Are you a gal who’s watching your weight and struggling with emotional eating? If you are, then you can probably relate to often feeling the need to eat more than your tummy can comfortably hold.
Let me just say right now that despite what you may have been told, that doesn’t mean that you’re a pig or have no self control and you’re most definitely not alone. I can really relate to what that feels like. Here’s a story of mine that shares a discovery that I made that can help you to stop mourning after your meals.
Feeling the Pain of Ending a Meal
Before I made the decision to stop dieting, it was nearly impossible for me to resign myself to ending a meal. It felt like every meal would be my last and I was always worried about not having enough food, so I just kept eating. It didn’t matter what I ate, just as long as I was chewing. I justified the reason as being that I was still hungry, but now I know that it wasn’t physical hunger that drove my appetite. It was my frayed emotions, my level of exhaustion, an overcommitted schedule, and my inability to say, “No” to people, that kept me eating to fill what I used to call, “my bottomless pit.” If you can relate to eating just because food is present… then I’d like to share this insight with you.
One morning as I was sitting down to breakfast at about 7:30 a.m., ready to enjoy 1/2 of a cinnamon raisin bagel with margarine along with a nice, hot, steamy mug of peppermint tea with sugar and lemon, I thought of something that I learned many years ago.
Back in the day when I lived in one of the apartment buildings that I managed, I used to be neighbors with a woman named, “Princess.” Princess and I would often spend time together. One day she invited me over to enjoy a lovely roast duck dinner with wild rice stuffing, roasted potatoes and apricot glaze. She placed the potatoes beneath the duck so that they absorbed all the fat and juices as the duck slow roasted.
At the time, I was a huge fan of duck and I served myself a monstrous portion. She put a small amount on her plate. As we were eating and talking, I watched her curiously as she picked at her food and ate small bits. It seemed to me that she was concentrating intently on what she was eating. Curious and wanting to know more, I asked her what she was doing.
Eating Just Enough to Fill a Corner
She told me that since she often makes this meal, she only wanted to eat enough to fill a small corner of her tummy. When we got up from the meal, I could tell from the sensations in my body that I had really overdone it, and as my Nana used to say, “I was eating with my eyes and ignoring my stomach.” I was groggy and feeling pretty awful. I knew that I had to excuse myself to go home to take a nap in my apartment. She on the other hand was excited and filled with energy and couldn’t wait to finish a piece of art work that she was painting. After thanking her for the lovely meal, we bid our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
Eat the Foods You Really Love
As those memories twirled ’round in my head, I looked down at the bagel in my hand, I noticed that there was one lonely little raisin in what was supposed to be a cinnamon raisin bagel, which had absolutely no flavor of cinnamon whatsoever. I cut about 1/3 of the bagel out of the 1/2 and I proceeded to spread it with margarine. I took a bite and noticed that it had nearly no flavor. Then I took another bite and noticed that my observation was the same, Yuck! no flavor. So I left the rest of the bagel 1/2 on the counter and I made a mental note to toss it to the birds later. I decided to take my peppermint tea upstairs and share my observations with you.
Now I really understand what Princess meant by eating to fill a corner. Just those couple of bites of tasting that nasty ‘raisin’ bagel were enough to take the edge off of my hunger, which was strong enough that it prevented me from focusing on what I was writing. So I knew I was hungry, but unlike that night where I became one with Princess’ duck, I didn’t want to feel that sensation of being overstuffed and unproductive. Next when I get hungry, whenever that is, I’ll probably make myself a couple of lightly scrambled eggs, because I know that I don’t have to limit myself to 3 squares a day. I can eat anything and anytime I want.
How about you? Are you eating to fill a corner or a cavern? Do you know beforehand how much you want to eat, and if you do, what helps you to decide?
It’s so important to learn how to pay attention to how your body feels and what you need/want. By doing that, you’ll feel so good and be able to eat whatever you want.
Even on weekend mornings, I don’t tend to eat a big breakfast. If on the rare occasion I do, then I won’t eat until dinner time. Don’t listen to me. Let your body tell you what’s right for you. What’s your plan today? Will you eat to fill a corner or a cavern? And if you’re eating to fill a cavern, what part of you is feeling empty?
Would you like more support to be able to eat to fill a corner instead of a cavern? If so, I’m here for you. Come follow me on Twitter and get real time tips and tricks that will move you toward making peace with food and friends with your body. Here’s the link to join me: