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Figuring Out Night Eating

Posted Aug 19 2011 10:44am
I feel like I'm really trying to be in touch with my feelings, my eating patterns, when I'm really hungry and my levels of hunger.  Yet, I still find myself giving myself permission to eat late at night.  Yesterday was a good day with food till the night time.  At work I did realize that I tend to graze and finish all food I start to eat but I never allow myself to really go over a 5-6 on the scale of fullness but then I never really let myself get hungry during the work day either.  Like I had said yesterday I don't know that I think that's a bad thing for me so I was feeling fine about it all. 

I also had a small victory yesterday afternoon at quitting time.  In the past at times I had allowed myself one small piece of candy out of the candy bowl here at work. Just as I was leaving for the day (to keep me from going back) I told myself go ahead and have a piece.  In the book it had said to pick something you really wanted and savor it.  Well as I looked at the candy in the bowl I realized that there really wasn't any piece that totally thrilled me at the idea of savoring it so I decided not to have a piece and just left for the day.  I felt great about that choice as I road home and thought that really not making foods "good" or "bad" was going to work for me.

I got home and started making dinner.  I wasn't hungry so I just made dinner without eating a snack as I made it.  Then after Mike got home I decided to go for a walk before I ate dinner.  I still am not feeling the best so was feeling kind of tired but know I need to get moving with the walking since I only have 8 weeks left till the half marathon.  So I went and did 3 miles.  Came back, showered and ate dinner.  I did find myself wanting to eat more after dinner and had a few sugar free fudgesicles and ate 2 peanut butter crackers though my hunger scale was a bit past full (5 is full I'd say I was at about a 6 or 7).

Mike and I had a long talk about intuitive eating and really listening to what your body says instead of your mind.  We both agreed that we really didn't think it was something that could work for someone that had a lot of weight to still lose but that maybe it was something that could work for someone like me that had lost a lot of weight and now just wanted to drop a few more lbs or at least have more peace with food.  I thought it was a great talk.

Then we went to bed early.  Not that you need to know this but after *wink wink* I'm always thirsty and want to eat something.  I was going to type hungry but last night I realized that it's not hunger because it was clear my stomach still felt full. But I got up anyway and went and made a 240 calorie turkey and cheese sandwich with a diet soda (I don't drink much soda so was weird I picked that).  So I ate that in bed and then tried to fall asleep.  When I couldn't I got back up and though my hunger scale was at like a 7 by then I ate a 1/2 a banana with cereal as I read one of my TOPS magazines sitting on the sofa. 

All during this I kept asking myself "am I hungry?" and I kept answering myself "NO" yet I kept on eating then even went back for the other half of banana and some more cereal (to the tune of like 700 calories for both bowls).  I kept saying to myself "you can still eat if you want to you're allowed" "you don't have to stop even though your hunger scale is at 8-9".  As I finished the second bowl of cereal I kept wondering what it was all about?  My need to get up and eat till I really felt uncomfortable.  It's not something I often do but something I still do sometimes.  It's usually late at night too. 

So after I got back in bed I really did feel uncomfortably full.  I remember waking in the night a few times thinking I could be sick, feeling bile in my throat.  I know all this is yucky to talk about but it is my reality at times.  It is something I don't usually talk about because I'm suppose to be the success, the one that doesn't do this sort of thing anymore.  But this really is why I want to dig deeper and figure it out.  Figure out my need to eat when I'm clearly not hungry.

When I woke up this morning I still felt sick.  I had diarrhea still too (have been having it the past 3 days since the stomach bug).  I'm sure eating all that last night didn't help my stomach situation.  I thought this morning is there something deeper that drives me to eat at night?  Is it some childhood thing but I then wondered why I would even think that.  I wondered why that came to my mind this morning.  Maybe it is.  Truthfully though I don't want to worry about that but more just want to stop the night eating.  I know nothing from my past can hurt me physically now it is just a mental thing.  I kept trying to think last night too what emotion I was having and all I could think about was that I wanted to sleep and that I knew continuing to eat would eventually overload my system and knock me out. 

Anyway, I'm still thinking I'm headed in the right direction here even if it isn't to an end result of what people call intuitive eating it is to an end result of sorting out more of my food issues with myself and understanding my need for food when I'm clearly not hungry.

After 4 yrs on this journey I do see a ton of positive changes in myself concerning so many things.  But there is still more work to be done.  I do want peace with food, real peace.  I want to be in charge of myself in a way that doesn't feel restrictive.  I also don't want to be afraid and continue to live in fear of gaining this weight back.  I really believe I wouldn't have these episodes if I truly trusted myself not to creep back up the scale.  I do think my issues with food are definitely based in fear.  It could be past fear that I don't need to feel anymore or it could be now fear or maybe a mixture of both.  I am still trying to figure that part out.  But I'm glad to be trying. 

They say everything happens for a reason and I do think with many things we pick the time in our lives that is right to venture down the road to recovery.  I'm still walking down my road.

Till next time...
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