March 17, 2014

Intuitive Eating: What it is & Why I’m Doing It.

I first heard of intuitive eating as a “thing” on a twitter chat a couple of months ago. It sounded interesting, but I didn’t really think any more about it until just before the Princess Half when I started researching it online. I then ended up buying the book “Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works” on my iPad to keep me busy on my flight back from Disney. I read through about a third of the book on my flight and have been slowly working through the rest as I can.

intuitiveeating

Simply put, diets do not work for me in the long run. Over the years I have tried a few and they all had the same thing in common, either they had long lists food restrictions, or in some cases the diet is so restrictive that they give a list of foods you are allowed to eat instead since that list is much smaller, or they require you to “count” your food.

Whether it be points, macronutrient ratios, or calories I absolutely hate counting my food. I see how keeping a food log can help one realize just how much they have or  haven’t ate, but what happens when you have eaten your allotted calories for the day and are legitimately still hungry? Here is where intuitive eating just makes more since to me. 

Much like it sounds, intuitive eating is all about learning to trust your body to tell you what, when, and how much to eat. It sounds simple enough, but unlike all the diets out there you can’t just print out a shopping list and be on your way. Instead there is a lengthy road ahead of you as you work through the 10 principles of intuitive eating.

DietPrinciple 1 is to reject the diet mentality. For many, years of dieting and watching everything that they eat has been ingrained into their brains so this principle can be a huge first step to breaking free from their serial dieting.

I haven’t been a huge dieter, although I have always “watched what I ate” for as long as I can remember. Kicking the diet mentality has gone pretty well for me, but I do find myself trying to revert back to some dieting “tricks” I picked up along the way every once in awhile. On the bright side I am more aware of them now so they are not as much of a habit as they use to be, and I realize what I am doing.

Principle 2, honoring your hunger, is where I am currently at. I feel I will probably be stuck here for quite awhile. After suffering from an eating disorder in my younger teen years, being hungry doesn’t bother me all that much so I have to relearn my hunger cues. Not only do I need to learn what my cues are, but then I also need to honor them. I am notorious for not knowing what I want to eat, which is usually more of a battle between what I really want to eat and what I feel I *should* eat, which leads to me delaying my meal until I am starving and then I eat anything and everything I can get in my mouth fast enough to try and catch up to my hunger.

Yes, we can all see the flaw in this method, yet I do it over and over again and I really seem to be surprised each time it happens.   

I will be covering the other 8 principle in future posts, as I am working on them myself, but a few things you should know, and keep in mind, about intuitive eating is that it is not so much a weight loss program as it is a listening to your body thing. Also your body has a natural weight, which probably will not be the weight you want it to be, so you have to dump the scale and trust how you feel.

born intuitive eaterThrough observations over the years I know that my body likes to hang around 145 lbs. That is a weight I can usually maintain easily and the weight my body tends to naturally fall back into time after time. For my 5’4” body that put me on the high end of normal, according to all the BMI charts, but about 10-15 pounds over what they feel my “ideal” weight is. I fully expect, that through intuitive eating, I will find myself right back at that weight but I am hoping to switch some of my fat weight over to muscle weight through exercise and weight training.    

Have you ever heard of or done intuitive eating before? What other “diets” or “lifestyle changes” have you tried in the past?

March 3, 2014

Focus T25, Take 4

This week I restarted Focus T25 for the forth time. The previous 3 times I made it about a week and a half and ended up quitting for various reasons, most of which were trips to Disney that interrupted my momentum. This time things are going to be different.

T25

First of all I am done with my race season until the fall, and I have no trips planned, other then my move to Houston next month!! So really there is little to get in my way this time.

I’ve also decided to take a different approach. I’ve been reading about intuitive eating (more on that to come) and I really like the perspective they advocate. They tell you not to exercise to count your calorie burn or to try and make your body mimic that of a fitness model, but instead to move your body and exercise for how it makes you feel. Yes, exercise can make me sore and tired, but it also makes me feel alive! I love the hint of sore muscles to know that I pushed myself and I can feel “change” happening. It also helps me to sleep better at night (remember that is one of my March goals).

Since I have been struggling to exercise regularly for over a year now I figure T25 is a great place to start.

I Got Time for That Sure, I use to do P90X yoga (an hour and a half) AFTER a 10 mile run when I was in my prime, but guess what. I’m not in my prime anymore so 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week seems like a pretty good place to start over at.

I fear one of my biggest struggles will be to drop the numbers. Today was day 1, and even though I took before pictures (so I can get my shirt for completing the program) I did not step on a scale or grab my tape measure. I’m hoping that by not having those starting numbers I will not be tempted down the road to get on a scale since I won’t have anything to compare it to anyway.

I know this goes against the norm, but if I am going to truly learn to enjoy and appreciate my body for all that it is I need to let go of the numbers. They don’t define my worth and they certainly shouldn’t define how I see myself. 

March 1, 2014

Project Me Update/ March Goals

I have not been posting much about Project Me lately and that is because I became a bit stuck with what to do next. Lucky for me while I was looking for a book to keep me occupied for my 4 hour flight to Orlando I came across “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. As I read the subtitle “Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” it reminded me very much of my own project currently underway. 

I will confesses I’ve only read about a chapter and a half so far, but just that little bit has helped me to get Project Me back on track. In the book she divided the things she wanted to work on into categories, and then assigned each category a month that she would devote to focusing on making the changes in that category before adding in the next category the next month.

March With today being March 1st it felt like the perfect time to set up my own set of goals to help bring me closer to becoming the person I want to be. Since I’ve decided I really need more balance in my life I plan to choose 1 or 2 [non-weight related] physical goals as well as 1 or 2 emotional/mental goals to work on each month.

I tend to have a rather *focused* personality so I like to go all in and then I burn out or get discouraged quickly; so I am really going to make an effort to keep it simple this time.

For this month I think I really need to work on my discipline since I’ve been finding myself falling more and more into complacency. I have a long standing quote I like to throw around

Don't Play Victim and this is what I feel like I’ve been doing. Yes, life is a bit of a challenge for me right now, but choices have been made that have brought me to this point and I need to just suck it up and deal with it.  

So here are the things I want to focus on for the month of March:

  1. SLEEP! I need to establish and stick with a decent sleep schedule to allow my body adequate rest.
  2. Move My Body! I sit around on my bum most of the day. I need to get back to being more active, even if I don’t follow a certain workout routine.
  3. Give myself a “time out” at least once a day to decompress and refocus my energy.
  4. Stop comparing myself to everyone else!

insecurity

Do you set time specific goals? What is something you want to work on about yourself in the coming month/months?

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