Sunday, December 17, 2006

REVIEW: Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink

This is a very interesting book! I read it because it was featured in the
November 2006 issue of "O" Magazine, and I wanted to see how it meshed with Intuitive Eating. It sounds like they would go together really well because it's all about making changes to your environment. It's not a step-by-step plan, either. It gives you 10 "suggestions" of things you could do to cut back 100-200 calories per day, and you get to pick which of the suggestions would best work for you... which would fit with your life. And, much as you're cutting back "calories", you're doing so in a way that isn't really focusing on the calories, themselves. Mr. Wansink talks a lot about hunger & fullness, so I believe that he's a supporter of the Intuitive Eating method.

NOTES: "Mindless Eating" by Brian Wansink

I recently read Brian Wansink's "MINDLESS EATING: Why We Eat More Than We Think", and found it to be very interesting!

Here are some quotes / notes from the book:

p.10 - "This book is not about dieting extremism -- just the opposite. It's about reengineering your environment so that you can eat what you want without guilt and without gaining weight. It's about reengineering your food life so that it is enjoyable and mindful.
.... [it] uncovers the hidden persuaders in our life that lead us to overeat and shows us how to eliminate them."

p.23 - "...They mindlessly ate. That is, once they were given a free glass of "California" wine, they said to themselves: 'This is going to be good.' Once they concluded it was going to be good, their experience lived up to confirm their expectations. They no longer had to stop and think about whether the food and wine were really as good as they thought. They'd already decided..."

p.24 - "Almost any sign with a number promotion leads us to buy 30-100% more than we normally would."

p.25 - "We are all tricked by our environment. Even if we 'know it' in our head, most of the time we have way too much on our mind to remember it and act on it. That's why it's easier to change our environment than our mind."

p.30 - "If we eat too little, we know it. If we eat too much, we know it. But there is a calorie range ~ or "mindless margin" ~ where we feel fine and are unaware of small differences... over the course of a year, this mindless margin would either cause us to lose 10 pounds, or to gain 10 pounds."

p.32 - "The best way to trim 100-200 calories per day is to do it in a way that doesn't make you feel deprived. It's easy to rearrange your kitchen and change a few eating habits so you don't have to think about eating less or differently. And the silver lining is that the same things that lead us to mindlessly gain weight can also help us mindlessly lose weight."

p.33 - "Cutting out our favorite foods is bad. Cutting down on how much of them we eat is mindlessly do-able."

p.46 - ** "...the faster we wolf down our food, the more we eat..." **

p.47 - "...This is one reason why the "clean your plate" notion is so powerful. The clean plate gives us a set target to aim for so we don't have to constantly ask ourselves, "Am I full yet?"... We can dish it out, space out, and eat until it's gone."

** Stop eating when you no longer feel hungry....
not when you're "full" or have "cleaned your plate". **

p.60 - "Why do we automatically eat (or pour) more from big packages? Because big packages (like big portions) suggest a consumption norm ~ what is appropriate or normal to use or eat.... we can eat about 20% more or 20% less without really being aware of it. Because of this, we look for cues and signals that tell us how much to eat. One of these signals is the size of the package."

p.71/72 - "...if people are offered an assortment with 3 different flavors of yogurt, they're likely to consume an average of 23% more than if offered only 1 flavor.... This behavior results from what is called "sensory specific satiation". In other words, our senses get numbed, or sated, if they continually experience the same stimulus."

p.72 - "Sensory specific satiety also affects our taste buds. The first bite of anything is almost always the best. The second is a little less, and the third less again. At some point we're tired of the yogurt & cake. But, if we add two more types of yogurt, or if we add ice cream to the cake, our taste buds are back to the races."

p.79 - "We eat more of these visible 'see-foods' (foods left where we can see them) because we think about them more... Out of sight, out of mind. In sight, in mind."

p.80 - "The more you think of a food (ahead of time), the more you'll eat of it."

p.90 - "'ll eat more from these huge (bulk) containers for the first 7 days. After that you'll start slowing down because you become tired of the food."

p.94 - "When we eat, we often follow 'eating scripts'. We encounter some food situations so frequently that we develop automatic patterns or habitual behaviors to navigate them... some we're clearly aware of, but many more lurk beneath the surfaces of our daily activities."

p.190 - "...because we can tend to view foods as black or white, we can always fall into the trap of thinking something is either 100% healthy, or that it's not."

p.209 - "We can reengineer our personal food environment to help us and our families eat better."

p.210 - "Our body and our mind fight against deprivation diets that cut our daily calorie intake from 2000 to 1200 calories a day. But they don't really notice a 100-200 calorie difference because they're not as sensitive within this range ~ it doesn't ring the starvation alarm in our body's metabolism."

** Make 3 small, 100-calorie changes, and by the end of the year we'll be as much as 30 lbs lighter than if we didn't make them. **

** Not every day will be perfect, but the idea is to start slowly, building the right habits. **

Sunday, November 12, 2006

NOTES from "The Secrets of Skinny Chicks"

p.106 - "While these women do clamp down hard on occasion for special jobs or events, they keep their bodies in pretty tip-top shape year-round. What they do, they do all the time. They don't diet."

p.106 - "I don't believe in diets. Instead, I eat well in small portions when I'm hungry. And I stop when I'm not hungry any more." ~ "Skinny Chick", Anna Wyatt

p.126 - "Skinny Chicks don't make excuses."

p.129 - " slowly and listen to the cues from your body. I can't tell you how often I heard them say that they stop eating once they feel full, even if they haven't finished what's on their plate. So, listen to your body and put that extra food away to eat later."

p.134 - "...when it's time for your [meal], sit down, focus on the food, and really enjoy it!"

p.135 - "Some people like to write off these much smaller, appropriately-sized meals, but the truth is, it's the way human beings were designed to eat."

p.137 - "This is not about dieting, this is about changing the way you look at food and your perception of how much you need.

p.138 - "Because skinny chicks don't diet, there is no end to what they are doing, and so they make sure what they are doing is manageable over the long term."

p.139 - "Studies have shown that when the end of a diet is celebrated with a binge, it's more likely that people will go back to their old habits because they have suddenly broken with their healthier lifestyle and gone back to their old ways, even if they think it will be just for one day."

