Don’t Let the Lion Out of the Cage

September 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

This week I have continued doing what works for me.  Wow what a concept, right? Doing what I know works??  But here’s the thing.  There is so much out there on the topic of how to eat and what to eat.  If you are prone to being indecisive OR you are easily influenced by others opinions on this subject then you may struggle in sticking to what works for you.  I have this problem.  If something works for me but then I read a scientific study that says it shouldn’t work or that it is wrong—-then I suddenly feel the need to change what I’m doing.

If you have ever struggled with this problem—being easily influenced by the opinions of others on how you should eat then I totally get it.  I struggled with this recently and wrote about it HERE

This week I am refusing to do that.  I am doing what works for me PERIOD. And guess what? Life is getting easier as a result.

What works for me is liquids only during the day and eating food that you chew in the evening.

I like to do Atkins shakes, coffee, and water on an hourly rotation from about 8 am until around 5 pm.

It looks like this:

Coffee, water, shake

Coffee, water, shake

Coffee, water, shake

Ok I switch out coffee for tea sometimes because I don’t want to be too hyper but that’s the general plan!

By doing this I generally drink between 3-4 shakes during the day.   And here’s the amazing thing—this isn’t that hard after the first week or so.  Now I’m not saying I don’t feel as if I want to eat at times during the day.  I do.  Of course I do! I am someone who always wants to eat! But here is the trick——

If I do not START eating, I have 80% more willpower to resist food.  And I think this is why….

Imagine having a lion in a cage.  And imagine that the lion represents “eating”.  It represents “meals”

Now some people say you should let him out (or eat) 3 times a day.  Some other people recommend you let him out 6 times a day but for less time on each excursion!

This represents 3 big meals or 6 mini meals.

So you let him out 3-6 times a day.  Maybe he’s one of those playful and nice lions you see sometimes on Discovery Channel.  The type that likes humans and even jumps up and hugs them.  Look at this video for an example.

Isn’t that sweet??

I mean– who would NOT enjoy that experience 3-6 times a day???

But what if you don’t have a lion like that?? What if everyone else seems to have one just exactly like that—except for you.

What if when you let YOUR lion, cheetah or whatever animal you have out it does this??

It doesn’t seem fair.  Everyone else has one that hugs and plays.  But not you.  Yours tries to attack you!

And every time you try to get him back in his cage he turns back into King of the Jungle!! Maybe you got along for a little bit but suddenly you are friends NO MORE.  He chases you up and down the street and his bite is fierce.  Trying to get him back in the cage is a nightmare.  Sometimes you succeed and sometimes you don’t.

Can you guess what I’m talking about??

It’s me with food.  It’s me CHEWING food as a meal.

And that is why I don’t even go there until 5 pm.  I have found that as long as I don’t let the lion out of its cage–everything is pretty fine.  I might notice a roar from the cage occasionally but because it’s behind glass it’s not overwhelming.  It’s within my power to handle it.  The real problem comes when I unleash it.

And here again is the trick—if I keep it in the cage until about 5 pm or so—it comes out with a better demeanor!

At 5 pm when it’s time to eat I feel pretty strong.  After all, I managed to go all day with control.  That boosts my self esteem.  I can handle it now. And I do.  I tend to eat fish, shrimp, or chicken with a salad.  I might choose to eat other things after that but I try to do it within reason. I don’t pressure myself too much.  I am “allowed” to eat pretty much what I want within reason during the evening but here’s the best part—I feel strong.  I went all day on shakes.  I can DO this!

You see—if the lion comes at 5 pm—it has less power.  And it’s MUCH nicer to me!

So that is what works for me.

In the past people would tell me this is wrong.  This is bad. This is not the way you should eat.  And I would believe them. I would try to get up and eat breakfast.  I would try to eat 6 mini meals through the day.  But all that did was let the lion out of the cage so often that I could never get any control!

But now I’m hearing a lot in research and on social media about “Intermittant Fasting”.  Suddenly THAT is all the rage.

I think in many ways I was doing that to begin with.  Well not really— because I do NOT fast completely.  I drink protein shakes. Sure you don’t chew it— but it is still nutrition.  But in general it is similar—it is not technically eating or chewing food during the day.

And that’s what works for me better than anything I have ever tried.  Unfortunately people often tell you that this is not a good idea.  And those people need to realize that what works from some does not work for others.

I’m happy to hear that the idea of doing this during the day is  acceptable now by a large group of individuals who promote “how to eat” philosophies.   It makes life easier on those of us who already know this is a good option.

