Intuitive Eating: A Test Drive

Reality: As of today, I officially have plans every night for the next 23 days.

Confession: Over the weekend I did a gigantic trust fall into the arms of intuitive eating.

I know.  I KNOW.

The last time I even went near the topic of Intuitive Eating was in March.

I was skeptical.  I still am.

Food and healthy living bloggers, Evacuate The Dance Floor.

We are on High Alert.

Reality: Effective Thursday, everything I have put in front of me will be the most wonderful, delicious, Best Of All Possible Worlds-type arrangement a girl could want.

We all know given the choice to feast or fast, I will feast.  Always.

But 20 days of feasting?

That’s a pretty bold proposition.  I’m completely mentally prepared to go to Europe and come back heavier.  But I also don’t want to spend the better part of a month feeling bloated, puffy, overly full, or in any other way uncomfortable.

Because quite simply, that will suck.

It will not make me feel like I am a part of The Jet Set and it will not encourage me when I should be feeling absolutely beautiful getting ready for dinner.

Rah-rah.  Intuitive Eating isn’t a diet.  It’s not about abusing your body with or by withholding food, it’s about Nourishing Yourself and Honoring Your Hunger.

I get eating when I’m hungry.  But Honoring my Hunger?

I’m the kind of person who deals in specifics.  Like, I get being hungry, but when you tell me to “know the signals,” like, that’s a little bit vague.

Is hunger the point where I start to fixate on a certain food?  When I have a headache?  When I start getting snarky?  When I pass out?  When everyone in the meeting can hear my stomach grumbling?

A scale of 1-10 is all right and good, but considering that our friend Sara thought on a scale of 1 – An Unknown Number her pain during childbirth was at a 3, what does a scale like that even mean anymore?

It’s disconcerting, really.

Anyway, I’m on Day…5 of “Honoring my Hunger.”  I still feel like I have zero clarity (I was hoping for An Epiphany), but the wheels haven’t totally fallen off of the wagon yet.

What I can say…

  • Between my evening on Nicollet Mall and my cousin’s graduation party, I didn’t gain any weight.
  • I’m grazing like crazy (is that normal?).  For me, lunch has turned into more of a 12 PM – 2 PM thing.
  • I have to cut myself off.  CONSTANTLY.
  • I have not once felt “hangry.”
  • I have not craved processed (packaged) foods.
  • I immediately noticed my body’s transition from fall/winter foods to summer foods.

Should I buy The Book?  Maybe.  But at this point, I think that we can all agree that I may as well see how this week goes before I try to make any sort of epic commitment.

Do you eat intuitively?

Does “Honoring Your Hunger” mean anything to you?


18 responses to “Intuitive Eating: A Test Drive

  1. Peachy Keen

    I agree in theory and think it’s really interesting, looking forward to hearing how it goes for you.

  2. I’m always hungry in my mind so I’m not so good at intuitive eating…good luck!

  3. “Honoring your hunger” sounds a little reckless to me. Like a therapist saying “embrace your inner rage.” This could end badly. I’m trying harder to eat only when I’m truly hungry and stop as soon as I even start to feel full. I haven’t seen any real benefit to it yet, but at least I don’t feel like a glutton. TCP is one of those guys who feels compelled to eat based on the clock.
    Him: “It’s 6pm. What’s for dinner?”
    Me: “Are you hungry?”
    Him: “No, but it’s 6pm.”
    We really need to work on finding a good compromise.
    Promise me you’ll take lots of photos of the food on your honeymoon so we can live vicariously through your trip, okay!?! It’s going to be awesome!

  4. For me, intuitive eating = weight gain. But that’s only because my intuition always seems to want chocolate. 🙂

  5. Oh man, I have to ignore my intuitive eating. It’s always screaming things like, “Why are you eating grilled chicken? I want it fried!” or “Me want sugars. And cookies. And chocolate. Want want want!” I need to shut that thing up and press on with better options.

