Small Victories, Current Challenges (5/5/16)
When I left you last week, I was starting to bring awareness to my body's signals of hunger and fullness, while also reflecting on what it means to be thin; I thought I'd share an update on my progress.
Observing my levels of hunger and fullness has been a very enlightening experience; while it didn't take long to begin recognizing my hunger and formulating a mental guide to varying levels of fullness, the areas in between have proven to be a challenge.
For example, on the hunger-fullness scale that I'm using, I'm definitely aware when my hunger is at a 3; however, catching it at a 4, the goal, is rather tricky. Over the past few days, though, I've begun to recognize it, particularly at lunch time, which is promising. In addition, there is definitely a difference between 5 and 6; for me, it usually involves something sweet. Discovering which types of foods, textures and tastes satisfy at distinct times has been interesting.
In my post last week, I also noted that four weeks had passed since my last binge; I told my counselor that I must have placed some sort of curse on myself by acknowledging the milestone because on Monday I felt the urge, and it was pretty strong. I was on my way home from work and I all could think about was driving straight to the grocery store to stock up on tons of "bad" foods.
I've never been so thankful for that commute; it provided me the opportunity to pause and reflect on where this urge was coming from. I'm sure there are other components involved, but I've identified a few triggers: Jonathan was going to be working late which, in my usual pattern, means binge-fest since he won't be around to see the ungodly amount of food I will consume; my routine would be skewed - no reason to cook dinner right away, no self-imposed schedule; and I would return to an empty home.
The last of these is surprising; as one who leans toward introversion, I am usually pleased to be in an empty home with no talking and few distractions; however, there seems to be some connection between being alone at night and the urge to binge. Maybe it's loneliness, maybe it's boredom, maybe it's rebellion; I'm just not sure yet, but I'll be tracking these occurrences.
I struck a deal with myself: I could binge if I wanted to, but I couldn't feel guilty about it afterward; that's a pretty tall order. I ended up eating leftover grilled chicken, some chips and salsa and about two handfuls of peanut m&ms; I felt completely satisfied. I also texted a friend, watched a few videos I'd been meaning to watch and did some light yoga; disaster averted, for now.
Speaking of eating, my next project is to purchase at least three items at the grocery store that are not usually on my shopping list; things that would, under previous circumstances, never be considered because they are "bad" foods.
When I started this journey, I did a pretty good job of keeping some of these items in the kitchen - m&ms, ice cream, chips, etc. - but have reverted back to my old ways; I am subconsciously restricting myself. This was likely another contributing factor to my binge urge earlier this week.
There are a couple of other things I'll be working on this week but the biggest one, by far, will be the request by my counselor to "get rid of that scale." This statement incites a fear that is immeasurable; I will likely write more about this in a future post. As much as I want to honor this request, it's definitely going to be a tough one; I feel anxious about it as I type this. I've made a promise to myself to be honest about it, either way...can I start tomorrow?