Weeklongs 7 | Meals Are Not A CheckBox

by Scott - No Comments

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This post is part of my Weeklongs Project.

This week was about letting internal signals direct eating instead of external cues.

As an undersized college football player, I ate constantly. My 5’10 frame was not going to stop me from trying to look like Lattimer from The Program. I didn’t stop eating when I was full and didn’t wait until I was hungry to start. I’d end up eating 4-5 meals a day. In retrospect eating seemed almost more like part of a regimen than an act to satiate my hunger.

Despite the fact that I’ve hung the cleats up, I’ve noticed I still behave this way. Between the hours of 12-2 I’ll go eat lunch – not always because I’m  hungry but because you’re supposed to eat lunch then. Old habits die hard? I think my proclivity towards efficiency also compels this behavior. If I have a free 20 minutes between two calls during lunch hours I’ll “get lunch out of the way.” It’s almost like I pre-empt hunger. It’s easy to rationalize because when unaddressed, hunger is inevitable. Why not take care of it when you have some down time?

This week was about letting my body dictate consumption instead of the external cue provided by meal-time. Practically, this meant eating only when I was truly hungry and stopping consumption when my body told me I’d eaten enough. I was amazed by the degree that paying to my body changed my behavior. In general, I ate later, slower and less than usual.

I think these changes occurred due to the shift in how I framed meals. This week meals weren’t just a checkbox that I happen to enjoy – they were a response to an internal signal that was continuously calibrated throughout my day. When something is not viewed as a task, you give yourself permission to enjoy it vs. the need to execute it as fast as possible.

Other things I learned about myself

  • My love for efficiency is why I’m not a foodie.
  • I can easily last till 2 before I need lunch – I did not think that was possible.
  • Anytime I put something on a list or bundle it as a to do, I’ll unconsciously attempt to execute it as fast possible.
    • This one reason I eat really fast
  • Sometimes I eat just to feel like I’m doing something productive because it’s on a list.

Practically eating like this moving forward will be impossible to pull off. However, it was cool for a week and it’s beneficial to have in the back of my mind moving forward.

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