‘My Real Story, Part 2’ as Posted on “Healthy Girl”

Here is part 2 of my post yesterday on
Healthy Girl. You can click on the link or read it below…

Focusing on Intuitive Eating

I can’t remember exactly how I heard about Intuitive Eating. More than likely it was through the blogosphere.

I read Evelyn Tribole’s book, Intuitive Eating, A Revolutionary Program The Works, and I also really got a lot out of Goodbye Ed, Hello Me by Jenni Schaeffer.

It’s amazing to me how reading certain books at certain times can be so impactful on our lives. I don’t think the books would have affected me as much if I had read them before I realized I had an eating disorder. I think everything happens, or people/things come into our lives, for a reason, and those books came to me at a time when my mind was open to accept what they were saying.

I had been toying with the idea of making the transition from daily calorie counting, weighing/measuring food portions, to intuitive eating for about a week or two in mid March. Due to a combination of therapy, blogging and reading books, I felt ready to trust myself and my body to try this totally new way of eating and thinking about food. I was trying to decide when the best day it would be to start based on some other events that were going on in my life. Do I wait until those events passed, what day would make the most sense to get started with this, how exactly do I begin?

In the middle of wavering about when and how to start, before going to bed one Friday night, I read in Jenni Schaeffer’s book about taking the leap off the mountain without a parachute. I had my answer. The next day, with little fanfare, I didn’t count my calories or weigh/measure my food portions. I took the huge leap of faith. I finally had the trust in myself that I could listen to my body and that my body would not do me wrong. I realized that food is just that, food; it is not something that has magical powers over me. I control it, it does not control me.

That was over three (update – four) months ago and though there are days here and there, especially in the beginning, when I still sometimes tally the calories in my head (long-time habits are hard to break!), I still did/do not write it down as I had done for decades.

I still feel like a work in progress. I am now pretty good at reading my hunger cues, but am still working on my satiety cues. (My cues have been thrown off after 30+ years of compulsive overeating and bingeing, so I understand it’s normal that it will take some time for my body to send me the right messages and for me to interpret them properly.) I have however, maintained my weight, so I guess I’ve been making good choices.

Right now things are a bit tricky because though I’ve always worked out 3-4 days a week, I’m training for my first triathlon, which is more intense than my normal workouts, and it has thrown off my hunger cues. My appetite, oddly enough, has been reduced greatly. I know eating less would not be good for my training or for maintaining my weight, so I have had to eat even when I’m not hungry in order to keep my body properly fueled for my training.

I feel like I’m walking a fine line between eating more because I know my body needs the fuel, and eating “just because” I can, bordering on compulsive eating. I have decided to weigh myself twice a month instead of once a month to help keep a tab on my food intake in relation to my triathlon training. As I’m dedicated to doing this first triathlon, I am equally dedicated to not blow my 2+ years of binge-free hard work and more recently, IE, but it’s difficult at times to keep my old ways from overtaking me again.

Still, letting go of the calorie counting, weighing and measuring food portions and making no foods forbidden has been freeing and empowering. When you stop framing foods as “bad” it takes away its attraction. Everything in moderation actually has meaning in my life now. So do the terms “eating to live” instead of “living to eat.”

I love and embrace the new mindset of no food is forbidden, although I do choose to still make healthy choices, for instance, not choosing a meal with a cream sauce or one that is fried. Although when it comes to dessert, the sky is the limit, just in moderation. =)

Follow up to when I wrote this about a month ago… with some daily self affirmations I was able to get my head back on straight and am back to IE. In fact, with my training intensifying as the race is getting closer, I am hungry almost all day long, so no problems following my hunger cues there!

One Day at a Time... Nurture myself... Awareness... Letting Go... Listen to my Body

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14 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Jody - Fit at 52
    06 August 2010, 6:27 pm

    I commented over there but you are an inspiration!
    Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog post ..Operation Beautiful &amp Random Thoughts


    love2eatinpa Reply:

    aw, thanks, jody. i think you are too!


