So I know that the mantra of mindful eating (and also Weight Watchers, BTW) is that one is supposed to “eat when hungry, stop when full.” Sounds simple, right? But for me it is one of the most difficult things to grasp. I guess for so many years I did no such thing – I ate for ten million other reasons than hunger, and went way beyoooooond fullness, that it’s like trying to learn how to knit on a unicycle.
Last night we went out to this fantastic Italian restaurant. (daughter was out with friends so I skipped the pot pie thing for another time) I was all prepared. I’d had a fairly light lunch. It was after my weigh in. I’d accumulated many “activity points” from my nice long walk/run. I told myself I’d have plenty of points to spare, so while I was not going to pig out, I would relax. And yet try to remain mindful.
When we got there, I was thirsty. I drank a big glass of sparkling water with lemon. I had a teeny little piece of bread about the size of a biteful. This restaurant brings things Sicilian-style, which means family style and everyone shares. I didn’t have a problem with that, in fact I thought it sounded like a good option. Appetizer one arrived: eggplant rollatini, which I adore. I divided it into four little sections, each one about two bites. I took one little section and thoroughly savored it. Lovely. Then we had an antipasti plate. I had a wee little strip of prosciutto, and about a tablespoon’s worth of marinated bell pepper and eggplant. Nummy.
But then, guess what? I was full. Or at least satisfied. I think my stomach was so full of bubbly water, that those five BITES of food were literally enough. But our entrees hadn’t arrived. I started feeling bummed out, like knowing I was supposed to stop there, but not wanting to miss the main courses. I was confused. I didn’t know what to do.
The main stuff arrived: homemade linguini with clams, and a big tureen of mussels. I’m sure I had enough points to enjoy both of these things. I really wanted to taste them. I took about 1/2 cup of linguini, about four clams and four mussels. You know how big clam and mussel meat is? It’s TINY. Probably totalling about three tablespoons. Max. The linguini was absolutely divine, but as I ate I was conflicted.
Mind you, I was much LESS full than I ever would have been normally – I was just MORE full than “satisifed,” which would’ve stopped after the appetizers.
So while I loved the dinner (I really, really did) I also felt distracted and confused by what I was “supposed” to be doing.
I guess I’ll figure it out someday, and be able to eat in relative peace.
Meanwhile, my copy of the Zen of Eating arrived in the mail. So far, I am loving it. I think it might give me some help with this area.