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Intuitive Eating: June 2014

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Old 06-04-2014, 04:32 PM   #16
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Wannabe,

I was doing really well for a while with legalizing foods. Then I started wanting fresh vegetables, fruit, and meat. That would have been fine in and of itself but it spiraled into orthorexic type restricting behavior very quickly. I found myself tossing out food (a warning sign), avoiding whole categories of food (a warning sign), frequenting forums that discuss optimal diets (a warning sign), having fears about the health effects of food (a warning sign), and obsessing over planning meals for optimal nutrition (a warning sign). Even with all those things I still convinced myself I was just eating to provide my body the nutrition it needs until last night when I had a total panic attack about what to eat- that's what finally made me admit to myself that this had gotten out of control. And it doesn't help that my weight has dropped while doing it, either.

I feel like I have this meta-problem that I don't know when enough is enough. I always have to do extreme- extreme overeating, extreme undereating, extremely unhealthy food, extremely healthy food. I don't know when to stop. Other people tend to find the middle way between these things but I can't. I'm either teetotalling or binge drinking (both as a metaphor and not). So I'm trying to figure out how to eat that honors my needs, tastes, etc. I'm of European descent- bread is my birthright, and it is the staff of life for many cultures around the world. I love bread and I didn't get fat eating bread. I got fat bingeing on all sorts of things because it made me not feel feelings. It's not fair to my body to not eat bread, which is a huge part of our eating culture.

Anyway, before this gets too long I find myself not knowing what to eat anymore. I feel so fricking lost. Eating has become an act of self expression and I can't handle it.
I can sense your frustration and empathize with you. Don't be tempted to isolate yourself with this, saying that other people tend to find the middle way and you cannot, that's not the truth, not the real truth. Your inner self critic is having a field day over here. Home base is eating what you want to eat. If that means you need to eat everything in your kitchen then so be it. Do it and don't place any expectations on yourself. This journey is not about controlling the steps, you can't go to step 2 until you've completed step 1. And if you complete step 1 and step 2 isn't going so well, you go back to step 1 again.

I was really shocked when my NT told me that restraint would derail me. Shocked! I thought I was ready. I thought I'd been feeling so good about my progress and she is not letting me get off square one. She went as far as to say that she is glad I haven't lost any significant weight yet, because I need to learn internal gratification first before I get the external one. It was harsh but I needed to hear that. For all the progress I think I'm making, my goal is not going to come quickly.

So I urge you Locke, feed yourself the food that you want to eat. The process starts AND ends right there.
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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 06-04-2014, 04:33 PM   #17
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lol are you talking about the Evelyn Trioble IE book? I borrowed it from the library but the nutrition chapter pushed so many buttons for me I never bought it. Do you find it to be a valuable resource?
It's the book my NT bases my program on. I'm enjoying it so far and I find it applies to me. But I can imagine that if I didn't have her to guide me through it it would be daunting.
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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 06-04-2014, 06:17 PM   #18
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Thanks Wannabe,

Every time I think I've got this down I find myself drifting and having to mentally restart. I'm just reminding myself that I'm still better off than I was when I started several months ago.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:37 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Wannabeskinny View Post
I can sense your frustration and empathize with you. Don't be tempted to isolate yourself with this, saying that other people tend to find the middle way and you cannot, that's not the truth, not the real truth. Your inner self critic is having a field day over here. Home base is eating what you want to eat. If that means you need to eat everything in your kitchen then so be it. Do it and don't place any expectations on yourself. This journey is not about controlling the steps, you can't go to step 2 until you've completed step 1. And if you complete step 1 and step 2 isn't going so well, you go back to step 1 again.

I was really shocked when my NT told me that restraint would derail me. Shocked! I thought I was ready. I thought I'd been feeling so good about my progress and she is not letting me get off square one. She went as far as to say that she is glad I haven't lost any significant weight yet, because I need to learn internal gratification first before I get the external one. It was harsh but I needed to hear that. For all the progress I think I'm making, my goal is not going to come quickly.

So I urge you Locke, feed yourself the food that you want to eat. The process starts AND ends right there.
Im so glad you are going to a NT and are sharing with us. I find it really helpful. when you say internal gratification before external gratification are you talking about eating what you want without worrying about how it could affect your weight?

