Saturday, June 28, 2014

Evolution and Overeating Triggers and a Thursday 10 x 10...okay, okay, a couple of days late, but hey, I've been busy!

Yikes, it's barely been two weeks since Mark and I came home from Italy and now we've been in Sweden since this last Wednesday.  I wanted to get something posted before I left, but spending time with my granddaughter last weekend, preparing my house, arranging care for the cats, and of course packing was of greater doesn't mean I missed any workouts though!

I confess that I did not train this past Thursday other than taking a long walk.  Mark and I left on Tuesday afternoon, arriving in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Wednesday night, so technically Thursday was still Wednesday back home!  We slept off some jet lag and woke up late Thursday morning, then chilled out most of the afternoon until we left to test the weekend's SFG assistants at the site of the Certification course (Vagnhallen Crossfit).  Friday rolled around and I felt fine except for a slight food hangover from a bit too much to eat at dinner, and eating much too close to bedtime....I really really do not like eating late (past 5-6:00pm)  The only thing I dislike more about eating late is buffet style restaurants, but more about that later in this post.

For now, let's get back to some international 10 x 10 fun, SwedishStyle!  Again, I roped another unsuspecting soul into my swing madness!  Henrik Andersson, one of the SFG candidates was looking a bit too comfortable during the lunch break so I invited him to play along!

I wanted to get to those 10 one hand swings sooner and do more of them than last time, but I gave Henrik's hands a break for the last two sets because he had already been practicing with the 24kg (and double 24kg's) for 4 hours by this point!  High volume swing training can be challenging for the hands and grip, but add to it a heavy weight and it increases the stress.

10 2 hd sw x 1 set
5 2 hd sw + 5 one hd sw R x 1 set
5 2 hd sw + 5 one hd sw L (or visa versa) x 1 set
5/5 one hand swing x 1 set
10 R
10 L
10 R
10 L
5/5 x 1 set
10 2 hd sw x 1 set

100 swings, 5 min.


Oh, I haven't mentioned The Swing Quest much but it's next weekend! Yikes!  I'm hoping 2000+ swing will help to work off some of the jet lag.


Evolution and Overeating Triggers

I used to try my best to avoid using the word "trigger" to describe certain situations, conditions, or environments (etc.) that induced and lead to sometimes crazy, out of control, unwanted eating behaviors/actions, or really any kind of old habits that I really would not want to act on.  But I'm getting over it, and in fact I  actually may be over it, since I'm using the word/term here in this post.  At one time, to me, using that word meant that I was claiming to be a victim of being "triggered", and I didn't want to surrender to admitting that I had given up the power of my own free will to make the choices that help me feel good about the things I do, and how I live my life.  But I have a better and deeper understanding about some of those triggered behaviors that may in fact be hardwired onto my evolutionary make up, instead of thinking that I was acting on some kind of psychological damage/hurt from the earlier years of my childhood or life.

Meals served buffet and all you can eat style can trigger all kinds of feelings that can lead to overeating, and in fact promote not only eating too much but eating foods you don't even enjoy.  As smart as I know I am, and as healthy as I know I like to feel, buffet style eating too often rears it's ugly head and can take over my right mind!  I know what I have to do to change this habit of this particular's just a habit.  A habit is "behavior auto-pilot", and it could be a good thing and a bad thing!  In this case I'm learning how to change it from one to another, and I'm closer and closer to flipping it around than I've ever been before....isn't that nice?  And what a relief!

Since I'm referring to buffet style eating I'll write specifically about the things I'm doing to change the way I used to let it affect me.

The first thing I can do is to simply never put myself in the situation. When I'm at home I would never, ever choose to go to a buffet style restaurant, period, or take friends or family to one.  In fact knowing what I know about this particular trigger for me and for most people I'm even changing how I decide to arrange my own holiday dinner parties for my own family.

Another thing I might/would do, if/when I have to go, to is to not go hungry!  Unless overeating is the point, going to a buffet feeling hungry, or God forbid starving, is a recipe for my experience and opinion. Overeating is the habit that I want to change in the first place, whether it's at a buffet or in my own kitchen, so making sure I never force myself to NOT eat when I feel hungry, if I can avoid it, and it is something that I'm paying more attention to these days by giving myself permission to eat!  More about this another time.