RE: Emotional Eating:

  • * keep a journal and write down how you are feeling about things going on in your life. Think about strategies for resolving any issues you uncover.

  • * note on paper what's going on in your life whenever you've "fallen off the wagon"... you can head off this self-destructive behaviour in the future.

  • * direct yourself to new forms of comfort (instead of using food)
    example: exercise, clean, call a friend, read, etc.

p.? - "Skinny chicks don't allow their social outings to be an excuse to lose sight of their normal lifestyles (intuitive eating, exercising)

** Don't compare yourself to others! **

* Plan ahead for what you'll do if you find yourself back in your old patterns (eating outside of hunger/fullness)

* Recognize the triggers and habits that lead you back into old patterns

p.193 - "In truth, I am free to eat whatever I want... But it's all about moderation. The key is to learn how to stop at that one portion so you don't go overboard."


p.195 - "...the only good reason to eat is because we are hungry. We've got to learn to get back in touch with our bodies and let them direct us."

p.196 - "Just because something tastes good doesn't mean you have to finish it." ***

* make your plan realistic & manageable for LIFE

p.210 - "[Skinny chicks] always keep their eye on the ball... they focus on their successes and how those successes make them feel."

p.210 - "If they slip up, they don't focus on that. They focus on what they're doing RIGHT." **

p.213 - "Skinny is a state of mind." -- Have a "thin" mindset!

* start exercising more days than not

* start eating only when you're hungry & stopping at "satisfied"

** "Embrace this way of life, and really push away that old, unhealthy mindset ["diet mentality"] that will at times try to rear its ugly head." **

p.214 - "When you've done things one way for so long, you will often drift back to those old ways. It can be terribly hard to venture off onto a new path. But IT CAN BE DONE!... If your mind focuses on the old groove, sooner or later your body will follow it back."

p.12 - "Most Americans eat 10-30% more than they need to."

p.16 - " estimated 80% [of women] suffer from poor body image."

p.17 - "Unfortunately, for many women body image and self-esteem are so closely related that a negative body image steadily erodes the core of their self-esteem. For many of us, if we do not like our bodies, we do not like ourselves."

p.24 - "...a woman can be just as fit and fabulous in a size 12 or 14 jeans as she can be in a size 4. It's about being and feeling strong and healthy. It's about feeling good in your own skin, and choosing what is right for you."

p.222 - "'s because we use food for so many things other than fueling our bodies that we can find it so hard to stay on track and eat the things we should in appropriate quantities."

p.261 - "Yes, many women do shift their mindset and find a way to enjoy food in moderation, and to eat healthfully most of the time." - Linda Craighead, Ph.D.

p.262 - "Pay attention to why you are eating to see if there are places you are willing to make other choices." - Linda Craighead, Ph.D.
[note when you are eating for reasons other than hunger]

p.262 - "The better strategy is to eat fairly frequently & focus more on when to stop - not overeating or getting stuffed." - Linda Craighead, Ph.D.
[instead of letting yourself go beyond hungry to the point where you're *ravenous*]

p.263 - "Fall off the wagon? Just get right back on! --> Don't make old patterns your 'norm' any more!"

p.264 - "We all know we should eat less and eat better. We all know we should exercise more. But when it comes down to it, all the best-laid plans can fall apart when our emotions take over. That's why it's so important to take a good, hard look at how emotions are affecting how and what we eat. By being aware of what we are doing and, more critically, what we are likely to do the next time we get upset, we can arm ourselves with plans, resolutions, and strategies to help us stay on track as much as possible." ***

p.87 - "Start today. 'Tomorrow' never comes." - "Skinny chick", Sherry Boudreau

REVIEW: "The Secrets of Skinny Chicks" by Karen Bridson

I recently read a book called "The Secrets of Skinny Chicks: How to Feel Great in Your Favorite Jeans When It Doesn't Come Naturally" by Karen Bridson. I got it out of the library thinking it would be a book about Intuitive Eating -- on the back, it talked of waiting for hunger, and eating just 'til satisfied. Well, upon reading it, I found that it's not *truly* a non-diet book... The author repeatedly encourages you to count calories. (True Intuitive Eaters know that you don't have to do this! You don't have to count anything!)

But, I continued to read, because she *did* talk about hunger/fullness on the back... there had to be *something*...

And, sure enough, there were many instances where the women profiled talked of only eating when hungry, and stopping just at satisfied. There was also almost a full chapter that talked of "mindful eating" (same thing as Intuitive Eating -- listening to your body's cues). And, I loved the parts where the author talked about loving your body for its uniqueness, and about loving yourself for YOU. She talked quite a bit about overcoming Emotional eating, too.

So, I am going to recommend this book! But, I will do so with a WARNING: ** This is STILL a "diet" book! Do not read it with the intention of a "quick fix"! No diet is going to work for you forever... they just don't. ONLY Intuitive Eating will keep you going for life because you don't have to count anything, you don't have to restrict anything ... it's something you can live with for the long haul! *** ;-)

STAY TUNED for more! I'll be posting my NOTES from the book next!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

CORRECTION about "O Magazine" article

CORRECTION... A friend noted to me that there is no mention of the "Intuitive Eating" authors in the November article... so I checked with said authors, and they corrected me -- their article will be in the DECEMBER issue of "O Magazine". My apologies for the mix-up. :-(

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fuel Gauge

Just posting this here because I want a visual reminder.... Our stomachs are like a Fuel Gauge -- when the tank hits 0/empty, it's time to "refuel"!

But, UNLIKE a fuel gauge, we don't want to completely fill up. Or, as a friend once put it, we would't fill up our tank and then start pouring fuel into the trunk, too, right? So, why do we treat our bodies like that? Sometimes, even after we've reached our "full" limit, we keep eating (like putting fuel in the trunk).

