Today was my weigh-in, and I was happy to see that I dropped 7 pounds this week, bringing me BACK to 142. I'm also excited to talk about something that I've been wanting to mention all week but haven't out of fear of jinxing myself...
I didn't count a single calorie this week. I managed to lose 7 pounds without counting calories. When I wrote my goals on my anniversary post, one of the goals was to try to learn more about my binge eating and keep a food journal more focused on WHY I eat rather than how many calories I'm consuming. I decided to try that out this week and experiment with intuitive eating. Now, intuitive eating is nothing new to me--I've tried it numerous times in the past. But this past week has been different for me because my goal was not weight loss, but to eat like a normal person and not binge. I even told myself that if I did binge, it wouldn't mean I failed--I could just write down all I was feeling surrounding the binge and hopefully discover some binge triggers.
In an ideal world for me, I would be an intuitive eater. I wouldn't obsess over food or count or weigh/measure my food. I would just eat a normal amount of food and maintain a normal weight. Sounds perfect, right? While it sounds too good to be true, I'm really going to try to reach this goal this year. I've maintained a 100+ pound weight loss for over a year now, and I think I'm ready to really focus on fixing the eating issues I have (binge eating, emotional eating, compulsive eating).
This week was very eye-opening for me. In the past, when I've tried intuitive eating, I had a hard time just letting go of certain thoughts and TRUSTING myself 100%. If I felt hungry, I would tell myself, "Well, I just ate 30 minutes ago, so I know I'm not really hungry." Or, "I'm hungry. I'm craving cookies. Since that's what I'm craving, that's what I'll eat." But I wasn't really craving cookies. I just thought that's what I SHOULD be craving, if that makes sense. I might have been craving grapes, but I would have thought that was absurd, because who craves grapes?!
So anyway, this week I decided to completely separate my mind from my body when it came to eating. I trusted my body and when my mind tried to butt in with thoughts about my eating, I shoved the thoughts aside. I turned out to have a very successful week--I didn't binge at all, and I felt like a "normal" person. There are a few eating occasions that stand out in my mind, that I'll mention:
Graduation party--We went to a grad party next door on Saturday, and I was hungry. I scoped out the food and chose everything that sounded good to me, completely disregarding thoughts of health and nutrition. I filled a plate with about 5 different items. When I sat down to eat, I cut a pulled pork sandwich in half and gave half to Jerry. I ate and truly enjoyed everything on my plate. I left one bite of each item--not to conserve calories, but to mentally acknowledge that it's okay to leave food on my plate. Then the CAKE... I split a piece with Noah, stopping when I was comfortably full and satisfied, and leaving a bite on my plate.
Cereal for dinner--Last night, I wanted cereal for dinner. The serving size on the cereal I chose (some sort of wheat flakes with pecans, dates, and raisins) was 3/4 cup. That's a tiny amount of cereal! I didn't measure it out, but I poured probably a little over a cup into my bowl and added almond milk. I ate the cereal and enjoyed it. But even though I had more than the serving size, I still wasn't full. I poured some more (about 1/2 cup) and ate that, and then I felt satisfied.
There is a very fine line between being satisfied/comfortably full and overeating. I didn't want to overeat, but I didn't want to be hungry either, because that always triggers a binge for me. This week, I learned how to find that magical spot. I learned that it takes more than I thought to satisfy me. I read intuitive eating books and they say that it takes an amount "approximately the size of your fist" to satisfy you, or "about 1 cup of food". I always used to think I failed if I ate more than that. But I was never truly satisfied! So this week, like I said, I totally trusted my body and ate until I felt comfortably full and didn't want any more. And it took more than a fist-sized amount of food. But I discovered that when I ate to that point, I was able to stop thinking about food, I was able to stop craving food, and I was able to focus on something other than FOOD for once.
Sorry, this entry has gotten way too long! This week, I'm going to continue what I've been doing. I'm going to try to keep a food journal this week (not a "what I ate" journal, but revelations I might have like I did above). I'll probably write about this during the week. I kept it quiet all week because I didn't want to jinx it, like I said.
Oh, and look what is still going strong in my house--I've only eaten one per day!
What is the hardest part of intuitive eating for you? Is it knowing when you're hungry? Knowing when you're full (but not TOO full)? Trusting your cravings? Eating for reasons other than hunger? For me, I think it's knowing when to stop eating. I tend to eat too little while trying to eat intuitively, and that leads to a binge. Hopefully I can remedy that. And don't even get me started on emotional eating ;)