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Originally Posted by Wannabeskinny View Post
It's the book my NT bases my program on. I'm enjoying it so far and I find it applies to me. But I can imagine that if I didn't have her to guide me through it it would be daunting.
That is cool she bases her program on it, maybe I will check it out of the library again and see if I find it more helpful this time around.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:55 PM   #20
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I've recently started dabbling in IE. I was a MFP junkie, and when I say junkie I mean it. I actually had almost a 600 day streak of weighing lettuce, counting sugar free gum and not ordering things at restaurants because the joint wasn't in the omnipotent database.

I'm not going to say that calorie counting doesn't work, for me it did. But I'm a perfectionist. Everything was black and white, there was no gray anywhere in that calorie counting world. The numbers usually matched the results.

But then I got angry. Calorie counting shouldn't be my forever. It shouldn't be an obsession. And penance over a cookie shouldn't mean an extra hour on the treadmill over a few calories over. But it did. And it spiraled. It spiraled into a dark corner of my mind where I lived for a few months.

I started off by not weighing a few things, easy things, like lettuce. Then I got to entire meals without counting. Now I'm up to days.

But the gray scares me: the unknown. The lack of trust. All the "what if" moments that I worry about happening: weight gain, relapse into a borderline ED.

Does the what if ever go away? Can a perfectionist live in an imperfect and gray world? When will food just be food? When will I be able to enjoy a cupcake without worrying about the rapture raining down upon me? For now, I think I'll just keep struggling to find the light in this new world of gray, because no matter how scared I am, I can't bare to go back to that black and white world.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:40 AM   #21
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Hello all! I'm new to the forum but I think I may have found my home here in intuitive eating . I'm pretty sure my comfort eating is the reason I have put on so much weight, but I've never been able to deamonise food, restrict or count calories, my heart is never in it. I've noticed then when I do try to count calories (usually on some experts advice), the obsession with food makes me put on weight!

Anyway, reading everyone else's accounts makes me feel much better. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one

Does anyone have any book recommendations for IE or emotional eating?
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:08 AM   #22
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Welcome owls and Nanu. You can bet most of us here had "success" with calorie counting. When you're an emotional eater you feel removed from reality and playing the numbers gives you something sturdy and real and tangible to hang on to. Counting calories is a life raft so that you won't drown... but it won't get you out of the ocean.

I may be biased but I think IE can provide things that diets can't. It takes a long time to divorce yourself from calorie counting but it is well worth it and you are so right owl, who wants to live the rest of their life afraid of numbers? It was the reason that I came to IE, because I had a future me in mind, and that future me is a normal eater that doesn't obsess about food. There is no way to become that by calorie counting or low carbing or fasting or juicing.

Food is not the enemy. Welcome, and hope that you find some insight here.
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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 06-05-2014, 07:23 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Pinkhippie View Post
Im so glad you are going to a NT and are sharing with us. I find it really helpful. when you say internal gratification before external gratification are you talking about eating what you want without worrying about how it could affect your weight?



That is cool she bases her program on it, maybe I will check it out of the library again and see if I find it more helpful this time around.
No, I'll elaborate though because this was very important for me. It came up in a conversation about a friend who is losing weight right now on a rigorous exercise and diet program. About the time that I started IE my friend signed up for a personal trainer and dietician. Since then she has lost over 30lbs and I have lost 6lbs. Obviously that makes me nervous, because I feel like I have worked very hard these past few months too. She has an approved list of snacks, a low carb approach, and talks endlessly about the carb window, the protein content of her food, the benefits of cottage cheese, etc. Things that can be triggering for me.

Her success has gained her a lot of external gratification:
- the scale is moving
- new clothes
- compliments
- her trainer motivates her
- her dietician urges her to continue

Obviously, these are all good things, but they are all external validation of the change a dieter goes through. I'm getting none of these things. My scale is moving, but at a snail's pace. My clothes fit the same way, nobody's noticing anything, I'm exercising, but I'm not doing rigorous exercise with a trainer. I have a NT but she could care less about what I'm eating or how much I weigh lol.

