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?
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.
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?