Sharing the experiences of our participants once they return home is one of the best ways to bring our approach to life, to illustrate how it plays out in real time. Beth offered to regularly describe on A Weight Lifted her journey from a former dieter to someone who is learning to listen to and trust her body to guide her in eating. Today’s blog illustrates well how it’s about experimenting and listening. And importantly, not going negative so that you can learn from your experience and plan how to deal differently with situations that frequently occur, if indeed doing things differently might be a more supportive choice.
My third weekend removed from the structure of Green Mountain posed another interesting couple of days for me.
I’m a football nut and Sundays are always non-stop games. This past weekend my team, the Eagles, weren’t playing until the late game at 8:30 so I settled in for a long day of football watching. I found my thoughts wandering from “the red zone” to “the kitchen zone”.
Am I Hungry?
Yup, I was hungry.
Where did that come from? I can honestly say that during my week at Green Mountain — and the three weeks I’d been home — I had been successful in eating on a schedule to help me recognize my hunger cues at around 3 or 4 on the hunger scale. I never felt hunger in the 1-2 zone which is, for you non-Green Mountain graduates, when you feel you’re starving!
Let’s face it, we’re all just animals that want to eat when we get hungry. If I’m a little hungry, I will eat more mindfully. If I’m starving, then entirely too much food goes down the gullet before I even register satiety.
Maybe I hadn’t been putting together balanced meals in a way that will satisfy me to the next meal. Because that’s key. I mean, our bodies need certain things and if they don’t get it, we’ll be on the search for it.
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Neither of those seemed to be the answer, though. I imagine that eating on a schedule had helped to keep my hunger in a non-panic range and I had eaten balanced meals on a regular schedule right up to kick-off but, still, I felt hunger.So what was up?
Was I bored?
No, it wasn’t boredom; I already told you that I love football.
After thinking more, I thought I really might be hungry even though not starving. True, I wondered whether being in the house all day in football-veg mode contributed to what I was feeling. You know, football equals pizza, movies equals popcorn, beer equals pretzels kind of thing. I don’t know. But I decided to satisfy my hunger, wherever it came from.
So to the kitchen I went and I noshed. All day. Chocolate hummus (whoever invented that stuff should be knighted) with apple slices, some cheese and wheat crackers and some cherry tomatoes. It helped and I made it to dinner without wolfing down spice cookies and candy corn (tis the season!).
When Weekend Eating and Football Work
The good news is that I didn’t feel bad. I didn’t feel like I had failed in any way. In fact, I felt like I had still stayed true to my new path – I ate when I was hungry, I ate what I wanted and I refused the urge to negative self-talk.
As for mindfully eating my snacks, I have to admit I may have been slightly remiss. The snacks went down to the basement with me and were consumed with my mind on “third and long” instead of “savor and be present”.
But that’s okay. I felt fine about how the day had gone. I learned that football Sundays will require me to think.
If it is a subconscious learned behavior that goes with football, I can work with it! I can prepare yummy stuff that I can enjoy on Sundays and eat it mindfully without guilt, finding that place where I feel satisfied.
The only persons that felt defeated that Sunday were the New York Giants! Go Birds!