September 19, 2012 by Lindsey
Well, it’s day 7 of my “21 Days Binge Free” Challenge. It should actually probably be day 10 or 11– if I had stayed on plan every day since the challenge began.
But I haven’t. I’m not perfect. And it’s far from easy.
Day 5 I repeated. Day 6 I repeated. And now I’m here.
So far, I’m picking up some valuable insights that are great, but they’re tough for me to enforce or accept. It’s depressing how obvious they seem, but how hard I’m finding them to deal with:
- Feeling appropriately full at (and after) a meal does NOT mean you should be so full that it is uncomfortable to do much more than use the computer or read.
- When I’ve reached my caloric/point/whatever limit for the day, I just need to stop. Get out of the kitchen, get away, and STOP.
- I can’t expect to use a lot of points early in the day and for them to magically reappear later.
- When I’ve made poor food choices early on, it’s even more reason for me to make the best choices the rest of the day, not continue with the poor choices.
- Being alone, tired, stressed (any combination of the 3) means I am in a DANGER ZONE.
- I have trigger foods and I need to let them go. I cannot be moderate with them right now. I have to accept that and say “too bad.” One bite has not worked for the past year and will not work.
- Lacking any reliable distraction or self-soothing activity other than food is…..not helpful. And I don’t have many right now, which is a problem.
- When I can’t trust myself (and frequently, I cannot) I need to get out of the kitchen. Just leave. I can’t remove the food from the kitchen, so I’ll remove myself.
- This whole process still needs a lot of work. It’s frustrating, exhausting, unfair, and a whole batch of other delightful things, but I have to believe it will be worth it.
I’ve also raised some issues that I need to think more deeply on, explore, and tackle:
Am I Still Hungry?
Whenever I eat, especially if it’s a “main meal,” I have a lot of trouble figuring out if I’m still hungry.
Well, actually, that’s a lie.
I believe I’m still hungry 99% of the time. I think it takes food at least an hour to send the signal from my stomach to my brain that I’m full.
- My brain doesn’t know whether to trust my body (and vice versa) after years of alternating undereating, then overeating. “Is this all we get?” to “Overload: too much” doesn’t leave much room for “just right.”
- My digestive system is confused all around (undereating, overeating, undereating, overeating, overeating, overeating)
- I just don’t have any signals for “I’ve had enough” anymore because I broke them all
Is This Hunger or a Craving….or Both?
Similar to not knowing if I’m full during or after a meal, I usually don’t know if what I’m feeling between meals or after a meal is true hunger or just a craving. My stomach will cramp up with a gnawing sensation. I think: “I’m hungry.”
I eat something (depending on place/time of day/my feelings at the time) “healthy” or not.
Almost all the time, I don’t feel SATISFIED. (This is really obnoxious– it happens at meals, too.)
I usually try to pick something else to eat. It usually isn’t satisfying either–it probably fills the hunger, but not the craving. But it takes me a long time to figure out if it has fulfilled the hunger (see reason #1).
It’s all annoying!
Is This Moderation or Deprivation?
I’ve got years of experience in banning foods, eating ridiculously sized portions (too small or too big), and being in strict self-control or eating recklessly. So, my moderation meter is 100% broken.
All of these issues, problems, and concerns I know just need to be addressed with practice, practice, practice. Like everything else in life.
Day 21 seems very far away, and I know I won’t have solved everything by then.
But at least I’m trying. And I’m learning.
And I’ll keep trying.