You may be checking out this photo and thinking that this is possibly the ugliest meal you’ve ever seen on this blog and you’d be correct of course. You may be wondering what this meal is called and who would want to eat it. This, my friends, is the B.L.T (Bites, licks and tastes ) Undesirabowl aka what kids leftovers you can eat mindlessly every day, whilst wondering at the same time how you can be training so well, but not achieving the fit looking body to match .
These are the leftovers that I was about to put in my mouth yesterday, but didn’t, because I was deliberately being mindful of what I was eating. What do we have – some bread crusts, some leftover cereal, a potato chip, a carrot, butter for the bread and a dollop of peanut butter as a starting point. One of my little Lucys asked me what the bowl was doing on the table and I replied that I was going to eat that for dinner later on.
Naturally she wrinkled up her little nose and said, “that looks disgusting – why would you want to eat that?”
Then I replied that I thought we might just have a normal dinner after all and that I’d throw the leftovers out, which I did.
I’ve been working on and off on eliminating this habit since November 2010 and am moderately successful if I stay ‘awake’ to it. Breaking a habit is about ceasing to use well established neural pathways and creating new ones .
That a habit can stick around is annoying, yet fascinating at the same time. I wonder if it came about as a result of childhood (I came from a large family where ‘missing out’ on a treat food was a high probability) or from, more recently, trying to stick to a super healthy, nothing processed type of nutrition plan – which incidentally backfired on me, more due to the fact that deep down I didn’t see the benefit in being so strict and thus rebelled against ‘the plan’. Incidentally there was nothing wrong with the food, just effect of being told what to do that didn’t resonate. I reinforced the age old lesson, “to thine Self be true”. Thus, here I was eating this supposedly super healthy food, yet I wasn’t getting any results because I was having an ‘extra’ meal like the one above every day and not accounting for it! Then I was starting to get ‘wound’ up about what I was eating and that I wasn’t achieving any ‘results’ (such a loaded word) and that’s not a good feeling.
What came to my rescue was science. It’s possible to roughly calculate metabolic rate, calorie expenditure and calorie requirements and by creating meals that fitted my daily requirements, it became patently obvious that I didn’t need to ‘sneak in’ any extras and that I could be very happy eating more real food, rather than trying to subsist on an eating plan that was so ultra ‘clean’, I couldn’t maintain any semblance of normality.
This is why I believe listening to your own voice once you know the basics of nutrition is so important! Interestingly enough, these days I’m eating more whole foods and less junk rather effortlessly.
Rather than eat an undesirabowl today, I got to have the most gorgeous Split Pea and Ham soup for afternoon tea, courtesy of my strength training buddy, Emma D.
How good does this look? It smelled amazing and tasted fantastic.
We hit the training hard today and improved on all of our weights lifted, though my last set of squats had the potential to get really ugly. Onto rep number two and I got down to the bottom of the squat and was getting ready to come back up, when suddenly it seemed my body had other ideas (such as not going anywhere), however I quickly recovered and we were soon onto our next exercise. I also taught a 6am Cycle class and did the “Green Jersey” ride again. Needless to say, all those sprints made me feel a little green!
Now that I’ve exposed my greatest nutrition shortcoming and challenge, I was hoping that I’m not alone in my now diminishing undesirabowl habit