. WIAW … is it time to eat? .

by Amanda @ .running with spoons. on October 3, 2012

Happy Wednesday, friends! :D

Apparently, I was super excited for this week’s party because I woke up at around 4:30 this morning and just could not get back to sleep. I didn’t have to be anywhere, nor was I trying to squeeze in a workout before work (day off, woo!)… I was just as wide awake as anything with basically no chance of falling back asleep. Boo.

After tossing, turning, and taking my frustrations out on my poor pillow, I finally gave up around 5, headed to the kitchen to brew up a cup of tea, and sat down at the computer to do some blogging. It wasn’t long, though, before my stomach started hinting that it wanted to be fed.

Now, I usually wake up anywhere from 6 to 6:30 and have breakfast at around 7:30. Today, by the time 6 o’clock hit, I was more than ready to chew my own arm off eat, but I found myself wondering if I should just hold off and wait until my “normal” meal time. In the end, I just couldn’t do it, and breakfast was promptly served at 6:08.

Plain Greek yogurt – banana/peach/blueberries – Kashi Cinnamon Harvest – Puffins – roasted almond butter.

It really bugs me that these kind of thoughts still pop into my head. Back in the days when I was really struggling with my eating disorder, I followed a rigid eating schedule that I refused to deviate from. I ate at set hours, and if I was hungry (which was basically always) but it wasn’t yet “time to eat,” I’d force myself to wait it out even if I felt like I was going to faint. I’d obsessively watch the clock, unable to focus on doing anything else, until that magic hour hit and let me know that I was finally “allowed” to eat. It was kind of a hellish way to live, and I’d rather not return to it.

Morning snack. I’m a multiple-bananas-a-day kind of girl.

Thankfully, I don’t see it ever happening again because I absolutely hate being hungry. Irritability. Mental fog. Fatigue. Lightheadedness. Who wants to deal with that? Or drag it out for longer than need be? I’d rather eat, feel satisfied, and move on with my day – even if that means having lunch at 10:30…

Turkey/cheese/hummus melt in a Rudi’s spelt tortilla – Random veggies on the side drizzled in olive oil.

… a snack at 1…

Pink lady apple (my favorite) and a Doctor Kracker Klassic 3-seed cracker.

… dinner at 4…

Breakfast for dinner! A bowl of Puffins, Kashi Honey Sunshine, and Enjoy Life trail mix. Milk added post-shot.

… and undoubtedly a few more snacks before the day is done, one of which must involve chocolate…

Zensoy Chocolate/Vanilla pudding.

As someone who thrives on routine, and needs a general schedule to maintain a balanced state of mind , days like today tend to throw me off a bit – they make me question whether or not I’m doing the right thing. Obviously, at the end of the day I know that I have to listen to my body and eat whenever I’m hungry, but that pesky little voice that lingers from my darker days never hesitates to try and veer me off course by throwing in his 2 cents. But he can keep his damn cents – I’d rather have dessert…

Fig and Date Oatmeal Bar.

And on a completely unrelated note… where the heck are my veggies?! I think I need to look into that, stat…

Hope you guys are having a great night! :)

 . – . – . – .

Do you eat by a schedule or honor your hunger whenever it shows up?
Do you ever try to “wait out” your hunger, or “save” your calories for later in the day from fear that you might end up eating more than you’d like to? I’d love to hear your guys’ experiences.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Aimee October 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Thankfully I’m no longer rigid with my eating schedule. At my worst no matter how hungry I was I used to wait until it was “time” to eat. I would be irritable, tired and just downright miserable!! Every so often I too have days like these and sometimes I hesitate but usually give in, eat and feel soooo much better. I think it all boils down to just trusting yourself !
Nothing wrong with breakfast for dinner! Oh and again that fig and oatmeal bar looks delicious!

