Monday, April 14, 2014

Food Triggers I am...

...thinking about food triggers.

A few days ago, I read several blogs in a row (or so it seemed) that talked about food triggers.  Along with those blogs is the fact that I sometimes think about my food history and the reasons I got to be so damned fat.  Even now, I have clothes from 10-22 in my closet.  By the time I get all this weight off, the 10's will be back in style!

Anyway, I thought about food triggers and what my triggers were.  And I couldn't come up with any!!!  Seriously - not a single food that makes me go off the deep end.  I gave up the sugar because I believe it's the best thing to do for my health, not because it makes me go off the deep end if I have it.

So, I asked hubster about it.  He said that he'd never seen me be an emotional eater or to have triggers.  He did say that I was a "period eater" and that I ate a lot when I had my period.  Okay - I recognize and believe that.  But I don't think that led to my "robustness"!

Now, there are some things that helped me gain weight - depression due to the multiple cancers certainly helped.  But why after I knew I was gonna live and be okay did I not lose the weight I gained?  In fact, I gained more!  Wouldn't it make sense that after a traumatic even like that, I'd make sure my ass was a normal weight since obesity is a risk factor for cancer????

So anyway, as hubster and I were driving home from work last Friday, we talked about going out to eat.  It would have been a spur of the moment decision and the only choices at this point in the trip were a Peruvian restaurant, an Italian restaurant, a burger joint, a breakfast place, and a steak place that would have had a long wait.  Given what I'd eaten at that point in the day, I wouldn't have been able to make good choices.

I knew, and made, the right decision.  HOWEVER, it made me feel terrible.  It pissed me off and I felt DEPRIVED.  Like a petulant child.

It was THAT feeling that made me want to eat.  That feeling of being deprived IS my trigger.

I realized this and thought, "Aha!"  I still felt irritated about the whole situation, but there was a bit of a different light on it. Since Friday night, I've thought it a lot.  And it's true.  I don't know where this feeling originated, but sometimes it's there...front and center. 

I remember being told as a kid that I'd had enough to eat at dinner time and I wouldn't be allowed to eat anymore.  I can remember being frustrated because I enjoyed the food, but I'd go outside and play - kickball, trekking through the back alley (which us kids thought of as a forest), anything!

Is that where it comes from?

In later years, I clearly remember eating just because whatever food at hand tasted good.  I will say that if I had to choose, I would generally choose meat/potato-type foods over sweets - except for good chocolate-covered peanuts.

I wouldn't just eat the food, I would eat it until it was gone or I couldn't eat anymore.  I suppose I went with the idea that if a little was good, a lot must be great!

PLUS - I think I was a closet eater.  Mostly, I didn't want anyone to see how much I was eating...but I wanted to eat because it tasted good.  At times, I tried to limit what I ate with "just a bite", but then I'd have a ton of "just a bites".

What does this mean?  I have no idea.  Is this emotional?  Is it habit?  Is it just a lack of self-control?

Why is it that sometimes I can make the right food choices and feel proud and strong; but at other times, feel deprived??  What are those subconscious thoughts that are making the difference?

I honestly have no idea.  But there's *something* here.  I'm going to have to think long and hard about this.



  1. Wow, seems like the deprivation observation could be really powerful. Finding ways not to feel deprived, knowing that it's such a trigger, might really make a difference!

    I know I've done the overcompensation thing when I feel martyred, so I don't think it's unusual, but it's one of those subtle triggers that's easy to miss until it's too late. At least for me!

    1. Martyred - that's an apt description for the way I've sometimes felt.

      It's funny - It never struck me before, but it sure did on Friday and it is that whole deprivation thing. I don't know to fix it, but I will.

  2. LuckyMama, you say you have no trigger foods, nothing that makes you 'go off the deep end', but then you said "I wouldn't just eat the food, I would it it until it was gone or I couldn't eat anymore.'

    THAT is 'eating off the deep end.' That IS a trigger food; it makes you eat and eat more of it on and triggers over eating. I think you need to think about this a little more. What foods do you have trouble stopping at with a normal serving, or just a bite or two? THOSE are trigger foods for you. Those foods that you have a 'ton of 'just bites' are trigger foods.

    Why do you feel deprived? Probably emotional issues to be dealt with, brain chemistry changes from sugar or wheat. And mostly, still feeling that junk food is a reward. Until you look at them as toxic, you will have feelings of deprivation when you don't eat them.

    1. Gwen - I didn't say I didn't eat off the deep end, just that there were no particular foods that made me go off the deep end.

      In the past, when feeling deprived, it didn't matter WHAT food it was, I would eat it to abandon. It was the feeling that triggered the overeating, not any particular food in itself.

      When I have that feeling, any and everything is a trigger food - protein, fat, carbs - doesn't matter.

      I think I should have clarified that in the later years, it was that deprived feeling that seemed to initiated a hawg-fest.

  3. Lucky Mama, maybe you are misunderstanding what you are being deprived from that messes with your shut off switch. As a former smoker, I couldn't finish eating fast enough to be able to relax with my cigarettes. Without those cigarettes, our brains have no shut off switch?
    Another thought I had was that, as a child, you were told you couldn't have more food and in my family my brothers and men were in encouraged to have second helpings and applauded for big appetites. Therefore, the only time I remember feeling full was at holiday meals. When meals became up to me, I found I could get full at every meal and it then took more and more food to get that full feeling until meals became a pig fest!
    Finally, now that I've been off sugar for a few months now, I find I really don't care what I eat, I generally miss stuffing my face with whatever, lately, nuts have been my drug of choice. But as far as triggers, smells of wonderful carbs set that emotion off. Other than a roast cooking, most carb free foods don't have alluring smells.
    I live reading your blog; keep them coming!

    1. Hilly - I plan on doing this blog for a long, long time! I'm glad you're here!


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