Okay, so I’ve been doing this intuitive eating thing on and off for a few years now. For those of you who know me, you’ve probably heard my story. I battled disordered eating since the time I was 8 years old. It started as overeating that grew quickly into compulsive eating that then spiraled into bulimia as a way to manage and control the weight I gained. I’ve been on just about every “diet” out there. I’ve used diet pills, laxatives, and exercise and have even lost weight on and off throughout my years. Even at my lowest weight (which was still not good enough by the way), I was not happy. Why? Because I was exhausted from all the things I needed to do to maintain that weight; the calorie counting, the points counting, the purging, the exercise, the money I would spend on diet foods or expensive shake programs. It was all just too much!
So one day I discovered Intuitive Eating. The idea of it sounded like heaven. Intuitive Eating told me that I could eat whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted. It sounded like freedom from the bondage I’d been in most of my life. So I studied it and began practicing the principles, starting with principle one, “Reject the Diet Mentality.”
It took some time to erase old thought patterns that led to restrictive eating, but it worked. Principle by principle I was able to break free from my old ways of thinking and being. I was no longer afraid of food. I enjoyed it and even had self-control when I was around my favorite foods. This was unheard of for me.
I am not going to lie about my experience. Instead I am going to be completely honest. I went from being somewhat overweight on the BMI chart to being on the higher end of overweight on the BMI chart. I know, I know, Intuitive Eating says I need to get rid of that stupid BMI chart. But my old ways kicked in as the weight crept on. So I was left making a decision between freedom from the bondage to self and food or weight loss.
It was then that I decided that I wanted both. So I began exploring principle 10, “Gentle Nutrition.” I read about gentle nutrition in the intuitive eating guide and started restricting within a day. I went right back to diet mode and found myself within a day overeating and stuffing my face with food when I was not even hungry. I ate so much that I couldn’t even taste it. And when I finished, I still wanted more.
That was just yesterday!
It lasted about two days and then I stopped and decided that I am just not there yet with the gentle nutrition part. But as I got some support from my Intuitive Eating Community online, I realized that I am infact doing Principle 10. I am eating nutritiously. I eat very healthy foods. I listen to my body when it is hungry. I stop when I am full and I eat what is satisfying. When I do this I feel good and free and my energy goes towards things that are relevant rather going toward obsessing over food, weight and my body. So there it is…I need to just keep on going and keep on learning about Intuitive Eating. I don’t ever want to go back to dieting. It makes me crazy and I guess if I am overweight in the end, then I am overweight.
I hang onto the hope that my body will adjust and find it’s way. But I need to let go of the expectations of what that might look like or tell me on the scale. So as I leave this blog today, I will not be studying Principle 10. I will be going back to Principle 3 (Make Peace with Food) and Principle 8 (Respect Your Body).
If you would like more information about me and my journey with Intuitive Eating, please check out my website at www.mindbodyspiritcounseling.net. I will be hosting monthly an Intuitive Eating Support Group starting in January 2017!