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Intuitive Eating - "The Unconscious Eater"

Posted Mar 07 2009 3:43pm
Okay, so now we're onto the last eating personality according to Intuitive Eating (other than the "intuitive eater" of course). This one's a tough one for me because I identify with a lot of the main ideas this category is broken up into, but I'm not unconscious about it. I bet a lot of you will know what I mean:

The Unconcious Eater is often engaged in paired eating - which is eating and doing another activity at the same time, such as watching television and eating, or reading and eating. Because of the subleties, and lack of awareness, it can be difficult to identify this eating personality.(Who doesn't like movie snacks?)There are many subtypes of Unconscious Eaters.

The Chaotic Unconscious Eater often lives an overscheduled life, too busy, too many things to do. The chaotic eating style is haphazard; whatever's available will be grabbed - vending machine fare, fast food, it'll all do. Nutrition and diet are often important to this person - just not at the critical moment of the chaos. Chaotic Eaters are often so busy putting out fires that they have difficulty identifying biological hunger until it's fiercely ravenous. Not surprisingly, the Chaotic Eater goes long periods of time without eating. (This is not me at all. Food is usually takes precedence over most "fires" and "chaos" that comes up in my life. Somehow 99% of the time I manage to put food up there even in times of crazy busy chaos.)

The Refuse-Not Unconcious Eater is vulnerable to the mere presence of food, regardless if he or she is hungry or full. Candy jars, food lying around at meetings, food sitting on a kitchen counter will not usually be passed up by the Refuse-Not Eater. Most of the time, however, Refuse-Not Eaters are not aware that they are eating, or how much they are eating. For example, the Refuse-Not Eater may pluck up a couple of candies on the way to the restroom without being aware of it. Social outings that revolve around food such as cocktail parties and holiday buffets are especially tough for the Reguse-Not Eater.(I am most certainly have a hard time refusing food if it's around, this is why I have to have my "environment set for success" but again, I'm always aware of it at the time. I'm wondering though, if this person is unconscious of it, why it's "tough" for them at holiday buffets etc. Do they mean because they take in more calories being "physically" tougher? Because if it's unconscious, it shouldn't be mentally "tough," no?)

The Waste-Not Unconscious Eater values the food dollar. His or her eating drive is often influenced by getting as much as you can for the money. The Waste-Not Eater is especially inclined to clean the plate (and others as well). It's not unusual for the Waste-Not Eater to eat the leftovers from children or spouse.(I'm a plate cleaner and tend to pick off of hubby's leftovers and hate wasting, but know I'm doing it at the time. That said, I think the "clean my plate" mentality is engrained so it is a bit unconscious in that way.)

The Emotional Unconscious Eater uses food to cope with emotions, especially uncomfortable emotions such as stress, anger, and loneliness. While Emotional Eaters view their eating as the problem, it's often a symptom of a deeper issue. Eating behaviors of the Emotional Eater can range from grabbing a candy bar in stressful times to chronic compulsive binges of vast quantitis of food.(Yup, I've definitely caught myself reaching for some kind of snack or taste of something for whatever reason other than hunger and completely unaware that it is the reason, only the feeling of "wanting something, but not sure what." They authors tend to focus on the negative stressful kind of emotions here, but I think boredom and happiness also apply, don't they?)

The Problem. Unconcious eating in its various forms is a problem if it results in chronic overeating (which can easily occur when you are eating and not quite aware of it).

Keep in mind that somewhere between the first and last bite of food is where the lapse of consciousness takes place. As in, "Oh, it's all gone!" For example, have you ever bought a large box of candy at the movies and begun to eat it only to discover your fingers suddenly scraping the bottom of the empty box? That's a simple form of unconscious eating. But unonscious eating can also exist at an intense level, in a somewhat altered state of eating. In this case, the person is not aware of what is being eaten, when he started eating, or even how the food tastes. It's like zoning out with food.

So given that I feel I'm 80% conscious of these kinds of things that I indentify with, I think I am still under the first category, the "Careful Eater."

What eating style do you fall under (if you're not an "Intuitive Eater")?I'd love to hear your comments!

Next up: "When your Eating Personality Works Against You" and "Introducing the Intuitive Eater"....

Dear Anonymous: Don't worry I will still be posting my favourite recipes and food finds soon enough. I have a recipe review to post soon from the Eating Clean Magazine I bought the other day. I was having trouble uploading my photos because of lack of disk space, so when I get around to it, I have to clean up the PC and then I'll post it.

On tap for today: It's total house clean/pack makeover! MIL is coming over for breakfast and we're getting to work at packing up the extra stuff around the house that we don't need and storing it over in her basement, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning (including window frames and screens, furnace room), some minor home repairs etc. We are going to be busy and active today!

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