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Old 04-18-2013, 06:22 AM   #169
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Deep South
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Originally Posted by JenMusic View Post
A question about the meal timing thing, and one thing I've wondered about. I'm a teacher and have a very inflexible daytime schedule. I often get hungry before lunchtime but have no time/space for a snack. One of the things about portioning out lunch in advance is that, no matter how hungry I am, I know I eat the "right" amount of food at lunch to satisfy without being overfull. If I went off huger signals alone I would overeat.

SouthernMaven, BingeFree and others who have made this switch, how do you adapt to inflexible eating times? Or to meal planning in general?
JenMusic - You've asked an excellent question.

Since my schedule is completely flexible, I'm not faced with your situation. But it's funny; I've actually thought about that, since I know so many people are. My ideas about how I would handle it are right in line with what bingefree wrote. I completely relate to what bingefree wrote regarding the absence of the fear of hunger, which is one of the side benefits of this WOE that I did not anticipate but am so very grateful for.

For example, yesterday I had an errand to run and it was 45 minutes to the location. I left my house about 11:30 am (I hadn't eaten anything, but that's typical for me) and I was not hungry. In the past I would not have even considered going that far that close to "lunchtime" without eating something - even if I wasn't hungry. I would have eaten something in "anticipation" of hunger. Yesterday was very different; when I arrived at my destination I was feeling some hunger, but no panic. Took care of business, had thought about going to another location which was also about 45 minutes away (I live in a major metropolitan area) but heard something on the news about traffic ties up near that location due to a suspicious package, so I decided to put that off for another day. Headed back to my area of town and by the time I got back it was around 1:30 pm. By that time it was definitely time for me to find something to eat, so I did. (and I didn't eat again, even though I didn't go to bed until 11:00 pm)

But for me to even CONSIDER driving yet another 45 minutes to another location without stopping to eat - even though by that time I was pretty hungry - would have been unthinkable in the past. I would have been obsessing over where to eat, what to eat, how many calories, if it would satisfy me, what then would I eat for supper? and on, and on, and on. Yesterday it was "Humm, do I want to fight that traffic or not? Uh, no. I'll save that errand for another day." What and when I would eat was not in the forefront of my mind at all, because I knew that eventually I'd eat, and that when I did I would be able to eat as much as I wanted to satisfy my hunger. It's a huge mental shift.

If I were in your situation - and keep in mind, this is what I would do, not telling you what you should do - I'd pack a pretty substantial lunch, since I wouldn't know just how hungry I'd be at lunchtime. That way I would know I'd have enough to satisfy my hunger, regardless of its level. In the past, when I was restricting myself by dieting, it would be portioned out, as you have described yours as being. I also don't know what your lunch situation is - are you able to eat alone, are you with other teachers, or are you eating with your students? Each of these scenarios are going to impact how well you'll be able to practice mindful eating, and obviously eating alone is the ideal. Eating with other teachers isn't as good, but it can be done. Eating with your students would present the greatest challenge in this regard, but it can still be accomplished.
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