So, if we eat between "hunger" (empty) and satiety (full), we will be doing things right. :o)

Get Your Copy! - O Magazine

The November 2006 issue of O Magazine (by Oprah Winfrey) features an article on Mindful Eating. Go get your copy, as it features an interview with Elyse Resch & Evelyn Tribole, authors of Intuitive Eating!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Notes: "Intuitive Eating" by Tribole/Resch

Here are some quotes from "Intuitive Eating" by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch:

p.34 - "If you focus on how you feel as the goal, rather than on weight loss, you will find, ironically, that you can't help but lose weight. If, instead, you continue to focus on weight loss as the goal, you'll get tied up in the old diet-mentality thinking and find that permanent weight loss is [elusive]."

p.45 - "They may be physically off a diet, but the dieting thoughts remain. The problem is that dieting thoughts usually translate into diet-like behavior, which becomes (unconscious) psuedo-dieting."

** Some "Dieting" Behaviors in Disguise: **
- paying penance for eating "bad" foods (cookies, cake) by vowing to "be good tomorrow"
- pacifying hunger by drinking something (coffee, diet sodas) to put it off
- limiting carbohydrates
- putting on a "false food face" in public to appear "virtuous"
- competing with someone who's dieting
- not eating at certain times of the day (ie: after 7pm)

p.102 - Eating "healthy" snacks (fruits, veggies) is okay ONLY if there's no "hidden agenda" (thinking that healthy foods will aid in weight loss)


p.195 - Three things that work, but are often ignored, are VARIETY, BALANCE, and MODERATION.

p.196 - "It is CONSISTENCY over time that matters!" ***

p.214 - "Learn to operate out of curiosity, not judgement!" ***

p.53 - "The simple act of being told what to do (even if it's something you want to do) can trigger a rebellious chain-reaction."

p.89 - "The only way that you will come to believe that you will be able to stop eating is to go through the food experience, to actually eat... This is not about knowledge of food, but rather rebuilding experiences with eating... it's like learning to play the guitar by reading a book on music theory. You may understand the components -- but only when you practice and struggle with the strings personally will you truly know how to play. And, the more you practice, the more confidence you'll have."

p.115 - "When you're dieting, you think in terms of 'all-or-nothing'... black-and-white thinking can be dangerous and is often based on the premise of acheiving perfection. It gives you only two alternatives, one of which is usually neither attainable nor maintainable. The other then tends to be the black whole in which you inevitably fall after failing to get the first. You set your sights too high, constantly chasing an ideal that you can grasp only moments at a time..."

p.116 - "Give up the notion that you must eat in an all-or-nothing fashion. Let go of your old black-and-white dieting rules! Allow yourself to eat the foods that were always restricted, while checking your thoughts to be sure that they support your choices."

REVIEW: "Intuitive Eating" by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

Intuitive Eating by Tribole, Resch

This book details the steps you need to take to become an "intuitive eater" -- a person who follows their body's natural cues of "hunger" and "satiety" in order to eat in moderation and shrink down to their natural body weight.
(10 Keys)

I especially liked the chapters called: "Challenge the Food Police" / "Make Peace With Food" / & "Respect Your Body". Challenging the "Food Police" means undoing the "diet mentality" that's been so ingrained in us by society, and substituting positive statements every time you hear a negative one regarding food or your eating (in your head).

Making peace with food reminds us that NO food is "good" or "bad" or "forbidden", and we need to give ourselves "unconditional permission to eat" the foods that we love and that satisfy us.

Respecting our bodies means not having negative things to say about yourself when you look in the mirror, and it means buying clothes NOW (not later when you've lost X number of pounds, first) that make you look and FEEL great!

This is an awesome book that I'll be recommending to a ton of people! :o)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Now I've created a website, too! LOL. For Intuitive Eating Information... more of it, anyway... see here.

Friday, July 28, 2006

New Blog & IE Links

Yesterday I created a new blog to ramble & muse about the different facets of becoming an Intuitive Eater. I often come across interesting tidbits in my non-dieting groups that cause me to stop & think about how I got to where I am as an eater. I needed a place to ramble on about those things, so I created yet another blog. ;o)

Also, I needed a place to store (and be able to share about) all of the links to different sources of IE Information I've collected. So, I added a page to my website where you can get all of these links. Feel free to browse there! I've included websites, blogs (yes, my friends are linked on there!), and books. I may add more categories later. Hopefully people will see it as another handy resource. :o)

Monday, July 17, 2006

REVIEW: "Super-Size Me" [DVD]

Today I watched the movie, "Super-Size Me". Very interesting, and very true! The part where the guy gets the Super-size meal, and proceeds until he's so stuffed that he pukes ... case in point that we eat TOO much!

Here are some notes I took from the movie .. stuff that I found really interesting:

"In the ER, people who've overdosed on heroine to the point of a comatose state are given a drug called "Noloxone" (sp?). This drug blocks the opiate receptors in the brain, thereby stopping the heroine and 'waking up' the addict from his comatose state....
If you take a chocoholic ... someone who eats chocolate like it's going out of style, and you give them this same drug, Noloxone, they will lose interest in chocolate!
--> it's the drug effect of the food on the brain that keeps us going back again & again." (Neal Barnard, M.D.)

"in the last 20-25 years there's been a doubling of overweight children & adolescents -- this is linked to countless health problems for them later in life."

* "If current trends continue, 1 out of every 3 children born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime."

* "17 million Americans have Type 2 Diabetes -- that's one out of every 20 people." (Tommy Thompson, Secretary of Health & Human Services)

* "If Diabetes starts before the age of 15, you lose between 17 and 20 years of life span." (William Klish, M.D.)

* "20% of obese children have elevated abnormal liver function tests ... now doing study... biopsying... 1/2 of these children already have scaring of their livers and cirosis...
--> If their habits don't change, they'll end up with liver failure, or require transplant -- or face death."

* "The cost of a healthy school lunch program is the same as an unhealthy school lunch program" ... only reason the schools don't switch is because the junk food companies put up too much of a stink!

