. blindly going in the right direction .

by Amanda @ .running with spoons. on November 13, 2012

And just like that, things are back to normal around these parts. Yesterday I was insatiable, today I’m quite content. Or at least I was after I got some breakfast in me…

Plain Greek yogurt – banana – homemade applesauce – Kashi Cinnamon Harvest – Puffins – Barney Butter

I wouldn’t say that I ever really wake up starving, but hunger definitely starts to kick in about half an hour after I get out of bed; and then once more in the late afternoon…

Starbucks Cappuccino.

Chocolate chip pumpkin bread.

… aaaaaand again after dinner…

Chocolate Vitamuffin – Greek yogurt – caramel pudding

Okay, so I’m basically always ready and willing to eat, but unlike yesterday, today I wasn’t ready and willing to gnaw my limbs off as well. See? It all balances out in the end. Super hungry one day, eat more, less hungry the next. Voila! And can I just say thank goodness for that – being constantly hungry makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong.

If you guys recall, a while back I mentioned that I don’t keep track of my macros or calories – it was an obsession that consumed my life for far too many years and the freedom I gained from it isn’t something I’m willing to give up. BUT… and this is a big but… lately I’ve been wondering if I shouldn’t start paying a little more attention to my eating habits. I’ve become a little too carefree with my eats, to the point where I can’t help but wonder if I don’t end up accidentally under eating on some days.

But that’s life, right? One day you under eat, the next day you make up for it – hence the occasional insatiable appetite. As long as I’m honoring my hunger, there’s no reason to worry, right? (please say right) I mean, tracking my calories was a good way for me to make sure that I ate enough everyday, but at the same time… the obsession, the control, the fear… ugh - not something I’m willing to risk falling back into again. And it’s a slippery slope, isn’t it? You say you do it to be healthier. You say you’re in control. You say you can stop anytime. Yeaaaaah, I’ve heard that one before – five years and one ED later and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished that I’d just saved myself the trouble and never bothered trying to get ‘healthier’ in the first place.

No. No, I think I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. Even if I do make mistakes (and I do), I learn from them. I may not be completely in tune when it comes to my body and what it wants/needs, but there’s one thing I do know – I’m not ever willing to go back down that road again. You know the road I’m talking about. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. It sucked. Even if I sometimes feel like I’m forging on ahead blindly with absolutely no idea as to what I’m doing, at least I know that I’m going in the right direction… and that’s good enough for me :D

. – . – . – .

How long after you wake up do have breakfast?
What time of the day are you usually the hungriest?
Did you enjoy a tasty treat today? 

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin November 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Yes yes and yes. Keep doing what you’re doing girl. The whole “I’m just going to start keeping track to make sure I’m eating enough, healthily, bla bla bla” … this has always taken me back 5 steps into a place I’ve been before and don’t ever want to be. A place of too much control and obsessive thoughts. I think it’s healthy to keep going blindly as you are doing because that’s essentially life. I love that you were honest that once you have recovered from an ED and have healthier habits, it’s still a struggle from time to time not to fall back into old behaviors. Love ya girl.

Oh and to answer one of your questions…I had a cup of hot cocoa after lunch today and it was amazing. Warmed my belly and my soul :)

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2 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 9:28 am

Yeah, I definitely think it’s a dangerous thing to play around with for people who’ve had trouble obsessing about it before. It’s like opening Pandora’s box… you start small and introduce a whole whack of other problems.

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3 Alex @ therunwithin November 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I wish I could say I have some hard facts that everything evens out but I am still listening to people much smarter and intuitive than me (aka nutritionists) to tell me that it is normal and ok to have those hungry days. I remember what really helped me was my nutritionist saying she would rather me vary the calories each day (which is why we used exchanges not calories so I never had numbers in mind). In the tough moments, I just make myself blindly follow and not think too hard about it. I am hungriest at night and in the afternoon mainly because in the morning I have zero appetite, like breakfast is non existent. My body just doesn’t want it. Once in a blue moon though breakfast is calling.
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4 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 9:32 am

I haven’t done much in terms of scientific inquiry, but from what I can tell it definitely seems to all even out in the end, so I don’t think we need to worry. It’s probably the whole ‘unknown’ concept that’s the worst, but I think in some cases it’s just better not to know.

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5 Aimee November 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I think you’re definitely on the right track- you have such a healthy relationship with food – something to admire!! I know I’ve been down that same road and no matter what I’m NEVER going back!!
I usually eat about 20 minutes after I wake up and have my coffee. Hungriest- usually before dinner and always have a snack before bed ! I’m about to have my tasty treat now – chocolate milkshake!

