Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I made a beginner's mistake.

I got too hungry.

Alaskaboy got the month of our anniversary mixed up, due to a misunderstanding of the month we were actually in at the moment, so consequently I was off on a mad shopping dash yesterday to find something to wear. I would still have done the mad dash, getting rid of all my too big clothes has led me to having no 'going out' clothes, other than winter-weight ones. So the reason for the shopping wasn't the problem.

The actual shopping was. Choosing the clothes was as usual a frustrating exercise. Clothes I liked were available in too small or too big, or not quite flattering to my body. So they were left with the dressing room attendants. Add to this, the fact that every woman and her sister were out at the shops yesterday, while it seemed every other cashier was not at work. What I'd expected to be a reasonably short trip, ended up covering five or six different stores. Add in the fact I don't have a watch and daylight savings has kicked in....

Now, I'd had a pretty decent brunch. Completely filling. I even ate just a little more than I strictly wanted, in case I'd got caught out later than expected. But by the time I headed home, I was starving. The last shop was a mere two or so miles from my house, so I figured I'd be home in a jiff and could chomp into the yummies we had in the fridge. Nu-uh. I had to stop at each red light. To make matters worse, Every. Single. Restaurant. was in pre-dinner ramp-up-the-cooking mode. There was no way I was stopping for anything. Not with the money we'd spent on groceries the past couple of weeks. All that perfectly delish food in the house just waiting for me to come home and nosh on it. Besides what I wanted to eat was at home. Accept no substitutions!

When I got home, was a wee bit tired from five hours of shopping, but that's usual. I whipped up some kimbap (korean style sushi) from ingredients I had on hand. Pre-cooked brown rice, sesame leaf, carrot, cucumber, egg, seasoned squid, korean seaweed sheets. With two rolls worth I took my time, savouring the food. (Although I admit the first few pieces were inhaled.) The flavours were exactly right, with a satisfying contradiction of smoosh and crunch. But when I was done, I was unsatisfied.

My belly was satisfied, completely and utterly. I had no trace of hunger. I even felt comfortably satiated. Neither too full nor too empty. That is how I remember I like to feel after eating, and only discovered thanks to Intuitive Eating. But I wasn't satisfied. I tried shaking it off by reading a new book, one I'd been waiting years to be published. However, my body and my sense of self were not satisfied, I even felt cold and shaky. This despite sitting under a warm blanket, fully clothed.

And so the hunt for satisfaction began.

Tried a warm drink. Nope. Tried some leftover beef potroast. Nope. An icecream? No. Peanut butter on corn thins. Seaweed Salad. Cheese and crackers. Another whole packet of the Korean seaweed sheets. On and on, I tried different foods. My belly began to ache, but still I kept returning to browse the pantry/fridge. Whatever the combinations I ate, it seemed to work, for eventually I felt satisfied. After that, I had no need to eat any dinner, even staying up for many hours past my bedtime reading that book. ;)

And today, I'm paying the price for all of that rich food I consumed. I haven't had so many trips to the bathroom in a long time. So far today I've had some crackers, a large cammomile tea, and some chicken broth with two minute noodles. And I don't feel hungry. It seems my body is busy pushing on through the food from yesterday, and trusts me to treat it right in its time of extremity.

Before yesterday, I'd never experienced that kind of eating, at least to my knowledge. It felt like my body had panicked. Perhaps it thought I was going on some sort of crash diet or hunger strike? Thus it needed to get fuel in ASAP and AS MUCH AS FUCKIN' POSSIBLE, YA HEAR ME! It was an unsettling experience. It wasn't like other binges where I'm not really aware of how much I'm putting in my mouth. I was aware of every single bite, and how it made my body feel. Yet, I was helpless to stop. This was nothing like emotional binges of the past, my body had hold of the reins and wasn't sparing with the whip.

It scared me. It also removed any lingering thoughts I had about going back on a diet. That voraciousness is how a body is built to eat when the feast follows the famine. I experienced, aware and mindfully for the first time, exactly what my body had been trying to tell me every other time it managed to get me to stop dieting. It also made me aware that I need to take a snack with me whenever I leave the house, or stop to buy something next time. It's perfectly okay to eat something small to tide me over until I'm ready to eat the next meal that I'm really salivating for!

I didn't want to waste time or money to stop and get a banana or some trail mix from the supermarket on the way home, or even something from the numerous petrol stations, so instead I've wasted god only knows how many dollars in excess food, toilet paper, and water.

Lesson learned? You betcha.

1 Nibbles:

Marshmallow said...

I reckon a lot of that sort of thing is firstly yeah, the dieting, the 'wait till you get home' thing since people tend to buy junk when they get hungry on the run - though also, as kids, we were told 'you'll ruin your dinner' or 'wait till we're at home, Mummy doesn't want to spend any more money'.

But damn, a good lesson. I've started buying more things to eat when I'm out and about and get hungry, though it's very interesting to see what can happen if by chance, you forget.

Another great post!