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Battling Buffets & Potlucks

Battling Buffets & Potlucks

 My husband and I recently paid his parents a visit. Well, this visit must have meant a lot to my mother-in-law because she really went all out. Rather than simply ordering a pizza, she laid out a whole spread for us. We had fruit, salad, cheese bread, and every single sandwich fixing you can think of. She even made apple cake for dessert! As I was eating, I started thinking about buffets. The meal at my mother-in-law’s house was far from what I would consider a buffet, but it was buffet-like in the sense that I had a variety of foods to choose from, some of which I don’t normally have on hand. Buffets, and even potlucks, can be hard for me because they’re so different than other types of eating experiences.

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My Friend, Maslow

My Friend, Maslow

I am going to nerd-out for a bit and show off some of my psychology background. Although I find it fascinating that Sigmund Freud did enough cocaine to kill a small horse and Jean Piaget had an obsession with mollusks,1 I’m going to talk about the comparatively boring, Abraham Maslow.2 Maslow came up with a hierarchy of needs pyramid to show how our more basic needs have to be addressed before our more complex needs. My goal has always been to work on reaching the higher levels of the pyramid so I could move towards my personal potential. The irony is that I thought dieting would help me get to that goal when it really only forced me to chip away at the foundation of my pyramid, making it increasingly unstable.

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Finding Fullness

Finding Fullness

Dieting messed with my fullness cues. Big time. Restricting made me ravenous and then I usually overate because I was just so damn hungry. This ruined my ability to identify comfortable fullness because I only knew what it felt like to be stuffed. It was either-or; there was no middle ground. Because I had ignored this sensation for so long, I forgot what it was like for gentle fullness to emerge.

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Birthday Bummer

Birthday Bummer

 I always get a coupon for a free Baskin Robbins scoop of ice cream on my birthday. It is something that I look forward to every year as my birthday month approaches. Sure, it’s only a kid-sized scoop, but I love free stuff and I love Pralines ‘N Cream, so it’s win-win. When I received my coupon this year, I eagerly drove to my local Baskin Robbins, happily presented my coupon, and left with my treat in hand.1 However, when I sat down to eat it as my post-dinner sweet, it just wasn’t how I remembered it.

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Is Emotional Eating Bad?

Is Emotional Eating Bad?

 

Our brains have an interesting relationship with words. Words can either be taken at face value or they can have an underlying meaning that takes the word to a whole different level. Let’s look at the word “rose”. If you bust out the dictionary and look up this word, you’ll find the description of a flower. While that may be accurate, the same word also can elicit certain feelings or thoughts. In this case, roses are usually associated with something positive like romance and love. Now let’s look at the the term “emotional eating”. It literally means to eat in response to emotions. However, “emotional eating” tends to evoke negative feelings and thoughts in people. But is emotional eating really bad? I would argue that there can be a time and place for it in our lives.

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Purging My Closet

Purging My Closet

Yesterday, I purged my closet. Over the last year, I donated a few pieces of clothing here and there, but this big purge was something I knew I had to face at some point. My dresses, skirts, and tops have always been quite forgiving, but I had put off trying on my pants and shorts for a long time. Because of my insecurity about the current amount of padding on my stomach, I knew that going through them would be something to tackle only when I was mentally ready. Well, I decided that yesterday was that day. Knowing that I had to try on every single pair of pants and shorts didn’t fill me with dread, but I wasn’t exactly anxiety-free.

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Old Habits Die Hard: Don’t Turn Intuitive Eating Into the Hunger/Fullness Diet!

Old Habits Die Hard: Don’t Turn Intuitive Eating Into the Hunger/Fullness Diet!

About a year ago I got a ticket for running a stop sign. As you probably guessed, I was much more cautious when driving after that. Well, at least for a few days. Gradually, my old habits of rolling through stop signs and going a bit over the speed limit crept back into my routine.1 A few weeks later, I was processing my eating issues with my therapist when it hit me that the same thing was happening as I moved along in my intuitive eating journey. Old habits bring a sense of comforting familiarity and that sometimes causes us to take a step backwards. This was never more true than when I subconsciously tried to blend my dieting habits with intuitive eating.

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Fighting Food Rules

Fighting Food Rules

 If you watch a typical infant eat, you will see an intuitive eater. The child will cry when hungry and turn its head from the breast or bottle when full. As we grow up in western society, we learn food rules. Whether imposed by our family members or suggested by the dieting industry, these rules change our relationship with food.

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Intuitive Exercise. Revisited.

Intuitive Exercise. Revisited.

 I woke up hungry this morning. This occasionally happens to me, but it is rare. In my dieting days, I would have completely ignored my body and continued on with my morning routine until it was “breakfast” time.1 Today was different. My reaction to this feeling of hunger was very natural and logical, which is something that would have been unheard of for me before I started intuitive eating three years ago.

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Hunger? Is That You?

Hunger? Is That You?

 

Because I restricted food, one of the first intuitive eating principles I decided to tackle was honoring my hunger. Although apprehensive, I told myself that I would eat when I was hungry. It seemed easy enough. I’m hungry; therefore, I eat. It wasn’t that simple though. Because I denied myself food for so long and was used to being famished, the subtle feelings of hunger were completely foreign to me. Although I was born with the ability to identify hunger, I had to put some genuine effort into hearing those signals again.

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