eat, move, think, feel



This “Fullness” Thing

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.


My stomach is really shrinking. Or maybe I am just paying much more attention to its fullness level. They say that your stomach is roughly the size of your fist, but it can stretch to much more that size if you stuf it full, kind of like a stuff sack for a sleeping bag. (ugh)

I was so so hungry and wasn’t able to eat lunch today until 3:30. I had a chicken breast (out of a sandwich, didn’t eat the bread) and about a cup of fruit salad. And then I felt stuffed. That is so so so so not my norm I can’t even say, but I am eating slowly and trying to pay attention to bodily sensations.

Last night after having an extremely modest early dinner (grilled eggplant appetizer plus some cold tofu, at a Japanese restaurant) I did a reading at a bookstore and met up with an old friend. She hadn’t eaten dinner so we went out fo 2nd dinner at this Middle Eastern place. I was intending to eat just a taste, but everything was so so so good. Various eggplant spreads (yes, I LOVE eggplant), and this amazing roasted feta cheese with tomatoes and olives. It was crazy good. I didn’t stuff myself, but it was more than a “taste.” This was my first “overage” experience this trip. I also didn’t eat any bread with all the dips. Guess what? Dips taste delicious even without something to dip them in!!

Now I’m hitting the road to go see my daughter. I am happy.

Good Day

I had a good day today, foodwise. I really did not struggle at all. I had a small breakfast then went up to visit the camp site where the camp I coordinate will be held this summer. It’s a new place, and I needed to check it out. One of the many reasons we switched sites is that the food at the old site was terrible, healthwise. It was basically pure, heavy carbs most meals with few options, iceberg lettuce, Kool-Aid… etc. This camp is the pinnacle of my year, both in terms of how exciting it is but also with stress. It’s great, but it’s also 24/7 stress for 6 days. Normally I eat like a HOG at camp, piling up the food just so I can stay grounded and not explode. Last year I think I gained 4 lbs at camp. I always gain weight there.

We were invited to have lunch at the new site today. First there was a big “buffet” (not a massive one, just for the lunch offerings). The main entree was grilled chicken breasts (how perfect is THAT) which you could make into sandwiches, so there was a big pan of chicken with really nice spices, then it had rolls and lettuce and cheese. I didn’t make a sandwich. Also, big pans of grilled veggies (NICE!!!) and other stuff. THEN an enormous salad bar with spring mix lettuce! not just iceberg!! and a huuuuuge array of salad toppings, real high quality stuff like garbanzos, kidney beans, cucumber, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, shredded cheeses, olives. It went on and on. They also had a soup bar which they say is available at every meal.  SO in the event that they do not have a good choice for the entree, I can always have soup and/or salad. I am so psyched. Because even if I am a stressball at camp, I can make decent choices and not just hog out on Sloppy Joes.

I am one of those people who actually does not mind gross high-school cafeteria style food. I love Sloppy Joes, and mac and cheese (of course) and all manner of stuff that most people would never touch. Well, no more. I’m not touching it any more.

So I had a very lovely warm grilled chicken salad for lunch, and I was very happy!

THEN I went to a big parents’ meeting for my daughter’s sports team. I gave a brief presentation and was all full of adrenaline. I saw a bunch of old friends and was all buzzy with energy. There were FOUR TABLES of DESSERTS at this thing. Just piled HIGH: brownies, cookies, dips, chips, cake, you name it. Normally I would have hoovered through this thing, especially being all wired up from speaking. But what did I have, folks? Nothing! NOTHING! I was very proud of myself. I wasn’t even remotely tempted or feeling resentful or sad about not being able to eat anything. I just sailed on past.

I was hungry by the time I got home. I didn’t want to cook. My family and I went to a fancy-ish Italian restaurant nearby. I ordered a bowl of mushroom soup. It had cream in it, was really rich, and so delicious. I had like 1/3 of the bowl and then gave the rest away. I was starting to feel full just from that small amount. Then I had a beautiful salad of crabmeat, red peppers, papaya, onions, lettuces and a tiny bit of avocado. It was insanely good but again, I felt full (!!! shrinking stomach!!) and only ate about half. My mother kept giving me concerned looks. “Is that all you’re going to eat??” “Is that your DINNER?” but I just smiled serenely. I was really happy with the whole thing. The food was yummy but I never got uncomfortably full. I drank a couple glasses of water.

So that was my eating day. I felt really happy about it. Maybe I am getting the hang of this, a little bit!

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