The Why Questions


The Appetite Awareness Workbook (by Linda W. Craighead, 2006) lists four Eating Paths: Normal Eating, Normalized Overeating, Restricted Eating, and Binge Eating/Getting Stuffed. Which path are you on? Can you guess which one I’m on?

The Normalized Overeating path, which is defined as “continuing to eat past your moderate fullness signal,”* fits me exactly. Most people over-indulge from time to time, but why is it a habit for me? Sometimes it’s because I have trouble sensing my fullness level. Why is that?

Good question! These are some of my answers:

+ I’ve been ignoring my fullness level for so long that I’m immune.
+ I’m full before my fullness indicator sends a signal.
+ I fall into old habits of relying on my eyes instead of my stomach.
+ I’m distracted by conversation, the TV, the book I’m reading, or the mood (frivolity or tension) in the room.

But when I do actually manage to sense my fullness level and it’s telling me that I’m moderately full, why do I keep eating?

= It tastes so good that I want a little more.
= Everyone else is having seconds.
= There’s just this little dab left, not enough to save.
= I took too much on my plate and don’t want to waste food.
= There’s a yummy dessert and I didn’t save room.
= It feels normal.

I’m aware that some of these don’t make sense, even to me. But working through this process sure does.

*Linda W. Craighead, The Appetite Awareness Workbook (Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2006), page 19.

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