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Intuitive eating

So I mentioned that I’m trying this new thing – intuitive eating – rather than traditional dieting or even calorie counting. The first couple of days were rough – I ate everything in sight. I had been depriving myself of food and calories for so long that when I gave myself free reign to eat, I definitely did. So I gained a few pounds, something that I’m finding in my research is not uncommon over the first week or so.

But guess what – I’m back to dropping the pounds. Rather than trying to balance out my meals and time them and depriving myself of things I’m finding that I am reaching for healthier snacks, and I’m not gorging on things that I theoretically shouldn’t at the end of the day because I’m just so hungry. It wasn’t a system that was working any longer, especially on days that I would work out hard. I was ravenous.

So the principle is easy: you eat when you’re hungry, you eat what you want, and you eat until you’re full. You don’t overeat.

And that’s the hardest part. As a kid I was part of an “always clean your plate” family. That mentality that I had to eat everything was drilled into me from a very young age. And even despite the fact that I always had food, I still have the mentality that I always need to be full, even if I just ate two hours ago.

It’s funny, trying to train your body that it’s ok to be hungry (not ravenous, obviously), is more difficult than it sounds.

I have the really bad habit of doing what’s called storm eating, which is basically just out of control binge eating. It’s not even that I’m hungry most of the time. I get the urge to eat and I will destroy everything in the kitchen. So, I’m trying to stock the kitchen with healthier options – clementines, apples, cheese and crackers, yoghurt, etc. rather than things like chips, cookies, and sweets. At least with those things, they’re healthier, but they also have a reasonable finite end to them that isn’t a whole bag of Doritos, know what I mean?

This is definitely going to be a process, probably more so in the short term than actual dieting and calorie counting or even intermittent fasting. This relies on willpower and intelligence rather than an app telling me how much and what and when I can eat. This is more listening to my body to tell me what it needs. This is knowing my body. This is making smart food choices.

But in the end, this is sustainable. This isn’t tying myself to a calorie counting app forever and not really knowing how to eat. This is teaching myself how to have a better relationship with food. This is untying food from emotion. This is learning how to be healthy.

That’s it for today. I hope that everyone has a good weekend.

Stay safe, friends!

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