" For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. " Song of Solomon

June 26, 2008

Intuitive Eating

I'm currently reading the book Intuitive Eating. I decided to do so because much of what it teaches concurs with many of the changes I made beginning in January 2007 in order to transform my relationship with food. Here I'm sharing an excerpt that I think covers an issue we all, who "diet", deal with.

"We have become a nation riddled with guilt about how we eat. Even non dieters experience eating angst."

"The thought of stealing or lying would instill a sense of guilt in most people. Yet, most dieters are able to create an equivalent level of guilt when they've eaten french fries or a hot fudge sundae. The quantity of any of these "bad" foods has almost nothing to do with the level of despair that is felt when they are eaten. The first bite often evokes a sense of having failed or being bad. Wanting a "bad" or "illegal" food then becomes a morality issue. The subsequent guilt that builds is enough to initiate a period of overeating that can destroy any previous successful weight loss." Copied : page 93-94 of Intuitive Eating

The authors explain that the act of rebelling against a personal belief, as in "cookies are bad" or "I shouldn't eat that" can make us feel like we are out of control. (That's when the panic, at least for me, sets in!) Once the (food) rebellion is unleashed its intensity reinforces feelings of lack of control and the belief: you don't possess willpower! You drown in a sea of self-doubt and shame. In other words, rebellious eating equals "forget you eating" (implying "I'll do as I darn well please and the consequences be @##X*@".

I've found this to be true in my own life and self defeating. That is why I finally understood that I must change the way I "thought" about food. (A person's way of thinking/believing leads to his way of acting/behavior. The ancient writings contained in the Bible teach us that "as a man/woman thinketh, in his heart so is he." )

What to do? How can I...how can we end this destructive cycle? Is is possible to end it? I believe it is because I've been doing it for over a year now and it has made a huge difference in me being able to slowly accomplish my goal of losing 20 pounds.

My suggestion is that you run, don't walk, to the nearest book store or library and obtain a copy of this book. In the meantime you can do what I did on January 1, 2007 for my New Year's resolution: give yourself permission to eat any food you like. Rid yourself of the "banished" food list. You may find as I, that initially you'll be eating those foods that have been forbidden---possibly quite often .... and you'll have to tell the "voices" (not literal) in your head to "shut up" when they declare you "bad, bad, bad!"..... but in time it will get easier and the dynamic will change: those foods will not be nearly as desirable as they were when forbidden.

Getting free from the bondage of food do's and dont's is the first step to putting yourself on the path of eating normally, possibly for the first time since you were a baby: eating when you were hungry, stopping when you had eaten the amount of food your body needed for sustenance.

The book: Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.d, F.A.D.A.
I "speak" as one who has lost 50 pounds twice, and regained it twice. For years I considered myself fat (even when I was not fat) and suffered food angst every time I ate...every morsel of food I put into my mouth became "bad" in some way: too much fat, saturated fat, too many calories, not enough nutrients, cancer causing preservatives, too many carbs, the wrong omega balance, not enough protein, not enough fiber, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Eventually I got to the point where I could not budge the weight off. And I was fed up, disgusted and assumed I'd be "fat" the rest of my life (for now I truly was "fat"). But I tried one more time, and discovered a better way. Believe me---losing 20 pounds slowly is no easy feat. But I am convinced I will keep this weight off forever. And that's the goal... isn't it?
"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."


I am not a doctor and all information, suggestions, etc are my personal opinion only.