Category: Intuitive Tuesday

Dieting isn’t Self Control

It’s Tuesday and I feel inspired to talk about eating again! That means it’s time for another round of Intuitive Tuesday. Not sure what I am talking about? Check out this page for more information…

intuitive tuesday

Last week I shared about what my eating habits have been like over the past couple months. Today, I want to pick up where I left off. My post ended with the realization that the “F* It Diet” wasn’t working for me. It wasn’t all bad. I was eating whatever I wanted with only a small amount of guilt, I was loving my body more and more, and I still wasn’t binge eating. All some major positives, but I knew that I could do better in my relationship with food.

I am back to working on the Intuitive Eating principles, with a few changes. I haven’t changed the guidelines, I think they are all good things, rather I have changed my view of them.

My issue with the “F* It Diet” is that I believe self control, and discipline are a good thing. In Galatians 5:22-23 it says that “The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and SELF CONTROL”. This means that you can’t do whatever you want to, whenever you want, and still be operating in love.

I think both Christians, and non-Christians can agree with that one. I wasn’t loving myself by eating whatever junk food I could find while watching Netflix every afternoon. I felt depressed, tired, and lethargic. I also wasn’t doing a good job at loving those around me. When I am not feeling my best, I am not the greatest mom, wife, or friend.

I have been thinking about the whole self control thing for awhile. I am realizing that when it comes to food, self control doesn’t equal dieting. Dieting is letting a set of food rules control your personal choices. I don’t think that self control is eating to look a certain way either. This is letting a particular body image control your eating habits. Self control isn’t even eating according to the Intuitive Eating principles. This is letting Intuitive Eating control your choices.

I think that self control means taking responsibility for your own actions. It means not giving responsibility to a diet, or any restrictive form of eating, but eating, and living, to be your best self. This is a lot harder than it sounds. It is so much easier to give the control over to something else and hope that it can make you happy. Just for the record – it can’t!

I do think that when exercising self control, it is important to keep your heart and mind in the right place and constantly examine your motives. You may think that you are making decisions, but in reality you could be influenced by something you saw earlier that day, or someone you spoke with, or whatever.

I think that the Intuitive Eating principles are good “self check-in” points. For example, one of the principles is “Respect your Fullness”. If you realize that you are eating when you aren’t hungry, it is a good time to stop and think about why are eating. Is it because what you are eating just tastes so good that you want to eat it anyways? Is it because you are lonely, or sad, or bored? It may be possible that these types of emotions are controlling your decision to eat, and you need to reexamine them. It also may just be that you really want to eat what is in front of you because it is that good, and that is completely okay too.

I guess I am saying all of this to say that I am back on board with Intuitive Eating, but I feel like my mindset towards it has changed. I don’t believe it is the answer I was looking for to heal my relationship with food. Intuitive eating is simply a tool to help me make good decisions when it comes to eating.

My answer is to man up … or I guess “woman up”, and take control myself. I got this. I am going to use self control to make good decisions because I love myself, and my family, and I want the best life I can possibly have for all of us.

lochlyn mom beach

 

How I’ve Been Eating Lately

I can’t really believe that it has been seven or eight months since I was blogging regularly. I do miss it, but I have also enjoyed spending my time doing other things.

I’m back today, and I want to fill you in on something that I used to talk about on the blog all the time –  intuitive eating – and more particularly, where I am at with it. So, without further ado, let’s have Intuitive Tuesday on a Wednesday! (I’m such a rebel).

intuitive tuesday

Intuitive eating is hard. I have often heard that it is harder than dieting, and I think that I might agree. (Since I haven’t shared about Intuitive Eating for awhile, if you don’t know what I am talking about, I highly recommend you read this book).

One area that I have struggled with when it comes to eating is learning to eat without distractions. I love curling up with a good book, my phone, Netflix, or whatever, and snacking mindlessly. Even now, I am drinking a smoothie as I type this – do smoothies really count as eating though?

mango smoothie

The Intuitive Eating Guidelines suggest that you should practice eating mindfully and without distractions. This is so hard for me for some reason.

Another challenge I have with intuitive eating is not eating when I am not hungry. I think deep down I believed that if I only ate when I was hungry (but not TOO hungry) and stopped when I was full (but not TOO full) I would find my ideal weight, heal my relationship with food, and all would be right in the world.

The Intuitive Eating book cautions that the Intuitive Eating guidelines should just be guidelines, and not rules, yet I was finding myself trying adhere to them 100% and beating myself up with I didn’t.

As we know from diet land, giving our body a strict set of “food rules” which we must adhere to is a recipe for disaster (hello binging). I didn’t end up binging, but I soon found myself binge watching Netflix and eating everything that sounded delicious every afternoon while Lochlyn was napping. I told myself not to eat in front of the computer, but then gave in. “Starting tomorrow I would eat more mindfully”. Man, this sounds just like “starting tomorrow I will follow my diet” – all too familiar.

After observing this behaviour, and beating myself up a little too long, I realized my mistake. I decided to look in completely the opposite direction and gave the “F* it diet” a try. On this “diet” you can eat what you want to, however much you want, whenever you want it, with no guilt. Kind of like intuitive eating, but without the whole listening to your body, and eating mindfully aspect.

