Not Being Afraid to Ask for Seconds | Fuel For Freedom

Not Being Afraid to Ask for Seconds

As much as I love eating at friends’ houses, there always comes that awkward moment.

You know the one. Right after you’ve finished the last bite of your meal and right before your stomach grumbles for more. You eye another piece of turkey or salmon, your mouth waters at the very sight of the still half-full pot of sweet potato casserole.

But no, you can’t possibly ask for seconds. What would they think of you?

That you were a glutton. That you were greedy. Maybe they want to keep the rest of the food for leftovers.

Not Being Afraid to Ask for Seconds | Fuel For Freedom

I know I’ve been there, lusting for more food when everyone else’s plates look like they’ve barely taken a bite off of them. I know I want more, but I’m afraid to speak up. Afraid of what others might think. Recently, I asked for a second piece of chicken in the dining hall when the lady handed me a piece. I hadn’t eaten since lunch, and I knew the small chicken breast on my plate wasn’t going to satisfy the beast raging in my gut.

Saying I wanted more took everything in me. In the past, I’d accept the little piece and hurry back to my table. I wouldn’t admit my body might need additional nutrients that day. I wouldn’t admit the serving size that might be enough for some people wouldn’t be enough for me.

I was worried someone would judge me for wanting more food.

How insane is that?

Not Being Afraid to Ask for Seconds | Fuel For Freedom

Still, when I asked for that second piece of chicken, she almost didn’t give it to me. “You sure, sweetie? A little girl like you…”

For a second, I was tempted to lower my head, continue on down the line. I didn’t really need two pieces. I didn’t need seconds.

When did food become a source of shame?

Not Being Afraid to Ask for Seconds | Fuel For Freedom
Look at this little plate of casserole I ate! … times 5.

There seem to be all these hidden rules about food.

It’s okay to Instragram your bowl of ice cream. As long as #treatday. It’s okay to upload a picture of the handful of almonds you snacked on for “What I Ate Wednesday”. But only if you show just that first tiny handful… not the second, or third, or fourth. It’s okay to post your overflowing plate of delicious goodies. But only if you subtly hint how “fat” you are in the comments.

We’ve turned our food choices into a moral indicatator. For some, this might mean choosing only “healthy” meals to the point of obsession. For others, it might mean trying to justify eating desserts. And still for others, it might mean picking foods labeled with diet, skinny, guiltless.

Not Being Afraid to Ask for Seconds | Fuel For Freedom

For me, for a long time, it meant denying hunger. It meant saying “no” to seconds or a bigger helping. If the crackers had the calorie content listed for 5 crackers, 5 crackers it was. If a serving of turkey was 3 oz., the food scale was going to read 3 oz. If the peanut butter jar said 1 Tbsp, by golly, I was going to only eat 1 Tbsp.

As one study said, food is the epidemic of our times. Food can be used to control our bodies, manipulate our appearance. More than that, it becomes a way to create a social identity. We can be known as the clean eater, the protein snack guru, the #healthybutbalanced blogger.

When we go against what or how we think we should be eating, we can feel at a loss.

Not Being Afraid to Ask for Seconds | Fuel For Freedom
One piece of warm, homemade bread? As if…

We’re all so guilty, so confused about food that we sometimes don’t listen to our bodies. Even with mindful eating, we can get in the trap of being too mindful. What if we take a bigger slice and go over the 80% fullness we’re supposed to be at? What if we don’t eat enough and have to grab a second afternoon snack?

What if we reach for seconds, but are the only ones eating?

Eating isn’t about perfection.

So what if you want a bigger serving? You’re hungry. So what if you’re the only one grabbing a second hunk of salmon? The first was so good.

Don’t fear judgment over something so trivial as food.

Don’t get me wrong. I love food. Cooking dinner isn’t a chore to me. I’ll try anything and everything, as long as it’s edible. But in the grand scheme of things, food isn’t everything.

Oh, and those two pieces of chicken were delicious.

–> How do you feel about asking for seconds?

–> Have you ever felt guilty for your food choices, either by yourself or by a comment someone said?

Thanks to Amanda as always for letting me Think Out Loud and for the link-up!

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7 thoughts on “Not Being Afraid to Ask for Seconds

  1. Such a great post, and such an important point in recovery. I remember basing so much of what/how I ate on factors that had nothing to do with what my body wanted or needed. Serving sizes were the bane of my existence, because heaven forbid I was still hungry after finishing a serving. And while I didn’t have so much of an issue with people judging how much I ate, I would never let myself eat more/less than what I had planned out… no matter what my body said. Being free from all that nonsense is seriously one of the best feelings.

    • Oh, serving sizes. The banes of my existence. I completely relate! No matter how much my stomach grumbled, or even on the off chance I actually felt less hungry, I still HAD to abide by serving sizes. Serving sizes have their places, but for most of the time the most reliable serving sizes we should go with are our guts. We’re each different shapes and sizes, we’re each different bodies with different needs, so why force ourselves to all have the same servings all the time?

  2. Ok I’m just going to say there are so many points you touched on here, besides just the seconds that really made me want to come hug you and proclaim that we are going to go take over the world with this message. Seconds are perfection. I have no food shame lol! I’ve come to the realization that if I don’t grab seconds, I’m going to be hungry and less fun to be around. And I will likely binge on something less healthy later in the day. I don’t judge others, so I expect the same from them. I don’t even let those thoughts enter my head! But you also mentioned something about commenting on being “fat” in the comments if we post something less than healthy on social. You know that really struck a cord with me. How many times do we just openly allow others into those destructive thoughts. And since we feel this way about ourselves, are we inviting other younger generations to also think this way about themselves? Words have power. I think we need to start loving ourselves more on social media. For goodness sake if we don’t, who will!

    • Thank you for your lovely comment! I completely agree that sometimes I know I “need” seconds. If I don’t have more food, I’ll just be a nightmare because I’ll be still hungry and obsessing about food. Ain’t nobody want that! So glad you are so food shame-free and don’t judge others. I’d love to eat a meal with you, haha. 🙂

      I also love what you said about the power of words. I think sometimes we get into this trap of social media, not seeing it as another way to either build ourselves up or tear ourselves down. We might not comment on somebody’s food choices, body image, what-have-you in person. We might not openly criticize ourselves while talking with our friends. But simply typing a comment on a social media post seems so much easier. Words are words, and they are how we build our worlds.

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