• on February 28, 2016

Why can’t I just eat when I’m hungry?

This week we looked at hunger and all the subtle, complex interplay of hormones that are involved in regulating our hunger. Why don’t we simply eat when we are hungry and stop when we have had enough, like normal eaters do?

We looked at what is happening in our brains when the call to eat comes that is nothing to do with hunger. The million zillion triggers that find us cupboard cruising at night or popping out in the car for a little snack (not usually so little once surrounded by “crack” in the shop!)

This week’s work is to be curious, not condemning, of our behaviour. What, when, how, do we routinely ignore our hunger, rather than welcome it as a true signal to be responded to? Do we even feel hungry at all? Ever? Do we feed it inappropriately with non-foods that cause our blood sugar to peak and crash and peak and crash again, as we seek the same degree of numbing and zoning out, time and time again. Do we respond to social pressures to join in and eat beyond what we know is enough for us? We explored these issues and more.

So tomorrow we will be moving onto Step 4 of The Process: engaging with our behaviours kindly. We are on a mission to understand how our natural behaviour around food became derailed and how we can return to the simple pathway of natural hunger cues. We will be looking at habits; how they are formed and, in spite of what we might feel some days as we reach for yet another Hobnob, how easily they can be changed.

Our habits reflect our brains’ best attempts to deliver what we have asked for. We have developed these tram lines of behaviour, we can develop new ones due to the amazing neuroplasticity of our brains. We want something different now and it is perfectly possible to choose a different path, especially with the group’s help and support. We want a life free from compulsion, bingeing, overeating and body hatred.

The group is here to support and share our individual processes. There is no right or wrong way of tackling our issues. I, like my fellow group members, choose my own pace of change that is in harmony with me, no one else. In the past we have pushed and coerced ourselves into change and it never lasts. This is a different approach. It is slow, gentle, deep and kind. No magic wands here.

It is an amazing privilege to see people connect with their eating behaviour and try new ways to support themselves, as Emily, Kate, Jane and I are doing, but without the harsh, punitive regimes of the past. We are witnessing change.

#ieatwhatineed, #compulsiveovereating, #bingeeating, #hunger, #neuroplasticity, #change