Weighty Matters

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Eating Like a Thin Person

on April 22, 2012

For those of you who are also overweight and/or compulsive overeaters or binge eaters, have you ever looked at a more slender person’s plate of food and wondered how they aren’t starving?  How about when someone says, “This delicious chocolate is so rich, just one piece satisfies me.”

There are a lot of people who frequently say, “I couldn’t eat another bite” and actually mean it.    The eating habits of thin people were always a mystery to me.  Eating half a sandwich.  Not finishing their fries.  Putting most of their meals in “to go” boxes.  I honestly could not figure out why I always seemed to be hungrier than most of the people around me.

I still don’t have an answer on that one and remain unsure whether it was actual physical hunger or head hunger or hunger sparked by my emotions.  However, I’m sure eating now like all of those thinner people I envied over the decades.   I met friends for lunch yesterday and ordered a small salad with brisket on the side.  I ate a few small pieces of the meat and a few forkfuls of salad.  I accepted a single onion ring from a friend’s order.  That was it.  I was absolutely satisfied without going overboard.  I asked for a box so I could pack up the rest and went on enjoying the time we were spending together.

While I was away at RT, my friends/roommates and I chose to go down for breakfast one day.  One roomie offered to split an omelet with me.  (She is slender with a gorgeous figure.)  When the dish was served, I was good with a quarter of the fluffy, delicious omelet, two small forkfuls of crispy hash browns, and half a slice of toast.    In the past, I could have polished off the entire three egg sausage and cheese omelet, the whole order of hash browns and two full slices of buttered toast.  That morning, the portions I ate were all delicious and just enough.

Before I transitioned to eating solid foods again post-surgery, I was really concerned that I would feel deprived even when my stomach was full.  I wondered whether I would grow to resent my new drastically reduced-size stomach and regret taking this step and having the surgery.  I’m learning, thankfully, that I can handle it.  I can be satisfied with smaller portions.  I can sample that elegant, rich dessert and then push away the plate.  A single cookie, over a full handful, is a delectable treat that I can savor and not be pissed off that there isn’t room for more.

Sometimes when I serve myself dinner, I initially put too much on my plate or in my bowl but I pay attention to my body and stop when I’ve had enough.  There’s no desire to clean my plate, no matter how delicious the meal.

It’s been a long time coming and it took major surgery, but I’m learning.  More than learning the mechanics of eating like a thin person, I’m also learning how to like the change.


3 responses to “Eating Like a Thin Person

  1. Your observations are similar to mine when I was drinking. I couldn’t imagine how a person could have just one drink. And they usually sipped it! I watched a person on a plane nurse their cocktail, and I actually got annoyed that they took so long to finish it.

    Being an addict is a life-long deal. Even though I’ve been clean longer than half my life, that junkie voice still whispers to me. This morning I totally had a doughnut even though I said I wouldn’t, and yesterday I ate the last piece of pizza because it was there. I need to start being more mindful.

    I’m so happy your recovery is going so well!

  2. pinkpelican says:

    Sometimes when things taste really good, but I know I’m full, I will push that food out of my sight or my reach. The urge to keep nibbling is often still there. Usually it’s because of the taste … nom nom nom just one more bite/piece nom nom … urgh. Last night it was pizza, which I can have in small amounts. I found myself reaching for another piece and instead closed up the box and put it in the fridge. I had already had a bit more than I should have, but it tasted so darn good.

    It’s not so much a craving as it is just simple enjoyment of taste, and if I’m not paying attention it can still get me into trouble. What makes me happy is that it takes such a simple thing — pay attention & then move it out of reach/eyesight — to cope, to short circuit the urge. Because the second it’s out of sight and out of reach, it’s also out of mind. ;=)

  3. Mary says:

    I watched a BBC program called “Why Are Thin People Not Fat” on YouTube. In part 4/7 they did an experiment with preschoolers that observed them snacking right after a meal. Some children pushed the plate away, others ate all of the snack even though they had said previously that they were full. Scientists are still determining whether snacking behavior is learned or genetic, but it was interesting to see.

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