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Intuitive Eating - I can see how it is going to work

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The last couple of evenings I have been mindlessly nibbling . . whilst getting the kids dinner ready. I try reflecting - Am I hungry? What sounds good? the answers are vague.
I ended up having my dinner, rather than wait for my husband.
I think that what I was feeling was fatigue and low energy associated with the long hot (39C, or 102F) day.
When my husband got home I told him that some days I am not going to wait for him for dinner. If I am to be truly intuitive, I need to have more control over when I eat - and since hubby has not been getting home until 7.30 then he puts the kids to bed, we were not eating until after 8pm. I will wait if I can - but if I can't I will eat.

After dinner we always have a hot drink and a 'little sweetie' - normally a museli bar with a drizzle of chocolate on it, but sometimes a row of chocolate, or a cookie or two. Anyway, two nights ago I thought, actually I want some fruit - and last night I thought, actually I don't want anything. What? That has never happened. When I was tracking I was always tallying up what I had eaten in the day to see if I could have chocolate & a museli bar or just the bar. I never stopped to think whether I really wanted it.

I weighed in today. I decided to weigh monthly, and since we have friends coming over for dinner tonight, I thought I would weigh in today. (No point after a slightly bigger, and slightly more sodium containing meal). No change. That's right. No change to my weight. Its funny that I don't really feel anything about that, its more just an observation. I think I am actually getting to the point where I don't need the scale to validate my behaviours. I feel good, and my clothes fit, and when I look in the mirror I like what I see.

At the pool yesterday (first time for the summer), I could not help looking at some of the other bodies there. Some looked really fit, some not so much - it was not until I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror in the change room that I realised that the mental picture I had of myself was much less flattering than the truth.

Of course, December will be a challenging month for my intuitive eating. I just need to keep practicing these skills, and I will be fine.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

A*L*P* 11/30/2012 6:58AM

    You're really doing awesome! I am like you, I like something sweet before I go to bed, but I have found the last couple of nights, I haven't wanted anything. It is so different when the restrictions are removed, everything just changes. You're doing a great job of really grasping things! Keep it up, girlie!!

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ILIKETOZUMBA 11/30/2012 12:20AM

    That all sounds great! It makes me happy that you're doing so well with this intuitive eating. :)

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HDHAWK 11/29/2012 6:18PM

    You have a good plan. Eat when you're hungry and eat what you're hungry for. Good luck!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 11/29/2012 5:40PM

    Sounds like you are really getting into it, accepting the new way of eating and accepting yourself in the process. I take it you are in the southern hemisphere?
Thanks much for sharing the every day things. For me that is always helpful.

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SLENDERELLA61 11/29/2012 5:03PM

    Very, very impressive!! It looks like intuitive eating will really work for you. That is great!!

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KAT1587 11/29/2012 5:03PM

    You can do it! I need to start asking myself those questions too! It's so easy to just stick everything in your mouth, especially while cooking. Good luck this month!!

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Intuitive Eating - an embarrassing anecdote

Monday, November 26, 2012

On the weekend, we stayed with my parents. A great weekend. Lots of mountain biking, including one with my husband whilst the kids were with their grandparents.

Mum and Dad love to have family to stay, and it often involves presenting cakes, chocolates, biscuits, etc for our enjoyment.

Sunday afternoon we have a fresh & tasty barbecue lunch, which was lovely. Then mum produced a 'Boston Bun' to have with a cup of tea afterwards. I love Boston bun (a bun with sultanas in it, iced with a kind of fake creamy icing and sprinkled with coconut - spread with butter of course). So I took a slice whilst the tea was being made. I really enjoyed it, especially as I was hungry after a challenging MT bike ride. There were a few slices left on the platter.

Anyway - Mum got distracted making the tea, and one of the kids needed attention, and then my sister was leaving. In the confusion, my sister's dog jumped up on the table and stole a piece of bun. Boston Bun! Criminal dog!

Anyway - growled at the dog, said goodbye to my sister then cleared the table.
And there I am looking very closely at the remaining pieces of bun to see if there was any evidence that the dog had touched them. Did I tell you that I love Boston Bun? I really think that the dog just got one piece and did not touch the others.

