Thursday, September 19, 2013

Let's try this again!

By "this", I mean intuitive eating.  I'm ready to give it another go.

The difference this time is that I am not going to be strict about it, and also that I am officially using it as a technique to get beyond my EDNOS.

I have always known that the day would come when I would need to go back to intuitive eating.

Since I have gone back and forth so many times, and shared pretty much every experience with my eating behaviors right here on this blog, I'm not too embarassed to let you all in on my return to IE.

I have tried and failed at Intuitive Eating several times.  Why have I failed?  Hmmm.  For many reasons, but I'm going to talk about the biggest reason for now.

I was looking at IE as another diet plan.  The "Eat When I'm Hungry, Stop Eating When I'm Satisfied Diet".  When I got sick of doing those things, or when I wasn't losing weight (or even when I was gaining it!), I would either give up on the IE "Diet" completely and lose myself in the world of binge eating again, or I would go back to tracking regularly so that I could eat until stuffed so long as I tracked it, and could still lose weight if I stayed under a specific calories or Points number.

Intuitive Eating should not be looked at in this way.  It is not a diet.  It is not a "lifestyle change" (which is really another word for diet in my opinion).  It is just listening to my body.  Giving it what it wants: no more, no less.  It is asking myself these questions before I eat:  "Am I hungry?" and "Is this what I want?" and giving myself  unconditional permission to eat when the answer to those two questions is "Yes!".  And of course, asking myself those same questions every few bites in order to figure out when to stop eating.

But even that ONE rule is enough to send me spiraling into a diet mentality sometimes.  

Like "Fuck you, Intuitive Eating.  No, I'm not hungry, and no this is not what I really want, but it's here and I want it, so I'm going to fucking eat it.  Stupid IE, making me only eat when I'm hungry and only eat what I really want, and then WTF making me have to stop every few bites and ask myself those same questions again?! Ridiculous."

Because I know this about myself and my past attempts at Intuitive Eating, I'm going to be gentle with myself regarding this rule.  I am going to think of it as a  healthy guideline, not a do-or-die absolute must RULE.

And I'm going to assume that if I practice this skill for long enough, eventually I won't have to be all "Okay, Self.  Are you still hungry?  No?  Okay then, pack it up until you're hungry again."  Eventually it will come naturally.  And that's when I will have fully recovered from my weirdo dieting behaviors once and for all.  But this will be a process.

There will be times when I binge.  There will be days when I wake up after a night of binge eating when I decide to track on My Fitness Pal for the week, the day, or even just for breakfast.  There will be times when my pants feel tight, and times when my pants feel loose.  As long as I can accept these things, then I truly believe that I will be okay with continuing on the path of becoming an intuitive eater who is recovered from EDNOS.

It may take years.  I can accept that.  I'm done with quick fixes.  All of the quick fixes that I have tried have exactly one thing in common with each other:  They didn't work long term.

Meanwhile, I still have many other way more important things going on.  One of which I have to get back to right now!  Time for class.  :-)

I hope that my random midday rambling about Intuitive Eating made sense to you guys.

Have you ever tried intuitive eating?  Why or why not?  
Did you like it?  
Are you still an intuitive eater?  
Please let me know in the comments, or on my FB page. 


Asia K. said...

Yes, yes, yes! I think you've got exactly the right attitude, especially seeing it as a process rather than a diet or set of rules. Making this mental shift - giving up some of the control - has dramatically helped me in my IE journey. To answer your question, yes, I like IE because it seems to me the only recovery path that makes any sense - the only way out of EDs for good. I don't want no half-ass recovery; I want it ALL. I want to be a normal eater, and I believe I can be. Getting there, one step at a time, day by day. I still have some emotional eating and overeating issues here and there, but really not much more than any normal eater would. THe binging is gone - it's lost all its appeal (and so have most of my old binge foods). I can't say enough good things about IE. I haven't lost a significant amount of weight yet, BUT I know that I will, because the IE process has naturally been leading me in that direction; more often than not, I'm choosing salads over takeout, homemade over processed, small portions of goodies rather than king size - and not because of somebody else's rules but because I'm learning to listen to my body, and lo and behold, my body likes nutritious foods. Who would have thought? :)

Shannon Tatlock said...

I love Intuitive Eating. I hope that one day I can get there. So hard to follow though.

January R. said...

I have *just* begun Intuitive Eating. So far it's awesome for me but I am glad you wrote this- cause I already struggle with hoping I'll lose weight doing it. But what if I don't??? That kind of thing. I think I need to continue to remind myself that it's not about weight loss… it's about freedom.