“If you eat when you are not physically hungry, then how do you know when to stop eating?”
I heard this question in week one of my 30-day challenge, and it hit me. I was listening to a Mindful Eating masterclass on my CALM app, while swimming laps in the pool.
I stopped mid-lap when I heard the question.
How do I know when to stop eating?
This question the first week of my mindful eating challenge, brought me to a new level of awareness- I did not let myself get hungry. Truly physically hungry. I had lost that somewhere over the years and didn’t even realize it. And when I did think I was hungry, it was really that my blood sugar took a nose-dive because of the amount of sugary foods I had been eating. I still wasn’t truly physically hungry.
So, hearing the question had me reflecting. What made me stop eating? It was definitely NOT being full, as I was stuffed, painfully stuffed, more often than I wasn’t. So, what was making me stop eating? The empty bag of chips I just finished? The acid reflux that was painful? The nauseous feeling of overeating? Having to change from my jeans to my sweats for comfort? My husband walking through the door?
That question changed the trajectory of my journey. And I started paying attention to my physical signals for hunger, instead of the emotional, head and heart, signals. THAT has made a difference. I have eaten less this second week. I am eating when I am physically hungry, most of the time, instead of for other reasons. When I eat for true physical hunger, I eat less. I am not stuffed. I don’t have huge blood sugar drops. I don’t have acid reflux. I don’t hide food. And I can wear my jeans all day.
This is what mindful eating does! I am still not tracking my food. But I AM paying attention. I AM being more mindful. Yes, there are still moments of mindless eating, but they are becoming less often, as I get more mindful.
This is what this challenge was about.
So, what is driving you to eat? Do you know when you are physically hungry? What tells you that you are physically hungry? What differences do you see when you are mindful and eat mostly (because this is not a perfect journey) for physical hunger rather than emotional hunger?
I am feeling so much better already! More to come on what I have learned these first 14 days.