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When My Body Talks, I Should Really Listen

May 5, 2010

I’ve been trying to be more conscious of when and why I eat.  As a chronic over eater, I’ve lost the innate ability to listen to my body when it comes to food.  This cuts both ways…

I don’t listen to my body when it’s craving something and I don’t listen to my body when I’ve had enough to eat.

And sometimes, like last night- both happen.  I was on my way home from work and had a great day… went on a run in the morning, listened to my body during the day and only ate when I was hungry, met up with a friend who is moving away for one last (and long overdue) quality chat, and then IT happened.  On my way home from my day full of good decisions, I was craving Potbelly’s (a sandwich shop).

I decided against Potbelly’s because I was having such a good day nutrition wise and didn’t want to “ruin” it, plus I didn’t really want to spend the money (although Potbelly’s is one of the least expensive meals around).  So I went home Potbelly’s-deprived and had some corn chips and Trader Joe’s yummy corn salsa, then I had some dark chocolate peanut clusters.  At this point, I didn’t feel hungry and I even felt somewhat satisfied (I think).

About a half hour later, I kept thinking to myself or the devil on my shoulder kept whispering:

that was not enough food. you’re going to be hungry again in 2 hours and then you won’t want to eat because it will be so late.  you should really have an english muffin toasted with butter or with peanut butter and jelly. you should have something because you should be hungry. what’s one english muffin gonna do, you went running this morning remember?  you can splurge a little.

And there came my downfall.   I got up and had a toasted english muffin with butter.  You know how they say that lemonade can make you more thirsty?  Well, that’s what butter and toast does to me… it makes me more “hungry”.  Ten minutes later, I popped 2 more english muffins into the toaster (why lie to myself at this point and just toast one?) and buttered them up and ate those.

While chomping on my second set of english muffins, I felt like crap.  Like I had just ruined a great day of good nutrition and healthy choices.  But I didn’t wallow in self pity for too long.  I sat there and tried to figure out how I got to this moment… how did I go from a day of good decisions to a slew of bad ones?  And it hit me.  The moment I denied myself my Potbelly’s sandwich (and ultimately the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie I would have bought there too because it is the most delicious cookie EVER),  I had reverted back to my old ways of not listening to my body whether it be cravings, hunger signs, or being full.

And here comes the real truth.  The truth that makes me cringe while typing it.  I didn’t want to stop at Potbelly’s because I didn’t want to eat that many calories (which I probably did anyway with my english muffin extravaganza).  I ran that morning and ate well, and even though I wasn’t counting calories… I knew that I had probably broken even or even better, been in calorie defecit which means one thing: weight loss.  And just when I think that weight loss isn’t driving my actions or my thoughts and that I’m accepting my body as it is, shit like this happens.

Guess I got some more work to do.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2010 11:34 am

    It’s a one step at a time kinda thing… at least you were able to deconstruct what happened!

    • May 5, 2010 12:55 pm

      @ncp, you’re right. After I figured out why it happened, I stopped beating myself up about it and took it as one more notch in my belt of lessons learned!

  2. BlueGrass permalink
    May 13, 2010 12:44 am

    Hi there. I find myself doing the same thing! I’m really not into dieting, but when I’ve exercised or eaten healthy during the day, I find myself reluctant to listen to my body about what it really wants. I may throw up various excuses (and the money one is legit), but it usually comes down to wanting to lose weight. Then, later, I’ll find myself scarfing down some rather large amount of food because I’m hungry/tired and don’t want to cook/it’s late and there’s nowhere convenient to eat out.

    Your post reminded me of something I’ve noticed in myself–when I eat at home, I eat more cheaply, but I usually eat large quantities of some food that I don’t really consider a full meal. Usually, it’s cos I’m too lazy to cook. 🙂

    But anyway, don’t be too hard on yourself. It sounds like you were able to analyze what happened and learn from it, so some good came out of it. Also, you did save money eating at home, so that’s good. Hang in there, and keep blogging!

  3. May 14, 2010 2:52 pm

    “Your post reminded me of something I’ve noticed in myself–when I eat at home, I eat more cheaply, but I usually eat large quantities of some food that I don’t really consider a full meal. Usually, it’s cos I’m too lazy to cook. :)” -@BlueGrass

    Yes @BlueGrass! That’s exactly what happens to me time and time again. It felt good to figure out why I did what I did and made me realize something so important. I’m not just learning to listen to my body when it’s full which is what I have been actively working on. But I have to listen to my body if it’s craving something. It was a good lesson to learn!

    Thanks for the comment!!! 🙂

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