Hello! Long time, no write, right? December has been crazy, but I think it is for most people.
Despite the busy schedule, I’ve managed to read quite a bit. One of the books that I recently finished is called Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. Intuitive eating is an anti-diet approach to eating. Intuitive eating involves listening to your body and learning to eat for health rather than for weight loss.
If you are a chronic dieter or you suffer from an eating disorder, I would highly recommend this book. If you are someone who puts the food you eat into a “good” or “bad” category, you should read this book. If you deprive yourself of certain foods or adhere to a restricted diet, this book is for you. If you walk in a room and automatically start comparing the size of your waistline to others around you, then this book is definitely for you!
I got a few tidbits of wisdom from this book. First of all, it validated that I have developed a lot of healthy habits over the years, more than I often give myself credit for, including some intuitive eating behaviors. Secondly, I realized that I exhibit some behaviors that are unhealthy, including the following:
- I tend to categorize foods as either “good” or “bad”.
- I’ve restricted myself from certain foods.
- I get upset when the number on the scale goes up.
- I ignore my hunger cues and then I get hangry and scarf down any food that is in my line of vision.
- If I go more than a few days without exercise, I feel that all of my progress was for nothing.
- When I look in the mirror, I wish I was thinner.
- I constantly compare myself to others.
However, if I’m completely honest with myself, I demonstrate healthy behaviors as well:
- Even though I don’t always make healthy choices, when I do eat junk food, I don’t binge. I can stop at one cookie or one piece of cake. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting or eaten an entire bag of chips.
- I make more healthy choices than not. Most of my meals consist of whole, plant-based foods.
- I stay pretty active, even if I don’t formally work out every day. I have a standing desk at work and I take frequent walks.
- So far (knock on wood), I haven’t had any major illnesses and don’t take any medications. I don’t get sick with minor illnesses very often.
What I took away from this book is that I need to listen to my body more carefully. It will tell me what it wants. The more I try to tell myself that I’m not allowed to have something, the more it messes with my mind. The more restrictions I put on myself, the more it will backfire. I need to learn to accept and love myself, not based on the foods I eat and the amount of exercise I do, but because I’m worthy regardless. When I eat a food, I need to pay attention to how it makes me feel. When I’m presented with food, I need to ask myself if I’m truly hungry. After all, isn’t a food more enjoyable when you feel hungry and you savor it in lieu of inhaling it or eating it even though you’re not hungry?
Listen, I won’t be perfect. No one is perfect. And that’s okay. It’s not the end of the world if I eat too much or drink too much. Most days I don’t overindulge.
Finally, I simply must stop comparing myself to others. I’m beautiful, strong, and healthy.
For those in the back of the room, let me just repeat that: I’m beautiful, strong, and healthy.
So no more challenging myself to not have this or not have that. No more 30-day challenges to do something every day and then feel like a failure when I don’t meet the challenge. No more giving myself pats on the back for restricting my diet and losing a few pounds. That shit isn’t going to fly anymore.
I’m giving myself pats on the back every day simply for being alive and loving myself and the life I have.
I challenge – no wait, sorry. I encourage you to do the same.
May your glass always be full,