As someone who has repeatedly binged/eaten past fullness/eaten compulsively in the past I have trouble with following my body’s cues for hunger and fullness. Well, I know how to tell if my body is hungry. That one is easy for me. What is more difficult and even more important is the one I have trouble with: determining if my body is STILL hungry.
Am I still hungry while I am eating? Do I need to keep eating? Do I need to stop? Did I eat enough? Will I get hungry again before the next meal? These are the thoughts in my head at every meal… especially at breakfast where we choose our meal completely.
Sometimes I don’t know. I just don’t. This morning I went to breakfast hungry, as usual, and got a piece of french toast with syrup some peanut butt and milk. By the time I had finished it I felt satisfied. I didn’t feel full and I knew it was less than I normally eat for breakfast so I wrestled with the decision: am I still hungry? In the end I couldn’t make a decision one way or another so I decided not to eat anything else and see how it goes. If I am starving before lunch I will eat a snack.
I am clearly still trying to get the hang of mindful eating.
But just the fact that I am trying seems to be progress. The fact that I’m listening to my body, or trying to, means I am eating mindfully. Maybe I need a tranlator for my crazy stomach and body, but I’m still trying my best to interpret its cues.
I’ve written about mindful eating a couple of times, but I’m still working out the kinks in the application in my own life. I know that I’ve had a meal or two where I ate too much. I know I overinduldged on a snack. I’m not emotionally eating (yet, as I fully expect this to eventually happen… I’m not “cured” just in better control), but I’m not fully aware of the point on how to control my normal food intake.
But hey… not being able to decide and stopping eating is way better than not being able to decide and eating until I’m stuffed just to make sure. If you have to pick one or the other I’m pretty glad I chose the first path. Being overly stuffed is never a pleasant thing.
How about you guys? How do you know when you’ve eaten enough? Do you ever struggle with the question, Am I still hungry?