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IE - Choosing healthy foods

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Old 02-20-2014, 01:48 PM   #16
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Although I'm not exactly doing IE, I am incorporating some of the components, such as getting out of the "diet" mentality and focusing on how I feel. One thing that I have discovered is that demonizing any one food (carb, fat, etc) is just not how the body reacts. I demonized carbs for years and then became a vegan for ethical reasons and moved to a high carb no fat way of eating (a la Neal Barnard and John McDougall). While the no-added-fat method was definitely not for me, I did learn that I could eat whole grains and even sometimes some "bad" carbs (like adding sugar to tea) and I would not balloon into an uncontrollable weight.

Restricting first carbs and then fats has been what was detrimental to my weight and health. I am now more focused on eating from a variety of foods, not being concerned too much with how many carbs I eat or what my fat percentage is. I am focusing on mainly whole foods, but I'm not wigging out if I feel like a "bad" food here and there. I'm just watching my portion sizes (i.e., buying a candy bar rather than a family sized bag of candy ;-)). I find that when I do this, I feel much more satisfied.

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Old 02-20-2014, 01:53 PM   #17
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It sounds like you know yourself pretty well, I'd never argue with someone who's lost and maintained for so long and who's self awareness is so acute. And I admire that. For myself I don't think it's too late to try to reset my satiety controls. For years I've been relying on diets to work "do this for x amount of time and we promise you'll see results" eating at timed intervals, eating my assigned foods and following the diet's rules of how much to eat and when to eat and when not to eat. And most diets start out with the "clear out the pantry" rule. In essence I've been ignoring what my body wants and basically telling it to shut up, I know better and we're gonna fix this.
I think this is a very smart approach. I've read some IE books and the idea that I got was that it's about allowing your own instincts to take over and relearning cues of hunger and fullness, but doing it in a common sense way. Obviously, this is not about saying, "oh, now I'll just eat what I want" and attacking all the foods that you love in as large a quantity as you want (although I think that one IE book I read pointed out that if you do this, you'll find you get sick of the foods you love in a week or two - not me, though!) It's about eating what you define as healthy ON THE WHOLE and allowing foods that you previous forbade into your plan in a healthy way.

For example, chocolate is my weakness and I've found that if I eat some every day and it is a high-quality dark chocolate, I both enjoy it and do not overeat. I also find that knowing I can have that every day keeps me away from buying the bad stuff that I love and will overeat.

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Old 02-20-2014, 03:16 PM   #18
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Great points, wonderful input from everyone. I've been feeling like a big old poser and outcast the past several days with no one visiting the IE threads. It's good to know we're not alone.

Nelie, that's a great experience, where did you go if you don't mind me prying? Is it a place you would recommend? Also, how long have you been doing IE? I've always ignored IE because firstly it is very under-represented on 3FC and also because I just rolled my eyes at it and thought that if I let myself eat I'd go crazy.

djunamod, welcome and thanks for sharing your input. How long have you been doing IE?

Mazzy, I'm trying to get to the bottom of this carbs thing. It is the food that I have been demonizing for over a decade as djunamod put it so well. Although I've been eating carbs for years, I'm always going back and forth between restricting them and rebelling against restricting them. Eating any kind of carb has brought on nothing but guilt and fat feelings. My guess is that I'm giving my body permission to enjoy carbs without self hatred, without demonizing the food, without feeling any kind of guilt. I'm not going all crazy but you can image there are a lot of carby foods out there that I'm exploring with peace of mind without looking over my shoulder for the carb police and without feeling like a failure. I might just be getting it out of my system because yes I do crave them. I crave a variety of other things too.

Even when I was low carb I would never disallow chocolate. It's just too cruel, why would anyone do that? I just get myself a nice big Lindt chocolate bar (with a touch of sea salt) and enjoy one or two pieces a day. What's the big deal?
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"Binging is a descent into a world where every restriction... is cut loose. At its core is a feeling of deprivation.. a feeling you can never get enough. Binges do not signify a lack of willpower or inability to care for yourself. On the contrary, binges are a urgent attempt to care for yourself when you feel uncared for. They are the voice of survival. Binges are the mark of the self that says, 'I am tired of feeling deprived, of being told I am wrong, that I am bad." - Geneen Roth
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:36 PM   #19
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Hi Nelie...Everything you said makes perfect sense to me, and I agree with it all, but this one sentence has me scratching my head a little. Did they ration out/portion your food for a reason? It seems counter-intuitive...

I'm guessing this was a way of showing "balance" but not actually turning it into rules and regulations about how you should eat, simply because so many people are so diet-restricted that they don't even know what it means to have a balanced meal ?
You hit the nail on the head, basically so many people are diet restricted, they don't know what a balanced meal looks like so they use it for a basis. You could always ask for more food or add some fruit if hungry. There were others there that also felt better with more protein so their meal plans were modified. It wasn't a rule that you had to follow the plate model or else, but just a jumping point for people to figure out what works for them.

