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!
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.
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.
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?