Monday, April 30, 2007

Don’t Exercise...Play!

The other day I was killing some time by reading intuitive eating blogs when I stumbled upon a post on The blogger posted that she had hula hooped for exercise. What a great idea! I used to love hula hooping, but I never thought about doing it for exercise because I always thought of it as something children do. Then I thought back to all the things I used to do when I was a kid. I used to love jump roping, swinging, riding my bike, etc. I don’t do any of those things anymore. Why?

At some point I grew up and forgot about playing. That’s when that ugly word, exercise, entered my life. I would join a gym and start using the stairmaster or the treadmill. I would go for a couple months at most before I just couldn’t take it anymore. Sometimes I would only go a few times before quitting.

I hate exercise. But I don’t hate playing. I loved to play as a kid. Whenever anyone asked, I would always say that my favorite part of school was recess. I have decided that I am never going to make myself exercise again. I’m going to start playing again instead. Weeee!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Every Woman Has an Eating Disorder

I wanted to write a post about this blog because it is what first introduced me to intuitive eating. Last July I was struggling with Weight Watchers. I had been in a diet/binge cycle for several months. I was desperate to lose weight, and I just didn’t know what to do. I posted about my struggle on the Weight Watchers message board. One very wise poster suggested that I check out I did, and I was mesmerized. I read every post in one sitting. I would like to highlight two of them that really spoke to me.

In this post, the blogger points out that when we don’t allow ourselves to eat the foods we want; we are saying that we don’t trust ourselves. I had never thought about it that way before. I thought I was avoiding french fries because I needed to lose weight. The truth is, I was avoiding french fries because I didn’t trust myself with french fries. I thought that if I allowed myself to have them, I would eat too many of them. That I would eat them every day, maybe even several times a day. How could I be a confident, happy person if I didn’t trust myself?

This post highlights ten appearance assumptions that lead to body image issues. I was especially struck by number ten. “The only way I could ever like my looks would be to change them.” This is the whole reason I was dieting in the first place. I thought I needed to lose weight before I could be happy with the way I looked. Isn’t this one of the main reasons why everyone diets?

The blogger went on to say, “If you're dissatisfied with your body, which would be easier--to lose weight or to work on your dissatisfaction?” What a revelation! It had never occurred to me that I could actually learn to accept my body as it is now. Considering I had been dieting on and off for a decade and only getting heavier, it seemed that it might just be easier to work on body acceptance.

On a side note, I have since discovered that learning to accept my body is a key component to learning how to eat intuitively. It’s really hard to be a conscious eater when you are focused first and foremost on weight loss. I have found that intuitive eating has become easier as I have stopped worrying about losing weight and started focusing my attention on wanting to have a normal relationship with food.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Last July I discovered intuitive eating after living in the diet cycle for the last decade. I learned that eating consciously is actually much harder than dieting, but the results are worth it. I desperately want to have a normal relationship with food. I am not willing to spend the rest of my life in the diet cycle. Through this journey I have also realized that there is no conscious eating without conscious living. Conscious living has added so much meaning to my life. I have even found myself being thankful for my food issues because they brought me to conscious living.

I decided to start this blog for a couple of reasons.

Most of the stuff I have read about intuitive eating focuses on the food. There is some information about emotional eating, but it doesn’t go much beyond that. I wanted to create a place that talks about conscious eating within the context of conscious living.

I am tired of hearing people say that they tried intuitive eating, but it didn’t work for them. Here is an excerpt from a post on a conscious eating site that I frequent.

“It's very tempting to try to follow this, to be free of constant monitoring, but I have to confess that I've tried it and it hasn't worked for me…It was a few months- maybe 4 months- over which I did not weigh myself, and tried to practice intuitive eating, and when my clothes started to feel and look tight, I got on the scale and was shocked to see myself 10 lbs up.”

What frustrates me about reading posts like that is that this is exactly how intuitive eating is supposed to work. In Breaking Free from Emotional Eating, Geneen Roth wrote that she gained 15 pounds over her first six months of intuitive eating. For the next five months she maintained that weight. It was almost a year before she started to lose weight, and it took her two years of eating intuitively for her to lose 30 pounds to reach her natural healthy weight.

Intuitive eating isn’t a quick fix. It takes an amazing amount of dedication. It’s not a diet. It’s a process of learning how to have a normal relationship with food. Losing weight may be a byproduct of that, but it isn’t the main point. It will only work if you make a firm commitment to eating consciously. If you view it as a way to lose weight, as another diet, it won’t work for you. You need to be able to accept the initial weight gain. You need to be able to accept that you might not start losing weight for a year or maybe longer. If you can’t do that, intuitive eating won’t work for you. It will just become another diet that you will “fail” at.

I have decided that conscious eating / conscious living is worth it. I have decided that I am worth it. I am not willing to struggle with food for the rest of my life. I want to enjoy my life and be free from food obsessions, and I’m willing to do what it takes for me to get there.