So – I am finally posting on the intuitive/mindful eating. This is probably going to be a rambling post, so be forewarned!
I have decided that I prefer the term mindful eating because I actually think I am pretty intuitive about a lot of things in life already, but I need to pay attention to some things more (being mindful). This month is more about doing that than trying to lose weight (more on that later). I actually think I have a fairly good relationship with food now, but sometimes I wonder why I snack out of boredom or overeat during holidays. I feel my feelings. I don’t have emotional scars or issues that I have buried with food. I ate too much and too many of things that allowed the fat to pile up quite easily (note I am not saying I ate the wrong foods, reframing that).
I tend to be a somewhat regimented eater on a schedule because of my activities. I try to eat every few hours so that I don’t get too hungry. If I get too hungry, or what I call “falling off the cliff,” it is very hard to reign in the eating after that. It is almost like I cannot get full. I don’t really know if that is my body trying to regulate insulin or what, but I just do not like to get to that point. I also have the habitual eating, like my afternoon latte, which occurs pretty much at the same time each afternoon. I am not always hungry (usually I am), but I always have it or some type of snack. Sometimes just as a forethought to avoid the cliff scenario mentioned above. Is that mindful? I don’t know.
Sometimes my body gives me hunger signals when I don’t want them. Like in the mid morning and I feel really hungry, and I know it is hunger, but I think “I just had a 500 calorie breakfast 2 hours ago, WTF?” Shouldn’t that last longer when it is a good mix of carbs, protein, and fat? So, that is something I need to explore.
I have been trying to listen to my body telling me what to eat as well. And that means breakfast for dinner sometimes! Like when I had oats for dinner after a big bike ride. I really think my body wanted the carbs to replenish all that glycogen.
Then I wonder about how intuitive eating works when I know that I must eat, but I am not hungry, such as after some of those rides we did. My appetite was suppressed, but I know that my body needed fuel. How does one handle that in an intuitive/mindful way when I know that I need to eat? Or is that being mindful in a different way? (Maybe I am over analyzing here).
And what about weight loss? I know a lot of people think of intuitive eating as a way to lose weight, but I don’t really think that is the purpose for it. I read that if you eat only when you are hungry, that your body will naturally become a “normal” weight. If you eat when you are hungry, how does that work if your body has a set point of say… 250 pounds? What if my body intuitively wants to be 250 pounds, but my brain does not want my body to be 250 pounds? How do I reconcile or trust that?
So anyhoo – these are just some of the things rambling in my mind. I have to admit that sometimes the notion of intuitive eating annoys the crap out of me, and maybe that is the real reason why I am looking into it. Because I don’t know why it would annoy me.
I actually get along well with my body now. In the past, it was always me versus my fat body. Then I learned that my body is actually okay, it’s the fat that is not. Now it is me and my body against the fat, which I have separated from being connected to who I am and what my body is. We are like a team being healthy together and having to face some challenges (which we don’t always win). It will be an interesting month.