Listen To Your Body – Month 1 Week 3

“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures” – F.M. Alexander

There is a book by called Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Trible and Elyse Resch. The book focuses on the concept of letting your body cues guide you through eating. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. This seems like such a simple concept but for me it was extremely difficult. Truth is I was never really hungry. I just ate because the clock said noon, I was bored, I was tired, or I was watching tv. I was rarely if ever hungry so I didn’t know what true hunger felt like. I typically just ate to eat. After my weight loss surgery the doctor explained if I ate how I ate before the surgery I would become physically ill. That should have been enough to stop me from eating, No. It did not. There were many occasions where I would eat so much food I couldn’t move and would be physically sick. I would get the meat sweats, yes this is a real thing. Essentially I would consume so much food that without notice my stomach would begin to feel like it was pushing the food back up through my throat and into my mouth. I would get nauseous and begin to sweat. I didn’t know if I should sit still until it went away or walk it off like it was a cramp. The fact that I had done this too myself by simply eating was not only crazy but insane. You know what made it worse, I did it more than once. I did it so many times that I was back eating the amount of food I ate before the surgery. Yes I gained the weight back and some. Again I can feel the judgment coming through the screen.

Back to intuitive eating. I’m not going to give you all the principles regarding intuitive eating because you need to buy the book. You should actually purchase the book and workbook. The books taught me to pause and begin to figure out when I was hungry or full. Before I would eat I would drink water to see if I was even hungry or if I was following an old cue that said eat. I know you’ve probably heard “you are not hungry, you are thirsty”. I always wanted to say “no I’m not thirsty. I know when I’m thirsty. Your stomach does not growl when thirsty”. Again, my stomach didn’t growl much but that phrase still made me angry. The only time I can remember being hungry was when I was on a diet. It seemed like as soon as you told your body you were going to restrict food it sent some message to your brain that told your body to act a fool. The headaches, body pains, and agitation would begin. I don’t know about your body but my body went into full blown attack mode and I always ended up on the losing side of this war. If you are following along, you know this is usually when I would give up. I’m not the type to be fighting unnecessary battles.

Intuitive eating did take some of the fight out of some battles. While eating I would eliminate distractions to determine when I was full. For the first time in my life I was leaving food on the plate. Some of you may have come from a home that said you couldn’t leave the table until you finished your meal. That was not my house. I was not trying to leave the table because everything on my plate was delicious and I wanted more of it. My mother and grandmother were fantastic cooks and didn’t have to force me to eat anything. Depending on the meal I would have seconds and thirds, then have cake. If you haven’t figured it out there was always room for cake.

Intuitive eating will take you awhile to grasp as will logging your food. You will forget or pretend to forget and that is ok. I would encourage you to always have your food journal handy. Yes if you chew gum or eat a mint that needs to go in that journal. If you haven’t been adding those items, start adding them now. What you now have in front of you is two weeks worth of data regarding what you eat. This is essentially a gold mine of information that companies are paying millions of dollars for.

This is what this information is telling you. If you lost weight, it’s telling you what you can eat and still lose weight. If you didn’t lose weight, it’s telling you what you can eat to maintain weight. If you gained weight, it’s telling you the foods that will increase your weight. You may not like what the data is telling you, but it is telling you a lot. It’s up to you to play detective.

Going into week three make necessary adjustments based on the information you have. Congratulate yourself for what you have accomplished thus far. Please remember you only needed to lose two pounds up until this point. If you have lost more great job but two pounds is the goal. Remember to stay the course.

Things that weigh two pounds- a pineapple, a quart of milk, two cans of soup, and a jug of laundry detergent. Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate. Send me some notes regarding your loss so we can celebrate together.

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