Slowly in recovery, I am learning more about my body’s hunger signals, gradually trusting them and that they will change and ‘normalise’ in time, when my body is ready (a long way yet!).
For years due to the eating disorder, I did not eat according to appetite.
I ignored hunger, judging it to be inappropriate if it struck at a time that the eating disorder (or a meal plan) said was not a time I could eat.
If I ate my permitted amount and my body said, ‘more food please’, I would decide that my body was talking #bollocks & I knew better!
I would though eat at my ‘permitted times’, even with little appetite: eating was so to schedule that body signals mattered little, one way or the other!
After years of this, it’s not surprising that my body stopped sending signals and if it tried, my brain had no idea how to interpret them.
I am still early in my recovery and my body is still confused as to when to send hunger signals and how intensely to do so, while my brain remains uncertain about how to interpret the hunger and still tries to judge it.
When I started eating significantly more a few weeks ago, the hunger signals kicked in more intensely… the extreme hunger (EH) I’d heard about but never experienced is now a frequent visitor.
When the extreme hunger first arrived, it was frightening as I felt that I would never feel satiated again and always feel an urge to eat EVERYTHiNG!
However, the extreme hunger level does come and go… some days I cannot fill up, other days I feel satiated on more conservative but high recovery amounts.
Now I have experienced both these times of hunger and satiation, I am starting to process better what the signals mean and learn what true, not just physical, but also mental satiation feels like for the first time in years.
This learning process can be confusing and frightening but it can also feel freeing and exhilarating and I feel I am slowly coming home to my body – I am no longer at war with it.
Now, on my extreme hunger days, I can trust they don’t last forever, as they have come and gone before.
I also now trust that when my body is finally recovered and ready, my appetite will settle to a level that is perhaps a bit more ‘normal’, but if it still wants lots of food, that is ok because it knows what it needs better than me!