Friday, December 4, 2009

I Thought Thanksgiving Was Over...

At what point do you decide to stop eating? After so many calories? So many bites? When you get that first signal of impending fullness? Or are you like terrible comedian Louis C.K. who states, "I don't stop eating when I'm full. The meal is not over when I'm full. The meal is over when I hate myself." Do you stop eating when you're about to experience gastric rupture?

I thought about including a picture of gastric rupture, but that was too gross. Here is Louis CK instead. Perhaps just as off-putting...?

I think I have some sort of addiction to the feeling of fullness. Whether I'm eating to binge or just eating because I'm hungry and need food, it is really difficult to not cross that line between 'satiated' and 'miserably, horribly full.' And seriously, fuck that fact of biology that it takes 20 minutes for your body to realize its signals of fullness. My body needs to learn to catch up with the speed with which my hand moves from plate to mouth.

For some reason, and I'm sure I'm not the only one here, I am terribly comfortable with the feeling of being uncomfortably full. When I'm binging, that's the state I'm trying to reach. The stomach distention, the physical discomfort, the acid reflux, all of it. It feels familiar. It feels safe. It assures me that I can stop eating. I mean, I pretty much have to unless I want to begin packing food down my throat with a cannon rammer:

Yeah, that looks unpleasant.


I have to relearn how to evaluate my hunger and fullness...relearn the signals, the ratings, etc etc...


As odd as it sounds, when you spend a lot of time not eating or overeating or yo-yo dieting or binging and purging or doing any other screwed up eating related behavior, you physically lose the ability to recognize your body's true signals of hunger and fullness.

At program, we have to breathe, relax, and focus on our bodies for a few moments before eating and rate our hunger level on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being starving, 5 being neutral, and 10 being sickly full). The first time I was there, I was always embarrassed by the fact that I was rating my hunger around the '3' level while most other people managed to control theirs around a '6'. Liars!!

But they're not actually lying. They just can't recognize the signals.

Just like I have trouble recognizing fullness signals. But the process is the same. Stop. Breathe. Relax. Pay attention. Assess.

Our bodies don't actually want to feel this uncomfortable. That's why being so full feels so bad. We don't need that much food, I guess.

So, bottom line, we gotta learn to listen to our bodies. Easy, right?

P.S. Fun fact! Your body needs a little fat intake in order to recognize that it is feeling full! That's why 'fat-free' diets don't work. Your body will want you to eat more because it can't tell its full. So eat your goddamn almonds or your butter and shut up!

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