So as many of you know, I have been seeing a nutritional therapist for about a month now. I believe Thursday will be my 4th visit. Have I learned anything new? A little.... Have I learned about myself? Oh hells yeah I have!
There is something going on in this crazy brain of mine that somehow associates guilt or shame that I'm feeling into a need to eat. The food is a band-aid to cover old wounds or make myself feel less ashamed of myself for whatever it is I believe that I did wrong that day or this life or whatever. Hopefully, you get what I'm saying. But we're working through it, and definitely looking for when this problem started... or at least, when it got to the point it is at now.
As you know, I was advised to read "Women Food and God" by Geneen Roth.
If you never read it, you should. If you have, then you'll understand the concept that I'm really going to get into here. Something that Geneen, and also my nutritionist, are urging and teaching me how to do is to EAT WHEN I'M HUNGRY. I know some of you who can relate to me are sitting there going, "but I'm always hungry". Yeah, I thought so too. But all too often my "hunger" is some sort of other trigger. Either I got pissed off at work, my husband or kids aggravated me, or I'm just bored. When you really, REALLY stop and think before you eat, it really puts hunger into a whole new light.
Don't get me wrong. I don't want you to think I had this miracle breakthrough and I'm magically only eating when hungry. It's such a mental game, that I have to say it's one of the hardest things I've ever attempted. Harder than even the cabbage diet. Seriously. How do I know when I'm hungry? REALLY hungry, as in My body needs energy now or it's gonna be pissed off. Easy, right? When my stomach growls. Hmmm.... but the brain likes food, it likes knowing it's going to survival mode when my mood is sour. So before I eat, I stop and take a look at the good 'ol Hunger Scale. My hunger scale goes from 1 to 2 to 3 to 3+. I have made a PDF that I am more than happy to share with you all, so here is the image. Hopefully is is large enough for you to see. I don't take credit for the concept, just for this particular design of it which I created. Print it out for your food journal, or maybe hang one on your refridgerator or pantry door!
Now my other mission is to check in with myself mid-meal. According to my nutritionist, it takes the brain 20 minutes to register satisfaction or that it has eaten enough for the current energy it needs. So half way through my meal, I am to push my bowl/plate to the left and have a sip of water and gauge my hunger. If I'm full, it is time to ask myself whether or not the meal I am eating is worth not losing weight.
This all sounds easy, but week 1 of really trying has been tough. I'll keep you all posted!