Wednesday, 2 March 2011
What I ate today...
A handful of almonds, raisins and tiny little pieces of lavender chocolate, with a cup of Earl Grey tea, a ham and (lots of) butter sandwich, Patrizia’s carrots (delicious recipe from the south of Italy - for another blog post!), steamed courgettes with butter and cracked black pepper, half a tub of cottage cheese (about a fistful of the full fat, really creamy type, which I’ve got a bit of a thing for at the moment!), a few of my daughters deliciously hot, salty chip-shop chips (which we stopped off for specially on the way home from fencing club because it's what she really wanted for dinner) - just because I fancied them. That’s it. That’s not a lot really when I write it all down and look at it in black and white. That’s the thing about eating when I’m hungry and stopping when I’ve had enough. I don’t get to eat all that much. It never ceases to surprise me, even though I’ve been doing this for a while. The chips were a definite extra - in that I wasn’t hungry, they just smelled gorgeous and I fancied a few. The rest I was hungry for, I chose what I wanted, sat down and enjoyed.
Reaching a size that is right for us means stopping all the overeating we do day in day out. Not 100% - but mostly. I used to overeat all the time. As a treat, a distraction, to zone out, to give me something to do… knowing that I don’t do that anymore feels like a miracle. Knowing that I can sit with the desire to eat and not run away from it, that I can let myself feel uncomfortable because it will only last for a fleeting moment these days, is a freedom that’s hard to describe. Going to bed without feeling heavy and disgusted, without promising myself for the thousandth time that tomorrow I’ll start, tomorrow will be different… it’s beyond liberating! It didn’t take for ever to get here and it wasn’t hard. It did take effort and willingness and lots of courage and persistence. Maybe that's why I loved the film 'The King's Speech' so much that I went to see it 3 times - and would gladly go again! There's something about the amount of work, sheer effort and (bloody minded?) determination I witnessed in Bertie's (the King) attitude to mastering his stammer which reminded me of what it takes to stop overeating... It's inspiring... and real. I digress. Back to eating.
What (and how much) would you be eating if you ate when you were hungry, chose whatever you really wanted and stopped when your body was satisfied? Would you be willing to experiment today? Just for one day?
If you decide to have a go - post here and let us know what it was like.
Posted by Sophie Boss at 23:16
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I have found this too - if I only eat when hungry and stop when satisfied, I eat very little ... then I get cross because I want to eat more - and often do!ReplyDelete
I have been doing this for a while now, only eating what I want and having small meals. The feeling of not feeling over stuffed is so liberating , I know now if I want more later then I can and will. The result of this after 30 years of disordered eating I've cracked it and lost 2 stone...hurrah!ReplyDelete
I just want to say how much I appreciate this way of thinking - I have been 'dieting' for years and feel someone finally opened my eyes to why I eat. I always just thought I had a BIG appetite. But it made me realise that I was eating out of boredom, stress, whatever emotion it was. But it wasn;t hunger! Thank you so much. I have to say though 'i am not there 100 per cent and do still have days when I eat way more than I am hungry for - but I realise this and am trying to change that gradually. Thank you!!!! xxReplyDelete
Sophie, I find the tiny amount you eat quite disturbing. Not just the amount, the seeming lack of balance or of shared family eating. I felt the same about a previous message when you had little more than a broken pastry case and half a sandwich. How are we supposed to find this helpful?ReplyDelete
I agree with anonymous. I find this snacking approach and the type and quantity of stuff you have eaten, to be honest, smacks of disordered eating. Sorry - and eating is a social thing too - fair enough to limit it to the amount you "need" instead of overeating but isn't it important to sit around a table with your family? I see the snacking mentality as one of the main factors in our children eating badly and becoming potentially obese. Also, I would be starving if I only ate this in a dayReplyDelete
It made me realise how much I do eat!! I have managed to maintain my weight for a year but would like to be at least 2 stone lighter, maybe I need to tune in just a little bit more to my hunger and stop when Im satisfied because i eat a heck of a lot more than mentioned above. Eg today I've had a bowl of cereal and a croissant with butter & jam.For lunch home made Pea and ham soup a roll with butter, a pear & banana. For dinner pasta with tomato sauce, chorizo & feta and some ice cream. Oh I also had a biscuit and 2 chocolates and a piece of cake!!! Yikes!!!ReplyDelete
