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Knowing when to say No

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Yesterday I had a challenge that involved only one part of the intuitive eating equation. I don't know the whole equation, I haven't really looked into it, but I imagine it's something like eat when you're sort of hungry, stop when you're sort of full, and eat when your body is actually hungry for. Well, that last one is the trick, isn't it? But yesterday I was just doing the first part, not eating unless I was actually hungry.

So describing it with the 1-10 hunger scale, 5 is neither hungry nor full, 4 is a little hungry, 3 is definitely hungry, 2 is very hungry, and 1 is "COOKIE!!! NOM NOM NOM". And what I found is I kept going straight from what I thought was 4 to 2, when it would be good to eat at 3.

I think the reason for this is that I kept telling myself "no" even though I was doing it very tactfully. "You're still okay." "You're not in pain yet." "After the workout." "We'll be home soon." And I think I delayed eating too long, which was about an hour for lunch and 45 minutes or dinner.

But the interesting thing I learned from this is that when I tell myself “no” to many times, I run out of no, or maybe my body stops listening. But it would explain why when I wait too long to eat, I tend to go overboard. One situation this often happens is going out to a restaurant, by the time we get there and get seated and get served, it’s often 30 or 45 minutes later than when I would have been eating at home.

I blogged about a theory on this, called decision fatigue, several months ago. It has a link to a NY Times article on the subject. As I conclude there, when we have a good understanding of the decisions and what we want out of them it is not as stressful. I think that’s why the full on intuitive eating was so weird for me, while just exploring the timing of my eating was not as bad.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Intersting blog.
    1940 days ago
  • -AMANDA79-
    Good blog. emoticon
    I try to think about it like I do for my children. I don't want to be driven crazy by, "Mom! I'm hungry!" a million times. I know when they are going to be hungry so I feed them before they start complaining. You have kids so I'm sure you do this too. Think about it for yourself as well.

    1941 days ago
  • KENWANNE2013
    Good blog. One of the additional challenges for serial dieters can be that we forget what 'hungry' or 'not hungry' feels like.

    After years of being partly driven by emotional eating, and years of often ignoring hunger pangs to satisfy the rules of whacky diets, I have had to relearn recognising the signals.
    1941 days ago
    That's a tough lesson to learn. I've been getting better at it; there's a happy medium where you go from "Meh, I could eat" to "Holy crap I'm starving eat all the things!"

    And that's where binges happen. Denial isn't just a river in egypt! It's also not the best way to get to your goals (or stay at them.)

    Maybe you've gone so long saying no now since you have made this weight loss journey that you're still kinda in "diet" mode?
    1941 days ago
    Brave you! I'm not ready for intuitive eating but it will eventually be one of my goals. It has to be part of the journey to reach a complete lifestyle change.
    Appreciate you sharing your experience and insights.

    1941 days ago
    I imagine it takes some experimenting to get used to intuitive eating, and to recognizing exactly what "3" feels like to you...it sounds like it comes sooner than you expected.
    Best wishes!
    emoticon Sadaparibhuta
    1941 days ago
    Sounds as if you have food for thought
    1941 days ago
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