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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Most Poor Suckers Are Starving to Death (Part 3 of 4)

Timing is Everything!

Or, so they say. But I really think that stands true when we talk about living our lives.  Too often, we believe what OTHER people say about our bodies over what OUR BODIES say to us.  As a result, our brains tell our bodies to accept the diet food, small portions, pills, extreme workouts, whatever as "normal."  But in reality, I don't think that there really is such a thing as NORMAL.... for anything.  I mean, there is AVERAGE.  The AVERAGE amount of people may do best with a certain calorie restriction or exercise program, but I wouldn't say that qualifies it as NORMAL.  

NORMAL to me may be totally DIFFERENT and ABNORMAL for you.  Am I making sense?  That is why we need to pay attention to what our bodies have to say. I think there are TWO people that really know what is best for us.... contrary to their belief, our mothers are not one of them.  Nope, those two people are OURSELVES and OUR CREATOR.  Ok, so perhaps our mother could sort of qualify for that second slot, but I think you all know where I am going with that one. 

In my journey, I have looked a lot to my Heavenly Father for help and guidance.  I have read my scriptures in search of feasting upon the word of the Lord and gaining knowledge and insight into my own being. All of that has come to pass for me.  But it's funny that I never took the time to ponder and contemplate my OWN thoughts and feelings. I only looked for the opinions of others.  I spent time reading reviews of various weight loss supplements or programs.  I spent time reading the views of those that are vegan, vegetarian, paleo, primal, and raw.  I cared more about OTHERS and their opinions than I did about MY OWN opinion.  I knew that had to change. 

The first thing that I have a strong opinion about, actually came from my 8 year old.  HIS opinion, sparked a thought process in me that created a mindset. It started when he would NOT eat anything that I put in front of him.  He would tell me that he was not hungry, but then claim starvation 30 minutes later. He would tell me that he didn't FEEL like eating certain foods but "go to town" on other things that I put in front of him! This frustrated the CRAP out of me so much so, that I often told him "This is it!  You eat THIS, NOW, or you STARVE!" Sound familiar? By the way, THIS kid very often tells me that he's just "not a fan" of foods such as milk, chocolate, and broccoli.  I used to think he was crazy or that he was just trying to get out of eating what I gave him.  Then, LIGHTNING struck my brain!  (Not literally.) Perhaps HE was just better at listening to his body than I was. Maybe his body wasn't ready to eat when I wanted him to.

One day, he said, "Mom, I just wasn't hungry when you wanted me to eat, but I'm hungry now. Can I have my sandwich?" Again, lightning struck.  WHY SHOULD HE HAVE TO EAT WHEN I TELL HIM TO EAT?  What kind of habits does that create?  I mean, how ABSURD is it to think that everyone in the household will be hungry at the exact same time... when I make the food?  AND to add to that, what makes me think that they will be hungry for WHAT I am making.  

Not my kid.
This same child has been suffering from a stomach ache almost every night for what seems like eternity.  I thought that he might have a digestive system problem.  Perhaps Celiac, Gluten Intolerance or Lactose Intolerance. Just this week, I decided to let him eat WHAT he wanted, WHEN he wanted.   I gave him options such as cereal, toast, and such for breakfast. I had snacks available in the fridge. When it came time to "make a meal," I asked both of the boys, "What do you feel like eating for ...." Then, I gave them options.  Now, don't get me wrong, I didn't make totally separate meals.  NO WAY!  But, one kid said that he wanted eggs, the other wanted toast, We had egg salad sandwiches. During this trial period, I gave them options of fruits and veggies to eat with their food.  When they said they were hungry, I told them to go get their sandwich (or whatever food they wanted) out of the fridge, or get a snack out of the pantry. They ate what they wanted.  For the past week that we have been doing this, Minion #1 has not had a stomach ache, or head ache.  Turns out, you get a stomach ache when you don't eat because you weren't hungry when mom made lunch and had to "starve" till dinner. 

Now, both boys eat small little meals throughout the day. Good habit. They eat when they are hungry and satisfy the hunger. Good habit. We DO still eat meals together.  Dinner is the main meal that we eat together. For dinner, I make whatever I have planned on the menu.  I tell the boys early in the day what we are having. I think knowing ahead of time sends a message to their bodies that they will be fulfilling certain nutritional needs. (Quit rolling your eyes.  I'm serious. It's weird, but true.) If, when dinner time comes, they choose NOT to eat what I made, that's fine.  They can MAKE their OWN food and eat with us at the table. They still clean up their dishes. This little trick does well mostly because there are not any crap options in the house. I pretty much ONLY have healthy food, and all of the "special crap food" is hidden.  ANYWHO, it worked.  Needs were met, tummies were filled and NO ONE COMPLAINS! It's a Christmas Miracle!!!  In August. 

