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IE - observing normal people

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Old 02-26-2014, 09:56 PM   #31
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Actually, I understand what you mean about "normal". My husband is what I would call "naturally thin". I have done the same thing, tried to pay attention to what/how he eats to see what I'm doing wrong.

The bottom line with him is that he does not overeat. If he is full, he stops eating. He may love something but stops when he's full. He doesn't eat much junk. Soooo simple. I wish I could get it through my head. lol
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:06 PM   #32
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Actually, I understand what you mean about "normal". My husband is what I would call "naturally thin". I have done the same thing, tried to pay attention to what/how he eats to see what I'm doing wrong.

The bottom line with him is that he does not overeat. If he is full, he stops eating. He may love something but stops when he's full. He doesn't eat much junk. Soooo simple. I wish I could get it through my head. lol
It is anything but simple. His feeling of being full is controlled by his body's unique makeup just as yours is by yours. I suggest reading Fat Chance by Robert Lustig.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:12 AM   #33
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The purpose of this thread has gone slightly askew. I never meant to imply that we should observe others in order to be more like them. I'm simply stating that I see other people, mainly normal eaters (which I define as people of all weight and sizes who don't suffer from eating disorders or use food for purposes other than to nourish themselves) as equals to me. I've always felt inferior to others because I couldn't control my binges. I felt like something was wrong with how I abuse food, how I can't seem to control myself around food. And my perception of people that don't have these food compulsions seemed alien to me, they were gifted with a secret I was not privy to.

By adopting Intuitive Eating I'm learning how to tap into the very real and tangible gift of hunger. And I'm learning the skill of understanding my hunger. I won't say it's an easy thing to do, or that it will result in massive weight loss, but it feels more natural to me to be working on my a skill that I was born with than it is to research the bejeezus out of nutrition. Something that comes so easily to others shouldn't have to be such an uphill battle to me. And that constant battling of myself, my image, my body, my compulsions caused me to look at others in a very negative light. If I wasn't such a nutrition freak my husband would never even know what the word "carb' means lol, he's never really thought about it because he never had to - until I started drilling him ofcourse. It's the obsession with food that I'm fighting against and it's working well enough for me to start feeling normal around food, with much less anxiety, and with much less criticism directed at myself and others.
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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 02-27-2014, 12:37 PM   #34
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Fair observation, Wannabe.

My husband and sons are all very intuitive. What I notice with them all is they really do not settle with eating something they don't like, don't want, or isn't what they are in the mood for. Also, my son especially is extremely good at what the books call knowing your last bite fullness. He just pushes back his plate and he's finished. My husband on the other hand may eat past satisfaction but he then doesn't eat again for a long time until he is really hungry. He is absolutely not a grazer or snacker so he uses meals to get really full and satisfied. It works for him.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:13 PM   #35
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That's a good observation. Normal eaters have a good idea about when and what they want to eat, though their approaches vary. My husband too can go very long stretches of time between meals. I get antsy when mealtime comes and there is no food. I think it's his ability to observe hunger without it affecting him in a negative way where as if I wait too long I start to feel things beyond hunger.
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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 02-27-2014, 04:05 PM   #36
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Bottom line: just eat. Hungry, stressed, just eat. Why all the fuss? In observing "normal" eaters, who I would define as those without some kind of disordered eating complex, they don't sit around asking questions about why they are eating. It's automatic.

If you say to me, I can't just eat away all my emotions, let me ask you, what's the alternative? If you tell me it's relaxation and deep breathing and meditation, well those don't work nearly as well as wolfing down a crunchy bag of chips or shoveling a pound of ice cream to alleviate the feelings. You think I'm nuts, but here's the deal...now be honest with yourself...sitting and meditating for 30 minutes may calm you for the moment, but you still have that cortisol streaming around in there. Action is what reduces it. Anger needs a physical outlet. So you either have to eat or run. In observing "so-called" normal people, I notice they not only don't stress about food, but they tend to be go go go. They tend to express themselves as needed in the moment. If a solution to a stressful situation needs to happen, they don't repress themselves in fear of failure, they boldly move and take action. I don't know too many "normal" eaters who have to spend 10 minutes calming themselves before they eat. They just really don't worry about it, and worry is just another stress no one needs.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:40 AM   #37
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Bottom line: just eat. Hungry, stressed, just eat. Why all the fuss? In observing "normal" eaters, who I would define as those without some kind of disordered eating complex, they don't sit around asking questions about why they are eating. It's automatic.