* "The average American child sees 10,000 food advertisements per year on T.V. (95% for sugared cereals, soft drinks, fast food, and candy)." (Kelly Brownell, Ph.D)

* "The most heavily advertised foods are consumed the most."

* "Americans eat out for 40% of their meals."

* "McDonald's is the worst because they aim at the kids (big advertising -- clown, Happy Meals, birthday parties, etc)."

* The "Biggie" drink at 7/11 is 1/2 gallon .. contains 48 tsp. of sugar (approx)!

Friday, July 14, 2006

My Journey, So Far

Today, in a group I belong to, one of the ladies posted about her journey with non-dieting to date. I liked her post a lot! And, I got the idea to post, here, about MY journey, so far, with non-dieting! :o)

Here's how it went for me:
- Found WD, then Thin Within. Learned to eat "intuitively".
- Legalized all of my "formerly forbidden foods" (no foods are "good" or "bad" or "forbidden" any more!)
- Learned to appreciate my body more -- it's a "temple of the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20)
- Released 25 lbs in first 6 months, but I was still pretty emotional around it. I think it was a real "honeymoon" period in which I felt thin, powerful and in control of my eating.
- I saw my next layer of eating issues, namely stopping at satisfied.
Had to work through more emotional issues around being thin and
losing weight. Gained back 12 pounds of the 25 I'd "released".
- Am now in an experimental phase. I am reading books on non-dieting, and even some diet books, in order to personalize "Intuitive Eating" for me. Am still learning how to eat 0-5. I am working more on the emotional side (internal), instead of the physical side (external).

In summary, I am now more in control of my eating and my emotions, but not to the extent that I'd like to be. I can wait until I reach "0" to eat, but I still struggle with stopping at "5". I can CHOOSE to think positively about my weight, and my weight-loss journey. I am in a state, right now, where I'm not altogether concerned with releasing the weight -- I want to get the emotional side worked out first. The weight-loss will come when I've reached a certain understanding of things.
It's still a learning process, but it's far easier to do than it was a couple of months ago!

(Thanks to Karen for posting her version of this!)

More notes from the book....

[from "Thin People Don't Clean Their Plates" by Jill Fleming]

** ""Change the way you think about your trigger food. Instead of thinking that you can't stop eating it once you start, think that you are the one who chooses to continue to eat the food. In the second scenario, you are in control, not the food. Remember, you are ultimately responsible for what goes into your mouth and body." (p.68) **

* Re: Carbohydrate Addicts / Carbohydrate Sensitive people: should stay away from or limit simple carbohydrates and processed foods. "...the fewer of these items you eat, the less intense your cravings will be. You will experience fewer fluctuations in blood sugars, which will help you feel more in control of your food choices." (p.69)

* Benefits of drinking water:
- helps rid body of fat & toxins
- keeps skin healthy & resilient
- helps minimize sagging skin as you lose weight *
- helps maintain proper muscle-tone
- will help relieve & prevent constipation
- helps suppress appetite
- essential for digestion, absorption of vitamins & minerals, circulation, excretion, transporting nutrients, building tissue, maintaining body temperature.
- more water intake = increased energy levels *
- more you drink = more your body craves it **

* "Another advantage of SLOWER EATING is that chewing your food thoroughly aids your body in digestion." (p.31)

* "When you consume fat following/in combination with sugar (ie: Coca Cola!), the fat is then more easily stored in your fat cells." (p.57)

** "Your attitude will determine your success... you alone are responsible for your body and its size." (p.11)

** "...the more positive choices you make, the more positive choices your body craves. The more unhealthy choices you make, the more unhealthy choices your body craves....
your body will start to desire more of the choices you predominantly make. IT WILL BECOME EASIER WITH REPETITION." (p.118) **

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A New Hunger Scale

Today I finished reading "THIN PEOPLE DON'T CLEAN THEIR PLATES" by Jill Fleming. She claims it's "not a diet", and it has a Hunger-Satisfaction Scale! She says "don't limit your food choices". But, then she contradicts herself and suggests you eat mostly low-fat food! It's a diet, if you ask me! :-? Her Thin Choices program follows the following guidelines:
- eat mostly low-fat food choices
- have 8-10 servings of fruits & vegetables daily
- drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water daily
- get at least 7 hours of sleep
- breathe deeply for 10 minutes a day
- move your body for 30 minutes most days of the week

While these are all great suggestions, and they'll probably get you healthy and help you lose weight, I still don't agree with the "eat low-fat food" bit! I'm a walking-talking example that you can lose weight while still eating full-fat *REAL* foods ... so long as you only eat when you're hungry, and you stop when you're satisfied! :o)

Now, that all said, I have to say... I REALLY liked the Hunger Scale that Ms. Fleming uses in her book! I think I even like it *better* than the Thin Within one! This is what it looks like:


10: Stuffed to the point of feeling sick (Thanksgiving full!)
9: Very uncomfortable, tired
8: Uncomfortably full
7: Feel you have eaten just a little bit too much
6: Comfortable, satisfied [stop eating]
5: Just noticing the first signs of hunger [slow down, if eating]
4: Hungry, ready to eat [Eat at this point]

3: Very hungry
2: Extremely hungry, irritable
1: Starving, can't concentrate, dizzy

Doesn't that make a lot of sense? I think it's great! And, here's why:

1) It doesn't give you a ton of room for humming & hawing about whether/not you're hungry & ready to eat ... either you ARE or you're NOT.

2) It defines / adds in the numbers for going PAST hungry to the shaky point (which I often do)

3) Your eating range should fall between 4 and 6 on the scale ... and this can be visualized like a Stop Light: 4=Green Light --Eat! / 5=Yellow Light --slow down & pay attention / 6=Red Light --Stop Eating!

I'm thinking that I'm going to give this new hunger scale a try ... see if it works better for me than Thin Within's did. Theirs seems to give me too much room for error... Just my personal observation.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


I've discovered that Intuitive Eating is not a cut & dried method for weight loss. There are many, many ways 'out there' to "do" Intuitive Eating.

