I spent the month of March focusing on Intuitive Eating. I participated in the Studio Eats 21 Day Intuitive Eating Challenge, had three one-on-one calls with Jamie, attended one group conference call, and read most of the book. (My initial thoughts on the challenge can be found here). It’s April and it’s time to reflect.
How did the month go? In a word (ok two)… life changing. I really don’t want to turn into the “anti-diet” crusader or anything… but this approach to eating and living works for me. I am a chronic, life-long devotee to dieting and I needed something serious to make a change in my life. Deep down, I’ve always felt that there was something wrong with my body and the way I look. I was heavy as a kid… it’s not completely shocking that I felt this way. I used dieting and restricting to feel control. The best part about my IE journey is that I feel more in control now than I ever have, and I’m not dieting for pretty much the first time ever.
Right now I am eating and drinking what I want, when I want. I have found that by giving myself complete free reign over my eating and exercising, I am eating less, feeling more satisfied, not binge eating, and finding much more pleasure in my workouts. The ultimate moment of truth came last week though. I decided to not weigh myself for the entire month of March, which terrified me. I have this irrational fear that if I’m not dieting and monitoring myself, I’m going to balloon up and gain a ton of weight. I was feeling nervous, I mean I had been eating EVERYTHING I wanted for a whole month. I took a deep breath and stepped on the scale. And it hadn’t changed even an ounce. I weighed exactly the same, and I had enjoyed my life so much more in that month. That’s when I knew this was for me.
What was the hardest part? Learning to trust myself again. I have accepted responsibility for being overweight throughout my life. So I thought I was flawed. There was something about me that wasn’t programmed correctly. When left to my own devices, I would get fat again. The hardest part about this journey was to stop fighting myself. I told Jamie during one of our calls that I had a really hard time realizing what “hungry” felt like, because I only ever allowed myself to eat when I was “ravenous”. She pointed on that this is common in chronic dieters. I had this perception that I only deserved to eat a certain amount, at certain times, and only when I was absolutely starving. Throughout this month, I have worked really hard to trust my body to tell me when it needs fuel and what it is craving. Totally wild.
What am I focusing on now? I want to continue to honor my hungry, feel my fullness, and throw out my food rules. I am also working on challenging the external food police. The past weekend I was at a restaurant and ordered a salad and an entree. Our waiter made a completely harmless comment like “Are you sure you want all of that?” (apparently my entree was comically large… half of it is currently sitting in my refrigerator). In the past, such a comment would have sent me into a tailspin. But now that I’m challenging the “food police,” I simply laughed and told him I was sure I could handle it.
I am also working on the issue of body acceptance. That’s going to be a big one for me, because deep down I wish I looked fundamentally different than I do. But I never will. I will always have the same basic shape / frame and it’s due time I got “good” with that. Every day, I stand in front of the mirror and make myself say something positive about my body. When I’m exercising in front of a mirror, I do the same thing. I force myself to say positive things like “You look so strong”. It might seem very narcissistic, but don’t worry I only say it in my head 🙂 Jamie and I discussed this issue on our last call and I know I have the power to change how I view myself. It’s all mental!
Questions for you guys:
- How do you express “body acceptance”?
- What lifestyle works for you? We’re all different after all!
Hey there! Remember me? Don’t worry I didn’t forget you 🙂 These last couple weeks have just been such an incredible whirlwind. I really didn’t want to take a moment away from soaking it all up. I’m sure you understand! I was SO appreciative of everyone’s comments and congratulations. Literally my Facebook couldn’t keep up with everything. I didn’t get to respond to everyone like I wanted to but please do know that it meant SO MUCH to me.
So let’s see… where did we leave off? Oh RIGHT, Mike asked me to marry him!!! Spoiler Alert: I said yes. Duhhh. So I’m not sure exactly how I’m gonna deal with the whole wedding thing on the blog. I mean I notice a lot of other bloggers have like wedding tabs and all these posts, but I don’t know if that’s something I should do too?? I mean don’t get me wrong. I’m definitely going to be writing about wedding stuff on here. I’ll probably just add a “wedding” category and file all my posts under there? Don’t worry, this isn’t going to turn into a wedding blog. I don’t even really do Pinterest (I know, I’m a huge let down). Anyways let’s catch up a little and then I want to leave you with a fun running workout!
