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Unconditional Permission to Eat?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Working my way through the principles of intuitive eating, I have found one that scares the hell out of me....

The third principle of intuitive eating states: "Make Peace with Food Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can't or shouldn't have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt."

As I am working my way through all of the principles, I am finding myself snagged on this one which inevitably leads me to be snagged on the 4th one (challenging the food police). Rejecting the diet mentality, done - honoring my hunger, okay. Granting permission to myself to eat WHATEVER I WANT.... not so easy. With this step comes a lot of exploration, relearning what I like and don't like, really beginning to get a taste of what is good, not because of what I'm told to eat through the process of dieting and food/calorie restriction, but what I REALLY want to eat and REALLY crave. As it is stated, as soon as foods are restricted, food cravings develop and the unhealthy relationship with food begins a series of guilt is associated with the enjoyment factor of foods that are considered "bad". Supposedly through the process of tearing down the sense of "good" foods and "bad" foods, the cravings are supposed to stop. When the cravings stop and the knowledge that anytime the wanted food is available, it will lead to an overall healthier relationship with food.

I am struggling with this particular stage mainly out of fear. I find myself with the need to eat chocolate. I love chocolate and it has been one of my most restricted foods over the many years of dieting because I never felt I could trust myself with it. So I am really working to take the label off of it and not treat it any different than anything else. When I want it, I eat it, I savor it, I am *trying* to enjoy it and not feel guilty about it. It is so hard. After so many years of telling myself "no" it is hard to rebuild a trusting relationship with myself knowing that I am not going to go hog wild or anything. The funny thing is, as I sit here and type this, I haven't eaten a bunch of it. I eat a piece (sometimes two) and am done with it. I move on and I don't think about it anymore... well until I decide I want another piece emoticon

I guess it is so hard after so long to find that trust from within and know that if I am not restricting anything and I can have it anytime I want it the power of chocolate will eventually fade. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is trust. I am getting to that point that I am trying to silence the dieter in myself, and learn to trust myself again. Dieting is easy, trust is hard. It is work. With dieting/calorie counting/food restriction/etc. the rules are established. I know what I need to do and how to do it. It is all spelled out, but with intuitive eating, there are no rules except the guiding principles that lead us back to ourselves, learning how to eat the way we're supposed to eat and regain that trust, silence the dieter from within and be happy in the skin we're in.

Tough stuff.

I am committed, though. I plan on working my way through this, I know that this state of hyperconsciousness will end and it will get to a point that I no longer think about it, it will just come naturally. But in the meantime, it is scary as hell!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SOTM121097
    So glad to hear you are back at it again. I was happy to have found you when I started my intuitive eating journey. You can do this!
    2528 days ago
  • KNH771
    There are some foods I really struggle with. With those foods, it helps me to get built in portion sizes (like snack-size bags of potato chips instead of having a family size bag in the house).
    2528 days ago
    What a great post with a lot of 'food for thought'. Thanks for sharing.

    2528 days ago
    I am hoping to balance that principle - with the Honour your health one.
    I am focusing on having the most lovely fresh fruit and vege on hand, to build lovely meals and snacks with. If these are the main focus - the occasional addition of a treat when I really want it, is fine. And I really enjoy it.

    The problem with some foods like chocolate is, once I open the packet, I find myself REALLY wanting it until it is all gone (which is not true - since one or two pieces would have been lovely). I prefer to buy small portions if & when I really want it. Then if I want it, and there is nothing in the house . . I have to decide if I want it enough to go out and get it. Invariably the answer is no!

    I actually found these museli (granola) bars that are all natural, and just have a skim of dark chocolate across the bottom. Less that 150 calories - so a good size snack, full of fibre & healthy stuff - and satisfies the chocolate need (I have one after dinner with a herbal tea). Something similar (these are Australian) might be a good thing for you?

    2529 days ago
    Wow. THis is a really awesome Blog that really hits home. You've given me alot to think about. THank you. :)
    2529 days ago
    I understand what you're talking about. I went through the process with Coca Cola.
    I love the taste of real coke. I decided I needed to let myself drink it and enjoy every drop.
    I was having a couple a day after not drinking any except for a couple a year.
    After the newness wore off, I didn't feel the need to have it as much. It seemed like I enjoyed it more some times more than others. I thought I would save it for when I really wanted it so I could savor it and appreciate the taste. Did that voluntarily, realizing that it would taste better if I limited it and kept it for a treat. I haven't had any for a few days now, but have some in the fridge in case I feel like that is what will hit the spot.
    2529 days ago
  • no profile photo FLGIRL_4EVER
    You can do it girl! I haven't got to that principle yet, but #1 scares me so far, together we can do it!
    2529 days ago
  • LIBRA73
    I love what JUSTME29 said! Ditto!

    And I love that quote in your blog!
    2529 days ago
    Oh goodness. That principle scares me too. I really appreciate you blogging your way through these. It's helpful.
    2529 days ago
  • JUSTME29
    You've done this successfully before, so this time it should come easily. Like putting on a favorite jacket for the first time every winter. It feels weird at first because you haven't worn it in so long, but pretty soon you remember why you love it - it's comfy and warm and smells like home.
    2529 days ago
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