What works for one person won't work for the next because each person is unique -- an individual. Therefore, Intuitive Eating (IE) has to be unique, individual, personalized.

One way to "personalize" IE for me, I've discovered, is to read a bunch of different books on the subject, and then pick and choose what works *for me*.

As you can see from this blog, I've been "researching" a lot! :o)

I've read books like...

  • "Thin Within" by Judy & Arthur Halliday

  • "Overcoming Overeating" by Jane R. Hirschmann & Carol Munter

  • "Fit for Life" by Harvey & Marilyn Diamond

  • "Weigh Down" by Gwen Shamblin

From all of these books I've gleaned a bit of wisdom here, a little bit of insight there. And, I think that that's the best way to go about learning how to eat "intuitively".

I've just put in a request at my library for several more books...

  • "How to Eat Like a Thin Person" by Lorraine Dusky

  • "Emotional Eating" by Edward Abramson

  • "Thin People Don't Clean Their Plates" by Jill Fleming

  • "Thin For Life" by Anne Fletcher

  • "Intuitive Eating" by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch (had to interlibrary-loan this one!

I'm especially looking forward to the last two! I've not actually read the "Intuitive Eating" book, yet, but I feel I should, since a lot of people that are joining my Yahoo support group are ordering it! LOL. And, "Thin For Life" supposedly details the success stories of a bunch of people who've lost 20+ lbs and kept it off for at least 3 years! I love inspiring stories! (if you have one, feel free to leave me a comment!)

Anyway. I just thought I'd post some thoughts. This has been playing around in my head a lot, lately. :o)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Quotes from "FIT FOR LIFE" by Harvey & Marilyn Diamond

[The following quotes were taken from "Fit for Life" by Harvey & Marilyn Diamond... While I don't recommend the book for weight-loss (it's basically a "diet" book, though it swears up & down that it's not!) I liked some of the ideas in it.]


* "Belief systems can be the biggest obstacle to one's progress." [p.44]

* "All animals in nature are naturally trim." [p.33]
(does not include pets & zoo animals)

* "There is nothing to feel guilty about. You have certain cravings that you have built up over the years. It's going to take a certain amount of time for you to overcome these cravings. The idea is not to upset the balance more often that you maintain it. You eat heavy one day, and then the next day comes. It's a brand-new day." [p.33]

* Set your own pace; don't try to switch over all at once. Baby steps!

* It took you X number of years to put the weight on, so it's not going to come off overnight ... "the important thing is to START" to make changes that move you TOWARD your goal!

* "You are on a journey; let it be fun, not an ordeal. You can drive from the West Coast to the East Coast in three days at breakneck speed and miss all of the sights & splendor this country has to offer; or you could take three weeks and enjoy yourself. Take your time, and be confident that you will reach your destination (goal) a happier, healthier person for the effort expended on your own behalf." [p.97]

*** "The practice that will help you eliminate that craving for sweets more than anything else is the correct consumption of FRUIT. The sugar in fruit is untampered with and supplies the body with the nutrients it craves." [p.98]
Emphasis mine ... this is my BIGGEST issue!

* "Whatever you have added (meat) to your salad will break down more quickly & pass through your system more easily due to its properly combined nature and the presence of all the fresh, raw vegetables." [p.139]

RE: Eating at buffets, etc:
-> "Before taking a plate, survey the offerings & decide
what your plan will be." [p.??]

Causes of OVEREATING: [p.146]

1) "When no nutrients are being absorbed by your intestines as a result of clogging, the body sets off an alarm that it has not been fed, and even though we have just eaten, we want to eat more."

2) "There is no better way to malnourish your body than to eat processed & junk foods excessively... If they are large quantities of junk food, the body experiences slow starvation. Our bodies set off the alarm, once again, for more food because they are literally starving ... NUTRITIONALLY!"

* "The key is DIRECTION, not speed." [p.224]

[from chapter 7]:
* "Fruit is the most important food we can put into the human body

* "Fruit has the highest water-content of any food ... all of it is 80-90% cleansing, life-giving water."

* "All of the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, amino acids, & fatty acids that the human body requires for its existence are to be found in fruit."

* "Fruit requires less energy to be digested than any other food."

* "By its nature, fruit affords the body the opportunity to cleanse built-up residue from the system." (p.50)

** "Fuel value should always be the foremost factor in determining the worth of any food." [chapter 7]

* Try different salads as meals ... add some meat to it, and lots of raw veggies. (ie: Chicken Caesar Salad)

**** "Calorie-counting is a very antiquated and ineffective means of trying to regulate one's weight. It looks viable in theory, but so does the theory that the sun orbits the earth. Calorie-counting is an unrealistic guage by which to measure one's progress. That is why so many calorie-counters do not find the results they are looking for, even though they diligently count their calories." [p.58] ****

* "Any time you alter your eating habits, your body has to adjust to that change, and in so doing, can initially leave you feeling out of sorts." [p.63]

* "You have the rest of your life, so don't put undo pressure on yourself." [p.66]

* "If the principles [of Intuitive Eating] make sense to you, and you're willing to try them, that's all it will take!" [p.66, in brackets mine]

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Helpful Info.

Came across this very helpful website, today. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


It's a learning process, this Intuitive Eating...

The other day, I read somewhere a really good way of looking at things:

Babies don't come out of the womb ready / knowing how to walk ... it takes them stages to learn. First, they can't do anything. Then they learn to creep, to crawl, to toddle, THEN to walk!

It's the same with relearning how to eat "intuitively", I think. First we learn about what we should be doing (waiting for "0"/empty, and stopping by "5"/before we've stuffed ourselves). Then we stumble -- the practices are unfamiliar, so it takes a while to get the hang of things. And then, finally, we're walking ... we're an Intuitive Eater, and we can do it without having to put much (if any) thought into it at all! It's ingrained and "natural"....

I am currently in the "Toddle" stage... I've learned what I need to do to be an Intuitive Eater, but I'm having trouble getting it right. I'm still thinking like a "dieter", I think. :-? But, with practice (and a LOT of patience with myself!) I will get there, eventually. :o)

Sunday, June 25, 2006 any other name...

