The Castaway Plan

I have always wanted to go to Positive Changes and get hypnotized to love eating healthy and exercising. I wanted to hypnotize away my love of yummy food. I felt like that is the only way I could ever stop eating the foods I love that are so bad for me (chocolate, pizza, ice cream, creamy pasta dishes, cheese, breadsticks – take your pick). But lately I have kind of been starting to change my thinking on my own. Unfortunately it hasn’t taken complete hold yet, but when I stop and think about it this is what comes to mind… To have the health and body that I want to have, I should eat as if I am stranded on an uninhabited island.

Now let me clarify – I don’t mean to starve myself into anorexia. But as I am trying to think of food as fuel versus my favorite hobby, it brings to mind the survivor type shows my family watches. Survivor, Survivorman, The Island, Dude You’re Screwed, Ultimate Alaska Survival, Naked & Afraid, Alone – to name a few. We LOVE our wilderness survival shows in our house. Often on these shows they struggle to find food, and without food they have no energy to build shelter, gather fire wood or walk themselves to civilization. I remember on one episode – I think it was Naked Castaway – the guy was finding small snails or limpets of some kind on a rock, eating them and saying how many calories were in each one (something ridiculously small like 15 calories) and how many he would have to eat to get enough nutrition. On the show Alone, the men were almost starving on rainy days they could not get out and find food. Catching a fish was the highlight of their stay and kept them strong for another day. One guy was busting his balls trying to catch a moose to eat. A moose! Like who would that fill up? Starving people, that is who. So when I want to graze out of boredom or gobble up some deliciousness for the fun of it, instead I need to think about how if I was on that island, and I’d had a banana for breakfast, a citrus & beet salad for lunch, and a chicken & shrimp skewer for dinner, that would totally be enough to keep me surviving and moving. I don’t have to eat three slices of pizza to survive. If I was stranded on an island there would be no pizza, I would be happy to find snails and a coconut. (yuck) But you get the drift. I don’t want to starve myself, and I don’t want to eat like I’m poor circa Hunger Games. I just want to retrain my body to become more realistic on what it actually needs to survive and function. I have let my food cravings dictate my life for far too long. Now my body needs to use fat stores for energy. And replacing junk food with nutrient rich foods makes me feel great after eating instead of tired and bloated. When I do “cheat” I need to eat smaller portions because I am not climbing trees, chopping logs, or hiking across glaciers to burn enough calories to justify eating like a lumber jack or a navy seal. I sit at a desk for most of the day. Instead of feeling deprived when I can’t have French Fries, and am getting sick of sweet potatoes and chicken, I need to remember if I was stranded on an island I would be ecstatic to have sweet potatoes or chicken, its more than most of those “survivors” get in a day. Give me some salmon, squash and an apple and I should be good. No one needs Ding Dongs or Cool Ranch Doritos to survive. I wonder how many chemicals are in that cool ranch powder flavoring anyway?

In America we have so many choices in food and drinks; we are used to it all at our finger tips. (And the commercials – damn you Olive Garden!) But if you really look next time you are at Grocery store, it is REDICULOUS! We have a hundred different kinds of breakfast cereal. We have three or more brand names of every sauce or condiment there is, plus an original and fat free version of each. We have thirteen different flavors of Ranch dressing. And the number of different flavors and brands of potato chips is out of this world. How many brands and styles of every stupid thing is there? Juices, Pop or Beer – don’t get me started. But if I was surviving in nature (where none of those foods exist because those are all contrived with chemicals in labs and factories) I would have basic choices of meats and vegetables and need to make my meals from those. I am learning to bring vegetables of all kinds into my daily menu and it feels good. The Whole30 program started me on this course and now it is my responsibility to keep going, to keep making good choices, and to retrain my brain myself, without being hypnotized.

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