Several of you commented on my last post and mentioned "intuitive eating" and my new "no rules" approach. So I thought I'd clarify a bit what I am thinking here.
I have read several books by Geneen Roth starting with this one back in the early 90's. I was so excited to read about a woman who lost weight by eating a plate of cookie dough every night until she didn't want it anymore. So I tried listening to my body and eating what I wanted. The problem is, I ate cookie dough every night for weeks, and brownie batter, and bags of chips, and I never got tired of them or sick of them or full "enough." And that has been the issue every time I try to do "intuitive eating." My intuition is muddled by my eating disorder. I cannot always tell if it is my body or my brain or my addiction talking when a food calls to me. It just is not an option for me.
When I said I am sick of rules, I don't mean I am lying on the couch in glee eating boxes of chocolates and bags of Cheetos thinking I will lose weight. I have sense. I want to be healthy. I am just very, very sick of dieting restrictions. You can call it a lifestyle til the cows come home but if it involves food lists, weighing, measuring, counting, etc, those are all restrictive behaviors. And that is not a bad thing! I am all for being restrictive and making whatever rules YOU need to lose weight or be healthy or reach your goals. I have had various levels of restriction all during this journey and surely will again. And even now, I am not *ruleless.* As I said yesterday, I ask myself if a food will nourish me. And sometimes, I decide to have a food that has no real nourishment for my body but has something about it that nourishes my soul. If I feel icky after I eat something I know I made a mistake. But the goal here is to base my intake on whole, fresh foods like I did before. I loved going to the Farmer's Market every week and then from November through April taking a weekly trip to the produce section for whatever produce is in season then. It was FUN making seasonal foods all year round. I miss that. I want it back. I am taking it back.
Dieting and rules is what got me to 278 pounds. I binge-diet-binge-diet-cycle'd my way up and down the hell scale for almost 20 years. I am DONE. No more cycles. Something I have learned about binge eating disorder is that it "needs" a guilt/restrict phase and an indulge/freedom stage. I have looped my eating like that for so long. But taking the restriction/dieting obsession out of the picture reduces the need and desire for food/binge obsession. I have to get BOTH under control to win this. I feel like I have it down about 75%. The rest will come.
If I don't trust my 'intuition' to make decisions about what I am eating, then what do I trust? My intelligence. I trust what I KNOW is good for me along with listening to my body *when the two match up.* For example, if I were to think, "hmmm, what should I eat? What does my body want?" and the answer is carrots with hummus or some salmon or watermelon, I eat it. If the answer is Cheetos, I say "um, no, try again...." If the answer is homemade ice cream, I stay with it and decide if that will nourish me. If it will, I have some. Fresh, homemade, no crap ice cream in a moderate portion. Or I make "ice cream" from frozen bananas in the food processor. Just the other day I was putting walnuts on my Greek yogurt and thought, "geez, this is a lot of calories. I had walnuts on my oatmeal, too." But I know the nutritional value of walnuts, and I know my body is wanting them, so I had them. I did not eat a whole bag of walnuts. I know I can gain weight on healthy food. But right now, I am just easing back into eating healthy, whole, nourishing foods in moderate amounts and not worrying about weight. If my pants get too tight I will have to cut back a bit. No problem. After a month of this I expect my desires and brain and body to sort of chill out and know it is getting fed, and when the cardio is added back in the weight will come off.
Even though I just got back from vacation, I am heading down the road again for a 3+ hour drive this morning to take my daughter to a kids' concert. She is so excited! Of course the pup is coming with us. She goes everywhere! We will be back on Thursday but this time the netbook is coming with me so I can blog. It will be interesting to see how my eating goes on this trip. I always find it more challenging to eat well on the road but I will share how it goes.
Enjoy your day!