How did this go for me? Not so good. I found myself binge watching Netflix and eating whatever was convenient, even if it didn’t sound good. I always waited until my “break” when Lochlyn took her nap in the afternoon to do this. By dinner time, I was full and didn’t feel like having dinner with my family. I still wanted to sit down with them, so I would eat a bit, and end up not feeling too great the rest of the night.  I didn’t binge eat, I did stop when I was full because I wanted to, but I wasn’t happy with my relationship with food. I started to feel depressed and lethargic, and I wasn’t quite sure what was wrong.

I can’t believe it took me as long as it did to realize that my eating habits needed to change. Honestly I think it was only a couple weeks ago that I had this epiphany.

I have some new thoughts about Intuitive Eating, and eating in general that I want to chat about, but I think that will have to wait until another post as this is getting lengthy.

 

Have you ever tried the “F* It Diet”? What did you think?

How about Intuitive Eating? Do you struggle with seeing the guidelines as rules?

Teaching a Toddler to Eat Intuitively

Welcome back to Intuitive Tuesday, thank you for following along with this little series!

intuitive tuesday

I mentioned last week that I wanted to chat about Lochlyn, and more specifically, teaching your little ones to eat intuitively.

This topic came up as I found myself starting to care more about Lochlyn’s weight. My little baby is not so little anymore. At one point Lochlyn was very small for her age. Not only was she small, but she wasn’t growing as quickly as her doctor would have liked. Between 0 and 5 months, Lochlyn was actually steadily dropping on the growth charts. At five months old was sitting around the 4th percentile. This was a bit worrisome as she was somewhere around the 85th percentile when she was born (she weighed 8 pounds).

4 months old

 

Four months old

I started feeding Lochlyn solid foods a bit early as per my doctor’s recommendations. I focused on feeding her calorie dense foods. I praised her for eating a lot, and encouraged her to eat everything I made for her. She grew like crazy.

nine months

 

Nine months old

Eventually I stopped focusing on feeding Lochlyn calorie dense foods, but I still try to feed her balanced meals. I don’t encourage her to clear her plate, but she often does by throwing whatever she doesn’t want to eat on the floor! I wish that I didn’t worry so much about Lochlyn gaining weight when she was younger, or trying to get her to eat as much as possible. I guess I learned my lesson and I will remember it for the future.

twelve months

12 months old

In the past 9 months Lochlyn has gone from the 4th percentile to the 98th percentile. This has been so hard with clothes – I feel like she only wears an outfit a couple times before she grows out of it! It also made me stop to consider her eating habits. This has also been hard for me. I know Lochlyn is healthy, and happy, but I was worried about how heavy she was. I constantly have to remind myself that weight isn’t the issue, as much as eating habits. I also have to remind myself that I weighed 30 pounds at one year old, and 33 pounds at 2 years old. Her body will regulate itself.

fifteen months

Lochlyn today

Anyways, last week I decided I needed to pay more attention to how Lochlyn was eating, and how I was feeding her. I very quickly realized that I wasn’t encouraging her to eat intuitively. Without intending to, I was limiting certain foods, and trying to get her to eat more “nutritious” food, even if she didn’t want to.

For example, my sweet little girl absolutely loves bananas. We always have a bowl of bananas sitting on our counter, and often at meal time, she is more interested in the bowl of bananas, than what I have prepared for her. I have always allowed her to eat bananas, but I would stop her at one banana a day. I usually wouldn’t offer her a banana until after she finished her meal. Sounds like typical parenting, but this doesn’t really equate to intuitive eating…

I noticed I was doing this with other types of food as well. I would allow Lochlyn to eat anything that she wanted, but I would ration it. I wasn’t starving her, I would just try to get her to eat other foods instead of the food that she really wanted. If she didn’t show an interest in a more “nutritious” type of food, I would feed it to her myself on and spoon, and force her to at least taste it.

Lochlyn is not a picky eater, she eats everything. The only food she doesn’t like is salmon (weirdo). Sometimes she just prefers one type of food to another.

funny cake picture

Last week I made the decision to start encouraging Lochlyn to eat intuitively. I decided that the best way to do this would be to offer Lochlyn a few different types of foods at meal time, and allow her to choose what she would like to eat, and how much of it she wanted. The first meal I tried this with was breakfast. I offered her peanut butter toast, plain yogurt, and banana slices. Of course, Lochlyn immediately pointed at the bananas, indicating that she wanted them. I allowed her to eat a full banana. Once it was gone, she pointed at the bowl of bananas on the counter. I sliced up another one, and offered it to her. She ate the entire thing, and then again, pointed at the bowl. I offered her another one, and she proceeded to eat the entire thing. She then ate some of her toast and yogurt, and was satisfied.

Since this meal, I have been offering her bananas a couple times a day, and I have found that her interest in them is starting to dwindle. Her three bananas went down to two, and then one. Last night, she was satisfied after eating only half of a banana.

