Sunday, May 27, 2012

This Past Week

So I've been having the one of the most annoying maladies I've ever seen. I don't know if I was even actually sick, and it's tapering off, but for a good week and a half, I've been having the same issue - I can't get full.

As of now, it's more likely that I'm actually not eating enough, and my hunger cues might be returning to normal.

But take Sunday for an example. This seemed to be the worst of the deal, and it was already a few days into the weirdness. I had woken up early to meet my parents for brunch, since my mom was running a race nearby. I don't usually eat in the mornings, and I was feeling my normal level of instability and undecided stomach. Until I found a banana at the race, and started to eat.

You know that feeling when you take your first bite, and your body wakes up and says "Yeah, we were really hungry, we were just being polite and not whining about it"? It was like that, but to such an extreme that I actually doubled over a little with the pain of the hunger pang. Each bite I swallowed, I got another pang like that. I still didn't feel hungry per se, but I had to be if I was feeling like that right?

And then the same sensation happened when I drank some lemon water back at their hotel, while we prepared for brunch. The same painful hunger pangs when I swallowed, feeling like it wanted ALL THE FOOD and NO MORE FOOD both at once.

I settled myself down as best I could, and eventually we got to brunch. I ordered a nice sandwich, dug in when it arrived. And maybe halfway through the meal, I was still panging. My body still reacted like this was the first food I had all day, and yet at the same time I was getting full, and feeling stuffed. A few hours after brunch, I was so weakly hungry that I choked down a granola bar, with similar results.

Even if it's getting better,  I think I'm kinda paranoid now. I'd been doing so much better about trusting my cues, about assuming I do in fact need to eat if I'm hungry and not stressing overly-much about it. But for a good week I've been unable to trust, and been trying to objectively go over my food to figure out how much more I reasonably need, and how much of the "hunger" is just something wrong with my stomach. It's driving me batty, and it's really not stopping.

Maybe it's a good thing that I try to be aware of what I've actually taken in during the day, maybe it's something that's gone by the wayside as I tried out intuitive eating. But it's so very annoying to be stuck knowing, for a fact, I've eaten plenty, recently, and to have my body still whine for more. If I were actually sick maybe I wouldn't be worried, but the weird appetite has been my only symptom. So I don't know.

It just feels like such a step backward from the place I hoped I'd gotten myself to.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Food Diaries

I've been trying for a good few months now, if not longer, to acclimate my head to the idea of keeping a food diary. Write down everything I eat for a week or so, to get a sense of what kind of nutrition I'm getting, what I might be missing, and whether I'm actually eating ENOUGH food.

But although I really am trying to think differently, I can't shake the association of the food diary with the diet.

I can't remember now whether this was something I was actually taught, or something I learned inadvertently. But I was introduced to the idea when the doctor sent me to a nutritionist, for what were never diagnosed as binge-eating behaviors. The nutritionist never mentioned Binge Eating Disorder, if she'd ever heard of it, and focused on putting me on a diet. I remember being asked to keep the food diary so we knew what we were looking at, and where to make changes.

But I remember learning that the diary was a tool to keep me on the 'right' track. It was going to be shared with the doctor and my parents, so I knew I'd be in trouble in some way or another if I admitted to either the binges or the snacks I bought at school with my own money. Most of the time, I let the act of keeping the diary affect my choices, and didn't eat those things I would be ashamed to show. Sometimes, I just lied in the diary.

I know that if I keep a diary now, it'd be for my eyes only. But when I sat down yesterday to make an effort, just the act of writing it down still made me second-guess everything I was eating in that mean little voice.

 "You had a bag of potato chips? I guess fries wouldn't have been better but still." "Really, storebought crackers? Don't you have anything else to snack on? It's only been two hours since lunch, I know you started writing me because you're having GI problems that affect your appetite, but still."

aaargh. I made it through exactly two entries before I (well, forgot about the existence of the new diary and) stopped.

This should be a useful tool for me to track my eating, and to see how well I'm progressing on getting what I need. This should be a great way to be mindful and healthy and find any potential issues that are making me unhealthier. Instead I just know that "I'd have to write it in my food diary" would become a reason not to have dessert.

Has anyone had luck re-framing anything like this?