Monday, February 27, 2012

Brought to You by Social Networking

Last Wednesday I had a hell of a day.  I spent almost the entire day feeling hungry and wanting to eat.  It's a fairly easy issue to deal with when I'm at work because I eat what I bring and too bad if I stay hungry.  Though there is a vending machine, I refuse to pay $1 for a small bag of chips or a candy bar.  If I really wanted it, I would leave the office and drive the half mile to the CVS where I could get two candy bars for that same dollar.  Thankfully, I'm mostly too lazy to leave the office just for that.

By my lunchtime I was tired of feeling hungry and thought some distraction might help so I took a ride to TJ Maxx.  I've been on the hunt for a new Calphalon 8" skillet for a couple months and I finally scored!  I also bought that outfit for my Caribbean trip that's coming up the end of April. Interestingly enough, even though I walked through the aisle that has the gourmet foods, all I bought was some sea salt. Evidently I was distracted.

When I'm having a day like this, trouble waits for me once I get home.  To further intensify everything, on Wednesdays Mr. Helen is always occupied with our nephew for their weekly "man time."   So I was home alone and could have eaten anything I wanted in peace. (Secret eating anyone?)

Obviously I could have used more distraction but I already had my pajamas on so I wasn't motivated to get up and go out. I'm not one to jump into Blogger and do a short post about how I feel, although there's nothing wrong with that.  But I did get on Facebook and wrote this as my status:
I hate having hungry days. H-A-T-E them. I've eaten good healthy food in the proper portions all day but still I feel hungry.  I sit and think is it stomach hunger?  Is it emotional hungr?  What is it?  It just seems no matter what I do I'm hungry.  There's a distinct possibility that I will be in bed by 6:30 simply so that I don't eat.
That little status update ended up having 40+ comments before I actually did go to bed. Probably the most comments I've ever gotten on a status update. Definitely more comments than I've ever gotten on a blog post and I have more followers than FB friends. Interesting.

I was just venting, but I got advice anyway.  Most of what I got, I've used at one time or another and ran the gamut:

"Drink hot tea"
"Try knitting" (not from Shelley believe it or not!)
"Eat a little good protein"
"Chew on ice"

along with a couple of diatribes on food and menopause from one of Mr. Helen's classmates who is a teensy bit nutty and I think suggested I twirl around while eating seaweed or something like that - ah well we've all got at least one FB friend like that, right? Even my mother eventually jumped in (though as a separate post on my wall because she doesn't quite get FB yet) suggesting I brush my teeth and go to bed. As this was the next morning I filed that one away to use on Thursday if necessary....  I also got lots and lots and lots of empathy comments and offers of knitting needles and yarn LOL!

I think what astounded me most was whether it was advice being given or just empathy there are so many of us who deal with this.  Misery really does love company! Others would have no way of knowing, but I looked at those comments and realized that some women who commented, I consider to be "normal" eaters.  Women who have been at a good weight and are good exercisers for all the time I've known them.  Which basically screamed to me that it's not just those of us who are overweight or have food issues that go through this!  Somehow I found comfort in that.  Additionally, one of the commenters pointed out that it was only women who were responding - does this mean that when a man is hungry he eats?  Does this fall into that same category of women asking "Does this make me look fat... my thighs too big?" etc. whereas it wouldn't occur to most men to ever say anything like that.  Things to mull over and lessons to be learned, at least for me.

Very, very interesting indeed.  As one commenter said, " Please let me know when you have resolved this issue. "  I wish I had resolved it, but no.  I never did come to any sort of conclusion and sort of just used sheer willpower and thoughts of my butt in a bathing suit in 9 weeks not to eat another thing.

While I sat and waited for it to be time to go to bed, I found this on Pinterest (what would I do without all my social networking sites?!) and printed it out for my fridge and my desk.  I have my eyes on a prize and I want to stay focused.  Things like the comments on my FB status, this blog, my friends both in real life and virtual, and inspirational sayings help.  They help a great deal.

Bottom line is that 'I' am worth everything.  If I need to eat, I will.  If I don't, I suppose I'll continue to rely on the power of social networking and wait for the yarn and knitting needles to arrive at my house.


  1. This is a great post Helen. I've read this from you on FB and could do nothing than agree with you. Like others I have those days too.

    This is proof of who strong you are/become because you didn't gave in and looked for distractions.

  2. "I eat what I bring and too bad if I stay hungry"

    That is exactly my approach too..

    As to the rest, ever since I started eating quest protein bars, my hunger has gone away for the most part.. but I think there is a huge difference in the approach of men vs. women. I think men do not have a huge emotional issue when it comes to food and do not spend time trying to work out reasons. In the end it comes down to either just eating or a 'suck it up' mentality.

    That is my approach. If I *know* that I have had enough food and my body (not mind) is 'fueled' then my mindset is to suck it up and get through it.

    My eye is always on the end goal though and few things are going to get in the way of the 'prize'..

  3. I had to laugh at the "try knitting" comment- that wasn't Shelley's suggestion!

    Yep, misery loves company. And I think that even when you get to your goal weight, sometimes you'll have days like that. The difference will be in how you handle it, and your ability to keep your eye on the prize - which I have no doubt you will!

