A few weeks ago I listened in on a tele-seminar that Dineen did. Dineen is all about the intuitive eating. I’ve been thinking about the concept ever since. Of course, intuitive eating appeals to the foodie* in all of us. It says, no foods are forbidden. Eat just exactly what you want when you want it. Eat foods you really love. Eat for the pure pleasure of eating. And my thought was, ‘hmmmph, that’s how I got to be 255 pounds.’ I wasn’t a binge eater. And really, most of the time I did not stuff myself. But I did eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it.
Now, to be fair, Dineen started off the seminar talking for quite a long time about the first component of intuitive eating: hunger. Really being aware of your hunger. Recognizing true hunger. Allowing yourself to be hungry. This is the part of intuitive eating that us foodies tend to forget about. But I’ve been thinking about being hungry and actually practicing letting myself get hungry before eating (sometimes) for a while now.
So I wondered. Could I trust myself to eat ‘what I want’ and not count calories like I have been doing for so very long?
I talked to Vicky about it. What was her take on ‘intuitive eating?’ ‘Well,’ she said, ‘part of eating what you want and eating what pleasures you is eating really good food that is also good for you and nourishes you. Food that tastes good while you are eating it, and makes you feel good after you have eaten it.’ And I think that if I read the book on intuitive eating that that would also be a big part of their ‘program.’ And I agreed with this. Lots of times now, I WANT the healthy alternative. LIke last week, when I was thinking about what I really wanted for dessert, and I thought about that lone piece of pie in the freezer left over from Christmas. But I decided what I really wanted was some cottage cheese and fresh strawberries.
But here’s the thing. This intuitive eating thing would never have worked for me from the get go. Because I would not ever have thought that cottage cheese and strawberries was something worth eating. After all, I had strawberries with heavy cream and powdered sugar on them. And I for sure would not have looked forward to an afternoon coffee with a lo-bar. Not when I knew how to make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world, and had them on hand at all times. And I would never have thought tonight’s dinner was something that would satisfy–not when I could have a sweet potato covered in melted butter as a side dish to fried fish.
So the intuitive eating thing, I don’t think it will work unless you have a whole arsenal of healthy meals/snacks/recipes under your belt. But I do have that now. So last week, I wasn’t doing my Vicky food any more, and I had two days of work scheduled. I wasn’t particularly prepared. But knowing what it takes to keep me fueled, I made a little plan: 500 calories before noon, 250 calories for lunch, 100 calories afternoon snack, 200 calories drive home, and 250 calories when I get home. The 250 calories when I got home was an idea Vickie gave me since I was having trouble eating after I got home from work even though I was not hungry.
So I know this plan includes calories, but its a process. When I say a calorie count, I pretty much have a very good idea of a variety of food choices within that range. I tried to include protein with each meal, along with a balance of fiber and some good fats. I have to say this worked really really well. It helped that there was no food in the breakroom!
Yesterday and today I have tried to do the intuitive eating, and really pay attention to my hunger. I have to admit that even though I am not writing it down, I count up the calories NUMEROUS times during the day. I think it will take me a while to get away from counting calories. I’m not even sure I want to. But this is an interesting experiment. I am having some foods I might not otherwise indulge in, and I am letting myself get a little hungrier before eating. I am thinking more in terms of maintaining my weight for this experiment, rather than hoping for a weight loss.
Regular stuff update. I am getting a lot of walking in. The little guys think they want to go for a walk now. So yesterday I went on THREE walks with the dogs, in additional to a really challenging weights workout at the gym. Today I took it easy with just two nice medium walks with Noah. I have been on a real cooking jag these past two days. Tried Christina’s asian sesame-crusted chicken nuggets, which were quite enjoyable. I think it would be a good addition to a stir-fry. I made my own Shrimp Ceviche, and this time added some jicama–quite good also. Made some homemade yogurt and strained it to make Greek yogurt. Well, made some other stuff, but that’s enough for now.
Doggie update and questions answered: Noah is fascinated by Mr. Monk, and Mr. Monk tolerates his nosing and sniffing for a little while and then gets up high away from him. But it is going well. Sophie and Mr. Monk occasionally share a blanket! Mr. Monk weighs between 18 and 21 pounds, depending on whose weighing him. He is a real sweetheart and has fit in so easily around here I can hardly believe it. He follows me around, and wags his whole body when he is excited to see me. I think it is good for Sophie to have another ‘little person’ in the house. She seems not to be so obsessive about food and other stuff. I think Noah weighs 65 pounds now. We will see this Friday. He has his appointment to get neutered!
Gratuitous Noah shot:
Hope all is well with everyone. Back to work tomorrow–see you in a day or two.
*foodie: one who loves food and finds pleasure in the flavors, colors and textures of food.