Most of the other common strategies for not over eating at buffets that we all may be familiar with can help us work towards changing the habit, if that is something that you want to change that is.......and I, for one, do.

Don't sit close to the buffet tables.  Chose a table far enough away that you can't even see the food if you can help it!

Take a small plate, and don't use multiple plates, and don't allow used plates to be bused away.  Stay aware of how many platefuls of food you are eating if you go back for seconds, thirds or more...yikes!  In fact research shows that you might not go back as many times for more food if you are aware of how much you eat along the way.  Empty plates remind us :)

Take some time and scout out all of the food before you make your choices.  Once you know what all is being offered get into the habit of taking only your most favorite things, limiting the variety.  Trust in the fact that you will eat more of the foods you actually enjoy and eat less of the foods you don't enjoy as much, or may even find you don't like in the first place!

There are others, but I find these are the most helpful things to think about and to put in place for me.

While Mark and I were in Italy I only put myself in the position of a buffet style, all you can eat meal one time...whoops, two times.  The Saturday night SFG dinner and one hotel breakfast.  The Cert dinner I really couldn't not attend and I didn't want not go anyway, but the hotel breakfast was offered every morning for six days, and I chose to partake only once, which was a huge change for me! And when I did I made much better choices than I had in the past.

On this trip so far there have been three occasions to eat at buffets, and another one, the fourth, tonight.  The first one I did not go hungry, the second one I did.  I ended up hardly eating anything the first time and regretfully eating too much the second, the worst eating foods I didn't like that much to begin with.  I forgot most of the strategies I listed above, knowing now I may have to keep a mental checklist of rules until I replace old reactive triggers with new ones.

The third buffet meal I simply passed on!  I wasn't that hungry in the first place, but why take a chance anyway?  Tonight I know the dinner will be another buffet!  Where I don't know, but what I do know is that I will eat a small amount of food before I go, food I know I like and enjoy, and I will also take my mental checklist with me.  With many of these strategies I still might eat more than I want to, but I might not either!  What I do know is that I'll have a much better chance of the evening turning out exactly how I want it to.

At one time during evolution overeating may have served a purpose, but I believe now those triggers to eat too much is counterproductive to our health during these modern times.  I believe instead of thinking about everyday survival from the threats of food scarcities we should be thinking about survival of food abundance!  It is not in the best interest of our health and longevity to overeat when it leads to overweightness and certainly not obesity.


Hanneke Schiffleger said...

It seems like you're having fun!

Great post. Getting too hungry has been one of my problems too and I am working on it right now. I somehow think it's good to feel hungry or rather "empty" most of the time but it's not. Especially when I'm training hard I get too hungry and don't eat enough to support my training. Then I start snacking which is worse and almost always ends up with eating more calories that I should have when I would have eaten a meal. And definitely less nutrients.
But like I said I'm working on it and eat more regularly now.

The other thing that can be a trigger for me is wine. I don't drink often but I do like my glass or two of red wine every now and then. If I drink I can get a "what the heck" attitude and start eating whatever I like to. I am really mindful of that too.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I like feeling empty, but it's not the same thing as feeling hungry. Feeling empty to me is like feeling "lean". The one thing I'm learning about feeling hungry is that it doesn't mean I have to make a meal, it only means I have to eat enough to not feel hungry anymore.

I'll have something small, maybe just a bite or piece of something, or a couple of nuts. If I go back for more then I know IU need a meal and I allow myself to have a meal instead of denying myself more food and end up snacking a few hundred calories of food that didn't satisfy me AND end up eating a meal on top it!

I'm pretty good about choosing wine or solid food, not both. I'm not 100%, but the "rule" I follow is wine OR dinner, not both. If I choose wine then I might nosh on around 100 calories of crackers, nuts, cheese, or olives and I'm fine with it. Once I give myself the choice to have more (after I start drinking) then it's all over, and I know it, so I pretty much stick to the rule!

Valerie said...

Tracy, did you really get your amazing body from ONLY doing kettlebell swings and snatches? Did you do ANY other exercises? You have such total upper and lower body muscle balance it seems like you must have incorporated other exercises!