she's had almonds (healthy) raisens (healthy) lavender choc (sounds yummy and has iron) carrots (a five a day) courgettes (ditto) cottage cheese (calcium sounds disgusting but each to their own) and some chips (carbs)- tomorrow she may have some fruit and salad with some wholemeal bread or whatever she feels her body needs - what's so unbalanced about that? - and why isn't sharing some chips with her daughter not social?ReplyDelete
Hi Anonymous and Beverly, I am sorry you find my post disturbing. In fact the amounts were not tiny at all. And I didn't eat loads, just what I needed, which was the point of the post - to explore just how much more we sometimes eat than we need. The sandwich was a big doorstep of a thing with lots of ham and butter, and at dinner which I had sitting down with those in the family who were in, I fancied lots of veg, hence the courgettes and carrots of which I had plenty with my cottage cheese. The courgettes generously buttered and the carrots drenched in olive oil. Some days I fancy more veg, some days not. I'm not sure if I wrote something that lead you to think that I ate on my own, that I just 'snack' or eat on the go! Nothing could be further from the truth. Breakfast and lunch were both at the table with my daughter. It sounds like you had an image of me which doesn't match with what I did. My main point was that COMPARED with the amount I used to eat, I now eat much much less. I eat plenty and never go hungry, I eat what I like with no thought about calories or restriction. To me it feels balanced and healthy. I hope I've helped to clarify.ReplyDelete
Ok -sorry Sophie - it just came across to me as snacking. There are several "anonymous" on here I think - a bit confusing. Could you write Anon A or Anon B do you think? :)ReplyDelete
Ah, yes Beverly. I as responding to the Anonymous who wrote:ReplyDelete
Sophie, I find the tiny amount you eat quite disturbing. Not just the amount, the seeming lack of balance or of shared family eating. I felt the same about a previous message when you had little more than a broken pastry case and half a sandwich. How are we supposed to find this helpful?
I think people need to remember this is ONE DAY in the life! What did she eat the day before, or a day after? We have no idea.ReplyDelete
You can't just look at one DAY of eating and make sweeping judgments about someone's entire diet. The point of this post is that she listened to her body and ate what she wanted. The next day would probably be entirely different. Usually I find if I pick at various things one day, the next day my body says "hey give me a giant plate of veggies and grains and a hunk of protein". Your body tells you what it needs when you listen, and usually the portions are a lot less smaller than you think.
As for the social thing, I know personally I have days of long, lingering family meals then other days everyone is busy and ships-in-the-night. That's life!
Anonymous D :)
There is just one thing I really have to know about all this - where did you get the lavendar chocolate? That sounds divine and I'd love to try some!ReplyDelete
As for food... yeah, some days I eat more, some days less. Some days I move more, some less. As Marion Nestle points out, it's not what you do in one DAY that matters but your general pattern over time.
Hi! I only posted as anonymous as I don't think I have posted before however if I did register a user name it would have been be Mei-Yan - I'm just not sure how to post under that name. Thank you for clarifying Sophie - that was very helpful. I stand by what I said though about both yesterday's post and the previous 'broken pastry case' one not being helpful as they imply you eat a tiny amount and seem to delightl in that fact. In fact the reality seems to be quite different. I have been involved with Beyond Chocolate for many years and my weight is more or less stable but I am still overweight. I embrace the principles wholeheartedly and eat much, much less than I used to but I can't seem to manage to lose weight to the extent I would like to. In fact from the detail in your second post, Sophie, with the butter and lovely sounding carrots etc I think I probably eat less than you do especially as I don't snack (I really do try to pay attention to whether I am hungry or not). So my initial reaction was probably very personal - I felt you were saying you eat very little and therefore you are thin. Sensible and logical, but somehow it doesn't work for all of us, hence my moan.ReplyDelete
I think people certainly have jumped to their own conclusions reading Sophie's post. Personally I enjoyed reading it and I know that if I was eating every day what I was actually hungry for and satisfied with it would look far more like Sophie's meals that day and far less like my daily food intake right now! I know that, but like many people I have such ingrained notions of what meals 'you should eat' and how much and how often and so on...added to using food as a distraction and hobby...hmm...! To be honest I find it really difficult and frightening to accept how little my body really needs, maybe others are struggling with that too..?ReplyDelete
I've enjoyed reading all your responses. It's so interesting how we interpret what we read!ReplyDelete
Jennyfar out - the lavender chocolate, which is really velvelty and gorgeous - is from Rococo (www.rococochocolates.com).
