Monday, March 10, 2014
"Oh, why did I eat so much?" I have asked myself too often. "I feel miserable!"
There are many reasons why I overeat. One of the biggest motivators for me to stuff myself is a fear that I will be hungry again too soon. So I eat and eat and eat until I am miserable; sometimes, so miserable that all I can do is lie down until the feeling passes. And yet, for so long, I have lived with the idea that being miserable because I am stuffed is better than worrying about being afraid of being hungry too soon.
This year, however, I am focused on learning to love my body. As part of that, my current focus is listening to my body. I am learning to stop when I am full. Instead of forcing myself to finish what is on my plate because it tastes good or go back for seconds and thirds so I am not hungry again in an hour, I am working on stopping when my body says to stop.
I am getting better at this. I am surprised at how far I have come in such a short time. As a matter of fact, I am beginning to wonder how I used to eat so much. Now, when I overeat a little, I am so uncomfortable, I truly wish I had stopped earlier. It is not a feeling of guilt (I still feel guilty regret from eating copious amounts of sugar, but that is another battle), but truly a wish I had eaten less (much like my frequent morning wish that I had gone to bed two hours earlier the night before). When I feel that discomfort in my stomach, I wonder how I used to eat so much.
Back before I began with SparkPeople, I used to feel happy when I ate well beyond my maximum. I thought that feeling was "full." I have since learned that what I was feeling was "bloated." Now I recognize that bloated feeling much more easily, and it often comes from eating heavy white breads such as biscuits. Now I am starting to recognize the too-full feeling of eating even quality foods. Recognizing that feeling makes it easier to stop when my body says it has had enough.
I am not tracking or worrying about quantities of servings of vegetables or measuring grams of protein. I know these habits work and have had success with them in the past. I realize now that I am not there yet. Instead, I first need to listen to my body is telling me and to learn to love it. The next time I track, I want it to come from a place of love and acceptance, not from a feeling of "should" or unacceptability.