So after Mike popped the big question… the family descended upon Arlington / DC for an epic love-fest and celebration of all things Christina. I mean, it was my birthday TOO after all. It was basically the best weekend ever. We had a big family dinner at Zaytinya with my family, Mike’s family, and my bff Sarah (who is basically family and she’s my MOH so she gets special perks).
And the next day we threw a party at our apartment. This was already planned for my birthday but it morphed into a birthday / engagement party which was super fun. People brought MANY bottles of champagne and we have a lot of booze leftover. Hooray! Sarah is my favorite. MOH FTW!
This was the ONLY picture Mike and I took together all weekend, which is very unusual in my family. We must’ve been so excited, we forgot to take pics. This pic was clearly a joke because A. I mean, look at my face, and B. I get uncomfortable with the hand on the chest pictures.
Anyways… we’re very happily engaged and I’m finding it really difficult to keep my nails constantly manicured. I mean, am I made of money here?? But I’m doing what I have to do 🙂 So since I’m not running the marathon any more, I’ve had a lot more freedom in my workout schedule which has been pretty sweet. Also the weather has been crappy and cold as all get out, so I’ve been getting inventive in the gym on the treadmill. I’ve been using a bunch of workouts I’ve found online including a couple from Active which are AWESOME. But on Sunday, I made one up on my own and wanted to share it with you! I wanted to do a one hour workout split between running and lifting weights. So I came up with this 35 minute Speed Pyramid that was super fun. If you don’t know all your paces exactly, just use the noted progression of intensity and see how you do!
Hope you’re glad to have me back… I certainly missed you all 🙂
First off let me say HI!!! I’m back from my blog-acation (and my blog-acation I mean I have been working 14 hour days and have had absolutely no time). I probably should have thought ahead and written blogs / pre-scheduled them but I guess this is like a blog lesson learned.
Anyways, on to the post at hand. I’ve been thinking a lot over the last several days about my nutrition and eating habits. It’s not a secret that I have issues when it comes to food and I’m really committed to breaking the diet-cycle I have going on in my life. However, when I stopped dieting it became pretty clear that I don’t have great eating habits (ok I’ve gained 4 lbs since I ran my marathon at the end of April too).
I exercise a lot as a way to make up for it but in the end it’s really about food. So here’s what I propose! I’m going to embark on a journey to revolutionize the way I eat, think about, and relate to food. And I want to share the journey on here! I honestly don’t see this becoming the kind of blog where I post everything I eat in a given day, so I’m thinking perhaps at least one post per week about my progress / challenges, etc.
Anyways here are some key issues I want to tackle from the start:
- Recognizing hunger / satiety cues. This is so basic but I really struggle to eat when I am hungry and stop when I am satisfied. I often eat based on cues that are not hunger and continue eating until I am stuffed / not feeling well.
- Snacking smart / intelligent eating. There are situations that I know always lead to eating habits that don’t make me happy (the worst is situations with hor devours.) I often skip meals leading up to events where I perceive I will “eat a lot” so then I’m starving when I get there, and surprise surprise, I eat a ton. And then I feel awful. I need to develop better strategies to enjoy these kinds of events without leaving feeling sick and miserable.
- Condiments and extras. I generally enjoy eating healthy foods but I often sabotage myself with the “extras” like salad dressings, mayo, ketchup, cream in my coffee, and alcohol. I firmly believe that there is room for everything in a healthy balanced diet, but I need to work on moderating these extras.
- All or nothing mentality. I don’t know how to treat myself and stay on track. The second I eat something “bad” (I also need to stop using those labels but you know… baby steps) I end up thinking “well I’ve blown it now so I might as well just go nuts”. I need to learn how to incorporate treats into my diet so I actually enjoy them without guilt and still stay on track.
The truth is that I have the knowledge. I know how to do all of this. I just need to make a commitment to putting into practice for the long term. This is not a diet. This is a life change 😀