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IE - choosing what to eat

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Old 05-09-2014, 04:21 PM   #1
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Default IE - choosing what to eat

One if the tenants of IE is up eat what you're hungry for. Does anyone else have a difficult time choosing what to eat without getting swayed by other food? There are so many food messages around us, commercials, restaurants, bakery smells while walking, seeing food in general. I think I want one thing then I'm suddenly confronted with something else. Like today for example I was looking forward to having my soup for lunch when I got home from grocery shopping. Then I saw the rotisserie chicken and wanted that and suddenly the soup didnt sound good anymore. I think I ate the soup begrudgingly and really wanted the chicken instead. What is UP with that?

Do I really want the food I want or an I getting swayed too easily?
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:45 PM   #2
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Rotisserie chickens are produced en masse at grocery stores. You can have one tomorrow.

I think you are overthinking IE, the whole point is not to be consumed by thinking about food all the time.
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:07 PM   #3
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I agree with Krampus, as I read your post exactly what she said popped into my mind. There's always tomorrow for that chicken. No need to feel bad or dwell on it.
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:38 PM   #4
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I have noticed how much influence other people have on what I'm hungry for. My boss at work will talk about how she made stir fry for dinner- dinner time rolls around and I'm hungry for- you guessed it- stir fry! I'll see a sandwich on an advertisement on the train and then I want a sandwich when I get home. I guess for me when it comes down to it I'm pretty flexible when I'm truly hungry. That's why I don't stress out too much about what I eat. If I get home and I really want a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup, but all I can make is scrambled eggs with buttered snow peas I'm happy to eat the latter. If I had a personal chef, ate at restaurants all the time, or could go to the market every day I guess it would be different.

This is where I kind of butt heads with the IE wisdom. I will give myself a nutritious, delicious meal when I'm hungry. It may not always be what I'm craving but I will eat until I'm just satisfied. In the beginning stages of IE I think it's super important to eat what you want so that your body understands that it will get what it needs. If you want to drink chocolate milkshakes every time you are hungry (for example), then go for it! Let the milkshakes flow. Now I don't really feel the pull of "forbidden" foods. They've lost their hidden allure. So now I just try to make meals that won't make me feel like crap afterwards. That's my aim, not trying to search for what I'm hungry for.
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:51 PM   #5
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I definitely thinks there's a problem with eat what you are hungry for. Dr Amanda writes about that in her book. But i knew from the beginning that i would not do that.

Yes we are surrounded by temptations but i also don't think that our cravings are necessarily a reflection of what our bodies need. That might be true in pregnancy or in situations when you are not an emotional or habitual junk food eater. But for those of us trying to get past bad food habits, i think taking that message on board is a bound to bring about failure.

When we are tired we tend to crave carbs and just food. I experienced that two days ago. Luckily i knew it was just because i was tired so i took it easy all day. I think if you can rule out all those other types of appetite, then maybe you are safe to go with the idea but until you can differentiate between eating for genuine hunger and eating for psychological reasons such as stress, depression, fatigue, then its not a good idea.
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:34 PM   #6
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Rotisserie chickens are produced en masse at grocery stores. You can have one tomorrow.

I think you are overthinking IE, the whole point is not to be consumed by thinking about food all the time.
True true but soup is plentiful too. Neither is a bad choice but its remarkable how you can want something so tasty and then see a chicken and want that instead. I'll shoot for chicken tomorrow, unless I get swayed by something else haha. My physical therapist was just telling me today that she basically only eats pizza because she's so picky. Now I want pizza hehe.

Over thinking? Me? I've never heard that before lol jk!
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:18 PM   #7
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I find that when I am really hungry EVERYTHING looks good but I usually have a specific idea of a food in mind. When Im not hungry I can never really settle on one thing to eat. One thing I do notice is that when Im really hungry and I see a cookie or a baked good or candy or something, I want it, but I know that my body doesn't REALLY want that, I want food and its just because Im hungry that it gravitates to instant energy. Once I eat the food that I really want, the treat stuff doesn't even look good to me anymore.

