Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day 12 - Practice Hunger Tolerance

Day 12 of the Beck Diet Solution.  This is twice as far as I've made it in my previous attempts.  (Attempt? Am I even remembering this correctly?  I might have only started BDS once before.)

Anyway, Day 12 is scary.  The task: skip lunch.  The premise is that you allow yourself to feel hunger so that you learn that you can tolerate hunger.  You learn that hunger comes and goes and therefore it is not an emergency and you don't have to eat as soon as hunger strikes.

Dr. Beck asks at one point if you're concerned about being hungry.  Heck yes!  I've had occasions in the past where going for too long between meals has caused headaches and nausea.  Not to mention some serious cases of the grumps.  So yes, I'm concerned about being hungry.

There are two tasks to be completed throughout the day.  First, create a discomfort scale.  On a scale of 0-10, identify times that have been uncomfortable in the past.  Here's my discomfort scale:

 0 lazy Sunday
 4 month end close
 7 when I broke my toe
10 dry socket

The next step is to use this scale to rate your discomfort level (not hunger level) hourly from what would be lunch time until dinner time, as well as the range of discomfort over the previous hour.  Following are my hourly notes:

12 noon discomfort = 0, last hour range = 0 - not at all hungry, but finished breakfast around 9:30 and don't usually eat lunch until after 1
12:53 discomfort = 2, last hour range = 0-2 - not really hungry, but this is the time I'd be thinking about lunch and I think I just want to eat because that's what I'm supposed to do now.  And the fact that I can't is making me angry.  I expect I'll be pretty hangry (hungry + angry) in the next hour.  I'm putting on my sneakers for now and taking a walk.  Haven't visited Central Park in a while.
1:50 discomfort = 3, last hour range 0-3, I don't feel super hungry still, but I do feel annoyed that I can't eat. I'd like to eat.  Got handed work just after last hour and didn't get to go for my walk.  Now it's time for a meeting.  That should kill another 15 minutes.
3:00 discomfort = 3, last hour range 0-3, Still don't really feel super hungry.  I'd like to eat, but I don't have to.  I can tough this out.  I'm starting to feel less belligerent about this experiment.  Hoping to leave work in 2 hours, so I should be home and cooking in about 4.
4:15 discomfort = 0, last hour range 0-3.  I've been drinking a lot of water, so maybe that's why I don't feel very hungry?  But seriously, I don't even feel angry anymore.  I'm surprised I haven't gotten to the point of hangry.  Ok, Dr. Beck, I get the point.  Hunger fades.  It's not an emergency.  Can I eat now?
4:30 so I know it's only been 15 minutes, but I felt the need to check in and let you know I'm feeling surprisingly chipper for someone who hasn't eaten since 9:30 this morning.  I'm leaving work in half an hour, I'm just barely hungry now.  But not uncomfortable at all.  I just feel like dancing and frolicking and singing.  
5:19 discomfort = 0, last hour range = 0-1, leaving work, only slightly hungry, also tired, ready to go home, can't decide what my dinner should be...burrito bowl, maybe.

It's now close to 11pm.  I'm just checking back in to report that I made it, and I didn't even get that cranky or belligerent.  I was hungry when I got home, but I prepared a normal dinner and ate pretty much like normal.

So yes, I got the point.  There's no need to rush to eat something totally off plan to satisfy hunger when I can just wait until my next on plan meal.  I guess it was a good lesson to learn.