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Archive for the ‘hunger’ Category

I got through it ok, just lasted a couple of days. Then a quilt retreat came along and I’ve been happily occupied with that.

An interesting thing happened on the way to a piece of banana bread. At the retreat, everyone was talking about how good the banana bread was, and I took a piece to try. Grabbing my coffee, I realized I wanted to spend some time MOL alone, so I went outside and sat  on the terrace.

It was almost like mediation, and the coffee and the bread just sat there. After a while, I tasted the bread and, while it was indeed tasty, I knew I wasn’t hungry and didn’t want it. Eventually I tried a bit more, but the feeling of “Yuck! I don’t want to put any more of that in my body’  became strong enough that I felt confident it was true. I eventually dropped the piece into the trash, discreetly covering it with a napkin so as not to insult the baker (it was tasty), and went on my way without a care in the world.

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I’m currently working with two of the IOWL  guided journeys, Sabotage Self-Sabotage and Appetite Adjuster.

They aren’t magic, they are NLP-kind of activities that get you into the right mindset to do what you need to do. That’s the key, by the way. Having the right mindset so you move actively towards the skill you want to have (in my case, a naturally slender intuitive eater).

What does the Sabotage journey give me? A mechanism that helps me analyze my internal conflicts and choose a better option than food.

What does the Appetite journey give me? I’ve run it about a half-dozen times so far. I’m starting to be able to look at food and choose to not eat it because I’m not quite hungry enough and because eating it at that time does not meet my goals.

So I’m sorta combining the two techniques into one path for me. If you’re thinking about buying these, think about this before you decide. If that’s where your head is at, they might be helpful. If you’re still really into deep emotional turmoil over eating and “shoulding” on yourself a lot, don’t bother. Just give yourself plenty of loving self-care. One day something like these might be helpful, but not right now.

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When I woke up this morning, I knew that I was satisfied with the Sabotage Self-sabotage guided journey, and what I have gotten out of it so far.

So far, I have worked through many conflicts that spur me to overeat, mostly emotionally. Many of these conflicts are resolved, but more importantly, I know how to recognize a conflict and how to accept it and take action on it without eating to compensate. That is success. I figure that this “internal conflict resolution” skill will keep growing as I continue to practice it.

Now I feel ready to work on hunger and fullness, so I bought the Appetite Adjuster guided journey from the same therapist, Renee Stephens. Journeys are available for purchase here, on hotdoodle.

After downloading the 22M file, I immediately listened to it. It’s about 18 minutes long, and has a slightly different structure than the Sabotage Self-sabotage journey.

There’s a thorough relaxation phase, a hunger switch recognition phase, and a teach yourself satisfaction phase. My immediate learnings are:

  • I knew what my switch feels like. When I am satisfied, I have a little sigh.
  • The big thing is, instead of feeling satisfied at the end of a meal, I feel satisfaction at the FIRST BITE. That means I always want more first bites, since they are satisfying.
  • Last bites create feelings of loss, rather than satisfaction
  • The feeling satisfied at the first bite is related to feelings of dissatisfaction at the end of the previous activity. When I eat, I’m more or less always using the first bite to create a food-induced feeling of satisfaction at whatever I just stopped doing. It’s a little funky, but I’m sure that’s what is happening.

How to change my funky thinking? First, I want to end activities with some little mental ceremony, so I don’t feel the need to eat after the end of each activity.

Second, I will deliberately use self-talk to positively end my meals, thereby creating a satisfaction experience at the end instead of the beginning.

Can I recommend that other people buy these journeys? Maybe. I’ve done quite a bit of analytic work to make sure I’m ready to take action based on these journeys. I’ve studied NLP, gone through many intuitive eating learning experiences, so I feel it’s appropriate for me. Two years ago, it probably wouldn’t have been right, but now it’s helping me make connections and take action I couldn’t have done back then.

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Brownies were my binge food for toothache (yes, I get the irony).

Chips and crunchy snacks were the binges for work stress. When the salt had overpowered my mouth so much that it hurt, I would add dip or sweets to make me feel better.

Chocolate was my binge food for sadness.

All of those foods never made me feel better, they only left me feeling worse.

Look at it this way: The toothache or work stress comes. It’s painful, unpleasant, and I feel bad. So I go through my day, or through the dentist visit, and go home. Miserable, sad and in pain.

Then the hunger strikes. A raw, limitless hunger that is driven by anything BUT a physical need for food. Without knowing it, I would grab for the perfect binge food to “solve” the pain.

The binge food works like a drug. I got a small high, then needed more. Eventually my taste buds would be overwhelmed, which induced me to stuff it in faster. That was followed by an overwhelmingly full stomach, which did not always make me stop stuffing, but did make me feel worse.

The binge would end by me collapsing into the actual emotion that I should have expressed earlier, but with all the pain and discomfort added on top. Plus the weight gain.

How was that working for me? Pretty lousy, actually. I always ended up feeling worse.

