Intuitive Eating - my journey so far
I have a smaller body - that I dieted into.
I have a slightly bigger body - that I mindlessly overate into.
This bigger body is ugly - I will lose some weight because I do not like this bigger body.
And so it went - year after year. I needed to STOP IT!
I have 25+ years of experience with dieting and I can conclude that the weight loss has always been temporary and it has caused me to have a very dysfunctional relationship with food. You can read more about this from my previous blogs, Making Peace With Food, Does my butt look too big? and Let's talk about those vegetarians. I would like to share an excerpt from my first blog about intuitive eating that I published in January; 2020 - This year I will not diet!
"I will not be weighing myself all year. I will have NO food or drink restrictions. I will NOT COUNT ANYTHING...calories, fat grams, points, etc. I do not want to be afraid of food - parties, weddings, weekends, and eating out. I want to feel energized after I eat. I want to eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. I want to enjoy my food and eat what I want and when I want to. I want to trust myself. I want to accept my body and weight as it is and as it will be."
I wrote this on January 2nd, 2020, but I actually started this journey in mid-November, 2019. It has been about 7 months now - how is it going you ask? Well, let me tell you. I am doing splendidly! I have found freedom. For the most part, I have not been afraid of food or of situations, like a pandemic 🙄 that in the past would have caused a lot of emotional eating and weight gain. I am having success with intuitive eating. I am realizing that my habits are better than I have given myself credit for and thus I am gaining confidence and trust in myself. I am replacing fear and anxiety with peace and enjoyment around food and eating. This experience has been amazing and better than I could have asked for. But, there is one major thing that I am struggling with and that is not dieting!
It is a pretty radical move for a chronic dieter not to diet! The reality of not dieting means to me that I may not lose weight. My body might stay this way or get even bigger!😬 I am not going to lie - I find this terrifying. On top of that, I recently had the experience of trying on the summer clothes that I took down from the attic. This solidified my fears. Due to the fact that I diet in the winter/spring months, I am usually at my thinnest in the summer months. It is no surprise then that some of the clothes were too small. Particularly these shorts that I could not pull up above my thighs! For the love of Pete - THAT REALLY SUCKED!!!
I loved these shorts and my insides were screaming.😱 This weight is not acceptable! I am too big! I have to lose weight! Not fitting into these shorts was traumatic and made me feel very uncomfortable. I have never been in this situation before. To be clear - the situation is being "bigger" and not getting "smaller." It was/is hard to resist the diet. (The diet = eating in a way that will result in weight loss.) I sat with this discomfort for a few days and waited for the screaming voice inside of me to quiet down. After that, I weighed my options. Lose the weight and fit into the shorts or continue on this new path that I had committed to back in November. I chose NEW PATH. This new path has proven difficult, but it has also been rewarding in so many unexpected ways. As I continue on this new path, I am looking forward to experiencing even more growth and insight as time goes by.
In closing, I would like to share part of a text that I received from a friend when I was going through my not fitting into my shorts crisis. She said, "Don't worry about clothes. Treat yourself to some new things in honor of your new and improved mindset. You are doing great!" So with that, I bought some new shorts and threw away my shorty shorts in the recycling bin. I hope the next person who wears them can wear them without the forced fit that comes from dieting.
POSTSCRIPT: I asked my soon to be 16 year old to help me pick out this picture and when I told her what I was doing she said, "WHOA....way to go mom!" I love this new generation. 😊
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