The post was inspired by a recent FB live event I hosted for my community, The Health-usiastic Life with Hilary, in which I talked about my experience as a recovering “grazer” and how to eat with more intention.
I talked about how grazing (you know, eating bites of this and bites of that, picking here and there, but not eating full meals) leaves us feeling unsatisfied and deprived, and how that feeling often manifests in a binge.
I talked about how the “rules” that many dieters cling to–that eating less, skipping and/or skimping on meals, are key to getting results–are actually what make eating MORE complicated and results MORE elusive.
As a grazer, I would avoid eating certain foods in public or resist serving myself an actual portion of something I deemed “forbidden” and “bad”…
But I would instead pick at the item every time I passed the fridge.
I had it in my head that if I only ate a bite here and there, it didn’t “count.”
I grazed because I was so afraid that actually sitting down for a meal, or allowing myself to enjoy (God forbid!) a piece of cake or pie or whatever, would make me gain a ton a weight.
I was in denial about the fact that not only was I likely consuming as much (if not more) of these “bad” foods by eating a bite here and there throughout the day; but I was setting myself up for failure because I was constantly hungry as a result of never eating full, satisfying meals!
I was walking around both hungry and deprived, a potent combination that created the perfect storm for a binge.
Whenever these binges would occur, my MO was never to examine my behavior around food and perhaps consider that it might be healthier and less stressful to ACTUALLY EAT A DAMN MEAL!
My immediate reaction to a binge was to “tighten up” my eating: graze less, not more. Eat less, not more. Restrict and deprive myself more.
I would “purge the pantry” and fridge of “bad” foods so that I wouldn’t be tempted… only to end up binging on whatever was left in the back of the fridge!!!
You know what I mean–all the stuff that just sits in the fridge that we would never actively choose to eat under normal circumstances, and which don’t satisfy us at all.
At these times, I felt so powerless up against the urge to eat whatever I could get my hands on that whatever in was in the back of the fridge or pantry was fair game.
For a long time, I thought that it was my lot in life to be addicted to food, to be food-obsessed, and it meant that I was damaged in some fundamental way…
I told the folks in my group, and I’m here to tell you the same:
You’re not damaged, you’re not beyond hope, and you’re not a lost cause! There is life beyond grazing!
Grazing is an habit that keeps us in this food-obsession loop: since we’re basically eating one, continuous meal instead of punctuating our day by eating meals with a beginning, middle and end; it’s impossible NOT to be thinking about food 24/7!
The more deprived we feel, the more we think about food, period.
In this snippet of the live broadcast I reference above, I share the exact strategies I used to help curb the urge to graze; loosen up around food; and get free from the 24/7, 365-food loop in my head!
Did this post resonate with you? Do you struggle with food obsession, staying motivated to exercise, knowing what and how to eat to reach your goals?
If so, I want to invite you to join our *free* FB community, The Health-usiastic Life with Hilary!
This *FREE* group is for health-usiasts who love exercise and nutrition, but who also love life and want to enjoy it as much as they can.
We talk about nutrition and exercise in the context of how to streamline or automate the way we do these things so we can obsess LESS and thrive MORE!