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-   -   Intuitive Eating #4 (https://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/la-weight-loss/105438-intuitive-eating-4-a.html)

Rock Chalk Chick 04-13-2007 04:12 PM

I'll admit, it sounds a little counterintuitive to track calories when following IE, and I'm not quite sure how I can explain my method. I don't set myself with a caloric goal or limit - I just observe my trends with curiosity. Since I'm training for a triathlon and doing a lot of workouts, I sometimes don't feel terribly hungry for a couple days, and then get hit with a wall where I can't fill up. This is often reflected when I look at my calorie intake for the month - I'll have three days straight where I eat 17-1900 calories, and then a couple days where I eat 2400 or so. Often I'll top 3000 for a day, and not give it a second thought if I know I've stuck to my gut. (Especially since it usually is a day or two after I burn 3500-4000 - my body's trying to catch up a little.) As I said, I look at the numbers on the scale and the bodybugg as data points to provide me with insight into how my body's functioning - not as something to obsess over or limit myself with.

Sometimes I have a high intake because I'm not paying attention to my eating - I had a large restaurant breakfast and lunch yesterday which I ate somewhat mindlessly. It brought me over 2200 calories before 2 pm. I didn't beat myself up over the number, but reflecting on my meals made me realize that I hadn't really enjoyed the food. I didn't dwell on it, but I did make a very conscious effort to only eat when I was hungry again - I didn't eat in the afternoon since I'd eaten a larger lunch than usual and wasn't hungry. However, when I did get hungry again, I ate normally - I had a grilled brat and baked beans for dinner, just like I would have done if I hadn't overeaten at lunch. I didn't try to "punish" myself or try to control my calories by limiting my food - I know that a single day won't hurt me and I'm much better off returning to eating according to my body's signals than eating according to any outside influence.

I do occasionally eat a little more based on my calorie counts - if I know I'm going to do an early workout and I'm only at 1400 when I'm ready for bed, I'll sometimes weigh the option of eating something for extra fuel - some peanut butter on crackers or something for a little protein and carb so I'm not starving and weak when I wake up. However, if nothing sounds like it will taste good, I'll skip that and trust myself to eat when I get hungry.

I make a conscious effort to never limit myself based on calorie counts - my body knows what it needs, and usually if I'm eating more it means I've burned more than I realize (the bodybugg is a godsend for this - I can actually see when I burn close to 4000 calories in a day - though I no longer make it an objective to burn "as much as possible" or kick myself if I have a low-burn day as I used to). I don't use weight or calorie measurements to control my eating, though I have found that I usually eat within a given 1600-2000 calorie range when left to my own devices.

The best way I've found to implement the IE habits is to observe my body and my behavior as an outsider - be curious about myself and why I'm doing the things I do, and just seek to understand where I used to judge. I try to be as compassionate for myself as I would be for others - you don't see a friend eating cake and say "you're so BAD, you're FAT, you're ugly! Why would you ever do that?!?! NEVER eat cake again!" but we somehow feel it's ok to have this dialogue with ourselves. We might step back and see our friend wanted the cake and that's just fine, or we may see that she's eating it because she had a fight with her spouse and advise her gently to step back, but we wouldn't berate her for it. It's only fair to be as reasonable with ourselves.

I don't obsess over calories, but I do keep track with the knowledge that they give me insight into my habits, my body, and my training routine. I won't say that I don't still think about the calories on occasion when I am considering what to eat, but I've learned to remind myself that I should eat what I like, not what is lower or higher in calories in order to meet an outside stipulation. And the tracking helps me see objectively that it all averages out in the end - I eat what I like and my body keeps me within a reasonable amount.

ulapie 04-13-2007 05:37 PM

That's pretty cool how you guys can count calories, but not get into a restrictive mindset. I don't think I could handle that!

I'm doing pretty well today. I am super tired this afternoon because I didn't sleep well last night. I've noticed just in the past couple weeks of doing this that being sleepy makes me want to eat when I'm not hungry. What my body is really wanting is a nap. I wish I had a couch in my office. Maybe I could get rid of my filing cabinets to make room. :lol:

Happy Friday! I hope y'all have a nice weekend

Theresa :coffee:


carolr3639 04-14-2007 11:57 AM

Fiddler and Jo, where are you? I was shocked that I didn't gain anything on vacation even though I had 2 birthday dinners. I've kept off about 10lb this year. I don't count calories even though I'm aware what things are. I've done all that for years and I'm really good at forgetting what I ate. ha! My MIL who has dementia seems to be a bottomless pit when it comes to eating but the family treats her like a child and won't let her eat as much as she wants. They say she would never quit but I doubt that. She does have diabetes so that maybe why they watch her so close. I'd just like to let her eat as much as she wanted to see what would happen. This is a woman who dieted all her life but usually weighed around 250lb. It's quite a puzzle.

Obsidianbbw 04-14-2007 05:55 PM

Well I cancelled my trip to my parents because there is a big storm coming tomorrow and I don't feel like trying to figure my way back home. It can take 2 hours in good weather with traffic.

