Mindful Eating: Am I Really Hungry?

I sit next to a woman at work with a metabolism that confounds me.

She is tall and thin, claims to exercise less than twice per week, and eats ALL DAY LONG.

Miraculously, I don’t hate her.  Shockingly, I don’t envy her.

We work in one of those open-style synergistic work-spaces that offer no privacy — and no shied from the sight, sound, and smell of this woman’s constant food consumption.

If I said that I don’t think a single ten-minute period has passed in the entire time that we have worked alongside each other without her chewing on something, trust me.  I mean it.

We went out for lunch last week and she was snacking on pretzels until moments before we headed out.  When we returned, she started in on a bunch of grapes and followed that up with some candy.

When sitting next to someone who is eating all day, it’s hard to discern your own appetite.

I often come home starving.  And I can’t always tell if it’s because reasonably I should be hungry for dinner at 6:30, or because I’ve been looking at someone else’s food ALL DAY LONG.

I’ve had to play some tricks with my mind to keep myself focused and engaged on my own dietary needs, and avoid giving in to my neighbor’s endless eating habits.

Distraction

Each time she pulls out a new snack, I get up from my desk and get a cold glass of water.  I drink it away from my desk and return feeling refreshed and full — not interested in food.

Habit

I also like to remind myself that I am a three-square meals kind of girl.  She may have the sort of metabolism and dietary practices that encourage snacking.  But I don’t.  And I shouldn’t change my behavior to mirror hers, because what I do works well for me.

Treat

I don’t deprive myself.  If the constant exposure to food lends itself to a specific craving (say, Mexican food) I might have that for dinner.

How do you handle exposure to food (either in person or on the web — pinterest, instagram, etc.)?

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