I notice how my appetite continues to change and my awareness continues to evolve. With food and body image, things are different than they were last week, or last year, or five years ago. I'm still learning, still getting better at tuning into what I need. Sometimes I need to learn the same thing more than once (understatement!). I've been consuming a standard ginormous breakfast that is so big it's difficult to physically fit in my stomach. Once I've stuffed myself this full, I won't get hungry again until late afternoon, but I'll eat anyway just two or three hours later, because I have to eat before work starts or I might not have time, and then I was snacking in the afternoon because my husband was, and then eating a substantial dinner with dessert at a time dictated by my work schedule.
My once mindful eating had slipped back into being routine and completely schedule-driven. I've been so busy with work, I wasn't really noticing or caring if I was hungry or how the food made me feel. I'd been pretty consistently eating more food than my body wanted or needed. So, what to do about it. Do I restrict?!?! Follow a plan? Crack down? Definitely not. I just started paying attention again. Am I hungry? Am I enjoying this? Will I be more satisfied if I stop now or keep eating? Does this even taste good? This led me to eat less at some meals and as much or more at others. It has me enjoying some new foods and fresh meal combinations and realizing that I'm bored with others. There was no scheming involved, no new rules, no foods eliminated. All I had to do was pay attention again and trust those observations.
A couple of weeks of slowing down, closing my laptop, and looking at my food while I eat has made a big difference. Instead of eating with one hand and working with the other, or shoveling in meals as I run out the door, I'm savoring my food again, noticing when I'm physically full, registering when I'm totally satisfied, and serving meals that I really look forward to eating. It's the same mindfulness practice that helped me feel good and build trust in my body earlier in this journey (basically what I had learned in the Intuitive Eating Workbook). I had drifted away from it, and that disconnect was causing me to feel uncomfortable and not enjoy my food as much.