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Normal Eating

Friday, May 21, 2010

I picked up several books with the phrase "normal eating" in the title recently, hoping to find the true path to help me in the maintenance stage.

They all say some of the same stuff, just spin it with their own orientation. None of it was really enlightening. There were no ah-ho moments.

But, it made me think. 18 months ago when I started this journey, I used food to deal with my emotions. Now, I use food as fuel so I can be active. I am consciously aware of what I eat. I've also learned to listen to my body. If I'm hungry 2 hours after I ate breakfast, I eat. I no longer let the clock determine when or if I eat. I accept that there are some days that I'm simply hungrier than usual. (My keeping notes, I realize this often happens after a day where I expended a great deal more calories than usual.)

That's the job of my body and I need to trust that I've learned enough about healthy eating to put fuel rather than junk into my body.

More importantly, I don't think of any food as off-limits. Food is not good or bad, it simply is. Some is better for me or will allow me to eat more of it for fewer calories, but none of it, not even sugar, is intrinsically bad.

Since I know I can eat anything I want, I can choose not to eat certain things today, knowing that I could make a different choice tomorrow. That's what normal eating is to me.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNYPENNY29 5/23/2010 11:00PM

    And now you are helping others with their journey to healthy eating! Thank you!

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MILDEXSPI 5/22/2010 9:49PM

    You've come a long way in the last 18 months. You've learned a great deal about eating and living healthy and you've learned even more about yourself. Congratulations on a job well done and thank you for being part of my support system.

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MOMFAN 5/21/2010 12:53PM

    Sounds like a sensible plan to me!

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FOOFIT1 5/21/2010 12:30PM

    I think your mindset right now is a great one for maintenance! I can't wait to get to the point that I view food as fuel and not as emotional help! Just the fact that you use food in this way, to me, means "normal eating". If only we could all get to this point mentally!!!

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TAMSPARKLESTOO 5/21/2010 12:18PM

    emoticon I hope you find what you're looking for. I know you'll share your wisdom with your Spark friends...

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GRACEFULIFE 5/21/2010 11:59AM

    I've been reading about this a bit and I don't think I've seen anyone that says one "shouldn't track" as 4A says (strange suggestion, that) but certainly some say that "eating in a prescribed manner rather than tracking might work for you", and often the same sources say you should track for a period of time and go back to it if the program stops doing what you want.

I've been working on making peace with the "no food is off-limits" idea myself. Even after I started to make conscious calorie/satisfaction tradeoffs, I still feel like I've had to almost outlaw a lot of foods, because it's so easy to consume less-healthy choices too often. Today it's "a little chocolate is OK" and tomorrow it's "I really want two cookies instead of just one". Both aren't bad choices, but in the face of massive availability it can be really easy to slide into making a bad choice just a bit too often. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to "let down one's guard" as 4A has written that she can't! Or maybe it's just that the guard gets effortless eventually as it becomes simply a normal part of one's eating. I don't know... but at this point I suspect it will take a long time to really fully make peace with it and have things settled to some sort of "natural/normal" level.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 5/21/2010 8:46AM

    I get the hungries the day after exertion, too. It's one reason I turned off the "adaptive" function on my iPod tracker, because it was telling me to eat more on the day of the exertion.

Awareness is a wunnerful thing, ain't it?!
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I'd rather just have a consistent daily goal rather than try and eat more some days and less others.

The only thing about the idea of "normal eating" that gets to me is the implication by some that one shouldn't track. It's going to be a long long time before I'm ready to stop tracking. Experience has shown me what happens when I stop.
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FITKAT2010 5/21/2010 8:19AM

    I sense you are looking for answers to unrecognized questions. It isn't about the food. Perhaps it is about the new you and where you need to go from here. I think you are wanting to get some passion into your life.

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