WHAT? What am I thinking? That it might be worth getting dog germs in order to have one more piece of delicious Boston Bun. (I can't believe that I am admitting this)
Then I remembered the Intuitive Eating philosophy. I can eat anything I want - right? So if I really want a Boston Bun, I can go down to the shop right now, or tomorrow, or every day for the next 3 weeks and buy a whole Boston Bun all to myself, and not share it with anyone - certainly not my sister's naughty dog.

This is exactly what Intuitive Eating is talking about - that is not the last piece of Boston Bun in the world (if it was, I would have eaten it) - so let go of the 'last meal' mentality, and throw the bun in the rubbish.

I am certainly not giving it to the dog,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WENDYJM4 11/27/2012 6:21PM

    good way of thinking

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A*L*P* 11/27/2012 7:13AM

    Tee hee! MAn alive, I have been there! I had a good laugh from your blog! Too cute, but I do think you made the right choice! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/26/2012 5:54PM

    This reminds me of the time I was tempted to eat potato chips out of the trash bin on the golf course . . .. I really really love potato chips too!!

Clearly the IE approach is working for ya!

I can tell from your wallpaper you're a cross country ski fan -- I'll think of you from time to time when I'm out there! Proud to say: no aches today after a tough slog yesterday so I must be in some kinda shape!

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SLENDERELLA61 11/26/2012 1:59PM

    Thanks for sharing. I can definitely relate. You are doing just great! It is hard to throw away yummy food that looks okay, but your reasoning is solid. Your actions commendable. Good going!!

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KANSASROSE67 11/26/2012 1:19PM

    Great blog! I believe you are spot on in your thinking!

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RHEYNKLW 11/26/2012 12:50PM

    It wasn't Boston (Bun) Terrier, was it?

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BETHGILLIGAN 11/26/2012 8:23AM

    I love this story and wish I would think this way more often! I've read about intuitive eating but hearing your story helps me to see it in action. Thank you!! I need to put this in my memory bank!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 11/26/2012 8:08AM

    This is a really cute story with a good lesson. To me, it shows how situational intuitive eating is. It also shows that throughout each day when we are called upon to make a decision regarding food, we can make the right decision for ourselves .
IE can also be interesting, entertaining, an adventure and fun (funny?).

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CELIAMINER 11/26/2012 7:56AM

    "Last meal mentality." I like that term. When I was on vacay, it seemed like every day I ate like there was no tomorrow. I'll practice telling myself, "This is not your last meal. Don't eat like it is."

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PHEBESS 11/26/2012 4:30AM

    LOL - and you made the right decision!

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TRISHASPARKLES 11/26/2012 1:45AM

    Loved this post. Thanks for sharing.

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DEL-AND-COMPANY 11/26/2012 1:36AM

  Great advice and easy enough to accomplish!


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    I like this way of thinking!

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Monday again - accept & do something about it

Sunday, November 25, 2012

An action packed long weekend - mountain biking and hanging out with family.

Now it is Monday again - and things are not looking good for me. If you saw last Mondays blog, you may remember that grumpy tired mum and kids can lead to mindless eating!

Today is no better than last week - in fact, possibly worse.
1. Kids (& self) a bit tired after long fun weekend
2. Kids sick - son took himself back to bed at 9am!
3. Kids a bit grumpy (see points 1 & 2)
4. Did not get great sleep last night (see point 2)
5. Plans made for Monday have had to be cancelled (see points 2 & 3)

My Intuitive Eating spark team raised the question - does anyone keep a journal? Since I have not read the intuitive eating book yet - I was kind of surprised by the question . . . I thought the whole idea of intuitive eating was to get away from tracking food, labelling food as good/bad, feeling guilty about what was eaten etc etc.
So why journal?

This got me thinking about whether journalling might help me
- sort out my goals (non weight related of course)
- sort out my emotions
- sort out some plans & ideas for activities - both for self & kids
- really take on board the intuitive eating philosophy.

