What I had originally wanted to talk about yesterday was 'hunger'. The past few days, my appetite has been completely non-existent (which was what I wanted to discuss)- I have mixed feelings about this- in some ways, it's easier for me to eat if I'm NOT hungry because it feels more in control. On the other hand, it's hard to justify eating if I'm NOT hungry- I figure that if my body isn't asking for food, it doesn't need it. (I eat according to my plan, regardless, just my feelings about it are different). Today has been the complete opposite. I find it hard to recognise 'hunger' and 'fullness' a lot of the time, but today have been painfully aware of my stomach screaming out for food. Being hungry is horrible. I can't stand the feeling of emptiness, of my stomach churning. Especially when it seems to come from nowhere- there was no reason why *today* should have been different from yesterday, but it was. I start to resent my body for betraying me- why now? Why today? How DARE it need food when I already ate?!.. I also hate the memories and associations that hunger gives me- it takes me back to the days where I was literally starving, and could not bring myself to eat. I am not in that place now, but the physical sensations of hunger remind me so painfully of that time.
I am a firm believer that if you are craving certain things, it's because your body needs it. I am trying to generalise this to 'being hungry = needing food'. It sounds so simple, but it''s easier said than done. I hate the sensation of hunger, but I also hate what it represents- needing, wanting, a lack of control over my own body ("I ate xxx for breakfast- I should NOT be hungry yet"). It's uncomfortable physically and mentally- I get irritable, shaky, tearful. It's REALLY hard for me to trust my body and let it tell me when it needs more food- but I really think that our bodies are better judges of what we need than our minds are. If my stomach is growling and it's been several hours since breakfast, chances are, I AM hungry. It's NOT a sign of weakness of greediness- it's a sign of being human. Our bodies require fuel even if we spend all day in bed. Our organs, muscles...the human body is performing zillions of tasks at any given moment, all requiring a decent amount of energy. Recognising hunger is one thing, honouring it is another. I eat according to the clock- it honestly doesn't occur to me on days like today to eat an extra snack or bring a meal forward... I panic about misreading what message my body is sending me and don't yet trust my body/mind to work together. On the other hand, our bodies have an amazing ability to adapt- I spend ludicrous amounts of time working out exact calories in meals, and hours figuring out a day's worth of food. I have lost count of the numbers of days I have spent with a calculator, working out weights, BMIs, etc. The thing is, it's pretty pointless. Some days our bodies need a bit more food or a bit less. Weight fluctuates, as does our intake requirements. Obsessing over a yogurt which has 10 calories more than my regular brand can throw me into a headspin for the entire day, but our bodies don't NOTICE a few calories/pounds here or there. It takes quite a significant amount of calories in either direction for my body to change much so it's futile for me to spend so much time stressing over 'perfect' meal plans.
Tuning in and listening to what your body says is HARD- but it's so important. Our bodies don't see numbers on scales, or graphs or charts. They see food as what it is: nutrients, energy. If they are asking for something, they deserve to be honoured. Bodies talk... I'm trying to listen.
So anyway, some of today's food... (NOT all inclusive BTW!)
Breakfast, again at 5am...(what is UP with my sleep patterns these days?!)
Oats, fromage frais, vanilla extract, blueberries and raw almonds. This is usually one of my more filling breakfasts- not today apparently!
Mini chocolate chip Clif bar with 1/2 tbsp white chocolate peanut butter. Love it. These bars are a month past their 'use by' date... I'm a daredevil, I know.
For lunch I had something new again! Excuse the messiness- presentation wasn't a priority (clearly :P )
Hummus, carrot, alfalfa sprouts and rocket (arugula?) on wholewheat bread. I forgot how much I LOVE hummus! I actually don't like raw carrots at all, except when they are shredded with hummus. This sandwich was delicious and satisfying (FINALLY!). I don't know why I don't have hummus more often- it's cheap, nutritious and delicious. Maybe I'll get round to trying an infamous 'crack wrap' one of these days...
I'd love to hear about people's experiences with becoming more of an 'intuitive eater' and starting to trust their bodies...
Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far!