But, I feel like it took me a long time to get to this point. It used to be SO MUCH work to figure out what I really wanted to eat. It actually made me take periodic breaks from IE because it became so exhausting and I felt like I was focused on food all the time. I think its all part of the process.
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:03 PM   #8
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I find that when I am really hungry EVERYTHING looks good but I usually have a specific idea of a food in mind. When Im not hungry I can never really settle on one thing to eat. One thing I do notice is that when Im really hungry and I see a cookie or a baked good or candy or something, I want it, but I know that my body doesn't REALLY want that, I want food and its just because Im hungry that it gravitates to instant energy. Once I eat the food that I really want, the treat stuff doesn't even look good to me anymore.

But, I feel like it took me a long time to get to this point. It used to be SO MUCH work to figure out what I really wanted to eat. It actually made me take periodic breaks from IE because it became so exhausting and I felt like I was focused on food all the time. I think its all part of the process.
Thank you this really resonates. It's like relearning how to walk and breaking down each movement. I don't like having to think about it so much but until it becomes second nature I have to keep working on it. I think of IE the same as breastfeeding - just because its natural doesn't mean it's easy or effortless. It does become easy and effortless but it is a skill. Many years of ED have destroyed my hunger signals and rebuilding them is a great learning experience.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:19 AM   #9
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I don't do the whole IE thing. Well, I don't really know what it's all about, but I do eat when I am hungry. I don't deny myself, but I am not really eating the junk right now, so letting the milkshakes flow isn't really happening. But the other day, I had a humongous craving for a rotisserie chicken, and I made hubby bring one home. He looked at me like I was nuts because I was happy to see that chicken come through the door! And about a week before that, I really wanted a steak. I don't really eat steak, and hardly ever eat red meat, but I wasn't going to be happy until I got it. Then, once I ate these things, the desire to eat them went away, and I went on about my business. I just don't listen to the voices that make me want to eat an entire cheese Danish, or an entire cheesecake, or a whole pan of brownies. I don't need those things if I am truly hungry. But I will indulge the chicken voice, or the voice that told me I had to buy kiwis at the store today.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:16 AM   #10
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... i also don't think that our cravings are necessarily a reflection of what our bodies need. That might be true in pregnancy...
Funny you should mention this because my pregnancy has a lot to do with my ED recovery according to my nutritional therapist. When I was pregnant I ate whatever I wanted in whatever quantity I wanted and lost weight. When I gave birth I was 10lbs lighter than before I was pregnant. At 9 months pregnant I weighed less than I do now.

My pregnancy is what led me to IE to begin with. I didn't know it at the time but while I was pregnant I was an intuitive eater.

- I ate exactly what I wanted the moment I was hungry for it
- I felt no guilt about eating
- I was not dieting
- I was not body-conscious
- I exercised because I had energy
- I didn't feel any pressure to look a certain way
- I trusted my body when it alerted me to needing food/rest
- I did not judge my food choices
- I allowed myself to buy clothes that fit my growing belly
- I didn't compare myself to others
- I nurtured myself
- I was nurtured by others (please have my seat, can I get you anything, you are glowing!)
- there was no sign or trace of my eating disorder

At the end of the day, a pregnant woman is completely in tune with her body's needs. If a preggo asks her husband to bring her a tomato and a spoonful of chocolate frosting he hops to it, he doesn't question it, she doesn't question it, it is considered done and it is done so without judgment. Does this happen to all pregnant women? No it does not, but it did happen to me and I've been trying to get to that comfortable place where I didn't suffer with an ED and allowed myself to eat what I wanted. I was an intuitive eater, I did it then and I can get back to it now because I know and remember how good it felt. It does not matter to me what others think of IE, once you're in tune with your body's needs you're happy and content no matter what your weight.
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Old 05-10-2014, 02:55 PM   #11
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Thank you this really resonates. It's like relearning how to walk and breaking down each movement. I don't like having to think about it so much but until it becomes second nature I have to keep working on it. I think of IE the same as breastfeeding - just because its natural doesn't mean it's easy or effortless. It does become easy and effortless but it is a skill. Many years of ED have destroyed my hunger signals and rebuilding them is a great learning experience.
I really agree that it is like learning to walk again. I think it is essentially like rewiring parts of your brain. I love the breastfeeding analogy! That is soo true, it made me laugh.

