Eating and Happiness

Scarily, I have suddenly lost my appetite! I don’t know what it is, probably a combination of different factors including the warmer days, being in more consistent habits, and having settled into my exercise load, but I am just not hungry like I used to be. I know when faced with the portions I’ve been eating this entire time that it’s just too more food than I need now and just eating exactly the same amounts as before, I feel much fuller. A lot of the time I will still go ahead and eat it anyway though, and that’s because I have an emotional attachment to those mealtimes, the types and amounts of foods I’ve been eating so far. I think we all make certain bargains and compromises when we’re trying to reduce what we eat and those meals take on an even greater importance when other snacks and treats are being eliminated. Planned mealtimes are the one respite from stressing about eating when I shouldn’t be – and I don’t want to make them any shorter and deny myself that time! That might sound silly but it’s true.

Regardless though, the fact is that I don’t need or want to be eating these portion sizes any more. Weirdly, these sizes are already quite reduced from what they were last year, I’ve finally mastered that and I portion out my food in quite a disciplined manner with no extras, the majority of the time. So weird to think that having reached that point I now need to go beyond and cut again – but not in an effort to lose more weight more quickly, only because I don’t have the appetite to manage those portions any more. It’s a good opportunity to cut back, cut my intake proportionately and also listen more to my gut (literally!) and let my appetite guide me, to hone in on that feeling of fullness as it becomes apparent.

So one thing I’m going to try and do towards this is identify other things I can do for the sheer pleasure / chill-out value of doing them. Frivolous, happy things. My energy and engagement in life has changed a lot over these past four months, I remember how difficult it was at the beginning to try and motivate myself to get through my music hours and now I find myself romping through them; I remember how tempting it was to lie in bed all day watching TV (and eating!) and now I find I have less and less interest in doing that too. But I still need fun, relaxing time and things that feel pleasurable and treat-y if I’m not going to burn out, so it’s time to make a deliberate effort to identify those things and implement them. It’s not as straightforward as it looks – when I was making plans at the beginning of the year, I’d only factored in the BIG sources of joy – big celebration days and milestone rewards for goals met, but everything day-to-day was classed as a goal with a sense of obligation.

So I’ve started pulling together a list of things, which I’ll no doubt add to as I go along:

  • Time chilling out with a magazine (probably an interior deco one!)
  • Creative time beyond my normal scrapbooking/sewing – trying new things, making things for the sake of it, maybe an art-journal type thing? Buy something small and new and use it! At the moment the thought that’s making me happier is the idea of having a spotless and uncluttered desk with a little designated space for crafting, so maybe that’ll go on the list first!
  • Going out for a walk/wander/sit in the park – I really like those random wanders after my runs on a Monday, maybe just do some more of that without setting a target time or distance
  • Bath! Always!
  • Writing letters to imaginary people (sounds weird but it’s fun and quite therapeutic!)
  • More journal time
  • Visualisation time – building up my vision boards, dreaming about my ideal home or looking up images
  • Playing around with photos and videos – I have a load of great ones from various travels but a lot are unprocessed, like I was going to make an edit of the videos from our honeymoon but never did – it might be nice to chip away at some of those things



One thought on “Eating and Happiness

  1. I agree — having many sources of joy that aren’t food related have helped me to eat less. Watching less tv has helped me, too, because eating mindlessly and watching tv just go together far too easily. But if you’re busy doing something else, you either don’t think of eating, or it’s awkward to eat. I don’t eat when I sew, for example, because I don’t want to get food on my fabrics.

    Am curious about the writing letters to imaginary people. Sounds fun. Are your people completely imaginary (people you’ve made up out of your head) or are they imaginary like characters in a story (writing a letter to Mr. Darcy, for instance)?

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