It was a busy long weekend for me. More concerts, an all day debate which I judged, preparations for Farley's upcoming birthday. I am tiring of posting so many repetitive pictures of the whole plant food we eat. So I am not going to post more repetitive pictures. I have put some more on the web at https://picasaweb.google.com/farley368/BobSOctoberChallenge where anybody can see all the pictures for the October Challenge.
The only things of note to report over the last few days -
- I used steamed kale a lot for my green in my bowls. Like any green vegetable, it works great and tastes fine.
- We celebrated some accomplishments of our amazing son with a bottle of wine. 1-2 glasses per day.
- I had to buy some new jeans - the old ones were falling off. Size 33, which is three inches less than my old ones.
- My blood sugars are doing well. Yesterday's FBS was 98. I was running in the 170's before this challenge. Weight continues to drop.
- I ordered and received the Get Healthy Now (Red) DVD set from vegsource.com and have watched the first DVD in the 3 DVD set. This included 2 lectures by Dr. Fuhrman - one dealing with various aspects of hunger, and the other various aspects of cancer. The hunger lecture was particularly interesting because Dr. Fuhrman added some details to the already excellent presentation in his book "Eat to Live". I would like to talk about these details.
Redefining My Concept and Experience of Hunger
Dr. Fuhrman has redefined my concept of hunger. I was aware from Dr. McDougall and Jeff that their concept of hunger differed from my own, but I did not really understand what Dr. McDougall was talking about when he discussed the problem of the "volume eater." Jeff mentioned in some his posts that hunger was a pleasant sensation that was felt in the mouth and throat, but because the physiology of hunger was not his specialty perhaps, I did not understand much beyond that. I was also too complacent. I had reversed my medical problems, restructured my diet around whole plant foods, lost a lot of weight, and been designated a Star McDougaller. I thought I had it down pretty well.
Dr. Fuhrman's "Eat to Live" really challenged me. He emphasized the importance of being slim - not just ok, and the importance of getting my blood sugars into the normal range rather than being happy with levels that just avoided medication. He definitely challenged my concept of hunger. His description of toxic hunger is exactly the only hunger sensation that I experienced since childhood.
After several weeks now, I am experiencing very little in the way of toxic hunger, and becoming much more familiar with my body's true hunger sensations. But one section of Dr. Fuhrman's talk in the Get Healthy Now lecture really resonated with me. He stated that when you eat, you should not eat to being "full." You should not eat to the point that your stomach expands and you do not feel like exercising. When eating the correct amount of food, you should still feel like you could go out and exercise. That is not how I have done it. Because I have been eating fewer meals, I have allowed myself to continue eating a lot of food at meals - usually having seconds.
For the last few days, I have eaten according to this idea and it is working great. When I do this, I feel really good after meals, and by the time for my next meal comes around, I am experiencing some true hunger. If I understand Dr. Fuhrman on this, the ideal is to never feel stuffed, and to time the amount you are eating so that you will be truly hungry when the next meal time comes around. Because I have such a long history of not doing this, it is taking some time. But the work and patience is really paying off as I move towards healthy eating habits for quantity as well as quality of foods.
I had previously underestimated the importance of learning to manage my hunger. I thought, as per Dr. Lisle, that my hunger would take care of itself with a whole plant food diet. This is probably true for most people. It was true for Farley. She became very trim, with a very low BMI, simply by eating the same foods that I do. But she long felt that I ate way too much, and I agreed that I ate a high quantity of food. I am in the process of reeducating my hunger. This seems to be a very important concept to me, and I am sure many others. It is definitely a step beyond where I was before, and I am excited to see where it will lead in the future. It would be wonderful if getting slim was the answer to my high blood sugars. Dr. Fuhrman says that some people are sensitive to even a small amount of extra fat. Those people need to get slim to get their blood sugars back to normal. I hope to get slim and to be one of those people. I do believe that understanding and reeducating my hunger drive is going to be key on this journey. Today, I eat much less than I did a year ago, when I was about 15 pounds heavier. I don't suffer and feel even better than before. There doesn't seem to be any downside.
I would recommend that anybody who is eating healthy food, but has yet to reach their goals, to get some of Dr. Fuhrman's books or lectures and investigate whether they are eating in response to toxic hunger rather than true hunger. There is a great chance that you can do a lot of good by refining your own concept and experience of hunger.