If you say to me, I can't just eat away all my emotions, let me ask you, what's the alternative? If you tell me it's relaxation and deep breathing and meditation, well those don't work nearly as well as wolfing down a crunchy bag of chips or shoveling a pound of ice cream to alleviate the feelings. You think I'm nuts, but here's the deal...now be honest with yourself...sitting and meditating for 30 minutes may calm you for the moment, but you still have that cortisol streaming around in there. Action is what reduces it. Anger needs a physical outlet. So you either have to eat or run. In observing "so-called" normal people, I notice they not only don't stress about food, but they tend to be go go go. They tend to express themselves as needed in the moment. If a solution to a stressful situation needs to happen, they don't repress themselves in fear of failure, they boldly move and take action. I don't know too many "normal" eaters who have to spend 10 minutes calming themselves before they eat. They just really don't worry about it, and worry is just another stress no one needs.
A lot of good points here. The ultimate goal is to eat without thinking about it too much just like normal eaters. The problem is that one has to build the skills necessary to do this quickly. So for me, I do have to stop and think. I have to stop and acknowledge "I'm feeling like I want to eat now, what is this feeling exactly, I know it's some kind of discomfort, but is it real hunger?" And then I go do as you say, something active to take my mind off it. At home with my son I can't go out and punch anything lol, but I can do some ironing, or wash the dishes, or fold some laundry or mop the floor or do some squats, or go for a walk etc. And then I have to reassess that feeling again. I won't eat until I feel like it's actual true hunger. Sometimes I realize that it's not physical hunger but then I'm left with not knowing what to do to aleviate that discomfort and that can get very difficult.

I wouldn't say I spend time calming myself before I eat. But I try to eat calmly now. With plenty of breaks. Like I'll eat half a sandwich and then stop for a few minutes and reasses how I feel. If I want to I continue eating, if I don't want it I stop. Of course it would be nice for all these things to be automatic the way they are for non-dysfunctional eaters, but they learned these skills somehow and this is how I'm learning those skills too.
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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 02-28-2014, 02:36 PM   #38
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...So for me, I do have to stop and think. I have to stop and acknowledge "I'm feeling like I want to eat now, what is this feeling exactly, I know it's some kind of discomfort, but is it real hunger?"
I read somewhere (can't remember where), that awareness is the first/biggest step, and that you can eat through the emotions as long as you acknowledge you're doing so (sometimes even out loud to yourself), that eventually that awareness will translate into a more "automatic" switch to better emotional regulating activities.

In other words, if you're prone to putting pressure on yourself to do it perfectly, there's no reason to.

I've read that intuitive eating sometimes gets misunderstood as the "hunger/fullness" diet, so that you won't "allow" yourself permission to eat until your stomach starts to gnaw at you, that you're never allowed to overeat, or that you're never allowed to eat for any other reason. But, I don't consider the hunger/fullness diet to be "normal eating." There is a happy medium, one that is "human."

It could be that I've somehow gotten through some of it and now I'm getting to be on the side to where I can say, "Just eat and don't think so hard." Maybe I've come a long way? Not sure. Or it could just be one of my mood swings. How do you really know? How do you measure your progress?

In any case, I will say I've gotten more mouthy at work since I'm not plugging up with food - LOL Oh well, fire me!
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:52 PM   #39
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I read somewhere (can't remember where), that awareness is the first/biggest step, and that you can eat through the emotions as long as you acknowledge you're doing so (sometimes even out loud to yourself), that eventually that awareness will translate into a more "automatic" switch to better emotional regulating activities. Yes, and I think it's working. The awareness of why I'm eating does not change why I eat. I allow myself to be fully aware when I'm over eating. Which essentially means I'm over eating with purpose. I read in Overcoming Overeating that this observation is crucial as long as you acknowledge it. Like I say to myself "wow, I am surely eating though this entire plate of french fries and I don't want to stop myself. This feels like the only way to make myself feel better" I'm not judging myself for it, I'm just allowing it to happen. Granted it's not happening as much or as often as it did when I was abstaining from french fries, and this type of observation allows me to not hate myself which is the whole purpose of IE anyway.

In other words, if you're prone to putting pressure on yourself to do it perfectly, there's no reason to. Right now my thoughts continuously turn to guilt and I'm continuously redirecting them towards compassion. It's a skill not to berate yourself.

I've read that intuitive eating sometimes gets misunderstood as the "hunger/fullness" diet, so that you won't "allow" yourself permission to eat until your stomach starts to gnaw at you, that you're never allowed to overeat, or that you're never allowed to eat for any other reason. But, I don't consider the hunger/fullness diet to be "normal eating." There is a happy medium, one that is "human." I think you're right, I think most assume that normal people only eat because they're hungry but this is not true. "Normal" eaters eat things for reasons other than hunger/fullness just like we do. But they're not compulsive about it and they can get that same euphoria from just a little food, if you want to call it euphoria at all.

It could be that I've somehow gotten through some of it and now I'm getting to be on the side to where I can say, "Just eat and don't think so hard." Maybe I've come a long way? Not sure. Or it could just be one of my mood swings. How do you really know? How do you measure your progress?I don't know, I'm not the right person to ask this. I'm too new to this. I try not to think about the results yet, I'm thinking about it one day at a time. Although my husband did remark to me that I seem calmer lately. That's not something he's ever accused me of before so to me that's progress. But I think that learning how to read our hunger signals is like learning how to read. Once you become literate you can't undo it. Once you start to feel your hunger signals there's no unlearning that.

In any case, I will say I've gotten more mouthy at work since I'm not plugging up with food - LOL Oh well, fire me!
I like that, not plugging up with food.
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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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