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Health Meh

Many of us have found that food plays a large part in our physical and mental health. Some of us struggle with our relationship with food. What are you eating (or not eating) these days?

Health Meh

Postby yellowrose » Oct 01, 2012 3:32 pm

Im at the radio station where I work feeling shocking. I feel fat, achey and unfit. I feel really ill.

How do I improve my health? My partner was saying 'when you've got no money you just have to focus on surviving, not on health' i.e. you cant spend lots of time and money and effort buying healthy food and exercising when you are struggling to keep a company afloat and pay your bills.

For example id really like to do some Alexander Technique sessions but I cant afford it. How do I get over this general health 'meh'.

One thing I am concerned about is being addicted to potato chips, diet sodas, chocolate, caffeine. Sometimes I just kind of crave these things and its really hard to avoid eating them.

I kind of feel that I should do something like weight watchers but its like a big kind of industry

meh ... i dont know
The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.
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Re: Health Meh

Postby yellowrose » Oct 01, 2012 3:40 pm

Also how do I create a healthy diet for myself when we are on such a tight budget? We usually spend about £3/£4 per meal, thats £1.50/£2.00 per person per meal. How do I create a healthy diet on that sort of money when everything is so expensive.
The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.
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Re: Health Meh

Postby babblefish » Oct 01, 2012 3:45 pm

divert some of the crisps and soda money towards healthier snacks might be a start?
there is a crack in everything. that's how the light gets in.
~ l. cohen
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Re: Health Meh

Postby yellowrose » Oct 01, 2012 3:50 pm

I know Babblefish its just Im addicted to sugar, caffeine, diet sodas, potato chips etc...

I find it really realy fucking hard to break these addictions.

Its probably because im at work that im feeling depressed.

I also find it hard because we have so little money and my partner dictates what I buy. I just find it all really fucking hard.
The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.
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Re: Health Meh

Postby babblefish » Oct 01, 2012 4:05 pm

it does sound like you are in a bind. it's really hard to think and work on health even when one has money (see a lot of unhealthy-looking seemingly well-to-do people too).

maybe your addiction to junk food is triggered by your circumstances, and the craving is an automatic response when you feel stress in your body. try to notice what state of mind you are in when you reach for those foods, what were you doing just before, how were you feeling? if you are able to notice when you are triggered into the craving then you can start to figure out something else to do when it hits. re-train your body to reach for something else in those moments. i'm no expert at this at all BUT i was able to successfully train myself to want a glass of water when i feel stressed, now i gulp it down like i used to gulp down jack-and-cokes. it wasn't an easy habit to build up, and i didn't actually feel better from the water for a while. i kept it up mainly because it made me feel good about myself when i did this healthier action, and because i had to admit that the alcohol caused more discomfort than it solved. and now i do notice the huge difference a glass of water at the right time makes. i stopped drinking all sugary drinks because i notice now too how wrecked they make me feel.

getting used to feeling discomforted is a huge part of it. try delaying gratification a little bit longer every time you do want to eat some junk. learn to sit with your cravings without doing anything for a little bit, see what you can notice, see if it is as unbearable as you think.

sorry i wrote so much and it's disorganized. i hope i haven't annoyed you too much. i see you struggling and i do want to help.
there is a crack in everything. that's how the light gets in.
~ l. cohen
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Re: Health Meh

Postby yellowrose » Oct 01, 2012 4:31 pm

Hi Babblefish,

No... that is just incredibly helpful.

I think the part of the reason I am stressing about this now is because I am tired

Caffeine

Ive cut down quite a lot but not as much as I would like. I know I can have about 3 cups of normal strengths tea or coffee a day without pumping my blood pressure up. I DO really really like mint tea and morrocan mint tea so its quite easy but caffeiene is still slightly more tempting. So yeah I have cut down a bit

sugar
Ive really cut down on sugar quite a lot. I used to drink a litre bottle of either energy drinks or fresh orange every day. Now I only have it maybe once a week. Today I ate a large bar of chocolate and last night I drank a litre of orange and it was definitely more as a 'drug' than as a beverage. I use it to take me to a different place mentally. The best way I can describe it is like getting a different view - like my travelling. Last night i definitely decided to take it as a drug but I guess one of the most insidious ways is like this evening when I had a snack at the radio station canteen. I could have had a sandwhich, glass of water and a piece of fruit but I chose potato chips. Its just because the yummyness of the food is so appealing and kind of hooks you in.


