Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What do you do when you're hungry?

The good news is that my meal plan no longer seems like it's enormous quantities of food. My body has adjusted; I can eat a bowl of cereal with milk and a cup of berries and a piece of toast for breakfast, and then have a big salad with a half-cup of quinoa and tortilla strips and 2/3 cup beans and so on and so on.

The bad news? I'm now hungry. I think. I don't know. All of last week I was feeling stuffed--I don't think I genuinely felt hungry until Friday (I started the plan on Monday). I was so focused on the stuffed feeling that it took me a few days to realize what I wasn't feeling: irritable, lightheaded. I wasn't ever feeling that floaty high I'd feel when I was eating what I thought was right and not bingeing--I do miss that feeling, I admit--but I wasn't feeling the negative side of hunger either.

So this week I'm feeling cranky and a little lightheaded and spotty, and I don't feel that way immediately after eating. I think it is hunger--but if over- and under-eating has been masking my emotions for so long, what if I'm just actually feeling like a big ol' grouch?

"Eat something and find out which it is, hunger or true irritability," says my sensible mind.

"You should relish this meal plan until you're bumped up to a higher-calorie one," says my eating-disordered mind.

They flip a fictional coin. Last night sensible won; today the other half wins. I am following my meal plan, after all; I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. On Monday I will be honest with my nutritionist, and I suspect she will move me to the next meal plan--right now I'm on a "transitional" plan, which is used for people who restrict, or for people who are very short. That is: It's not supposed to be quite enough. Not yet. So: not yet.

I don't know what to do when I'm hungry--are you "supposed" to eat when you just had something that "should" have filled you up? Or are you supposed to wait? Are you supposed to eat fruit, or string cheese, or graham crackers? Are you supposed to have whatever you want? What if you don't know what you want? What if you feed yourself and you can't stop?

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