Recently I've come to the realization that "Intuitive Eating" has many different names...

  • non-dieting

  • intuitive eating

  • normal eating

  • hunger/fullness method

  • attuned eating

  • conscious eating

Do a Google search for any of the above and you'll find a myriad of different websites on the subject!

Some websites can turn out to be really helpful, too! For example, Fred Anderson's website is TRULY inspiring! Through a form of Intuitive Eating he has managed to shed over 170 pounds! He has graciously started posting his book on his website for free, so it's worth browsing!

Other websites you have to be somewhat cautious of. They might "say" they're following intuitive eating, but still have a lot of the "diet" mentality, or "rules"... Be discerning!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

New Yahoo Group!

Click to join IntuitiveEating_Support

Join my group if you're looking for support in following the principles of Intuitive Eating! :o)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Some "how-to" tips....

So, you've probably read through my blog, here, and wondered, "Well, how do I put these principles into practice?" How do you practice "intuitive eating"?

Here are some tips to get you started...


What does it feel like to truly be hungry? Do you even know what it should feel like when your stomach is completely empty? Some people feel their stomach growl, some people don't. Some people get irritable and cranky when they're at "0". Every person is different, so "0" / empty is going to feel different for each individual.

A great thing to remember is: "When in doubt, wait it out."

If you aren't sure if you're completely empty, wait another 15-30 minutes and then take another "inventory" ... ask yourself, "Am I hungry now? Have I noticed any signs?" (tummy growl, irritability, etc). If you're hungry, eat! If you're not, wait a little longer. Some people, when first trying to find their "0" point, have gone 72 hours without eating! But, WARNING: to go longer than this is dangerous! Be sure to keep drinking water, and eat something if you've gone quite a while and still can't seem to find it. Eventually you'll recognize what "empty" feels like. :o)


What is it like around you when you're eating? Is it quiet? Is it chaotic? Is your mind on your meal, or is it off somewhere else? Do you read / watch TV while you're eating?

It's important to reduce the number of distractions at meal times so that you can focus on your food, and so that you can eat in a calm environment. For most households with a family, this will be a little tricky. But if you can reduce your number of distractions to a minimal level, you'll be able to get more out of your meal.

When we aren't paying attention to our meal, our body doesn't recognize that we've eaten, and therefore we end up rooting around looking for something to eat shortly after we've had a meal. But, if you sit down and eat in a calm environment, your body will remember, "Oh yeah! I already ate!" :o)

Turn off the T.V. ... put away your current reading material. Meal times are for concentrating on the meal and the people around you.


Same as the last point, if you sit down to eat, your body is more likely to remember, later, that it's already "refueled" and you'll be less likely to snack when you're not hungry.

4. STOP AT "5"

If your body was like a gasoline tank on a car, you know that you need to refuel when you're at "0" / empty. But, you also know that you shouldn't overfill the tank! So, we give you a "hunger scale"....

----------------------- 10 (stuffed)
------------------------- 5 (comfortable)
------------------------ 0 (empty)

What you want to do is make sure that you eat bewteen 0 to 5. If you go over that "5" point, if you eat more than your stomach can actually hold, you're not going to feel that great after your meal. You're going to feel bloated and like you need to lie down.

Finding where you're "comfortable" takes a considerable amount of effort. A lot of people really struggle with this part of "intuitive eating". In a world where you're offered "super-sized" meals, it's hard to know just how much will satisfy you without going over your limit.

At first, it's helpful to try reducing the size of your plate. If you use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate, you'll usually start to see results shortly afterward. The trick is not to fill up your salad plate to overflowing! Don't pile it up a mile-high and think you're eating less ... it doesn't work like that! ;-)

After trying the salad plate for a while, try cutting even that back to half. Fill your plate, if you wish, but scrape half of your portions back into the dishes, and eat half of what you'd originally planned.

Most people are stunned to find out how little food they really *need* to "refuel". But, when you realize that your stomach is basically only the size of a clenched fist, it makes sense that you're not going to be able to fit a whole lot in there without going past a "5".

At "5", you should be able to bend over, after eating, without feeling like your meal is going to come back to haunt you ... you should be able to breathe normally, and you probably won't experience heartburn or indigestion.

And, if you don't get the hang of this step right away, don't panic. Like I've said, it takes quite a while for most people to get the hang of eating less and being satisfied. :o)


Another tricky thing is to pay attention to your food while you're eating. This is tricky because a lot of people don't eat alone. So, you're probably thinking, "Well, am I supposed to be rude and ignore those that are with me in order to pay attention to my food instead?". Nope! You can pay attention to your food *and* your eating companions!

Try this: take a bite of your food, put your fork down, and chew ... pay attention to the taste and texture. Enjoy your meal! Then look up and talk with your eating partners. After a minute, take another bite, and repeat the process. And, voila! You've done it!


Because people are so busy, they usually eat on the run, or gulp 'n go. But, this only adds to our weight problem. Instead, try sitting down at the table, paying attention to your food, and chewing slowly.

Did you know that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that it's full? That means that, if you scarf down your whole meal in just 5 minutes (as I've been known to frequently do), you take a great risk of flying past your "5" (or point of satisfaction), and stuffing yourself silly before your stomach even realizes what happened! If you eat slowly, and make your meal last at *least* 20 minutes, you'll be better able to find out when you're *truly* satisfied (instead of stuffed), and finding your "5" will be that much easier!

To put this into practice, see Tip #6! ;o)


And lastly, we come to my favorite part of Intuitive Eating ... being able to enjoy what you eat and drink!

Dieters, I'm sure, get sick of eating low-fat / low-cal / low-carb anything ... they eventually will want the *real* thing. And, why not have it? Forget what the media has drilled into your head! God has blessed us with variety for a reason!

You want full-fat cheese in your lasagna? Go ahead! Enjoy! You want real ice cream, instead of frozen yogurt? Help yourself! Chocolate cake? Whoohooo!

Nothing is "good" or "bad" ... no food is "forbidden" any longer!

