all without a second thought.

    I think that sometimes I think I’m in that Last Supper category – especially around the holidays. For example, there are certain candies that I only make at Christmas, so I think “I won’t get to eat this for another year, so I’d better eat as much of it as I can RIGHT NOW!!”. Same goes for Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Halloween. But when you think about it – how many of these holidays will I celebrate in my lifetime? If I live to be 90, then I still have 51 chances to eat these holiday-only foods!! In your case, how many more times will those foods be in the breakroom? I’m guessing quite a few – so maybe if you can tell yourself that those foods will be there again, the temptation won’t be quite so strong.

    I’m encouraged that your athletic friend has slip ups too – makes me feel better about my own! 🙂

  3. Great topic. When I taught the teacher’s lounge was always a land mine of temptations. Open bags of chips, cookies, cupcakes, candy. I tried to stay far away from the lounge most of the time and was probably perceived as anti-social for eating in my office. (the librarian gets an office and mine was stocked with a mini-fridge, microwave & coffee maker). I have to say that when I retired, I found it sooo much easier to stay on track. I can control my food environment at home and not be confronted with all those red-light foods.

    I do have that “last supper” mentality and I have to fight it. For special foods (my sister’s pecan pie, for example) my plan is to have a small piece, enjoy the flavors and texture and get myself far away from the leftovers. If I make a special dessert for company (key lime pie or brownies) I always send the remainder home with our guests.

    It’s interesting to see how your friends did with the food. I think you can learn a lot by people watching. I like the second option, too. When I finally get on the maintenance phase, I hope that will be me!

  4. if you did a survey of all the employees that use that breakroom – how many would say junk was a thorn in their side and how many would say that wanted/needed it? And what size/health would those people be?

  5. I’ve never heard of it referred to as the “Last Supper” but boy is that a perfect description of how I think, even though I try hard NOT to be that way. And sugar – don’t get me started…seriously, do not get me started!

    I am encouraged by your co-worker’s face plant (love that term, Lori!) into the sugary goodies just because it makes me feel more normal.

    I’m with Vickie – who is bringing all of that stuff and why??? I should talk, though – every week, a group of painters bring in donuts, coffee cakes, cookies, you name it, and drop the leftovers at my desk when they leave, like they are doing me a favor. I watch them walk out of the building and take it directly to the trash can.

  6. On the qondering about your retirement – my response is you get to choose. Whatever pattern you set up in the first month after a big life change is a very big indicator of how you weight will track, and will be hard as heck to change.

    I have my clients who are on the verge of big changes (marriage, moving, new job) to think of their weight history as a graph. The big upturns and downturns typically occuerat evet like these. But you can pick where youre transitions take you – do they knock bad habits like the breakroom out of your routine and leave more time for the gym? Or do they create a worse pattern of loungin around eating bonbons?

    Up to you – so deicde to make it a healthy switch and you WILL!

    Georgie Fear RD

  7. I would say avoid the breakroom at all costs, but it might be interesting to suggest a ‘healthy snack day’ or healthy pot luck. It might bring up a dialogue that might help everyone. And I think I want to be in the middle camp..of having what I want on occasion in moderation. For me it’s also about the mindset or the motivation behind eating. I can eat a healthy food, but in entirely the wrong mindset. For example to replace a sweet treat I really want or eating when I’m not at all hungry.

  8. Definitely, what Lori said! I had “Last Supper” mentality big time, and what helped me get over it was not making anything “forbidden,” yet choosing things that supported good diabetes health (healthy fats, protein, veggies for my carbs, a little bit of fruit and dairy) and small, non-spiking portions of treats now and then. For the most part, those happened to also help me break out of sugar-binge land. “For the most part,” because nuts are non-spiking, but I have trouble not binging on them because of the salt+fat combo. Also, like the athletic girl, I tend to try to compensate for too many calories with more working out. However, with all the injuries I’m reading about in blog-land, I need to make a plan in case I get to a place in which I can’t use exercise to compensate.

    I also notice that even after all this time, I am not immune to certain homebaked goods as comfort foods. In some ways, diabetes is a blessing, because a check on my blood glucose meter can be a good smack back into reality when I start to get out of hand. Sometimes it seems like the only thing that can keep me in check.

    • I meant to add that our breakroom isn’t too bad. I can ignore junk food and carb food that’s there all the time pretty well. The weekly goodie tray, on the other hand, gets a visit when it has tiny portions of high-quality dark chocolate.

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