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6 Matt @ The Athlete's Plate November 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm

I don’t usually wake up hungry either since I always eat a big snack a few minutes before bed. It helps me sleep! I also run first thing in the AM before breakfast.
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7 debbie November 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I don’t think you should start tracking again. For someone with an ED history, it’s an incredibly slippery slope, no matter how “over it” you think you are. I know this from experience, unfortunately.
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8 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 9:33 am

Yeah that’s exactly what I imagine it to be. I would probably find it way too triggering (and not to mention obnoxious), so I’ll probably be avoiding it.

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9 Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale November 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm

If I am not making breakfast within 10min (15 at the ABSOLUTE max) of waking up … oh man, it’s not a pretty scene. It’s more mental hunger than physical though, which is weird. But that’s just the way I am I guess. It hasn’t been as bad lately, to be honest. Yay for my body trusting that I’ll feed it! :D
I’m TOTALLY with you on feeling as though an insatiable day feels as though I’ve done something wrong the day before. Also proud to say that those days are getting fewer and farther between as well as I’m slowly figuring things out.
Kudos to staying away from the cal counting!! I follow an exchange-program plan where cereal=rice=pasta=bread=oatmeal (in the proper portions) and proteins=proteins and so on … so it’s balanced but so flexible that it’s actually awesome. I was trying to eat intuitively, but it just wasn’t enough for me at the time. Looking to get back there, but I’m okay using a framework for the time being.
I’m always hungriest before my morning break at work (which makes sense because it’s the longest I got during my waking hours without food) or before breakfast after I get home after an overnight shift. And I haven’t treated myself today. I was THIS close to asking the flu shot women if I could have a Lindt, even though I already had my flu shot two weeks ago … but chickened out. I’ll have my oz of dark chocolate before bed though, as always. :)
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10 Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale November 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I lied. :D
Banana fro-yo with cocoa, coconut extract, and copious amounts of sunflower butter.
BAM! haha. xo
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11 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 9:37 am

It takes a good long while to transition into intuitive eating, especially when you’re trying to make sure that you’re eating enough, but you’ll get there girlie! :D I followed a rough framework for a really long time as well until I basically got tired of it. I looked at all the people around me just… eating. Eating without calculating or filling exchanges or ratios. Blew my mind :shock: I decided to try it out, and lo and behold, it actually works. It’s definitely a learning process, but it’s worth it :D

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12 Emily November 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Since deleting my blog a few months ago, I rarely comment on any blogs. However, I still read yours on a daily basis and couldn’t resist leaving a response to this post.

Thank you.
This post, your writing, your honesty…it’s beautiful. I’m so proud of you for learning to honor your body and can completely relate to the amazing sense of freedom that brings. There’s no such thing as a “perfect” diet…only a diet that’s perfect for us. And perfection is ever-changing. Whatever makes me happy in that moment is perfect. Yesterday I craved carbs all day long and today all I wanted were fresh fruits and vegetables…and that’s okay!

<3

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13 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 9:39 am

Awwwr, so great to hear from you, Emily! I was kind of wondering what happened when your blog went down, and it’s great to hear that you’re doing well :D

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14 Jun November 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I love your honesty. I love how you never need to mask your blog with strict diets and excessive workouts. I love how real you are.

I’ve tried calorie counting and it drives me up the wall! My mind was constantly occupied with food, food and food. I was unable to focus and concentrate on my studies as I was always feeling tired and sleepy all day long. I know what was the culprit to all those struggles but I refused (or rather, failed) to give up counting calories. Until one day I sort of figured it out and realized how unhealthy this obsession of mine was, I decided that I’ve had enough burden on my shoulder and it was time to lift them off.

I’m not against calorie counting, I just think it gets in MY way of enjoying a healthy, happy and balanced lifestyle. Since you’re always every so analytic and intelligent, I’m certain you know which way works best for you.

On another note, is it okay if I say I’m hungry every single moment? Ha ha just kidding, I’m assuming I get hungry during mid-afternoon.

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15 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 9:41 am

Thank you for your kind words, Jun, and it’s great to hear that you were able to ditch the bad habits and do what worked best for you. I agree that calorie counting has it’s place, but for someone like me who tends to develop an obsession with it, it’s probably best to avoid it altogether.

