Sunday, When I Swim and Also Experience Actual Hunger

I was going really regularly for the second half of last year, but that hardly seems relevant at this point. I finally made it back to the gym, today, for the first time in a l-o-n-g time.

Also a first, I used the pool. Swam, in fact, although can you really call it swimming if your shower lasted longer than your laps? I think that I did 3 laps. It is possible that I did 4, but I honestly can’t remember. I couldn’t even remember just after I finished.

Frankly, I’m glad I could swing 3. When I used to swim regularly (ahem, mid-90s), I recall only being able to do one lap my first time out, and I weighed about 50 pounds less then.

How far I went, we may never know, but this I do know. I got home from the pool and realized I was hungry.

We talked last week in our group about actual hunger versus a craving. Cravings, for me, are usually driven by emotions, and often involve a fixation on a certain category of foods, like cakes/cookies/bread-things, or fries/queso & chips/salty things.

Actual hunger is the body’s response to needing more food. Actual hunger is not a reaction to experiencing an emotion you’d rather not experience.

Craving, for me, means interacting with the food I crave the way an addict interacts with his or her drug of choice. I put plenty of energy into considering my options, anticipating my options. When I finally can’t stand it, I make a choice. The consumption usually happens rapidly, mindlessly, and ends far too soon. Already, I’m thinking of the next time. How soon? When? What?

This afternoon, after swimming, I read for about an hour, then watched about 90 minutes of TV. My stomach was growling. I drank about five cups of water over that time, but got to the end and was still feeling hungry. Not for anything specific, but for food.

So, now, I’m drinking my 4th of 4 beverages for the day. I took time to heat it up rather than stand at the sink and gulp it down, although I am eating (drinking) while blogging, so I’m not entirely focused. Still, by typing, I have to take time between sips, and focus on how it feels to slowly grow full from a hot beverage.

I can do this. I can change how I react to cravings. I can learn to eat because I’m hungry, not because I’m angry, anxious, or alone. Onward!

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