From skwigg's journal: You describe it beautifully! That is definitely a thing. You get all anxious about stopping, so you don't fully experience the moment or the joy of eating the food. It's not satisfying because your mind is elsewhere, so you keep munching, both to chase the satisfaction you're not feeling and to avoid the dreaded stopping point.
I don't have that problem anymore. In no particular order, here are the steps I took to solve it:
- I decide on my portion in the moment when I'm about to start eating. When that portion is gone, I'm done eating. That allows me to fully focus on what I'm eating right now and totally avoid the storytelling and bargaining that goes on if the stopping point is a moving target. It's not about restriction or portion control, it's about being kind to my brain. It gets upset when there is uncertainty and endless decisions to be made. It relaxes if it knows. (Note: As an intuitive eater, I don't predecide portions anymore. I'm happy to see how I feel as the meal progresses. I had to learn how to do that though. Predeciding was one step in the journey.)
- I remind myself that I am always free to eat anything I want, any time I want, and as much as I want. For now, I choose to stop at one piece of pie, but I can always have more later, or tomorrow, or the next day. Pie is not going away. Making this your reality is really important. If you say the words but don't believe them, in fact believe you may start that juice fast this weekend, the whole thing no worky. An abundance mindset solves that crazy "now's my chance" eating.
- I eat in a way that feels good and makes me proud. I do not like being painfully stuffed, grossed out, and disappointed. That's the inevitable outcome when you check out while eating, or keep eating because you don't want it to end. There are other much more enjoyable options, like deliberately stopping when you're pleasantly full, knowing you can always have more another time.
- I acknowledge the amazing, fun, awesome benefits to STOPPING eating. I don't think of it as difficult and sad. Not at all. Stopping is how I get to have ice cream *and* abs, buttercream frosting *and* self-respect, nachos *and* clothes that fit. I don't have to choose between restriction and overconsumption, or between having a lean body and enjoying favorite foods. I can have it all if I embrace both the mindful eating and the stopping.
- It's amazing to fully googly-eyed savor something delicious, and to still feel fit, comfortable, and confident when you're done. Overeating in a sad bingey way ruins it. I stop eating not because I "should" or because of any restrictions, but because I've thoroughly experienced the food and I'm ready to move on with my day feeling great.
- I often end this meal by looking forward to the next one. No sad, crazy stories of restriction. I think things like, "That big bowl of cereal and fruit will be so good in the morning." Or, "I'll have more ice cream after dinner." Normally, I'm actually physically hungry when I eat, and that's something I really enjoy. So, it's a no brainer to remind myself that I can eat again later, and that the food will be that much more enjoyable if I'm hungry for it. Shoveling more in when I'm already full is not so fun.
- One caveat about looking forward to meals, watch out for food romanticizing. There's a difference between, "I'm looking forward to dessert tonight." And, "I will have the most wonderful sundae with four kinds of ice cream, and cookies, and sprinkles, and hot fudge, and there will be unicorns and rainbows, and all of life's problems will melt away." Ok, nothing can live up to that. You don't want to obsess and build it up in your mind to the point that you're going to be devastated if the cookies are dry or they're out of sprinkles. I used to use romanticizing about some future meal as a means of coping with restriction now. Cheat day, anyone? That was a suckfest. Too much emotional drama. Now, I enjoy every meal to a similar degree without the highs and lows. I still look forward to dinner though, and that helps me end lunch.