Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Intuitive Eating: Satisfaction Factor

Let me just say that this road to learning to intuitively eat is one of the most fascinating and frightening ventures I've had.  Thus far I've gained 3.4 lbs, which has, unfortunately, returned me to my start of the year weight plus 1.6 lbs.

That's depressing.  I can feel that I'm getting a bigger "spare tire" around my middle.  My pants are tighter and my tops have more to cling to.  Part of me wants to throw in the towel and say, "Never mind.  I'm going back to Weight Watchers."

But even as much as I want to share my "testimony" that WW works, I can attest that it hasn't for me.  12 years after starting, I weigh about 1 pound less than when I began.  So, I remind myself that it doesn't work and didn't work for me and that I'm willing to try intuitive eating, even if that means I'm gaining weight while I learn.

So, Chapter 10, where this dietician recommended that I start reading in the book, Intuitive Eating, is all about satisfaction.  The point of this chapter teaches:

1) Eat what you like or you won't be satisfied.  Eating rice cakes when you want chips or WW desserts when you want cornbread, nearly always leads to eating too many calories because you're not satisfied by what you're eating.

2) Take time to figure out what you like and don't eat what you don't like.  If you put a bit of food in your mouth and you don't like the food, toss it and get yourself what you really want.

3) Savor the food you love. Create a great eating environment.  Plate your food beautifully.  Eat slowly and enjoy!

4) Keep a variety of foods in your house.  You should have access to soups, pastas, fruits, veggies, proteins and even cookies.  You never know what you'll want to eat.  Chances are if you have a variety of foods in your house, you'll find something that will satisfy your hunger.

5) Stop eating when a food stops tasting good.  As we eat and our hunger is satisfied, foods tend to taste less yummy.  Checking in while we're eating and figuring out if we still satisfied by the food is critical.  Because we can eat ANY food, we can have that food again so it should be less traumatic to toss the food.

I reviewed this chapter because, although I'm doing some things right, I know, by my weight gain, that I'm doing some things wrong, acting instinctively from years of depravation.

I can check #1 off.  I'm doing great at that one.  As we speak I have granola bars and cashews in my house, both previously "off limit" foods for me.

I'm improving at #2.  Last week we took the kids to eat out at a mom and pop burger place because we've become acquainted with the owners.  What I ordered was very mediocre.  So when I got my shake and it was as disappointing as the meal was, I tossed it and later that night bought a shake I do like from a place that makes good shakes.

#3 I'm terrible at.  My kitchen is cramped.  The counter is cluttered and it's rare for me to get even one meal day that I can fix my food the way I want and really, really savor it.  During the school year, that meal is lunch.  Most of the time, I tend to eat on my feet while fixing food for others.  Sometimes I eat a complete meal and I barely recognize that I've eaten it.  Then I crave desserts, something I usually eat slowly and linger over after the kids are done with their meal or after they've gone to bed.  I'm starting to realize that what I really crave is the lingering, not the dessert.

I'm doing better at #4, but it frightens me.  Still, for the sake of the advice, I've tried to buy more things and pay better attention to whether or not I want to eat them.

#5, I'm terrible at.  Deep down I know there's a limit--that I'll go back to WW or some other kind of weight loss program and I won't be able to eat those foods again.  So I better get them while the getting is good.   The truth is, I've only half bought in.  I want to try it, but only if it's going to make me lose weight.  Then I think, "No!  I'm in no matter what.  I gave WW 12 years, surely I can give this a year."  Then I chicken out.  I worry.  I obsess.  I watch the scale creep up.

But I want to give this a shot.  I can incorporate good things I learned at WW, like the results on the scale are feedback and not failure.  Still, as I adjust my too-tight pants and try to uncling my shirt, I hem and haw fighting with myself as those cartoon characters do with the angels and devils atop their shoulders.  And I wonder who will win.


Tara Rickards said...

This, I can TOTALLY relate to! I have been having this conversation with myself over and over the past few days. I gained 65lbs this past pregnancy. After seeing a few pictures of myself at Easter, I realized I looked worse than I thought. (All my mirrors are about chest level and I don't spend a lot of time in front of them with all of my running around with 5 kids.)
Easter was only about 6 weeks after the baby was born, but I knew I couldn't wear my maternity clothes forever and as the season was about to change, I knew I would be in trouble. I couldn't continue to wear my maternity clothes even if I wanted to and there are too many other things I would rather spend my money on than clothes. Especially when I have a closet full of them in another size.
I was desperate and determined and did a crazy crash diet. (HCG) I lost 20 lbs in 4 weeks. I HATED it!! I kept telling myself I could do anything for a few weeks. I went off the diet because we were going camping and I knew it would be near impossible to stay on it. I told myself I would go back on in July to loose the rest of the weight.I bought a couple of things to wear. Literally. A pair of capris and a few t shirts and a swim suit.
Still havent gone back on the diet or any diet for that matter. I've lost a couple more pounds here and there by "being good" or trying to start a work out routine.

I still have 20 lbs to loose and the seasons are about to change. My baby is 5 months now so I don't think I can get away with maternity clothes. I know I can loose weight in a hurry if I will just go back on the diet, but I can't make myself do it! I LOVE food! Especially "junk" food.
Maybe I should look into Intuitive Eating. I will throw something out if "it isn't worth the calories". (That's what I usually tell myself.) I am a late night eater. I know if I could get myself in bed 2 hours earlier, I would loose 10 lbs!
I have no will power. :-P

Unknown said...

Oh my gosh. You have a blog. I am so excited. I am off to bed and will be back..adding you to my reader. I need more blogs to read so I am thrilled!!!! Yippee.