Mei-Yan I can see how you might imagine from those two posts that I don't eat much and that I'm somehow proud of that - I can see that I need to make my writing more precise - a good lesson for me since we are just writing our new book, so thank you for your feedback.
I think what another person who posted a reply said is right - sometimes I eat more, sometimes less. Sometimes I feel like veg, some days all I fancy is stogy sweet stuff, or meat or whatever. Over the course of a month I have a pretty balanced and varied diet. I know because I've explored that. It's what I do! In working on the material for our Healthy Eating course I paid a lot of attention to the choices I make and the reasons I make them. It was fascinating. Well, it's my work after all!
I always eat enough and occasionally too much. It's not that I'm proud of eating little when I do, it's that it continues to amaze me how much less food I need, to feel satisfied and to be fit and healthy, than I used to think I needed and than I used to eat. I blogged about it on Weds night because I was struck yet again by the difference. I spent so many years overeating routinely, every day, that even though it's been several years since I stopped doing it, sometimes it still feels new!
It's funny when you mention the broken pastry case and the half sandwich, it sounds so sad and puny when you put it like that and yet it was far from it. Eating the broken case was delicious. It was only broken because it was spare from a batch Audrey had made for a cafe and I only ate it empty because it was so buttery and crumbly that I didn't want to distract from it with a filling. So while it may have sounded sad, like I was making do with a paltry broken tart, it felt yummy and very enjoyable! Half a sandwich - well I often eat half. It's often enough. And as someone else wrote, I quite like that sometimes, because I am likely to feel hungry again a couple of hours later and then I can eat something else I fancy.
So, are you supposed to find the post helpful? Well, not necessarily... after all a blog is a somewhat self indulgent tool I think, a sort of private journal made public? When I blog it's not to specifically with the aim of being helpful, it's more about exploring issues that I am interested in and passionate for myself with the hope that those who are also interested enough to read it will find what I have to say though provoking. I'd much rather get people thinking than help them!
And you have made me think and explore my reactions to what you have said. I take your point about this being a personal blog and not a blueprint for others to follow - although I did click straight through from the regular email. I am going to click through more often as I have found this all very interesting and I can see for the first time how taking part in a forum could be useful. Mei-YanReplyDelete
I have found your blog very helpful Sophie. I posted yesterday as Anon' and wrote about the amount I had ate that day and how much I really do eat to maintain my weight.Maybe I didnt put my name because I may have felt a little greedy! Your post inspired me to tune in to my hunger and satisfaction and the difference it made was amazing! For breakfast I had a sachet of porridge with rasins, for lunch I had a small slice of home-made jam & cream sponge and a pear. My evening meal was yesterdays left over pasta, chorizo and feta in tomato sauce with a side salad followed by banana and a full fat mango yoghurt.Breakfast & dinner I ate with the family, lunch was at work. I feel totally satisfied.Hopefully I will continue to pay more attention to my hunger and satisfaction level, maybe this year I will see the weight begin to move :-)ReplyDelete
Do more of that again tomorrow Tracy, one day at a time, keep tuning in, keep noticing what it's like to eat like that, to listen to your hunger, to meet it in every way and then to respect the physical 'satisfaction' signals - and if have the emotional urge to overeat - work with it if you're willing! Tune into it. Find out about it. A keep going. And yes, I think you're right, as you pay attention to your hunger and satisfaction your body will respond.ReplyDelete
Thanks Sophie, I will do. It felt good waking up this morning without having a full feeling from the night before. I could then really tune in to what I am hungry for. Warm buttered toast with marmalade mmm.....ReplyDelete
I feel generally more emotionally satisfied if I sit down for a "proper" meal. That surely has got to be ok. I have spent a lot of time in France and hence like to have a meal pref with several small courses. I then prefer to have nothing in between because that spoils my appetite for the next meal.ReplyDelete
Sorry if that makes me sound old-fashioned and un-beyond chocolate. If I snack on little bits, I feel out of control and then can go on to eat stuff I dont really want.
I'm sure some of you on here will think that is to do with my conditioning from childhood. Of course, I fancy different foods on different days but sometimes it is down to what I have in the fridge!!
Also if I have too much fat, I get acid reflux (not helped by the fact that I am on steroids - not for much longer I hope).
The steroids also mean that I have to be careful I dont overeat as they can make you do that and put on a lot of weight.
Any suggestions Sophie?