This week has been a foodfest. Monday and Tuesday I joined my sister for lunch. Tuesday evening, I indulged in two breakfast meals with my friends. Wednesday night R., myself, and another couple had a massive three course, seven dish dinner with lots of leftovers.
My sister remarked at one of the lunches that, after seeing my meal (appetizer, salad, entree, followed by dessert) how I stayed so skinny. Now, I'm not skinny by any stretch of the imagination (at six feet tall, I should weigh between 186 to 200 pounds. I currently weigh 213). She then paused, then said, "Oh, that's right. You work out."
She was quite correct. My cardio efforts kept my weight in check. More interestingly, the effort helped reduce my weight when I doubled the weekly workouts from two to four. I had lost three pounds from July following such a schedule.
Thus I was a bit surprised at my dramatically increased hunger when I had to stop working out last week. I know I'll be gaining weight as my body adjusted to the enforced inactivity. But I had not reckoned on my appetite.
I was hungry. Eating two breakfast meals (pancakes and omelet) sated me, not made me feel full or, even better, stuffed.
I then remembered another side-effect of working out: appetite suppression. The workouts tended to temporarily blunt my appetite. When I did feel hungry, I usually was able to sate it with lots of fluid. (I had read somewhere that thirst can feel very similar to hunger pangs.) This explained (partially) the weight loss since water (my normal drink) has no calories.
But that suppression is now gone. Now I have to figure out, like most folks, how to decrease my intake without working out. I've already increased my fluid intake. Same with drinking tea and coffee (both have appetite-suppressing ingredients.) I have to admit, though, it's much harder than it looks. There's no enjoyment in reminding oneself constantly not to eat.
I get that "high" working out, feeling myself just being a physical being, an animal. Dieting is suppression, something my body screams is "unnatural".
"The bear was hungry, the bear was ravenous, the bear's mouth was cruel and cavernous."