artificial sweeteners
I sometimes drink diet coke when I am craving soda but dont want the calories. My friend also brought some sweetner to my house that he could put in his tea and coffee which now I use but I dont know what its doing to my body. I know diet coke also has caffeine. I tend to use artificial sweetners when I want to avoid putting on weight or rotting my teeth but im aware they could be having more insidious effects.
The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.
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Re: Health Meh

Postby Asimina » Oct 01, 2012 4:52 pm

Sometimes for me being poor has helped me eat a lot healthier. I would know I only had this little bit of money to cover food for the month, so when I got paid I would quickly go spend a certain portion of it (I decided how much ahead of time) on nutritious staple foods. I wouldn't bother trying to figure out ahead of time how much I would spend on certain kinds of items. Since I usually don't have a lot of extra money, it's really helped me if I write down prices as I go and then periodically add it up (including tax, if applicable) so as as to not be standing there feeling like an idiot at the cash register.

I would focus on things likes grains and legumes--I know not everyone does well with those, but I've been fortunate to digest them well and feel pretty good with those as a dietary base. (you likely know this, but wanted to add here that they can be soaked a few hours or overnight and given a rinsing to make them easier to digest.) I was vegan or vegetarian for a long time and then starting eating animal products again, but I still ate mainly vegetarian. When I would get paid, I would do that big shopping trip thing where I would have the "first priority" stuff--besides the grains and legumes, other things might include good quality cooking oil and olive oil, vegetables (if I was buying them it was helpful to break up buying them into a couple times a month--the best was when I was farming and there were long periods where I didn't have to eat them), dairy products, spices, flours...

It would end up taking up a good portion of my money, but it was a relief to know my food was covered. If I had bought staple type stuff and there was money left over, then I could spend it on other things. It may sound here like I like to cook--I've liked to cook in the past, but I was doing this kind of thing for years when I didn't like to cook as much. It kind of forced me to cook. I tend towards simple meals, especially when just cooking for myself--usually some version of grains, veggies, and protein source. Things that you can eat in different ways for multiple meals. A great variety of different salads. I would end up spending some of the little bit of "extra" money on things like chocolate or chips--but then I would eat them and they would be gone.

When I've had just a bit more money, I tend to eat out more and drink more and spend more money on less healthy things.

This had been the case the last few years, but I was staying very physically active. This year, I feel how I eat has really went downhill. I've gained almost 25 pounds in only 10 months. I'm living with my dad and he keeps all this stuff around the house that I wouldn't normally eat, but I end up eating some of it just because it's here. I'm way less physically active too. I think I'm sore and achey because I don't move enough and dietary stuff. I feel the coffee is dissolving my bones. I can get my dad to eat some of the stuff I do, but he wants to eat all this other stuff too and so he keeps it around. He can't really do much cooking these days, so I do it. It's too hard for me to make separate things for both of us, so I have a lot of meals that are not really my preference. I should stop going on and on here...but I've been pretty stressed around the whole issue of food and eating and I really dislike that. I got my bike fixed though and want to start riding again.

It makes me sad to hear that you feel your partner is in control of how food money is spent--especially since he sounds pretty resigned to the idea that you have to eat badly when you're poor. I have an addictive personality, so I empathize it not just being a "logical choice" to make dietary changes. Diet sodas are scary! Don't know if you have anything like this there, but we get this unsweetened sparkling water stuff in 12 packs at the supermarket that I like and it's not very expensive. You can get it plain or with natural flavors. No, it's not the same as Coke or diet coke...but part of what I enjoy about soda (and beer!) is the carbonation and so it's satisfying in that way. Sometimes I mix a little fruit juice with the sparkling water to get a drink that's kind of sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.
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Re: Health Meh

Postby aimless » Oct 01, 2012 11:55 pm

alexander technique lessons are expensive but there are online do it yourself feldenkrais lessons (very similar to alexander) - maamyyra posted them.
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