Today might be a really good day to start!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILIKETOZUMBA 11/26/2012 2:57PM

    Yikes, that sounds like a lot to handle! I think you might be right - journaling could be a huge help. Hope it works, and good luck with your Monday!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 11/26/2012 8:16AM

    I think journaling would be a great idea.
What about planning some relaxing activities and decompression/renewal rituals for Monday? I mean stuff that doesn't require much physical or mental energy and would allow for renewal. That way you could recoup from week-end.
Not sure what your gang would like to do.........just something easy to perk up the day that they could look forward to and count on that would make Mondays something to look forward to, not dread.
Watch a funny movie with cuddle time? Do puzzles? Do a craft? Do group stretching/play?
Bring out a special toy or game that you only do on Mondays?

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PATTYKLAVER 11/26/2012 6:48AM

    I swear by journaling. It gives me a lot of insight on myself.

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WATERMELLEN 11/25/2012 8:03PM

    Hmmmmmm. Sounds like it's worth a try! (And I hope tomorrow is a better day . . . )

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WENDYJM4 11/25/2012 6:15PM

    I think ths is a great idea. You can look back later n and see if there is a improvement. It is also a way of keeping yourself honest.

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A*L*P* 11/25/2012 6:01PM

    The journaling in the ie book that is suggested is different from "tracking" like what is done on spark with calories etc. It is more a way to gauge your feelings and emotions, how you felt after eating (physical reaction) etc. Journaling for the sake of journaling, your day, kind of like what one would use a diary for. Does that make sense?

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Highly recommended listening

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hi friends

Many of you know that I have been nibbling around the edges (pun intended) of the Intuitive Eating philosophy. Today I have to tell you that I am about to plunge head first in - on the basis of an interview I just heard.

Being interviewed is Elyse Resch, one of the authors of the Intuitive Eating book.

I don't want to tempt anyone away from their current eating system - if tracking and following the SP principles is working for you, you should continue.

What I found was that I was not feeling good about my relationship with food. It was becoming obsessive - and I was going through a control/out of control cycle. This interview really hit a cord (or several) with me.

What did she have to say that caught my attention?
* That some people develop disordered eating after being on a diet. (The regular binges that have only started since I lost weight)
* There are 'white knucklers' - those who appear on the outside to have it all together. They eat well, they exercise regularly . . . . but they are 'white knuckling it' - on edge the whole time. (Ring any bells? Maintaining for 12 months, but still bingeing on breakfast cereal every week or so)
* That research demonstrates that toddlers naturally practice intuitive eating - it is a skill we are born with that we lose through conditioning (I see this with my kids - do you want another pancake? no . . . can I have an apple?)
* The analogy of the french fries - if we tell ourselves that we can have fries anytime we wish, then once they go cold, or after we've had a few, we will stop - it is the mentality that we aren't allowed to have it, so we should gobble them all up, even the burnt, cold, greasy ones.
* The fact that every body has its own natural size - and that trying to maintain weight below that may lead to feelings of deprivation. (This is HUGE for me - I am currently 58kg, a weight I have not been for about 15+ years. In 2005 when I travelled around Australia for a year I lost weight to 64kg - and maintained it until I got pregnant in 2007. This was my initial goal - but SP made me see I could lose more than that. Is it possible I can be just as happy, healthy, fit etc at 64kg (a BMI of 21.6) as I can at 58 (a BMI of 19.6)?)

So, I am going to step away from the scale - put maintenance on the back burner. Focus on what is really important to me. Feeling good in myself, feeling fit and strong, being good to myself, focusing on the important things in life.
Oh, and buy the book!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILIKETOZUMBA 11/24/2012 9:45PM

    Wow. I will bookmark this to listen to later, because your summary sounds really fascinating. The first two points in particular speak to my experience - I have gotten SUPER tense about food and exercise. I'm sure I'm a white knuckler! And while I engaged in disordered eating before losing weight in the sense that I overate out of boredom, emotional upset, for comfort, etc....I developed real fear of food as I approached and surpassed my goal. My gyno went ahead and diagnosed me with Female Athlete Triad, one symptom of which involves disordered eating or at least insufficient caloric intake to support activity level. I'm not anorexic, but I'm afraid of eating more food than I think I *should*, even though what I think I should eat and what I need to eat in order to regain weight are not the same. I fear unexpected food. I panicked when I heard that the cinnamon bread my mom made for a party was going to have more butter than the original recipe called for. I'm worrying about coworkers taking me out to lunch next week for my last day of work, because I want to get my daily lunchtime walk in and I want to eat my usual spinach salad and whole wheat bread sandwich and fruits and such - not restaurant food! I feel like I have a very disordered relationship with food right now, but I need to keep tracking to make sure I'm eating enough or I just know that my fear is going to keep me chronically undereating so that I don't gain the necessary weight back.