So for me–this works.  But the real question is this: What works for YOU?

Whatever it is—respect it! We are all unique. It’s time we start doing what works for US!

 

 

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Lyn September 23, 2014 at 3:36 pm

This sounds a lot like Medifast (I know you’re not doing Medifast but it is a similar concept.) Shakes 5x a day and a nice big dinner of protein and vegetables. It works very well to keep the “wanting to eat” under control, I think because you do not have to think about food at all except once a day. And low carbs = low cravings, in many cases. I hope you feel good about what you’re doing for yourself. If you listened to everyone who gave you advice about weight loss you’d go insane… all the advice contradicts each other. Listen to your doctor but aside from that, listen to yourself, if you KNOW what works!
Lyn recently posted..The Insanity of Binge Eating Disorder, and the Long Path to RecoveryMy Profile

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down September 23, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Thanks Lyn!!!! I appreciate it. I really relate to so much of what you write!

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Amanda September 23, 2014 at 3:56 pm

I’m getting back to what works this week too. Everyone is different and it’s not a one size fit all solution.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down September 23, 2014 at 4:06 pm

So true Amanda!!

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Cathy September 23, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Listening and trying each groups ideas has messed me up big time~ I start eating one way for a week or two and then stop because it isn’t what others are doing. Yes…I think I need to STOP and LISTEN to myself!!! To what works for me, and makes me feel I AM IN CONTROL~

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Barb September 23, 2014 at 5:36 pm

I’m with you Cathy! It’s so easy to get sidetracked by what the “professionals” are saying this week. Just as I logged on I see headlines on Yahoo that maybe eating breakfast isn’t all the important! LOL!

Holly, I’ve never tried drinking shakes all day but maybe I should try. I eat breakfast ok but once lunch comes along, the lion is out for sure and I just don’t want to stop eating after that. I’ve told myself a million times “if only I didn’t have to eat”! I’ve tried to convince myself I’m not a sugar/food addict and end up in my old ways and it’s all downhill. I’ve started/stopped low carb more times than I care to admit but I keep going back to it because it makes me feel in control but I then try to convince myself I can be “normal” and go back to intuitive eating which for me is just an excuse to eat whatever the heck I want. Something has to change, I’m so tired of all this. I’m in my early 40’s and feel like I’ve battled weight and food issues my whole life. There are more important things in life to deal with than this.

Thanks for your blog! I look forward to reading it!

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Startingoveragain September 23, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Barb-I’m right there with you, but now I’m (gulp) in my 60s. I’ve been at this since eating a pound of chocolate at the age of 9 years old-so tired of this being a focus.

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Startingoveragain September 23, 2014 at 10:34 pm

The Lion for me is sugar. I call it white knuckling when I try to keep it under control. I have always wished I could just “have a little”, but my binges could kill that Lion!

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Natalie September 23, 2014 at 11:45 pm

I wish I knew what works for me.

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Kristy September 24, 2014 at 11:16 am

Whatever works for you! Like you certain foods (rather than eating itself) trigger the lion, so I keep things simple, repetitive, and try avoid anything too delicious or in big portions. Your kids support you so just stick with your plan!! As a food addict your strategy makes sense. If this gives you more feelings of peace, control and takes the emotional content away from food to being what it should be – healthy fuel – well, sounds good to me 🙂

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Theresa September 24, 2014 at 2:31 pm

I do the same thing you do but I dont do the shakes. I do low or no carbs for dinner at night but during the day i drink a cup of coffee, 85 oz of water and 2 diet cokes. That works for me. it has taken me a long time to stop listening to others and do what works for me. You have found what works for you. DO IT!

PS-if I have a function or something that changes my meal time from dinner to lunch, I then switch my eating to that one meal. Just a thought on how to get around excluding yourself from going out, etc. Stay Strong. Im rooting for you to get to -300. 🙂

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John (Daddy Runs a Lot) September 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Well said – something about the internet makes a lot of people defend what works for them – at the cost of telling anyone that is doing something different that they’re wrong. It makes blog comment areas into battle zones.

I know I just commented like this before, but I’m much like you (though, after a near fainting spell in karate the other day, I’ve started adding protein, as in food that I’m chewing and eating, to my lunches, which are always less than 500 calories). If this plan is what you’re doing, and it’s working for you, and it’s manageable & sustainable….put on the blinders & enjoy doing what works.
John (Daddy Runs a Lot) recently posted..Where I inspect my training plan with a half marathonMy Profile

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