For as tiny and petite as Maya is (still only in 25th percentile for height and weight–as she has been all her life), she has always been a good eater: very in tune with her body, hunger levels, and even thirst. I’ve often been impressed by how intuitively she eats — telling me she isn’t hungry “yet” for snack at snack-time … or asking for more at dinner because she isn’t satiated. She constantly refills her own water glass and will often choose fruit before any other option.
She amazes me, day in and day out and I pray she’s always this good an eater.
I, on the other hand, have absolutely never, ever, ever been an intuitive eater. Never.
One of my biggest fears about having a daughter has been passing along my food issues to her. Though I’m long past my dark days of disordered eating, I still think a lot about food and fitness quite a bit (and still journal) and though they don’t plague me, I still emotionally eat from time to time and still have “fat” days. Even though I know I’m not actually “fat,” I certainly have some weight to lose to get to my feel-best weight/size and I will eventually …
[Sadly, even an upcoming Caribbean trip this spring isn’t enough to get me to the gym regularly again and off the sweets. <<Sigh>> One of these days I’ll get it together…]
A friend and I were discussing whether or not we’ll need to count Points (or calories, etc.) forever. It led to this short little analogy I wanted to share today.
I said to her, I don’t know if you’ll necessarily need to count forever … but to me it’s like a bank account. I hate balancing it, but it’s part of my life. Some people have lots of money in the bank and don’t need to worry about it … others need to live paycheck to paycheck. In the proverbial sense, I need to live “paycheck to paycheck.”
One of the premises of intuitive eating is eating what you really want, instead of what you think you “should” have.
The rationale is if you eat what you’re truly craving, you’ll do it in moderation and won’t overeat mindlessly because you’re giving your body what it really wants.
For example if I am craving, let’s say, chocolate and I try to quell my hunger (emotional or physical) with pudding, I’ll end up eating the pudding and the chocolate and probably some peanut butter too, for good measure.
Though I took all Honors/AP classes in high school and did really well at nearly all of them, I found out the hard way I simply wasn’t cut out for Honors Chemistry … and probably should have cut my losses instead of pushing myself through the class.
But, being stubborn and not being one to easily accept that I’m not good at something … I finished the class.
Our teacher, Mrs. Gantz, used to tell us (her “Chem Wizards”) that we were “sucking wind” when we didn’t get something but thought we did/pretended to, to avoid embarassment … and then flunked a quiz or exam.
This happened a lot with me; I’d study like mad, I’d think I knew the material … and then suddenly would find myself battering test anxiety, discovering I couldn’t balance chemical reactions and was just kidding myself. I was always more interested in reading/writing/history than science, and it showed. Continue reading “Asking for Help”→
Special K over at The Special K Treatment has posed an awesome challenge about intuition and trusting ourselves that I want to participate in, and think many of us could benefit from.
As she notes, all too often, we’re discouraged by our own thoughts, by what we “should” have done but didn’t do, by what we ought to be doing vs. what we are doing. We have lost that sense of trust that we have as children. We’re preoccupied with what others will think, and it often paralyzes us from listening to our gut–I know I struggle with this a lot.
Adding insult to injury, we live in a world where we’re barraged with messages about how we “need” to look younger, be thinner, dress better. (Be smarter isn’t usually outwardly encouraged, yet clearly that ought to trump all). Continue reading “Trust Yourself; Just Try”→
Part of figuring out intuitive eating will be trial and error, and figuring out what works for me.
I didn’t journal, per my promise to myself, last Wednesday or Thursday. It didn’t make me particularly anxious (it was almost a relief?), which surprised me, but it has always been something I enjoy doing.
And so I eventually felt a little deprived not journaling. I felt like something was missing. I like the sense of accountability, in my personal journal (my thoughts/descriptions of events) and in my food journal (food/exercise).
I was fine skipping the spread-sheet and Sparkpeople which I realize were excessive, but by Friday night (the day my WW Points reset anyway), I was feeling a bit antsy for my pretty floral journal, and found it a bit of a comfort — even though I was tracking after the fact (which of course wouldn’t be recommended by WW).
So I went about my weekend my way, listening to hunger queues as best I could, exercising moderately but not excessively.
And at my husband’s birthday party, which was a blast!!, I listened what I felt like, vs. what I necessarily “needed”. I was so active all day party-prepping anyway that food actually wasn’t one of the first things on my mind (eating it or avoiding it). It felt nice. Continue reading “Five Days of Trying IE”→
I got the most sincere and beautifule-mail from a reader yesterday; e-mails like this reaffirm that I’m doing the right thing blogging and sharing my journey of discovery and recovery with the world, for better or for worse.
Without going into details of what she said, I wanted to share some thoughts I came away with after reading her message.
She pointed out that not journaling/IE/learning to trust myself, even for just a few days as an experiment — is kind of my last frontier of my disordered eating journey.
As she noted, I stopped chewing and spitting, my midnight incidents are few and far between, I’m not over-exercising as much, I know all about nutrition and portion size and portion control …
The only thing left, really, is to trust myself. The scariest notion of all, but the most necessary.