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Wednesday, 12 August 2009

100 Day Challenge - Day 83 - Walk the Plank

  • When you live a life based on the externally imposed and inflexible need to be thin, it is impossible to develop trust in your ability to eat what satisfies you because what you are believing is that being thin will satisfy you. *
  • While it is true that you cannot trust the feeling that because you want something you must have it, it is not true that you cannot be trusted. Or that you cannot lose weight by listening to yourself. *
  • Trust develops and builds when I am given a choice (and not, as in dieting, denied it). Trust develops when I choose to make myself comfortable, not miserable, to take care of myself rather than hurt myself. Trust develops when you learn from actual experience that you can decide which desires to act upon and which you will leave to fantasy. *
Being Thin Does Not Satisfy Me
Being sick lean is no longer the driving force in my life. The spot on the map marked by an "X" is not about how I look, it is about how I feel.

I am no longer able to endure the heartache, pain, and struggle of living from hour to hour counting down until I can eat again. I am tired of not sleeping through the night because my body is screaming for nourishment. The time has come to explore new ways of staying fit, healthy and SANE.

I Have Given Up Dieting
  • When we give up dieting, we take back something we were often unaware we had given away : our own voice. Our ability to make decisions about what to eat and when. Your body is reliable. It doesn't go away, get lost, stolen. If you will listen, it will speak. *

Pirates Answer to No One
It occurs to me that I cannot be truly empowered while I serve the rules and promises of experts who tell me what to eat and how to train in order to be fit and lean. These strangers tell me that if I obey their laws, I will be one of the few who achieve their goal. Yet, if it were true, then everyone would be the size and shape they wanted. It clearly doesn't work.

It is even more evident when I listen to your stories which echo my own day after day. We are sick of fighting, sick of deprivation, constantly living in hope that tomorrow will be worth all the struggle today and ending up face first in the nearest bucket of ice-cream.

Is There Another Way?
Eat when you're hungry
Eat what you want
Stop when you're full

Oh Yeah ... Intuitive Eating ... Tried It Once and It Was A Disaster
Let's try that again ...
Eat when you're HUNGRY
Eat what you WANT
Stop when you're FULL
Intuitive eating with boundaries!

I Eat When I'm Hungry
There is a difference between mind hunger and body hunger. Fortunately, I know intimately what body hunger feels like. So I wait until I my stomach is empty and growling before I eat ANYTHING. No treats, seconds, or dessert unless I am physically hungry.

I has been years since I have eaten when I'm hungry. I am either denying the sensation by waiting until an appointed time to eat a minuscule amount, or eating large volumes of food way beyond the sensation of hunger when I binge. I am now choosing instead to rely on my body to tell me when I need to eat, through a real and tangible physical sensation.

I Eat What I Want
Eating what I want doesn't mean eating cheesecake and hash browns at every meal. It means asking myself 'what does my body want right now?'

My body wants fuel and nutrients in the right quantities so it doesn't need to store it (as fat). My body wants to feel energised after a meal not sick, bloated, bogged down and sleepy. I eat to honour these wants. I am developing trust in my body by not measuring, weighing or logging my food. I have enough experience in portion control and macro requirements that I don't need to track any more.

Occasionally, my soul need feeding as well. When these needs outweigh my body's needs I will give myself what my soul needs. Comfort food is acceptable but I must still wait until I am physically hungry, truly eat what I want and stop when I have satisfied my emotional need. I will also carefully observe the effects these not so healthy foods have on my body and spirit.

I Stop When I'm Full
I stop eating when my hunger is satisfied. Satisfaction only occurs when I am physically and psychologically nourished. In order to stop when I am satisfied, I need to wait until I'm hungry and eat what I really want. If I mistakenly eat too much or too little it is OK because I know that it will simply alter how long it takes to get hungry again.

I choose to eat real food that my body will recognise as filling. Processed chemicals (like protein powder and SF maple syrup) just confuse my satiation signals. So back on the menu are real yogurt, full fat soy milk (just because I prefer the taste), and naturally sweet things like fruit.

Why am I Doing This?
Because I need balance and clarity in my head and room in my life to think of other things besides food. I want to trust myself instead of being in constant conflict. I want to be lean so I can live my life not live my life to be lean.

How is it so Far?
It is almost the scariest thing I have ever done. I am frightened beyond belief. I am choosing to abandon the only way of preventing getting fat that I know (counting calories) and I am fucking petrified. I cannot even imagine doing this for a week, I can only concentrate on one meal at a time. I still have a compulsion to work out how many calories I am eating which I must resist. It is not easy.

But if it works, I will be free at last. I am launching my sailing ship into an unknown and unexplored sea. If I get lost or battered and bruised I can always turn around and head for home.
But not many Pirates do that do they?

*all quotations from this book
Breaking Free from Emotional Eating

  • Is the price you are paying to be thin too much?
  • If 'eat less : move more' really worked, why do we struggle so much?
  • What if the opposite of what we believe was also true?
  • If this was your last day on earth, how would you choose to eat?
  • If your body could speak, what would it say?
  • Can you be a Pirate without being lawless?
  • Have I gone fucking mad (again)?

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  1. i can totally understand all of the emotions you are going through. I, too, am sick of not being able to sleep through the night. It makes me want to eat carbs before bed, not out of the cravings, but because i just want to get a good night of rest! Calorie counting is something I rely on as well. On days that I have tried to just eat intuitively, I either get fed up half way through the day and calculate the calories, or else I just eat like a pig because i feel as though I have no idea how much ive eaten, so i must've fucked up. It is something i also plan on trying out after september 5th(last competition until at least late november.) I would love to follow along and see how it works out for you, what does/doesn't work, and how you are able to handle it. If you really stick to your guns and listne to your body, i believe it is completely do-able. Being your own guinea pig is the only way to know for sure.. great post Katie!

  2. Hi NG

    Well I must say it has been a bit rocky to start with which is to be expected after restricting for so long. I am somewhat out of control even though I am eating healthy (!) food -- too much dried fruit and nuts ... dates and pecans OMG -- I am not very good at stopping!

    I am going to try to change one thing at a time instead of everything - so sticking to my usual food choices but eat a bit more rather than adding in new things I didn't eat before (see dried fruit and nuts!!) as well as eating more.

    Wish me luck!! ♥

  3. Hi Katie,
    I thought I posted something earlier?? Anyways I just wanted to say you'll be fine. I think it's great we are all trying to find balance through food and exercise. But if we become obsessed it will do more harm-you are aware of that so be proud of the changes you make to live a better quality of life! Good Luck!

  4. Awesome, awesome post. I have attempted this but continued to struggle with binging--I hope to try again some day! Good luck to you and thank you for sharing this experience!!!

  5. Thank you Cathy and Chunkmonkey (which you should change to Spunkmonkey by the way!).

    Today was much better than yesterday so that is positive. This is way harder than dieting! but I am determined to give it a shot ♥