While I’m happy to be maintaining my weight loss at this point in my life, there remain some latent ‘obese behaviors’ in the far reaches of my psyche that occasionally come to the fore. One of those behaviors is getting so caught up in the sheer physical pleasure of eating, that I override any sense of satiety until I’m so full I could burst. I don’t think this makes me bad, or weird or even unusual. After all, food tastes great!
Behaviorists know that its a more successful strategy to adopt new behaviors than to try and ‘eliminate’ old habits. In order to do so, however, its wise to understand what the positive is in the former action and see if we can replicate it in a healthier way. And I don’t know if this is scientifically sound or not, but sometimes I try to channel that behavior so that even if I’m engaged in it, its less harmful (i.e. eat a lot of veggies, drink a lot of water, etc.).
The past few weeks I’ve been slipping on that over-fullness slope, but have managed to keep a somewhat tenuous grip. From past experience, I know that if I can sort of ride it out, I generally can get beyond it and away from it. Perhaps its that zen thing about the overcoming a struggle by giving in to it. Its very helpful for me to be kind and forgiving of myself when I’m feeling bad about it, because a lot of times I’m just trying to soothe myself.
At any rate, I recently moved my official weigh-in day to Saturday mornings. (I found that three weeks of NOT weighing in had let to a couple of quick extra pounds). This Saturday, as an incurable scale sneak, I decided not only to wear light clothes, but also to forego my usual large breakfast, liter of water and cup of coffee. I still did my morning run (which I always do on an empty stomach). When I got weighed later on, I was glad to find out that I’d lost two of the pounds that had crept on.
More interesting, however, was how nice it felt to have a completely empty and lean body, at least for an extended few hours. It hadn’t been easy to forego my morning eating routine — I had to mentally rehearse it the night before and tell myself not to panic! Instead I had a protein bar and a shot of espresso which felt satisfying and kept me feeling normal.
To be honest, it was astonishing and in an odd way disappointing to learn how little I could eat and still feel good and healthy. In fact, just the sensation of lean-ness was so pleasant that it made me realize how uncomfortable I’ve been over the past couple of weeks when I’ve overeaten. It seems to me that so often its simply my fear of being hungry that has driven me to eat even when there wasn’t a real need.
My significant other, who has a lot of naturally thin behaviors, once again provided an insight this weekend. After a full day of tennis, he came home exhausted, having had a few protein bars and a couple of sports drinks. He mentioned something about possibly having dinner, but the next thing I knew he was passed out, and didn’t wake up until the next day. What his body needed was SLEEP. He didn’t starve overnight. He didn’t wake up weak and feeble. He didn’t eat us out of house and home. He just had coffee and a banana and went back to play more tennis.
There’s no great moral to this tale. I spent the rest of the weekend engaged in my same ol’, same ol’ eating pattern. But it sure feels reassuring to know that there are options.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!