A few months ago, I announced I was going to start doing some “Thursday Thoughts” posts - and then I promptly ceased blogging or doing anything creative for about 3 months. I shared more about that in my newsletter this week and may write a separate post about it in the future but suffice it to say, I was tired and stressed and needed a break (also if you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter yet, what are you waiting for? You can sign up here to hear from me every month and get blog, book, and podcast recommendations in addition to other thoughts and diet culture rants). Anyhoo- the bottom line here is that I’m back and happy to be sharing some thoughts with you all.
1. HUNGER CUES
Recently, I had a period of about 4 or 5 days where I was hungry. The kind of eat-a-full-meal-and-still-feel-hungry kind of hunger. The kind of hunger that required me to run to the cafeteria after I ate my usual lunch. There was a time in my life where this sort of hunger would have induced absolute panic and maybe this is the case for you right now. We’re taught that we have to manage or try to mitigate our hunger. We’re taught, at the very least, that there has to be an explanation for this kind of hunger - maybe an intense workout or a change in hormones. My recent “episode” (if we can even call it that) didn’t have an explanation. It didn’t make sense for where I was in my cycle. My activity level was normal. But rather than try to fight it (been there, done that, it’s miserable), I approached it with curiosity and honored it. I ate until I did feel full. And it subsided. The end. After thinking about it, I realized I was quite stressed in the weeks prior and hadn’t been able to stop for all my usual snacks. Maybe this was my body dialing my appetite up a little to make sure I continued to meet its needs. Or maybe it was just my body doing its body thing. Figuring out the reason isn’t nearly as important as the listening. I’ve said it before and I will repeat it a thousand times: hunger cues mean you need to eat. It’s not your body trying to trick you. If you’re hungry, you should eat.
2. SOCIAL MEDIA LIMITS
I mentioned above that I took some time off from non-essential work things for a few months and in that time, I’ve been trying to look at/think about/rely on my phone so much. One of the things that has been majorly helpful in this is screen time limits. Thank you Apple, for finding a creative solution to the problem that you created. But seriously, if you have an iPhone (I’m assuming other phones have this as well but I’m not sure), you can set screen time limits or app limits which has been a GAME CHANGER for me. I allow myself about an hour on social media every day and at the end of the hour, the apps are grayed out and it sends you a notification that you’ve met your limit (you can choose to override if you want to). If I’m being honest, the little notification that I’ve met my limit initially filled me with rage. I found it so irritating. I still kind of do - but I also recognize the discomfort stems from the fact that this forces me to do something besides stare at the weird rectangle in my hand and for that, I’m thankful (even through the irritation).
Spending less time on my phone has forced me to do other things and my current favorite of those activities is puzzle books. I love me crossword puzzles and word games and I have the apps to do those on my phone - but it still keeps me staring at my phone which is kind of what I’m trying to avoid here. I recently stumbled upon this puzzle book in my favorite bookstore of all time (or at least in the top three) and I’ve taken to ending my day but curling up on the couch and doing a few of the activities while watching something funny. 10/10 recommend.
4. BREAKFAST TO GO
I’ve been working really hard to get places on time recently - I have the terrible habit of constantly running 2-6 minutes late everywhere I go. Not a significant amount, sure, but enough that it causes me unnecessary anxiety and occasionally holds people up. One of the ways I’ve been doing this is by taking my breakfast on the road some mornings. I recognize that this is in contrast to the advice most dietitians give - make time for yourself! Eat your meals mindfully at the table! And those things are 100% true. It is preferable to eat without distractions. But friends, I’m not perfect. And in this season of my life, that’s just not realistic for me right now and that’s okay. One of the things I’ve been relying on lately is overnight oats. I used to be indifferent to them (cold mush? No thanks) but recently I’ve been making them with chocolate milk (I truthfully think this is the key), fruit (usually berries or banana), nut butter, and cinnamon and they are quite tasty. My other go-to is a PB&J. Never fails.
Talk to you soon, friends! Until then, you can find me hanging out on social media (but only for an hour a day).