A few days ago I discussed how I was going to pay attention to how my body and mind reacted to different foods. I’m one of those “shovel it in” eaters and no, that doesn’t just apply to foods that taste good. I have a friend who is an incredibly picky eater and, quite honestly, I’m astounded that she doesn’t eat foods that she doesn’t like.
Yucky Food and Binge Eating?
I’m convinced that an eating binge is not about food. It is a vehicle to unwinding and zoning out when we don’t want to deal with an emotion. Unfortunately, food is also energy.
That means that the bad habits we develop when bingeing can also slide over to meals – we eat fast, we don’t pay attention to whether we are getting full, we avoid noticing if food tastes good, and we do other things while eating so we don’t have to acknowledge what we are doing to ourselves.
Conscious Eating and Food Favorites
Even the overweight have foods that they don’t want to eat. For years I bought yogurt because it’s full of calcium and it’s supposed to be a good diet snack or part of a meal. I can’t tell you how much yogurt I threw out because after eating one or two single-serving containers, I couldn’t take any more.
I don’t like the texture and when people convinced me to try Greek yogurt I still didn’t like the texture. I think the consistency of fat free yogurt is the worst. On the other hand, I enjoy eating chocolate. However, I am not a chocoholic even though I have frequently binged on chocolate. When I really taste the chocolate I’m eating I realize it is a take-it-or-leave it food. It may be conditioning, but if I’m near chocolate, I will eat it in vast quantities. Crazy, huh?
My experiment into paying attention to how my body feels from eating different foods (along with what my mind is telling me about eating) has shown me a few things, some of which I knew but I do ignore.
I can’t eat sweets for breakfast. I will get a raging headache and start binging when my blood sugar drops. I do better with some protein – peanut butter on toast, an egg, a high-protein cereal. Also, I want to eat breakfast at 6:30 a.m. or 10 a.m.
It doesn’t matter what I eat for lunch, I want a snack at 3:00 – 3:30. I don’t like yogurt but occasionally I’ll eat cottage cheese. White meat chicken leaves me bloated, the same thing with pork (but not red meat). I can drink a half glass of milk but not a full glass without feeling ill. Cheese is okay but you don’t want to stand too close if I’ve had ice cream.
Now, if I was a reasonable and sensible person I would avoid the foods that don’t make me feel good. I would also avoid foods that I don’t really love. Like the friend I mentioned above who doesn’t eat foods she doesn’t like, I too may have people marvel at my refusal of ice cream. I you are reading this and you’re not an emotional eater, you probably think that I am one messed up chick (and, perhaps, that is the case). If you are an emotional eater, you too are facing the decision I need to make – to treat my body with respect.