  2. Cammy@TippyToeDiet
    06 August 2010, 6:32 pm

    I can see how shifting from the mindset of a “tracker” to one of an athlete would be difficult, to say the least. It’s simply awesome how well you’ve done with it!
    Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog post ..It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time


    love2eatinpa Reply:

    well, i’ve worked out for years and years, but it’s been a long time since i’ve worked out this intensely in training for the triathlon. i’m just so glad i was able to pull myself back before i went over the edge.


  3. Karen @ Waisting Time
    06 August 2010, 6:44 pm

    I’d love to read a review of the Intuitive Eating book or an overview of the concept as you see it. I have read about it on other blogs, and I have to say that I still am not sure I get it. My initial reaction was always that I could never do that – but now a little voice inside wonders if I could follow in your successful footsteps. Maybe.
    Karen @ Waisting Time´s last blog post ..Running Away


    love2eatinpa Reply:

    karen, you could definitely do it! i’m pretty sure i blogged about it, i would be it’s in my archives. if you felt like it, just do a search on my blog for “tribole” and i bet it will come up.
    with that being said, as all our journeys are w/food, intuitive eating can be done differently for different people. for me personally, i never did the part where you eat all you want of a certain item because i was never really depriving myself. to me, intuitive eating is following my hunger and satiety cues, instead of eating by the clock. it’s about really thinking when i’m hungry – what do i feel like having right now – something sweet, salty, crunchy, protein, carb, etc.? it’s eating when i’m hungry and not because of some emotion i’m feeling. it’s trusting that my body knows when i need to eat and how much.


  4. Food Addict
    06 August 2010, 6:52 pm

    This is really great. While I was reading I was thinking, “there is no way I can ditch calorie counting” and then I got to the part about jumping without a parachute. That is very powerful. I’m still in the beginning of my binge-free life, so I don’t think i’m quite ready — if I jumped now it would be like I was naked without a parachute 🙂 I obviously want to end up intuitively eating… but I just need to make sure I have undies and some pants on first!!

    You are really an inspiration though! This whole post was inspiring… Great job with IE and with your training.
    Food Addict´s last blog post ..One Way or Another


    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks for your kind words!
    i totally hear you. i have counted for decades, even when the numbers got crazy high. counting was just something i had to do. it was something i could control. i kept logs of how many calories i ate a day, what i averaged for the month. over the top, i know. i still tally in my head once in a while, but nothing gets written down. i never thought i’d be able to stop, but those few sentences in the book helped me to do it and it was more freeing than i could ever imagine.


  5. amanda
    06 August 2010, 7:45 pm

    I agree that certain things happen for a reason and certain people, books, etc come into your life at the “right time”. It is like when I found your blog, I was on the verge of making that committment to end my compulsive eating.
    It is nice to know that you have made your intutitive eating work. I give me hope for myself!! I think for me that is one of those really hard things to just let go of (not counting, measuring, etc). To actually trust my body and that it some how knows what it is doing!
    amanda´s last blog post ..Running gear &amp Asian Festival


    love2eatinpa Reply:

    that is sweet amanda, i’m glad that we found each other at a good time for you too!

    definitely have hope for yourself! it took me a long time to trust my body and myself too. it took over two years after realizing i had an ED to do it. it evolved from therapy, reading and blogging. be patient, you will get there too!!!


  6. Body Workout 101
    06 August 2010, 9:46 pm

    'My Real Story, Part 2' as Posted on "Healthy Girl" | Confessions ……

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  7. […] ‘My Real Story, Part 2′ as Posted on “Healthy Girl” | Confessions of a (Reco… […]

  8. AFG
    10 August 2010, 7:55 pm

    I second Jody you are an inspiration!!! J love that you have overcome so much – it shows the rest of us it can happen for us too!
    AFG´s last blog post ..Do it your way


    love2eatinpa Reply:

    aw, thanks bobbie! i feel like everyone else out there just plugging along.


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