Monday, March 12, 2007

The party is disrupted by an uninvited guest

Woo hoo - I think I've finally recovered after a hard partying Saturday night. I think the birthday boy had fun too. We spent a few hours at a swanky pool place called The Parlor in the new Lincoln Square building in Bellevue, then moved on to Maggiano's Little Italy for dinner. 13 of our friends showed up, which was awesome. Unfortunately my camera battery was near dead, so I only got a few pics at the pool hall.

We weren't planning to drink much, but TJ's friends had some other plans for him, and started him off with a shot called "Irish Carbomb" which is a shot of Bailey's dropped into a pint of Guinness. Crazy. There was also "Chocolate Cake", "Oatmeal Cookie", and Unidentifiable Fruity Shot. And of course, Guinness on tap. Luckily I was the designated driver (and the one handling the money) so I got to be the responsible one just for that evening :)

It was a great time with our friends here. Oh, and special props to Dave and Lisa who managed to stay on their pre-wedding healthy eating plan despite many, many temptations that night.

We also ended up with a ton of yummy Italian leftovers. I've been eating the gnocchi in vodka sauce for a few days now and *love* it.

I started reading "Intuitive Eating" by Tribole and Resch. Amazing book, and let me tell you, I've read a lot of "diet" books. Seems the reading is a lot easier for me than the hard work.

But this one is different. (Really, I promise). It's a 10-step program to getting back to using your natural hunger cues to just eat without dieting, rules, or any of that crap. I went to an overview seminar at Sound Health that talked about some of the principles and was motivated to learn more about it.

I'm working on the first three steps right now:
1. Reject the diet mentality
2. Honor your hunger
3. Make peace with food

Basically, I need to think about how I'm going to eat long-term and abandon any desire for quick-fix diets, or restrictive eating plans. I need to toss out the rules, and really listen to my body and eat when i'm hungry, only until satisfied. (As opposed to gut-bustin' full.) And the last one is my favorite - I can eat whatever the heck I want. All foods are equal - none are "bad" or "good". If I want to, I could eat croissants all day. French fries the next day. Mac n cheese the third day.

I was very skeptical of this - it sounds too good to be true. However, they say that babies/toddlers are born with this self-monitoring capability - if you give toddlers a variety of different foods, over a week or two, they will take in exactly what they need nutritionally, even if at one meal they eat only fruit, and at another only crackers. Over a week, all of their choices and calories balance out.

And since I've pseudo-dieted my way up to an unhealthy weight, I figure this is worth a shot. Amazingly, even on Saturday night I didn't even eat to uncomfortably full. For dessert, all I had was a piece of caramelized banana and a tiny bite of pound cake. And I was totally happy with that. And I'm not just saying that to be virtuous, I genuinely only wanted that little bit. Somehow just knowing I was "allowed" to have whatever I wanted, and knowing that none of it was off-limits, made me much less interested in it. I guess I should have known I was one of those contrary people all along!

I'm a little worried about the nutrition side of things - that only comes in a later step because it's hard in the beginning to "make peace" with food, and nutrition tends to make people go back to "rules". On the other hand, I eat fruit willingly, and a few weeks of fruit with the occasional veggie will probably be fine. I had two croissants for dinner today (been craving them for a while) and now, I'm not particularly interested in eating them again. I know this sounds hokey, but I'm going to try and live with this for the next few months and see where it gets me. It sure sounds good, anyway!

I definitely recognized myself in that book. I used to think that since I wasn't an "emotional eater", there really wasn't any mental component to weight loss. However, there's a category called "chaotic unconscious eater" which is a person who is very busy/stressed, skips meals sometimes, and then is so hungry she grabs whatever is available. Um, that has me written all over it! And when I eat out, I often eat to the point of uncomfortable fullness. I've been paying much closer attention to that.

I'm still working on that part - I think I tend to stop eating too early, if anything, and then am hungry a few hours later. But I can slowly learn to fix that.

But last night, at 1am, when I couldn't sleep, and I was really hungry, I got out of bed and had a bowl of Cheerios. Old me would have just figured being hungry was good and tried to sleep through it. After I ate, I was able to fall asleep pretty easily.

One of the things I need to work on is to eat without trying to do something else at the same time (like read, surf the web, or watch TV). That's a hard one for me. But it's much easier to figure out whether you're satisfied when you're not distracted by something else.

I suppose only time will tell if this is right for me. Hopefully the novelty of eating formerly-forbidden foods will wear off fairly soon (it looks like it will!) and I'll be able to maintain a fairly balanced diet. I'm having the worst time getting enough veggies - nothing sounds good to me.

Two more small victories, and I'll stop talking about food:
1. I've had an unopened bag of Doritos in the pantry for a week. And I have not wanted to open them. (In the past, Doritos left over from poker games would be inhaled the next day.)
2. We still have birthday cake left from Friday. I had once piece after dinner on Friday, and a small piece yesterday. (Old "dieting" An would have eaten that quickly too, to get it out of the house.)

I never realized how completely wacked I am about food. I always thought I was pretty healthy and had a decent attitude about it. Don't get me wrong, I don't binge, don't have any eating disorders, or anything like that, so I'm doing fairly well. But years of dieting have taken their toll, and made me put a higher value, and more guilt on certain foods. So when I eat them, I feel bad about it, and don't even get to truly enjoy it.

Aaaanyway, to make a long story short, I'm done with all this diet crap and am going to try this new thing and see how it does. I feel good about it.


  1. Hey there, I was really excited to read that your just starting out on Intuitive Eating as I started it a few months ago. I am making some major changes to my thinking and life and I think I am finally losing some weight too.

    I am currently an injured runners (Plantar Fisciiatis) but start back running again next week. It's brilliant running for the pure love of it and not so much for the calorie burning.

    Looking forward to reading more about you and your new IE way of life :)

  2. What a great post! The good thing about intuitive eating, is that it's for life. Dieting is such a temporary thing, and you can't sustain it forever.

    And way to go on your controlled eating over the past few days! It's not easy having a bag of doritos in the pantry and resisting. Great work!!!!

  3. That sounds like a good plan, and kudos on the unopened doritos! Let me know how it goes, i'm all for learning how to eat and not go overboard. Good luck!! :)


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