Sunday was my bridal shower. In spite of the fact that I’m a teacher and a belly dance performer, I really dislike being the center of attention. When I dance, people are paying attention to me for all of five minutes. As a teacher, I lead field trips and do in class presentations for a wildlife sanctuary so I’m contending with the chipmunks for kids’ attention. So, I’ve done a pretty good job of convincing myself that I can just fade into the background.
At a bridal shower, with a boa around my neck and a shiny tiara on my head it’s a little difficult to hide.
Binge Eating for Any Reason
I ate a late breakfast because I knew there would be food at the shower and I was trying to time my hunger. On the drive to my shower I was hungry because nearly five hours had passed since breakfast. But as people started showing up, I no longer noticed my hunger as I was busy greeting friends and relatives.
However, when I went up to the buffet, I took a sampling of many of the foods so my plate was full. I was busy talking and eating, so I didn’t really register what I was consuming. I didn’t feel hungry but I polished my plate. I took a sampling of the food to be polite to my matron of honor and her daughter as well as my future mother-in-law and a friend who made food. Did anyone notice what I ate? Probably not.
In retrospect, I could have ate less at the bridal shower and gone home with food to eat when I got hungry later in the evening. I did end up dining on the mini crescent roll-wrapped hot dogs and tiny quiches that came home with me. When I ate them the night of the shower I was tired but not hungry, probably because I ate a good-size lunch.
Giving in to Compulsive Eating
In The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person, Judith Beck, PhD (Oxmoor House, 2008) says that people don’t eat unconsciously. At some point, we make the conscious decision to eat compulsively. We may have the stressful moment where we go back and forth, “I want to eat that cupcake, but I really shouldn’t. I want to eat that cupcake. Well, one won’t really matter.”
Instead, she suggests that we shouldn’t consider eating or not eating as an option, but give ourselves a clear response that eliminates the option of binging. “I want to eat that cupcake, but I don’t have a choice if I want to lose weight. Oh, well. No choice.”
Now, I want to learn to follow intuitive eating – eat what I want when I’m hungry, pay attention to what I’m eating, and stop when I’m satisfied. Beck’s suggested self-talk could work at those times when I want to eat but I’m not hungry. It’s one more thing to try on this journey.