I have a confession. When I was a child I used to go to bed feeling hungry a lot of the time. As an adult, I have never felt hungry, at least not as far as I know. My mother was fat as a child, and so when she had us, she resolved that her children would never have to suffer the slings and arrows that she had to as a fat child. That meant that everything in our house was weighed and counted. Woe betide you, should you take anything in between meals or that she hadn't actually given you to eat. That meant we either went hungry or we got pretty good at sneaking food, (which we used to blame on my dad, who suffered with being overweight himself) None of those things set up a good standard to follow later in life. I can remember telling myself when I was a child that, when I grew up, I was going to eat what I wanted, as much as I wanted and whenever I wanted, ohh and whatever I wanted to eat! I did. And just look where that has gotten me. 238 pounds. UGH!
I have another confession. I never ate large amounts. I grazed. The only problem being is . . . that I grazed pretty much constantly, telling myself that it was such a small amount that it didn't really matter, but when I stop and think about it now . . . it probably added up to a considerable amount when all lumped together. It's easy to fool yourself, if you are only eating a few nuts here, or one cookie there, or a small packet of crisps, or a tiny sliver of cake, half a chocolate bar, the leftover food on my children's plate (just so it wouldn't go to waste like), oh and don't let us forget that little bit left in the pot or the frying pan that really wasn't enough left for another meal, but . . . dare I throw it away, what a waste that would be . . . need I go on?
These past two weeks there has been no grazing. I am amazed. I went from full on grazing to nil, seemingly overnight. I think though, that when I made up my mind to telephone Margaret on that first day, I had already made a committment and a promise to myself.
What have I learned so far? I think over these few weeks I have learned what hungry really feels like. I have also learned what starving feels like on those few days when I have been late getting home from work, and havn't had enough forethought to bring something with me to work to tide me over. Like today. Thankfully I was able to keep my hunger under control and then when I was eating my dinner I was able to eat consciously and slowly, and I might add with gusto. Food tastes so much better. I don't think I ever really tasted a lot of what I was eating before. I was eating mindlessly, just shoveling it in, not even noticing half of what I was really eating. I am enjoying food now, really enjoying food for the first time in many years.
Wonder of all wonders, I am also recognizing when I have had enough! (something else I have had a problem noticing in the past) Instead of mindlessly shoveling it in until I either feel sick or severely bloated, I have begun to see when enough is enough before that happens. How do I tell I have had enough? As good as it tastes when I start to eat . . . it stops tasting good when I have had enough, and when it's time to stop. That is my signal to push my plate away, and subconsciously I think I have also made a decision to push my plate away while there is still something on it. It feels good to be able to leave something behind. I no longer have the urge to snuffle it all up. It may seem like baby steps to someone who has never had a weight problem, but it's a huge step to me!
Yes, I have quit the clean plate club. Elvis has left the room . . .