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erIt sounds so simple doesn’t it? To just not do anything else whilst eating food. No television, no surfing, no books, no radio, no listening, no watching, no reading of any sort, no doing. Just eating.

It makes me really focus on whether I want to eat or whether I’m just thinking of food out of habit or because of the time or simply because I’m bored and want an excuse to stop working. After all, if I can’t actually be bothered to stop whatever I’m doing in order to eat then I can’t be that hungry.

The revelation that I’m not so much an emotional eater but more one who eats when it’s convenient (a pre-emptive eater) has made quite a change. Having to pause for food also makes me really question whether I want it or not.

It’s been hard to listen to my hunger and judge when I’m faintly peckish, slightly hungry, properly hungry or ravenous. It all merges into one big uncertainty and then after I’ve eaten I sometimes feel hungrier than before in a way that suggests I wasn’t really hungry in the first place. Confused? I certainly am.

But I’m learning. I’m learning to honour my hunger by waiting to see if I really am hungry or whether it was a temporary blip. I’m amazed at how difficult I find it. I haven’t formally recorded my hunger pre and post meals. I’m still trying to work out what my hunger scale is and how to recognise it. But maybe that is next week. I am learning an awful lot this week.

I’m also amazed at my resistance to thinking about food. Am I or am I not hungry? I don’t want to  have that conversation with myself. It’s boring. I have overly compensated for my parents’ obsession with talking about food so much that not only do I not want to spend time planning or cooking, but I don’t want to spend time deciding whether I’m hungry or not. Hence my going for food at the slightest pang of hunger. I can eat and feel full, if not stuffed and know that I don’t have to think about food for a while. That is just plain ridiculous.

A side effect is that I’ve been more active during the day. I did some gardening on Sunday, the first for ages; it was probably only half an hour but a start. I’ve done the washing up earlier in the day so I can have a clean and clear table to eat off. I sit there with my clean table devoid of so much of a cornflake packet to read and eat while staring out the window, trying to not consciously think about things but to just use it as a pause from doing. I’m not being mindful as such about eating but I’m trying to be neutral.

I’ve also just done little bits of cleaning that I’ve put off. I know I go through slumps of not being physically active and this has been a long one but already I’m feeling more positive. I cancelled my appointment with my GP to discuss going back on anti-depressants. At the moment they’re not needed.

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