Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Tale of Two Snacks

My appetite has been doing funky things lately—a.k.a growling when it shouldn't be, not adhering to my self-imposed meal times, and generally being majorly uncooperative. I suppose it shouldn't come as a shock that resuming exercise would make me hungrier, but my brain is still struggling to come to grips with it. To be clear, I do try to increase my intake on the days I work out, and am fine with it in theory, but actually putting those increases into practice is completely unintuitive.

If I haven't reiterated this lately, I'm a slave to my routine. Same foods, same times, every day. I count the calories of everything that passes through my lips. Over the last few months, I've gotten way less rigid than I used to be (and I eat way more than I used to), but the dependence on routine is completely entrenched. So, unexpected hunger does not fit into my self-imposed regime because, quite simply, I never eat according to hunger cues. I only eat when it's time to eat.

At the same time, though, I'm getting better at bucking my own rules. Case in point: yesterday, I'd already eaten breakfast, lunch, and snack by around 4pm or so. I was sitting in the library trying to read when my stomach decided to rebel and started grumbling like crazy. I got that sick, empty, hungry feeling that even I can't ignore. BUT what to do? Snack time was over. It was a long time until dinner. WHAT THE HELL DOES ONE DO IN THIS SCENARIO?

Well, I suppose there were a few options. (1) Keep trying to ignore it until either the people around me started complaining about the sound of my tummy grumblings, or until I passed out from hunger. (2) Guzzle water/coffee/diet soda, chew gum, suck on a mint etc. or any one of a million anorexic tricks to play on the brain-gut connection. Or, finally (3) Eat something.

This whole dilemma took a while to work through, but in the end I decided to be a rational, mature, intelligent, recovery-minded grown-up person and go with option (3). Yes, believe it or not, I went downstairs to the coffee shop and bought a snack. An EXTRA snack. Technically it wasn't food but a drink with calories instead, which was easier for my brain to process for some reason (maybe a throwback to my Boost days?), but regardless, it was totally out of character for me to take in something extra based on hunger cues. Who does that? 


And maybe the most notable part of this whole story is that I didn't even really feel guilty afterwards. Maybe a little, but it was more just general body image ickiness than true omgwhydidIeatthat guilt. It felt logical and—dare I say—satisfying to listen to my body instead of endlessly overanalyzing. Hoping to make this a trend, and hopefully Dr. P will be as impressed with my impromptu snackage as I was.


  1. Well done!!
    That sounds like a break through to me
    Listening to what your body needs and allowing yourself it without negative consequence
    It's all these little changes that add up to big ones
    Be proud of yourself x

  2. Yay! That's so wonderful and a really major step!!!

  3. I'm glad I've been reading your posts! You're progress is both inspiring and motivating for me! But also, I can relate to where you're at in every one of your posts so that makes me feel like I'm not alone! Pretty much I'm in the same "spot" as you recovery wise. Even reading this made me laugh because I did the same thing today at school! I had already had my snack 3:00 on the dot, but my stomach growled! Totally weird for wasn't "time" to be hungry until 5:30 body! But I got a coffee even though it wasn't "time" for that. Felt good though!
    Thanks for all of your honest posts! If it helps me I'm sure it helps others!
    Pretty much you're awesome!