Anyways, thank you SO much for sharing. I am totally going to check this out as soon as I get a chance!

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MTRACHEL 11/24/2012 3:26PM

    Found your blog today ( and also that you ascribe to Michael Pollen's quote!) So I'm going to check out the link. Thanks!

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KANOE10 11/21/2012 8:43AM

    That wss very interesting. I am going to listen to the interview..Of course it is fascinating that while you maintain, you are a "white knuckler". That is the way I spent my life in the yo-yo pattern. Never being secure in maintenance.

Good luck on the intuitive eating. It makes sense. emoticon

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A*L*P* 11/21/2012 8:24AM

    I have been one of the "white knucklers" big time. I got abotu half way through and plan to finish listening.

Funny thing when they brought up the toddlers, I have been really watching how my little guy eats (he's 16 months old) and I love it. He's picky about what he eats, he thinks about food when he's hungry only, eats then moves on with this day. He doesn't feel the need to "clean his plate" unless he's just that hungry. It has been very insightful to watch him.

Good for you. I read about the setpoint weight in the Health at Every Size book, that is a good read, too. But the IE book is an excellent read!!!

Banishing the scale has been a must for me. Scale = obsession. 100%. I weigh and I take myself away from intuitive eating because I am then, looking for external tools to tell me "how I am doing" instead of relying on how I feel. It is still hard, I will admit it. I have gone two weeks without weighing but I don't miss it.

Let me know if you get the book!!!!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 11/21/2012 7:41AM

    Yes, I agree 100% Glad you are thinking, blogging, posting. It is good to have friends to share along the way.

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A change of focus - its not all about me!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I am moving towards trust. I am moving towards intuition.
I don't want to follow any principles imposed by others - even the Intuitive Eating principles.
I just want to follow myself.

Fuel my body. Enjoy the eating experience. Be mindful of a focus on health. Learn to listen to my body, and what it needs. Know that I will have 'good' days and 'bad' days. Bad days are not to be a trigger for guilt - what a wasted emotion that is! Just try to better understand myself instead.

This will involve a wobbly period.

I would say I am not in touch with my health & my body. I can not tell you how many times I have spoken to someone who says 'Have you got a cold?' - and I have thought 'Me? No. Well, actually now you mention it, my nose is a bit stuffy". Or I go to the doctor with a complaint, and they ask me about various other symptoms I have - and I am always responding 'Not that I have noticed. Oh, maybe a little bit. Actually, now you mention it . . '.

So my focus will be on me - but not how I look, or whether I can afford to have another piece of cake or not . . . . but on how I am feeling. What makes me feel good, and what makes me feel not so good. Not just food and exercise - but all facets of my life. Sleep, love, family, laughter, friendships, culture, community, creativity and learning.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

A*L*P* 11/21/2012 7:45AM

    Awesome job!!!!!!!!!!!! I think you're taking amazing steps!!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 11/21/2012 7:33AM

    Yes, I am with you on this. I do agree that this is what it boils down to....being in touch with ourselves. I think it is something we have to do continuously, but I do think that it gets easier as we go along. We need to take care of ourselves. If we are to do that, we need to be aware of ourselves. We need to pay more attention to our bodies and our OWN wisdom.

Even the "experts" that we trust for information and insights are a starting point, not a stopping point. We need to be mindful that they may have mixed motives, some of which may have nothing to do with really helping us
(they seek fame and/fortune).

Comment edited on: 11/21/2012 7:36:48 AM

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WENDYJM4 11/21/2012 4:29AM

    you do need to focus on yourself. emoticon

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MAGGIEVAN 11/20/2012 5:26PM

    Good attitude. Congrats. You know the battle is won or lost in your mind. So make it work for you! Keep on pushing!!!

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