Instead, I'm experiencing internal gratification that is not obvious to the outside world. I was telling my BFF "I don't know what's going on, the scale hasn't moved but I swear to you, I feel skinnier!" I like what I see in the mirror. I'm not nervous or anxious around food. I'm finding ways to address my emotions without eating. I'm enjoying my life, I'm enjoying the exercise that I do. I'm not thinking about calories in and how many calories I'm burning with exercise. I'm exploring new foods. I feel more confident and less worried. These are all wonderful things, they're all internal. That's why my NT said that she's glad I'm not losing weight fast, so that I can learn to appreciate this internal gratification and realize that it's the real goal of IE, and that the weight loss is a slow but steady side effect.
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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 06-05-2014, 07:27 AM   #24
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Does anyone have any book recommendations for IE or emotional eating?
Here's a few IE - Books and Resources

And anything by Geneen Roth, she's like an emotional eating guru.
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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 06-05-2014, 11:00 AM   #25
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Hi, ladies, and welcome owls and Nanu.

I wanted to come in here and post this link I just stumbled across on Isabel Foxen Duke's website. It's about why IE fails because most people turn it into the hunger/fullness diet, and I see a lot of that on the IE threads here.

The #1 Reason Why Intuitive Eating Fails

I bought the IE book years ago when it first came out, read it once, tried their method, and immediately turned it into the hunger/fullness diet. That's why I prefer the term "non-diet". (I think SouthernMaven used to talk about the same thing when she was here.)

I'm of the firm belief that I have to let food, eating, and anything that could even remotely remind me of dieting fade into the background. I can't keep any type of restricting or restraint around food and eating and weight in a corner of my mind, or it turns right back into the hunger/fullness diet.

I can't mess around with trying to figure out my "hunger number" or anything like that. I just need to let all that stuff fade out of my mind, and get busy with life instead.

I remember back to what life was like when I was naturally thin. I ate something if I wanted it, and didn't give a thought to food when I wasn't hungry, or didn't want to bother stopping to eat. There was no difference to me between a bunch of broccoli or a Snickers bar. Whichever one I wanted at the time, I ate, and my weight was never a problem.

It was GOING ON DIETS that started the weight problem that has now plagued me for over 30 years.
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:08 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Wannabeskinny View Post
You can bet most of us here had "success" with calorie counting.
I was never successful with calorie counting. Calorie counting, Weight Watchers, all those things were giant triggers for me. They used to call it having a "strong inner rebel" when you'd break a diet.

Inner rebel or not, the farther I stay away from calorie counting, the better.

I think the longest I EVER managed to follow a diet was two weeks, and I've started diets THOUSANDS of times over the years, as I'm sure most of us have.
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:11 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by owlsteazombies View Post
I've recently started dabbling in IE. I was a MFP junkie, and when I say junkie I mean it. I actually had almost a 600 day streak of weighing lettuce, counting sugar free gum and not ordering things at restaurants because the joint wasn't in the omnipotent database.

I'm not going to say that calorie counting doesn't work, for me it did. But I'm a perfectionist. Everything was black and white, there was no gray anywhere in that calorie counting world. The numbers usually matched the results.

But then I got angry. Calorie counting shouldn't be my forever. It shouldn't be an obsession. And penance over a cookie shouldn't mean an extra hour on the treadmill over a few calories over. But it did. And it spiraled. It spiraled into a dark corner of my mind where I lived for a few months.

I started off by not weighing a few things, easy things, like lettuce. Then I got to entire meals without counting. Now I'm up to days.

But the gray scares me: the unknown. The lack of trust. All the "what if" moments that I worry about happening: weight gain, relapse into a borderline ED.

Does the what if ever go away? Can a perfectionist live in an imperfect and gray world? When will food just be food? When will I be able to enjoy a cupcake without worrying about the rapture raining down upon me? For now, I think I'll just keep struggling to find the light in this new world of gray, because no matter how scared I am, I can't bare to go back to that black and white world.
Yep good ole MFP. I used to be a regular user too. I am a perfectionist too, I think a lot of us with ED's or borderline ED's are. You are right, IE really is a world of grey and it is soooo tempting to make it black and white. You ate when you weren't hungry? FAIL. You ate when you were hungry and stopped before you were full? SUCCESS. But, its really really important to not do that. Hard, but important. Im glad to see you here.

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Originally Posted by Nanu View Post
Hello all! I'm new to the forum but I think I may have found my home here in intuitive eating . I'm pretty sure my comfort eating is the reason I have put on so much weight, but I've never been able to deamonise food, restrict or count calories, my heart is never in it. I've noticed then when I do try to count calories (usually on some experts advice), the obsession with food makes me put on weight!