I realized that because I wasn’t allowing Lochlyn to eat as much banana as she wanted, she would eat every last bite every time I offered it to her. This also went for other foods, like cheese, avocado, and other types of fruit. After only a week of allowing Lochlyn to eat freely I have noticed a big difference. She no longer eats every single bite of her favourite foods. She is satisfied with less.

I do want to point out that the reason why I am encouraging Lochlyn to eat intuitively isn’t so that she will eat less. I am okay with Lochlyn’s weight, and that she is growing so quickly. I have a big, beautiful, healthy baby, and that is awesome! My concern is that I want her to have a healthy relationship with food. I don’t want to teach her to restrict food from an early age, or that food needs to be rationed. I don’t want to pass any of my disordered eating habits on to her.

Sometimes this isn’t easy. I actually think feeding your children intuitively can be harder than learning to eat that way yourself. It isn’t harder for kids to learn, but harder for parents to give up the control, and allow their kids to make their own decisions. It seems wrong to allow a very chubby toddler to eat whatever they want to, but I believe that limiting food intake causes some serious problems.

bikini babe

I have so much more to say about this subject, but I think I will save it for another day. Next week I plan to talk about more practical steps to take to teach your little one to eat intuitively. I would love to hear your advice in the comments too!

 

What are your biggest challenges with teaching your child to eat intuitively? What are your favourite tips?

Anyone else deal with weight issues with their baby/kids?

 

Falling off the Bandwagon

Intuitive Tuesday is back, and today I want to share how my journey is going with you guys. Before I do, please check out my Intuitive Tuesday page if you are new here!

intuitive tuesday

It’s been a little bit blue around here lately. I guess I have been feeling pretty sorry for myself after injuring my knee. I am sad that I couldn’t run my half marathon, and won’t be able to run for awhile. All this sadness has definitely affected my eating.

At first, I thought that I would chat a little bit about “falling off the band wagon” with intuitive eating. You know what I mean… when you kind of let it go to the wayside for a bit, and find yourself not eating so intuitively.

Then I realized that you can’t really “fall off the band wagon” with intuitive eating. Intuitive eating isn’t a diet. It isn’t a set of rules. I would even go so far as to say that there isn’t a right and wrong way to do it. Intuitive eating is just learning to eat in a way that works for you, that involves a healthy relationship with food, and that makes your body feel good.

Lately I haven’t been eating in a way that makes my body feel good, but that is okay. I am still learning how this whole intuitive eating thing works. We all go through highs and lows in life and I guess I am just in a bit of a low. The great thing about lows is that you usually come out of them stronger and better off than if you didn’t go through them at all. My little intuitive eating low is going to teach me a lot about eating intuitively.

A couple weeks before my half marathon, I really wanted to dial-in my nutrition. I still wanted to eat intuitively, but I also wanted to lay off the sugar a little bit and focus on eating healthy, whole foods. This didn’t really happen, and I ended up feeling guilty about it. Not good.

When I injured myself after attempting to run the race I was pretty upset and admittedly I turned to food more than I would have liked. At the same time I told myself that since I couldn’t exercise, and I couldn’t run run, I should focus on eating healthy. I bought a ton of vegetables, and even though my knee was super painful, I continued to make healthy meals..

I found myself wanting to eat all the sugar in the process, and I felt bad about it.

gummy shark candy

Once I started feeling bad, I noticed that I just ate more and more of these sweet and sugary foods, which of course led to me feeling even more bad. Anyways, I am sure you are all familiar with the cycle.

Long story short, I started realizing that I haven’t been eating mindfully, and I have some food labels that I need to get rid of again. I obviously have started seeing sweet and sugary foods as “bad”. Which is a little frustrating after I worked so hard to get rid of all my food labels. I have also started thinking about different restrictive ways that I could eat that may help me lose weight, or eat “healthier” foods.

This whole thing has showed me that intuitive eating may be a life-long process. You don’t just suddenly reach intuitive eating perfection and never have to work on it again. I was doing really well with being in tune with my body and allowing it to have whatever it wanted. Now I am having a harder time with that.

My plan of attack for the moment is to think about what is causing me to want to eat all the sugary foods, and also what is causing me to think that I shouldn’t…

1. I have been listening to some running podcasts, which may not be the best idea. First of all they make me sad that I can’t run, and other people can. Secondly, they mention running nutrition, and more specifically, eating a certain type of diet, and avoiding certain foods. Bad idea for me. No more running podcasts for the moment. Instead I plan on delving back into the intuitive eating community and surrounding myself with other people that live this kind of lifestyle. This is how I started shifting my mindset when I wanted to give up dieting in the first place, so I feel like it would be a good place to start.

2. Find some other way to be active. My knee is starting to get better, and I can now ride the recumbent bike. I can also go to the gym to do some of my physio exercises instead of working out in the basement. Being active makes me happy, and so does getting out of the house.

3. I have been eating emotionally, and I am trying to be okay with that. I want to be mindful of taking the time to pause and figure out what I am actually feeling before I try to drown my emotions with food. I also want to find other things that make me feel good, besides eating. I mentioned above that exercise makes me happy, but I don’t want it to be my source of happiness. Another thing that makes me feel happy and centred is spending time in the word (reading the bible). I haven’t been doing this much lately, and I know I am a better person when I do, and I would much prefer God to be my source of happiness than exercise or food.

