It’s been a little bit of a while since I have updated you on my intuitive eating journey. That’s not because I have given up, but because I had to take some time to do some soul searching. Have you ever found yourself absolutely tired of the “dieting” game? Do you wake up in the morning absolutely sick and tired of thinking about food, thinking about what you “should” or “shouldn’t” eat? I know I sure am.
This is about the 5th or 6th time in my life that I have gone up in weight. I’ve tried many different methods to lose weight, but they all fail in the end because, for me, it’s NOT just about losing the weight. It’s about learning to trust my body again.
I don’t know about you, but it’s been such a long time since I slowed down and listened to my body. For years, I have been on autopilot. If I was happy, I ate. When I was sad, I ate. Bored? Yep, that’s when I ate, too. This habit is so deeply entrenched in me that it feels abnormal NOT to be thinking about food.
It’s ok to LOVE ice cream
While Weight Watchers is a great program, and it’s helped many people lose weight, after 6 weeks I found it wasn’t the program for me. Having to count points and track what I ate made me obsess more about my food choices, not less. That’s really not how I want to live my life. It just brought all those “shouldn’ts” back into my life, which is why I really didn’t find continued success.
Nope, still not quitting, but I am going back to a program my old nutritionist coached me on. It’s called intuitive eating, aka mindful eating. It means taking the time to feed yourself. Ok, so you might be thinking that’s the problem in the first place. We feed ourselves too much. Well, we do, but we do it because we aren’t eating to nourish our bodies. We eat our emotions, or we binge because we are told by some fashion magazine we “shouldn’t.”
Hopefully, I am not the only woman on the planet that realizes the double sided messages we get in America regarding weight. Check out any news stand! On the very same cover that teases to reveal ten secrets to drop ten pounds is a headline about the most delicious chocolate brownies ever! No wonder so many of us are a mess.
It might take me a few tries to get it right this time, but I am resolving not to just lose weight. I am deciding to learn to love me! When’s the last time that you have told yourself you are awesome regardless of your size? Can’t recall the last time? Me neither!
Starting this week, I am going to update you guys each week on my progress both off and on the scale. Hopefully I will share some tricks I have learned, and it just might help you too. Getting healthy can be a really frustrating thing to do when you have been unhealthy for so long, but if you don’t quit trying it’s something that eventually you will get right.
Let’s get started. Here’s a few steps that I developed to getting you in the right mind set for learning to eat intuitively.
Beginning Steps to More Mindful Eating
1. Learn to love yourself right now: Stop being so mean to yourself! You are awesome right now, you will just be a healthier, more awesome you when you find balance in your eating.
2. Throw the “good food”/”bad food” mentality to the curb: As soon as you give yourself permission to eat, you no longer feel like it’s forbidden fruit! If you like your pizza with extra cheese, by god eat it with extra cheese and ENJOY EVERY BITE.
3. Make meal time a priority: Hunger cues may not be something you are used to having, so you need to retrain your body. Set fixed meal times, and make sure that you eat at least every 4-6 hours. Make eating a priority and sit down to eat and enjoy it.
4. Remove all distractions: Munching in front of the tv all the time? Make sure to STOP THAT. During your meals, do it sitting down and enjoy the tastes on your plate. No more eating on the go, while on the computer, or in front of the TV.
5. Eat from smaller dishes: Fill your plate with whatever you like, but starting eating from smaller bowls. If you are still hungry when your done, give yourself permission to get more! You might just be surprised to see you are ok with less food.
6. Forgive yourself: When things get hectic, and you don’t eat mindfully, forgive yourself. Learn what you can from it, and move on. No reason to beat yourself up about it!
One of the books my nutritionist had me read was called Intuitive Eating! Amazon has it right now at a great price if you want to snag a copy. It’s not another diet. It’s about learning to be ok with you and be ok with eating! I highly recommend it.