Where I currently stand with Intuitive Eating

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Where I currently stand with Intuitive Eating
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Intuitive Eating

A few months ago, I gave up on dieting and picked up the Intuitive Eating book. The book was very eye opening and enlightening. The intuitive eating approach seemed like the perfect approach for me – I like food, I have a history of losing and gaining weight, and the restricting and bingeing behaviors. The relationship with food and exercise I had in the previous years was disordered and lead me to some depressive thoughts, feelings of guilt and shame, as well as low self-esteem.

When you restrict for extended periods of time, you end up binging and filled with guilt. I have had countless occurrences where my eating habits and poor self-image have prevented me from leaving my apartment. I have refrained from attending numerous social events because I felt that I was too fat to have friends or have fun (I was 15 pounds over my goal weight, at the most). I now realize how ridiculous this sounds. There is no such thing as being too fat to have friends, what the hell?! Like I said, my mentality was very disordered and my thinking and emotions were ruled by how I ate that particular day and what the scale said.

Fast forward to the breaking point. I have worked on rejecting the dieting mentality and allowing myself to eat whatever I want. I gained a few pounds in the process. Trying not to worry about it. I stopped exercising because I simply focused on listening to my body. In the past, I associated exercise with weight loss exclusively and I did not really see or do it for any other reasons. Because I stopped thinking about dieting, I also stopped exercising to let my thoughts go back to neutral and become as non-judgmental as possible. I worked on stopping my emotional eating (still a work in progress). I listened to self-hypnosis for intuitive eating with the purpose of clearing emotional roadblocks (which I absolutely recommend!).

Everything was going great until my trip to New York City during which I indulged a lot and seemed to have lost some of the intuitive eating practice I newly acquired.

Where am I with IE right NOW?

I have had some issues with recovering from the extended splurging during my visit to NYC, the endless delicious dinners (Part 1 & Part 2) and the amazing indulgent desserts, and the unforgettable chocolate tour, put me in ecstasy and bliss but lead me to forgetting some intuitive eating principles.

I keep trying to fight off the thoughts about going on another diet or counting calories. I have not gone back to any diet since beginning IE but I have had thoughts about it from time to time which can be a bit annoying. Also, I keep trying not to be too judgmental about how I look right now. While I don’t know how much I weigh since I threw away the scale, I do see my clothes fitting tighter than they did when I was in the midst of my dieting/restricting behaviors. It’s a bit discouraging to see them fit more tightly but I have been trying to stay positive nonetheless. I know this is a part of the process and I trust it.

Because of these recent struggles and wanting to get back on the Intuitive Eating path of life full-on and without uncertainty, I have decided to take Jamie’s 21 Day Intuitive Eating Challenge. Some of the things will be review for me but I know I need the reminders and the reassurance that I AM on the right path. I also believe that going through this challenge with others will be more helpful and beneficial than doing it alone, like I was doing it before.

Wish me luck 🙂

20 Comments

  1. IE is definitely hard to conquer at first, but soon enough it will be second nature!! It took me a long time to get rid of the scale and get rid of the calorie counting web sites I loved – but I did, and I feel so much more clear headed 😀

  2. I’ve struggled with IE in the past too – it’s a hard thing to get used to…but when you do, it feels SO good! Eating when hungry and listening to your body is so rewarding and it just feels so right!

    You’ve got this!

  3. Good for you to realize you need some refreshers. I am a firm believer in working at what ‘works’ for you!

  4. Joining the challenge sounds like a great way to get back on track. I really don’t know much about intuitive eating but I suspect that I eat that way anyhow. I’ll have to read more about it to know for sure.

    I prefer not to use the scale, either!

  5. I have decided to do it too, as I have many of the same issues as you and have been in a gain/loss cycle for years. However, I can’t sign up because I live in Australia and it won’t let me put in my address! Boo!

  6. Good luck! I’ve read a lot of other bloggers have had a lot of success with that program! I myself have not been ready to take the IE plunge as I don’t trust myself enough with food yet to be able to say stop when I’m full as I don’t seem to have that off switch pre-programmed in me. It is so inspiring to see you do this though and as I read more and more about people doing this it makes me try and relax my own reigns more and more about food.

    🙂 Look forward to hearing how you go!

    • I think you should do it! We ALL think that before we start. That’s the reason to start, to learn your body again and to FIND that off switch. It does take time though and it does take some overindulging. I think it is SO worth it though. You should definitely consider it, at least reading the book!

      • Yeah I know you are right. I think I will get the book and at least find out more.