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Funny you should mention this because my pregnancy has a lot to do with my ED recovery according to my nutritional therapist. When I was pregnant I ate whatever I wanted in whatever quantity I wanted and lost weight. When I gave birth I was 10lbs lighter than before I was pregnant. At 9 months pregnant I weighed less than I do now.

My pregnancy is what led me to IE to begin with. I didn't know it at the time but while I was pregnant I was an intuitive eater.

- I ate exactly what I wanted the moment I was hungry for it
- I felt no guilt about eating
- I was not dieting
- I was not body-conscious
- I exercised because I had energy
- I didn't feel any pressure to look a certain way
- I trusted my body when it alerted me to needing food/rest
- I did not judge my food choices
- I allowed myself to buy clothes that fit my growing belly
- I didn't compare myself to others
- I nurtured myself
- I was nurtured by others (please have my seat, can I get you anything, you are glowing!)
- there was no sign or trace of my eating disorder

At the end of the day, a pregnant woman is completely in tune with her body's needs. If a preggo asks her husband to bring her a tomato and a spoonful of chocolate frosting he hops to it, he doesn't question it, she doesn't question it, it is considered done and it is done so without judgment. Does this happen to all pregnant women? No it does not, but it did happen to me and I've been trying to get to that comfortable place where I didn't suffer with an ED and allowed myself to eat what I wanted. I was an intuitive eater, I did it then and I can get back to it now because I know and remember how good it felt. It does not matter to me what others think of IE, once you're in tune with your body's needs you're happy and content no matter what your weight.
I really agree with the pregnancy thing. That is a great way to think of it. I also think that your body can crave what it needs when it's not pregnant. I find that the more in tune I am with my body the more I crave what it truly needs. LIke vegetables and fruit, and protein. The more in tune with my body I become, the less I crave sugary things or salty things, or baked goods. In fact, these past few days I have been on a vegetable kick. I have been craving vegetables and have been eating them with all my meals. HUGE plates of all kinds of veggies. And loving them. In the past when I tried to "diet", i would eat lots of vegetables and force myself to eat them because they were "healthy." I would end up hating vegetables and unable to eat them for weeks. So, I wasn't able to get in touch with what my body truly needed because I was trying to eat according to someone else's guidelines and rules for MY body. I have said it before and I will say it again. I really believe that once you get rid of the "food noise" of what you SHOULD be eating and what is ok to eat and what is not, you will hear your body telling you what it really truly needs. You might have to go through some oreos to get there, but it will happen if you keep at it.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:36 AM   #12
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I really agree that it is like learning to walk again. I think it is essentially like rewiring parts of your brain. I love the breastfeeding analogy! That is soo true, it made me laugh.

I I also think that your body can crave what it needs when it's not pregnant. I find that the more in tune I am with my body the more I crave what it truly needs. LIke vegetables and fruit, and protein. The more in tune with my body I become, the less I crave sugary things or salty things, or baked goods.
The misconception about IE is that people think you start listening to your body and suddenly you want to eat junk food all the time. And yes that is true for many of us! Let yourself run wild and heck yea your body will say "gimme all the stuff you wouldn't let me have!!!" But even though that is a stage that most have to get through, it's not easy to get through is it? In order to do it correctly we must do so without guilt and without self judgement and that's the hard part. If we eat a whole bucket of ice cream we must forgive ourselves for it, carrying the guilt around makes it impossible to move forward.

