This plunge into intuitive eating has been difficult for me. More difficult than before. I don't know why. I have been so ready for it. Fully committed to it. Maybe it is fear that keeps hanging on. Okay, I will admit it. I am afraid.
Afraid to gain weight.
Afraid to let go.
Afraid to trust myself.
Afraid to trust the process.
Afraid to give up control.
Afraid to be happy with myself.
Afraid to give myself unconditional permission to eat.
Afraid to ease up on exercise.
Afraid to admit all of my shortcomings
Afraid to admit that I am a disordered eater
Afraid to relinquish the "clean eating" title
Afraid to trust myself with food
Afraid to just accept
Afraid to look myself in the eye and say "I'm okay"
Afraid to give up the scale.
Afraid to give up the dieters tools
Afraid to hush the external rules
Afraid to make my own rules
Afraid to give up control. Control. Control. (I know, I said this already, but its a biggie)
Fear is one of those emotions that grab me and makes it impossible for me to shake. What have I done about it?
Acknowledged it. Welcomed it, felt it. Understood it. Now I am trying to accept it.
It is hard. Hard as hell for me because there is a part of me that is still holding on to the hope of losing weight. The same part of me that has gone rounds with obsession. Counting the tiniest calorie that has gone into my mouth. Obsessing over the scale and the numbers presented. Obsessing over the types, how much, when and what I eat. It is hard to let the obsession go. I will admit it. Fear is a very real thing for me. But as I remind myself, obsession doesn't work for me.
Intuitive eating is such an opposite take on the dieting mentality. The dieting mentality required me to rely on a set of external rules. Eat this, not that. Eat now, not later. Don't eat after 7. Exercise now, hard, hard, harder! Weigh daily for reassurance that you're doing the right thing. Progress was measured by external factors, cold hard facts. Intuitive eating is not about absolutes. It is not about relying on external factors rules or subsets of rules. Rather, it is about inner trust. Finding that feeling of hunger and fullness. Honoring the self with foods that sound good and that includes excluding the rules that lie in foods. Yes it is okay to eat chocolate,or any type of food for that matter. Removing the concept of "forbidden fruit" takes away the guilt and power from foods. Relying on myself and the way that my body reacts to food to be the reason I choose to eat and not eat certain things. I set the rules in a way, but because of how I feel, not because I am told to do it a certain way.
So what am I going to do about it?
Something I am going to do this time that I didn't do my first trip down the intuitive eating path is to make a list a genuine list of my "forbidden foods" and eat them. Not just eat them, but taste them, smell them, savor them. Take the whole sensory process with them. See how my body responds to them. One by one, scratch them off of my list so they no longer have power over me. Guilt sucks. Especially when it comes to food. I have never had an eating disorder, I think I could if I kept on the path of obsession, but I would say I have dealt with disordered eating.
I also took another big step yesterday to kick fear in the ass. I cleaned out my closet. I have been holding on to my smaller size jeans with the hopes of getting back into them. Like the scale, they mentally play with me. Offer hope of losing weight. I try them on and am reminded of my "failure to lose weight". With this process of IE, it isn't about losing weight, it is about learning to trust the body, eat "normal", not obsess, eat for health, etc. so the body will naturally come to its natural, healthy weight. By holding on to these pieces of the past, I am holding on to hopes of weight loss. I have to be to a point that I can let that go. Shed the weight loss mindset and fully embrace that of intuitive eating. So I cleaned otu my closet, cried a bit, I will admit it, but I feel good. Better. I know that no matter how hard this process is, it is the right one for me. I am on the right path. I guess in a way going through a grieving process of giving up the dieting mentality and my hopes and goals.
Fear sucks. Accepting fear sucks even more. But allowing it to control me sucks the most. I am tired of it. Done with it. Instead of fighting it, accepting it, welcoming the feelings and not allowing it to dominate me will be better instead of letting it eat at me. Pushing on down this path is not proving to be an easy one for me. But as the saying goes...