        • Hi Jan,

          I am in the same spot that you are. I am in the middle of reading the book and am still struggling with stopping when I am no longer hungry, or not eating more than I should of the foods that I love. But the authors remind you that this is a process … and it is not going to go perfectly.

          I was terrified to give it a try, and sometimes still am, but I finally came to a point in my life where I realized that what I have don for 43 years is NOT working…and it will not work. Ever. I figured I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by letting go of a pattern that has never worked for me. I feel like I hit rock bottom with my eating disorder and could not keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. I surrendered and dove in head first. It is scary as hell, but worth it. Best of luck in your process. We can all do this 🙂

          • I think you are so right with what you are saying. I have never have an eating disorder but I know my relationship with food is on shaky ground at best and after so many years of dieting I think I need to start to change my mindset of how I deal with it.

            Going to order the book!

  7. hey, good to hear that you’ve found a perfect way of being helthy and not having to stop eating 🙂

  8. Hi Kammie,

    I would love to hear an update at some point as to how the online program is working for you. I am still struggling with the IE as well. I am trying to remember that it is a process and not be mad at myself or give up if I cannot do it perfectly. I hope to finish the book soon and then maybe do the online program from there. Best of luck and again, thank you for sharing your story.

    • Hey Cathi, I will most definitely keep you updated with how the program is going so far. I’m only on day 4 and so far it’s mostly review but it’s JUST what I needed – especially since we are IE novices, there can’t ever be enough reminders to SAVOR the food and pay attention to it. I’m still having some trouble stopping when I’m satisfied but I have been there before and I believe I can get there again. With time. Best of luck to you as well! How far are you in the book?

      • I am just starting the chapter on making peace with your body. I think more than anything, this will be my biggest hurdle. I have had an ongoing war with my body for most of my life! It is really hard not to want to cry and even harder not to scowl at myself when I look in the mirror … which leads me to want to fix it with a diet. But I still have the “I will like myself when I am X weight” thinking happening. I am going to Europe in August and it has been REALLY hard for me to give up dieting, because I have in my mind that being fat will ruin my trip … and leave me with an undocumented trip because I will either not want to be in photos, or hate them if I am.

        • Yeah, fixing our self-image is the toughest one I think for me too and for many people – diets can really bring us down. They certainly have for me, I mean like I mentioned in the post – I refrained from going out and socializing because I didn’t feel worthy of it because I was not the weight I wanted to be. I felt that I shouldn’t have fun and I COULDN’T have fun because people would be judging me for not being in shape. Summers were the worst – I felt so self conscious all the time, wearing sleeveless shirts or shorts, thinking people were judging me and that they were grossed out and wondering why I’m wearing that. That kind of thinking can REALLY ruin you though. It can bring us down to the depths of depression. That’s why it’s important to say SCREW IT and that we deserve to be happy no matter what. It’s a ridiculous thought – we CAN enjoy ourselves no matter what size we are. We are STILL people. We are still human! We are NOT the only ones in the world who are this size, whatever size that might be. World is full of people of all shapes, sizes, and colors. We are all different and that’s the beauty in it. I think once we realize that and stop worrying – we will notice the beauty in life and love the life we live and the body we have for just BEING there. It’s a process and I started at nothing but the more realizations you have and the MORE you stay away from things that can trigger your diet-thoughts, the better. I threw away ALL of my fitness/health magazines, unsubscribed from fitness/health blogs that glamorized being super thin or super fit, and focus on reading positive things that focused on leading a good and positive life rather than focusing on how we look. Hope that helps?

  9. Oh girl, I am RIGHT there with you on this! I felt like I was doing so well with IE before going back to work a month ago…having to adjust back to the schedule and becoming a sleep-deprived zombie caused me to lose focus of all the progress I had made. I felt like I fell HARD a couple of weeks ago and then when I was at Blend, I had a few too many instances of overindulgence. I began to totally beat myself up about it and was very critical of myself…last week was seriously like the worst ever (hence the blogging hiatus)…but after talking with Jamie today, I’ve got a better perspective on things and some “homework” that will help me get “back on track”. I put that last bit in quotations because really, I have to see this all as a non-linear progression. Just because I’ve had struggles lately, doesn’t mean that I’m a failure…but by refocussing (and being more forgiving/nurturing) to myself, I think I can finally get back to where I was mentally a month ago. It’s definitely not easy, this whole IE thing, but I keep reminding myself that things WILL get better and I will have a positive relationship with food one day…and YOU WILL TOO!! *hugs*

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