Beetroot Baby

For me a big key to not eating when not hungry seems to be keeping busy. But not just any kind of busy. When in the throes of Workplace Busy, my brain still reserves a sector for perhaps this would be better with chocolate thoughts. No, the most effective kind of busy is absorbing, interesting, hands-on busy.

Yesterday afternoon I got home in a munchy mood, ready for some mindless spearfishing in the fridge. I was interrupted by Gareth needing a hand with a ladder (a gutter was blocked). It was pouring rain and miserable, but once I was out there it felt good after zombie-ing at the computer all day. I splodged on over to the veggie patch and saw that the beetroot and garlic were ready to harvest. Next thing an hour has passed. I was covered in mud but had a big pile of veggies and no d'oh feeling for eating a bunch of food I didn't want/need. Instead I felt relaxed and calm. And just a little bit proud of this fella…

222. Homegrown beetroot! :)

On Saturday night I was full from dinner but could not stop thinking of biscuits. I thought I'd try a distraction technique. I'd been asking Gareth for about seven years to teach me a bit of bass guitar and he always said When? and I'd say I dunno. Righto then. No time like the present!

Three hours later I was slowly, paaaaiiiinfully plonking out about five notes from each Smells Like Teen Spirit, Everybody Hurts, Seven Nation Army, Walking On The Moon and Day Tripper* thanks to Gareth's improvised Bass for Dummies curriculum. Sure it sounded bloody terrible but the time flew and it felt so good to exercise the brain instead of the outer limits of my stomach.

Of course it's not possible to spend all day every day doing absorbing, interesting, hands-on things. You gotta scrub the loo and pay the bills. But I reckon making time for things that make you feel happy, alive, challenged, busy… there's less room for mindless eating. Interesting!

* That one was my request and proved too much for the Dummies curriculum. Hehe!

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26 thoughts on “Beetroot Baby

  1. This blog came at just the right time for me. I’ve been on a bit of a mindless binge of late; no excuse other than a bit of boredom. It’s definitely better to just go and do something – anything – than to feel all blah about what you ate later. Thanks for the blog, Shauna, and for the pick-me-up!

    P.S. That’s a rather impressive beetroot too! :o)

  2. This is EXACTLY how I felt when I was taking guitar lessons. Because I was so terrible, it occupied every part of my brain! I should really get back to practicing!

  3. I’ve also found that to be true! Keeping myself busy with non-too-usual activities helps to pass the time–the time I might be considering yummy things to eat.

    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now, but this is my first time commenting.

    Your story is inspirational, and your writing style is funny and engaging.

    Keep up the good work.

    Maryland, USA

  4. Ooo, that takes me back! I remember being taught to play the bass (badly) about 12 years ago. Smells like teen spirit must be a popular choice among the long-suffering teachers cos I did that one too!

    Terrible beetroot/garlic envy here now though… Would love to grow my own veggies but rather tricky with no outside space. Beetroot is sooooo not the same out of a jar, although I do rather like their vinegary-ness!

  5. I think it’s the same as giving up smoking (not that I ever started smoking), you need to distract your brain and your hands. For me it’s cross stitch, mainly because you’re using both your hands and your brain, but you also need to have clean hands, so no sneaking chocolate squares or chips as you work.

    When I was in full-on diet mode, if I was peckish I would get up and clean something. SO boring, but it worked (and I had a consistently clean house!)

  6. I totally agree. I think it’s a big part of mindless eating that we live our lives 99% bored to freaking death. Nothing is as interesting or exciting as that awesome chocolate bar in the fridge. I’ve been doing a bit more art, which occupies my hands and lets me see the fruits of my efforts. I like to be so involved that I go .. ‘mmmm, what’s that feeling? I’m hungry? Geeez, that’s going to have to wait for now, I’m busy’.

  7. Awww, you totally should be proud – beautiful beet! :D

    Utterly agree with the rest of the post, too, especially the bit about it having to be the right _kind_ of busy.

    So… what’re you making with the beetroots, then?

  8. Great post Shauna!
    It’s too easy to say there is time or I’ll do that tomorrow. Sometimes you’ve just to do it :)
    Also I am very jealous of the beetroot. It looks so good!

  9. Oh my goodness! So true! I also find I’m at my worst when I’m bored AND tired. So, if I can’t find something stimulating / get interested in anything (other than the t.v.) I’ll often try to take a nap. Yesterday, that very thing happened to me. I thought, “A twenty minute nap will do me some good.” Two hours later I woke up feeling much refreshed. Apparently my body wanted sleep, not food. Well, it also wanted apples, but that’s a story for another day.

  10. What a lovely beet! I’m afraid mine were planted in some very poor soil. Wonder who did that, heh. I’ll probably just pull them up and eat the greens.

    I used to draw, and could spend hours working on a picture and not realize how much time had gone by. My fingers don’t work as well as they used to, but the idea of being absorbed by activity instead of food is a good one.

  11. I also find that the snack demons hit me when I’m bored and/or feeling lonely, so the guitar lessons would have been perfect for me too. Cool that you realized exactly what kinds of busy work for you, definitely something I will investigate.

    That is a beautiful beet (we Yanks don’t say beetroot for some reason). I got some scary-huge ones in my farm-share basket yesterday, the size of a softball. I am not quite sure what to do with them yet so if you have favorite beet(root) recipes, please post!

  12. Seven Nation Army, huh. Love that one.
    I highly recommend playing either of the Rockband or Guitar Hero games..you feel like you are really playing and it kinda sounds and feels good. What is it with biscuits ? They are calling me too?

  13. Congratulations on the baby beetroot, you must be very proud. Boy or girl?
    Busy is the key.
    I have found thoughts of food had been a distractor from much more disturbing/deep or even happy/content thoughts.
    Now I am facing those thoughts, I think much less about food, until my tummy is actively rumbly.
    love you long time.

  14. Bahahaha – spearfishing in the fridge! I do it every evening when I get home from work (I blame watching my dad do it every week night of my childhood) I’m using that term if I may?
    You’re right the key is keeping busy, I currently live in a studio apartment, I’m hoping moving into a much bigger place where my fridge is not next to my bed and my sofa and my table will make doing things more distraction :-)
    Impressive playlist btw!

  15. Trying to distract yourself from the thought of that unneeded snack is smart. Last night I was headed upstairs to bed, and thought, “Hmm, how about a nice 50-calorie chunk of dark chocolate.” Then I decided I really didn’t need it, and walked right on by the cupboard where I keep it and headed up the stairs.

    THEN…having overcome that temptation, I realized I had forgotten my aspercreme (bad back!) downstairs. So downstairs I went to get it, and thought again about CHOCOLATE! “NO,” I told myself, “you really don’t need anything…it’s bedtime.” I WON! I didn’t have any. Course writing this now, makes me hungry for it again. Will it never end???

  16. Hurray on the beet, you must be so proud. I left mine in the ground for too long, and it was tasteless and woody. Nice post … Snack spearfishing I am guilty of!