Is That All I Get?
Every time I look at my plate I think, is that all I get? Logically, I know the portion size is right for me, but I want more. My struggle is, how do I match up with what I want versus what my body really needs?
This has been a constant struggle for me, and I’ve tried all the tricks. Use a smaller plate, eat slower, savor my food. They do work, but there’s still that little voice taunting me—more, more, more.
Why do I see a normal portion and feel it’s not nearly enough? I pondered this and realized I’m the child who’s afraid of not getting her share. If I don’t grab it now, it won’t be there later.
My best solution for this is to tell myself that if I’m still hungry I can have more. I strive to eat slowly, savor my food, the textures, tastes, and colors. I drink water in between bites, and I may even get up once or twice to see if I’m still hungry. Many times, I’m full but don’t feel it while I’m sitting down. Once I stand up, it’s like the food settles and I’m full.
Dr. Michelle May, author of Eat What You Love Love What You Eat had this mindful moment on portion size that really helped me. “Your stomach is about the size of your fist so it only takes a handful or two of food to fill it.”
Whenever I’m tempted to overfill my plate, I imagine that fistful of food and it really helps.
There are times when I look at my plate and think there’s no way I can eat all that, but I still want to. For instance, after a couple of hours mountain biking I was going to have a salad, then decided to have a Philly cheese steak sandwich. It came with a huge plate of fries. I ate half of the sandwich (I only needed a quarter because it was so huge) and a portion of the fries. But I wanted every last one of those fries, even though I would be stuffed and uncomfortable.
Instead, I ate a few and I enjoyed every one until I was comfortably full. I still wanted the rest, but I left them and rather than feel deprived, I was satisfied. It’s a start, but I’ve still got work to do.
My goal is to learn to fill my plate without having to stop myself from overfilling it. I’m not there yet. I know I’ll be there when I can look at it, and say, “This is too much food.”