People who've never dieted would likely shake their head at the idea that some people actually don't know when they are hungry, what they want to eat when they are hungry, and when to stop. Okay, I know for sure some would shake their head. I've seen them do it.
I remember the days when I didn't know. I started letting other people (diets) tell me when/what/how much to eat when I was just a teenager. After a couple of decades, my head was so full of (often conflicting) rules, figuring out when/what to eat could be a real challenge.
Ditching diets changed all that and I've learned many things about myself. Some are important, some are merely interesting, while others are (to me anyway), mildly amusing.
Take cottage cheese and candy for instance. According to most, if not all, diet 'food lists' cottage cheese = 'good' while candy = 'bad'. When I was dieting, I thought cottage cheese was awful stuff but not nearly as awful as the cravings for a candy bar. Any candy bar.
Now that I have stopped dieting, I've learned that my dislike of cottage cheese has nothing to do with it being 'diet food' or not. I just don't like it. But more surprisingly, I also don't like most types of candy. Halloween candy lasts forever in my house.
I have also learned I do not like bananas (not as fruit, bread,
smoothies or even cake) or apple pie. I'm not crazy about salads - especially in
the winter and while I really dislike all those snack foods that can turn your fingers orange, potato chips are something I can take or leave.
On the other hand I really like soups (even in summer); nearly all vegetables - especially brussels sprouts, artichokes, parsnips and beets; pate (liver) and various pickled vegetables and chutneys.
I've also learned I dislike the idea of 'grazing' or 'snacking'- I don't even like the word. For one thing, I like food. Now I realize that's not exactly a surprise on a diet/non-diet blog that the author likes food. But I don't just mean, 'I like to eat', and anything will do (although there are times when everyone has to settle for what is available). For the most part, if I'm going to eat something, I want it to be satisfying, enjoyable and totally worth it. So, when meal time comes, I actually *want* to be hungry. I want to be able to sit down with my family and enjoy the meal I spent so much time, energy, money and (yes, cheesy as it sounds) love creating.
That can be a challenge, balancing 'eat when hungry' with 'being hungry at dinner time' and sometimes I don't get it right, but more often than not, it works out. And when it doesn't, it's not like it's a big deal. And if nothing else, I've learned something else about myself that will make the next time easier.