Monday, September 13, 2010

Home in the range

This weekend I thought a lot about my revelation from Friday.  I may be a bit biased, but when I made the connection between sleep and food, I was really blown away at how profound it was.

The result?  I've lost 4 pounds since coming back from Peoria (and gaining 3 pounds while there) this week - just by paying attention to my hunger levels and making sure that it doesn't get out of control.

I think of my hunger scale like this:

1 - starving hungry; the hungriest I've ever been
3 - hungry; when I drop to this level (or below) it's probably time to eat
5 - satisfied; neither hungry nor full
7 - feedback that indicates I ate a bit too much the last time I ate
10 - stuffed; as in what it feels like to finish a binge

I don't think I've ever felt a 1...but I can't tell you how many times I've felt a 10.

The thing I've concentrated on this past week was where I was on the hunger scale/range.  I aimed to always be a "5" on the scale...which meant that I was always satisfied. 

So if I was at a 4, I could determine if I wanted to eat to be a 5, or if I wanted to be hungrier (to let myself get down to a 2 or 3) so that I could fully enjoy a meal with Joe.

I've tuned out my hunger range for so many years, it's actually taken MONTHS to fine tune my hunger...but I think I'm finally getting the hang of it.

I'm also realizing that even though I CAN have brownies, cakes, pastas, and ice creams, I'm not craving those - not really.  THAT has felt wonderful...and has prompted me to be proud of myself.

Take Friday:
     My workplace had some training arranged during our lunch break.  But it was going to be in the 70s.  So I asked my boss if I could have a 45 minute lunch (before the actual lunch presentation) and work late to make up for it...he said yes.  At 11:00 I ran my 5K and came back in just enough time for the training - and discussion that followed.  Initially, I wasn't hungry right after my run.  But during the Q&A, I was starting to get hungry.  I could've had what everyone else was pigging out on (Qdoba Mexican buffet) but instead I wanted a veggie sandwich that I had in the fridge - aka no where near me.  I ended up getting to eat at 2:30 (after the presentation), but I really enjoyed what I ate. 
     I came home and Joe and I decided to see "The Switch" - a movie out in theaters now with my lifelong crush, Jason Bateman.  I knew that I could have any dinner I wanted - or cokes and candy at the theater.  But instead, a wrap with hummus, guacamole, and fresh sliced veggies sounded delicious.  So that's what we had.  We made them, wrapped them up and smuggled them in the theater.  Sure, I broke a guideline of eating while distracted, but I made sure that I was hungry when we started eating.
     We finished the movie and Joe suggested that we go across the street to my new favorite dessert place, Pinkberry.  I thought about it and realized that I was still at a 5.  I also knew that I could have the frozen yogurt another time if I wanted it.  So instead we went home and...

My point is, being more in tune with my body and it's hunger signals is taking a lot of pressure off.  I'm feeling like I'm living more in the moment and less in fear about what I will do when I get hungry or full.

Saturday we enjoyed dinner and ended up going to Pinkberry and sitting downtown to enjoy the freaks sights that were out at night.

I guess what I'm saying is that I really enjoy being at a 5.  With the absence of stomach sensation, I'm able to enjoy all the other parts of my life much more.  It's taken (and will continue to take) practice.

Huh.  I think they call that "living."


Karen said...

Interesting coincidence how the word you use to describe your hunger at a 5, is perfect to describe life. Satisfied.

P.S. We don't have Pinkberry but several knock-offs and I have been twice. Yum.

Lor said...

we don't have a pinkberry, but i just looked it up -- and i think it's a good thing we don't have it! i'd live there! LOL.

you've got an excellent take on things, keep it up!! =) i need to start thinking with my brain instead of my mouth!

Julia said...

I love your hunger scale and it's so helpful to me right now as I try to determine the difference between hunger and cravings. Thanks so much!

Lanie Painie said...

I love your hunger scale and it's very similar to how I think of my own hunger levels, although I use 0 as my "satisfied" 5 and "stuffed" and "-5" as hungrier than ever!

Allan said...

All these great places. Where does fun pants live.. Need me some pinkberry

Jams said...

Congrats on living! I love it!!! and it's one of the keys... managing and assessing your hunger signals! :) Keep up the great work!

Lesia said...

I hope I can do that scale soon. I love the concept just hope my body request for me to reach a level 2-3. I think I will try it for a week or two and see how my energy level is. I know when I get back from a hard workout in the pool. I am a 2. So maybe I just need to be more active during the day (which will be hard for me). But I am always looking for a challenge. smile.

emelle said...

love the hunger scale, hope you don't mind if i borrow it!
Congrats on being able to listen to your body and what you really need.