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Blissful Satiation: Eating Till You’re Stuffed

by Tansy Boggon

Wanting to eat it all or not feeling satisfied until we’re stuffed is the result of restriction and deprivation of these foods, not your lack of self-control around food.

At an art exhibition, I saw a photograph of a polar bear strolling contently across a barren icy landscape after having devoured a seal. The caption on the photograph stated that the polar bear was in ‘blissful satiation’.

Satiation or a feeling of fullness after eating can bring a feeling of satisfaction and contentment, especially if we were previously ravenously hungry, as this polar bear most probably was.

Unfortunately, however, we can confuse this feeling of satisfaction and contentment with a need to overeat. So that rather than simply curbing hunger or feeling satisfied, there is a desire to feel stuffed.

Wanting to eat it all

Years ago, I only felt sufficiently satisfied if I fell into a food coma from overindulging.

To this day, my husband still wants the largest slice of pizza or the largest serving of ice cream. When he eats something that he perceives as indulgent, he is resistant to sharing. He wants to have it all on his own.

His desire to have it all and to feel full stems from years of strenuous exercise and ravenous hunger.

He also recalls preparing or purchasing a snack and asking his mother if she would want any. If she did, he would purchase or prepare more. Yet, her response was frequently no. Then she would later dip her hand into his bowl of chips or snap off a line of chocolate. He didn’t enjoy feeling like he wasn’t getting to eat all that he had intended to eat.

Restriction and deprivation lead to overindulging

For others, the feeling of wanting it all or not feeling satisfied until we are stuffed is the direct result of the restriction and deprivation of these foods while dieting.

Eating this way can stem from believing that certain foods are not good for us or should only be eaten as treats on certain days of the week. Then, once we allow ourselves to indulge, we eat as much as we can in anticipation of future restriction.

The thing is, however, if we didn’t restrict these foods and allowed ourselves to eat them whenever we desire them and with our full awareness and enjoyment, we may find that the deprive and gorge cycle dissipates.

Joyful Eating Book Cover.

Joyful Eating: How to Break Free of Diets and Make Peace with Your Body

“… practical tools to help people release their sabotaging thoughts, enabling them to eat more intuitively and find joy in the moment.” — Michelle Stanton, author of The Timeless World.

Does your eating feel out of control?

Do you feel that once you start eating, you can’t stop? You have to eat it all?

If so, you may find my book, Joyful Eating: How to Break Free of Diets and Make Peace with Your Body, helpful in feeling ‘in control’ around food. You may also enjoy reading my blogs:

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