Eating intuitively has been going well for me. It was scary at first and I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I thought for sure I was going to binge non-stop until I made myself sick. I’m not saying I didn’t do that at all. But the binges are less frequent the longer I focus on eating intuitively. Bingeing is a hard habit for me to break, because it started at such a young age. I would get home from school feeling just miserable, usually from being bullied all day about being FAT, and proceeded to eat my way through the kitchen. I was usually alone after school, except for my awesome dog, Swimmer (I was not responsible for his name).
A binge would look like this: a piece of balony for me, one for puppy, a couple Oreo cookies for me, one for puppy, a piece of cheese for me, one for puppy…. etc. I would eat until I felt uncomfortable (pretty sure Swimmer could have kept going, he was a real trooper). When the rest of my family came home, we all sat down for dinner. I always ate my dinner and usually a snack before bed. Years later I told my Mom about the binges, only thing she said was, “that explains why that dog was fat!” Guess she wasn’t overly concerned about the fact that I had binged frequently after school. This happened from grades 3 to 8. Going into high school I had added dieting.
I know the adjustment from how I ate and regarded food most of my life to eating intuitively is not going to happen overnight. And that’s okay. I don’t regard this as another diet. For me, this is the opposite of dieting. This is learning to just EAT without rules, weighing food, counting calories or points. Just EATING for the rest of my life!
However, my biggest challenge so far has been to not step on that damn scale! Every Saturday morning I used to be so anxious about weighing in. Going to weigh in at ‘Its-a-lifestyle’ Watchers was hell. All week I would follow my diet plan to the letter, exercise like a maniac, and drink plenty of water. One week no loss was okay, no big deal. Two weeks of no loss was stressful but I would be stricter, cut back on the carbs, do an extra run, and refocus my efforts for the next week. After a month of no loss I would become depressed and if my weight went up I was almost in tears after the meeting. And looking around that room I could tell I wasn’t the only one. The crazy thing was that I KNEW how I would do that morning. I weighed myself every morning! So I went there with a pretty good idea of how I would do. But Saturday morning I would convince myself that maybe by some miracle I had actually lost the 1-2 pounds promised (yes, I think they say it enough that I believed it was a promise).
Then I started to read about Intuitive Eating and HAES and read the suggestion to not weigh myself. Uh, what? How would I keep track so that I don’t end up gaining 100 pounds? Don’t weigh in? Really? Wow!! It was tough getting to this point, and it’s only the last few weeks that I have started to feel better about not weighing myself. I didn’t quit cold turkey, that didn’t work for me. First, I started only weighing in once a week at home. Good bye ‘Because-it-works’ Watchers, hello money back in my pocket! And before I stepped on that scale I prepared myself for whatever the scale said. I told myself that I was only weighing myself to gauge how my body was responding to eating intuitively. I would allow myself to feel whatever, but I would really think about how I was feeling and why. Ok, I gained a pound, does this matter? A pound? To whom does it matter? Anyone else care if I gain one pound, even 20?? Nope, probably only me. Did that one pound change anything about who I was? Nope.
Eventually it was a little longer than a week when I weighed myself, then two weeks. It has been three weeks now. I thought briefly about weighing myself this morning. I decided I would if I could think of a really good reason to, but I could not think of a single reason why I would benefit from weighing myself. Next step, scale is going to the basement! I feel SO much better about myself NOT weighing in. I realize now how damaging it was to step on that scale every day or even once a week. It was seriously detrimental in how I felt about myself. Maybe some people can be objective when they weigh themselves, and not go into panic mode. That’s not me. My weight will be whatever it’s going to be without me knowing the actual number every day!