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So, I was going to post about pants progress today, but I want to talk about something else.

Maybe it’s the spring weather, or all the thinking I did about Easter this past weekend, but I feel like I’m in need of a fresh start.

I’ve mentioned here before (and also here) that I’m a little bit of a conflicted eater. It’s such a dorky thing to say, because I’m 36 years old and really should have “eating” down as a skill, but I don’t.  I honestly don’t believe I’m unusual in this, though – I think a lot of women are, for want of a better word, incompetent eaters. How and when and what we eat so often has no relationship to our actual hunger cues – we eat food we may not want because we feel we “should” or we eat when we’re not hungry because that’s when the opportunity is there or we make poor or less nourishing food choices because we feel badly about our bodies.  I’m sure there are men who struggle with all this as well, but I believe that much of women’s social power is unfortunately tied to our bodies and therefore the burden is a bit heavier for us.

I used to be a really restrictive eater and after I recovered from that, I ate fairly competently for a couple of years.  BUT THEN I HAD A BABY.  And my ability to feed myself according to hunger went right out the window when confronted with the constant needs of a small child – I literally ate eat whatever I could can find whenever the opportunity presents because that’s when I had a chance.  Unforunately, I’ve done this long enough, I’ve pretty much forgotten what hunger feels like.  And if you eat a meal when you’re not even hungry, you know what’s really hard to determine?  When to stop eating – because you weren’t hungry at the beginning and so you can’t rely on “no longer hungry” as a stopping cue.  So I just finish whatever’s there.  Which is, like, “How Not To Eat Rule No. 1.”

One of my goals for 2013 was to “Be Disciplined.”  And it’s time to apply that discipline to my eating.  My goal for this week is to wait to eat a meal until I’m actually hungry (and y’all, it’s going to be a challenge to recognize “hunger” because it’s been so long since I used it as a cue).  It sounds simple, but sometimes you have to start simply.  The foundation of all other competent eating is recognizing your hunger/satiety cues, and so that’s where I’m going to begin.

As a recovered dieter and disordered eater, I know I’m going to be circling around to this again and again in my life.  And it’s easy to feel frustrated by that, but I’m choosing to view it as a gift.  It’s work, but I can do it because I believe I’m worth it.

Tell me: Do you consider yourself competent with food?