Trust Yourself; Just Try

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”


Five Days of Trying IE

Me & my hubby, the birthday boy! :)
Me & my hubby, the birthday boy! 🙂

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”

My “Thesis” & the Final Frontier of Recovery

CB067697I got the most sincere and beautiful e-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.

I likened it to my “graduate thesis” of sorts. My “capstone,” if you will — something I have real-world experience with. Continue reading “My “Thesis” & the Final Frontier of Recovery”

Giving Intuitive Eating a Whirl

tiltawhirlFor five years, I’ve written down everything I have eaten.

But today marked my first day of not journaling … not even in my head. It wasn’t easy to tune out the voices, but I was able to do it … today.

While I don’t plan to ever report a play-by-play going forward like I’m about to do now,  I did want to share my feelings on how today –my first day without reliance on my food journal — went.

All day, I tried to remember the ten basic tenets of Intuitive Eating (IE), which I read and reviewed last August. (You can read that review here).

I admit it felt very weird not to be writing things down, or going to Sparkpeople, but I really, really tried to listen to my hunger queues.  It also felt weird not to be thinking in terms of Points or calories but rather to listen to what my body needed.

Continue reading “Giving Intuitive Eating a Whirl”

Leaving, On a Jet Plane …

View of Vernon from The Cliffs, part of App. Trail
View of Vernon from The Cliffs, part of App. Trail
I’m leaving tomorrow morning for a trip home to my visit my parents in N.J., and I couldn’t be more excited.

There’s just something about the house you grew up in, that makes “going home” feel so special … no matter how old you are.

Not to mention, I haven’t been home since April, and haven’t seen my family since Thanksgiving (which was wonderful, but not spent at our house — so wonderful as it was, it wasn’t the same experience). My brother lives in L.A. so I won’t see him, but my sister lives in NYC and she’s coming home, too.

The moment I see the gorgeous Manhattan skyline come into view from the air, my heart usually starts to pound with excitment, knowing Newark Airport is minutes away (just like it would when we’d fly past San Salvador Volcano and jut out over the Pacific Ocean before turning back and making a landing at Comalapa Airport).

I know my parents will be waiting for me at the baggage carousel … (just like my then-boyfriend, now-husband would be waiting for me after customs)

And ok, I know the “smell” that is this part of Jersey will be greeting me, too.

People like to rip on my home state for its bevy of strip malls, wild, road-raging drivers, stand-still traffic, big-haired/attitude-y women, “guidos,” the beautiful ports of Newark/Elizabeth (a sorry first sight for many of N.J.!), and the ubiquitous Parkway and Turnpike exits from which everyone seems to live off (and The Sopranos only fueled some of those stereotypes!).

But where I’m from — about an hour from Manhattan in northern N.J., it’s rural farm-country and beautiful. My home town (Vernon) is a ski resort community — dotted with mountains and lakes galore. My high school was a 20-min. bus ride and the nearest mall/movie theater is 45 min. away. Until recently, there was only one stop-light in the whole town. But it’s home. Continue reading “Leaving, On a Jet Plane …”

Internal Battle: Me vs. Me
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There’s an internal battle going on inside of me. Actually there are two, and they’re related.

On the one hand, I want to be “free” from the chains of dieting, which I talked about yesterday, being tenet “numero uno” of Intuitive Eating.

I know that this will be the next step toward overcoming my disordered eating habits, which have really been dwindled down in the past two months to the occasional midnight snack and the now-more-frequent chewing-and-spitting incidents.

But on the other hand, I feel like my life is in this state of limbo right now, and since I don’t have the freedom at home to prep-cook and plan and since a lot of meals are uncertain, the only thing keeping my sanity seems to be counting Points and my daily workouts.

And then making matters worse, my lovely monthly visitor arrives today, wreaking havoc on my emotions. I don’t like the person I become for two to three days each month. And now, my behavior matters even more, as I have an audience (our visitors).

I’ve been told that perhaps I am focusing too much on “me” during this time and I ought to direct my emotions toward my husband and giving him the ability to enjoy his visit with his family.

Perhaps I have been too selfish. People who know me well know I wear my heart on my sleeve; that I am a giver, generous, thoughtful … But this person I stare at in the mirror lately is full of rage, loathing, distaste…she’s ugly.

This isn’t how I want to be.

So for today, I’d like to not fight myself. I don’t want to be selfish. I don’t want to dislike the “me” I am at the moment.

And if I can’t handle breaking 100% from the dieting mentality right now, so be it. I’d rather count Points and keep up my workouts and maintain my sanity then go off the deep end because I can’t handle all the changes at once.

I’m going to give myself credit for what I am doing right now: continuing my exercise regimen, continuing to eat healthy, and not letting an uncomfortable situation turn me into a binge monster.

(OK truth be told I’ve never really had an all-out “binge” the way everyone else defines a binge, but I have snacked mindlessly all the while counting Points … and to me that out-of-control feeling of eating food I don’t need qualifies as a binge).

Bottom line: I do know that Intuitive Eating and Core are where I want to be…and I’ll get there. It might just be at my own pace.

How about you? How do you handle internal battles? What can you give yourself credit for today?

Intuitive Eating

Though I am still not through The Four-Day Win by Martha Beck, I’d been wanting to read Intuitive Eating for a long time now.

I finally bit the bullet this weekend when it became available through my library’s inter-library exchange program. (Beware: long blog entry ahead!)

Within the first few pages, I realized I am a restrictive eater, even when trying not to be.

I also realized that my “thesis” that dieting led to my disordered eating was proven, granting me a strange sense of validation. In fact, there’s even a whole chapter in this second edition book titled “Intuitive Eating: The Ultimate Path Toward Healing from Eating Disorders,” which I found compelling and timely.

Though “eating disorders” are mostly described, they do also use the expression “disordered eating” several times. And in nearly every case study they offer, it was dieting and the subsequent euphoria/confidence from it that compelled these subjects to, in time, engage in self-destructive behaviors.

I know in my heart of hearts that I didn’t have a problem with eating before dieting and finding success with Weight Watchers.

And though I can’t blame my disordered eating habits solely on food issues–I understand now that it’s a coping mechanism for anxiety–I know that I still do not have a healthy, “normal” relationship with food or exercise. Continue reading “Intuitive Eating”