As I mentioned in my previous post My “Skinny” Mantra, I have begun reliving my life as an intuitive eater. I have definitely become more in tune with my hunger and fullness levels, which the Optimist in me is happy about because I think this will definitely help me maintain my weight loss, but the Realist in me is now telling me that intuitive eating alone will not be enough to help this long time dieter at losing weight, especially not at the beginning. I have come to realize that I’m an Optimist about almost everything in my life, however a quote I saw yesterday from William Arthur Wand made me realize that sometimes being a Realist is what will win the race – “The Pessimist complains about the wind; the Optimist expects it to change; the Realist adjust the sails”
This is why in my post, My “Skinny” Mantra, I mentioned that counting calories was ok! I realized even then that I could not trust myself in making good food choices, especially when intuitive eating is about getting to the point where you can “eat whatever you want whenever you want.” The two weeks I tried to go at it alone, without calorie counting, I found that I felt lost and didn’t know what to take for lunch, so when I got hungry, I went out for lunch – bad decision, I know, but I think it helped me embrace my hunger and fullness levels easier because I was not feeling deprived in any way shape or form. I do know however that if I continue to eat out that I won’t hit my weight loss goal. (By the way intuitive eating prefers you make your own food as often as possible, so this thought process was all of my own doing.)
So after allowing myself to get a better handle on my hunger and fullness levels on my own terms, I now feel comfortable enough to go back to calorie counting, but not in the Nazi way I was doing it before. As I have mentioned before, my brain is always going, no matter how much I try to keep focused on the one thing going on right now, but it doesn’t always work. This is why I think I tend to do better in a more structured environment, where I have to pay attention to how many calories I’m allowed and have to decide on making better food choices before getting it on the plate in front of me. I will however, not:
eat because a diet or meal plan says I need to eat, whether hungry or not (i.e. have to have protein 1 hr after waking up; have to have 2 snacks; etc.)
let myself get to the starving point anymore. Once I start thinking about food now, I ask my body if I’m really hungry or if there’s something else triggering it (i.e. stress, boredom, etc.).
If I decide I’m at the beginning of getting hungry or feeling really hungry, then I eat following the plan I laid out in the My “Skinny” Mantra post – eating what sounds good and falls within my allowed calorie count for the day, when I feel hungry. I’m sure as my experience with intuitive eating progresses, I’ll get better about making better food choices for myself, but right now I need the crutch that something like the Lose It app offers. I loaded the Lose It app onto my android phone this weekend and it was easy to get in and find the foods I was eating, in the portions I was eating them in, mixed in with the exercises I was completing (I know I haven’t discussed exercising yet, but I will in a future post).
The other thing I have done is I have gone back to cooking meals on the weekend to cover my daily lunch and sometimes dinner options. I generally tend to make a meat and a chicken option and store a few in the fridge and freeze the rest so that every morning I can choose which sounds good to me that day and throw it in my lunch bag. This keeps me from buying sodium rich frozen dinners for lunch, thus allowing me to control what I eat, which now also includes a lot of organic/grass-fed meats and veggies. Don’t get me wrong, not everything I purchase and eat is organic, I still have a lot of processed foods in my pantry, but I am trying to make better choices for myself and my digestive and immune systems. Do what you can. I just think “clean” eating can’t hurt in my weight loss journey. 🙂
For breakfast I generally have something egg based, whether it’s hard boiled eggs, an egg omelet with veggies or an egg sandwich. Dinner is where I struggle with the unconscious eating because I have access to all the food in my home and trust me, you would think I live with a large family with how much food I have stored at home. Thankfully though, using Pipps Tips Hunger Scale through out my day has really helped me stay connected to my hunger and fullness levels and has kept me from grazing like I used to. Now I analyze my “cravings” every time they pop up to see whether they are truly hunger based or need to be subsided with other distractions i.e. reading, running errands or taking a nap (I struggle getting enough sleep at night and I found a lot of the reasons I graze when I’m at home is to keep me from napping because I feel like I’m wasting the day away – who knew).
Lessons this week:
I still can’t trust myself with making the “right” food choices, which is where the Lose It app comes in
I need to cook my own meals on the weekends and store them for the week
I need to keep trying to minimize the amount of processed foods in my pantry
All in all, keep you’re head up Optimist, the Realist in you has kicked in and is adjusting the sails 🙂
Have you had similar “adjusting of the sails” in your life? Have you thought of or made the shift to organic, clean eating?
I'm a Mexican-American, Sassy, Bilingual, Professional Woman with a passion for life long learning, sharing, and living my best life. I'm the founder and digital content creator for Your Sassy Self and work full time as a Multimedia Designer. Let's connect and see how we can change the world...or at least change our perspective of it. 😉