Monday, June 8, 2015

Lean Habits 3: Eating Just Enough and the tipping point

Image compliments of a nice post at
Last week I had an interesting discussion about habit 2-3 with some fellow Lean Habits devotees.  The discussion was about how difficult it is to stop eating when you've had "just enough."  We've played with fewer start times to eating before.  Now we're going to move up the finish line on those eating experiences.  It's quite an intelligent way to trim the amount of food going in.  And not without its ups and downs.

When you've worked to cut out snacking, and eat three meals a day, you can have the sense of relief when it's time to eat.  "Finally!  I get to eat!  Yes!!!!"  And when you're eating out of hunger, and you're not too used to feeling hunger, regular hunger can feel like ravenous hunger!

So when someone made the point that the eating itself is so enjoyable that we don't want it to stop... I recognized my truth in that.  I thought about the sense of sadness that came over me when I thought about stopping a little sooner (a few bites sooner).  The implication is that the pleasurable activity, which has been whittled down already, is going to get whittled down even further.

However, there is also sadness at being at a higher weight than I want to be, and frustration associated with the way my clothes are fitting, where I have to go to shop for clothing, and my ability to move and play with my 4 year old son.  So there are opportunities for "sadness trades" that I'd really like to make!

Can I associate the little bit of sadness I feel at not spooning out such a large portion of a delicious food (this is a pre-game way to eat just enough that's a brilliant strategy) with a possibly more happy experience in a changing room in a few months?  Just what would I give for a positive experience shopping for clothes?  How much suffering have I done in dressing rooms over the last 20 years?

These things were bouncing around in my head... and this weekend I had what might be the mother of all realizations.  As we tighten up the "loopholes" in our eating - grazing, and eating too often and too much - I finally felt a major shift this weekend.

For years, I was at the mercy of whatever food happened to pass in front of me.  If it was there, I was probably going to eat (and overeat) it.  So eating strategy was about "what am I going to say NO to and how hard will that be?"

This weekend, I saw food as three meals... made up of WHAT AM I GOING TO SAY YES TO because it will give me the most distinct pleasure, and satisfaction.  By tightening up the loopholes, I see a whole new way of being with food.  And somehow it did not seem based on deprivation.

While I may not be experiencing a tipping point yet... I think I see the tipping point taking shape.  And it's beautiful.


jenneraub said...

Hi Anna! I tried to post a comment the other day but I think it didn't work. Anyway just wanted to say hi & let you know how much I've been enjoying your blog! It takes a lot of courage to be so forthcoming about your struggles -- it's very inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing & I look forward to following along your journey ... And learning about what I'm sure will be many more successes! Xoxo

Anna Van Fleet said...

Hey Jenne thank you for stopping by :)
This isn't nearly as exotic a locale as your current travels!!!!

Jane Antonovich said...

Very nicely said...Love your insight, thank you!

Anna Van Fleet said...

Hi Jane, I appreciate your visit to the blog :)