Stage 1: the actual stress or pain. Painful and unpleasant

Stage 2: rather than deal with that emotion, I start eating. Feels good for about 15 minutes.

Stage 3: My taste buds get numb, and if it’s salty food, my tongue starts to hurt and my blood pressure spikes. That’s a whole new level of feeling bad.

Stage 4: The stuffing continues. My stomach starts to hurt, I’m getting a headache.

Stage 5: I collapse into a food “coma.” My senses are dulled, and I can’t think about anything. The TV prattles on, often I cry, then I doze off.

Stage 6: the hangover starts. My belly is starting to empty, my digestive tract is full, I get cramps as the crap works its way through my body. My vitals start to return to normal.

Stage 7: post-hangover, I feel exhausted, and mad at myself. Funny thing is, the problem is not even addressed.

Binges make me feel worse than not binging. I’m glad they’re gone.

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“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”

It’s clear to me that I’m ready to make a new kind of change, and this change consists of many bab steps. Multiple times a day, I  don’t make a tiny decision until I’ve asked, “Can I do this better for the way I want to live?”

Some examples:

  • making lunch today, I chose to cut back on the protein in order to asve some calories. Ditto for cooking dinner and reducing the fat
  • listening to podcasts, I deleted several, reminding myself that I’d rather be working with my daughter on her project or assembling my sewing room

My wish food-wise is to build a habit of eating just enough so I am nicely hungry at the next meal time. Taking the Inside-Out Weight Loss suggestion into account, I take a deep breath and “set my intent” to burn energy from my body’s stored resources (fat) first, then take in more.

Deep brething is fantastic. It calms me, gives me time to listen to my emotions, and gives me the chance to choose the best for myself.

Because I’m worth the best.

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Sorry to be away so long, but I was traveling, and my expected internet connection fell through. It was a lovely trip, though, and I learned that life is indeed possible without overindulging in podcasts every day. Yes, a podcast binge. Sigh. At least they’re low calorie.

My trip went well food-wise. It was a trip to the USA, so I made sure to enjoy all of my favorite foods like cottage cheese and country sausage. Even ate at Bob Evans once. Haven’t had that in a while, and I found out that my own home-made sausage recipe was only missing one thing from Bob Evans’ recipe: pepper. When I tasted that delicious BE sausage, I immediately noticed the black pepper flavor. That’s great news, because that means I can better approximate the taste of the sausage myself.

Today I’m back at work, and surrounded by cake on three sides. I kid you not, it’s within arm’s reach to my left (I don’t even have to stand up), it’s 3 feet away on my right, and I have an invitation for cake in an hour right in front of me in email. The cake to the left smells good, but I can’t imagine eating it. It’s like those babies who are SOOO cute when you’re looking at them, but you don’t really want to take them home with you, because you know what the diapers will smell like.

Not that the cake is poopy, mind you, but rather it’s just not going to feel good in my stomach. The cake on my right is just plain icky, clearly the cake of a non-baker, flat and dry looking. No interest in it at all.

The cake that will come in an hour might be better, and if I want some then, I’ll eat some. It’s an apple cake to celebrate the 50th birthday of a friend.

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More and more often I feel not hungry, but eat anyway. Yet I eat meals on a schedule, even though I could wait without consequences. I also eat between meals without a significant hunger. What the heck is that about?

Some possible reasons include:

  • the habit of eating at regular times makes me feel comforted and secure
  • chewing is a pleasurable activity (this is also a good reason that it’s hard to stop eating once you’ve started)
  • what would I do if I didn’t eat?
  • cravings. peanut butter cookies sound really good right now, and I would certainly put in some effort, in spite of the other fun things to do in my life.
  • Eating to prevent future hunger
  • Cooking one a way to relieve stress in other areas of my life.

Some things that are NOT reasons:

  • boredom – there are more things to do in my life than I have time for
  • social – we’ve pretty much separated our mealtimes as a family, and we only do communal cooking on weekends

I can’t even figure out if I’m getting any particular comfort from the activity. I do know that it sometimes makes me feel bad to eat, and I’m starting to sense when I punish myself with food.

Oh well, this is one of those classic times in which I’ve given myself a mental block to prevent myself from learning the real reason. Now to just let that all sink in, and see what the real reason is.

Off to make those cookies. I think I’ll use the recipe below. Only add a little honey and maybe some chopped nuts.

Hmmm. Maybe I eat/cook because it’s a creative activity and that’s a good change from my engineer’s life.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour, sift or stir before measuring
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg

Preparation:

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. Cream shortening, peanut butter, and sugars; beat in vanilla and egg. Stir in flour mixture, blending well. Shape mixture into 3/4-inch balls; place on greased baking sheets. Flatten each cookie with the tines of a fork; dip fork in flour periodically to keep it from sticking to the peanut butter cookie dough.
Bake peanut butter cookies at 375° for about 10 to 12 minutes.

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