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16 Angela November 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I definitely tend to over-analyze in terms of interpreting my hunger signals. If I feel extra hungry on one day, I feel anxious and worry that I’m undereating .. but if I’m having a day where I feel less hungry than usual, I worry that I’m overeating! Sighh .. I think that’s why in the past I loved having a set number to control my intake, so I never have to stress over whether I’m undereating or overeating .. but the problem is, of course, becoming overly regimented. I think it helps, for me at least, to have a general routine based on food types (e.g. snack, lunch, snack, dinner, etc) , and at least that way I’ll know that I’m not undereating and prevent becoming overly famished the next day (isn’t it weird how the effects of undereating one day always manifests itself in the day after?)

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17 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 9:47 am

Yeah it’s definitely not pleasant when undereating comes back to kick us in the butt. And I think that overanalyzing is something that most people who dealt with some kind of disordered eating struggle with because we’re so used to eating being something so calculated and precise, when it should really be intuitive. I’ve been finding that it’s definitely getting better with time, though, so I hope that it eventually goes away all together :)

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18 Caitlin November 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm

you go girl! that’s about all I can say about this post :) I definitely understand where you’re coming from about not wanting to do something that could lead you down a path you know you don’t want! And I think that as long as you’re really trying to listen your body, you’ll be just fine!
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19 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 13, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Well, I have to wait at least a half hour before i eat because of medication I take. However, I would like to eat RIGHT away!!!
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20 Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl November 13, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I am generally hungry within an hour or so of waking up. I am definitely a breakfast eater and never ever skip it! I am probably the hungriest in the afternoon and then again late at night…I am a snacker! ;)
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21 Shannon November 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I say keep doing as your are doing! It is normal not to eat the exact same amount everyday! I think counting stops us from listening to our bodies to an extent and that isn’t good!
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22 Missy November 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm

yesyesyes please continue doing what you are doing.
Slippery slope … indeed. One that leads into a razorblade azz-bare slide into a chlorine pool.
So yeah. No way.

You seem (to me) to be pretty much EXCELLING and thriving in intuitive eating which — for those of us with a past is like the dream of a lifetime. Some of us have to admit we may never get there, So DO NOT sacrifice that for anything.
However…

In intuitive eating one always learns…..so on the insatiable days tune in to the deep down body “thirst” for what it is you are looking for. I call them my friendly monsters….I have a protein one and a fat one and a carby little guy. So try and clue in on those days and give it what it demands time of day regardless. Then maybe try and satisfy whatever one pops up a little more for the next couple of days…but then like you said…It all balances out.

So keep on doing you.
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23 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 9:53 am

Thanks Missy. I’ve definitely been having a lot of carby little guys lately ;) I blame the cold weather and the fact that my body wants more sugar to keep warm. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it :mrgreen:

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24 Shelly November 13, 2012 at 8:43 pm

You wrote: “As long as I’m honoring my hunger, there’s no reason to worry, right? (please say right)”
I’m glad you’re asking that question, because it’s really important; and the crux is, what is your definition of hungry? Only you can answer that. In lieu of tracking (probably a bad idea, yes) other metrics to consider are: your weight if you measure it; if not, how your clothes fit…if they’re getting looser, then perhaps you and your hunger should pow-wow. Hopefully all is well! Take care.

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25 Albizia November 13, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I have days of insatiable hunger too but I’m pretty sure most of them are caused by raging hormones. When I make a pudding cake (basically homemade pudding poured over a layer of biscuits) and eat 2/3 of it in one sitting I know it can be nothing but hormones. No diet mishap can possibly lead to such crazy carb insufficiency :D

Breakfast comes between the moment I open my eyes (Give the food NOW!) and 3 hours later depending on what I’ve done the previous night and what I have to do in the morning. But normally I try to prepare breakfast right after I get up.

And… could you post some uglier pictures, please? I don’t think it’s acceptable to be craving all kinds of sweet things half an hour after lunch :D
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26 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm

If I have to deal with crazy cravings 30 minutes after lunch then I’d like to have some company :P

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27 Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli November 14, 2012 at 12:23 am

I love seeing how things balance themselves out like that. Take this weekend for instance…I indulged more than a bit and ate far larger meals than I ever do at home, I snacked more, I drank less water, but the moment I woke up on Monday, all I wanted was something simple for breakfast. I drank a ton of water. I got back to the gym. And two days later I feel completely normal again. Feels good.

