September 16, 2008
Perplexed About Hunger
Lately I haven't been hungry which is none to common to me. It's gotten me to thinking and asking "why".
Perhaps it's the time of the year? Summer is almost over and fall is around the corner, a time when things are winding down. The light is waning and the days are shorter
Or maybe it's hormonal? I've lost 15 pounds of fat, and I've read belly fat releases a hormone that triggers hunger.
Is it the new relationship to food that I'm developing? The Intuitive Eating approach is to not restrict any type of food. Since no food is forbidden the previously "bad" foods are less desirable from an emotional standpoint. And since a lot of my eating is emotional, not stemming from true physical hunger, that could figure into it.
It's a good thing that I'm not hungry all the time--but the "dilemma"...if you can call it that...hahaha...is how should I respond to it??? Wait until I get hungry and then eat a meal? I tried that the other day and at 1:30 pm I was still not hungry for lunch but ate anyway because I doubted I could go until supper time without eating and was afraid I'd "spoil" my supper if I found myself ravenous and eating at 4 pm. (Why didn't I just skip the meal all together???)
In the morning I wake up not hungry and am inclined to skip breakfast. But that knowledge that I "should" eat breakfast is rattling around in my head. The statistic that people who skip breakfast are fat--that they overeat later in the day--you've heard it...that knowledge screams at me. But all those years I wasn't fat I never ate breakfast. And the rare times I did I was starving well before lunch.
And then there's the "knowledge" that it's important to eat so that the metabolism stays revved up. So if I'm not hungry and I don't eat, am I sabotaging my weight loss effort?
So many questions and very few clear, certain answers.
What I believe I'm learning is that I need to listen to my body. It's hard, this listening to my body. I've ignored it for so long that I barely know it. I've been a dictator, ignoring the needs of my body, doing what I decided was seemly. Like staying up late to do things I felt I must instead of going to bed for sleep. Or skimping on fresh fruit--which I enjoy--because canned fruit is cheaper--which I don't enjoy.
I imagine this season will pass. For now it is to my benefit-- it's certainly easier to eat less food when you're not hungry--so I'll try and make the most of it. But I won't be too surprised if I wake up tomorrow starving.
"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."