4. Love myself at this moment. Even if I can’t run, or exercise. Even if I may gain a few pounds in the process. Even if I want to eat an ice cream sandwich and chocolate almonds for breakfast (yes that did happen). I want to love myself through all of that. It is just food. It doesn’t make me a bad person. It doesn’t make me less beautiful, or loveable, or bad, or good, or anything. Thank God for that.

out of breath 10k

 

Do you think it is possible to fall off the bandwagon with Intuitive Eating, or do you agree that the lows are all just a part of the process?

Does exercise help you to eat more intuitively, or hinder it? 

Forced to Exercise Intuitively

Be prepared for a bit of a whiney Intuitive Tuesday Wednesday post today. I apologize in advance for my complaining, but it does have a purpose!

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I have mentioned it a couple of times on the blog – but I am having some knee problems. This is disappointing as I am signed up to run my first half marathon this weekend. I have been training since January, and I would be so disappointed if I couldn’t do it. Right now my knee hurts pretty consistently, and is made a lot worse by running.

icing at the computer

After trying to run a couple times last week and having to stop almost right away and walk, I decided to visit a physio. The clinic that I went to specializes in sports -related injuries. The physio I saw focused my treatment around preparing me to run this weekend, which I thought was awesome.

My suspicion was confirmed that I have patello-femoral pain syndrome, or “runner’s knee”. My kneecap isn’t aligning correctly in the knee joint. The repetitive pounding it has taken from running is causing irritation under my knee cap.This isn’t the worst news. It is something that can heal over time, without any long-lasting consequences.

The reason that I have this misalignment is that I have a weak right hip. I also have a really tight IT band. Both of these things are pulling my knee off to one side when I run, or squat, or walk, or .. well you get it.

The physio showed me how to do a low-impact hip strengthening exercise and instructed me to do it daily up until my race. She also told me to do standing quad stretches every 90 minutes, and foam roll my IT band once or twice a day. While I was at the clinic she did some deep tissue massage to loosen up my right quad, and used an electrode machine (I don’t know it’s actual name) to help with the pain (it feels so weird!). She also taped my knee with KT tape, but unfortunately that already peeled off.

I have another appointment scheduled for tonight. My physio is hopeful that I will be able to run this weekend, but I will have to take some time off afterwards to allow my knee to heal. This is kind of sad news, but I am also excited to correct my muscle imbalance so that when I start running again I will be even stronger and hopefully won’t get injured!

Going in to half marathon training, I thought it would be very difficult to exercise intuitively. I had my training plan all laid out, and throughout I would have to stick with it in order to be successful on race day. I was very wrong.

Since I started running, I think I have exercised more intuitively than ever before. With a race goal in mind, I have had to pay extra attention to my body and how it is feeling. I have missed some shorter runs or cross-training days so that I would be well-rested and ready to run on my long run days. I have missed workouts because I was sick, or because my little girl was sick, or teething, or just plain needed me.

lochlyn cuddling me

I have learned that sometimes rest days are more effective than running days. I have learned that my body is different than everyone else’s, and the plan I am following wasn’t written specifically for me. Sometimes my body may need more rest, or a different type of workout than the what is written on the schedule. If I stuck with the plan 100% of the time, I wouldn’t be able to run this weekend. My knee would be shot, and my body would be too tired. I actually wish I had followed the plan even less, and given myself a few more rest days, or easier running days.

I am also learning to be okay with not exercising. By the time I hit race day, I won’t have run more than two miles in exactly two weeks. I actually won’t have run at all in ten days. The cross training that I have done during that time has been pretty minimal. Even riding the bike seems to make my knee feel worse. My body needs rest right now more than it needs cardio. My knee needs a chance to recover so that it is ready to go on race day.

The competitive nature in me is a little disappointed. I had a time goal I wanted to hit on Sunday, and I have had to let that go in favour of the goal of simply finishing.

I think that this is all for the best as I now can go into the race and simply have fun and enjoy it without worrying about pushing myself.

If training for a race didn’t come with challenges it wouldn’t be such a big accomplishment!

 

What has taught you the most about exercising intuitively and listening to your body?

Ever had an injury affect your training? How did you deal with it?

It Is Possible

Would you believe me if I told you that it is possible to stop being so obsessed with food?

it is possible

You may believe me when I say it is possible for other people, but the thing is, most of us don’t believe that it is possible for ourselves. You aren’t an exception. I promise you that if I can stop obsessing about food, anybody can. Even you. Especially you.

Since I started intuitive eating, I am learning that…

It is possible to not think about everything that you are going to eat during the day ahead of time and plan it all out.

It is possible to stop fantasizing about food when you aren’t even hungry.

It is possible to not spend hours a day looking at pictures or recipes of delicious food.

It is possible to love your family, friends, and even hobbies more than food.

It is possible to quit studying different weight loss tactics and eating regimes.

