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Eating when hungry... what a concept!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

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!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    great blog... especially love dori at the end.. i love that movie... "just keep swimming" will occasionally pop into my head and i automatically smile.. it's a great metaphor for life
    2571 days ago
    Wow, thanks for the input, my friends. I would LOVE to go to one of her workshops or retreats, but they are so expensive! Plus it's hard to get away for that long with my little ones. I'm going to blog again in a few minutes here. It's so hard. I need to do exactly what you stated there, OoLala, is that food is not evil or criminal, and I'm just so auto-tuned to thinking that way that I can't help it. I hate this eating issue!
    2571 days ago
    I , too, spent a weekend at a Geneen Roth workshop, in the 80's. A friend went with me and after the workshop a local group of us met monthly as support. I vividly remember , just before lunch, one Hershey's kiss being given to us. we were told to hold it in our mouth as long as possible. It was actually a bit sickening. compare that to downing 10 or 15 of these at a sitting. One was plenty when a person is actually hungry and if eaten slowly. Another thing she told us was she liked to eat with her fingers. Chris
    2572 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    I had better luck when I've mixed this with regular meals during the week. With my work obligations, it was just too hard. Ironically, I can eat just about right so that I am hungry at relatively fixed meal times during the work week. I do the other on weekends and the hardest part is not getting hungry for long periods of time, yet wanting to eat. I am very familiar with the concept and started reading Geneen Roth's work when she first published back in the 80's and even took a weekend course in the concept before she ever published by a couple of women who called it Traveling Light.. I don't like waiting ten hours to eat, but I don't like always having to eat very light foods in order to get hungry more often. It can become the new reason to feel guilty. I never found this to be the easy way out, but I'm grateful to her and others for helping me decriminalize food and for learning to be aware of true and fake hunger. emoticon
    2573 days ago
  • JESSICA2140
    You've listed a few really interesting concepts in that blog! I'm going to have to check that book out!
    2573 days ago
    Good for you! I have to learn this to. I'm trying. I noticed I have cut WAY back from what I use to eat. emoticon emoticon
    2573 days ago
    Good luck!! This eating when hungry thing is something I'm trying to grasp as well. That it's OK not to eat the food if I'm not hungry.
    2573 days ago
    Just noticed that my hunger scale image is REALLY tiny due to resizing. If you want me to email you the PDF version, just private message me your email address and I will send it on. Sorry about that!
    2573 days ago
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