I was never one to leave food on my plate. I took seconds and felt this pull to eat every single item sitting in front of me. I guess you could say I had a good appetite and well the weight didn’t come on suddenly overnight all because of PCOS. It also packed on because I am an overeater.
“Overeater: Individuals suffering from compulsive overeating are obsessed with food and typically eat when they are not hungry. They devote excessive amounts of time and thought to food and secretly plan to eat or fantasize about doing so. Compulsive overeaters engage in frequent episodes of uncontrolled eating, or binge eating.” Source
I never truly understood that phrase till recently to be honest. I ate like I always had, so fast that my stomach would hurt instantly afterwards and still I would be shoving those last few bites on my plate into my mouth. It was like I couldn’t stand the idea of leaving any food on my plate or the idea that someone else would take offense if I didn’t finish my whole meal. Afterwards my stomach would be bloated and I would be in pain. It hurts to eat that much in case you are wondering.
Recently I have been practicing moderation. A concept that was so foreign to me I actually Googled the meaning of it just to clarify I had the right word.
“Moderation is the process of eliminating or lessening extremes. It is used to ensure normality throughout the medium on which it is being conducted.” Source
Yep, that is exactly the right word. I am an extreme overeater trying to become some one who doesn’t eat till they feel they are going to explode. Moderation.
I realized it wasn’t so much what I was eating, though that is a problem as well, it was a problem with the amount of food I was eating. For example: Pizza night at our house consists of a large pizza, a big salad and usually wings for the husband. I would eat a 3-4 wings, eat my salad and then shove 3-4 pieces of pizza in my face before I even realized what I was doing. It was like I was afraid someone would take it away from me before I could eat it. Like I was in some solo eating contest. Last night the husband and I had errands to run, bills to pay, house hold supplies that were needed and when we got home we had a house to clean. Nights like that we both forget the time and end up needing dinner in a hurry. So we ordered pizza. Gives us an opportunity to finish what we are doing before it arrives. Once we sat down, I ate my salad, took 1 wing and 1 piece of pizza. Than I was done. No more. My stomach didn’t hurt and I realized that I felt fine. I wasn’t hungry. The pizza would still be there for tomorrow’s left overs. No one was going to steal it and run. Even if they did, I could always order more some other time.
This isn’t the first time. I have been doing this with most of my meals for the last month or so. Practicing what it feels like not to finish everything on my plate, eating slowly and really asking myself if I am full yet or not. The more I practice moderation, the better I feel about food in general and the easier my anxiety about food is to deal with. Also the better choices I make when eating. I will take vegetables over junk food and most of the time I won’t want desert.
Is the system flawless?
No, I still overeat but it is a process. One in which I have to remind myself calmly to take slow and easy bites. One where I have to tell myself to sit for a bit with what I ate and take more later if I need it. I have to constantly remind myself to be careful with what I eat and how much I am eating. It is an exhausting process but it is easier not to be uncomfortable all the time due to a really full belly. It is nice to not feel so controlled by food.
So, how do you practice moderation in your life or weight loss journey?