Today’s workout: To come

Today’s walk: To come

Today’s task: Differentiate Between Hunger, Desire, and Cravings

Today’s task ranks with Day 4 in importance and difficulty. And it’s something we all have to work on on an ongoing basis.

Cravings are a huge challenge for me. I’ve woken up at 7 AM on Saturday morning with a craving for buffalo wings so strong that I could feel the vinegar burning the inside of my nostrils before I was even fully awake. (And no,  I don’t keep an open bottle of vinegar in my bedroom.)  If you’ve never woken up on Saturday morning and the first thing you do is look at the clock and count the hours until the buffalo wing restaurants open, then please don’t lecture me about cravings. Just give thanks. OK? OK.

For most of my life, I didn’t understand people who said, “I eat when I’m not hungry…I don’t know why I’m munching on this, I’m not even hungry.” I’ve always thought that I was hungry when I ate, and when I’m not hungry anymore, I stop eating because I no longer enjoy it. If anything, from my own observation, I’m more uncomfortable than most people before I finally allow myself to eat. I say that because I’ve never said, “I don’t know why I’m eating this; I’m not even hungry,” or, “I’m still eating even though I’m full.” I usually say, “I’m really hungry!” Otherwise, I don’t eat.

When I eat, I’m feeling a definite feeling in my stomach that I associate with hunger, and/or my mouth is watering at the very idea of food. That’s got to be a sign that my body is asking for something, right?

Well, my weight shows that it’s not right. I’m consuming too many calories.

A few weeks ago, my therapist blew my mind, in a good way. She said, “What’s hunger, anyway?”

I’ve been so protective of my own definition of hunger, that during the past 2 years I practiced the BDS without losing any weight. I need to review this definition.

In the past, I’ve read writers like Geneen Roth, who recommend eating in accordance with hunger cues, but that’s never worked for me. I was hungry and I ate, unlike most of the women who found that they didn’t feel hungry when they were freed to follow their own cues, and ate less.

I thought there was something wrong with me for being hungry…now I’m willing to investigate how I’m interpreting my own hunger. That’s what today’s experiment is about.

I will monitor my hunger before, during, and after every meal. My results will be skewed, because I’m on the South Beach Diet, which gives me a lot of protein, which controls my appetite/hunger. I may have to repeat today’s exercise when I’m faced with a situation like travel, when I can’t get enough protein and my hunger will feel different.

Today’s To-Do List:

I read my Advantages list at least twice today

I made and read other Response Cards as needed

I ate slowly, sitting down, and noticing every bite:

I gave myself credit when I engaged in helpful eating behaviors:

I did spontaneous exercise:

I did planned exercise:

I rated my hunger (or planned a day to do so) on a hunger monitoring chart.

Update:

Wow, I already have to take myself up on my offer to repeat a day!

I started doing the hunger chart, but it didn’t go well. I kept forgetting to take note of my hunger when I was supposed to. I also was having trouble sensing my hunger signals….I felt pretty similar before and after a meal.

I ate less than usual today. I imagine my hunger will be sharper and easier to interpret tomorrow when I repeat the experiment.

I didn’t do well today on any of my dieting behaviors…didn’t read Response Cards…ate in front of the computer…didn’t walk or work out. Partly it was due to feeling overwhelmed by work and tired due to not sleeping well last night, but I must keep practicing these behaviors until I can do them under all conditions! It IS possible! If I were good at this stuff, I wouldn’t be overweight right now. But I’m learning!

Here’s to a good rest tonight and a better tomorrow!

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