Anyway, reading everyone else's accounts makes me feel much better. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one

Does anyone have any book recommendations for IE or emotional eating?
Welcome! Wannabeskinny recommended all the books I like or have read. I always thought I wasn't a very good restricter or calorie counter until I started really devoting myself to the principles of IE and then I realized I had all these little things hiding in the back of my mind that were my own personal food ideas and rules. Its been very enlightening. I am reading Beyond Chocolate right now and I really love it. It's very simple and it seems to me like they took the ideas of Geneen Roth and then showed you how to apply them in your life. The overfed head is great and you can read it for free as a PDF, I think you can just google it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wannabeskinny View Post
No, I'll elaborate though because this was very important for me. It came up in a conversation about a friend who is losing weight right now on a rigorous exercise and diet program. About the time that I started IE my friend signed up for a personal trainer and dietician. Since then she has lost over 30lbs and I have lost 6lbs. Obviously that makes me nervous, because I feel like I have worked very hard these past few months too. She has an approved list of snacks, a low carb approach, and talks endlessly about the carb window, the protein content of her food, the benefits of cottage cheese, etc. Things that can be triggering for me.

Her success has gained her a lot of external gratification:
- the scale is moving
- new clothes
- compliments
- her trainer motivates her
- her dietician urges her to continue

Obviously, these are all good things, but they are all external validation of the change a dieter goes through. I'm getting none of these things. My scale is moving, but at a snail's pace. My clothes fit the same way, nobody's noticing anything, I'm exercising, but I'm not doing rigorous exercise with a trainer. I have a NT but she could care less about what I'm eating or how much I weigh lol.

Instead, I'm experiencing internal gratification that is not obvious to the outside world. I was telling my BFF "I don't know what's going on, the scale hasn't moved but I swear to you, I feel skinnier!" I like what I see in the mirror. I'm not nervous or anxious around food. I'm finding ways to address my emotions without eating. I'm enjoying my life, I'm enjoying the exercise that I do. I'm not thinking about calories in and how many calories I'm burning with exercise. I'm exploring new foods. I feel more confident and less worried. These are all wonderful things, they're all internal. That's why my NT said that she's glad I'm not losing weight fast, so that I can learn to appreciate this internal gratification and realize that it's the real goal of IE, and that the weight loss is a slow but steady side effect.
Ok thank you for the clarification. That makes a lot of sense. It's got to be hard to have a good friend who is hard core dieting and having lots of external gratification when we have been trained that external gratification is the only thing that matters. That is such a good point that we need to focus on our internal gratification. Like having a comfortable relationship with food, feeling our feelings and dealing with them rather than covering them with food, etc... thanks for explaining.

I am still working on becoming aware of my food rules. For breakfast today I had a bowl of cereal (which was hard in the first place) and then I realized I wanted toast too! I would normally never let myself have toast AND cereal but this morning I did. And not only toast, but cinnamon honey banana toast. Then I realized I really did need some protein so I had a few spoonfuls of greek yogurt.

Like I mentioned, i am reading the book Beyond Chocolate and so far I really love it because she really helps to show that its not all about perfectionism. It's not about being nervous as you eat your meal because what if you go OVER the point of satisfaction?!! And what if you eat before you are truly hungry? Or what if you are not hungry at all?" She demonstrates that its really more about being aware and that over time you will become even more aware. She also makes absolutely NO nutritional recommendations and believes that your body will crave fresh fruits and vegetables as much as it craves candy if you let it, so you will over time achieve a balanced diet. She also points out that forcing yourself to eat healthy or depriving yourself only to result in a binge on sugar, fat, bread (whatever you deprive yourself of) eventually is less healthy than letting yourself eat those foods when you feel like it. It has really helped me with my perfectionistic/ diet mentality.

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Old 06-05-2014, 11:16 AM   #28
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[quote=owlsteazombies;5017401
Can a perfectionist live in an imperfect and gray world? When will food just be food? When will I be able to enjoy a cupcake without worrying about the rapture raining down upon me? For now, I think I'll just keep struggling to find the light in this new world of gray, because no matter how scared I am, I can't bare to go back to that black and white world.[/QUOTE]

I'm a perfectionist (though I've been trying to let a lot of that go over the years), and it's VERY hard for us to live in a gray world.

