I’ve got “hunger” down. I think. I mean, in this bizarre journey, can I ever be certain that I’ve mastered any part of it? Especially when I seem to be hanging out at the same increased size. Still, I think I know how to recognize physical hunger now. I get a growling that feels almost like a burning between my solar plexus and my belly button. If I ignore this, I will have a headache. Thirst is different, and is located in my throat/mouth.
Waiting for that physical hunger can sometimes be tricky because other stuff creeps into the equation at times. I keep having to remind myself that I don’t have to just eat because food is there… or because everyone else is eating… or because I’m bored… or tired… or emotional… or procrastinating. Checking in to see if I’m physically hungry is really important. There may be other physical needs that haven’t been met, but I don’t want to eat unless I’m actually needing food.
So, I wait for physical hunger (most of the time). I say “most of the time” because I don’t want that to become a “rule”. The diet rebel in me will kick back at feels-like-a-diet rules.
What I’m working on figuring out now, is what fullness/satisfaction feels like when it comes to food. Josie Spinardi talks about rating taste, and I am trying to tap into that. At first, I was eating past full without realizing it. I think I was rather afraid of being hungry later so I was “eating for the hunger to come”. The problem with doing this is that your body doesn’t work like that. If you eat when you aren’t hungry, it stores it for later alright, but as fat – eeekkk! I don’t need any more of that.
The other issue was not realizing I had eaten enough because I haven’t paid attention to these signals since I was a kid. I’ve relied on someone else to tell me how much food to have (when, what, & how much). So now, trying to interpret my body’s language feels like learning chinese at times. It feels so foreign.
Recently, I started to error on the side of undereating at a meal. I waited for hunger and then I was really trying to listen for when that hunger feeling went away. Well, it started going away only a few bites into something, so I would stop eating. However, then I felt really hungry only an hour later. This can be frustrating to say the least. A gal on the forum said it was like when the gas light comes on in a vehicle and you put in only enough fuel to make the light go off… you won’t get very far before it comes back on again.
This is where I have to reassure myself that I am allowed to eat whenever I am hungry, and if that means eating every hour some days, so be it. The point is to keep from inflicting external rules on my eating habits and to keep from allowing guilt into the equation.
It is true that the taste begins to wane, so I’m going to keep looking out for that. I also don’t entirely trust myself in reading my stomach’s cues. However, I’m going to keep trying. I have to remember that it took a bit to figure out hunger, so now I’m going to be patient and learn the fullness side.