Went on long weekend trip with NG over Memorial Day, visited a friend in a strange and beautiful place, 30o miles North. It’s a tiny place, surrounded by state and national parks on 3 sides, ocean on the other. There’s not many jobs, logging mill has shut down, most of the hotels have shut down, the ones that are left have a few tourists, but cater mostly to locals. The Mexican restaurant is shutting down, the bar is rarely open, the grocery store is open until 5 pm. The diner attached to the hotel is so bad I can’t eat there no matter how hungry I am. Not even bacon and eggs, which are hard to screw up. There seems to be more elk than people. I saw a momma black bear, two cubs, which was a real treat.
It seems that in a lot of small towns, there’s not much to do but sit around and drink (or almost as popular, though not tolerated by my host, crank). Our host sat around and drank beer all day, we went hiking a whole bunch. We’d go out in the morning around 8 or 9, come back around 5. After a beer or two (my limit, sadly), we’d have to go walk the 2 miles down the levee. I tolerate drunks less and less as I get older, preferring instead herds of elk, sea lions, or teenagers driving ATVs. Besides my drinking friend, another guest is a “big boy”, his answer as to why he wears ear plugs to sleep. Ignorant me, I didn’t know that this means a diabetic who snores loudly. An uncontrolled (or did he say out of contol) diabetic, who often has to get up at 5 am because his blood sugar is wonky, to drink a beer, go to bed. WTF kinda crazy shit is that? He must be seeing things because he’s drunk? Except 5 am is time to wake up, bedtime is 9 pm, with the sun, no drunk at that hour. I feel as if I’m in the Twlight Zone, and I sleep in a tent in the yard.
If they want fresh veggies, meat, they grow/raise it or trade for it themselves. Most folks are too poor to drive 30 miles to the big town (hah) for quality stuff. The only cooking facilities in the house are two propane burners. The whole kitchen gives me the creeps, we mostly eat out, other than the fruits and veggies and the portable food I prepped ahead of time. We’re both semi-famished, even with a restaurant meal or two daily. I am surprised for some reason that 8 hours or walking or hiking burns so many more calories than an hour or two at the gym. Maybe I burn 500-1000 at gym, hiking 6+ hours (all steep but the levee), burns over 2500 (both approximated, though not wildly) . When we left, I ate a burger, fries, salad, and ice cream. Kind of a meal that makes me cringe (or even binge, once upon a time), but I was HUNGRY. My weight dropped 5 pounds from the top to the bottom of my range before I even left, and there it stays. I may actually have a loss once pms is over and gone.
So this worked well for me, though I don’t like being so, uh, food insecure? Food inconvenient probably a better term. I think that I wasn’t losing (and possibly gained – even though the scale bounces a lot, it stayed 5 pounds up for a month), because I was eating when not hungry. I realize that just because it’s the norm to eat 3 meals a day, with maybe a snack or two, and some even like 5 or 6, I don’t have to constrain myself to any schedule. Sometimes it’s more convenient to eat big meals, or I overeat at a party (or just eat differently), I may not get hungry again for a long time. I’ve decided that it’s perfectly acceptable to skip meals, even breakfast. I know that goes against conventional wisdom, but it seems nuttier to force myself to eat when I’m stuffed. And all of a sudden, it all gets less complex. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to eat erratically, or ignore nutrition or anything weird. If left to my own devices, I’ll eat four small meals a day, with snacks. Mostly plant based, not too processed. The line between snack/meal is arbitrary, usually based on how hungry I am. Sometimes a salad is a meal, sometimes a bowl of cereal is a snack, vice versa. Sometimes I eat dinner at 8 pm or later, usually I just eat a snack, wake up hungry. I’m hungry a lot more than I’m used to, which is okay when there is food, not so fun when I am semi-camping with no way to cook, nowhere to eat. I eat healthy enough, and I am happy to be just a little less neurotic about food than before.
This is comfortable, and makes sense to me. It’s not really Eat Stop Eat, or anything formal, it’s just me following my hunger. I understand that it might be controversial for some reason or other, but the current research, what there is of it, doesn’t really show ill effects. With all the obsession with paleo eating, this should really be trendy these days. I doubt our early ancestors ate three square meals a day, they probably ate sporadically, whenever they could. Anyway, nothing is really changing, I’m just no longer going to force myself to eat if I don’t wanna. Thanks to Dr. J for making me think about this today. He’s not quite talking about the same thing, but this math works for me.