Three Chips

I ate three chips today. It's not the first time I've deviated from the Eat to Live recommendations in the past 11 days - I had Taco Bell last Friday, a few pieces of chocolate here and there, and scattered spoonfuls of peanut butter. Those three chips do, however, mark the first time in this journey that I’ve eaten one of my “favorite” foods and found that it wasn’t satisfying. In fact, they tasted off, almost as if the oil in them had started going rancid.

Previously, I would have wanted to eat three more chips and three more chips and three more chips… Today, I had no desire to eat another chip. In fact, I just realized that I am not hungry at all, as in there is not a single type of food that I can think of that I want to eat right now. Considering the ginormous salad and half of a watermelon* I ate for lunch, I should not be surprised, but I am.

This not being hungry thing is a new experience for me. Even when I’ve been so stuffed full of food that I knew I shouldn’t eat another bite, that feeling often didn’t translate into “I don’t *want* another bite.” More often than I would like to admit, I’ve been at that point and still managed to shove justonemore French fry/bite of pizza/piece of candy down my gullet.

In fact, because of my seemingly endless capacity for food, I’ve never quite believed people when they stopped eating because they were full. I always thought they were enacting a crazy charade perpetuated by our culture of thinness, pushing away half full plates of delicious food to keep up appearances. More often than not, when I got a doggie bag, I did so because I didn’t want to appear disgusting to my fellow diners. I would often eat the leftovers immediately upon my arrival home.

That kind of eating had very little to do with fueling my body and very much to do with comforting or, more accurately, numbing myself. After a while, even when I didn’t want the numbing effect of too much food, it had become a habit I felt like I’d never be able to break.

I’m too wary to think I’ve fully broken the habit even now. Every day, I still think about stopping at Burger King or Taco Bell on my way home from work. It will take me many more than 11 days to feel confident that my addiction to highly-processed, food-like substances has been broken. It may even take more than 6 weeks. Yet, the fact that I did not crave more chips after those first few feels like a huge step in the right direction.

*Full disclosure: It was a tiny watermelon. I could hold it in my hand. It was smaller than a cantaloupe.
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