I have not been entirely honest about my eating. Recently, I read a book on Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. I have been working on eating this way for only about two weeks now but only officially for about one I suppose.
My first week of eating Intuitively began as an epiphany. I had been doing the Mayo Clinic Diet since Easter when I reached my highest weight I have been in probably 13+ years. The Mayo Clinic Diet seemed like a healthy way to go and I had done similar things in the past and it worked. I got back down to a reasonable weight ( the weight I had been for about the last year or so) but not my desired weight. The diet gives you the portion sizes and servings per day. The questionnaire told me that a 1200 calorie a day diet was what I needed so I went for it. Like I said it worked, but my binges were still at one per week or two. Not healthy.
I always wondered what was wrong with me to binge the way that I did (in reading the book I learned it was hunger and deprivation) I exercise quite a bit a lot actually) and I decided to rebel against the 1200 calorie diet plan (I chose a higher one) and decided to eat when I was hungry, but with foods that made me feel good (generally whole foods).
The Mayo Clinic lists other calorie suggestions/servings and it is a healthy way to go (sort of like the intuitive eating minimums) I went to a higher calorie content in which I found myself still having food groups that I did not even eat all the recommended servings because it was too much food. In eating this way I actually began to lose weight by eating more food. I heard about Intuitive eating and decided to check out the book. I don’t want to binge anymore! I have a young daughter and I want her to have a healthy relationship with food.
I have been a dieter, binger, and exerciser since high school. I always played sports from elementary school on up to college and I have mostly maintained a “healthy” weight. Maybe a little higher sometimes.
In high school I remember being in math class when a fellow classmate made a comment about my weight knowing I could hear it. I still to this day remember his name and in some ways I am grateful to him and in others I am not. It was then that I decided that I needed to lose weight and the dieting began.
I asked my mom for help. My mom helped me count calories and I did very well with weight loss. I would eat some “junk” food here and there and I would still lose weight. I began eating what I wanted on the weekends and dieting during the week. It started out ok but, the weekends turned into binge episodes and continued on and off through the rest of my adult life. In my mid to late 20’s I maintained my desired weight for 5 years or so. I don’t remember bingeing much during that time and that is the weight I would like to get back to. I am very close right now (within 5-7 pounds).
I do have a hypothyroid and for a period of time (5 years) I had amenorrhea (lack of periods). I went to a doctor and was put on birth control to “kick-start” my periods. It worked. I have been on thyroid meds for 10-12 years now. The dosage fluctuates slightly. I am curious to see if I will still need the medication once my eating is back on track. I am not sure the cause of my hypothyroid and lack of periods. I suspect I had a low thyroid from elementary or so. I gained some weight during that time and I did not get my period untill my Jr. year of high school. Our family doctor chalked it up to being very athletic. I was later told by another doctor that I would have to be an olympic athlete to have this affect my period cycle (I was also told I would need fertility drugs to get pregnant. That was not true! My husband and I tried it on our own and were pregnant within two months fertility drug free!) We were lucky.
What spurred this recent post is the fact that I thought I had it all down in my little two weeks of eating until I had a small binge episode last night. I was so mad at myself for doing it! How could I already blow it?!
This morning I tried to put a more positive spin on it and think about all the upsides.
- It was relatively tame. The amount of “Junk” food was probably the equivalent of one dessert in a restaurant (it bothered my because I ate one small amount of ice cream and then another one, then graham crackers, then m&m’s then two cookies!) I stopped! I stopped! It sounds bad but it was small amounts so that is a plus! I normally would have done half of a half-gallon of ice cream, a package of graham crackers, a full bag of M&M’s… you get it).
- I learned something.
- I must have been neglecting (and I was) my need of a single chocolate chip cookie that I wanted at lunch and skipped. This binge episode made me realize that I need to go with what I want. Maybe having a cookie with lunch would have prevented the binge later in the day?
- I learned I might not be eating enough real food during the day. I am having a hard time knowing if I am truly hungry or if I just want to eat the food. I don’t want to eat if I am not hungry so I just don’t eat when I am not sure.
- I learned that I need to have some “me” time. I wanted to go for a walk with just myself (no dogs or kid) and I went without. Being a stay at home mom sometimes is tough when you can’t do what you want to do when you want. My daughter comes first and it was a no nap day. My husband worked late (too late to go outside walking) and I can’t leave a three-year old alone so I’m stuck. I get to work out everyday and this one was no exception, just not any alone time that day. It’s nice just being alone with my own thoughts and doing my own thing. I love being with her I do. I was just frustrated about the not getting that alone time and it contributed to the binge.
- My weight did not go up it went down! I know I am not supposed to care about this or weigh myself much but I am learning.
Intuitive Eating is not all that intuitive for me just yet. I need to learn to do it again. My daughter is a great example. She is a toddler with excellent intuitive eating skills! I need to learn from her. 🙂
Figuring out hunger and fullness are my immediate goals.