Typically, I hit the gym right when I wake up so I usually eat breakfast right when I get back home, but on Sundays when the Y doesn’t open until noon, I’ll roll out of bed and have something to eat pretty much right away…or else the tummy rumblies begin! I think I’m usually the hungriest right after a good workout. Gotta refuel those mus-culls! ;) And yes, I’d say my tasty treat for the day was the pancakes that I had for lunch…with espresso peanut butter and syrup! YUM!
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28 Jessie November 14, 2012 at 12:56 am

Girl, I love you!! Like seriously, you are amazing! Keep doing what your doing, because I mean you feel great, and healthy so why change it? :) :) Just make sure that those days that you feel as if you are under eating, to not have such an extreme workout. I mean balance is key right??!
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29 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Hehe I don’t think any of my workouts would count as extreme. I’m just a walker :mrgreen:

<3

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30 Jessie November 15, 2012 at 2:45 am

For some reason I always pictured you enduring in a lot of runs? I don’t know why, haha.
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31 Lucie November 14, 2012 at 1:13 am

Couldn’t agree more with you girl! Keep on doing! As long as you listen to you body, everything is allright. We are all different. Some need more, some need less food,our bodies are different and need different things and that’s ok! It’s all about balance and moderation, only the extremes are definitely unhealthy.
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32 Christina November 14, 2012 at 2:39 am

I usually have my breakfast at my desk at work – I work a few minutes away from my flat at the moment so pack up a sachet of oatmeal or put together some cereal and fruit to eat at my desk, which is usually around 1.5hrs – 2hrs after I get up. Gosh, I didn’t even realise it was that long! I am always rushing around in the morning getting ready, writing, drinking coffee (yes, that doesn’t wait until the office…!!).
I always have something sweet everyday (if not twice a day…) and sometimes wonder if that’s too much. I mean, it’s always a protein/healthy cereal bar – but often the calories could be as much as a Snickers (although obviously doing my body good) – but sometimes I think, it isn’t healthy to eat a Snickers everyday! I’m usually hungriest right before lunch – I have breakfast at 9am and lunch at 12.30pm, so if I have some fruit in the morning I’m ok but if not my tummy is ready for lunch!
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33 Laura November 14, 2012 at 4:29 am

If you’re anything like me, going anywhere near calorie counting is a recipe for disaster. I’m still incredibly aware of calories, but I don’t total them up anymore and it decreases my anxiety so much. If I were to begin counting calories (or even exchanges) once again I would just be “disappointed” by how many I was consuming and each day would become a contest to see if I could consume less.

The crazy workings of an eating disorder, eh?
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34 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Yeah that’s what I’m worried about as well. Better to just avoid it – ignorance is bliss, right?

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35 Laura November 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm

In our case…absolutely!
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36 Allison @ Life's a Bowl November 14, 2012 at 5:19 am

I vote for keep doing what you’re doing! You could be thinking about other funner [ha, wish it was a word!] things like yummy eats, tasty treats, the holidays, boysss :P Having that freedom after years of counting was such a relief and I wouldn’t give it up again [IMO]!

I usually wake up and will piddle around before breakfast and then jump into the kitchen to make my go-to, pancakes :D Mid-afternoon I get hunger pangs again so a snack is a must!
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37 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers November 14, 2012 at 6:16 am

I enjoy eating, so I usually eat right when I get up. I love that whole “it jumpstarts your metabolism” thing because I really just use that as an excuse to chow down as soon as possible. ;)
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38 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 14, 2012 at 6:20 am

I swear it’s like you read my mind sometimes! Lately I’ve been hungrier than normal which is making me wonder if I’m eating enough. I thought about checking my calorie intake to be sure, but then I realized I really don’t want to do that and I don’t think it’s necessary. If we listen to our bodies, the numbers shouldn’t matter!

When I eat breakfast totally depends. If I workout early in the morning, I’ll have a snack at 6 am and then eat breakfast after I’m done at the gym. On the weekends I usually eat at 7, about 30 minutes after I wake up. I’m always the hungriest in the mornings and at lunch time!
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39 Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness November 14, 2012 at 6:38 am

Love this post! Proof that if you listen to your body everything will even out! BTW you are totally making me want to bake some pumpkin bread!
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40 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I may be biased, but it’s pretty darn good pumpkin bread ;)

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41 Daybelis November 14, 2012 at 6:52 am

