Eating to Satisfaction

At the end of a meal, are you satisfied? By that, I mean, do you come away from the table feeling moderately full, refreshed, and nourished? Do you feel better for having eaten, or worse?

In the days when I dieted (to lose weight,) the puny amounts of food I got at mealtimes never filled me up. Nor did I take great delight in how the food felt in my mouth. For one thing, I was famished, especially after the first couple of days. So I tended to either gobble my food or to ration it at periodic intervals, which meant that I focused on making the food last for the duration of the meal rather than on enjoying it.

Between diets, I always went for non-diet foods, i.e. treats high in sugar, salt, fat, without regard to their mouth-feel, my fullness level, or how they made me feel afterwards. I now see that those eating experiences were unsatisfying in nearly every way. You might think that when I was totally free to eat what I wanted, I would choose the most tasty, wholesome food to be found on the planet. But I often ate on impulse, in the car, out of cardboard containers, or mindlessly in front of the TV. I felt obligated to eat everything that wasn’t on the last diet I had been on. Obligated to eat? Is that a valid reason?

Kale Salad, Green Beans, Sweet Potatoes
Kale Salad, Green Beans, Sweet Potatoes

When I gave up dieting in 2009, it took a while to realize that I wasn’t between diets anymore and that I didn’t have to eat the fun stuff (sugar, etc) while I had the chance, for nothing is off limits now. As I’ve been experimenting with new dishes, I’m discovering new combinations of ingredients, new herbs and spices. Last week I made Eggplant and Zucchini Ratatouille because it called for Herbs de Provence, which I’d never before used, and because the dish was colorful and attractive. Wish I’d snapped a photo.

My new goal is to savor every bite and to feel better for having eaten instead of stuffed. Who knew that could be so satisfying?

2 thoughts on “Eating to Satisfaction

  1. Just read your article in womanalive may 2013 and had to say that your story of growingup with diets could be my story. I am inspired to try what you have done, with the Lord’s help!
    Thank you.

    1. I’m glad you found the Woman Alive article helpful. As you can imagine, the old diet mentality pops up when I least expect it because I dieted for so many years, but with God’s help, even I can learn to listen to the hunger and fullness signals He built into my body. (Not that I pay attention 100% of the time! It’s an ongoing process.) But I do enjoy meals more than ever before. Thank you for reading and commenting, Rose! I hope you’ll let me know how it goes.

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