Skinny Daily Post


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!

3 thoughts on “The Full Story

  1. Nikhila Pai says:

    Thanks again for another on-target post.

    In the last few weeks I’ve been trying to come to terms with the reality that I don’t need all the food I have conditioned my mind and my emotions to eat. Even my WW approved quantities and choices are still a bit much. I too like the sensation of consumption and allow the too full feeling as a kind of compensation for the pleasure. But recent events and observations make it hard for me to deny that I eat more than I would need to maintain my ideal, healthy BMI body weight.

    Lately, I’ve also been experimenting with the feeling of hunger. I’m never quite able to tell when I’m hungry the way some people just FEEL it in their tummy region. I might feel it, briefly, but then I lose steam, get grumpy and start to feel depressed. I suspect I’ve become all mouth and not much stomach to allow for the fullest experience of consumption, but a limited one of fullness.

    Trying to relearn how to feel hungry (and comfortably full) has become my new challenage (or process). And, learning to enjoy the tummy sensations and NOT associate hunger with unhappiness is my goal.

    I do feel like this is progress. A few years ago I couldn’t even acknowledge or accept that I ate more than I needed. I genuinely believed it might have been a metabolism problem because, after all, I was exercising so much (an hour 3-5 times a week) and not losing anything. It never even struck me that maybe I ate more than I needed and now I look back and marvel at the quantities I consumed and the fact I wasn’t FATTER!

  2. Xenawannabe says:

    How true, Jonathan. I recently had the blessing of being at a retreat center for a month that had mostly vegan food, and after I got over the headaches/irritability of getting off sugar (that a story in and of itself!), and paid close attention to my portion sizes, I was absolutely shocked at how little I needed to truly feel satisfied and energetic, considering the amount of yoga & exercise that I was getting. I’m sure some of that had to do with eating mindfully, stopping when I was starting to feel full, and eating nutritious and simple meals. It’s hard now that I’m back home and into my old habits, and I find my portions have gone up significantly. I’m trying to be patient with my process – at least I have the first-hand knowledge of what my body can do now!

  3. Josie says:

    Another great post Jonathan. Thanks!

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