This used to always be heard in my house. It was a habit / a daily ritual.
How / when did this habit start? When I think back, I realise this habitual behaviour pattern started in my childhood all those eons ago. This started me thinking about other habits I formed around eating – eating the same everyday for breakfast; eating at the same time everyday; Sunday roast dinner; having a take away meal as a treat on a Friday night; Saturday night treat – meal on a tray in front of the television; the necessity of ‘waste not, want not’ and clearing your plate; the importance of sitting around a table for all the other meals and finally the importance of conversation and discussion at mealtimes.
Thankfully, I have broken all but the last 2 habits (which I feel are ones I value and are good habits). I had to consciously acknowledge these ingrained traits and work hard at overcoming them.
The final habit I have got to grips with is that of hunger v habit. The availability of food and the habitual way of eating had overridden my ability to distinguish between eating for the sake of it and true hunger. Not only had I lost the ability to tell if I was hungry but also if I was full / satiated.
Now, I ask myself, ‘Am I really hungry; or actually thirsty; or just craving something?’ and I no longer clear my plate if I am full having decided it is better for any excess food to go in the bin than be stored as fat on my body! (Reduced portion size means I don’t often waste food – this has helped me control the ‘waste not, want not’ voice in my head!)
I do, of course, still have a pudding sometimes but not as a treat for clearing my plate, or not because I always have one but just because very occasionally…I want one 🙂