Lately, I've been having adventures with intuitive eating. Adventures, you say? Yes, adventures. When I first read the book Intuitive Eating, and saw the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating, I had assumed this would be a linear process, but I'm discovering that for me, anyway, I am finding that some things come easily, and others are more challenging.
I like to start with the easy stuff first, so I tackled the first three, rejecting diet mentality, honoring hunger, and making peace with food, and skipped down to number nine, exercising. Working on 4 out of 10 seemed reasonable because they were the easiest ones for me. The last six will be works in progress for a long time, I'm thinking.
Rejecting diet mentality meant releasing my fixation on "diet foods and drinks." I am realizing that sugar-free and low-fat do NOT equal nutritious, low-cal, or satisfying. Some of us are slow learners. It's taken me nearly a half a century to understand some of this stuff.
|I'm loving my subway art about being intentional as I begin this adventure!|
Two weeks ago, my adventure continued with a simple purchase. I bought my first package of REGULAR pudding. Did you know Jello makes Red Velvet and Caramel pudding now? Oh, my heck. These taste so good. I don't know how many calories I was saving "back in the day" by eating sugar-free pudding, but I don't think 100 calories per serving for the regular stuff is breaking the bank, so to speak, and it tasted great. There was no funny aftertaste from artificial sweeteners.
I'm easing from fat-free to low-fat foods, especially with dairy products. I eat a lot of cottage cheese, and drink quite a bit of milk. I enjoy the low-fat milk so much more, but still like almond/coconut milk, too. I drink whichever one I want, or what's in the fridge. When the only cottage cheese in the fridge was Chuck's 4% fat variety, I didn't panic. I ate it. And declared it good. Being adventurous is kind of fun.
Honoring my hunger has been an interesting experience. Do you want to know how often I have actually felt hungry this summer? It was so rare because I seemed to be in binge mode so often. I have really had to force myself to WAIT until I was hungry. When my tummy grumbled, or my head started to hurt, I realized I might have waited too long. I feel like I am making a little progress there.
When I am hungry, I eat. When I wake up, if I'm hungry, I don't make myself wait three hours for Chuck to have his breakfast. I eat a little something with my coffee, and that feels good.
I'm still not always "honoring my health" with gentle nutrition (Love the term gentle nutrition which is part of honoring health, number 10 in the line-up), but since that's all the way at the bottom of the list, I try to not be too hard on myself, and figure that will come. I am really looking forward to getting comfortable with nourishing myself while observing all of the other principles of intuitive eating.
The adventures continue. Wait until you hear about my Donut and Pepsi Challenge. And YOGA. WHAT? I know. I'm learning so much about myself; things I never trusted myself to do, I am realizing I can do them. It's okay to eat normal food, and even admit it to other people. I don't have to eat in my car, or stand over the kitchen sink, and eat it before anyone notices. Workouts are not just about sweating and breathing hard to burn more calories. There is value in stretching and walking, just because. (Although I admit there is more sweating and breathing hard in yoga than I first realized.)
Today for breakfast, I made an omelet. It consisted of spinach, sweet red and yellow peppers, a sprinkling of corn, a few slices of fried potatoes, and grated Swiss cheese. Chuck said I should become a food photographer because my food is so pretty and colorful. My plate also featured a slice of homemade artisan bread. Be still, my heart. I'm allowing myself to eat all sorts of food. Without guilt. Sigh.
Food is so much less of an enemy these days. Making friends with food really does feel adventurous to me. And that feels GOOD.
If you are unfamiliar with the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, I'm going to include the link to her website HERE, and jot down the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating here:
1. Reject the Diet Mentality.
2. Honor Your Hunger.
3. Make Peace with Food.
4. Challenge the Food Police.
5. Respect Your Fullness.
6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor.
7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food.
8. Respect Your Body.
9. Exercise--Feel the Difference.
10 Honor Your Health.