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I think one of the realities of intuitive eating is understanding that some days you are hungrier than others. Some days I hardly think about food at all. I go for hours and hours not feeling particularly hungry and eat a little bit and that is that. But some days are what my dear husband calls “hollow leg days”. These are days where you feel like you must have a hollow leg because it seems like you’ve eaten plenty to fill your stomach but still feel hungry. My husband says, “It must have gone somewhere. Maybe I have a hollow leg.”
I’m not talking about stress eating here or eating because you are bored. Although these are both potential pitfalls of intuitive eating. I’m talking about genuine, tummy grumbling, there’s gotta be a few more crackers in this box hunger. Sometimes it seems a tame thing that is kept at bay. And sometimes I find myself like Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors demanding, “Feed me Seymour!”
This intuitive eating thing can be really challenging. It’s easy to eat intuitively when you are craving spinach. It’s a little more challenging to eat intuitively when you are craving spumoni or sausage. It can be a struggle to quiet the guilt and keep the old diet thoughts at bay. Luckily, I get to observe a real, native, free range, lifelong intuitive eater in my own house. My husband has always been naturally thin, so people have encouraged him throughout his life to eat exactly what he wants. So he’s an intuitive eater. He always has been. And I’ve seen “hollow leg days” happen to him. (It’s his terminology after all.)
Since dieting was such a disaster and the HAES (R) approach has been such a force for happiness in my life, I plan to stay the course. Part of intuitive eating is pushing away from the table when I’m full. Part of intuitive eating is looking for something to eat again 2 hours after lunch because I am still hungry or I feel hungry again. These are two sides of the same coin. Part of pushing away when full, eating just one cookie or eating two bites of pie is the implicit understanding that I can have another cookie or another bite of pie or another 1/2 hamburger whenever I am truly hungry for them. Even if logic seems to dictate I “shouldn’t be”.
So when I’m having a hollow leg day, I’ll shout (or sing), “Feed me Seymour! Feed me all night long!”
The Fat Chick