I think it’s pretty common for most people with eating disorders to fear the feeling of fullness. We don’t like to feel food in our stomach, we don’t like feeling full, and abdominal distension or bloating? Yikes. The world might as well be ending. All of these feelings to those with eating disorders= “I’ve eaten too much.” Yasure. However, I have come to learn in recovery what most people learn as children. There is a difference between being full and being bloated. Yadontsay? You can be bloated when you have eaten nothing for hours and you can feel ‘full’ after eating only a small amount of food. Ground-breaking, I know. But for me, this seriously was ground-breaking. When I was chronically under-eating, I was always very bloated- in my mind, ‘full.’ Yet, I felt sick all the time and would describe to other’s this, “weird, gnawing feeling in my stomach.” But it wasn’t hunger, oh no. Are you freakin kidding me!? I now realize that yes, yes, I was starvingggg.
Now that I am in recovery, I realize that many times I feel bloated, yet not full. A lot of the times, I actually am bloated AND hungry at the same time. This revelation may sound crazy to some of you…But it took me a longgg time to put all this together. Don’t judge. It’s a learning process. So now when I feel bloated, yet hungry, I eat. Crazy, right? Eat when you’re hungry? Who does that!? Especially when your digestive system seems to be kind of off? I mean, eating will just make it worse, right? Wrong. Surprisingly, eating when I am bloated and hungry usually diminishes the bloating significantly. Again, crazy. If you would have told me this a year ago, I would have looked at you like you had two heads.
So, stop for a second next time to determine whether you are ‘full’ or ‘bloated.’ Did you just eat a big meal? Ok, you’re probably full, and that’s great! Your cells are getting lots nourishment 🙂 Conversely, have you not eaten for a while, or only eaten a little that day, yet feel bloated/’full?’ You’re not full- far from it. You are bloated. You are full of, I’m sorry- err, gaseous matter? Ok, we’re all adults here- gas, if you will. Plain and simple. And if you find yourself hungry AND bloated at the same time? Do yourself a favour and eat something! Your bloating will diminish, the stomach-gnawing-hunger will disappear and you will feel awesome. That’s what food does for you. Only good things. Food is a constant positive in your life. That’s how I like to think of it, anyways.
Much love and health,