Journal Entry – Oct 20, 2015

In the past, I have read that one should always “stay hungry.”  I have generally taken that to mean that one should always be ambitious, never to rest on one’s laurels, etc.  But it seems that there is a more literal truth to this – being hungry is not only good for me to lose weight, but also pushes me to seek out my ambition.

In my quest to be a little healthier, I have decided for the first time ever to put myself on a calorie restrictive diet.  In the past, I have limited myself to no sugar, no alcohol, no wheat, and no dairy, but with no limitation on how much I eat.  That worked fairly well, but perhaps because of the added years and different lifestyle, when I tried that again recently, I seemed to gain weight instead – despite my working out and being more physically active.

I realized, much belatedly, that my real issue is portion control.  I have a tendency to eat what is in front of me, all of it.  I rarely leave a plate with food on it, no matter if it is at home or a restaurant.  I go beyond feeling full to feeling stuffed.

So, I am using a meal replacement shake for lunch and a smaller dinner.  And I currently am willing myself through hunger pains from about 11am to 5pm, when I permit myself to eat some dinner.

Interestingly enough (and the reason for this post), I have actually become more productive.  I suppose it might be linked with evolution in some way – when you are hungry, you have to search for food, while when you are full, you rest and digest, conserve energy and so on.  I think this might be close to the mechanism working for me.  While I am not eating, I have to do things to keep myself distracted from the hunger.  I realize that many people would just spend their time online or watching TV, but I have also made it a habit to spend some time at the local library so to write and work in general.  So, without the fallbacks of internet and TV, I have to work.  And with the pangs of hunger, I work faster and harder because being bored just reminds me of how much I really, really want a sandwich.

As an aspiring writer, being productive is always a concern.  I thought that I needed less distractions, and to a certain degree I do, but perhaps a better way to put it is that I needed the right distractions.  Hunger pains seem to serve me well, though I never thought it would last week when I started this experiment.

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