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!