Anyway. I wanted to clarify that I've not gone all Intuitive Eating bonkers. I wouldn't call myself an Intuitive Eater in the way that people might declare, "I'm a Weight Watcher" or "I eat Primal" or "I'm a naked tap dancer". I'm not carrying a card and I'm not a delirious convert shouting to the world I have fouuuund the answer!
All I've done is read a few books and blogs* then experimented with some ideas and techniques. As I have always said on this blog, there is no single answer. There is no hallelujah moment where you find The One way of doing things. All you can do is explore all the wild and wacky options then adopt what works for you, then change it again if it stops working.
I don't see IE as a set of rigid rules that one would accept or reject like a diet – it's more about ideas and guidelines. Some of the IE stuff I've been doing I'll keep doing forever, then other stuff leaves me scratching my head and asking a bazillion "yeah, but" questions.
You also can't take it all too literally. Example: Eat only when you're hungry is a common refrain in the IE stuff I've read. That has worked beautifully in the context of pausing before scarfing into a block of chocolate to to ask myself, "Do I actually want to eat this? Is something else going on here?". But when it comes to a 9.30AM Zumba class, I will eat beforehand even though I'm not hungry. As an experiment I skipped this once, and by 9.45 I was ready to spew on my shoes. Result: I eat a small snack before intense exercise, regardless of hunger. And that's okay, because there is no rule here to break.
The IE experiments are just one part of puzzle. As we head into autumn I'm feeling chirpy and appreciative about life, a much stronger position than this time last year. Lots of simple little changes are working together to keep the slobbering depression hounds in their kennels:
- Going to bed earlier
- Getting up earlier
- Cutting WAAAY back on internet usage
- Watching less telly
- Shrink sessions
- Some CBT exercises
- Reading novels
- Getting back into a regular writing habit
- Meal planning – having food in the cupboards and a list of possible dinners breaks cuts out so much stress and faffery and crappy choices
- Walking in the woods
- Seeing new places and doing fun stuff
* will write a post later in the week about specific resources.
I can't remember what else I wanted to say, so I'll wind this up and go blow my nose!
May you all have a rock star week and thank you for all your insightful thoughts and opinions on these posts. Debate away!