Saturday, June 16, 2007

Intuitive Eating in Las Vegas

I’m back from Las Vegas. It was a very interesting trip for me in regards to conscious eating. I was there for a bachelorette party with seven other women who appear to range in size from two to six. I spent the months leading up to this getaway freaking out about hanging out at the pool with a large group of size four women. It turns out that wasn’t such a big deal. Oddly enough, I was not so self-conscious.

What ended up being interesting is watching how they eat. While I heard a lot of, “Does this make me look fat?” and “This shirt makes me look like a sausage,” I saw a lot of intuitive eating. I don’t know why, but I expected them all to pick at salads. Instead there were a lot of nachos, burgers, and some salads, too. It was clear that these women ordered exactly what they wanted to order, and then they stopped eating when they were finished.

Another thing I found interesting is that they seemed to know nothing about intuitive eating on a conscious level. I have known all of them long enough to know that they have all always been slim. I guess they have never given how they eat much thought. A few times when I wasn’t hungry and chose not to eat, I was told, “Sometimes you have to eat when you aren’t hungry.”

Overall I ate less than the women I was with, which really surprised me. I have thought about why that is, and I suspect that maybe my body must know that it needs less food because I have extra weight on me. That seems like a logical explanation, doesn’t it? My husband suggested that maybe they were eating more than they usually do because they were on vacation. I suppose that’s just as possible. I can accept that naturally thin people experience what I call “vacation eating,” too.

Spending this last week with a group of natural intuitive eaters was a fascinating experience. It also helped me lighten up about intuitive eating. I still find myself questioning myself about whether or not I am doing this “right” from time to time. Watching these naturally thin women eat what they want and enjoy themselves has helped me to feel more relaxed about this process.

12 comments:

DARK STAR said...
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Jain said...

What a marvelous experience as well as interesting time for you too. I half expected that your story would run the 'diet mentality' line about all the gals gabbing diets and counting calories/points etc. How wonderful that they are naturally trim and eating for life instead of 'rules'. Had to be a bonus to all the fun you didn't write about - he he.

Tree Lover said...

Jain - I expected to witness a heavy dose of diet mentality, too. This was a pleasant surprise. One woman there had recently gained five or ten pounds from a medication she was taking. (She still looked fabulous in her bikini, by the way.) I was shocked when she said, "I don't really care. I love food way too much to stop eating what I want." Wow!

Bliss Chick said...

That's pretty cool. Glad you had a good time and welcome back!

LMM said...

Your post reminds me of my goal: for food to truly become just a moment in my life rather than a focus of my life.

Lily T said...

That's very interesting observation of your trip. It sounds like you did really well.

æ said...

a whole week? you deserve a medal!

These gals sound a lot like my friends. And I've noticed that my friends also do "vacation eating," which was pretty cool to realize. As in, "you mean normal people overdo it from time to time too??"

Jen said...

Sounds like a wonderful experience. I'm glad that you had a nice time and look forward to hearing more from you once you've settled in. Great to have you back!

Tiana said...

You know, my best friend from high school and my best friend from college are both tiny-tiny women. Yet, they both never diet and eat what they want. I think you got it right when they just stopped when they are full, a mechanism that is just hidden deeper in peeps like us. Glad to know that you brought IE with you to Vegas!

Andrea K said...

Coming back from my own vacation, it's good validation for me to hear that "normal" eaters indulge on vacations, too. It sounds like you had a good time.

~C~ said...

It sounds to me like this was a wonderful experience. I am glad it turned out that way, it gives me faith.

Tree Lover said...

lmm - Good goal! That is a big part of having a normal relationship with food.

ae - I love that normal eaters engage in "vacation eating." Further proof that intuitive eating is not about perfection.

Tiana - It sounds like your friends have it figured out.

Andrea - Yes, there is no need to feel bad about going a little overboard with eating while on vacation.

Christie - It gives me faith, too. It's hard to find support for intuitive eating in this society, so it really helps me when I do see it.