Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Intuitive Eating

Before my eating disorder, I rarely thought about food. I ate when I was hungry, sat down for meals like it was a chore, and rarely planned out what I was going to eat until literally about 5 minutes before I ate it. Of course, I enjoyed eating cake at a birthday party and ice cream on a hot day, but when I wasn't actually eating it, I didn't think about it.

A few years ago, things changed. When I first developed my eating disorder and started restricting both my food intake and the variety of foods I ate,  I began thinking of food all the time. I constantly thought about my next meal, foods I was allowed to eat, and forbidden foods that I would love to eat but never allow myself to. Not only that but eating became a very scheduled, non-intuivite thing. Although I wasn't eating a lot, lunch, dinner, and my nightly snack were all planned out ahead of time and eaten at the time I chose to be the proper time to eat them. I wasn't listening to my body at all.

Over a year ago, when I made a decision to fix my very unhealthy relationship with food and put some meat on my bones, I worked with a nutritionist to put together a meal plan that would give my body all the nutrients it desperately needed. Although my eating was still extremely regimented and scheduled, at least I was giving my body the nutrients it needed. I still thought about food a lot but not to the extent I did when I was essentially starving myself.

There was a period last fall and last winter where I was almost eating intuitively. Although I definitely would overeat some weekend nights, I think it was just my body's reaction to being underfed for such a long period of time. When someone offered me a cookie at a gathering, I didn't say no just because it wasn't planned into my day. If I wanted the cookie, I would eat it. I still thought about food more than a should, but during this time period, I definitely had the healthiest relationship with food I've had in a while.

Last spring, I became very health conscious. While I definitely did not and still do not restrict, I think I started to and still do focus too much on the nutritional content of food. Also, I've started following a stricter food schedule. While I'm sure I eat plenty of food throughout the day, I don't feel like I am listening to my hunger cues.

 Often, at camp I am hungry between breakfast and lunch. Sometimes I'll have a piece of fruit to hold me over, but if I'm still hungry, I'll just tell myself, lunch is only an hour/hour and a half away, I can wait!

On the other end of the spectrum, I often will eat even if I am not hungry if I am scheduled to eat. For example, I usually eat a night time snack if I am home. Sometimes I have a late dinner and an early bedtime (yes I set a bedtime for myself on work nights) yet still force myself to eat my nighttime snack because well, I'm supposed to. According to who, though?

In attempt to make peace with food, my body, and my hunger cues, I'm reading this book:

I've seen it floating around the blog world for a while and decided to buy it.

I'm only like 20 pages into the book, but I definitely think it has some useful information. I am a little worried it focuses on losing weight too much. Losing weight is not something I need to do. I need to maintain my weight...maybe gain a couple pounds....and listen to my hunger.

I still have this notion in my head that food holds some type of magical power to...................well, I don't really know, but I need to accept that food is just food. it's meant to nourish my body and give me energy. Not fix my problems, entertain me, replace relationships, etc. I think I've come a long way in accepting this, but I definitely have farther to go.

Hopefully this book will help me on my journey to make peace with food. I'll definitely write up a review when I finish reading it.

On a completely random note, here's some food I've been enjoying lately:
One way I've been honoring my hunger....popping dates filled with
peanut butter into mi boca!

Dinner from last night: Store bought Caribbean tofu (cooked on the barbie,
tossed salad, and honey oat bread (lightly toasted) w/ Brown & Brummel

1) Do you struggle with intuitive eating? Not eat when you are hungry or eat when you aren't hungry because of the schedule you create for yourself?
2) Have any of you read this book? Thoughts?


  1. Ha well you know I am currently struggling with this and working on it. Good luck with it!