Monday, February 24, 2014

Food and psychological conditioning

It wasn't until I made this chart that I realized how
my eating habits were so destructive. It's not
just about what you eat but how often as well.
I couldn't see what I was doing or what was happening to me. It was totally automatic. I was incorrectly, unconsciously attributing my need to get up and walk around for a signal to get something to eat, and I was doing it about every hour and a half to two hours instead of restricting myself to eating only every six hours.

My weight was getting out of control. I could see it in the mirror every day and I complained to myself about straining to do something as simple as getting dressed.

I was either in denial or some kind of mental wall was thrown up between what I saw in the mirror and my recollection of eating habits. I find this particular psychological barrier interesting because it's an important part of marketing strategy and social engineering.

At first I thought something triggered my behavior to switch to autopilot. I would suddenly get up from my desk (probably only because I just needed to move around a bit) and the next thing I knew I was looking in the refrigerator. Just moments ago I caught myself standing up for no apparent I washed some dishes and put away some things instead.

I think I'll print some signs and post them behind my chair so I will see them when I get up. They will say "Why are you standing up?" just to make me think about it. The problem is the longer the signs stay up in the same place, the sooner they become habituated and tuned out of conscious thought. I would need to make an effort to change the picture or position of the sign every week, perhaps as infrequently as every month which would be good for calendars but I don't want to push my luck.

P.S. I picked up some of those dried pork and bacon sticks at the grocery stored and noticed that each one has over 1100 mg of Sodium, or around 48% of the daily recommended amount. Crap! I can't eat more than two of those per day and I used to eat one about ever couple of hours. What have I done to myself? I can't believe I'm still alive!
Update: I added this chart to see how many hours I should wait until I can next eat.