The other night, I ate way too much food, and I was also still hungry.
I'd been planning all day for a party some friends and I were having to watch the premier of the new Game of Thrones show (I've been a fan of the books for years, liked the show a lot), so I was intentionally not munching during the day. I had french toast for breakfast/lunch somewhere around 1pm, and then didn't eat again until around 7. By then, everyone had gathered, and I was hungry enough that, after waiting a little while out of fear of seeming rude somehow, I just got up and opened up the snacks (cheese/crackers/pepperoni and such). At the reminder that we hadn't eaten yet, we decided to place our order for real dinner, which wouldn't arrive for another 45 minutes or so. I fixed myself some cheese and crackers and said that it was starting to feel like I'd fall over if I didn't eat something now.
When real dinner did arrive, I was absolutely famished. Before I knew it, my cheesesteak was halfway gone. I looked at the second half and had a decision to make: knowing that I had some french fries still to eat, and there were crackers and veggies and dip and the like aplenty, was I going to eat the other half, or wrap it up and fill the rest of the way on snacks? I had eaten the first half so quickly, I didn't have a chance to really feel full, and I decided to start in on the other half. Then that was gone, and I was uncomfortably stuffed. I was still full another half hour later when dessert arrived. I was still full when veggies and dip went out on the tables. I was still full hours and hours later, when it was getting time to stretch out and go to bed and I couldn't lie on my stomach comfortably.
But all that time, I kept snacking. My mouth wanted very badly to move. Something in my mind was still saying it wanted food, even when I had to lie propped up on the pillow so I could avoid squishing my stomach. I nibbled on carrot and celery sticks and more crackers and finally a cup of tea seemed to help settle me down a bit.
I think what I'm learning is that I need to pay as much attention to how OFTEN I'm eating as I do to how MUCH.
If I'd had a snack sometime during the day, or if I'd asked to open up the cracker tray when it arrived at 6 instead of waiting, I probably wouldn't have been so famished at 7:40-whenever when dinner arrived. I probably would have chosen to wrap up the other half and fill the rest of the way up comfortably on snacks and veggies and dessert. I wouldn't have had such a long time recovering from the night. And I have a suspicion that, although I ate too much in that one sitting, I might not have gotten enough from the day overall. If I had been eating smaller snacks more regularly, and thus less, slower dinner, I suspect I would have been hungry enough later at night to have the third meal I'm used to, instead of just the unrelenting feeling that i wanted to eat although there wasn't any room.
This learning curve is gonna take some work still. But I know that I'm in a far better place to tackle it than I used to be - not that long ago I would have felt a lot guiltier about being even a little hungry after filling up so fast, and I don't think I'd have been able to tease out what went wrong and use it as a learning experience this way.