Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Justification Shmustification

Justification-the act of defending or explaining or making excuses for, by reasoning.
As in, "Macey should win an award for her ability to use justification to make unhealthy food choices."

I know, I know, I KNOW! You're probably just as tired of the whiny, bad decision-making, unhealthy food blogs. I know I am. But I promise, I will add in some other beautifully thought out blogs...some day. That is, when I can aptly justify it. (Bu dun chhhh.)

Truth of the matter is that I do win an award for justifying unhealthy food choices...it's called guilt. As soon as I think about bad food, promptly justify it in my head, then act on it, I'm usually awarded with a sudden, powerful sense of guilt. Not only did I just undo all of the hard work I put in at the gym, but I sadly realize that I seriously lack any necessary will power to understand the consequences of bad eating are far worse than the fulfillment of the justification.

It usually goes like this...I invite you to take a trip with me as I explain a typical justification shmustificaton situation. (Hey, I kinda like that!) About 2 o'clock in the afternoon, approximately 2.5 hours after I've eaten my lunch I get the craving. You know...the craving. The craving for something sweet. I wonder to the kitchen where I find the bowl of fruit that I just bought at Whole Foods for just this very moment of weakness. I pass it by. No, I need something...stronger. And I find it...in the fridge lies 1/4 of a left over cake I took to a friend's house. My mind says NO, not cake! It's laden with sugar...it's consumed with fat...it's burdened with empty calories...it's filled with evil caramel sauce and naughty sweetened condensed milk...it's moist, deliciously moist...it's chocolatey, perfectly chocolately...it's covered in sinful whipped cream...and it's beckoning me to take a bite. It NEEDS me to take a bite. So I take it from the fridge, grab my fork and indulge with a bite. Just one bite. One bite isn't going to KILL me! With a smile on my face and a moan from my tummy, I put the fork down. Then after an entire 4 minutes of not eating anything, I decide I need another bite. And another bite. And, yet, another bite. Each bite commencing with it's own justification..."One bite won't kill me", "Is this little bite really going to cover my abs?" "I work hard to eat what I want and I want this cake." And before I know it, the cake is gone and I'm left feeling out of control.

Guilt is the reward for my justification...and it's a lot longer lasting feeling than the enjoyment of the cake. So why, oh why, dear Lord, is that not part of my thought process? Why can't I see the cake, realize that 1.) I worked WAY to hard at the gym to throw it all away with a moment on the lips and 2.) After I do oblige I'm really going to be kicking myself for it! And probably literally kicking myself to work that cake back off! Why is this so hard to fathom when it comes to a game time decision..fruit vs. cake? I should know by now that I regret the decision every single time. So why, oh why, do I do this to myself? Really, why? It's not a rhetorical question, I need some answers! (Oh help me Jesus!)

Before I completely mentally beat myself up, I have decided to try something...something new, something revolutionary, something that no man before has ever even thought about thinking about. Something that the moment I tell you, you will most certainly gasp, your eyes will widen and you might end up hitting your forehead with the palm of your hand.
So, my question to you is....

Are you ready?

Ok, here it is...



I've decided to start eating backwards.


(Pause for dramatic emphasis.)

(Pausing for the gasp, widening of eyes, and impending palm to forehead connection.)

I know. You're shocked. It's okay, let it soak in for a moment....now, let's continue. Unlike my hopeful yet defeating attempt at South Beach, Eating for my Type (that's blood type, thank you very little) and yes, I even tried being Vegan, this cunning idea is not just a fad diet, here today, gone tomorrow. This is real stuff, man. It's eating with your food behind you. Hello?! How ingenious is that? How can I keep eating what I can't see? How can I feel like I'm depriving myself if I can't even see that half of my food still remains on my plate, even though my brain is telling me that my stomach is full? How is this not the biggest thing to hit the health industry since leg warmers and tube socks? People, I stand (actually, sit) before you today and proclaim that I have found the "magic pill". I'm writing a book. I'm developing a user-friendly guide full of useful tips of how to "Eat Out and At Parties and Still Keep Your Friends", which includes a handy back apron and floor mat. Plus, I've enlisted Cindy Crawford to be my miracle working spokesperson. It's gonna sell like Sprinkles cupcakes at fat camp. And you're gonna say...oh yeah...I remember her (me, not Cindy Crawford) when she was just a lonely ole blog writer, bitterly obsessed with the struggle between working out and eating right!

Ok, so obviously, I'm kidding...kind of. I'm not talking about physically eating with your back to your food. I'm talking about taking your normal days' food and flipping it around. I didn't ask permission from the lovely lady who sent me this information, but she knows who she is and Runner Girl, I thank you and hope it's okay to share the info you so blessed me with! Here is the article she sent to me. Read it. If you don't feel like reading it, let me summarize.

(MRT: I think I pretty much flunked the Summarizing chapter in English class...because obviously my parents forgot to pass on the necessary strand in my DNA structure that allows one's thoughts to be short and concise. I don't know how to "get to the point", as my husband usually requests. Details, baby! They're important. They paint such a lovely picture of what's going on. More so than a black and white...uh hem..boring...Reader's Digest version. I have a problem. I know.)