TOM is in full effect, but since I was waiting for it I think I have minimized the damage. To I have no desire for my usual vegetable omlet, grabbed an cinnamon raisin english muffin. Got hungry at my part time gig had an a 100 calorie pack of peanut butter cookies. Got hungry after work had 10 chicken nuggets. For no other reason than I wanted it I had my usual piece of carrot cake (they had the good sense to put out more...woo hoo.)

Needing to change up my DVD workout so looking into other stuff. Also looking forward to weights so going to order a DVD for that at the end of the month.

Also wondering about Spiny and Fiddler.....:?:

ulapie 04-14-2007 06:02 PM

Well, I think I'm going to go back to counting calories. I know it makes me crazy, but I have this shallow desire to rock my swim suit in a couple months! I'm still going to focus on my hunger and I think I'll give myself a range of calories, like 1500-1800. I had been doing anywhere from 1200 to 1500 before and it just wasn't enough. Also, I was really strict about it and beat myself up about going over. Not going to be like that! If I'm hungry and I'm at my calories, I'm going to eat anyway. :)

Obsidianbbw 04-14-2007 10:11 PM

Honestly I don't consider myself a calorie counter. I know whats in the foods I eat, but my hunger decides what I eat and how much.

Anyway, ulapie do whatever combination of things is going to work for you. :hug: Hope you hang around on the thread for a while.


Originally Posted by ulapie (Post 1653114)
Well, I think I'm going to go back to counting calories. I know it makes me crazy, but I have this shallow desire to rock my swim suit in a couple months! I'm still going to focus on my hunger and I think I'll give myself a range of calories, like 1500-1800. I had been doing anywhere from 1200 to 1500 before and it just wasn't enough. Also, I was really strict about it and beat myself up about going over. Not going to be like that! If I'm hungry and I'm at my calories, I'm going to eat anyway. :)

ulapie 04-15-2007 08:00 PM

Hey Obie! Thanks! :hug: I'll totally stick around. I really like the intuitive eating approach, I just feel like one more round of dieting!

It's really difficult for me to count calories most weekends since I eat out a lot and don't spend much time on the computer like weekdays. So my plan is to do the IE exclusively on the weekends and then couple it with counting calories during the week.

I went to an Indian buffet for lunch today and I definitely ate past the satisfied level. I didn't feel sick, but overly full (maybe a 9 on the Intuitive Eating scale). The food wasn't even very good, but I was talking to a friend that just back from Colombia and it was all so interesting, I forgot that I was even eating. And then I went back for seconds and dessert just because he did. I was pretty far removed from what was going on in my tummy! Well, lesson learned. Even if I go out with extremely interesting people, I still need to ask myself throughout the meal if I'm full yet. :dizzy:

Rock Chalk Chick 04-15-2007 10:12 PM

I'm ready for a new week! I've been slipping a little in my mindfulness lately - both foodwise and other. This always happens when I get busy and stressed, but I always feel better when I'm able to focus on keeping myself on track. Especially with the amount of stress that's coming in the next 6-8 weeks, I need all the help I can get right now! (I'm in the process of writing my master's thesis, finishing up my labwork, applying for jobs, and writing a paper for publication. All of which will be finishing by around June 1.)

After a lot of thought, I've been trying to apply the "mindful" and "intuitive" aspects of IE to the rest of my life - it just makes sense to give myself the same level of respect when it comes to rest, activity, mental health, etc. I've been (and will be) going into this further in my blog, if anyone wants to read my ranting, but it's been an interesting idea to me. Basically, I feel like I spend a lot of time arguing with myself as though I were a child - e.g. "I'm bored and want to take a break - but I need to get a few more pages done - but I don't wanna..." or "I should get back to work - but it's more fun to procrastinate - you'll have to do the work sometime - eh, shut up, I'll do it later..." I end up going in for a lot of guilty pleasures and kicking myself afterwards, or building my anxiety and frustration when I feel like I've gotten myself in over my head by putting too much stuff off 'til later.

After realizing how much more balanced and in control I feel when I'm respecting my body through IE methods, and seeing that I often make more healthy choices when there's no "taboo" or "forbidden" aspect to rebel against, I'm finding it makes sense to eliminate the "forbidden" factor in the rest of my life, too. Instead of trying to white-knuckle my way through the day and get more work done than is reasonable, I've been giving myself permission to take a break or walk away whenever necessary - since I've both relieved the guilt and the forbidden aspect of breaks and entertainments, I end up both enjoying them more and taking less time off. Instead of leaving work early some afternoon and spacing out in front of the TV until I've frittered away the entire evening and still feel stressed, I have constant "permission" to relax and make the most of it when I do. I have similar rules for time off that I do for "indulgent" foods - I can always have a piece of cake, but I only eat it when I actually want it, and I make an effort to enjoy it when I do. In the same way, I can always take a break, but only leave my desk when I actually require a break, and make the effort to actively relax and enjoy myself so that I'm ready to get back to it sooner.