But while most people think IE is about learning to trust your body, I think of it more as my body learning to trust me. I might feel guilt, but my body holds grudges! If it feels deprived, if it feels like it hasn't been nurtured, or if it feels like it is in danger of being punished for liking a food then it fights me. At first, if you allow yourself to indulge in your cravings then of course you're gonna get hit with cravings for bad foods because those are the foods that cause the most angst between our minds and our bodies. But after a while your body mellows out, it starts to trust that you are listening to its needs and it starts to ask for the things it needs rather than the things it wants. Building a relationship with my self has so far been the most rewarding thing about IE.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:56 AM   #13
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The misconception about IE is that people think you start listening to your body and suddenly you want to eat junk food all the time. And yes that is true for many of us! Let yourself run wild and heck yea your body will say "gimme all the stuff you wouldn't let me have!!!" But even though that is a stage that most have to get through, it's not easy to get through is it? In order to do it correctly we must do so without guilt and without self judgement and that's the hard part. If we eat a whole bucket of ice cream we must forgive ourselves for it, carrying the guilt around makes it impossible to move forward.

But while most people think IE is about learning to trust your body, I think of it more as my body learning to trust me. I might feel guilt, but my body holds grudges! If it feels deprived, if it feels like it hasn't been nurtured, or if it feels like it is in danger of being punished for liking a food then it fights me. At first, if you allow yourself to indulge in your cravings then of course you're gonna get hit with cravings for bad foods because those are the foods that cause the most angst between our minds and our bodies. But after a while your body mellows out, it starts to trust that you are listening to its needs and it starts to ask for the things it needs rather than the things it wants. Building a relationship with my self has so far been the most rewarding thing about IE.

As usual, I absolutely agree with this as well. It's so true that its our body learning to trust us again. In fact, I have a book that talks about how we need to treat our body as a wild animal that has learned to not trust us and how to build a relationship with it. It sounds crazy but its so true. And yes, if you have been depriving yourself of lots of sugary, fatty food or certain amounts of food, you ARE going to want those foods in large quantities. And if you have been doing it for years, then you might want them for a long time. But, we are not made to run on twinkies and eventually I really believe that if you get rid of the guilt voice, you will finally be able to hear the true hunger voice.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:48 AM   #14
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Well said pinkhippie, I wish it was easy for me to diet. Just a few better choices and all the weight would be gone in a poof. Unfortunately for emotional eaters we cannot alter our diet and expect our emotions to cooperate. For me it's a behavioral issue. I would get so frustrated when diets promise "no hunger!" when I knew for myself that I didn't know what that was but I knew that if I waited for hunger that I would self combust. It's just a different process, not many can or want to understand that. I was convinced (by many here on the boards probably) that if I control my food and avoid certain foods that it would alter my brain chemistry and change my personality. Uhm, ok I tried that. Going sugar free low carb high protein etc did NOT in fact change the fact that I needed food for comfort. It was such an unkind and unurturing thing to do to myself that it's no wonder that it led to more binges and more weight gain. For those who can change their life by changing their diet more power to them! If that worked for me I'd be cured of my ED by now.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:48 AM   #15
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Wannabeskinny, I think in your situation, I would have bought the rotisserie chicken, if my budget allowed. It's not like you saw a whipped cream cake and decided you wanted that instead of soup. It was still a healthy food item. You could have had the soup the next day. OR, you could have had a piece of the chicken and a cup of soup. They are both items that could have been saved as leftovers for another meal.

I think it was in Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat by Michelle May that she said to give the food the really test. If you really, really, really, really want it, eat it. It has to be 4 reallys. Otherwise, you may be able to talk yourself out of wanting it.

What I do, if it's something I really shouldn't be eating, such as lasagne, I eat a small piece with a huge pile of vegetables. There have been times when I made something else for myself because I felt that I shouldn't be eating the lasagne. Then later on, I would go back and eat a piece of lasagne, because that was what I was really craving. So I ate twice. Sometimes you are craving something, but just a small taste of it will satisfy your craving, and sometimes, after the first couple bites, it looses it's appeal. Put some thought into it and do the best you can with it.
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