I have to admit- the last two days have been a lot of fun in a kind of irresponsible rebellious toddler kind of way, and I think I really needed it. Yesterday I continued with my "eat only when I am hungry " approach, and I found it a little more difficult to do with the guys both home and trying to plan an outing. They did not complain, but instead kind of looked lost and like "Mommy has slipped a gasket, so walk on eggshells". Because I have an overactive guilt gland, I decided I better rethink this whole thing. While I am an individual, I am also a mom who has been the one to do the food stuff for so long,and to stop doing it overnight is both shocking and disturbing to others. Thankfully my son did not start stimming as a result , but I have to remeber that is a real danger with a sudden shift in his routine.
Doing this eating only when hungry makes me wonder something- how do the advocates of this idea follow their advice when living with a family ? Or are they only single individuals ? Many dishes can be reheated in individual servings, but not every one. Things can get soggy, dried out and so forth. And wouldn't the process of eating only when you are hungry cause worse things to a family in the long run ? If you join the family but only have a beverage while they eat , doesn't that send a message to your children that you can eat at any time? Which is true, but with the normal child's appetite it can turn into 30 small grazing meals of dubious things within a day or two . Ever spend 200 dollars on cereal for a week ? And where exactly would you store 10 loaves of bread and a couple of vats of peanut butter ? Let's not even get into really unhealthy but kid friendly foods. If you then eat your own meal at a different time but grab a beverage to join in doesn't that kind of teach a sneak eating behavior or insure that the others in the house who are not trying to lose weight will take on extra calories grabbing a drink and most likely something else with you ? And call me silly, but there is something very unifying about eating a meal together. Actually it is not silliness- several studies have shown the importance of the family meal eaten together for the overall psychological and social health of the individuals. So how does eating according to appetite fit in with this ?
Gee, two days into the program and I am already questioning the logic ! Seems that this approach is not for me because of reasons other than the number on the scale. I need to go back to the drawing board here. At least one thing was accomplished- I remebered one very important reason why I plan meals and snacks outside of the impact on my wallet and my ability to think fast on my feet. I do it because mealtimes are things we each count on as an anchor in our day. Unless it is a very rare happening, Son and I have every breakfast, lunch and snack time together and we all have dinner together as a family every night. No matter what else is happening, we can count on those times of the day to connect with each other, and it can give us enough nourishment to get through a lot.