People talk about letting food "have power" over you. I think this might be true. Thanks to so many diet attempts, I think most of us learned to give food more "power" than it has. It's just food. If we want some, we don't need permission from anybody to eat some, and we don't have to judge it to see whether or not we'll consider it "good" or "bad". It's just food.

If you don't mind me asking, did you lose your weight by calorie counting?
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:18 AM   #29
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Ok Im back just to share this. To go with Wannabes post about swimsuits and such. This is from Isabel Foxen Dukes newsletter which I know some of you already get but I thought this was REALLY great and should be shared and I should remind myself of this often.

"I recently heard a friend say “I’ve been really loving my body lately, because I’ve been working out and eating well.”

And I get what she’s saying.

Like, yeah, it’s a lot “easier” to find yourself attractive, or respectable, or approve of your shape when you’re behaving according to society’s “thin rules.”

But that’s not necessarily what I mean by the phrase “body love;”

Finding yourself attractive, respectable, and approving of your shape (which is what my friend really meant when she said "I've been loving my body lately")

is often a part of (or even a result of) true body love, but not necessarily the same thing.

I want you to think about the people that you love in your life—

your children, your parents, your sisters and brothers...

Maybe you find them attractive, maybe you don’t. Maybe you find them respectable, maybe you don’t. Maybe you approve of their shape, maybe you don’t.

But are any of those things what it means to love them? Or is loving them something entirely different?

A mother doesn't love her baby because she thinks it’s cute. She loves her baby, because it’s her baby.

She was put on this planet to love that baby, whether it kicks and screams or goes to sleep easy; whether it goes to college, or drops out; whether it gets tattoos, takes drugs at school, or f’ing murders someone, she loves that baby, for no other reason than because it’s her baby.

It’s an unconditional, selfless kind of love.

Do you see the difference?

xo Isabel"


http://isabelfoxenduke.com/what-body...ctually-means/

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Old 06-05-2014, 12:22 PM   #30
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Welcome Owls and Nanu!

Owls, I totally understand the MFP obsession. One of the reasons I gave up on dieting and started IE was I had started to use the mail machine at work to weigh food for lunch. People treat their weight problems like it's a disease. Just like a diabetic might have an insulin pump or a paraplegic uses a wheelchair we are sold MFP, WW, or other programs like they are medical devices necessary for our "disease". I decided I wasn't sick and it was in my power to find a healthier relationship with food.

Nanu,

My favorite books are Overcoming Overeating (I recommend reading this first because I think it has the most comprehensive yet approachable overview of IE), and Women Food and God by Geneen Roth- she is an excellent resource for people who eat emotionally. OO will cover the basics of how to eat intuitively, and Roth covers the psychology of overcoming emotional eating.

Truffle,

I agree with you that non-dieting is a good way to think about it. The difference for me is that I've been obese since childhood. Learning some things about mindful eating (eating slowly, savoring, stopping when full) and implementing them in my life has been helpful. This requires work on my part. My default is to eat quickly and to not stop until my stomach is too full to take in more food. If I just let everything fade into the background I'm pretty sure I'd keep doing that.

Wannabe,

Thanks for the clarification. Even I've found that I'm more relaxed around food and I feel fitter, thinner, and more beautiful since starting IE. I used to cringe when I saw pictures of food in the paper- HOW DARE THEY SHOW A PICTURE OF CHICKEN AND WAFFLES!!! I was so full of hatred that I would punish my body over and over for doing what it does. I talked to a friend yesterday and she said she's noticed how content I am now. While I can't say I'm content all the time I'd say I'm a lot better of mentally, emotionally, and physically since when I started IE. I haven't lost a tremendous amount of weight but I would rather be where I am now mentally than 30 pounds lighter.
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I spent much of yesterday evening reading some body positive blogs and rereading some IE stuff. I also ate a hot dog at the bus station! Okay seriously that was hard to do. I thought so many people would judge me for being a fat woman eating a hot dog. My heart was racing as I ate it- small bites, chewing slowly, and savoring. It was a darn good dog! Nobody gave me disgusted looks or harassed me. In fact nobody seemed to care at all.

Last night I thought "Okay, time to eat some carbs for dinner because I have been low carbing for about 10 days." Then when I actually got home from work and thought about what I wanted to eat I decided I wasn't too hungry (hot dog three hours earlier lol) and ate yogurt and berries instead. So yeah glad to be back with IE.
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