Saturday, December 26, 2009

Not Wanting More

During the holidays, I was given a big portion of a cake from a work-related associate. The entire amount of cake would probably be two somewhat large portions or three smallish portions. I gave myself a portion equivalent to a quarter of the entire amount of cake. The cake was divine in texture, taste, and smell. It was definitely one of the best bits of cake that I ever had.

I had about 5 bites of cake in my portion, since I eat relatively small bites. I do this because my mouth is small and I can’t eat a lot at once. I ate my small piece and experienced something that I cannot recall having experienced in my memory, and certainly not as an adult. I thoroughly enjoyed the cake and finished my piece, but I had absolutely no desire to have more. It wasn’t that I was full, as these days I’m rarely truly full. Besides, I’ve been full before and followed up quite imprudently on a desire to eat more (especially when it came to dessert) when I had had quite enough. Fullness never put me off of eating more of something that tasted good.

For the first time in memory, I really enjoyed something, but didn’t want more at all. I had the experience and enjoyed it, and that was “enough”. I don’t think I can recall having “enough” when it comes to food I really enjoy short of having extreme stomach discomfort that forced me to stop, or running out of food. It’s the sort of impulse that tends to make people who are overweight have issues leaving a bag of cookies or chips unfinished. They just keep going back for more at every opportunity until it’s gone. I remember that impulse with perfect clarity as it’s a battle I’ve fought again and again and lost throughout most of my adult life.

Not wanting to go back and eat more of that extremely tasty cake was such a profoundly different experience, that I took note of how the absence of desire felt. I wondered if it was going to happen the next night when I had another small portion of the cake as a holiday treat. I wondered if this was a fluke, or if it was the culmination of the conditioning I’ve been doing on myself for the past six months.

The next night, I had the same experience. I had a small piece of cake and again had no desire to tunnel back into the fridge and nibble at more. Maybe it’s the cake, but I doubt it. I think there has been some sort of shift in my relationship with food as a result of the behavioral changes I’ve made.

I can’t say that I believe it’s going to happen every time, nor can I say I believe it will last forever or happen every time I eat some really delicious food. I don’t even know exactly what actions I've taken which has led to this change, but I have a feeling that it's related to actively tasting food that I eat for pleasure and not denying myself anything that I want to eat. All I know is that it felt good. It felt as if I had a sickness that has been plaguing me all of my life and suddenly I wasn't suffering its effects. It was like a tremendous psychological burden had been lifted, if only for a short time.

1 comment:

dlamb said...

Sounds like a great experience that I will probably never have, with the few things that I like a lot, unless I am so full that I feel sick. Not complaining about it, just being realistic.
I am quite certain I never actually taste the food and the association with the reason I have overeaten or binged in the past makes it pretty clear why I don't taste but just shove it in (elegantly but nevertheless...)

I am glad you've found something that is so liberating.