Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Stop Fighting your Body!!

I remember a time when I would eat and eat, no matter how it made me feel, either short term or long term. I would eat so much cheesecake I felt literally sick. My stomach would be screaming for mercy but I kept on shoveling it in. It tasted too good to stop! And look at the effects! It made me tired and irritable, caused me pain in my knees, gave me headaches and bad skin, and made me twice the size of normal people. But I kept eating. I was fighting my body.

If you are fat, here is my advice: Stop fighting your body!! Start listening to it instead. Your body will TELL you it does not want a Big Mac and fries and a Coke. Your body will TELL you it does not want 4 Snickers bars. Listen!! Stop shoving down your instincts and the messages your body is sending you! Do a little exercise: sit and eat something, very slowly. Do this when you are hungry, or starting to get hungry. After each bite sit for a minute, and LISTEN. Listen to your body. Is it okay with more? Is it getting close to satisfied? Take another bite. Stop. Listen. Think. Feel. Soon you will feel something different. If you eat slowly and mindfully enough, you will get signals from your body telling you it is almost full, ready to stop, or TOO full. Pay attention!! Stop when your body says to!

This is a new concept for me. The other day I was eating my favorite sandwich: a turkey BLT on wheat. When I got about 3/4 done, suddenly I felt that signal. The switch flipped, so to speak. And I knew I was done. In the past, I would keep eating right through that signal. Finish that sandwich. After all, I can handle the calories, it is healthy, and what's 1/4 more of a sandwich anyway? What it is, if I eat it when my body says not to, is a form of self-abuse. It is forcing myself to eat something that is not going to benefit me, and it is telling my body, "Shut up! You don't know what you are talking about! Get lost! I will do what I want! Your opinion doesn't matter!" Now, you wouldn't talk that way to a friend, would you? So why talk to yourself that way? Be your own friend. Listen to your body. And so, I put the 1/4 BLT down. I didn't pick the bacon off and eat it, and I didn't take another bite. I showed myself the respect I deserve and stopped eating.

The same thing happened to me at dinner tonight. I was enjoying my reasonable portions of sauteed yellow squash, carrot sticks with hummus, and one sloppy Joe made with ground turkey, on a bun. I was halfway through my meal when I thought, "I am starting to get full. A few more bites and I will be done." I really wanted that sandwich!!!!!!!! But in order to respect myself, I made a choice. I took off the top bun and ate the meat with the bottom bun only, and a few bites of hummus. By the time I fished that, I was done. I got the message to stop, and I stopped, leaving some squash and a top bun on my plate. It was just right. And if I keep listening to my body, someday soon my body will listen to me... and I will have the health I so desire and reach the weight that is best for me.


Missy said...

We're living parallel lives. Really.

Chubby Chick said...

Girl, your posts are so profound and AWESOME! I can't get enough! lol

I totally know where you are coming from with this one. The other night I was eating a healthy portion of turkey chili for dinner. A two cup serving fit nicely into my daily calorie allowance. But something happened while I was eating the chili. I started to get full halfway through. That had NEVER happened to me before! Or maybe it had, and I just didn't listen to my body.

Anyway, I should have stopped eating. But I didn't. I rationalized in my mind that it was OK if I ate the whole bowl because I was not going over my calorie limit for the day. So I ate the whole bowl. And I ended up feeling stuffed and yucky. Oh, how I wish I had listened to my body and stopped when it said "enough!" So even though I was within my calorie limit, I still over-ate. A hard lesson learned!

Twix said...

I can hear what you are talking about! You do have to stop and listen. The voice is there. We just have shut it up for so long! Thank you for reminding us to stop and listen!

The Lassie said...

It still seems quite weird for me to really only eat as much as your body needs/wants and then stop, instead of just eating what's on your plate/table. To accomplish making that second nature is a huge step forward in my eyes!

Anonymous said...

I am saving this as another one of my favorite posts so far, and I'm only on August 07!