Saturday, October 13, 2012
When Is The Meal Over?
When we are punishing ourselves because we haven't been perfect we must eat and eat and eat until we have suffered enough. I remember doing that.
One who lives with rejection at home, at school, and elsewhere comes to believe that he/she falls far short. What do we have to do to feel like we are good enough?
My cue to stop eating used to be when it was gone. My cue to start eating was "it's time to eat". When on a binge, I had eaten until I was spent. Things have changed.
I have always had trouble stopping and leaving food. I just use a smaller plate and smaller portions and a better quality of food. I still eat it all. I know about the right amount. I am able to wait more and more often for my stomach to growl but am not there yet on waiting every time to growl.
Gwen Shamblin of Weigh Down Workshop states that overeaters are often controllers and we must give up control of our food schedule when we wait for the growl. We don't know when we will growl so eating can become intermittent. We can manage things so that a growl comes around at about meal time if we would like to eat with the family. We can bypass a growl and continue to wait but she doesn't recommend doing that too much. If the stomach has growled, we are truly empty. It is easy to eat too fast and too much if we haven't gotten ourselves in control. Hunger is so threatening isn't it? I have often wondered why it bothers me so much to be hungry. Is it fatal? Will the food disappear? Food is everywhere. I heard of one person whose attitude if missing meal was, "I'll be eating in about 4 hours." I would have been a wreck in the past, how about you?
Gwen's point is that if we haven't waited for true hunger (the growl) how do we know where full is? I know some people just eat on a schedule and if the total calorie count is known then that works for them. I would think that a person counting calories (say 1200 - 1500) per day would be hungry at each meal. She also says we should eat exactly what we want. Most people would be afraid of actually going berserk with that kind of freedom. She did a video for one of her classes where she made chocolate the topic. At breakfast on her plate she had M & M's, Snickers bars, and other chocolates. She showed the same kind of thing at lunch and dinner. It did look kind of sickening. Her point was that our bodies will yearn for healthy things, for what it needs. She also said we must eat slowly and stop at the first sign of comfortable fullness. I have to say that I was never able to do this. I don't set boundaries very well. I will say that now I truly want the good stuff. I prefer salads, apples, lean meats, nuts, my muffins, etc. I have eliminated sugar and most carbs. I could probably do it now because regardless I don't eat these things anymore. If I would binge (which I won't) it would be on something like almonds or those green seedless grapes. I don't crave those things so I can stop. Now that I don't crave carbs, I eat when I am hungry but don't make it to the growl each time.
I think that is why the approach should be different. The first thing I did was cut out sugar. I have always been one to exercise but that became more of a priority. I made it a point to get in at least 8 glasses of water per day. I counted carbs for a while but as soon as I got the hang of it I didn't bother with it anymore. I was losing weight without journaling, w/o counting calories or carbs or points, exercising, and drinking the water. I also made it a point to gradually eliminate other carbs such as breads, cereals, and other starchy carbs. I have now eliminated most dairy. If we have made the decision what NOT to eat what's left is truly enjoyable and we can eat until we are full - truly one of the benefits for me. Have you ever finished your meal and were still hungry?
How do you determine when it is time to eat?