It is possible to watch food advertisements on TV without feeling guilty for wanting to taste all the amazing-looking food. It is also possible to watch them and have no desire to taste it at all.

It is possible to stop thinking of food as bad, or good, but to think of it as simply food.

It is possible to trust yourself around your most favourite “bad” foods. It is possible to buy them and keep them in your cupboard and not eat them all within two hours. You may not believe me, but it is.

It is possible to eat a serving of that favourite food and then put it away, and feel 100% satisfied. It is also possible to eat three servings of that same food and not feel mad at yourself afterwards.

It is possible to stop thinking about that favourite food after you satisfied your craving. It is even possible to forget about that food altogether.

It is possible to eat what you want, when you want it, without overdoing it.

It is possible to stop seeing food as an enemy.

It is possible to eat without guilt, or shame, or disgust, or self-hatred.

It is actually possible to eat with satisfaction, and enjoyment, and to love yourself while doing it.

It is entirely possible to stop being obsessed with food. And to be happy about it.

intuitive tuesday

Thanks for stopping by for Intuitive Tuesday!

New to this series? You can learn more about it here.

Been reading for awhile? I so appreciate your support with my intuitive eating journey. Thanks for following along!

 

Your turn! If you have tried intuitive eating what is something that it has made possible for you?

Or … what is one thing that you would like to stop obsessing about when it comes to food? 

The Nurturing Voice

Last week’s Intuitive Tuesday post was about dealing with “the voice“. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to, as it will help explain today’s post. To summarize it though, “the voice” is all the negative and judgemental thoughts that we still have about food, even when we have consciously made the decision to stop restricting it.

Today I want to talk about a different kind of voice.

But first – not sure what I am talking about when I mention Intuitive Tuesday? I explain it all here.

intuitive tuesday

It is hard to get rid of the negative voices in our head, if we don’t replace them with something positive. We are going to have thoughts, we can’t clear our mind completely, so we need to work at making these thoughts positive, and helpful, and encouraging, and – healthy.

The other day at the gym I heard a mom-friend of mine talking about the diet plan that she was on. She explained how hard she was on herself when it came to her appearance and what she allowed herself to eat. I knew exactly where she was coming from, and I really felt for her. I am a type A perfectionist. I am great at placing really high expectations on myself, and then beating myself up if I don’t achieve what I had hoped to. From what I have learned, a lot of dieters, and restrictive eaters have this same trait.

Being a perfectionist isn’t a bad thing. It means you strive for excellence, and that you try your best at everything you do. A lot of the world’s most creative and successful people were/are perfectionists. There is a downside though, and that is what happens when our expectations are too high, and we can’t quite meat them. Failure to a perfectionist means that one little thing went wrong. If you mess up even in one area, you have messed up in everything.

Dieting is very hard for a perfectionist. This is because eating even one bite of a restricted food results in massive failure. The negative voices that ensue once this kind of failure takes place are crazy. For some reason we think that beating ourselves up when we aren’t perfect will make us better. We can’t accept, or even love ourselves until we reach the ultimate place of perfection and therefore happiness. I really felt for my friend because I knew what she meant when she said she was hard on herself. The inner struggle that takes place around food is tough.

The book Intuitive Eating suggests developing a voice within yourself called “The Nurturer”. The book explains that this voice “has the ability to reassure you that you’re okay and that everything will turn out fine” p 104. You have probably heard the advice that you should treat your inner self like how you would treat your best friend. That is what this voice is all about.

For example, rather than getting mad at yourself for eating something restricted, like a cookie, this positive voice reminds us that “it is okay to have a cookie. Eating a cookie is normal” (p. 104). Simply eating a cookie would have been a surefire way to set off a binge for me in the past. I felt guilty for eating it, and listened to the voices in my head that made me feel extremely bad. I would then rebel against them and eat everything I could find making me feel 1000 times worse. Developing an inner voice of reason, patience and understanding helped to ward off these crazy episodes.

I like to focus on positive thoughts, and reason, when the negative ones start surfacing. I try to counter the condemning voices with positive ones. If I start to feel bad about what I am eating, I like to focus on all the good things that intuitive eating as done for me, and all the bad things that dieting has. When it comes to body image, I like to remind myself of what my body does for me on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter so much that my stomach isn’t flat, when I think about how it carried around a baby for 9 months! Reminding myself that my legs allowed me to go for a run, or go to work, or even just perform daily tasks without hindering me, makes me thankful for them, not critical of their size or shape.

In short, what I really want to say today is to be nice to yourself. Intuitive eating is hard. It is something that you can’t be perfect in. Eating in general is hard. It is something that you can’t be perfect in, and as long as you set expectations on yourself for be perfect, you will fail. Your body won’t ever be perfect. Your athletic ability won’t be perfect. Even if you were to achieve your “perfect ideals” it wouldn’t make you more happy.

When you have negative thoughts about food, or body image, or even life in general, try to counter them with positive and affirming thoughts. Over time your inner thought life will be so much more positive! This is something that will actually make you more happy!

I am going to challenge myself to this too. I could use some more happiness in my life!

 

What are some positive thoughts that you use to counter negative ones?

