Intuitive Eating. Giving up the numbers for good.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Hey yo! Been a bit since I posted!
Just wanted to give a quick update on how I'm doing and what I've got going on in my health world at the moment...
Over the last 4-5 months, I've been focusing on what I call "intuitive eating" or eating according to "the hunger scale." Basically there is no more counting calories, no worrying about scale numbers or percentages or blah blah blah, you eat when you reach a certain point of being hungry - based on a sense of physical urgency, not a time or a mental desire for a food. I originally found it through a friend, who sent me a link to a youtube video by Robin Woodall, the author of a book called "Weight Loss Apocalypse." The book focuses on emotional eating, triggers of it, how to get past it (lightly), and how to focus on eating to hunger instead of calories. It also explains how leptin is what controls our fat stores in the body, and how calories are possibly one of the worst and most outdated ways to keep track of our food intake. She explains the EXTREME damage we are doing to our bodies, our hormones, and our minds by counting calories and not listening to our bodies. Our MIND cannot outdo what our BODY does for us. Our MIND is not what tells us we are tired or that we have to go to the bathroom... that's our body. So why in the WORLD are we trying to control our hunger instead of LISTENING to it!? (And I refer to TRUE hunger - a sense of urgency not a feeling of eh, maybe I could eat.) We cannot compete with what our body does for us. We should NEVER feel guilty for feeling hunger - our bodies only trigger us to eat when we require more energy. It will not lie to you. Your MIND is the part that lies/plays tricks!
Anyway, Robin is VERY scientific minded (she has a degree in Physiology I believe), so some of it went right over my head, but overall, it was like someone turned on a light in a dark room that I've been standing in my whole life.
The first few weeks were EXTREMELY challenging, because I felt like I SHOULD eat or SHOULDN'T eat if I was hungry or not hungry at the "right" times, etc. I slipped a lot (heck, I STILL slip!), but I also learned a LOOOOOT! That was back in February. I have come soooo far since then, but of course, every day is a learning experience!
All of that to say, I will be absent from Sparkpeople for a while since I have realized that when I stopped using a daily weight on the scale to judge my dietary success, stopped counting calories, and stopped obsessing over it all, I had nothing to tie my emotions or my "worth" to. I had to find who I was at my core instead of hiding from it! That's really part of why the first few weeks were so difficult - I journaled through it and go back and read it often. Instead of hiding my emotions, I had to sit through them and let myself experience them, and be ok with whatever it was that I was feeling. Anger, sadness, happiness, numbness, joy, etc. Part of letting go of the psychological damage that dieting does to us is realizing that a lot of us end up hiding our worth and our feelings inside of our food - whether through binging, purging, anorexia, avoiding certain foods, or exercising. (Yes, exercise is a form of binge/purge for MANY people! Eat bad - exercise more as punishment. Not ok!) I could go on and on, but I would be just re-writing what is already written so I will post the links to Robin's blog and book (I bought it for my iPad - best $10 you will spend in your life. ESPECIALLY if you are doing, are considering doing, or EVER DID hcg. But honestly her advice is for ANYONE who is dieting or trying to lose weight or struggling with weight/food. PLEASE read it!!!!)
So I am taking a break from SP - maybe checking in to post my stats or log some fitness or whatnot, but otherwise no more counting calories, no more worrying about how much I ate in NUMBERS, but only based on how my body FEELS and what my BODY (not my MIND!) is telling me. Until I can completely and entire separate emotion from body functioning, I have to let it all go.
I strongly encourage you to take a look at Robin's blog/book/research and really give it prayers and or/thoughts. It is absolutely life changing, the work that this woman is doing.