**** WARNING: If you are on a restricted diet due to HEALTH reasons, PLEASE follow your doctor's orders first! Do not disregard your physician's advice! ****

[these tips taken from the "Thin Within" program ( by Judy & Arthur Halliday]

Saturday, March 25, 2006

What Kind of Eater are YOU?

[from "INTUITIVE EATING" by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse


EATING STYLE: Careful Eater
TRIGGER: Fitness & health
CHARACTERISTIC: Appears to be the perfect eater;
anguishes over each food morsel and its effect on the
body. On the surface, this person seems health- and

EATING STYLE: Unconscious Eater
TRIGGER: Eating while doing something else at the same
CHARACTERISTIC: This person is often unaware that
he/she is eating, or how much is being eaten. To sit
down and simply eat is often viewed as a waste of
time. Eating is usually paired with another activity
to be productive. There are many subtypes.

EATING STYLE: Chaotic Unconscious Eater
TRIGGER: Overscheduled Life
CHARACTERISTIC: This person's eating style is
haphazard --- gulp 'n go when the food is available.
Seems to thrive on tension.

EATING STYLE: Refuse-not Unconscious Eater
TRIGGER: Presence of food.
CHARACTERISTIC: This person is especially vulnerable
to candy jars, or food present in meetings or sitting
openly on the kitchen counter.
[*** THIS IS ME!!! ***]

EATING STYLE: Waste-not Unconscious Eater
TRIGGER: Free food
CHARACTERISTIC: This person's eating drive is often
influenced by the value of the food dollar and is
susceptible to all-you-can-eat buffets and free food.

EATING STYLE: Emotional Unconscious Eater
TRIGGER: Uncomfortable Emotions
CHARACTERISTIC: Stress or uncomfortable feelings
trigger eating -- especially when alone.
[** this is also me **]

EATING STYLE: Professional Dieter
TRIGGER: Feeling fat
CHARACTERISTIC: This person is perpetually dieting,
often trying the latest commercial diet or diet book.

EATING STYLE: Intuitive Eater
TRIGGER: biological hunger
CHARACTERISTIC: This person makes food choices without
experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma. Honors
hunger, respects fullness, enjoys the pleasure of

Friday, March 10, 2006

From "Overcoming Overeating" by Jane R. Hirschmann & Carol H. Munter

Today I finished reading "OVERCOMING OVEREATING: Living Free in a World of Food" by Jane R. Hirschmann & Carol H. Munter. It teaches people how to get free of dieting, and how to relearn to feed themselves "on demand" ... basically, the principles of Intuitive Eating.

Here are some quotes from the book that I found insightful:

Page 11:
"Compulsive eaters consider themselves 'fat' or 'bad' because they measure themselves against two cultural ideals and find themselves lacking. First, they accept the idea that there is an 'ideal' body and that theirs is far from it; second, they believe that eating is something which must be 'controlled'."

Page 25:
"To be sure, many people welcome the rules and regulations of a diet. They like the structure. They feel relieved to have the decisions about what, when and how much to eat taken out of their hands. They find it easier to say 'I'm not allowed' than to struggle with their needs and desires... we live in a culture that applauds control."

Page 26:
"Once you understand that diets are punishments for bad behaviour, you can understand why they fail... Diets are, fundamentally, confinements much like prisons, and dieters, like prisoners, do time for not looking right. Prisoners share a common fantasy: Rebellion."

Page 87:
"You and your body are self-regulatory. You are going to learn how to let your body tell you how it should be fed, and in the process many of you will also lose weight. We recognize, however, that you haven't yet accepted the idea that you can self-regulate and that stopping dieting is a frightening step for you to take."


Page 88:
"If you let go of rules and do not yell at yourself about food, you will eat less compulsively. Giving up diets is LIBERATING!"


"Dumping the diet means you will never again think of ANY food as 'fattening' or 'forbidden'."


"Our goal is to get you to a point where it won't occur to you to eat unless you're hungry... Once your obsession is cured, you'll be able to have a terrible week without turning to food for comfort."

Friday, March 03, 2006

My Story...

My weight problems started during my first pregnancy, in 1998. Up until then, I'd been a tiny size 6, and could eat whatever I wanted without gaining a pound. I never *truly* exercised, unless you count dancing around in my room to my music. ;-)

With my pregnancy, I was going through a great amount of stress, plus I'd injured myself and couldn't work. I lost a lot of my "friends" during this time period, so I was lonely, afraid, and bored. I sat around in front of the television, watching soap-operas, and snacking.

My family (and my doctor) kept commenting on my weight gain. They told me to go easy on the snacks, and drink more water. I didn't listen. I thought, "I'm eating for two! It's okay!" Boy, what a lie! LOL

By the end of the pregnancy, I'd ballooned up to a size 18 -- the heaviest I've ever been in my life -- and I was absolutely horrified! I'd thought I was fat when I was a size 6 (thank you, wonderful media!) -- so you can just imagine what I felt with those extra 60 pounds on my frame!

I started walking when my son was about 8 months old, and I took off 10 pounds in a month. This was reassuring, but not comforting.

By the time of my second pregnancy, two years later, my life was a little more stable, and I'd plateaued at a size 12.

With the second pregnancy, I knew not to "eat for 2", but I still ended up gaining 35 lbs. This put me back to a size 18, afterward.

I tried diet after diet, but nothing lasted longer than 1-3 weeks. Some plans didn't even last a day! LOL I just don't like to be told what to do, what to eat, or how much/little I can have! I felt really restricted or deprived, so I always gave up and went back to my ways.

After my daughter was born, we went through a time of serious financial stress. The bank foreclosed on us, forcing us to move from our home within a month -- talk about STRESSFUL! But, God provided, and we moved from our large, 2-bedroom, to a tiny 3-bedroom home. There were *some* blessings hidden in this time of trial!

5 years after the birth of my daughter (it was now 2005), God led me to find the hunger-fullness method for weight-loss, via a popular book. Reading it, I couldn't believe it could be this simple! "You mean, I just have to eat when I'm hungry, stop when I have had just enough, and I can lose weight? I don't even have to exercise? Yeah, right!"

