I wasn’t hungry on Friday. Not one bit. I had five Points leftover for the day, and it would have been more if I’d not forced myself to eat some popcorn before going to bed so I wouldn’t wake up hungry in the middle of the night. God forbid.
But wake up I did, only not because I was hungry. Let’s just say I’ll be buying new bathroom rugs and a few new pairs of pajamas after the mess I created with the “stomach bug.”
Not only did I spend 18 hours getting intimately acquainted with my bathroom (and the path from the couch to said bathroom), I had time to think about how my body talks to me about food and how much of it I actually hear.
If I’d done what I was “supposed” to do, which is to eat all my daily Points allowance, if I’d stuck five more Points of food in my piehole before going to bed, forget new bathroom rugs and pajamas. I’d be on the phone with the EPA.
I was busy on Friday (see last blog entry), but nothing sounded good. I ate because, well, that’s what I do. Never mind that my stomach wasn’t feeling quite right or that I felt full all day and didn’t really feel like eating. I stuffed (good) stuff in my mouth, like I do every day.
Somewhere between the chills and the fever yesterday I wondered, When did eating become so rote, so predictable? The answer is, when I stopped really tuning in to what my body wants and needs. I’ve learned how to eat healthy and exercise to the point that I tell my body what it needs. I no longer ask it what it needs.
Of course the exception to that rule is when you don’t want to drink water because it will make your stomach hurt, but if you don’t, you’ll dehydrate and have to go to the emergency room. I got all tough love on my body about that yesterday. But aside from that, there won’t be many occasions when I need to force anything down the esophagus.
Whether I ate anything Friday or not wouldn’t have stopped the stomach bug. But it might have made the experience a little less harsh and I might have salvaged that second pair of pajamas.
This morning, as I laid awake in bed, I asked my body what it wanted to eat. My head was saying, “Eggs and toast! Eggs and toast!” But the rest of me was saying “Bland vegetable soup.” So I got up, took a shower (it was imperative that I scrub the plague off my body before I did anything else), and made a very mild soup with vegetable broth, celery, carrots, a small potato, green beans, zucchini, spinach, onions, garlic, and a pinch of barley, pepper, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary and marjoram. So far so good. Except for my head, nothing else hurts. Looks like I’ll live.
You know I’m a crusader for mindful eating, but as I discovered yesterday, mindful eating goes beyond just being aware of the food you put in your mouth. It also means being mindful of what your body (not your head or eyes) needs. If your body begs you to not eat, don’t eat! You just might save yourself a visit from men in hazardous waste suits.