I Just Want to be a Real Girl

I just want to be a real girl.  You know, like Pinocchio dreamed about.  Isn’t that what we all want?  Maybe that’s the reason for the current interest in intuitive (mindful) eating* in blogland.

When I first started this journey, and it looked like I might be successful, I said I didn’t care if I had to go to W.W. every week for the rest of my life–it would be worth it to keep the weight off  (you know, like some alcoholics need to go to AA meetings every week for the rest of their lives.)  Along the way, I became a ‘professional’ tracker of food, first points, then calories.  And I said I didn’t mind writing down everything I ate for the rest of my life, if it would help me to keep the weight off  (you know, like some people with a chronic illness need to take a pill or a shot every day for the rest of their lives.)  And I mean it.  I would be willing to do these things, if that is what is necessary.  But just like Pinocchio, or a former alcoholic, or the person with a chronic illness, I long for ‘normal.’  Gonna give it that old college try.  And even if I can’t get there, I am learning new stuff all the time, and it is all beneficial to me.

There were several things I picked up from reading the IE book.

  • One was to enjoy the food while I was eating it.  They suggest NOT doing anything else while you are eating, so you can focus on enjoying the food.  This is hard for me since I live alone.  But I have tried to JUST eat and  concentrate on the textures and taste of the food.  Everything I eat is darn good, so why not enjoy it?  And I do like knowing when I am getting to the bottom of the bowl, instead of being surprised when I go for the next bite and there is nothing left!
  • Honor your hunger.  You know I’ve been working on this one.
  • Cope with your emotions without using food.   Ugh.  Of course, this is nothing new.  Its been around FOR YEARS.  The media.  Oprah.  Everybody has been saying, you have to deal with your emotions.  But most of the time they seemed to indicate that it was some deep childhood trauma that you had to deal with.  Which made me say, I am not an emotional eater.  I just love food.  But now there have been several books/writers talking about just using food to cope with everyday stuff.  And that does resonate with me.  Its driving me nuts that I eat so much some days at work.  And at home, where there is just as much food available, I am completely in control of what I eat.  I just got a new book, Do You Use Food to Cope?, and it is set out like a workbook with 15 weeks to work through.  I will probably be mentioning it here for the next few (15)  weeks.  It is also so helpful to hear individual’s personal experiences with mindful eating.  Thanks so much to Miz and Dietgirl for their excellent podcast on all things IE.   Christie at Honoring Health is one that I check regularly, and Katy at Health for the Whole Self is another that I enjoy.

I just want to be a real girl.

*BTW, I wanted to point out  that intuitive eating is not instinctive eating, which is what I think some people take it to mean.  I think intuitive indicates that you take everything you know and understand about yourself and food, and use that information to make the best choices for your whole life.  I’ll probably write more about what this means to me later.  Because you’ve never heard me talk about this stuff on this blog before LOL.

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10 thoughts on “I Just Want to be a Real Girl

  1. I have actually never distinguished between intuitive and instinctive eating before – I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

    I don’t think I have any deep-seeded (or is it seated?) emotional scars either…maybe some loneliness issues, but nothing earth shattering. Like I told Katie, I eat because I think it’s logical to eat when I’m bored. Something I learned a long time ago, and now a habit I need to break.

  2. Ahhh Debby – we are twins again:

    “Which made me say, I am not an emotional eater. I just love food.”

    Sometimes I wish I had some deep-seated emotional issue that leads me to eat other than boredom at times. Yes, I stress eat on occasion, but sometimes my mouth just loves the food so much I don’t want to stop.

    I have this long-ass post about IE that I am going to post probably on Friday with my thoughts and questions on the whole process.

    I also decided that I don’t like the term intuitive eating – instead preferring mindful eating. Don’t ask me why.

    You are a real girl,you know? All women have these issues, no matter what their size.

  3. Awesoem points and I actually have a post planned about the emotional eating not needing to be some deep seeded thing or even a negative emotion. I get A LOT of comments from my readers and clients that they do not feel that they are emotional eaters when really, they are. Eating outside of hunger is emotional, it just is.

  4. Wow-o-wow. So many thoughts, and very similar to yours. I, too, have committed to doing what’s necessary to stay healthy, even if it means charting and tracking for the rest of my life…and yet, wishing this practice was enough of a habit for it to hold when faced with stress, boredom, loneliness, and whatever other non-hunger reasons I eat.

    I didn’t track food at all in June, and I think there was some sort of grace involved (or just busyness), because I did just fine weight-wise. There was one morning when my blood glucose level was out of range (which hardly ever happens anymore), and I’d eaten really healthfully the night before, but maybe just more than I needed. Weird.

    As for “normal,” well, I’m wondering if what we’re seeking is abnormal. 😉 I know very few women who don’t have these issues; it seems like the ones who don’t “look” like they have these issue are longing just as strongly for the same equanimity when it comes to food.

    You know what’s really strange that I’ve found? That tummy-gnawing feeling that is supposed to be “hunger?” It doesn’t always mean I need to eat something. I’ve cross-checked with my meter on occaision; today, it was there after lunch, when my blood glucose was at 140 (I’d just had a couple of bites of some goodies). That can really mess with my mind when it comes to getting in touch with my physical hunger symptoms.

  5. I would love to be what I think “normal” should be. So many women seem to have food issues that I’m not sure what it is. I have always been surprised to find out that some so-called “normal eaters” have their ways of keeping their weight down that may not be so normal. Most of us (women) seem to have to give this “weight thing” more time and energy than we would like. Thanks for the help with my blog. I’m hoping to get it working soon.

  6. such an interesting post.
    I know for me it was almost a HELP that when I was working through all of this I was alone.

    in that there werent any books etc to turn to and I tend to get REALLY OVERWHELMED.

    I did the same sort of things you talk about (honoring the hunger was a biggie) but without names for it.

    and, for ME, I think that helped.

    it is all such a journey.

  7. I just listened to the podcast yesterday and one of the things that struck me was how Miz talked about almost always doing something while eating. It works for her. So I do believe there is so much more fine tuning that has to take place once one decides to embark on the IE experience.

    I love your distinction between Intuitive Eating and Instictive eating. You may have come up with one of the best definitions I’ve seen of eating intuitively.

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