Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Intuitive Eating update and hair surprise!

Hi everyone!
I hope that you're all having a fantastic Wednesday.  I had a bit of time so I wanted to write about my intuitive eating journey.  In short, it's going well.  Very well, actually. :)  I'm always hesitant to say anything in terms of my healing from disordered eating issues because I don't want to jinx it.  But, I think I owe it to myself and you guys to give you an update.

Basically, I've been doing exactly what I said I would be doing-- I'm eating what I want when I want... and it's making me feel great.  An important thing to note, however, is that I've had to try to sift through what my body wants and what my brain wants.

About seven years ago, at the height of my binge eating disorder, I visited a nutritionist who told me to eat intuitively, and to trust my body in telling me what and when it needs to be fed.  For the next few days I tried to practice what she had recommended and I ate three very big meals each day.  I figured, hey, it's breakfast/lunch/dinner time, I need to EAT.  The problem with that was that I wasn't actually listening to what my body wanted or my hunger cues-I was just eating at conventional meal times.  And I was eating big meals because I thought that it would help me break my abnormal relationship with food and control.  In the end, I gave up on 'intuitive eating' after only a few days (and a few added pounds) and went on to restrict and binge for years on end.

Looking back, I'm pretty sure I know what 'went wrong'.  After suffering from binge eating disorder for many years I had lost touch with my hunger cues and I had absolutely no trust in my body's signals.  So what I thought was Intuitive Eating was really not.

This time around intuitive eating has come to me much more naturally.  Very simply, I listen to my body's hunger cues and try to feed my body what it wants when it wants it.  The biggest difference is that now I actually trust my bodies signals.  I've gotten to the point at which I've lost interest in trying to force my body to be what it's not.  I'm not into restricting my eating so that I can be 3 pounds thinner (I don't know (and frankly don't care) what I weigh because I seized weighing!).  It's just not an option anymore.  Attempting to live in harmony with food is much nicer on my mind and my body, and a lot more fun!
Over the last few weeks I've found that if I eat a lot on one day, my body is naturally not as hungry the next day.  It's as simple as that.  My control issues with food intake have very much lessened because I have so much more trust in my body.  My body is a freaking machine; it knows what it's doing!  Who am I to let my crazy throw a monkey wrench into this well-oiled powerhouse?

This realization and trust is very slowly (but surely) transforming my relationship with my body and my food intake.  Now, I don't freak out as much If I eat tacos and dessert one night.  Because I know that it's not going to send me into a tailspin of eating crap food.  I trust that my body will want healthy good-for-me nutritious foods very soon and that my food intake will balance itself out to what my body needs (speaking caloric-ly and nutritious-ly).  What's more is that if I want to eat a couple of chocolates at 3 o'clock in the afternoon because my body wants it, I do!
One thing though, is that I sometimes really have to differentiate between what my body wants and what I think it wants.  Does my body really need to eat the entire bag of Milkyways?  Probably not!

The cherry on top, however, is that my relationship with my body is also on it's way to improving (which, again, I'm hesitant to report... since my body image is so up and down!).  Right now, I'm at a place in which I'm accepting my body for what it is.  Some days I feel fabulous, and other days I don't-- and that's O.K. because to accept my body for exactly what it is and how it looks (and aren't all bodies wondrous?!) is a huge step in the right direction.  Not to get all New Age-y on ya'll, but my body is my vessel, truly.  It carries me through life.  It's healthy.  It's strong.  And it's beautiful.

Btw... I got so tired of my hideous haircut that I got it cut short- TWICE!


Love u all!

So, tell me... 

Do you partake in intuitive eating?
Does it work well for you?
Got any questions for me?!


  1. I love your hair Yasi!!!!!! You look so FAB!

    I do want to try intutive eating. So where should I start with this? I have no idea where to start or how do this.

    And what made you decide to go ahead and do this? When did you start doing this? :) That's my questions for ya!

  2. Ash, I honestly believe that no one can truly tell you when or how to start intuitive eating.

    The reason that I started intuitive eating is because I went through a cycle (over Thanksgiving) where I ate a lot and felt terrible about myself. For two weeks after I restricted myself and my body image got better. Then around Christmas time I felt terrible about myself because of all of the food consumption. And then I thought to myself "there MUST be a better way than this".
    I think I just got so tired of the high highs and the low lows that I decided I'd take the middle ground and feel 'normal'- not great, but not terrible.