Obviously some parental guidance is necessary.  I obviously make sure that they get a well rounded diet food pyramid. I just don't make a huge deal about WHEN they eat.  If they are hungry before I make dinner, they can satisfy that hunger with snacks (unless dinner will be on the table in 20 minutes or so. At that point, they are probably hungry because of the external "smell" telling them that they are hungry.) But, in general, who am I to tell them WHEN they can be hungry! If they aren't hungry when dinner comes, then, I still make a little for them, leave it as leftovers, and they can eat it when they ARE hungry.

Look, eat when you are hungry. Let your family do the same. It's better than FORCING them to starve themselves until dinner because they have to wait, then binge eat because they were starving. It's also better than forcing them to eat when they AREN'T hungry, teaching them to over eat or eat an in appropriate times. Really , the only exception to this thus far, is ... if they are coming to me, hungry, and the meal is within 20-30 minutes of being finished.  

I haven't been doing this for a long time, and I'm sure that I will change, learn, and adapt more as I continue this way. But, I will say that so far, we are doing pretty well with this arrangement. Studies show that our brains actually PREPARE for the food that we are going to eat throughout the day.  For example, diabetics are told to actually inject insulin at least 15 minutes before eating what they were planning to eat.  Why? Well, once we decide what we are going to eat, our brain sends a signal to the rest of the body (pancreas included) that we are going to be receiving "X" nutrients.  The pancreas releases insulin in preparation for the food.  The goal is to prepare the body for what the brain thinks will be a sudden flood of glucose. The sweeter and sugarier the brain thinks the meal will be, the more insulin it stimulates the pancreas to release before the food even enters the mouth.
Merely waiting in line for food can ramp up the body's insulin system
Photo credit, flickr -Eleets121

This works on a broader scale as well. Have you ever been disappointed because you had your heart set on a certain type of food or meal and then you didn't have it?  Me too.  It's because our brain starts sending those signals the SECOND that you DECIDE that you are going to eat something.  It starts prepping. You don't crave the nutrients that meal will provide throughout the day because your body already knows that they are coming. Even if you decide in the morning what dinner will be, you won't crave those foods through out the day because your sub-conscious knows that need will be satisfied.   Therefore, now, I tell my boys at the beginning of the day what we are going to have for dinner.  Their brains prep for it. They look forward to it, and actually EAT it because they have been "craving" it all day.  Does that make sense?

As you read earlier, I pretty much do the same thing for exercise.  I exercise when I feel like exercising. I usually do my best workouts at around 8:30 am OR 11:00 am.  I am NOT a morning exerciser.  I would never get as much out of a 6:30am workout, however, I will say that now that I am in the exercising habit, I would still probably get up at 6:30 if it were my only options.  But, when I was first starting, there is no way that I could have done that and MAINTAINED that. I think that is why it is so important for us to pay attention to when we get the most out of our bodies. My kids follow the same pattern.  If they want to run and jump, I tell them to go outside and DO SO!  I admit, in the past, I have been guilty of telling them to "calm down," but WHY would I teach them to ignore the energy that they have and NOT go get some activity in.  That's crazy, right? I might as well say "Hey guys, I want you to be a couch potato, so none of this jumping and playing, calm down and sit on the couch!" Man, I have been such an idiot!

Ok.  Before I post the last section to my rant and experience, I want you to weigh in.  What are your thoughts about this whole thing? Can our bodies really tell us what they need? Have you ever tried this approach? Am I crazy?

Click for Part 1- Eating
Click for Part 2- Exercising
Click for Part 4- Live


3 comments:

  1. I love this!! I totally 'get' it. It makes perfect sense. I thought I was just being lazy letting the kids do their own thing, but this post makes sense of it. If they don't finish their lunch, guess it's the afternoon snack. Since they pick it themselves, they'll eventually eat it.

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    1. Right?!? I thought that people would think that I was crazy! But seriously, my kids don't complain about hunger, or stomach pains, OR about what we are eating. We all have different tastes and although I still make them try new things, I do it more for fun. And interestingly enough, they choose healthy things to eat! It's not like they fill up on dessert (although we DO have a family rule that once a week, dessert HAS to be eaten BEFORE the meal.) LOL!

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