I actually have a person in my life who – whilst we were having a conversation about food – came to the realisation that she doesn’t like eating.
Yes, you read that right, she actually doesn’t like eating and would rather not if she can get away with it.
Now, you do not need to worry about this person, she’s skinny, obviously, but not ill or underweight, she’s perfectly healthy and she does actually eat. She just apparently doesn’t like the act of eating.
I could not believe the words that were coming out of her mouth, especially since there’s nothing better that I like to do than eat.
Even when I’m eating a meal, I will be wondering where my next meal is going to come from. You know those people who say you should do the food shopping after a meal? This has no affect on me whatsoever, my brain still looks at those gooey-filled-with-sugar-and-processed-foods with an air of ‘ooh, I’d fancy that later, I’ll get two.’
Growing up, food was always a reward. And takeaways weren’t just an occasional treat. The richer the food, the better. We would compete for the biggest dinners which meant that everyone had to have the same amount on their plate, as a twelve year old girl I would have roughly the same amount of food on my plate as my dad had on his. If not, cries of ‘she’s got more dinner than me!’ would ring out amongst us siblings.
I see now that this is wrong but that mentality is still with me and I’m not ashamed to say that I still get a little upset if I don’t feel I’m going to get enough food to fill me up of a meal. OK maybe I’m a little ashamed.
I like to graze. I like to feel full. Eating gives me something to do. It makes me feel better when I’m down or stressed and usually if I’m doing something with friends it will revolve around a meal or food of some sort.
But lately it’s been getting a bit out of hand and the pounds are beginning to creep up on me.
So, I need to change the way I think about food so that it doesn’t take up so much of my thoughts and actions.
Seriously, my life revolves around food.
What can I do about it?
- Know that it is OK to feel hungry. I have not yet found myself in a position where I am starving to death and I am very unlikely to find that I would ever be in that position. Embrace the hunger.
- Stop thinking of food as a reward, think of it as fuel. Eating for eating’s sake is just going to make me store fat, so unless I am hungry – try not to eat.
- Drink water. I am terrible at drinking. I need to be drinking more water so I can distinguish better between when I am hungry and when I’m actually thirsty.
- Have two days a week of fasting. A.K.A, the 5:2 diet. As long as I don’t find on the five days that I am eating even more than before, then I will try to make this a lifestyle change. Every Tuesday and Thursday I will limit my calorie intake to between 500-600 calories for the whole day.
- Know that if I have a ‘bad day’ of eating, that that won’t kill me either and to just make sure the next day is a more nutritious one for my body.
- Work out at least three times a week. I will go running with Dan on a Monday morning, Wednesday evening and Friday morning, and either a Saturday or Sunday; and I will add yoga into my morning routine (though it’s so hard to get up earlier during these darker months).
I think that’s enough to be getting on with. Although short of just not-eating I don’t know how else to get a better relationship with food so that it doesn’t rule me.
I’ve added fasting to my routine already and today is the first day.
I had my normal mixture of oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, honey, soya yoghurt and banana for breakfast. I also forgot I was limiting my calories and had a cup of tea with milk but hey ho, it’s only the first day.
I made rocket soup for lunch and enough to last me for the next three weeks worth of fasting days. This was surprisingly really tasty. Not filling in the slightest but tasty.
Celery and mushrooms for snacks throughout the day.
And for dinner I will be making up a concoction of spicy mixed beans with cauliflower rice, lettuce and wraps.
I sat yesterday for most of the day writing down the calorie amounts for varying foods to the equivalent of 1 cup so I could gauge what would be the better options for me.
For example, 1 cup of chicken has around 335 calories which doesn’t leave me with very many calories to play with for the rest of the day, whereas 1 cup of tofu has around 188 calories.
I know what I get like when I’m hungry and I know that I will be hungry on these days, but if I can be more savvy with what I’m eating and be able to ease the hunger pangs through having more of the fewer calorie filled foods, then it will hopefully be a smoother transition for my brain (and body) to make. I’ll do a follow up of how I’m getting on with my two days and what effect it has on my five days in a few weeks (or I won’t if I completely forget that I’m meant to even be doing this after a couple of days break).
Although I know I’ll never get to the stage of ‘not liking to eat’, I would settle for me being in charge of my eating not the food being in charge of me.
Until next time. x
Photo by Brooke Lark via Unsplash