Lent, Day 31: Appetite

March 28, 2009 at 6:30 am

Appetite is a funny thing, I’m finding.  If there were a good way to study the way emotions impact your appetite, I bet the results would be really fascinating.

I know I’ve talked about this before…  back during ‘Whiny Week’, I know, I was finding myself struggling with appetite control because I was unhappy and brooding over things.  My mind kept drifting back to food all the time, and it was frustrating because I was full-on into weight loss and didn’t want to derail everything I’d done up to that point.  This, in turn, upset me more, which made me want to eat, and on and on.

Makes sense.  Lots of people eat for emotional reasons.  I guess it’s a less alarming version of the drive that makes people drink to excess or do drugs when they’re stressed.  I was sort of looking to ‘eat to forget’, letting the pleasant sensation of flavor distract me from what was bothering me.

Then some more dramatic stuff happened.  At THAT point, my appetite vanished, and it’s been gone up until this past week.  I had to think every morning about whether the day was an Up Day or not, and then kind of make myself eat if it was.  I’ve been somewhat curious as to why this would be, but as I think we hypothesized awhile back, it’s probably a defense mechanism too.  If you’re going to take Dr. Johnson’s research seriously, it would seem to suggest that the process of digestion is particularly taxing for one’s body.   He talks at length about the youth-preserving effects of calorie restriction, since apparently restricting one’s diet to the bare minimum of what the body requires keeps it from ‘wearing out’ as quickly.  There’s an infamous picture in there of two rats at 1,000 days of age.  The one on a normal diet looks like it’s falling apart, the one on the CR diet looks perfect.

So… if digestion is taxing, it makes sense that during times of HIGH stress, the body would throw off eating entirely in favor of conserving its resources to deal with whatever’s going on.  

I guess if you look at it that way, this appetite return is a good thing.  It means I’m recovering on some level.  And I admit, I DO feel better.   I shouldn’t, because I’ve just received some more bad news that makes my current situation even more troubling, but I guess at this point I am sort of beyond the more emotionally taxing things and what’s going on now is just logically taxing.  My brain has always been far better able to cope than my emotions. >_<

The only downside, though, is that once again the Down Days are getting hard again.  Not prohibitively so, happily, but I’m actually NOTICING the hunger again, and wishing I could eat.  I think this is probably both due to the return of my appetite and the fact that I’ve been preoccupied about not eating ENOUGH, so I’ve been much more lax about food choices on my Up Days.  If I felt inclined to eat, I ate.  It didn’t matter what it was.

Which is why I say: it’s time to start getting back on a regimen.  Not a strict one, but a regimen all the same.  My bad news today involved money, so it would be smart to get back on a meal plan for a number of reasons.  It would help us curb our food spending, too.

9 Days until I can eat meat again.  Easter Dinner is going to be so wonderful!

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Entry filed under: Lent, Successes, Vegetarian. Tags: , , , , , .

Lent, Day 30: Shoppin’ Lent, Day 32: Sweating the Weigh-In


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