I hope all of you are enjoying the Easter season so far! We are having particularly cool weather here (for this part of April) in South Louisiana where we live. It made for some very nice family events over the Easter weekend. And we had a SUPER busy Easter weekend this year. I almost needed a day off just to recuperate.
Over the course of 5 days we attended three Easter Egg Hunts and four family dinners. The result for us was WAY too much candy in the house (don’t forget that the Easter Bunny passed by our house too) and too many carbs.
I’m still trying to recover the carbohydrate overload that I put myself through on Good Friday (crawfish Etouffe and Heavenly Hash Eggs) and again on Easter Sunday (bread, banana pudding, mashed potatoes and more bread). The thing is that I don’t feel good after these episodes, as I call them.
What I’m going to focus on is what my thoughts are at the time when I make the decision to go off of my plan. And to really pay attention to how I feel when these thoughts occur. I’ve gotten pretty good at feeling the physical result of the actual off plan food (most of the time). And I have to admit, it isn’t that enjoyable for the most part.
Sometimes the food doesn’t taste as good as you imagine that it will. Or it does, but only the first bite or two, after that you’re looking for some other food to cause a spark of dopamine. And if the food contains enough carbohydrates I sometimes even feel my heart start to beat faster! No kidding, the first time this happened and I realized the cause, I was shocked! Could sugar really be causing a rush like this? Yes, yes it can. According to research done in 2000 there are some people who experience a short term effect of higher heart rate in the short term.
But the more you give in to temptation and to cravings the stronger they become – at least that’s the way it works for me.
Lately, I have found it more difficult to avoid foods that cause over desire because of social situations. I have a hard time saying no to others offering me food – especially when they make it just for me. At least my brain THINKS that the foods were made just for me. My brain also tells me that if I say “no thank you” then I will hurt someone’s feelings, cause problems in the relationship or otherwise damage my standing in the tribe. It’s a really primitive fear that my brain has.
I know I’ve written about “food pushers” before but I find that this is a more subtle thing. The desire to please is there but the request is more quietly made. And I don’t blame the person with the food either, they mean no harm at all. The problem is with me, with my need to conform.
I’ve heard it explained so well before and I’m going to do my best to do the same here… Our need to fit in, to be excepted by our “tribe” is very primal. Deep in our subconscious minds we believe that we will die if we aren’t accepted by our family, friends or peers. Now of course this isn’t true. You can always go out and make more friends. But back in the days of cavemen and our early ancestors there was no other way to survive at times than to stay with the tribe (or hope you find a new one). Exile from the tribe meant death. And our most innate need as a human is the need, the desire for survival.
So now you can understand the reason why we value and follow social norms. Deep down in us is the belief that if we violate social norms we might die. Kinda sounds silly when we lay it out like that.
Working to counter these thoughts is SO difficult. With that in mind I’m giving myself the gift of patience to slowly work through these fears. I’m going to start paying attention to the thoughts that cause me to give in to what I feel is social pressure to indulge.
Does anyone else recognize that they sometimes feel pressured to consume off plan foods?