Are you a perfectionist? Do you see this as a good or bad personality trait? I am a perfectionist to the extreme, and I see it as a good thing, that can also go very bad if I’m not careful! 

Dealing With the “Voice”

Last week was hard. This was probably due to the fact that I worked four days instead of two, and that Lochlyn had some pretty rough nights since she was teething. I am sure that my house being a complete disaster, and having to do 5000 loads of laundry didn’t help either. On top of all that; Lochlyn’s stomach has still been a little bit upset from having the flu a few weeks ago, and my stomach has been off too.

13 months bath time

On Wednesday night I woke up in the middle of the night feeling really nauseous. I couldn’t sleep for a couple of hours, and finally decided to try eating something. I ate a few crackers and almost right away the nausea was gone and I went back to sleep. On Sunday afternoon I wasn’t feeling good again at all. It was my long run day, and I should have had quite the appetite, but I couldn’t bring myself to eat much even though I was hungry. The only thing that sounded good was vanilla soft serve ice cream. While doing groceries I scoured the freezer section, but couldn’t find anything that I really wanted. I ended up hauling Lochlyn over to Dairy Queen and picking up a dipped cone. After eating it my nausea was completely gone. My weird stomach thing totally felt like being pregnant – I’m definitely not!  It was a good reminder that our bodies know what they need, and we just have to listen to them and not over think it. I am lactose intolerant, and the last thing that logically would make my stomach feel better is ice cream. Weird.

Anyways, it’s Tuesday, so let’s talk about living (mostly eating!) intuitively shall we?

intuitive tuesday

I read this really great email from Isabel Foxen Duke last week. It was on a subject that I have been thinking about for quite some time, but wasn’t quite sure how to put it into words. Isabel nailed it, but here some of my own thoughts.

I often hear people say that intuitive eating wouldn’t work for them, or for other people that they know, because they don’t crave nutritious food. If they ate whatever they craved, without restrictions, they would end up eating only “junk” food all the time, and they would overeat it, leading to some pretty unhealthy habits.

I don’t think the problem of ONLY wanting “junk” food can be attributed to your body’s cravings. I’m not a nutrition expert, or psychologist or anything, but in my opinion, it is mostly about what is going on in your head.

Eating without restrictions means that you allow yourself to eat whatever you want. It is perfectly okay to eat ice cream, chocolate, chips (or chocolate chips!), french fries, whatever. The thing is, you aren’t truly eating without restrictions until you deal with that little voice that says you shouldn’t be eating certain foods.

I am sure you know what voice I am talking about… the one that tells you that certain foods are “bad” or “good”. The voice that says that as long as you are eating certain types of foods, you will never lose weight, or be healthy. You try to ignore the voice rather than deal with it and maybe you even allow yourself to eat whatever you want to because you are trying out this intuitive eating thing, or maybe even because you just don’t give a damn. the unfortunate fact is, even if you are eating previously restricted foods, if you still feel like it is “wrong” it isn’t going to work so well.

I am all too familiar with that quiet voice that judges our food choices. In fact, I deal with it daily. Most ex-dieters, health-conscious people, and even those of us that grew up with concerned and well-meaning parents, have that voice. Actually, most people that have access to any form of media have some judgements about certain foods.

That voice really messes up eating intuitively. Allowing yourself to eat what your body is craving, but still having thoughts that you shouldn’t be, practically defeats the whole purpose of unrestricted eating. You still feel “bad” for eating certain foods and those feelings of “badness” will most likely lead to overeating and possibly even binging. You may even feel the need to go back on a diet, just so you can control yourself around those “bad” foods.

If you don’t deal with that voice, every time you want to eat, you will probably reach for something “bad” because you can. It’s that rebellious nature inside all of us – you “allow” yourself to eat unrestricted, but still feel guilty about it.

For me, a lot of my disordered eating habits were attributed to rebelliousness. As long as that voice tells me I shouldn’t be eating something, I can rebel against it, which leads to eating everything just for the sake of eating…

When I went to go get ice cream yesterday, I had to deal with that voice. I had run 9 miles earlier that day, and the voice told me that I should eat something more nutritious to help with recovery. It told me that I shouldn’t eat ice cream for dinner, and that I should be embarrassed for driving to Dairy Queen and waiting in line at the drive through just to pick up a cone all for myself. I am glad that I put the voice in it’s place and listened to my body because that cone tasted amazing, and my body felt great after eating it.

How do you get rid of the voice, so that you can make unbiased and truly unrestricted food choices?

I think one of the ways is to develop a new voice. A voice of grace, understanding, and reason. A voice that says that it is okay to eat less-nutrtious foods, and that you aren’t “bad” for doing so.