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2 Matt @ The Athlete's Plate October 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm

I woke up at 4:45 (not by choice) and definitely could have gone back to sleep! Haha ;)
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3 Miss Polkadot October 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm

What a coincidence! I have actually been working on a post about this, too, because it’s a huge part of my ED I can’t seem to get rid of. Eating more calores? Allowing myself that extra square of chocolate? Yes. But eating lunch earlier than xy o’clock? Impossible. When “forced” to eat at different times – like when I’m at my parents’ – I still get hungry at my usual meal times. It’s irritating and makes me eat more than I’d like to.

I’m totally guilty of waiting out hunger though lately I’ve been able to let loose a little.
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4 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 4, 2012 at 9:25 am

It was a really hard habit for me to break out of as well, but it helps if you really focus on how much better you feel after you’ve given your body the food it asked for. Try to push away the guilt and fear by focusing on how much more energy you have and how much your mood improves.

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5 Miss Polkadot October 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I will try to, thanks! You’re a huge inspiration to me.
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6 Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness October 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I want your dinner! Breakfast for dinner is my favorite especially if its cereal!!!
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7 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles October 3, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Ugh, that was definitely me in the midst of my ED. I had my “set times” where I could have meals, and if I was hungry before that (umm, which I was every time) then, sucks to be me – I had to wait it out. I can still get uncomfortable sometimes if it feels like I’m eating at a really unreasonable time, but for the most part I think I’ve seen a massive improvement in terms of honouring my hunger.

P.S. Up at 4:30? I would cry. I like my 8 am wake ups. :-)
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8 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 4, 2012 at 9:26 am

Oh I cried a little too, but I felt so awake and full of energy that it wasn’t that bad. I ended up passing out at like 10 PM though :lol:

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9 Alex October 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm

DUDE your cereal bowls look so amazing every time I see them!!! :D YUMMM
I used to be super rigid about eating times, especially when I was first starting to recover. I think the majority of it stemmed from all the bodybuilding stuff I was reading saying “if you don’t eat exactly every three hours, your muscles will disappear and go catabolic.” …yeaaaahhhhh no. haha I’m working on being more intuitive now though, like you and man, it feels great to actually give your body what it wants when it asks rather than being governed by time!
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10 Lauren October 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Hi Amanda! I really love the feel of your blog. Something about it is very inviting and easy for me to navigate, whereas some are quite confusing! My daughter looooooooooves Puffins! I find it hard to eat cereal because I feel like it’s not good for me…but dammit I love it! :-) Happy WIAW!

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11 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 4, 2012 at 9:33 am

Thanks for taking a moment to say hi, Lauren! If you love cereal, I definitely say you go ahead and enjoy some! I used to be an oatmeal for breakfast kind of girl because I never thought cereal would do the job, but after having to cut back on oats because of an intolerance, I’ve actually found that cereal makes a great meal! As long as you amp it up with things like yogurt, fruit, and a nut butter, then it makes a healthy and filling meal :)

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12 sarah October 3, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Why eat 1 banana a day, when you can eat multiples of the delicious fruit? – especially when they’re perfectly freckled, like the one you have pictured. They have got to be one of The Best foods!

Love, fellow multiple-bananas-a-day kinda gal:)
Xxx

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13 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 4, 2012 at 9:34 am

<3 we need to start a club or something.

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14 Ellie@Fit for the Soul October 3, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Such great thoughts! Pfffff, as usual. :D I used to be very very rigid at one point. Now I’m verrrryyy flexible! I figure, hey, if I eat now I’ll have more energy and not go crazy later on anyway. Of course, dinner is much preferred earlier at night than like, 8pm or later (if possible. But if circumstances don’t allow that, I don’t fret). Mostly, I have a hard time breaking through the mindset of eating an actual meal after those hours because I get bloated and achy very easily! Not to mention, I wake up feeling groggy the next day. I’m so glad we’re in a good place Amanda, and so happy you’re doing better. It’s not the temptation that’s wrong, it’s giving in to it that’s wrong. Love ya so much!
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15 Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie October 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm

