Mid afternoon… You start to feel fatigue, cranky… You stare at your watch, wishing time would travel faster so you can get home to have dinner. Only 3pm! You don’t think you can make it. You start to feel jittery, can’t focus or concentrate on your work, irritable… Gotta go to Starbucks or Tim Horton’s. You get your latte or coffee with something to sweeten the bitter taste… and maybe a muffin (or my old favorite—Oat Fudge Bar from Starbucks, Boston Cream donut from Tim Horton’s, even McDonaldland cookies would do).
In the summer, I would take a break and have an ice cream cone from Baskin Robbins each day. I would go months to years without it… But it just took one simple Gold Medal Ribbon cone, and it was over. I needed it daily or I’d get cranky—classic example of an addiction. My cousin Ben makes fun of me all the time. He says I like sweets so much that he was certain I had a vagina. (FYI, Burt Baskin weighed over 240 pounds at his death, linked in part with a high consumption of ice cream over his lifetime, according to those who were close to him. He died at the age of 54. Irv Robbins was apparently more moderate with the ice cream and died at 90.)
Insulin and Blood Sugar Cycles….
Back to our lazy afternoon…. After you reload on the carbs that had crashed prior to that—only a couple hours after you finish lunch—you suddenly feel high and happy again. Just in time for your insulin to kick in and bring the blood sugar levels back down to beneath comfortable levels. And the unconscious desire to bring them back up becomes so strong, we aren’t even aware of it. That’s the danger. And add on a stressful day—an argument with your boss (or staff), run of the mill marital issues, and you are powerless over the yearning. No offence, but if you are fat, there’s a really good chance that you fall into this trap every day. Do this over months to years and you’ve gained weight. Make this your lifestyle for years and you have high chances of obesity. If you’ve seen someone you haven’t seen in a long time and they’ve gained a significant amount of weight– chances are they are stressed if an injury hasn’t incapacitated them or they’re aren’t pregnant. If the stress isn’t conscious, then chances are they have something buried deep inside and are using their fat to “cushion” themselves from the world. This is not a conscious decision but can manifest itself as a food addiction or obesity.
This is how most North Americans live. I lived this way for years and got away with it because I never gained weight. I would only suffer mentally/ emotionally and have mood swings… a small price to pay for the wicked rush.
Now that the evidence is there (although I can hide it well most times), and thanks to Paul and his fatness, it’s time to make a change.
I’ve been getting emails and messages from people asking for my “diet” because they want to do it too. I still have a hard time calling this a diet. I eat everything I used to—I just stopped refined, processed and white carbs. I eat salads all the time, make spinach and banana/blueberry smoothies, I have spoonfuls of yummy almond butter, I eat traditional Persian stews that Maria or my relatives make, and I just don’t eat it with the rice anymore. By the way– I suggest all of you try a Persian meal with Persian people, and DON’T eat rice or bread with the meal. And watch their reaction. They look at you like you’re committing heresy. They get uncomfortable and try to talk you out of it… Half of them out of concern that you’re not getting enough food and you’ll grow hungry. This is the point of view of my cute little grandparents. Rice and bread is a staple for them. The other half of the critics know they should be staying away from the carbs, and they feel guilty—but they want to drag you down with them so they push it on you. That’s pretty much the way it works. Has this ever happened to anyone… Or is it just me?
The problem with that is that even though it tastes good– creating an environment whereby insulin has to be secreted to bring blood sugar down is causing excess insulin in our bloodstream (hyperinsulinemia). And high insulin levels have been associated with advanced aging, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, among a variety of other things. It’s bad news. Sugar fits relatively well on the receptors for opioid in the body. That’s why it’s insanely addictive. That’s why heavy drug users are frequently sugar maniacs too.
The path to becoming more consciously aware– everyone’s journey.
Now that I just simply refrain from buying and consuming refined carbs and can sit and observe my cravings, I’m feeling how much writing about them helps me. It’s like I’m looking inside at them and staring them in the face. And the more I look the cravings in the eyes and say “so what?” I feel them fade away, and I go to bed, and the gut just keeps getting flatter. I guess this is what Eckhart Tolle means when he says to use your suffering as an access point for the Now. And I’m also enjoying this process– how I self reflect each day. It makes the day become more of a spiritual experience. Just being more present because I know I will have to be writing about it. I think most of us suffer in general because we’ve lost the ability to pay attention to our lives and become observers. Our lives are on autopilot and we don’t live in the moment. It’s all unconscious. Imagine you lived every day like you were acutely aware of everything that was happening to you. How much more conscious would you be?
“Do you look any different?”
The love handles you ask? Still just chilling a bit. They still wanna hang out and aren’t in any hurry. Even still…Today, I weighed in at 166 pounds and 20.4% body fat. 6 pounds lost and 1.5% body fat loss, and it’s now only my fifth day.
I was hungry for quite a large part of the day. I think I’m going to start snacking on veggies throughout the day—maybe an “elevate me” bar. That should help. Unless anyone else has any other suggestions that won’t wake up my sleeping pancreas?
Seeing that the holidays are fast approaching, I figure I’ll give you a tool for understanding your cravings throughout the day. If you haven’t yet seen the video on my last blog post, please do so. I can’t watch that video without my mouth watering. If you want to cut on your carbs, then watch this following video and try to get connected with yourself and ask yourself where you think you are at with reference to this video. Then, as you are aware, if your “why” is big enough, your resistance will go up. You start to regain control of your own body. “No, thank you” becomes way easier. And you start to look better, feel better (I’m sure that eventually this carb monster will go away—will keep you updated on it). Watch this video carefully. It’s awesome.
Since I missed my flight to San Fran, I took it as a sign that I have to stay in town and be productive in other ways. Will keep you posted. Hope you like the video.
Please don’t hesitate to re-tweet, share, and recommend. Will any more of you be joining in to make a change to the man/woman in the mirror?