Earlier on in my intuitive eating journey, I journaled a lot about what foods I saw as “bad” and “good”. I even wrote down why I thought these foods were bad, and why I may be wrong about them. For example, I saw pretty much everything with white sugar as “bad”. I guess the reasons why sugar isn’t nutritious are obvious, but my main reason for not eating it was because I thought that sugar would make me gain weight, especially in my belly. I also thought that there was no health benefits to sugar. I listed my favourite foods containing sugar that I restricted, and wrote down reasons that they may be good for me. For example one of the things I wrote down was carrot cake. Carrot cake is good because it is a reminder of when my aunt made it for me just because she knew it was my favorite. Also, I just simply love it, and taking the time to savour and enjoy it is good for my soul! Running has taught me that simple, fast digesting carbohydrates such as sugar and white flour actually have their place – they are great if you need a quick, low fibre and fast digesting burst of energy. I probably wouldn’t choose carrot cake as fuel, but it wouldn’t be the worst thing ever!

When that voice tries to tell you that you shouldn’t be eating something, take a moment to think before you eat it. Think about why “the voice” is wrong, and where that thought came from. Then, think about whether you actually really want this food, or whether you are just eating it because you can. Also, be patient with yourself. It took a long time to build up that negative voice, it will also take time to turn it into a positive one!

 

 Thanks for stopping by!

Weight Changes and Intuitive Eating

I apologize for the late post, but as promised, this Tuesday, I am going to talk about whether I have gained or lost weight while intuitive eating. If you aren’t sure what this whole Intuitive Tuesday thing is about, you can head on over to this page for a quick explanation :) Before I tell you how my weight has changed, let’s have a quick chat about weight and intuitive eating, shall we?

intuitive tuesday

I believe that one of the biggest reasons why people don’t take the step to try eating intuitively is fear.

Fear that you won’t stop eating if you allow yourself to eat freely.

Fear that you will never crave healthy foods, and just eat all the “junk” food all the time.

Fear of weight gain.

To most of us, the words alone are terrifying. Yet why is gaining weight so scary? Where did we get that idea from? Who has brainwashed us into thinking that our body needs to look a certain way, and be a certain size? That we need to eat certain foods, in certain amounts, at certain times? That we should all fit into a cookie cutter mold, that our culture has deemed beautiful? It’s pretty messed up.

Learning to eat intuitively doesn’t mean that you will gain weight … but you might. It doesn’t mean that you will lose weight … but that could happen too.

Eating intuitively isn’t about what you weigh at all and it isn’t about what you look like. Weight gain or loss is simply a side effect of learning to trust your body. Intuitive eating is all about eating what your body is craving, when it is hungry, and stopping when your body is full. So simple, and so not a diet. Please don’t make it into one.

According to Intuitive Eating, learning to listen to your hunger and fullness cues will result in your body finding it’s “natural” weight, and maintaining it. If you were overeating, binge eating, or emotional eating, prior to starting intuitive eating, you will likely lose weight. If you are under-eating, dieting, or restricting food, you may gain weight (p. 33). Keep in mind that weight changes are a side effect of eating intuitively, not its focus.

weight changes

Okay, my little rant is over now. I promised I would tell you whether or not I have gained weight since I started intuitive eating, so let’s get to it…

I don’t know exactly when the last time I weighed myself was. I know it was right around the time that I decided to give up dieting. I also know that it was before I started this little blog. That would mean that it was probably around 7-ish months ago. At this time, I weighed approximately 10 pounds more than I did before I got pregnant.

Shortly after, I decided to put my scale away, and stop weighing myself. I didn’t struggle with compulsively weighing myself when I made this decision, but I knew that the scale wasn’t benefiting me at all. I decided that it would just hinder my journey with intuitive eating, and learning to trust my body.

I definitely recommend not weighing yourself. It was/is awesome.

A couple weekends ago, Josh and I booked a hotel, and spent the night away together. We checked into our hotel in the early afternoon, and pretty much right away I noticed that there was a scale in the bathroom. The thought crossed my mind that I hadn’t weighed myself in so long, and I was curious about how my weight had changed. I decided not to weight myself right away, but to think about it for a while first.

Let’s fast forward to that evening, when I made up my mind to do it. I didn’t have the excited, impulsive, anxious feeling I used to when I stepped on the scale, I mostly felt curiosity. Before I stepped on it, I prepared myself with the reminder that my weight is just a number and that it doesn’t mean anything good or bad. Weighing less or more would both be okay, good actually, because I knew that I was learning to eat intuitively and that my body was slowly finding its “natural” weight.

So what did I see when I stepped on the scale?

I had lost weight.

Since I started intuitive eating, I have lost almost 10 pounds.

Initially, I was shocked. I have honestly been eating whatever I want to. I have consumed a Costco-sized cheesecake all to myself (not all at once!), a million chocolate almonds, all the cream cheese icing, and a ton of other high-calorie foods. I don’t always stop eating when I am full, or only eat when I am hungry. I am still trying to figure this whole intuitive eating thing out. When I look in the mirror, I can’t tell that I have lost weight. I can tell that my legs are bigger and stronger though. I have increased my weights a ton at the gym too, so I know that I have gained muscle. How have I lost weight?

Well … I haven’t been binge eating, I haven’t been eating way past the point of fullness, and I haven’t been obsessing about food. I think this is why I have lost weight even though I have been eating a lot. It also took me approximately 7 months to lose that weight. The changes my body went through were very gradual.