I used to be extremely strict about when I’d eat my nighttime snack. I kept reading all these articles that said don’t eat after 8 or don’t eat within 2 to 3 hours of going to bed so I followed that so-called rule rigidly…until I realized that I actually prefer eating later dinners around 7 pm so I don’t get hungry again until 9. So now I’m eating my snack at 9 even though it’s only 2 hours before bed and I like it so much better than forcing myself to eat at a certain time like I did before!
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16 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 4, 2012 at 9:38 am

Ahh that night time eating one got me too, and as a result I always slept like garbage because I went to bed hungry. Sometimes I eat like 30 minutes before I go to bed, and I’ve yet to experience any kind of ill-effects.

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17 Albizia October 4, 2012 at 12:41 am

I used to have set meal times and I was very reluctant to eat earlier even if I felt extremely miserable because linch at 11 and dinner at 4:30 meant that there was a big chance I would get hungry again before bedtime and cave in. An extra meal was considered a crime so I just had to get through the hungry hours somehow and eat when “the right time” came. Now I just eat whenever I’m hungry. Might have something to do with not counting calories anymore :D
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18 Khushboo October 4, 2012 at 1:12 am

I’m more of an oats person in the morning than cereal but your pics ALWAYS spark a craving! This is another post which took the words right out of my head. Back in the day, I was SO rigid with my eating too….day in, day out, I ate the same amount of food at the same time regardless of my schedule/hunger levels…and god forbid something came up at the same time! Lunch was no earlier than 1.45, snack after 5 pm and dinner was anytime after 8 pm! When I was on Weight Watchers, I used to always save a chunk of my points for the night because I was scared about getting hungry…and then I’d just end up eating because I could…yep my mindset was pretty distorted! Now I just eat whenever the grumbles hit…eat and move on to something more worthwhile!
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19 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 4, 2012 at 9:44 am

Oh girl, you know I was an oats in the morning kind of person, but I’ve gotta say that the cereal thing isn’t half bad ;) And I love what you said about moving on to something more worthwhile… I can’t focus on anything when I’m hungry, but as soon as I satisfy my stomach, I forget about food and can finally go on with my day.

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20 Floey October 4, 2012 at 4:32 am

I was pretty rigid in college until I graduated and realized that life doesn’t run by schedule too much anymore. Random things happen all the time, and life isn’t just about running on your preferred time. So now I’m wayyyy more flexible — to just whatever happens or whoever I’m around that day.
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21 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance October 4, 2012 at 4:41 am

I’ve experienced the SAME scheduling thing with my eating patterns, especially during my restriction period. It’s such a sad thing that we would put ourselves through the torture of waiting for meals, just so that we weren’t eating outside of our allotted “eating bubble”. Now I barely take a second glance at the clock before I decide it’s time to eat :D
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22 Sara @my less serious life October 4, 2012 at 4:52 am

i can totally related to this post. i tend to have eating times and i am working so hard to ignore them and listen to my body. why is this so hard to do? turns out, the world does not crumble if you eat your breakfast an hour early!
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23 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 4, 2012 at 9:48 am

Nope it doesn’t! It only makes it easier to move on with your day and focus on something else :)

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24 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 4, 2012 at 5:35 am

I used to be the exact same way! I would only let myself eat at 8, 12, and 6 and if I was hungry between those times (which I always was…) I had to suck it up. Even when I was recovering and eating more food and snacks, I still stuck to a pretty rigid schedule of 8, 12, 3, 6, and 9. It totally interfered with my life because I would plan everything around meal/snack times. But now I really have no set schedule to eating. Sometimes I’ll eat lunch at 11, sometimes at 2. Sometimes I’ll have a morning snack, sometimes I won’t. It all depends on my schedule and hunger levels, which is how it should be!
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25 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 4, 2012 at 9:51 am

Gah the planning things around your eating schedule was the worst for me. I was constantly trying to figure out what I would have enough time to do between meals, and would get so stressed out trying to come up with a schedule that worked around my eating times.