Wannabeskinny, the site for the program is www.fitwoman.com (Green Mountain at Fox Run in Vermont). I think it was overall a good experience and I was able to focus on just me for a week. If someone was going to go, I'd recommend they go for at least 2 weeks which wasn't a possibility at this time but they had a 25% off new years special and I wanted to go as soon as I was able to. I may go back for another week next year because I did like it. I've been doing IE since the beginning of this year. I think I had spun my wheels so much in the past couple years that I needed to do something different.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:19 AM   #20
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wannabe...It sounds almost exactly like a relationship that you broke off because of some misunderstandings. Someone told you that carbs would break your heart, so you dumped them, only to find out that you were lied to....lol

nelie...that sounds like a great retreat. Would totally go to that if I had the funds! I was reading their blog, and I really liked what they had to say:

http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/02...e-this-winter/
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:08 AM   #21
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Maybe this is just too stupid or simplistic, and it is coming form someone who would most certainly binge on peanut butter if it was in my house, but if you are trying to avoid a starchy-carb binge, can you just make sure you are well-stocked with fruit, veggies and nuts for when you feel you intuitively need more food?
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:51 AM   #22
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That sounds great nelie, I wish I could go to something like that - I've always wanted to! And I'd love to do it in Arizona, I don't know of a specific place for it but I'm sure it exists. At least it does in my fantasy.

Yes Mazzy, I'm reunited with my the boyfriend I wasn't allowed to date. Like I said I'm not going off the deep end but my mind has one foot in dieting and I am impatient. This will be a long journey I know that but I'm willing to take it because whether I lose weight or not I don't care, so long as I don't lose my mind trying to restrict myself anymore.
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"Binging is a descent into a world where every restriction... is cut loose. At its core is a feeling of deprivation.. a feeling you can never get enough. Binges do not signify a lack of willpower or inability to care for yourself. On the contrary, binges are a urgent attempt to care for yourself when you feel uncared for. They are the voice of survival. Binges are the mark of the self that says, 'I am tired of feeling deprived, of being told I am wrong, that I am bad." - Geneen Roth
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:56 AM   #23
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Maybe this is just too stupid or simplistic, and it is coming form someone who would most certainly binge on peanut butter if it was in my house, but if you are trying to avoid a starchy-carb binge, can you just make sure you are well-stocked with fruit, veggies and nuts for when you feel you intuitively need more food?
Not stupid or simpllistic at all! Welcome to the discussion and I'm glad you're sparked with curiosity about IE. I am indeed well stocked with fruit and veggies and nuts and have my fill of them. However, part of the process of intuitive eating is to go with what you're really craving. So for example if I'm craving toast, I cannot satiate myself with carrots. Because even if I aleviate my hunger my desire to eat toast never really goes away. I can only put it off for so long, and have done so many times.... only to one day binge on an entire loaf of bread with butter LOL. And this only makes me feel hopeless, helpless, a complete failure, lots of guilt and a miserable self doubt. All over a piece of stupid toast?

My #1 reservation with IE has always been "if I allow myself to eat a forbidden food then I will gain massively" but I have found that that's not the case at all. I have not once done that and I am surrounded by bad foods. When I was low carb was the absolute worst time for me for many years because I have a very healthy family that likes to eat bread. A husband who is fit and strong and thin, and a toddler who's running around and needs his foods. So it's not possible to rid my house of certain foods and I've stopped trying to battle the carbs.
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"Binging is a descent into a world where every restriction... is cut loose. At its core is a feeling of deprivation.. a feeling you can never get enough. Binges do not signify a lack of willpower or inability to care for yourself. On the contrary, binges are a urgent attempt to care for yourself when you feel uncared for. They are the voice of survival. Binges are the mark of the self that says, 'I am tired of feeling deprived, of being told I am wrong, that I am bad." - Geneen Roth
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:29 AM   #24
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Great points, wonderful input from everyone. I've been feeling like a big old poser and outcast the past several days with no one visiting the IE threads. It's good to know we're not alone.
I'm lurking! I think your posts make a lot of sense, though for me at age 60, I feel liberated and empowered by noticing how 'junk food' makes me feel, and having some explanations that make sense--to me, e.g. Robert Lustig & Kathryn Hansen. That said, I think it's extremely wise to learn to listen to your body first & foremost.

Your posts are very thoughtful & I hope you continue them. It probably takes some time for people to notice read a new thread & longer to comment.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:52 AM   #25
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I think one technique that works with previously forbidden foods is getting single portions so this may mean eating out or similar. The other day I picked up a sourdough bowl loaf from Wegman's. It is the tiniest loaf of bread I've ever seen but I wasn't sure I could trust myself with a large loaf. The funny thing is the loaf has lasted 3 days and between my husband and myself, we have eaten half. I could've easily eaten the whole thing in a single meal but I didn't want to and it is even designed to be eaten by a single person as a soup bowl.

I know trusting yourself and your body is hard but I am trying to trust the process. I feel better, foods don't have t he pull over me that they used to and overall I feel I'm eating better.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:02 PM   #26
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I craved a salad finally! Oh I have enjoyed salads recently but today I really really HAD to have one! I'm so excited about it, it feels like a result and is helping calm my fears about craving only certain foods.

We want out to a friend's dinner party yesterday and my friend tends to be a food pusher. She piles our plates high with too much food. I did my best although I was feeling overwhelmed by the food and unhappily ate past fullness. I think it spurred my need for a cool refreshing light lunch today
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"Binging is a descent into a world where every restriction... is cut loose. At its core is a feeling of deprivation.. a feeling you can never get enough. Binges do not signify a lack of willpower or inability to care for yourself. On the contrary, binges are a urgent attempt to care for yourself when you feel uncared for. They are the voice of survival. Binges are the mark of the self that says, 'I am tired of feeling deprived, of being told I am wrong, that I am bad." - Geneen Roth
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