Saturday, May 11, 2013

Week 17 - Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole

Last week I talked about compliance and complaints.  My compliance was at an all time low this week, so I have no right to complain that I gained three (YES THREE!) pounds this week.  I haven't done my measurements yet.  If I'm not significantly bigger, I can feel a bit comforted.

I don't know what got into me.  I suppose Aunt Flo was playing havoc with my appetite this week.  I just gave in to nearly every craving I had.  You know what's funny?  Half the time the stuff didn't taste nearly as good as I hoped it would or else it just made me feel like crap physically.  My digestive system gets a little freaked out now when I head to the Dominican shop for lunch.  Who would have thought? 

What's worse is that this spring the weekly Friday street fair that normally takes place on 43rd Street has moved to my street.  I walk out of my office to be greeted by the smell of roasting gyros and sausage.  Even the stuff that's not all that bad for me is surrounded by stuff that is.  I could have some chicken shish kebob, but you can't get it without rice or pita and it's not offered with many vegetables  (just iceberg lettuce and underripe tomatoes).  I am particularly tempted by the Latin truck that serves roasted pork, chiccharones, empanadas, arepas, fried chicken and these large fried balls that look so good I don't dare ask what they are.  Oddly enough I am not even thinking about Lean Eating when I talk myself out of ordering any of it.  I just think about how my stomach will feel after such a lunch.

So I have gone a bit backwards and am now fewer than ten pounds away from where I started.  This feels like an old pattern to me.  I am really concerned about my upcoming San Francisco trip.  How can I keep on plan in such a foodie city?  I'm looking forward to the Chinese food.  I have booked two fancy restaurants for dinner.  When I'm out on day tours I will have very little control over what I am served for lunch.  I know it's a good walking city and my hotel has a gym and I intend to do my Lean Eating workouts while I'm there.  My life is walking proof exercise alone does diddly-squat to change your body.

There are a lot of books out there these days about how food manufacturers are creating foods that touch your brain in such a way that overrides your normal satiety levels and causes you to want more.  I am beginning to feel and understand that more and more.  Earlier this week I was on the train to work and the woman sitting next to me was eating a buttered roll for her breakfast.  Here she was eating a lump of white starch with a lump of pure fat on top of it.  Something like this shouldn't be appealing, but it was.  I could smell that roll.  I knew exactly what its taste was like.  I could mentally feel the texture of spongy bread and greasy butter in my mouth.  At that moment I wanted one too.

The word that entered my head was "primal".  It's funny because these days when someone says "primal" in regards to eating, they are referring to a paleo or caveman diet.  A buttered roll, likely purchased from the train station food truck, is about as opposite of that kind of diet as one can go.  This wasn't a home baked roll made from einkorn flour and spread with grass-fed butter.  It's heavily processed white flour smeared with the cheapest butter available.  Still that roll touched the most reptilian part of my brain.  It struck some deep unknown need inside me.

It is truly amazing how food can be manufactured to make you want it.  You want it not because you're hungry, but because it manages to mess with your brain chemistry in just the right away.  It all makes me want to go live on an island somewhere and just eat coconuts and never be tempted again.


  1. Now I feel like I would knock over both my children if they stood between me and a train station buttered roll. I'm feelin ya, Rach. Keep on keepin in, you are doing great.

    1. And of course that was supposed to be keep on keepin ON. Duh.