I cannot pinpoint exactly when things began to turn around for me. Possibly it was moving to a large city in my late 20s where I was suddenly doing lots of walking - not for exercise, but as a natural part of living and getting around. But riding a bike was what really accelerated the process of getting my appetite instincts back on track, so the connection is a strong one for me. Experiencing my body as a useful machine and not just as a bothersome appendage to my brain was what really did it. Through cycling I began to think of food as fuel. If I wanted to ride, I had to eat. And at age 30, for the first time in what must have been 15 years, I was once again able to eat when hungry and stop when full, just like I did when I was a child.
Lovely Bicycle has a great article on her relationship to food over the years, and how riding a bicycle has reconnected her with her natural appetite and encouraged a healthier relationship with her fuel. Please click through to read the rest of "Cycling Up an Appetite: Women and Food."
I have always been fairly active, so eating regular meals has always been a part of my routine. As I get older, I've noticed that my body is more sensitive to not getting the right kind of fuel. I can't eat sugary things because I crash really hard, I need to eat small snacks that are high in protein constantly, and I need to force myself to eat enough fiber and drink enough water because I feel like I am always deficient. Like Velouria, I found biking regularly woke me up to the rhythms and needs of my body. For example, some days I would feel really peppy on my commute, and the next day I would feel like I was pacing molasses in the wintertime. Drinking more water, cutting out cookies (sob), and packing snacks has worked beautifully for me. Input good fuel, output good pedaling. A simple equation that I am getting closer to understanding.