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Intuitive/mindful eating

Posted Jul 06 2010 10:27am

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.

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