Today at the RRFPSG it was psychology again. We learned what it seems I had already figured out. That we should make room in our diet for the foods we love. As long as one is eating the “right” core foods in order to get the necessary nutrients, calories are just calories. The form they come in is irrelevant. The only consideration is whether you are taking in more than you burn.
That means you only need concern yourself with how much custard and apple crumble you might have and do not need to struggle with not ever having it again, or with the guilt of eating, or craving, a “forbidden” food. It’s ok.
With this in mind we did a little exercise in “mindful eating”. This essentially was about taking time to appreciate all the sensory qualities of a favoured food. Taking note of and appreciating the smell, feel, taste, texture and sensory experiences while chewing, dissolving it in the mouth, and swallowing it. It was also about taking time to appreciate it before going for more. Letting the brain catch up.
I chose a piece of ordinary Cadbury chocolate. I have not had chocolate for a long while. I really appreciated it as I have not before since I was a kid. It was a good exercise. What struck me most was that for the first time I noticed how salty chocolate is. Retrained tastebuds.
On the way back to Bribie I realised I had not eaten since my light muesli and coffee breakfast. I had to leave for the meeting just as I would usually be thinking about lunch. Now I t was coming up to four and I planned to have at least 90 minutes in the pool before I went home. I was already feeling quite hungry so I thought I should practise mindfully eating a Filet’O Fish from you-know-where. It’s the only burger from there there that I enjoy. For no good reason that I can identify. So I called in and ordered a Filet and a black coffee.
I love the tartare sauce. I like fish, and I used to like the buns. But eating one mindfully I realised that only the creamy tartare was really pleasant. Without the guilt, the pleasure was gone. Busted.
It got me through my swim, anyway.
I wonder if that might have been my last Filet. Because unless there is pleasure in eating such junk food, why bother?
It was precisely 5pm when I slipped into the water. I had to be out and gone by 7, and I like a hot shower after a swim so I set myself a target of 80 lengths, or 90 minutes, whichever came first.
As I swam I pondered the mystery of the round figure. Not the delightfully round figure in the next lane swimming much faster than me, nor my own decidedly round figure. But the numerically magic figures we set as a target or waypoint. 100 lengths, 60 minutes, 5,000 metres, 7,000 kilojoules.
Finishing on an odd number of lengths, an uneven number of metres, or a full seven minutes under or over the hour should not be a problem. Yet it seems unthinkable. Why? I should be able to say “I’ve done enough” as soon as I think I have. It did not take me long today to realise that I was still recovering from yesterday’s effort. Usually the ache in my shoulders subsides as the endorphins kick in. Today it didn’t.
By 5:45 I was feeling I’d definitely had enough. My shoulders still ached and I was feeling the strain. I had only completed 36 lengths. I felt I had to do four more to round it off at forty. 1,000 metres. It was not so much a choice as a Determination. But really, what difference does it make? Thus I argued to myself.
But I completed another four lengths anyway.