Stepping on that scale did mess up my thoughts and therefore my eating for the next couple of days. Not big time, but I noticed it. I ate a lot more chocolate, and foods that I used to restrict in the past. I told myself it was okay to eat whatever I wanted to since I had done so for the past few months and still lost weight. This is true, but shouldn’t be abused. I was eating when my body didn’t need to, just because my mind told me that I should, since it was permissible. I guess I still have some restrictive eating thoughts that need to be dealt with.

Once I recognized these thoughts, I made a point to deal with them quickly. Now, I don’t plan to weigh myself for at least another six months, or at my next dr.’s appointment anyway!

While stepping on the scale did mess up my thinking for a bit, it has also given me new encouragement and confidence in intuitive eating. Not because I have lost weight, but because I believe I am closer to reaching my body’s “natural” weight. This is exciting for me because I can see how my relationship with food has improved, and that I am starting to figure out how this whole intuitive eating thing works.

 

Please don’t congratulate me for losing weight. As I mentioned above, weight loss isn’t good or bad in itself, but simply a symptom of the whole intuitive eating process. For me, losing weight is a positive because it means that my body is closer to finding its “natural weight”. Thank you!

Do you weigh yourself often?

Any questions for me regarding this topic, or intuitive eating in general?

 

 

You Can Be Fat and Healthy?

Welcome back to Intuitive Tuesday! Not sure what I am talking about? You can visit my Intuitive Tuesday page to learn more.

intuitive tuesday

Today I want to chat a little bit about something that we all do, or at least I do way more than I would like to admit: Judging others, particularly, judging other people’s bodies. I hate that I do this, but this is HonestlyAngela after all, so I really do need to be honest. Before I get into it though, I want to step back for a second and put all this judgement talk into context for you.

I have been noticing a popular trend within our culture lately. Actually I am not quite sure if it is a trend so much as just an aspect of our culture, which makes it even more sad. I am not quite sure I will be able to articulate what I want to say in a way that will accurately explain it, but here it goes….

This trend is something that has been on my mind for a while, but what really got me thinking about it was something that happened a couple of days ago.

It all started when I noticed the uncomfortable chafing between my legs that I sometimes get from running has been getting significantly worse. This post isn’t about chafing, don’t worry! A quick explanation is that I have bigger thighs, and when I run, they rub, and it can get pretty uncomfortable.

Anyway, I decided to google some simple solutions to my problem so I can fix it before it gets too out of hand. My Google search led me to a site that described how to avoid “chub rub”. “Chub rub” is pretty much just chafing between your thighs that happens when you have big legs and you wear dresses and its hot and well… yeah you get the picture.

The site that I ended up on was some sort of “fat pride” site. No, it wasn’t called that, but it seemed to be glorifying being “overweight”. The website made me feel like I was an outsider in this insider’s club of women that were “fat” and proud of it. I never really realized that this club existed before.

I have written about how I believe that it is important to love your body where it is at in this moment, not where you think it should be. I believe this. I believe it is important to love your body whether you are underweight, or overweight, or somewhere in between. I don’t believe that being healthy means falling within a certain BMI range. To me, health is about living a lifestyle that incorporates habits that will help you live a satisfying and full life both physically and emotionally.

definition of healthy

According to that definition, it is possible to be overweight and healthy, and it is possible to be at what is considered a “healthy weight” and still be unhealthy.

What I didn’t like about that website was the way that it glorified being “fat”. I don’t believe that being overweight is something that needs to be celebrated, just like I don’t believe that being “thin” should be idolized and considered better than the alternatives. I also don’t believe that having big muscles, or a big booty, or large breasts, or whatever else should be idealized, and yet there is constantly something new that we think of as desirable. Usually it is crazy exploited by at least one form of media, and leads to us feeling inferior, or lacking.

Our culture has ingrained the belief so deeply within our mindset that thin=good/healthy, fat=bad/unhealthy. I feel like the website I stumbled across was a way for overweight women to speak out against the idea that thinness is ideal. I just don’t think they realize that they are doing the exact same thing as magazines that exploit thinness, only opposite. They are exploiting and idealizing “fatness”. Your body is your own. I believe you have the right to be the best you that you can be, and you should be able to do that without feeling judged.

I am personally attempting to get past the judgemental mindsets of thin vs. fat and healthy vs. unhealthy. I want to learn to stop judging people altogether for their weight and their bodies. I don’t know other peoples’ stories, and I can’t tell how healthy they are from what they look like.

fat quote

Source

I have personal experience that should teach me that health isn’t something that you can see. I feel like I am the healthiest I have ever been, and yet I am a lot heavier than I used to be. At my thinnest I was crazy unhealthy, both emotionally and physically. Even at what was considered a “healthy weight”, I was struggling with an eating disorder that was controlling my life.

There is nothing wrong with being thin, some people can be thin and perfectly “healthy”. There is nothing wrong with being fat if you are living a “healthy” lifestyle for you, and being completely honest with yourself about it. Everyone is different.

Cultivating a positive body image of ourselves is hard enough without feeling judged by the rest of the world. Do yourself and favour and stop judging others. An added bonus to this is that you will stop assuming that everyone else is judging you.

 

Do you agree with my definition of healthy?