LOveeeeee this post so much Amanda, as always. I was showing this post to my mom and she was all smiles, I told her how much your blog helped me during recovery and she said these exact words ” Oh how I wish there were more people like her in this world”. I know God has many blessing things for your life. I am so glad you are heading in the right direction and listening to your body. Thankfully, I am doing the same and I feel so proud. Once I wake up, I eat breakfast about 30 min- 1 hr, sometimes I simply wake up to eat lol ( hey what can I say I love breakfast). I think I am the hungriest around lunchtime, my stomach is non stop growling during my last class of the day. Today, I did have a tasty treat and it included bananas and almond butter- enough said!
have a great day:)

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42 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Gah! Thank you for your beautiful comments, Daybelis – they always bring a huge smile to my face, and even more so when I hear that you’re doing so well <3

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43 Kat November 14, 2012 at 7:22 am

Soooo Ive never had a vitamuffin. Is that bad? I see them at the stores…they are just too expensive for me to rationalize. Are they worth it?
And seriously that bread…good lord girl I still have dreams of that bread. But Im slightly afraid of making it again, because last time I finished it by myself in 3 days lol
Oh and great post, as always my love. I love reading your blog 1st thing in the AM. It really gets me pumped and motivated for the day <3
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44 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Haha yeah this bread is definitely dangerous – especially since I live alone! As for the Vitamuffins, I wouldn’t bother. I get them for convenience sake mostly, but they’re definitely not worth the price nor do they even come close to the homemade stuff.

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45 Meghan @ After the Ivy League November 14, 2012 at 8:08 am

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, it sucked. Ha! Made me laugh. I love this post in that you’re talking to yourself, confirming what you already think is right. And I am definitely with you! Who cares if you have the occasional super hungry day? It doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong, it’s probably for an entirely different reason that we can’t really understand. Our bodies are extremely complex and way beyond our understanding. As long as you eat when you’re hungry, I’d say you’re doing just fine!
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46 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 14, 2012 at 9:25 am

I always wake up starving… which is weird because I eat my last meal late at night. I do have one pill I take 30 mins before eating, so I usually chug water, take my pill and go for a 30 minute walk before I eat. Then it’s ON. :)
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47 Brittany November 14, 2012 at 10:30 am

I think you talked yourself into the right decision. NOOO counting stats on meals. If you are hungry, EAT. If you aren’t', DON’T EAT! Keep doing what your body asks you to do and you are just fine! My hunger varies in the morning. I am always hungry, but it just depends on how hungry. Yesterday I was able to wait an hour before I ate, this morning..not even 30 minutes. No tasty treats yet today, it’s a new day. I am sure sometime this afternoon/ evening I will have something delicious though.
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48 Brittany @ Delights and Delectables November 14, 2012 at 10:42 am

I can’t eat right after getting up… I have to up for at least an hour. I used to have to eat asap! Good for you for not counting and listening to your body!! It is so easy to restrict when you count isn’t it??
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49 Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm

It definitely is! Tracking really messes with my ability to eat intuitively, and knowing too many specifics messes with my judgment.

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50 Laura Agar Wilson (@lauraagarwilson) November 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Unless I’m going to the gym I tend to eat breakfast within half an hour, I am usually pretty hungry! I don’t think you have anything to worry about as long as you are honouring your hungry and if your weight is staying stable. I still occasionally count calories to make sure I’m eating enough as I know I can sometimes forget what the ‘right’ amount is for my body, but I am getting better!

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51 Lisa November 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I definitely feel like my appetite increases between the hours after lunch and before dinner, for some reason I get super hungry then! I think there’s no point going back to calorie counting if you’re making such great progress not counting! I think it can be a positive thing for a short amount of time, using it as a tool for healthier eating. But, there’s a certain point where we need to cut it off. If it’s an obsession, we need to control it before it starts to control us. Spending hours adding up calories/macros is no way to live!
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52 Irina @ Chocolatea Time November 15, 2012 at 9:17 am

Because I have to drag my bum to work, I always have to eat breakfast as soon as I wake up (actually about 30 minutes later). Sometimes I’m not hungry and it bothers me to basically have to “force” myself to eat, but I know I won’t be happy if I skip breakfast or wait to eat it until I get to work 1.5 hours later. All in all, our bodies ultimately have the control and the final say in our hunger levels. We’re just slaves to them (in the best way possible!) :)
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53 Anna November 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm

No!!! Keep doing what you’re doing! Part of intuitive and healthy eating is eating less some days, eating more other days, eating too much sometimes, not eating enough other times (not purposefully of course). Don’t worry about it girl. Just eat!

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