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26 Laura Agar Wilson (@keephealthstyle) October 4, 2012 at 6:02 am

I do try and listen to my stomach rather than the clock as much as possible but sometimes it just depends on work, I hate it when I’m stuck in a meeting and my tummy is growling at me!

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27 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers October 4, 2012 at 7:01 am

Cereal is amazing as-is, but somehow your cereal always looks super, extra amazing, like drool-worthy.
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28 Meg October 4, 2012 at 7:14 am

Oh girl I SO have those mornings too! Sometimes I’ll even wake up in the middle of the night starving (reason #4952 why I always eat before bed!)

Your food is perrrty :) So are you!

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29 Meg October 4, 2012 at 7:14 am

I’m not sure my comment went thru … if it didn’t …

I can totally relate – sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night starving, too! :P

Love!
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30 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Bah! Stupid spam filter. Fixed :D

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31 Shannon October 4, 2012 at 7:57 am

I still struggle a lot with this. When I wake up early like you did I really battle with my hunger and the clock. The same thing happens for lunch and dinner. the “it’s not TIME to eat” normally win over “I am hungry NOW” and when it doesn’t, yes I feel like I won over anorexia, but that feeling of uncomfortable still remains. How did you overcome this and begin eating when hungry?
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32 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 4, 2012 at 9:56 am

I really struggled with those uncomfortable feelings as well, but it helps to try and focus on how much better you feel when you give your body the food it wants. You get more energy. You stop feeling weak/lightheaded. You can take your focus off of food and move on to something else. It takes time, but try to start seeing food as something that will nourish your body and allow you to live the best life possible rather than seeing it as something forbidden or negative. Proper nourishment really makes a world of difference in how we feel, and realizing that helps with those uncomfortable feelings.

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33 Kat October 4, 2012 at 10:22 am

You know, there are days I dont eat any veggies either, and it doesnt bother me one bit :) Obviously I think we need them, but I dont stress it if I go a day without! Like I told you when we met, I do try to get as much in as I can to fight off all the cancers since its so rampant in my family, but I dont mind going a day without some :)
As for the whole eating at the right time thing, man I used to be super strict with a schedule, but not anymore!! Some mornings I have to eat at 6am right when I get up, and others I can wait until 8am! But my snacks happen randomly throughout the day, and I eat a super early lunch to. I break all the food rules now lol
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34 Lisa October 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I’m still pretty rigid with my eating habits and know I need more practice with eating at times where I’m truly hungry instead of set times I have. Its so silly to even have specific times to eat because our bodies aren’t calculators and don’t operate based on what time it is. If they are hungry, why not give them food. Seems so much simpler that way;)

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35 Irina @ Chocolatea Time October 4, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Pink Lady apples are by far my favorite apples. Honeycrisp stand in second place but Pink Lady will always have my heart. The Doctor Kracker crackers are delicious! They are so hearty and surprisingly filling. I love eating them with a slice of cheese.

I tend to eat “by a schedule” during the week, but only because at work everything and everyone seem to be on the same schedule when it comes to lunch (12pm!). I snack sooo much throughout the day though because I would starve otherwise.
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36 Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli October 10, 2012 at 12:16 am

Ugh, I have SUCH a hard time with this since my schedule for workdays and my schedule for days off are COMPLETELY opposite. I can’t help but always question my hunger…especially on days like today when I had a perfectly balanced lunch and then felt hungry an hour and a half later.

I’ve definitely waited it out my hunger on more than one occasion. Usually, I end up grabbing a small snack until it’s “time” to have my meal, but lately, I’ve been grabbing too many snacks (basically making a meal before my meal) and then, when it’s “time” to eat, I’m confused. It would be so much easier if life didn’t get in the way…if I could just drop everything whenever I was hungry and eat, but since I’m almost constantly on the go, I can’t seem to shake this schedule made in my mind…definitely need to work on this!
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