This week has been full of a-ha moments for me.
Like really big, life-changing a-ha moments.
I have been doing a lot of introspection. A lot of really paying attention to what I’m doing. A lot of being super, super mindful.
I think this is the first time in my life I have ever really done this.
The first time that I have truly paid attention to all my thoughts and actions.
I have been struggling really badly with overeating in the last year and a half and especially in the last eight weeks.
And a few weeks ago I had my first a-ha moment when it comes to food.
I realized that whenever I am doing any kind of work that I find tedious or monotonous or boring or mentally taxing and draining, I immediately turn to food.
When working on something that required concentration and brain power, I was often finding myself in the kitchen eating. Like two or three times in an hour. Sometimes I wasn’t conscious that I was eating anything until I was actually swallowing the food.
This was a major wake up call for me.
And so I changed that.
Sometimes I still find myself in the kitchen and opening a cabinet door without realizing it.
But I have been able to stop it there.
Since that realization, I’ve been practicing mindfulness much, much more.
And I realized something else.
I haven’t been eating because I’m hungry.
I have been eating so that I never get hungry.
I had stopped allowing myself to be hungry at all.
I was cramming food into my mouth before leaving the house, and if I was going to be gone for more than an hour, I was packing lots of food to take with me.
So that I would never be hungry.
My body got used to never feeling hunger.
Which wasn’t good.
And most of the weight I lost over the past year crept right back on.
I was completely numbing myself with food.
COMPLETELY NUMBING MYSELF.
There is quite a bit of discomfort going on for me in my marriage right now.
And rather than allowing myself to feel that discomfort — or any discomfort — I just starting eating. And eating. And eating.
The funny thing is that at the end of the day, I was still quite uncomfortable.
But now I also just felt totally out of control.
It has been two weeks now that I’ve allowed myself to feel hunger.
That I have (mostly) only eaten when I’ve been hungry.
I have not eaten to the point that I’ve felt sick.
I’ve been practicing eating on the 2 to 2 scale.
I start eating when I’m at a 2 on the hunger scale (out of say, 5) and I eat until I’m at a 2 (out of 5).
So I don’t allow myself to get famished to the point where I’d gnaw my own arm off, but I also don’t eat to the point where I feel sick.
And you know what?
The weight is starting to fall right off.
I am used to being hungry again.
I don’t rush to find food at the first inkling of hunger.
I don’t stuff my face full of garbage.
I am much more conscious of when I am turning to food for emotional reasons rather than for physical ones.
I definitely miss the immediate relief of mindlessly eating food.
It’s much easier to go that route than it is to sit in some emotional and physical discomfort.
But overall, I feel so empowered.
It feels good to be getting stronger and to know I have control and I’m driving the bus.
Although I always had control of the bus.
I’m just driving it in a different direction now.
And I’m excited to see where this road takes me.