Have you ever had this experience?
You’re full, too full. Your stomach hurts, its uncomfortable to sit up straight.. you’ve probably eaten too much. Maybe it was salad, maybe it was vegan ice cream. Bottom line is, you should be done eating.. Boom! Suddenly you’re hit with this dying need. I need more food. I need something sweet. I need one more bite… You don’t NEED anything, you are full, but thats how you feel.
So you say to yourself “No I don’t” and you squeeze your eyes closed, and images of little dancing slices of bread and chocolates, and all the left overs in your fridge dance in your head. Theres this frantic energy to it. I need to eat. I have to have it. I need this now. I need more. Part of you know its false, but it’s so loud in your mind. JUST ONE MORE BITE!
What is this? What causes this?
- This Idea of “I need” reminds me of the idea of ‘Scarcity’. Are we denying ourselves what we want (food) to the point where its value becomes irresistible?
I recently read a book on non-monogamy where they talked about the idea of this false belief in the scarcity of our partners love, as if there is a finite amount, and this energy going elsewhere makes us jealous. its mine and I need it. This is a similar feeling in my experience. That desperate cling. This leads me to eating disorders. Anyone who’s struggled with restricting calories can tell you, the value of food become immersible. Its all you see/think of/ want. Feed me, your body is shouting. In a way, Binge eating, this kind of Anxious over eating is a reult of a scarcity created by restriciting. You get your foot in the door, a taste of the forbidden fruit, and suddenly you are frantic. More More More. If this is the cause, is the cure abundance? I know a lot of Raw Vegan Youtubers would certainly say so. If you’re body knows you are going to feed it, it will eventually calm down… Unless it doesn’t?
- Emotional eating. A buzz term if I have ever heard one. What does it mean? according to the Mayo Clinic “Emotional eating is eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness. ” I feel like this one is spring loaded with problems:
* Humans aren’t stupid. Broccoli doesn’t fix a broken heart. If we try to equate other behavior it doesn’t substitute out easily unless you’re talking about drugs. but drugs are used to regulate emotions because they alter them. Does Cauliflower alter your mood like Marijuana does… no? I bet by now you’re shouting that people emotionally eat chocolate and cake not broccoli and cauliflower– but why? Doug lisle attributes this more to the drug like properties of highly processed foods like cakes and cookies.
“If we then follow the evidence and the logic, we can assume that the solution is to subtract foods of excess from our daily fare. And, as we subtract meat, fish, fowl, eggs, dairy products, oil, salt, sugar, and refined carbohydrates from our diet, what remains are foods that promote health. Fresh fruits and vegetables, tubers, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds fill the void after the subtraction has taken place. In response, the previously overburdened body begins to regain its health.”
― Douglas J. Lisle, I love Doug Lisle, and I totally agree that this is 100% true and valid.. but I have a problem. The night I was talking about when I posted this I had over eaten… sautéed cabbage… sautéed with water, lemon juice and a bit of mustard. I ate so much of it I was in physical pain. Suddenly all I could think about was eating a mandarin orange. Why? Are these my new “foods of excess” ? Dr. Lisle would say “no”. He doesn’t believe in emotional eating, he doesn’t believe in bingeing on whole plant foods. So why am I doing this?
- Pattern. When I was bulimic I had a pretty set pattern. I wouldn’t go out planning on starting this cycle, but here is what would happen
- I’d eat a reasonable amount of food. A meal. Having planned on eating less than a reasonable amount I start to panic. I have overeaten.
- My brain jumps into “Fight, Flight, Freeze” what do I do? I messed up. Do I: Go exercise, say 100 hail Ana’s and pray I don’t gain? Do I make up for it by fasting tomorrow? Do I PURGE it and get rid of the problem.
- Having decided my digression is unforgivable and unfixable I make a decision to purge.
- Knowing now that anything i’ve consumed is coming back up I decide “why not eat one more…” etc.
- after a while this becomes so engrained that a slightly full stomach triggers the mental process of “I’ve eaten too much, I need to fix this, I may as well eat more.” once one becomes “Healthy” and stops purging the association between full stomach and “just keep eating” is already so deeply engraved. People spend lots of time and money learning to disconnect “I’m full” from “go vomit” but don’t spend equal time dismantling the connection of “I’m full” and “I screwed up, feed more more” You aren’t chasing a chemical cocktail of sweets, salt and fat in this case. You have just conditioned yourself to behave a certain way when you feel a certain sensation, you haven’t differentiated the stimuli. A big salad is not the same as a huge pizza, but it sometimes FEELS the same.
- In that moment. That NEED for one more bite, what are we looking for? Sometimes I find myself refilling my plate when it is only half empty. I catch myself doing this and a small voice from the back of my head whispers. “I don’t want it to be over yet” What I’m looking for is an extended experience of pleasure. I don’t want it to end, this is the best part of the day. The fact that I could eat some later seems to escape me… More, more more! Now, now, now!
SO whats the answer? All of these thoughts of greed and consumptions, self hatred and abuse, looking for love and happiness to be fulfilled from food rather than life. There is a quote in the minimalist communities that I hear a lot. It’s, get value and joy from life, not from stuff. and this applies here too. I don’t think the answer is to diet or eat bland food. I believe the answer is to find love and joy in life. To know that by eating you are nourishing your body, and by stopping before you are in physical pain you are taking care of yourself.
To me, I need to be mindful, I need to listen to how I talk to myself and treat my body. I need to avoid the “foot in the door” mentality. If I over eat or mess up, I forgive myself and move on.
Our thoughts are energy, and they become reality when we believe them.
I am Beautiful. I am Strong. I am Capable. I TAKE CARE OF MY BODY. I LISTEN to my body.
We’ve got this guys =)