  4. Uggggggggggggh...hungry days. Worst. Ever. Also, I hate it when Mr. McGee is gone in the evenings, too. It sends me into "secret eating mode." His shift recently changed and now he has to go to the gym at night and I'm finding myself drinking lots and lots of decaf coffee to try to fill the void that my secret eating wants me to fill with cookies, cakes, chips, and such. Blerg!

    I was watching "My 600 Lb. Life" last night and I felt a lot less lame about the hungry days and the secret eating nights. It IS a food addiction that we most likely have...and will have for the rest of our lives. The key is finding some alternate to use instead of using food. We can do it. We will do it.

    Also, another blogger mentioned that she takes a shower/tub when she has those hungry moments. It keeps her busy and relaxed. Maybe that's something you could try. Take a tubby and listen to some music to change your mood and take your mind off of eating? I dunno.

    I hope you're doing better. And that outfit is TOOOOOOOOOOOO cute. I hope you rock that bad boy in the Caribbean. :) OWN IT.

  5. I suspect that as BIFs, had I been the one to suggest knitting, you might have gotten stabby with me - good thing you don't have any needles! ;) I know sometimes a vent is just a vent - as women we don't always want a solution, we just want to be heard and know that we're not alone...and that night, you sure had a lot of company!

    P.S. I hope you have some litmus paper, a rainbow and several slices of anise bulb on hand, just in case this happens again!

    1. Oh I forgot about the litmus paper lol! And you're right, it felt good to have so much company.

  6. I love that bit of inspiration!! As one of those commenters, my thoughts go back and forth. There are times when I decide to just allow myself to be hungry and others when I don't (and so I eat a little protein ;-). I mean, it's not like I'll disappear from a little hunger and I won't gain 50 pounds from a little protein. But it's taken me years to be okay with hunger...hunger used to make me angry and/or fearful and now I see it as a signal of either real, true hunger; emotional hunger; or hormonal hunger (which is sort of a combination of the first two). Being able to discern which one it is helps. And that does come with time if we're patient and willing to experiment.

    1. Yeah Karen I pretty much sat there chanting "Eat to Nourish Your Body" because I knew that I had and didn't need anything else. I just wanted to not give in to food because I felt if I did, even some protein, I would have opened a floodgate. And yes, I was at the very least annoyed with this hunger!

  7. I love that inspiration from Pinterest! And isn't it funny to know that so many people do struggle with this ... even if you wouldn't think it to look at them. I hate those days too! I bring my food to work and try to plan out the night before exactly what I will eat, sometimes I don't eat all my food, sometimes I'm just starving. I just don't get it sometimes!

  8. Ha! Can hardly wait to see your knitting results!

  9. I was talking to John about this and the hunger and he said there are days where he is a bottomless pit, too. He doesn't quite understand the compulsion to eat, though. He says it gets to a point where he just doesn't care and then eats.

    Social networking can really be a lifesaver!

    BTW - you should name your diet Paleo = No Faileo diet since it seems to be working so well for you!

  10. Mint green tea is one of my favorite things to keep the hungries in check. I try to drink 2-3 cups a day. Working on my first cup right now.

  11. Some days I feel like eating eveything in sight, and other days, I'm not hungry at all. There's usually no reason to feel either way, so I don't fully understand it. But I also know that my "always thin" friends have days like that, as well, and most of the time if they're extra hungry, they just eat more and satisfy their cravings. When I ask about how this works in terms of staying thin, they don't seem concerned and just say that maybe tomorrow I won't eat much. They seem to have an unconscious regulator on their appetite that makes everything even out. Maybe they don't have the obsessive guilt that many of us who deal with weight issues seem to have if we have a morsel of anything we deem to be "bad." I know for myself, that somewhere along the line, I became sensitized to obsessing over food, so it became confused with all kinds of emotions. Sorry for being so long-winded, but this is a topic that is of interest to me.

  12. Your graphic says it all. Stealing it!

  13. I'm a bit late jumping in here, but I would agree with your mother about the teeth brushing remedy. It worked for me for awhile. Now my current remedy is cleaning out my purse. What a distraction that is...every time!

  14. I know there are gonna be days like that.... I even do some Intermittent Fasting.
    I think it's another kind of training. Training to be hungry.
    And not freak out. It sucks and there's no good thing about it!
    Cepting hugs!

  15. I'm still on my quest to see food as 'fuel' for my body and not as some kind of warped idea of pleasure! I sometimes have that early evening huger; or at least i think/act that way. I liked the idea of brushing teeth during those times, but i wonder how long that would work for me, has somehow become a sort of 'friend' over the years.

    Love the quote you found on Pinterest!

  16. Gosh we all have days like that don't we? I wish we knew what causes this. I get it when we eat carbs and then want more carbs but why when you eat healthy and have plenty of good calories does it happen!!!

  17. late to this but lived it last night.
    Im an intuitive eater so I snacked and chalked it all up to "information my bod was giving me" but it's so interesting how with fluctuations (sleep hormones allergies) my hungerlevels F L U C T U A T E.

  18. The Core plan on WW actually talked a lot about hungry days; it's a misconception on our part that our bodies consume the same amount of calories every day, so putting in generally the same amount doesn't always work. Hungry days are just a natural part of how our bodies work. So we were encouraged to eat just a little bit more on those days, some extra meat or a whole grain or more veggies. Not to deny it, but to feed it -- with good foods we need to digest and that we can use for fuel.
    That was a revelation to me, and I've stopped fighting hungry days ever since. The only battle is steering my brain from junk food to an extra piece of cheese.