the power of intuitive eating

i don’t know if it’s fate or an increased awareness on my part, but recently, intuitive eating has been everywhere i look and listen. there’s also a small chance that i’ve been taking in various articles and conversations, then transforming them to be about intuitive eating because it’s top of mind for me right now. i’ll give you a few examples and you can be the judge.

French_fries.jpg

it all started back when i made it one of my new year’s resolutions to dial it back a little on my stringent eating/drinking/exercising rules. i was glad for what i’d learned by giving up booze for a while and terribly grateful for what good shape i’m in as a result of last year’s efforts, but after some extensive thought and consideration, i realized it wasn’t balanced enough, and that life on the whole would be better if i loosened the reins a bit. all that PLUS i’ve realized that when i restrict myself, it comes back to bite me in other ways. i’m much more likely to overindulge with taboo items on the rare occasions i allow myself to have them. i’ll think “i better drink/eat it now, since i’m going to self-impose a ban on this food/drink starting tomorrow.” counterproductive.

veering away from my nutritional rigidity wasn’t easy. i ironically decided to begin 2014 with a 30 day detox from alcohol. dan and i discussed it; we’d had a ton of wine over the holidays and it felt right. just take a break and give our livers time to catch up. my personal abstention lasted 22 days. luckily, after that, i re-enforced my original new year’s resolution and had some delicious wine to celebrate kristyn finding a wedding dress. and then the next weekend, dan and i opened a bottle of wine from our honeymoon in napa that we’d been saving. because we felt like it, and why not?

wine

 

becoming more intuitive about drinking is going to take a bit of getting used to. i’ve had so many changes of heart, mind and opinion over the past year or so about the role that alcohol plays in my life; i know i’ll have to work at it a bit to develop a more instinctive relationship, especially with wine. but that’s a topic for another time. i bring it up here only because it opened my eyes more TO the grand world of intuitive eating.

soon, i discovered the amazing anti diet project on refinery29. i’ve basically fallen in love with kelsey miller’s snarktastic approach to intuitive eating and fitness. with pristine hilarity, she chronicles her struggles with bagels, boot camp and binging all to reveal through each installment that the best choice is the instinctive choice. she even dedicated an entire post to the “overindulging while i’ve got the chance” phenomenon i described above and dubs it “last supper syndrome.” genius.

with a bit of validation under my belt, courtesy of ms. miller, i spend a little bit of time considering my eating habits and what, if anything, i’d care to alter. the first thought that popped into my head was about meat. (that’s what she said). i’d been consuming way more than i really cared to, and at times, i was really forcing myself to do so against my own will. a very bizarre battle, if you can imagine. so? i’m certainly not going to declare myself a vegetarian. but i also no longer feel obligated to eat meat in order to supplement my workout routine. i’m finding lots of ways to consume protein (did you know that quinoa plus veggies = a complete protein?) and just paying really close attention to my energy levels, stamina during exercise and how i feel overall.

feeling emboldened by the success of this first intuitive eating shift, it was with the optimal mindset that i encountered this article by kris carr. i won’t even attempt to summarize it, because it’s very well-written and makes a lot of really insightful points, but for me personally, it confirmed another intuitively-driven decision i had been thinking about making: taking a break from dairy.

for anyone that has read my blog for a while, shares an office with me, or … has ever spoken to me – i don’t blame you if your jaw is hanging open right now. for YEARS, i have consumed yogurt on pretty much a daily basis. i’ve promoted chobani, made my own … but lately, it’s just felt off. i can’t explain it all that well, but given the collision of my thoughts and the reading of that article, i couldn’t ignore it. it’s only been a couple of weeks since i enacted this choice, and i have to report: my skin is MUCH more clear and i feel a lot less bloated as well. intriguing.

i have forced intuitive eating conversations on most of my best friends at this point and i am feeling really good about this overall effort in my life. in addition to the above, other incidents and facts to note are:

-last friday, dan and i decided to get vegan milkshakes from chicago diner. it’s not something i would normally allow myself to do, but it sounded delicious, and was. of course – they’re award winning! if you’ve never had one, amend that immediately.

-i keep chocolate in the house pretty much all the time. it’s still dark chocolate (always 75% cocoa or above), but if i want it, i eat it. of possible interest: the current bar has been sitting on the counter for about a week untouched. i haven’t wanted it!

-this mindset change can be REALLY tough. sometimes, when you start “thinking” about whether or not it’s intuitive, it completely defeats the purpose. the only thing that works for me in a tough spot is to drink a glass of water, do something completely absorbing for ten minutes and then re-evaluate.

-i’ve had multiple recommendations to read the intuitive eating books. i really want to, but i’m a little afraid that doing so will exacerbate the point i made above. i don’t want to turn this into a science. i just want to live life, yo!

anyone else heading down the intuitive eating road?

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