I'm in the best place that I have been for years in regards to eating and my body BUT I still am not where I want to be. I still feel insecure at times. I started this blogging and insta account to help encourage people who are yearning to be free from disordered eating behavior and/or thoughts. I just want you all to know that I don't have it all figured out either. I'm on this journey with you. That said I'm gonna share what intuitive eating looks like for me right now.
- Understanding why I need to eat. I used to think that hunger was that empty feeling in my stomach. For me that is NOT a reliable measure of hunger. There are rare days I do hear my stomach growling but often my hunger comes in the form of low blood sugar (getting really tired or hard to focus).
- Understanding the difference between hunger and appetite
- going back to how I know when to eat. Often food just sounds really good or it's the time of day I normally eat so I find myself craving food.
- Eating things I like and not eating things I don't like.
- Not enjoying hunger. This is something I want to explore further but often in a starved state when ketones kick in hunger is suppressed. Even now if I go a long time without eating I find myself resistant to eating. But generally when I'm hungry I want to eat. If I'm struggling with low hunger I've found it helpful to eat smaller meals and snacks and higher sugar foods to rev up my system.
- Shrugging off the times I feel full. I used to hate feeling full. I can't say I enjoy it now but I'm learning to be grateful for my body telling me when enough is enough and knowing that feeling will pass. It also really helps if I enjoyed what I was eating as opposed to forcing something down I didn't want to begin with.
- Understanding what a craving is. Often I crave chocolate something that for years I didn't eat because I was afraid of overeating it. I still try to be mindful of how much of it I eat but I literally eat chocolate in some form everyday.
- Eating at least 3-4 times a day but knowing the time of day doesn't matter. Even if I'm not hungry I eat something smaller because I know if I purposely skip a mealtime is messes up my thoughts about eating.
I'm still working on
- Slowing down when I eat. This takes a lot of practice and it's so easy to forget but it really helps to be mindful of what I'm eating.
- Not eating more after I've finished eating. Not sure why this habit developed but I almost always want more food after I'm done eating and even after eating fruit or dessert I still find myself eating little bits of things.
- Not picking at little bites of things. Especially when it's some type of dessert I eat little bites of it. A good example is when I throw out desserts at the bakery I work at I always sample tiny bites of each food. Again this is a habit I need to examine more.
- Not calorie counting. I'm not nearly obsessed with this as I once was and I don't measure my food like I used to but there are still days especially if I feel really full that I count my calories to assure myself I didn't "overeat".
- Not be tunnel focused when I'm eating. Interacting with people is much more important than the food I eat. But often around food all I find myself doing is thinking about the food. This is also where relaxing and slowing down can help.
But one of the biggest improvements for me is realizing that my inherent worth does NOT revolve around eating or not eating a certain type or amount of food.
Where are you on the journey of intuitive eating?