In just two days of following this method, though, I lost 2 pounds! I seriously thought my scale was lying to me. But, when I continued to see the scale move down over the next few weeks, I started to believe that this could possibly be the answer I'd been seeking to my weight problems!

Reading the book, though, raised some little red flags for me ... some of the theology seemed "off" -- after all, this was supposed to be a Christian weight-loss program, and yet, something wasn't sitting right.

At this time (3 weeks into following the principles of hunger-fullness), an online friend sent me a link to an article ... and I was enlightened. The author of the book I'd been reading was a supposed "cult-leader"! I immediately wanted to burn the book (though, I couldn't do that, as I LOVE books!) I was devastated!

Luckily, God also included the name of yet another hunger-fullness program -- a GRACE-oriented one! -- in this same article, so I wasn't left hanging. Mind you, I was reluctant to try it, as I didn't want to be so easily duped, again!

Thank the Lord, though, the new program was MUCH more freeing, and I continued to release weight as I listened to my body's natural cues of "hunger" and "fullness".

Six months later, I was just 5 pounds from my goal -- I had become a size 8! (something that, in the depths of my "dieting days", I never thought I'd see again!)

Unfortunately, with the Holiday season upon me, I gave myself permission to snack when I wasn't hungry, which just snowballed until I'd completely let go of the principles I'd learned, and I put back all of the weight I'd released. :-(

But, God is faithful. He has used my "falling off the wagon" to teach me that "failure is only failure if you don't keep trying". So, I'm pressing on, and I know that I will get the hang of this again.

I also learned that I never dealt with the emotional side of why I overeat, so it was like I'd put a bandage on a wound that needed stitches. It didn't really "fix" my problem. So, now I'm working on my emotions, too (and I just found a really cool, helpful website that I think is REALLY going to help!)

Anyway. I'm in this for life! It's the best, most FREEING thing I've ever found, and it works! Praise God, I'll never have to diet again! No more roller-coaster. ;o)

One woman's story of tuning into her body's signals...

Surfing online this morning, I came across a great article by a woman named Patrica Wells. She tells of finding a program that taught her all about "attuned eating" (same as "Intuitive Eating"), and how it changed her life. Read it here!

Intuitive Eating: What is it? How does it work?

Found this information online -- it's from several different sources. This is an awesome way to release weight and keep it off for life!

What is Intuitive Eating?

• It varies from person to person. Because our tastes, bodies, activities, emotions, and spiritual paths are different, what our bodies require in terms of nourishment also differs.
• It is cyclical. Weekly, monthly, and annual cycles, even life cycles, change our body's need for, and responses to, food.
• It is imperfect. Intuitive eating does not mean we'll always choose absolutely "healthy" or "pristine" foods. We won't always feel as if we've had a "perfect" balance.
• It is rhythmic. We feel pleasantly full (but not stuffed) after a meal and pleasantly hungry (but not starving) before the next.
• It includes a wide variety of foods. Cereals and grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meats, beans, nuts, and even fats play a role in normal, intuitive eating. Again, the exact balance and variety of foods must be individualized.
• It is free of obsession. It acknowledges that our compulsions are due to biochemical or emotional reasons and any over- or under-eating is a clue to begin looking further as an opportunity for learning.
• It is nourishing to the body and spirit.
• It feels good. Good food in the right amounts and at the right times excites the senses. It provides tactile and taste sensations as we eat, and a pleasurable "full" feeling afterward. When we finish a meal, we feel comforted and renewed - physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.
• It is an essential component of self care. What better way to nurture ourselves than with the foods we need and enjoy in the amounts we require?

Here are the facts:
• You don't need pills.
• You don't need pricey supplements.
• You don't have to count, or weigh, or measure anything.
• You don't have to exercise obsessively.
• You don't have to pay expensive ongoing fees.
• You don't have to leave your home and go to a meeting or a clinic.
• You don't have to suffer the humiliation of weigh-ins.
• You never have to starve yourself again.

You can start today, right now, in fact.
Everything is right here at your fingertips,
from the comfort of your own home.

Intuitive Eating
"Intuitive Eating" is the innate knowing of what, when and how much to eat for one's individual nutritional needs. Intuitive eating is free of obsession. It's the instinctive self-regulation of food intake that we are all born with.

With intuitive eating, there are no "good" or "bad" foods. There is no "on a diet" or "off a diet". There is nothing to feel guilty about. Our self-esteem can remain intact while we engage in the process of reconnecting with our innate wisdom—learning to honor our body signals.

Some of the key components of learning to eat intuitively are:
• Reject the diet mentality. There are no rules to break, no good foods and bad foods.
• Make friends with food. Food is an asset for recovery not something to battle against. Give yourself unconditional permission to eat and enjoy it.
• Keep the body well-fed so extreme hunger or lack of proper nutrition doesn't trigger overeating.
• Find constructive non-food-related ways to cope with the feelings and stressors that you tend to eat over.
• Practice honoring your health so you make primarily health promoting food choices.
• Practice mindful eating. Eat slow to allow time for your satiety signals to reach your brain. Pause throughout your meals and get in touch with your feelings.
• Incorporate gentle exercise into your lifestyle. Besides the obvious improvements in physical and mental health this brings, it also helps us get in touch with our bodies; how they feel and what they need.

When we give ourselves permission to stop dieting and focus instead on healthy behaviors, we can regain not only our physical health, but our self-esteem—our lives. By defining success in terms of increasing awareness, personal growth, and self-empowerment, a healthy weight can be achieved and maintained for a lifetime.

Welcome to Intuitive Eating!

Welcome to my Intuitive Eating blog! Here is where I'll share my story of how I found out about Intuitive Eating (IE), and of how it has changed my life! I'm excited to tell all that I know (and even those I don't know!) about this wonderful, freeing weight-releasing program! It's something sooo easy -- something I can do for life!

So, check back often, and learn all about how to get free from dieting forever! And, it's FREE!