Over the last two weeks I was tempted to eat a massive amount of food via mindless grazing and snacking. I was focused on launching my online program, which is kind of like finals week in college, when you temporarily live and breathe your work while in your pajamas. But, not only did I not eat the massive amount of food, I actually lost weight.
I noticed I kept thinking about food. When I felt blocked with the material I was working on, I thought about food. When I felt stressed about a technical challenge, I thought about food. When I felt relieved from an insight, I thought about food. Food was the automatic response.
As I noticed this, I began to ask myself: Am I really hungry right now? Nine times out of ten, the answer was no. I am not hungry right now. I’m bored, stressed, worried or something else. It wasn’t hunger. It was emotion.
I didn’t eat if the answer was “no, I’m not hungry.” I got an herbal tea or popped a piece of gum instead. Except the very last day when I consciously chose to snack! Haha! In the past I’ve also used tapping (EFT) to assist with reducing cravings.
If you’ve always had healthy eating habits, what I’m sharing might sound like a no-brainer to you. But it was a victory for me. Because it’s one of the ways that I am now better connected with my body. Years ago I would have just grabbed the snacks without checking to see if I was actually hungry or not. Plus, it also means that my body is in a much healthier space than the last couple of years. When I had inflammation from thyroid issues, I had no chance of losing weight, despite what my eating was like.
Being better connected with my body is one of the positive side effects of healing my Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. I learned the hard way that I was creating stress for my body through my eating habits. I created digestive stress by eating too quickly, too much and too often. Overtime those habits contributed to the issues in my gut.
Part of my healing process was listening to the cues from my body instead listening to the latest research (e.g. toxins found in turmeric!) or using food to sooth my emotions. I learned to chew slowly and monitor my hunger levels. I learned my energy is better when I’m not eating every three hours (although I would have bet money that wasn’t true!) As a result I naturally became a very intuitive eater.
I learned to trust that some days I was naturally hungrier than others. And that was OK! Because other days I’d be less hungry, so it would all balance. Before, I would have freaked out and judge myself if I ate more (or more calories) in a day than I “planned.” But now I realize hormones, bad sleep, stress and other things are going to happen. and they’re going to affect our hunger and energy levels.
I also learned about my metabolic type. I’m a mix: protein and carbs (veggies that is, not croissants 😉 ). That was a pivotal shift in my eating. While I wanted to be a vegetarian at certain points in my life, eating high quality, organic animal protein agreed with my system, whether I liked it or not. When I don’t have a little animal protein, I overeat and am not satiated. When I have a little, I feel satisfied and fulfilled for several hours afterwards.
I learned that when I randomly have the thought, I’m not hungry right now, it means I’ll be hungry in about 30 minutes. So I listen to that message and I start to plan my meal. I also learned that when I’m eating and I think, wow, this food is so amazing I never want to stop eating it, that I have a few bites left to go before I’m full. These are cues I hadn’t heard before even though my body was communicating them. Once I learned to listen to them, and understood what they meant, my satisfaction level went up and my guilt level went down. Because it’s almost impossible to overeat when you pay attention to these cues and honor them.
So today, try tuning into your body to see what it’s asking for or telling you. What cues is it trying to give you? When you learn to listen, your body is best possible guide. And, of course, remember to check in with yourself by asking, am I hungry right now or is this something else?
Happy to Heal (Everything Your Doctor’s Not Telling You About Healing Your Thyroid, Adrenals and Leaky Gut) is starting this September and getting your food game on point is a huge part of it! Get on the waitlist today for discounted pricing! 🙂