  6. All I know is that this post just made me hungry! 🙂 Serioulsy, just the mention of food and I’m searching for something to eat! I’m definitely a honor my hunger type of girl!

  7. I have been one of those people that have tracked my food through out the years. A little while ago I needed a break from the every day chore of righting what I eat, how many , calories.. etc. So I decided to try and listen to my body. Eat when I was hungry, eat what I thought that I wanted to eat. I guess I’ve done pretty good. I’ve noticed that I choose healthier options.

  8. I agree with Leashieloo on the intuitive hunger thing – my body sends me profanity laced body pangs when I don’t give it the fried stuff, the sugars and chocolate that it requires. (Yes, there is a daily dose of chocolate in my desk at work)
    But I did notice, as soon as we hit 70 degrees here in the Great Wet NW, my eating habits did a complete 180 to much healthier, fresher and lighter stuff.
    I still listen to my body, it gets what it wants sometimes and in smaller quantities, but I’m doing the CONSCIOUS thing when it comes to eating – not necessarily the “intuitive” thing…

  9. Good luck girl! It sounds like you’ve already been doing pretty well at this point.
    I try to eat intuitively, but calorie counting has become such a habit. It’s almost a habit similar to biting your nails. Not a terrible habit I suppose.
    I don’t understand how some people have such ease with honoring your hunger. Sometimes I’m super hungry despite eating a large meal, and other times I don’t even want to see food but I really need it. There are times where I do indeed eat when hungry, and don’t when I’m not, but it’s never all the time.

  10. I think the fact that you’re not craving packaged foods is a good sign, and grazing is supposed to be better for you than eating a massive, heavy meal. And eating light, healthy snacks–I mean, really low calorie, low fat, and, especially if it’s fruits and veggies, that’s the stuff your body needs.

    I usually get “graze-y” when I haven’t had much if anything during the day, I come home from work, start on a little something, and then find I almost can’t stop because my body is STARVING. I don’t feel hungry right then–maybe I did an hour or two ago, but my body gave up trying to communicate and turned that switch turned off –but the fact that I am craving everything in sight tells me something’s out of whack. So long as THAT’S not happening to you, I think you’re all right.
    Sometimes, I ignore or have ignored the hunger pains for so long, I don’t feel it, and then I don’t eat. Growing up, my mom learned the “honor hunger” thing and while it was a great concept my little mind took it too far and now there are times where I have to force myself to eat if I’m not in pain due to hunger. Don’t let yourself go so far that your body turns “off” the hunger pains. Eat on a good schedule, and try not to splurge too late at night (that’s how I gained my after-wedding weight, Blech).

    Good luck!!! :]

  11. I, too, want to do the Intuitive Eating thing….but struggle with it 😦

  12. I actually still don’t totally understand what the hell intuitive eating means.

    But I’m really going through a food rut right now, so I doubt it would be my friend. I’m in that head space where nothing sounds good and nothing is appealing to me when I eat it and I am just craving MORE, but I don’t know what.

  13. I have no problem eating intuitively anymore. I used to really struggle with that. But I’m good now and I feel SO much better than I don’t have a running calorie tally 24/7. I just need to knock off my after dinner snacking habit and then I’ll be good to go.

  14. What exactly is intuitive eating? Me eating what I want as opposed to what I logically know that I should probably eat could end in a train wreck. I would eat fried chicken and chocolate cake every day and not give it a second thought if logic (guilt and tight pants) didn’t knock me into reality. This is the best time of year for me though, because I crave fresh food in the warmer weather.

  15. My theory is that half the time when my mind says “HUNGRY” my body is probably also craving water. So I’ve made a rule that if I’m going to eat what my mind seems to think it wants (usually Doritos or spaghetti) that I have to drink a full glass of water first, wait 5 minutes, then choose a snack based on a thirst-quenched intuition. Generally it leads me to better foods and feeling more satisfied.

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