Most of us learn to think about our meals in an all or nothing kind of way. For example: you were either “good” today at dinner or “bad” today at dinner.
But have you ever actually explored the grey area in between? How does it feel different in your body to eat until you are not completely full, comfortably full, very full, stuffed, suuuuper full, or bllleerrrghhhhh?
Are there different types of overeating for you? Or different degrees or types of hunger?
What nuance can you discover?
This week at our annual latke feast (deep fried potato pancakes) I did a playful (and delicious) exploration of degrees fullness. I went into the meal assuming I would overeat beyond what my body needed, because… latkes.
As the latkes kept appearing on the tray of paper towels saturated with grease, I became curious about how each additional latke made me feel in my body. I kept checking in with my body throughout the meal. I also gave myself full permission to eat as many as I wanted to, letting go of any “should” or “shouldn’t” thoughts as they came up (which they did).
But it turned out that eating as many as I possibly could was not what I actually wanted to do. I reached a point where my stomach became more persuasive than my taste buds, because I was practicing tuning into my body throughout the experience of eating.
I found that my faaavorite kind of full to be is very full. Not comfortably full, not stuffed, but very full. I love that feeling. It makes me feel safe, happy, calm, and grounded. Even a little bit energized. But I hate feeling stuffed. There’s almost nothing enjoyable for me about the energy slump and physical discomfort afterwards.
I once heard someone in our community say that they felt safe and comfortable when they were a little bit hungry, and that fullness was accompanied by a feeling of anxiety in her body. I honestly didn’t know that was an experience people had. Fascinating.
What about you?
What emotions and sensations come along with fullness? What if you break it down even further into degrees of fullness?
Photo from the New York Times