Month: June 2015

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?

 

Slightly New Hair Color

It’s Thursday already!? I don’t know why I always have the need to start my posts by telling you what day it is. I am guessing you probably already know this. Anyways, I am linking up with Amanda again for some Thinking out Loud on this beautiful rainy Thursday.

thinking out loud

1. I dyed my hair with a boxed dye a couple of weeks ago. This was a pretty big deal for me. I don’t think I have ever used a boxed dye in my hair before, and I usually only dye my hair every 2 or 3 years. I usually get it coloured in a way that it can grow out naturally without looking too obvious. I was so nervous to use the boxed dye but really wanted something different ASAP. Here are my results:

lochlyn mom swing

    Before                                                    After

You can’t hardly tell right? I used Natural Instincts dye – the colour was called medium cool blonde. I was going for a warm blonde, but despite the name, the photo on the box looked very warm. Since the above picture I have washed my hair a few times and I think the colour has faded even more. This is kind of what I wanted. Something to brighten up my hair a little bit, but also something that would fade back to my natural colour.

I really like the new colour of my hair, but I don’t think I would do it again. My hair feels so dry and brittle. I didn’t think this would happen since I used a semi-permanent colour with no ammonia. The next time I get the urge to colour my hair, I will be back at my hair dresser.

2. Today is my first day back at work after injuring my knee. I typically work 1-2 days a week, but i haven’t worked since before my half marathon on May 17th. I am really nervous about being on my feet for song. I have worked so hard to get my knee better, I hope that it doesn’t ‘make it worse! I am hoping I find the time to buy some better shoes today. I am just having a really hard time deciding what to get. I want something that will be super comfortable to wear in the summer and that will be really versatile and go with all my clothes. I wear a lot of dresses in the summer, so this is making my decision extra difficult.

3. Josh’s mom is coming to visit this weekend. She lives in Brandon, MB, which is something like a 12 hour drive from us. She is flying out for the weekend. I know that she is coming just to visit Lochlyn, but it will still be nice to see her. now that we had a baby, we get so many more visits from both sets of grandparents!

grandma grandpa and baby

4. Lochlyn had her first swimming lesson on Tuesday. We have been waiting for her swimming lessons to start forever! The first time I registered her, her lessons were cancelled because not enough kids registered in her class. The next time I registered her, the pool ended up being closed due to some structural issues with the building, so we had to wait for it to reopen. The pool reopened on Tuesday, and we had a lot of fun at her lesson. She loves playing in the water and interacting with other kids. She even jumped off the side of the pool into my arms!

Unfortunately, I just found out that the pool has been closed again. They found some more structural issues with the roof. I am really glad that the pool is closed since the building isn’t safe, but I am disappointed that lessons are cancelled again! I guess we will have to swim at the lake for now.

lochlyn playing in sand

5. Salted dark chocolate – you know, the Lindt kind. So good. Why haven’t I ever tried this before? Tara over at Sweat Like a Pig mentioned it in one of her posts, and when I passed it at the grocery store I decided to give it a go. This may replace my chocolate-covered almond obsession. The bar I bought last weekend is most definitely gone!

lindt salted dark chocolate

 

Source – Seeing as how I ate the bar before I thought of taking a picture

6. Okay, so there have been a few other things that have been on my mind lately that I don’t really want to get into here, mostly because I think they deserve their own post. The biggest one being my baby girl’s weight. I never thought this would be an issue at such an early age, and it really shouldn’t be. It isn’t something I want to deal with at any age, but my little girl is 15 months old. Expect a post on this subject coming soon. I just have to get my thoughts organized.

7. On a lighter note … CAMPING CAMPING CAMPING! I can’t even wait! One more month until our first week of summer holidays!

backpacking 2012

That’s a wrap. I always feel like I could ramble on forever when writing these posts, but I am going to cut myself off here. I hope you have an amazing rest of your day!

 

Do you like camping? Have you, or would you ever try backpacking?

Same question for boxed hair dyes… do you like them, or would you ever try them if you haven’t? 

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? 

Life in Limbo

I am writing this post on Sunday morning before most of the world is awake. Normally on Sunday mornings I go for a long run. My favourite run of the week. After the run I come home, and rush to get Lochlyn and I ready, and then meet Josh at church. Now that I can’t run, my Sundays are a little bit different.

blurry run

Actually life in general has been a bit different lately. I kind of feel like my family and I are in this limbo stage just waiting for life to actually happen. There are a lot of things contributing to this, and I know not being able to run, or exercise a whole lot at the moment is only one of them. I love being active, but with my sore knee my activity has been limited to the recumbent bike (not so fun), the exercises my physio has given me (also not the funnest), and the few upper body strengthening exercises I have found I can do without hurting my knee or putting any pressure on it.

Josh and I almost went to look at a new house yesterday. I guess it was a very old house that would be new to us. We currently live in a townhouse, and we would love to move to a detached home someday. Now isn’t the right time, as our mortgage is still higher than what we could sell our house for. It is something that we have been thinking a lot about, and we want to start fixing up our current home so that when we find the perfect place, we are ready to move.

We have been pretty short on funds since my mat leave ended and I have been thinking about creative ways I could make an income from home. Last week a copywriting job came up at a really awesome company that I would love to work for and I was really tempted to apply. It was a full-time office job, which would be a huge change for us. After a lot of thought I didn’t end up applying. I am pretty set on working part-time hours or working from home. Still, that job did get me thinking about some other opportunities.

Another thing that makes me feel kind of in limbo? Thinking about having another baby. As I mentioned on Thursday, our original plans were to start trying for another baby in the fall. I am just not feeling ready yet, but the fact that I am thinking so much about it makes me know that it won’t be too long until I am ready. I have actually been considering how to redecorate the little nursery for the next one, and how to decorate Lochlyn’s “big girl” room. I almost feel like I am nesting, but not actually pregnant yet. Weird.

With all these things lingering just on the horizon, I am finding it so hard to live in the moment and enjoy where life is at right now. I am very goal-oriented, and I love making plans, but I just am having a hard time planning life at the moment. With my half-marathon done (sorta), and no new running goals in sight, I am feeling a bit unmotivated. Life in general feels a little bit blah. I really don’t want this summer to pass by before I take the time to enjoy it.

lochlyn mom swing

I am living my dream life here and now, even if I can’t run or be very active. Even if I don’t have the perfect house, or a lot of money, or a new baby to plan for. I have the most amazing and loving family, and we have everything that we need.

josh and lochlyn at race

 

Tomorrow is Intuitive Tuesday, and I am going to be sharing how being in this “limbo stage” of life has changed my eating habits. Hint … it hasn’t been for the better!