Welcome to Day 3 of the 12 Days of Christmas project! (If you are just joining the project now, you can get the full low-down here: https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2012/12/18/welcome-to-the-12-days-of-christmas-project/ and I really recommend that you start the project at Day 1 to get the full benefit!)
Yesterday’s post was all about your getting back into your body so that you could begin to pay attention to your body’s signals (and respect them!). So. Guess where we are heading today? That’s right, you are heading right back inside your body (thunder-roll and clash of dramatic symbols) so that you can begin to connect with your appetite 🙂
For those of us who struggle with our weight, we are often so busy looking for “outside” solutions (the latest guru, the latest diet, “wonder” shakes, super foods : I don’t really need to go on, as you are probably an expert at this stuff!) that we ignore our own inner guru.
“What? You are telling me that I’m a guru?” (Just reading your mind there :)) Yes – that’s exactly what I’m telling you : you are a guru. I’m telling you that there is a part of you that is an expert, a highly intelligent source of advice, a complete gold-mine of information. This part of you is constantly communicating with you, constantly sign-posting and constantly giving you feedback on the changing conditions in your body. It provides you with conscious information through your appetite. It tells you when you are hungry, it tells you when you are full, it is capable of naturally regulating itself in accordance with changing physiological conditions.
The problem is that those of us with a history of dieting behind us stopped listening to our inner gurus. When our appetite said “STOP NOW!” We carried on. When our appetite said, “IT’S TIME TO EAT BECAUSE YOU ARE GENUINELY PHYSIOLOGICALLY HUNGRY”, we said “No”. We said “no” because the “outside” gurus said “no snacking” or they said “stick to 3 meals a day” and we said “no” because we wanted to “stay on track”…. And eventually we stopped listening to the inside, we kept overriding the signals .. and after a while we started confusing physiological appetite messages with all sorts of other messages.. (thirst signals, emotional signals..).
So here’s today’s invitation : an Appetite Awareness Action Adventure! You’re going back inside your body to locate your appetite, to learn about it, so that you’ll be able to start listening to it, to start respecting it and to build a respectful connection with it. So pull on your Indiana Jones hat and your Lara Croft boots/Officer John McClane string vests (best I could come up with for the guys :p) and get ready for adventure!
Here’s how to do it : for the next 3 days, keep a food diary. (For those of you sighing in despair, this is not any old food diary:) This diary is a little different because it’s helping you to discover a whole load of other useful stuff and is a form of journaling in its own right).
Every time you get hungry and eat (or don’t eat), do the following ~
1. If you decide to eat, STOP before you eat.Have a drink of water (this step helps you to develop an awareness of the difference between a hunger signal and a thirst signal). If you are still experiencing hunger, proceed to the next step.
2. Write down any physical feelings you are experiencing and the name of any emotions present in your body. (Also, just notice if there are any feelings/emotions absent that are usually present; and any feelings/emotions present that are usually absent).
3. Record your hunger on a scale of 1-10 (10 being “starving”).
4. If you eat, afterwards write down the name of any physical and/or emotional feelings present (and ,again, notice if any feelings are absent that are normally present. Notice if any feelings are present that are usually absent).
5. After eating, record how satisfied you feel on a scale of 1-10 (10 being totally satisfied, 11+ would indicate having overeaten).
6. Record everything you eat and drink , size of portions and the times you eat.
7. If you undertake any type of physical activity, record the length of time you exercise and your perceived rate of exertion on a scale of 1-10 (10 being “flat out”).
8. Be honest – this diary will give you vital clues for reconnecting with your inner guru!
Are you curious to find out what you might learn on your adventure? Are you wondering whether you’ll notice any patterns emerging? Are you thinking that this might even help you to develop a closer connection with your body? Are you just a little bit excited at the prospect of developing an acute awareness of the difference between hunger signals and emotional signals? Or are you just raring to get those boots / that string vest on? 🙂 🙂 🙂
Gotta run! 🙂
© Jane Talbot 2012