I have been hungry as long as I can remember. I would eat, and almost immediately be hungry again. I would never think that the food on my plate was enough. Going for dinners was planned out so I went to the place not with best food but with biggest plate.
I constantly thought about what my next meal would be and look like.
I would be full, but feel hunger at the same time. Always wanted to eat something. Never feeling saturated.
It has for sure been one of my biggest struggles whenever I have wanted to lose weight. I have not been able to keep myself from not eating. The struggle has been too hard. I would go down to not eat almost anything and then one day have some of the forbidden food and I could not stop myself. I would just eat. Not overfilling myself on one occasion so I have no issues with binge eating. I would just start eating again and as my psychological hunger would be so great, once the forbidden foods were back in my diet, I would just eat them and eat them at whatever occasion. Never restricting a thing any longer.
I did not know that I wanted to fix this, as I did think of it as normal. I was a thought that slowly has been creeping up.
I knew that something needed to change this time around. I want this transformation to be long-lasting and not for a short fix.
What Psychological Hunger Is For Me
Physiological hunger is pretty straight forward. You do not eat for an extended period of time and your brain gets messages from the stomach in form of ghrelin that it needs new fuel.
So what does it really mean- psychological hunger- for me?
It meant for me, that I was constantly hungry or thought about food. Constantly
I would wake up and think about how much I wanted to eat for breakfast. Already before finishing breakfast, I would think about a snack I could have before lunch and lunch could not come fast enough.
The hours between each meal was long dragging time which could not go slower.
It meant thinking, and breathing food and hunger. What I would cook, and how I would enjoy eating it once it was cooked. I would never feel saturated and I could always have just a tad more. Just a tad more again please. And just a tad again.
I would need cup after cup of coffee in-between each meal to be able to manage until the next one.
It must have been impossible that these feeling were sent from the stomach with the transmitter ghrelin. As I was was full.
This is what I refer to as psychological hunger. Something which was not sitting right with my mind and kept me feeling a mental hunger.
What Transformed Me and My Eating Habits?
I started intermittent fasting around September of 2020. I would eat between 10 AM to 6 PM. I would need to sip cup after cup of coffee and tea in the morning and after 6 PM just to be able to continue on. Hunger would be ravenous and I still dreamed about food.
At one point it was even worse than before as now I was restricting the time, and I would stress eat, just because I knew that soon my eating window would close.
Slowly but surly something was happening though, not over night. Not in a week and not in a month.
I started to feel that the 10 AM bit of food was not making sense any-longer. Between 10 and 12 which is my lunch time I would be able to manage. I would not need to eat during these 2 hours.
Staving hunger away with a coffee would be enough. Soon not even that. The hunger was just not needed to be staved away as it was not even there.
So my new eating window would be from Noon to 7PM. And by time the most interesting thing happened. I was not counting the hours until I could have a meal.
Not needed to cook anymore really helped as well. Not needing to be around the aromas and tasting of the food.
The interesting thing is that I have had no restrictions. More than my eating window yes, but the amount or the type of food has been really giving. There has been no forbidden food nor ingredients which I would not eat.
Healing From Psychological Hunger and Coming to Terms With Food
I have been so sad the last month. I have felt like a failure and not knowing how to really move on. I have been working out, and in that department it has been great. I have become stronger, been able to run farther.
My weight stood still though. Not a gram in any direction. I was ready to throw in the towel and announce myself defeated.
Then it hit me.
I am no longer hungry. I no longer obsess about food nor think about it. I do not think what I want to cook and I do not plan what I will snack.
Of course I am hungry, but I do not feel the hunger as a never ending emotion. I wake up in the morning, not feeling like an endless pit or that I have to drink my coffee to be able to survive few hours before lunch.
I do not feel like all I want is night to come, so I no longer need this punishment of not eating food.
I feel fine. I eat. I feel full. I do not think about food, as I feel full.
It is a odd sensation honestly, as this obsession has been with me forever. If I did not eat, I thought about it. Planned it or cooked it.
For me I can clearly see few things that has truly helped me
- Not cooking myself any-longer.
- Intermittent fasting.
- No restrictions in regards of food types
- Practicing accountability as a part of my life, as it has reduced stress
- Dealing with my emotions about everything- as it has reduced stress
- Getting financial stabile- as it has reduced stress and I am in control of my life.
Moving Forward With Weight-loss
Realizing this. the other day left me feeling so much better. I have healed from a terrible condition and we cannot do all in one go. This process might be longer, but I think it is the right one and this only confirms it for me.
I feel I finally have a normal relation to food. I do not need to overeat, I have found that what I eat and how much I move can clearly keep me maintaining. I have somewhat found home.
And I have done it, without feeling like I deprive myself from anything. Amounts has just been naturally and I have stopped when I felt good.
I do want to still lose weight though. I know I have too much body for my frame. I can feel it in my hips and knees and lower back, that they are not happy.
My joint in my toes hurt and I do not think that having these extra 20 kilos is a plus in this equation.
So I will continue on this path, making some tweaks though. I will remove the afternoon cake and the extra 2 bread slices a day.
Being mindful of not eating it everyday, but just sometimes. Not removing completely but decreasing the frequency of it.
Pizza and pasta sometimes, and maybe not all of it every week.
I feel so much in peace with this now, as I know it is nothing painful I need to do. I have already found peace with my food.
Being more mindful about the nutritional value I put into myself does not feel like a chore right now, if feels like a treat.