Cute thing that happened today at work: I bumped into a friend and coworker who works in a different department, who interrupted her chat with someone else to tell me, "Ooooh! You lost weight--you look so skinny and curvy!"
Vicky is the fourth person in the space of a month to notice I've dropped a little weight over the past month, dropping from 136 to 129. (In actuality, though, I fluctuate between 129 and 131, depending on if there's cheesecake around. Just teasing! More on that in a second.) What is most amazing to me is that I haven't done anything in particular for that to happen. I'm exercising, yes, because exercise is part of my life. It's something I enjoy and don't have to force myself to do--but I'm not doing it obsessively. Neither am I counting points, carbs, or calories and swearing off favorite foods.
That said, the way I look at food and eating HAS changed...and it's all due to Intuitive Eating.
Let me back up. I've been practicing IE longer than I've been blogging about it, bringing me to almost two years since I first discovered the book and subsequently waved goodbye to dieting. In that time, I've watched friends drop weight on diets, then regain it, then return to that diet or a different method of losing weight. My own weight has fluctuated, and at one time it went as high as 138 (at the beginning of my journey), with my weight slowly beginning to drop and hover around 129 and 131 for, literally, weeks. I have been maintaining that weight effortlessly, and I can't take the credit when it goes directly to IE.
Where am I now on this journey? Well, there are better benchmarks than what the scale has to say, for one thing. I no longer measure myself by what digital numbers show up in that little square. For one thing, I and my family are eating less processed food, less fast food, and less eating out in general. We're enjoying more the fruits (and vegetables!) from our garden and local farmer's market. If it's not delicious, I don't have time for it. I do indulge in what is referred to in Intuitive Eating as "play foods" (chips, ice cream, Snickers and such, usually a Friday or Saturday treat), but I no longer feel the urge to go overboard. My portions are smaller than they used to be. I don't need a diet to tell me how much I can put on my plate. If anything, I am satisfied with less naturally, by just honoring my natural hunger and fullness.
Interestingly, though I'm no longer dieting, I still stock my fridge with yogurt and I still ask the young lady on the other side of the counter at Subways for a little extra lettuce on my sandwich. Jeans that I haven't worn in a long time are fitting me perfectly again, and if I'm lost in a book my Kindle is reading to me, I can stay on the treadmill for an extra 15 minutes and not even notice!
Because of IE, I've discovered that I'm a foodie. I never would have admitted that to myself when I was dieting because, according to diets, there are Good Foods and Bad Foods. When you're a foodie, you acknowledge that grilled cheeses made with Gruyere cheese are even sexier than those made with American cheese!
And also because of IE, I've sort of become my own nutritionist. I had a professor in college who once told us, "I make it my business to know all there is about cars so that I know what the mechanic is talking about." (Don't ask me why she was going on and on about cars; the class was Children's Literature! Heh!) To paraphrase her, I've made it my business to know all I can about nutrition, so that I know my family and I are getting the best nutrition we can."
Besides, there's something about eating homemade creamy tomato soup that you can't quite get in a can. It's especially delicious after an invigorating walk out in the fresh air, under God's blue sky and a brilliant sun!
Are you an intuitive eater? How has your journey been? Feel free to share them!