I wasn't really ready to tell you this, but I was inspired last night by Heather's bravery in talking about her secrets.
Last week, I started counting calories again.
Not obsessive, all encompassing, life-sucking calorie counting. More like "let's see what's really going on up in hizzle" calorie counting. I needed to take a hard and fast look at what I was putting in my mouth, because the reality of the situation is that even this self-professed intuitive eater loses sight of intuition from time to time.
In all truthfulness, I'm a stress eater. I've been working a lot of unreasonable hours at my big girl job, and it's starting to weigh on me (no pun originally intended, but I'll take it). We're not talking a 20 pound weight gain here, but I know when my clothes start to get tight; and I know when I'm eating too much.
I didn't shame myself into counting calories as a result of my visit to the doctor's office last week, but the truth is that in the aftermath of that appointment, I thought about a lot of things. Although my weight was not incredibly intimidating to me, it did make me take a look at the big picture and realize that I haven't been putting much thought or planning into my food lately.
Working long hours means that I don't have the time or energy to cook. I can't say that I've been eating fast food or anything crazy like that, but lack of sleep makes me crave sugar like a mofo. I've definitely had my fair share of coconut milk ice cream and chocolate covered cherries, and I've probably gone out to lunch more times in the past month than was beneficial for my health.
But I really don't feel bad about it. I'm not guilty or ashamed of myself. That's not why I decided to start tracking my food on LiveStrong (formerly Daily Plate). I did it because I think that it's easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal sometimes. For someone who has a history of overeating and making poor food choices, it's good to take a look at what I'm putting into my body at times like these. I know that stress is a huge (major) trigger for me and my eating disorder.
At the heart of my former eating disorder was a compulsive over-eater. Although I can't remember my eating history prior to around the age of eight, my intuition tells me that my eating disorder began as compulsive overeating. My childhood was tumultuous, and food soothed me. I ate to make myself feel better. The resulting bulimia and tendency to starve myself came much later, when I was more aware of my body and more aware of the taunts from other children.
Right now, I'm taking a look at what I'm eating. Even if I only use this method of keeping track of my food until I've made it through the remainder of my busy season at work, I feel like this is a positive measure for my health both mentally and physically. It's possible that I'm just using this as a crutch, but at the moment, I feel like it's the only way that I'm going to do what is best for my body at a time when my mind is on overload and can't be intuitive on its' own.
So, there ya have it. The intuitive eater has gone awry. I don't feel like a failure. I'm not ashamed.
And I'm doing what is best for me right now.