Back to my summary.

Man Version: Eat your big meal in the morning. A decent sized, filling meal at lunch. Have a nice snack. Eat a light dinner. The End. All is equal and well in the world. Ba da bing ba da boom.

Woman Version: Do you ever feel like you are so good to yourself until about mid afternoon, then all hades breaks loose? This totally makes sense...just think about it for a second. Would you rather fill your car up with gas and park it in the garage for the night or fill it up with gas and take it on a long, lovely, desperately needed road trip? Say, with a group of girls to do some fabulous shopping and relaxing spa time to unwind and escape the hustle of stresses of every day life? Yet, I digress. The point is, why fill up with your biggest meal of the day right before you put your engine to bed? You're filling up to go to sleep. Why not eat those calories when you know you're going to use them? In the morning! Just think, you could actually have enough energy to make it through your day!!! Doesn't it just make more sense, even on some far-reaching logical thought train, that if you're going to have a big meal, you'd want as much time as possible to actually use it and burn it off before you go into hibernation mode?

Eating close to bedtime is like a bear going into hibernation. The difference is, that the bear does it because he needs to store the fat and calories so he can snooze for the winter. (Does that not just sound wonderfully enticing right now, to sleep for months and months?) The point is, he eats so much to store it. Isn't our goal to un-store it? So to un-store it, we need to not store it. There. It's really as simple as that. Ha!

The correct answer is this: it makes no cotton-pickin' sense to eat the majority of your calories at night when, if you're like the rest of us, you sit your saggy butt right down on the couch and watch you DVR queue until bed time. Why not, instead, eat the majority of your calories at the beginning and middle of your day so that you actually have enough energy to make it though the day?! How about avoiding the desire to skip breakfast, eat a measly lunch (or maybe not), then ravishingly prepare a dinner (or grab one on the road because you're so hungry) that you will scarf down...just in time for bed. Not enough calories to be alert and pleasant throughout the day and too many calories late at night before bed. It makes no sense. None.

What does make sense is properly fueling your body for the energy it requires to make it through your day. Did you hear that? PROPERLY fueling your body. Sorry, that doesn't mean doughnuts. That doesn't mean bacon and sausage. It means fiber dense whole grains. It means a small glass of OJ. It means eating the fruit from the fruit bowl (uh hem), since after all they are not just a pretty centerpiece. (Although they are pretty.)

After complaining for the umpteenth time about how hungry I was in the afternoons and how exhausted I was throughout the day, my Runner Girl sent me the article for help. I wasn't eating enough at the right times. Most days I'd start off with a Fiber One bar and head to the gym for an exhausting 1200+ calorie burn off. Then I'd head home and try to replenish my freshly broken down muscles with a piddly salad. Literally 30 minutes later I was starved. And I was starved enough to eat anything and everything I could get my hands on. Well, anything besides the naturally sugared, God given fruit from the aforementioned fruit bowl. Then when I filled up on junk, the cycle began. 30 minutes later, I was still hungry...still grabbing food. Food that wasn't replenishing what I just lost at the gym, so I was exhausted. I was exhausted and hungry and fueling up with junk. It was a vicious cycle.

For the last week I've been working on eating backwards. Eating a decent sized, good carb and protein filled breakfast to get me through my workouts. Eating a nutritious, but filling, good carb and protein filled lunch. Drinking a protein shake filled with fresh fruit and nut butters for a snack. And finishing my day with a light dinner filled mostly with veggies and protein.

The results? I've lost 12 pounds, 3 inches and feel like I'm 15 again. Hahaha...I wish! Honestly, I am feeling a lot better throughout my workouts. I'm feeling more satisfied and energized throughout the day so that I don't feel the need to justify the cake. The cake is from the devil. I find that I'm not even thinking about the devil cake. I'm trying to eat for fuel, not for fun. (Man, that is the hard part!) But my biggest struggle is getting my hard-gainer husband to stop offering me ice cream at night!!! Men!

Now if I could just learn to justify cleaning the house every single day. This could be a happy, happy world.

Until next time!


  1. I thought by eating backwards that you were going to tell us to eat dessert first. I think dessert first is a lovely idea and your ideas really stink. The problem with your idea is that I have to get up and fix this big production of a meal first thing in the morning when all I want to do is go back to bed!


    It makes sense. Your idea. I guess. Blah. I'd rather eat the devil cake with Nutella drizzled on top.

  2. Lori,

    Come on girl...did you not read it all? You're not making a huge dinner...therefore, you can go to bed EARLIER, so you can get up and make that delicious and nutrition meal for that entire army of a family you have. See? It's all about give and take. And I'm all about taking away your dinner prep and giving you breakfast prep. :D Besides, how long does it really take to pour 14 bowls of granola, dish out a helping of fat free yogurt and pour a glass of OJ? Or pay me, I'll come over and do it! :D

    Thanks for your comments. I always love hearing what you have to say. You constantly crack me up!