    That idea led itself to my easing up on my disordered eating thoughts and trying to really get a connection with my body. This happened right around the time that I made my inspiration board. I just wanted to feel 'good', and I wanted to trust my body again.
    So I let go of some of the reins on my eating and control issues, and my mental state has immensely improved.

    I don't know what other advice I can give you on the issue, other than to say *trust your body*. It knew what it was doing when you were 10 years old and it knows what it's doing now.

    I've been trying to accept that at this age and at this time in my life, my body wants to look like this and be at this weight. I am healthy, and that is fantastic.


  3. LOVE you new haircut!! :)

    I have a hard time with intuitive eating because sometimes I just don't get hungry though I know my body must be starving...I feel hungry and sick/shaky about the same time.....It's hard because I really want to listen to my body but wonder if I'm still not able to hear it very well....thoughts?

  4. Thanks Lily!

    Now to answer your question...

    I think that intuitive eating is something that takes time to eventually arrive at. What I mean is that I've struggled with various forms of disordered eating since I was 14 (so, 12 years now), and it's just now that eating intuitively is starting to make sense to me.

    I'm not sure if eating intuitively is the #1 thing that you should worry about right now because you are still in the very early stages of recovery. I believe that you need to heal your body first in order to start trusting it. From what it sounds like, you're still in the healing stage- which is fantastic for you and your body/mind/soul!

    That is why I couldn't answer Ashley's question on how to intuitively eat-- it's just something that came to me after a while. I had healed enough to the point where going back to my disordered eating ways just wasn't good enough anymore. I would rather be a little bigger and be able to work out and eat foods that I wanted and go out with friends. Being super skinny no longer tipped the scale of my life goals.

    Although I can't give you many ideas on how to start, here are some good book suggestions. I have not read them, but I've heard great things about them from other people:

    Also, Charlotte Hilton Anderson is a wonderful blogger/author with years of disordered eating experience. She recently started intuitive eating and has lots of great information about her journey.

    I hope that helps!

  5. Yasi, your hair looks great!
    And I'm so glad that things are going well for you! :)
    Your intuitive eating journey sounds awesome.
    I wish I was able to do that sort of thing. I kinda do, but I still have to write down my food and calories and stuff for my nutritionist. I have to hit 2500-3000 a day, and sometimes it's hard to do intuitive eating with that because I will eat when I'm hungry and stuff, but it still won't be enough calories.. Kinda annoying, but yea

    Also, I agree on your body balancing itself out! One day you eat a ton, the next you don't.. That's NORMAL eating! And that's awesome! Good for you :)
    Finally, I was surprised to hear that you had a restricting/binge type of ED for a while.. That is how I have been lately.. I used to only be anorexic, but the past couple months binging has occured.. it's so strange, and I hate it. Luckily I've been ok lately, but yea.. it's scary :/ I can't eat too much, and I can't eat too little. It's really hard to balance.
    I love reading your blogs.
    Do you have any posts from the time when you were binging/restricting? just wondering.. Or do you have any suggestions for me as to how to recover? I am working on it, but I don't know of too many people who have had this particular type of ED..
    Anyway, sorry this is so long!
    Thanks Yasi :)

  6. Beautiful post and beautiful hair! Intutive eating is hard to "learn" but it is a life-changing lesson. I love messing up because I am learning so much....

  7. Haley,
    My bingeing and restricting has been going on as long as I've had disordered eating (so... about 12 years). Here is a related post of my history with disordered eating and bingeing:

    There are other posts about bingeing sprinkled throughout:

    Also, I honestly don't have very many tips, other than to tell you to try to stop feeling guilty before/after a binge. Guilt (about my body and my food intake) is the one thing that has almost always led to a binge and kept a binge going for more than a day. If you try your hardest to say 'what's in the past is in the past' it will aid you in lessening your bingeing. But, again, I am still working on this one... so...

    Good luck! :)

    Missy, thanks Lady! :)


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