Lessons in Intuitive Eating
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
For anyone who knows me, I am a food addict, a food romantic, food anything and everything. I want to try every flavor, I clean my plate every time, I can't pass up free food. From 2010 to 2013 I was preparing new recipes 3x/day and measuring everything, and in doing so educated myself about food while regaining and maintaining my health.
That is how I expected to continue living, but then suddenly I was working 12/hr day Mon-Fri. I simply didn't have time to always measure and count and I switched to intuitive eating.
It was for the best that I was no longer able to count, it wasn't really a healthy way for me to live. But obsessively counting has been a huge help to study and learn serving sizes, nutrition, calorie amounts which has transitioned now into intuitive eating.
I still eat six meals a days, three meals and three snacks, and while generally I eat at set times of the day, these times can fluctuate depending on what I'm doing and where I'm at. I still prefer to eat solids to liquids, though coffee drinks have been added to my snack choices.
The major difference that I've experienced between calorie counting and intuitive eating is that with calorie counting I could eat practically anything I wanted. I was counting it all, so I could have it all, especially sweets and treats. For intuitive eating, I'm not counting so I have to be more vigilant and restrictive about what I choose. I attempt to choose raw fruits and vegetables for snacks instead of treats, as well as regular salads and soups instead of more substantial meals. I have to be particularly attentive to breakfast; the ideal breakfast is an egg for protein to get me through the day and buttered toast to appease my cravings for carbs. The bakery breads from Whole Foods are best.
It gets a bit wearisome to eat the same basic foods, but at least habitual exercise is helping me to be prepared when I need to make good food choices. That seems to be the key, keeping exercise a steady habit give me back so much self control and confidence that what I'm choosing is in line with my goals.
Of course first I have to figure out how to keep an exercise habit going. So far going early in the morning has proven to be what I need, if I try for later in the day I can usually find any excuse or reason to talk myself out of it. Especially with the summer weather coming up, I'd much rather be outside than at the gym later in the day. But in the morning, when it's the first part of my day, I know I'll still have the rest of the day to do whatever needs to be done.
As with every part of maintenance I'm still learning. There's always more to learn and more hard truths to face and then more successes to celebrate. I can live with that.