Commentary - My Mind My Body
Commentary

Commentary

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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Food Flexibility and Practicality

Food Flexibility and Practicality

Diets are rigid. Each come with a set of rules to follow that include anything from a maximum number of calories per day to what/when to eat. Sure, it provides structure which can be a comfort to some, but life happens sometimes and structure goes by the wayside. For me, this is when the guilt and self-loathing would set in because I had failed my diet.1 The beauty of intuitive eating is that there are no rules. IE is a set of guidelines that allow for the flexibility and practicality around food that is required for the bumps in everyday life.

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Mindful Eating: The Satisfaction and the Shock

Mindful Eating: The Satisfaction and the Shock

When I read Intuitive Eating, I got really excited about enjoying food again. I was told that eating mindfully would allow me to have a richer and more satisfying eating experience. After years of depriving myself and the subsequent shoveling of food into my mouth, I was looking forward to eating in a peaceful and pleasurable way. Did that happen? Absolutely and it was downright amazing! But, oddly enough, mindful eating also caused the opposite to occur.

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Putting Weight Loss On The Back Burner

Putting Weight Loss On The Back Burner

As a member of the the Intuitive Eating Community Forum since July 2015, I have read a range of posts from people’s lowest, most dire times to those of success that then inspired others. Now that I’m the moderator, I am in charge of approving new forum members and reading all of their posts. Naturally, newcomers have many questions, but the most common question I hear is around weight loss while practicing IE.1 This is a valid question, but weight loss is far from the focus of intuitive eating.

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Releasing Food Guilt

Releasing Food Guilt

I was reading the newspaper1 the other day when a topic in an advice column caught my eye. A person posed a question about her diet and stated that she had eliminated dairy and bread because they’re unhealthy. My immediate reaction was to wonder why those would be considered unhealthy. Dairy has calcium and bread has a bunch of B vitamins. Then I remembered the fad diets that have been thrown at us, so the “unhealthy” label slapped on dairy and bread made sense. But are those foods really “bad”? If not, then are they “good”? Hell, should we even label them at all?

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Eating Past Fullness: It’s Not the End of the World!

Eating Past Fullness: It’s Not the End of the World!

When I quit dieting, there was a lot of leftover guilt about overeating because I was taught that eating the fewest amount of calories was “good” and overeating was “bad”. It was all very black-and-white. When I shifted from dieting to intuitive eating, I had to wrap my head around the idea that IE doesn’t have any rules. Overeating is not “bad”; it is just part of the eating experience. There is nothing inherently wrong with overeating, which meant that I could finally give up the idea that it was “bad” to eat beyond fullness.

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