Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Is This What They Mean By Intuitive Eating?

Is this intuitive eating?

I've never followed this trend or style because I have never, ever trusted myself around food. Too many times when faced with eating what I want, what I wanted was everything and a lot of it. In my past, I have eaten food that I don't even like just for the sake of eating. I am not saying that I have turned any corners or anything, but a couple of things have happened recently that have never happened before.

In the past couple of months, I have been altering my eating style a bit - allowing a few more grain-based carbs, having an ice cream treat (or seven). Just seeing what it feels like to be at this weight that I have decided to call goal/ideal. It will remain to be seen if it is sustainable. So far, so good.

Now I have had "food funerals" in the past - threw something away, put it down the drain, to keep my self from over eating. I've used that strategy in the past to prevent me from eating food I still WANTED.

The past couple of incidents were/are different:

1. I wanted a Wendy's Frosty and some French Fries. So I ordered them. And I ate a bit of each and it was enough. It was like. Okay, I've had what I wanted and I am satisfied. And just threw the remainder away. I didn't want anymore. I NEVER don't want more.

2. I'm hosting a coffee/dessert gathering at my home Thursday night after the movie outing and am still thinking about what to serve that will be easy/good/strategic given my space limitations/etc (and yes, I obviously obsess too much about this kind of stuff). There is new little gourmet ice cream sandwich shop right next to the theatre. You go in and choose from a dozen varieties of fresh-baked cookies and a dozen or so flavors of Blue Bell Ice Cream. I had this brilliant idea that I could pre-order/pre-pay and have them ready for pick up on the walk back to my apartment from the theatre. I was really excited about this and decided to try one out last night. And so I chose an oatmeal toffee cookie, a chocolate coconut cookie for my sandwich and old-fashioned vanilla as my ice cream. And I didn't love it. I mean it was okay, but it wasn't great and wonder of wonders, I just dropped it down the disposal. No pep talks, no inner discussions. I just thought "this isn't good" and I threw it away. Not so that I wouldn't eat it, but because I didn't want it. Say it with me again - I didn't want it. I didn't want it. I didn't want it.


  1. Some days I am better at that then others. I gave away my popcorn at the movies this past weekend. That's something!

    I have eaten stuff that didn't really taste good just for the sake of eating too. ICKy feeling

  2. I think the gist of it is the idea that you allow yourself anything so you eventually only want what your body really desires.

    I'm going to send a friend over here to read this and she can tell you because she has been working on this for some time.

    One thing I can tell you for sure is that is where I really, really want to be!

  3. Yes, indeedy, I think that is intuitive eating! Sometimes I can do that and sometimes I can't. Good for you!

  4. Yes...I do think that's intuitive eating! The hardest parts are 1) to trust that the process works (starting with the idea that you will eat what you want,a s much as you want, when you want it, even though it feels wrong) and 2) that it may take longer than you want it to and it will sometimes feel like you're going in the wrong direction.

    Another huge component is really examining the intention with which you eat anything. If you're going to have what want, then have it with joy! If there's any guilt or shame, the karma will get you every time.

    It's also important to recognize the difference between either-or thinking and both-and thinking. This is something I recently figured out for myself, even though I've heard about it before. I am notoriously good at knowing a concept but not "getting" it...or being able to live it.

    I wrote about either-or thinking and both-and thinking yesterday.

    So anyway, there are some foods I am not sure I'll ever be able to control 100%. Goldfish crackers and Smartfood popcorn are two examples. I'd like to think that when I reach intuitive eating nirvana that I will have these foods in the house and not hear them calling my name until I eat the whole bag. I can tell you that the amount of time between binges gets farther and farther apart. That what I binge on gets healthier and healthier (although, I guess by its very nature, a binge is not healthy) and that the amount I eat when I binge becomes less and less.

    One last thing: I am 47 and have been going through some some health issues in the past nine months or so...saw a naturopath and a hormone specialist. I've had complete blood and saliva workups and am taking several supplements (nothing exotic), a homeopathic remedy and bioidentical progesterone cream. I think a lot of my success in making peace with my body and with food has to do this.

  5. A couple more things (gee...I am super talkative today!):

    Honoring Health is a great blog about intuitive eating and why and how it works.

    A quick history of me: At my heaviest I was ~225 and in 2006 I got down to 168. My original goal was 149. I never got there. Then I gained ~25 pounds. At the beginning of 2009 I started my blog and even though I didn't realize it at the time, I knew what I wanted was to embrace intuitive eating, stop counting calories and never say "diet" again. I eventually stopped weighing.

    I wish I could say that I had total faith in the process but I didn't...there's been a lot of steps backwards and side trips but I think my body is finally catching up to where my head is: peace with my body and peace with food.

    In the past couple of weeks I know I've lost some weight...not sure how much. My waist is down nearly 4 inches and I am wearing clothes that just a month or so ago were too tight. I'm tempted to get the scale out, but I don't think I will. There's such peace with letting that go...and I think it translates to my body letting go of its weight.

  6. That is so awesome! I think that is intuitive eating or maybe more mindful eating (think I like that term better).

  7. Janell, I love you more with each passing snark - I meant comment

  8. I hope to get to this place someday. I'm of a mind that if that whole order of fries is in front of me and they taste really good, why would I toss 'em?! Actually I have thrown away tons of food over the years to prevent ingestion by my mouth! But it's always a knee jerk reactionary move rather than a serious "It was good but I've had enough" one. Someday maybe.

  9. I like the track you are on. Lately I've been realizing that I stop tasting things after a few bites, and it's ok to stop eating them, even when I've paid for it. I don't always stop, but I'm getting better at it. The Frosty and french fries - that sounds like something a skinny person would do - eat what you want to satisfy and leave the rest. Kudos!

  10. Well done you, that definitely does sound like intuitive thinking! I can do that sometimes, but not consistantly, but I think that's just a sign that I'm a work in progress - and as I don't aspire to perfection that's good enough for me!

  11. I have spit the thing out (nicely) if I decide it's not worth the calories.... or the effort!

  12. Wooot! It's great when you turn that corner. I'm weird. I often crave veggies, fruits & salads.

  13. I like the concept of intuitive eating and I think that a person with a healthy attitude and usage of food probably follows that concept. It is not a concept that my brain / emotions/ spirit / entire being / soul can follow on a consistent basis. But I get glimpses like you did. There are times I'd eat a stale cookie that fell on the floor and there are times when it's gotta be really good to pass these lips / land on hips.

  14. There is something empowering about being able to just stop eating. Not feeling compelled to eat everything can be liberating and a little addictive.

    You are regaining control :)

  15. late to the party but echoing the HONORING HEALTH love...

  16. Change is happening in a positive way! I admire that you took a few bites and through out the rest and "wasted" ice cream!

    I can't eat certain dairy foods anymore they make me sick and the same for all FRIED foods they make me sick somewhere along the way my body got used to "clean" eating...when I wasn't looking:)


We'll try this for a while.