Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Living With the “I’m Hungry” Genie (ie, Getting Back on Track)

The only “Genie” associated with weight loss, dieting, and food choices is the “I’m Hungry” genie, the one who somehow “magically” helps you regain what you have lost. There are no easy sudden miracle genies to help us loose. And why is that? Because in dieting, you are fighting against the body’s natural tendency to insure adequate calorie intake. So if you want to lose weight, you have to learn to live, sometimes, with that inner voice that is ‘warning’ you that your fat reserves are being depleted.
So, almost invariably we hit periods where we slip a bit in our exercise/dieting routines, and if that is ignored, one can slip back very quickly to the atrocious eating habits one had before starting one’s diet. (I had a period like this on and off for the last month.) So , since the initial damage is usually not too bad, it is easy to ignore the slip, and continue the downward spiral. One may often be MENTALLY aware that they are making bad choices, but suddenly the motivation and “stick-with-it that one had a month or two (or three) earlier seems like a wispy, effervesant smoke just beyond our grasp.

So how can we deal with this?

1. Discover and admit to the slip early. This is done by instituting a self monitoring system, whether it is daily logging of foods eaten, calories, or a weekly weighing.

2. Check if you are slipping in any of the things that contribute to the problem (See HERE to learn about problem evaluation. If you haven’t taken the time to make a good evaluation, now is the time.) I, for example discovered that I was not sleeping enough, not drinking water, and not doing aerobic exercise. So it is no wonder that I had trouble dealing with the genie.....

Correction of the contributing factors, and reinstating monitoring will often do the trick. If it doesn’t , one may need to reevaluate and reexamine the problem’s evaluation. Also consider giving yourself prizes for compliance.
Hopefully, all of these measures taken together can give you the ability to climb put of the overeating hole, and tone down the “I’m hungry” Genie, to a point where he is manageable.


Anonymous said...

Another thing I find can quiet the genie is to feed it vegetables or something else nutritious and filling that's not that appealing, like boiled wheat (you cook it like rice.)

Cindy said...

Many years ago, while buying books for my children, I also bought a tape from a company called Brite Music. I really enjoyed the entire tape (I need to get around to converting it to a CD one of these days). There was a song called “I’m just a Renaissance Woman living in a Diet Drink World”. It also has lines like “Those gals on TV look skinny to me, but Munroe and Russell, now that wasn’t muscle” and “if there was a famine, I’m the one who’d survive”.

As you said, our survival instinct is to load up to ensure our survival – this instinct simply hasn’t adapted to life in a society where lack of food is not an issue. As we know, there are parts of the world where this instinct would keep us alive, but fortunately, we are not living there.