In a land of plenty, when is enough, enough?
When it comes to food, your body has an answer.
If you’re eating more calories than your body needs, you gain weight.
It’s concrete. It was too much.
The real question, then, is about “need”.
You can’t know “enough” if you don’t know your need.
In this country, many of us have the luxury of access to more food than we need—per day and even per meal.
So, deciding when enough is enough means discovering your body’s true needs in the face of excess.
Not so easy.
(And not what we were designed for—see this blog for more on that)
Determining “enough” requires a clear connection to yourself. It requires attention and evaluation.
And it requires practice.
Many of us aren’t used to paying attention while eating. We eat on autopilot while scrolling, texting, watching TV, or working.
Distraction renders us unconscious of enough.
So we depend on outside indicators to let us know. If we’re eating out, we may let the kitchen staff decide what’s enough today—whatever’s on the plate.
Eating all you’ve been given regardless of your satisfied state is a surefire way to gain.
You are the only one who can decide what’s enough. And it’s often a lot less than you think.
Now, there’s a danger of going the wrong direction with this.
Particularly for women.
The danger is thinking you don’t deserve enough. Only allowing yourself the dregs or only that which won’t be missed.
This gets into the invisibility idea—wanting to be so small you disappear. Make no impact. Ironically, people can decide to get so big with extra weight, they disappear to society.
Either gets the job done. No threat. Not noticed. Nothing expected of you. Can’t disappoint.
No risk. No meaning. No life. No good.
You want to be Goldilocks—just right—not taking up too much room nor taking up too little.
Take up exactly as much space as you need.
You just have to know how much space that is.
How do you find out? Start with your plate.
Ask yourself if you’re satisfied (not full, satisfied) a quarter way into a typical meal. Then again halfway. Then each bite after that. Stop when you’re satisfied. Notice.
You’ll get better and better at this. It’s how you build trust with yourself.
Writer Geneen Roth points out, “Enough isn’t an amount. It’s a relationship to what you already have.”
It’s a relationship because it’s not static. It’s fluid and depends on the circumstances right now.
Trusting yourself to know how much is enough frees you to respond to life as it happens. Confidently, calmly, clearly.
It’s a big part of being resilient.
And who wouldn’t like a little more of that?
When was the last time you ate enough and proudly left something on your plate?
Tell me about it in the comments below.