Okay, so the 80% thing is weird. That’s the best way I can find to explain it.
I’ve always known that I had a tendency towards emotional eating, but I didn’t realize how much I equated being filled with being fulfilled. It’s hard to stop at 80%, just short of what’s always felt satisfying. It’s like not quite being able to reach that mosquito bite that’s smack dab in the middle of your back.
Another challenge for me is that if I skip meals (mostly breakfast or lunch), a migraine is a distinct possibility. So, I have a second equation that resides in my brain: hunger = migraine. I start to get hungry and alarm bells start going off in my head: EAT FOOD! EAT FOOD! Of course, I can be hungry without getting a migraine but I don’t let that little fact get in the way of shoveling the food into my mouth when that’s what I want to do.
I need two different strategies to mitigate these two very different situations. For the first, I need to figure out how to divorce feelings and emotion from eating. Make eating something that’s all about fueling my body and enjoying the food and stop allowing food to provide comfort, because that’s just an illusion anyway.
For the migraine situation, I need to tune in to what my body is telling me and know that every hunger pang doesn’t mean that a migraine is inevitable. It’s looking at the situation logically and trust that as long as I’m not skipping meals or drastically cutting calories that any headache I get isn’t linked to a lack of food.
Trolling the PN discussion forums, someone posted the following link, and the article has given me some more insight on the whole 80% thing. Basically, stopping at 80% really is like stopping at 100%. Huh? Because it takes 20 minutes for the stomach to get the signal to your brain that it’s full, if you stop at 80%, you’ll usually find that 80% is 100% in disguise.
A couple of graphics that have also been posted show hunger on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being starving and 10 being overstuffed (a.k.a “Did I really just eat that whole pizza?”). I want to learn to eat when my hunger level is at about a 2-3 … don’t get too hungry, but also make sure that I’m actually hungry before eating. The flip side of that is to stop eating when I’m at about a 7 or 8, knowing that 9 and 10 are really uncomfortable and will cause me regret and an evening of sitting on the couch, moaning all night about how I can no longer button my jeans.
All easier said than done, but at least I’ve got something to work with now.