Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Full Factor

Hi, my name is Kelsey and I love to eat.  If I'm sad, ice cream will surely cheer me up.  If I'm happy, let's celebrate... how about dinner?  If I'm stressed out, how about some cheesecake?  If I am having a pity party, nothing sounds better than a big greasy cheeseburger.  If I'm mad... well then I usually lose my appetite (but not for long).  I suppose this means I'm an emotional eater, but my cravings are not always triggered by emotions, I truly love food.  I don't feel like food fills any void for me, but I suppose I do eat the way some people drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes.

I feel like, if I could improve upon portion control, my love of food wouldn't have to be a problem.  I assume the problem lies in what I like to call The Full Factor.  I have no clue when I am full.  Every juicy crispy bite of a cheeseburger feels like the first.  Seconds?  Yes please.  Thirds?  Well I would hate to be rude.  Dessert?  Duh.
I don't feel full until at least a half of an hour after I've eaten and I am absolutely stuffed stupid.  I am like a darn goldfish who has only a 2 second memory and will eat until it explodes.  There have been so many times of mindless eating when I look down and am shocked that the whole (fill in the blank) is gone!  I feel like I should host commercials for the Clean Plate Club.  "I'm not just a charter member, I'm also the founder and president." 
Today, for example, I weighed myself at the gym and I've lost one of my two gained holiday pounds (hooray), so what do I do?  I ask my husband to bring home Chinese food for dinner (I jokingly told him that I just looked too pretty to cook today... he laughed and played along).  Later, while filled to the gills with chicken fried rice, we were making our grocery list, I said "I don't know, honey, all I can think about is ice cream."  So I braved (stupidly risked seems more fitting) the dangerously icy streets for vanilla soft serve mixed with Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and M&Ms.  Can we say self-sabotage?
A routine that I got into a while back (but have fallen out of) was to, before sitting down at the table, put all of the leftovers away so that there were no 'seconds' in sight.  That seemed to help.  Eating off a dessert plate instead of a dinner plate is also helpful.  Although this does not make broccoli taste more like chocolate.  What helps most, though, is actually eating at the dining room table and not at the coffee table in front of the television.  This way I have to pay attention to the bites I'm taking. 
I'm fairly certain part of my issues with knowing when I'm full come from years and years of binging and purging.  I've been healthy for 7 years, you would think my goldfish brain would have improved by now.  But I suppose it takes a long time to undo a bad habit, and to my acclaim I've defeated the second half of it (go me).  I know that it is going to take a lot of practice to teach myself the meaning of a healthy portion.  But sometimes this is what healthy portions seem to look like:
I have been trying to remind myself of the advice I gave a few blogs ago, about only eating what you love (it can be hard if you love most all food like me) and not wasting calories on food that's not TO.DIE.FOR delicious.  I've been working on actually tasting each bite instead of rushing through each meal like a competitive eater (which I would probably be good at).  These are hard habits to break.  It's not as if I can give up eating to break my poor behavior, to fix my 'unhealthy relationship with food' (that's what a lady on the radio called it the other day).  I feel like I am trying to rewire 27 years of bad habits... that's not easy to do.  Especially in a society that encircles food as it's core character.  While we can't change society, we can change our behavior.  Gluttony doesn't have to be your lifestyle.
Be healthy, love yourself and remember... you're In Good Company.

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