Friday, February 24, 2012

Intuitive Eating Part II: Taking on the Challenge

As you probably know, in a year and a half, I succeeded in reclaiming myself. I finally shed the weight that was holding me back from many activities. I gained new confidence because, finally, people could meet the real Katie, not the Katie that was obscured by 90 extra pounds. And I naively thought that at 150 pounds (finally a healthy weight) all of my problems would be solved.

But they weren't. In order to reach my goal weight, I was eating very light. Some days, for instance, I'd eat less than 1100 calories. I started feeling oddly guilty about my love for mangoes. I "tricked" my body into thinking it was full by eating many volume-heavy stir fries and salads. I started to like the feeling of being slightly hungry because I knew that I was getting skinny.

In hindsight, my body wasn't so thrilled about being food deprived. I fainted twice at the end of August to early September. My body was constantly covered in bruises. I was too tired to exercise. My Weight Watcher leader commented, when during the last two months of August I lost over 6 pounds: 'Are you eating?' she said.

(Just as an FYI, I went to my doctor during that time and mentioned all my issues and she suggested I go on a 1000 calorie diet to get to 140, which she deemed a better weight for me. Just goes to show, there are some less than awesome medical professionals out there.)

Anyway, I met Nathan around that time. We started eating all our meals together and I no longer felt the urge to eat gigantic stir fries loaded with veggies and beans. I wanted to enjoy my food rather than just stuff myself to feel full. And that meant returning to a more natural place with food: I started to eat what I liked. Banana pancakes. Blue cheese. Oatmeal with peanut butter. Mangoes. Asparagus with olive oil. Pizza. And of course, we can't forget, chocolate chip cookies. Suddenly, no food was off limits.

I started to feel comfortable with food. In a way, I felt like I was reverting to 4-year-old Katie, eating what I liked without any thought to the food police that have ruled my brain for so long. But every so often I'd feel the urge to go on a strict diet again. Every so often I'd look down at my thighs and think, 'If I could just diet for 4 months, I could lose X amount of weight.' And then what? Like the child I was at 12, I foolishly believed all my dreams would come true.

And this is where I am now. The healthiest I've felt towards food in a long time. Not dieting and not bingeing. No scale in the house, but my clothes fit the same as they did last month. And this is why I think it's the ideal time to start a new goal. Not to lose 90 pounds. And not to run a marathon. But rather to take on the Intuitive Eating challenge.

"Intuitive eating is an approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body--where you ultimately become the expert of your own body. You learn how to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings, and gain a sense of body wisdom. It's also a process of making peace with food---so that you no longer have constant "food worry" thoughts. It's knowing that your health and your worth as a person do not change, because you ate a food that you had labeled as "bad" or "fattening”

The NEW plan:

I will read Intuitive Eating, and I will go through all the steps, while documenting my progress right here on this blog. I hope that this journey is helpful to others in the same shoes as me. Next week, I will begin with Step One: Rejecting the Diet Mentality.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Katie, I have read your blog for a while but never commented- I am so glad you are back to blogging!! While I did not lose as much as 90 pounds, I did do weight watchers for a while and though I did learn a lot, I also spiraled into a self-conscious and quite honestly, dangerous, situation regarding my thoughts on food. Luckily, with counseling and a supportive boyfriend, I was able to tackle these issues. It is an ongoing journey but I am so grateful that i am trying to have a healthy food relationship. I hope you find the same kind of relief that goes along with not analyzing every food decision or eating 1000 calories per day or feeling horrible about yourself. None of those things are healthy! Good luck and I am cheering for you!!!