This is certainly a bit of a tangent from IE itself, but it all rolls into the same concept - instead of fighting our "good" and "bad" tendencies, things make a lot more sense and are a lot easier when we tune into ourselves and give ourselves and our bodies the credit they deserve. Eat when we need food and stop when satisfied, rest when we need a break and return to work when relaxed, sleep when tired and wake when refreshed. I think most of us got to this point by eating for reasons other than hunger - to really deal with the emotions and stress that drive us to eat irrationally in the first place, it takes a little effort to give them the time they need, too.

Obsidianbbw 04-16-2007 12:17 AM

Loved your Post Rock Chalk Chick, Ulapie keep at it, you're get it.

Didn't work out this weekend, still obsessed with my 800 min, but when I noticed i was having to convince myself to do it I decided I could get back to it on Monday. Did some much needed cleaning in the house and relaxed.

Over ate some really good tuna fish I made, I very aware of doing it. :?:

Nothing else to really report.

Hope everyone has a good week.

2frustrated 04-16-2007 03:44 AM

RCC it's surprising how it does overflow into other aspects of life. I have started to "Exercise Intuitively" too! :lol: Plus I find myself NOT doing stuff that I don't really want to do. If we're out for the day somewhere and I'm tired, I'll make sure we take plenty of rest breaks rather than plodding on regardless and making myself over-tired.

Last night I made a lovely roast pork dinner with a billion veggies and I have enough left for about 4 more work lunches! Heh! I've also got an asparagus bread pudding prepared so that DH can shove it in the oven for when I get home tonight :D

carolr3639 04-16-2007 10:28 AM

2frus, You're making me hungry!! ha! RCC, I think I'll try some of that advice myself. I remember those college days. I finished and did a few graduate courses but then decided that was enough. I had 10 children instead of pursuing a career. Lots of joy and trials but I love each child the same. It's been a great "career".

fiddler 04-16-2007 10:48 AM

Hello, everyone!

Just have a quick moment to pop in....

Welcome to all the new members. Ulapie, I hope you are on the road to recovery :)

Carol, hope you're having lots of fun in Colorado.

Obie, glad your schedule is settling down and congrats on getting close to the 320 barrier. :)

2frus, you asked if we prefer to nibble or wait until really hungry and eat something more substantial. I'm afraid I fall into the no-nibbling category, for 2 reasons. I find that nibbling stimulates my appetite, and I like to have nice sit-down meals. Nibbling doesn't provide me with any emotional benefit as enjoying a nice, leisurely meal with food I really like does.

Spiny, where are you????

Interesting thing happened to me. I was shopping for clothes on Saturday and I discovered that "W" sizes no longer fit me. They are too big in the waist and armpits and make me look like I'm wearing a flour sack. I can fit a regular 16 but not a 14W or 16W. So I guess that's progress.

Gotta run. Hope everyone has a great day! :)

2frustrated 04-16-2007 11:09 AM

Yes I think the "really hungry" thing is something I'm going to have to do as well. I made a little progress today since I was hungry at 11am and so I had my lunch. Leftover roast pork! hee! Unfortunately this afternoon was a little whacky - a big flapjack, an apple and 2 choccy biccies. :p Oh and some chocolate covered nuts and craberries. :rolleyes: Well I think I might start packing some more substantial "snacks" so that I don't end up eating little bits and pieces which are usually more unhealthy.

Maybe tomorrow I will pack roast pork AND leftover bread pudding :T

shananigans 04-16-2007 12:07 PM

Hello all, long time no see :)

Iíve been doing alright with my eating, had my first weekend in I donít know long where I didnít have a single meal where I really over did it. On the weekends itís so easy for me to go out to eat and just say screw it, I donít feel like listening to my body, I just want to eat all the yummy food in front of me. On Saturday df took me out for a celebration lunch after my 5k and I managed to stop eating when I was full and take the leftovers home for dinner. I felt a little more ďsnackyĒ later in the evening, but kept my eating in check with how hungry I actually was. Sunday we went out for soft tacos at a new place, they were soooo yummy and satisfying. I even managed to keep my hand out of the chip basket when my tummy told me I didnít need more.

Hoping I can see a little progress on the scale later this week since I donít feel I took the ďtwo steps backĒ I usually do on the weekends. :crossed:

Obsidianbbw 04-16-2007 01:45 PM

I really believe weight loss is VERY Personal and what works for one won't works for one person may not work for someone else. I also think it is wrong to judge someone else.

Having said that I was reading this in the maintenance forum (which I usually avoid because I'm not worthy, LOL)

Some people find her inspirational, but reading her story makes me realize 1. You have to be able to do whatever you decide for life. 2. You need some flexibility. I honestly don't have the right to judge since I haven't lost much, but Reading her plan just seemed like it was a matter of time before her mind and body said ok, we lost weight, but life isn't just about eating to live.


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